As congressional Republicans continue their assault on President Obama’s seemingly failed “green” agenda, the White House announced August 7 it will expedite seven federal wind and solar projects across four western states. The programs, which will be grounded in Nevada, Arizona, California, and Wyoming, will generate enough power to run 1.5 million homes, the White House said in a press release.
As the international effort to deploy so-called “smart meters” to monitor electricity usage marches on, resistance to the controversial devices is increasing around the world as well. Proponents claim the schemes could save money and reduce energy use. Opponents from across the political spectrum, however, worry that the smart meters might not be just a stupid idea and a waste of money — they could actually be dangerous in more ways than one.
As the technology facilitating the expansion of the surveillance state becomes more advanced, the need for proximity to the target of the surveillance diminishes. For example, the ability to keep drones perpetually airborne is being engineered thanks to multi-million dollar research and development grants offered by the Pentagon to companies on the edge of technological advancement.
One such grant was recently awarded by DARPA (the secretive research and development agency inside the Pentagon) to a company working on shrinking the size and increasing the power of laser-based optics used by snipers.
The U.S. Air Force is training more drone “pilots” than those who will be at the controls of traditional aircraft, according to the Air Force chief of staff.
To date, there are reportedly around 1,300 people controlling the Air Force’s arsenal of Reaper, Predator, and Global Hawk drones, and the Pentagon plans to add about 2,500 pilots and support crew by 2014, according to an article in published August 3 by The Times (of London).
The Times reports that 350 new drone pilots were trained in 2011 “compared to 250 conventional fighter and bomber pilots.”
A new study of the methodology and placement of weather monitoring equipment has found that misplacement of such equipment is giving a false estimation of the threat of global warming.