Tuesday, August 29, 2006

General Electric Donates $1 million to MLK Memorial

GE is a great company. And this is a great donation. It puts the memorial fund at $63 million. They need $66 million to obtain a building permit for the $100 million memorial. The 4-acre memorial will be located across the Tidal Basin and north of the FDR Memorial. There will be a 30-foot statue of King in the middle of the memorial. Congress authorized construction of the site in 1996. General Motors, Pepsi, Exxon-Mobil and other large companies have contributed to the memorial.

Obama Plants Tree With Kenyan Environmentalist

Senator Barack Obama took time to plant an olive tree in Uhuru Park in Nairobi with Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. The press if really promoting Obama's opposition to corruption and ethnic divisions. Surely there is more going on there than just those negative items. At least they covered the tree planting. There is plenty of corruption and ethnic divisions right here in America for the press to cover with Obama.

Katrina Anniversary : Self Reliance & Gov't Last Resort

For those of us familiar with government bureaucracy it is not surprising that the hurricane won. Hopefully, victims learned that the government should be the savior of last resort. You have to depend on yourself and the good will of your neighbor. Self reliance and local organizing are the keys to protecting yourself. We still hear whining about the government. Don't depend on government to make you whole. And the limosine liberal celebrities should put their money where their mouth is or shut up and stay away.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco are doing the same thing now that they did right after the hurricane - - fighting. We keep hearing that the Fed authorized $110 billlion for Gulf Coast hurricane relief. If you know government, you know that it is hard to impossible for that money to reach the street. Nagin is complaining that state officials are holding up funding to the city. Blanco is complaining that the city is not properly requesting the money. So just as Blanco was the wrench in the works that delayed the federal rescue of the people at the Super Dome and the Convention Center, she is now holding up the recovery.

Kanye, President Bush went around Blanco, sent in the calvary and evacuated the dome and center in one day. What have you done to help? And don't depend on Bush, Blanco or Nagin to rescue you. Rescue yourself. Don't depend on them to get you home either if you want to return. Get yourself back if it is important to you.

Monday, August 28, 2006

CBC Opposes Offshore Oil Money For New Orleans

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) voted 29 to 9 against the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act (H.R. 4761) to provide for exploration, development, and production activities for mineral resources on the outer Continental Shelf. Louisiana now receives less than 2 percent of royalties from oil and natural gas produced in the Gulf. The Senate and House passed bills that would give Louisiana and other Gulf states more - 37.5 percent under the Senate bill, 50 to 75 percent under the House bill.

If some of the proposed offshore oil royalty money is going to be used for rebuilding New Orleans, particularly the 9th Ward, then the CBC is hurting that effort by voting against the legislation. They will have another chance with the conference report. Maybe they can get a conferee to put a line item in there specifically for the 9th Ward. CBC members voting FOR the measure include: 1) Sanford Bishop (2-GA), 2) ArturDavis (7-AL), 3) Harold Ford, Jr. (9-TN), 4) Al Green (9-TX), 5) Jesse Jackson, Jr. (2-IL), 6) Sheila Jackson-Lee (15-TX) 7) William Jefferson (2-LA), 8) Eddie Bernice Johnson (30-TX), 9) Bennie Thompson (2 MS),.

Blacks Have Poorer Control of _____________Than Whites

Jobs, industry, money, Washington, DC, politics, city violence, education, economy, states, cities, contracts, business opportunities, manufacturing, hurricane evacuation, Hollywood, Wall Street, government, health, families, sex, veneral disease, diabetes, asthma, cancer, high blood pressure, diet, death, environment, energy, news, television, radio, computers, Congress, the presidency, history, New Orleans,

Golf (Tiger is the esception but says he is not black), tennis (Serena, Venus & Arthur Ashe had 15 minutes each), professional basketball ownership, professional football ownership, NASCAR, professional baseball ownership, hockey, Olympics, polo, lacrosse, airlines, (feel free to name those we missed).

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Racial Profiling Environment in the Age of Terrorism

There is extra pressure on blacks to accept the concept of racial profiling related to 'Middle Eastern-looking' people. This acceptance, in the minds of profilers and their enablers, would justify the decades of profiling blacks have endured because of racism and the destructive behavior of our dysfunction tenth. Of course, 911 has upped the ante at airports. So what is our position on profiling 'Middle Eastern-looking' people?

Our position does not matter because they are going to get profiled anyway. Blacks have been profiled, are profiled and will be profiled. Whether it is shopping in a mall store, getting special treatment by an unscrupulous highway patrolman or policeman (we support the police), or by a newspaper reporter, we are going to be profiled in the hope that some dirt will be found on us somewhere or somehow. Even when professionally dressed and well spoken, one's skin color gives a prejudiced person opportunity to subtly or overtly insult. So 'Middle Eastern-looking' people should get used to it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mike Tidwell Says Get Ready for Katrina on the Potomac

Mike Tidwell paints a gloomy picture in a local newspaper about conditions caused by global warming around Washington, D.C. if sea levels rise by 3 feet: "the Mall, Reagan National Airport and much of Alexandria well below sea level." Mr. Tidwell makes the same mistake of ignoring nuclear power as a solution to global warming in his Sunday Washington Post Outlook article, "We're All New Orleanians Now," that he did when he interviewed AAEA President Norris McDonald on his radio show, right. He simply calls for, "switching to hybrid cars and wind and solar powered electricity and high efficiency appliances."

