Monday, May 28, 2012

Nevada County alternative transportation options?

What alternative vehicles (or rideshare apps, or ?) have we got, here in western Nevada County?

Memorial Day writing

Read Don Pelton's In Praise of Warriors, Not War.
Every citizen who understands that some wars are unavoidable and necessary owes this same effort – to understand what combat really is – to those whom he may ask to risk their lives. ...
And Charles Pierce's Loving the Warrior, Hating the Wars: Our Memorial Daze.
Our methods of repayment [to veterans and activs service members] ... are curious, to say the least. We let them get on planes ahead of us, with the elderly and the infirm and the toddlers, but we underfund hospital care... We pay tribute to them at ballgames, but send them into battle ill-prepared, and bring them home to decrepit facilities and heedless bureaucracies. We give them parades, but had to be blackjacked into giving them a "new G.I. Bill" that is but a pale shadow of the original one, which did no less than create the modern American middle class. ...

Friday, May 25, 2012

An action that can make a difference

Having a thriving sustainability movement and a culture that encourages personal "carbon footprint" action  is great, but what's needed is policy action, and there's the danger that focusing on  personal "footprint" efforts can distract from solving the problem.

But here's a personal action that does make a difference:
(Note: but it might need some tweaking, before it's worth spending time on)

Public transportation report: to Palo Alto and back

(I'm way behind on trip & talk reports.  Here's a simple one.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Talks Thurs and Fri eve - Steingraber on "Living Downstream" , Mach on climate & Calif's vulnerability

We've got two upcoming talks this Thurs and Fri eve - Sandra Steingraber ("Living Downstream") on Thurs, then Katharine Mach on the IPCC, climate change & California's vulnerability (snowpack, water...) on Friday.
 Steingraber had this piece in Orion last fall.

Which U.S. congressional candidates support ending the $12b/yr taxpayer subsidies to fossil fuel industry?

Positions of our district's House and Senate candidates and incumbents (and their opponents), in response to queries by email and web form:  (last edited 2012-05-25 pm)

Contact info for Aanestad, Arrowsmith or Dacquisto?

Update: Never mind, this post is moot.  (Three cheers for the League of Women Voters, for their website.)

I've emailed or otherwise contacted all the other U.S. congressional candidates on our Nevada County ballots, asking whether they'd support the Sanders/Ellison "End Polluter Welfare Act" bill to stop the roughly $12 billion/year in taxpayer-funded subsidies to fossil fuel companies.

But I am not finding the email or other contact info for Aanestad, Arrowsmith and Dacquisto.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Great voter guide in yesterday's Sac Bee

For the June 5 elections, California has implemented redistricting and a top-two primary, where - except for presidential candidates - you can vote for anyone who's running, regardless of party, and the two candidates with the most votes, also regardless of party, advance to the general election.  There's a great article by Torey Van Oot in the  dead-tree Bee explaining all this, but it doesn't appear to be online among the race and candidate profiles - and  what is there is said to be optimized for mobile, i.e. not for readers who want to see the whole thing at a glance.

I wonder if you can pick up a used Sunday Bee for a reasonable price on EBay; this one would be worth it.

(h/t Steve Baker and/or Shawn Garvey)

Friday, May 11, 2012

"If this sounds apocalyptic, it is." - problem and solutions from James Hansen in NY Times, and solution from senators

Yesterday's New York Times has an op-ed from climatologist James Hansen on the problem and solutions, Game Over for the Climate; and Senators Bernie Sanders and Keith Ellison have introduced a bill, the End Polluter Welfare Act, that's part of the solution.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Connecting the dots, tending your acre, and revisiting the proposed "fee and dividend" carbon policy.

It was a good rally we had here on Saturday; and it was great to see that others in our community thought protecting a livable climate was worth turning out for. 

I need to get better at stressing that this is about saving the humans, since that doesn't seem to be the general perception.  Folks, you've got about an acre, which must sustain you and your descendants forever.   Good stewardship is a must.

One correction to something I said on Saturday: while it's true that acting to effectively cut greenhouse gas emissions will cost only about 10 cents per gallon of gas, that's the initial cost, which will ramp up over time - though it's moot since it's revenue-neutral (so the money collected gets returned to us anyway), plus the increase over time will be countered by cost savings, as people switch to lower-carbon or more efficient energy usage.
(updated 3pm, since the reference provided didn't back up the original example) A hypothetical example of this "switch effect"  would be state revenue from tobacco taxes declining, as people respond to the price signal and cut back on smoking.

So your "$1500" could turn out to be less (edited).   "Ask me how to make $1500 and get clean air."

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

From Howard Zinn

“TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”