453 Comments

I'm from Delaware and as a college student first voted for Joe Biden in 1972. Throughout 2020, my son (in his mid 30s) and I would debate about merits of the leading Democratic contenders for the nomination. My son supported Bernie and his progressive agenda, while I supported Biden. I thought that country needed a calm President who would help the nation settle down after four years of turmoil and chaos. I was expecting him to be much like a relief pitcher who is called into a game to stop the other team's rally and help his team catch its collective breath.

I think we have both been pleasantly surprised by the first 100 days of the Biden presidency. Biden has come across as more progressive than my son imagined (albeit not as progressive as his preferred candidates). As for me, Biden has not been sleepy Joe, a president whose main function would be to pour oil on troubled waters and allow us to recover from the Trump years; instead, he has shown himself to be his own man, not Obama 2.0, taking strides to help us beat the pandemic, restore the economy, help those in poverty, rebuild our infrastructure for the next generation, challenge us to deal meaningfully and effectively with climate change, etc.

His is not the agenda neither my son nor I expected to see from a 77-year old man. I hope his energy is contagious and helps us move this country forward. There is still much about the GOP members of Congress that scares me, but Joe Biden is giving my hope for the future.

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Last Friday during his commentary Bill Maher said Joe Biden was a big disappointment to, wait for it, comedians. Those poor people did not get the material they expected to get. During the rest of the commentary, Maher pretty much echoed what Fran wrote above. There have been seven Presidents in my adult life. While a lot is going on in the world, I have never experienced a sense of calm and optimism at the start of an administration. The "100 Day" thing seemed like just a catch phrase after a while even though those other guys had the intention of making an impact during their "first 100 days". For the most part, Biden is seriously rocking it. Again, Biden was maybe my fifth choice for Democratic nominee. I have never been happier about being wrong. I was OK when he got the nomination, because I figured he would have competent people around him. Biden has made me feel guilty that my expectations were "tragically low". I just wanted Trump gone. We got Trump out of office plus many dollops of competence. Yeah for us😊😊😊

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Me also. I wanted Bernie and when Biden got in I thought, oh here we go, business as usual with a do little fumbling moderate. But, BOY was I wrong! This man never ceases to amaze me. His energy and governance are mind boggling.

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Even AOC was singing his praises last week! Didn't expect that!

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I've followed Biden for nearly 40 years, so my expectations weren't that low. But they skyrocketed when he said "Keep yappin', man!"

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I forgot that incident. It's just getting better. I hope the abysmally hypocritical Republicans fall on their swords. They deserve it. Lyndsey needs to just turn into a greasy puddle.

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Lyin'sey Graham

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Support Joe and his team in prayer...every day!

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I feel the same way, Sharon. I'm ashamed that my expectations were so low. While I share Bruce Sellers' concerns about the Republicans trying any trick in the book to regain control (we both live in Georgia, but my county is more liberal than his), I still believe that we can hold them at bay. We are the majority, and the turnout here in '20 was unprecedented, despite Covid's rampage and the postal service doing everything possible to disrupt absentee ballots. We have to remain vigilant, and hope that everyone but the Taylor Greenes and Failed 45s benefits enough from Biden's successes that they want four more years (including the midterms) of Democratic sanity.

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I so agree with these comments. I campaigned my heart out for Elizabeth Warren. And I still love her. But Joe Biden has been a huge surprise for me. His is not the agenda I had hoped for either, but what he is doing, in the way he is, calms me and gives me hope.

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Energy IS contagious. I said this exact phrase on the weekend to my soccer players. Boy I hope the independents and middle of the road GOP’ers see this and start acknowledging the good coming from this president. And infrastructure, for the love of Junior Mints, INFRASTRUCTURE. Can we all agree that our roads, bridges, tunnels, trains, subways, electrical grid are dated, unstable, unreliable, and NEED REPLACEMENT. Does anyone remember the WPA? I have family in Michigan and weekly I hear FIX THE DAMN ROADS. Well, unless the state wants to bear the burden ALONE (which means residents see a tax increase and more debt taken on by the state), they need complementary funds at the federal level. And unless an infrastructure bill gets passed, no funds will be passed and no roads will be fixed. This ISN’T complicated.

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Michigan's Governor Whitmer got a chance to actally fix one of our roads, shovel and all. Great job! She requested a cooler full of Oberon beer for later.

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I love her. She is not afraid to get her hands dirty

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Thank you Laurie; YOUR energy is contagious!

There's actually a song, a good one, about the perils of neglecting infrastructure, in this case shipping. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3Pm1hQZspg

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Well...let this somber song move you.

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Everyone saw what Texas experienced this winter, thanks to Republican philosophy!

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Are Texans seeing that linked to Republican thinking and doing?

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Our LFAAers in Texas have suggested that the Great Texas Winter of 2021 will make a difference politically. Enough difference? We shall see. Let's listen to what they say down the road.

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I doubt that the diehards are seeing the connection, but Texas was already on the way to being purple, so this can't help but favor the Democrats.

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Junior mints😂good one!

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Yes -- for the love of Junior Mints!

(Reeses too!)

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"For the love of Junior Mints!"

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Thank you and I agree I want Joe and Kampala’s energy to be dare I say it — infectious.

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Kamala. I know it’s just a typo. (Kampala is a city in Uganda 🙃)

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It's been 16 hours since Marcie replied, and Kampala is STILL the capital of Uganda.

