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Articles by Jon Rynn

Jon Rynn is the author of Manufacturing Green Prosperity: The Power to Rebuild the Middle Class, from Praeger Press. He has a Ph.D. in Political Science and lives with his wonderful wife and amazing two boys, car-less, in New York City.

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  • Who knew?

    In the spotlight. Photo: iStockphoto

    Maybe some of you are not going to believe this, but a trend seems to be developing wherein some progressives seem to think that the issue of global warming is grabbing the "spotlight." For instance, in "Why is peak oil politically incorrect?" Ugo Bardi compares the number of online searches that global warming receives versus peak oil, using Google's admittedly new "Trends" system. The number of searches for global warming is rising rapidly, while peak oil lists along. But as an editor comments at the end of the article,"But if you think that's all very depressing -- do the comparison with 'Paris Hilton' and then cry."

    Exactly. If the civil rights movement had enjoyed the "publicity" and public passion that global warming currently does, we'd still have segregated bathrooms in the South. Which brings us to the second, admittedly amorphous problem, best exemplified currently by that fascinating phenomenon, left-wing climate deniers.

    David F. Noble, a historian of technology (his book Forces of Production is a classic), does a good job in " The Corporate Climate Coup" of showing the history of how large corporations are trying to use the global warming issue for marketing purposes, but somehow global warming activists seem to have accumulated some collective guilt as a result -- am I missing some billboards or something?

  • Global warming, agriculture, and fossil fuels

    Vulnerable soil. Photo: iStockphotoIn the article "A Perennial Search for Perfect Wheat" in yesterday's New York Times science section, writer Jim Robbins highlights one of the slow-moving global disasters of our age: the destruction of the world's soils. This in turn is part of a wider problem: global ecosystem destruction, including depleted oceans, cleared forests, and overgrazed grasslands.

    As for erosion, Robbins writes:

  • Stormy weather ahead

    Well, we might find out, according to an exclusive from The Oil Drum and Chuck Watson of KAC/UCF, also using a weather blog, where Margie Kieper writes:

    An unusual event is happening over the next 48 hours, as the first tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds, and major hurricane-force winds at that, is approaching the Gulf of Oman, to strike the eastern coast of Oman, curve northward, and make landfall on the coast of Iran. In the tropical cyclone best tracks and the modern era of weather satellites, there is no record of such an occurrence.

    As the Oil Drum writer comments:

  • On the cutting edge

    The Burlington Free Press has a story on some energy legislation Sen. Bernie Sanders is about to introduce:

    Sanders' proposed energy grants could be used by Vermont towns and counties to update building codes to require construction of energy-efficient homes and businesses, retrofit old buildings with newer technology, experiment with alternative energy, create incentives for residents to car pool or ride the bus, and organize voluntary efforts to encourage people to save energy by turning down their thermostats or replacing traditional light bulbs with compact fluorescent lighting.

    The Senate also will vote on a Sanders amendment that would create a program to train workers to install solar panels, retrofit older homes and offices, and perform energy audits to educate people about how to save money.

    The article also contains the bizarre reasoning of the folks at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think tank, about how Sanders' legislation will destroy the economy.

    On Thom Hartmann's Friday (June 1st) podcast, Sanders made the following remarks: