Saturday, May 30, 2009
We think nothing of flipping a switch to light our homes, to turn on a computer, or a TV, or keep food in a refrigerator. We pay our electrical bill and think nothing of it. These people are paying for our convenience with more than money.
They live downstream from a dam holding back billions of gallons of toxic sludge. The fear they live with day and night worrying when that dam will break must be overwhelming.
I wonder, if we were to trade places with these people and let them flip an electrical switch for the sake of convenience, what they would think of us protesting against what coal companies are doing to our surroundings, to our homes, to our sanity.
Remember, all their protests are falling on deaf ears at every level of government. Their representatives turn their backs on them and have them arrested for exercising their right to protest.
Protest photo by Chris Irwin, Margaret Killjoy
Thursday, May 7, 2009
announced steps to further his Administration’s commitment to advance biofuels research and commercialization
a Biofuels Interagency Working Group, to be co-chaired by the Secretaries of Agriculture and Energy and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
This Working Group will work with the National Science and Technology Council's Biomass Research and Development Board in undertaking its work
Develop the nation’s first comprehensive biofuel market development program
The President also announced that $786.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be provided to accelerate advanced biofuels research and development and expand commercialization by providing additional funding for commercial biorefineries
The new categories include:
And the fact that the administration’s rationale for expanding the use of biofuels continues to be the misplaced desire “to reduce our dependence on foreign oil” is just ludicrous. Addressing climate change WILL reduce our dependence on foreign oil. But simply reducing dependence on foreign oil won’t save the planet—only zeroing out our carbon emissions will do that. So energy policy in this country must be seen through that one, single lens.
Almost unnoticed by the rest of the Continent, the agribusiness giant has moved into Eastern Europe with the force of a factory engine, assembling networks of farms, breeding pigs on the fast track, and slaughtering them for every bit of meat and muscle that can be squeezed into a sausage.
The upheaval in the hog farm belts of Poland and Romania, the two largest E.U. members in Eastern Europe, ranks among the Continent’s biggest agricultural transformations.
Smithfield’s global approach is clear
Smithfield enlisted politicians in Poland and Romania, tapped into hefty European Union farm subsidies and fended off local opposition groups to create a conglomerate of feed mills, slaughterhouses and climate-controlled barns housing thousands of hogs
It moved with such speed that sometimes it failed to secure environmental permits or inform the authorities about pig deaths
Smithfield says pork prices dropped by about one-fifth, saving consumers about $29 per year. While this is good news for us, farmers are run out of business forced to seek employment elsewhere and the new Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are creating vast open disease ridden cesspools. Unbearable stenches, and wrecked communities.
They used high-level cronyism to move through the maze of the Romanian political system.
This is a prime example of the poisonous downside of corporate globalization.
The next frontier in traditional solar panels is concentrators - devices, usually lenses, that concentrate solar power onto the most expensive part of a solar panel - the silicon. Skyline Solar's "solar trough" design concentrates sunlight without using expensive lenses or complicated robotic armatures for tracking the sun as it crosses the sky.
The entire system is built from commodity parts in an effort to make it cheap and scalable – the ultimate goal being 'grid parity,' or a system that is competitive with fossil fuels as a means of generating electricity. That's why the Department of Energy gave Skyline a $3 million grant as part of its Solar Energy Technologies Program. (Investors have plunked down another $25 million.)
These things will be everywhere within the next couple of years.
team up with termites to digest wood pulp. With other microorganisms, they help decompose organic matter.
All in all a very ingenious and creative way to use micro organisms for our benefit.