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Hate to be a spoiler...all this well-earned praise for Biden is encouraging and feels great, but after reading all the paeans to Biden and the Democrats I can't help but feel we are in a giant echo-chamber here. It's okay to prop each other up after the previous years of doom & gloom from Big Orange You-Know-Who, and I get that. But, all I have to do is take a few steps outside my door and it's a different story. Around here, Joe Biden and Democrats are basically the Antichrist and his Satanic Hordes. Unless word, aka TRUTH, gets out and soon, we will get Republicans back in power again in the blink of an eye. They're already licking their chops down here at the prospect. I am encouraged that Biden & Co. are coming to GA the day after his address to Congress on the exact day 100 of his administration. Democrats owe a lot to our state in 2020 as we were part of their being able to have the slimmest of margins in Congress. We can't rest on our laurels, though. Republicans here are already chomping at the bit to "take Georgia back", and, as we've seen, they'll do it ANY way they can. Yes, Biden has pleasantly surprised me, but I still have this nagging feeling this can all be undone in a matter of months and it'll be back to the same-old-same-old. Maybe it's my Monday blahs...

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Saw my first Trump 2024 sign in my sweet Red town Saturday, so I appreciate your cautions. Also know I need sounds of joy and fair they well from our band of hopefuls to keep me on my toes and celebrate at the same time. What we all must do is increase the size of the community who share the stories, sound bells, and make a joyful noise if for no other reason than that is terrifies the Reds. 😅

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You are correct, I believe. So it means the "fight" must continue with no abatement. It's not impossible. We need to keep the momentum going - no sitting back.

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I hear your concerns, and complacency is anyone's worst challenge. I think then the Democratic Party must continue working hard to 1) get out the vote despite challenges; 2) build a bigger tent to include labor, unskilled and skilled workers, trades, low-paying frontline workers; 3) connect with rural agrarian businesses and employees, conservationists, and preservationists; and 4) negotiate with GOP to create and sustain independent state boards of election and fair, independent districting.

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and if the Republicans continue to obstruct, I believe Biden "has a plan for that."

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You're right, Sam. The folks you mentioned are the ones who believed the Republican hype of trickle down economics, but if we raise them up to middle class where they belong, they will be powerful allies. It looks like it's begun and I hope "we" don't drop the ball.

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Well a solid prosperous and improved reality may be the best counter to the propaganda and Q-lies, however 2 years is not much time to see the results from all the good he’s doing. Still say we have to figure out a better way to disrupt the propaganda people are being drowned in

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It's boggling that the Dems don't know how to control the narrative.

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Dems don’t see the evil manipulativeness in others, but for the Putin/Koch/GOP that’s their main reason for being. I’d like to think it’s normal to expect that others won’t try to manipulate minds by lying.

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C'mon man! I agree that we have to keep fighting, and know that you could be correct, but we did it once, and can do it again - even in Georgia! We know who the real Antichrist and Satanic Hordes are.

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I know! But given past experience, I fear complacency and apathy yet again could be our undoing in '22, extending into '24. People in this country can be lazy and tune out of anything political. My hope is we got enough folks riled up in '20 to realise what's at stake, that they'll still get off their butts and get involved once again. I also think Republicans' situation could be more dire than they're letting on. NOTHING is certain or a given in these times!

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My Senator sends me emails about the "Republican situation" around the country. Not being complacent here in VA.

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Virginians, including our favorite Lynell, have two very good senators.

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Hey Bruce, I hear you regarding complacency and inattention. So, it's a privilege to share grounds for optimism.

I believe that the 2020 elections saw a record amount of out-of-state donations all across the country, as Americans realized that their own fates depend on all of Congress. Progressive candidates drew support from all directions (so did GQP but tough luck for them). I donated repeatedly, total nearly $300, to your new senators, all with 100%-450% matching amounts through various PACS. Like a million others, I never did that before.

In sum, you are not striving alone, Bruce. We had your back and we'll do it again, with pleasure. Emphasis on We.

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HashTag MeToo, TPJ and Bruce!! TPJ and me and others consider Warnock and Ossoff our Senators, too!!

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I'm hoping that Trump's four-year assault on this country will be enough to keep everyone with a brain engaged. You're correct, Bruce, that there are absolutely no givens. Your concerns are well founded.

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Yes, Bruce, so what do we do about it? That’s right, everybody: Call your senators and demand they KILL THE FILIBUSTER!

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Killing the filibuster is goal number one to reclaim the Senate for the American people. Next and close behind it are term limits and age limits for both the House and the Senate.

Reform, reform and reform are in the air.

I noted that after the upcoming President's address to the House and Senate the Progressive Wing of the Party are going to have a few words to say. Am looking forward to hearing what they have to say.

What an interesting time to live.

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For The People is the key. Can it pass with the filibuster intact? I suspect not.

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Bruce, what you are getting is a practical application of terrorism. The idea is to keep people of balance and afraid of making decisions because they might be wrong. This is at the beginning of the spectrum. As terrorists fail they resort to violence on as big a scale as they can imagine.

What Joe Biden offers is reality and the promise of a good future where people are at the very least civil to each other. We, the people, have been terrorized by Trump, Cruze, Lindsey, and all of the other would be Hitlers and Musolinis of the world. Their time has come and gone.

Our time is now and in the future. Beware of terrorism should be the watchwords of the day.

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My handyman told me, "I can't wait till '24."

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Be tempted to say "Me too. Mr Biden will be out oldest two-term president. So excited!" 😝

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Well said Fran! And I love the infusion of hope.

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Joe Scarborough made what I thought was a stellar observation re: Biden. That people mistook his moderate demeanor as a sign he couldn't be proactive or progressive. I thought that was very insightful, and true.

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Fran, you are right on. I feel the same way. I have some concerns however. One, Republican opposition to his agenda is strong and unified - how much of it can he get done and make stick (e.g. law versus executive orders). Two, no matter how great Biden is or will be, he will get solid opposition from the right. And any relaxing by the Democrats in support of elections and campaigns, and we lose power with a snap of the finger, and things will just snap back again. I wring my hands over 2022. Three, I hope K Harris is being actively groomed. It sure doesn't appear to me that she is as involved as I would wish. Joe is pretty old, and it's likely he will not run in 2024 even if he says he will.

