A Nation Running On Stupid
From the L.A. Times, Aug 12, an article on new rules being rushed through by the Dept of Interior (gotta rape and pillage and get those building contracts signed before the Prez leaves office, make money while the sun shines) that would prevent the endangered species act from being “’a back door to climate change policy,’ the Interior secretary (Dirk Kempthorne) said.”
“In a statement Monday, the Interior Department declared that even if a federal action such as the permitting of a power plant would lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions, the decision would not trigger a federal review “because it is not possible to link the emissions to impacts on specific listed species such as polar bears.”
“The draft rules obtained by the Associated Press would bar agencies from assessing the emissions from projects that contribute to global warming and its effect on species and habitats.”
“The new rules were expected to be formally proposed immediately, officials told the Associated Press. ‘That would give the administration enough time to impose the rules before November’s presidential election. A new administration could freeze any pending regulations or reverse them, but that process could take months. Congress could overturn the rules through legislation, but that could take even longer.”
Well, just another reason why have absolutely NO confidence in anything this administration does or says . . . “ . . it is not possible to link the emissions to impacts on specific listed species such as polar bears.”
Uh, Secretary Kempthorn, take your chewing gum out of your ears, sit down and pay close attention. Polar bears require thick sea ice. Lots of it. They live on it all winter, far away from land and thus protected from land bears. Females den up in it to give birth. They stand on it to snare seals when the seals come to their regular breathing holes in the ice. While polar bears are great swimmers, if there are larger and larger gaps in the sea ice, the bears will drown while swimming to get to the other side of huge open areas. There are more and more large open sea areas because global warming (caused by combustion emissions, such as power plants) is causing the ice pack to melt earlier and results in larger and larger areas of open sea. It is predicted that in a relatively short period of time, there will be no polar ice cap.
No ice, no polar bears.
But clearly, not for a nation running on (and being run by) stupid.
Thank Goodness, Then, There’s Some Smart In SLOTown
Tribune reports that the SLO City Council will meet tonight, Wed, Aug 13, in the city hall chambers at 7 pm. to hear from the public concerning a new ordinance to prevent “light pollution” from outdoor lighting. It would require lights (streetlights, security lights, etc.) on all new projects be designed to keep light shielded so it doesn’t uselessly spread light to neighboring areas and hence results in preserving our “night sky.”
More and more cities are moving in this direction and more and more lighting fixtures are being designed to be, not only more efficient, but work more efficiently because they’re directional. (Doesn’t make sense to light areas 50 feet up in the air when you’re trying to illuminate the ground, a sidewalk or parking lot.)
And with reduced light pollution, many neighborhoods will have a better shot at once again being able to see the night sky. (One of the benefits of living in my beloved Bangladesh by the Bay. When it isn’t overcast, we can still see the lovely stars since there aren’t streetlights all over the place.)
Nice, a town running on Smart.
Karma Strikes Again
Peter Y. Hono, Times staff writer, reports that Ed McMahon, Johnny Carsons’ former sidekick and pitchman for a wide variety of products, is being sued by a Huntington Beach lender to repay a loan. McMahon secured the loan with his house and he’s now in default and may lose his $4.6 million dollar home. Him and about a bazillion other folks, in the same boat.
Well, all I can say is Karma has caught up with Ed. Serves him right. For years he promised me a million bucks from the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes. Sent me letters saying, Dear Mr. Ann Calhoun (Ed never could spell) YOU may be a winner. Year after year I waited for Ed to arrive at my doorstep with my money, but he never came. Instead he kept giving MY millions away to OTHER people.
Feh! Well, now Karma’s caught up with the guy. HOOOO-HA!BOOYAH!Yah!Yah!AAYEEEEEE!. Hop . . . hop . . . hop. . . fist bump!
O.K. I Know What You’re Thinking, That’s MEAN!
Yes, it is, mean as sin, but all perfectly natural.
Again from the Times, “Victory dance is only human – or is it?” an article noting that “Chimps do it. Gorillas do it. Michael Phelps does it too. . . . The exuberant dance of victory – arms thrust toward the sky and chest puffed out at a defeated opponent – turns out to be an instinctive trait of all primates –humans included, according to research released Monday. . . .
“Scientists from the University of British Columbia and San Francisco State University looked at thousands of photographs of judo matches taken during the 2004 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games in Athens, for such classic in-your-face victory moves as clenched fists, thrown-back heads and outstretched arms.
“The images of the 140 blind and sighted athletes from 37 countries revealed that Paralympic athletes blind from birth struck the same triumphant stance as sighted Olympic athletes. Since the blind athletes could not have learned the victory dance by watching others, the scientists concluded that the behavior was innate.
“They found that the dance was the same for all, regardless of what culture or country they came from. “ and that “This display of human pride and exuberance . . . closely resembles the dominance displays of chimps and monkeys, which also feature outstretched arms and exaggerated postures, researchers said.”
Interestingly, “ . . . researchers unexpectedly found that sighted athletes from individualistic societies, such as in the U.S. and Western Europe, tended to put on a brave front, outwardly appearing to stand tall in the face of defeat and shame, the report said.
“[researcher Jessica Tracy] speculated that the athletes were intentionally hiding their feelings – consciously overriding their innate urge to signal defeat – because losing is so stigmatized in their cultures.
“We have been taught that even if we screw up in live, to hide it,” she said.
“It’s just like politics in the West, she added, ‘It’s not OK to say, ‘Hey I was wrong.’”
Which inability, of course, leads to a Nation Running On Stupid.