CB’s Green Report: Obama Means Business on Green Energy

It only makes sense that this week’s Green Report focus on the environment and the Obama administration after his joint session of Congress address on Tuesday. The Pres has some big ideas to help the environment. In fact, his top priority was energy, which includes producing more renewable energy and reducing America’s dependence on oil from the Middle East. Woo hoo!

shaleland

Colorado Oil Shaleland

So, it comes as no surprise that President Obama is reversing more of former President George W. Bush’s policies on oil shale. In fact, his Administration recently removed the leases for another round of oil-shale development projects on federal lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Ken Salazar, Obama’s Interior Secretary, withdrew a proposal for additional research and oil shale leases due to economic and environmental concerns. He thought the previous proposal in January for research and development on 1.9 million acres was flawed. Salazar told MSNBC that new proposals will “help answer critical questions about oil shale, including about the viability of emerging technologies on a commercial scale, how much water and power would be required, and what impact commercial development would have on land, water, wildlife, and communities.” Now, that’s environmentally responsible leadership.

And President Obama has plans to put his money where his mouth is. His proposed budget, released by the White House recently, would call for $15 billion a year to develop clean-energy technologies, which include solar and wind power. The funding to fight climate change and the country’s dependence on foreign oil would come from auctioning off carbon pollution permits, starting in 2012 (more on this below). Obama’s commitment to tackling climate change is fantastic but Congress is ultimately in charge of the budgeting. And the House and Senate haven’t written a bill yet that regulates greenhouse gases and collects money to do so. Let’s see what Congress and the President can devise to stop global warming.

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Environmental change calls for big bucks and a new funding system. To pay for his environmental budget to fight global warming, Obama proposes a “cap and trade” system. Basically, the federal government would require companies like power plants and industrial facilities that emit greenhouse gases linked to global warming to purchase permits. It’s like a costly swap-a-roo. If a company exceeds their greenhouse gases limit (read: cap), then they must buy credits from those that are emitting less.

This new revenue stream could bring in $78.6 billion to the Treasury by 2012. And the auctioning of emission allowances as outlined by the Obama plan is predicted to usher in a whopping $645.7 billion between 2012 and 2019. This is no small change and no small difference. The plan would “cut total emissions 14 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.”

And Obama’s thinking of the little guy too. His proposed plan would take 80 percent of the anticipated revenue (or $526 billion) and subsidize the higher energy costs of low- and middle-income folks through tax credits. And the rest of the dough would go towards alternative, clean energy initiatives. Good thinking Pres!




Missed Obama’s Economic Recovery Speech Tuesday? Find it here!

If you happened to miss President Obama’s speech last Tuesday, please check out the video below. In his joint session of Congress address, he offered a plan for economic recovery that included a focus on energy, healthcare and education. Check out his speech below!





More Kindle Love But Not from Stewart of “The Daily Show”

As many of you know (from an earlier post), I really want a Kindle. Although I’m a big booklover, I’d love to have my entire library at my constant disposal. Major Kindle bonus!! Well, Jeff Bezos of Amazon (& Kindle maker) appeared on The Daily Show recently to tout the Kindle 2. Jon Stewart couldn’t quite get with the idea of cozing up to a Kindle at night or the whopping $359 cost. (Oh yeah, and the electronic books cost $9.99). Nevertheless, I still want one. (Maybe graduation gift??) Check out the video.

Smooches,
The Caramel Bella

P.S. You can get one here.




The Dangers of the Rihanna Photo Leak

rihanna_090220_mn

The country is going nuts over the Rihanna and Chris Brown story in which he allegedly hit her. And more recently, TMZ’s battered and bruised photo of Rihanna was leaked all over the internet. Has anyone stopped to wonder if the photo leak was a good idea. First of all, poor Rihanna. What about her privacy rights? How could the Los Angeles Police Department leak this photo? It’s like someone should have to pay for her privacy breach. It’s bad enough that she had to go through this whole incident without seeing a picture of her battered face splattered on the front page of several magazines and all over the Internet (I hate posting the picture here).

