‘To Me, Saying This Is a War on Coal Is Saying the Internet Is a War on Typewriters’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Emma Foehringer Merchant for Newsweek:“Utilities are really coming to grips with how they need to adapt to a changing climate,” said Dave Robertson of Portland General Electric, one of two utilities that serve 70 percent of customers in Oregon, and a collaborator on the Oregon legislation. He said that over the next 25 years “we’re going to need to have new power plants anyways.”Whether those plants will continue to burn coal is up to utilities and power producers. And recently, companies have been deciding against it. According to the magazine Pacific Standard, of the 523 coal plants in operation over the last five years, more than 200 have closed or soon will. Furthermore, no new coal plants are currently planned in the United States.“To me saying this is a war on coal is saying the Internet is a war on typewriters,” said Bob Keefe, executive director for E2, a partner of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “ The fact of the matter is that the energy business…is in transition. The good news is that like any major industry transition, we’re seeing a lot of progress”—specifically, the addition of 250,000 clean energy jobs in the last four years.Renewable energy is also getting cheaper, leading to an expected 8 percent increase in renewables this year. “The ‘war on coal’ is being driven by lots of different dynamics including a huge drop in the cost of renewables and then obviously to an extent the drop in price in natural gas in the United States,” said Jake Schmidt of the NRDC. It has become economically rational “to shift away from coal to one of these sources and a lot of companies are choosing natural gas.”Republicans coined the phrase “war on coal” as a pejorative way to describe Obama’s regulatory policies.  This year’s presidential race has continued that belligerently pro-coal approach. Trump has been particularly  outspoken , calling Obama’s war a job killer, and he has raked in  coal country votes  and  support  for his efforts.But according to Keefe, rhetorical assaults designed to boost coal are a waste of time. “If I’m a coal state politician, instead of harping about some other party’s ‘war on coal’ I would be trying my best to help those workers,” he said. “Getting them some worker retraining programs and more importantly getting more clean energy … in my state.” Clearing the way for budding renewables programs will help to ease the absence of coal across the country.  Nevada has faced what Keefe calls a “solar debacle,” thanks to regulators dumping extra electricity costs on solar users, and North Carolina  and  Florida  have seen similar struggles. Sorting out these regulations will take some pressure off natural gas.Full article: Is It Game Over for Coal? ‘To Me, Saying This Is a War on Coal Is Saying the Internet Is a War on Typewriters’last_img read more

How Kareem Abdul-Jabbar formed close bond with John Wooden despite different backgrounds

first_imgEager for any advice on how to succeed in the classroom and the court at the college level, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then a UCLA freshman known as Lew Alcindor, had already established a bond with then-UCLA basketball coach John Wooden before the two visited a local restaurant for a dinner out.The accomplished teacher from Indiana planned to spend their time advising the lanky 7-foot-2 center from New York City on how best to handle the looming attention from physical opponents and inquisitive reporters. Instead, it was the then-middle-aged Wooden who learned something that evening when he was exposed to the racism his 18-year-old dinner guest often endured.As they left the restaurant, an elderly white woman marveled at Abdul-Jabbar’s height before addressing him with a racial slur. Though Wooden’s face turned red, Abdul-Jabbar remembered Wooden “was too much the Midwestern gentleman to verbally attack an old woman.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“It’s just like for any white person in America. They don’t know what it’s like to be a black person being discriminated against,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “How are they going to find that out?”Wooden soon did. He then apologized to Abdul-Jabbar and pleaded with him not to think all white people are racist.