Sunday, May 31, 2009

Green Promise Seen in Switch to LED Lighting

" trend that is redefining the century-old conception of lighting, replacing energy-wasting disposable bulbs with efficient fixtures that are often semi-permanent, like those used in plumbing.

Studies suggest that a complete conversion to the lights could decrease carbon dioxide emissions from electric power use for lighting by up to 50 percent in just over 20 years; in the United States, lighting accounts for about 6 percent of all energy use. A recent report by McKinsey & Company cited conversion to LED lighting as potentially the most cost effective of a number of simple approaches to tackling global warming using existing technology."


Friday, May 29, 2009

Report: Carbon pollution to grow by 40 percent

WASHINGTON - The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide seeping into the atmosphere will increase by nearly 40 percent worldwide by 2030 if ways are not found to require mandatory emission reductions, a U.S. government report said Wednesday.

The Energy Information Administration said world energy consumption is expected to grow by 44 percent over the next two decades as the global economy recovers and continues to expand. The biggest increases in energy use will come from economically developing countries such as China and India.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Obama in Health Insurance Industry Hip Pocket

by Mike O'Brien

If I were to discontinue my TV cable, one show that I would miss would be Bill Moyers. He consistently hosts a program with thought provoking guests on a wide variety of current topics and often their voices are drowned out by the corporate media. This past week was one such time.

"....It's a Harris poll last fall. One out of 14 people think that the health insurance industry is honest and trustworthy. On the other hand, in Washington, they're in bed with the health insurance industry. Just as Wall Street and the banks have bought the Congress to get what they want in terms of the bailout, the health insurance industry has bought and influenced members of Congress and the President so much that they don't even consider the possibility of a plan that doesn't have a health insurance industry..."

The topic was concerning a single payer healthcare system and hosted the following guests:

Dr. David Himmelstein

Dr. David Himmelstein is associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and serves as the chief of the Division of Social and Community Medicine at Cambridge Hospital where he practices primary care internal medicine. He received his M.D. from Columbia University and completed internal medicine training at Highland Hospital/University of California San Francisco, and a fellowship in general internal medicine at Harvard.

Dr. Himmelstein was a founder of Physicians for a National Health Program and serves as co-director of the Center for National Health Program Studies at the Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He co-edits PNHP's newsletter and is a principal author of PNHP articles published in the JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine in conjunction with Dr. Steffie Woolhandler.

Dr. Sidney Wolfe

Sidney Wolfe, MD is acting President of Public Citizen and director of it's Health Research Group. In 1966 he began working at the National Institutes of Health where he did research on aspects of blood-clotting and on alcoholism. Dr. Wolfe met Ralph Nader in Washington, D.C. at a meeting of the American Patients Association, began advising Mr. Nader on health problems in America and helped in the recruitment of medical student volunteers who worked for Mr. Nader.

Since 1995 he has been an adjunct professor of Internal Medicine at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. His medical degree is from Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio and his internship and residency were in internal medicine. He is currently a member of the Society for General Internal Medicine. His awards include receiving the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1990.

There appears nothing more diagnostic about the problems American's face in regards to the downside of our capitalist system. Clearly, corporate insurance companies have the power to dominate the political structure of America, insuring that dollars are funneled into the insurance industry coffers and not into providing healthcare to the American people.

The program can be streamed from here...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Cautionary Video About America’s ‘Stuff’

The thick-lined drawings of the Earth, a factory and a house, meant to convey the cycle of human consumption, are straightforward and child-friendly. So are the pictures of dark puffs of factory smoke and an outlined skull and crossbones, representing polluting chemicals floating in the air.Which is one reason “The Story of Stuff,” a 20-minute video about the effects of human consumption, has become a sleeper hit in classrooms across the nation.

The video is a cheerful but brutal assessment of how much Americans waste, and it has its detractors. But it has been embraced by teachers eager to supplement textbooks that lag behind scientific findings on climate change and pollution. And many children who watch it take it to heart: riding in the car one day with his parents in Tacoma, Wash., Rafael de la Torre Batker, 9, was worried about whether it would be bad for the planet if he got a new set of Legos.

Read more and view video..