Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who is paying attention?

I noted that Green Change gave front page space to a September story about Greenpeace activists who won a court case in England by using Global Warming as their defense. It is nice to have an organization like Greenpeace behind you, hiring lawyers, etc.

However, the real guru of global warming is NASA's Dr. James Hansen and he has another take on this same story.

In his most recent newsletter, Hansen find it great that the British Press picked up the story and wonders why the US press ignored a similar situation here.
Why is it that the Kingsnorth case is on the front page and the 6 o’clock news in the UK, but the Wise County case is ignored by U.S. media? The damage in the U.S. case, both climate and mountaintop removal, exceeds that in the UK. A case with 20-year-olds standing up for their and future generations, against powerful interests, without support of Greenpeace-level organizations, would seem to warrant coverage. Is this a case of media, in a company-town, company-state, company-country situation, intentionally looking the other way? Or is it simply that these young people are not as media savvy as Greenpeace?
For a full understanding of the Wise County situation, it is necessary to read Hansen's previous newsletter that detailed that manner in which Dominion Coal runs a company state. I won't copy it here.. it is too long, too detailed.

At the of the commentary, Hansen asks and answers a very simple question.
When does it become appropriate for young people to become fed up with the lack of appropriate government action?

My recommendation has been that young people spend maximum effort now on the democratic
process, affecting upcoming elections on all levels, and then, after the election, demanding that those elected deliver on their promises. I have cooperated with the (nominally non-partisan) PowerVote, Virginia Powershift, ReEnergize Iowa,,, for example.

I have also drawn attention of youth to the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC).
Applications for training and participation in their programs can be found at (
Have we reached the time when civil disobedience and organized protest against coal are the only options that we have left? It would seem that even Al Gore has begun to think that way or so says the NY Times's Nicholas Kristoff.

When we go vote down Propositions 7 and 10 on Tuesday, we need to be thinking of the alternatives. It is going to take a lot more work to make something positive happen. It may eventually mean taking to the streets... on bikes or on foot, of course.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

California agriculture and climate change

Thanks to Chris at Aquafornia, I was pointed to a very interesting article in the Daily Democrat, Woodland, CA. It is one of the few recent articles that goes beyond the conventional wisdom on these issues.
How will climate change affect Yolo County's agriculture? There is much in the news these days about the potential effects of higher temperatures, rising sea level, and drought in the Western United States, but translating these global trends into local projections for agriculture is not an easy task.
That is not an easy topic to understand, let alone explain to an audience that may not be accustomed to hearing it. Writer Louise Jackson gets to the meat of the matter fairly quickly. Click Read more! to get my view.

To begin with, Jackson does not spend any time on the "what is the real cause" question.
It is generally recognized that much of the climate change that will occur during the next two to three decades is based on greenhouse gasses that have already been emitted by human activities such as use of fossil fuels and fertilizers.
Now all of the urban greens may think of cars and driving and heating our homes, but Jackson makes a very key point by adding the word fertilizers to the list. Not only do fertilizers contribute directly to global warming, nitrogen is normally delivered in the form of urea, manufactured from natural gas. It is a double hit, because natural gas is being touted as the alternative for oil in powering our transportation system.

After going through a list of the various probable crop changes that will be required by a warming climate, Jackson gets to the effect of changes in precipitation.
In the future, more Sierran precipitation will arrive as rainfall, and snowmelt will come earlier in Spring. Due to Yolo County's location, it is expected to be less vulnerable to water shortages than agricultural locations further south in California that are dependent on deliveries of water from the Delta pumping stations.

But the reduced Sierra snowpack will increase flooding along the Sacramento River, presenting economic and ecological tradeoffs for ecosystem restoration vs. farming
For me, this all says that Greens had better become more involved in the issues over the food we eat" how and where it is grown, delivered and prepared.

I have long believed that these changes will dominate politics in this state for a long time to come and a Green Party that is not engaged will not be around long. I have also stated that the battles which mean the most to California's future are not going to be fought in the coastal cities, but rather in the Central Valley.

As Green work through a strategy for 2010 and beyond, there must be a focus on doing more where the need is greatest.

Is Populist politics bad?

Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer and author. She formerly taught World History and Islamic Civilization at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Now living in Aptos, she writes a column for the Santa Cruz Sentinel that she also distributes to a wider list. Her latest is an OpEd is a broadside at populist politics.

Headlined Don’t Let a Populist Do Brain Surgery On You it is scheduled to appear in the Nov. 1, 2008 Sentinel. I take issue with her premise when you Read more!

Cynthia McKinney has used the Power to the People campaign theme this year and it appears to not be a success. Farhat-Holzman starts off attacking that theme.
When you hear “Power to the People,” see if your wallet is still in your pocket. I think neither Joe Sixpack nor rent-a-mob campus radicals have the mental equipment to run a society. Both are shallow, self-serving, without experience or thought, and are easily led.

Today’s culture wars have been with us since our country’s beginnings. James Madison warned that “pure democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” President John Adams, however, professed that our representative assemblies should be an exact portrait of the people at large. Happily for us, he changed his mind when he took office.

The French and Russian revolutions showed us that “Power to the People” let mobs vent their resentments after centuries of elite oppression; they not only got revenge, but also destroy any protections that their ancient societies offered. Power to the People morphs into a dictatorship, which has no intention of giving power to the people.
She ignores some other examples where such a view was absolutely needed to oppose the very dictatorships that she fears, examples such as the civil rights movement in the United States or the Anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa, neither of which ended up in a dictatorship.

Farhaz-Holzman thinks that the solution is in brain power.
The current economic crisis brings up another issue: do we want to leave an issue this important to our elected politicians, no matter how bright or stupid they are? The best use of elected representatives is to weigh ideas, to hold hearings, and to get the best advice they can from professionals in a discipline.

Fareed Zakaria in his important book: The Future of Freedom, suggested that for needed but contentious issues requiring expertise (reforming Social Security; restructuring no longer affordable public official retirement packages; producing a national health care system; restructuring our energy infrastructure), we should create a bipartisan commission of the best experts we can find in those disciplines. Let them fight it out behind closed doors (no public pressure), arrive at a consensus, and then present it to our elected representatives to vote up or down (no pork or earmarks allowed). This gives us informed democracy, not mugwump democracy.
While I would agree with her that a "hostility toward intellectuals remains an undercurrent in our society today." It explains the popularity of the hockey-mom veep candidate in some circles. It was better defined by Jane Jacobs in her last book, Dark Age Ahead, particularly as she wrote about honoring scientists along with an aversion to science in general.

