Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Canaries die in Coal Mines you know.

Yes, way back when when they took a Canary into the coal mine, if a Canary died it was because the levels of Carbon Monoxide or Methane gas, or other noxious gases were unsafe, and that meant it was time for the miners to evacuate. Why bring this up?

I was watching CNN earlier this evening when I noticed an advertisement, it was for Americaspower.org. This consortium of Coal Suppliers and Utility Magnates and their financiers (and I lament to the fact that Bank of America, my own Banking Institution actively finances the building and maintaining of these plants why allocating less than 2% to the fight to stop global warming - and did I mention that >2% is spread out over 10 years?) are trying to dupe the more than unsuspecting American public through controlled marketing to believe that Coal is the best and only alternative for foreign oil consumption.

Only 3% of America's "energy needs are met by oil" Well duh, our main consumption of oil is in our vehicles not our homes!!!

And worse yet they're pinning the capitalization of oil independence to the soon to be released American Made "plug and play" cars to be released by the "big three."

But don't take my word for it, just read their dribble.

They claim to have cleaned coal by removing (reducing) the release of the main particulate matter into the atmosphere, while at the same time not speaking of reduction concerning release of CO2. Why? Because they've not found a viable way to reduce CO2.

This is important of course to me because their is a heated public debate in SC about the construction on the Great Pee Dee of a very large, very expensive Coal-Fired plant. Much to my dismay even the State which has tended to air on the side of the greens has succumbed to mammon and is advertising this vile philosophy in their publications. I'm looking at your blog Mr. Warthen - there's the banner right there!!!

Most Greens will cringe (or cry heresy) but the one thing these people at Americas Power do have right is that right now the viability of the current renewables and sustainables for base power is not there - Solar and Wind, and Methane exchange (whether from landfill gass or pooh, which I think is still viable everywhere - hello municipal waterworks!!!):

Intermittent energy resources like wind and solar are used for meeting peak energy demand because they are not always available. That is different from coal, which is used to provide “base load” power — the constant, steady supply of electricity we depend upon throughout the day.

I like some neo-greens dramatically the amount of fuel needed to run a facility there by exponentially reducing wastes and 3) believe it might be worthwhile to look back into Nuclear power, as I've stated before, at least we know we've managed to 1) clean it up immensely by cuttingMiniaturization, we now don't need nearly the amount of space for a nuclear power plant as we did 40 years ago and guess what - they're safer!!!! (and that's an understatement) Besides, the benefits of nuclear energy far outweigh the protractions. After all one side effect of nuclear energy is the production of Hydrogen which is near and dear to all South Carolinians since we're trying to hinge our economic future on it.

Now for the vitriol and mixed metaphors:

So bring it on Americaspower.org, you may have Congress and the MSM in your hip pocket(Brad We're upset by your betrayal), and you may have the world of big finance and big corporations in your wallet, but you won't win the hearts and minds of the American people, at least certainly not all of them. Just look around you. This "idea" of global warming which you've so casually and ruefully ignored and continue to down play for the sake of profit and your lies which you call "progress" are finally catching up. You've managed to awaken an angry giant which is the American public, don't believe me? Just look around, you and your cronies in high finance are falling left and right, this year in local elections, and next year your prison-'wife' President in the WhiteHouse are out the door (Have you wondered why both parties' primaries are moving up so early next year, it's called anticipation of getting that jackass out, since we can't impeach him because that'd serve no good we're just looking forward with warm hearts and tears in our eyes to getting him out of there). The people are awakening from the great slumber that you and all the other "Business as usual folks" have imposed and are pissed. Fervently pissed.

The canary is dead, we're coming out of the mine and into the light.

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Anonymous said...

In defense of your fellow blogger, and my fellow journalist, Brad Warthen:

Banner ads appear on a rotating basis based on how often and to which demographics the advertiser has asked that it appear, the latter of which is dependent on keywords like 'coal' and 'alternative energy' hidden in your browser's cookies.

Newspapers are divided into discreet departments that, in order to remain unbiased, must maintain a degree of independence from each other, not unlike the separation of powers in the three branches of US government. As a part of The State's editorial staff, Mr. Warthen is not tasked with choosing which ads appear above his blog at the moment a reader visits.

Newspapers are built around a tradition, and in our society, a duty of providing a fair and ethical forum for disseminating information. This includes each aspect of the delivery of news: reporting of facts, editorial content, advertising, circulation, delivery.

Allowing those with whom you do not agree an opportunity to speak, even in the form of advertising, is central to free and open dialogue.

While a newspaper is not required by law to allow any and all advertisements, they have a tradition of doing something very close to that. It is part of the accountability role they serve in free society-- the invisible fourth branch of our government.

I say all of that to say this: The best way to counter an argument that one feels is incorrect or misleading is with facts and arguments of one's own.

In this part-time newsman's opinion, the news staff at The State should continue to report factually on the impact of that new coal plant, while the editorial staff continues to provides opinions (including letters to the editor) which help the reader decide which side of the argument he is on.

The advertising staff should continue to sell ads in a free and fair manner, without bias, to those who wish to have their voice heard.

Without the revenue from advertising airtime or print space, there would be insufficient funding to independently report the news.

The are alternatives to an independent press, underwritten by advertising, state-run news and television chief among them. In spite of all the failings of the press in our society, we still have it better than those who get their "news" through the filter of a government censor.

Still another alternative may exist: news by first person opinion. It's direct democracy applied to information. News by plebiscite. The trouble with this kind of news is, there is no obligation to confirm facts and no peer-reviewed, editorial safeguards on what is published. Survival of the loudest.

I think it's great that bloggers like Brad Warthen are trying to bridge the gap between the ethics of print journalism and the new media frontier.

As long as he keeps presenting intelligent, independent opinion, and the folks downstairs in the newsroom at The State strive for unbiased facts, the advertising section can and should sell space to anyone.

Anonymous said...

I suppose I could have summed up the above post like this:

Although it may seem unfair that massive corporations have the means to blanket the world in advertising that sells their own point of view, maybe it is up to people like yourself, in forums such as these, to provide an adequate counterbalance.