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While I appreciate your caution, I don't feel your pessimisn. Kamala Harris, as was Biden during the Obama administrstion, is "the last one in the room." She's there for all of it, and hss final say. I can't think of better grooming. But, yes, WE all have to do our part to stop the Republican raping of America.

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Mary Pat, I agree with you.

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Yes, lots of ways to mentor a successor beyond more speeches or press conferences.

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I share your concerns, but have observed that he plays his hand close to the vest. That was confirmed in a news article a few days ago that claims that Kamala is quietly working behind the scenes to implement Biden's agenda, and in doing so is cementing her influence. It appears to be their strategy to keep the other side guessing what their next step will be.

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Nancy this is the same strategy that President Obama used his his Vice President, Joe Biden. It seems to work better the more you use it. The President and his Vice President are experts at what they do and the people around them are strong as well.

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I loved Obama, but Biden has the added advantage of years of Senate experience and knowing which arms to twist. Even the image of "Sleepy Joe" seems to be working in his favor, and Kamala Harris is just as strategic, I think. I see no weak links so far. Experience is pivotal.

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Excelent!

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Fran 100%. I just wish I could vote for Biden for 50 straight years!

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I think of Biden as the "middle relief" guy; the starter has been blown up, we're a run or three behind, and we need someone to get us through so that we get to the hotshot closer with a lead and sew up the game.

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Exactly. Sometimes low expectations yield pleasant surprises

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Thank you from the bottom of my heart for competently and elegantly describing what has been swirling around in my brain.

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Well said. I agree with my own “pleasantly surprised”. ❤️🤍💙

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I hope so, too.

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Moonshot, indeed. We have the opportunity to build capacity for solar for the world. We have the opportunity to actually lead into the future, generating opportunities and astounding work/jobs.

Caregiving has LONG been undervalued and simply an expectation of women to do caring work for free. This, alone, could change the future.

Heather, you are wondrous and the light of the day in my small life. I am ever grateful.

Thank you.

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"Sunshot" rather than moonshot?

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Agree!

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“Over the course of two days and eight sessions, President Biden convened heads of state and government, as well as leaders and representatives from international organizations, businesses, subnational governments, and indigenous communities, to rally the world in tackling the climate crisis, demonstrate the economic opportunities of the future, and affirm the need for unprecedented global cooperation and ambition to meet the moment.”

That is leadership.

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Yes! Yes it is. Amazing how we will solve the climate crisis and grow the economy. Two birds with one stone. But I think it will be even more than that.

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Yes, more than that including a rebalancing of global political relationships and priorities.

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Compared to Biden, the previous occupant of the White House was like a beached jellyfish, impotent, ineffective, Incompetent, unimaginative. I could use some more adjectives folks!

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Nasty. abusive. bully. egotistical. sadistic. racist. hateful. pondscum. Adjectives are important and iDJT always seemed to have the nasty ones that stuck thanks to the media repeating them. I have been making alphabetical lists for years. Try it! A good zoom game when you score it like Boggle.

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You left out "toxic." :-/

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Serious oversight!

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Comparing 1/45 is an insult to the world's jellyfish.

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Agree w you

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The emergence of China as a global alternative energy provider reminds me a bit of how US automakers doubled down on big cars rather that get out in front of small car manufacturing.

Also, I'd like to see climate efforts address refugees, as we are already seeing increases in the numbers of refugees due to climate change and will continue to do so. We tend to focus on the political reasons that people flee. As drought and other significant weather events occur around the globe, more people will be displaced or unable to get water to drink or grow food to eat.

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Down here in what is still the "Good Ol' Boy" South where they all drive pick-up trucks, the trucks have become absolutely gargantuan. I mean, some of these things need their own zip code. Remember Humvees, and how they were kind of Republicans' way of sticking the finger to all the anti-fossil fuel advocates? More often than not, down here at least, the rear of these behemoths would display an array of bumper stickers that were pro-Bush, pro-military, pro-Pick-Your-Rightwing-Cause, etc. They got like 8-9 MPG and were hideously huge--your basic civilian Sherman tank. Well these days, down here at any rate, the competition is on for who can have the biggest, baddest, big-ass pick-up truck. All the auto manufacturers seem all too glad to keep making them bigger and more powerful--I'm curious what the gas mileage is on these honkers. The drivers of them are all too often the ones riding your rear bumper, speeding like mad--because they CAN!--and are some of the biggest a$$h*les on the road. You can't see around or over them. When I see them in parking lots I am amazed at how huge they are, and they ain't cheap either! No, these guys (and 95% of the time they're guys) don't give a you-know-what for downsizing or being responsible regarding fossil fuel and the planet. Good luck trying to convince them otherwise. "I have a right (is this in the Constitution somewhere??) to buy what I want and use all the gas I want...screw you and get outta my way!" Maybe if gas/petrol became as expensive here as it is in Europe (in The Netherlands I remember it averaged $6-$8 per gallon...hello public transportation!), people would change their tune?? I love my little Honda that chugs along at 30 MPG, thank you, though I can see switching to EV at some point.

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A neighbor across the street owns one of the behemoths. He's alright, but when it's parked in front of my house it seems like home just shrank.

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Big, black, obnoxious trucks. Going like bats outta hell.

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Sounds like Texas. I putter around in a tiny little used Nissan because my Toyota Prius was totaled a few years ago. I'm hoping to EV too at some point.

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I live in riverside RI which is Truck City. One day I counted 25 big ass trucks parked just down my street. Of course there are a few Trump flags also.😖

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You can't even buy a basic pick-up new anymore.

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I have a 1990 F-250 that has 40K on it. I use it for dump runs, yards of soil, and as a community resource. It gets about 12 MPG. Only used when needed. But looking forward to exchanging fossil fuel motor for electric...I feel guilty about having it, but I figure I could live in the back of it if the R's take away social security.

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😔

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My extreme go to should the worst happen is to sell everything and buy An older Winnebago, cut loose and find the other nomads.

