Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barak Obama is not a phony

I find it fascinating that one of the most viewed posts on my site is the hastily named "Bill Richardson is OUR MAN - Barak Obama is a Phony (tax increases and liquid coal)." This post was posted September 2007.

I'm pretty sure that the people hitting this post aren't researching Bill Richardson. I like to think I have integrity (I try, really I do) so although I have been embarrassed by that title I have left it up. The actual content of the blog I stand by. I'm still against the payroll tax and believe that money would be of better use to our country if it stayed in our pay checks. I also believe liquid coal is an absurd, inherently filthy, god awful idea. But Barak Obama is not a phony.

I watched his acceptance speech tonight on PBS. I didn't want commentary telling me what to think. He proposed a tax cut to 95% of Americans. That's a tax break for the middle class and hopefully he has steered away from or I had wrong information about his stance on any more payroll taxes. I just wish someone would roll them back completely. Even a few percentage points would be a boom for the economy.

He did not mention liquid coal but mentioned clean coal. I can deal with clean coal. But the coal cartel is just as powerful as big oil, and although quieter just as lethal and uncaring and vision less and arrogant with their practice of mountain top removal decimating the blue ridge, and our water supply.

He mentioned nuclear power. I can not deal with that. Talk about leaving an unwanted legacy behind for our children. If they could figure out away to dispose of nuclear waste properly, safely, environmentally and economically, and if it wasn't just a target for terrorist I might accept it as a bridge technology to energy independence until the solar thermal plants can be built, and brought on line. But I will fight against all things nuclear heart and soul even if a miracle cure for the lethal waste issue was solved if we don't have an equal to or better than investment in solar thermal.

More to the point. It was the first time I got to see the man speak. In his eyes in the timber of his voice in his mannerisms there are no fake smiles, no Bush smirks, or fraudulent McCain over grinning clown faces or awkward arm gestures. This guy is the real deal. I think he is right this campaign isn't about Barak Obama. This campaign is about enough is enough. The Fox has been in charge of the hen house way too long and the status quo has shirked it's responsibility to America proper, the Constitution, our history, those who have gone before us and our future.

We have taken care of Smith Barney to the point of recklessness. It's way past time to help the Barney Smiths of the world.

A hastily titled post that gets a lot of hits on my small out of the way blog tells me that small minded people are still looking high and low to hate/fear/upend this man for the puny sake of politics. I hope they do not succeed. Barak Obama is the real deal. Barak Obama is not a phony. That still doesn't mean I'm voting for him. I'm a little more radical and would love to see what a Ralph Nader could accomplish from the oval office. But Barak Obama is history happening right before our very eyes. It was a beautiful night for America tonight. It was right up there with the moon landings. That is an undeniable fact. This is an incredible moment and I am inspired. I would be thrilled to see him get a chance to right this ship that generations of Bush's and people of Rove's mentality have driven off course.

Good night and good luck,

Author-Journey Home

Vegan or not here I come

In 1950 world meat production was 44 million pounds annually today it is 253 million TONS per year.

It's been decades since the no red meat consciousness has been a topic of my dinner table and life. Back in the early 1970's I had the opportunity to actually know and dine with someone who slaughtered live cows by hand on a rural farm outside of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. This man was a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, and in the governments infinite wisdom for his alternative service they sent him out to a farm to hand slaughter cows. Needless to say this person was not a meat eater and had a very real experience of looking his fellow creatures in the eye right before striking the fatal blow. His stories of the cow and fellow barn mates "knowing" when the door swung open and he walked in have stayed with me to this day. How could they not?

I never went strictly vegan and over the decades relish a good burger as memories fade and consciousness wanes. Its the ebb and flow of life and we are all caught up in it. Prime rib, a good fillet, and a fantastic barbecue chicken sandwich with slaw - all are heavenly. But my lust for meat is fading again. Well it was never really a lust. Food has never really dominated my consciousness. Some eat to live others live to eat. I have vacillated between the two from time to time.

So I'm your typical average, lucky american where food is not an issue. The poor and starving on this planet have not escaped my consciousness and neither has my more than fortunate lifestyle. I am and have always been grateful in more ways than one. Over the years I have ratched down my consumption of meat slowly until now a prime rib or filet is a once a month or even quarterly rare occurence. Forget the fast food establishments they are a nightmare health wise and to the planet.
  • Fast food packaging makes up 20 percent of all litter
  • Food packaging takes up 15 percent of landfills
  • 3/4 of all food and drink packages come from forests
  • Over half of landfill waste is paper and wood products
McDonalds is still clear cutting old growth forests for packaging. If that is something you would like to speak out against take action here.

All this leads me to the point that the livestock industry is another nightmare when it comes to the environment and our health. It causes more harm to the environment in the way of green house gases than transportation.

It's a shocker but when you think about the actual size and scope of the industry world wide and the conditions of the penned animals and you actually visualize it the impact becomes obvious. Twenty six percent of the planet is used for grazing. All that waste seeps into the ground water, rivers and streams. Diesel fuel is burned to operate the farm machinery, fossil fuels are burned to keep the barns warm during winter and the meat industry produces more than 60 million tons of waste annually. One midsized feedlot churns out half a million pounds of manure each day. The methane that cattle and their manure produce has a global warming effect equal to 33 million automobiles.

We are eating at the wrong end of the food chain. Producing a world wide meat supply also consumes a large share of natural resources consuming eight percent of the worlds water, causing 55 percent of land erosion, and using 37 percent of all pesticides, 50 percent of all antibiotic use, and it dumps a third of all the nitrogen and phosphorous into our fresh water supplies.

