Our Biggest Threat

The second Democratic debate happened last Saturday night. The night before, Paris experienced a horrible terrorist attack which had killed 129 people and wounded many more. My thoughts go out to them.

Bernie Sanders was asked specifically if he thought climate change was still our biggest threat and he said YES.

Bernie’s answer is absolutely right. Climate change is still our biggest threat. Obama even got blasted for saying that climate change impacts more people than terrorism. And there’s data to prove it.

Bernie’s plan to combat ISIS is to create a global coalition and let the other countries in the region take care of it; like Iran. Iran is ISIS’ enemy. We have allies in the area that have millions of troops.

The other candidates (including Hillary) have no real plan. In fact Huckabee’s plan is to tear up the Iran nuclear deal. Is he stupid? Iran and ISIS are enemies.

It is very sad what has happened in Paris. And my thoughts do go out to them. But when you tally up deaths from guns in this country (which 129+ people die in four days due to guns in this country) and deaths due to climate change; it’s clear what OUR biggest threats are and they’re not terrorism.

Oh and by the way, if you’re not informed on what is happening in Syria, here’s a cartoon that can explain things to you.

I’m Tired Of Being The Only One Who Cares Enough

I’m going to make this quick but I am tired of feeling like I’m the only one who cares about climate change. The American people elected idiots the other day who plan to destroy the earth even more by limiting the EPA, pushing through the Keystone XL pipeline, etc.

I’ve changed my diet (I’ve been a vegetarian for like three years) because it’s better for the planet, I’ve recycled, I got solar put on my house, I put my life in danger to ride a fuel efficient scooter… I even researched what Halloween candy was more “earth friendly” and gave that out.

No one else seems to care. I have my husband on board for some of it but he wants me to tell him what to buy instead of looking for himself. He wants me to suggest meals. He doesn’t want to do any of the work.

I feel like I’m in this alone. None of my friends are vegetarians. They are all supportive and try to accommodate but it’s still hard.

My family is the same way. I go over there and all they have is meat. We go out to lunch and they all order meat; even my husband.

No one cares. Do people even know the earth is fricken dying? And people still don’t care and do and say anything to remain ignorant.

I don’t even have kids! I don’t have any legacy. You’d think people would give some sort of shit about it since it’s their children and their children’s children but they don’t. I don’t get it.

I’m tired of being the only one who cares. We only have one earth and this is my planet, too!

Years Of Living Dangerously

I’m really excited that finally a network is giving some attention to our climate change problem. Showtime now has a series out, Years of Living Dangerously, which airs Sunday’s at 10PM.

The other week the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) shouted saying, “Hey guys! We have a problem here!” and no one was listening. And it doesn’t have to be that difficult. Instead places like Oklahoma, who is now making solar and wind more expensive.

One of the reasons I became a vegetarian was to help the planet. I also ride a scooter, recycle, put solar panels on my house, bought a Prius, bought an electric car, reuse as much as I can, etc to help the planet and reduce my carbon footprint.

I think with a little effort we can do amazing things. For instance why don’t we stop eating meat one or two days a week? Why don’t we plant some trees? Or get a pile of recyclables and take them somewhere if you can’t recycle at your house? I think little things that won’t change your lifestyle can make a difference.

If you have Showtime, make sure to catch Years of Living Dangerously. They have celebrities like Harrison Ford, Jessica Alba, Chris Hayes, and Michael C. Hall on there who go investigate climate change and its effect. It’s pretty cool. Check it out if you can.

This problem of climate change doesn’t and shouldn’t be political.

Meat 2012

In order to discourage myself from eating meat and becoming more of a vegetarian, in the entire year of 2012 I kept track of all the meat I ate. Granted this list doesn’t include seafood in which vegetarians do not eat but I still eat… I’m more of a pescetarian.

