Archive for March, 2007

New Drive Afoot to Pass Equal Rights Amendment

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Federal and state lawmakers have launched a new drive to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, reviving a feminist goal that faltered a quarter-century ago when the measure did not gain the approval of three-quarters of the state legislatures.

The amendment, which came three states short of enactment in 1982, has been introduced in five state legislatures since January. Yesterday, House and Senate Democrats reintroduced the measure under a new name — the Women’s Equality Amendment — and vowed to bring it to a vote in both chambers by the end of the session.

The renewed push to pass the ERA, which passed the House and Senate overwhelmingly in 1972 and was ratified by 35 states before skidding to a halt, highlights liberals’ renewed sense of power since November’s midterm elections. From Capitol Hill to Arkansas, legislators said they are seizing a political opportunity to enshrine women’s rights in the Constitution.

“Elections have consequences, and isn’t it true those consequences are good right now?” Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) asked a mostly female crowd yesterday at a news conference, as the audience cheered. “We are turning this country around, bit by bit, to put it in a more progressive direction.”

The amendment consists of 52 words and has one key line: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” That sentence would subject legal claims of gender discrimination to the same strict scrutiny given by courts to allegations of racial discrimination.


070329 – Thursday – The Ground Truth

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

I watched The Ground Truth tonight, thanks to a friend who loaned me a copy. It’s a movie/documentary about the Iraq War from the POV of the troops who’ve come home deeply damaged by their experiences. I’ve talked elsewhere about my feelings about the Iraq and Viet-Nam wars but this movie made me see something I hadn’t seen before about my own experiences.

I was in the miltary during the Viet-Nam War and during that time, I decided the war was wrong and I chose to refuse to go to Viet-Nam even though it potentially meant prison and a dishonorable discharge.

In all the years since then, I’ve always been happy and perhaps even a bit proud that I stood up against the war and said ‘no’ when so many of my companions just let themselves believe the rhetoric and went along.

But tonight, when they were showing how very badly messed up so many of these people are by the things they did in Iraq in the name of their country, I realized that by refusing to go, I dodged a terrible bullet of lifetime guilt and remorse – though I’d never realized it until now.

When we’re young, our expeiences have an unreal almost pretend-like quality to them. The military, our marriages our early jobs – it’s almost like we’re still waiting to grow up and for things to become ‘real’. But, as many of these young men and woman have found out the hard way in Iraq and Afganistan, everything we do in this life is ‘for-keeps’.

My National Security Letter Gag Order

Monday, March 26th, 2007

– This story comes from The Washington Post.


It is the policy of The Washington Post not to publish anonymous pieces. In this case, an exception has been made because the author — who would have preferred to be named — is legally prohibited from disclosing his or her identity in connection with receipt of a national security letter. The Post confirmed the legitimacy of this submission by verifying it with the author’s attorney and by reviewing publicly available court documents.

The Justice Department’s inspector general revealed on March 9 that the FBI has been systematically abusing one of the most controversial provisions of the USA Patriot Act: the expanded power to issue “national security letters.” It no doubt surprised most Americans to learn that between 2003 and 2005 the FBI issued more than 140,000 specific demands under this provision — demands issued without a showing of probable cause or prior judicial approval — to obtain potentially sensitive information about U.S. citizens and residents. It did not, however, come as any surprise to me.

Three years ago, I received a national security letter (NSL) in my capacity as the president of a small Internet access and consulting business. The letter ordered me to provide sensitive information about one of my clients. There was no indication that a judge had reviewed or approved the letter, and it turned out that none had. The letter came with a gag provision that prohibited me from telling anyone, including my client, that the FBI was seeking this information. Based on the context of the demand — a context that the FBI still won’t let me discuss publicly — I suspected that the FBI was abusing its power and that the letter sought information to which the FBI was not entitled.

Rather than turn over the information, I contacted lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union, and in April 2004 I filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the NSL power. I never released the information the FBI sought, and last November the FBI decided that it no longer needs the information anyway. But the FBI still hasn’t abandoned the gag order that prevents me from disclosing my experience and concerns with the law or the national security letter that was served on my company. In fact, the government will return to court in the next few weeks to defend the gag orders that are imposed on recipients of these letters.


Are GM Crops Killing Bees?

