Howard Dean, American in Paris, talks election results

first_imgBy James Dwinell. Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont and former chair of the Democrat National Committee traveled to Paris earlier this week to share his conclusions on the 2010 mid-term elections. Billed as Vermont’s six-term governor, Dean followed Ms Anita Dunn, former White House communications director.Dean said, in part, ‘The data from these mid-term elections is interesting. There were fewer voters: fewer young people than in 2008, fewer people of color than in 2008, and consequently more white people. In exit polls, had this group of voters been the voters in 2008, their vote for president would have been evenly split between Senator McCain and President Obama. Another significant bit of information, forty-five of the newly elected Republican representatives were elected in districts which McCain won in 2008. The districts were really never Democratic districts. And most surprising, sixty-five percent of the voters would have voted to throw out all 535 representatives and senators if allowed to do so. Though an interesting election, do not think that this was a watershed election.‘This margin of victory for Republicans will not hold. In 2008 for the first time in modern electoral history, more people 18-35 year old voted than senior citizens. Obama, though not of this generation, is the first president of this generation. There is more difference than commonality in this group. The ideological ‘bandwidth’ is narrow. And lastly, though people in my generation worked for civil rights, we did not live with people of color, people of different sexual orientation, and people from different nationalities. The 18-35 demographic live in this diverse world and they date each other!!‘The tea party phenomenon was about saying that ordinary people matter.  I like that. Part of the tea party unease is that the ‘diverse’ Obama is in charge. This makes them uncomfortable. Part of the GOP anger is anti-immigrant and anti-gay. The tea party, being well out of the growing youth vote age range, will not be able to be as influential in the future.‘In 2012, the 18-35 age voting group will be the 18-39 year old group; in 2016 it will be the 18-43 year old group. As such, they, though with their diverse lifestyle, will be the largest voting block and will determine our leaders in the near future.‘Even with the energy of the tea party and the dozens of new GOP congressional seats, they will not attack the deficit which I think is a more serious problem than terrorism. We simply do not have the political will to attack it. We will not raise taxes; we will not cut the entitlements.’James Dwinell lives in Norwich. He attended the International Association of Political Consultants in Paris at which Dean was a featured speaker.last_img read more

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Shumlin, Comcast to unveil plan to connect low-income Vermonters to the Internet on Thursday

first_imgComcast Cable,Comcast and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin will host a press conference to kick off the Internet Essentials Program in Vermont, a new initiative that helps connect low-Income families with children who are eligible for a free lunch under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to the Internet. The goal of Internet Essentials is to help get more American families online and help close the digital divide.   WHO:          Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin – CONFIRMED                       Vermont Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell (invited)                       Vermont Speaker of the House Shap Smith (invited)                       City of Winooski Mayor Michael O’Brien – CONFIRMED                       City of Winooski Superintendent of Schools Mary Martineau – CONFIRMED                      Mary Alice McKenzie, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Burlington – CONFIRMEDMark Reilly, Senior Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs, Comcast  Northeast Division – CONFIRMED WHEN:          Thursday, September 15 at Noon (*Speaking program begins at 12:15 PM)                       WHERE:         O’Brien Community Center 32 Malletts Bay Avenue, Winooski, VT 05404 BACKGROUND:While America has increasingly become a digital nation, many low-income families are left at a great disadvantage because they don’t have Internet service at home. Internet Essentials has been designed to address this problem and help make broadband adoption a reality for more families. It addresses all three of the main barriers to broadband adoption that research has identified: 1) a lack of understanding of how the Internet is relevant and useful; 2) the cost of a home computer and, 3) the cost of Internet service. Comcast is asking for help from parents, educators, community leaders and other government officials to join in this effort, spread the word and help increase broadband adoption across Vermont.last_img read more

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Berlin Officials Vote to Divest

first_imgBerlin Officials Vote to Divest FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Alexander C. Kaufman for the Huffington Post:Berlin’s parliament voted Thursday to pull its money out of coal, gas and oil companies.The new investment policy, part of the German capital’s goal of completely weaning off carbon by 2050, will force the city’s pension fund — worth $852.8 million, or €750 million — to divest from shares of German oil giants RWE and E.ON, as well as the French behemoth Total.The move comes a week after Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, vowed to end its investments in fossil fuels companies, making Berlin the seventh major Western city to join a divestment movement that already includes Paris, Copenhagen, Oslo, Seattle and Melbourne. In September, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio urged the city’s five pension funds — worth a collective $160 billion — to sell their $33 million exposure to coal, by the far the dirtiest fossil fuel.A handful of smaller U.S. cities have pledged to curtail fossil fuel investments, too.Full Item: Berlin Is The Latest City To Pull Out Of Fossil Fuelslast_img read more

