Tag Archives: children

The real worst and best cases of climate change

What do you want? The planet Venus? The current degraded Earth? Or a better world we know how to create?

What if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?
Joel Pett, Lexington Herald Leader, 18 March 2012, The cartoon seen ’round the world

Mostly I post about solar and wind power winning, which is what I think is happening. But sometimes it’s worth a reminder of what could happen if we do nothing about climate change, and I posted on my facebook page a story about that. Which actually didn’t go far enough to the real worst case. Nonetheless, that story has been attacked by numerous parties of all political and scientific and unscientific stripes for being too doom and gloom. Yet none of the attackers bothered to mention a best case beyond “the same world we have now”. I have news for you: the world we have now is an ecological catastrophe, and we can do a lot better. So here’s the real worst case, the current case, which is far from the best of all possible worlds, and the real best case, as I see it. Plus what we can do to head for the best case.

grinning fossilized skull

First, the story I posted: David Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine, 9 July 2017, The Uninhabitable Earth: Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think. Notice that word “could”, which a lot of his critics seem to have ignored. He didn’t say “will”, and he clearly labeled what he was presenting as worst case scenarios.

In case anybody thinks he was making any of that stuff up, Wallace-Wells has also linked to an annotated version with footnotes for every substantial assertion. The annotated version notes at the top: Continue reading

Fukushima children: 35.8% thyroid cysts (0.8% in control group)

ENENews reported today that Just 0.8% of children in 2001 Japanese control group had thyroid cysts or nodules — 36% in Fukushima study. Is that a risk we want in Georgia from the new nukes at Plant Vogtle? How about we deploy wind and solar instead, faster, cheaper, and on time, plus solar or wind spills do not cause thyroid cysts.

Now you may say there’s little chance of similar problems in Georgia, since Southern Company CEO Thomas A. Fanning assured us Plant Vogtle is 100 miles inland where there are no earthquakes. Still, the same could have been said of Chernobyl. And TEPCO back in 2001 reassured everyone that tsunamis were not a problem for Fukushima.

Economics, as in the stealth tax rate hike, $8.3 billion loan guarantee, cost overrun passthrough boondoggle sucking up money that could be going to make Georgia a world leader in solar and wind for jobs, energy independence and profit, is the main point. But let’s not forget the health risks of nuclear power, from Three Mile Island to Chernobyl to Fukushima. Or Southern Company’s Plant Hatch, for that matter, leaking radioactive tritium into the ground water 90 miles from here. No tsunami and no earthquake was required to produce that leak. It’s our money and our families’ health Southern Company is experimenting with.


Clean green jobs for community and profit

Tell me who doesn’t want clean jobs for energy independence and profit?

“Environmental sustainability… can lead to more and better jobs, poverty reduction and social inclusion,”

The above quote is Juan Somavia in an article Stephen Leahy wrote for Common Dreams 1 June 2012, For an Ailing Planet, the Cure Already Exists,

Germany’s renewable energy sector now employs more people than its vaunted automobile industry.

No wonder, when German solar power produces more than 20 nuclear plants. How many jobs? According to Welcome to Germany 13 April 2012, Renewable Energies Already Provide More Than 380,000 Jobs in Germany, which cites a report from the German government,

The boom in renewable energies continues to create new jobs in Germany. According to a recently published study commissioned by the Federal Environment Ministry, the development and production of renewable energy technologies and the supply of electricity, heat and fuel from renewable sources provided around 382,000 jobs in 2011.

This is an increase of around 4 percent compared to the previous year and more than double the 2004 figure.

“Current employment figures show that the transformation of our energy system is creating entirely new opportunities on the job market,” said German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen.

“It is the major project for the future for German industry. This opens up technological and economic opportunities in terms of Germany’s competitiveness as an exporter and location to do business.”

Wouldn’t we like some of that here in sunny south Georgia, a thousand miles south of Germany?

Back to the Stephen Leahy article:

Globally, the renewable energy sector now employs close to five million workers, more than doubling the number of jobs from 2006-2010, according to a study released Thursday by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The transformation to a greener economy could generate 15 to 60 million additional jobs globally over the next two decades and lift tens of millions of workers out of poverty, concluded the study, “Working towards sustainable development”.

Everyone will benefit. Everyone can benefit starting right now.

Continue reading

Schools serving children in poverty well —Karen Noll

Received yesterday. -jsq
From: Karen Noll
To: chamber@valdostachamber.com
Cc: [many other people]

Dear Mr. Gooding and Chamber of Commerce,

In response to your most recent correspondence, I dare say many ask why the Chamber has such a single focus on an unproven plan with little or no supporting data. Yet again your answers to the many questions about the reasons that the Chamber is acting in this manner are insufficient and demonstrate quite clearly that you are steadfastly working to undermine the very community you claim to support.

Maybe it is my academic background, but I will use data to support my assertions and hopefully rectify some of the misinformation that has been so disruptive to this community, a discussion of a very important issue: the education of our children.

According to the Chamber’s own study, education ranked

12th out of 16 factors in importance to businesses coming to our community. The Chamber’s own survey revealed that a low crime rate and the business friendliness of the local agencies were most important to businesses in 2009.

Our community sadly hosts a large population of children living in poverty, and education is the best avenue to future success. For this reason, I am very pleased to report that our economically disadvantaged students in Valdosta City Schools met or exceeded the expected CRCT scores for the district last year. This is no small feat and we have some very dedicated educators to thank for this achievement.

