Tue, 2006-02-21 06:28Ross Gelbspan
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Bush's Schizophrenic Call for Clean Energy

Even as President Bush began to call for some movement toward a clean-energy economy, his Administration fired 32 employees from the National Renewable Energy Lab – a leading agency in research and development of renewables. (It turns out the agency hastily rehired most of them just in time for Bush's presentation!)

Bush: U.S. on Verge of Energy Breakthrough

The Associated Press, Feb 20, 2006

Saying the nation is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that would “startle” most Americans, President Bush on Monday outlined his energy proposals to help wean the country off foreign oil.

Less than half the crude oil used by refineries is produced in the United States, while 60 percent comes from foreign nations, Bush said during the first stop on a two-day trip to talk about energy.

Some of these foreign suppliers have “unstable” governments that have fundamental differences with America, he said.

“It creates a national security issue and we're held hostage for energy by foreign nations that may not like us,” Bush said.

Bush is focusing on energy at a time when Americans are paying high power bills to heat their homes this winter and have only recently seen a decrease in gasoline prices.

One of Bush's proposals would expand research into smaller, longer-lasting batteries for electric-gas hybrid cars, including plug-ins. He highlighted that initiative with a visit Monday to the battery center at Milwaukee-based auto-parts supplier Johnson Controls Inc.

During his trip, Bush is also focusing on a proposal to increase investment in development of clean electric power sources, and proposals to speed the development of biofuels such as “cellulosic” ethanol made from wood chips or sawgrass.

Energy conservation groups and environmentalists say they're pleased that the president, a former oil man in Texas, is stressing alternative sources of energy, but they contend his proposals don't go far enough. They say the administration must consider greater fuel-efficiency standards for cars, and some economists believe it's best to increase the gas tax to force consumers to change their driving habits.
During his visit to Johnson Controls' new hybrid battery laboratory, Bush checked out two Ford Escapes — one with a nickel-metal-hybrid battery, the kind that powers most hybrid-electric vehicles, and one with a lithium-ion battery, which Johnson Controls believes are the wave of the future. The lithium-ion battery was about half the size of the older-model battery. In 2004, Johnson Controls received a government contract to develop the lithium-ion batteries.

While Bush is highlighting his budget proposals to help wean America from foreign oil, the lab he visited is meeting a $28 million shortfall by cutting its staff by 32 people, including eight researchers.
Mon, 2006-02-20 16:11Jim Hoggan
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Dispelling the Myths of Global Warming

Here we go again: In this undated post on the Christian Broadcasting Neetwork, we get the whole irrational argument again, and again from the usual suspects, the Cato Institute's discredited Pat Michaels and JunkScientist (and tobacco shill) Steve Milloy.

The best line in this post is Michaels twisted positioning on climate change: “Climate changes - yes, humans have something to do with this change, but climate has changed in the past without human beings having anything to do with it. There was an Ice Age not very long ago – 5,000 feet of ice over Chicago, and look, here we are, thriving on a planet with an ever-changing climate.”

Mon, 2006-02-20 08:19Richard Littlemore
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Green TV: Something for Which to Watch

The DeSmogBlog recently received word that March 20 (Earth Day) will mark the launch of a www.green.tv/.

According to Director James Arthur, Green.tv will be a broadband TV channel dedicated to environmental issues. It is also a charity endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with support and films from environmental organisations around the world, including the European Environment Agency, the UK Environment Agency, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.

Mon, 2006-02-20 07:25Richard Littlemore
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American Geophysical Union Honours Journalists

WASHINGTON - Dan Vergano of USA Today, Michelle Nijhuis of High Country News, and The Times-Picayune have won the American Geophysical Union’s 2006 journalism awards.

Vergano will receive the David Perlman Award for Excellence in Science Journalism–News for his article, “The debate’s over:

Sun, 2006-02-19 08:01Ross Gelbspan
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A Meeting of the Mindless

Bush’s Chat With Novelist Alarms Environmentalists
The New York Times, Feb. 19, 2006

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 - One of the perquisites of being president is the ability to have the author of a book you enjoyed pop into the White House for a chat.

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