Scary record on carbon emissions

A recession couldn’t stop a record increase in carbon emissions last year. It is really scary to think about what will happen when (and if) the economy is a lot stronger. It’s really depressing to think that a strong economy can be a scary thing.


Greenhouse gas emissions increased by a record amount last year, to the highest carbon output in history, putting hopes of holding global warming to safe levels all but out of reach, according to unpublished estimates from the International Energy Agency.

The shock rise means the goal of preventing a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius — which scientists say is the threshold for potentially ‘dangerous climate change’ — is likely to be just ‘a nice Utopia’, according to Fatih Birol, chief economist of the IEA.

This just won’t solve it

As Gov. Walker pushes the state and country toward further dependency on oil and the despotic, murderous regimes it supports, new figures from the Energy Information Administration show a tiny, tiny increase in domestic oil production. The increase is not enough to even hint that Walker’s road-only policies are good ones, and the increase comes mostly from a jump in environmentally damaging shale production. Nothing to feel much good about here.Domestic oil production

Is the Japanese government more honest than ours?

Remember how the United States government lied about New York-area air quality after 9/11?

The Japanese government now acknowledges that potentially dangerous levels of radiation may have leaked from one of the damaged reactors.

It’s tough not to wonder whether the Japanese government is being totally up front with its people, or is downplaying the truth to avert panic.

MMSD backs off its mistake

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District is dropping its plan to hand many area homeowners multi-thousand dollar repair bills in the middle of a recession.

As one of those homeowners…whew.

MMSD’s intent was good. It wants to keep storm water out of sanitary sewers. But the decision of its commissioners to force homeowners to install sump pumps, disconnect foundation drains and repair laterals seemed to come out of nowhere really fast without much thought of the real-world impact on said homeowners.

Hey: guys and gals on the commission — there’s an unemployment problem out here. A lot of people have taken pay cuts or had their pay frozen. Inflation is heating up and, finally, many of us just didn’t budget for MMSD to deliver that kind of bill.

MMSD now is considering a voluntary approach that would help willing homeowners fund the kinds of repairs MMSD originally was going to require. Mandates may be necessary down the line,  but this is the right way to go for now.