Monday, January 25, 2010

The weather at Glacier Bay National Park (Crystal Ice Chime) is cold, but, corrupt. Wow. I think this tops VECO..

2009: Second Warmest Year on Record; End of Warmest Decade (click here)

2009 was tied for the second warmest year in the modern record, a new NASA analysis of global surface temperature shows. The analysis, conducted by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City, also shows that in the Southern Hemisphere, 2009 was the warmest year since modern records began in 1880...

I don't consider 27 degrees Fahrenheit very cold for Alaska in January. The article above is from Goddard Institute for Space Studies. One might note the Northern Hemisphere of Earth is where most of the population of humans live. Just coincidence, I suppose.

Local Time: 9:38 AM AKST (GMT -09)

Lat/Lon: 58.8° N 137.0° W

Elevation :: 33 ft.

Temperature :: 27 F

Conditions :: Overcast

Windchill :: 23 F

Humidity :: 93%

Dew Point :: 25 F

Wind :: 4 mph from the NNW

Pressure :: 29.72 inches (Steady)

Visibility :: 10.0 miles

UV :: 0 out of 16

Clouds :: Few – 6600 ft

Mostly Cloudy – 8000 ft

Overcast – 9500 ft

Remember the VECO Scandal in Alaska? It helped Palin move into the Governor's Seat? Remember that? That was a State issue. Yes?

Alaska: The Senator and the Oil Man (click here)

...This week, NOW goes behind the breaking headlines to shine a bright light on the scandalous connection between VECO and Alaska's old-boy political network. Three state legislators have already been convicted in Federal court for accepting bribes from VECO, and the FBI has video and audio evidence that reveal VECO executives shockingly handing out cash to those legislators in exchange for promises to roll back a tax on the oil industry. And more lawmakers - including Senator Stevens' own son, former Alaska State Senate President Ben Stevens - are being eyed in the growing scandal....

Well, it would seem as though contracts sold during the Bush/Cheney years of Alaskan oil, might be in sincere violation of all kinds of laws and standards. Tell me I should be surprised the federal Interior Department during those years was corrupt.

It would seem the federal government during the Bush/Cheney years forgot about any objections Native Americans might have to their culture and lands. No clue.

Shell faces legal fight over Arctic wells (click title to entry - thank you), Sunday 24 January 2010 17.08 GMT
Nick Mathiason

...The legal claim accuses the US's minerals management service, part of the federal interior department, of waving through permission to allow Shell to drill wells on the basis of an "abbreviated and internal review" of the environmental dangers of exploration.

The US portion of the Chukchi Sea, which separates north-western Alaska from north-eastern Siberia, is believed to hold 15bn barrels of recoverable oil and 76tn cubic feet of recoverable natural gas, according to the interior department.

It is also home to endangered bowhead whales, threatened polar bears and rich and varied fish stock. There are further concerns that more drilling in the region will increase warming in the Arctic, which is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world.

"Shell's drilling brings with it the risk of large oil spills," said Pamela Miller, Alaska programme director for the Northern Alaska Environmental Center. "Chronic spills are a fact of life from oil and gas operations on Alaska's North Slope, where over 6,000 spills have occurred since 1996, and more than 400 of these took place at offshore oil fields. In the icy conditions of the Arctic Ocean, there is no way to effectively clean up spilled oil."

Shell also needs air emission, oil discharge and marine mammal harassment permits before it can extract oil. Last year, the Anglo-Dutch oil group was forced to scale down oil drilling in hte Beaufort Sea off Alaska amid concerns that oil spillages would cause devastation to marine life....

How far does the corruption reach? Good question? Maybe Sarah could recommit to politics by running for mayor of North Slope Borough.

According to the mayor of North Slope Borough, there is no reason to attempt to do anything for Polar Bears because nothing will work anyway. Let me see if I understand that. He doesn't want to do anything that would preserve critical habitat because it isn't going to return sea ice to the Polar Bears, therefore, Polar Bears aren't important at all.

I see.

I suppose the critical habitat might give the Polar Bear a place where it could live exclusively with some barriers to the migration of Grizzly Bears though, so the Polar Bears don't completely lose their genetic basis for existence.

I mean why fight for critical habitat for any cornerstone species and predators? Right? Why have the Endangered Species Laws at all? Hm?

I mean there is no such thing as Human Induced Global Warming and Carbon Dioxide could never be a toxic gas, right?

NSB mayor still concerned with offshore oil (click here)

Edward S. Itta
Jan 23, 2010

The positions that caught her attention were:

1. The borough's decision not to join litigation against federal approval of Shell's revised Beaufort Sea exploration plan; and

2. Our opposition to the federal designation of 200,000 square miles of Arctic Ocean and North Slope coastal area as critical habitat for the polar bear.

