head rotation, peregrine falcon

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Back on earth

Fall Plowing - Grant Wood 1931
Horror of horrors. News today that an unapproved field of Monsanto modified wheat is found growing up in Oregon.   A remnant of a decades old experiment. The U.S. Ag department is frantically trying to soothe the feathers of the europeans and other trading partners, who have long mistrusted gmo products and forbid their importation. Now we are telling them not to worry, the stuff is safe, which funnily enough is what they've been saying all along and something many people, myself included, don't quite believe. They said that the stuff would never get loose too, could never contaminate any other seed stock.
...Government investigators are tracking the origin of the plants and consulting with trade partners to assure them the exposure is limited and poses no threat to human health, according to Michael Firko, acting deputy administrator at the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. No evidence exists that the never-approved wheat has entered the commercial food or feed supply, he said. Monsanto said there’s reason to believe the incident is highly isolated and should not concern consumers or trading partners. 
DALLAS (AP) — The CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp. says there's no quick replacement for oil, and sharply cutting oil's use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would make it harder to lift 2 billion people out of poverty.

"What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?" CEO Rex Tillerson said at the oil giant's annual meeting Wednesday.

Tillerson jousted with environmental activists who proposed that the company set goals to reduce emissions from its products and operations.

Shareholders sided with the company and voted nearly 3-to-1 to reject the proposal.

By a 4-to-1 ratio, shareholders defeated a resolution to explicitly ban discrimination against gays. The Exxon board had argued that the company already banned discrimination of any type and didn't need to add language regarding gays.

It was the 16th defeat for Exxon resolutions on discrimination against gays and the seventh on greenhouse emissions.

There is a possible smoking gun letter in the Edison San Onofre fiasco. A November 2004 letter from then Edison Vice President Dwight E. Nunn to Akira Sawa of generator manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) offered evidence that SCE had later misled regulators at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which agency was charged with ensuring that changes to San Onofre wouldn't pose a public safety risk. There is controversy regarding the pipe replacements being "like for like" and triggering a whole new permitting process and license amendment, something the energy giant denies.

A section in the letter states, "although the old and new steam generators will be similar in many respects, they aren't like-for-like replacements."

No matter. If we have learned anything about these companies and those that are charged to regulate them, it is that the big guys always win.

1 comment:

grumpy said...

on the other hand from what i hear the SO plant is completely offline at this time, so i'm wondering if we can make it through the summer without that power source....