“But the outlook for nuclear power dismays the industry and its supporters, including some environmentalists

Henry Fountain: “But the outlook for nuclear power dismays the industry and its supporters, including some environmentalists, who point out that replacing the lost electricity from Vermont Yankee and the other recently closed reactors with power from natural gas could result in the release of as much carbon dioxide as is produced yearly by two million cars or more.
“We can’t take a carbon-free source of energy off the table,” said Carol M. Browner, a former head of the Environmental Protection Agency who is now with Nuclear Matters, an industry-backed group.”
I agree with Carol Browner.Climate change is a threat to life as we know it.

Advocates continue to argue that reactors make sense in a world fighting climate change, but the industry is sagging.
nytimes.com|By HENRY FOUNTAIN

The Chinese might have to continue to bolster North Korea, because they fear if it collapses, they will then be faced with a unified democratic Korea on their border that is a close US ally.

This story by Jane Perlez in the NY Times is not for everyone. What interests me and perhaps a larger audience, is the Chinese attitude described, that the Chinese might have to continue to bolster North Korea, because they fear if it collapses, they will then be faced with a unified democratic Korea on their border that is a close US ally. It sounds as if they are insisting to bolster the misery in North Korea in case of war with the US.

A retired general’s scathing account of North Korea as a recalcitrant ally headed for collapse and unworthy of China’s support revealed how far relations between the two…
nytimes.com|By JANE PERLEZ

In 2007, Samsø became 100-percent renewably powered and carbon negative

Andrew Revkin on a sustainability study: “We started our journey on Samsø to draw inspiration from their example. In 2007, Samsø became 100-percent renewably powered and carbon negative through a combination of home efficiency and conversions to biomass, solar, and wind power.”
What the hell is biomass?

bi·o·mass
ˈbīōˌmas/

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Students from an environment-minded college on a Maine island learn how an island in Denmark turned from fossil fuels to renewable energy
dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com|By Andrew C. Revkin
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Tim Egan at the NY Times: “Are Republicans really going to spend the first year of their new majority trying to undo everything the president has done

Tim Egan at the NY Times: “Are Republicans really going to spend the first year of their new majority trying to undo everything the president has done — to roll back the clock? Will they defend isolation of Cuba against the wishes of most young Cuban-Americans? Will they restore a family-destroying deportation policy, when Obama’s de-emphasis on sending illegal immigrants home has already given him a 15-point boost among Latinos? Will they take away health insurance from millions who never had it before? Will they insist that nothing can be done on climate change, while an agreement is on the table for the world’s two biggest polluters, the United States and China, to do something significant?”

The president is acting like a man who’s been given the political equivalent of a testosterone boost.
nytimes.com|By Timothy Egan

By banning fracking and pushing casinos, the governor has gotten it backward. nytimes.com|By Joe Nocera

http://nyti.ms/1GBlGa8

This remarkable story of Laura Hillenbrand working while house bound,….

This remarkable story of Laura Hillenbrand working while house bound, reminds me of Francis Parkman, another famous historian, who wrote books like the Oregon Trail as a blind man in a garret in Massachusetts.

Racked for years by a mysterious illness, the author of “Seabiscuit” and “Unbroken” has defied the odds to write indelible works of history.
nytimes.com|By Wil S. Hylton

http://nyti.ms/1AiFihb

Air pollution in Beijing is out of control.

What madness. Part of the story that humans are destroying life as we know it.

The communist government calls it Fog, not Smog.

From the Guardian.

The 21 million inhabitants of China’s capital appear to be engaged in a city-wide rehearsal for life on an inhospitable planet. Oliver Wainwright reports from Beijing
theguardian.com|By Oliver Wainwright

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/dec/16/beijing-airpocalypse-city-almost-uninhabitable-pollution-china

It is a rule of thumb, consumers get screwed.

It is a rule of thumb, consumers get screwed. From today’s NY Times editorial:
But it doesn’t take an investigation to figure out that higher airfares are the direct result of reduced competition. Consumer advocates clearly warned that allowing mergers like the 2013 American Airlines-US Airways combination would harm consumers. This is exactly what is now happening.”

Oil prices have fallen and eased prices at the gas pump for drivers, but airfares haven’t nudged a bit.
nytimes.com|By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Feudalism in Korea, what fun. The owner’s daughter didn’t like the way her macadamia nuts were served,…

Feudalism in Korea, what fun. The owner’s daughter didn’t like the way her macadamia nuts were served, so she ordered the jet back to its gate at JFK, and the steward to leave the plane.
Korea is more backward than I realized. I wonder if we are headed in their direction, with Citizens United and the removal of limitations on wealthy people buying politicians.

The South Korean government said a vice president of the airline who berated crew members broke laws banning onboard disturbances.
nytimes.com|By CHOE SANG-HUN

http://nyti.ms/1uMzshB

Are massacres often connected to increases in population? Anecdotal evidence abounds.

This horrible story makes no sense. I immediately wondered, is this murder and mayhem  due also to the explosion of the population. Sure enough, from the NY Times comments,:

LB in Florida
“Pakistan is a failed state. The corrupt, inept government made a deal with the devil when it got into bed with the Taliban many years ago. Now the chickens have come home to roost. Couple that with incredible rates of population growth–188 million people, up from 75 million only 40 years ago. No jobs, no hope, religious extremism….hiding bin Laden a mile from the “West Point” of Pakistan….what do you expect from a disaster?”
120 Recommended

In one of Pakistan’s bloodiest attacks in recent years, scores of people were killed after Taliban gunmen stormed a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar, officials said, and hundreds of students remained trapped inside.
nytimes.com|By Salman Masood

http://nyti.ms/1uMOqnN