Tuesday, December 30

2008 "Huge year for natural disasters" -CO2 connection clear

Dec. 22 billion-gallon coal ash spill in Harriman, TN. Dam failure caused by heavy rains. Thanks to the Huffington Post (Hopefully this will end the "clean coal" dirty lie.)

From the 12/29/08 BBC:

"It is now very probable that the progressive warming of the atmosphere is due to the greenhouse gases emitted by human activity," said Prof Peter Hoppe, head of Munich Re's Geo Risks Research. (Munich Re is one of the world's largest "reinsurance" firms, the ones who insure retail insurers.)

"The logic is clear: when temperatures increase there is more evaporation and the atmosphere has a greater capacity to absorb water vapour, with the result that its energy content is higher.

"The weather machine runs into top gear, bringing more intense severe weather events with corresponding effects in terms of losses."

The company said world leaders must put in place "effective and binding rules on CO2 emissions" to curb climate change and ensure that "future generations do not have to live with weather scenarios that are difficult to control".

"If we delay too long, it will be very costly for future generations," said Mr Jeworrek (also of Munich Re).

Sunday, December 21

Winter beauty near Boulder

Icicle fallen from edge of the Sun Cave

Spring above South Fall

Tuesday, December 16

Obama says NO to Americans' #1 request

The top 10 questions posed to Obama and his few answers. From http://change.gov/page/content/20081211_openforquestions

978,947 votes on 10,303 questions from 20,468 people

Currently in the lead:

"Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?"
S. Man, Denton

A: President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.
Transition Team, Washington, D.C.

"What will you do as President to restore the Constitutional protections that have been subverted by the Bush Administration and how will you ensure that our system of checks and balances is renewed?"
Kari, Seattle

A: President-elect Obama is deeply committed to restoring the rule of law and respecting constitutional checks and balances.That is why he has pledged to review Bush Administration executive orders. President-elect Obama will also end the abuse of signing statements, and put an end to the politicization that has taken place within the Department of Justice and return that agency to its historic and apolitical mission of fair and impartial administration of justice.
Transition Team, Washington, D.C.

"What will you do to establish transparency and safeguards against waste with the rest of the Wall Street bailout money?"
Diane, New Jersy

A: President-elect Barack Obama does not believe an economic crisis is an excuse for wasteful and unnecessary spending. As our economic teams works with congressional leadership to put together a plan, we will put in place reforms to ensure that your money in invested well. We will also bring Americans back into government by amending executive orders to ensure that communications about regulatory policymaking between persons outside government and all White House staff are disclosed to the public. In addition all appointees who lead the executive branch departments and rulemaking agencies will be required to conduct the significant business of the agency in public so that every citizen can see in person or watch on the Internet these debates.
Transition Team, Washington, D.C.

"Will you lift the ban on Stem Cell research in your first 100 days in office?"
James_M, Nashville, TN

A: President-elect Obama is a strong supporter of Federal funding for responsible stem cell research and he has pledged to reverse President Bush's restrictions.
Transition Team, Washington, D.C.

"What will you do to promote science and mathematics education to Elementary and Middle School students?"
JasonWyatt, Raleigh, NC

A: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will put children first by investing in early childhood education, making sure our schools are adequately funded and led by high-quality teachers, and reforming No Child Left Behind. They will recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession and will support efforts to help these teachers learn from professionals in the field. They will also work to ensure that all children have access to a strong science curriculum at all grade levels.
Transition Team, Washington, D.C.

"Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor - ideally Patrick Fitzgerald - to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?"
Bob Fertik, New York City

"13 states have compassionate use programs for medial Marijuana, yet the federal gov't continues to prosecute sick and dying people. Isn't it time for the federal gov't to step out of the way and let doctors and families decide what is appropriate?"
Greg, Minnesota

Did you know the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services got a patent for "cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants" in 2003? More...

