Friday, November 28, 2014

Pollution and Politics and the E.P.A.!

Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced - [ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/27/us/epa-ozone-limits-divide-industry-and-environmentalists.html ] proposed regulations to curb emissions of ozone, which causes smog, not to mention asthma, heart disease and premature death. And you know what happened: Republicans went on the attack, claiming that the new rules would impose enormous costs.
 
There's no reason to take these complaints seriously, at least in terms of substance. Polluters and their political friends have a track record of crying wolf. Again and again, they have insisted that American business — which they usually portray as endlessly innovative, able to overcome any obstacle — would curl into a quivering ball if asked to limit emissions. Again and again, the actual costs have been far lower than they predicted. In fact, almost always below the E.P.A.'s predictions [ http://www.epi.org/publication/bp69/ ].
 
So it's the same old story. But why, exactly, does it always play this way? Of course, polluters will defend their right to pollute, but why can they count on Republican support? When and why did the Republican Party become the party of pollution?
 
For it wasn't always thus. The Clean Air Act of 1970, the legal basis for the Obama administration's environmental actions [ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/27/us/without-passing-a-single-law-obama-crafts-bold-enviornmental-policy.html ] , passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 73 to 0, and was signed into law by Richard Nixon. (I've heard veterans of the E.P.A. describe the Nixon years as a golden age.) A major amendment of the law, which among other things made possible the cap-and-trade system that limits acid rain, was signed in 1990 by former President George H.W. Bush.
 
But that was then. Today's Republican Party is putting a conspiracy theorist who views climate science as a "gigantic hoax" in charge of the Senate's environment committee. And this isn't an isolated case. Pollution has become a deeply divisive partisan issue.
 
And the reason pollution has become partisan is that Republicans have moved right. A generation ago, it turns out, environment wasn't a partisan issue: according to Pew Research- [ http://www.people-press.org/2012/06/04/partisan-polarization-surges-in-bush-obama-years/6-4-12-v-6/ ], in 1992 an overwhelming majority in both parties favored stricter laws and regulation. Since then, Democratic views haven't changed, but Republican support for environmental protection has collapsed.
 
So what explains this anti-environmental shift?
 
You might be tempted simply to blame money in politics, and there's no question that gushers of cash from polluters fuel the anti-environmental movement at all levels. But this doesn't explain why money from the most environmentally damaging industries, which used to flow to both parties, now goes overwhelmingly in one direction. Take, for example, coal mining. In the early 1990s, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, [ https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/totals.php?ind=E1210 ] the industry favored Republicans by a modest margin, giving around 40 percent of its money to Democrats. Today that number is just 5 percent. Political spending by the oil and gas industry has followed a similar trajectory. Again, what changed?
 
One answer could be ideology. Textbook economics isn't anti-environment; it says that pollution should be limited, albeit in market-friendly ways when possible. But the modern conservative movement insists that government is always the problem, never the solution, which creates the will to believe that environmental problems are fake and environmental policy will tank the economy.
 
My guess, however, is that ideology is only part of the story — or, more accurately, it's a symptom of the underlying cause of the divide: rising inequality. [ http://themonkeycage.org/2011/10/18/polarization-and-inequality/ ]
 
The basic story of political polarization over the past few decades is that, as a wealthy minority has pulled away economically from the rest of the country, it has pulled one major party along with it. True, Democrats often cater to the interests of the 1 percent, but Republicans always do. Any policy that benefits lower- and middle-income Americans at the expense of the elite — like health reform, which guarantees insurance to all and pays for that guarantee in part with taxes on higher incomes — will face bitter Republican opposition.
 
And environmental protection is, in part, a class issue, even if we don't usually think of it that way. Everyone breathes the same air, so the benefits of pollution control are more or less evenly spread across the population. But ownership of, say, stock in coal companies is concentrated in a few, wealthy hands. Even if the costs of pollution control are passed on in the form of higher prices, the rich are different from you and me. They spend a lot more money, and, therefore, bear a higher share of the costs.
 
In the case of the new ozone plan, the E.P.A.'s analysis - [ http://www.epa.gov/glo/pdfs/20141125fs-overview.pdf ] suggests that, for the average American, the benefits would be more than twice the costs. But that doesn't necessarily matter to the non-average American driving one party's priorities. On ozone, as with almost everything these days, it's all about inequality.
 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Toronto Maple Leafs fans finish singing US National Anthem after mic went out!





