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Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Sarah Palin on Energy:

You’ve got to admit! Sarah Palin is good. The woman can sell anything, even the devil. This is what makes her so dangerous

See Grist’s rebuttal, including roundup of Palin’s environmental record below:

  • Opposed a statewide ballot initiative to prohibit or restrict new mining operations that could affect salmon in the state’s streams and rivers
  • Has pushed to build a natural-gas pipeline from Alaska’s North Slope
  • Got the state legislature to pass a bill to provide each Alaskan $1,200 to help with energy costs
  • Sued the Interior Department over its decision to list the polar bear as a threatened species
  • Has proposed eliminating Alaska’s gas tax
  • Has pushed to open Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling
  • Has created a committee to forge Alaska’s climate-change strategy, and has made Alaska an observer (but not a member) of the Western Climate Initiative
  • Opposes a windfall profits tax on oil companies
  • Was the ethics commissioner of the Alaska Gas and Oil Conservation Commission from 2003 to 2004
  • Lifelong angler and hunter
  • Husband is an oil production operator for BP on Alaska’s North Slope
  • Started Alaska’s Petroleum Systems Integrity Office, an oversight and maintenance agency for the state’s oil and gas equipment, facilities, and infrastructure
  • Chairs the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, a multistate panel “that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment”
  • Believes intelligent design should be taught along with evolution in science classes

Last, but not least, Sarah Palin‘s quote on global warming:

“I’m not one though who would attribute [global warming] to being man-made.”

SCARY!!!!!

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Today, Barack Obama, delivered his most comprehensive Energy Policy Speech to date.

I am pleased, and here’s why. For a change, here is a candidate who proposes a realistic plan to address the complex challenges of energy dependence and climate change. A candidate who is taking into account political realities and the need to compromise sometimes. A candidate who is incorporating all the good solutions that are available so far. A candidate who embraces Tom Friedman‘s view of a Green Revolution. A candidate who knows Americans have it in them to weather the storm. A candidate who is not afraid to confront our addiction to oil

Yes, he did change his mind on offshore drilling and tapping into oil reserves. Some say, Obama does not know what he wants. To which I respond, great policy is an organic process that requires constant adjustment to circumstances and people. What matters is that the vision, and the leadership remain constant. 

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On our way to Honolulu. Hubby has business there, and the condo needs some TLC. Once a year, I give in and forsake my moratorium on non essential plane trips, to pay a visit. 

Amazed at the speed with which we made it through San Jose Airport. Americans really have it down, in terms of organization, and efficiency. This was especially striking during my last trip to Europe when I got to experience three airports in one day. Pisa, in Italy, was a complete disaster. Our early morning flight to Paris was canceled, and the Italians did not seem to care that we had another plane to catch. Once in Paris CDG, we witnessed a crippled man drag himself on his hands and knees, literally, for lack of a wheel chair. Finally, a passing airport official took pity on him, and tended to the matter. New York JFK was a welcomed relief. People there, seemed to know what to do, no matter what. 

Imagine if the same organizational skills  set was applied to our national resource efficiency challenge. Systems in place to shut down lights and electricity in public buildings and infrastructures, when not needed. More frequent trains, new bus routes, car sharing stations, free bikes in cities. Carbon reducing incentives for utility companies. Food waste management programs. Turning unemployed blue workers into green ones. Electric car national networks. Imagine . . . 

Of course, this presupposes leadership at the top, and the will to commit to new priorities. But one thing is clear, we can do it. 

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Last night, during his interview with the Associated Press, Al Gore challenged the nation to produce every kilowatt of electricity through wind, sun and other Earth-friendly sources within 10 years, an audacious goal he hopes the next president will embrace. And made it clear that the people have to play a part, through their support of politicians for such energy policy. Barack Obama, and to a lesser extent John McCain may be “way ahead” – Al Gore’s words – but they will not go very far without the popular vote, our vote. Now, consider this:

According to a recent Rasmussen survey:

  • 67% of voters believe that drilling should be allowed off the coasts of California, Florida and other states.
  • 64% of voters believe it is at least somewhat likely that gas prices will go down if offshore oil drilling is allowed
Similarly, June 2008 Pew Opinion Survey concluded:
Amid record gas prices, public support for greater energy exploration is spiking. Compared with just a few months ago, many more Americans are giving higher priority to more energy exploration, rather than more conservation. An increasing proportion also says that developing new sources of energy – rather than protecting the environment – is the more important national priority.
Al, it’s not going to be easy convincing your fellow American citizens . . . Also, what happened to conservation? How come the ‘C-word’ does not appear even once in your interview? Did I miss something?

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Courtesy, Kyle at Green With a Gun, here is another sexy peak oil video, this time from KrisCan:

Maybe not as popular as Cassandra‘s, or at least not yet, but a lot better in my opinion. Kris shows us that humor and sex can go a long way towards engaging regular folks on otherwise serious issues, such as peak oil and global warming. It certainly worked with me. I watched every single one of Kris‘s videos.

In the same category of smart, sexy, playful green shorts, I need to mention Isabella‘s Green Porno series. It is no coincidence, and another validation of the power of sex to sell, that the top post on this blog is the one with ‘Green Porno‘ in its title. 10,457 views in three months, not bad.

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We are failing to invest in critical energy and agriculture research. We are letting our infrastructure fall apart. We are spending as if there is no tomorrow. We continue to drive as if there was no global warming. We are gorging ourselves despite warnings from our doctors. We focus on quarterly earnings at the expense of the long term health of our businesses . . . The pattern is clear. Like La Fontaine’s grasshopper, we are so focused on immediate rewards, that we are failing to prepare for our future. 

The price to pay for such carelessness is too high for us to ignore. Hence, it becomes important to examine the root causes of such behavior, and ways to fix it. The image of my maternal grandmother comes up. Meme Marie was more like the ant in La Fontaine’s fable. She lived frugally, and made sure she had enough money saved up for her old days. She also drew much comfort from knowing that her nest egg and her farm would go to her children after she died. Her brother, on the other hand was a completely different story. Always broke, and borrowing from my grandmother, until the day when she got fed up, and told him no more. Americans are like my granduncle and La Fontaine’s grasshopper. Overindulged children with no sense of limits, and a dangerous sense of entitlement. This precarious lifestyle breeds anxiety about the very real possibility of sad endings.

The first step is to recognize the problem. Next, is to regain control of our lives and our future. We all secretly want it. We just need permission from the media, and from our leaders. Building, not wasting.

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It was featured in engadget, ecogeek, treehugger, and gizmodo. The Manodo Display comes to us from Sweden where it is currently in beta testing with fifteen households. What it is: a smart home device that keeps track of your green-ness in real time, down to the details of your CO2 emissions for each daily activity. The Manodo also gives information about the next train or bus near you.

And if you are good, you get a smiley!

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