The latter concerns me more than the elitism the Farhat-Holzman espouses. I have written on the subject before. While there is power to be found in espousing populist issues, we need good scientific minds to find the solutions to some major problems of our society: global warming, energy, population growth.


This election cycle has been filled with accusations aimed both ways by Greens who have supported Nader and/or the Green Party Candidate, Cynthia McKinney. The GP's 2004 candidate for President, David Cobb, lives in Northern California and has just published an endorsement of Cynthia McKinney. You can read it at the Arcata (CA) Eye.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fundamental problems

The economy is in disarray. By any measure, this has been the worst year for the economy that most living Americans have experienced and it has not ended. While the government is trying to resuscitate the banking system, Whirlpool today announced that they were cutting ~5000 jobs because their products, the necessities of a good kitchen, just are not selling.

I will try to expand on this as part of my argument that Greens should be making the most of this situation, but are not. Click Read more! to get rest of the info.

It is easy, as Obama is wont to do, to blame this all on George W. Bush and the Republican Administration. McCain's running a messy campaign makes that easier. There is a connection between the current Republican administration and Congress, the raft of Grover Norquist funded libertarian leaning think tanks in Washington and the general idea that the market is more effective than government in creating what is good and the regulation only stands in the way of prosperity forever. Even Alan Greenspan operated on that premise from the time he first read Ayn Rand until the last couple of weeks.

Buried in this is the fact that Wall Street and the banking system had been turned into a bucket shop looking a lot like a NY OTB betting parlor. They would play a 'futures' game betting on the future price of a stock without actually owning it. By the early 1920's there were outlawed. This was just plain gambling and both state and federal laws prevented it until the year 2000. In that year, the Federal law was changed to allow what we have all heard of as credit default swaps.

Some explanations that I have heard of credit default swaps compares them to buying an insurance policy against losing your money. However, there was no regulation and you did not actually have to own the obligation (in this case mortgages) in order to get the insurance. That is rather like buying and selling insurance on your neighbor's house. Now, when the prices fell, everyone wanted to collect their money but it wasn't there to be collected. We now know why our grandfathers outlawed the practice.

As early as April of this year, the word was out. This should not have been a surprise.
The sacrosanct free market would supposedly regulate itself. The problem with that approach is that regulations are just rules. If there are no rules, the players can cheat; and cheat they have, with a gambler's addiction. In December 2007, the Bank for International Settlements reported derivative trades tallying in at $681 trillion - ten times the gross domestic product of all the countries in the world combined. Somebody is obviously bluffing about the money being brought to the game, and that realization has made for some very jittery markets.

So, we blame everything on Bush when this practice was signed in Federal law by Bill Clinton and he is no Republican. Better yet, the Federal law stipulated that no state could regulate the practice either.

Where does this have to do with Greens? It would seem to be a great time to go forward with an alternative. We know the problems, we should be telling everyone what will get us out of the mess, but we are not. We are not even making much of an effort to do so.

Greens have never come to any agreement on a set of fiscal policies. There Greens who are socialist, communists, anarchists or just generally convinced that big corporations are inherently evil. We need to be really clear about the alternative. We need to understand just what we mean by a Green Economy. It is not just, as Van Jones or Thomas Friedman (God, I hate put them in the same box) would have us believe: an economy based on global warming and energy, though that is part of it.

Even Ralph Nader comes off as being only an activist against some vaguely evil corporate state. His CounterPunch OpEd on the bailout outlines some steps to a remedy, but there are NOT based on any idea of what a Green Economics would really look like. It is only tweaking a broken system with any systemic modification. Still, that is more than I have seen from our leadership.

Republican have a Free Market ideology with a little bit of policing. Democrats have a different public ideology, but it looks a lot like the Republicans, only with more policing because they know that the Republicans are evil. Greens have no common understanding of either economic or fiscal policy and, for that reason, are not able to take advantage of the current turmoil to advance our cause.

Just look at the various committees that we have in the national party. None of them deal with economic or fiscal policies.

Jesse Johnson picks up another endorsement

There are a couple of strange things going on in West Virginia. If you listen to McCain and Palin, you would think that they should be endorsing the Democratic Governor of West Virginia, Joe Manchin III. If you listen to Obama and Biden, you would think that they should be endorsing the Mountain Party Candidate, Jesse Johnson.

Of course, neither is the case. Yet, one by one, Johnson picks up some very welcome endorsements; first from the Sierra Club and now from the West Virginia Citizen Action Group through its Citizen Action Fund. I hope that brought some financial support, but case Jesse needs every cent he can bring in.

Full text of an endorsement release can be read by clicking "Read more!"

Mountain Party gubernatorial candidate Jesse Johnson endorsed by West Virginia Citizen Action Fund

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Jesse Johnson campaign for Governor of West Virginia was endorsed by West Virginia Citizen Action Fund

The Citizen Action Fund, a new political action committee formed by West Virginia Citizen Action Group, is the state's oldest consumer protection and government watch-dog organization.

The endorsement, announced last week and reported in the Huntington Herald-Dispatch ("Citizen group announces endorsements," Oct. 19, recognizes Jesse Johnson's outspoken advocacy for West Virginians in public health, the environment, workers' and consumers' protections, transition to clean alternative energy, and other areas.

"The CAF endorsement clearly acknowledges Jesse as the gubernatorial candidate who will fight for the people of West Virginia instead of powerful corporate interests who've treated the state like a dumping ground," said Lesia Angel, Deputy Commissioner of the Mountain Party.

"Because of mountaintop removal and the power of the coal companies, West Virginia has become ground zero for global climate change in the US," said Jesse Johnson. "The Interior Department is now relaxing rules on mountaintop mining, which will bring untold devastation to the natural environment and a massive threat to public health, through contamination of water and other resources. I'm the only nominee addressing this crisis, because the Democrat and Republican are too closely allied with the coal companies that are plundering West Virginia."

