PRINCETON New Jersey, February 25, 1967: Six hundred people gather to commemorate the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, "father of the Atomic Bomb." George Kennan, veteran diplomat, ambassador and "father" of the postwar containment policy against the Soviet Union, said: "On no one did there ever rest with greater cruelty the dilemmas evoked by the recent conquest by human beings of a power over nature out of all proportion to their moral strength. No one ever saw more clearly the dangers arising for humanity from this mounting disparity. This anxiety never shook his faith in the value of the search for truth in all its forms, scientific and humane. But there was no one who more passionately desired to be useful in averting the catastrophes to which the development of the weapons of mass destruction threatened to lead. It was the interests of mankind that he had in mind here; but it was as an American, and through the medium of this national community to which he belonged, that he saw his greatest possibilities for pursuing these aspirations.Read More »
Which is worse, flash annihilation by nuclear explosions, or slow mutilation from low-level radiation, the result of radioactive contamination of the air, water and earth essential to life? -- Leuren Moret, forward to Discounted Casualties: The Human Cost of Depleted Uranium
The Human Cost of Depleted Uranium
There is little to say about these two articles other than they are written by two of the best reporters on their subjects in the country: Bill Boyarsky on politics in California; and Ray McGovern on the state of national insecurity. We have only this notice to add:Read More »
Every reporter who has covered local government knows of issues about which, for some reason, general incoherence prevails in public utterance and the media, delivered vehemently by both elected officials and department heads. Obsequious, cynical editors require the reporters to make up something plausible, which is then edited into new incoherence by paginators. If the editors perform adequately, later on they become local government communication directors and continue their careers crafting the obsequies of democracy.
And onward rolls the Great Wheel of Absurdity.Read More »
The Guardian (UK)
Portugal runs for four days straight on renewable energy alone
Zero emission milestone reached as country is powered by just wind, solar and hydro-generated electricity for 107 hours
"In politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue. It's not cool to not know what you're talking about." -- President Barack Obama, Commencement speech at Rutgers University.
Maxwell Tani, Business Insider, May 15, 2016.
The political season has provoked such anxiety that people are turning to political science for its perspectives. We've found two recent reviews of political science about California groundwater and the irrationality of voters.Read More »
This article is the first in a series by longtime water researcher and activist, Patrick Porgans, on the opposite and contradictory polls of the "500-year California drought," the state's growing gross dtate product (GDP) and its growing budget. Porgans asks a number of questions about water and finances in California: Did the drought really affect agricultural profits? Where did the water really go? Why don't the data support the claims of drought-driven economic ruin? Why do urban citizens have to subsidize agribusiness, which exports so much produce grown with subsidized irrigation water? The article is dense with facts and figures and requires reading several times to get their full impact. It can't be boiled down into either a TV sound-byte or a wire-service news story.
Enjoy the results of real sustained research on matters vital to the health of the state. -- blj
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The stink on the Delta these days isn't just the stink of fish species going extinct. Two state legislators are raising questions about how secure funding from the federal water contractors is for construction of the Delta tunnels. The Inspector General of the Department of Interior has opened an invistigation into how the federal Bureau of Reclamation, foremost enabler of gigantic water projects in the West, has been diverting funds designated for species restoration to the twin tunnels project.
This one has the earmarks of a possible end-of-regime financial scandal the size of the Julia McDonald afffair at the end of the Bush Jr. presidential term with the added attraction of the Swan Song of Moonbeam.
Stay tuned. -- blj
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Jerry imposes permanent water restrictions on cities.
So, Jerry Brown's brave new California will be characterized by dead lawns and green orchards and vineyards, triumphantly announces Wall Street's other home newspaper.
Monopoly financed Big Nuts and Wine win.
Californians lose.Read More »
In memory of William Trombley (1929-2009)
We are frankly skeptical of the UC Merced-sponsored "Climate Feedback" website, which aims at rating the scientific accuracy of media coverage of environmental issues. Apparently, the group of scientists has a special grievance against online publications. Badlands Journal, such a publication, has reported thoroughly on the environmental damage directly caused by UC Merced and stimulated by the campus site, including environemntal permit comment letters and legal actions done by San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center, Protect Our Water (POW), the Central Valley Safe Environment Network and other public organizations.