Posted on August 27, 2008


Four. Five. Seven. Six. Four. These five numbers represent the total number of recognizable press in each of the five different energy and/or global heating panels I’ve attended over the last three days of the DNC. Supposedly it’s a big deal that DNC08 is the greenest convention in history. There’s been some small amount of uproar in environmental circles that ExxonMobil and Peabody Energy are two of the major donors to the DNC. So where was CNN or even Fox News when the CEOs of Xcel Energy, Dow Chemical, Arch Coal, the founder of gas giant The GHK Company, and a senior vice president of Peabody Energy faced off against former congressman Richard Gephardt, former senator Tim Worth, Jerome Ringo of the Apollo Alliance, and peak oil activist Randy Udall?

Apparently, the major news outlets all had better things to do. Like wondering aloud ad nauseum if Clinton supporters will be able to hold their noses and vote for Barack Obama in a gesture of party unity.

It’s not as if global heating won’t be a public health nightmare or anything. I guess global heating won’t cause crop-withering droughts and city-inundating floods, because certainly the traditional media outlets would cover those, right?. And with all the attention that the traditional media pays to national security issues like the war in Iraq, the so-called war on terrorism, and the pointless southern border fence, it must be that global heating has no national security dimension after all, and the dozens of former high ranking military officers, career intelligence officers, and national security academics must all be wrong. With the economy in the toilet, media outlets have been covering new job creation programs, so I guess renewable energy and energy efficiency won’t generate any of the green jobs we hear it will – there was no coverage of green jobs, after all.

Here’s a quick cross-section of some of the news that never happened this week because the mainstream media didn’t bother to cover it.

  • The CEO of Dow Chemical, Andrew Liveris, said that the price of oil was not going to drop and that a new baseline price had been defined.
  • Former congressman Richard Gephardt said that he approved of the carbon capture and sequestration pilot project, FutureGen.
  • Fred Palmer, senior VP with Peabody Energy, took President Bush to task for canceling the FutureGen project.
  • Palmer also said that we’re at peak oil.
  • Senator Claire McCaskill called for the price of oil not to drop too far because low oil prices would lower the sense of urgency to solve the problems of oil supply, demand, and fuel types.
  • Sen. McCaskill also called on Randy Udall to run for public office and said that she’d support him if he did so.
  • Lord Nicolas Stern of the UK illustrated why the IPCC models, and his estimates of the costs of doing nothing, are too low given the advancing edge of climate science.
  • Congressman Ed Markey announced that wind turbine electricity generation had become so mainstream and profitable now that it no longer qualified as a renewable electricity source according to a trade publication.
  • Rep. Markey also pointed out that a bill that would have moved subsidies from oil companies to renewable energy sources failed in the Senate by a single vote – John McCain’s vote that he failed to show up to make.
  • Dan Carol of the Apollo Alliance admitted that environmentalists have lost the battle over drilling and oil prices in the here and now.
  • Jerome Ringo, also of the Apollo Alliance, pointed out that the Masai of Kenya have a better innate understanding of global heating than most Americans do due to their close connection to the changing migration patterns of the wildebeest, the Masai’s primary food source.
  • Activists of various stripes called out policy people and think tank thinkers for not calling McCain’s “drill drill drill” what it truly is – a bald-faced lie.
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar said that she was somewhat supportive of carbon capture and sequestration technologies.
  • Dan Sperling of the University of California’s Institute of Transportation Studies said that the future of green fuels for our vehicles is cellulosic conversion of our waste products.
  • Four of the five representatives of Xcel Energy, Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, the GHK Group, and Dow Chemical all said the same thing – additional government regulations, done properly could actually help their bottom line and help stabilize the climate at the same time.

Nope, there was no news in those comments at all.

Posted in: Uncategorized