Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Constellation Submits Application For New Nuclear Plant

Constellation Energy Group has filed the environmental report portion of a Combined Operating License application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to build a 1,600-megawatt reactor at a location adjacent to the current Calvert Cliffs site in Lusby, Maryland. This is the equivalent of two large plants. The two reactors currently at the site went into operation in 1975 and 1977 and are located about 50 miles southeast of Washington, DC. Total application development and processing costs for a COL can be as high as $100 million. The NRC technical review could last 36-42 months and includes public hearings. It then takes at least 7 years to construct a plant. We have to figure out a way to speed up this process and reduce the cost. Current estimates of plant construction costs are approximately $4 billion. Again, this is the equivalent of two large plants so the average cost of one plant will hopefully be around $2 billion.

On July 20 Constellation and Electricite de France (EdF) announced their intent to form a joint venture. Upon successful completion of the deal, EdF will make an initial investment of $350 million and will invest up to $275 million later to develop nuclear plants in the U.S. and Canada. EdF is the largest electricity producer in Europe. It has operated 58 nuclear plants for more than 20 years. AAEA supports this project. The Wahington Post got some of its information wrong. We talked to Constellation so get your facts here. (Wash Post)

Constellation Submits Application For New Nuclear Plant

Constellation Energy Group has filed an environmental review application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to build a 1,600-megawatt reactor at the current Calvert Cliffs site in Lusby, Maryland. The two reactors currently at the site went into operation in 1975 and 1977 and are located about 50 miles southeast of Washington, DC. Application processing costs can be as high as $100 million. The NRC technical review could last 2 1/2 years, followed by another year for hearings. It then takes at least 7 years to construct a plant. We have to figure out a way to speed up this process and reduce the cost. Estimates of plant construction costs range from $1 -$4 billion.

Unlike other utilities that have submitted Early Site Permit and Combined Operating License (COL) applications that allow utilities to get permission to build without actually making the decision to build, the Constellation application is a direct build application. This is a very bold move. It is probably because of the competition among utilities to qualify for the significant benefits included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. To date, four other companies have asked for early site permits from the NRC, and two have been approved.

Constellation has an agreement with Electricite de France (EdF), which will make an initial investment of $350 million in a joint venture and invest up to $275 million later to develop nuclear plants in the U.S. and Canada. EDF is the largest electricity producer in Europe. It has operated 58 nuclear plants for more than 20 years. AAEA supports this project. (Wash Post)

Blog for Innovation in Community and Environmental Planning

Blog for Innovation in Community and Environmental Planning (BICEP) is a resource for news, research, and discussion on local level community development and environmental issues. The BICEP advocates modern research and implementation of best practices in land use/environmental planning and policy.

BICEP was created by George Jackson, left. Jackson has worked at the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program where he provided managed communication with other partners in the program. He also worked at the Michigan Groundwater Stewardship Program where he assisted citizens with the completion of environmental awareness tools and served as a local resource to help citizens find locally specific information necessary to make smart decisions concerning environmental protection. He currently works as a development associate at American Rivers.

Monday, July 30, 2007

AAEA Offers 'Authentic Black' Certificates

Barack Obama's 'blackness' was questioned (again) at the recent CNN/YouTube Democratic presidential debate. A YouTuber asked if Senator Obama was 'authentically black enough.' While others debate this isse, AAEA has solved the problem. We have developed objective criteria for establishing one's black authenticity. We have sent Senator Obama his certificate. You too can certify your status by answering the simple quetions below. If you qualify, email us for your office certificate today. Frame it and proudly display it to eliminate those pesky questions.

Please answer the questions below with a 'yes' or a 'no' to describe yourself. If you qualify, we will send you a certificate upon your request. You will have to provide your own frame.

1. Articulate
2. Educated
3. Aspire to be middle-class or higher
4. Dress well
5. Pious
6. Polite
7. Neat
8. Organized
9. Generous
10. Kind

If you answered 'yes' to at least 7 of the questions, then you are an Authentic Black. To order your certificate click HERE. Leave you address and the certificate will be mailed to you.

Congressman Wynn Gets Funds For Anacostia River

Congressman Wynn successfully secured funding for the State of Maryland in the FY08 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill passed by the House of Representatives, which provides $500,000 in Federal funding for development of a comprehensive plan to clean up the Anacostia River and its tributaries. Thank you Congressman Wynn.