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China envisions a global electricity grid not unlike the Internet

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Financial Times ($):In Laos, in Brazil, in central Africa and most of all in China itself, ultra high-voltage cable technology that allows power to be commercially transported over vast distances with lower costs and increased load is justifying the construction of massive power projects. It is dubbed the “intercontinental ballistic missile” of the power industry by Liu Zhenya, its biggest backer and for a decade the president of State Grid, China’s powerful transmission utility. UHV allowed China to binge on dam building in its mountainous hinterland, then transport the power thousands of kilometers to its wealthy, industrial east coast. But by enabling this, and other projects, UHV has left western China with such a glut of power that Mr. Liu in 2016 proposed using the technology to export power as far away as Germany. Now Mr Liu is promoting UHV internationally through his Global Energy Interconnection initiative. Designated a “national strategy” and championed by Xi Jinping, China’s president, the initiative feeds into one of China’s most ambitious international plans — to create the world’s first global electricity grid. “All of this fits in with Beijing’s goals of expansion and being a global standard setter,” says Erica Downs, an expert on China and energy at Columbia University. “It is also linked to China’s intention to become an advanced industrial superpower. There is a big prestige element in this.” Advocates stress that this does not mean China would control the resulting grid but networks would be linked to allow better cross-regional allocation of power surpluses. It is no coincidence that this would resolve the problem of “trapped” power resulting from some of China’s mega construction projects in countries like Laos that lack a big enough domestic market. Some western observers see a geopolitical strategy on a par with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a grand design that seeks to boost Chinese-led infrastructure investment in more than 80 countries around the world. “While there is certainly a commercial explanation for China’s rapid expansion in the power sector, it should also be recognized that Beijing is known to intertwine its economic, diplomatic and strategic initiatives,” says Andrew Davenport, chief operating officer at RWR Advisory, a Washington-based consultancy. “Part of the explanation for its expansion in this area is, therefore, likely the influence — and soft power gains — that accompanies increased control over an industry so fundamental to the everyday lives of citizens.” Chinese companies have announced investments of $102bn in building or acquiring power transmission infrastructure across 83 projects in Latin America, Africa, Europe and beyond over the past five years, according to RWR. Adding in loans from Chinese institutions for overseas power grid investments brings the total to $123bn. Throw in all power-related Chinese deals overseas, including investments and loans to power plants as well as grids, and the number almost quadruples. Between 2013 and the end of February 2018, total overseas power transactions announced reached $452bn, up 92 per cent from 2013 levels, according to RWR, which strips out of its calculations deals that are announced only to be subsequently cancelled. Officials and power industry analysts in China insist that it would be too simple to assume that such investments are all slated to be rolled up into a single international grid to achieve the GEI goal, which Mr Liu recently described as similar to the internet: global but not controlled by a single country.More ($): China eyes role as world’s power supplier China envisions a global electricity grid not unlike the Internetlast_img read more

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On the blogs: U.S. coal has not flourished as advertised under Trump

