A New Rocky Mountain Low: Energy Security at the Expense of National Security?

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The Rocky Mountain News published a strongly pro-tar sands Op Ed from a Colorado petroleum geologist over the weekend, entitled “Oil sands spell energy security.” I don’t claim to have aced any spelling bees — but I do know my A-B-C’s and enough about tar sands to be surprised that The Rocky would publish such a wrong-headed opinion piece. Not only does it border on climate change denial, but the central theme of the piece is out of line with the American defense and intelligence communities. Quick review: tar sands oil is mined in Alberta where sludgy sand is heated and agitated to yield ultra-low quality petroleum. In the process of digging up two tons of Earth for every barrel of “oil” produced, incredible amounts of water are used spoiled and dumped into toxic lakes while huge tracts of the Boreal forest are ripped to the ground. The result? Goop…

Green Leases from Verari to Make Energy Efficient IT More Accessible

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Verari Systems, a blade computing developer, has announced a new program through its Financial Services Group to offer customers a life-cycle approach to asset management and green IT adoption. Verari’s Green Leasing Program aims to analyze a company’s IT needs within the framework of cost considerations, technology refreshes and the current state of the art for data center server and storage solutions. “VFS’ Green Leasing Program makes it easier for customers to manage a holistic approach to life cycle management,” Verari Financial Services Group vice presdident Gerald M. Conboy said in a statement. “What customers should recognize, however, is how this type of integrated leasing solution mitigates risks across the entire organization, not just IT. This is particularly important given increasing compliance requirements, skyrocketing data center energy consumption, and a renewed CEO commitment to the environment.” The program will help companies purchase new IT equipment through…

FDA Mischief: Mercury in Fish

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When I give talks on health and the environment, I almost always get asked about mercury. People want to know whether it’s safe to eat fish, whether the mercury in fish is dangerous, and how they can protect themselves. These questions are relatively straightforward to answer (see below for my three tips), but people are confused by all the conflicting advice emerging from the Federal government these days. Back in 2004, the FDA and the EPA got together and issued a joint warning about fish and mercury. I complained a bit back then because I didn’t think the warning was specific enough, but at least the two agencies were on the same page. Now, in the waning days of the Bush Administration, the FDA has produced a bizarre draft document that ignores the science showing the harmful effects of prenatal exposures to mercury, and concludes that eating fish with relatively high levels of mercury can be beneficial.  This conclusion…