Archive for the 'global warming' Category

Tell congress to require clean sources of energy

We have the best opportunity we’ve ever had to get this country off of polluting energy like oil and coal and onto real clean alternatives like solar and wind. This week, Congress is voting on H.R. 969, a bill that will require electric suppliers to increase their fuel mix of clean energy to 20% (from a nationwide average of 2% today). If it passes, it’ll be like taking 37 million cars off the road.This will not only help curb the climate crisis, but save consumers money and create new jobs.

I signed a petition urging Congress to vote for to give solar and wind the support they need to assure a clean energy future. Can you join me?

Picture of a wind turbine being erected at the Nine Canyon Wind Project, on the hill overlooking my home.  The 63 wind turbines at Nine Canyon is one of the largest sources of public wind energy in the country.  Regardless of its proximity and importance to the local economy, the city of Richland, where I live, has elected to put 0.00% wind energy (and 0.00% solar energy) in its fuel mix.  I’ve written letters and gotten ahold of the local media with zero results – I’m afraid it is going to take federal law to get them to act.

Advertisements has multiple personality disorder

If you have read me for a while, you know I’m a loyal minion.  I’ve been an active-ish member for quite some time now even though they bombard me with emails about once a day.  I actually read said emails.  And I act on them – emailing my congressmen and even adding a thoughtful paragraph or two to their suggested form letter.

Despite the smam-ish nature of their organization, I still have always loved them.  I felt There was a common passion there for most of my hot-button issues.  And their grass-roots feel was charming to me – it’s like my email box is just one of many neighborhood stoops dotted across the Internet.  We’re much more powerful when we work together.

But something happened a few weeks ago that annoyed me, and has been poking at my frontal lobe ever since.  MoveOn supported a bill that I thought was incredibly backward.  That in itself isn’t a “case closed” for me — I don’t expect that any organization will align themselves exactly in my socially-liberal economically-classic global-economy schizophrenically-political sort of way.  The part that bothered me is that I have no real way to tell them that I don’t back it or why.

In late May (yes I’m incredibly late with this – my blogging has been nothing short of lethargic lately) I got an email from Ilyse Hogue, Moveon Campaign Director, asking me to support a bill supporting banning “gas price gouging”.  Moveon claims that by the end of the summer, gas prices will hit $4.00 by the end of the summer.  I should sign their petition because “gasoline price gouging should be made a federal crime before the summer price increases hurt more American families”.  Gas price gougers could be sent to prison for up to 10 years.

HR 1242 has now passed the house.  Of course it is a popular bill – any bill that makes our pocketbooks a little heavier is bound to be.  But the bill is so poorly written that any large increase in fuel could be seen as “gouging”.  Aren’t their real reasons for an increase?  And so what if fuel prices go up to $4.00 a gallon?  Maybe then our free market system – the system we are so proud of – will do its job.  When prices go up, demand goes down.  This is Econ 101, people.  In simple terms, Americans may finally get it – that driving less, using mass transit, and trading in their SUVs for more fuel-efficient models will actually benefit them.  Price increases in gas may be the only way for us to become less foreign-oil dependent and more greenhouse gas conscious.  You’ve got to hit capitalists where they will stand up and take notice.

When I attempt to click on “faq” or “contact” so I can tell them why I think this bill is a bad idea if they are serious about global warming as they claim, and that American families are bound to get much more hurt when the climate crisis escalates into disease, coastal flood, droughts, wildfires, and death, I get taken to this page.  Obviously this is not an organization interested in my opinion.  They only want to use me when it suits them to add another faceless tally mark next to their cause du jour.

Still, I won’t be clicking “unsubscribe” quite yet.  Although I still feel as used and discarded as a condom in an Amsterdam back alley, I use them right back. is an easy way for me to be alerted when certain bills or political action occur, and they give me an easy way for my voice to be heard.  On my own, I’m just a “concerned housewife from SE Washington State”.  Not a big mover and shaker.

However, I try and make sure I don’t blindly hit that pretty red “sign the petition!” button each and every time it crosses my laptop.  I do some research.  I listen to both sides.  Then I think for myself.

I strongly believe I’m not the only one who puts their own minds, hearts and consciences before those of a political party.  If that’s the definition of a political independent, maybe we should all classify ourselves that way.

Virginia Tech: the bigger issues

At Virginia Tech, a horrible tragedy has taken place today. And the question is once again being asked all over the net – why is it that there is so much seemingly senseless violence in America?

Before I checked the news, I had a lot of posts swirling about in my head. I was hoping to write about something lighthearted. But this morning while I was enjoying my green tea latte and a few stolen moments with my husband then going to lunch with friends, I was oblivious that so many children – and that’s what they were in so many ways – had taken their last breaths.

The question of “why so much in America” has been asked so many times, causing reactions by Congress, parents, and even Michael Moore. We know it is a problem, yet we cannot agree on an answer. Is it the gun laws? Is it our fear-based society? Our tendency toward solving international problems with war? I don’t think any of these by themselves addresses the bigger social issue. But what that bigger social issue is exactly is hard to pin down. We all keep yelling for a bigger bucket, but no one is bothering to mention the giant hole in the roof.

Sidenote: at the time I’m writing this, not much is known about the gunman who also died in the shootings. We don’t know if he was a student or what his motive might have been. An eyewitness says he was of Asian decent. Was he even an American? An international student?

Here in America we value our individual rights above all else, and certainly it’s one of the reasons I love my country. Our bill of rights is the heart of each and every one of us. It is what makes the ACLU possible, for goodness sake. How could I not love it? But for all that yin love, there is a yang that follows. Individualism has a violent side when the rights of the other individuals are lost in too much hate, anger and misunderstanding.

I feel that the same forces that are allowing our capitalist/individualist selves to get out of control and ignore the warning signs of global warming are the same that drive an individual, in extreme cases, to let themselves slip down that dark tunnel into violence. In America, a big SUV like a Hummer is a status symbol. In England, to waste so much gasoline and emit all that nasty pollution is seen as incredibly selfish.

To achieve balance, the yin and yang should be equal. Why is it we as a collective American society cannot manage to find a dichotomy between individualism and community? Why cannot they both exist together? We are unbalanced. We need a cause to pull us together again and out of our collective selfishness. Can I suggest one?

My thoughts, prayers and heart goes out today to the unfinished lives of our nation’s best and the friends and families who mourn them.

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