Sunday, September 9, 2012

Strengthen​ing of America: Bipartisan Group of Former Members of Congress to Host Four Forums on National Fiscal Crisis



Bipartisan Group of Former Members of Congress to Host Four Forums on National Fiscal Crisis

WASHINGTON, September 7, 2012 – Former U.S. senators Sam Nunn (D-GA), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Warren Rudman (R-NH), and Evan Bayh (D-IN) have convened a bipartisan group of former senators and representatives to come together for four forums between now and the first presidential debate to raise public consciousness of the country’s growing and unsustainable debt. They are calling their effort, Strengthening of America—Our Children’s Future.

“We believe that while the worst effects of the national debt are probably long term, there is an urgency to this issue that no longer allows us to kick the can down the road,” said the four former senators in a joint statement. “Neither party seems willing to address this issue with either common sense or simple arithmetic. There are current members of both parties, however, who understand the stakes and who are willing to work together by putting the country first. We hope to support, strengthen, and help add to that group.”

Each of the four forums will resemble a congressional hearing, with high-level former U.S. government officials providing remarks before a panel of former elected representatives. The effort is a joint project of the Concord Coalition, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the American Business Conference, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.

The first session, scheduled for Wednesday, September 12, from 9:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at CSIS, 1800 K Street, N.W., in Washington, D.C., will look at America’s long-term fiscal challenge, providing a big picture overview of the financial and international economic implications of the nation’s fiscal outlook. Speakers will include former U.S. secretary of the treasury Robert Rubin and, via satellite, former U.S. secretary of the treasury and secretary of state James A. Baker III.

Future sessions will focus on the national security implications of the debt, bipartisan plans for addressing the problem, pro-growth tax reform, and the imperative of entitlement and health care cost control. Strengthening of America—Our Children’s Future, is working closely and coordinating with the Campaign to Fix the Debt, the Comeback America Initiative, and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s ongoing efforts to call attention to the fiscal challenges threatening America’s future.

The Steering Committee for Strengthening of America includes the following former members of Congress: Howard Baker (R-TN), Bob Bennett (R-UT), David Boren (D-OK), Bill Brock (R-TN), Richard Bryan (D-NV), Mike Castle (R-DE), Jack Danforth (R-MO), Tom Davis (R-VA), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Mickey Edwards (R-OK), Daniel Evans (R-WA), Bill Frenzel (R-MN), Dan Glickman (D-KS), Slade Gorton (R-WA), Bob Graham (D-FL), William Gray (D-PA), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Jane Harman (D-CA), J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA), Nancy Kassebaum (R-KS), David McCurdy (D-OK), Jim Nussle (R-IA), Tim Penny (D-MN), Chuck Robb (D-VA), Tim Roemer (D-IN), Alan Simpson (R-WY), Charlie Stenholm (D-TX), John Tanner (D-TN), Tom Tauke (R-IA), and Tim Wirth (D-CO).

“Too many people assume it is impossible for Republicans and Democrats to work together,” said Senators Nunn, Domenici, Rudman, and Bayh in their joint statement. “Our experience tells us that it is not only possible—it is absolutely essential. While we are not na├»ve about the unlikely prospect of any agreement until after the election, there are plans currently on the table—like Simpson/Bowles and Domenici/Rivlin—that are bipartisan, that put everything on the table, and that provide a useful starting point for debate and agreement. We need to focus attention on this vital issue today to preserve our children’s future tomorrow.”

For press inquiries on Strengthening of America, please contact Andrew Schwartz, CSIS senior vice president for external relations, at aschwartz@csis.org or call (202) 775-3242.

The effort is a joint project of the following organizations:

The Concord Coalition

The Bipartisan Policy Center

The Center for Strategic and International Studies

The American Business Conference

The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University

The Hoover Institution at Stanford University

The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University

You can follow the initiative on Twitter @USAStronger.

Holiday Gift it Green Ideas (Reader Provided)



For your upcoming holiday/recycling stories, please consider Kim Blanding, founder of Gift it Green, and her tips on how to have a greener holiday season.

**PASS GIFT IT GREEN ON TO FAMILY MEMBERS YEAR AFTER YEAR**

During the holidays, Americans throw away 25% more trash than any other time of the year. This holiday season, start a waste-free family tradition with Gift it Green (gig) reusable cotton gift boxes. Gigs add the unique touch to any present and replace the need for cards, paper wrap, tissue, and paper gift bags. No other reusable wrap captures the fun experience of unwrapping a gift with its eco-friendly crinkly tissue paper, ribbon and multiple layers. Gigs are designed to be re-gifted, so write your name on the tag inside and "gift it forward" or keep it (perfect for holding jewelry or holiday keepsakes). Gift it Green – a fun, eco-friendly family tradition.

Kim Blanding, founder of Gift it Green, provides helpful tips on how to have a happy and eco-friendly holiday season with gig gift boxes.

o Use reusable shopping bags. This will reduce the number of plastic bags that get trashed and minimize the amount of petroleum used to make them. If you receive plastic bags, remember to recycle the clean ones at your local grocery store

o Send your holiday greetings in electronic form. E-cards can be enhanced with sound and animation and they create no physical waste.

o Gift wrap your presents this year with Gift it Green! Most of holiday waste comes from gift-wrapping paper. Narrow down that waste by using Gift it Green eco-friendly gift boxes to ship or give your gifts. The gift receiver will be receiving a gift within a gift while preserving the environment.

o If you send holiday cards, buy recycled-content cards and envelopes. Or make your own cards or gift tags out of last year's cards and the wrapping paper you saved.

o Remove your name from the mailing list of any catalog you no longer wish to receive. Eliminate unwanted credit offers by calling 1-888-5OptOut (1-888-567-8688) or visiting www.optoutprescreen.com.

o Rechargeable batteries and a battery charger are a great way to cut down on the consumption of batteries. Include these with any electronic gifts!

o Recycle your tree and wreath.