AAEA has a long history of working to protect the Anacostia River. Our president has worked directly with the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (Anacostia Watershed work) and Seafarer's Yacht Club, where he served on the board of directors for years. We have sponsored numerous boat and pollution tours, creek walks. litter clean ups and other activities. It is a massive job that includes clean up of the tributaries in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties. Poison runoff from these counties and Washington, DC provides a toxic mix for the main part of the river.

President's Corner: Metro - - Stop Killing Innocent Birds

By Norris McDonald. Stop killing the sparrows and starlings at Metro stations. Metro is just being lazy. Admittedly the bird droppings should not be spread all over the Metro transit system but slaughtering the birds during off hours is a brutal practice that should be stopped immediately. Modify that contract killers agreement to include a thorough washing where the birds congregate.

And I have to play the race card: is this practice just in Black areas? It is being reported that the stations were in DC and stations in Prince George's County. We will have to cry fowl (foul) if environmenal injustice is being practiced in addition to senseless bird slaughter. I love sparrows and starlings. My backyard bird feeder welcomes all types of perching birds all day long.

This is just one more instance of government insensitivity when it comes to fowl. They wanted to shoot the Mute Swans in the Chesapeake Bay. They want to shoot the Canadian Geese at Langston Golf Course. Now poisoning at Metro stations. This pattern and practice of human brutality, notwithstanding the great service my frat brother Jim Perdue provides, must stop. Although we have human concerns, unlike PETA's obsession with Michael Vick, we will spend some time defending our defsnseless feathered friends. Stop the madness. Get a water hose. (Wash Post)

Black Community Needs George Bush Led Black Panther Party

The recent weekend shooting of 7 people, including a 3 year old, in our Nation's Capital illustrates that the situation is so grave that extreme measures are needed to solve this problem. The shooting, in a public housing complex, happened on the same weekend the police presence was high as part of the "All Hands on Deck," a summer crime fighting plan that made 3,300 officers available to work two eight hour shifts this weekend. Even the capable Mayor Fenty, who is the best beat cop in the city said, "the initiative wasn't a failure...but there's no way in the world we're going to eliminate all crime, especially when people are this brazen."

Love him or hate him, the USA has not been attacked again since 911. Not a scratch. Not even bad language to us infidels. And though former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld got in trouble for saying it, more people are killed in our inner cities each year than our total losses in Iraq to date. Somebody needs to engage the Iraq-like inner city Jihadists murdering our brethren. We need George Bush and The Black Panther Party patrolling the hood. If Huey were alive that would be even better, but he is not with us. Evidently Bush is the Newton of terrorism. And the Black Community is being terrorized right now. The Panthers policed up a threat to our community in Oakland and many other cities when it was needed. Now there is a new threat and we need a new entity to police it. This threat is among us and it is the environmental equivalent of global warming. It is the most important environmenal issue facing the Black Community today. (Wash Post)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

CBC Gets $100 million for Black Farmer Discrimination

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) persuaded the House to add $100 million to The Farm Bill (H.R. 2419) to help the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) settle discrimination lawsuits filed by African American farmers. No matter which way we turn, racism stands in the way of full participation in the American dream by all its citizens. This unique sickness leads to inefficiencies wherever it is exercised. The American South is still trying to catch up with the rest of the country because it practiced the sickness more and for a much longer time period than other areas. Kudos CBC.

The House passed the 741 page $286 billion farm bill by a vote of 231 to 191 with 19 Republicans joining 212 Democrats in favor. It increases spending for grassland preservation wildlife habitat and mandates a study of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, $212.5 million over five years for programs to clean up the Bay, and $292 million for which bay states will be eligible. The bill includes new credits and loan guarantees for biofuels produced from grasses and biomass.. It updates the food stamp program by increasing the minimum benefit and indexing benefits to inflation. It includes more money for food stamps ($4 billion increase), more than $30 billion a year, than for farmers. It ends the subsidy payments to farmers earning more than $1 million a year. It includes $840 million for an international food aid program (Wash Post, Florida Herald Tribune, Balt Sun,)

Political Environment: Ethnicity, Race & Gender

Why isn't Bill Richardson getting more support? Governor and the best background of any candidate in the Democratic field. Barack Obama has to avoid being (too) black. Yet on the Republican side it does not appear that they have to avoid being (too) white. We know what too black is but what is too white? Hillary Clinton can't be a woman. And media pundits say the only reason blacks like her is because of her husband. Those innocent child like blacks clearly cannot like her because of who she is (blame Bill for the dnagling 'is.')

