The country is undergoing a massive general strike by immigrants demonstrating how central they are to our economy and society. General strikes are no longer just events witnessed from afar in strange foreign countries like France. Reuters states that early reports are that the strike is remarkably successful, involving millions of the most vulnerable in our society. This day is a milestone, not just for immigrant rights, but for the workers movement in general. Perhaps native-born workers will take inspiration from their immigrant brethren and start fighting back against the decades-long assault on their rights.
May 1st, 2006
The New York Times today has an Editorial endorsing cellulose-based Ethanol. [Ethanol's Promise] This led to look more closely at the Ethanol-energy balance issue. It looks like many scientists disagree with Pimentel and Patzek’s study I cited a few days ago. It appears, according to a recent analysis by UC Berkeley researchers [Researchers Attempt to Close Debate on Ethanol Energy Balance] that Ethanol made from corn may have slight benefits over gasoline, but that Ethanol from cellulose has the potential to be much more energy efficient if the technology develops as expected. In that case it would have a clear positive energy balance.
On corn-based Ethanol:
Despite the uncertainty, it appears that ethanol made from corn is a little better — maybe 10 or 15 percent — than gasoline in terms of greenhouse gas production, he said.
“The people who are saying ethanol is bad are just plain wrong,” said Kammen. “But it isn’t a huge victory — you wouldn’t go out and rebuild our economy around corn-based ethanol.”
On cellulose-based Ethanol:
“Ethanol can be, if it’s made the right way with cellulosic technology, a really good fuel for the United States,” said Farrell, an assistant professor of energy and resources. “At the moment, cellulosic technology is just too expensive. If that changes — and the technology is developing rapidly — then we might see cellulosic technology enter the commercial market within five years.”
Cellulosic technology refers to the use of bacteria to convert the hard, fibrous content of plants — cellulose and lignin — into starches that can be fermented by other bacteria to produce ethanol. Farrell said that two good sources of fibrous plant material are switchgrass and willow trees, though any material from farm waste to specially grown crops or trees, would work. One estimate is that there are a billion tons of currently unused waste available for ethanol production in the United States.
“There is a lot of potential for this technology to really help meet national energy goals,” he said. “However, there are still unknowns associated with the long-term sustainability of ethanol as a fuel, especially at the global scale. Making smart land use choices will be key.”
It is worth noting that both the National Resources Defense Council and the Union of Concerned Scientists have endorsed cellulose-derived Ethanol as a green energy.
May 1st, 2006
Thanks to Atrios and Media Matters for America. Today is the third anniversary of the day Bush pretended to be a man, with his codpiece and flight suit.
Chris Mathews, among many other pundits, with their comments that will live in infamy:
“MATTHEWS: He looks for real. What is it about the commander in chief role, the hat that he does wear, that makes him — I mean, he seems like — he didn’t fight in a war, but he looks like he does.”
Mathews, does he still look for real now that we know he isn’t? More Mathews inanity?
< “MATTHEWS: We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical, who's not a complicated guy like [former President Bill] Clinton or even like [former Democratic presidential candidates Michael] Dukakis or [Walter] Mondale, all those guys, [George] McGovern. They want a guy who's president. Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president.”/blockquote>
And don’t forget felon G. Gordon Liddy, who knows a fraud when he sees one:
“LIDDY: Well, I — in the first place, I think it’s envy. I mean, after all, Al Gore had to go get some woman to tell him how to be a man. And here comes George Bush. You know, he’s in his flight suit, he’s striding across the deck, and he’s wearing his parachute harness, you know — and I’ve worn those because I parachute — and it makes the best of his manly characteristic. You go run those — run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman’s vote in the United States of America. You know, all those women who say size doesn’t count — they’re all liars.”
What these pundits forget is that size doesn’t matter if you can’t perform.
May 1st, 2006