We agree with him on these solutions. But for some illogical reason he cannot accept nuclear power as a viable solution to providing emission free electricity to very large numbers of people 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We love wind and solar, but they simply cannot provide electricity 24/7. And Americans are a demanding species when it comes to their electricity. Mr. Tidwell's recommendation number 3 to, "switch to clean energy as fast as possible," should include fission power. We promote plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions and nuclear power plants as great emission free sources of electricity to recharge the vehicles during off-peak hours. Great article though Mike.

Going Green with God

The Washington Times provides a question and answer piece with Dr. J. Matthew Sleeth, a former physician who has published a new book entitled, "Serve God, Save the Planet." Here is one of the questions: "By fighting global warming, are Christians being forced to stand side by side with non-Christian environmentalists?" Interesting piece. Worth a look.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Spike Lee : When the Levees Broke

Spike took our advice and addressed global warming in the HBO documentary. He also included wetlands and barrier island restoration issues. He did not cover our recommendation to drain Lake Pontchartrain during hurricane season. When we spoke to Spike about the documentary he wanted to use former Vice President Al Gore to comment on global warming if he decided to include the issue. Maybe Gore was busy getting ready to promote his book and movie about global warming.

One commenter actually said the oil companies were "broke" because of Katrina. What rock has he been hiding under? Oil companies made record profits this year. Two or three commenters stated that Louisiana does not receive royalty funds from offshore oil operations. Another commenter said Louisiana would be Saudi Arabia if it seceded from the union. We have some more precise information if you are interested.

A U.S. District Judge turned down Gov Kathleen Blanco's request to block the sale of federal natural gas and oil leases in the western Gulf of Mexico but agreed with Blanco that the federal Minerals Management Service (MMS) did not conduct an adequate environmental impact statement regarding offshore drilling and hurricane damage to Louisiana's coast. Blanco was trying to force the government to give Louisiana a bigger share of the royalties from offshore oil and gas drilling. Louisiana now receives less than 2 percent of royalties from oil and natural gas produced in the Gulf. Royalties are payments to the Interior Department's MMS based on the value at the lease of any natural gas and oil actually produced. (Royalties)

While Blanco was politicking and litigating, the Senate and House passed bills that would give Louisiana and other Gulf states more - 37.5 percent under the Senate bill, 50 to 75 percent under the House bill. The differences will be reconciled in a House/Senate conference committee in September. Ironically, although higher royalty rates for Louisiana would help in rebuilding New Orleans, the Congressional Black Caucus voted against the lesislation.

James Lovelock's New Book : THE REVENGE OF GAIA

Washington Post writer Tim Flannery reviews The Revenge of GAIA: Earth's Climate Crisis & the Fate of Humanity, and captures the heart of James Lovelock's solution to global warming: "...develop nuclear power as swiftly and effectively as possible." (Washington Post Follow Up Article)

Juan Williams Attack on Rev Al Sharpton Unconscionable

Juan Williams attack on Rev Al Sharpton on Bill O'Reilly's show must have been a ploy to sell more copies of his new book, "Enough." And we sure don't mind him making money. It is just a lowdown act to accuse Rev Sharpton of 'marching for money,' particularly as Williams, right, used a single Wall Street Journal article as the source for the accusation. Williams also could not answer why it was wrong for Rev Sharpton to accept contributions from a Republican. It just seems that many people have a bias against black people making money. Juan needs to put in a fraction of the time in solving problems that Rev Sharpton has before he tries to feebly and inaccurately criticize the reverend. What does this have to do with the environment you ask?

When Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and AAEA President Norris McDonald went to meet with Rev Al Sharpton at his Hall of Justice in Harlem in 2002 to ask him to come to Washington, DC to march on Senator Lieberman to move the NO FEAR bill out of his committee, Rev Sharpton agreed to come down, came down and helped to get, "The First Civil Rights Legislation of the 21st Century" passed (photo above left). And he never requested any money. We didn't have any anyway. We wish we could have paid him millions for his historic contribution. Why is there the demand for blacks to be poor to be righteous when everyone else is making money? Rev Sharpton does not even take credit for his historic assistance. Rev Sharpton marches and works for causes because he WANTS TO, period. Oh. And regarding the environment, AAEA provided the environmental justice representaion to the NO FEAR Coalition.

British Petroleum (BP) recently donated $800,000 to the Nature Conservancy and $500,000 to the World Wilflife Fund (Wash Times) and they almost completely ignore black Americans. They avoid hiring any black professionals and not a peep from Mr. Williams about that. He is worried about Rev Sharpton getting $10,000. And isn't Rev Sharpton protesting BP? Get a clue Juan. We usually like your commentary.

Monday, August 21, 2006

NEI Nuclear Notes: Deroy Murdoch on the "No Solutions" Gang

NEI Nuclear Notes: Deroy Murdoch on the "No Solutions" Gang

Columnist Deroy Murdock Praises Fission Plants

Deroy Murdock is a very smart man and a great writer so we are not surprised that he sees the benefits of nuclear power. We also agree with him on the use of DDT to kill malaria mosquitoes in African countries. In fact, we first met him at a Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) conference in New York on the malaria issue. It is gratifying to see so many people and newspapers starting to embrace fission power as a viable energy option. And four years ago AAEA was alone in the nuclear power wilderness and EVERYBODY was telling us we were absolutely crazy.

