Thursday, January 8, 2009
Well, hold onto those emotions, because there are a couple of places you can channel that energy into useful work:
1) rBGH Free Salem
[rGBH = recombinant bovine growth hormone; "posilac(R)" in the movie.]
Meet with other folks like yourself who are concerned about the outrageous violation of a corporation like Monsanto not only tampering with the basic code for cows in order to more fully industrialize dairying in America (and eliminate as many dairy farmers as possible) but also lying, cheating, and lobbying (or is that redundant) to prevent consumers from having the ability to know when their food contains milk from cows doped-up with this insidious product.
Rick North of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility will be among those attending.
MORE INFO: Lori Beamer, firstname.lastname@example.org
WHEN: Wednesday, January 29, 20209, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
WHERE: 2nd floor, Crystal Garden Bldg, 210 Liberty St. SE (above Tea Party Bookstore, corner of Liberty and Ferry -- and thanks to Tea Party for the great book table tonight!)
2) Friends of Straub Environmental Learning Center host a discussion by four experts (including Rick North and Lisa Weasel, one of the speakers at the movie tonight).
Genetic Engineering [sic*] in Agriculture: Four Perspectives on Benefits and Hazards
WHEN: Thursday, February 5, 2009, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Salem Public Library (Anderson Room?) 585 Liberty St. SE
MORE INFO: Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility weblink
(* The "sic" is warranted because calling genetic tampering "engineering" implies a degree of control, predictability, and knowledge of consequences that is totally absent from the genetic tampering that corporations like Monsanto do. For these companies, the world is their laboratory -- literally, and damn the costs to everyone else.)
UPDATE: Nice post on Monsanto's subversion of the academic research agenda.
UPDATE II: A nice post on the inconvenient fact (for Monsanto) that gene-tampered foods won't help us deal with the climate crisis.
I've started several times to respond with cogent analysis and keen insights about the pros and cons of gas tax vs. mileage taxes ...http://www.blueoregon.com/2009/01/of-mileage-and.html
Of Mileage and Gas TaxesJeff Alworth
I was pondering the question of the Governor's proposed mileage tax yesterday while listening to the rebroadcast of Think Out Loud. Because they are both related, the mileage and gas taxes are often discussed together. But, based on my pidgin economics, learned mostly on blogs, this seemed backward. Shouldn't you first ask what you're paying for and what behavior you want to promote? So I went to a econ blog and lo, the blogger was asking the same thing:
If you are proposing Pigovian taxes, then both make sense but address very different things. Driving a car imposes external costs through the impact on the environment, through the wear and tear on the roads and through the time cost of congestion.
A mileage tax addresses the wear and tear issue. People who drive will be assessed a tax that is equivalent to the cost of the road wear they are responsible for.... The gas tax is Pigovian in addressing the environmental impact of the amount of carbon emitted which is exactly related to the gas used.It is clear that each tax is also a poor way to address the other issue, to wit: a gas tax is not a good way to address wear and tear because a Prius could do a lot of wear and tear with little gas and a Mustang could do little wear and tear with a lot of gas; and a mileage tax doesn't work, for the very same reason, as a way to address environmental impact.
But even if you're clear which about objective you're targeting, there are other ramifications. Take the mileage tax. People are innately queasy about having a government agency tracking their car--and reasonably so. What happens to this info? Who controls it and who can access it? Another feature of this proposal involves taxing you more for driving during rush hours or in congested traffic. Is this a reasonable penalty for people who already feel penalized by being stuck in traffic in the first place? Presumably, they'd avoid the congestion if it was avoidable. What behavior do you hope to incentivize here?
The gas tax, which is less complex, nevertheless has complications. On the green side of the ledger, it's a no-brainer. It acts as an incentive for people to drive more fuel-efficient cars or drive less. It penalizes those who use gas-guzzlers proportionately. But on other sides of the ledger, it's not so great. As lower-income people are forced further outside of the city core, transportation costs are borne disproportionatley by them. And it effectively amounts to a tax on rural residents who have no access to public transporation. It's true that the correlation between carbon production and taxes are directly relational, but again, are you penalizing people who can't change their behavior?
Hmmm. Your thoughts?
Dealing with Waste in a Sustainable Community: A three part community forum series for dealing with waste reduction, waste management, growth and sustainable solutions
A series of three forums to be held at: William Paulus Lecture Hall
Willamette University College of Law, Salem, Oregon (On Winter St. just S. of State)
The dates are January 22nd, February 26th, and March 26th
6:30 pm :Registration and Displays
7:00 pm : Presentations Followed by Q & A
Forum One – Jan. 22, 2009
Oregon DEQ Waste Reduction Strategies
- Cathie Davidson, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Recycling Efforts in Marion County
– Alan Pennington, Waste Reduction Coordinator for Marion County Environmental Services
Creating Jobs and Saving Recources through Recycling
– John Matthews, Garten Services
Forum Two – Feb. 26, 2009
Incineration Dangers: From Nanoparticles to Nonsustainability
– Dr. Paul Connett, renowned expert on zero waste and waste incineration by-products.
Covanta/Marion County Waste-to-Energy Facility as an Integrated Part of the County's Waste Management System
– Jeffrey Hahn, Environmental Director for Covanta Energy Corporation
Forum Three – March 26, 2009
Marion County's Solid Waste Master Plan
– Jeff Bickford, Marion County Environmental Services and Doug Drennen, J.R. Miller Consultants
League of Women Voters of Marion/Polk Counties Waste Study: presentation of the League 2-year study including questions raised by the committee and response to the MCSW Master Plan recommendations.
– Deanie Anderson, Susann Kaltwasser, David Phelps, and Sharon Johnson
League of Women Voters of Marion/Polk Counties
Friends of Marion County
Health Care Without Harm
Oregon Center for Environmental Health
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Oregon Toxics Alliance
Salem City Club
Willamette University – Center for Sustainable Communities
Sponsors will be collecting non-perishable food items for Marion-Polk Food Share at registration.