Nov 25 2008

You Can Tell the EPA to Regulate Carbon Emissions

mmm carbon-spewing oil refineries

But only until Friday.

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Oct 25 2008

NASA and Verizon

“Verizon customer service, how may I help you?”

“Yeah, hi. I think we have a problem with last month’s bill. The amount due is, let’s see here, $140 million dollars.”

“What line is this, sir?”

“This is for Mars Phoenix. You know, the rover?”

“I’m sorry sir, I’m not a sports fan. Let me check on that for you; yes, that’s right, I’m showing an outstanding balance of $143,212,700. And nine cents.”

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Oct 08 2008

ABC Refuses to Air Clean Power Ad

I was going to write about something else today, I really was, but this is both annoying and beautifully obvious. Al Gore’s We Campaign, which I have written of before, attempted to purchase an ad spot on ABC immediately after last night’s presidential debate. According to WeCanSolveIt.Org, ABC refused to air the following ad:

Why? Probably because it includes the narration,

So why are we still stuck with dirty and expensive energy?
Because big oil spends hundreds of millions of dollars to block clean energy.

Instead, ABC aired Chevron commercials during the debate.

Sort of speaks for itself, doesn’t it? Call it confirmation bias, but I take this as a bad sign for the enviroment.

Are we completely powerless here? Probably not. One could take a moment to digg the story, and perhaps also to add your name to the letter that the We Campaign is sending to ABC. They’re hoping to get 100,000 signatures, which seems a very reasonable number. I wonder if they’re going to print them all out and hand deliver that stack of paper… and then smack someone with it. Sadly, this would probably not help them in their actual goal, which is to get the ad aired during next debate.

This may be difficult, because Chevron no doubt has an even bigger stack of paper.

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Aug 26 2008

Are We Buying This?

Are you buying this?

Water shipped from Fiji is being advertised as environmentally friendly. Wow.

One sustainability blogger estimates that the total amount of water used to produce and deliver a single one liter bottle of imported water is 6.74 liters, and 250 grams of greenhouse gases are released.

The company claims that it intends to become carbon neutral, but not actually: they’re buying carbon offsets, which don’t actually reduce the quantity of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere (This is because there is no international framework to incrementally reduce the total number of credits available.)

There’s really no way around the fact that shipping water across the ocean in small plastic bottles is just a much dumber idea than getting it locally through pipes.

I mean, c’mon people.

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Aug 16 2008

Access to Knowledge and the Banality of Evil

It pisses me off that there is a huge body of very important information that most people can’t get at. I’m not talking about books, the poor paper things, but the world’s academic and scientific journals, which are already online.

Most people don’t even know that the world’s academic journals exist, but this is the master record, the huge source that all those science blogs and mis-representative popular articles draw from. These research journals are the collective output of every professional researcher in the world, in all subjects — only you’re not allowed to read them.

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Jun 27 2008

Scott McClellan, President Bush, and the Permanent Campaign

Scott McClellan was the White House press secretary from July 2003 to April 2006, and the deputy press secretary before that. I saw him speak at a meeting of the Commonwealth Club this Tuesday, June 24. He talked about his relationship to President Bush, the administration’s “mistakes”, and why these mistakes were made. For example, he now feels that “the war in Iraq was not absolutely necessary.” It is fascinating to watch someone formerly so close to the president recant so publicly and dramatically, especially someone who appeared on CNN time and time again to justify the president’s decisions. The personal dynamics of what happened between the president and his press secretary are at least as interesting as the actual events, and perhaps give us a little bit of insight into the psychology of politics in America.

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Jun 12 2008

The Energy Companies are Still Oil Companies

The Exxon ad on CNN this morning talked about “using advanced technology to find new sources of oil.” The four-page Shell spread in the current issue of Wired – a high-tech, futurist magazine – proclaims “our scientists feel free to break rules that say providing energy could mean impacting our environment,” then goes on to discuss their technology for converting natural gas to liquid fuel. According to their website, Chevron invested $20 billion dollars in 2007 to develop new sources of oil and gas, compared to just $2.5 billion to develop alternative energy sources in the three year period of 2007-2009.

Am I the only one who thinks it’s insane that the energy companies are still trying to convince us that using more fossil fuels is a good idea?

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