The Poisoning of Flint

Think back a couple of years ago and the term “Austerity” was all the rage…..trying to cope with an economic disaster these countries of the EU were making cuts and dropping many social programs…..all in the name of austerity…..

Those programs got me to thinking about Michigan and more importantly the city of Flint and their water supply problem……

I had tried to find a got explanation to why this had happened and I think I found a pretty good article that will help people understand what the situation is and how it was a problem that could have been avoided…..

In early 2015, shortly after his victory in a heated reelection contest, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) began exploring a run for president. With his business experience and electoral success in a blue state, Snyder was considered a viable potential candidate, so he embarked on a national speaking tour and set up a fundraising organization. Its name: “Making Government Accountable.”

Source: The Poisoning of Flint | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

Keystone: Resurrecting The Dead

For a couple of years there was an amazing debate about the Keystone XL pipeline….you know the one…..it would carry Canadian oil from Northern Canada through the US to Houston for import to China and other points of call…

Toward the end of last year Obama put the screws to the Keystone project……

Just ahead of the president’s big speech on climate change, the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein breaks the news that President Obama will ask Secretary of State John Kerry to reject the Keystone XL pipeline if State finds the pipeline increases carbon emissions. It’s huge news that took environmentalists completely by surprise. They didn’t expect the president to address Keystone in his speech — he’s avoided discussing the pipeline at all since issuing an executive order to have State study the environmental impact some time ago.

(Salon.com)

With the announcement the peasants (environmentalists) danced…..a victory…..finally a victory!  Got another think coming…….

Now this brings me to NAFTA (North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement…..that worthless piece of crap that Clinton signed into law that has made so much inequality possible….. just what does this have to do with the Keystone?  You might query…….

News breaking today that Canada will take the US to court using NAFTA to re-start the project……

TransCanada could file a complaint against the U.S. if the Obama administration rejects its Keystone XL pipeline, thanks to a North American Free Trade Agreement provision that allows foreign firms to challenge the U.S. on decisions that threaten investments, President and CEO Russ Girling said. Observers say the company can make a strong argument against the U.S. under the international law. However, Shawn Howard, team lead for issues management and media relations at TransCanada, said the company is focusing its efforts on getting approval for the project instead of pursuing such a move.

If the court decides in Canada’s favor you may all thank Bill Clinton for giving them the ammunition to help destroy the environment of the US if there is a disaster……but they will not ….in the end it will be Obama’s fault….just like everything else happening in the country today…..

I thought that any celebrations was a bit premature…..and apparently I was right…..

Clinton Flips Off Keystone (Finally)

Finally……word has come from the “Ivory Tower”…….

The raging battle for the last year or so in climate change and the environment has been the debate on the Keystone XL pipeline…..us Left leaning people have been against this stupidity from the start….even Bernie has been an outspoken opponent of this lunatic plan…..

The one silent Nellie has been Hillary Clinton….maybe it was because she was part of Obama’s team or maybe something else….anyway she has come out swinging after a long silence….

Take a step back from the general election, but take two steps forward toward the Democratic primary. That seems to be the strategy behind Hillary Clinton’s announcement yesterday that she opposed the Keystone XL pipeline, writes Philip Bump for the Washington Post, asserting that Clinton may have purposely timed her anti-pipeline statements to lure liberal Democrats who’ve been more amenable to competitor Bernie Sanders, per CNN/ORC polling—even if those Dems may not be the ones to push her over the top in November 2016. “The politics explain themselves,” Bump writes. “Clinton is now willing to make her November case slightly more difficult if she can make her spring fight easier.”

According to a Gallup poll cited by the Post, while only 67% of moderate and conservative Democrats believe global warming is caused by human activity, a more substantial number—81%—of liberal Democrats think that’s the case. And because of environmental concerns swirling around the pipeline, it may make political sense for Clinton to bring that up now to pull liberal Democrats in—even though polls from late last year and earlier this year show that support among Americans overall for the Keystone project is strong, Bump notes. And Sanders knows what’s the what, he adds, welcoming her to the opposition party yesterday in a tweet. “Clinton is late to the party on Keystone, but she’s clearly interested in being where the party is,” Bump writes. Click for his full column

Personally it sounds like a personal political prop…..she knew she had to make some sort of statement in opposition if she is to win the nomination…..and viola!  We have her thoughts on Keystone.