A lot of this list contains meat of which I was “forced” to eat via going over family/friends houses where their main course was meat. Also it contains instances where I ate meat because it was going to be thrown out anyway. Here’s a key for the reasons why I ate it:

^ = went over someone’s house who served meat
* = ate meat because it was going to be thrown out anyway
# = chose to eat meat

Date What I Ate Reason
1/5/12 chicken & broccoli #
1/8/12 1 piece bacon, turkey ^
1/14/12 chicken & broccoli #
1/15/12 chicken wings & sloppy joes ^
2/4/12 half hot dog, chicken & broccoli ^, #
2/14/12 chicken teriyaki #
2/17/12 bbq that ar wouldn’t have eaten *
2/25/12 chicken & spare rib ^
3/4/12 ham ^
3/11/12 lasagna with meat ^
3/22/12 chicken teriyaki #
3/24/12 pepperoni pizza ^
4/3/12 roast beef ^
4/8/12 chicken, turkey, ham ^
4/15/12 sausage ^
5/6/12 chicken teriyaki #
5/28/12 sausage, part of steak ^
6/28/12 lasagna with meat ^
7/1/12 fillet minion #
7/22/12 chicken teriyaki #
9/2/12 bbq sandwich ^
9/27/12 hamburger #
9/29/12 hamburger #
9/30/12 meat in pasta from pizza hut #/* (I didn’t realize the pasta had meat in it when we ordered… damn Pizza Hut)
11/3/12 piece of roast, little bacon ^
11/22/12 turkey, ham #
12/25/12 ham, little turkey bacon #
12/28/12 little hot dogs *

So I guess I didn’t do too bad for the year. I ate meat 28 times. I averaged eating meat once every two weeks. I only really chose to eat meat 13 times. I definitely cannot call myself a vegetarian after eating all of that meat though. I will do better in 2013 as I’m more familiar with meat substitutes (Morning Star Ribs, Veggie Chinese place, chik’n, etc).

I’ll continue to keep track and see how I do in 2013. I need to be more strict and refuse to eat meat when it’s served.

By the way, the main reason I became a quasi-vegetarian/pescetarian is to help save the planet. Eating meat is very hurtful to the environment.

Brian’s Open Letter To Pepco & The American People

Dear Pepco and the American People,

First off I would like to say I’m sorry for getting solar panels on my house and buying all of those energy saving light bulbs. After three months with virtually no bill I now realize my error of my ways. The hard working people of Pepco no longer need to supply my old energy guzzling house with power. Instead I seem to be feeding them which can only go to reduce their huge quarterly profits. To make up for this I am sure Pepco is now going to charge even higher rates to my friends and neighbors, since they already charge the most for power in the state of Maryland. I now know I am costing Pepco lost revenue and they’ll have more reason to complain about the corporate tax rate which they, like many other companies (GE, BP, Exxon, Verizon, etc), do not actually pay.

Next I would like to send out a special apology to the people of West Virginia. For generations they have ripped up there land destroyed mountain tops and done everything else in the pursuit of coal. For generations they have toiled to provide me with the polluting coal and I so thoughtfully got solar panels not taking into the considerations their feelings or the sacrifices they are willing to make just so I can have unclean power.

Lastly I would like to say sorry to the American people as a whole. After hearing about all the possible clean energy jobs that could be created by going solar I bought into the hype. I now know the truth. Yes I am saving money and yes I did get the government to pay for 60% of my solar panels but at what cost I ask you? At the cost of all those jobs lost in West Virgina ripping up the land to give me unclean coal? At the cost of Pepco’s profits? My solar cost jobs, yes I know it is possible someone will have to come out and service my solar panels at some point but it has a 25 year warranty so you know it is going to last. Yes, I know it took someone to build my panels but think of all the coal I would have used without my solar system! Lastly, as I gazed today at my almost non-existent bill, I realized I am costing the government because I am taxed on my power usage and since I do not use any power, the government does not make any money off of me either. I am not a rich person and I am not exempt from taxes like the rich.

