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April 30, 2008

Corps of Engineers: Reservoir Would Reduce Poudre River Flow Through Ft Collins by 71% During Peak Runoff

glade reservoir, nisp, poudre riverThe Northern Integrated Supply Project's proposed Glade Reservoir would significantly reduce flow of the Cache la Poudre River in peak runoff months. According to the long-awaited Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released on Wednesday, the proposed reservoir would reduce the Poudre River's flow through Fort Collins by 71 percent in May and more than half as runoff peaks in June.

The Ft. Collins Coloradoan reports that
opponents of the project are preparing to dig in to the massive document and its concomitant technical reports. The release begins a 90-day comment period during which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will review input from residents and government agencies about the project. Opponents plan to lobby for an extension of the comment period, according to the Coloradoan.

A quick look at the draft EIS did not produce any surprises, said Gary Wockner, spokesman for Glade Reservoir opponents, Save the Poudre Coalition. "There's nothing in there that changes our mind that this project will be very bad for the Poudre River," he added.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Building Glade and Galeton (another reservoir) as proposed would cost about $426 million and would be the least-costly alternative.
  • Glade would cause the loss of 44 acres of wetlands, the fewest among the alternatives.
  • The reservoir would cause the loss of about 2,700 acres of native plant communities, or 20 percent more than other options.
  • The reservoir would cause the loss of 50 acres of habitat for the Preble's meadow jumping mouse, which is a designated as a threatened species.
  • Most of Glade's water would be taken during times of high flows. Reductions in the river's monthly average flow through Fort Collins would range from 71 percent in May in average years to 26 percent in August in dry years.
  • NISP participants currently have access to about 50,000 acre feet of water and are expected to exceed that amount by 2010. With continued population growth, the annual demand for water will reach 90,700 acre feet by 2025.
  • Flows on the Poudre and South Platte are likely to be reduced by other proposed water projects, including the expansion of Halligan and Seaman reservoirs, if NISP is built and if it is not.
Fort Collins Coloradoan
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Draft EIS
Photo: Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District

British Parliament to Vote on Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff Today

Ahead of a crucial House of Commons vote on Wednesday, which aims to add a renewable energy feed-in tariff (FIT) to the energy bill currently working its way through parliament, a broad-based coalition says that parliament has no time to waste and must act to adopt more aggressive clean energy policies. Farmers unions, environmental groups, and mechanical engineers, are banding together and displaying the widespread political support for changes in the UK's energy portfolio.

FITs have been introduced in nearly 5A0 countries around the world, and they have been particularly successful in Germany where the guaranteed rate for solar power fed to the grid has made it the world leader with 55% of the global installed solar capacity. And as the evidence from Germany shows, not only is the FIT a powerful tool for building renewable energy capacity, but it is arguably the most cost-effective way of doing so.

The Guardian (4/28/2007)

April 29, 2008

Dept. of Energy Selects Grid R&D Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it will contribute $50 million in federal funding to nine demonstration projects to modernize the nation's electrical energy grid, with the goal of reducing the peak load electricity demand by 15 percent over five years. The list of demonstration projects are as follows:

1.Allegheny Power will develop the “West Virginia Super Circuit” in conjunction with West Virginia University, North Carolina State Universiy will improve distribution system performance, reliability, and security of electric supply through the integration of distributed resources and advanced technologies.

2. Rocky Mountain Power and P&E AUTOMATION, will demonstrate load reduction through an integrated network of diverse renewable generation technologies and intelligent automation. The project will integrate renewable generation and energy storage resources, including compressed-air generation technology, wind-turbines, heat recovery systems, solar trough booster technology, a steam turbine, and hydro-turbine resources.

3. Chevron Energy Solutions will collaborate with Alameda County, PG&E, the University of Wisconsin, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Energy and Environmental Economics to significantly reduce peak load and measurably improve power reliability at the Santa Rita Jail.

4. The City of Fort Collins, in cooperation with Larimer County, Colorado State University, InteGrid Lab, and others will research, develop, and demonstrate a 3.5 megawatt coordinated and integrated system of Mixed Distributed Resources in Fort Collins to achieve a 20-30 percent peak load reduction on multiple distribution feeders.

5. Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc., along with Verizon, Innovative Power, Infotility, and Enernex, will develop and demonstrate methodologies to achieve true interoperability between a delivery company and end-use retail electric customers, enhancing the reliability of the distribution grid and the efficiency of its operations.