Johnson supporters also noted his strong opposition to a plan by Governor Manchin to allow electric transmission lines, which would allow private, out-of-state companies to take private property from West Virginia citizens and gouge ratepayers.

On October 3, Jesse Johnson was endorsed by the Sierra Club ( Mr. Johnson is a former chair of the West Virginia Mountain Party, and as chair, he affiliated the Mountain Party with the Green Party of the United States (

Video clip of Jesse Johnson speaking at a recent West Virginia Youth Commission forum:

Last Minute Tasks

We are getting close to the wire for elections in CA. There are two races that I need to comment on. Near the top of the right side column is a list of Green Party Candidates who have a realistic chance of winning. One of them is Mark Sanchez, running for San Francisco County Supervisor.

The Democratic base has taken advantage of the energy around Obama's race, and used it to raise staggering amounts of money for its Democratic candidates in citywide races. If you have considered giving money to the campaign, now is the time.

More information and a list of other last minute to do's when you click Read more!

In Mark's case, donations are being matched 1 for 1 with public financing. So, is you can afford to send him even $10, then he picks up $20. Do whatever we can. In the remaining days, there is a need to get a lot of late advertising, flier, mailers, TV and/or Radio. Just do it. I did.

The other is to get volunteers for the effort to support Linda Piera-Avila in her race for the Santa Monica City Council. We know that we can't compete with money, after all one of the incumbents is in the Kennedy Clan, Bobby Shriver. But, as Bill Moyers said. The only way to defeat organized money is with organized people. That is what they need now more than ever. If you have not listened to Linda in one of her debates, do it now.

Linda's campaign manager, Lisa Taylor, says that they still could use some help.
Linda PIERA-AVILA has been a busy bee -- participating in 9 Candidate Forums, 3 City TV tapings, passing out flyers at the Farmers Market with her volunteers,
Chamber of Commerce mixer, meet-n-greets, block parties, neighborhood association meetings, interviewed twice by the Daily Press, etc.

And the campaign is still going strong in this home stretch--WE NEED YOUR HELP to WALK/FLYER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD!
Check Linda's campaign web site for events or to donate.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

WV Governor race critical

I have commented recently about Jesse Johnson's race for Governor in W.V. The stakes have just gotten bigger and Jesse is asking for additional help. Click ReadMore to get the detail... but watch this video first.

Last night, Bill Moyers asked his viewers to get involved in this issue. The following is from Bill Moyers Journal.
There's nothing make-believe about this. Remember these scenes of mountain top mining in West Virginia? Companies blow those mountains sky-high to expose the coal, then haul away tons of rock and debris and dump the waste into valley areas. To protect the quality of the water, they're not supposed to pile the stuff within 100 feet of rivers and creeks.

But while we've all been obsessing over Sarah Palin's posh makeover and Joe Biden's latest gaffe, the coal companies have been lobbying the Bush administration to gut the rules even further, to allow them greater freedom to dump massive waste piles anywhere they want - including directly into the water.

Now, the Interior Department is one of those government agencies that's practically been turned over to the industries it's supposed to regulate. So as a parting gift, the President's appointees at Interior have now officially proposed granting the coal companies their wish - to dump at will.

There's a 30-day period for public comment and review before the proposal takes effect, so you can find out how to register your opinion - pro or con - at our site on
So, if Moyers is asking for some action, then maybe the best action that we can take is to help Jesse get elected in any way that we can.

  • You can donate to Jesse on his web site.
  • You can help out with phone banking, even from here. (I need to get you the contact).
  • You can do what I am doing, plant the seed of an upset on every blog where you can post. I even posted a call for his support on DailyKos without getting accused of being a troll.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Trust Washington? A call for a new Green Politics

Two discussions of the subject of trust came to my attention today. The most prominent was that of Alan Greenspan who told Congressional committee of his mistake leading to the current economic fiasco. He trusted the executives of major banks to act to protect their shareholders. They did not. You know the rest of that one, at least as far as the millipede we call the economy has dropped it's shoes.

Then, I found a discussion of the problems the environment where after years of environmental activism, the planet is in worse shape today than ever before and issues a call for a new Green Politics. This time the author, James Gustave Speth, finds a misplaced trust to be contributory to this situation. He cites another.
For example, Mark Dowie in his 1995 book Losing Ground notes that the national environmental organizations crafted an agenda and pursued a strategy based on the civil authority and good faith of the federal government. "Therein," he believes, "lies the inherent weakness and vulnerability of the environmental movement. Civil authority and good faith regarding the environment have proven to be chimeras in Washington." Dowie argues that the national environmental groups also "misread and underestimate[d] the fury of their antagonists."
Speth defines his new politics as confrontational, disobedient but nonviolent. It might just work if we had a new Dr. Martin Luther King.

Muslim phobia

If the McCain campaign has done one very bad thing, it has fanned the fire of hate and anger in this country, most of it directed against adherents to the Islamic faith. While McCain has publicly denied this, it has not stopped Republican sleazebags like Rush Limbaugh from continuing to harp on this point. I give some examples if you click "read more".

The following is from a personal opinion piece in my home town newspaper, the Morgan Hill Times.
How is it possible for Barack Hussein Obama to be a presidential candidate?

The following points have been extracted or taken from the printed and electronic media.

Obama is 43.75 percent Arabic, 6.25 percent African and 50 percent white. His father's birth certificate states he's Arab, not African. In fact, Obama practiced the Muslim faith daily at school and kept the faith for 31 years, until his wife made him change. He has no real identity. He is half white, which he rejects. Then, most of him is Arabic. Not one drop of his blood is African-American.

Obama's father, a Muslim, was married three times, attended Harvard and returned to Kenya. Obama claims his father was an atheist but he was given a Muslim burial.

Obama said in his book, "Audacity of Hope," "I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

My opinion: What better place for Muslims to control our country, than in the office of the President.
This is almost directly out of Limbaugh, especially the supposed statistics on Obama's parentage. The one good thing that I will say for my town is that the response to this column has been universally against the author and calling into question the rationale of the editor in publishing such garbage.