I’m sorry America,
A Maryland Solar Customer

Quote From Bill Maher IV

Not trying to quote Bill Maher so much but he had another good rant on Overtime this week. The panel was talking about Michelle Duggar and her campaigning with Rick Santorum and how overpopulation is a lie. Bill Maher said it pretty well.

You know what it is? I hear this from people all the time. They say have you ever flown over the country and when you look down, there’s a lot of nothing? That’s true but that’s not the issue. It’s about resources. It’s true we could actually fit on the planet a lot more people but there’s not enough food and water for them. Especially now that China and India are eating meat and getting cars. We just can’t do it. We would need to like triple the population, we’d need like five more earths. Again this comes from scientists, it’s not in the Bible, it’s probably bull s**t.

Is it so bad that I think that the Duggars are sick and selfish? When people have so many kids, it makes me not want to have kids even more to try to decrease the population and make up for them being so selfish and procreating in such abundance. The earth can only handle so much.

Is The Left Right?

I’m surprised this story hasn’t gotten more traction in the “liberal media”. A report from Galveston Bay, Texas shows that climate change is the reason why the sea level in the area is changing. However, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and good ol’ Rick Perry didn’t believe the report and said that couldn’t be right, so they edited it.

There is good news, though. More and more scientists who are skeptics are starting to “believe” in climate change. Even ones that were bought off by big oil. It seems they get the same numbers as other scientists that our Earth is warming.

So the left is right. Makes you wonder what else they’re right on? Maybe that tax cuts don’t stimulate the economy nor do they pay for themselves?

Sick

I really don’t know how I contain myself now. Why I’m not screaming at the top of my lungs. I just fucking blogged about the need for government regulation and for government to step in and do something less than two weeks ago.

Since then two more people died because of another mine collapse and eleven people have lost their lives due to BP’s oil explosion. And not to mention the countless thousands of fish and wildlife that will die because of this oil rig explosion which could be worse than the Exxon Valdez.

Hypocrites. All those tea partiers preaching their “Drill Baby, Drill”… where are they now to help clean up this mess? Where are the Republicans who touted “Drill Baby, Drill”? Why aren’t they protesting in Arizona over the recent immigration law which allows government to get in your face if you “look illegal”? Or in Oklahoma where Republicans passed legislation to make a sonogram mandatory for getting an abortion which is clear government intervention? Or what about the entire Bush presidency?

The oil spill, the mining “accidents”, the hypocrites all make me sick.

I boycott Exxon because of Valdez and now looks like I’ll be boycotting BP.

This shit shouldn’t happen.

Recent Mine Explosions

If the recent deaths in the West Virginia and China mines isn’t enough to make us switch to alternative energy, I don’t know what is.

China said by the end of the year 8,000 less efficient and less safe coal mines will be closed. Their mines are less safe because they don’t have the OSHA requirements that we do. However, the United States does face disasters in mines still as shown in recent and past events.

Alternative energy like wind and solar don’t nearly have the dangers that mining coal does (and oil drilling for that matter). Alternatives saves more lives and reduces climate change, which saves our planet.

If we do keep using coal (signs point to yes), we should most definately enact more restrictions on companies who mine. Massey Energy got fined $382,000 last year, according to the Washington Post, for safety violations, allowing coal dust to pile up, and not having sufficient fire gear. That shouldn’t happen in this country.

Back in 2007, I said the same thing with the collapse of the Crandall Canyon mine. There should have been more harsher regulations in place. I even blamed Bush for easing safety enforcements which could have prevented deaths in that incident (and, perhaps, the recent incident).

Losing Hope

Of late I’ve been pretty depressed about the state of the US. I think I figured out why.

During the Bush years, I knew there was no hope in solving our big problems like global warming, health care, the national debt, the wars, etc. Bush did so much to hurt the United States. I genuinely believe him to be a “T” word (not “tyrant”, by the way).

When we overwhelmingly called for change and progress via electing Obama, I cried. I was so happy. I had so much hope for our country. It was finally going to turn around, I thought. The Democrats had won power back and now had an overwhelming majority. Nothing could stop the progressive movement… I thought.