6. The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and others will work to balance loads with distributed resources, advanced sensing, switching, feeder reconfiguration, and controls. This effort will be replicable at any municipality-sized system.

7. San Diego Gas and Electric will develop a dispatchable distribution feeder for peak load reduction and wind-farming in conjunction Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of San Diego, Motorola, and Lockheed Martin. The project aims to prove the effectiveness of integrating multiple distributed energy resources with advanced controls and communication systems to improve stability and reduce peak loads on feeders/substations.

8. The University of Hawaii, in cooperation with General Electric, Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., Maui Electric Company, Columbus Electric Cooperative, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Sentech, and UPC Wind, will explore the management of distribution system resources for improved service quality and reliability, transmission congestion relief, and grid support functions.

9. The University of Nevada will partner with Nevada Power Company, and GE Ecomagination to address the construction of energy efficient homes that overcome electricity grid integration, control, and communications issues by building integrated photovoltaic systems, battery energy storage, and consumer products linked to advanced meters that enable and facilitate an efficient response to consumer energy demands.

Department of Energy press release
Photo: johnnyalive

Video: Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (w/clock)

I recently recorded this short video of a grid-tied vertical-axis wind turbine and accompanied clock at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Although it sounds very windy in the video, I would guess it was gusting to only 12-14 knots. Running time is 50 seconds [please pardon the excited whimpers of my Labrador who knows he's going to play with the tennis ball].

April 28, 2008

Switching From Coal to Woody Biomass

biomass, woody biomass, pine beetleA school district in the mountains of Northwestern Colorado is replacing its old coal-fired boilers with a system that will burn woody biomass - a suddenly plentiful resource - thanks to the region's pine beetle epidemic that is threatening to kill off nearly all of the state's lodgelpole pines in the next 3-5 years.

The South Routt School District will be spending the next few months replacing it's old coal-fired boiler with a biomass boiler that will use wood pellets for fuel instead. A significant portion of the pellets will come from the new Confluence Energy facility that is just about ready to open its doors in Kremmling, Colorado.

The project was financed The Governor’s Energy Of­­fice and a state bond program. McKinstry, an energy-oriented consulting and contracting firm based in the Seattle area, also is contributing free services for the boiler, which Reed said will be “cost-neutral” for South Routt schools. The change is part of a $4.1 million project to improve energy efficiency in schools and buildings, and could save the district $10,000 a year.

See Also:

"Should We Pursue Biofuels From Beetle-Killed Wood?" :: CleanTechnica (2/2008)
"Jamtland: A County Fueled by Biomass" (Video) :: ecopolitology (3/2008)
Steamboat Pilot (4/2008)

Photo: Steve Roe

April 24, 2008

75% of Greens OK with Nuclear Power?

nuclear power, uranium, public opinion, pollOver in the TalkClimateChange section of the new Green Options Discussion Forum, my colleague Mark Seall recently wrapped-up a “Live Debate” on the merits of nuclear power. In addition to the excellent and informed discussion with nuclear experts and environmentalists, there was also a reader poll that concluded with some rather unexpected results. Nearly 75 percent of the respondents believe that nuclear power is good because it is a source of “abundant carbon free energy.”

Yes, this is a reader poll, and it is not a statistical representation of the public attitude of any country in particular. But it is striking that the 133 readers who did vote, were all doing so from a blog network called Green Options. Get it? Simply put, the public attitude towards nuclear power has undergone a seismic shift in recent years. This evidence indicates that this is not the same environmental movement that emerged in the early 1970’s.

Read more....

Colbert on Earth Day

Colbert's concern for the environment is again evident.

April 23, 2008

Let's Be Honest - Does Earth Day Really Matter?

Yes. Yes it does.... Earth Day has the potential to be a powerful tool for education, discussion, & the mobilization of concerted political action on behalf of the environment. Earth Day could even be a national holiday, recognized with all of the rights & privileges associated with the title.

read more | digg story

Photo: Birmingham 1972 (National Archives)

April 22, 2008

Earth Day - Wonk Style

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter continued with his ambitious environmental agenda by issuing three executive orders on Tuesday.