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My '03 Honda Civic gets only 26 or 27 mpg (much higher on the highway, but I rarely go on the highway except down 400 for 10 minutes to get to the doctor). It also has BIG windows and outstanding visibility, an important safety feature for me. Most new compact cars and sedans I see have narrow windows. Maybe SUVs don't, but I couldn't easily climb into one. Mine also looks like it just came out of the showroom.

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Some SUVs, especially the American brands, are almost as big as the behemoth pick-ups. I like the smaller ones, myself. My brother has a Honda HRV and likes it. The CRVs have gotten bigger and bigger, as have Toyota's RAV-4s. AND they've gotten more expensive. It's all gotten so crazy.

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Crazy and stupid.

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Laurie, The Pandemic, and our transition from misery to light has not be easy... I won't go on, we've been through the mill in the USA and sheltered ourselves to keep out of harm's way. Although, it has been difficult to look beyond our circumstances, your call to help the refugees beckons us to see what is on the horizon.

'The hardest way to enter the U.S. is as a refugee: the country handpicks those it welcomes, and the three-year process includes extensive screenings by federal security agencies. Once here, refugees work in essential industries such as health care, start businesses that help stimulate the economy, and otherwise make their new communities safer and stronger.' (International Rescue Committee)

The link below opens to a piece on POLITIFACT about Biden's current position on admitting refugees:

https://www.politifact.com/article/2021/apr/20/what-biden-administration-saying-about-refugee-adm/

and hear “Running” (Refugee Song) - World Refugee Project:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-zubg7rmfw&list=RDb-zubg7rmfw&start_radio=1&rv=b-zubg7rmfw

Peace.

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Wow, Fern, that was wondrous and powerful. thank you for sharing!!

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We are going to have significant in-country climate refugees. already happening in my area of the Olympic Peninsula...I am one of the California climate refugees who was able to get here. We are looking a massive migrations of USA Americans, not to mention the other Americans seeking safety.

We need to be preparing for climate refugees around our planet. Anyone?

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Hi kimceann, Listen and see the song 'Running'. The link is at the bottom of my comment. Peace.

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What does Climate Refugees mean?

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Laurie, you make an excellent point.

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And we continue to double down on big cars.

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I sat with a client yesterday who is a Trumpster. Every word that came out of her mouth was about going backward. Going backward and still praising the “leadership” “qualities” of that former person. This is the backward energy that he hooked his supporters into believing was actually going to save them. As I read this letter this morning the contrast is frighteningly clear. My son said to me one time, “they will either go kicking and screaming or they will go with the flow ....but they’re going to HAVE to go“. And here we are living in a country where nearly half the people in it long for yesterday and dig their heels in at the mention of progress.

I am 71 and I long for yesterday also but I have the intelligence to know that it doesn’t exist anymore and it probably shouldn’t. Crack open a bottle wine, take out the old photos and have a cry but wake up in the morning and move into the present. It’s already here waiting for you.

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Elaine, and they long for a yesterday that was so incredibly toxic. My husband and I were talking last night about the good old days -- the Cuyahoga River Fire of 1969, the Potomac and Hudson Rivers festering sewers, Love Canal, cities with air so much pollution you could cut it with a knife. Asbestos? Leaded gasoline? Those are a just a few examples of the environmental good old days. Now, add to that the vast array of social injustices and it's a veritable fun fest of good times! How can our contemporaries not remember these things?

How can they want to go back ?

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Well I think it’s a different world they are remembering obviously. A slower life perhaps, when the middle class actually had enough money for healthcare and food. Stuff like that

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Coupled with the absolute blind spot that the very people they support are the ones who took that from them by building overseas and outsourcing the "middle class" jobs.

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We brought a lot of the issues of our fast paced lives upon ourselves, I think. The desire for more consumer goods, bigger, better, faster...But you're right, it costs a lot more to live a decent life today. Included is calculator which you can use to compare costs for all sorts of things from the 19 aughts forward to today...food, dental, medical, and more.

https://www.in2013dollars.com/Food/price-inflation/1913-to-2021?amount=20

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BUT middle class had enough money because healthcare AND food were cheaper! I remember bringing home $37.50 a week (gross $45.00) when I was 19 or 20. I bought & paid for a car (used, of course) lived with parents - paid $5.00 a week for "board" and put a couple bucks in the bank AND bought clothes - not necessarily cheap ones. I'm about 12 years older than you, Elaine, but I'm betting you might remember some of the same. Believe me, I'm NOT saying everything was hunky dory back then - but we did HAVE a middle class. Like Daria said, the environmental issues? seemed to have been swept under the rug or in my own life - living in a small town - just not noticeable! How things have changed with "social media" and as Daria says "desire for more"!!

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What you daid, Daria! They need selfish, willful blindness to want to go back.

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Ddt fog trucks going through the neighborhoods every week!

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truth

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Make America Grab P**** Again... Is that what they mean by the Good Ol Days?

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Sigh.

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To quote the Weavers (remember them?): things ain’t what they used to be, and what’s more, they never were

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“infusion of up to $1 billion”.... for the dying coal industry... the Republicans welfare queen!

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Give Manchin what his state needs. Turn Wheeling into the solar panel manufacturing capital of the world already.

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Will that get him to vote to end the filibuster? Will anything?

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Dunno but I’m sure deals are being made.

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Doubt it. If Manchin decides to stand for re-election in deep, deep red WV he’s going to need help, and not resistance , from McConnell plus support from Trumps base.

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There is always something, which does not mean it will happen. Manchin won't do that unless it's the only way left to get whatever he really wants.

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I’m hoping he come around, as well.

Without him, HR1, and similar are going nowhere.

The future of our democracy may well depend on Manchin.

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ted:

I hesitate to write on the costs of manufacturing here. Your idea is correct. Think about what Labor really costs. It is less than 10% of the costs of manufacturing.

