Bad Deeds for 12/10/2008

U.S. Car Makers Fail to Place a Single Car on the Top Ten Fuel Efficient Sedans List – Here are the top ten fuel-efficient sedans and their mileages (city/hwy):

  • Toyota Prius — 48/45
  • Honda Civic Hybrid — 40/45
  • Nissan Altima Hybrid — 35/33
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid — 33/34
  • Toyota Yaris — 29/36
  • Toyota Corolla — 28/37
  • Honda Fit — 28/34
  • Honda Civic — 25/36
  • Nissan Versa — 27/33
  • Kia Rio — 25/35

What did the Big Three U.S. automaker CEOs drive to Washingtonto show their commitment to being green? Robert Nardelli of Chrysler drove his company’s Aspen Hybrid S.U.V., which gets 22 miles a gallon on the highway and 20 in the city. What a laugh! Alan Mulally of Ford drove an Escape Hybrid S.U.V. — 31 m.p.g. on the highway and 34 in the city. And Rick Wagoner of General Motors drove a Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Sedan, averaging 34 m.p.g., but only 26 in the city.


EPA Against Limiting Rocket Fuel Ingredient in Drinking Water – The Environmental Protection Agency has decided there’s no need to rid drinking water of a toxic rocket fuel ingredient that has fouled public water supplies around the country. The ingredient, perchlorate, has been found in at least 395 sites in 35 states at levels high enough to interfere with thyroid function and pose developmental health risks, particularly for babies and fetuses, according to some scientists.


Texas is Good at Polluting – Texas produces and consumes more electricity than any other State, and per capita residential use is significantly higher than the national average.
Texas consumes more coal than any other State and its emissions of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide are among the highest in the Nation.
Texas is #1 per capita in GHG emissions in the US, which is one of the worst countries in the world on a per capita basis. Thus, Texans are the worst of the worst when it comes to contributing to Global Warming. Cleaning up Texas’ act won’t change the globe but …
In 2006, total global emissions were about 42 gigatonnes. Texas emitted about 670 million tons, or about 1.6% of global emissions. To put in perspective, Texas had 23.5 million citizens in 2006, less than 10% of the US population and about 1/3rd of 1% of global population. Consider Texas’ emissions in that context: 0.3% of Global Population, 1.6% of global emissions.


Failing AIG Continues to Hand Out More Money to Executives – American International Group Inc. (AIG), the insurer whose bonuses and perks are under fire from U.S. lawmakers, offered cash awards to another 38 executives in a retention program with payments of as much as $4 million. The incentives range from $92,500 to $4 million for employees earning salaries between $160,000 and $1 million, Chief Executive Officer Edward Liddy said in a letter dated Dec. 5 to Representative Elijah Cummings. The New York-based insurer had previously disclosed that 130 managers would get the awards and that one executive would get $3 million. AIG, which received a U.S. rescue package of more than $152 billion, has been criticized for saying it will eliminate bonuses for senior executives while still planning to hand out “cash awards” that double or triple the salaries of some managers.


More Proof That Electronic Voting Machines Do Not Work Correctly – Voting machine vendors were allocated some $3.9 billion federal tax dollars for their efforts at creating proprietary systems, which don’t even work as promised…or as required by federal law. Some 200 ballots were deleted because of software problems with Diebold optical-scan systems. The company has known about the problem for four years, but they allowed election officials to continue using the same systems in several states. Billions of dollars have been allocated via federal law for the testing, certification and “upgrading” to voting systems which are claimed as “proprietary trade secrets” from a handful of private corporations such as Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia, Hart Intercivic and a few others. Virtually every single one of them has proven to miscount votes, break down during voting, and otherwise stay completely un-transparent to the citizens who they are supposed to be serving. The result has been a multi-billion dollar tax-payer boondoggle, and a voting system no more reliable or oversee-able than the voting systems they were meant to replace.


One-Fifth of World Coral Reefs Lost Due to Warming Seas and Pollution – A downward trend tied to warming seas has not reversed and the world has now lost nearly one-fifth of its coral reefs, according to a global survey released Wednesday. Much of the rest could be destroyed within 40 years by increasingly acidic seas if warming continues unchecked, the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network stated in its report.


Where’s My Clean Coal?
Some politicians and the coal industry use the term “clean coal” to describe technologies designed to enhance both the efficiency and the environmental acceptability of coal extraction, preparation and use. But, it has been estimated that commercial-scale clean-coal power stations (coal-burning power stations with carbon capture and sequestration) cannot be commercially viable and widely adopted before 2020 or 2025. Right now, it’s a bunch of untested ideas, and no one knows if they will work or if they’re safe.





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About Jim Vogas

Texas A&M Aggie, Retired aerospace engineer, former union member, Vietnam vet, Demcratic Party organizer, husband and father.

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