  • Executive Order D 004 08 establishes reduction goals for greenhouse gas emissions (20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050, both from 2005 levels); directs the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to develop regulations mandating the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions; and requests the Public Utilities Commission to require each utility under its jurisdiction to submit electric resource plans that include an analysis showing how the utility could achieve a 20 percent reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2020.
  • Executive Order D 010 08 establishes an agricultural sequestration offset program.
  • Executive Order B 007 08 establishes a Colorado Climate Advisory Panel.

Also today, Gov. Ritter announced the "Insulate Colorado" program to help homeowners insulate their homes and reduce energy consumption. With 44 statewide partners, Insulate Colorado will provide rebates to participating homeowners up to $300 per project.

Gov. Ritter also announced the first 13 founding Colorado reporters to The Climate Registry. The voluntary registry will "Assist in measuring, tracking and verifying emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), the gases that cause climate change. It will also provide the measurement and reporting infrastructure to support voluntary, mandatory, market-based and emissions reduction." Those signers are:

American Energy Assets
Cameron-Cole, LLC
Hogan and Hartson
Kleinfelder, Inc.
Newmont Mining Corporation
Platte River Power Authority
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
Shell Oil Company
State of Colorado
Suncor Energy (USA) Inc.
Symbiotic Engineering, LLC
Tri-State Generation and Transmission
Xcel Energy

Gov. Ritter's Press Release

April 21, 2008

A Solar and Wind Monopoly?

Just in time for the barrage of Earth Day campaigns (some more dubious than others), Mr. Moneybags is going green. Hasbro announced Monday that it's iconic boardgame, Monopoly, is replacing its old-style utilities, 'Water Works' and 'Electric Company,' with the more environmentally-conscious 'Solar Energy' and 'Wind Energy.'

Phil Jackson, of Hasbro Games said in a release, “In a nod to the efforts of countries worldwide to increase the effectiveness and availability of renewable energy sources, we decided to feature Solar Energy and Wind Energy on the game board." The new edition, called Monopoly Here and Now, will be coming out this fall.

It's great that Monopoly will be jumping on the renewable energy bandwagon, as this can only help grow public consciousness about cleaner energy sources. On a more nit-picky note, the game will be departing from its monopolistic foundations by eliminating the two utilities. Along with the railroads, the electric and water companies are the only monopolistic enterprises in the game. But it would be difficult to argue that either solar energy or wind energy are monopolies.

I know that kind of takes the fun out of the move, but I just can't help it sometimes.

Yahoo Finance
Photo: Saffana

April 20, 2008

Will the Renewable Energy Tax Package Get Signed into Law?

[Originally published at CleanTechnica on 4.11.08]By a rather impressive tally of 88-8, the U.S. Senate approved The Clean Energy Tax Stimulus Act (S.2821) as an amendment to HR.3221, which aims to mitigate the economic impact of the current housing crisis.

The renewable energy tax credits were slipped into a housing bill that that did not end up looking the way its lead author, Sen. Chris Dodd really, intended it to, remarking earlier in the week that it was “a housing bill, not a Christmas tree.”

However, will the production tax credit and investment tax credit ever make it to the President’s desk to sign?

I would argue that we will see some sort of stripped-down version of the renewable energy tax credits, if any at all. The House has hardened its opposition to this version of the tax-credit extensions, which are estimated to cost $6 billion over 10 years. House leaders have strong objections to deficit-financed tax breaks, and with few exceptions, they have offset lost tax revenue with tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere. But since the President rebuked Congress’ previous attempts at funding the tax credits by rescinding tax breaks for big oil, there hasn’t been much of a discussion as far as where the money for this program will come from. One possible, though unlikely, route that this bill could follow for passage could be if the bill is consistently framed as an economic stimulus package. In that case, the House might be able to bend their pay-go rules. But, that may be a long shot.

I doubt that the House will accept these extensions without some corresponding offsets,” said Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) on the Senate floor. “This leaves the administration with a key role to play in developing a compromise that will be acceptable to both chambers.”

So we’re leaving this up to the Bush administration to figure out? Yikes.

April 17, 2008

Could Taking Substantive Action on Climate Change Possibly Be Bush Legacy?