Monday, March 26th, 2007

A mysterious decimation of bee populations has German beekeepers worried, while a similar phenomenon in the United States is gradually assuming catastrophic proportions. The consequences for agriculture and the economy could be enormous.

Walter Haefeker is a man who is used to painting grim scenarios. He sits on the board of directors of the German Beekeepers Association (DBIB) and is vice president of the European Professional Beekeepers Association. And because griping is part of a lobbyist’s trade, it is practically his professional duty to warn that “the very existence of beekeeping is at stake.”

The problem, says Haefeker, has a number of causes, one being the varroa mite, introduced from Asia, and another is the widespread practice in agriculture of spraying wildflowers with herbicides and practicing monoculture. Another possible cause, according to Haefeker, is the controversial and growing use of genetic engineering in agriculture.

As far back as 2005, Haefeker ended an article he contributed to the journal Der Kritischer Agrarbericht (Critical Agricultural Report) with an Albert Einstein quote: “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”

Mysterious events in recent months have suddenly made Einstein’s apocalyptic vision seem all the more topical. For unknown reasons, bee populations throughout Germany are disappearing — something that is so far only harming beekeepers. But the situation is different in the United States, where bees are dying in such dramatic numbers that the economic consequences could soon be dire. No one knows what is causing the bees to perish, but some experts believe that the large-scale use of genetically modified plants in the US could be a factor.


070322 – Poem

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

I have suspended disbelief before a thousand scriptures
   as I've eased myself into knowing this world.
I have asked, watched, listened and I have read
   but the secrets have alway been inside.
And everything outside has always been
   just smoke in the morning trees.

Neither action or intention, nor word or form are there
   and all science and reason lie without.
It is no  servant of words or names, this
   where, the clocks are dumb and time has gone still.

You speak of Krishna or Vishnu, of Buddha and Jesus
   but these are just shadows on the wall
of the candle that burns within
   that center of being that wells from within itself.

Scripture is the trim that adorns the door
   outside the place that contains the beloved.

Study Details Catastrophic Impact Of Nuclear Attack On US Cities

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

– Sobering stuff:

“The hospital system has about 1,500 burn beds in the whole country, and of these maybe 80 or 90 percent are full at any given time,” Bell said. “There’s no way of treating the burn victims from a nuclear attack with the existing medical system.”


Science Daily A new study by researchers at the Center for Mass Destruction Defense (CMADD) at the University of Georgia details the catastrophic impact a nuclear attack would have on American cities.

The study, which the authors said was the most advanced and detailed simulation published in open scientific literature, highlights the inability of the nation’s current medical system to handle casualties from a nuclear attack. It also suggests what the authors said are much needed yet relatively simple interventions that could save tens of thousands of lives.

“The likelihood of a nuclear weapon attack in an American city is steadily increasing, and the consequences will be overwhelming” said Cham Dallas, CMADD director and professor in the UGA College of Pharmacy. “So we need to substantially increase our preparation.”

Dallas and co-author William Bell, CMADD senior research scientist and faculty member of the UGA College of Public Health, examined four high-profile American cities – New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta – and modeled the effects of a 20 kiloton nuclear detonation and a 550 kiloton detonation. (For comparison, the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were in the 12 to 20 kiloton range). Bell explained that a 20 kiloton weapon could be manufactured by terrorists and fledgling nuclear countries such as North Korea and Iran, while a 550 kiloton device is commonly found in the arsenal of the former Soviet Union and therefore is the most likely to be stolen by terrorists.


Rivers run towards ‘crisis point’

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Some of the world’s major rivers are reaching crisis point because of dams, shipping, pollution and climate change, according to the environment group WWF.

Its report, World’s Top 10 Rivers at Risk, says the river “crisis” rivals climate change in importance.

Five of its “top 10” are in Asia, such as the Yangtse, Mekong, and Ganges, though Europe’s Danube and North America’s Rio Grande are also included.

WWF says governments should see water as an issue of national security.

Its report is issued in advance of World Water Day (22 March).

“The world is facing a massive freshwater crisis, which has the potential to be every bit as devastating as climate change,” said Dr David Tickner, head of the freshwater programme at WWF-UK.

“We need business leaders and governments to recognise that climate change is not the only urgent environmental issue that needs to be dealt with, and that they need to take notice of this freshwater emergency and act now, not later.”



Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

– This push for biofuels seems largely misguided. I’ve written on this before – citing both pro and con articles.

