Sunday, July 29, 2007

Surgeon General's Message Twisted by Politics

Although not surprising in the least, Dr. Richard Carmona, the Surgeon General of the United States of America from 2002-2006, the Nation's guiding voice for the health and well-being of it's citizens, has come forth to reveal that his position was tainted by politics. His recommendations were edited or silenced, and his professional opinion was undermined by the interests of the controlling political party. Earlier this month, Dr. Carmona, a former trauma surgeon who served in Vietnam in the Army Special Forces, winning two purple hearts, told a congressional panel that during his 4 year term as Surgeon General he was forbidden to discuss or issue reports on stem cell research, emergency contraception, sex education, prison and mental health or global health issues. Top aides also attempted to block and "water down" reports on the significant dangers of second hand smoke.
Continuing on with the ridiculousness, Dr. Carmona was told to mention Bush three times in every speech, and was discouraged from supporting or attending the Special Olympics because they are supported by an opposing "prominent political family" (read: The Kennedys). Are you kidding? Don't support the Special Olympics because of your political agenda? What kind of twisted, self-centered, manipulative SOB tells the Surgeon General not to support the handicapped because of their political interests. Our current regime has stooped lower than any other in history. Once again, the Bush administration's true colors are revealed, and impeachment hearings should be initiated for Cheney then Bush. Write your congressperson to express your outrage.

via NY Times

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Monday, July 23, 2007

George Bush on Global Warming - Spoof by Will Ferrell

If you haven't seen this Ferrell satire and you need a quick laugh, this one's worth a gander.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Personal Micro-Generator Feeds of Body Vibrations

Steve Beeby, an engineer at the University of Southampton in the UK led a team that has developed a micro generator that converts 30% of environmental kinetic energy into power. The design is based on accelerometers and uses a few magnets that wobble against each other with vibration and motion that generates electricity. The prototype design is a mere 7mm x 7mm x 8.5mm and could be strategically placed in clothing or even implanted to generate power for a variety of low power devices including LED lighting, pacemakers, and eventually phones, music players, and pdas. The potential of this is fantastic - have a few micro-generators, a few batteries, and a few solar cells embedded in your favorite jacket or shirt, and you'll have power for your personal electronics and lighting systems, plus keep your ticker going if you need it!

via engadget, new scientist tech

Monday, July 09, 2007

DOT and Auto Alliance Team Up to Fight the Fight Against Climate Change

The House Oversight and Government Reform committee uncovered an effort last week by the Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the Auto Alliance - a trade group representing Ford, DaimlerChrysler, and others, to thwart California's legislation to cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars by 25% and SUVs by 18% slated to start in 2009. Under the Clean Air Act, in order to enact more stringent emissions standards, a federal waiver must be granted through the EPA. In order to fight this waiver's approval, the Auto Alliance has furbished the DOT with a breakdown of auto facilities and workers in each congressional district. One of the 70 pages of memos and emails released by the DOT on the matter contained an email from Simon Gros, deputy chief of staff, to Transportation Secretary Mary Peters instructing, "Just hit the members/senators with the really big facilities. No need to call those with small distribution centers or anything." These documents once again show the true nature of the Bush Administration - working hand in hand with big business to undermine and halt legislation dealing with climate change and conservation. Despicable.

Fortunately, Nancy Pelosi and Governor Schwarzenegger are ready to fight this manipulation of power and have warned the EPA that a lawsuit may be forthcoming. Although the DOT maintains that no lobbying laws have been broken, to many of us, this is simply another example of how corrupt the legalized bribery system we call lobbying really is.

via Treehugger and Red Orbit

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Yes Men Democracy Now Interview

I was just turned on to "The Yes Men", two gentlemen that make a habit of impersonating corporate executives in interviews and conferences, only to subtly ridicule their practices and bring attention to corporate scandal. This interview by Amy Goodman highlights them "representing" Halliburton at a LexisNexis conference and after taking some jabs at the insurance industry, they introduce the "survivaball", a hilarious protective suit for executives in disasters. There are other interviews on YouTube including them impersonating a Dow Chemical representative finally admitting responsibility for the Bhopal chemical disaster on BBC news! They are quickly becoming one of my favorite guerrilla media protesters.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Greener Surfboards with Bamboo and Bioplastic at Greenlight Surfboard Supply

Another excellent option has surfaced in the environmentally-friendly surfboard industry - Greenlight Surfboard Supply! They carry a number of alternatives to traditional, toxic surfboard-making supplies including less toxic EPS foam (rather than traditional polyurethane), renewable bamboo stringers and fins, bioplastic leash plugs, fins and fin boxes, and bamboo laminating fabric - they even include a hemp leash cord. They have basically re-thought surfboard production materials and replaced everything they could with eco-friendly options without compromising quality and surfability. The EPS foam isn't perfect, but it is much better than polyurethane, and they are working on bio-resins to replace the traditional ones.

