Friday, November 30, 2007

Bali Conference on Climate Change Carbon Neutral?

It is being reported that 15,000 people from 190 nations will be flying to Bali to discuss reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Of course, these flights will create millions of pounds of carbon dioxide. Is it us or is there something wrong with this picture? The December 3-14 conference is being sponsored by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and will utilize the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report to begin formulating the Post Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012. Has the United Nations made arrangements to offset their carbon footprint? We hope so. We do not know.

We do know that it would take a massive amount of carbon dioxide credits to offset the burning all of that jet fuel. That is why AAEA has established a program to address such a need. It is our Green Carbon Bank (GCB). Hey U.N.? Need to offset your footprint? Give us a call. Or simply click on the penquin.

Derrick Freeman: Nuclear Power Advocate

Derrick Freeman is the Senior Director for Governmental Affairs at the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). He joined NEI in July 2007 after working on Capitol Hill for many years. Mr. Freeman served as Legislative Counsel to Senator Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas) where his responsibilities included advisement on energy, taxation, and economic policy.

His professional experience encompasses several years in the financial services industry in New York City and on Wall Street. He served as Vice President and Counsel at the U.S. Investment banking arm of the Netherlands based ABN/AMRO.

Derrick graduated from Washington and Lee University with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and received his Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law. He is a member of the New York State Bar.

Dr. Bruno Comby: First To Support Nuclear Power

Dr. Bruno Comby, left, is the godfather of environmentalists who support nuclear power. He was the very first environmentalist in the world to publicly support nuclear power starting in 1996. Based just outside of Paris, France he is internationally known and led the environmental movement there to establish that country as the world leader in nuclear power plant electricity production. France now gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear power and Dr. Comby should be more widely recognized for his early support. AAEA promotes our president, Norris McDonald, as the first environmentalist to publicly support nuclear power in the United States, but we have always recognized Dr. Comby as the original visionary and activist in this area.

Bruno Comby is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique, with a postgraduate degree in nuclear physics. He is a well known European environmentalist, the author of eight books on health, energy and the environment, including the best seller 'Environmentalists For Nuclear Energy'. His books and his work have been widely presented in over 1500 TV and radio programmes and press articles around the world. He is the scientific director of the Bruno Comby Institute, which promotes non-smoking, better nutrition, and solutions to famine in the Third World. Bruno Comby created the association Environmentalists For Nuclear Energy (EFN) in 1996. It now includes over 9,000 citizens, members and supporters of clean nuclear energy in more than 56 countries, and provides information and activities to the public in 15 languages. AAEA is a member.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

More American Environmentalists Should Support Nuclear Power

Only two American environmentalists are actively supporting nuclear power: 1) Norris McDonald and 2) Christie Todd Whitman. Our president was the first American environmentalist to publicly support nuclear power (2001) and is still the only head of an American environmental organization supporting the emission free technology. AAEA is the only American environmental organization actively supporting nuclear power. Some of AAEA's nuclear work is illustrated at the following links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. AAEA is the David fighting the anti-nuclear movement Goliath to allow this technology to provide the electricity we need while mitigating global warming.

Former New Jersey Governor and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Todd Whitman cochairs a coalition that started publicly supporting nuclear power in 2005. She speaks to groups around the country about the emission free benefits of nuclear energy.

The pro-nuclear movement needs more American environmentalists to ACTIVELY support nuclear power. We accent actively because, although some folk give lip or blog service support, they do not show up at the public hearings, forums and press conferences to support the renewed interest in developing this technology. They are also not doing the homework needed to promote the building of new nuclear power plants. Although there is much discussion and many plans to build these new plants, not one order has been placed. No one really knows if this rennaisance will happen and the anti-nuclear movement has not gone away. Wall Street and Main Street will still have much to say about a possible nuclear power future. AAEA could use some help out here in the field of battle. More American environmentalists need to step up to the plate. Global climate change is the most important environmental issue facing us today.

