You better watch out!
Better not cry!
Better not pout!
I'm telling you why,
Santa Claus is comin' to town.
He's making a list
and checking it twice.
He's going to find out who's naughty and nice.
Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town.
We better watch out. We better not cry. While Santa checks his list twice, so too might you and I. The ebony chunks Old Saint Nick might place in our stocking, contrary to what coal corporation sponsored commercials might claim, are not clean. Nor is this source of energy cheap. When used as a resource for power, this sedimentary rock is dirty, deadly, and digs deep into the pocketbooks, and personal lives, of those the industry touches. In America, that may be you and me.
More than 60 percent of all coal mined in the United States today, in fact, comes from strip mines.
In the "United States of Coal," Appalachia has become the poster child for strip mining's worst depravations, which come in the form of mountaintop removal.
An estimated 750,000 to 1 million acres of hardwood forests, a thousand miles of waterways and more than 470 mountains and their surrounding communities -- an area the size of Delaware -- have been erased from the southeastern mountain range in the last two decades.
Thousands of tons of explosives -- the equivalent of several Hiroshima atomic bombs -- are set off in Appalachian communities every year.
More than 104,000 miners in America have died in coal mines since 1900.
Twice as many have died from black lung disease.
Dangerous pollutants, including mercury, filter into our air and water (through mining practices.)
The injuries and deaths caused by overburdened coal trucks are innumerable.
A recent report reveals that in the last six years the Mine Safety and Health Administration decided not to assess fines for more than 4,000 violations. Source . . . Washington Post. Jeff Biggers is the author of "The United States of Appalachia: How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture and Enlightenment to America."
This one is a shout-out to my little brother and his ever-essential SAT preparations. From here on out, we'll be providing regular "SAT prep" to those of you that need...well...help. So here we go:
What pissed you off more than Bush losing the popular vote but winning the election in 2000?
David Cook winning American Idol over David Archuleta, of course!
Now, I know that this is digging at old scars for some people--American Idol has been over for a while now--but I just have to say it. And what has been the best thing that Cook has given us since then?
The best thing Bush has given us?
I, for one, would like to see George W. Bush on American Idol in 2009!!!
For Which It Stands, the journeys and musing of a young progressive and his travels around the world.
The meeting on Tuesday between the man who will be president and the man who should have been got way less attention than it should have. This was another in a string of "elections have consequences" moments.
President-elect Barack Obama met this afternoon in Chicago with former vice president Al Gore to discuss climate change, declaring after the meeting, "The time for denial is over." [...]
"All three of us are in agreement that the time for delay is over," Obama told a pool of reporters as he sat alongside Gore and Biden at Obama's transition headquarters after the meeting.
"We all believe what the scientists have been telling us for years now," Obama said, "that this is a matter of urgency and national security, and it has to be dealt with in a serious way. That is what I intend my administration to do."
Obama may announce his picks for Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Energy and EPA administrator as soon as today and while Al Gore has been rumored to be in the running for at least 2 of these positions, WaPo confirms conventional wisdom that:
Democratic sources maintain there are no indications Gore is interested in taking a job in the new administration.
So who is likely to get the spots? Well, all we know right now is that "Democratic sources" are saying that Clinton EPA Administrator Carol Browner will "take a new White House position as head of environmental, energy, climate and related matters." Leaking this new position first seems meant to send the signal of just how important President Obama will be taking the issue of energy and climate change.
Add to that the fact that CNN Money is reporting that Gov. Jennifer Granholm is meeting with the Obama transition team today about energy issues on Wednesday and, on a related note, is on the short list to head the Department of Energy.
With many of Obama's appointments coming from public service, insiders say the President-elect's team wants to appoint an energy secretary from industry, and one with the gravitas to help steer the massive Department of Energy into a new green era. That's one of the reasons that Bryson and Governor Granholm are now said to have pulled ahead in consideration in front of another contender, Dan Reicher, director of Google's climate change and energy initiatives division.
Another name that has surfaced is Steven Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory and a Nobel Prize winning physicist.
What other top contenders have you guys heard about. Where are the infamous Obama leaks when you need them?
Gore stated last week that he wasn't interested in a cabinet post, but would he really turn an appointment down if offered by Obama? Energy and the environment are going to be two major focus points of the Obama administration. The visit is raising expectations, although there is a chance it is just an informal get together to discuss a more informal advisory role. I personally believe that Obama will be offering a cabinet position to Gore today, for what its worth.
Former Vice President Al Gore is set to meet with President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden Tuesday, leading to speculation Obama is eyeing Gore for a slot in his administration. >>>>>>
Nonetheless, Gore's high profile visit to Chicago, Illinois, to meet Obama and Biden is raising eyebrows, even among some of Gore's close advisers.
"The Gore trip is for more than just a chat," a close friend of Gore told CNN's John King. "He wouldn't burn that much carbon flying to Chicago just to talk." >>>>>>
While this is the first time Gore is set to sit down with the president-elect since Election Day, the two regularly speak, aides have said. The meeting comes as the Obama transition team turns its focus toward naming its energy secretary and Environmental Protection Agency administrator -- two key posts that remain vacant.