Some cross pollination is happening though (but not so much for Richardson). Bob Johnson and Maya Angelou support Clinton. George Clooney and Matt Damon support Obama. This dynamic is good for America. Because Obama can't be black, Hillary is trying to drive a truck through that opening. A good example is her recent sponsorship of a hearing on Environmental Justice before the Senate environment subcommittee she chairs. Obama on the other hand is giving the Clinton machine a run for its money (pun intended) in campaign contributions. He is actually raising more money than her. Congressman Charles Rangel was the top money maker in the Congressional Black Caucus until Obama. Isn't America a great country? And remember, the African American community is as American as apple pie. And if you don't believe that just keep your eyes on the South Carolina primary.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Ike Leggett Pledges To Fight Global Warming

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and council have adopted the Cool Counties Climate Stabilization Declaration that was launched at the National Assocaition of Counties annual converntion. The declaration asks the federal government to adopt legislation requiring an 80 percent emissions reduction by 2050 and raising fuel economy standards to 35 miles per gallon within a decade.

The Cool Counties Climate Stabilization Declaration calls on participants to: 1) Create an inventory of county government greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 2) implement GHG reductions recommended by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives Cities for Climate Protection program. 3) Develop a regional plan to reduce GHG emissions. 4) Urge Congress to enact legislation to reduce GHG emissions. (District Chronicles)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hillary Clinton is Not Agnostic On Nuclear Power

Agnostic: Noncommittal. Undogmatic. The New York Senator said she was agnostic on nuclear power at the CNN/YouTube presidential debate. This could not be true because she opposes Yucca Mountain and is pushing for hearings to cancel the project. No Yucca Mountain. No new nuclear power plants. That sounds anti-nuclear to us.

Our fearless leader has been on top of and inside of Yucca Mountain, pictured at left. It is the place to store nuclear waste. It is probably the place to reprocess spent fuel. And how can one be serious about mitigating climate change without promoting emission free nuke power? Beats us. Senator Barack Obama is ahead of Senator Clinton on this issue, unless he starts backpedaling to win the Nevada primary. George Bush supported Yucca and still beat Kerry in Nevada. Hmmmm.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Clinton Flanking Obama on Environmental Justice?

Senator Hillary Clinton appears to be taking a leadership role on environmental justice (EJ). And it was just two years ago that Clinton and Obama were holding hands on EJ when they introduced the Healthy Communities Act of 2005 together. Now it appears that the gloves are coming off after the CNN/YouTube debate. Senator Obama must walk carefully around 'black' issues so that he will not alienate his white voter base (they don't want him to be 'too' black like Jesse and Al). Hillary does not have that problem, although she is similarly encumbered by the female issue.

Senator Clinton is chairing a hearing entitled, "Oversight of the EPA's Environmental Justice Programs," Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health. hearing entitled, “Oversight of the EPA’s Environmental Justice Programs." EPA, academicians and activists will present testimony. There will also be some coverage of an environmental justice bill introduced by Congressman Hilda Solis. AAEA is shopping a bill with teeth. The Solis bill basically codifies Bill Clinton's Executive Order 12898. (Clinton Press Release)

Okay Barack. You gonna dance or let Hillary have the floor?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

CNN/YouTube Presidential Debate Addresses Nuclear Power

One YouTube questioner asked about nuclear power and three of the Democratic Party candidates answered the question:

John Edwards answered that he opposes nuclear power.

Hillary Clinton said she was "agnostic" on nuclear.