Murdock is funny in teasing my colleagues in the environmental movement about their NIMBY addiction. It is ironic that blacks are not normally viewed as environmentalists, particularly by traditional environmentalists. AAEA has been operating for 21 years and AAEA president Norris McDonald has been working as an environmentalist for 27 years, but he and we are still not considered to be 'real' environmentalists by many. Yet we believe many of our positions are more environmentally beneficial than most mainstream environmental groups. So thanks for verifying our position on this important energy option Mr. Murdock. Hat Tip: NEI

Iran Uranium Enrichment Fouls Religious Environment

A Shi'ite nuclear bomb poses a doomsday threat to Israel and Sunni Muslims. The U.S. war in Iraq must be accomplishing a certain level of comfort in Iraq because Shia and Sunnis feel comfortable enough to concentrate on fighting each other. The U.S. has created an environment where a power struggle for control of a new, post-Saddam Iraq has developed between Shi'ite Muslims and Sunni Muslims.

Just as Shi'ite Iran supplied Hezbollah with plenty of missiles to attack Israel from Lebanon, they would only need to provide a handful of nukes to devastate Israel. That simply cannot be allowed to happen under any circumstances. Of course Sunni Muslims throughout the Middle East should feel every bit as threatened as Israel because the Shi'ites have equal contempt for them. Osama bin Laden is a devout Sunni Muslim and so were the Islamofascists that attacked New York and the Pentagon. However, the U.S. cannot sit back and hope that the religious wars among Sunni, Shi'ite and Judaism will not also target the Christian West. Unfortunately, a Shi'ite nuke changes everything. And although Shi'ites see Sunnis and Christians as infidels, they might not be above handing a nuke to a bin Laden Sunni nut for use on us.

Iran is also giving commercial nuclear power a bad name by its claim to be enriching uranium for civilian purposes only, when everyone knows better. Although Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), the U.N. Security Council has threatened economic and diplomatic sanctions if their uranium enrichment program is not halted. Of course, a similar U.N. position did not deter Saddam Hussein from being a threat. This situation shows the importance of the Bush Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) because it would eliminate the need for Iran to enrich uranium and would provide them with fission fuel.

If Iran insists on moving forward with its nuclear weapons program, then Sunni, Israeli or U.S. forces will probably be forced to duplicate the Baghdad Osirak facility experience, which was crippled by Israeli aircraft in 1981 in a preemptive strike to prevent Saddam Hussein from using the reactor for the creation of nuclear weapons. (See also: "Iran Rejects Offer For Nuclear Talks," The Washington Post)

Ruben Diaz Takes it to Street at Bronx Morrison St Festival

New York State Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, Jr, left, and his dad, New York State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr, right, rocked, rolled, souled and salsaed the Bronx this past weekend. It was the annual Morrison Street Festival and the Diaz's know how to throw a street party. There were two stages at each end of the street; one Hip Hop and the other for Latino/Hispanic/Puerto Rican entertainment. Diaz, Jr. was MC for the Hip Hop stage and his dad handled the Latin stage. Morrison Street between Westchester and Watson was packed and there was a boxing ring for young amateur boxers in the middle of the street. AAEA had a very unique information table thanks to assistance from the New York Police Department and two cut tree trunks that happened to be nearby. NYPD allowed us to use three crowd barriers to build our table. AAEA signed up new members and shared local and national environmental information with attendees.

The Hip Hop stage entertainment included old-school rap originator Kurtis Blow and the Sugar Hill Gang. Two other young acts included Remy Marten and Neyo. Neyo is more of a singer and really got the crowd excited. The food was incredible. The atmosphere was culturally inspirational. Families with small children were everywhere. Kids were playing basketball and softball between the Morrison Street Festival and the Bruckner Expressway. The newspapers should cover these events because it shows the best in community culture. It reminded us of the Malcolm X Day Festivals organized in Anacostia Park in Washington, DC by founding AAEA Board Chairman Charles Stephenson.

Ruben Diaz is an environmental justice champion for New York. He has sponsored environmental justice workshops in Albany and AAEA has been happy to participate in his events.

Friday, August 18, 2006

U.S. & China Causing Most Climate Change Will Suffer Least

University of Chicago Professor Cass R. Sunstein writes in The Wash Post today that the U.S. and China are the greenhouse gas behemoths but will suffer the least negative consequences of climate change. The prof says Africa and India will suffer most from increases in malaria and premature deaths respectively. His solutions are an appeal to 1) moral obligation and 2) environmental innovations are less expensive and more beneficial to us than projected. Right. Good luck with those appeasls.

First Prof Sunstein, although America is a moral country (see Red States), capitalism trumps morality at the end of the day and the quarter - - at least in the U.S. And although we don't know where Buddhism fits in with China's new and dynamic economic drive, we know both nations will do nothing that slows their economies. Of course, Prof Sunstein is right about innovation.

A combination of hydrogen and electricity producing fission plants and hydrogen fuel cell plug in hybrid electric vehicles (fuel cell-battery hybrid) could make big energy, economic and positive environmental impacts in both countries. Unfortunately, companies are making record profits with traditional fossil fuel and internal combustion engines. And both countries have more coal than they know what to do with. So our pratical solution is ADAPTATION to the changes that will come from climate change.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wash Post Endorses Nuclear Power & Criticizes Waste

The Washington Post endorsed fission power on its editorial page today, but heavily criticized the delay in resolving the fission waste storage and reuse problems. Excellent. It is about time. We have been telling them to get on board for years. The New York Times, The New York Post and other newspapers have already endorsed the technology. The Post states, "Given the environmental and geopolitical disadvantages of dependence on oil, gas and coal, these (nuclear) arguments are persuasive." On the other hand they state, "The federal government needs a foolproof plan to dispose properly of the waste. Otherwise, Americans won't have confidence in nuclear power." The Post was fair and got it right this time.

AAEA has met with Dennis Spurgeon, Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, at the agency to discuss solutions to the waste and recycling delays. DOE has excellent plans for solving these problems, from the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership to the Mixed Oxide (MOX) fabrication facility scheduled for construction in South Carolina.

