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Showing posts from August, 2014

Sacrifice Upon Tragedy

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When I hear people compare avian mortality levels at wind and solar projects to the number of birds killed by domestic cats, I hear an insensitive and illogical comparison.  One death toll used to excuse the tolerance of even more deaths.   If that argumentation is how we plan to reason through future human actions, we are in for a very depressing and morally-deprived future. 

To illustrate just how illogical this argumentation is, imagine telling Amnesty International that its efforts to advance peace are meaningless because the United States saves more lives through war.  There is only one correct path, and if you're not supportive of that path, you're wrong and your input is not welcome.  Or imagine someone arguing that examining and criticizing the loss of life in Ferguson is not worth discussing because there are bigger issues at hand.  That's what the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) broadcast on Thursday in a subsequently retracted Tweet (below)…

Article Exposes Shallow Depth of Energy Discussion

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An article grossly mischaracterizing the current state of research into avian mortality at BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah Solar project quickly exposed the difference between rally-around-the-flag cheerleaders and those seeking to ensure renewable energy follows a sustainable path.  The piece by David Baker published on the San Francisco Chronicle website notes that only 321 dead birds were found at BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah Solar project from January to June, and casts doubt on the work of scientist Shawn Smallwood who estimated that Ivanpah may kill as many as 28,000 birds per year; Smallwood's estimate was cited in an Associated Press story bringing attention to the incineration of birds at Ivanpah.  David Baker's piece regurgitates a BrightSource Energy press release, and the Associated Press article cites testimony by Smallwood, a scientist who has been published in dozens of peer-reviewed publications and reports.

The Chair of the California Democratic Party&#…