And recently, an ABC News story reports that Rihanna’s unauthorized photo may discourage other domestic violence victims from reporting the abuse. “For victims who see these kinds of pictures it’s all too real,” said Bea Hanson to ABC News.  Hanson is “chief programming officer at victim assistance agency Safe Horizon in New York City, who routinely treats women who have endured domestic violence.” The media and the police (who leaked the photo) seems to have gone too far — and with little regard to the women both organizations claim they want to protect.




Weave Saves Life..Unbeweaveable

We all know that hair weaves are the latest beauty craze. From Beyonce to Britney Spears, most celebs are donning hair extensions to look even more fab (which is highly debatable). But what if weaves served a greater purpose? Like saving someone’s life? That’s what a Kansas City woman claims. After ending an 8-month relationship with her boyfriend, Briana Bonds says he tried to shoot her after an incident in a grocery store parking lot. Instead of the bullet reaching her head, it got lodged in her tightly woven weave! “I now believe the weave paused the bullet, and didn’t let it go any further. Really I think God was in my passenger seat. He protected me,” said Bonds to police officers on the scene. This whole story is just unbeweaveable…




And the Oscars Winners Are…..

Here are the winners. Out of the ones that I predicted, I scored 8 1/2 out of 11 (I couldn’t really decide between Rourke & Penn). Not too bad! You’ll see where I didn’t predict correctly with the strike-throughs. Maybe I should take my butt to Vegas! Anyway, I am very pleased with all the awards for “Slumdog”!!!

BEST PICTURE: “Slumdog Millionaire”
ACTOR LEADING: Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” (2nd choice: Sean Penn in “Milk”
ACTOR, SUPPORTING: Michael Shannon in “Revolutionary Road” Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight”
ACTRESS, LEADING: Kate Winslet in “The Reader”
ACTRESS, SUPPORTING: Viola Davis in “Doubt” (just hopeful.. if not Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler”) Penélope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
SCREENPLAY, ADAPTED: “Slumdog Millionaire”
SCREENPLAY, ORIGINAL: “Milk”
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: “Waltz with Bashir” (loved it) “Departures”
ANIMATED FEATURE: “WALL-E”
ART DIRECTION: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
CINEMATOGRAPHY: “Slumdog Millionaire”




CB’s Oscar Predictions

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Okay… with just minutes until the Oscars. I’m going to run through my selections (or predictions rather) for the awards.

BEST PICTURE: “Slumdog Millionaire”
ACTOR LEADING: Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” (2nd choice: Sean Penn in “Milk”)
ACTOR, SUPPORTING: Michael Shannon in “Revolutionary Road”
ACTRESS, LEADING: Kate Winslet in “The Reader” (or… Meryl Streep in “Doubt”)
ACTRESS, SUPPORTING: Viola Davis in “Doubt” (just hopeful.. if not Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler”)
SCREENPLAY, ADAPTED: “Slumdog Millionaire”
SCREENPLAY, ORIGINAL: “Milk” (I have to vote for this movie somewhere. I really enjoyed it. Although I heard Harvey Milk was portrayed a bit too stereotypical gay and effeminate than he was in real life. Hmm?)
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: “Waltz with Bashir” (loved it)
ANIMATED FEATURE: “WALL-E”
ART DIRECTION: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
CINEMATOGRAPHY: “Slumdog Millionaire”




CB’s Green Report: Flippers, Fines & Fashion

Stuck in ice? Five weary dolphins are trapped behind a drifting pack of ice off the coast of Sea Cove, Newfoundland. They have been stuck in this shrinking area for four days and are in urgent need of rescue. Somehow the dolphins got separated from the open Atlantic, said Mayor Winston May of the Canadian province. According to an expert from the Whale Release and Strandings group, the dolphins will drown if the ice continues to cover the open area. The dolphins need to surface above water in order to breath.  At the moment, the Canadian federal Fisheries Department does not have an icebreaker to send.  Sadly, the dolphins are crying out for help..literally. “They’re not going to survive much longer,” said May. “You can hear (the dolphins) crying all night long,” he said. Hopefully, Canada will figure out a way to rescue the dolphins before it’s too late.