The flagrant racism and outright idiocy of such writing makes it hard for those of us who try to be objective to criticize the governments of countries that soundly need criticism. The following story was reported by several networks today, but I will quote from a student at CSU-Northridge, since it involves another student there.
Feministing pal Roja Bandari gave us the heads up about her dear friend Esha Momeni, whom while in Iran interviewing members of the One Million Signatures Campaign for her Masters thesis at CalState Northridge, was arrested and taken to Evin Prison, which is managed by the Intelligence and Security Ministry.

We’ve been covering this great campaign for quite a while, and Esha is not the first to be arrested. She is a member of the campaign in California, and came to Iran two months ago to work on her thesis there. Her parents [living in Iran] were told by court officials yesterday that nothing can happen until the investigation of Esha’s case is resolved.

Our thoughts go out to Esha and her friends and family who are working tirelessly for her release.
What I have heard from KQED radio was that Momeni had her computer confiscated along with all of the videotaped interviews with women's right advocates in Iraq.

There are some who would be apologists for anything that is considered Islamic Culture. There are others, like the author I cited at the beginning, who harbor so much prejudice that they can not tell the truth when it hits them in the face. Such are the subject of tyrants.

My personal opinion of Limbaugh, who spreads his poison daily, is that he must have a great contempt for the public... in fact, he is probably laughing all the way to the drug store. For those like the MH Times author, we can only have pity. But, for Momeni and others like her, we must work continually to make sure that they are not forgotten.

All Hail the Farmer in Chief

In 2006, Stockton Record columnist Mike Fitzgerald rather put the nail in Richard Pombo's coffin with his just before column calling Pombo the Taker in Chief. Now, I believe that the Nation needs a Farmer in Chief and if you click read more, you will find out why. This is an OpEd that I submitted to my home town newspaper and which, I hope, runs next week.

We have heard a lot about what the next president, whomever that may be, will do for our economy, energy and the manner in which we project American Power into a world that is increasingly skeptical of our motives. We have not hear a lot about food. It is a subject that seems more likely to be covered in the life style segments of the evening news than as “hard news.”

I know, that in these increasingly hard times, my wife and I are very happy to have the ability to raise a significant amount of our own food. I would be sorry to inform the folks at Nob Hill, Safeway, Trader Joe's, or Target that we almost never buy fruit, not when we can eat what we have grown ourselves every day. And, we don't have to worry about whether or not is was contaminated by e coli somewhere in the food chain. We do not have to think about how much natural gas was required to manufacture the fertilizer, the possible contamination by pesticides nor any of the other concerns that can turn food into real news.

Still, I am of the opinion that possibly the single most important appointment the new president will make is to he position of Secretary of Agriculture. We have gone through an era in which the family farm has disappeared, in which factory farms and multinational corporations like ADM dominate not only the market but also the politics of agriculture.

Why do I write this here, in Morgan Hill, when agriculture is slowly disappearing from the Santa Clara Valley? Because there are alternatives that work and which address a range of other problems: energy, global warming, health care.

You could say that our current situation, an unhealthy diet, a fossil fuel driven agriculture, an expensive delivery system, and the factory farm are all the result of Richard Nixon's single instruction to Sec. Of Acticulture, Earl Butz: “Do whatever you can to boost production.” Nixon was facing rapidly increasing prices for agricultural products and a declining popularity. Butz had the answer: subsidies.

NY Times write Michael Pollan is not a farmer. He is rather a journalist, an avid gardener and a thoughtful consumer of food. Earlier this month (October 9), the Times published his open letter to the next president. He gives some data to underscore the importance of food. “After cars, the food system uses more fossil fuel than any other sector of the economy — 19 percent. And while the experts disagree about the exact amount, the way we feed ourselves contributes more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than anything else we do — as much as 37 percent, according to one study.”

It would seem that we can not make the progress that we want in any area without contemplating how agriculture, our food, fits into the picture. Consider that it now takes 10 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce one calorie of food in our supermarkets.

One solution, according to Pollan, is to re-solarize agriculture. After all, every bit of what we consume comes from the sun. The energy to grow plants comes from photosynthesis. The animal proteins that some of us eat are the result of animals eating plants, or their products. Even the petroleum, coal and natural gas on which we have based our energy system are there because of photosynthesis and the sun.

I can not think of any better solution. It may mean the end of the factory farm, but if it also means that we can improve the quality of the American diet, lowering the incidence of diet related chronic disease that costs our health care system

It may mean that we no longer practice mono-culture agriculture where only a single crop is grown. Since McDonald's only buys one type of potato for it's fries, that is all that many farmers grow, even though it requires the use of more pesticides than almost any food crop we have. The alternative is to practice multiple crop rotation as is done in Argentina where the rotation of cattle and grains on the same land has brought a lower cost of production, no pesticides required and far less fertilizer.

Standing in the way of this is the fact that we, as consumers, have this notion that the only choices are some high priced organic market. That would not be true if the food system were operated for the benefit of the farmer or the consumer rather than corporate profitability.

Both major party candidates talk of change. But when their campaigns started in Iowa, they bowed down to the corn god and mouthed the right words. Even our supposedly environmental senator, Barbara Boxer votes on the food bill knowing that “we have our cotton people and our rice people” and so supports subsidies to those who need it the least.

Effecting change will not be easy. We need political leadership that will challenge the prevailing wisdom and I am not sure that it will come from presidential candidates who are fighting over Indiana or Iowa votes.

Even in the Green Party it is not easy to get people think of agriculture in this way. Too many have a strictly urban view or confuse ecology with environment where the environment is a place to visit. It challenges too many deeply held, but false, beliefs in how the real system works. I am working to change that, in my community, in my party, in the whole country. Join me.

You can read Pollan's full open letter here:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Jesse Johnson for Governor (of WV) - Sierra Club

I only wish that Jesse were out here to run for Governor of California. I have not found any Green Party candidate for higher office that excites me more. When first introduced to Jesse via his video introduction as a Presidential Candidate from the Reading National Meeting, I had no way to see that he had the ability to run a professional campaign. Having watched from afar as he has moved forward in the West Virginia gubernatorial race, those doubts were pushed asidem and then I found that I was not the only one to be impressed.

