I've had the same thoughts about the need for President Obama pardoning Leonard Pelletier. Let's hope he has the courage to do so. Thank you, Jonathan for this excellent and well written piece. ...(full comment)
Wood boilers are a significant in Europe because it is considered carbon-neutral and thereby contributes to attempts to reduce green house gas emissions, even though it doesn't. And Europe gets its wood from the US, Canada and Russia. Southeastern US is being clear cut and wood is being sent to Europe, and there is a more on for GMO trees, turning forest into crop land--all to be burned. If history repeats itself, we will burn too many of out trees. And only when it's too late will people get upset about it. You don't have to ne a rocket scientist to see where we are headed. The Monamet study ended up agreeing with local activists about a number of things. We were ahead of the curve then. I would suggest that we are in this case as well. We hope that people care more about our forests and our environment than about platitudes about "green energy" that make us feel good about ourselves.
President Clinton pardoned Wall Street rip off artists, and the legislation enacted on his watch promoted: monopoly ownership of the media, the first "investor state trade disputes" where corporate tribunals trump U.S. Law under NAFTA which began the leak of U.S. jobs; gutted Wall St. oversight and handed the financial sector abject rule of government, draconian prison measures leading to 1/3 of People of color imprisoned in private profit prisons with "quotas"; and drastic cuts based on "welfare queens" arguments which were never substantiated by statistics.
So his inaction on Mr. Pelletier is unsurprising. And the media theme of him as a great president is only supported by the media he aided in becoming a monopoly.
Mr. Pelletier has been an advocate for First Nations who have been under constant assault from land grabs and violated agreements for centuries. We are seeing people attempting to protect their homes, their family's health, and the safety of their children everywhere these days, and in doing so, they are treated like criminals by the forces of greed and conquest. Mr. Pelletier has not been treated fairly, and neither have his people.
In this day and age, and especially when seniors are usually the most vocal about taxes, it seems irresponsible to build a building with town money that is restricted to only one segment of the population while others go without. This is a bunch of hubbub about nothing. A senior center is a building with rooms, and ramps....pretty much the same thing a youth center would include. Youth are at school during the day, seniors are not - there are lots of ways to stagger the uses. Programming can be creative to make the best and most harmonious use of one community center. Seniors are after all still part of the "community." ...(full comment)
Thank you, nobiomass. I don't have the scientific facts at my fingertips, but I knew we were going to go astray when he started with "I firmly believe..." Beliefs don't count. Facts do. ...(full comment)
My goodness Mr Bates! All you have to do is a Google search to prove you wrong.
I have to admit, I do swallow scientific fact about the rate in which the planet is warming, hook line and sinker. Even if you don't understand data, the photos are compelling.
Mr Bates, are you suggesting that the pollution of BILLIONS of people have no effect on the earth and its atmosphere? ...(full comment)
Input 'solar panels' and 'carbon neutral' into your favorite search engine. Numerous studies exist that disprove your belief.
One might assume that 20% efficiency of a solar panel is pathetic, since that's obviously a lot less than 100% efficency. However, the theoretical maximum output of a solar cell, given the limits of the materials and the physics involved, is going to generally be somewhere around 35%, so 15-20% efficiency isn't bad.
Most Americans already own an 'appliance' that they depend on and use frequently, that operates between 15-25% efficiency. It's their car. If they’re going to sell it and walk everywhere until someone comes up with one that's carbon neutral, they've got a lifetime of walking ahead of them.
The Prius and the Volt don't produce (net) electricity, they consume it both in production and operation, hence there is no applicable carbon 'payback' period, as there is for solar panels. They may be less 'dirty' than alternative vehicles, but they’re 'dirty' nonetheless. Not true of solar panels.
For those worried about their neighbors 'sticking it to them' with their solar panels? Get some solar panels of your own. Battlefield leveled.
Yes, the earth has natural climate cycles. That doesn't put the lie to anthropomorphic climate effects, any more than the inevitability of dying means that modern medicine is nonsense.
Whether one person believes in human influenced climate change while another doesn't makes no difference, because facts and science don't require, nor do they change, in the face of one person's support or another's disbelief. ...(full comment)
CEO pay has escalated to 500 or more times what the least paid workers earn, and at the very top of this mountain, these folks pay less than 10% on their haul, Often LESS, while all other folks pay full share. Billionaire corporations are in debt up to their eyeballs, borrowing at 0% interest, with deferred taxes: while young people can only borrow money for college at 8% interest. For the past forty years, corporations routinely short pension funds, have all manner of complex loopholes to slough off debt and remain in business, while the leadership is not held accountable for failure, or for providing promised jobs. The whole "lifestyles of the rich and famous thing" is nauseating . . . ever bigger McMansions, multiple homes, yachts: Off Shore accounts: not willing to pay for the nation that supports them. Meanwhile, our infrastructure is crumbling, deferred maintenance on everything is beginning to have devastating consequences, and "we shouldn't have to pay for anything" has become the outrageous mantra of people whose greed and narcissism are wrecking this nation and this planet. There is money for businesses, but the highest takers are the ones ruining it for small community businesses, and the sooner these smaller businesses wake up and stop allying themselves against their communities the better. Billionaire companies should not be infesting Chambers of Commerce, nor manipulating the tax structure. ...(full comment)
Bernie Sanders is also filling arenas wherever he goes, and he actually has something to say. Your guy is just an overgrown playground bully and don't kid yourself that he cares even the slightest little bit about you; he only cares about him. ...(full comment)
Flint's problem started with the city wanting to change from Detroit water to the Flint river. You can also look to the time Flint was a bustling city. Auto plants providing a good tax base which could have made the replacement of the water pipes to non lead ones. Which should have happened years ago. Plenty of workers around. So what happened?
The squeeze was put on the auto industry to be taxed more to provide more money for social programs ( hand outs instead of hand ups). The unions also keep demanding more and quality of workmanship declined. The Japanese dumped cars in the US.. of better quality. Americans wanted more and gave less, but they also wanted others to give more.
That started a spiral effect. The auto industry moved out of the area. To the south ( non-union) AND out of the country. Look at how many people lived in cities in Michigan years ago and now. Detroit at its peak was 1.8 million and now its about 672, 000. Other cities in Michigan are close to that ratio.
So when cost kept going up, automation and robots came along to keep cost down. People who put cars together made more than the average american worker. Regular american workers could not afford what it was costing to buy cars and that started the spiral.
I was a Navy recruiter in the Detroit area in 85-89. The average auto worker I knew was making about 90k. Most kids in high school in my area had new or 2 year old cars. I envied that! But they would all tell me that their dad was going to get them a job at Ford.
They were dreaming as the exodus had already started. Now how much does it take to slap a part on a assembly line? Some training but not much is needed. If you know Maslow's hierarchy theory you get the wages part.
So when the auto indurstry left , it left behind a workforce that was not highly educated nor sought education while they worked. In fact you did not need a high school diploma to work in the auto industry..
When you squeeze a lemon and it leaves what are you left with? The need for another lemon, and another might not want to come and get the life squeezed out of it. ...(full comment)