“Twin 33s” sounds like the name of a really smoking alternative rock band, and we wish that were the case....
A “Doonesbury” comic strip that first appeared Sept. 25, 2011, characterizes climate-change deniers and opponents of any kind of organized effort to slow global warming pretty well.
It has “an honest man” named Jim offering a commentary on a radio station, and the portly businessman blusters, “I don’t oppose sound climate policy because it’s flawed. I oppose it because I care much more about my short-term economic interests than the future of the damn planet! Hello?”
This “honest man” came to mind Monday as adversaries of President Obama and his newly announced Clean Power Plan lined up to take their shots. The plan, which seeks to curb carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 32 percent by 2030 in order to combat climate change, is an “illegal rule” according to coal-mining company Murray Energy, was drawn up by “radical bureaucrats,” in the estimation of Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia’s attorney general, and is a reflection of “political expediency, not reality ...,” as per the National Mining Association.
But a comment Obama made in formally announcing the plan served as an effective rejoinder to these shrill, overwrought exclamations: “We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change, and we’re the last generation that can do something about it. We only get one planet. There’s no Plan B.”
Simply put, we need to get cracking on this.
The Clean Power Plan aims to meet the 32 percent target – using 2005 emission levels as a benchmark – by allowing states to draw up their own plans to meet this goal. They could strike cap-and-trade deals with other states, as some New England states have already done, increase investments in wind and solar energy, or ease off on the use of coal and replace it with natural gas. States that don’t comply will have a plan imposed on them by the Environmental Protection Agency.
While action by the United States alone will not be sufficient to blunt global warming’s worst effects, Obama is hoping that clear and convincing efforts on our part will be enough to persuade other nations to follow suit, particularly those with rapidly developing economies, such as China and India. The president will have to hope his successor will keep the rules in place, and they will withstand the anticipated legal challenges, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate power-plant emissions under the Clean Air Act. It could well be that many of the lawsuits that will be filed against the Clean Power Plan will be as flimsy and hollow as the suits against the Affordable Care Act.
There is no doubt that some jobs will be lost as a result of these regulations. Many coal-fired plants will likely be shuttered as a result. But coal use has been inexorably declining for years, because natural gas burns more cleanly and is cheaper than coal. Increased investments in renewable energy will also create jobs in these sectors.
Many electric power generators, in fact, have already been investing in wind and solar. They see what the future holds.
There’s a kind of defeatism woven into the reasoning of those who oppose policies to fight global warming. The United States can’t achieve big things or make big, bold leaps anymore, they seem to be saying. The status quo will have to do.
A few years ago, it was looking like the Pony League World Series, which has become an important calling card for Washington County and a signal achievement in the community’s recent history, was going to pull up stakes and head west to Michigan. This would have been a blow to the county’s image and its bottom line – the Pony League World Series is a valuable source of exposure for the city of Washington and the county, not only across the country but around the world.
It kicks off again this year Friday at Lew Hays Pony Field in Washington Park and arrives with what appears to be a new lease on life.
First, it has established a sponsorship deal with Dick’s Sporting Goods. As Observer-Reporter sports writer F. Dale Lolley reported in June, the Coraopolis-based company will provide team uniforms and equipment for the six-day tournament, which will draw rising baseball players in their early teens from around the world. In return, the Pony League World Series will be called the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pony League World Series for the duration of the agreement, and Dick’s will also handle the series’ retail sales.
The sponsorship deal is “a huge statement to tell you that the world series is solid,” according to Bob Gregg, president of Tournaments Inc., which organizes the Pony League World Series. He said in June, “It’s growing, and it’s going to be in Washington …”
And residents of the region should get out and support it. Who knows? You might see the next Andrew McCutchen or Gerrit Cole there.
Police in Washington and Greene counties have often stated that almost all of the criminal activity here is drug-related. They say that thefts, robberies and burglaries are mostly perpetrated by people trying to support their drug habits, particularly heroin in recent years....
On his latest ESPN show, Keith Olbermann had a regular segment highlighting the “worst people in sports.” If you’re looking for the worst person in the world, at least for this week, Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer might be a good choice....