In recent days Al Gore has raked Rick Perry over the coals for his attacks on science, and taken Barack Obama to task several times for his lack of courage on the environment. What is striking to me, though it should not be, is the pathological reaction of the right and their money sources from the pollution lobby to Al Gore.
Energy & Environment
Readers, readers, readers: I'm agonizing over and debating my thoughts. What I have argued and debated in the past is that industrial activity — anthropogenic activity — has consequences, e.g. the putting of large amounts of carbon-based materials into the environment.
Whether that causes "global warming" I don't know, and I submit can't be proven given the paucity of the database — how can you prove an underlying climatic cycle that may be hundreds or thousands of years long in periodicity with just about 100 years or so of truly detailed and reliable data? And, once you understand that base cycle, you still have to prove that there is a causal connection — not a spurious correlation — between any observed deviation and the base cycle.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney believes global warming is a very significant national problem, that part of the cause is man-made, and that government action is needed. I agree with him, and applaud him for this.
It is now clear that global warming is a major cause of rising food prices that hurt all Americans in their pocketbooks, every day. This will be a very big issue and revive national enthusiasm for action to combat global warming. I am in close touch with one very senior national Democrat who will soon launch a campaign appealing to voters to lower food costs by combating global warming.
For now, let’s applaud Mitt Romney for his global warming position and hope he sticks to his guns on this one.
This Friday will mark the release of the May unemployment report. A report that will reflect the last effects of the Obama trillion-dollar stimulus and of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE2).
The report is likely to show that job creation is mediocre at best, with unemployment insurance claims continuing well above the 400,000 weekly level, housing in a double-dip recession and the gross domestic product contracting to a paltry 1.8 percent growth rate for the second quarter of 2011.
The situation is so dire on the economic growth front that The New York Times has awoken from its slumber to opine, in a May 30 piece titled “The Numbers Are Grim,” that:
“Dang dang dong darn it. Dang dang darn it. Dang. Darn it. Dang dang.”
That’s what passes for intelligent political discourse on the Glenn Beck radio show when it comes to clean air and protecting our children from harmful air pollutants like arsenic, mercury, soot, smog and carbon.
Beck and his co-host, Pat Grey, were reacting Thursday to a new television ad from American Family Voices that hits Congress for considering legislation that would prevent the EPA from updating pollution standards on everything from arsenic to mercury to carbon pollution. The ad, rightfully so, indicates that if we don’t reduce these harmful emissions, we are essentially leaving them in our air, water and food for children to consume. Scientific research has found that existing pollution standards have prevented 160,000 early deaths annually, including nearly three hundred infants each year.
In light of the recent Japanese nuclear accident caused by one of the largest earthquakes the country had experienced in more than 300 years, I reflect on the future of nuclear power and how public perception has certainly been affected. These events are devastating, there is no doubt. It might, however, be an opportune time for us to step back and look at recent events objectively. An initial knee-jerk reaction is to point to this accident as a confirmation that nuclear energy is dangerous and causes dramatic public harm. However, giving up on nuclear energy would be hasty, short-sighted and counterproductive.
Our current energy supply and consumption trends are unsustainable in the long term. We live in a word increasingly constrained by multiple objectives competing for finite resources (time, money, technology, availability, etc.). Countries are playing a balancing act between reducing greenhouse gas emissions, addressing climate change concerns, achieving energy security by ensuring an adequate, reliable and safe supply shielded from volatile prices and ensuring economic growth. While there is certainly no silver bullet, nuclear energy does indeed play a critical role in bridging these objectives.
Al Gore is back, big time. First he hired Keith Olbermann for his Current TV. Then he announced a major book deal, to be released in 2012, about the powerful changes affecting the U.S. and the world.
Last week Gore sent out a major fundraiser to the Democratic base, blasting House Republicans as extremist, reminiscent of the dark days of President George W. Bush (Gore's words) and deniers of science and climate change.
I predict the Gore fundraising letter raises a huge amount of money to help Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives.
All weekend, I'm checking the stories of radiation leaks from the damaged reactors in Japan. The science of what constitutes a partial meltdown is complicated, and it's clear that reporters, even those who specialize in nuclear energy issues and who are interviewing experts with Ph.D.s and top-of-the-line credentials, are unsure of the extent of the damage and danger..
As I read Thomas H. Maugh’s excellent Q-and-A in this morning’s Los Angeles Times, I wondered, Why didn't anyone think to stockpile charged batteries — in multiple facilities to keep them safe and dry — to be used as a tertiary power backup, to keep the reactors cool.
Rising gas prices are the elephant in the room that no one is talking about. With
87 octane gasoline now around $3 a gallon throughout the country, we can expect
to start seeing increased prices for the delivery of goods and services, as UPS,
FedEx, railroads and even airplanes feel the fuel cost pinch.
Unfortunately these skyrocketing prices are only the tip of the iceberg as Obama engages in an unprecedented war on American-produced energy.
Last week a campaign
spending analysis documented the unchecked and mostly undisclosed
spending by shadowy front groups on energy-related advertising designed to
influence the 2010 congressional midterm elections. That report found that
these shadow front groups are spending big — more than $68.5 million on energy-related
Now along comes a new poll, the latest in a string of public and private polling that demonstrates that these front groups are just dead wrong when it comes to climate and energy policy and that voters are not motivated to vote against climate and energy supporters.