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Monday, July 16, 2018
Home Authors Posts by A Siegel

A Siegel

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Innovation Exiled: Interior Sends Solar Decathlon Packing

Innovation. It's the new buzzword. Haven't you heard.  It's the rage.  Ten times ... The President used the word "innovation" ten times in the State of the Union speech.
The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation.  None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be or where the new jobs will come from.  Thirty years ago, we couldn't know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution.  What we can do -- what America does better than anyone else -- is spark the creativity and imagination of our people.  We're the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook.  In America, innovation doesn't just change our lives.  It is how we make our living.

You'd think that every member of the Administration would be doing everything -- EVERYTHING -- possible to enable this critical innovation.

Deceit about Texas Blackouts threatens American Prosperity and Security

In the face of the winter storm that hit the nation, Texans suffered a series of rolling blackouts as some 50 fossil-fueled power plants (coal and natural gas) shut down due to frozen pipes and other problems. (See: Blacked Out Texas: Seeking understanding or Falsely laying blame?)  In the face of readily available information, including from Texas' own grid-managers (ERCOT), there is a bevy of fossil-foolish commentators falsely asserting that 'greening' efforts are to blame for freezing Texans.  For example,
  • The Drudge Report has suggested that  the Texas blackouts were "a direct consequence of the Obama administration's agenda to lay siege to the coal industry, launch a takeover of infrastructure under the contrived global warming scam, and help usher in the post-industrial collapse of America."
  • Rush Limbaugh has put the blame on 'federal red tape'.  "It's not just in Texas, that's everywhere. And, folks, let me tell you something: If Obama gets his way, rolling blackouts will be the new norm. What do you think 'green energy' is?"

These political motivated and, well, simply false attacks threaten American prosperity and security.

DC streets most clogged in nation: what can we do?

The Texas Transportation Institute of Texas A&M University recently released TTI's annual traffic study.   Not surprisingly, it made the front page in the Washington, DC, area since DC tied with Chicago for the nation's worse traffic congestion. Putting aside not-minor methodological issues (see here as well), the simple reality is that it gets much (MUCH) harder to move around DC in an automobile year-after-year.    This then leads to a simple question as to 'what to do about this'.  Do we simply need more roads?  Is public transit the only answer?  Or, can a variety of efficiencies provide a significant part of the answer?

Holiday Lighting … scrooge or savior? (an annual refrain …)

Considering that Lowell put up pretty Arlington lights the other day ...

Do you love those displays of Christmas (or Hannukah or Kwanza or ...) lights?  Are you awed by those so impassioned that they string up 1000s of lights in awesome displays worthy of a city center? I once did, pausing on cold winter nights, white clouds issuing from my mouth, enjoying being in the glow of beautiful displays.  And, in a way, I was inspired that they would spend $1000s (or $10,000s) on displays and the electricity to power them so that others could enjoy the sight on those cold winter nights.

But ... no longer ... not for awhile. Far too often nowadays, my winter evenings I can wear short sleeve shirts rather than bulky coats and gloves. And, energy is no longer a question simply of money. I've reached the point of feeling like a Scrooge; feeling outrage over the tons of C02 going into the atmosphere via neighbors' 10,000 light displays rather than feeling 'joyous'.

But, a compromise does exist; a path to cut sharply those CO2 emissions while still putting out those lights:  LED lights.  But, far too many are unwilling to spend the money upfront to cut their electricial use, reduce their pollution, and -- actually -- save quite a lot of money.

An open letter to Senator Webb: Where is your passion for income inequality...

Dear Senator Webb,

Put bluntly, it was people like me who got you elected.  I participated in (as a minor cog) Draft Webb. I, at my own expense, printed a two-page Jim Webb biography and put it on 1000s of windows. I donated, raised money, and otherwise work to get you elected.

Having been exposed to you for decades, through your professional activities and your writing and otherwise, I had incredible respect for you and swelled with pride at the potential that you would be representing me and my fellow Virginians in the U.S. Senate.

And, well, I am feeling increasingly betrayed.

- Blue Virginia Sponsor -




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