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We can no longer afford not to produce here. Read tonight’s letter again. China is positioning to become the OPEC of solar production.

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It already is.

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daria:

And at what expense makes China number one for the manufacture of solar panels? You are getting to my point on the Costs of Manufacture in the US.

- Direct Labor is a small part of the costs of manufacture when it is compared to Overhead and Material costs.

- The difference in Labor costs in China and in the US considering the 10% cost is far smaller than the hourly wage (ie. 10% of $10 as compared to 10% of ~$2 in China per hour).

We should be looking at Overhead costs in each country and asking why the large difference. This is not a negative in the sense of what is contained in Overhead. Think about it as I write some more.

It is not just the manufacture which needs to be considered. To ship by fully loaded containers is one week on each side of the ocean in port and customs, an approximate three weeks on the ocean, and then delivery by truck or train to its destination in the US. T

The last time I looked, the cost of transportation was an ~ $4200 coming out of China per container. There are inventory costs while this product is in transit also.

Back to my Overhead point. If you hire someone in the US, what exactly are you paying besides wages? There is SS, state and local taxes. There may be healthcare costs, OSHA, Child Labor, OT, Unemployment, Workman's Comp as well as other costs involved in the US. Air and water pollution is monitored.

Besides low manual Labor costs in China, these costs do not exist in the plants I was in and with a reputable Japanese manufacturer. Healthcare consisted of a nurse or doctor on staff, There was breakfast, lunch, and a snack at night (if there was over time). In Thailand, etc. the company provided bus transportation and uniforms.

I sat in Shanghai having having a bratwurst lunch at an expensive pseudo - German bar near the river in Shanghai' on the worst air pollution day ever. You do not sleep with your windows open in Beijing also, etc. for other countries. These are some of the costs on China's growth.

The residue from manufacturing solar panels is carefully monitored in the US. Not so much in China or in Asia. Some reading by Richard Smith as taken from Real World Economics, "China’s Communist-Capitalist ecological apocalypse," http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue71/whole71.pdf

For 45 years, I have worked in manufacturing globally. The US competes nicely when other factors are taken into consideration. The costs of manufacturing in the US are there for reasons not found in other countries which manufacture at a far lesser cost basis. It is not an equal comparison.

If we wish to manufacture in the US and put people to work, do we pay those costs or set them aside for lower global pricing. People complain about no jobs but they still buy the product manufactured outside the country. I also did throughput and supply chain analysis.

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I understand completely and agree with you. Cheap goods will win every time.

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You can read my response to your comment in the comment I made to daria (below).

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Is that high for the solar market or low or adequate? Why hesitate to state it?

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Read my comment to Daria (above). I was not going to distract from the Professor's commentary earlier.

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Manufacturing is exactly the issue that created the climate crisis. Plus, we are using up the resources necessary for manufacturing. Resource extraction is the problem, not the solution!

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“You can’t always get what you want””, but u bet what you need”-RS

What is the major resource in solar panels? Silica. Sand. And an Al frame. So maybe shift to a ceramic frame?

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Ceramics are not accepted in most recycling systems. https://livegreen.recyclebank.com/column/because-you-asked/what-should-i-do-with-my-chipped-dishes-and-bowls

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What are the better alternatives?

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There you go!

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Manchin must be in politician heaven right now, being courted from multiple directions.

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But, Ted, don't we really need to do the things inherent in wrapping up the industry? Protect the environment by cleaning up the mess? Protect the people who are caught in the mess? The Appalachians are in dire need.

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Oh, Im not pro coal. I’m mad DT wasted a billion dollars trying to save something that is dead already.

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Training for Caregiving in West Virginia is brilliant. The last generation with Black Lung disease will get some attention.

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The only trouble is that caregiving jobs are among the lowest-paying, whereas coal mining pays a lot.

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I want to add that there is also a shortage of teachers.

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There are shortages of doctors, nurse practitioners, lab techs, echo and ultrasound technicians, as well as other radiology techs, nurses, as well as nurse aides. Not all of these are low paying-- in fact, the pay for nurse aides could/should be raised to at least $15/hr and those are usually jobs with benefits. Now homecare aides certainly need bolstering. There is a genuine shortage and under-resourced problem in that sector.

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$15 is nowhere near enough to support a family. Dithering over $15 for years now while those workers have to pay more income tax than the iDJT. I can't find the article I read recently that showed how many workers in these companies were fired last year but here are some salaries. https://aflcio.org/paywatch/highest-paid-ceos

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Your local community college undoubtedly has a wide selection of one or two year certificate programs that lead to decent paying jobs.

Take a look.

Education is the way to distinguish yourself from the crowd.

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And there will be an even greater shortage (nurses, therapists of all stripes, techs, and aides) when the Covid traumatized caregiver folks quit the torment of "healthcare" for something better.

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Caregiving jobs -- and other essential workers-- should be paid appropriately for what they do. Money managers, whose greedy business practices caused them to fail, brought on the last great recession in the Bush administration. They are again paid in the TENS of millions every year while our healthcare and education workers get a pittance of that.

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They SHOULD be paid appropriately. How are we going to make that happen? Many times families have to pay for caregivers out of their own funds. We need to make this more of a guaranteed benefit.

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The trouble with coal mining jobs (besides environmental degradation and black lung) is that decades ago most of them disappeared. Much cheaper for coal companies to scalp the top off mountains with a few machines. I think one reason for including caregiving in the infrastructure bill is to recognize, respect and elevate caregivers, and provide decent wages, especially in areas like West Virginia where they are already working for dirt. The economic impact will be enormous.

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How rewarding is going in a hole to dig and breathe coal? How does it enrich ones life?

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It enriches one by around $65,000 per year.

I'm not arguing in favor of coal jobs, just saying that they pay much better than most of what's around for folks in those areas. It's no wonder they are hard to let go of.