Recently, Jesse garnered the endorsement of the Sierra Club in the race for Governor.
“Johnson showed how seriously he takes this issue by speaking to tens of thousands of people nationwide during the last year about the harsh realities of mountaintop removal. His plan for the economy proposes tax breaks and incentives for businesses using renewable energy technology and he has urged that citizens be given a dividend from taxes generated from non-renewables such as coal and natural gas. Unfortunately, Governor Manchin’s support of mountaintop removal has kept West Virginia from moving towards a clean energy future that would benefit the economy and the environment.”
In every case, what I have seen from Johnson is that he has thought through each issue and is prepared to deal with it both rhetorically and practically.

The fight is really about what kind of state West Virginia is, or wants to be. The following from an OpEd by D. Stephen Walker [board member: WV Coal Association] in the Charleston, Gazette tells you exactly why we need Jesse Johnson leading this battle.
Anti-coal extremists and these types of lawsuits also undermine West Virginia's clean coal future and the economic, environmental and social opportunities that will come with it. Coal technologies will help address coal's carbon footprint and offer opportunities for more high-tech, high-wage jobs.
An editorial in the same issue of the Gazette offers a different view of "clean coal."
Supporters of coal like to say that the traditional, plentiful fossil fuel can be part of the nation's energy supply, even as the world desperately needs to reduce emissions from fossil fuels because of climate change.

Coal can be burned more cleanly, they say, and the emissions can be sequestered in the ground instead of emitted into the atmosphere to contribute to global warming.

Yet, if you made a list of the steps required to develop this nonexistent carbon capture and sequestration on a large scale, you would find that few of the steps have actually been done.
The timing is critical now. I wish that Jesse had the funds for a major media buy and just maybe he could get added attention. There are two ways to contribute:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The economically distressed

This week's edition of Bill Moyers Journal has an intriguing discussion with Michael Zweig, Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for the Study of Working Class Life at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, regarding the downturn in the economy and those "economically distressed" who will be most affected. Economically distressed is a euphemism for the working poor, a term that I, and Moyers, are more used to using.

I greatly suggest that you take the time to watch this segment of Moyers Journal. In it, he talks about the vacuum in the political sphere, in the lack of organization to meet the needs of this group of citizens. As Obama turns to the middle class, Greens should be organizing here... and that means in the neighborhoods, the barrios, wherever people are "playing by the rules and still getting screwed" to paraphrase Bill Clinton, a man who did a bit of screwing himself.

If not Greens, then who?

There is a better plan

We just aren't hearing about it. One of my major problems with the media coverage of the election, especially the debates, is the fact that all of them deal with trivia and none of them are willing to really address the truthfulness of the candidates on issues. For example, in the final debate Sen. McCain answered Bob Schieffer's question regarding dependence on foreign oil with a response about building 45 nuclear power plants. I don't know about you, but that scares the hell outta me twice. First for the nukes and then for the fact that most media did not call him on it. Follow me to read more and I'll mention what the few that did actually had to say about it.

After looking around a bit, I found it covered on Tampa Bay Online, a service of the Tampa Bay Tribune. This is what they had to say about 45 nukes.
McCAIN: "We can eliminate our dependence on foreign oil by building 45 nuclear power plants right away."

THE FACTS: For nuclear power to lower oil dependency would require a massive shift to electric or hybrid-electric cars, with nuclear power providing the electricity. No new U.S. nuclear reactor has been built since the 1970s. Although 15 utilities have filed applications to build 24 new reactors, none is expected to be built before 2015 at the earliest. Turmoil in the credit markets could force cancellation of some of the projects now planned, much less spur construction of 45 new reactors, as reactor costs have soared to about $9 billion apiece
This is exactly what I have been saying... but you won't find it on MSNBC or Fox News or any of the media devoted to instant analysis. We know it is BS and typical McCain. If this is the advice he gets from the lady who knows more about energy than just about anyone in America, then I am surely happy that McCain is gonna lose.

Now, to take the final number, 9 Billion. Where will that money come from in a risk adverse, recessionary environment. McCain talked of $2 Billion per year. That won't do it. Maybe he needs to give a shout out to a 3rd grade class somewhere for basic math.

Politically Incorrect.

Last night, my wife wanted to watch 20/20 on ABC because she enjoys the fact that John Stossel is somewhat of a contrarian, not afraid to take shots at anyone including himself. What we got last night was a broadside of Libertarian views on the ineffectiveness of government and the suggestion that the problems we face are more often caused by over-regulation than under-regulation of the free choice of our population. The term that he used was "self-ordering". Then, I got a surprise when he started to talk about New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina.

Stossel interviewed a number of people with great attention being paid to Mayor Nagin and the bureaucracy that keeps people from doing simple things... form after form, arcane regulations to be followed to the letter. He contrasted that with the volunteer operations that have done much more than all of the expensive public works. His major examples came from Habitat for Humanity, and Malik Rahim. In fact, Rahim got a lot more camera time than Brad Pitt (Make it Right Campaign) and that says a lot. It is unfortunate that the segment did not mentions Rahim's current candidacy.

I don't agree with Stossel's purely Libertarian view that over-regulation by government is what caused the mess. Actually, in his view, Fannie Mae and Fredie Mac should never have existed in the first place. It makes just as much sense to blame the Harvard MBA programs for teaching all of those financial whiz kids that risk is only a mathematical calculation. The problems were not that government over-regulated, but that they did not regulate the right things. The basic idea that you could commodify financial obligations (mortgages) left no room for the type of failure that happened as real estate prices dropped.

The more scary proposition for me is that banks have hugely more debt obligation in terms of credit cards. When people are using credit card debt to last from pay check to pay check, and their costs are continuing to rise, we have another bubble ready to burst and that is one which will make the real estate fiasco look like a parlor game.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another Toxic Spray Campaign

California's Department of Food and Agriculture is planning yet another Toxic Spray Campaign. This time the goal is to eradicate the light brown apple moth (along with any "collateral" light brown people who happen to get in the way). (See recent article in San Jose Mercury News also see recent post on California Chronicle).

KPFA, 94.1 FM, the Pacifica Radio station in the Bay Area is broadcasting a report titled "Pushing Limits" to take a look inside the powerful grassroots movement to oppose the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s deadly plans. This program is Part 1 of a 2-part radio series co-produced and co-written by a longtime activist, distinguished poet, and personal friend, Jean Stewart.