Here we are entering October. Obama’s been in power eight months. Nothing major has changed.

My friend said go easy on Obama, give him some slack, he has a lot up against him. I can’t on major issues that need to be solved ASAP and bad Bush policies that he promised not to resume. He wants to be bipartisan when sometimes it’s not worth it.

Health Care. When a majority of the country wants a public option, Obama wants to try and be bipartisan on an issue all Republicans have stated they would not vote for. The Republicans have basically come out and said they’re not voting for anything health care related. Obama started with a compromise and look what we have now. A bill that probably won’t have apublic option. If he proposed universal single payer health care from the start, the compromise would have to be the public option. Obama needs to stop pandering to the Republicans. Get universal single payer health care enforced… or be a wimp and just have a public option. Honestly, I think they should resort to an old Bush tactic and call the bill something like the “Health Care Patriot Bill”. Just throw in that word “patriot”. Then if the Republicans don’t vote for it, Democrats can bring that up the next election and call them “unpatriotic”. The Republicans did the same things the last eight years.

Global Warming. Obama’s Clean Energy And Security Act Of 2009 is weak at best. It doesn’t stop the problem, rather it gives us reason to prolong the problem and tackle it another day. Scientists say we needed to stop pollution and reduce our greenhouse emissions yesterday. Read what Dennis Kucinich had to say about the billObama should put harsh restrictions in place for polluters and give tax cuts to companies who go green. Start enforcement of restrictions sooner, not in 2016, now, cause we need it now. Be honest with the American people and tell them to sacrifice and do common sense things like recycle, buy fuel efficient cars, and eat less meat.

The Economy. Corporations and their strength and greed ruined our country and we let them get away with it. The richest 1% of Americans more than doubled their share from 8.5% to 22% from the early 80’s to 2006. CEO’s earn over 500 times what the average worker earns, versus 40 times more like in the past. Obama, I thought, was going to be a true leader and put corporations in their place and impose restrictions and not let them walk all over the American people and their government. Obama hasn’t done this. I want Obama to be a strong president, like (I hate to say it) Bush. Bush, for all the bad shit that he did, he was actually able to get what he wanted done… almost every time. Obama needs to impose and enforce restrictions on companies with strong penalties. We’re a year after the financial meltdown and not one restriction has been put on Wall Street. There is nothing stopping what happened last year from happening again. Business’s will continue to make risky ventures full well knowing if they fail, the government and us tax payers will back them up. We need Obama to stand up and send a clear message to Wall Street that we will not have their back anymore. Another idea would be to force a split of these big institutions that are too big to fail.

Torture. I voted to condemn the act of torture and to finally get justice and accountability in the United States. We signed the Geneva Conventions for a reason, to condemn torture. It was my hope that Obama would come through on this and investigate past acts of illegal activity by the previous administration. However, Obama has chosen not to look into past (proven) acts of torture and illegal activities. You prevent future torture by prosecuting past acts of torture. Obama needs to do this and hold everyone accountable as well as follow through on his closing of Guantanamo Bay.

Afghan & Iraq Wars. Obama needs to follow through on his promise to get us out of Iraq… that goes without saying. Bush put us in the middle of two big, useless wars. We don’t need to be over there, just like we don’t need to be in Germany and Japan anymore. Iraq and Afghanistan are two examples of the Military Industrial Complex at work in this country. Blackwater, Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, etc have made billions off of these wars. And they continue to be awarded no-bid contracts by our government. There once was a time in our history where being called a war profiteer was considered a bad thing. These contractors have literally gotten away with fraud, arms dealing, and murder. It started under Bush and, unfortunately, continues under Obama. Obama needs to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan as peacefully as possible. Since we shifted our focus to Afghanistan now, it has become more and more violent. Both countries don’t want us there and as long as we’re there, we’re wasting billions of dollars and lives. Also, Obama should bring charges against Blackwater, KBR, DynCorp, ArmorGroup for fraud, child prostitution, murder, etc.