More about Gift it Green: Gift it GreenTM (gig) eco-chic fabric gift boxes are for those looking for an environmentally-friendly alternative to disposable paper wrap, gift bags, and gift boxes but still want all of the fun. Developed by a Chicago mom of three boys, Gift it Green offers kids and adults a fun and easy way to help save the environment by gifting forward. Gift it Green is a Green America Silver Certified Business and proudly support Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.



Gift It Green (gig) boxes are designed to be gifted forward and are available in several modern designs and sizes. Gigs cost between $14 - $18 and can be purchased at retailers and www.giftitgreen.com.

The Wisdom of HopeBy: M.J. Rusaw


“It is better to beg than steal, it is better to work than beg.”—Confucius

Chess players learn there is no benefit to a bad idea succeeding. Even for the most charismatic leaders, bad ideas inevitably bring catastrophe — sudden failure. Electing the most inexperienced, liberal senator in America to lead our nation at a time parallel to the Great Depression was a bad idea. However, he told us the truth. He promised he would fundamentally transform America, and even though America is a values system, and that’s like promising to fundamentally transform the endowment of our Creator of certain inalienable rights, chief among them the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, he began immediately to do it.

This November, America has a critical opportunity to elect a new president and a new Congress, and we must. Why? Three sublime reasons: First and foremost, regardless of individual fortune, race, creed or national origin, we are a free people set at liberty by real American struggle and sacrifice, for freedom’s sake, to live as a free people indebted only to liberty and justice for all. Second, the legacy of liberty is the American Dream, a dream of opportunity, equality, and a just due promised to every generation and entrusted to the care and propagation of every American. And third, none of us living today, stewards of America’s precious, perpetual legacy, shall escape the retribution of our children and their children for exchanging their American dreams to finance our fiscal impropriety, which is driving our national debt to critical mass — and the economic collapse of America.

On July 4th, Americans celebrated our independence from the tyranny of 18th century Great Britain, won by the struggles and sacrifices of our patriots in the Revolutionary War. The American Revolution was a good idea — a grand idea — that freed a people and birthed a nation; which, through courage and Divine Providence, has become the greatest nation on Earth, with liberty and justice for all. That is, until recently.



History demonstrates that, irrespective of faith or secular sentiments, individuals and nations alike ultimately face three contentious tests: The test of poverty, the test of power and the test of prosperity. Today, in 2012 America — the generations before us having passed the tests of poverty and power — it is readily observable that individually and as a nation we are failing the test of prosperity. Reasoning from fallacy that debt is just another person’s confidence in our ability to earn future income, we fail to realize that in debt our dreams die first, our freedoms fall to foreign financiers, liberty is lost, and uncertainty reigns.



There is only tyranny in disproportionate debt, and this time we may not be able to win a new American Revolution fought against the forces of fiscal truth. In the four fiscal years of the Obama administration we have added more accrued debt to the national debt of America than all of the previous 43 presidential administrations combined — from George Washington to George W. Bush. It is $6.03 trillion under Obama versus $5.851 trillion under all the others. Our national debt — touted as the greatest threat to our national security — now stands at $15 trillion, equal to the total market value of all final goods and services produced in America, our total gross domestic product.



America has a definite date with destiny, and it will not be met with the gaiety of prosperity, rather it will be met with the regrets of debt and the reins of tyranny. When our outgo exceeds our income then our upkeep will be our downfall.



Today, there is still hope, and there is wisdom in hope.



Where true faith lives there is always hope. And there is but one answer to the plea, “Faith in what?” Faith in what is real, right and true. I beg to differ with Sir Francis Bacon, who said, “Knowledge is power.” I find knowledge alone is not power. Knowledge is the potential for power. Knowledge rightly applied is wisdom, and wisdom is power. It’s the same with hope. Hope is faith rightly applied. In this sense, hope is power. It may seem counter-intuitive, but we’ve been struck with the notion of the “audacity of hope.” But, audacity is a willingness to take risks — bold risks, in the spirit of unrestrained impudence. Where do we find wisdom in impudence? We don’t.



Let’s hope against the audacity of hope for fervent, effectual change. Let’s hope for the real, right, and true to manifest at last and render true opportunity, liberty, and justice for all. We cannot allow our upkeep to be our downfall. We simply cannot afford another four years of the current administration. Those of us who work and pay taxes must rally around this critical opportunity for change: In November 2012, a vote for Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan is a vote for real, right and true change. The United States of America is a center-right nation of free people. Stand up, speak up and vote.



As a patriotic, working, American middle-class taxpayer, I do not consent to be fundamentally transformed. The values and beliefs my parents, my family, and America instilled in me are trustworthy and tried. I believe in the Constitution of the United States and the inalienable rights endowed to us by our Creator. I believe in America. We must elect a new president, a president who will fundamentally reform the fundamental transformation of the past few years.