(More)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

America's Most Dangerous Cities

According to CQ Press based on FBI data, the most dangerous cities in America are listed below. There is also a gnashing of the teeth about how the data should be used but we will not shy away from the reality of the carnage. It is pathetic. And it is Black-on-Black violence because these cities are either majority Black or have very large Black populations.

City / % African American (added by AAEA)

1. Detroit 82%

2. St. Louis 51%

3. Flint, Mich 53%

4. Oakland, Calif 36%

5. Camden, N.J. 53%

6. Birmingham, Ala 73%
7. North Charleston, S.C. 50%
8. Memphis, Tenn 61%
9. Richmond, Calif 36%
10. Cleveland, Ohio 51%
11. Orlando, Fla 27%
12. Baltimore, Md 64%
13. Little Rock, Ark 40%
14. Compton, Calif 62%
15. Youngston, Ohio 44%
________
27. Washington, DC 60%

Source: Wikipedia (2000 U.S. Census), CQPress is a division of Congressional Quarterly, Inc.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pew Research Center Race Study

A new Pew Research Center survey entitled "Optimism About Black Progress Declines" has found that African Americans see a widening gulf between the values of middle class and poor blacks, and nearly four-inten say that because of the diversity within their community, blacks can no longer be thought of as a single race. By a ratio of two-to-one, blacks say that the values of poor and middle class blacks have grown more dissimilar over the past decade. In contrast, most blacks say that the values of blacks and whites have grown more alike during this same time period.

Whites share the view that there has been a convergence in black and white values in the past decade; they also agree that the values of middle-class and poor blacks have grown less alike. Blacks and whites alike agree -- by solid majorities -- that immigrants work harder than both blacks and whites at low-wage jobs. One constant over the last two decades has been the nearly unanimous favorable views that blacks and whites express toward each other – roughly eight-in-ten of each group says they have a very or mostly favorable view of the other group. As of 2002, blacks remained the nation’s most segregated racial or ethnic group.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued its 4th Assessment Report on climate change. The report is a summary for policymakers and will serve as the discussion document for the upcoming Dec 3-14 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Bali, Indonesia. The IPCC (formed 1988) and the UNFCCC (formed 1992 at Rio Summit) are part of the United Nations (More). The report shows that human influences have:

• Very likely contributed to sea level rise during the latter half of the 20th century
• Likely contributed to changes in wind patterns, affecting extra-tropical storm tracks and temperature patterns
• Likely increased temperatures of extreme hot nights, cold nights and cold days
• More likely than not increased risk of heat waves, area affected by drought since the 1970s and frequency of heavy precipitation events.

The report also states that:

1) Altered frequencies and intensities of extreme weather (heat waves, heavy
precipitation events, droughts, more severe storms, extreme sea level
events), together with sea level rise, are expected to have mostly adverse
effects on natural and human systems.

2) Anthropogenic warming could lead to some impacts that are abrupt or
irreversible, depending upon the rate and magnitude of the climate change.

3) Anthropogenic warming and sea level rise will continue for centuries due to
the timescales associated with the climate processes and feedbacks, even if GHG
concentrations were to be stabilized.

4) Climate change preferentially selects the poorest and most vulnerable in any
society. (Grist)

Friday, November 16, 2007

"Tell Me More" Should Be Five Days A Week

Hey NPR, you are confusing the dedicated listeners of Michele Martin's "Tell Me More" show by only broadcasting on WAMU four days a week. Although your replacement Friday show is fine, couldn't you split that two hour segment up and give Mrs. Martin the consistency of a one-hour Friday show. We listeners of the show and fans of Mrs. Martin get in a groove and then it is not there on Friday. It is frustating. We are waiting for Michele's rapid-fire, intelligent, witty, curious questioning and it is not there. We encourage our readers to contact NPR and let them know. Click on the Office/Service/management button, then Ombudsman or NPR Management and send a note or call.

