Monthly Archives:March 2011

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EPA Vote: Senate Democrats about to screw things up on climate change again

After 20 years of dithering about climate change by the politicians in Washington, the EPA finally acted. Now the politicians are voting to return to another two years of dithering.

The Senate is set to vote today on a group of bills, all of which would in one way or another cut of the EPA’s carbon regulation at the knees. The Senate Republicans – who nearly to a man don’t believe in climate change – will be joined by a group of Democrats who don’t seem to believe in much of anything.

March 30th

Bad publicity from animal cruelty? Ban publicity…

In two states, bills are making their way through the legislature that will deal with bad publicity affecting factory farms in a novel way.

It turns out that folks don’t like to buy meat if they hear about the horrible, inhumane way in which it’s been raised. But rather than clean up their act, big ag has decided the problem isn’t disgusting business practices – it’s videos of disgusting business practices. So they’ll make THOSE illegal.

March 29th

Japan nuclear mess: They really have no idea

After weeks of government assurances that everything is under control and there is nothing to worry about, recent events at the damaged Japanes nuclear reactors have revealed the truth: They really have no idea what’s going on inside there.

If there’s one lesson we can gain from this odyssey, it’s that nuclear reactors are only safe so long as nothing goes wrong.

March 25th

Is Europe’s ban on Monsanto’s GMO crops illegal?

Monsanto got a big boost in Europe yesterday when a European Union official ruled that the Union’s constituent countries couldn’t independently ban genetically modified crops (GMOs) on their turf. France and five other EU countries have put a blanket ban on GMOs, citing safety concerns.

March 23rd

Chevron is at it again

Chevron may have lost in court, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to give up its 18-year battle to refuse to pay to clean up the mess it made in Ecuador.

Clearly, the oil giant is terrified that if it has to take responsibility for its actions in Ecuador, it may be forced to clean up the toxic legacy of its slovenly business practices all around the world, from Indonesia to Nigeria.

March 17th

What’s wrong with the Democrats

I’ve had some harsh things to say about the caliber of intestinal fortitude displayed by the Democrats in Washington. And with my current series about Nuclear Power, there will be more.

But Ezra Klein has a devastating takedown of everything that’s wrong with Washington, in a nice tight package tied up with the headline/bow “The sad, hypocritical retirement of Evan Bayh.”

March 17th

A New Look At The American “Food Dollar”

Patrick Canning of  the Economic Research Service of the USDA just released a new report on food prices.  My friend, John, sent it to me knowing that I can never resist a new set of interesting data.  I made some graphs to try to unpack the story here.  The title of the report is “A […]

March 15th

House GOP lying about gas prices

In the fantasyland that passes for political debate in Washington, House Republicans are going all-out to blame high gas prices on – you guessed it – the Environmental Protection Agency. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton is hawking the gas price snake oil as House leadership rams through legislation to block EPA from curbing dangerous carbon pollution.

March 14th

Yet Another Organic Fertilizer Fraud: Should You Care?

The short answer is “no.”  Here is the longer answer: Last Thursday the president of Port Organic Products Ltd was indicted on 28 counts of mail fraud for marketing an “Organic” fertilizer that was spiked with aqueous ammonia – a “synthetic” source of nitrogen which is not allowed under the Organic rules.  Nelson had represented […]

March 12th

What killed a million sardines in California?

State fishery biologists are conducting tests on some of the million-plus sardines from the Redondo Beach Harbor in southern California to determine the cause of a massive die-off on Tuesday, March 8, according to Andrew Hughan, Department of Fish and Game (DFG) spokesman. Approximately one million dead sardines were discovered in the Redondo Beach harbor […]

March 11th