“It really bothered him. It really affected his worldview,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “For someone like him that felt like he had the hands on the reins of everything, that must’ve been a humbling experience.”It was one of many experiences Abdul-Jabbar shares in his new book, “Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-year Friendship On and Off the Court,” which he will promote Saturday at UCLA during a discussion with former Bruins guard Tyus Edney.In the book, one of more than a dozen he’s written, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer reflects plenty on Wooden’s record 10 NCAA championships with UCLA, his famed Pyramid of Success and how he helped Abdul-Jabbar develop his skyhook. The former UCLA and Lakers center also details complicated events that tested and strengthened his relationship with Wooden.center_img “Coach didn’t get it all right,” said Abdul-Jabbar, now 70. “But I talked about that so people didn’t think he was some kind of perfect person. He made mistakes, but the way he dealt with them was first rate.”Wooden initially disapproved of former boxer Muhammad Ali refusing to serve in the Vietnam War. Wooden later respected Ali’s stance and often asked Abdul-Jabbar about him. Wooden, a devout Christian, also supported Abdul-Jabbar’s conversion to Islam and his activism, which included his decision to boycott the 1968 Olympics. Abdul-Jabbar later found a letter Wooden wrote to a fan upset about Abdul-Jabbar’s protest.“Coach had defended me by explaining the kinds of racial slurs that were commonly used against me, and why I may have felt less than enthusiastic in representing my country in those tumultuous times,” Abdul-Jabbar recalled. “Coach never told me about her letter or his response, but reading it was one of the most touching moments in my life.”Abdul-Jabbar also was touched when Wooden facilitated a phone conversation with the late Jack Donohue, Abdul-Jabbar’s high school coach at Power Memorial Academy (N.Y.). Their relationship was strained after Donohue addressed the former Alcindor with a racial slur in a poor attempt to motivate him during a game. Abdul-Jabbar and Donohue reconciled during that phone call.“Coach Wooden got me to understand I had to let go of it,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “(Coach Donohue) made a mistake. He overreacted to my cockiness and arrogance. The tools that (Wooden) gave us enabled us to live better lives. We learned how to deal with things.”Abdul-Jabbar believes Wooden would support present-day athletes who choose to be vocal about political or social issues. Abdul-Jabbar has serious doubts, though, about Wooden adapting to the one-and-done era of college basketball.“I don’t think Coach Wooden would have been able to work in this environment,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “Kids are coming into school today and know how the NCAA has made it so they can’t make any money. So one-and-done to them is justice. But Coach Wooden expected his players to get an education.”Abdul-Jabbar also predicted Wooden “wouldn’t have wanted to deal with” LaVar Ball, the outspoken father of UCLA guard Lonzo Ball. Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson has dismissed whether that would deter the Lakers from drafting him with the No. 2 pick. But Abdul-Jabbar did not endorse his alma mater’s star player.“I don’t know,” Abdul-Jabbar said when asked what Lonzo Ball could bring to the Lakers. “I hope they research what this choice is going to be about very closely. I think Earvin will totally get into all aspects of it and make a wise choice.”Abdul-Jabbar said Johnson and Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss have asked him to meet in a few weeks to discuss a possible role with the organization. Abdul-Jabbar is one of a handful of Lakers luminaries who were brought in to speak with the franchise’s young players last season.“They can improve, but it takes hard work,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “They have to listen to the coaches. So many of them are so enamored with their own talent that they don’t realize they still have things to learn.”Abdul-Jabbar also expressed interest in mentoring Lakers second-year center Ivica Zubac, who has worked on his hook shot with longtime Lakers consultant Bill Bertka.“He’s equipped to use it well,” Abdul-Jabbar said of Zubac. “He has the length to begin with. If he can develop his shooting touch and agility, he’ll use it well.”Abdul-Jabbar mastered the skyhook partly because the NCAA temporarily banned the dunk, a decision Wooden supported.“Coach was just trying to preserve the beauty of the sport,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “He was afraid it would deteriorate into a bunch of burly brutes jamming the ball through the hoop. He wanted to preserve the gracefulness and intellectual complexity of the sport and I understood that.”Since Wooden’s passing in 2010, Abdul-Jabbar said he has developed a greater understanding of the strength of their bond. It centered on basketball but included passion for literature, history and music and a mutual respect of their different backgrounds. It took Abdul-Jabbar seven years to write that story.“I had to think about what Coach Wooden meant to my life,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “Then I had to think about how much did I want to share with the public? Some of it is private. But it is very meaningful.”last_img read more