To stay consistent, the company has a "Minimal Waste Philosophy" whereby scraps from their EPS foam blanks are recycled, bamboo dust from their bamboo stringers and fins is reused as an epoxy thickener, shipping is spaced out to reduce fuel use, the office is paperless, they buy their power from wind sources with a plan to add solar and a wind generator to the factory!

Via Brad Groh, R.N.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Keith Olbermann Special Comment 7/3/07

This is a call for justice. A message to the administration and the people that we cannot stand for the manipulation of power. A statement that we are not blind to the deception in our government and we will not stand for the lies and the corruption.
Finally we hear the mass media stepping up to say what needs to be said rather than blasting iPhone and Paris Hilton news while the country is falling apart around the real issues. Will it continue, or will Olberman see political repercussions of his words and have the same fear injected back into our media that has kept this type of discussion silent for the past 6 years?
Since Bush and Cheney will never resign, let's start the impeachment hearings! If everyone writes and calls their state representatives, governors (or governators here in CA), congresspeople and any other elected official possible and enough voices are heard, we could reclaim our America from this tyrannical regime. We have just celebrated our nation's independence day yet our liberties are being twisted and taken away by George Bush, Dick Cheney, and their administration. True patriots do not follow blindly, they stand up for their rights and the interests of the people. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Our patriots' blood has been spilled unnecessarily in Iraq, now we need to call for the political blood of the tyrants by removing Bush and Cheney from office!

via makeshiftblog

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Response to Another Brainwashed, Poorly Thought-Out, Anti-Environmental Website

The site (I can't even justify linking the site) is an anti-climate change and anti-environmental website similar to (sponsored by Fox News, of course) that is so clearly manipulating and misinterpreting it's data that you can't help but laugh as you read through it. As I've seen more and more of these types of websites, it's amazing how similar their arguments are. They tend to make fun of people rather than actually supporting an argument with facts. They try to undermine a person's credibility rather than presenting credible data to contradict them. They pick and choose facts to support their arguments without putting them in context or telling you the whole story. As a start, the most common attempt at debunking climate change is the "natural variation" argument, that there has always been a natural cycle and isn't out of the ordinary. The flaw in this argument is that they always look back only a few thousand years. Just a cursory glance at the graph from the EPA above, over 400 thousand years, makes it painfully obvious that we are far beyond any "natural fluctuation" in our current CO2 emissions. And although CO2 is only one of the many greenhouse gases, as far as scientists can tell it is the one that humans are most responsible for and can be attributed to climate change. I urge the naysayers to look at data concerning global warming with an open, scientifically oriented mind and I urge hard core environmentalists to avoid manipulating data to make points, no matter how important. It undermines the credibility of our arguments.

This is my response to it's post calling John Ashton hypocritical for flying to other countries to persuade them to decrease their CO2 use:

You're looking at this very one-sidedly. In order to educate others and spread the message of conservation and climate change, resources must be utilized. By criticizing Gore for his flights and his family home's energy use and Ashton for his flights to persuade others to decrease CO2 emissions, you are highlighting your lack of understanding in the process of change. At this point, we must conserve where we can, yet current systems force us to use resources as a means to an end. Eventually there will be better, less energy-intensive methods of travel and doing this type of work, but at this time, flying to destinations to educate and bargain are their only options.
Reading through your site and your "ten myths of global warming", it is obvious that you are being led by anti-environmentalist propaganda and have a poor grasp of many concepts. The statements in your "myths" are as warped as some extremist environmentalist claims. It is true and unfortunate that scare-mongering and distortion of data is occurring on the environmentalist front as well, which does undermine credibility at times and opens the movement to your type of poorly thought out criticism.
In general, however, the preponderance of scientific data shows that human activity on this planet is causing climate change and unless we act, we can look forward to unprecedented natural disasters and human suffering. If we step back, and with an open mind, look at the data that has been collected this is an inevitable conclusion. Nothing can be said 100% certainty and we know that models are flawed and need to be constantly revised as new data is recorded, but to ignore the threat just because we cannot "prove" some of these extrapolated theories is utter stupidity. We as humans need to act upon our best research in order to prevent widespread disaster, energy shortages, famine, floods and droughts. Instead of being part of the problem, you could be a part of the solution. I urge you to educate yourself on both the strengths and flaws involved with scientific method, avoid political entanglements, and take an objective, unbiased look at the data at hand and your opinion will surely change.

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