Wednesday, August 31, 2011

They're getting arrested and going to jail - for our kids, and for our young & middle-aged folk, and for the generations to come

See also Sierra Voices, Hundreds Arrested in D.C., Including Dr. James Hansen, Protesting Tar Sands Pipeline.

These people - the imprisoned Tim DeChristopher, and the 500+ arrested (including Bill McKibben, James Hansen, and a luminous Daryl Hannah) for opposing the proposed Keystone XL "tar sands" pipeline - whose opening would likely be "game over" for the climate, according to Hansen (link) - are the vanguard, and an inspiration to us, to take meaningful action.

Faced with a civilization-threatening global problem, just acting locally is a cop-out.

In a recent letter from prison, DeChristopher wrote that the authorities offered to reduce his 2-year sentence to just 30 days - which he's now served already - if he'd recant and apologize for his act of nonviolent civil disobedience.

As for the 500 plus, my hat is off to you.

If you haven't heard Mary Jorgenson's first-hand recollections of being a Freedom Rider in the 1960s civil rights struggle, she's appearing tomorrow at the Jewish Community Center in GV - details here.

Joy and resolve, folks. And intelligent, civil, effective actions.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Just 55 cents of each NevCo United Way dollar reaches county's nonprofits

Updates: UWNC CEO responds, below; and (Sept 20) I've checked with some past & present recipients.

It's true that nobody could call the United Way of Nevada County's Maltman Drive digs "opulent"; nor do the salaries of their one executive director and two hourly staff seem excessive. "Vis-a-vis other United Way organizations, we probably fall in the lower quartile of expenses", UWNC Board President Rich Bulotti told me.

But in a small community, the modesty of these administrative costs are more than countered by the modesty of the donations collected - and nearby counties banded together under a single "umbrella" United Way group manage to have considerably lower overhead.

New at The Conversation: how media misreporting undermines a functioning democracy

"Misinformation sticks in people’s memories, even when they acknowledge a correction, and even when they earnestly seek to discard a memory they know to be false*."
"Today, The Conversation launches a week-long series, looking at how the media influences the way our representatives develop policy. To kick off, Stephan Lewandowsky asks how media misreporting undermines a functioning democracy."
Read the rest at Selling climate uncertainty: misinformation and the media. While The Conversation is Australian, the problem is far from unique to that continent, and it can be seen in spades, in our community.

* sorry for the raised voice...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Great climate science&policy talk/challenge for your right wing friends&family

Earlier this summer Dr. Scott Denning went into the deniers' den & gave an excellent talk at the Heartland Institute conference, pointing out that libertarians and conservatives have been AWOL in developing constructive climate policy, and challenging his audience to quit being ostriches (his term was "cowards") and step up to the plate - "we need you".

Here's the talk:
(...or if you're short on time, here's the transcript)

Rule of thumb: if that chain email says "Fox News learned...", check it out

An "outrage" email I got today said:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Who's in league with ALEC?

Sept 6 update: Igor Birman reports that McClintock was an ALEC member after all, circa 2000-2003.

Mon, Tue updates: a Friday email from Kim Pruett (who says this info came from Igor Birman) reports that Tom McClintock is not and has not been a member of ALEC; although this appears to conflict with ALEC's online records; and LaMalfa aide Mark Spannagel says LaMalfa's answers were no, he's had no ALEC involvement. Still awaiting word from the Logue camp.
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The humble climate contrarian - an oxymoron

Is it humble, to feel that with no training you're a better judge of a scientific field than the scientists who've spent their lives in it? - or just to feel that it doesn't signify anything, if their understanding of the meaning of their research* differs from yours?

Monday, August 08, 2011

NevCity Loitering ordinance coming up Wed., says Stephen Greenberg

I talked to Stephen Greenberg (an attorney, as y'all presumably know) about the resurrected anti-loitering ordinance effort this weekend (as did Jeff Pelline on or before last Friday; his post & comments has links to relevant resources, e.g. the agenda packet), and Stephen filled me in on a few additional points:

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Open question - help me interpret this?

A caution, for those jumping to conclusions: this community does have (rather) more than one community leader.

What does it mean when a community leader answers a question readily & in the negative, when you're not recording, but when afterward you have second thoughts and (repeatedly) email him and leave voicemails asking he'd be willing to be recorded answering no, he doesn't respond?

Assume that the Q is one that's it's legitimate to ask.

Yes, I'm pretty sure I know what this means; but if there are plausible alternatives...

Monday, August 01, 2011

Of people and pit bulls

(Something to chew on, as a masticatory exercise for the reader. And apologies in advance - this is a breedist post, based only on old reading about pit bulls and no personal experience with them. Perhaps they're just more susceptible than (some) other breeds, to influence from bad upbringing.)

The problem with pit bulls is that they either don't recognize, or don't care to heed, the normal social "ok, I'm not fighting you" body-language message sent by other dogs - once the other dog gets assigned the "enemy" role, that's where it stays.

I think we've all known people that act the same way.