Today, America still has options — and America herself is at stake.



President Obama must be relieved. America must be recovered. Hope against the audacity of hope; there is wisdom in hope.



Recently, Gov. Romney sent me a campaign correspondence. His question to me was, “Where do you stand, Mr. Rusaw?” The question was prefaced by this remark:



“I thank you for believing in America as much as I do. America does not just exist for the people … it has been made exceptional by the people: a free people pursuing their own dreams and achieving success in their own ways. This is a moment that demands we return to our basic values and core principles.”



I say, “Gov. Romney, I believe in America; I stand with you, there is wisdom in hope, and my hope is in you.”



Please join me.



In big league baseball it only takes one run to stop a shut out—a walk, two wild pitches, and a balk is one run.

—Delivery Boy



About The Author: M.J. Rusaw is the author of The Tides of Eternity. In 1978, M.J. Rusaw enlisted in the United States Air Force, served nine years and achieved the rank of E-6 Technical Sergeant. He received the Air Force Achievement Medal for heroism in 1985 for his efforts at the scene in helping to save the life of a fellow Sergeant who had become a work center shooting victim, and went on to be selected as the 1986 Aircraft Maintenance Professional of the year for the First Tactical Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. Over the more than 20 years since leaving the service, he has worked for DynCorp International as a contractor on Patuxent River Naval Air Station, first as an Aircraft Electrician at the United States Naval Test Pilot School, and currently as an Electronics Technician III at the Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Site.

Chinese Superstar Yao Ming Encounters Poached Elephant in Northern Kenya (Reader Provided)


Hi ,
I thought you might be interested in the attached photo. You can check out http://yaomingblog.com for more background. Please let me know if you need additional photos or further information.
Caption:
Former NBA star and Chinese icon Yao Ming inspects the corpse of a poached elephant in Namunyak, Northern Kenya. Yao is on a fact-finding mission with international conservation group WildAid as part of a campaign to reduce the demand for ivory products in China, the main destination for illegal ivory. Since 2008, elephant poaching has been on the rise, according to Save the Elephants and the Kenya Wildlife Service. Follow Yao’s journey through Africa at http://yaomingblog.com/

Photo Credit:
Kristian Schmidt for WildAid
Best,
Eric Desatnik
Communications Manager
WILDAID
744 Montgomery Street #300
San Francisco, CA 94111

THE REALITY OF THE IVORY TRADE

After witnessing how illegal ivory was obtained, I really was speechless. After seeing these animals up close and watching them interact in loving and protective family groups, it was heart wrenching and deeply depressing to see them cruelly taken before their time.
Yao Ming Encounters a Poached Elephant in Northern Kenya

Photo by Kristian Schmidt for WildAid

People have spent their lives studying and living intimately with these animals and now, just like in 1989 before the international ivory trade was banned, they must spend their lives looking for bodies, using metal detectors to find bullets and conducting autopsies.

Unfortunately, I saw five poached elephants in close proximity to each other while in Kenya – an indication of the seriousness of the poaching crisis.

I’m told that until 1989, the international trade in ivory was legal. But in addition to legal ivory from natural deaths, huge amounts of illegal ivory were laundered into the trade despite years of attempted regulation. This “regulated” trade led to the halving of elephant numbers from 1.2 million to around 600,000 in two decades. West, Central and East Africa were hardest hit, while Southern African populations remained stable and even increased.

In 1989, the international community banned the trade. The price of ivory fell to a quarter of its previous levels as markets in the US, Europe and much of the world, collapsed. For a number of years, elephant numbers stabilized and poaching declined. Some South African countries pushed for re-opening ivory trade for their stockpiles, but each time this was done, poaching increased again on speculation of a renewed market.

Theoretically, we could have a market in ivory supplied from elephants that die naturally. But unfortunately, with the high amount of money at stake, few will wait for the elephant to die to make a profit. There are too many people with access to weapons to do the killing here and too many people ready to buy the ivory without questioning how it was obtained.

I also learned that at one point in history, the United States was the largest consumer of ivory. As of 1989, Japan and Hong Kong were the largest importers of ivory, with Hong Kong holding 127 tonnes in its stockpile.

But China’s economic boom has lead to greater buying power with few potential consumers exposed to the publicity surrounding the 1989 ban. This is why we really need to document what’s happening here in Africa, on the ground. I firmly believe that Chinese consumers will have a change of heart once we understand the consequences, but it hasn’t been covered widely enough in the media.

Unlike rhino horn (which was banned in 1993 in China), ivory is still legally available and side-by-side with illegal ivory from poached elephants, which I think is very confusing for people. If you see something openly on sale, you assume it is legal. An ivory carving is thousands of miles removed from the sad carcass of a poached elephant, but we need to make that connection.

It was a harrowing experience I never want to repeat, but something that everyone thinking of buying ivory should see — the wastefulness of these animals cruelly slaughtered just so a small part of them could be used.

Would anyone buy ivory if they had witnessed this?

System is Broken Pundit Says (Reader Provided)



She Offers 5 Amendments to Fix It

A recent Gallup poll shows 81 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the governing of the country, a historic number.

With the ongoing discussion among experts, pundits, politicians and the general public on whether or not America has lost its way, citizens are looking for solutions. They are out there, says Dixie Swanson, former TV personality, former Beltway insider and author of The Accidental President Trilogy (www.dixieswanson.com), a series of novels about an apolitical physician who stumbles into a Senate seat.