Barack Obama said he supports nuclear power.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Blacks and The Farm Bill

The Farm Bill Extension Act of 2007 (H.R. 2419) is vitally important to the African American community. But are Blacks aware of the importance of this legislation? Should Blacks even care about farm issues? Blacks bolted from the fields as soon as possible in the 40s, 50s and 60s to escape a backwards, racist agricultural system. Tenant farming, so called "sharecropping," simply did not appeal to Blacks. And rightfully so, it was a brutal variation on the 'master-slave' model of Southern agriculture. Fast forward to the 21st Century. Not only did Blacks not profit from hundreds of years of free farm labor, now African Amricans get little of the billions of dollars in farm supports delivered by The Farm Bill.

WARNING: We have a 'no whining' policy at AAEA and this is getting awefully close.

Between the Black flight from the farm and the constraints to support from The Farm Bill, it is not surprising that Blacks are largely not involved in farming anymore, except at the very samll family farming level. The loss of black farm land is also well documented. So what does this mean for the African American community? It means that Blacks do not own the keys to food production, just as Blacks own no part of the energy production assets in the USA. Somebody should be feeling vulnerable.

AAEA is particularly interested in the energy programs supported by The Farm Bill. We are promoting aggressive support for cellulosic ethanol production instead of corn kernel production because the former will not increase food prices. Cellulosic ethanol is also addressed in The Energy Bill (H.R. 6) and calls for 20 billion of the 36 billion gallons of ethanol to be produced from cellulose. We need more support for cellulosic ethanol production and mechanisms to include more minority participation in this development. We are also working to include more support for other alternative energy technologies.

Black universities could be the key to a renaissance in black participation in 21st Century farming. Farming now includes energy, air and global warming issues. Black colleges that receive funds from The Farm Bill are known as 1890s, a short term for the 1890 Second Morrill Act, which allowed federal funds to support agriculture programs at Black colleges. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were also 'land grant' institutions in the first half of the 20th Century. Some 1890 schools include Tuskegee University in Alabama, Florida A&M, South Carolina State Univ, Southern Univ and Prairie View A&M Univ. A&T State University is a land grant college. We need more funding for these schools to support their land grant operations and their agricultural and cooperative extension programs. (The Washington Afro-American, July 14, 2007)

Farm Subsidies Favor Whites (What Else Is New?)

The Farm Bill

The Farm Bill Extension Act of 2007 (HR 2419) seeks to assure that Americans have access to a safe, secure and inexpensive food supply, safety net for farmers and ranchers, support for nutrition programs, encourage environmentally friendly conservation programs, support agriculturally based renewable energy designed to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The current Farm Bill provisions will expire on September 30.

The Farm Bill is up for reauthorization every 5 years and if passd current provisions apply until 2012. Under the current bill $80 billion would go to price guarantees, income supports, disaster payments and other benefits for farmers over 10 years. About $690 billion would go to food stamps, child nutrition, conservation, agricultural research, rural development, and bio-fuel research and development.

Collin C. Peterson (D-Minn) is Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and he introduced the bill. Mike Johanns is Secretary of Agriculture and his agency administers the provisions of the bill.

The Farm Bill represents a huge part of the federal budget. It also applies to one of our fundamentsl necessities, food. A consistent complaint about this program is that most of the subsitides go to the wealthiest farmers and few resources go to small and disadvantaged farmers. Reformers are battling with traditionals over these farm subsidies. AAEA has a very particular interst in support for minority farmers. Historically Black College & Universities inclusion and energy programs.

The 7 Commandments of Al Gore

When Al Gore came down from the 7707 Live Earth mountaintop he brought two tablets with seven 'suggestions.' The Live Earth Pledge:

1. To demand that my country join an international treaty within the next 2 years that cuts global warming pollution by 90% in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy earth;
2. To take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2 pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to become "carbon neutral;"
3. To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2;
4. To work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my home, workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;
5. To fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on oil and coal;
6. To plant new trees and to join with others in preserving and protecting forests; and,
7. To buy from businesses and support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable, just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Back When Blacks Wanted to be White

The Afro American newspaper is featuring a history section to show the ads for skin lightening and hair straightening products it ran 60 years ago. Black women are still straightening their hair. We cannot figure out why. Mostly it looks artificial and horrible when it is fried. Put down that hot comb. Go natural. Black men used to 'conk' their hair too. It looked completely ridiculous. Now many shave their heads to hide the peas. Of course, the new twist look is cool.