For Teddy Roosevelt, it was the creation of our system of national parks. For Richard Nixon it was the passage of landmark environmental reforms found in the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. For Bill Clinton it was an eleventh-hour preservation of millions of acres of public land. For George W. Bush, will leading the world in addressing climate change with strong, substantive policy be his legacy? I kind of doubt it.

read more | digg story
Photo courtesy of Madison Guy

April 15, 2008

Colorado Launches Carbon Fund

planet earth, climate change, carbon policyA new program in Colorado is designed to help residents buy carbon offsets to counter greenhouse gas pollution. The program is also designed to help protect buyers and ensure that they get what they pay for.

The Colorado Carbon Fund, part of the Governor's Energy Office, is designed to help Colorado governments, businesses, and individuals buy offsets, attract money to Colorado-based projects and verify that the money spent on offsets is being used as intended.

"We want to make sure Colorado consumers have a project available so they know where their money is going," said Susan Innis, manager of the carbon fund. "In some cases, you might not know exactly how your money is being spent or what the environmental impacts are." The verification part of the program would include new standards backed up by audits and a certification process.

It is not entirely clear how the government plants on overseeing the carbon offset market in Colorado, but details are forthcoming.

One funding tool for the carbon fund will be the sale of specialty license plates. To qualify for the plates, drivers will need to make a donation to the Colorado Carbon Fund. They will also need to pay $55.36 for the plate. Lawmakers added a nice touch to the bill; Vehicles over 16,000 pounds will not be eligible to a Colorado Carbon Fund license plate.

The Carbon Fund will be up and running later this spring.

Photo courtesy of esparta

April 14, 2008

More Legal Action in Desert Rock Power Plant Case

In my 3.19.08 post at Red, Green, and Blue, I reported that Dine Power Authority and Sithe Global Power sued the US Environmental Protection Agency for dragging its feet on the air permit for a proposed coal-fired power plant on Navajo land in New Mexico. The group filed for a permit in 2004 and is still awaiting a final decision.

Now, opponents of the proposed coal-fired power plant have joined the legal fray by suing the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, according to a report in News From Indian Country. Dine Citizens Against Ruining our Environment and the San Juan Citizens Alliance claim federal agents have violated open records laws by withholding information related to the controversial plant and a coal mine that would supply it.

Among the groups’ requests are records on a consultant’s work on the draft environmental impact statement for the Desert Rock project, water use for the project and how the expansion of BHP Billiton’s Navajo Mine would affect tribal members who live and graze livestock in the area.

The New Mexico Environment Department and others have criticized the draft permit for not including enforceable conditions to address adverse visibility and for not analyzing mercury or carbon dioxide emissions. Others have complained that a better understanding of existing air quality conditions in the Four Corners region is needed before acceptable standards can be set for Desert Rock.

Gallup Independent
Desert Rock Blog
Desert Rock Clean Air Proposed Permit

April 10, 2008

New Vestas Plant Spurs Growth in Colorado Supply Chain

vestas wind systems, wind turbineWoodward Governor, which designs, manufactures and services energy controls for engines, aircraft and industrial turbines and electrical power system equipment, plans to add a new production line in Northern Colorado expanding its wind turbine inverter business. The move comes just weeks after Vestas Wind Energy opened its first North American turbine blade plant in nearby Windsor, CO.

"The wind business has just taken off here," CEO Tom Gendron said. The company made a commitment to its customers to expand its U.S. production, a move Gendron called critical to customers' "future sales success."

Woodward also announced a new Workforce Initiative that connects educators, primary employers and the work force. Front Range Community College will begin offering a two-year degree next fall to train technicians suited for the green-collar industry, including jobs at Woodward.

The collaboration will work to retrain unemployed or underemployed residents for careers in the clean-energy sector. According to a 2007 survey, the region has more than 30,000 underemployed workers, many of whom leave the region to work every day.

Woodward Governor’s sales increased 20 percent during the first quarter of 2008, which ended Dec. 31, and it is forecasting an 8 percent to 10 percent increase in sales this year, including $100 million in wind energy sales.

Fort Collins Coloradoan

April 9, 2008

Greenwashing Your Electricity

As of writing, the Tri-State Generation and Transmission homepage has a total of eight wind turbines on it; a curious number considering it is eight more than they have on their entire grid. This seems an oddity considering the tremendous wind energy resource within their sprawling service territory. But this is most likely about to change, as Colorado's co-ops are now required to come up with 10% of their energy from renewable sources.

