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Text of In-person Public Comment to the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force

September 28, 2009

The Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force met in San Francisco on Sept. 17, 2009.   I gave them my 2 cents minutes worth, along with the few hundred others there. The video is at: Time index: 1:56:25

 “Thank you. I’m so glad that Obama has started your work, and I’m tasking you with following through on his promise for science-based policies.

Science has shown us that climate change is the biggest issue that we have. 350 is where we need to be, we are at 390 parts per million, and its going up.  You know what is happening to the oceans: acidification and decreasing phytoplankton populations.  That’s a cascade effect right there.  Half of our CO2 is consumed by the oceans.

So I am charging you with right now with a Manhattan-, an Apollo-type research program on the Ocean Carbon Cycle.

My daughter is here because the nurse couldn’t make it, but for all the generations that follow, green energy isn’t enough. There is too much CO2. We have to sequester it, and the oceans hold that potential – we know that.  We don’t know if it is safe. We don’t know if it is effective. So we need the research now, started now, so that in 10 or 20 years we’ll know what’s going on.  We will have done the microstudies. We will have done the longitudinal studies. And when Japan or China decides, ‘Whoa, we can dump iron, and reduce the carbon”, we’ll know what to do.  You will have a Foreign Policy issue, you will have a National Security issue, if they make that decision.

So let’s do the science now. Let’s redirect NASA – ok? Space is a great way to study the oceans.  NOAA, this is front and center.  I think billions and billions of money ought to be spent on it right now.  And its environmental studies, its ecological studies, that every environmentalist should want to have, to understand the Ocean Carbon Cycle as soon as possible.

 Thank you.”

Senator Specter Speaks out for the Constitution

September 29, 2006

Bush’s latest gutting of the Constitution, with Congress obligingly cutting the federal courts out of the loop with regard to the legal rights of “detainees” has shown at least one Republican who has read, believes in, and will stand up for the rights in the founding law of our land:

Editorials Hit Congress on New ‘Terror’ Bill

See also: 

Senator Spector introduced an amendment to retain habeas corpus for detainees — that is the right to challenge their imprisonment. That’s a right that has predated the Constitution for centuries.  Hear, hear, Senator Spector!

My message to him: Thank you for attempting to uphold the constitution and habeas corpus, and to maintain some check and balance while detaining international prisoners. Thank you for helping to keep America the America that we were taught — one that values civil rights, due process, and three branches of government.  Thank you for speaking out that we should not abandon our guiding principles because of fear, that we should not blind ourselves to the abuses that any secret system is bound to inflict, that we should not silence the few caught in a system designed to imprison them who ask for evidence, a court and a fair hearing. Thank you for caring, speaking your conscience, and being an American leader, a hero, for what America really stands for.

Scientific American Saves the World – At least somebody has a plan

August 29, 2006

The Sept. ’06 issue of SciAm is a masterpiece, laying out a paradigm to understand how to bring carbon emissions under control. See  Here’s my letter to them:

Dear Editors:

Congratulations for putting together what our governments have failed to do: a framework to understand and solve the carbon emissions problem, and thus, save our planet as we know it.

Some comments: You mention both high concentrator solar power and themochemical separation of water (albeit nuclear-based) to generate hydrogen, but did not put the two together.  There is some activity in direct solar hydrogen generation that deserves serious funding to see if its scalable, as it just might power the hydrogen economy with renewable energy.

Also, dismissing cold/sonofusion as “entertainment” closes the door on what could possibly be the silver bullet. There is good science being done in the field and none can say it is impossible, lest we practice ” Pathological Disbelief”.  Even if the chances are slim, the rewards are great. It also deserves some real funding as every dollar would be streched to the maximum by many qualified researchers. 

Lastly, thanks for presenting wind power not tied to massive towers (the key to its future), but your illustration of a laddermill in an urban setting is not a safe deployment.