You must read this stuff. Remember Madame C.J. Walker? She got rich back in the 50's selling hair grease. AAEA once ran a calculation of how much oil was used on black hair in a given year. Many of the greaases and relaxers are petroleum-based. It was some really high number. Of course, we are Negro Naturalists at AAEA and we strongly encourage all of our members and associates to 'be natural.' We encourage our white members and colleagues to avoid too much tanning and completely avoid collagen injections. Go to the link and check out this sad history.

Laura Richardson To Replace Juanita Millender-McDonald

Assemblywoman Laura Richardson, left, won the Democratic Party primary for the 37th Congressional District of California on June 27 and the general election should be a walk over. Richardson defeated State Sen. Jenny Oropeza, 37.8 percent to 31.1, respectively. Richardson is the assistant speaker pro tem of the Assembly and will continue to work in that capacity until she is sworn into Congress, which will likely be early September. (Afro American Newspaper)

Congressional Black Caucus Hires New Director

Dr. Joe Leonard, left, has been hired as the new Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). In this newly created position, he runs the daily operations of the CBC from the Rayburn House Office Building. The CBC is different from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, which sponsors the annual legislative weekend in September. Dr. Elsie Scott, right, is the President of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Dr. Leonard was the executive director of the Black Leadership Forum. Leonard, 40, is a native of Austin, Texas. He is a graduate of Huston-Tillotson University and became a school teacher in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Leonard also earned a master's degree in history at Southern University and his doctorate in 2004 from Howard University. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity. (Afro American Newspaper)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Congressman Wynn Supports More Green For Environment

Congressman Albert Wynn (D-MD), Chair of the Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee, joined his colleagues in passing H.R. 2643, the FY08 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. This measure provides $27.6 billion in discretionary spending for the operations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior, and other important programs in FY 2008. The bill, which provides valuable funding for environmental and conservation projects, is $1.2 billion over FY 2007 and $1.9 billion over the President's request. Since 2001, funding for the EPA has fallen 29 percent and funding for the Interior Department has fallen by 16 percent.

This measure provides a 4.3 percent increase over FY 2007. Additionally, the bill makes climate change research a priority. It boosts federal investment in climate change research at EPA and the Interior Department by 53 percent and, in response to the Supreme Court's landmark decision in April, requires the EPA to begin developing a process for regulating greenhouse gases. As part of the legislation, Congressman Wynn secured $500,000 in Federal funding for the completion of the rehabilitation of Glen Echo Park. The Glen Echo funding will help to complete the rehabilitation of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places and an unsafe retaining wall.

Congressional Climate Change Legislation 2007

House Energy and Commerce Committe Chairman John Dingell has put off introducing more energy legislation until Fall. But he is threatening to introduce a new tax on carbon dioxide emissions right now to expose the hypocrisy of Congress and the American public. Americans hate high gasoline and energy prices and politicians fear voter reprisals. Chairman Dingell knows this. He also put off energy legislation to give him more time to figure out how to protect Detroit from increased automobile fuel economy standards.

AAEA supports abundant energy supplies at reasonable prices. This combination has kept the American economy the most powerful in the world with the possible exception of China. Of course, like HOV lanes, neither a carbon tax, cap and trade, and vehicle fuel economy standards will stop global warming if China and India do nothing. Adaptation is the new green. As you can see, climate change is very complex. AAEA supports technological solutions to climate change.

Senators Jeff Bingamin (D-NM) and Arlen S;ecter (R-PA) introduced The Low Carbon Economy Act on July 11 and the bill creates an economy-wide mandatory tradable-permits system that is modeled after the successful U.S. Acid Rain Program. The environmental targets of the Act are to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to 2006 levels by 2020 and 1990 levels by 2030. To limit economic uncertainty and price volatility, the government would allow firms to make a payment at a fixed price in lieu of submitting allowances. Under the Act, GHG emissions from petroleum and natural gas are regulated “upstream” – that is, at or close to the point of fuel production. The proposal sets out a detailed methodology for distributing tradable emission allowances.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Alternative Energy Round Table Discussion

AAEA worked with the National Small Town Alliance in organizing an Alternativer Energy Round Table Discussion at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The luncheon is the first step in a process to increase diversity in the alternative energy production field. The luncheon is also the first step in creating an Alternative Energy Production Consortium that will concentrate on expanding research and development and commercialization opportunities for minority entrepreneurs.