It is unfortunate that Tri-State has resisted developing their excellent wind resource for so long. Now that there is a real danger of another lapse in federal renewable energy tax credits, wind energy developers will not exactly be lining up at Tri-State's Westminster, Colorado headquarters.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission provides power to 44 co-ops spread across 250,000 square miles of Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and New Mexico. Tri-State is itself a co-op (sort of). Maybe a better way of looking at the organization is that it is a co-op of co-ops; Tri-State is owned by the 44 co-ops it serves. And this institutional structure is not exactly conducive to change.

BlogNod & New Energy News

  • The Climate and Energy Project blog has an excellent post wrapping up the latest developments in the Kansas legislature visa vis the Holcomb power plant expansion. One of the partners in the Holcomb project, Tri-State Generation and Transmission of Colorado, has announced that they will be investigating the possibility of building a nuclear power plant in southeastern Colorado - news that apparently came as a complete surprise to the residents of Holly, CO.
  • A post by Sarah Gilman at High Country News' GOAT blog illuminates the coalition of 400 sportsmen’s groups who are fighting to revamp the antiquated 1872 Mining Act. Led by the National Wildlife Federation, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Trout Unlimited, the so-called Sportsmen United for Sensible Mining is seeking to gain legal protection for millions of acres of public lands, rivers, and streams from dangerous mining practices and fly-by-night mining operations.
  • This week's Living On Earth had a story about a paper plant's 'test burning' of tires for energy, and how Sen. Hillary Clinton was not opposed to it - in fact she supported it [audio available].
  • A measure requiring renewable energy sources make up half the electricity in California by 2025 took a step toward making the November ballot on Tuesday, when proponents turned in about 735,000 signatures to officials in the state, according to a report in Reuters.

April 6, 2008

World's First Commercial-Scale Tidal Power Turbines

A narrow channel in Northern Ireland with notoriously strong marine currents is just a little closer to producing electricity with the world's first commercial-scale tidal power turbines. As was reported a couple weeks back by Maria Surma Manka at CleanTechnica, the massive structure, known as SeaGen, began its journey to the turbulent waters at the mouth of Strangford Lough. And as of 4AM local time on April 2, 2008, Marine Current Turbines safely lowered the 1000 ton structure onto the seabed between Strangford and Portaferry. The 1.2 megawatt tidal power turbine array is four times the size of any tidal power generator currently in operation. When fully operational later in the summer, its 16m diameter, twin rotors will operate for up to 18-20 hours per day to produce enough electricity to power about 1100 homes.

(Click here to see an excellent animation of the SeaGen turbines in action.)

The installation of the turbines is proving to be tricky. "I can promise you it's a pretty challenging environment, for the mariners and all the rest of it," said MCT's Martin Wright in an article at "And it's actually happening in the narrows, which is the entrance between the Irish Sea and the vast body of the Strangford Lough itself." Wright added, "It's a neck where you get these highly accelerated flows, and it's a heck of tide that runs through here. And that's what we're seeking to harvest."

This is a particularly important wildlife area, and so its operation will be closely monitored. Project developer, Marine Current Turbines has established a £2million program to closely monitor the environmental impact of the project, involving scientists from the Queen’s University Belfast and St Andrew’s University. The chief fear is that the turbines may threaten marine mammals such as seals, but scientists say that the turbines will turn too slowly, and that the animals are too nimble, for this to be a serious concern.

If all goes well, the company will then work on the next development, a "tidal farm" of seven SeaGen devices, together capable of generating 10.5MW, which it hopes will start operating by 2012.

About ecopolitology

ecopolitology [EE-koh-pol-i-TOL-uh-jee] n. The emergent discipline of inquiry concerned with the theory, description, and analysis of the inescapable intersectionality of ecology and politics...or something like that.

Although ecopolitology is a word, it isn't considered one in the English language - at least not yet. If you google ecopolitology you'll find mostly references to this blog, but you will also find a couple of Russian and Eastern European uses of the word to describe the academic study of humans and nature.

To be honest, I thought I had made it up along with a couple of colleagues of mine a few years back in grad school. I was taking an environmental political theory seminar and we were were reading lots of postmodern and post-structural works about the politics of nature, the social construction of nature, the role of science in democracy, etc. I believe we had been reading Bruno Bruno Latour's Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy, in which he had talked about the different '-ology' suffixes used in various disciplines of scientific inquiry (i.e. zoology, biology, geology, theology, sociology, etc.).