“Problems in our country are moving faster than solutions,” says Swanson. “Whether we elect Mitt or Barack, we are going to be facing the same gridlock that’s jamming and corrupting the process today,” she says.

To get the nation back to duly elected government officials who spend their time leading and making decisions in the best interests of the entire country, Swanson suggests the following five amendments:

• Abolition of Electoral Voting: The U.S. electoral process is as antique as a powdered wig. It has already failed three times, electing presidents who did not win the popular vote. As the system stands now, if a candidate wins by one vote in a state with a few people, like Wyoming, he gets three electoral votes. If he wins in California, he wins 55. This violates the idea that every vote counts equally. Romney could get “Gored” this year and win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote. All Americans want their votes to count equally.

• Single Six-Year Term for Presidents: Our country has enormous problems and the president and vice president need to be on the job full-time, not running for reelection beginning on Day 2. No one in the highest levels of the federal government is looking 20 and 30 years down the road. We need to lengthen the term to build in an opportunity for focus and visionary thinking.

• A Balanced Budget: The budget shall not exceed the previous year for which fiscal revenues are known. In the event of a national catastrophe, this can be overridden with a two-thirds vote of each house and the president’s signature. This should be gradually implemented throughout the next decade to reduce economic whiplash. This should include an income surtax that goes directly toward paying down the national debt.

• Constitutionally Mandated Campaign Reform: The big money of PACS and Super PACS is corrupting. Let’s return power to the voter. Only voters can donate, and then only to one candidate in each race for whom they can vote: his or her choice for representative, senator and one presidential ticket. Congress may set a limit on donation amounts. No entity of any kind may give money to the candidate or give it to an individual to donate. Any violations are a federal crime punishable by five years in prison with no parole. Just as your ballot is secret, your donations will not be published on the internet (with your address) as they are now, but will be reported daily to the Federal Election Commission by the campaign treasurer. All donations are to be made by check, credit/debit card or electronic funds transfer. No cash donations are acceptable and there are no in-kind donations. Lobbyists can still exist and do advocacy, they just can’t bring money, or anything of value, to the conversation. During an election, any advertising is to be paid for by the candidate and by no one else.

• The Line-Item Veto: Congressional attempts to give the president line-item veto power have been shot down by the courts as unconstitutional, so the only way to provide this is by amending the Constitution. As is stands now, the courts can throw out a part of a law, but the president cannot. That is inequitable.

About Dixie Swanson

Dixie Swanson was a pediatrician for 10 years and the Family Health Reporter for NBC’s Houston affiliate. She also spent time working for a Washington lobbyist with access to the White House. Dixie is the author of “The Accidental President Trilogy – a Political Fable for Our Time.”

Poll: 81% Worried About Drought/Water Shortages, Most Favor Shift From Water-Intensive Energy Sources

SURVEY AMERICANS WORRY ABOUT DROUGHT, WANT SHIFT TO CLEANER ENERGY TO AVOID WATER SHORTAGES, POLLUTION

Two Thirds of Americans Favor More Federal Action to Address Extreme Weather Woes, Concerns Higher in Drought-Hit States of AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, MO, NV, NM, SC and TX.

BOSTON, MA.///August 16, 2012//Water -- and how to protect it in the face of worsening drought conditions -- is now a hot topic across America.

Faced with record-breaking 2012 summer heat, 81 percent of Americans are concerned about “increased drought” and other extreme weather conditions, according to a major new ORC International survey conducted for the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (CSI). In addition to the national poll data, more detailed results were presented for the drought-hit states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Texas.

Conducted July 26-30, 2012, the CSI survey found that concerns about drought go hand in hand with worries about water shortages and also how to avoid making them worse. Three out of four Americans – including 61 percent of Republicans, 84 percent of Democrats and 80 percent of Independents -- think that “with all the current concern about severe drought and the risk of water shortages, America needs to start focusing more on alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar, that require less water.” This view is shared consistently across nearly all drought-stricken states surveyed.

Other key findings include the following:

* Shortages of safe drinking water due to drought and “the diversion of water for energy production” is the No. 1 overall worry in the 10 drought-stricken states with 63 percent “very concerned,” reaching highs of 74 percent in Florida and 71 percent in Georgia. Nationwide, nearly two thirds (64 percent) of Americans are “very concerned” about the prospect of “possible shortages of safe drinking water” due to drought and diversion for energy production. This issue is topped nationally only by concerns about higher food prices (66 percent), and is trailed by higher gasoline prices (61 percent), higher utility bills (49 percent), and diminished recreational activities (24 percent).

* Well over four out of five Americans (85 percent) – including 76 of Republicans, 91 percent of Democrats and 88 percent of Independents – say that the availability of ample clean water should be a top national priority for the U.S. In drought-hit states, the total rises to 86 percent in California and 90 percent in Georgia.

* About two out of three Americans (65 percent) think “the national government needs to do more to address extreme weather impacts.” In drought states, views on this issue are strongest in Nevada (69 percent) and Florida (76 percent).

* Americans want an energy/water “road map” for the U.S. Nearly nine out of 10 Americans (89 percent) – including 86 percent of Republicans, 93 percent of Democrats and 85 percent of Independents – believe that “U.S. energy planning and decision making must be made with full knowledge and understanding about the availability of water regionally and locally, and the impact this water use from specific energy choices has on their economies, including agricultural production.”