Now we're not trying to second guess your programming but NPR has to see the logic behind what we say. You launch this show with an A-list star and then broadcast it 80 percent of the time through WAMU. And you keep this talent from communicating with her fans on relax-day Friday when she could really be creative. Come on NPR. Listen to us. We have solved some of our planet's most complex energy and environmental problems (theoretical mostly of course) and you should consider implementing this recommended fix over there at WAMU. Now we do not know whether this is an NPR issue or a WAMU issue, but regardless, the show should be broadcast on Fridays at 2 p.m.

And while we're at it give Michele call-in too. The "Talk of the Nation Science Friday" show has call-in and Michele does not during her Mon-Thurs WAMU broadcasts.

'Authentic Black' Certificates: Be Sure. Get Certified

What does it mean to be Black (better capitalize it)? This issue currently plagues Barack Obama and has been debated in the past regarding O.J. Simpson, Tiger Woods and Michael Jackson, among others. AAEA took this issue to our laboratory and our researchers developed a 'Certification of Black Authencity' so that poeple will have an objective measure.

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 with your name on it just like the one shown above with our president's name (click on it to see larger version). It is free. 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 your address and the certificate will be mailed to you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Africa and Nuclear Power

The entire continent of Africa has one nuclear power facility and it is located in South Africa. Hopefully that will change soon. According to The Wall Street Journal a consortium that includes the South African government and the Westinghouse Electric Co (owned by Japan's Toshiba Corp) is investing $3 billion in a new type of power plant called the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) . PBMR is being developed by Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Ltd, which is 15% owned by Westinghouse with the remainder by the South African government and the state-owned utility company Eskom.

Eskom is still in the planning stages in developing a PBMR. China has already built a research PBMR and is proceeding with plans to construct a demonstration facility before moving to commmercialization. AAEA's parent Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy visited with the developers of the PBMR in China and toured the facility, which is located near the Great Wall. AAEA will work to promote the use of nuclear power in Africa and will assist with the development of the PBMR. AAEA has discussed the project with Eskom and executives at PBMR Ltd.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

AAEA To Be Featured In Korean Energy Documentary


AAEA President Norris McDonald will be featured in a TV documentary being produced by Korea Broadcasting Station (KBS) that will address why nuclear energy is the most efficient and environmentally friendly energy source for our world and how new safety measures and new scientific developments are being established for safety and efficiency. It is to be aired in South Korea on the free government run channel through a regular TV program titled “Science CafĂ©,” which shows informative or educational documentaries and documentary-dramas on different topics relating to science, environment and medicine each week. The filming of this documentary took place in France, Japan, US and Korea. The U.S. footage with McDonald took place around Capitol Hill.

McDonald is pictured above with cinematographer Yoon, Hyung Suk, documentary producer Yang, So Hyun of IMTV Inc production company and U.S. production coordinator Mia SH Kim. The title of the documentary is “The Second Renaissance of the Nuclear Power Industry,” with Part 1 entitled “Why Nuclear Energy Again?” and Part 2 “Is Nuclear Energy Really Safe and How?” Special thanks to Bruno Comby of Environmentalists for Nuclear Power (EFN) for recommending us for this documentary. McDonald will be meeting with Mr. Comby outside of Paris, France later this month.

Presidential Forum: Global Warming & America's Energy Future

Several environmental groups are hosting a presidential forum for the candidates to discuss the nation's energy challenges and global warming. The Forum will take place at the Wadsworth Theater in Los Angeles, California on Nov 17, 2007.

The forum is being sponsored by Grist magazine in partnership with the League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Mobilizing America For Our Environment and the Center for American Progress Action Fund To attend the event register at www.lcvef.org/gristforum or call 206-992-6009 for more information.

The Racial Environment At The Top of Corporate America

In the 1960s when Blacks had virtually no access to even middle management in corporate America, James Brown sang, "I don't want nobody to give me nothing, open up the door, I'll get it myself." Well four decades later things seem to be changing a bit. Now not only do Blacks work in middle management, a handful have made it to the top.

E. Stanley O'Neal headed Merrill Lynch for five years. Dick Parsons headed Timer Warner for about five years. Ken Chenault is the CEO of American Express. And Bob Johnson created Black Entertainment Television (BET), sold it for $3 billion to Viacom and heads his own billion dollar operation.