Published on Nov 19, 2014 -
November 18, 2014, Toronto Maple Leafs vs Nashville Predators.
The mic cut out partway through the US National Anthem (Star-Spangled Banner) and the Canadian fans took it from there!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Suzuki GSXR wheelie and busted by police on a horse in Central London!

Published on Nov 15, 2014
Police officers were amazing! So lucky. Just to make clear to everyone bike has modification on sprockets so speed is not accurate at all.



Here is what the actual driver has to say:
Aimanas Aima -

This video was uploaded to show how good police in UK.
They appreciated that i was apologetic and admit i was wrong. I had a lesson and it will not happened again. Officer give me a chance to go home without leaving license and I used this opportunity. regarding speeding, i have minus 2 tooth on front and plus 4 on the back so speedo is not calibrated.
Another thing I would never do this if there would be a single soul on the road.
Reason i shared it is because police officer told me to show to my friends.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Without Wolves: Why We Would All be Impoverished by the Loss of Wolves


We've made a short film about why wolves are so important to the landscape, and to all of us. The Fish and Wildlife Service's proposal to remove the grey wolf from the list of endangered species has us howlin' mad. Please take a few moments to watch the film, share with your friends and family and take action to help save wolves from extinction.

Without the protections of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) wolves will be back in the crosshairs, subject to hunter's traps, guns, and bows and to Wildlife Services' poisons. Just last Saturday a two-year old female Yellowstone wolf wandered out of the safety of the Park and was shot and killed. This tragedy will happen over and over again across the West if Secretary Jewell removes critical protections for wolves.

As our film explains, wolves are critical ecological forces on the landscape, but they have only returned to 5% of their historic range. The job of wolf recovery is simply not done. Take action today to ensure these beautiful iconic animals are returned to ecosystems across our country where they are needed and where they belong.

Please visit www.WildEarthGuardians.org/Stand4Wolves.

Special thanks to filmmaker Trip Jennings, www.BalanceMedia.tv, for shooting, editing and producing the film, musician Nathaniel Talbot www.NathanielTalbot.com for granting us his lovely songs, and photographer Ray Rafiti www.RayRafiti.com for his beautiful images.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Each of us. Armed Forces of Ukraine! Слава Україні! Слава Героям!





Published on Nov 13, 2014 -

The men of Ukraine with different backgrounds defend our country. They have not been born for this war. They were not ready to face it. But their bravery and commitment are as strong as our belief in our victory.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Tony Abbott, President of the USA of...





Published on Jun 2, 2014 -


Meet Australia's President of the United States, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the instigator of a wink-related scandal. He sometimes puts his foot in his mouth and other times chooses to say nothing at all.

Friday, November 7, 2014

What Languages Sound Like To Foreigners?!?

Great video! Approach it with an open mind.




Published on Mar 3, 2014:

INSTAGRAM: smoccahontas

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdoRMzGcCBpjKTClFHGI-Yg

Smokahontas goofing around, showing what certain languages sound like to me. The
sentences in this video are made up apart from a few exceptions.
Don't take it too seriously! I'm retarded :)


This video is being managed by Newsflare.
To use this video for broadcast or in a commercial player go to:
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Category - Entertainment

License - Standard YouTube License

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Поцілуй мене на прощання - Марія Бурмака

Велика пісня і відео! Слава нашим героям! Слава Україні!


Published on Nov 3, 2014 -

Пісню "Поцілуй мене на прощання" я написала за одну ніч. Це жіночий погляд і жіночий подвиг-проводжати, затиснувши серце в кулак, чекати, не зважаючи ні на що, любити, що є сил. І вірити, що він обов"язково повернеться.
Дякую всім, чиї фото я знайшла, а особливо Дмитру Степанову і Максиму Музиці за фото з Донецького аеропорту і за все. Ви і всі наші хлопці-герої. Дякую.

Translation:

The song "Kiss me goodbye", I wrote in one night. This feminine look and feminine feat-usher, holding heart in his fist, wait, despite everything, the love that is effort. I believe that he required "sure to come back.
Thank you to everyone whose photo I found, especially Dmitry Stepanov and Maksim Music for photos from Donetsk airport and everything. You and all of our guys are heroes. Thank you.

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