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GOP gains put nuclear power back on the table
By Timothy Cama - 12/06/14 05:12 PM EST
Republicans and the nuclear power sector are hopeful that GOP control of the Senate will improve the political landscape for an industry that hasn’t opened a new generator in nearly two decades.
As Senate Democrats this week held their tenth hearing on nuclear safety since Japan’s Fukushima Daichii meltdown three years ago, Republicans and observers looked forward to a future with a more business-friendly approach to the industry.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), long a champion of nuclear power and a critic of environmental rules, is set to become chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which oversees nuclear safety. The committee is also likely to retain nuclear fans like Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.).
“It’ll be clearly a more favorable committee, and there may be some things that we can do” to help the industry," Sessions said.
An Inhofe aide said the Obama administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have been far too adversarial ...
More at http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/226209-gop-gains-put-nuclear-power-back-on-the-table
Posted by kristopher | Sun Dec 7, 2014, 08:17 AM (4 replies)
To target Greenpeace's flying director is to miss the point
It's easy to set green against green, but the charity's problems run wider and deeper than one person's travel plans
Zoe Williams The Guardian, Tuesday 24 June 2014
'To be entirely untainted by the flaws of civilisation, you would have to live outside it: off-grid, deep green, breathing some other air.' Illustration by Belle Mellor
The problem with Pascal Husting is that he looks more like a person who flies to work than he does an employee of Greenpeace. In fact, he's both – Greenpeace's international programme director was exposed this week as a plane commuter – and that's what has fired another torpedo into the scull of the environmental movement. What, exactly, is the point of a campaign whose top brass cannot bring themselves to eschew the very behaviour they're campaigning against?
Yet if there is one thing more depressing than a world-class environmentalist flying from Luxembourg to Amsterdam as a commute, it's how easy it is to set greens, deep greens and green-leaners against one another. The best way to never be a hypocrite, and to always stay consistent, is to deny climate change, and have no agenda on anything beyond self-interest. There's always a chance you'll fall foul of sexual morality, which is the only kind you will still admit into debate, but in every other realm, ethics need not trouble you. Indeed, the more ardently you pursue your own interests, the more persuasively you live your own values. If, on the other hand, you have ambitions for large-scale change and believe things could be significantly better for vast numbers of people, you will always fail fully to embody your own hopes.
It won't necessarily be by flying. You might buy your kid some trainers in Primark, or buy yourself clothes you don't need; you might eat meat. You might sometimes drive when you could take public transport, or take public transport when you could cycle. It will always be possible for someone not just to critique your choices, but also to critique them on the same terms, using the same measures, as you critique the choices made by society.
To be entirely untainted by the flaws of civilisation, you would have to live outside it: off-grid, deep green, breathing some other air. This, however, would diminish your impact, because you would de facto be excluded from public life. The territory is knee-deep in the squelch of compromise, and nobody likes to dwell on this more than the people to whom the fact of climate change is in itself distasteful.
I have sat in meetings while people from rightwing newspapers laugh at a Green politician getting a taxi home from a midnight TV interview...
Posted by kristopher | Sun Jun 29, 2014, 02:24 PM (2 replies)
Bjorn Lomborg Is Part Of The Koch Network — And Cashing In
BY JOE ROMM JUNE 25, 2014
DeSmogBlog has done the first comprehensive analysis of where Bjorn Lomborg’s money comes from.
You know the T-shirt-wearing climate inactivist Lomborg (aka the Danish Delayer) from such recent gems as “Subsidizing renewables won’t stop global warming” and “What an increasingly wonderful world” and “The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels” (seriously — or not).
If those sound suspiciously similar to the exact same positions being pushed by the Koch brothers, then it should come as no surprise that Lomborg’s backers are part of the sprawling Kochtopus enterprise, as DeSmogBlog documents.
Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center (CCC), though long associated with his native Denmark, actually registered as a US-based non-profit organization back in 2008. That’s how we know Lomborg walked away with a cool $775,000 in pay from the CCC in 2012...
Posted by kristopher | Fri Jun 27, 2014, 12:16 AM (2 replies)
Testimony of Class-A war criminals shows folly of leaving things solely to politicians
June 20, 2014
By ASAKO HANAFUSA/ Staff Writer
A group of people concerned about the Abe administration's rush to radically change the nation's security policy is promoting a DVD that contains the testimonies of four Class-A war criminals to illustrate the dangers of allowing political leaders to ignore public opinion.
Although the four war criminals bear some of the responsibility for leading Japan on a path that led to World War II, in their testimonies some appear to blame the Japanese people for the terrible destruction that rained down on the nation.
The source of the material contained in the DVD is a radio program that was broadcast in April 1956. The program ran for about 30 minutes and contained the testimonies of four Class-A war criminals who were each given life sentences, but were pardoned by the Diet in 1953.
..."The government creates a hypothetical enemy and says, 'We will fight to protect the lives and lifestyles of the people,' " said the 93-year-old Mizuno, who is concerned about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan to change the government interpretation of the Constitution to allow for the exercise of the right to collective self-defense. "We are no longer in the postwar era, but have returned to the prewar era."