– See: , , , , Search for ‘biofuel‘ on this site to pick up other related articles.

– The bottom line is, I believe, that people like this idea because they think it wil allow them to avoid facing up to the real issues. But, in truth, it just obscures those issues further and postpones dealing with them.

– A quote from the article:

“A rise in auto fuel efficiency standards of 20 percent, phased in over the next decade would save as much oil as converting the entire U.S. grain harvest into ethanol.”

– Now the irony here is that US fuel efficiency standards are now the worst in the developed world.   Even China requires better miles per gallon performance than the US.


Lester R. Brown

If you think you are spending more each week at the supermarket, you may be right. The escalating share of the U.S. grain harvest going to ethanol distilleries is driving up food prices worldwide.

Corn prices have doubled over the last year, wheat futures are trading at their highest level in 10 years, and rice prices are rising too. In addition, soybean futures have risen by half. A Bloomberg analysis notes that the soaring use of corn as the feedstock for fuel ethanol “is creating unintended consequences throughout the global food chain.”

The countries initially hit by rising food prices are those where corn is the staple food. In Mexico, one of more than 20 countries with a corn-based diet, the price of tortillas is up by 60 percent. Angry Mexicans in crowds of up to 75,000 have taken to the streets in protest, forcing the government to institute price controls on tortillas.

Food prices are also rising in China, India, and the United States, countries that contain 40 percent of the world’s people. While relatively little corn is eaten directly in these countries, vast quantities are consumed indirectly in meat, milk, and eggs in both China and the United States.

Rising grain and soybean prices are driving up meat and egg prices in China. January pork prices were up 20 percent above a year earlier, eggs were up 16 percent, while beef, which is less dependent on grain, was up 6 percent.

In India, the overall food price index in January 2007 was 10 percent higher than a year earlier. The price of wheat, the staple food in northern India, has jumped 11 percent, moving above the world market price.

In the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that the wholesale price of chicken in 2007 will be 10 percent higher on average than in 2006, the price of a dozen eggs will be up a whopping 21 percent, and milk will be 14 percent higher. And this is only the beginning.


070321 – Wednesday – an environmental E-Mail thread

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

– In this world of sound bites and quick posts tailored for people’s ever shorter and shorter attention spans, a lot gets lost. But, good conversations do happen though they aren’t as easy to find as the short-n-sweet variety.

– The following is an E-mail conversation between myself and one of my friends. We discuss “The Great Global Warming Swindle“, the recent IPCC Report and Michael Crichton’s book, State of Fear. If you aren’t adverse to exercising your attention span a bit, you might find it an interesting read.

– I’ve laid these out in chronological order so if you read from the top, you get them in the correct order.



I think you will find this very interesting. It is a non emotional, movie that presents a very compelling argument against carbon dioxide as the culprit. It is long but well done. I think it is worth your time to give it a go.

I know I am a pain in your ass, but nevertheless, this issue is too big to just roll over and play dead. I want all the facts before I go off on a crusade.


The web link is here:


Thanks, M. I’ve been quiet for a few days but it’s not because my interest is not deeply engaged in all of this – it’s just very busy here now. I’ll look at the movie and go through the other links you’ve sent and get back in play soon. Aren’t you off to the US soon – or are you over here now?



M, on this list, sent me a link the other day to a video he felt presented a strong case for Global Warming NOT being caused by mankind. I watched it yesterday and found it disconcerting – to say the least. It was an articulate presentation and showcased many points that attacked the foundations of a lot of current Global Warming theory. The show ran on March 8th in Britain on their Channel 4.

Here’s a link to the video:

As I said, seeing this video and listening to its assertions left me disquieted. I’ve done some digging since then and turned up a lot of interesting information. If you are interested, you can follow these links.


And, M? After you’ve read through all of this, I’d especially love to hear your thoughts about it.





Please go to this link: You will find numerous articles on the error in the IPCC data. This makes the results suspect. This also slants things to support the pro-climate change camp.

I do not want you to think it is my ambition to debunk the “environmental” issue. It is huge. I do think we need to do all we can to reduce human induced intervention. This includes cutting down all the forests, dumping garbage in the oceans, air pollution, water pollution, etc.

Having said that, I am really pissed off when we are getting bull shit data to scare the shit out of everyone.