Why did a state agency make a plan to blanket much of the state with pesticides?

The program goes behind the scenes to examine the real health impacts when airplanes aerially saturated Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties with pesticide, one year ago. It celebrates the massive public outcry that forced the state to suspend (NOT cancel) its plan to similarly spray the heavily populated Bay Area, and uncovers the truth about the state' s stealthy ongoing toxic plans.

What Can We Do to Stop Them? What Are the Dangers, if We Don’t?

People with disabilities, particularly those with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), asthma and respiratory diseases, and compromised immune systems, are in particular danger. Poor people & people of color, living in areas already impacted by environmental racism, face a double whammy.

Featured guests include Connie Barker of the Environmental Health Network, Max Ventura of Stop the Spray California, and Dr. Betty McGee of the Health and Environmental Resource Center in Hunters Point.

Background: Aerial Spraying in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties in 2007

Posted on

Aerial spraying for the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties in Fall 2007 resulted in hundreds of health complaints and reports of environmental damage. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) planned to resume and expand spraying into the larger San Francisco Bay Area.
. . .
On June 19, 2008, pressured by a groundswell of public protest, the CDFA announced the eradication campaign would no longer include aerial spraying for LBAM over populated areas. Ground treatments, as well as aerial spraying of "agricultural" and "forested" areas are still to go forward. More about LBAM eradication in CA

Over 31,000 people demand: no exposure to pesticides without consent!

Jean Stewart
Poet Jean Stewart

After her reading of new poems and a story at the Redwood Gardens in Berkeley California. Benefit for Deaf Palestinians. Brilliant reading, great ASL (American Sign Language interpreters) there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


When Right Wing talk radio goes off the deep end about Barack Obama being an Arab, all because of his middle name (Hussein) I wait for them to get around to the Republican Candidate for the State Legislature in Colorado's 56th District. After all, his name is Muhammad Ali Hasan.

But then, I guess that most of those who believe this crap get their political news in the checkout line at the grocery store where they can scan the headlines of the National Enquirer.

Maybe the reason that Limbaugh takes on opponents with half his brain tied behind his back it that is all he has.

More on homegrown candidates

Besides writing about Jesse Johnson, I want to introduce everyone to Peter Meyers. He is another homegrown candidate with a resume that we can appreciate, the ability to make a good impression, and the youth to be around for a long time. Peter is running for Congress in California's 15th CD. His opponent, Mike Honda, is a Democratic Party hack who was not very impressive when he was my County Supervisor. It is too bad that he is not in my Congressional District so that I can vote for Peter.

The League of Women Voters scheduled a Debate between the candidates in Cupertino Monday night. Honda, as is typical for incumbents and in keeping with his arrogant manner, did not bother to show. Peter did and definitely impressed more than the Republican Candidate, Joyce Cordi.

For those who don't know Peter, here he is introducing himself at the debate (along with Cordi). The full list of Peter's segments is available at YouTube.

Again, if you want to help out Peter, you can volunteer or donate from this page.

There are a number of positive contributions to this party being made by people all over the country. Jesse is making impressive strides. Daniel Brezenoff impressed me in the special election to fill a vacancy in the 38th CD. Now, Peter looks like he has the ability to move forward.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Homegrown Greens

The Green Party has always fallen prey to the idea that the only candidate who can win is one that comes in from the outside with a full blown resume and national name recognition. Thus, we had Nader and he did well... for a while. Now, we have Cynthia McKinney who comes in with a reputation that is filled with pluses and minuses. Yes, she has the moxie to stand up and tell the truth when few others will. Yes, she has a tendency to believe, or at least use, all of the conspiracy theories that might help here cause.

In the mean time, a home grown leader has emerged. That is Jesse Johnson. If you did not pay any attention to him during the presidential primary, you really should start doing so now. Jesse is the real leader in the Green Party affiliated Mountain Party of West Virginia. Right now, he is running for governor there and needs all of the support that we can give him. Follow the Read More link and I will give you raft of reasons why.

Jesse Johnson is playing a smart political game. One by one the road blocks that the machine politicians of West Virginia have placed in the way of the Mountain Party are dropping. They went to court to force inclusion in gubernatorial debates, and won. They went to court to get Cynthia McKinney recognized as a proper candidate for President... and they won.

The more that I learn about him, the more I am impressed with both his biography and his actions.

Now, you know that he is making waves when he gains the endorsement of the Sierra Club. In general, they do not endorse candidates other that Democans unless they think that the endorsed candidate has a chance to win. Well, I will give them credit for a few endorsements for Greens when the other two candidates were simply God-awful He also picked up an endorsement via an OpEd by Mike Gravel in the Charleston Gazette.

In fact, Johnson is doing so well that his campaign has gotten the attention of the National Committee of the Green Party long enough to interrupt the everlasting discussion of bylaws and that says a lot. In fact, if he chooses to run, I will support Jesse for President in 2012.

Given that, I am asking California Greens to contribute Jesse's campaign. Click on the Donate Tab at the top of his home page.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Does science trump politics

There much of the global warming, peak oil, energy discussion, we keep hearing that the real solutions are so far into the future we have to build more coal fired power plants, drill for more oil, etc. The politicians, focused on making sure that the economy is not disturbed... even by innovation... continue to mouth this line.

My local ABC affiliate, KGO - San Francisco, devoted an hour of prime time last Tuesday night to a program on innovation in energy. I missed it then, but have been going back to their site to watch it in pieces... with a lot of interruptions to for Target commercials.

The range of possibilities is impressive. Follow the read more link to the real meat of the issue.

The most interesting segment for me involved a discussion between KGO Reporter David Louis and Vinod Khosla. Khosla was one of the founders of Sun Microsystems. He is currently heading Hohsla Ventures, a VC firm that focuses on the Green Economy, especially as it relates to energy.

The KGO page has two segments. One is the televised segment if I had watched it Tuesday. IN 3 minuets you only get a sense that something is happening. After all Khosla has put money into 45 new efforts. But the second segment is much more interesting. It is the entire interview between Louie and Khosla. In it, you find that there is enough going on to give me some hope that we really can innovate ourselves out of the predicament we are in... where we need the energy but our current sources only make the planet worse.