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Does that 65k come with a lung replacement insurance? I hear ya. Easier to give something comparable or better when taking something away. But it is the cheap Natural Gas taking these coal jobs, not Democrats. Its a lesson of economics, Globalization and displacement. Americans complain about displacement for themselves when they are the victims, but they don't seem to see the larger displacements going on around the world, for example, Central American's moving north, towards freedom but for economic security, or more clearly for survival.

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Nevertheless scores of people came to this country and put their hands to it and gained a foothold propelling their progeny to achieve education, start businesses, enter professions and grab the American Dream. My husband's grandmother came from a large Polish family who worked the coal mines in Pennsylvania. Her father and brothers went every day into the mines and she and her sisters waited on them, cooked for them, etc. She joined the Army and was a WAC, ultimately earned a Master's degree in History and taught and all her children (7 of them) graduated college. Two became lawyers, One a chef, another a business owner, the fifth a NYC policeman and then ran a security firm, her daughters- one owns a real estate agency and the other became a nurse, and lived a good life.

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Yes, that's great but not every family makes this transition out of coal and culture of poverty around it. None of their progeny wants to go backwards and dig coal again, right? So why should we start off more immigrants there now and kill the planet too?

Time to move on from coal already. Move WVA forward not backwards. Hardest Hit Covid=WVA. Highest Obesity/diabetes rates=WVA, Highest per capita Heroin and Opioid addiction=WVA, highest AIDS epidemic=WVA. 45th in Education= WVA.

Continuing Coal subsidy's to sustain what? The aforementioned?

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Build an affordable assisted-living industry in WV. I'd move to Harpers Ferry in a heartbeat, if I still have one!

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16 billion to clean up WVA coal mines. That’s a lot of jobs for WVA.

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Yes. It's time. And beautiful West Virginia deserves it.

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16 Billion, and Manchin is just munching. How much will it take to get him to end the filibuster? Its apparent to me now ( 16 billionfor WVA!) that the Senator is one greedy bastard!

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Trump promised to make coal great again and seemed to think that slashing environmental regulations would do the trick, but even combined with an infusion of up to $1 billion, slashing regulations could not stop Trump’s administration from overseeing the fastest decline of coal-fuel capacity in U.S. history.

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Coal was never coming back. Trump deliberately misled miners and their supporters. When there s a declining market for your product ... (Or, in Trump’s case, no interest once he’s elected.)

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A promise from 1/45? As the French say, "Ca n'existe pas!"

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Murray Energy donated a ton to DT 2016 campaign. Donnie infused a billion into the coal industry in kind. And then Murray Energy went bankrupt. Our tax dollars down the drain.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/fortune.com/2019/10/29/coal-murray-energy-trump-bankruptcy/amp/

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Ted Keyes, That is a good one 🤣🤣🤣

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So many DT scandals, so much corruption. It’s easy for folks to be overwhelmed and forget many of them.

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Energy Security is National Security. If you don't agree you haven't been watching China very closely. They get (have got) it. We are playing catchup and its about damn-time. The world-stage is shifting on many levels and America CANNOT let itself be the red-headed-stepchild to China...it will literally mean the end of American influence if not dominance (assuming we can still even brag about that with a straight-face)... I give MAJOR props to Biden and his team for seeing this and making it a serious priority. As they say in Dumb and Dumber: [but] there's a chance!

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Frankly, I've always thought that notions of American "dominance" were simply offensive braggadocio, serving no purpose and alienating many. But we can't afford to waste our power on Republican luddites and their reactionary delusions. (And if there is a God, please save us from a stupid civil war.)

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While “Biden’s American Jobs Plan already calls for $16 billion to clean up abandoned mining sites and more for the training in new infrastructure jobs coal miners want. “

China is investing the same amount on training the next generation of climate scientists. Have you heard about Zhu Kezhen. There are generations of climate scientists he trained.

http://www.ehangzhou.gov.cn/2020-09/03/c_271143.htm

It is not about bringing jobs back, but research and development.

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Forward! Always.

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I’m shocked and delighted at how Biden has moved us this far, this fast toward a progressive future agenda. I live in Texas, where one of our senators is a Trump enabler and the other has is a Steve Bannon imitator. But the people are coming around.

It’s a good thing our infrastructure is so decayed, because it’s hard to argue that we need more of the same. I have two neighbors, friends in friendlier times. One bought a lifetime supply of 100 watt incandescent light bulb when the government started regulating them and the other bought a pallet of R-12 refrigerant just before it was banned. Fortunately, they are boomers, like me, and chances are they’ll die with their investments in pollution safely stored in their garages or attics. In the meantime, I was able to switch my electric plan to an all renewable plan called MP2, owned by Shell. Yes, Shell Oil. The big energy companies will be energy companies 25 years from now only if they are carbon-neutral, at worst.

I think that the regulations past during the Obama administration, such as the tax rebate for electric vehicles and the solar and wind energy subsidies, served their purpose and gave those technologies enough boost to make them competitive with fossil fuel technologies. I bought an EV four years ago, with a $7500 tax credit, and I’ll buy another one if Biden renews the credit. It’s a way better driving experience than the old cars, so I’d buy another EV anyway. The extra tax savings is gravy.

Fossils fuels have been heavily subsidized for many years, including with massive wars. Imagine where we might be now if the Supreme Court has given Gore the election in 2000, instead of Bush. Rather than investing $trillions in wars and regime change in the Middle East, what if we had invested that money in new energy and gotten out of the Middle East. I think that’s were Biden is leading us now and I’m delighted by it.

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What if indeed Steve. We threw away trillions of dollars and thousands of lives on a dying industry. Bin Ladin did far more than kill nearly 3000 people that terrible day, he left a festering wound in our nation, that has weakened us and left us more divided. The twin towers was the rallying cry, but, it was all about oil.

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Personal accounts are very helpful to me, Steve. Our house is all electric. We having been moving toward investing in solar. I never heard of MP2/Shell Oil. So will research that. Thanks, again!

