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Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

Bill Maher: The Environment Is The Ultimate Health Care Issue (VIDEO)

Huff Post- First Posted: 03-13-10 03:56 AM   |   Updated: 03-13-10 05:49 AM

Bill Maher called the environment the “ultimate health care issue” Friday night during “Real Time” and argued that our future depends on our ability to stop global warming. But some on his panel weren’t so convinced.

Conservative talk radio host Amy Holmes, actor Hill Harper, and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson weighed in, with Harper being the sole panelist to agree with Maher’s assessment. Johnson said he believes in climate change, but that its effects have been greatly exaggerated. While Holmes called herself a skeptic, and argued that the science behind the topic is not settled. She described it as a “raging debate.”

Maher was blown away by Holmes’ skepticism and shot down Johnson for opposing cap and trade legislation. Maher pointed out that Republicans weren’t so disgusted by cap and trade when George H.W. Bush used it to stop acid rain.

WATCH VIDEO HERE

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The Right’s Inability to Grasp Climate Change May Be Funny, But It’s Also Very Dangerous

February 12, 2010

The so-called Snowpocalypse has brought out the funny bone in the right-wing media, but their inability to correctly draw causal connections is very dangerous.

Climate change conspiracies are hardly new, but the so-called Snowpocalypse in Washington D.C. has returned them front-and-center to every single right-wing media outlet.

A Fox News anchor smugly claimed that the record snow had not only buried people’s cars — it was also “burying” global warming theories. In a World Net Daily radio segment, someone joked that liberals would soon be claiming the snowfall — and global warming — was the Tea Party movement’s fault. And the family of Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, built a six-foot-tall igloo on Capitol Hill and topped it off with a sign that read, “Al Gore’s New Home,” before posting it on Facebook to the delight of climate change non-believers across the country. (From a commenter: “What if the D.C. tent cities became IGLOO cities?? The irony!” Bashing global warming and the homeless in one fell swoop — classy.)

For years since climate change has been accepted fact among the bulk of the international scientific and environmental community, many people have contended that global warming is a farce brought on by a New World Order (often embodied by the relatively powerless United Nations) to construct a world government that will undermine American sovereignty and make us all slaves to Al Gore and his green business cronies, who will be swimming in our green — our hard-earned cash. Certainly not all global warming deniers fall into this particular conspiracy camp, but it’s among the more popular story-lines.

MORE HERE

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This is “Clean Coal”: Massive Coal Sludge Spill Dwarfs Exxon Valdez Disaster

Via: Raw Story/It’s Getting Hot In Here- Published by Jesse Jenkins, December 23rd, 2008

Cross-posted from WattHead – Energy News and Commentary

Let’s see how the “clean coal” PR hucksters at the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity try to spin this tragic news: a retention pond holding toxic coal ash slurry burst Monday in Roane County, Tennessee, releasing over half a billion gallons of potentially toxic sludge that swept into the nearby town of Harriman and contaminated tributaries of the Tennessee River. The resulting flood damaged 15 homes, injured one man as it knocked his house off its foundations, and has left over 400 acres of land covered by several feet of coal ash, mud and contaminated water (see video below).

Coal ash and slurry is the normal byproduct of coal-fired electricity generating, and is usually stored in giant retaining ponds near coal plants. The resulting coal slurry is frequently contaminated by heavy metals, mercury and arsenic.

Yesterday’s tragedy struck at the coal ash impoundment associated with the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston coal-fired steam plant and released about 2.6 million cubic yards of slurry, the Tennessean reports. That’s enough to fill nearly 800 Olympic-sized swimming pools, and is over 40 times more contaminated sludge than the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill.

As usual, a picture is worth a thousand words – and a video is worth even more; you can see scenes from the environmental disaster at the photo gallery here and the video below:

Greenpeace has called for a criminal investigation into the disaster, noting that similar spills in the past have resulted in felony charges.