"What do you plan to do to our food industry to make it more sustainable? Will there be changes to our farming policies?"
Jentry, Lincoln, NE

"What will you do to end the use of mercenary forces (ie Blackwater) by our military?"
Betsie, Mtn Home, AR

"What will you do first to reduce pollution/waste and incentivize greener behavior across the country?"
Diane, Boston, MA


Monday, December 15

Paper Bird sings down the house at CU-Boulder's Old Main

All 7 of Paper Bird live in the same house and they brought down the house Saturday at Old Main on the CU-Boulder campus. They jammed with Houses, a new band from Denver. How housey is that? Their 2007 debut CD was "Anything Nameless and Joymaking. I met the Birds at my next-door neighbor's party last Spring. Sweet. Opening was John Beacham, followed by Shenandoah.

Paper Bird can be found at PaperBirdBand.com

< jam

John Beacher>

Tuesday, December 9

My Congressman Jared Polis to introduce bill for NATIONAL ballot initiatives!

My longtime friend and new Congressman Jared Polis did more than anyone to turn Colorado from Republican to Democrat. He did this not just by funding Dem campaigns, but by sponsoring two ballot initiatives that brought out Dem voters: Amendment 23 raised K-12 school funding and Amendment 41 forbids lobbyists from giving legislators "gifts." He also helped with Amendment 37, the nation's first renewable energy mandate for electric utilities, and others.

Yesterday, Jared explained on Boulder-Denver KGNU why he will introduce a bill for NATIONAL ballot initiatives. You can listen by starting the video above.

Jared will be one of the youngest Congress members and perhaps the wealthiest and most philanthropic. In spite of his brilliance, he appreciates what Will Rogers said: "You know everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects...It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us into trouble. It's the things we know that just ain't so." (Think of the financial "wizards"!) So he listens to everyone, and wants the NATION to utilize the "Wisdom of Crowds" (title of a best-seller) via ballot initiatives.

Jared is the first male elected to Congress as openly gay. In spite of recent anti-gay ballot initiatives, he sees that initiatives get issues "on the table" for consideration, which relentlessly drives away ignorance. See Newsweek poll shows surge of support for gay marriage. Or this analyis showing gay marriage opponents "losing ground at a rate of slightly less than 2 points per year."

The media mostly dwell on problematic ballot initiatives, presumably to please the politicians they want access to. Politicians, those who buy their votes and the lobbyists between oppose initiatives. Here's a wrapup of 2008 results from Kristina Wilfore of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center

Jared doesn't really think Congress will empower voters ;) Congress has refused to share legislative power since 1907 when Rep. Elmer Fulton introduced Resolution 44. But Jared hopes to start a conversation. Meanwhile...

Famed former Senator Mike Gravel offers the National Initiative for Democracy, the most evolved project for better and national ballot initiatives. Just as citizens had to ratify the Constitution at the Conventions because the 13 Legislatures refused to share THEIR power, now registered U.S. voters can now vote to ratify the National Initiative. Please tell your friends: "Vote at Vote.org to take the 'mock' out of democracy!"
Neither Rep. Elmer Fulton nor Sen. Mike Gravel nor even Rep. Jared Polis can make this happen. YOU have to. Please! Vote!

"The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government." -George Washington

Monday, December 8

Robin Williams on Obama, Bush,...

Thanks to Bob Cohen for the laugh.

Saturday, December 6

Wednesday, December 3

Prop. 8 -The Musical, starring Jack Black as Jesus

I suggest you click the orange Play button, then the full-screen button -3rd from the right:

"It's a brand new bright Obama day, what a time to be black, a girl or gay!"
(evil enters)...
"Think of all the lawyers for the gay divorces."
(evil sees the light)

"See you later, sinners."

Thanks to Jen Caltrider!

Monday, December 1

More iridescent & glorious Clouds!

Just today at the top of Sanitas Peak overlooking Boulder, CO:

Lots more iridescent & glorious clouds here.

From in front of my apt. in Boulder:

150 MPG SUV blocked from L.A. Auto Show...

...so they set up in front of the L.A. Convention Ctr. This is a plug-in hybrid, using NO gas for the first 40 miles after a charge. So the 150 MPG figure comes from gassless driving 40 miles 7 days a week plus another 40 miles on gas with a very heavy foot getting 20 MPG. (320 miles/2 gallons, and they round it down.) They give several other examples of possible usage at the AFS Trinity website.

The story of how the L.A. Auto Show tried to relegate them to the basement, but not allowing them to use "estimated 150 MPG" on a sign to get people down there, is on Scientific Blogging.