Pam Solo, president, Civil Society Institute, said: “We now understand all too well the harsh realities of the current drought and its relationship to changes in the climate from global warming. America’s 'all of the above' non-solution for electricity generation is a dead-end path – one requiring vast amounts of water for coal-fired power plants, nuclear reactors and the fracking extraction of natural gas. It didn’t have to be like this. In 2005, the Congress mandated that the U.S. Department of Energy produce a water/energy roadmap.  Seven years later, we have neither a roadmap nor even a general understanding of what water resources we do have. We don't know what the competition between energy, agriculture, industrial and residential uses will mean for food security and the dependability and costs of energy sources that are reliant on increasingly scarce water. The sad truth is that we are flying blind today when we could have had the foundation for a national water/energy
plan in place years ago.”

Heather White, general counsel, Environmental Working Group, said: "Across the political spectrum, Americans are united in their understanding that an ample supply of clean water is essential to our health and to our energy future. This drought and the other extreme weather events we are experiencing provide a painful reminder of that reality. We must move to a clean energy future that doesn't solely consider carbon emissions; it must also safeguard the quality of our drinking water and the overall environment. The vast majority of Americans know that the same business-as-usual and ‘all of the above’ approach to energy policy simply isn't going to get us there. We must have a fundamental shift toward clean alternatives like wind and solar instead of doubling down on water-intensive and potentially dangerous energy sources like fracking and nuclear power."

Pollster Graham Hueber, senior researcher, ORC International, said: “The old expression is that everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it. That may not be the case when it comes to drought that poses a threat to the availability of clean water. Driven by their concerns about drought, a strong majority of Americans responding to this survey were open to making choices – such as more wind and solar power – if doing so would avoid worsening the water shortages brought on by drought. In looking across party lines, we see broadly bipartisan sharing of both concerns about drought and support for more ‘water friendly’ energy alternatives.”

Seth Sheldon, senior water and energy analyst, Civil Society Institute, said: “The water/energy nexus in a period of drought and water shortages is something we can ill afford to ignore. On average, nearly 50 percent of the water withdrawn in the US is used by thermoelectric power plants for cooling and the generation of steam for power. Facilities that use “once-through” cooling withdraw huge quantities of water from lakes and rivers and return the water at a much higher temperature to the detriment of downstream ecosystems. Facilities that use ‘recirculating’ cooling withdraw less water, but that water is evaporated away and lost to the atmosphere. Both types of power plants are critically dependent on water and prone to pollution of the same.”

OTHER KEY SURVEY FINDINGS

* Seven out of 10 Americans – including 63 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of Independents – support a “precautionary principle” approach to addressing water and energy issues. The 70 percent endorsed the following statement: “The precautionary principle would advocate a conservative approach to the use of technologies that may put public health at risk and create irreversible environmental harm. If there is not enough scientific evidence showing that it is safe, precaution should guide decisions in those cases.”

* Two thirds of Americans – including 50 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of Democrats, and 68 percent of Independents – now think that climate change is “real” or “appears to be happening”. Only 6 percent of Americans now say that climate change is “definitely not happening”. Residents in nine out of 10 drought states – ranging from a low of 63 percent in Texas to highs of 76 percent in Florida and 80 percent in California – are as or more likely than the rest of America to think that climate change is real.

* Of those Americans who say that they think climate change is real or appears to be happening, 73 percent – including 65 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of Independents -- have been influenced in their views by “recent extreme weather events in the United States — including drought, wildfires, high-wind storms, and other developments.” In drought-stricken states, two-thirds of those who recognize the existence of climate change have been influenced by recent weather events, reaching highs of 80 percent of those surveyed in Texas and Florida.

* About two in five Americans (39 percent) have “personally experienced the impact of drought in the last year.” In drought-hit states, this jumps to highs of 74 percent in Missouri, 69 percent in Texas, 63 percent in New Mexico, and 62 percent in Colorado.

* More than three quarters of Americans (77 percent) -- including 62 percent of Republicans, 88 percent of Democrats and 83 percent of Independents – are concerned about the drilling process known as fracking. Nearly three out of five Americans (58 percent) are aware of “fracking” today, compared to 27 percent who said they know nothing about it.”

* About four out of five Americans (79 percent) -- including 77 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of Democrats and 80 percent of Independents -- support “tighter public disclosure requirements as well as studies of the health and environmental consequences of the chemicals used in natural gas drilling.”

For full survey findings, go to http://www.CivilSocietyInstitute.org on the Web.

METHODOLOGY

The ORC International report conducted a nationally representative telephone survey among a sample of 1,017 adults. Oversamples of at least 150 adults were also conducted in each of the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina and Texas. The survey was conducted during the period of July 26-30, 2012. The margin of error for the national survey is plus or minus three percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. The margin of error for each of the state surveys is plus or minus eight percentage points.

ABOUT CSI

Based in Newton, MA, the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (http://www.CivilSocietyInstitute.org) is a think tank that serves as a catalyst for change by creating problem-solving interactions among people, and between communities, government and business that can help to improve society. Since 2003, CSI has conducted more than 25 major national and state-level surveys and reports on energy and auto issues, including vehicle fuel-efficiency standards, consumer demand for hybrids/other highly-fuel efficient vehicles, global warming and renewable energy. In addition to being a co-convener of TheCLEAN.org (http://www.TheClean.org), the Civil Society Institute also is the parent organization of the Hybrid Owners of America (http://www.HybridOwnersofAmerica.org).

EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment. http://www.ewg.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Patrick Mitchell, (703) 276-3266 or pmitchell@hastingsgroup.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available on the Web athttp://www.civilsociety.org as of 5 p.m. EDT on August 16, 2012.:   MOST AM

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sustainable Energy Plan (Reader Provided)


Provided by Ginny Grimsley:


Why Wait Till Gas Hits $10 a Gallon? 

Sustainable Energy Expert Details National Plan of Action


There’s a lot of moaning and hand-wringing whenever gasoline prices approach $4 a gallon. But all it would take for them to hit $10 a gallon overnight would be hurricanes wiping out a couple of refineries or saboteurs disabling a couple of pipelines, says Dr. R. Paul Williamson, founder and CEO of the non-profit Sustainable Systems of Colorado.

“The United States is still almost completely reliant on finite fossil fuels, which are rapidly being depleted,” says Williamson, author of Winning the Energy Wars: A Sustainable Energy Plan for America’s Future (www.usa-sep.com). “We should be following a plan now that transitions us to sustainable energy sources but, believe or not, there is no plan.”

The country faces oil shortages, international security turmoil and expanding environmental impacts, he says.

“Our entire future hinges on a sustainable energy plan,” he says. “A crisis will impact our whole quality of life. It’s not just gasoline; petroleum products are used in pharmaceuticals, plastics, things we rely on every day. The time to put together a plan is now – not when we’re in crisis.”

After studying the details of the nation’s looming energy crisis, the former executive director of Hydrogen and Alternative Research and Development for the University of Montana says he’s drafted a detailed plan that is systematic, non-threatening and sustainable. Three key features are:


• Abolish the U.S. Department of Energy. Though the 1973 oil crisis led to its creation, the Department of Energy has done nothing to create a sustainable energy plan in its 35 years of existence. Such a strategic plan isn’t even a goal. Why? Politics. The big, all-powerful oil companies would not benefit. “To ensure America’s security and prosperity’’ is the department’s stated mission.

• Create a Governors National Sustainable Energy Council. Direct the work of implementing the energy plan to leaders who are already doing that. Thirty of our 50 states have adopted goals for sustainable energy, and some have already achieved them. The council would have a rotating two-year board consisting of two governors from each of five regions, and three at-large governors. Funding from the decommissioned Department of Energy (currently, $25 to $35 billion a year) would be diverted to the council, which would be located in America's Heartland away from Washington, DC.

• Enact legislation to establish funding. Williamson proposes a National Alternative Energy Bond Fund to provide low-interest loans to new and redirected companies; entrepreneurs and other businesses focused on domestic energy development. This could be funded through sales of Alternative Energy Series “AE” bonds, trading stocks or bonds in the market as part of the Invest in America program, and establishing a surcharge of the use of products that use finite energy resources.

“We have enough domestic finite, transitional and sustainable resources to become energy independent and we can do so if we get focused, establish a new leadership paradigm and implement what I call the ‘USA Sustainable Energy Plan,’ ” Williamson says.

What can Americans do – besides their individual efforts to reduce reliance on gas and oil? Williamson suggests taking these steps:


• Call or email our elected officials. Contact your governor, your U.S. representative, your U.S. senators and the president.

• Tell them you support adopting the USA Sustainable Energy Plan. Ask for their support on the three action steps: decommissioning the Department of Energy, creating the governors’ council, and creating and funding the alternative energy fund.

• Follow up each week. Reiterate the action items and ask what progress is being made.

For more information on the energy plan, visit www.usa-sep.com.

About R. Paul Williamson

R. Paul Williamson is founder and CEO of the non-profit Sustainable Systems of Colorado. He holds bachelor’s degrees in secondary education and communications; master’s in curriculum and instruction and media technology, and a doctorate in technology education. He has served as a dean at four colleges including the University of Montana, where he created the Montana Hydrogen Futures Project, a plan incorporating the state's human, natural and renewable resources to create a statewide, hydrogen-based economy. Presently, he is working to create a sustainable future for the US; deployment of a self-sustaining, hydrogen-powered, magnetic levitation personal rapid transit monorail system; a sustainable smart home development; and an H2 Futures Business Park.

PR Contact: Ginny Grimsley: 727-443-7115 ext 207
Ginny@newsandexperts.com

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Green Republican Gear

Purchase your Green Republican Gear and show your support of the Environment and the GOP.

http://www.cafepress.com/greenrepublicans?CMP=swidget_greenrepublicans&utm_campaign=swidget&utm_medium=seo&utm_source=greenrepublicans

Purchase Gear Here







                                                       Purchase through link below:

http://www.cafepress.com/greenrepublicans?
CMP=swidget_greenrepublicans&utm_campaign=swidget&utm_medium=seo&utm_source=greenrepublicans


Jason Alexander, 99% video - Reader provided

Thank you for sharing:

Hi
I read your blog constantly and I just found this hilarious clip on funny or die about the 99% movement and I thought the readers of Green Republican Party might be interested, even if you don't think it's worth posting you should take a look it's extremely funny. Thanks so much for your time.
Video Link:
Cheers
Monica

VP Peek Score, Reader Provided

Reader Provided:

Hi ,
Hope all’s well.
I thought the below might be a fun side bar to any other election coverage you might be doing.
As you know, the GOP has finally chosen its primary candidate, Mitt Romney. The question that remains, however, is who will be Romney’s running mate?
With the Internet playing such a huge role in the engagement of the vote, the people search experts at PeekYou have decided to cut through the speculation and put the potential choices through the PeekScore gauntlet as per their respective presence on the Web.
PeekScore is a rank from 1 to 10, assigned to every person. The higher someone’s score, the “more important” they are on the web.



