Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Black Gold: Why Offshore Drilling is Bravado
June 23, 2008

Written by Mekhami and Addendum by Pegleghippie; crossposted to My Left Wing

I was working at my favorite West Texas hospital today, and a wealthy property owner came in for his daily treatment. Well into his 70’s, this gentleman and I always had a good conversation and a good laugh while I checked him and prepped him for the treatment room.  He told me about the 10.4 million dollar property he’s been dying to sell, and how he hasn’t gotten any real offers yet. Eventually the topic, given my politivangelistic© nature, turned to offshore drilling, and the energy crisis. We sparred semantics for a few minutes before getting to the nitty gritty about it. He’s a Republican (one of very few vices on the man) and so naturally, he’s for offshore drilling.

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Wind Power, Solar Power
May 20, 2008

Wind Turbine

The Department of Energy says we can provide a whopping 20% of our nation’s energy supply using wind power. This news comes both as a shock and a joy to me. A shock, because why aren’t we doing it yet?! and a joy because this means that this country can and will become a little bit greener.

For those of you who don’t have deductive reasoning skills, let me outline the benefits of wind power.

  1. It’s clean. After assembly, it doesn’t emit harmful gases or radiation, and the only damage they can cause is damage to themselves. If they fall down or something. Which, doesn’t happen.
  2. It’s renewable. Why? There will always be ample amounts of wind. It’s nature, folks.
  3. It’s cheap. Alot cheaper than constructing an oil refinery or nuclear power plant.

Nature’s been blowing wind at us at raging speeds here in Central Texas. We get winds of 40-60 mph on a very regular basis. We get used to tackling our car doors to get out, and closed building entrances due to high wind.

So, common sense dictates we utilize this! I mean there is no logic against it, the rationale is completely there. Where is the downfall?

Loss of profits to oil companies, I’d assume.

Call me a conspiracy theorist (I usually call Pegleghippie that, but he’s in the Switz right now so I can’t rightly say anything bad til he gets back) but something tells me that the lowered demand for fossil fuels is something the government, especially conservative republicans, would not want to see. Many presidents have invested interest in seeing gas prices go up. Naturally they can’t say that out loud, but when you consider the vast amounts of money we’d save by setting up wind farms across the ‘Wind Belt’ of the US (which stretches from Mid to West Texas all the way up to Canada), there’s got to be some higher-up hindering the process for money.

And imagine how much that’d lower our Carbon Footprint? Well, according to a study by the Irish ESB National Grid, about 15%. 15% folks. By 2015, we’ll save up to 1880 tonnes of Co2 emissions every year. Go ahead and try to conceptualize a ton of tonnes of co2. 2000 tonnes. Gawd.

BUT STARTLING NEW DEVELOPMENT! Billionare Oilman Backs Wind Power! (Cnn.com) T. Boone Pickens, (What a beautifully rich southern oilman name) has invested time, effort, and money into developing just what I’m outlining here. Thank god for change. Or just thank Mr. Pickens. (Glorious name.)

G’night everybody.

busy
April 30, 2008

by pegleghippie

Don't we have a cool logo?

So I really should be working on this paper that is due at 5 (an hour from now), but I need a break, and the site needs hits, so I thought I’d vent right here for you guys.  

The paper’s about plato and rousseau, which is easy enough for me, but I’m just not feeling motivated right now.  You know how it goes.  I’ve got the thing about halfway done, and I don’t even have all my information put in, so the length shouldn’t be a problem.  I’m just torn between my immediate comfort and my desire to do well in this class (an A is definitely within the realm of possibility).  

I was thinking about voter turnout, and I assume its going to be high this year, say 70,000,000, then we greens need 3.5 million to get our magical 5%.  If you don’t know, you become a ‘for reals’ political party, complete with public funding and ballot access, if you get 5% in a previous election.  With Obama floundering, maybe enough politically engaged types won’t stay home, but will vote, and turn to the greens.  We just need a less-tarnished candidate than Nader.  I like Nader, but at this point, he’s in it for his ego, not to build a party.  Grrr.  

Oh and I don’t won’t Obama to lose, don’t get me wrong.  He’s more than likely going to get the democratic nomination, and he’s 1000 times preferable to Mccain, but I’m done supporting corporate centrism, which is exactly what we’ll get with Obama.  I guess ideally, for building a truly progressive movement, I want to see the 2008 election go something like, 48% obama, 45% Mccain, 5% green candidate (probably nader), 2% smaller parties.  

That would mean we’d avoid Bush-the-third, but Obama would see that there’s a real pressure for some truly progressive action.  

And us greens would be in a position to start really party-building in smaller elections.

Pegleghippie enters politics
April 28, 2008

by pegleghippie

(This shows up when you search for ‘politic’)

So due to some systemic loopholes, I am now a senator for the Student Government Association at my school.

Let me start by saying that by and large, I consider myself unelectable. I abhor the idea of campaigning, literally selling myself to people. I also take a lot of unpopular positions, pretty much summed up by my membership in the Green Party. While green politics may be increasingly popular, they are still just barely on the fringe. And I refuse to be dishonest about my political views; people deserve to know what they’re voting for. Hence, I’m unelectable.

So to become senator, I took a different route.  Turns out our SGA did a rather awful job of finding candidates for this year’s elections.  Only 6 people ran for 21 seats.  I was informed by a friend who was involved in SGA of this situation, and that the other senators would simply be confirmed.  Then I met with the newly elected president, who said all I had to do was to send in an application and show up at the meeting, and there would be a chance that I would get the nod.

