Friday, May 18, 2007

Northcross Non-Story

RG4N staged yet another protest yesterday, this time at City Hall. The American-Statesman has a picture on the front of today's Metro & State section, but I can't seem to find it on their website. I noticed three things about the picture:

1. There was no story to go with the picture. Apparently apart from possibly slowing down traffic on Cesar Chavez, this protest had no point. It's not as if everyone doesn't already know that some people in town just don't like Wal-Mart.

2. I counted less than 50 people in the picture. Obviously, there were more people there than that, but given the number of supporters RG4N has claimed to have in the past, this is a pretty paltry turnout.

3. The conspiracy-minded part of me (which luckily is fairly small and quiet) noticed that RG4N's main color, as seen on their signs and on many protesters' shirts, is red. Red also happens to be the main color of both Target and HEB, which both happen to have stores in the area around Northcross, and which both would be affected by a rivaling store.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Uninformed Environmentalism

I'm not sure why this is just hitting the presses, but Jane Harman (D-CA) introduced a bill in March that is designed to ban incandescent light bulbs for sale almost anywhere in this country. (bill text)

Now, I am all for the use of CFL lamps, so long as all color temperatures are offered. (On a recent trip to Home Depot looking for a T8 "tube", I found a dazzling selection of exactly one color, 3000K, a more reddish light than I prefer. Color selection for CFLs is slightly better, but not great.) But this technology needs to continue to evolve on its own. It certainly does not need government to force it upon us if it is the godsend it is described to be.

But my main concern with Ms. Harman's bill is the sheer ignorance that she and her staff have about replacement technology for incandescent lamps. Her initial restriction that all light bulbs must have an efficacy of more than 60 lumens per watt pretty much shuts the door on most LED lamps currently available as well. Since LEDs have a much smaller wattage than even CFL lamps, they would be even better for the environment, but since they don't have the lumens per watt that Ms. Harman desires, they're out. (The restriction rises to 90 lumens per watt in 2016 and 120 lumens per watt in 2020.) Simply google "LED light bulb" and see for yourself just how small the wattages could become, if this lamps are allowed to continue to be sold.

Ms. Harman's bill is simply not good legislation...especially for true environmentalists.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Overenvironmentalism and Hypocrisy

Drudge's evening headlines tonight give a soapbox to several environmentalists and their current crusades. Let's take a closer look at a couple of them:

Children are bad for the planet. This hypothesis is put forward by Professor John Guillebaud, co-chairman of Optimum Population Trust; Professor Guillebaud says, among other things, couples should have no more than two children. That's fine, until one spends about 90 seconds googling the professor and finding this bio page, which says about him and his wife, "they have two sons and one daughter." So, I guess having three children was okay for you, then...right, Professor?

And here's Paul Watson, regarded by many as a co-founder of Greenpeace. He considers mankind a virus on the earth, and he wants the population of mankind to drop below one billion people. A quick check yields nothing to indicate that Mr. Watson isn't alive at this point; apparently the process of getting rid of 5.5 billion meant people other than him, or maybe he really isn't embracing this idea as much as he would like you to think.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Fact-Checking KEYE

This morning on the KEYE Morning News, Elizabeth Dannheim spoke about one of the Columbine victims, and at the end of the story, she said that Columbine was the deadliest school shooting in history until Virginia Tech. Apparently she, or someone at KEYE, completely forgot about a little incident at UT in 1966.

I suppose I should just be happy that Ms. Dannheim is reading the news, rather than having one of the 3-minute chat sessions with Fred Cantu and Susan Vessell that has for some reason become a mainstay on the KEYE Morning News recently.