Tag Archives: senate

History of air conditioning, invented by Willis Carrier – cool reading for a hot day

Willis Carrier submitted drawings of the first modern air conditioning system on July 17, 1902.

Carrier was working to solve a problem that effected the quality of printing…

He came up with the brilliant idea to circulate cold water rather than steam through heating coils in a machine he used to test heaters.

Carrier’s design was credited as the first to address four basic functions necessary for air conditioning. An air conditioner must: 1. control temperature, 2. control humidity, 3. control air circulation, and 4. cleanse the air.

After the first appearance of Carrier’s air conditioner drawings in 1902, the air conditioner has revolutionized the comfort of people in many different activities.

This timeline from Carrier highlights some of the major impacts of air conditioning on society.

 

1902- First application of modern mechanical air conditioning, Sackett-Wilhelms

printing plant, Brooklyn, N.Y.

1914- First application of air conditioning in a residence – Charles Gates mansion, Minneapolis, Minn.

1924- First department store air conditioned, J.L. Hudson’s, Detroit, Mich.

1925- Movie theaters cooled: Grauman’s Theater, Los Angeles, Calif., Rivoli Theater, N.Y.

1928-29- Chambers of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate air conditioned

 

See the rest of the timeline and read the full articleThe Journey of Air Conditioning: 1902-Today

 

 

Continue reading

California has lost its Republicans – not one holds office in our most populous state

Fading into irrelevance
The party of Nixon and Reagan holds not one statewide office in America’s most populous state

California gave America two of its five most recent Republican presidents. But the state party has fallen on hard times since the days of Nixon and Reagan. After having fallen for decades, the number of registered Republican voters in California now stands at just 30% (see chart). With the number of voters expressing no party preference rising fast, the party is in danger of slipping into third place in the state. No Republican holds statewide office in California, and the Democrats enjoy wide majorities in both chambers.

The picture is no prettier when it comes to elections for national offices. Republicans have not won a Senate election in California since 1988. The party now accounts for just 19 of the state’s 53 congressmen. The last Republican presidential candidate to take California was George Bush senior. As the most populous state, California holds over one in ten electoral-college votes. But neither Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, nor Barack Obama will bother to campaign here—although both regularly drop by to raise funds.

Keep readingThe Economist

Continue reading

Debate over oil subsidies – Senators voting to protect them received on average 4x more contributions

The debate goes much deeper than who received money, but these numbers are still important:

In a 51-47 vote, 43 Senate Republicans and four Democrats filibustered to protect $24 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil. Although a majority voted for Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) bill, it fell short of the 60 needed. The only two Republicans to break rank were Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

A Think Progress Green analysis shows:

  • The 47 senators voting against the bill have received $23,582,500 in career contributions from oil and gas. The 51 senators voting to repeal oil tax breaks have received $5,873,600.

Democrats who joined the Republicans in defeating the bill include Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Jim Webb (D-VA).

The oil industry also spent over $146,000,000 on lobbying last year.

55 percent of Americans want to see the subsidies stopped.

via Think Progress Green

 

Thx to Justin Bacon

China’s military continues to grow – spending tops $100 billion for the first time

China announced an 11.2% increase in its defense budget for 2012.

For the first time, China’s defense spending will top $100 billion

At a news conference Sunday, Li Zhaoxing, a spokesman for the congress, announced the $110-billion budget, while stating that the spending “constitutes no threat to other countries.’’

“You can see that we have 1.3 billion people with a large land areas and a long coastline, but our outlays on defense are quite low compared to other major countries,” said Li.

By way of comparison, the U.S. Congress has approved $662 billion in Pentagon spending for next year.

Last year at this time, Beijing announced a 12.7% increase in military spending, resuming double-digit expansion after a more modest 7.5% increase in 2010.

Adm. Robert Willard, U.S. commander for the Asia-Pacific region, told the Senate Arms Services Committee last week: “They continue to advance their capabilities and capacities in all areas.”

via LA Times

China's military continues to grow – spending tops $100 billion for the first time

China announced an 11.2% increase in its defense budget for 2012.

For the first time, China’s defense spending will top $100 billion

At a news conference Sunday, Li Zhaoxing, a spokesman for the congress, announced the $110-billion budget, while stating that the spending “constitutes no threat to other countries.’’