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Hi, Lynell. I had the chance about 4 years ago to work at Shell in Houston 3 days a week to fill a vacancy in their executive development team. It was fascinating to hear the inside story of a big oil company clearly committed to a post-carbon future. Since I don't buy much gas anymore, I was pleased to have the chance to buy my electricity from them. I decided against residential solar last year, in part because it was terribly expensive to also add the capability to go off-grid. Our electrical grid has clearly been getting worse over the past few years, so I did install a backup generator. We were in the big middle of the grid collapse that you saw in the news, but I was able to keep the house going for almost the whole time.

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I am so glad Joe Biden is our President.

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Omg Jeanne MeToo

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Jeanne and Liz, this is definitely a MeToo movement we can all rally around!

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Oh for sure Lynell— a little joy these days goes a very long way.

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Good Sometime in the day, Lynell!! I arrived late here. What day is it on the LFAA calendar?

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Early Morning, hey, TPJ!! It's LFAA's April 26 Letter right now which I haven't read yet. Catching up on the day before. Confusing? You betcha!

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President Biden is a steady light in a dark time. When his popularity starts winning down ballot elections, I’ll begin to breath freely. Until then, there are states to win back. Celebrate each victory, then back to work.

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"After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water." ~ a Zen saying

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I open your work every day and my mind gallops off on a new possibly for recovery. I think of the Trump whatever that was as Chernobyl! Staying afloat mentally and spiritually in endless negativity, death, cruelty and corruption took everything I had. Thank you for teaching us that it is ok to dream again.

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❤️❤️❤️ yes!

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I am pleased to see that President Biden has made addressing the climate crisis a priority. Climate crisis is inextricably linked with the way we consume energy, and I am also glad that he is pushing for "clean" energy, not just "renewables." Electrifying transportation will require doubling our electricity production. Another 50% will be required to re-engineer our industrial processes that rely on fossil resources.

Emphasizing jobs that renewables provide may be necessary for getting his agenda passed through the Congress, but wind and solar will not suffice. Besides, scaling wind and solar to meet all our energy needs will seriously constrain the global supply chains of commodities like steel, glass, concrete, and copper, not to speak of lithium and rare earth metals. It is absolutely important that we expand nuclear power, the one safe and scalable source of clean energy. It has the smallest environmental footprint and the best safety record but first public opposition to nuclear power must be overcome. Getting the public to embrace nuclear power is a Herculean task, but it must be undertaken. We have to (i) educate the public (ii) stop closing functional nuclear power plants; (iii) remove the barriers for financing nuclear projects; (iv) expand the fleet of nuclear power plants; and (v) develop and deploy the next generation of walk-away safe plants that can also use the spent fuel as a resource.

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Constraint may well be necessary. Nuclear is not a reasonable option. Please. We do not even have a clue as to how to manage the waste. Seriously, "walk-away safe plants"??

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New Mexico is a large state, but we need to figure out how to deal with nuclear waste without trying to dump it all in NM.

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I was enchanted in the late 70's in Ribera and Las Vegas,NM. A dumping place it should not be!

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Thank you from Albuquerque, Danielle!

I've read about safer, less waste-intensive nuclear plant technologies, but I'm not clear if anyone is using them.

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The idea of dumping nuclear waste is alarming - made somewhat more so by the fact that the waste needs to be packed and shipped.

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Not to mention that their is no real plan of how to effectively "deactivate" and demolish a nuclear plant at the end of its productive life; it is just boarded up for a very long time! The question of "new hi-tech nuclear plants" is giving us interesting experience here in France where the EDF (the state electrical supply monopoly) is "trying" to build one of its own advanced EPR (pressurized water system) sites. They are at least 3xs over budget and have taken 2xs the time to get anywhere. They still cant manage to build the "nuts and bolts" (the welding) part to the standards of security necessary to hold the new "combustibles". A Finnish site for EDF is in a similar bind.The chinese are of course there to offer their services at a quater of the price and in half the time.....but this is not China and here we care what happens to the people afterwards. We already have far too many cases of "highly localized" cancers and birth deformities around existing plants.

No way you expand nuclear without factoring into the price of electricity the full cost of cleansing and de-radiating the waste and demolishing cleanly the plant itself. It is totally unfeasible both economically and humanely.

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I wonder why they are trying a water cooled system; I've been reading so many promising things about molten salt reactors. Help! Is there a nuclear engineer in the house?

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We find a nuclear engineering article. Till then the Nova special should be enough to at least make most curious. New nuclear doesn’t use water. The molten salt boils over 1600 degrees. Thats well with in nuclear management temps, and with a huge cushion, eliminating the threat of a melt down. But then added safety layers are also part of the designs. Fail safe... just don’t privatize! They can be operated with the waste from older plants and can reduce the radioactivity of that waste. These new reactors have been improved, vetted, and tested to the extreme. No issues for over 30 years. The anti hysteria is hyped by the oil industry to maintain the status quo.

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/video/the-nuclear-option/

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We cannot manage the waste. Just because the production is safer does not mean squat when we cannot manage the waste.

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Honestly...let’s move on.

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Please look further forward. Just like any technological problem, there is a technological solution -- I invite you to do a Google Scholar search on phrases like "nuclear waste sequester" or even "nuclear waste recycling." The fact is that all of the fission products of current nuclear facilities are rare, highly energetic materials, and my bet is that we'll find a use for the stuff, someday. More cogently, when you look at all the aspects of our global society that require the high-density portability of fossil fuels, we will need every non-carbon energy source we can get to fill those needs.