first_imgOn the blogs: U.S. coal has not flourished as advertised under Trump FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ThinkProgress.org:Newly released data shows the coal industry is doing worse today than it was when President Barack Obama was preparing to leave office in January 2017. Coal production is still on the decline. Coal-fired power plants are still closing. And Trump’s own Department of Energy doesn’t see these trends reversing anytime soon. In other words, Trump hasn’t reversed the downward financial trajectory of the industry that started years ago.New forecasts from the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) show coal production will decline by 1.1 percent in 2018 and drop by another 1.8 percent in 2019. Despite an increase in coal exports, according to the report, declining domestic consumption is making it unprofitable for coal producers to keep mining.By next year, exports won’t be picking up the slack like they did in 2017. The EIA, in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook released Tuesday, projects that both coal exports and domestic coal consumption will decrease in 2019.As a generation fuel, EIA forecasts that coal’s share of U.S. electricity generation will steadily decline from 30 percent in 2017 to 28 percent in 2018 and 27 percent in 2019. In 1997, the average share of electricity generated from coal had reached 52.8 percent.Natural gas has been the leading fuel used for electricity generation since 2015 when it surpassed coal in the generation mix. The shale gas boom started flooding the market with natural gas in the late 2000s, making it cheaper as a generation fuel source than coal.At the same time, renewables continued to boom. In 2017, wind supplied 6.3 percent of electricity generation and utility-scale solar made up 1.3 percent. Meanwhile, 2017 was the first time a reduction in U.S. power sector carbon emissions could be attributed more to renewable energy and energy conservation than the nation switching from coal to natural gas to generate electricity.Since 2010, at least 50,000 megawatts of coal-fired generating capacity have been retired. “Those millions of tons of lost coal production aren’t coming back. We see an additional 15,000 megawatts of coal-fired capacity closing this year, with more retirements on the horizon in coming years,” the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) wrote in a report released in March.Speaking at an American Coal Conference in New Mexico on Monday, Luke Popovich, former vice president of communications for the National Mining Association, said “the coal industry learned there is life after death” after Trump’s surprise election victory, according to Taylor Kuykendall, a coal reporter for S&P Global Market Intelligence.At other events, industry officials have applauded Trump’s announcement, made on June 1, that he had ordered the Department of Energy to look into a way to prop up coal and nuclear plants. Chris Hamilton, vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association, exuded optimism upon learning that Trump and West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R), a coal industry magnate, were coming to the industry’s rescue.“Without question, this is the best news in my 40-year career in the coal industry,” Hamilton said at a coal industry meeting in West Virginia. “It’s bigger than big. Never before in the history of mining has our state and federal political leadership been able to achieve the benefits to coal that are embodied in the Trump-Justice plan.”But few people outside the coal and nuclear industries support the plan. And few experts believe that anything Trump might have up his sleeve will restore the coal industry back to its glory days.More: Coal industry on steady decline under Trump’s leadershiplast_img read more

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Tesla’s Musk sees ‘gigantic’ potential in energy storage

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk says the Tesla big battery in South Australia has been so successful it will likely pay for itself within a few years, and has prompted interest from other governments to install even bigger batteries as a substitute for dirty and expensive gas peaking plants.Musk, in comments accompanying the company’s latest quarterly results, which showed a small profit for a second consecutive quarter, said the company’s battery storage business is likely to double in 2019, and promised increased production would reduce waiting times for both Powerwall and Powerpack batteries.“(Energy storage) is going to be a gigantic business,” Musk told an analysts briefing later. The $96 million Tesla big battery in South Australia, officially known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve, and owned and operated by Neoen, has been a stunning success – not just with the speed, versatility and accuracy of its performance, but also its contribution to grid stability and reliability, and its ability to deliver significant savings and make money on its own account.“While the Hornsdale battery that we built in South Australia is still the largest battery in the world, we have recently received multiple requests to build significantly larger battery projects,” Musk said in the statement.Musk said that Tesla deployed 1.04GWh of battery storage in 2018, a three-fold increase over the previous year, and expects it to double again in 2019 as a new manufacturing line at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada boosts the output of both Powerwall and Powerpack modules.More: Musk says Tesla big battery to pay for itself within a few years, bigger ones on the way Tesla’s Musk sees ‘gigantic’ potential in energy storagelast_img read more

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U.K. begins auction process for up to 7GW of new offshore wind capacity

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Britain has launched its first major auction of offshore wind farm leases in a decade, offering sites with the combined potential to power more than six million homes.Britain is already the world’s largest offshore wind market, and plans to generate a third of its electricity from the technology by 2030 as a part of efforts to reach its 2050 net zero carbon emissions target.The Crown Estate’s so-called fourth leasing round is expected to attract bids from established offshore wind developers as well as European oil majors, under pressure from shareholders to show how they plan to align their businesses with global efforts to cut emissions.Combined, the sites have the potential to host a total of 7 gigawatts (GW) of electricity generation.Companies will assess the areas available and then make their own proposals for project sites. The Crown Estate will then asses the viability of the proposals, with the tender process beginning in October and expected to take around 12 months. First seabed rights could be awarded in early 2021, The Crown Estate said.Britain currently has around 9.3 GW of operational offshore wind capacity, with around 8% of the country’s electricity coming from offshore wind in 2018. It is also host to the world’s largest fully operation offshore wind farm: Orsted’s 659 megawatt Walney Extension project.More: Britain launches first major auction for offshore wind leases in a decade U.K. begins auction process for up to 7GW of new offshore wind capacitylast_img read more