AAEA also toured the Yucca Mountain storage facility in 2002 and we believe it is an ideal location for storage and reprocessing. Because of the enormity and complexity of the waste issue, we have also called for the creation of a Nuclear Waste Management Agency, whose sole responsibility would be to manage nuclear waste. Legislation is needed for reprocessing anyway and the 2017 opening date for Yucca is too long and could be cut in half, thus assuring the American public and Wall Street.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dikembe Mutombo Helps Build Hospital in Republic of Congo

Dikembe Mutombo, right, the Houston Rockets center, has donated $15 million to build and open a hospital in the Congo. The Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center, named after his late mother, will open on Sept. 2. The 300-bed hospital will provide health care to people in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Mutombo was born. The $29 million hospital and research center will include a pediatric wing, surgery suites and a women's center.

Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson convinced the 7-foot-2 Mutombo to switch his career path from medicine. Mutombo wanted to become a doctor and return to the Congo to practice. He speaks English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and five African dialects. His goal is to get 100,000 people to contribute $10 a month on his website to support the hospital and research. (AP News, CBS Sports, ABC News-picture courtesy Houston Rockets)

Update: Jan 23, 2007 - - President Bush recognized Mutombo's Hospital project during his 2007 State of the Union.

Sony Battery Fires in Dell Laptops Cause Recall

Sony's lithium-ion battery short circuits have caused them to catch fire in Dell Latitude, XPS, Inspiron and Precision laptop computer brands. Dell is recalling 4.1 million laptops that have the batteries and were sold between April 1, 2004 and July 18, 2006. A Dell laptop, left, suddenly exploded into flames at a conference in Japan.

For information contact Dell Battery Program or call (866) 342-0011

Genetically Modified Foods Needed But Caution Justified

The Washington Post reported that a few traditional environmental groups have sued to prevent additional tests of genetically modified (GM) foods in Hawaii. Isn't there a disconnect between mainstream environmental groups implicit support of stem cell research and opposition to GM foods? Of course if you believe that plants and animals are the equals of humans then it probably makes sense. AAEA believes GM foods can provide signficant contributions to feeding the hungry, particularly in certain African and other undeveloped countries, via drought resistant crops. Moreover, new therapeutic drugs can be produced through GM crops. Mainstream enviro groups oppose all GM foods and use every opportunity available to kill the technology. We believe there should be strict regulation and oversight of all GM foods.

The Hawaii experiment involves Agriculture Department (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) permitting of a project using corn and sugar can plants to produce drugs for vaccines against AIDS and hepatitis B. Opposing groups are complaining that the oversight did not include potential impacts on endangered species. It was an open air test on 800 acres on four Hawaiian islands and opposing groups maintain that such tests should remain in laboratories.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Barbara Blum : Banker & Environmentalist Extraordinaire

AAEA celebrates Barbara Blum, right, because she was of great assistance to us in our formative years in the 1980s. AAEA President Norris McDonald first met Blum in 1979 when she was a board member at what is now Friends of the Earth. McDonald directed the Energy Conservation Project in those years. She was invaluable to our early success and we appreciate her attention and time to this day. Thanks Barbara. We love you.

From 1983 to 1998 she was Founder, Chair, President and CEO of the Women's National Bank, later renamed Adams National Bank, the oldest and largest bank then owned and managed by women. Before joining Adams National Bank, Blum was appointed Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

New Director of Dept of Interior Small Business Office

Mark Oliver, left, was appointed Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), U. S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on June 26, 2006, replacing the legendary Bob Faithful. He is committed to ensuring that the DOI provides small business outreach activities that will result in additional contracting opportunities for small, small disadvantaged, woman-owned, HUBZone, service-disabled and veteran-owned small businesses.

Mr. Oliver has over 23 years of experience in public relations, educational, community, and congressional relations, and brings insightful leadership to working with diverse communities. Prior to assuming the responsibilities of the Director, he served as Interior’s Executive Business Management Officer within the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Business Management and Wildland Fire. He assisted in the execution of the budget, finance, small business, wildland fire, acquisition and property.

First Cap & Trade Program Addresses Climate Change

The seven Northeast states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multi-state program to reduce harmful climate-changing emissions from power plants, today released a model set of regulations to be proposed in each state to implement the program. The RGGI States also released an amendment to their December 2005 Memorandum of Understanding.

Under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), seven Northeast states agreed to propose a cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which are a major contributor to global warming. This is the first mandatory cap-and-trade program for CO2 emissions in U.S. history. The states participating in RGGI are: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont. The State of Maryland recently adopted legislation requiringMaryland to join RGGI by June 2007. (More Info)

Monday, August 14, 2006

AIDS in the Sexual Environment

NAACP Chairman Julian Bond discusses AIDS in the Post today. He specifically targets AIDS in the black community. We are glad he did not blame this problem on George Bush or racism because it is strictly a result of personal choices. Bond complains that it has a white image and thus reduces attention and resources for treatment of the disease among blacks. However, as in the case of global warming, there are practical solutions to the problem of AIDS. Some Americans refuse to conform to behaviors that would prevent the disease.

