The wind is at our backs now, with red states leading the way

In the current administration, where we all fear that fossil fuel output, dangerous and destructive oil pipelines, and coal mining will return to their heyday, at a devastating cost to our environment, my blogger-friend Keith has positive news on renewable energy sources and their continuity in spite of Trump and Pruitt! Please take a few moments to read Keith’s post and drop him a comment to let him know you appreciate a bit of positive news! Thank you Keith, both for the post and the unspoken permission to share!

musingsofanoldfart

While our President is not a fan of wind energy (having unsuccessfully sued the Scottish government to stop an offshore development) and has made some climate change is a hoax comments, rather quietly, renewable energy continues to move up the charts. Solar energy is going like gangbusters with double-digit growth in production and jobs, but wind energy has surpassed hydro energy as the largest form of renewable energy in the US. What is interesting, most of the growth in wind energy is occurring rather quietly in mostly red states.

From an American Energy News article last week:

Texas has more than 20 MW of installed wind capacity, or nearly a quarter of the market. Iowa is the second-biggest wind state, and Oklahoma overtook California for third place at the end of 2016.

 The first offshore wind project in the United States also came online in the fourth quarter…

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An Immediate Crisis

Erik Hare of Barataria fame has hit the nail right on the head. No commetary from Filosofa … just read Erik’s post! Spot on and thanks, Erik! (Here, by the way, is an annotated transcript of the press conference to which Erik refers)

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

You realize we’re less than one month into this circus, yes?

After a press conference today the problem at hand should be obvious to absolutely everyone – the President has a severe mental illness. Nothing else matters at this point. There will be many sentences written, many hours of panel discussions, and hundreds of facebook posts shared going around this simple and obvious fact. But like the vast majority of our politics, it will be irrelevant.

The only thing which matters at this time is the peril faced by the United States, and indeed the world, because so much power is in the hands of someone obviously not well.

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Uneasy Civilization

My blogger-friend Hugh is a philosopher, a deep thinker. Whereas I look at the political turmoil and upheaval of current times, both in the U.S. and on the other side of the globe, and wonder why some people are so determined to destroy our society, Hugh finds the answers to those questions in the works of the old philosophers. His post today is an excellent analysis of why people are so willing to follow and support leaders like Trump, LePen and Wilders in spite of, or perhaps because of, the chaos they create. Please take a few minutes to read Hugh’s post and think about what he says. Thank you Hugh for the implied permission to share this post!

hughcurtler

In 1929 Sigmund Freud wrote his famous and truly remarkable book Civilization and Its Discontents. The latter term, in German, is “Unbehagen,” which means, literally, “uneasiness.” In any event, Freud pointed out that civilization is bought at a price. He never suggested that the price was not worth paying, but those who followed him and had a much less penetrating insight into the trials and tribulations of civilized people decided that the price was not worth paying. Freud worried about repression and sublimation (which actually resulted in creative activity) whereas his acolytes preached that mental health consists in the absence of restraint in order to foster increased pleasure and “realizing one’s potential.”

What followed in this country within a decade or two was a plethora of pop-psychologists telling Americans that repression was a bad thing and the values that had created what we call “civilized society” were a sham. Following Nietzsche, they…

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THE STRANGER ON THE BUS RESTORED MY FAITH IN HUMANITY!

Of late, it is easy to wonder where we, as a nation, left our humanity. To wonder if the whole world has become bigoted and intolerant. This story by fellow blogger Hijabi-Online gave me reason for hope and reminded me that there are good people out there. Please take a few moments to read her story.

Hijabi Online

The bus was empty so I decided to sit on the lower deck, at the front, there was only one other passenger on the bus who sat in front of me, a few minutes went by and I noticed that she kept turning back and looking at me. Every time I smiled, she would quickly look away, as funny as it seems she was not very good at disguising it. I didn’t mind the starting it was normal I know some people do it out of curiosity, because they feel sorry for me and others do it out of ignorance, but whatever the reason it didn’t bother me. The glances kept exchanging back and forth throughout the entire journey.

Until we came to a stop where she picked up her bag and stoop up, to my surprise she turned facing towards me and slipped a folded note into my hands…

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Protecting the Grey Wolf is Protecting Our Public Lands

One blog I recently began following, Nomad Advocate, is written by Travis Deaton, an adventurer, humanitarian and advocate, as his by-line says. He is doing some excellent volunteer work to preserve our national parks and wildlife. Last night, his post struck a chord with me, and I feel compelled to share it today. Under the new administration in Washington, some 3.3 million acres of public land may be sold in the near future for the purpose of mining and drilling. Not only would this destroy some of our most valuable resources, but poses a significant threat to the wildlife on and around that land. Please take a few minutes to read Travis’ excellent, well-researched post. Thank you Travis for all the good work you are doing, and for permission to share this post!

Nomad Advocate

The United States Congress has already introduced legislation to sell off 3.3 million acres of public land, the White House has already appointed a pro-drilling, anti-federal land head to lead the Department of the Interior, and this current 6th Mass Extinction is still raging onward. It can be easy to think of conservation of land and conservation of wildlife as two separate entities, but often times they are tightly correlated. Take the grey wolf and preservation efforts here in the U.S. Grey Wolf populations have a substantial impact on the environment and positively impacts dozens-hundreds of other species. The United States Congress has introduced legislation to remove ESA protections from wolves in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Wyoming, in an attempt to expand their land-grab from the American people. Why would Congressional Republicans and a drill-hungry White House care about wolf protections?

