Daily Archives: July 30, 2009

Huffington Post: Politics and Snake Oil

enemaArianna Huffington may have a great business model, but it doesn’t include a very critical analysis of “medical” therapies. If you like enemas and hate vaccines, it’s the place to go…
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…when it comes to health and wellness, that diverse forum seems defined mostly by bloggers who are friends of Huffington or those who mirror her own advocacy of alternative medicine, described in her books and in many magazine profiles of her. Among others, the site has given a forum to Oprah Winfrey’s women’s health guru, Christiane Northrup, who believes women develop thyroid disease due to an inability to assert themselves; Deepak Chopra, who mashes up medicine and religion into self-help books and PBS infomercials; and countless others pitching cures that range from herbs to blood electrification to ozonated water to energy scans.

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China closes 7500 coal-fired power plants

china pol
china IS trying to do something about pollution.
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BEIJING – China has taken advantage of a drop in electricity demand due to the global financial crisis to speed up a campaign to close small coal-fired power plants and improve its battered environment, an official said Thursday.

Authorities have closed power plants with a total of 7,467 generating units, meeting a previously announced goal 18 months ahead of schedule, said Sun Qin, deputy administrator of the Cabinet’s National Energy Administration.

“This couldn’t be done when power demand was very intense,” Sun said at a news conference. “Due to this financial crisis, the power generation has slowed down, so we took this opportunity to accelerate the shutdown.”

Beijing is trying to improve its energy efficiency and reduce surging demand for imported oil and gas by closing smaller, less efficient power plants and encouraging use of wind, solar and other clean sources.

The latest closures will reduce sulfur dioxide emissions that cause acid rain by an estimated 1.1 million tons and carbon dioxide output by 124 million tons per year, Sun said. He said the closures involved moving 400,000 workers to new jobs.

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UN environmental center to be located in San Francisco

artist's conception

artist's conception

San Francisco’s Hunters Point Shipyard – so toxic it’s listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a Superfund site – will be the future home of a U.N.-sponsored think tank to study solutions to global warming and other environmental crises plaguing the planet.

Due to open in 2012, the facility is envisioned by Mayor Gavin Newsom’s administration as the centerpiece of a new green technology campus, akin to Mission Bay serving as a biotech hub.

The 80,000-square-foot United Nations Global Compact Center will include office space for academics and scientists, an incubator to foster green tech start-ups, and a conference center.

The center is expected to cost $20 million. Lennar Corp., the developer partnering with the city to rebuild large swaths of the shipyard and Candlestick Point, will donate the land and infrastructure. The city hopes the remainder of the funds will come from corporate sponsorship, state and federal grants and foundation money.

“Locating the U.N. Global Compact Center in San Francisco will reinforce our city’s commitment to global justice and sustainability,” Newsom said in a statement.

Michael Cohen, director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, said San Francisco is the perfect site for a green tech campus because the Bay Area is university-rich, heavily tech-driven and has a wealth of venture capitalists willing to invest in startups.

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