John Blair

December 16, 2007

In a meeting of climate change activists recently, I told those assembled that I did not understand why everyone in the room was not outraged at the seeming inaction of policy makers to tackle global warming when the evidence shows that serious response is required

Maybe that is the question that needs to be asked by all.

While Al Gore has served the role of Paul Revere in this revolution, the movement lacks a Patrick Henry. Instead of "give me liberty or give me death," we get muted voices that make it home in time for supper.

That does not mean everyone involved is not deeply committed to our cause. It simply means we lack the necessary will to affect the change our issue demands. Like most policy makers, we are all to tied to a comfort zone that interferes with saving the world.

July 4, 2007

Several pollution-producing Southwest Indiana counties would fail to comply with a new ozone standard proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The scientific evidence that ground-level ozone is harmful to public health is so overwhelming that even the Bush EPA has proposed a new standard that would improve health protections for millions of Americans if fully implemented and enforced.

Ozone forms when nitrogen oxides and other emissions from power plants, vehicle exhaust and other sources cook together in sunlight, causing a chemical reaction.

Also known as smog, ozone can irritate the respiratory system, reduce lung function and inflame and damage cells that line the lungs. It is particularly harmful to young children, seniors and citizens with lung disease.

November 19, 2006

On Feb. 6, 2002, I was arrested for carrying a sign and standing well outside the entrance to a fund-raising party in Evansville featuring Dick Cheney. He was in town to raise money for soon-to-be-private citizen John Hostettler, our congressman at the time.

My sign was simple. "Cheney — 19th Century Energy Man" was apparently too provocative for the Evansville Police officer in charge that day who ordered me arrested.

I was first charged with disorderly conduct, but I was certainly not disorderly. I had to spend a couple of hours in jail — until Cheney left town — and then released, being told to return to court the next morning to be arraigned.

October 22, 2006

Okay, here is the deal. If you just give me the rights to strip mine coal in your "fish and wildlife" preserve, I give you lots more already stripped land.

And by the way, don't worry about the mercury, arsenic, boron and sludge we dumped there. It's perfectly safe.


Thus went the meeting with area sportsmen as Indiana state officials tried to sell the public on a plan offered by Black Beauty Coal Company, more widely known as Peabody Energy, to strip mine around 1,000 acres of hardwood forest in the Glendale Fish and Wildlife Area near Montgomery.

March 12, 2006

Is this a bad dream? Please wake me up! Is Dr. Strangelove really our president?

But, it is not a dream. George W. Bush has decided that the world needs another nuclear arms race and has done so by going to India and signing an agreement to undermine the five-decade success of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which India has refused to sign.

As a result, India can build increasing numbers of nuclear weapons with U.S. approval and supplies, so it can gain an upper hand on our other "ally" in the region who the Indians love to hate, Pakistan, who also has nuclear weapons.

July 24, 2005

As the Bush administration pushes nuclear power as an environmentally friendly energy source, Indiana environmentalist John Blair submits these "top ten" reasons to oppose nuclear energy.

1. Every 1,000 megawatt reactor creates enough Plutonium (Pu) to build 40 nuclear bombs, each year. The half life of Pu is 24,000 years, and it takes a minimum of 10 half lives — 240,000 years — for it to decay to a level that is safe.

Man has been on earth some 60,000 years. I cannot help but think that if we were bent on producing such large volumes of Pu that some despot, at some point, perhaps in the not so distant future, would use some of that Pu to initiate some sort of nuclear conflagration that would end up destroying the world.

August 15, 2004

I just learned that one of my best friends purchased a giant 10-cylinder SUV. Because it so large and will be used in her business, she will probably qualify for it all to be paid for by U.S. taxpayers through one of Congress' more ridiculous giveaways to the rich.

On the same evening I heard this news, I took a ride on another friend's new boat that sports not one but two engines (plus a gas powered generator) so that this fiberglass behemoth can be thrust down the Ohio River at nearly 50 miles per hour. The owner also just bought a great big SUV (not quite as large as the other) so he could tow the boat "to the lake on occasion."

May 30, 2004

A recent call by respected environmental leader Professor James Lovelock to combat global climate change by building nuclear plants may seem logical on the surface.

After all, we don't hear much about nukes these days -- just the occasional story of a forced shutdown or the ongoing story about the controversy surrounding Bush's decision to move forward with the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada -- opposed, incidentally, by nearly everyone in Nevada.

April 4, 2004

Joe Kernan, our governor, proposes that we should ignore the fact that some regions of the state do not meet health standards for air pollution. It's bad for economic growth, he says.

His Republican opponent goes to Evansville and suggests that we should have to endure yet another coal-fired power plant because, he claims, it is good for economic growth.

Both are wrong.

August 31, 2003

In late August, when Congress was not in session, the Bush Administration rolled back protections of the Clean Air Act that could have serious consequences for the health of thousands of tri-state citizens, young and old.

More than 17,000 industrial sources of pollution were given a green light to keep their polluting behemoths operating for additional decades without having to upgrade their pollution controls.

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