Interviewed by Mizuno, the four Class-A war criminals were Kingoro Hashimoto, an Imperial Japanese Army colonel; Okinori Kaya, finance minister under Prime Minister Hideki Tojo when the decision was made to go to war with the United States; Sadao Araki, an Imperial Japanese Army general who also served as war minister; and Teiichi Suzuki, who headed the Cabinet Planning Board that was responsible for mobilizing resources for Japan's war effort, and was in attendance at the meeting with Emperor Hirohito when the decision was made to wage war on the United States.
Tojo was one of seven Class-A war criminals who were hanged...
Posted by kristopher | Sat Jun 21, 2014, 04:03 AM (2 replies)
43 minute video, the shooting itself is between 16-20 min.
Caught on Tape: Texas Cop Executes Handcuffed Suspect (Video)
Posted by: John Prager in Crime, Most Popular on AATTP, Videos June 17, 2014
In early 2014, a grand jury elected not to charge an El Paso, TX police officer in the shooting death of a prisoner, but newly released video is causing some to question if that is a good idea.
After the Texas AG instructed the city of El Paso to fulfill the El Paso Times’ request for the video it has become apparent that this is not a “typical” accidental shooting.
Mediaite reports that,
On March 8, 2013, Officer Jose Flores shot and killed Daniel Rodrigo Saenz, who was in police custody after erratic behavior at a supermarket led him to be taken to a nearby medical center, where he is alleged to have assaulted an off-duty police officer and the facility’s staff. Upon being arrested, Saenz continued to lash out physically against officers, and, according to reports, struck his own head against a door with the apparent intent to injure himself.
Or, we can go with the official story:
(Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas) stated that Flores drew his handgun because “Saenz could quickly front his cuffs and turn them into a deadly weapon, given his considerable strength, agility and demonstrated resistance to the Taser … At the same moment Officer Flores draws his weapon, Mr. Saenz pushes off on that curb and, with remarkable strength, sends the civilian escort flying backwards. The civilian escort’s arm then hits the trigger hand of Officer Flores, causing his weapon to discharge.”
Posted by kristopher | Thu Jun 19, 2014, 11:49 AM (42 replies)
Baltimore police officer charged with slitting throat of dog that had already been contained
BY JUSTIN GEORGE June 18 at 7:59 PM
A Baltimore police officer slit the throat of a dog that officers had already detained and now faces felony animal cruelty charges, the department said Wednesday.
The department’s Internal Affairs division is investigating the incident, which police Deputy Commissioner Dean Palmere called “outrageous and unacceptable” at a news conference. Officials say they learned of the dog’s killing Monday, two days after it occurred.
Other officers who witnessed the incident have been forthcoming with details, police say, but investigators are trying to determine whether any of them should have disclosed the incident immediately.
The killing of the 7-year-old Shar-Pei named Nala came a day after a Baltimore police officer shot to death a steer in Mount Vernon after it had escaped a slaughterhouse and evaded capture for about 2 miles. That incident is also under department investigation, but officials have defended the officer’s use of force in that case.
In the case of the dog’s death, Baltimore police
Officer charged with killing dog set out to 'gut' it, witnesses said
Nala is pictured with her owner, Sarah Gossard, of Canton. The 7-year-old dog was killed recently when a Baltimore police officer slit her throat with a knife, police said. (Courtesy Sarah Gossard / June 18, 2014)
By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun
10:47 p.m. EDT, June 18, 2014
....The officer, identified as Jeffrey Bolger, 49, was booked Wednesday.
Witnesses at the scene told police that Bolger, who has worked in the department's Special Operations Section since 1992, was talking about killing the animal as he got out of his vehicle.
"I'm going to gut this thing," witnesses heard him say, according to the charging document.
After another officer managed to gain control of it, Bolger cut its throat with a knife, witnesses told police. The animal bled out before Animal Control arrived, police said.
Other officers at the scene have been forthcoming with details, police say, but investigators are trying to determine whether the incident should have been disclosed sooner. Investigators didn't learn of the killing until Monday — two days afterward.
"Completely unnecessary, completely cruel, no patience," said the dog's owner, Sarah Gossard of Canton....
Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/blog/bs-md-ci-police-dog-killing-20140618,0,796700.story
Posted by kristopher | Thu Jun 19, 2014, 12:52 AM (8 replies)
Global renewables race opens up
JOHN CONROY 10 JUN, 1:48 PM
A new global report has found developing countries are now contributing significantly to renewable energy sector growth, with the amount of countries with renewables-supportive policies up sixfold, from just 15 to now 95, since 2005.
The report also found six more countries added renewable energy targets in 2013, bringing the total to 144, while China accounted for almost a third of new renewables capacity, adding for the first time more renewables last year than its additions in either fossil fuels or nuclear (72 per cent of Europe's new energy capacity was sourced from renewables, the sixth time renewables additions have exceeded fossil fuels).