Livestock has a huge impact on our environment and I have cut my meat intake down drastically in lieu of those facts. There are health considerations as well. We need to ratchet back our routine habits and really think and learn to see on a global scale. Eating less meat is one way we can directly affect positive change for our planet, and our health care system and our own bloodstream, hearts and colons. A long time ago a wise man said to me moderation is the key. He was more than right. Being a strict vegan is commendable on so many levels including spiritually. But if you can't get all the way to that frame of mind you can still have a tremendous impact by cutting back on your meat consumption. Start with half and go from there you are making the world a better place.

The link above in the title will take you to the source documents and a great article written by Jim Motavalli with some mind blowing statistics. In 1950 world meat production was 44 million POUNDS annually today it is 253 million TONS per year. The pendulum has to swing back the other way and in a hurry.

Source links:
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Diet Energy and Global Warming
Livestocks Long Shadow
The Meat of the Matter - Jim Motavalli
The Dogwood Alliance

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Clean Energy is Ready - NOW!!!

Adoption of Renewables

We can help break our addiction to fossil fuels like coal and oil by switching to renewable energy. In fact, with upgrades to our electricity grid, the United States could meet all of its power needs, with renewable energy and support a significant portion of our transportation needs, too.

  • Wind Power: The United States added enough wind power in 2007 alone to provide electricity to more than a million homes. Texas is the fastest-growing wind power state and about 15% of the country has excellent wind, especially the Great Plains. Today's efficient wind turbines are sleek and powerful, and can be taller than the Statue of Liberty with blades longer than the wings of a Boeing 737. When connected together through a national grid, wind power could provide at least one-third of our total electricity needs.
  • Solar Thermal: Solar thermal power -- which uses solar energy to drive turbines -- already produces enough electricity in the United States for about 100,000 homes, but several utilities have announced projects to provide enough power for 10 times that many homes in the next several years. And, because solar thermal power plants can store energy to produce electricity at night, they can be installed in place of new coal power plants. Just a small area of solar thermal in the Southwest could supply all of the US electricity needs.
  • Solar Photovoltaics: States like California and New Jersey are already implementing programs to encourage communities to install solar panels in new homes, buildings, and even on parking lot roofs. Solar photovoltaics, which can now be integrated into roof tiles, have no moving parts and can even produce electricity on cloudy days. It will become more common as global installations of photovoltaics grow by an expected 800% in the next 10 years. If these systems were installed on all sunny buildings in the US, we could supply at least one-quarter of our electricity needs.
  • Geothermal Power: Today, the United States is the leading producer of geothermal power, producing enough electricity from underground hot rocks for more than 2 million homes. Experts say that we could have 15-30 times as much power over the next few decades thanks to recent advances in geothermal technology.

These technologies are just a few of the opportunities available today. All across the country and around the world, companies, governments, universities, and individuals are working to make renewable energy even more affordable and widely available.

The tide is turning toward renewable energy, but progress has been too slow. Individuals acting alone can't halt the 100+ new coal power plants currently being considered. And they certainly can't build new solar thermal power plants by themselves. That's why we need our leaders at all levels to do more to promote renewable energy.

Some government and business leaders are already taking a leadership role and considering the long-term costs of fossil fuels. Recently, three of the nation's largest investment banks -- Citi, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley -- announced that they will begin using new climate-based principles when considering loans for proposed coal-fired power plants. This is a first step towards investors choosing efficient and clean alternatives -- which will create new jobs in important sectors.

To ensure greater adoption of renewable energy, each of us needs to urge our friends, utility companies, and government officials to more aggressively promote and integrate renewable power into all sectors of the economy. Together, we can stop the building of new dirty power plants and instead ensure that future energy projects take advantage of the clean renewable resources available. Please get involved today.


These are exciting times and we can really do this...

Thank you to the WE Campaign for passing this information onto me onto you.

Author - Journey Home

Friday, August 08, 2008

Success - Petitions are Working!!!

Happy Friday, it is shaping up to be a beautiful weekend. I hope you can get outside and enjoy the beauty of it all…I get quite a few emails like the one below. I wanted to pass it onto you to let you know the action alerts and petitions work. It’s a seemingly small tool and easily at our disposal, but apparently WE are having an impact. There are people out there doing far more heavy lifting than I am – if they want a signature or for me to make a phone call – or to pass the word along it’s the least I can do – especially when they are advocating for a cleaner, healthier, more peaceful world. Hope is a living thing…foster it and spread the good vibe…we are all in this together – the Earth is our life boat in a airless, waterless universe – it’s mind-boggling that we continue to poke holes in her and tear her down. In the end money won’t sustain us…but the Earth will bear fruit, air and water. She’s all we have got hurtling through space and time – I would certainly treat our life vessel with more care – spread the word, spread the truth and have a great weekend!



Dear Paul,

We're pleased to share that Monsanto, the maker of rBGH, announced yesterday that it will sell off its dairy hormone business! After years of trying to stifle consumer rejection of its artificial hormone, even Monsanto has now gotten the message: Consumers don't want rBGH in their milk.

Thank you for all your efforts in advocating against the use of this harmful hormone! In the last year, you've helped stop rBGH-free labeling bans in seven states and encouraged Starbucks to go artificial hormone-free. Here's yet another victory for you to celebrate!

Help us maintain the momentum. Please ask three of your friends to sign our petition encouaging more companies to go rBGH-free.

And stay tuned for further actions on how you can ensure kids get rBGH-free milk in school lunches.

Filmona and Sarah
The Food Team
Food & Water Watch