Rank

Name
Company
PeekScore
1
Governor of New Jersey
9.46 / 10.00
2
Former senator from Pennsylvania
9.34 / 10.00
3
Former governor of Minnesota
8.73 / 10.00
4
Congressman, chairman of the House Budget Committee
8.62 / 10.00
5
Junior senator from Kentucky
8.27 / 10.00
6
Junior senator from Florida
8.24 / 10.00
7
Former governor of Florida
8.22 / 10.00
8
Governor of Louisiana
8.12 / 10.00
9
Junior senator from Ohio
8.02 / 10.00
10
Governor of Virginia
7.87 / 10.00
Books on Possible VP

Earth Dog - Reader Provided


EARTH DOG RETURNS TO SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT
Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  May 4, 2012

562071 366525616732391 106425942742361 1099611 1917772036 n EARTH DOG RETURNS TO SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT
EARTH DOG RETURNS TO SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT
New User-Friendly E-Book Format with Auto-Narration to Appeal to Children of All Ages
WASHINGTON – Earth Dog® today became available as an app in iTunes and as an eBook, titled: “The Earth Dog Story,” just in time for Earth Day 2012. “The Earth Dog Story” was first published in 1992, then in 1996 in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy as apart of their Environmental Out Reach Program with Weekly Reader. Now, the popular children’s environmental super-hero is making his comeback in app and eBook format with auto-narration, to appeal to children of all ages.
Earth Dog’s mission is to teach kids to be good stewards of their planet and take charge of their environmental future by advocating for a cleaner, healthier world. The eBook leads towards future key environmental themes, including CLIMATE change, clean air and water and wildlife conservation.
The story chronicles Earth Dog’s transformation from a junkyard dog into an Environmental super-hero dedicated to the task of fighting pollution. Earth Dog educates young people around the world about environmental issues affecting our planet. He teaches problem solving skills through understanding and cooperation. The environment is the #1 concern amongst students in the classroom today. Every kid wants a dog, and they’ll love Earth Dog!
This is the story of how a junkyard dog, once content with just chasing cats and eating out of trash cans, had an experience that changed his life forever. From a pup with no direction, Earth Dog became an Environmental Superhero. Earth Dog’s future Adventures & Contest make math, science and reading fun for kids of all ages. They join his adventures to save the Earth by finding creative solutions to pressing environmental problems. Kids can even submit their own ideas, which may be selected for use in future Earth Dog episodes. New features available in this Earth Dog Book include professional narration and digital artwork for each scene. By combining the original text and artwork of Earth Dog with features that entertain and promote reading, this Earth Dog Book appeals to readers of all ages.
For more information, the public should visit the new Earth Dog website at http://www.EarthDog.org.
The Earth Dog Story at – http://earthdogstory.com/
Email: infoearthdog@gmail.com
533180 355585671159719 106425942742361 1071130 1651692804 n EARTH DOG RETURNS TO SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT

e11a1aa5c1ac647 EARTH DOG RETURNS TO SAVE THE ENVIRONMENTScreen Shot 2012 04 19 at 12.02.13 AM EARTH DOG RETURNS TO SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT

Monday, April 16, 2012

GOP lead Dems in generic congressional poll

GOP extending it's leads despite Obama's propaganda machines efforts. Ever wonder where CNN (Clinton News Network) is when the pro GOP news is put out.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Republicans, as they have for nearly three years now, continue to lead Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot, this time for the week ending Sunday, April 15.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 46% of Likely U.S. Voters would vote for the Republican in their district’s congressional race if the election were held today, while 36% would choose the Democrat instead.

Obama trails Romney in polls by Gallup.and Rasmussen


According to Gallup Obama now trails Romney in the latest poll.

April 16, 2012
Romney, Obama in Tight Race as Gallup Daily Tracking Begins
Romney voters slightly more certain they will vote

by Frank Newport

PRINCETON, NJ -- Mitt Romney is supported by 47% of national registered voters and Barack Obama by 45% in the inaugural Gallup Daily tracking results from April 11-15. Both Obama and Romney are supported by 90% of their respective partisans.


See Poll details: http://www.gallup.com/poll/153902/Romney-Obama-Tight-Race-Gallup-Daily-Tracking-Begins.aspx


Rasmussen gives Romney 3 point lead:
April 16
In a hypothetical Election 2012 matchup, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney earns 47% of the vote, while President Obama attracts support from 44%. Matchup results are updated daily at 9:30 a.m.

Meantime CNN (Clinton News Network) releases a poll giving Obama a 9 point lead.  Does CNN make news or report it?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Majority of GOP favor Green Policy and Technology according to Gallup

Most Republicans favor Green Environmental policies and technology according to Gallup.
So why is the Green voice in the GOP so weak?
See Gallup pole.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/153803/Americans-Endorse-Various-Energy-Environment-Proposals.aspx

Show your Green side by wearing something touting Green Republican from Cafe Press:
http://www.cafepress.com/greenrepublicans

Green Republican Clothing at Cafe Press

You can now buy Green Republican items through Cafe Press, Yea!!
Show your support for your conservative side, while showing support for the environment..
If you're a delegate heading to the GOP convention in Tampa make a statement.
They have shirts, hats, mugs, bags, jewelry, and more.

