Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sac N&R: big legal mess if "Big Oil’s ballot attack" succeeds

From the July 22 Sacramento News & Review issue comes an in-depth look at likely consequences of November's "Stop AB32" initiative, AB23 - titled "Don’t panic", it suggests that if you're a lawyer, good times could be coming.
"Instead of saving the economy from overzealous environmental regulation, the measure [AB23, to stop 2006's AB32] is more likely to spawn lawsuits and confusion—and send a message to clean-tech investors that California can’t make up its mind."
"Backers of the initiative agree that much of Prop. 23’s impact will be sorted out in the courts. [Dan] Logue said even he isn’t sure which pieces would be scrapped by the new law and which would be left unscathed.
“It’s a good question,” said Logue. “I think there’s going to be a lot of legislation that’s going to be tested in the courts.”"
A thorough article; recommended reading.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Watts up with ZEV2Go?

So far, owner Anthony Watts isn't talking.
I have questions about Watts's electric car business ZEV2Go; but in the last three working days, two phone messages to his business - including one in which I requested that he tell me so, if he doesn't want to answer questions about this business - have not been returned.

Aug. 6 Update:
10 days ago Mr. Watts sent me an email informing me that he didn't intend to answer my questions via email or by phone & that he was sending me a "letter" in which he would address the questions I posed on my blog. [Confidential to Anthony: we're not in the 1900s anymore...]

As of yesterday morning, at least, the letter had still not arrived.

I asked further questions via email; to my knowledge, they haven't been answered either.

These fellows do show an odd aversion to using email.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Climate quotes - on appeal to authority, on false balance with nonscientists (by Schneider&Emanuel)

Quotes from climatologists:

"Appeal to authority" (and 'elitism') is legitimate, when the authority is relevant:
"About the ‘elitist’ part: Scientists are really stuck. It’s exactly the same thing in medicine, it’s the same thing with pilot’s licenses and driver’s licenses: We don’t let just anyone go out there and make any claim that they’re an expert, do anything they want, without checking their credibility. Is it elitist to license pilots and doctors? Is it elitist to have pilots tested every year by the FAA to make sure that their skills are maintained? Is it elitist to have board certification on specialities in various health professions? I don’t think so. I think it’s the way we have safety. We have an FDA, which analyzes food and drugs.
We’re talking about planetary life support. ..."
- Stephen Schneider (link)

"False balance" in the media on climate science, and the immense disservice it's done to society:
"It turns out that there are not enough mavericks in climate science to meet the media’s and blogosphere’s insatiable appetite for conflict. Thus into the arena steps a whole host of charlatans posing as climate scientists. These are a toxic brew of retired physicists, TV weather forecasters, political junkies, media hacks, and anyone else willing to tell an interviewer that he/she is a climate scientist. Typically, they have examined some of the more easily digestible evidence and, like good trial lawyers, cherry-pick that which suits their agendas while attacking or ignoring the rest. Often, they are a good deal more articulate than actual scientists, who usually prefer doing research to honing rhetorical technique."
"...those interested in treating the issue as an objective problem in risk assessment and management are labeled “alarmists”, a particularly infantile smear considering what is at stake."
- Kerry Emanuel (link)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Climate change K12 education in California

First of a series (which will get more local) - Climate change education in California public schools - current standards (link), over at my W101 blog.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How common are terrorist sympathizers in Nevada County?

The early-Sunday freeway shootout and arrest of Tuolomne County resident Byron Williams kept him from following through with his alleged plans for murder at San Francisco's ACLU and Tides Foundation offices; next time you're stopped by the CHP, a heartfelt Thank You is in order.

Knowing some local hardcore right wing fellows, I asked one this morning, about his reaction to the news of this guy's arrest. The response? In a sense - but only one sense - there was disapproval: "he couldn't even get near the target"(*).

Ask your Tea Party Patriot (or other Beck/Limbaugh-listening) friends and neighbors whether they support what this guy was (allegedly) trying to do; I'd be curious to know what you find.
"...we're well past the point where it's just a matter of conservatives behaving like tantrum-throwing spoiled brats. ... When a mob is surrounding your house with torches and telling you they intend to burn it down, "civility" really isn't the issue any more." (*)

Shades of the Weismann case.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We've lost climate scientist Stephen Schneider

(More appended.)
Very sad news - Schneider was one of the heavy hitters, in trying to bring the science to public and government awareness.