Overall, 56 per cent of power sector capacity additions were from renewables.
The REN21’s Renewables 2014 Global Status Report, released last week, painted a picture of an expanding renewables sector worldwide, supporting 6.5 million direct and indirect jobs and providing 19 per cent of the world's energy (with biomass contributing just under half over that portion, but with its share in decline).
“Markets, manufacturing, and investment expanded further across the developing world...
Posted by kristopher | Mon Jun 16, 2014, 12:04 PM (4 replies)
Push To Impose Extra Fees On Customers Who Install Solar Panels Sparks Outrage In Utah
BY KILEY KROH JUNE 11, 2014 AT 3:01 PM UPDATED: JUNE 11, 2014 AT 3:08 PM
...“I’ve never seen such a hostility from residents as I have on this issue,” said Richards, partner at Woods Cross, Utah-based InterMountain Wind and Solar. “I’m amazed at the intensity I’m seeing.”
The cause of all the uproar? Utah’s main utility, Rocky Mountain Power, has proposed a new fee on its residential solar customers. While solar users make up a small percentage of RMP’s customer base — only about 2,000 people — that number is growing quickly and the prospect of paying an additional $4.25 a month is not sitting well with residents and solar installers.
Utah’s fight is indicative of a rapidly escalating tension: As rooftop solar becomes more and more mainstream, driven largely by middle class customers, utility companies across the country are looking to soften the blow to their business model by charging solar customers a monthly fee.
On the surface, it’s a heated debate over the immediate value of solar power — who pays, who benefits, and how to make the situation equitable — but the core issue is really the increasing likelihood that distributed generation sources, like rooftop solar, will completely upend the traditional utility business model.
Mike Rossetti, a resident of Draper, Utah, took the decision to invest in solar power very seriously...
Posted by kristopher | Thu Jun 12, 2014, 02:42 PM (37 replies)
Knuckle sandwich: Did fist fights drive evolution of human face?
Jaws became tough to survive fights, not to eat hard food
JUN 10, 2014
WASHINGTON – Current theory about the shape of the human face just got a big punch in the mouth.
Two University of Utah researchers proposed Monday that the face of the ancestors of modern humans evolved millions of years ago in a way that would limit injuries from punches during fist fights between males.
Their theory, published in the journal Biological Reviews, is presented as an alternative to a long-standing notion that changes in the shape of the face were driven more by diet — the need for a jaw that could chew hard-to-crush foods such as nuts.
“Studies of injuries resulting from fights show that when modern humans fight, the face is the primary target,” biologist David Carrier said. “The bones of the face that suffer the highest rates of fracture from fights are the bones that show the greatest increase in robusticity during the evolution of early bipedal apes, the australopiths.”
These are also the bones that show the greatest difference between women and men...
Posted by kristopher | Tue Jun 10, 2014, 06:45 PM (3 replies)
"Precisely because the economics of renewables have improved so dramatically, nuclear power needs to prevent the development of the physical and institutional infrastructure that will support the emerging electricity system."
Old Reactors v. New Renewables: The First Nuclear War of the 21st Century
Mark Cooper, Senior Fellow for Economic Analysis, Institute for Energy and the Environment
June 06, 2014
Within the past year, a bevy of independent, financial analysts (Lazard, Citi, Credit Suisse, McKinsey and Company, Sanford Bernstein, Morningstar) have heralded an economic revolution in the electricity sector. A quarter of a century of technological progress has led to the conclusion that over the course of the next decade a combination of efficiency, renewables and gas will meet the need for new resources and more importantly, render the antiquated baseload model largely obsolete.
The academic debate over whether we could get to an electricity system that relies entirely (99 percent) or mostly (80 percent) on renewables late in this century is largely irrelevant compared to the fact that over the next couple of decades we could see a rapid and substantial expansion of renewables (to say 30 percent of 40 percent), if the current economic forces are allowed to play out and policies to advance the transformation of the electricity system are adopted.
Political revolutions tend to follow economic revolutions, which is where we stand in the electricity sector today. The dominant incumbents, particularly nuclear utilities, have recognized that they face an existential threat and they have launched a campaign to eliminate it. Utilities, who loudly announced the arrival of a “nuclear renaissance” less than a decade ago, are desperate to save their fleet of aging reactors from early retirement and “stay relevant to the game going forward” (as the CEO of Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear utility put it) because they cannot compete at the margin with renewables or gas.
This nuclear v. renewables debate is not just “déjà vu all over again, a lot more than the fate of nuclear power at stake. The fundamental approach to delivering electricity in the 21st century, while meeting the challenge of climate change, is on the table. Nuclear power and the alternatives are so fundamentally different that a strategy of “all of the above” is no longer feasible. Nuclear power withers in an electricity system that focuses on flexibility because it is totally inflexible, but renewables cannot live up to their full potential without opening up and transforming the physical and institutional infrastructure of the system.
Nuclear power has failed because it has never been able to compete at the margin with other resources ...
Posted by kristopher | Sat Jun 7, 2014, 02:20 PM (0 replies)