Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for July 6th, 2008


Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 6, 2008

There’s nothing like being falsely accused of website scrubbing by a silly little peer-review-allergic troll who apparently thinks that stubbing his toe while getting the Cheetos out of the cupboard constitutes being added to the Book of Martyrs. (Thanks to co-blogger Charles for catching the little twit in his lies whilst I was busy elsewhere.)

But if Silly Troll Boy wants to talk about scrubbing embarrassing information — or even better, keeping the embarrassing information from being publicly released in the first place — I’m more than happy to oblige.

For instance, we have this little ditty on Smilin’ Tim Pawlenty, the Man Who Would Be Veep:

After more than five years as governor, Tim Pawlenty has filed no records with the state archives, and has been less willing to preserve e-mails and other documents than his predecessor.

While Pawlenty’s decision on archiving would normally matter only to Minnesotans, documents that shed light a governor’s record are typically inspected during a presidential run — and Pawlenty’s name has been mentioned as a possible running mate to Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Pawlenty’s administration cites a 40-year-old Minnesota Supreme Court decision to justify retaining only records of final decisions — not e-mails or paperwork detailing how decisions were made.

Under that policy, many of the e-mails about the Interstate 35W bridge collapse could have been destroyed had they not been ordered preserved by the attorney general.

As the article notes, this policy is in marked contrast with that of former governor Jesse Ventura, who allowed a much broader range of documents to be archived.

Sounds rather like the history of George W. Bush’s Texas driver’s license records. Here’s the deal: In Texas, your whole criminal history is attached to your driver’s license record — and reissuing your driver’s license wipes that slate clean. Seems that journalists in 1999, who were looking up the story of Bush’s arrest for shooting a killdeer in 1994 (which is referenced here among other places), were scrubbed by the expedient of issuing him a new driver’s license number shortly after he became governor and set on his path towards the White House. Except that the scrubbing only covered Texas crimes — his 1976 DUI bust in Maine somehow escaped the Bush Family’s scrubbing machine.


Posted in Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, capitalism as cancer, crimes, rightwing moral cripples, science and medicine, secrecy, Silly Republicans, Tim Pawlenty, tobacco, wrong way to go about it, WTF? | 2 Comments »

There Is No Single Magic Bullet

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 6, 2008

Tucked in the midst of this article on the possible use worldwide of abandoned cropland and pastureland for biofuels are these two interesting sentences:

Sustainable bioenergy is likely to satisfy no more than 10% of the demand in the energy-intensive economies of North America, Europe and Asia. But for some developing countries, notably in Sub-Saharan Africa, the potential exists to supply many times their current energy needs without compromising food supply or destroying forests.

Let’s look at the second sentence first. The problem with assuming that bioenergy alone could support the energy needs of Sub-Saharan Africa is that the people of Sub-Saharan Africa want to live like the people do in the energy-intensive economies of North America, Europe and Asia. Look at how the energy consumption of China has zoomed upward in the last two decades: It wasn’t that long ago when China’s overall energy consumption resembled that of Sub-Saharan Africa. Granted, better attention to energy-efficient technologies would help blunt some of this, but not enough for bioenergy alone to be able to support the undeveloped world’s growing demand for energy.

Now look at the first sentence. “Sustainable bioenergy is likely to satisfy no more than 10% of the demand in the energy-intensive economies of North America, Europe and Asia.” From what I understand, the 10% figure is rather optimistic — 5% or even 3% is more realistic.

Biofuels have their place, but mostly as a way to smooth the transition of America and the world from an oil-based economy to an electricity-based economy where that electricity is generated by wind, solar, wave and geothermal sources. Growing biofuel crops on brownfields is also a good way to clean up the brownfields while providing raw materials for bioenergy. But they can’t shoulder more than a small fraction of our energy load — nor should they.

Posted in energy, environment, renewable energy, world news | 5 Comments »

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