The Treasury has come up with some solution details. First: purchasing troubled mortgage-back securities. That’s okay, I guess. Second: buying mortgages, particularly from regional banks. That’s a lot better. Third: insuring mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. That’s a good idea too. Fourth: purchasing equity in a broad array of financial institutions. That’s a darn good idea. If taxpayer money is being used to take assets off company books, taxpayers should be in line for any potential future gains. Fifth: helping delinquent borrowers stay in their homes. That’s kind of vague, but it’s a good summary statement. I’d really like to see some details on just how they’re planning on achieving this goal. [Update]: These details and weekend-long meetings among the largest economic powers had a positive effect on U.S. markets today: the Dow gained 936.42 today, as an example.
67% of Coloradans would rather protect pristine national forest lands and not increase oil and gas protection in them. 70% thought that the high number of already unused leases was reason enough not to grant the industry new ones on public lands. 56% were intelligent enough to recognize that opening drilling up in the lands wouldn’t lower gas prices. Just one more reason why “Drill, baby, drill” isn’t working out West: we live next to the areas where the drilling would actually occur and we don’t think it’s a good idea.
Google has come out with a 21st century energy plan (ClimateProgess’ take) and it’s darn good. Here is their top-level summary of goals:
Our proposal will allow us to reduce from the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) current baseline for energy use:
- Fossil fuel-based electricity generation by 88%
- Vehicle oil consumption by 38%
- Dependence on imported oil (currently 10 million barrels per day) by 33%
- Electricity-sector CO2 emissions by 95%
- Personal vehicle sector CO2 emissions by 38%
- US CO2 emissions overall by 48% (40% from today’s CO2 emission level)
The cost of Google’s plan? $4.4 Trillion! Ah, but the savings of Google’s plan? $5.4 Trillion!! I’ve heard estimates of the cost of business-as-usual, but I forget what they are. I’ll follow up on this in the future.
The effects of climate change in Colorado are being assessed. Among them: change in river flows through mid-century. Climates are expected to migrate upward in elevation. Supplies of water will decrease. Demand is likely to increase. Guess what will happen to costs. Or we could actually do something about our climate change forcings. See the Google plan above. It’s a step in the correct direction.
The hysteria over Amendment 41 continues among wonky circles. It shouldn’t, as info from the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission came out last week. Scholarships, insurance policies and dinners are allowed, just like A41 supporters have maintained. A41 banned gifts from lobbyists and anything over $50 in value from non-lobbyists. The Colorado Supreme Court has refused to look at A41′s constitutionality until the law was applied or enforced. I think the intent behind A41 was apparent to voters. I don’t think the Commission will whittle away the intent, as opponents claim.
Arctic sea ice volume likely set an all-time minimum this year. While the areal extent reached the second lowest value on record, the volume of the remaining ice was less this year than last. It’s not hard to figure out why this is. A record low areal extent last year meant the ice that formed last winter was new and thinner than ice that formed over decades or longer. That ice melted easily this summer. The small area of thicker ice? It melted more this year because of the warmer ocean waters underneath it. As those waters get warmer year after year, the ice above it has less long-term viability. The NSIDC should continue to verify the final volume value for 2008.
Republicans have maintained their stranglehold on local and state politics with their GOPAC program – it trains folks how to push fringe policies to the public. That’s how they’ve gotten so many extremists in positions of power. Want to counter it? Throw a little something toward Progressive Majority.
What does it mean to be fiscally conservative? CONServatives certainly don’t know the answer.