The Alternative Energy Production Consortium will be accomplished in two phases. Phase I was the June 28 luncheon to examine interests, explore possibilities, assign responsibilities and lay the foundation for the overall process. Phase II is a larger gathering in the fall to implement the Phase I recommendations.

AAEA President Norris McDonald is pictured, upper left with U.S. Chamber VP for Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs Bill Kovacs, right, and Counsel Thomas Myers, center. Attendees included representatives from the Departments of Energy and Agriculture, universities, Council on Environmental Quality, EPA and the African American Environmentalist Association.

Clean Coal & Nuclear Need CO2, Hydrogen & Oxygen Pipelines

Coal is used to generate 52% of our electricity. Nuclear 20%. These two aren't going anywhere soon. So we need clean coal, sequestration and hydrogen production for fuel cells to fight global warming. New nuclear power plants should incorporate hydrolysis to separate hydrogen from oxygen. The hydrogen for fuel cells and the oxygen to burn in coal-fired power plant fireboxes. Burning coal in pure oxygen instead of regular air, which is almost 80% nitrogen, will reduce the volumn of gases for sequestration, thus optimizing storage.

We will need nationwide pipelines for oxygen, hydrogen and carbon dioxide to utilize these climate change-fighting technologies. Oxygen will travel from nuclear plant hydrolysis faciliteis to coal-fired power plants. Hydrogen will travel from nuclear plants to fuel cell manufacturing facilites and fertizer manufacturers. Carbon dioxide will travel from coal-fired power plants to sequestration areas.

Unfortunately, Congress is considering repealing federal utility line right of way authority due to state complaints and NIMBY pratitioners. If we cannot build the pipelines and electricity lines we need to maintain the American way of life, NIMBYs and NIMBY states should somehow have to pick up the tab. These naysayers should also stop complaining about the threats of global warming and smog.

Subprime: Paying For Money Can Buy Bad Environment

Our government runs on debt (but it also prints money). Corporations get loans to expand. Rich people look for the most attractive interest rate. But if you are living paycheck to paycheck, is signing for a high interest mortgage loan in your best interest? Many desperately want the title "Home Owner." It is a matter of self image and self worth. And God knows, if you can, getting a mortgage is better than paying rent, but...

Foreclosure kills any benefits that might accrue from mortgage interest deductions and the equity acquired over time. Foreclosures are going through the roof (pun intended) in the richest majority black county in the country, Prince George's. Subprime lending rates are the culprit. But the desire for the title drives people to sign anything, just like a struggling musician trying to make it to the big time. Except when the chickens come home to roost, it can end in bankruptcy, destroyed marriages and devastated families.

Maybe that young couple should get a $400 per month efficiency apartment (or a single-wide), save $2,000 per month for 10 years, and then pay cash for the house and save two-thirds on the cost of money. Instead of paying $600,000 for a $200,000 home on a 30-year mortgage, pay cash and save $400,000. A simplistic example but you get the idea. Take the savings and start your own business or see the world.

Monday, July 09, 2007

AAEA Prez on NPR with Michel Martin

Our green leader, Norris McDonald, right, took time from his organic gardening and bird watching to pop in on Michel Martin, left, to appear on her National Public Radio (NPR) show, "Tell Me More," to discuss 'Live Earth: Being Black, Brown and Green.'

It was a lively discussion on former Vice President Al Gore's Live Earth event and minority participation in the environmental movement. As the world will hopefully know one day, AAEA is dedicated to protecting the environment, promoting the efficient use of natural resources, enhancing human, animal and plant ecologies and increasing African American participation in the environmental movement.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Live Earth: Washington, DC

Live Earth was a small and intimate affair in Washington, DC. Al Gore, right, could not get a permit for the National Mall becasue the Folklife Festival already had the space. Gore ran into opposition in Congress and could not hold the event on the Capitol grounds. So at the last minute Gore announced that the event would be held at the National Museum of the American Indian.

The small stage was surrounded by a few hundred people between the stage and the musuem. The crowd was also on the sides of the stage. There wasn't much of a sound system so people were hollering to turn it up. But there was nothing to turn up. The quickly-put-together event was probably directed more to the national television audience. Pictured at left: Norris McDonald at Live Earth, National Museum of the American Indian.