Lorna Salzman almost had me convinced that there was no way to innovate enough quickly enough to save the planet. Now, I am not so sure.

Here is just one of the companies that Khosla is funding. Calera is a startup from Los Gatos, CA. It is going directly at the problem of the sequstration of CO2 from power plants. However, rather than taking on some expensive, unproven method of injecting the CO2 into the ground or to dissolve it in sea water... the latter with it's own ecological problems... Calera is working on a process that processes all of the flue gas from these large scale power plants and turn it into a mineral that can be put to industrial use. Specifically, they produce cement.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Debating the Debates

The question of debate participation has plagued us for a long time. As long as the Commission on Presidential Debates is comprised only of Republicans and Democrats, we will never get in. They know that they can not stand to have another instance of a Ross Perot showing them up. My older brother once said that it was a debate between 2 politicians and a mad man but the crazY was the only one talking any sense.

But there is more to it... as you might find out if you click read more.

All across the nation, various organizations from the League of Women Voters to the Chambers of Commerce and various media corporations host debates for a number of offices. In general, they are all very much designed to narrow the field to a Republican and a Democrat. Let me give you a couple of additional references beyond what I wrote last night.

At the University of California, there was a mock presidential debate. The following is a description of the event by Edward Chow, head of the Campus Greens in Berkeley.
Yesterday, a handful of student groups co-sponsored "The Great Debate" featuring representatives from the Cal Berkeley Democrats and the Berkeley College Republicans. When I found out about this event over two weeks ago, I immediately contacted the Students for Ralph Nader, Cal Libertarians, and Students for Ron Paul to collectively demand that the debate includes third parties. The debate co-sponsors denied our request but admired our "audacity" to ask in the first place. I found out last week that all four Executive Board members of our student government were upset that debate sponsors denied our request before consulting them (our student government also co-sponsored the event).

Two days ago, I received a call from The Daily Californian, which gets about 42,000 readers per day, about running an Op-Ed about third party exclusion from debates.

This morning, the following was published in the print and online versions of the Daily Cal. (Follow the link to read... It's worth your time.)

There are also articles in today's issue about the actual debate last night and our 7-week voter registration drive

Here is my beef. I know that this is a group of student groups, and not the university it self. However, it was co-sponsored by the Student Government and took place on public property. As a tax payer in the State of California, as a supporter of education... especially in the sciences... I am upset, but not surprised, that the University policy would allow this exclusion. The Free Speech Movement started at Berkeley. It looks like some student groups need to study their own history.

Barbara Boxer's priorities

The economy is tanking faster than the Blue Angels fly. Every year, the world is losing greater value from deforestation than we have so far lost in terms of depressed stock prices.
The global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis, according to an EU-commissioned study.

It puts the annual cost of forest loss at between $2 trillion and $5 trillion.
So, I get an email from Saint Barbara reminding me to get a flu shot, and they can't even get my name right...nor my gender. Email to me addressed to "Jean Rolley". I wonder if Jean got one address to Wes Rolley. So much for Governmental Competence, but then we knew that.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Independence from foreign oil

The McCain / Palin ticket likes to use the phrase "indepence from foreigh oil. I even got a mailing today from my Democratic Congressman, Jerry McNerney, long employed in the wind energy business, touting the fat that he worked on "reducing our dependency on foreign oil."

The only way to do that is to reduce our dependency on oil, period. At least some Republican get that, even if McCain / Palin don't. Consider David Jenkins, government affairs director at the group Republicans for Environmental Protection. According to CQ Politics,
But in a time of consumer panic over gas prices and a struggling economy, it will be a tall order for the next president to lay out a long-term strategy to both secure reliable supplies of energy and address global warming.

However, such a broad vision of the future will be essential for the president to confront the nation’s energy challenges successfully, said David Jenkins, government affairs director at the group Republicans for Environmental Protection.

“If people really understand the energy dynamic that we face, they understand that reducing our dependence on fossil fuels in the long term is really the way to reduce our energy prices.”

There are no debates when new ideas are locked out.

Green all over have been taking the national media to task for not allowing the full set of presidential candidates with a numerical possibility of winning, into the debate system. That is what you would expect when the debates are controlled by a commission that is staffed only with members of the Democratic and Republican parties. There are a lot of suggestions about the ways to solve this one. Here are a few.

  • Change the makeup of the commission that sets the debates so that no on can be on the commission if they are registered as a party member or have ever given money to the state or national levels of any party.
  • I heard someone say to start a movement to withhold all contributions to PBS unless they agree to open the debates to all candidates who are on the ballot in enough states to possibly win the election. That makes sense. Not sure about the rest.
However, we also have problems at the local and state level, as Colorado Senatorial Candidate, Bob Kinsey will tell you. In this case, it is the Chambers of Commerce and a tax supported TV channel that restrict what you can see.
But Channel 8, the tax supported Denver cable channel, also broadcasts the Chamber framework. To be fair, they gave all four candidates a 3 minute free speech. But then, they broadcast the 2 Party Chamber of Commerce Debate for free. For one hour “The" Senate Candidates include only Schaffer and Udall. It’s a non-verbal statement to Denver voters. “Kinsey and Campbell are just footnotes.”. Denver TV propagates a self fulfilling, prophesy. And the people pay to keep this con alive.
A similar situation is taking place, only this time it is the League of Women Voters that is restricting Congressional debates. The resolution was to scrap the debate and everyone loses.

Bailout? How about a bootstrap?

Van Jones's new book is now available. The Green Collar Economy is getting a lot of good press. It is (as of 10 minutes ago)#27 in sales at Amazon. If you don't know Jones, have not heard of his green economy pitch, he has a great introduction on YouTube with an alternative to the $700 Billion bailout. Made sense to me.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Carl Sagan's fears were well founded.

Some of my favorite writers/bloggers will be at Beyond Belief: Candles in the Dark., a science program run by the Science Network. This year, it will be held at the Salk Institute in La Jolla. It was never more pertinent to our state, our party or our planet than now.

The promo for this session quoted the late Carl Sagan.
In The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan wrote: Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.
Those who watched the Biden - Palin debate, who understand the statistics of the stories behind the current economic morass that we are in, who know that you can not defeat global warming by chanting drill, baby, drill, must realize that the time Sagan feared has arrived.