And yes, such a project will take oodles o' money lavishly slathered on the smartest, most capable people in this country, and there will be several solutions, not just one. For me, I'd rather not wait to do something until half the population of Texas is living in refugee camps in Missouri, because the way things are going, most of Texas is going to have the same climate as northern Mexico. (Just like southern Europe will have the same climate as northern Africa. Google "Hadley Cells" and see how increasing global temperature causes the Hadley cells to shift north and south away from the equator, taking desert climates with them.) Transiting to another energy base will cost oodles o' money then, too, but by then we may not have the funds.

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In 2021, "Dust-filled winds from the Sahara Desert flew north over Spain, France, the UK, and Ireland in February. Along with bringing golden-tinged evening skies to some parts of Europe, it also delivered a slight – yet notable – spike in radiation. According to ACRO (Association for Control of Radioactivity in the West), this recent plume of lightly radioactive dust can be tightly linked to France's colonial past and its Cold War-era atomic bombing tests."

https://www.iflscience.com/environment/radioactive-dust-from-nuclear-tests-in-the-sahara-comes-back-to-haunt-france/

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Ya, there's a big oooops for ya.

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Also Portugal. There was a lot of sand to sweep off cement walkways, doorsteps, etc. for a couple of days

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When the Fukushima disaster occurred, there was an almost-immediate release of a rather long technical analysis of the hazard, and I read the whole thing. It was reasonable, factual, written by an engineer with obvious knowledge of the GE system, and the conclusion was, basically, "The failsafes will work. There is no possibility of any real problem."

Well.... I'm just glad I didn't write that report.

Complex systems are unpredictable. Period. Scientists and engineers do their best. It isn't enough.

Plus, you cannot ignore the stupidity, cupidity, and arrogance of the industries that actually build these things. Or supply the materials. Or write the contracts. There are weak points everywhere, and people willing to exploit them. Hell, anxious to exploit them: it "saves money" and "increases profits." And as for the worry-warts, it's just negative thinking. Our best and brightest will figure out something.

Our civilization is build around exponential growth. Population. Energy. Wealth. Technology. Percentage growth == exponential growth. That's mathematics.

Nothing in nature sustains exponential growth. Nothing in three dimensions sustains exponential growth. Nothing in any finite number of dimensions sustains exponential growth. That's also mathematics.

Exponential growth ceases in either of two ways. One is that limiters kick in, and growth reaches a plateau. The other is that the growth overshoots, and then collapses. In some cases, the overshoot/collapse leads to an oscillation, like algae blooms in the ocean. In other cases, the collapse results in complete extinction of the phenomenon.

My sense is that we are approaching that cessation of exponential growth on multiple fronts. Everything I see indicates (to me) that we've already overshot: we're not going to reach a plateau, we're going to have a wild ride downward. I don't think we'll hit zero (extinction) -- humans are pretty hardy and inventive critters.

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That tends to be my assessment, too. Mass death, spread over a few decades. I may succeed in dying of old age before the tragedy starts in earnest, but I mourn for my children. And I think you're correct that outright extinction is unlikely, but we may well lose our technological civilization. And once it falls, it will be devilishly difficult to restore.

After all, we currently rely on high-intensity energy sources for even our most benign technologies, including the basic ones like paving roads and bringing our produce to market. Those sources themselves require a lot of technology and energy to extract -- the days of digging a shallow hole and finding crude oil are long gone.

If you like speculative fiction, I recommend William Gibson's most recent books, often called his "Jackpot" series. Besides being a very entertaining gallop, he has a very sharp view of the world; his "scifi" tends to be set in present day, and is actually more dazzling thereby. He once commented something to the effect that the "future" is already here, it's just not very evenly distributed.

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First establish the safety of nuclear energy in a post-Fukushima, post-Chernobyl world:

Japan is in the minority in Asia.

"In contrast to North America and most of Western Europe, where growth in electricity generating capacity and particularly nuclear power has been limited for many years, a number of countries in Asia are planning and building new nuclear power reactors to meet their increasing demand for clean electricity. Currently about two-thirds of the reactors under construction worldwide are in Asia."

https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/others/asias-nuclear-energy-growth.aspx

Europe is scaling back on nuclear power.

"Although nuclear is a proven source of low-carbon, dispatchable electricity giving a high degree of energy security and provides half of the EU’s carbon-free electricity, the sector today faces major challenges within the EU. Some member states are strongly anti-nuclear, and electricity markets are often structured in response to populist support for renewables. In the period to 2030, nuclear capacity that will be lost due to the closure of a number of reactors – either because they have reached the end of their operating lifetimes or due to political interference – is expected to outweigh that gained from new reactors. A slight decrease from the current EU nuclear capacity is therefore expected in the near term."

https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/others/european-union.aspx

The US already relies significantly on nuclear power, with most of the nuclear power plant in the eastern half of the country, but the trend is pausing.

"The USA is the world's largest producer of nuclear power, accounting for more than 30% of worldwide nuclear generation of electricity."

"The US fleet of about 95 reactors is operated by 30 different power companies across 30 different states. Since 2001 these plants have achieved an average capacity factor of over 90%."

"...since about 2010 the prospect of sustained low natural gas prices has dampened plans for new nuclear capacity."

https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-t-z/usa-nuclear-power.aspx

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a meditation on gardening as an act of resistance in the nuclear age

https://www.brainpickings.org/2021/04/23/gardening-art-resistance/?mc_cid=399078e3cb&mc_eid=e6be5a23f6

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In LFAA about 1/11/2021, HCR Reader Matthew Goulet coined the term "deep gardening" as a great metaphor for our work on a broader scale.

BTW, love Maria Popova's vintage science face masks!

https://society6.com/brainpicker/collection/vintage-science-face-masks?curator=brainpicker

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I love the brilliant Maria Popova, period.

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Good read at that link. Gardening is priceless in all the gifts it provides. After 30 years of gardening, I can recommend it as the best of therapy, a real sanity saver. Just like a single seed, the garden provides great hope.

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Brainpickings is wonderful for the soul and mind. :)

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Just went onto this site Kim. Fascinating 💖 and Thank You!!😊

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