Live Earth Global Environmental Impact Assessment: by The Evangelical Ecologist

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Environmental Movement Spineless on Global Warming

The mainstream environmental movement lacks vertebrae in the fight against global warming and climate change. Add former Vice President Al Gore to that jello pile. Their refusal to aggressively promote or support nuclear power is the primary indicator of their tepid commitment to solving Earth's most important environmental issue today.

A couple of groups, Environmental Defense and Natural Resources Defense Council, have mouthed lukewarm statements about nuclear 'being on the table.' But then they tear nuclear a new one straight up the Yucca Mountain hole. And the nuclear industry falls all over itself at the slightest hint that an 'important' environmental group 'might' 'sort-a,' 'kinda,' 'maybe,' 'could,' show some support. It is unseemly. But we understand the want. Unfortunately, the moment an 'important' foundation writes the first new anti nuclear grant, this little dance will be over. And the traditional greenies will line up in monolithic lockstep in opposition (because that is what they do). That is mostly all they do. OPPOSE.

And that little powerhouse Negro-led green group that was the first environmental group to support nuclear power and aggressively promotes nuclear power is not being properly recognized or supported. Maybe we just aren't 'important' enough. Little unimportant NIRS sure does get a huge amount of support and attention.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Is Busy on Energy Policy

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, right, summarizes her Energy Independence Day Initiative by committee and by bill on her website. Eleven House committees have addressed energy policy and the global warming legislative agenda is being established right now.

The Commitees include: 1) Energy & Commerce 2) Ways & Means (Renweable Energy & Energy Conservation Act of 2007 H.R. 2776) 3) Agriculture 4) Appropriations 5) Foreign Affairs (International Climate Cooperation Re-engagement Act H.R. 2420) 6) Natural Resources Committee (Energy Policy Reform & Revitalization Acto of 2007 H.R. 2337) 7) Education & Labor (Green Jobs Act H.R. 2847) 8) Small Business (Small Energy Efficient Business Act H.R. 2389) 9) Oversight & Government Reform (Carbon-Neutral Government Act H.R. 2635) 10) Science & TEchnology 11) Transportation & Infrastructure (Transportation Energy Security & Climate Change Mitigation Act of 2007 H.R. 2701)

Monday, July 02, 2007

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Supreme Court Decision Did Not Change My Environment

By Norris McDonald. I live in the richest majority black county in the United States. As blacks moved to Prince George's County whites moved out, or at least to Bowie, Maryland. Bowie wanted to secede from Prince George's County and join with lighter Anne Arundel County. So what does this have to do with the recent Supreme Court decision limiting the use of race in assigning students to public schools? Well my son's schools in PG County have been and are segregated. There were no whites (except the 3 or 4 poor ones that could not get out) in my son's elementary, middle or high school. And I don't care. Neither do most of the other blacks in Prince George's County.

I desegregated a high school in South Carolina in 1967 and they did have more resources: new books, better athletic bus, a tennis court, etc. I noticed the distinct differences because my father was principal of the black school (K-12). I was number one on the tennis team my senior year and once a white parent hit his kid in the head for losing to me). I was denied playing on private courts when there weren't enough at the high school. I remember once seeing a black dog walking on a court that I could not play on. The coach explained after we left town why our team did not play on the private courts. It was because I was there and the owner did not want me on his court. Good thing too because I was (and am) very good and would have beaten anyone they put in front of me. But I digress. People should associate to their comfort level. Whites should not be forced to be around blacks. Hell, that's why few whites visit any black community. Fine with me.

Now liberal blacks are moaning and groaning about resegregation and undermining of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education. They worry that their kids will not have the opportunity to sit next to white kids. Sitting next to a white kid at school never helped put any information in my head. I had to do the work. Free association is fine with me. And if whites want to leave when we move in, regardless of social and economic class, God bless 'em. And good riddance. I want to be comfortable. And evidently so do they. That is why there is a black community in virtually every city in the United States. And as we say at AAEA: "The African American community is as American as apple pie."

One of the main reasons AAEA was formed was because of the institutional racism in the mainstream environmental movement. I could ramble on but they got it right over at The BlackInformant via Booker Rising. And of course LaShawn Barber never holds back on the right views.