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Thanksgiving: Who are we fooling?

first_imgThanksgiving is upon us and with it comes an abundance of things for which to be thankful. Family and friends, health, gainful employment, a roof over our heads, and – who could forget – a scrumptious holiday feast. Just thinking about turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie and whipped cream sends my salivary glands into overdrive, even though the big day is still a week away. I do try my best to eat well for the other 364 days of the year, but this day is special. No holds barred. Gluttony at its finest.Fortunately the Thanksgiving holiday offers more than just the opportunity to be grateful and to pig out. In addition to the traditional spectator activities that the day brings (the Macy’s parade and Lions football), the annual Turkey Trot has become a ritual for many runners across the country. Our region alone offers at least ten of them, with enticing names such as the Drumstick Dash and the Giblet Jog. What a way to begin the holiday festivities – get your workout done early in the morning, leaving plenty of time for guilt-free gorging.Only one problem – the average 160 lb. Turkey Trotter burns just under four hundred calories in a 5k race. And the average Thanksgiving dinner? Anywhere from 3000 to 4500 calories, depending on how many extra helpings of stuffing you pile on your plate. Another slice of pumpkin pie? Better lace up your shoes – you’ve got 2 ½ more miles to run.Just for fun, I went online to calculate the approximate number of calories I’ll consume this Thanksgiving. By conservative estimates (the calculator didn’t allow for the inevitable seconds of sweet potatoes, stuffing and gravy), I’ll take in 2395 calories. Yikes! I’ll need to run twenty-five miles to burn off that meal.Which brings a dilemma. Forego the seconds? Not a chance. This year, I’m proposing that we ditch the turkey trot 5k’s. Who are we fooling? Those runs don’t even put a dent in our holiday calorie consumption. What we really need are some Thanksgiving ultras. Who’s in for the Fat Turkey 50 Mile? Or maybe the Hungry Pilgrim 100k? Whatever your distance, just get out there – and be thankful for the ability to do so.last_img read more

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Trauma Tuesday: Peloton Edition

first_imgCrystal City from Patriot on Vimeo.There is something about a bike crash video that is especially cringeworthy. Even low-speed accidents elicit winches, gasps, and/or stomach aches. Maybe it’s the fact that you are connected to a large, spiky in places machine that has no qualms about mangling you even if you don’t crash. Maybe it’s the fact that you are traveling at high speed either over rocks and dirt or hard-as-pavement pavement – neither of which do that great a job at breaking your fall. Maybe It’s all of the above.This particular crash at the Crystal Cup outside Washington, D.C. is a perfect storm of miscalculations, unfortunate circumstances, and balls-out riding. The action gets going at around the :30 second mark when a rider trailing the peloton – not the car – clips the race marshal, then nearly gets run over by the pace car that is coming back around. So the pace car is coming back around, which means the peloton is also coming back around. The situation goes from bad to worse, as other officials begin to yell for the riders to “stay left,” when they need to stay right. One rider – Tim Rugg – tries to thread the needle with a bold line to bunny hop move I’m sure he’s practiced a hundred times for just this situation. Unfortunately, the prone race marshal is 5′ 7″, not 5′ 5″, and he takes the brunt of the impact – besides the marshal’s face of course which gets smashed into the hard-as-pavement pavement. Also narrowly avoiding getting run down by the cycling hoard is the male sheriff’s deputy who employs some supremely fancy foot work and body gyration control in the middle of the melee at the 1:11 mark.Side note: a rider cruises to a stop to the left side of the white pace car as the carnage unfolds and takes off on foot out of the frame at the  1:13 mark. Where is he going? Is this the moment he decides he’s had enough of this dangerous sport and just walks off into the sunset of cycling retirement?No serious injuries were reported, and there is a pretty healthy debate in the comments on the Vimeo page of the video, so it’s worth it to check them out.Also here is a hilarious cycling related bonus fail gif from the Giro d’Italia:ku-mediumlast_img read more

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