The burning loins of youth are particularly hard to restrain, but the reasonable young mind should realize that sex strictly limited to the institution of a faithful marriage is the best place for sex. The safest place too. Thus, it is better to marry than to burn. So get married and be faithful to your mate. Sexual freedom has led to enormous pain and suffering in America. The Woodstock Nation got this one completely wrong. The black community should just get back to the garden. And if celibacy is too much of a strain, then get married and remain faithful. The AIDS problem will have no effect on you. We know. You say naive. But Nancy Reagon was right and the hippies were wrong. The solution to this problem is really simple. And in a generation it would be solved.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Congressman Al Wynn Should be Proud of Energy Vote

Congressman Al Wynn (D-MD4) voted for the Energy Policy Act of 2005. It was a good vote for his district constituents and for America. It was a good vote for mitigation of global climate change and for improvements in local air quality. It was a good vote for keeping electricity prices low. It was a good vote for reducing our dependence on imported oil. And he does not promote it but he had two amendments approved in the bill to enhance hydrogen production for fuel cells and wind power.

Congressman Wynn has been right on all of our needed local projects, including National Harbor, the Woodrow Wislon Bridge replacement, the Intercounty Connector and the Blue Line Metro to Largo Town Center. Wynn voted against the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act this summer that would authorize additional offshore oil drilling. Prince George's County, as the richest majority black county in the country, is well represented on energy and environmental policies by 4h Congressional District Congressman Albert Wynn.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Mainstream Environmental Groups Love High Gas Prices

AAEA promotes the delivery of adquate energy resources at reasonable prices. The more abundant the resources and the lower the prices, the more effectively and efficiently the economy operates. There is limitless energy in existence. We just need to access and distribute it for the good of humanity. Unfortunately, mainstream environmentalists want to use high energy prices to force conservation. Yet they are not celebrating the current high price of gasoline. Maybe they do not want the public to know about their love for these high prices.

Politicians hate high gasoline prices because they believe, rightfully so, that pain at the pump can get them voted out of office. Moreover, oil companies are the enemy to the left, so this puts traditional environmentalists at odds with their political friends. So traditional mainstream environmental groups (do they really have a desk at the DNC?) have to keep quiet about their joy at the high gasoline prices. They want Americans out of their cars and on buses, trains, subways and bicycles. And they want Americans out of the suburbs and back in inner cities, preferably in highrise apartments and condos. Do they want America to be the old Czechoslovakia? We'll take a pass on their elite vision.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Joe Lieberman on Environment & Civil Rights

Senator Lieberman promoted climate change legislation AAEA supported (McCain/Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act - - we especially loved the fission plant supports in the updated Innovation Act) but he also 'sat-on' the NO FEAR bill for nine months until the NO FEAR Coalition recruited Dick Gregory, Walter Fauntroy, Joe Madison, & Rev Al Sharpton to rally, freedom ride up to the Senate and march on his office. He then did the right thing and passed the legislation out of his Government Operations Committee and the 'First Civil Rights Legislation of the 21st Century' was signed into law by President Bush on May 15, 2002.

Of course Senator Lieberman is obviously a strong supporter of Israel, as is AAEA. He waffled on affirmative action (we'll stop supporting it when racism against blacks ends) but he is also a strong supporter of the war on terrorism, as is AAEA. So we have mixed emotions about Senator Lieberman. It is telling that Rev Jesse Jackson, Rev Al Sharpton & Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) went to Connecticut to work for the Ned Lamont campaign. Of course, they represent the far left wing and we disagree with them on some important social issues. We lean moderate to conservative and Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman, though consumate politicians, are our kind of Democrats (AAEA is aggressively nonpartisan). So good luck Joe.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Alaska Oil Pipeline Shut Down by BP

The oil pipeline that delivers oil from Prudhoe Bay on Alaska's North Slope to Valdez, Alaska in Southern Alaska has been closed for repairs due to corrosion inside the pipes. The loss of the 400,000 barrels per day represents about 2.6 percent of total U.S. oil use (USEIA) and will probably raise gasoline prices at the pump. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which is owned by BP and operated by The Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, runs 800 miles from the top the state to the bottom shore.

It is being reported that corrosion was found in only 16 miles of the pipeline, but could it be possible that the entire line has a problem? Let's hope not. Not as much as Americans love and need to drive. Americans also demand low prices gasoline. It is an election year and voters blame incumbent politicians for high gasoline prices. Politicians know this and they will pass goofy legislation to mollify voters to scare oil companies into lowering prices in the short term. The bottom line is that America has to invest in new sources of oil to keep prices low and the public should start purchasing and demanding alternative tech vehicles so that we are not captive to only oil powered vehicles. (Washington Post article)

Michael Steele Challenges Environment at Baltimore Sun

FROM THE STEELE WEBSITE: "In 2002, The Sun editorial board concluded that I brought 'little to the team but the color of [my] skin.' And although I have spent my years as Lieutenant Governor chairing the Commission on Quality Education, reforming the state's Minority Business Enterprise program, and promoting policies to reduce crime and protect our environment, their attitude toward me and my campaign has progressed little. I am hopeful that the hiring of a new publisher may help shift The Sun toward listening to the views of all Marylanders.

I also encourage the new publisher to increase diversity among the paper's editors and management staff because they are at the heart of what perpetuates these paternalistic and stereotypical attitudes toward certain politicians and leaders from a certain part of the community... " Sincerely, Michael S. Steele

World Trade Center Ground Zero Workers Need Help

Right after the first responders were shown on television working the rubble pile, we winced because we saw them working without respirators. We knew that all of those Ground Zero workers would end up with breathing problems. Of course, our perception is tempered by the fact that it is really hard, if not impossible, to work hard in a respirator, particularly when it is hot. However, we knew that the dust at and near the site contained every conceivable toxic particle known to man. The WTC site contained atomized concrete, glass fibers, lead dust, asbestos fibers, aluminum, titanium, iron, copper and other toxins. AAEA president Norris McDonald is acutely sensitive to the frustrations of lung dyfunction because he is a chronic asthmatic and has almost died twice from severe asthma episodes.