It reminds me of what Jane Jacobs wrote in her last book, Dark Age Ahead. she warns a culture that gives lip service to valuing science but has not developed the scientific habit of mind to question and then seek answers.

Is that not what Greens all over should be doing? Questioning, and then seeking answers? Instead, we all seem to want to relive the past. We are living in the world that Sagan and Jacobs warned us about. The ideals that got us here have to be questioned, but then there also have to be answers, solutions to the problems that we face.

We must begin from the fundamental point that everything is ecological. If we accept that, and act accordingly, the rest follows. You can not maintain ecological balance without providing social justice for all.

You knew it was coming.

I am sure that John McCain will issue the normal disclaimers if questioned about the current column by Diana West at It was inevitable that the Republican media spinsters, not having anything substantive to say supporting McCain would turn to playing on the racial fears that still exist. According to West:
The fact is, if American citizens become too widely acquainted with the fact that race-based social engineering virtually created the sub-prime mortgage industry that has transformed the U.S. economy into The Titanic, Obama will sink in the polls. That's because race-based social engineering is what Obama both advanced as a so-called community organizer, and later funded as an official of Chicago's Woods Fund, where he served alongside unrepentant terrorist and political ally William Ayers -- another phantom political fact citizens now pondering their presidential votes are not supposed to consider.
I note that she did not include Cynthia McKinney in the attack, or she would have had even more ammunition. The entire thing reads as if someone put lipstick on Rush Limbaugh.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

US hegemony no longer respected.

The BBC has a very different view of the financial situation in the US. Every American should pay more attention to what the rest of the world thinks.
The financial crisis is likely to diminish the status of the United States as the world's only superpower.

On the practical level, the US is already stretched militarily, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and is now stretched financially.

On the philosophical level, it will be harder for it to argue in favour of its free market ideas, if its own markets have collapsed.
Click Read more to get the rest.

Let me repeat that lead from BBC.
The financial crisis is likely to diminish the status of the United States as the world's only superpower.

On the practical level, the US is already stretched militarily, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and is now stretched financially.

On the philosophical level, it will be harder for it to argue in favour of its free market ideas, if its own markets have collapsed.
In the middle of an election, that is not what anyone want to say to the American Public.

I am reading a lot of very angry notes, all aimed at stopping the bailout. Some of them talk of how the media sold their soul to Wall Street. But, most of these have gotten the story wrong.

Watching the debate tonight, I was struck by one thing that Joe Biden said. Referring to an conversation with the late Mike Mansfield, Biden remarked that he never questioned the motives of those he worked with, even his most vocal opponents. Far too may of the notes that I have seen attribute motives for actions based on the mistaken assumption that all results must have been intended. That is the material for Oliver Stone movie.

I think that most Congressmen are scared to death. They are scared that they won't get re-elected. They are scared that doing nothing will lead to the next great depression. They are scared that someone might pull aside the curtain and reveal that there is nothing behind it.

On the other hand, there are many things that they also passionately believe in. One of these is Free Markets. Now, BBC says that even this is being challenged, as by John Gray.
"The era of American global leadership, reaching back to the Second World War, is over... The American free-market creed has self-destructed while countries that retained overall control of markets have been vindicated."
With the purchase of large stakes in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac you may be seeing the beginning of something totally new for this country. The movement that Gray mentions might be toward Socialism or toward Fascism. It is hard to know.

Gray found it ironic that the week in which Treasury Secretary Paulson is on his knees to Congress, the Chinese astronauts completed their first space walk. Personally, I think that China is adopting the worst features of unregulated capitalism with it's ongoing problems with product safety. Not hardly a model to be emulated.

More than ever, we need to work with a Green Economy, one based on sustainability, not growth. Until that happens, we will have continued crisis and bailout. We will have Greed and we all know that Greed is Good on Wall St.

Those who say no.

When I read or listen to all of the verbiage that is floating around concerning the financial straight that the Bush Administration has put us in, I feel very much like I am still listening a broken phonograph disc, repeating the same word over and over. No matter which side of the "bailout" question I am listening to, it is almost without exception based on grabbing a single concept, extrapolating that to being the cause for everything and then suggesting that there is only one answer.

It ain't that simple, folks, as I will try to explain after the the jump.

The anti-capitalist left views the entire fiasco as a way to get the average taxpayer to pay for the mistakes of the capitalist goons who cause it and floated away on their golden parachutes.

Then, there is the argument, made by some who would say "yes" to the bailout, that some of these companies are just too big to fail. That leads to further assumptions such as enforcing a greater degree monopoly protection, or breaking up the big institutions. The results of that would probably be the same as what we got by breaking up AT&T. It will not be what the proponents claim.

Personally, this does not affect me as much as it will affect many. I don't really need to assets in my 401-K and they are in a well balanced group of stocks.

However, I grew up with parents who were forever impacted by the Great Depression. My father owned a small town grocery and lost it because he could not get the credit to buy new stock and his customers, to whom he had allowed credit, could not pay.

We see that happening already in this case, affecting mainly small businesses. NPR had a story on this AM about a small machine shop that had one of their best customer's cancel all orders. The company owner said that he even drove over to the customer's plant to count the cars in the parking lot and verify that they were still in business.

There are members of Congress who are absolutely scared of being responsible for the next Great Depression having lived through the last. I don't blame them. I am old enough to have observed the results. I don't think that most Greens are or they might be more circumspect in their rhetoric on the "no bailout" side.

There are multiple options as to what we should be doing. Maybe we need to take a bit more time than the market is comfortable with. Again, I would blame Bush and Paulsen for that. The rhetoric that they used set up expectations that could never be met.

The real issue is the fact that we have an economic expectation of perpetual growth. The facts are that, while population may continue to grow, the resources of this planet are finite. Greens should arguing for a conversion of our economy requiring growth to succeed into one based on the idea of sustainability. That is a word that seems to have been lost from our political discourse. It needs to be re-introduced to the American Public.

Republican spinsters waiting for Ifil and Palin

Here is one way the the Republicans might play a Palin meltdown in tonight's debate. They are already complaining that moderator Gwen Ifill has a conflict of interest and that any tough questions to Palin will be charged to her making sure that Obama gets elected and her book on Obama sells well.