Gay Marriage. I applaud states for finally standing up and admitting that it is unconstitutional to not allow same sex couples to wed. I really don’t think Obama has done much at all to advance the GLBT community. He hasn’t repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell like he promised. Obama should make a public statement about this and encourage more states to allow same sex marriage and repeal the Defense Of Marriage Act. Also, repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell so gays can openly serve in our military.

Iran. I am glad Obama is exercising diplomacy. However putting sanctions on a country that hasn’t launched an aggressive war in modern history is a little ridiculous. I have always said who are we to not allow another country to develop nuclear weapons? We have them, and we’ve waged a lot of wars, two very recently. Why do we feel the need to defend Israel anyway? They have nukes and can take care of themselves. Obama needs to leave Iran alone. Please, for Gods sake, don’t invade. Don’t start another costly war.

Leading The Country. Obama has not shown us that he is a strong leader. Not one president since JFK has asked us to do anything! I want Obama to step up and tell me to make sacrifices. Obama needs to tell us to eat healthier, cut out fast food, drive more fuel efficient cars, recycle, stop relying on credit cards, etc.

Granted, I’m also mad at Obama for a lot of other issues like the national debt. If I were to give Obama a grade, it would be a D. So far I think he and his Democratic Congress have failed to do what we gave them power to do. They actually listen to Republican nonsense and not rebut it. So lies (like the illegal immigration coverage and abortion field trips in the HCR bill) will fester and become widely known as fact.

Frankly, I don’t see how his administration is in any way a Democratic one. Obama and his Congress need to get their act together and fix the country. We elected them and gave them all the tools they need to do what we want. If they can’t do it by next year, I predict the Republicans will gain back a lot of power fairly easily.

Ways That I Am Green

As you know, I am very Earth concious and I try to be as “Green” as possible. I’ve decided to list out what I try to do in my daily life in order to stop wasting the Earth and stop Global Warming. Some of them are really small but I do what I can.

  • I drive a Hybrid, my Toyota Prius. Yes, it still pollutes but it’s the most fuel efficient thing out there.
  • I car pool with Brian everyday to and from work.
  • I reuse my old water bottles and refill them.
  • I use hand towels instead of paper towels to clean spills and things. It’s easier to throw them in the wash.
  • I always try to use energy saver everything like light bulbs.
  • I turn my room temperature to 68 in the winter and 75 in the summer. I open the windows as much as possible on nice cool days.
  • I recycle everything I humanly can; beer bottles, cans, junk mail. In MoCo, it’s hard to recycle but I put aside cans and jars and paper to recycle over Brian’s parents house. I also have a special recycling drawer that I put useless non-identifiable paper and things in to recycle later.
  • I reuse paper if there’s not much written on it, I just scratch it out.
  • I reuse my lunch bags and other bags. When I go to the mall, I take a plastic bag with me, that way I’m not using one of theirs. I also reuse my sandwich bags by wrapping my sandwich up with a napkin. I need a napkin anyway.
  • I turn my computer and speakers off whenever I’m not using them. Except for my work computer which needs to update itself. I turn that off for the weekend.
  • I turn off lights whenever I exit a room. Except at work. I was instructed to leave my light on forever since I have the front office and the bosses want it to look like our office is busy even though no one is in the office.
  • I use rechargeable batteries for remotes, cameras, controllers, etc.
  • I buy Green things. Like our shake flashlight.
  • I manually open doors instead of going through automatic doors whenever possible. I also use the stairs instead of elevators (unless it’s really high like 4+ stories).
  • I reuse tinfoil and plastic wrap as much as possible, if I can.
  • I roll down my windows like all the time in the car instead of air conditioning. This sometimes helps fuel efficiency.
  • Over Dad’s, I do the same sorts of things. I recycle whatever I can. When I find metal I put it in one of the junk cars that goes to the scrap yard to get recycled. I’ll pick aluminum cans out of the trash to put them into the recycling.