The price of Gas is up, again

Three completely connected headlines, all different aspects of the rise in gasoline prices.  Three sides of the same coin.  Notice how all the headlines either contain a number or refer to one?

World food prices at fresh high, says FAO

3 February 2011 Last updated at 12:56 ET

World food prices rose to a record high in January, according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

The FAO Food Price Index, which measures the wholesale price of basic foods within a basket, averaged 231 points last month – its highest level since records began in 1990.
It was up 3.4% from December, the seventh monthly rise for the index.

 

Shell annual profits double to $18.6bn

3 February 2011 Last updated at 14:37 ET

The oil giant Shell has reported profits almost doubled from $9.8bn to $18.6bn (£11.5bn) for 2010, partly thanks to rising oil prices and output.

Its chief executive, Peter Voser, said the company had made good progress and that there was “still more to come”.

During the year, the company made $7bn of acquisitions and invested $3bn in exploration.

 

One in five workers ‘fears losing job’, CIPD says

3 February 2011 Last updated at 19:01 ET

One in five UK workers fear they could lose their jobs, a survey has said.

In the public sector, that figure rises to nearly one in three workers, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said.

The organisation is calling on managers to demonstrate high-quality leadership in order to raise morale and engagement in the workplace.

More than half of those surveyed also claimed that their employer had either frozen or cut pay.

The price of Gas is up, again

A Party you can believe in

While governor hopefuls Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman debated on Tuesday night in San Rafael, the Green Party candidate for governor was being arrested outside the hall. Police charged Laura Wells with trespassing after she tried to get into the debate that she was not allowed to participate in.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Laura Wells, why are you running for governor?

LAURA WELLS: I am running because California is worth it. California is now in a situation where they call it ungovernable. And the candidates, past and current, are not talking about what the real issues are. In 1978, the voters took matters into their own hands about taxes, because the governor at the time, Jerry Brown, was not taking care of business. And people were in danger of losing their homes because of rising property taxes. So they voted for Prop 13 in 1978, and it had the hidden zingers in the back, which is what a lot of propositions do. And that had the flattening of the property tax, which more people know about than the other part, which is the two-thirds majority required to raise income, to raise revenue, to raise taxes. And so, what happened, in combination with a simple majority, to lower taxes. So our legislature was very much encouraged to lower taxes in the boom years, because it comes back to feed their campaign in the form of what the Supreme Court called “free speech” and what I might call “corporate bribes”—corporate campaign contributions. So they lowered taxes in boom years. Now, when we need it, two-thirds is too high a jump.

A Party you can believe in

This is another one of those tipping point things

Back in December 2007 when I’d seen the first press releases about what was to be called a netbook, I knew that would be one of those way-cool things that would become very popular. And this is going to be one of those things, too. Now I have no way of knowing if this exact brand would be popular, but it is going to be something like this that becomes popular. It is the next must-have consumer appliance. The price point that it will end up selling at will be about $129 or so.  Oh, and it’s power draw is only about 10 watts when running.  Someone is going to figure how to make a nice supercomputer from these things, by hooking them together, and it will run at a price point that we can’t imagine right now.

Here it is: http://www.qnap.com/pro_detail_feature.asp?p_id=171

This is another one of those tipping point things

Passive House. Passive, but expensive.

Article about Passive house:

Beyond Fossil Fuels
Can We Build in a Brighter Shade of Green?

WHEN Barbara Landau, an environmental and land-use lawyer in suburban Boston, was shopping for insurance on the energy-efficient home she and her husband were building in the woods just outside of town here, she was routinely asked what sort of furnace the home would have.

“None,” she replied.

Several insurers declined coverage.

Passive House. Passive, but expensive.

If you see something, say something (Jeff Luers answers Bill McKibben)

The question posed over at Truthout is a good question; the problem is that the answer has been provided and is in plain sight. :

We Need Your Ideas: A Call for Direct Action in the Climate Movement

Wednesday 08 September 2010

by: Bill McKibben, Phil Radford, Becky Tarbotton

Dear Friends,

God, what a summer. Federal scientists have concluded that we’ve just come through the warmest six months, the warmest year, and the warmest decade in human history. Nineteen nations have set new all-time temperature records; the mercury in Pakistan reached 129 degrees, the hottest temperature ever seen in Asia. And there’s nothing abstract about those numbers, not with Moscow choking on smoke from its epic heat wave and fires, not with Pakistan half washed away from its unprecedented flooding.

But that’s just the half of it. It’s also the summer when the U.S. Senate decided to keep intact its 20-year bipartisan record of doing nothing about global warming. Global warming is no act of God. We’re up against the most profitable and powerful industries on earth: the companies racking up record profits from fossil fuels. And we’re not going to beat them by asking nicely. We’re going to have to build a movement, a movement much bigger than anything we’ve built before, a movement that can push back against the financial power of Big Oil and Big Coal. That movement is our only real hope, and we need your help to plot its future.

But necessary as such efforts are, they’re not sufficient. We’re making progress, but not as fast as the physical situation is deteriorating. Time is not on our side, so we’ve concluded that going forward mass direct action must play a bigger role in this movement, as it eventually did in the suffrage movement, the civil-rights movement, and the fight against corporate globalization.

The answer has been provided:

Continue reading “If you see something, say something (Jeff Luers answers Bill McKibben)”

If you see something, say something (Jeff Luers answers Bill McKibben)

BP must be dissolved

BP will surely lose much more money than most analysts are predicting. The so-called responsible environmental movement is not very well connected to popular sentiment, which clearly has a long way to go.  The Facebook group Boycott BP will easily be at 300,000 before tomorrow morning.

Facebook, Twitter Users Vent Wrath Over Oil Spill
Web users have turned to social media sites to channel anger, frustration, and even humor over the Gulf oil disaster, particularly at BP

By Douglas MacMillan

Web users dismayed by the BP oil leak are using Facebook and Twitter to channel outrage, organize cleanups, and poke fun at the public relations crisis facing the company behind the largest-ever U.S. spill.

A Facebook group called “Boycott BP,” which encourages people to stop using BP (BP) products, has drawn more than 250,000 fans. U.S. government agencies have set up pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google’s (GOOG) YouTube, and Yahoo!’s (YHOO) Flickr to field questions about the cleanup effort. An anonymously managed Twitter account that makes glib comments, purportedly on BP’s behalf, has more than 97,000 followers.

And then from the “please tell us what you really think” department is this gem:

Sheila Williams, a spokeswoman for London-based BP, says the company is monitoring sentiment on social media sites, although she says online outreach is a lower priority than containing the spill in the Gulf of Mexico. “Our view is that people are entitled to their views,” she says. “Our major area of concern is to try and control the leak.”

How quaint! BP still believes in the Freedom of the Press! Really?

And here is a quote from the Wanna bet? department:

Hayward reduced BP’s net debt ratio to 19 percent in the first quarter from 23 percent a year earlier, giving him greater ability to meet cleanup costs and related liabilities. The company has an AA credit rating from Standard & Poor’s and made a record $6 billion profit in the first quarter on $73 billion of revenue.

“The liability could be tens of billions of dollars, but I do think BP has the balance sheet capacity to be able to handle a hit like that,” said Jason Gammel, an analyst at Macquarie Securities USA Inc. in New York. “It’s too early to say it’s a takeover candidate because no one wants to own an unquantifiable liability.”

The issue here goes far beyond claims related to economic losses. The loss to the Biosphere far exceeds the market capitalization of the entire stock market. BP will have to pay for that. They will have to be bankrupted, and all of their assets seized. Anyone who stands in the way of that is not part of the solution, but part of the problem.

BP must be dissolved