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Wolves have a large territorial pattern so any efforts to…

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Silence Is Not Golden

I frequently share Hugh Curtler’s posts, as he is among my favourite bloggers – well spoken, intellectual, and his ideas are most always relevant to what is happening in our world. What is happening in our world today is what some of us have feared since the November election: the flow of information from government agencies to the press and the public is being curtailed, shut down, and we must protest this loudly. If you read nothing else today, please take a moment to read this post by Hugh, and if you feel so inclined, pass it along. This needs to be protested loud and clear, for if we are kept in the dark about what our government is doing, if we are kept in the dark about what is happening in our nation, we will soon lose our ability to make choices about our own future.

hughcurtler

In the face of the recent shut-down of the E.P.A. (for all intents and purposes) including the directive to all employees to basically keep their collective mouths shut, one must object and do so loudly. I swore I was not going to allow myself to get all riled up by what this man does — after all, we saw this coming, didn’t we? — but the attempt to gag a Federal agency cannot pass unnoticed, especially an agency that can prove the lie that climate change is a Chinese hoax.

In looking for Voltaire’s famous comment about one’s right to speak, I came across an equally pithy and even profound comment that I would like to elaborate upon:

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

This is indeed profound and so very timely because it appears as though this Administration is losing no time whatever…

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Gaslighting

Gaslighting: to manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. Donald Trump is the master of this form of manipulation, as fellow-blogger Hugh Curtler so masterfully points out. Hugh is kinder to people than I am, and also more of a deep-thinker, and his post is an excellent analysis of what, how and why Trump’s gaslighting techniques seem to be effective for a portion of the population. Please take a few minutes to read Hugh’s post … what he says has much value. Thank you, once again, Hugh … both for a great post and for permission to share.

hughcurtler

I recall years ago seeing a survey that concluded the most distrusted people in this culture are used-car salesmen (excuse me, previously-owned-car-salesmen) — followed closely by politicians. I dare say that after the recent election the ranking has switched: politicians must be in the lead, surely. Both are notorious for their lies and deceptions, though the politicians seem to be determined to set new records.

But, what precisely is a lie? We can say that a lie is a deliberate attempt to mislead. It involves intent, not just mistaken facts. When another study during the recent election showed that Trump had lied 87 times in a week and Clinton only 8 Hillary’s followers were well pleased — even though it was noted that she did lie. Now, we don’t know if it was lies, in either case, because we do not know what the intentions of the two candidates were. We

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Donnie Darko

Blogger-friend Keith wrote this short post that needs no intro from me … it speaks for itself. Please read! Thank you, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

We have a new President, so we wish for him the wisdom of Solomon and the patience of Job. Yet, we may need to wish for some of Ronald Reagan’s optimism.

I say this as his inaugural address painted a very dark picture of America. I have been saying for more than the last two years, what country are you talking about?

The one I live in has an unemployment rate of less than 5%, the fourth longest economic growth period in its history and record high stock market. The one I live in has over 20 million more insured than before the ACA. The one I live in has moved forward in renewable energy as a world leader.

Of course, we have problems, but we are not as desperate as portrayed in this dark speech. I would add that retrenching into a jingoistic nationalism is counter to the economic…

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Trumping The Environment

today I share this post from blogger-friend Hugh Curtler about a recent poll asking people for their opinion regarding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) … an agency that is in serious danger once Trump assumes office. I got a jolt when reading this post, and I think most will! Please take a few moments to read this post in full, as it reflects the current thinking of citizens of this nation on one of the most important issues of the day.

hughcurtler

A recent online story about a Reuters poll that reflects the views of many Americans with respect to the environment is of considerable interest. It said, in part,

Some 39 percent of Americans would like to see the E.P.A., the nation’s top environmental regulator, “strengthened or expanded,” while another 22 percent hope for it to “remain the same,” according to the poll. Just 19 percent said they would like to see the agency “weakened or eliminated” and the rest said they “don’t know.”

Among Republicans, 47 percent wish for the EPA either to “remain the same” or be “strengthened or expanded,” while 35 percent want it “weakened or eliminated”.

The online poll of 9,935 people was conducted Dec. 16 to Jan. 12 and has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 1.1 percentage points.

“Trump is a businessman, and that’s all he thinks about … what will make money,” said…

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History Lessons

Blogger-friend Hugh Curtler is a reader and a thinker, as am I. But Hugh takes it a step farther, as he is able to see parallels that I, frankly, would miss. Often he finds those parallels in history and literature that reflect our situation today, and once again he has done so. We tend to think, not only here in the U.S., but also around the globe, that the world we are living in today is unique, that such political turmoil and angst belongs to this time and place alone. But, as Hugh has once again pointed out, history is cyclic, and the world has seen similar conditions in the past. Why does this matter, you ask? It matters because there are lessons to be learned from the mistakes of the past. And if we apply those lessons, perhaps we can avoid some of the mistakes from long ago. So, I share this excellent post by Hugh in hopes that we can all learn from a bit of ancient history. Thank you, Hugh, for your insight and for allowing me to share it.

hughcurtler

After Athens and Sparta led the Greeks in battle against the mammoth forces of Persia and won the battle of Marathon — where Herodotus estimates that they were outnumbered as much as 10 to 1, the Greeks formed the Delian league which exacted tribute from the various Greek City-States too help build Greek forces against possible future attacks. The funds were kept at Delos, home of the Delphic Oracle and a place sacred to the Greeks.

Eventually, Athens transferred the money to Athens and used it to help them build their navy and arm their forces (and the Parthenon), while assuming control of many of the City-Sates that were weaker than they. Indeed, the Athenians thought it only natural that the stronger should take control of the weaker. And, oddly enough, the rest of the Greeks seem to have adopted that view as well — even the weak ones! But eventually…

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