Owing to the wet winter in the Pacific Northwest, the Bonneville Power Administration is idling wind power capacity because too much electricity is being generated by government-owned hydropower dams. The agency can’t close the power generating turbines because the turbulence generated from the spill would be harmful to salmon. In a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu regarding the situation, Rep.
The battle over new coal terminals in the Pacific Northwest hasn’t really focused on the amount of coal already moving down the Columbia River basin by train from Wyoming and then up the coast to British Columbia (via Seattle) for export to China. This post from the excellent Sightline Daily puts it into perspective.
Despite the Democratic firewall in the Pacific Northwest last week for congressional representatives, many ballot measures thought to be supported by Democrats failed. In Washington state, measures to establish an income tax on high earners, sell bonds for school energy retrofits, and privatize state liquor sales all failed. Additionally, sales taxes on candy and bottled water were repealed and a two-thirds legislative supermajority for tax increases was established (again). Across the mighty Columbia in Oregon, five of seven ballot measures passed.
One of the quirks of global warming is that average temperatures in the polar regions are rising a lot faster than they are in the rest of the world. (See here for an explanation.) That's not exactly reassuring, since a lot of the climate impacts we care about, especially the melting of Greenland and Antarctic glaciers and the potential release of methane gas from the tundra, will occur in exactly those areas.
On the front page of the Weekend Arts section on Friday, the Times published an above-the-fold celebration of the work of Cary Grant so backhanded and begrudging as to be genuinely mystifying. The occasion was a retrospective taking place at BAMcinematek, and the author was Mike Hall, who usually writes about television. Hall begins by noting To put on a Cary Grant series ... presents some special challenges.
As the age of cheap oil comes to a close, it's springtime for gloomy futurists. Visions of a brutish world marked by violent squabbles over dwindling reserves, of junkyards littered with abandoned cars, of suburban slums overrun by weeds, of the collapse of industrial agriculture--none of this sounds as outlandish as it once did.
A letter from a reader in the Pacific Northwest asks wryly: "Do you invent some of the films you write about?" The question prompted a Borgesian temptation to invent, but I was soon calmed down by a sober fact—hardly new, still sobering. The reader's faintly desolate question underscored it. In terms of filmgoing possibilities, this country is schizoid. I, in New York, confront a fairly full range of available films. Only in a few large cities is anything like that range available; and those cities are only a small slice of this country's possible audience.
For decades, Republicans have attacked Democrats' alliance with labor, slamming union "bosses" as corrupt and undemocratic. It's more than a touch ironic, then, that as the Bush administration tries to make political inroads with labor, it continues to favor unions whose recent record on these scores has been particularly problematic. The most notorious of these are the Teamsters, who appear to be currying favor with the administration in the hope that it will lift the Independent Review Board that has overseen the union since 1992 (see "Dirty Deal," April 1 & 8). But, fond as George W.
Earlier this year, while federal antitrust authorities were reviewing his company's proposed merger with United, US Airways CEO Rakesh Gangwal acknowledged that "there [was] no plan B" should the deal fail. The claim was surprising given that corporate executives usually pretend to be optimistic even in the worst of times. But Gangwal could no longer pretend. Though US Airways had improved since the 1980s, when it was beset by chronic delays and lost baggage, it still faced a daunting problem. With its generous pilot salaries and posh airplanes, US Airways had the cost structure of a lucrative