Furthermore, research shows that “larger district size has been shown to be negatively associated with the achievement of impoverished students” ( Howley, C. 1996). This means that the fantastic achievements of our most disadvantaged students will be reversed in a larger district and all of the hard work of VCS educators will be lost in order to create, as you claim, “one great public school system”.

Two years ago the city school district asked Chamber members to provide input on their Strategic Improvement Plan through an online survey. Only 5.2% of responses came from Chamber members. Valdosta City Schools encouraged input from all stakeholders, yet these Chamber members in large part did not respond. Now the Chamber claims to have THE solution for the schools they had no time for when asked for feedback.

Research consistently shows that bigger does not mean better in education. So, ‘combining our resources’ does not bring more money, better educational outcomes, or cost savings. According to the Lowndes County Board of Education consolidation would put a number of teachers out of work. That would mean fewer customers in local businesses and less tax revenue. In other words, school consolidation would negatively impact our local economy and its businesses.

The Chamber is acting irresponsibly toward this community and the children served by the Valdosta City Schools. I am again appalled by the callousness of this organization, the petty name calling and repeated misinformation. It is crystal clear that CUEE and the Chamber are not interested in what is best for our children.

As a positive and strong community we will rise above the bad apple that misbehaves and move forward because it is the right thing to do, and we will continue to model appropriate behavior to our children. At the same time, we as a community must remember the lesson we have learned today: ‘greed can blind’. We are called to reach out to and to help those in need. We will continue to work together as a community and work toward the brightest future for our children.

Thank you, Mr. Gooding, for reminding us again of the path we are called to take.

Vote No for our children!!

My best wishes to you,
Karen Noll

Why the Chamber Supports Unification —Tom Gooding, Chairman, VLCoC

My opinion is appended. -jsq
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2011 11:17:00 -0400 (EDT)
From: Tom Gooding <chamber@valdostachamber.com>
Subject: Why the Chamber Supports Unification

Dear Chamber Members:

Some ask why the Chamber supports school system unification, instead of focusing on poverty. The answer is very simple: The Chamber’s mission is to build a strong and healthy community, resulting in job opportunities for our citizens, which addresses poverty. Improving public education is the single most important thing we can do to build a strong community, grow jobs, and reduce poverty.

Valdosta’s business community consistently ranks

Continue reading

And now an educational idea from Shakira

Belief based on evidence! About something that deals with the underlying local educational problem here: poverty. From her speech yesterday at the White House:
It is my belief and its also been demonstrated that if we provide early childhood education to Latino children it would take less than a decade to reap the benefits since investment in early education is proven to generate the fastest returns to the state.

With more ECD programs there will be less Latino students being held back, less dropouts and less crime involving school-age children; and they will be more productive individuals to society.

Continue reading

Your children’s education at stake —Sam Allen, FVCS, 7 July 2011

Good question:
“Are you willing to put your children’s education at stake because somebody has promised you something they can’t deliver? I for one am not willing.”

Here’s the video:

Your children’s education at stake —Sam Allen, FVCS, 7 July 2011
No school consolidation,
Press Conference, Friends of Valdosta City Schools (FVCS),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 7 July 2011.
Videos by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.


Lawsuit against school charter surrender

In Tennessee, supporters of education decided to fight a bogus consolidation attempt.

Lawrence Buser and Sherri Drake Silence wrote for the Memphis Commercial Appeal 12 February 2011, Shelby County Schools files suit over Memphis charter surrender: Complaint says city shirking duty to kids; rapid takeover ‘impossible’

Shelby County school leaders have taken their fight against consolidation to the courts, filing a federal lawsuit Friday alleging that the city school board’s “irrational” charter surrender deprives Memphis students of their constitutional rights.

In the lawsuit, suburban district leaders also blast the city of Memphis and the Memphis City Council for supporting “the (MCS) board’s unplanned and un-thoughtful effort to abandon its obligations to the children of Memphis.”

Hm, I wonder if there would be legal grounds for this around here?


Helping Your Child Succeed, by Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce

Chamber holds child success workshop, notes parental involvement is key.

Jane Osborn remarked yesterday:

Here is a story that was not in our local paper.
Amber Eady wrote for WALB 20 June 2011, Chamber workshop helps parents prepare their child for success:
The Helping Your Child Succeed lunch-n-learn workshop was held Friday, June 17.

The workshop was created to help reach parents in the workplace, and to teach parents about statistics in dropout rates, and the education system as a whole.

For more information contact Keyara Hamilton at 229-247-8100.

The WALB story appendes the full Chamber press release, which includes: Continue reading

For the children —Matt Flumerfelt @ VLCIA 14 June 2011

Matt Flumerfelt put down his trumpet to speak for the biomass protesters. He recommended responsibility on behalf of the children and grandchildren. He also said he looks forward to the new VLCIA executive director, since her background in hotel marketing fits with his vision of the area as a retirement community.

Here’s the video:

For the children —Matt Flumerfelt
Irregular Meeting, Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA),
Norman Bennett, Roy Copeland, Tom Call, Mary Gooding, Jerry Jennett chairman,
J. Stephen Gupton attorney, Allan Ricketts Acting Executive Director,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 14 June 2011.
Videos by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.