Open thread

There’s hope for Texas yet.  “Controversial plans for eight new coal-fired power plants in Texas look likely to be scrapped as part of a proposed buyout of Dallas-based electricity generator TXU Corporation. The US$45-billion deal that has been announced between TXU and investors led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Texas Pacific Group goes along with a change in the company’s stance on green issues. As well as revising its plans for new power stations, the company will commit itself to cut carbon-dioxide emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020 and adopt strict environmental rules.”  Yippee!  Many have been fighting TXU’s plans for some time considering how bad our air already is, so this buyout maneuver is timely and wise.  Let’s hope the deal goes through.

Festival of the Trees #9 is now available.  Head on over and enjoy a celebration of all things arboreal.

Increased Demand for Ivory Threatens Elephant Survival: “An international effort to halt the illegal killing of elephants for their ivory tusks has all but collapsed in most of Africa, leaving officials and advocates alarmed about the survival of the species. A study released yesterday estimates that as many as 23,000 of the animals were slaughtered last year alone. A team of wildlife and law enforcement experts concluded that a widely hailed 1989 ban on international sales of ivory has been overwhelmed by exploding demand for ivory in Japan and newly rich China and declining support for anti-poaching programs.”  Disgusting!  And terribly disappointing.  Perhaps it’s time for me to start a new market for human teeth and bones—especially those of Asian descent taken only from recent kills.  What’s good for the goose…  Our species is pathetic.

For want of a dentist: This is why our country needs to fix the healthcare system to ensure everyone receives the treatment they need regardless of ability to pay.  It makes you wonder what right we have to refer to anyone else as Third World.  From the article:

Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache Sunday.

A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him.

If his mother had been insured.

If his family had not lost its Medicaid.

If Medicaid dentists weren’t so hard to find.

If his mother hadn’t been focused on getting a dentist for his brother, who had six rotted teeth.

By the time Deamonte’s own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess had spread to his brain, doctors said. After two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care, the Prince George’s County boy died.

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