Thursday, April 28, 2005


Our crude energy policy

This blog will address the issues of energy and environment frequently because these are issue areas that intersect significantly with scientific reasoning. These are also the areas in politics where facts are at best negotiable and at worst simply fabricated.

While worldwide supply problems of oil are causing economic, geopolitical and military problems worldwide, President Bush is ignoring our addiction to oil, instead coming up with an energy bill that simply calls for more drilling, rather than incentives for conservation, new energy sources, or improved efficiencies. That makes sense, because new energy sources or conservation don't make his friends, family and political donors rich.

Our entire energy policy comes down to this: pump more Saudi crude and increase profits for George Bush’s petrochemical buddies.

Step 1) Ask the Saudis to raise output (Note: they already agreed to raise output, but it made no difference. Maybe it’s time to admit their oil fields are drying out).

Step 2) Write a sham energy bill by, for and of the lobbyists

This energy bill is ridiculous. Even though petrochemical corporate profits are at record highs (in the tens of billions of dollars annually), tax breaks are offered for more fossil fuel industries. Conservation and clean energy sources are given short shrift in favor of feeding our addiction to oil even further. Instead of pumping oil in Alaska, we could instead raise the fuel efficiency requirements for automobile fleets by 1 mpg. Instead of sending hundreds of billions of dollars overseas to dictators who hate us, and then spending hundreds of billions of dollars to militarily intervene with those dictators, we could raise our fuel efficiency requirements by 8 mpg.

Instead of plotting a path to energy independence, the energy bill reads more like someone's Last Will & Testament saying who gets what.

Time to buy a hybrid. I bought the Ford Escape Hybrid, which I love, but of course many others love the Toyota Prius.

Monday, April 25, 2005


Let's Hear it for the Congressional Physicists

I want to give a hollaback, mad props and two shout-outs to the only two Congressmen I know of who have advanced degrees in the sciences: Vern Ehlers (R-MI) and Rush Holt (D-NJ). Let's hear it for them! (Am I missing anyone?)

Of course, I find it pathetic that our Congressional Body makes decisions on hundreds of billions of dollars annually related to the scientific and technical fields, but we only have two elected officials who have first-hand experiences in the sciences at graduate school levels or higher. Maybe that's how our federal budgets get themselves into the preposterous situation of spending billions of dollars on a missile shield that makes high-dollar GOP donors wealthy but from a tecnical standpoint is infeasible and impractical, while underfunding other critical areas such as education investments in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Know any scientists or engineers who we can get to run for Congress?

Sunday, April 24, 2005


Martian Rover Discovers Congress

According to some very exciting recent news reports, the rover Spirit recorded images on April 15 and 18 giving evidence of dust devils on the surface of Mars. Though it was known that the thin atmosphere on Mars is capable of generating large windstorms, the micro-events of dust devils is pretty exciting.

Although, on second thought, when people tell me that elaborate scientific instrumentation, which took many years and many dollars to build, has discovered a bunch of hot, windy air in a portion of the universe devoid of intelligent life, I feel like we could have accomplished the same thing for a whole lot cheaper just by sending a grad student with a lab notebook to observe Congress in action.

Friday, April 22, 2005


Welcome to the Science Blog!

Welcome to my new blog: The Science Blog! Where science and politics meet...

I will be offering links, snippets and commentary on the intersection of politics and science. Ever wonder how many of our elected members of Congress have a scientific background? Curious as to why our government makes such screwy decisions about matters relevant to science? Looking for guidance? Then tune in!

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