I never met him, but was hoping to on Monday night - only to learn that he had died.

"Climate is what you expect; weather is what you get"

"How are we going to make democracy work if people don't know what is going on?"

A compilation of Schneider resources and obituaries. interview with Schneider

We know we have a rough 10 percent chance that [the effect of global warming] is going to be not much; a rough 10 percent chance of 'Oh, My God'; and everything else in between. Therefore, what you're talking about as a scientist is risk: what can happen multiplied times the odds of it happening. That's an expert judgment. The average person is not really competent to make such a judgment.

...risk management. What do we do about [climate change]? How do we deploy scarce resources in society to deal with climate vs. health, vs. housing, vs. global development? And the answer is, that's not a science judgment. That's a value judgment. And that value judgment can only be made well if you understand the what-can-happen, what-are-the-odds part.

...It's like buying insurance. How much of your family income do you want to spend on insurance?
(from Stanford interview)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thoughts on libertarianism, climate denial and the social contract

Last spring I visited Washington DC, and made the rounds of the various anti-regulation organizations that I'd been reading about in the last few years.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

KVMR science, aerosols and climate policy

In short: The climate science policy preferences that the "aerosol" segment of yesterday's KVMR show Soundings might have seemed to suggest, are not those of the climate scientist interviewed.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Query - your knowledge re climate change education in our county? (past, present, future)

I've started looking into what is & isn't taught about climate change here in Nevada County, and I'm sure that a lot of people - locally and elsewhere - know far more about this than I do. So, if you're out there, could you share what you know, or just point me in the right direction(s)?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Pre-Parade talk with a Tea Party Patriot, II - Miscellany

This post is a quick wrap-up of my interview with a Tea Party Patriot while we waited for the Fourth of July parade to begin.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Non-LWWers, RSVP by Wed for McClintock's Thurs Town Hall Mtg in Penn Valley

I'm just passing this along, re Rep. Tom McClintock's upcoming Town Hall Meeting in Lake Wildwood clubhouse this Thurs (link - "5 p.m. Thursday at Lake Wildwood Clubhouse, 11255 Cottontail Way, in Penn Valley") - presumably the following was sent via email?
"Because Lake Wildwood is a gated community, please RSVP by no later than Wednesday July 7 to Kim Pruett, my Field Representative, at or at (916) 786-5560. Once again, I look forward to hearing from you and hope you are able to attend."
Thanks to The Union commenter "Pendragon" for this information.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Citrus renders a papaya worth eating

SPD's papayas are now the epitome of orange-fleshed beauty, so I picked one up yesterday, not remembering just how insipid their flavor can be. But it turns out - and my sincere thanks to she who shared this - that adding lemon or lime juice magically gives the papaya a personality.

Just so you know.

Pre-Parade talk with a Tea Party Patriot, I - Climate change

In his recent Union op-ed (link), TPP Stan Meckler had asked,
"... Have any of these naysayers ever had the opportunity to actually talk to a Tea Party member and find out what we think?"
He had a point. While I had attended the TPPs' Gateway Park event last month (report I, II), I hadn't talked one-on-one with any rank&file Tea Party Patriots, other than the standard coffeehouse denizens. So, while we were waiting for yesterday's 4th of July parade to begin, I struck up a conversation with the TPP woman near me, J.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Nevada City Tree Map, on Google Maps

My weekend project; it's at

I populated it with the 40+ trees from the Nevada City Tree Tour brochure, put together by Friends of Trees of Nevada County; then added some others. Best N.C. shade tree, hands down: the American Linden.
(See the ones in the lot on N. Pine next to the historical library.)

What's missing?

Tomorrow, back to climate change.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Banks' market share in Nevada County, 1 year ago

Offices and Deposits of all FDIC-Insured Institutions
Deposit Market Share Report as of June 30 2009

(Screenshot of report run from FDIC database (useless URL, sorry; start here, select the "County" link); market share in NevCo is the rightmost column, which you probably can't see until you click the graph to enlarge it.
And since it's just a screenshot, the links within it won't work.)