My colleagues and I wondered why there was no 'politology' in US parlance, just 'political science.' I honestly think that the earliest practitioners of political science, as a field of academic inquiry, were so self-conscious about it's position relative to the other sciences that they had to add the word 'science' to help bring some legitimacy to the fledgling discipline. Can you think of (m)any other disciplines where they have felt compelled to add the word 'science' to the end of it? Personally I like 'politology' and I'm going to stick with it.

Anyways, because I was reading all of these French postmodernists who like to make up words, I decided to slap an 'eco' together with a 'politology' and use the word to broadly describe environmental politics. It wasn't until months later when I decided to start a blog as a means to flesh out ideas for my dissertation research, that I instantly knew that ecopolitology had to be the name of it.

Thanks for visiting and please come back again.


Timothy B. Hurst
Fort Collins, CO

info [at] ecopolitology [dot] org

April 5, 2008

Video: Failing and Flailing Wind Turbinel

I am obviously in a multimedia phase.
You wanna see a Danish wind turbine explode? Me too.

Pundit Kitchen Cooks Up Pictures for Your Political Blog

If you've got a couple seconds go check out Pundit Kitchen where you can "Cook up pictures for your own political blog." Or just let other people do it for you. Pretty funny stuff! I couldn't resist posting these, which they encourage you to do. You can also submit your own pictures, and let others write the captions for you.
President Reagan respects his elders - John McCain

We�re gonna liberate the shit out of you!

I can�t quit you�
Make more pictures for your blog

April 4, 2008

Van Jones Talks Green Collar Jobs with Stephen Colbert

I am a devoted consumer of fake news. But, while I was traveling this past week, I fell behind on my Colbert-Stewart NewsHour - perhaps the finest hour of fake news on cable TV. Because of my foray, I missed green collar activist Van Jones. Fortunately, that doesn't matter. Now you just tap some buttons and...presto, you're watching the clip. Anyways, the Van Jones on Colbert thing first caught my eye courtesy of Shannon Moore, at the excellent blog, Local Warming.

Van Jones founded Green For All, which was launched at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2007. The non-profit grew out of Van’s work on a green job program through the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights Oakland, CA. Van founded the Center in 1996, which promotes alternatives to violence and incarceration, including its successful “Books Not Bars” campaign that has helped reduce California’s overall youth prison population by more than 30 percent. Follow this link for more on what Van Jones has to say, via the live blogging David Anderson of Green Options did last spring

So, after I finished reading Shannon's post, I was concerned that the gregarious Colbert wouldn't let Van get a word in edgewise (which he has been known to do). Shannon wrote that she was disappointed in Colbert, "who has a way of shifting people off topic if he does not believe what they have to say." However, my read of the interview was much different. I thought Colbert was actually relatively mild, and gave Jones plenty of time to get his points across, which Jones did.

The thing about Colbert is, even when he appears to be dominating an interview or "shifting people off topic," he is rarely doing it because he "does not believe what they have to say." Quite the contrary actually. Stephen Colbert the character and conservative pundit may not buy into what his left-leaning guests have to say - but Stephen Colbert the actor, performer, and liberal pundit most certainly does. Colbert gets it and he knows exactly what he is doing. Which, in case you don't watch, or don't 'get it' yourself, is pointing out the flawed arguments made by conservatives and liberals without pointing directly at them.

April 1, 2008

Blognod: Mashing-Up the Coal Industry's PR Campaign

The folks over at desmogblog have put together a very cool cartographic mash-up of the coal industry's front group, Americans For Balanced Energy Choices', massive public relations campaign. The interactive Google Map is designed to highlight the nationwide campaign that has become an omnipresent part of this campaign season, as can be attested by the numerous presidential debates the organization has underwritten (debates which included nary a mention of global warming or climate change).

Emily Murgatroyd refers to the mash-up as a sort of 'geo-blog,'

"Designed to keep track of the PR, advertising and lobbying efforts being undertaken by "Americans for Balanced Energy Choices," (ABEC) as they spend a reported $40 million on behalf of the coal industry to sell the virtues of "clean coal" in the run-up to the 2008 Presidential election.
The map is a work in progress and users are invited to add in their own ABEC stories and sitings. It should be interesting to see what the map ends up looking like.