Archive for November, 2014

A Fantasy EPA Official Speaks

29 November 2014

One of my favorite profs in grad school always prefaced my name with “The Ironic Miss.” Indeed, irony and satire, still rate high with me.

Hence I love this little bit of satire from The Newsroom. Of course, I’d love it even more were it truly ironic and satirical. I fear our “reality” may be closer to irony and satire than this.

For the current carbon dioxide level, click here.

Cassandra

Addendum: Mother Jones fact checked this. Good article. As I said, the “satire” is mostly true; one gets more irony and satire reading some “news” and blog articles offered up by deniers. Still, all are pretty funny, funnier still if one is old and childless.

No Free Lunch, No Brighter Future

22 November 2014

Renewable energy, sustainable energy, green energy. We’ll replace fossil fuels and all will be well. We’ll carry on as is, right?

Wrong. First of all, no established fuel source compares to that of fossil fuel. Aside from the fact that its emissions are currently changing the entire climate of the planet–and not for the better of most living beings–it’s an ideal energy source, that is, small amounts produce large amounts of energy. Of the current replacements, large wind and solar arrays are great–unless you are a bat or a bird.

In fact, all of our attempts to find alternative sources of energy look pretty bleak when examined closely.

“Abundant Clean Renewables? Think Again!”

Of course, the answer is simple: reduce population, reduce use of energy.

But no one wants to hear that. Human brains are not wired to hear that.

Oh well.

Cassandra

“The Fatal Flaw With Democracy”

7 November 2014

“The Fatal Flaw With Democracy”

I’ve only glanced at this because it looks to be a painful read. Unfortunately, I fear it sums up the country I now call USA Inc. a place run by Billionaires United.

There are times when I wish I did drugs.

Cassandra

More on Water

7 November 2014

Way back, I posted several blog entries on the depletion of the midwest aquifers. So now, I’m posting just a few random links on the current situation of the water supply in the US.

California:

“These Maps of California’s Water Shortage Are Terrifying”

Wyoming:

“Busted, Part Deux! Fracking Chemicals Found in Wyoming Water Supply”

The Path of the Keystone Pipeline:

The Fracker’s Quest: More Water

“Ogallala Aquifer Report Fails to Settle Concerns Over Oil Spill Risk”

As you can see from these few articles, the US is fine. Everything’s peachy. Go water your driveway.

Cassandra

How Ignorant Are Typical Americans?

5 November 2014

While major American universities continue to be held in high regard throughout the world, Americans themselves do not. We are not and have never been a country of intellectuals. Far from it. The typical American regards higher education as frou-frou. In short, we are, as the late Richard Hofstadter’s Pulitzer winning Anti-Intellectualism in American Life shows, a country that finds intellect suspicious at best and contemptible at worst. We almost pride ourselves on our ignorance.

A weird pattern emerges. College costs money–lots of money–but becoming educated also requires considerable mental effort, something Americans apparently don’t grok since the price tag is hidden in the future or in some sort or arcane cult, a knowing for the sake of knowing society. Any sort of effort to find stuff out is almost unAmerican. We are the pinnacle, so we just KNOW or KNOW someone who KNEW, don’t we?

Add to this wonderful ethos the profound fear that’s soaked this land since Septebmer 11, 2001, and you end up with a country that provides a home to quiveringly blank people. As proof, I offer the sheep running this school:

“Kentucky Teacher Resigns Over Parents’ Dumb Ebola Fears”

Yes, the teacher and her husband show that the United States indeed has some intelligent, knowledgeable people left. However, the mere fact that people RUNNING a SCHOOL stick to an insane sanction rather than learning about the disease, about geography, and educating the parents and students, proves my point, doesn’t it?

Those folks in Kentucky had what those in education profession call a “teachable moment.” This map might have been a boon to the generally geographically illiterate American:

How Big Is Africa

Did anyone at this school do any research before making a decision? Did they look at a map? Look up the transmission vectors for ebola? Did they feel any responsibility to educate themselves?

What sort of model are they providing for their students? I fear they displayed model ignorance, model fear, modern modern America.

Cassandra

UPDATE: “Former St. Margaret Mary Teacher: ‘Resignation Had Nothing to Do with Kenya or Ebola'”