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is s particularly vicious result of breathing in toxic particles and is showing up among WTC post 911 workers. ILD results when the body fights foreign particles with an immune system reaction that surrounds the particles with cells that eventually irreversibly scar lung tissues and prevent the lungs from extracting oxygen from the air and releasing carbon dioxide from the lungs. Unfortunately, unlike asthma, ILD is not reversible and the patient usually dies from respiratory failure.

The follow-up monitoring system for tracking Ground Zero workers is woefully inadequate. Moreover, federal state and local officials are not doing everything they can to assist these brave first responders and Ground Zero workers now suffering from lung dysfunction. It is a great tragedy for a vigorous person to develop reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS), an irritant-induced asthma. Although RADS is bad, ILD is a death sentence. AAEA will work to assure that Ground Zero workers receive the compensation and treatment they need. (Interstice - a space that intervenes between things) (More info 212-241-3355)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Prejudice Against the Chinese Mitten Crab?

Could it be that there is an irrational prejudice (isn't prejudice irrational anyway) against the Chinese Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis). We have looked into it and it is banned and illegal here. Could this be crustaceocentrism (our word)? Now if the CMC posed a threat to the indigenous blue crab in the Chesapeake Bay, then we would support the ban. However, nothing we read about the CMC differentiated it from the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab except its size. It is bigger

According to an AP report a single mature male CMC was caught in the bay and you would think it was a young black male in Georgetown after midnight. The report said that the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is 'monitoring the situation.' We just hope one of their officers does not say that it is 'unusual for a Chinese Mitten Crab to be among the blue crabs in the bay.' Although the crustacean is considered to be a delicacy in China, prized for aphrodisiac qualities of the female crab's ovaries, it is being shunned here. And although our Blue Crabs bury themselves in sediment and banks, it appears to be held against the CMC. Heaven forbid there might be some intermixing between Chinese Mitten Crabs and Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs. (Washington Post article)

AAEA Loves ExxonMobil & Other Oil Company Profits

Hooray for U.S. oil company profits. Hopefully it will help bring the price of gasoline back down so that the American economic engine can continue to run smoothly. We also need to bring those hydrogen fuel cell plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on line as soon as possible. The oil is under ground and ocean so we guess humans should use it. But it does create huge quantities of greenhouse gases when burned in our vehicles so a transition to hybrid electrics sooner than later would be appreciated by our atmosphere. But back to BIG OIL.

We shouldn't holler when a big oil company makes $10 billion in profits in a quarter. Not only do they have to reinvest that money back into exploration and development, our adversaries in Iran and Venezuela are reaping even larger profits. And let's not even talk about Saudi Arabia and OPEC profits. Some idiots here don't want us to drill anywhere new and also oppose increasing imports from Middle Eastern countries. Well now there is a prescription for higher prices. We oppose using high prices as a conservation tool because it will ruin the American economy and hurt the middle and lower classes. Technology exists to solve our oil and emissions problems. So allow BIG OIL its profits so that it can power the American engine until we replace oil burners with those that emit water vapor.

Outer Space Environment : Atmosphere or Moon and Mars

Almost three years ago, President Bush announced that he wanted the U.S. to return to the Moon and explore Mars. So the Bush administration is diverting some of the earth science research budget used for climate monitoring to Moon and planetary space exploration. NASA is uniquely qualified to conduct climate monitoring and will continue to do so with its network of satellites. And the administration has increased funding for climate studies at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Of course, if one accepts climate change as a foregone conclusion, then how much more study is needed? We should be pursuing solutions and low-earth orbit monitoring should be used to quantify improvements.

America lost its space lust after we landed on the Moon (except for movies). Instead of being impressed over time, the public response has been, so what? Young people do not seem to care at all. Although low earth orbit research has its practical applications, humans seem to relish adventure. And there is nothing more adventurous than venturing out to the Moon and the planets. The Space Shuttle has not generated much excitement and the tragedies have hurt the program. The International Space Station is not generating much interest from the general public. Although the earth was created specifically for humans, establishing research and development stations on the Moon and Mars would probably be very exciting to a global public.

Environmental Racism

Whites are tired of hearing about racism and blacks are tired of experiencing it. Yet it is there and we all know it. Webster's says racism is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. It is quite the confounding variable when injected into the complex social, cultural, physical, chemical and biotic factors that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determines its form and survival. Survival of the fittest tends to leave more pollution in the weaker community.

When racism is injected into the movement to control pollution, it takes on the same dysfunctional qualites as when it follows any other area (economic, business, media, sports, ad nauseum -- pick one). It is beyond the capacity of humans, and Americans, to solve racism. Thus the environmental brand is probably intractable, just like climate change. Of course Martin Luther King, Jr. would be proud of some of the progress made in race relations. Yet black-on-black murder and disproportionate environmental impacts generated by environmental racism would clearly be challenges to him today.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Environmental Justice

Webster's defines 'environment' and 'environmentalism' as the aggregate of social and cultural conditions that influence the life of an individual or commmunity and advocacy of the preservation or improvement of the natural environment. "Justice' is the impartial resolution of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments. It is beyond the capability of humans, and Americans, to impartially influence the lives of individuals and to be impartial in resolving conflicting environmental claims. Moreover, this Darwinian inclination creates a natural order that leads to disproportionate environmental impacts.