(more…)

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The Seven Deadly Deficits: What the Bush Years Really Cost Us

By Joseph Stiglitz, Mother Jones. Posted December 22, 2008.

And how President Obama can get the economy back on track.

When President George W. Bush assumed office, most of those disgruntled about the stolen election contented themselves with this thought: Given our system of checks and balances, given the gridlock in Washington, how much damage could be done? Now we know: far more than the worst pessimists could have imagined. From the war in Iraq to the collapse of the credit markets, the financial losses are difficult to fathom. And behind those losses lie even greater missed opportunities.

Put it all together — the money squandered on the war, the money wasted on a housing pyramid scheme that impoverished the nation and enriched a few, and the money lost because of the recession — and the gap between what we could have produced and what we did produce will easily exceed $1.5 trillion. Think what that kind of money could have done to provide health care for the uninsured, to improve our education system, to build green technology … The list is endless.

And the true cost of our missed opportunities is likely even greater. Consider the war: First there are the funds directly allocated to it by the government (an estimated $12 billion a month even according to the misleading accounting of the Bush administration). Much larger, as the Kennedy School’s Linda Bilmes and I documented in The Three Trillion Dollar War, are the indirect costs: the salaries not earned by those wounded or killed, the economic activity displaced (from, say, spending on American hospitals to spending on Nepalese security contractors). Such social and macroeconomic factors may account for more than $2 trillion of the war’s overall cost.

There is a silver lining in these clouds. If we can pull ourselves out of the malaise, if we can think more carefully and less ideologically about how to make our economy stronger and our society better, perhaps we can make progress in addressing some of our long-festering problems. As a road map for where to begin, consider the seven major shortfalls the Bush administration leaves behind.

MORE HERE

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Dangerous Sea Level Rise Imminent Without Large Reductions of Black Carbon

News Blaze- Published: December 12,2008

The world is already close to passing the tipping points for abrupt climate change events, and if strong measures aren’t taken immediately the results will be catastrophic, concluded panelists during a side event at the UN climate conference in Poznan Tuesday night. Both scientific experts and government representatives alike at the event sponsored by the Federated States of Micronesia and Sweden, stressed the urgent need for fast-action mitigation measures that should be implemented and expanded immediately in order to avoid devastating consequences such as sea level rise.

Dr. Hermann Held of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research pointed out that land ice melt is being vastly underestimated, and that non-linear abrupt climate change is not being taken into account as it should be by the climate convention. The world is already committed to an astounding 2.4 degrees of warming, due in part to the warming effects of black carbon – a substance that is now considered the second-greatest contributor to climate change after CO2 – which are being “unmasked” by reductions of SO2, which produces a cooling effect.

MORE HERE

Environmental Progress Is a Cause for Right-Wing Paranoia

By Janet Smith, Intelligence Report. Posted December 12, 2008

Some conservatives have the wild notion that environmental policies are out to destroy American’s freedoms.

Addison, Texas — “Environment is not about saving nature,” the founder of Freedom Advocates, Michael Shaw, sternly warned an audience of antigovernment “Patriots” and far-right conspiracy theorists during a mid-July conference. “It’s about a revolutionary coup in America. [Environmentalism] is to establish global governance and abandon the principles of Natural Law.” Sustainable development policies, Shaw argued, will require “a police state” and ultimately “turn America into a globally governed homeland where humans are treated as biological resources.”
Shaw’s fearful call to arms against environmentalism was sucked in whole hog during the Ninth Annual Freedom 21 conference held in a Dallas-area Crowne Plaza hotel. Co-hosted by the Texas Eagle Forum, a hard-line Christian Right organization, and the anti-“New World Order” American Policy Center (APC), the three-day convergence included such right-wing heavyweights as the error-prone conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, gay- and feminist-hating Phyllis Schlafly, and the far-right Constitution Party’s presidential candidate, Chuck Baldwin.

MORE HERE

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