Friday, November 12, 2004
1. SHELL GAME: INDUSTRY PLAYS ITS PART IN THE HYDROGEN CIRCUS.
They installed the nation's first public hydrogen pump in the Shell station at 525 Benning Road in Washington, DC, just 5.2 miles from the U.S. Capitol Building. We thought you'd like to know just in case you're in town driving your hydrogen powered car. Oh! I forgot -- you can't buy one, can you? GM has six hydrogen prototype minivans in Washington, parked by the Capital for what a GM executive calls "educational outreach." Parked, because a round trip to the Shell station will use a third of a tank of hydrogen. No matter, GM isn't trying to sell hydrogen cars. Here's a WN educational outreach: the Bush administration points to the hydrogen car to show that while other countries sign treaties, we do something about the environment. Here's more education: even if they solve all the problems with the hydrogen car, it won't do squat for the environment. Pollution comes from making the hydrogen. GM will turn out a handful of hydrogen concept-cars with government subsidies while selling thousands of profitable SUVs, and Shell's gasoline sales will climb filling up those SUVs, at the cost of putting up with a few little-used hydrogen pumps, paid for with government subsidies.
2. FOSSILIZED: ASSESSING ENERGY TRENDS FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.
There was an Exxon Mobil ad on the op-ed page of the Washington Post yesterday titled "Energy through 2030." It was an ad by a fossil-fuel company, not a research paper, but it was sobering: "Fossil fuels meet more than 80% of world energy needs," it concluded, "and we expect this trend to continue through 2030." There was no mention of a hydrogen initiative.
3. MORAL VALUES: DARWINISM CONTINUES TO STIR UP THE FAITHFUL.
In Cobb County Georgia, a sticker on science textbooks warns that evolution is "a theory, not a fact." It's being challenged in court. The Grantsburg School District in Wisconsin wants "Various theories of origins" (read "intelligent design") taught. The move is overwhelmingly opposed by higher education groups in the state. In Charles County, Maryland, several school board members want creationism on the curriculum and American History to stress our roots as "a Christian nation." They are also considering inviting Gideons to provide each students with a bible. The Washington Post says one board member is a member of Gideons. Another hosts a conservative religious radio talk show. The Raelians (WN 27 Dec 02) note that, "The Theory of Intelligent Design does not lead to a supernatural designer but to an extraterrestrial human-civilization designer."