Monday, February 18, 2008

How Many Will Die?

So, how many people in our county are going to die from breathing coal-fired pollution? It isn't that hard to calculate. The EPA has stated that 24,000 Americans die every year from breathing coal-fired pollution. Go ahead and ask the coal people. They won't deny it. Of course, they'll try to make this very frightening statistic sound irrelevant – but you'd be a sucker to believe them.

There are approximately 300 million people in the United States and 10 thousand in White Pine County. And the projected life of the coal-fired power plants is from 30 to 60 years. That calculates out to 0.8 deaths per year – or a total of 24 to 48 deaths in White Pine County.

24 to 48 deaths in this small a population... pretty much assures that we're all going to know somebody who will die from coal-fired pollution.

My numbers are far from cast in stone, but they're my best estimate for now. If you know of more accurate statistics, please let me know.

But I'm not through yet. If we follow the dangerous course, people will not only die, they will get sick.

For every person that dies, dozens will likely get acutely ill. We're talking about respiratory illnesses, pulmonary illnesses, cancer, mental retardation, and mental illnesses. I don't have any statistics for this; so let's conservatively estimate a 10 to 1 ratio of the sick to the dead. That would be 240 to 480 really sick friends, family, and loved ones.

Of course for every acutely ill victim of “clean coal,” there will likely be dozens of chronic coughs, sinus problems, and lower IQs. Again, lets conservatively estimate a 10 to 1 ratio. That would be 2400 to 4800 people who won't feel well much of the time.

And also, there will be occasional days when temperature inversions concentrate the coal-fired pollution in this valley until everyone has an irritated throats and eyes.

In some way, someday, the pollution from these coal-fired power plants will detrimentally effect your life – and all of the lives of those you care for. Don't expect the coal industry to tell us this – they stand to make billions playing down the risk.

Yes, I'm only estimating. But statistically, it is inevitable that people we know are going to die from this. Do you really want the illnesses and deaths of people you care for on your conscience? I guarantee that you will someday regret ever allowing these Limited Liability Corporations to poison every breath you take – possibly for the rest of your (abbreviated) life.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Don't Beat Us, Join Us

An open letter to Michael Yackira (President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Resources):

Apparently, in your press release to the Ely Times, you somehow want us to believe that you are doing the right thing; by polluting our air for the next 30 to 60 years – and our land and water forever. We know better.

We know that you're not “serious about being good stewards of the environment” – when you intend to force us to rely on the dirtiest power generation possible.

We know that you're not committed to “furthering the development of renewable energy.” You obviously didn't you brag about how much money your corporation has spent on renewables – because you haven't really spent any. Instead, you listed a number of solar projects being built by OTHER companies. You're only BUYING clean power – which you have to by law... We now know that your idea of “diversified energy sources” just means a different type of fossil fuel. And we know why – because solar and wind costs don't fluctuate. Which means you wouldn't have an excuse to raise prices.

We know that you don't really want to “keep electricity prices predictable.” Citibank has just predicted that the worldwide price of coal will double in the next two years. And the price of oil keeps rising too. Delivering over a train-load of coal a day is going to get expensive. But that might actually be what you want. Your company obviously wants to raise prices – that's how you make more money.

We know the reason you picked coal is because it is so heavily subsidized by taxpayers. And the Public Utilities Commission has already stated that you can just pass on future expenses to consumers. So, if there is a carbon tax, or carbon sequestration is ever required; why should you care? Sierra Pacific won't have to pay for it. Customers will.

And we know that Sierra Pacific will never pay any health care expenses to people who get sick (or die) from breathing your poisoned air... unless of course, a court orders them to. And then, we can only get what you have set aside in your Limited Liability Corporation – which you're only pretending is a separate company.

So Michael, we know what you're really “committed” to; maximizing short-term profits for your corporation – because that's what will maximize your multi-million dollar pay. But, money isn't as wonderful as you believe. If corporations succeed at converting everything of real value into money, there won't be anything left for money to buy. You can't eat money. You can't breath money. Does the natural world have to be gone before you realize this.

You should consider moving to White Pine County. This is a beautiful place. We even have some of the cleanest air in the nation, for a while. Hey, if you buy a place now, you can get it cheap. Nobody wants to move here with a coal-fired power plant coming.

Friday, February 08, 2008

My Water Grab Comments To The State Engineer

I can't believe this...

Water from under Western Shoshone land is being given away like we don't even exist. We have a treaty with the United States government. This should matter. Other treaties, like GATT and NAFTA, take precedence over the US constitution... If the powerful can just ignore the laws they choose to, it isn't really rule of law – its the law of the jungle.

We're not asking for money.

We're asking that you leave the water where it is.

Don't allow these beautiful, natural places to die.

My ancestors have hunted in Cave Valley for thousands of years.

To think that it is all coming to an end... just tears me apart.

Especially when it just isn't necessary.

Desalination First!

I'm submitting my video with my written comments.

I think a lot of people might see it.

I named the video: “Southern Nevada Water Atrocity

In it, I point out that this is not about whether Las Vegas gets more water or not. This is simply about how much Southern Nevada Water Authority has to pay for more water.

The Western Shoshone should not have to pay for Las Vegas' water with our homeland. Rural Nevada should not have to pay for Las Vegas' growth with our growth. And wildlife in these areas should not have to pay with their lives to fatten developers' bank accounts. The first to waste our water should not be the ones to have our water... for free.

You're not a machine. You don't have to do what you are told. You can trust your conscience. You know this water grab is wrong.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Coal Get's Expensive

What did I tell you?

What did I tell you?

I told you that the price of coal would rise. Guess what? Citigroup has forecasted that world coal prices could double in 2008-2009.

Why? Because they can't keep up with supply.

Pro-coal advocates keep singing the same old song; “What happens when the wind don't blow and the sun don't shine?” But for some short sited reason, they never seem to consider; what happens when the coal doesn't get delivered?

Not only has weather critically hampered the delivery of coal in the U.S., it has resulted in price increases here. Don't any of these people remember supply and demand?

Moreover, coal isn't delivered by coal-fired trains. The increase in the price of oil will obviously increase the price of coal.

If you believe the lies that coal power will be cheap. Well, surprise surprise.