So I show up at this meeting, see a few people that I know, and sit next to this guy, we’ll call him Ishmael, who I work with.  I could see why the elections were disorganized; the whole meeting was like a very polite but ineffective argument, mostly about procedure.  Eventually, they get around to confirmations.  One by one, we were called upon to talk a little about ourselves and what we wanted the SGA to do in the coming year.  One by one, people were confirmed, including Ishmael, who gave like, a 10 minute speech on what he was concerned about before they could vote on him.  Then it happened: someone was voted down.  It was a freshman girl.  She wasn’t really involved in anything, and didn’t really know anything about the school.  It was kind of sad.

Anyway, so I was the second-to-last one to be called up.  I stuck by my principle of letting the decision makers know what I was all about:  I hit the environmental angle hard, and stressed open communication between SGA and students, and the need to be more democratic within the school setup.  I answered a few questions, but the best part of the night for me came next.

 One of the newly-elected senators, we’ll call him Gary, spoke up.  Now I met Gary last friday when we both volunteered at the food bank.  We talked about various school programs and intelligence and good and bad in people, kind of deep topics.  We disagreed to some extent on nearly everything, but he struck me as an interesting, intelligent guy.  Still, I had known him for 4 days at this point.  Gary said to the senate that he knew me, that I was a highly intelligent, caring person who would be great as a Senator, and that I had his vote.  I was floored.  I had just received an endorsement from someone! I thanked him of course.  THEN, then, things got cooler.  A friend of mine, I’ll call him Samuel, stood up in the audience and gave me another endorsement.  I went to high school with Samuel, and he was a senator last year, and it was really just all too much for me to have ever asked for.  I thanked him too, of course.

So then I left the room while they voted.  I don’t know if the endorsements meant anything to the vote, but it meant a lot to me.  The moral of the story is, i guess, be good to your friends, have interesting conversations with strangers, and they’ll get your back in the future.  

Disease: Proof of God’s existence?
April 25, 2008

Those who know me know I take a very anti-religion stance in every argument. That’s because I believe wholeheartedly that religion is a falsehood created by man to make money and gain power. I mean really, tithes? The Papacy? Gimme a break, God doesn’t care about the Pope any more than he cares about the goldfish I killed today. (accident, honest.)

But here I’ll propose that death and disease are proof of God’s existence. In Genesis, God cursed humanity with death and disease when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Man lost his immortality. He found weakness, illness, fatigue, and hard work. Eve found childbirth and death and disease and hunger.

And now my point; without disease and death and weakness, we’d become hugely overpopulated and all starve to death. Call it, instead, Darwinistic population control. Wars, famine, the Great Fire of London, terrorism, sharks… are these all the messengers of God saying, “Hey. I need you to die cause if ya don’t, 10000 others will?”

I’ve always argued that peace can sometimes only be found on the other side of war. Sometimes it takes war to get people in shape. Well does it take war as well to keep the population in check? Is this proof of intelligent design? That we’re angry, violent beings, with a tendency for self-indulgence? Is the fact that we haven’t found a cure for cancer a sign that ‘God’ is there, saying, “No, no, no… I need that cancer to make the rest of you alive.”

No offense to people with Cancer. I’m not saying you should lay down and die. Perhaps I’m saying we should be at peace with the fate of those who did.

The Pre-Apocalypse Plan
April 16, 2008

With all the current eco-friendly, Save the Trees, “Go Green” lifestyle stuff being a huge hit for magazine sales, sometimes I am left wondering; Do people realize that this is natural?

I mean it is proven that the Earth’s climate changes are cyclical in nature. We have a few thousand years of happy fun times, and a few thousand years of ice. That’s right, ice. An Ice Age to be exact. Followed by a crappy sequel, Ice Age 2, with just a brief intermission of what we call, “The Human Race.” It’s like the Earth’s enormous reset button.

So, I am left to wonder. Obviously this Ice Age that we are coming upon isn’t going to happen until our great-great-great-grandchildren’s great-great-grandchildren have great-great-You get the idea. But when that does happen, what will the human race do to survive? I mean, humanity has survived for this long, I hardly think an extended winter’s going to put it out of commission.

So aside from extraterrestrial colonization, which is the most likely solution, my first instinct was, “Burrow.”

I am driving in my car, pondering the logistics of a completely self-sustaining underground society, capable of living for the thousands of years of Ice Age without starving, running out of oxygen, inbreeding diseases that wipe us out, killing each other off from cabin fever (Heeeeere’s Johnny!), etc.

My initial logistical insertion was Reproduction Control. Someone would have to monitor and control who could have children, and when.  As totalitarian as this sounds, overpopulation would lead to starvation, and underpopulation would lead to… well… no population. Kinda what we’re trying to avoid here.

Food would have to be diverse. Plants and animals would have to be kept, grown underground. There would have to be some form of mass-false-sunlight, for two reasons. One, so that food could grow. Two, we would need those plants to keep manufacturing our oxygen.

How big would it be? How much space would you need for crops and livestock? How would you screen who lived in the society and who died above ground? Would you allow expansion? Would you forbid religion? Leave us your comments, suggestions for my secret lair- I mean, hypothetical survival society.

-Mekhami