“You can see that we have 1.3 billion people with a large land areas and a long coastline, but our outlays on defense are quite low compared to other major countries,” said Li.

By way of comparison, the U.S. Congress has approved $662 billion in Pentagon spending for next year.

Last year at this time, Beijing announced a 12.7% increase in military spending, resuming double-digit expansion after a more modest 7.5% increase in 2010.

Adm. Robert Willard, U.S. commander for the Asia-Pacific region, told the Senate Arms Services Committee last week: “They continue to advance their capabilities and capacities in all areas.”

via LA Times

Have you heard of the California Delta? – A summary of the issues and politics

86% of Southern Californians are unaware of the Delta

Nearly four out of five Californians do not know what the Delta is, despite the fact that the estuary of 1,000 square miles provides drinking water for cities from San Jose to San Diego.

Asked in a new statewide poll to share what, if anything, they know about the Delta, 585 of the 750 people surveyed in late January said they hadn’t heard about it or didn’t know about it.

That’s 78 percent.

“I have not heard about it,” one respondent said. “If it is the bill about weapons control, it is (expletive). Every person in the world should have the right to keep and bear arms.”

Said another: “It is the oil line from Canada to the United States,” likely a reference to the Keystone pipeline in the news lately.

Yet another respondent thought the surveyor was talking about a political candidate.

In Southern California, eighty-six percent of southlanders pleaded ignorance when asked about the Delta.

via California’s best kept secret?

 

23 million Californians rely on its drinking water

The California Delta is the largest estuary in the western United States, surpassed nationally only by the Mississippi River Delta. It borders the cities of Stockton and Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. Over 23 million Californians rely on the delta watershed for drinking water, and it’s water diversions sustain the largest agricultural industry in the nation.

Today’s delta faces such challenges as wildlife-habitat restoration, water rights, housing development, and politics. Complicating these issues, aging levees throughout the low-lying region threaten a disaster of national proportions—and with that prospect, the very future of the California Delta.

via California Delta Chamber & Visitors Bureau

 

This November, 2012, voters face a billion dollar ballot for the California Delta

Water, in California, is a fighting word. This week, the war drums are beating louder as regulators rush to present a flurry of water plans to the public.

The cascade of decisions dictating how the state replumbs its water-distribution system, including possible construction of a canal or tunnel to move water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, moves to a new stage Wednesday (Feb 29, 2012). That’s when state officials will unveil thousands of pages of documents on the studied effects of such a canal on the delta ecosystem, on water quality for humans, for fish and farmers (which are all different).

The goal is to balance the needs of the cities, farms and fish and meet legal requirements of five state and federal agencies and the Endangered Species Act.

There is money in the $11.1 billion water bond on the November California ballot for delta restoration, but none for construction of an estimated $23 billion to $54 billion “conveyance.”

The governor’s plan is to have the users of the south-of-the delta exported water – Southern California, as well as some Santa Clara and Alameda counties water agencies, cover the cost. Southern California water agencies are already grumbling that the project envisioned ignores what ratepayers are willing to pay for a reliable water source.

via California Delta water plan requires transparency

 

The U.S. Congress is getting involved as well

The California water wars go to a new battlefield this week (Feb 27, 2012) – the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

On Wednesday, the House is scheduled to vote on a bill authored by Tulare Republican congressman Devin Nunes.

H.R. 1837 would relax water pumping restrictions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. But the Delta groups says the restrictions have been the last line of defense for protecting water quality for Delta farming and urban users.

A coalition of 190 environmental, environmental justice, tribal and fishing organizations from around the state also sent comments in opposition to H.R. 1837 to Mr. Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

via Delta groups urge defeat of water rights revamp

California moves forward with renewable energy projects in National Parks

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today praised the agreement reached by Southern California Edison and the National Park Service to connect more than 20 existing renewable energy projects at Park Service facilities in California to the electric grid. Southern California Edison is also close to finalizing agreements with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Forest Service to ensure that clean energy projects at their facilities are soon connected to the grid.

Senator Boxer wrote a letter to Southern California Edison last month requesting that the utility move without delay to execute interconnection agreements for dozens of projects that had been waiting for up to two and a half years to connect to the grid.

The renewable energy projects are located in the following National Park Service units in California: Death Valley National Park, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Channel Islands National Park, Mojave National Preserve and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.

via Barbara Boxer

 

More coverage by the LA Times