Our coverage of race irritates some people. The thinking being that we are all Americans so why keep harping on race. Quite simply it is because racism is still experienced by virtually every African American, even today. Not the burn the cross on the lawn hang'em high brand but the treat'em any kind of way brand. Moreover, American communities are still as segregated as ever. So when racism goes away we will stop pointing out racial distinctions.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hillary Clinton Issues Climate Change & Energy Plan

Hillary Clinton's plan to promote energy independence, address global warming, and transform our economy includes:

*** A new cap-and-trade program that auctions 100 percent of permits alongside investments to move us on the path towards energy independence;
*** An aggressive comprehensive energy efficiency agenda to reduce electricity consumption 20 percent from projected levels by 2020 by changing the way utilities do business, catalyzing a green building industry, enacting strict appliance efficiency standards, and phasing out incandescent light bulbs;
*** A $50 billion Strategic Energy Fund, paid for in part by oil companies, to fund investments in alternative energy. The SEF will finance one-third of the $150 billon ten-year investment in a new energy future contained in this plan;
*** Doubling of federal investment in basic energy research, including funding for an ARPA-E, a new research agency modeled on the successful Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
*** Aggressive action to transition our economy toward renewable energy sources, with renewables generating 25 percent of electricity by 2030 and with 60 billion gallons of home-grown biofuels available for cars and trucks by 2030;
*** 10 "Smart Grid City" partnerships to prove the advanced capabilities of smart grid and other advanced demand-reduction technologies, as well as new investment in plug-in hybrid vehicle technologies;
*** An increase in fuel efficiency standards to 55 miles per gallon by 2030, and $20 billion of "Green Vehicle Bonds" to help U.S. automakers retool their plants to meet the standards;
*** A plan to catalyze a thriving green building industry by investing in green collar jobs and helping to modernize and retrofit 20 million low-income homes to make them more energy efficient;
*** A new "Connie Mae" program to make it easier for low and middle-income Americans to buy green homes and invest in green home improvements;
*** A requirement that all publicly traded companies report financial risks due to climate change in annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission; and
*** Creation of a "National Energy Council" within the White House to ensure implementation of the plan across the Executive Branch.
*** A requirement that all federal buildings designed after January 20, 2009 will be zero emissions buildings.

Monday, November 05, 2007

America's Climate Security Act

Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn), left, and Senator John Warner (R-VA), right) have introduced America's Climate Security Act (S. 2191) to address global warming. The bill directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a program to decrease emissions of greenhouse gases. It specifies an annual tonnage cap, expressed in terms of Co2 equivalence, for each year from 2012 through 2050.

The cap for 2012 will be the 2005 emissions level, 10% below 2005 by 2020, 30% by 2030, 50% by 2030, 70% by 2050. The Lieberman-Warner bill covers the electric power, transportation and manufacturing sectors, which account for 75 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Other provisions include:

*** 24% in 2012 will go to auction through the Climate Change Credit Corporation; rising to 52% by 2035.

*** Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) regulations and a legal framework for the Federal assumption of liability for geological storage will be proposed by a study group within two years of enactment.

*** The bill will set forth detailed, rigorous requirements for offsets, with the purpose of ensuring that they will represent real, additional, verifiable, and permanent emissions reductions.

AAEA supports the bill with caveats. We do not support auctioning the credits. (Hill Heat)

Subprime Mortgages & The African American Community

Although home equity represents the only real net wealth for many homeowners, it represents much more to some families. It represents status and the important title of "homeowner." However, relinquishing the renter title for the homeowner title can be devastating, lead straight to bankruptcy and virtually eliminate any possibility of building wealth. Some say the subprime loan is the culprit. But is this true? Wasn't there a big push for more minority and low-income homeownership over the past decade? Didn't Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac develop dynamic programs to get more minorities to be homeowners? Was there anything wrong with these programs? Do the same loans that were promoting minority and low-income homeownership now represent predatory lending?

