Showing posts from February 5, 2015

Report: Wind and solar energy have tripled since 2008

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[It is fascinating to see the 180-degree difference in spin between this Washington Post article on how everything is hunky-dory in the alternative energy sector and this DeSmog Blog article entitled The War on Solar is Real, Unlike the "War on Coal." *RON*]

By Chris Mooney, Washington Post, 4 February 2015
We worry a lot about the problem of climate change. And we try to fix it — again, again and again — by changing how the country uses energy.

What we don’t stop and ponder enough, though, is that the country ischanging how it uses energy. It’s certainly not enough to silence all environmental concerns. But nonetheless, the progress, when you sample it, is really impressive.

Such is the takeaway from a new report out by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which has just released its 2015 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, prepared for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. Looking back over recent years, the report shows that on any…

Wall Street Pays Bankers to Work in Government And It Doesn't Want Anyone to Know

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[The replacement of democracy by the corporatocracy via banking. "At a time when people are worried about the over-representation of Wall Street in policymaking positions, we see that the revolving door is baked into the compensation structure." And the door swings both ways: "A 2013 Project on Government Oversight report found that SEC alumni often represent companies trying to kick shareholder proposals off the ballot." *RON*]

By David Dayen, New Republic, 4 February 2015

Citigroup is one of three Wall Street banks attempting to keep hidden their practice of paying executives multimillion-dollar awards for entering government service. In letters delivered to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the last month, Citi,Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley seek exemption from a shareholder proposal, filed by the AFL-CIO labor coalition, which would force them to identify all executives eligible for these financial rewards…

Suit: Man held 20 hours after asking to file TSA complaint

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[Welcome to the Police States of America. *RON*]
By Maryclaire Dale,  Associated Press / Twin Cities Pioneer Press, 4 February 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A traveler detained for more than 20 hours after a search of energy bars and a sports watch in his carry-on bag at an airport has sued the Transportation Security Administration and accused a TSA supervisor of lying.

Architect and runner Roger Vanderklok said he was arrested after asking TSA workers how to file a complaint. He said he spent nearly a day in a holding cell without being questioned by police or given the chance to call his wife, who was frantic.

"It's difficult to lose control of your existence. That's what it amounts to," Vanderklok said Wednesday. "I was absolutely terrified."

According to Vanderklok, the TSA supervisor lied to police and again in court when he said the 58-year-old runner had made a verbal threat during the January 2013 security check at Ph…

21,322 jobs were cut in January due to crashing oil prices

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["Most of these cuts occurred in the energy industry, where employers announced a total of 20,193 layoffs (19,722 of which were directly attributed to oil prices). The January total is 42 percent higher than the 14,262 job cuts announced by the energy industry in all of 2014." Note that industries that are pocketing big added profits, such as the airlines, are maintaining strict radio silence about this. *RON*]
Myles Udland, Business Insider, 5 February 2015

The January report on job cuts from staffing firm Challenger, Gray, & Christmas showed that oil prices are really starting to take their toll on the labor market.

From Challenger's release on Thursday morning:

Job cut announcements surged to their highest level in nearly two years, as falling oil prices prompted cost-cutting efforts in energy and related industries. In all, U.S.-based employers announced plans to shed 53,041 jobs from their payrolls to start 2015; with 40 per…

How Virtually Anyone Can Get an Rx for Amphetamine... Sorry, I Meant to Say Vyvanse

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[Providing some insight into their ethics, this drug company, Shire, offers explicit coaching on how to convince your doctor to prescribe their amphetamines for you. *RON*]
PharmaGuy, Pharma Marketing Blog, 5 February 2015

After writing yesterday's blog post about Monica Seles helping Shire promote Vyvanse for Binge Eating Disorder (B.E.D.), which is a new indication for the ADHD drug, I wondered if this would make it easier for young people to obtain prescriptions for Vyvanse, which is a Schedule II controlled substance with a high potential for abuse.

Like overweight college students, I too could use a little "pick me up" pill from time to time.

Since there is no lab test to confirm a B.E.D. diagnosis, all I have to do to get a prescription for Vyvanse is convince a doctor that I meet all of the DSM-5® diagnostic criteria for binge eating disorder, which Shire provides here on the website.

Of course, I hav…

Lack of rigorous science to support B.C.'s grizzly bear trophy hunt

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[International watchdog slams B.C. for lack of "rigorous science" in allowing grizzly bear trophy hunt. Fourth in a series on trophy hunting of grizzly bears in B.C.. Look at the map that shows how many grizzly bears are killed over and above the government limits. Note the use of the term 'extirpated' in a number of regions, meaning "rooted out and destroyed completely." *RON*]

Claire Hume, Vancouver Observer, 4 February 2015

Allan Thornton, president of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), spent six years working on a campaign to protect British Columbia's grizzly bears from habitat loss, excessive sport hunting, and the illegal trade of bear parts.

The EIA, a British organization that investigates international environmental crimes like the illegal trade of ivory and tiger parts, started looking into the management of grizzlies in B.C. in the late 1990s because it suspected the bears were being managed …

MP to lecture university students on "why Stephen Harper is good for science"

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[A strategic retreat in the ideology versus science wars. I'm a little sad that they cancelled this - I would have paid good money to witness the audience reaction. This does tend to confirm that organizations such as Evidence for Democracy are succeeding in getting under Harper's skin, or why would he even contemplate doing something like this? *RON*]
By PressProgress, 3 February 2015

UPDATE: Following the publication of this post, the "Why Stephen Harper is Good for Science" lecture was cancelled. For more details, please scroll to bottom of the post.

Is Stephen Harper good for science?

According to one Conservative minister, the answer is a resounding YES!

That's exactly what the young, impressionable minds at Queen's University will learn when Labour Minister Kellie Leitch mounts a courageous defence of Prime Minister Harper's record on scientific progress.

According to the Queen's University Conservative As…