I wish I could believe her……do you?

War, What Is It Good For?

That was the question asked in a protest song from the 60’s…..and it still remains  an excellent question.

We know that war is not good for life or health or to massage an economy back to health…..not good for food production….then what is it good for?

The US is involved in the fight against ISIS    and with that comes all the deaths, destruction and violence…….what good could come out of this war?

The BBC is reporting the only good thing to come out of war…….

Researchers say that in countries like Syria and Iraq, levels of air pollutants have fallen dramatically.

The amount of nitrogen dioxide in the air over Damascus has fallen by up to 50% since start of the civil war.

The authors believe their work has important lessons for projections of global emissions.

Since 2004, scientists have been able to monitor atmospheric pollutants with high levels of precision thanks to the deployment of the Ozone Monitoring Instrument onboard the Nasa Aura satellite.

Say what?  Yep the air quality is getting better where the fighting is engaged……what about the other countries that are not “at war”?

But in nearby Lebanon, there was a “drastic” rise of up to 30% of the same pollutant, thanks to the influx of refugees. The scientists say that this was very unusual as economic growth in Lebanon declined significantly at the same time.

Even in a relatively calm country like Israel…..the air quality is sucking also…..

What conclusion can we draw from this news…..

Other scientists welcomed the study, saying that it followed on from previous research carried out during the Iraq war. They say that it highlights the critical role of accurate satellite information. It also highlights the scale of destruction across the Middle East and the huge impact on people.

“It is very sad that we have on the borders of Europe this huge conflict,” said Prof John Burrows from the University of Bremen, Germany.

“But perhaps scientific information like this helps our understanding. It’s proportional to people, so if emissions have gone down in Syria by 50%, I’d expect that 50% of the people might have been displaced, as indeed they have.”

It is sad that the only ‘benefit” found for war is……the quality of the air we breath gets better……I think the people in Iraq and Syria had rather worry about dying from bad air than a barrel bomb……whatcha you think?

The Children Are Our Future

How many times have you heard this from both parties…….our children make a great political prop and campaign slogan……but so far I have seen NO indication that anyone in Washington actually gives a crap about futre generations……how about you?

I recently came across a piece that leads me to believe that our children are on the right track even if the government is not……

I know that there are many that feel that climate change is just sosme made up crisis to gain some sort of political advantage and then there are those that feel the climate change is going to devastate our planet in the near future…….and of these people the children are showing the country the way….

A group of 8- to 19-year-olds says climate change will doom the future unless changes are made now—and they’re trying to force the government to do just that. Nearly a dozen young people filed a federal lawsuit in Oregon yesterday, arguing that the current consumption of fossil fuels is unconstitutional and a health threat. “We brought this case because the government needs to immediately and aggressively reduce carbon emissions and stop promoting fossil fuels, which force our nation’s climate system toward irreversible impacts,” plaintiff Kelsey Juliana, 18, says in the suit, according to Al Jazeera America. “If the government continues to delay urgent annual emissions reductions, my generation’s well-being will be inexcusably put at risk.”

Former NASA chief climate scientist James Hansen is a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit, which follows a climate change plan unveiled by President Obama earlier this month. The Clean Power Plan seeks to “reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030,” according to WhiteHouse.gov, but the lawsuit demands more aggressive action. A similar lawsuit filed by environmental advocacy group Our Children’s Trust and some of the plaintiffs in the Oregon case was dismissed last year by the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

The children are truly our future and they are concerned that with the status quo they will have….NO FUTURE!

My hat goes off to these brave kids…..in their hands this world just may survive the stupidity around climate change.

Clean Power Plan Hailed as Ambitious, Insufficient | Al Jazeera America

A few days ago the Prez made his big climate change speech…….it was hailed as an impressive speech and it was belittled by the deniers as a “chicken Little” moment…….but was the speech all that or was there holes in it?

We all know that something must be done…..well anyone with an IQ larger than their shoe size…….but is this going to be the cure all that we all search for?

Personally, I think not……anytime you look for reform then the opponents have won…….you either do it or go home!

 

Clean Power Plan Hailed as Ambitious, Insufficient | Al Jazeera America.