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Happy Hallowee ... ah ... New Year

It’s a little past the season, but real monsters are with us all year ‘round. Besides, there is so much to worry about in January (and February and March and …) that the new year should begin with a smile.

An Electric Car for Real Men ...

… or for those rare women who are up for high-speed handbreak turns in gas station parking lots.

The Tango may not turn out to be the Model A of the new millennium, but it serves as a good example of what Detroit might be doing if it was serious about producing energy-efficient and smog-blocking alternatives. Unlike most of the experimental electric cars to date, this also looks like it would be serious fun: 0-60 mph in 4 seconds; 150 mph top end; and a race-ready roll cage to keep you safer than the easily crushed occupants of your average truck-frame SUV.

Not-Very-Perma Frost on the Melt

Google “permafrost” under News and you get a disturbing selection of stories arising out of a National Center for Atmospheric Research study on the melting of Artic permafrost. One of the most accessible is this piece out of the Anchorage Daily News, which says: “Warming temperatures could melt the top 11 feet of permafrost in Alaska by the end of the century – damaging roads and buildings with sinkholes, transforming forest and tundra into swamps, and releasing vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the air.”

"Eighty percent of Republicans are just Democrats who don't know what's going on"

That quote comes from a Robert F. Kennedy speech on the G.W. Bush administration’s record of environmental devastation. Kennedy argues, convincingly, that Bush’s red state support can be explained by the quality of red state journalism – from the absolute dominion of a corporate-controlled media. Kennedy says:

In Pursuit and Defence of a Just and Creative God

This is R.F. Kennedy trolling through waters more commonly – and haplessly – fished by G.W. Bush:

In Praise of the Free Market

The Kennedy’s didn’t get powerful without first getting rich, so you’d expect Robert F. to be a capitalist:

Bush Bought and Paid for by the Coal Industry

This quote also from the R.F. Kennedy Speech on George W Bush and the US Coal Industry:

“I'll give you an example. As I said, a gigantic diminution in quality of life has taken place in this country as a direct result of this President's environmental policy that Americans mainly don't know about. I'm just going to focus on one industry, which is coal-burning power plants.”

The Commodification of Mistrust

A recent report from Imagine BC (a public engagement project being run out of Simon Fraser University's Wosk Centre for Dialogue), contained the following quote:

“(The) ‘elephant in the room’ is the public’s increasing mistrust in society’s public and private sector institutions. Without trust there is disengagement and cynicism. People opting out with an ‘all is lost’ attitude. Contrary to current myths, the public ‘gets’ sustainability, but is fearful. [They] don’t trust those in power to do the right thing; don’t believe they can make a difference.”

I don't think this lack of trust is accidental. While not a conspiracy theorist by nature, it's clear that mistrust is a valuable commodity to certain players in the business world. Mistrust begets policy paralysis, which destroy's government's ability to implement regulations, which leaves the corporate community free to do whatever its invisible hand fancies.

Bill Maher: Laugh and Be Righteous

It’s possible to be right and still be funny. Look.

Another Batch of Climate Skeptic Scammers

Thanks again to Ross Gelbspan for this post, an Independent newspaper wrap of some of the organizations that dedicate themselves to generating confusion on climate change.