I think this (IPCC issue) questionable data explains what I mean. Let me tell you, there is huge money to be made by getting everyone on board that climate change is man made by excess CO2. This to me is not correct. Does it affect the environment, I think so. If we spend a fortune chasing it, will it really make a difference? I am not of the opinion it will.

We need to get after the right issues, not be led like sheep to slaughter.

I ask you to really look at this issue. View it from the political side, not the scientific side. What does the pro side stand to gain? What does the other side gain? I think the heat is high enough now that industry, if they are the culprits, can’t really be too disingenuous.

I am more and more of the opinion we are being had, big time. If so, I really think it is time that someone be held accountable. This reminds me of Ann Rands book, “Atlas Shrugged“.

Dennis, I have the feeling you want this to be true. I think you feel it is a Democrat vs. Republican vindicatin. If there is any truth in my observation, put it aside a really look at this. Also READ Crichton’s book. It really is good and makes you question what the hell is going on here.




Alright. I will give it all a good going through.




I followed the link through three pages worth and looked at a lot of the articles. You are right, there’s a lot of stuff there citing apparent problems with the IPCC data. It was quite a mix. I also saw things there from known climate skeptics as well.

I’ve been mulling all of this over this weekend thinking about truth, biases, evidence, vested interests, trust and pessimism – among other things. They all come into this in one way or another. I fully believe you are intelligent, sincere, honest and genuinly seeking to come to the most informed understanding you can. And, I am the same. And yet in spite of all of that, we’ve come to different conclusions on some things.

I guess that’s not odd at all. The quickest look at the world shows that it is packed with people who share all of our attributes and more and they’ve come to yet other conclusions – and some of them are wildly different than ours. I’m thinking here of New Agers who think they can ‘wish’ the world to get right, Business types who think that Capitalism and the market are the answer to everything and then there’s the religious folks convinced that if God made it this way and if there’s a problem, he’ll handle it.

I also think that the ‘evidence’ that you and I are looking at as we try to bolster our arguments is really more complex that either of us, or almost anyone else, is able to judge. Unless we are specialists or we have a lot of time on our hands to study up on things, most of the discussions of suposed flaws in the IPCC data are beyound our ability to follow, in my opinion. It all looks like numbers, complex relationships and assumptions we’re not privy to.

So, as bright as we are, I don’t think we’re able to judge the science on its scientific merits.

In the absence of really being able to judge the science, we are reduced to trying to figure out who we should trust through alternative logic and criteria.

One criticism of the scientists involved in generating the data supporting the theory that global warming is a function of mankind’s activities is that they have vested interests in continuing to get their grants and such. It sounds like a damning accusation because it is obvious that they will gain, if the current hoop-la continues.

But, on the other hand, when has there ever been anything that’s gotten big in the public’s eye that hasn’t resulted in the same sort of a feedback loop for those involved? It’s a criticism that applies equally well to everyone in the game on every side so I think we need to look deeper.

The people who run corporations usually follow that pathway for the profits. Large corporations are, after all, entities that exist solely to generate profits for their shareholders and those who run succesful corporations, get to participate in those profits. Indeed, the news tells us that even executives who run failing companies often end up with millions of dollars in golden parachutes. I would summarize by saying that in the world of business, the truth is most often sacrificed for money.

The people who aspire to politics? Some go into it for the good of mankind, I suppose. But, I think most go into it for the power that will accrue to them. And regardles of how their intentions began, I think few will rise very far before they are deeply entangled in the world of political favors, interlocking obliigations and compromise trades. In this world, the truth is most often sacrificed for power.

And scientists? Some, I’m sure go into it because they hope to invent and patent a process that will make them rich but I suspect the vast majority of them go into it for the intellectual challege of uncovering nature’s secrets and learning how reality works and how we can control it. So, yes, the motives are mixed up, I agree. If scientists are good, profit and success may come to them. But, on the other hand, many labor their lives away on just their academic pay – content to dig through and reveal the intricate details and the trivia of whatever little nook of the physical world they’ve decided to investigate.

In business and politics, the way forward is the way that works – whatever works. In science, on the other hand, the way forward usually has to involve a big dose of adherance to the scientic method. Or the results they produce will not describe the world well and lead to testable and verifiable predictions.

If, as many critics claim, the scientists have lost their way on the climate issue because of their pursuit of wealth, then they are building a bubble of a theory which will burst at some point. Wasn’t that one of the key points in Soros’ book? That whenever our beliefs about reality diverge from the way reality is actually working, then we get into bubble space and sooner or later the tension between what we imagine and what is – is going to slap us?

