Saturday, June 21, 2008

Amtrak Surpasses Northwest Airlines

In the past week, Amtrak , for the first time ever, has surpassed Northwest Airlines in traffic to its website. Americans are well aware the traveling by air is getting more expensive, as it consumes an immense amount of fossil fuels. Hydrocarbons and valuable commodities, are not going down in cost anytime soon. Trains are much more efficient, but in America, they are still slower. Not a very practical attribute in a fast-paced society.

This is changing, and the Midwest
High Speed Rail Association is at the forefront. They are advocating for high-speed rail starting at the current rail hub of Chicago. Many Minneapolitans are familiar with our current Hiawatha line. But the future corridor between Minneapolis and Chicago bears the same name. It would be wise to support such a line, especially as Northwest Airlines has no qualms about moving its headquarters to Atlanta. That and the Twin Cities will cease to be of value in a post-cheap oil world without transit.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Adri Mehra, Green Party 5CD Candidate, Responds to Republican Inadequacies on Energy Policy

Barb Davis White: wrong on energy, wrong on peak oil, woefully wrong on any solutions.

Ms. White also appears to not know or, worse, respect her own party’s history with regard to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In 1960, the administration of PresidentEisenhower – a Republican – ordered the preserve federally protected. Currently the area supports more wildlife than any other protected habitat in the Arctic Circle, featuring six different eco-zones and thousands of migratory animals. Even the most optimistic pillagers acknowledge that ANWR’s total exploitation would only buy the nation a few more years at current consumptionlevels – sort of like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic in hopes that the ship will stay afloat.

Furthermore, extracting shale oil through tar sands, sometimes known as “strip mining,” has proven to be about as useful as a Republican in the Fifth District. Besides causing 10 percent more environmental damage than drilling for crude oil (including excessive land and water destruction), the process is painfully unreliable and horrendously slow - thus rendering it costly and inefficient, and a grand waste of the energy we were supposed to save in the first place.

Finally, nuclear energy development should be off the table until we find a safe way to dispose of the thousands of tons of viciously toxic radioactive waste that will continue to radiate cancer-causing emissions for thousands of years. In addition, nuclear power relies on highly enriched uranium, yet another air-choking fossil fuel – but much more expensive and dangerous to mine than all other options combined. It is true that France has had some success with reprocessing its spent fuel for further energy usage, but even they acknowledge that they cannot reduce the toxicity of the waste. This is all to say nothing of the constant risk of an “incident” resembling the 1986 meltdown of the reactor in Chernobyl, Russia, which resulted in thousands of cancer-related deaths estimated in the years that followed.

Barb Davis White’s “solutions” for the global energy crisis are just another example of the zero-sum game the Republicans love to play with our planet’s future. Peak oil is more than just a theory – it’s a clarion call for all of industrialized humanity to seek the development of new renewable energy resources in this late autumn of our dialogue with Earth’s oil. U.S. oil production peaked forty years ago, and the rest of the world is less than a generation behind. The time for denial, mitigation, and simple conservation is over. We need to fully fund sustainable solar and wind energy NOW to prevent famine and global economic collapse tomorrow.

Adri Mehra
Minnesota 5th Congressional District Candidate for US Congress
Seeking Green Party endorsement