Rally to Protest Obama's 'All of the Above' Energy Policy at Ohio State University
President Obama will be greeted by a rally opposed to his "all of the above" energy policy—a plan fostering the cultivation of alternative energy sources as well as oil and gas—when he visits the campus of Ohio State University on March 22 at 2 p.m. Obama's stop in Ohio will be immediately preceded by a visit to Cushing, Oklahoma—also known as 'the pipeline crossroads of the world'—where the president is expected to applaud construction of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.
"'All of the above' is not a particularly coherent energy policy, not if one worries about climate change," said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org. "Burning all the oil you can and then putting up a solar panel is like drinking six martinis at lunch and then downing a VitaminWater. You’re still a drunk—just one with your daily requirement of C and D."
Obama's new energy policy will be delivered in a particularly absurd context as Ohio has just recorded its warmest winter ever. More, scientists recently confirmed a string of earthquakes in Youngstown, Ohio were caused by wastewater injection wells.
“We're in the middle of the hottest spring week America has ever seen,” said McKibben. “It makes it ironic almost to the point of parody that the president is still lauding pipelines and drilling rigs alongside solar panels and advanced batteries, as if all forms of energy were equally benign.”
In addition to the global presence of climate change being felt across the world this winter and spring, Ohioans also sit on the front lines of the fracking boom as oil and gas developers are eager to declare an open drilling season. No one wants to live in the next Dimock, Pa. or Pavillion, Wyo. President Obama needs to revise his "all of the above" energy policy and reaffirm his commitment to alternative and renewable sources that he promised Americans.
If we can show Obama that renewable energy is a priority for Ohioans, at a time when all eyes are on our state, then maybe he’ll think twice before supporting dirty energy projects. The bigger the crowd, the stronger the message will be.
Can you join us tomorrow? Click here to RSVP on Facebook.
Here are the details:
What: Rally to Greet President Obama on his 'All of the Above' Energy Tour
Where: Meetup in front (east lawn) of the Ohio Union, at Ohio State University (1739 N High St, Columbus, OH 43210). Parking is available next door at the Ohio Union Parking Garage.
When: Thursday, March 22, 2 - 4 p.m. We will head over to the Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC, 337 W 17th Ave), location of the President's speech, for the rally itself at 2:30 p.m.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>