Sunday, February 16, 2014

“Ph.D. programs have fostered a culture that glorifies arcane intelligibility while disdaining impact and audience.“ One of my pet peeves.

As in, why on earth is stormwater management encased in arcane language.

Water runs off waterproof stuff, eventually to the ocean.

Water soaks into water absorbing stuff eventually into well water.

Trees, bushes and long grasses direct water into the ground.

Concrete, asphalt and short grass over compacted soil direct water to storm drains, streams and eventually the ocean.

If you want drinking water you need as much trees, bushes and long grass as possible.

Parking lots can be surfaced with water absorbing asphalt & concrete or water-resistant asphalt & concrete.

If you build too many waterproof surfaces you get small stream flooding downstream. As in Downingtown, PA.

I was "The stormwater guy" on the City of Coatesville Planning Commission. The architectural engineers couldn't understand stormwater management. They knew the regs. but didn't understand them.

That's ENGINEERS that don't understand stormwater management.

How on earth are elected municipal officials supposed to understand and explain stormwater management while they listen to constituents complaining that there isn't short mowed grass to the stream bank edge?

Stormwater management is not astrophysics but it reads like astrophysics.


 Nicholas Kristof
 The New York Times

SOME of the smartest thinkers on problems at home and around the world are university professors, but most of them just don't matter in today’s great debates.

The most stinging dismissal of a point is to say: “That’s academic.” In other words, to be a scholar is, often, to be irrelevant.

One reason is the anti-intellectualism in American life, the kind that led Rick Santorum to scold President Obama as “a snob” for wanting more kids to go to college, or that led congressional Republicans to denounce spending on social science research. Yet it’s not just that America has marginalized some of its sharpest minds. They have also marginalized themselves.

'All the disciplines have become more and more specialized and more and more quantitative, making them less and less accessible to the general public,' notes Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton and now the president of the New America Foundation."


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Department of State says Tar Sands oil will flow anyhow. Why bother arresting Mexican Drug boss Gerardo Alvarez-Vazquez, aka “El Indio”?

Using the Department of State’s reasoning we shouldn’t bother arresting Mexican Drug cartel leaders because they will be quickly replaced.

Using the Department of State’s reasoning we shouldn’t bother arresting street dealers in Coatesville because they will be quickly replaced.

Using the Department of State’s reasoning we shouldn’t bother negotiating with Iran over nuclear weapons because some other country will do it anyway.

Using the Department of State’s reasoning why should we bother investigating Wall Street corruption?

Did the Department of State set a legal precedent?

“Approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including the proposed Project, remains unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands, or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the U.S.”

“In other words, at least according to the State Department’s reckoning, while the environmental movement has made the Keystone XL pipeline a line in the sand for U.S. climate policy—and for the environmental legacy of President Obama, who has final say on the pipeline—the project itself will have little impact on carbon emissions and on climate change. Whether or not the pipeline is built, the oil sands crude will flow.”

Read more:

State Department Says No Environmental Reason to Block the Keystone XL Oil Sands Pipeline |