Environment

A nouveau win-win public-private partnership for growth and despoilation of country

Submitted: Dec 05, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

In the Great Age of Electrical Deregulation that has brought such benefits to California since 2001 that the state treasury has been in debt billions ever since, the Committee of crisis Capitalists, speaking through their mouthpiece du jour, Junior Brown, age 75 but still a brat, has decreed that all solar projects proposed by plutocrats should be built regardless of the cost to local government because they are "green," the new "small is beautiful" in Jr's playbook.

In the case of Inyo County (high desert east of the Sierra) they have a pretty good idea how much it is costing; in Merced it is a little bit obscure because of various bribes paid the county by Tsakapoulos that will insure that the county will not push too hard for the Quinto Solar Project to complete its mitigation, 2:1 prime farmland in perpetual agricultural easements to placate the farm bureau, which would be unlikely to be fulfilled in any event for lack of available and willing landowners. (The gesture is about as symbolic as the local farm bureau president's hay bale house that she will be vacating this damp winter for sunny Costa Rica.)

But everyone has covered their embarrassing parts and LA gets more electricity. It's a genuine WIN-WIN/PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP FOR GROWTH at the expense of the environment and endangered species.
AGAIN.

Badlands Journal editorial board

11-25-12
Los Angeles Times

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World Bank predicts drastic global warming by end of century

Submitted: Dec 04, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

In this hideous age of plutocracy and religious bigotry, there are very few writers who can maintain and expand their level of care for humanity and the planet the way Chris Hedges continues to do in a stream of books and articles on our most serious themes: perpetual war; relgious hypocrisy; consumer madness; and indigenous fascism, to name a few.

Below, Hedges reviews the World Bank's latest, most drastic report on global warming

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Ol' Man River maybe won't be just rolling along?

Submitted: Nov 30, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board


11-29-12
Associated Press

Drought threatens to close Mississippi to barges
Drought could make Mississippi impassable to barges just as 2012 harvest heads to market
By Jim Suhr and Jim Salter
http://weather.yahoo.com/drought-threatens-close-mississippi-barges-200450700.html


ST. LOUIS (AP) -- After months of drought, companies that ship grain and other goods down the Mississippi River are being haunted by a potential nightmare: If water levels fall too low, the nation's main inland waterway could become impassable to barges just as the harvest heads to market.

Any closure of the river would upend the transport system that has carried American grain since before steamboats and Mark Twain. So shipping companies are scrambling to find alternative ways to move tons of corn, wheat and other crops to the Gulf Coast for shipment overseas.

"You can't just wait until it shuts down and suddenly say, 'There's a problem,'" said Rick Calhoun, head of marine operations for Chicago-based Cargill Inc. "We're always looking at Plan B."

The mighty Mississippi is approaching the point where it may become too shallow for barges that carry food, fuel and other commodities. If the river is closed for a lengthy period, experts say, economic losses could climb into the billions of dollars.

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What kind of issue is a field of solar panels on farmland?

Submitted: Nov 18, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board


“In the end,” says Davidson, who spent a month in Germany studying the Energiewende, “it isn’t about making money. It’s about quality of life.”
-- Thomas Hedges, Truthdig, Nov. 15, 2012

 

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Idiots at the wheel

Submitted: Nov 13, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Serious warnings about global warming appeared about the time Republican Supreme Court judges gave Bush and Cheney the White House.We remember thinking in the tragic mode during that prolonged period of idiocy and denial that is still the norm in the House of Representatives that Bush's two terms probably were long to block any serious effort to reverse climate change. And the idiots still bo blithefully on down the trail of denial believing perhaps that they will be levitated Heavenward in the Rapture while the rest of us burn or drown.

Badlands Journal editorial board

11-12-12

Salon

GOPs House Science joke

As of now, three rather unscientific Republicans are vying to become the committee's next head

http://www.salon.com/2012/11/12/anti_science_gopers_vying_for_house_scie...

 

Todd “legitimate rape” Akin may be out of the House next term, but three Republicans vying for House Science Committee chairmanship will help carry the torch of Akin’s questionable-at-best relationship with science.

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There shall be one economy only

Submitted: Nov 09, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Here is a cogent, succinct statement of the California Department of Water Resources and the Brown administration view of what must be done to render the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta "safe". It relies on the well known "expert" opinion on when the next great earthquakes are coming to destroy the Delta levees, endanger the drinking water supply for 25 million people and danage the state's "$2 trillion economy."

