Eric Kerby: Photography, Web Design, Programming

Archive for the 'Politics' Category

"We need to act now."

July 19th, 2008

On July 17th Al Gore delivered another speech in Washington, DC. This was one of his most direct, clear, and effective addresses to the American people. The message is simple: we cannot wait to fix the impact of humanity on the environment. His approach: push the lawmakers, corporations, and citizens of the United States to buck up and move to an all-renewable, electric economy within 10 years. As with my last Gore post, I'm including a video of his speech.  Watch the short version below, and if you really want to save our planet and our economy, watch the full version as well.  Below the video, you will find some quotations I found particularly useful or pertinent to the message.  Please take this seriously.

Today I challenge our nation to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years.

We're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that's got to change.

When we send money to foreign countries to buy nearly 70 percent of the oil we use every day, they build new skyscrapers and we lose jobs. When we spend that money building solar arrays and windmills, we build competitive industries and gain jobs here at home.

To those who say the challenge is not politically viable: I suggest they go before the American people and try to defend the status quo. Then bear witness to the people's appetite for change.

I have long supported a sharp reduction in payroll taxes with the difference made up in CO2 taxes. We should tax what we burn, not what we earn.

It is only a truly dysfunctional system that would buy into the perverse logic that the short-term answer to high gasoline prices is drilling for more oil ten years from now in areas that should be protected.

So I ask you to join with me to call on every candidate, at every level, to accept this challenge – for America to be running on 100 percent zero-carbon electricity in 10 years. It's time for us to move beyond empty rhetoric. We need to act now.

We're committed to changing not just light bulbs, but laws. And laws will only change with leadership.

Our entire civilization depends upon us now embarking on a new journey of exploration and discovery. Our success depends on our willingness as a people to undertake this journey and to complete it within 10 years. Once again, we have an opportunity to take a giant leap for humankind.

Absentee voting

February 9th, 2008

I requested my absentee ballot for the Virginia 2008 presidential primary on February 5th and received it yesterday (the 8th).  I filled it out with a witness present, sealed the multiple envelopes, attached more than enough postage (old stamps from my roommate), and sent it on its way back down south this morning.  If the jolly old USPS does their job right, the ballot should make it back home by the 12th to be counted among that day's votes.  Yay for doing my civil duty.  I hope you other states enjoyed your Super Tuesday.

Oh boy, Virginia

February 5th, 2008

I could not resist posting a link to a humorous tidbit about today's Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses.  Take a look at what many Virginians did today to get a laugh.  It turns out that some people in the good old Commonwealth missed the message that the Virginia primaries are happening on February 12th…not today.  I tell ya', we Virginians sure are a mighty smart crowd!

Way to go, Brazil!

September 13th, 2007

Get ready for another one of my ethanol discussions. It seems Brazil is moving forward to have the World Trade Organization investigate the United States' outrageous farm subsidies. The part that made me happy is the special mention of ethanol and corn subsidies. For those of you who are not well versed in my archive of posts about ethanol, let's just say that corn-based ethanol production is certainly not on my list of things our government should be supporting. The research Brazil and Canada have done to further ethanol production from raw material other than corn is quite impressive. We really need to send a message to our government to stop supporting the inefficient, wasteful, environmentally unfriendly process of corn-based ethanol production that is stifling progress in other forms of alternative energy. Ethanol may help reduce our dependency on Middle East oil, but it WILL NOT be a long term solution. I'm all for using ethanol derived from sugar cane, switch grass, and other biomass until battery and/or hydrogen power displaces it, but if we continue investing in corn, our country will regret the investment down the road. Be sure to read the AP's article on the topic.

Interesting perspective on the 2008 presidential election

June 27th, 2007

I always find it interesting when someone reveals that a certain organization is running Windows, Linux, or whatever on their web server. That kind of information is quite easy to find out just by looking at the headers a server sends back to your web browser. Well, I recently ran across a survey of the various announced candidates for the 2008 US presidential election. It details the operating system and web server used to power those candidates' official websites. Go take a look at the report for an interesting perspective on the elections.

Ethanol has a public image

July 4th, 2006

Ethanol on the front lines

Happy Independence Day! This past weekend we drove up to Virginia's northern neck to see my aunt, uncle, cousins, and their new pug puppy. When we stopped for gas before the trip, I had to snap a shot of a sign on the pump, "Contains up to 10% ethanol." Originally, I thought this was to feed off of recent somewhat positive media exposure, but it seems more is involved. If you want a good read, follow my link to this PDF from the Virginia Petroleum, Convenience and Grocery Association. By the way, my Treo 700p's camera seems to work quite nicely outside. Read on for more info and another photo. Read the rest of this entry »

Corn Ethanol Rant

April 26th, 2006

Before I start, let me warn you this is a longer post, but please read it all. There has been a lot of mention of alternative fuels in the news lately due to the ever sky-rocketing fuel prices. Always included in the discussion is ethanol, the grain alcohol often made from corn that is currently being mixed with gasoline across the country generally in proportions of less than five percent. If any of you knew me in my senior year of high school and heard my senior speech, you may remember that I am quite opinionated on the topic of using ethanol. Not much has changed since I gave that speech, but I think it worth a little rant to bring everyone reading this site to the same level. First, read this article by Popular Mechanics and this article by U.S. News & World Report. Then make sure you come back and read the rest of what I have to say. Read the rest of this entry »