There is a black side of town and a white side of town in virtually every city in the U.S. Capitalism requires cordial workplace cooperation to comfortably gernerate incomes and profits. The black community will have to figure out how to clean up pollution in its own communities or decide to settle in alternative geographical areas. All Americans have a vested interest because the black community is as American as apple pie. Intracommunity dysfunction is meting serious internal punishments while external indifference renders itself irrelevant to the situation. We must achieve improvements in our natural, cultural and social environments through the application of practical solutions. Environmental justice will come from our hearts, heads and hands.

Federal Risk Insurance Rules For New Fission Power Plants

The Department of Energy (DOE) today announced completion of the final rule that establishes the process for utility companies building the next six new nuclear power plants in the U.S. to qualify for a portion of $2 billion in federal risk insurance. This risk insurance, authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, protects companies that take the risk of attempting to build a new fission plant from regulatory and litigation related delays that could delay start-up. Up to $500 million in coverage is available for the initial two plants for which construction is started and up to $250 million is available for the next four plants.

Events that would be covered by the risk insurance include delays associated with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s reviews of inspections, tests, analyses and acceptance criteria or other licensing schedule delays as well as certain delays associated with litigation in federal, state or tribal courts. Insurance coverage is not available for normal business risks such as employment strikes and weather delays. Covered losses would include principal and interest on debt and losses resulting from the purchase of replacement power to satisfy contractual obligations. (DOE Press Release) (Reg Link Coming)

The White House Internship Program

The White House Internship Program offers an excellent opportunity to serve our President and explore public service. They are seeking exceptional candidates to apply for this highly competitive program. In addition to typical office duties, interns attend weekly lectures, tours, and complete an intern service project.

Interns may serve a term in the Fall, Spring or Summer. Every candidate must be a U.S. citizen, enrolled in a college or university, and at least 18 years of age.

An application and additional information about the program can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/wh-intern.html.

Strong applications exhibit:

· sound academic credentials
· a history of community involvement and leadership
· solid verbal/written communication skills
· a demonstrated interest in public service

Applications should be submitted before the following deadlines:

· October 13, 2006 for SPRING 2007 — (January 9 to May 11, 2007)
· March 6, 2007 for SUMMER 2007 — (May 22 to August 24, 2007)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Senator Pete Domenici Promotes Yucca Mountain

The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee held a hearing today on the chairman's bill to enhance the licensing prospects of Yucca Mountain, designated by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 as the underground repository for the storage of nuclear waste. The Nuclear Fuel Management and Disposal Act (S. 2589) is a bill to enhance the management and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, to ensure protection of public health and safety, and to ensure the territorial integrity and security of the repository at Yucca Mountain.

Edward Sproat, Director of DOE's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, testified that Yucca Mountain will not meet the 2017 opening date without passage of this legislation. The Department of Energy also wants to expand the capacity at Yucca from 70,000 metric tons to 120,000 metric tons. Mr. Sproat also discussed a land withdrawal proposal, water rights issues related to the project and utilizing funds from the Nuclear Waste Fund to pay for infrastructure (roads, water systems, electric systems). (More from NEI) (NEI Update)

AAEA is frustrated by the delays in getting Yucca opened and operating. The original opening date was supposed to be 1998 and now it is 2017. DOE expects to file the permit application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in June 2008. These delays and other considerations led AAEA to form the Nuclear Fuels Recycling Coalition to take the management of nuclear waste out of DOE and transfer responsibilities to a Nuclear Waste Management Agency. We believe concentrating fission waste responsibilties in a single agency could speed up the opening date of Yucca Mountain and provide a structure for managing reprocessing facilities. (Photo: AAEA President Norris McDonald & Senator Pete Domenici)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Nigeria Wants Commercial Nuclear Power Plants

President Olusegun Obasanjo has established the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) in order to acquire civilian nuclear technology for peaceful applications. Hopefully Nigeria will pursue an aggressive program of building commercial fission plants to produce electricity throughout the country. President Obasanjo has stated that Nigeria is committed to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. There is only one nuclear power plant on the entire continent of Africa and it is located in South Africa.

AAEA has been promoting fission power for African countries, particularly Nigeria, where we opened an office in Lagos a little over a year ago. We have been discussing the feasibility of establishing the equivalent of a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in different African countries to facilitate fission plant commercialization. The announcement by President Obasanjo is a good sign that the Nigerian government is prepared to engage fission power. (Hat Tip: Blackelectorate & All Africa. com)

Clinton & Gore Did Nothing on Climate For 8 Years

We would like to think that the current urgency created by increasing scientific and empirical evidence supporting man-influenced climate change is motivating former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore to aggressively promote mitigation initiatives now that they are out of power. However, we suspect that the upcoming mid-term elections combined with public attention on the 2006 summer heat wave is more likely the motivator. Politics rules.

Now Bill Clinton has a Clinton Climate Initiative that includes a Bush-like voluntary plan to reduce greenhouse gases in 22 cities worldwide. Al Gore has written another book and released a movie on climate change. Yet when they ruled the most powerful nation on Earth they did absolutely nothing on climate change. They would not even submit the Kyoto Protocol Treaty to the Senate for ratification because they knew it would fail. But they could at least have made the effort. (Washington Post article)

Environmental Conditions Equal at Black & White Graveyards

AAEA's preliminary environmental assessment shows that air, water, land and toxics issues are equal for occupants at graveyards in black and white communities. Every American city has black and white communities and corresponding graveyards. Not only were no disproportionate negative environmental impacts found between graveyards but no disproportionate consequences for interment representatives were found between individual black and white graves. There were esthetic landscaping and stone designation size differences but those variables are irrelevant. Although there are different cultural and religious beliefs about the status or destination of the designated populations of the study, there is no dispute about the ultimate 'return to dirt' conditions of occupants. Embalming has no roots in Christian religion and is common only in the U.S. and Canada. Embalming is considered a desecration of the body by orthodox Jewish and Muslim religions.

