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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pulp Fiction: Costly makework project for consultants

Map of the Willamette River watershedThe projects that transportation planners should be working on are how to use the rail and the river to make autos unnecessary, not how to promote more driving. Image via Wikipedia

As the forecasts for Oregon under a destabilized climate become ever more dire -- and still manage to underestimate the rate of change being observed -- the Boondoggle on the Willamette known as the "Salem River Crossing" project plods on, busily drafting a monumental fictional opus about a project unlikely to ever be funded (thank God).

This particular opus, known as the "Draft Environmental Impact Statement" is intentionally omitting any analysis of peak oil and, even worse, climate change. In other words, the "environmental" analysis is going to ignore the most crucial environmental question of the millennium, as it relies on travel demand models that assume a future like the past and boundless cheap gasoline available for all. Your tax dollars, hardly at work.
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Friends of Salem Public Library Fall Books (& etc.) Sale

Friends of Salem Public Library Fall Book Sale
Everyone wins when it’s Friends of the Library Book Sale time. Book lovers can load arms and bags with
low-cost reading and all the proceeds go to support special programs and projects at Salem Public Library. Books are sorted by category so readers of all ages and preferences can find what they like best.

The Fall Sale offers two special opportuniti es to enthusiastic book lovers. This is the sale that features “Friends Night,” a members-only preview sale from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, October 15. Shoppers do need to be members to get in, but the Friends make that easy too by selling memberships at the door.

Also, for the 10th year, the Friends will offer Specialty & Collectible books during the Fall Book Sale, available for purchase at marked prices. A Silent Auction and pamphlets will also be available. A few of the treasures offered include:

Accordian Dreams: A Journey into Cajun and Creole Music by Blair Kilpatrick, 2009 (first ed.)

Long Time Gone by J.A. Jance; a specially published limited and signed first edition from 2005

D-Day with the Screaming Eagles by George Koskimaki, 2002

Imperial Life in the Qing Dynasty: Treasures from the Shenyang Palace Museum, China

Oregon The Way It Was by Edwin D Culp; from Caxton Press, 1989
SALE HOURS
  • Thursday, October 15 ― 5-8 p.m. Friends Night (Members only. You can join at the door)
  • Friday, October 16 ― 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 17 ― 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 18 ― 1 - 4:30 p.m. ($3 Bag Day!)
LOCATION: In the Anderson Rooms (Lower Level of Salem Public Library, 585 Liberty St. SE) Paperbacks & Children’s Books — 50 cents; Hardbacks — $1; Romance Paperbacks & Audio-Visual Items — 25 cents; Specialty & Collectibles; rare/collectible books and ephemera at marked prices in the Plaza.

New book from a real Oregonian hero: "What's the Worst That Could Happen"

Oregon science teacher and creator of one of the most-watched YouTube videos ever has put together a must-read book for every voter, politician, and government employee . . . a book that doesn't just push a point of view but instead teaches how to approach the problem from Hell. Low-cost and important. Buy it, buy it for your kids' teachers, all your elected officials, etc. and ask them to read it.
From an interview with James Hansen of NASA:

Earth Island Institute: You've been called the father of global warming. What does that means to you and is it actually true?

Of course it's not true, in the sense that global warming goes way back into the 1800s. The first really good discussion was in the 1860s by John Kendall, who was a British physicist. He speculated that the climate changes from glacial to interglacial were related to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, and that turned out to be right. We've only in the last several years realized and proven that about half of the temperature change in the glacial to interglacial changes is in fact due to changes of greenhouse gases - mainly carbon dioxide.

EII: One of the places most recently where you've been rather blunt is on the proposed Waxman-Markey climate bill. How would you summarize the problems that you see?

You can summarize the problem and prove that the bill is inadequate in a very simple way. You just look at the geophysical constraints on the problem and you look at how much carbon there is in oil, gas, and coal. And you see that the oil and gas is enough to get us into a dangerous zone for atmospheric carbon dioxide but not so far that we couldn't solve the problem. But if you add coal and put that carbon in the atmosphere, then there is no practical way to solve the problem. So you just have to look at the proposed policy and see if it allows coal to continue to be used and emit the CO2 in the atmosphere.

You've got to cut off the coal source. Not only does [Waxman-Markey] assure that we will continue to run these coal plants that we have but it actually gives approval for additional coal plants. That simple test tells us that this bill is not adequate.

The basic point - the fundamental problem - is that because of government policies, fossil fuels are the cheapest form of energy. They are not made to pay for the damages they do to human health and the environment. As long as fossil fuels are the cheapest form of energy, they are going to be used. That's why I say you have to address the fundamental problem and that is put a rising price on carbon emissions.