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Waste

On Energy Priorities, a short but interesting piece on France's struggles with nuclear waste. The good bit: Every day, about ten shipping containers arrive on trucks at the Soulaines-Dhuys storage facility outside Troyes, in the province of Ardennes, 180 kilometers east of Paris. On board are barrels of waste that isn't radioactive enough to be stored at Marcoule. Every year, 15,000 cubic meters of waste contaminated with uranium, plutonium and tritium arrive here. The 350-acre site is like an above-ground Yucca Mountain. Construction cranes hover above a hundred bunker-like cement blocks already filled with barrels encased in concrete. In 60 …

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More Wolfowitz, more oil, more looney-tunes

Gawd. Speaking of oil: It really is astonishing what some folks in this administration are willing to do to avoid breaking our petrol-addiction. Check out this BBC scoop from Greg Palast, and this Juan Cole post on it. (Via Kevin Drum.) It's too much to summarize in one blog post, but the long and short of it is that the neocons in Bush's administration had a plan to invade Iraq and privatize (i.e., hand over to huge American companies) its oil industry, in order to break OPEC's control over oil prices and production, before 9/11 (and the plan isn't entirely …

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Wall Street and peak oil

At this point, predictions of peak oil are no biggie. But it seems significant that a Wall Street research and analysis firm -- John S. Herold Inc. -- is getting in the game. The analysts at Herold ... ... have begun estimating when each of the world's biggest energy companies will peak in its ability to produce oil and gas. Herold's work shows that the best minds in the energy industry are accepting the reality that the globe is reaching (or has already reached) the limit of its own ability to produce ever increasing amounts of oil. ... Since last …

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Rorschach poll

There are any number of ways one could interpret the results of this poll. If you're cynical, you might conclude that people are liars. If 66% of people (even 57% of conservatives! even 67% of NASCAR fans!) think driving a fuel-efficient car is patriotic, then why aren't they driving fuel-efficient cars? One might conclude that patriotism is a handy way to attack people you dislike, but somewhat hollow as an actual motivation for sacrifice, or even changing one's own behavior. If you're a more optimistic type, you might conclude that this level of support for fuel efficiency -- 89% think …

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Wolfowitz and the World Bank

Nobody is entirely sure what to make of the appointment of neocon radical Paul Wolfowitz to head the World Bank. However, this Bloomberg story contains an ominous tidbit: Under Wolfowitz, the Bush administration may now try to narrow the focus of the World Bank, returning the international lending institution to its roots of primarily financing large infrastructure projects and limiting the practice of handing out zero-interest loans, analysts such as Alan Meltzer, who led a 2000 congressional inquiry into the World Bank, said. For the past decade or two, the World Bank had been making an effort -- or at …

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Terror alert level green!

The first 'graph of this Post-Gazette story really says it all: The [Pennsylvania] state House approved a measure yesterday to impose harsh penalties against "eco-terrorists," even though legislators sharply disagreed on what types of activity constituted eco-terrorism. We're not sure exactly what it is, but it's got "terrorism" in it, so it must be horrible and worthy of the most draconian penalties we can think of! Godshall contended that some environmental protesters, including those who protest what goes on inside drug-testing labs or research activity at veterinary schools, have gone too far, threatening to harm buildings and even scientists engaged …

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Link-o-rama!

I want to write about everything. Sadly, being a mere mortal, I can't. So here's a big fat set of links to stuff that I haven't been able to get to in the last week or so. Handle with care. Elizabeth Burton with some interesting thoughts on a Gross National Happiness index. Dave Pollard on how to create, uh, a whole new culture. Mike Millikin points to the first unsupervised driving review of a hydrogen fuel cell car. Treehugger's got the poop on alternative toilets and an extremely cool bike storage tree thingy. Via Worldchanging, a English-language website for Curitiba, …

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Hegel, and I don’t mean Chuck

The other day I pointed to a Dave Pollard post in which he argued with himself, eerily echoing an argument I find myself having with, uh, myself, frequently. Commenters immediately seemed to select the "right" side of the argument and condemn the other. They saw an either/or and picked a winner -- which was not at all my reaction. When I find myself caught in a loop like the one Dave describes, with two sets of positions or perspectives that both seem valid -- but incompatible -- my impulse is to try for some sort of synthesis, some sort of …

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Elevator Pitch Contest finalists — vote!

Our Elevator Pitch Contest brought in over 150 entries -- a number I'll happily refer to as "whopping." I know I said I was going to pick a winner, but ... it's just too dang hard. Instead, Grist's crack staff of elevator pitch evaluators combed through the entries and picked out their 10 favorites. Now it's up to you, dear readers, to pick the winner, who will receive a VFOGT (Very First Official Grist T-shirt). Click "link and discuss" below to vote! (You need to be signed up for an account to vote -- if you haven't, you can do …

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Arctic Refuge vote

The vote on the Senate budget resolution -- which contains a provision for drilling in the Arctic Refuge -- and the Cantwell amendment -- which would strip it out -- takes place in about a half hour. Things are looking bad for the refuge. Update [2005-3-16 11:2:7 by Dave Roberts]: The Cantwell amendment was just voted down, 51-49. The refuge will stay in the budget.

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