It does not matter whether steel vault, pine box or cloth enclosure is utilized for interment; our analysis found no discernible qualitative preservation difference. We found no significant groundwater contamination from embalming fluid preservatives between either community sites. Embalming chemicals are highly toxic and embalming fluid is a compound of formaldehyde, methanol, ethanol and other solvents. The percentage of formaldehyde in embalming fluid ranges from 5 to 29 percent and the ethanol content ranges from 9 to 56 percent. Effects from exposure to embalming fluid include: bronchitis, body tissue destruction, brain damage, lung damage, impaired coordination, and inflammation and sores in the throat, nose, and esophagus. It is extremely carcinogenic. Our study did not examine recycling the fluid. We also did not study the percentage differences of chemicals in the fluids used for whites compared to blacks. We concluded that it made no difference.

Embalming is rarely required by law. The Federal Trade Commission requires that funeral directors inform consumers that embalming is not required except in certain special cases. Embalming provides no public health benefit, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Embalmers are required by OSHA to wear a respirator and full-body covering while embalming. Funeral home effluent, however, is not regulated, and waste is flushed into the common sewer system or septic tank. Embalming increases the price of burial by as much as $3,000 or more and could present some disproportionate financial impact along racial lines, but that is a consumer choice. Contributing Source: Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross inQuestions and Answers on Death and Dying

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New York's Mayor Bloomberg Confused on Electricity

It was just a month ago that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said New York did not need a new electricity generating power plant until 2012. It blew our minds because we know better, but now hizzoner is asking New Yorkers to conserve electricity. Which is it Mr. Mayor? Either there is enough electricity or there isn't. By our estimates New York needs the equivalent of 5-10 large power plants by 2012. And they all do not need to be built in minority communities.

New York is in really bad shape regarding reliable electricity delivery. The state does not even have a utility licensing law. It expired years ago and the legislature is incapable of authorizing a new permitting law. Moreover, 80% of New York City's electricity has to come from within the city limits and nobody wants a plant in their backyard. And sticking the blacks with all of them will not fly in the age of environmental justcie. We're not NIMBYs at AAEA but we believe there should be an equitable distribution of the plants in the five boroughs.

Computer Environment Changing Faster Than Nature

Remember the double floppy disk drives and five and a quarter inch floppy disks? In 1981 there were no hard drives and internet. Now 25 years later the changes are so rapid it is hard to keep up. Even Bill Gates decided to get off the software treadmill and pursue humanitarian causes. Now we have RSS feedburners, Web Logs (Blogs), iPods, PlayStations and Skype global computer telephone calling. We can now TiVo our WebTV while simultaneously watching multiple 24-hour news channels. We can sit at our desks and 'Google' search information on any topic and get tons of instant information that just a few years ago took weeks, months or years to accumulate. Whew.

We are getting accustomed to people seemingly walking around talking to themselves thanks to the Blue Tooth and Blackberries can keep you wired to emails and websites around the clock. Could the Borg from Star Trek be far behind? So it amazes us when one of our environmental colleagues talks about energy conservation while using every gadget imaginable at home and in the office. Americans are gadget crazed and cannot get enough. Our world has become virtual and our children no longer play outside. This virtual world has removed us from Mother Nature but has it made us better people?

White NWF President Ignores Black NWF Chairman

The very first article on our Blog in March 2005 was about the National Wildlife Federation electing a black person as its chairman, a revolutionary event in the highly segregated environmental community. Unfortunately, it appears that the new chairman carries little influence with the president of the organization. A simple request from the chairman to the organization president to complete a 10-question diversity survey is being ignored. Just because there is a person that looks like you at the top, if you are a minority, doesn't necessarily mean it will help more of those same types of people. In fact, sometimes things get worse. Former EPA Administrator Carol Browner sure wasn't helpful to Marsha Coleman Adebayo.

AAEA made a request to the National Wildlife Federation to fill out our Diversity Survey several years ago and again several months ago. Not surprisingly our request was ignored several years ago by former NWF president Mark Van Putten and is being ignored by current president Larry Schweiger. The difference this time though is that we also made the request to Jerome Ringo, above left, NWF's black chairman elected in 2005. Mr. Ringo asked Larry to take care of it and he was ignored. We have yet to receive a reply to our 10 simple questions about diversity at NWF. Are they utilizing the unwritten 'one black (professional) rule?' We do not know, and our audience does not know, because they will not answer our survey.

Twenty of twenty five environmental groups have refused to complete the Diversity Survey for our Diversity Report. We know the tricky hoops Jerome had to jump through to get the chairmanship. However, Ringo perservered and his persistence paid off. Don't sweat it Jerome. Mike Espy didn't change a certain culture at the Department of Agriculture either. Just ask the small black farmers around the country. And these interesting events at EPA and Agriculture occurred under the first so called 'black president.' Epilogue: NWF will not complete the survey and AAEA will probably be vilified for asking (more likely ignored).

NAT'IONAL BLACK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SHOWS PATTERN

Is Merrill Lynch a Racist Institution: Here is a Fortune 100 company that has a Black CEO, Stan O’Neal. It also gives handsomely to Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Wall St. Project in the name of diversity. However, with little investigation you find a long history of racial upheaval within the walls of this company. Recently, the company settled a lawsuit by Black players of the National Basketball Association. They appeared to have a “Black rate” for investors from the NBA that was significantly higher than their normal market rate. Currently, there is a class action lawsuit filed and supported by over 100 current or past Black brokers against this curious corporation.