News and Comment: Solar Energy, Climate change, Impeach Cain Campaign suspended, Impeach Scott Walker Campaign soars
Impeach Scott Walker: Last week we launched the impeach Herman Cain campaign. We’ve suspended the campaign (see below). However we enthusiastically support the campaign to impeach (recall) Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for his Stalinist moves to deprive public employee unions of their right to bargain collectively. The campaign started Tuesday and it’s making huge progress. In just 48 hours after opponents of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker officially launched their campaign to remove him from office, activists say they gathered 50,000 signatures out of the roughly 550,000 needed get the recall election that could boot the governor from office next spring. If I were the current Governor, I’d be worried. A poll released this week by Wisconsin Public Radio and St. Norbert College found that 58% favored recalling Walker. Go Badgers!
Thank you Mr. Chu: In standard form GOP members of Congress are trying to score political points by highlighting the Obama Administration’s half million dollar loan to Solyndra, a California firm that made solar panels
and that went bankrupt. Republicans have been using the Solyndra case as a way to attack the President’s funding initiatives to support renewable energy. The latest blast was the grilling of Energy Secretary Steven Chu by Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Joe Barton (Rep-TX) even called Chu’s approval of the loan as a violation of federal law. Instead of buckling Chu took the offensive and criticized Congress for not doing enough to support solar energy and the jobs it creates. He focused on China’s massive subsidization of its solar industry and unfair competition — that is badly hurting the competitiveness of U.S. Solar firms. Chu is one of the most outstanding members of the Obama cabinet. Thanks!
Addition: We also want to thank Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) who chastised GOP members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee for going after Solyndra while not saying a thing about the billions in subsidies that Big Oil and Big Nuclear get while cutting back on the budgets for renewable energy. Thank you. See his excellent hearing participation and statement here.
GOP Picks Energy Winners: Guess who? The GOP has been steadfast in their opposition to government’s involvement in picking winners and losers. Despite this ideological pillar, Republicans in the House of Representatives had no hesitation when it came to bashing solar (see article above) while pushing for increased oil production. The increased oil production would increase consumption and provide greater revenues to the now diminished Highway Trust Fund. (The Fund gets a federal tax of 18.4 cents for each gallon of gas sold at the pump.) There move is a clever political ploy that allows the GOP to champion needed infrastructure spending and job creation. And it also puts pressure on Democrats and environmentally-minded leaders. Those who vote against the plan are called out for opposing transportation and jobs.
There is one serious flaw in the GOP ointment. Rather than reduce our addiction to fossil fuels, the plan enables the habit. Never mind the dangers to fragile Alaskan ecosystems, never mind increased climate-changing emissions from cars. But when it comes to solar energy, the GOP takes out its wrecking ball (See above story). So much for Republican adversity to government picks of economic winners and losers. If it’s good for Exxon, it must be good for America. And it’s certainly a good for Republican candidates seeking donations from Big Oil.
Stormy weather ahead and it ain’t just politics: A United Nations Panel just reported that at least some of the weather extremes being seen around the world are consequences of human-induced climate change and can be expected to worsen in coming decades. The report concludes that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have already led to more record-high temperatures and fewer record lows, as well as to greater coastal flooding and possibly to more extremes of precipitation, the report said. Although the report is less conclusive about the human influence on hurricanes, tornadoes, and other specific storms, the findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, come at a time of unusual weather disasters around the globe, including catastrophic flooding in Asia and Australia, blizzards, floods, heat waves, droughts, wildfires and windstorms in the United States that have cost billions of dollars.
“A hotter, moister atmosphere is an atmosphere primed to trigger disasters,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton University climate scientist and a principal author of the new report. “As the world gets hotter, the risk gets higher.” Source: NY Times article by Justin Gillis, November 18, 2011.
Weather Related Damage worst in Red States: Take a good look at the following graphs from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The graph on the left shows that the number of weather events causing billion dollar damage has increased dramatically in recent years. Southern state members of Congress (mostly GOP folks including many “climate skeptics”) should take a good hard look at the graph on the right. Notice where the most frequent mega-buck weather disasters hits. The irony would be delightful if it were not for the suffering that these events impart on families, communities and businesses.
Impeach Cain Campaign Suspended:
Last week Ekos-Squared initiated a nation-wide campaign to impeach then front-runner Herman Cain — yes, we were sufficiently alarmed to start early; the Bill of Impeachment contained three charges — nothing to do with the sexual harassment allegations from four women. We are now suspending the campaign since Mr. Cain seems to have impeached himself. To see videographic evidence of Cain’s worst moment click here. Now it’s Newt’s turn — as GOP Speaker of the House in the mid-nineties, Gingrich shut down the government, lost popularity and left politics. HE’s BACK — for a while at least. We’ll be taking a close look at his ever changing policy innovations in future posts — unless he self-destructs. We see nothing about Gingrich that rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors as of yet. If you do please let us know.