Science is mankind’s one pursuit that follows a methodolgy designed and intended to generate data maximally free of human bias. This is, for the most part, what scientists do.

As a pursuit, science has utterly changed the world exactly because it cuts to the core of how things actually work and leaves our opinions, preconceptions and prejudices out of it.

Religion has changed the world profoundly also but mostly, I think, by bringing strife and fanaticism into it.

And business has changed it by creating things for profit. But, by and large, business can only create from the fruits that science first yeilds.

Science is quantitatively different because of the scientific method. The people that practice it are not perfect but the scientific method they employ is the best tool in our tool box by far.

So, when I ask myself who I will gamble and trust in this world of competing claims, I think it is the scientists because of everything I’ve said above. Not a blind trust – a reasoned trust. Not a complete trust – but a watchful trust. If we’re trying to snoop our way into places we’ve never been before (like a world which seeems be be warming rapidly), then I think I’ll choose to follow the bloodhound who’s had the best success record at snooping out the truth from physical reality so far.

Enough of that thread. Let’s take another.

I know you are impressed with Crichton’s book. And, I’m sure it is very well written and convincing. Thinking about this reminded me of a conversation I had over dinner many years ago. Our friends, J and C. were with me and my first wife, R. (whom I know you know). As a group, we were calmly discussing some disagreement R. and I were engaged in and after awhile, when R. got up to go to the restroom, J. said to me, “Dennis, you know just because you are smarter than R. and you can debate circles around her, doesn’t make you right? Being right is different than being able to dominate someone through your verbal skills or your intelligence.

Crichton’s forte is to be a great writer. I’m sure he must be dazzling. But, again, is he the bloodhound with the best record at ferriting out the truth or simply the most dazzling advocate around?



Hum, what to say about all of this. First, I paid absolutely no attention to climate change until you started your series of article beginning with peak oil. I got interested and followed your publishing. When you got to climate change, honestly, you scared me pretty good. I began to read up on this, and yep I found a lot of information confirming what you were saying. I thought I new what this was about so I began to champion this notion that the earth is going to burn up. However, I ran into a guy who did not care to roll over. He gave me some information to the contrary, quoting sources, along with a copy of Michael Crichton’s book, State of Fear. Truthfully, I did not read the book but immediately went to the Internet to dispute this heresy. I had no problem finding a whole host of critics. Well then I began reading other material on the Internet which started to point out some flaws with the current thinking. The last being a discovery of a huge error In the latest IPPC study which makes their results very suspect. Next I read Crichton’s book. Although it is fiction, his charts and sources are documented. they are very convincing to the contrary. If you have not read it, I strongly recommend you do.

He makes the point, very well I might add, that there is every bit of reason for the pro climate changers to fudge the truth as far or further than the Nay Sayers.

You have published a couple of article that trash the movie. What seems to be missing is real evidence that the charts depicted, such as CO2 leading temperature rise and others. Now I have not spent a lot of time chasing all the links, so I will reserve judgment on this.

So the author of the movie, which I sent you is biased, the others are not???

Having said all of that, I’ll tell you what I think. I think there is something very wrong with all of this. We are being manipulated on both sides. I do believe that man is ravishing the environment. Maybe it affects climate, maybe not. I really don’t know and really don’t put much faith in either side every giving me an honest assessment. I do not have (or want to spend) the time to become a climateologist to figure it out for myself.

As a side note, I would imagine that most of you think I am a Rush Limbough stooge. That would be as far from the truth as you could get. My political view is very simple; I despise and disrespect and certainly do not trust politicians, none of them. Therefore I am not willing to give them any more power; left or right. I would take it back if I knew how. I surely do not think they will solve any of this. For example, Look at Europe (resuls from the very recent European Union summit on climate change) in their latest foray into fixing this. Looks good huh!! One small problem, they left out the nuclear solution.
They would not touch it. If you read James Lovelock’s The Revenge of Gaia, you find out that this is the only short term way to get off oil, coal and gas. Solar power, wind mills and the like just can’t hack it. Bio fuels compete with food production and it is incredibly inefficient.

So here is what I am going to do: I am going to forget about this argument on climate change. It is what it is.