Here is the Green Republican Gear link: http://www.cafepress.com/greenrepublicans

Get Nobama Gear here: http://www.cafepress.com/greenrepublicans/8756047

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Time to rally around Romney.

Romney for all intents and purposes is the Republican candidate.  It's time to embrace Romney and end the Obama Administration's choke hold on the US economy, and his efforts to create class envy .

For the good of America and our mutual future as citizens we must support Romney's election efforts.  Since 2007 Romney has not emphasized his environmental platform, but he does have one. I'm providing the link for you to review and decide for yourselves on the merits of his approach.  I found his positions logical, not perfect, but it is supportable.

Romney's environmental position links, please review both for the full picture:   http://aboutmittromney.com/environment.htm  and  http://www.mittromney.com/issues/energy

Thousands of Dollars to students who know: Who is John Galt?"

Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged is a book all should be encouraged to read.  Ayn almost prophetically put into writing back in 1957 her concept of how our great nation might destroy itself.  If we look around today we will seen many similarities between the government in Ayn's novel to that of the current administration.
Please encourage those you may know of High School and college age to read her novels, and writing and compete for cash awards through submitting an essay.  Hopefully by doing so we can educate the next generation to understand the saying, "Who is John Galt?"
Essay information here http://aynrandnovels.org/essay-contests.html


Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest Information

Eligibility: 12th Graders, College Undergraduates, and Graduate Students
Entry Deadline: September 17, 2012
FIRST PRIZE: $10,000
3 SECOND PRIZES: $2,000
5 THIRD PRIZES: $1,000
25 FINALISTS: $100
50 SEMIFINALISTS: $50

Topics
Select ONE of the following three topics:


What do you think Eddie Willers’ role is in the story? How does he help convey the novel’s theme? Why do you think his fate is left open in the last chapter?


Why does John Galt go on strike when the Starnes heirs take over the Twentieth Century Motor Company? Do you think he is right or wrong to start a strike? Explain.


Choose the scene in Atlas Shrugged that is most meaningful to you. Analyze that scene in terms of the wider themes in the book.
http://aynrandnovels.org/essay-contests.html

Books can be purchased on Amazon in the link below:

Anthem Essay Contest Information


Eligibility: 8th, 9th and 10th Graders
Entry Deadline: March 20, 2012 (Read now and prepare for next years contest)
FIRST PRIZE: $2,000
5 SECOND PRIZES: $500
10 THIRD PRIZES: $200
45 FINALISTS: $50
175 SEMIFINALISTS: $30

Topics
Select ONE of the following three topics:


Why did Ayn Rand name her main characters "Prometheus" and "Gaea"? Compare the historical myths of Prometheus and Gaea to the lives of these two characters.


What does Equality finally understand about his society when the Council threatens to destroy his invention?


In the final chapter of Anthem, Prometheus writes that he now understands "why the best in me had been my sins and my transgressions; and why I had never felt guilt in my sins." What has Prometheus come to understand about himself? Why does his society regard the "best in him" as sinful?
http://aynrandnovels.org/essay-contests.html

We the Living Essay Contest Information

Eligibility: 10th, 11th and 12th Graders
Entry Deadline: May 5, 2012
FIRST PRIZE: $3,000
5 SECOND PRIZES: $1000
5 THIRD PRIZES: $300
25 FINALISTS: $50
80 SEMIFINALISTS: $25

Topics
Select ONE of the following three topics:


How does the discovery by the secret police of one article of clothing in Leo Kovalensky’s room set the course for the resolution of the story and the fates of Leo, Andrei Taganov, and Kira Argounova?


We the Living shows that under Communism almost everyone in Russia becomes miserable, including poor people. Some would argue that Communism fails because human nature is not good enough to practice it. Based on the novel’s events and characters, do you think Ayn Rand would agree or disagree? Explain your answer.


Through the story of We the Living and the characters of Pavel Syerov, Andrei Taganov, Stepan Timoshenko and Victor Dunaev, what view emerges about the nature of collectivism?
http://aynrandnovels.org/essay-contests.html


The Fountainhead Essay Contest Information

Eligibility: 11th and 12th Graders
Entry Deadline: April 26, 2012
FIRST PRIZE: $10,000
5 SECOND PRIZES: $2,000
10 THIRD PRIZES: $1,000
45 FINALISTS: $100
175 SEMIFINALISTS: $50

Topics
Select ONE of the following three topics:


Explain the similarities and differences between the characters of Dominique Francon, Steven Mallory and Gail Wynand. How does each’s view of life and its possibilities differ from Howard Roark’s? How does this issue relate to the theme of the novel?


Howard Roark discusses the motives, methods and functioning of both the altruist and the egoist. Do the lives of Peter Keating, Ellsworth Toohey and Catherine Halsey illustrate his thesis about altruists? Does his own life illustrate his thesis about egoists? Explain your answer.


In conversation with Nathaniel Janss, Howard Roark observes that reason is something that "no one really wants to have on his side." Do the events of The Fountainhead show that Roark wants reason on his side while other characters do not? How does this issue relate to the theme of the novel?
http://aynrandnovels.org/essay-contests.html