I decided not to join the recent litigation because Shell had made changes to reduce the size and scope of its exploration plan as a result of our concerns. In addition, the federal government strengthened the permits by stipulating when drilling will have to shut down to accommodate the subsistence whaling season. Am I ready to say "full steam ahead" on offshore development? Absolutely not. I have major concerns about sediment discharge, air quality and other features of the proposed activity, and I am continuing to work with industry and the agencies to improve them. But there were good and consistent reasons for my position on Shell's permits.

My opposition to the polar bear critical habitat designation was a much easier decision. Fish and wildlife listed the polar bear as a threatened species and declared vast areas as critical habitat because global climate change is melting the sea ice, which provides an important platform for polar bear feeding at certain times of year. There is nothing that North Slope residents can do to mitigate the warming of the ocean and disappearance of the sea ice. Restricting our activity in a 200,000-square-mile area will not help the polar bear. It will only make life more difficult for people who live in and use this area. In a worst-case scenario, the designation could restrict subsistence activities, which would do real harm to people on the North Slope without making any difference to the health of the polar bear population. This makes no sense at all, and it understandably upsets people throughout the region....

What the Massachusetts election did was to modify the wayward Senate bill. THAT, is a good thing.

The American people WANT to be saved from the lobbyists. It is up to the Democrats and President Obama to achieve that. If you ask me? About Massachusetts? I think the voters in the SUBURBS and RURAL AREAS were deceived into believing Brown actually cares about their issues. He wouldn't be against health care reform if he did !

Posted: Jan 25, 2010 3:06 AM EST

Updated: Jan 25, 2010 3:06 AM EST

...Nevadans are sounding off on what's going on in Washington D.C. (click title to entry - thank you)

Most of the people Channel 2 News spoke with say they favor some sort of healthcare plan for everyone. But, they add, they think the bill is getting watered down to appease both parties.

Donna March lives in Fallon and says, "I was hopeful at first. But, I think they will have to make a lot of concessions in order to move that through."

The House and Senate passed separate versions of the Healthcare Bill last year.

But, they have to agree on a final version before it goes to President Obama.

"Obviously, Obama is going to try and make the Democrats and Republicans work together," says Jim Benesche of Reno.

Others, like Nate Teel think universal healthcare is a bad idea and it should be up to the individuals to figure out how to provide their own health coverage.

"My wife and I are both in school. We don't make a ton of money but, we manage to buy healthcare monthly," Teel says.

Some of your friends, neighbors and co-workers say it doesn't matter how it's accomplished, healthcare reform has to happen in our country....

Rebuilding the USA into 'sustainable' jobs does not happen overnight. But, this is a methodology that takes each failure seriously and seeks to solve

ETA News Release: [01/20/2010]
Contact Name: Mike Trupo or Lina Garcia
Phone Number: (202) 693-3414 or x4661
Release Number: 10-0078-NAT

US Department of Labor announces nearly $190 million in State Energy Sector Partnership and Training Grants for green jobs

Department's 2010 investment in green jobs edges toward $440 million mark in 3 weeks

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced nearly $190 million in green jobs training grants, as authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). The State Energy Sector Partnership and Training Grants are designed to teach workers the skills required in emerging industries, including energy efficiency and renewable energy. This set of green grants is the third awarded in as many weeks by the U.S. Department of Labor. Less than a month into 2010, the department's investment in this growing area of the job marketplace is close to the $440 million mark.

"These grants will help workers gain access to good jobs, while supporting the sort of statewide energy efficiency strategies that play a crucial role in building the green economy of the 21st century," said Secretary Solis.

Thirty-four awards ranging from approximately $2 million to $6 million each are being made to state workforce investment boards in partnership with their state workforce agencies, local workforce investment boards or regional consortia of boards, and One-Stop Career Center delivery systems. Through the grant awards announced today, program participants will receive the technical and occupational skills necessary to obtain industry recognized credentials...

Two more political entries at The Hate Zone (click title to entry - thank you)

Frist admits the Republicans don't care about access to health care and David Ploufe arrives to assist the Obama Administration in determining when best the President should spend time with his colleagues in their campaigns.

Thank you, David. I think in Massachusetts, the Democrats missed the climb by Brown and it could have been stemmed if it was found earlier. Of course, Brown plugs into, 'the hometown man' advantage.

In the Massachusetts election, Boston and many other significant populations in all regions of the state DID NOT vote for Brown. I found the fact that Brown did not carry Boston by a large margin more interesting than his win.