Nevertheless, I really do like the earth and hate seeing it being ravaged. Even though I have no faith that any of us can change the direction we are headed. I will still treat her with dignity and respect. She is the only space ship we have. I guess I am adopting the “small is beautiful concept”.

I hope that the rest of you can find some equilibrium in this.




I think you misunderstand me a bit. I am not denying that man is having an impact on the environment, including climate change. What I am suspect of, is the degree of his impact on climate change vs. natural events. Frankly, I think some of the other environmental issues are equal or greater in importance than climate change with respect to damage to the ecosystem. The water is foul, the bio-mass of the ocean is being decimated, the air we breath is horrible, the natural foliage is being depleted at an alarming rate. I suspect all of this is interconnected and to single out one aspect is overly simplistic.

Nevertheless, there is evidence that the “good guys”are fudging the numbers just as much or more than the “bad guys”. I just don’t trust any of them.

Regarding Crichton, give it a read. It will not be wasted time and I know you will like it. The point to his book, from my perspective, is how anyone can find evidence to make his argument. He also has some great evidence to the contrary. He points out how people react on emotion even when they are very ignorant.

So, at the end of the day we are not so far apart. I suppose I am pessimistic when it comes to what impact we can have on fixing any of this. Momentum is against us. Too many people around the world that are too low down the triangle to worry about these issues. They just want to make it to tomorrow. We are 300 million out of 6.5 billion. How many of us really care? And, we are the supposed educated ones.




“So, at the end of the day we are not so far apart.” Yes, I too believe that’s true. And I agree with a lot of what you say here.

The future is very hard to predict and things may well turn out quite different from what we expect. Unfortunately, unless we’re willing to pretend that the future will take care of itself, we have no choice but to try to make sense of the tea leaves we have.

I was in a book store yesterday and found a copy of Crichton’s book. I thumbed through it and found the section at the end where he recaps his personal thoughts on environmental issues as distinct from the story he develops in the book itself. I found many of his comments reasonable and even fairly middle of the road. He’s not without humor about himself and his views either. The last point he makes (tongue in cheek, I’m sure) is that he is, himself, without bias on these issues. Ha!

I’ve come to have my doubts on the Polar Bears in general and on the likelihood of a sharply time-delimited Peak Oil crises. And the points that the Professor from Paris made about Malaria in the “Swindle” video also bears a deeper look.

Crichton is a dangerous wild card here. He is very good at what he does. I’ve read some of his earlier works like the Andromeda Strain. He is a world class writer like Dan Brown. I am absolutely certain that if someone paid him enough, he could write a book completely opposite of his State of Fear book and make it just as riveting and convincing. I believe most of what you see there is his skill as a writer, not the inherent persuasive power of the facts he cites. How can we trust a fiction writer who has world class ability to make people believe what he writes? If I read him, it will be for entertainment.

Yes, I’m pessimistic as well. The more I study this, the less I think humanity has any significant chance of rising to the problems. We are too deeply in the grip of our biological imperatives and our biases and illusions.

If you want to know who I trust the least in all of this, it is the corporations. If mankind survives this period, I think future historians may look back on the unconstrained growth of impersonal, profit driven corporate power to be one on the worst plagues mankind unleashed on itself during this period in our history. They are major players in the drama whose only aim is to bolster their profits. Is it any wonder that the forests are disappearing, the oceans are being dredged, the environmental movement is being deflected by intentional misinformation and governments like the US are handing out no bid contracts to the like of Halliburton? All of this at a time when we should be making decisions based on our collective future welfare.


B.C. premier stuns critics with plans to go green

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The premier of British Columbia wanted to bring coal-burning plants and offshore oil rigs to this lush province, so environmental groups were ready for a fight as he prepared his government’s annual policy speech last month.

They were stunned when Premier Gordon Campbell delivered a list of green promises that surpassed their most ambitious dreams.

He would not only stop the growth in greenhouse gases in the province, he said, but also slash them by one-third. He would gut the coal-plant plans. Embrace wind power. Lease hybrid cars for the government. Squelch environmental pollution by the powerful oil and gas industry. Toughen car-emission regulations.

His plans would make British Columbia what The Globe and Mail newspaper called “the continent’s greenest spot.” Campbell also proposed an enterprising alliance with California to create a Pacific Coast bloc of states and provinces to tackle climate change without waiting for action from their federal governments.