Paying for pollution? You betcha. BP Products North America, the international energy company, will shell out almost $180 million to settle a Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency pollution case. Back in March 2005, an explosion and fire killed 15 people and injured more than 170. The British oil company division will pay $161 million for pollution controls, another $12 million in penalties (whoa!) and then yet another $6 million for an air pollution reduction project near their refinery in Texas.The company already plead guilty to breaking the Clean Air Act and will pay $50 million in fees. Somehow, it doesn’t seem like these expensive environmental mishaps are hurting this company.

bryantpark4

Bryant Park

New York Fashion Week Goes Green. By adding recycling bins for bottles, cans, aluminum, glass, plastic and cardboard, Coca-Cola Recycling LLC helped the Mercedes-Benz Fall Fashion Week Fall 2009 Collections, Feb. 13-20 make a green statement. Twenty-five bins were placed throughout the Bryant Park complex to allow anyone to “Give It Back.” See you can have style and be green too! Hopefully, other major fashion events will partner with Coke or other recycling companies to make being green chic!

Smooches,
The Caramel Bella




SNL’s Insight Into The Real GOP Agenda

The opening skit of the recent Saturday Night Live show featured Dan Aykroyd as Senate Minority Leader, John Boehner (R-Ohio), in a funny Republican “meeting of the minds.” These GOP leaders sit around the table to discuss the so-called Republican agenda. Their top priorities were disowning the Obama Stimulus Package (to excuse themselves from any blame about the economy), complaining about the Obama girls’ sleepovers and plotting to get the President impeached after only 3 weeks. Their resounding chant: “Majority here we come!” With the recent negotiations surrounding the stimulus package, it makes you wonder if there is any truth to this skit! Check out the video.




CB Reviews: “Immigrants and Boomers”: An Enlightened View of Immigration & Demographics

immigrants-and-boomers

The current state of America’s priorities and challenges can be summed up by looking at one place: the negotiations surrounding the 2009 Obama Economic Stimulus package. This plan, totaling nearly $790 Billion, aims to help revive the struggling economy, while laying a heavy financial burden on future generations to pay for. Democrats and Republicans battled over which financial expenditures in the areas of education, technology, health care, energy and infrastructure, will likely yield the greatest number of jobs, fix the economy and secure America’s future.

These competing priorities are at the heart of the Dowell Myers’s book, “Immigrants and Boomers: Forging a New Social Contract for the Future of America.” In this treatise, Myers argues that a new intergenerational contract needs to be created between retiring Baby Boomers and newly arrived immigrants to solve our economic and demographic challenges. Myers describes it as a “social contract of intergenerational support,” which is “based in intergenerational transfers of resources through the mediums of taxation and social expenditure.”

Quite simply, Myers proposes a more enlightened view of immigrant arrivals and the challenges that it presents to America. Instead of thinking of immigrants in what he describes as a “Peter Pan” way, whereby they remain stuck in an infancy stage of assimilation, he challenges the voting public to consider a picture of immigrants who have evolved, developed and contribute greatly to society. It is these immigrants (in addition to the native born) that will become the taxpayers of the future who will provide the financial support to the elderly Baby Boomers. In essence, the immigrants of today will pay for the Social Security, pensions and health care of aging Boomers. Subsequently, it is in our shared best interest to invest in education and assist in the integration and assimilation of our foreign born entrants.

(more…)




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my luvs

My Maltese puppy; lazy Sunday mornings; a day at the Beach; Yoga; breakfast anytime of the day; my gurls (and you know who you are); my family (I’m a daddy’s girl); making new friends; Los Angeles & Washington, DC; ocean views; Anguilla; healthy foods that don’t taste healthy; politics; "greenie" things; meditating; natural curls and movies.

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Bad drivers, cranky and moody people, lack of sleep, crime, filth

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.

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