We doubt that research can isolate the mortgage loan defaults by race, but we do know that many families are losing their homes. Published reports say that some of the highest predatory lending and mortgage foreclosures have been in Prince Georges County, the richest majority Black county in the country. Blacks are mostly wage earners and do not own commercial and industrial businesses. Of course, there are some notable exceptions to this rule. However, even for upper income Blacks, life can get precarious real fast in moving from renter to homeowner. Just be careful and do not allow a marginal credit rating to turn into a disastrous rating in your quest for homeownership. Consider saving more money and purchasing a home you can easily afford. (More) (And from Black Enterprise)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Congressional Budget Office Cap & Trade Studies

The April 25, 2007 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study entitled "Trade Offs in Allocating Allowances in CO2 Emissions," concluded that:

"Regardless of how the allowances were distributed, most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline. Those price increases would be regressive in that poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would. In addition, workers and investors in parts of the energy sector—such as the coal industry—and in various energy-intensive industries would be likely to experience losses as the economy adjusted to the emission cap and production of those industries’ goods declined. Because most of the cost of the cap would ultimately be borne by consumers, giving away nearly all of the allowances to affected energy producers would mean that the value of the allowances they received would far exceed the costs they would bear. As a result, that allocation strategy would increase producers’ profits without lessening consumers’ costs. In essence, such a strategy would transfer income from energy consumers—among whom lower income households would bear disproportionately large burdens—to shareholders of energy companies, who are disproportionately higher-income households." (More)

A more recent Nov 1, 2007 study entitled, "CBO Testimony on Approaches To Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions," includes 6 key points:
  1. The risk of potentially catastrophic damage from climate change can justify
    taking action to reduce that risk in much the same way that the hazards we all
    face as individuals motivate us to buy insurance.

  2. Although both a tax on emissions and a cap-and-trade system use the power of
    markets to achieve their desired results, a tax is generally the more efficient
    approach.

  3. Under a cap-and-trade program, a key decision for policymakers is whether to
    sell emission allowances or to give them away.

  4. Policymakers’ decisions about how to allocate the allowances could have significant
    effects on the overall economic cost of capping CO2 emissions, as well
    as on the distribution of gains and losses among U.S. households.

  5. If the government chose to sell emission allowances, it could use the revenue to
    offset the disproportionate economic burden that higher prices would impose on
    low-income households.

  6. The budgetary treatment of a federal cap-and-trade system for CO2 emissions is
    an important topic that has received relatively little attention.
    (More)

Youth Climate Summit at University of Maryland

Thousands of youth from all over the U.S. will discuss climate change at the University of Maryland, College Part from Nov 2-5. The theme: "Power Shift 2007," and the agenda includes issue briefings from leading scientists and policy experts, dozens of training sessions, an opportunities fair, and additional networking opportunities, all designed to connect young leaders and use their collective experience to focus action on America’s greener, more prosperous future.

Thousands of Power Shift participants will also attend the Nov. 5 Lobby Day to meet with senators and representatives to promote the “1Sky” Climate Initiative and send a clear signal to Congress that today’s youth won’t accept compromises with their future. Power Shift is also the largest event taking part in the nationwide Step It Up day of action on November 3rd. At the Lobby Day, Power Shift participants will take photos and stories from Step it Up events back in their home districts with them into the offices of their senators and representatives.

U.N. Hosts Post Kyoto Protocol Planning in Bali, Indonesia

The United Nations adopted its Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) during its Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Now, 191 countries plus the European Economic Community are members of this UNFCCC. Its goal is to stabilize the amount of greenhouse gases in the air. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 to reduce greenhouse gases below the level to prevent dangerous impacts upon the climate. The protocol was entered into force in 2005 and presently has 175 signatory countries. Compliance with the Kyoto Protocol promises to reduce total emissions by 5.5% below 1990 levels by 2012.

The negotiation process to formulate a climate policy after 2012 will be launched at the 13th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the 3rd Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in Bali, Indonesia, December 3-14, 2007. Bali is an island on the west end of the Indonesian Island, which is located south of Vietnam and Northwest of Australia. (Source: The Washington Post)