It fails to mention the complete sacrifice of the richest farmland in the state to build two tunnels channeling water from the Sacramento River to the Delta pumps, and thenceforth to the San Francisco Peninsula and Los Angeles. Because, without the power of river water going seaward, rising seawater will simply salt over the entire region, already salt damaged from backflow from the San Joaquin River, an agricultural drainage ditch for the Valley. But, the sacrifice of this richest region of farmland is insignificant next to guaranteeing even more fresh water for the Bay Area and Southern California real estate industry. No other economy but real estate shall be allowed to survive in California.

Badlands Journal editorial board
11-7-12

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New York attitude

Submitted: Nov 03, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

“It’s just an inconvenience. Half the world does not have electricity,” said Ralph Lopez, 73, as he shuffled slowly along the sidewalk outside the Red Hook Houses with his plump Chihuahua, Pepe. “I grew up in a cold-water flat with no heat at all. And this is just for a week. So boohoo.”--- Cara Buckley, Michael Wilson,  New York Times, Nov. 2, 2012

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"Clarity is not beyond reach"

Submitted: Nov 02, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

11-1-12
BloombergBusinessweek

Opening Remarks
It's Global Warming, Stupid
By Paul M. Barrett
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-01/its-global-warming-stupid#p1


Yes, yes, it’s unsophisticated to blame any given storm on climate change. Men and women in white lab coats tell us—and they’re right—that many factors contribute to each severe weather episode. Climate deniers exploit scientific complexity to avoid any discussion at all.

Clarity, however, is not beyond reach. Hurricane Sandy demands it: At least 40 U.S. deaths. Economic losses expected to climb as high as $50 billion. Eight million homes without power. Hundreds of thousands of people evacuated. More than 15,000 flights grounded. Factories, stores, and hospitals shut. Lower Manhattan dark, silent, and underwater.

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Management of water in a severely overdrafted region of the Valley

Submitted: Oct 24, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

To us, this story of an adjudicated water settlement between Consolidated Irrigation District and the City of Selma was the most important of the day in the Valley news. Perhaps this is because it represents our near future here in Merced County, which still has a relatively decent water table. However, the treat of more deep ripped pastureland converted into orchards with gigantic pumps that tend to dry up their neighbors' wells by firms whose investment strategies might not be primarily to make a profit in agriculture; they may prefer the losses customized for the portfolios of investors that wouldn't know the difference between an almond tree and an apple tree.

Perhaps the greatest threat to groundwater in the Valley are the imperious, unregulated demands of Private Investment Itself, the Holy of Holies to planners, local elected officials and the local landowners and banks who own them in our brave new plutocracy. It is always going to produce jobs...and if it does, they don't last. Politicians parrot the Building Industy Association line that houses take less water per acre than crops, a corollary of their their fundamental argument that residential growth is inevitable. They consider this either good or Fate. It is curious that many of this churchy crowd as local elected officials believe in pagan Fate. Or is it really the Will of God that the entire Valley be sucked dry until the last carpenter dies of thirst in the tumbleweed?

Badlands Journal editorial board

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The pussyfooter and the prostitute

Submitted: Oct 02, 2012
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board



What Eric Caine, the Pussyfooting Modesto-based Merced College prof, either forgets or never knew was that Mike Wade, the prostitute, back when he had a real job as executive director of the Merced County Farm Bureau, through letters and testimony before the UC Regents, falsely claimed that there was adequate water for the UC Merced campus on site beneath the seasonal pastures.

So, in this convoluted water debate in which Wade, clearly furious that the institution about whose natural resources he "misspoke" as the politicians say, wishes to denounce the spawn he helped so ignobly to generate cockamamie "academic study" flak to broadcast and magnify the existence of what John Burton, boss of the California Democratic Party called, while he was serving as state Senate Pro Tem, the greatest "boondoggle" he'd ever seen in a long state and federal legislative career.

Caine, the pussyfooter, has been chased into this story by the UC Merced Office of Golden Bobcat Flak to defend the indefensible. The Boondoggle-at-the-Bottom will continue to taint the research for years to come. And who could trust Mike Wade after his claims for bubbling aquifers under the site of the future UC Merced, which presently gets its water from the City of Merced through pipes UC has never paid for and, as a result, has weakened the water pressure in Central Merced.

Badlands Journal editorial board

9-30-12

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