scharrison's blog

Family will view Andrew Brown shooting video today

But a judge will have to approve the release to the general public:

As community leaders ask for the release of body camera footage to the public, Wayne Kendall, attorney for the family of Andrew Brown, Jr., says the family will be able to view the footage on Monday.

"Family members are allowed to see bodycam recording if the image of a deceased person that is related to that person is on the recording," Kendall explained. "And their attorneys are allowed to see it. That's codified within the statute, so there's no issue there."

Apparently there is an issue, since Brown was shot Wednesday morning and the family has yet to see it. I can see waiting 24 hours to give the department time to analyze the footage, but not six days. As expected, this story went national pretty quickly: Note: the image above shows a stray bullet that struck a neighbor's home. When SWAT shows up, it's time to duck and cover.

White-splaining or Man-splaining? Yes.

Sometimes the biggest decision you make is whether or not to hit "Send":

Former state Sen. Erica Smith, a Democrat who is running for the U.S. Senate, sent an email to supporters Tuesday after the murder conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, a Black man. “I’m thinking about the literal millions of Black men and women who’ve been murdered, who were lynched and slaughtered with disregard, and never had their day in court, let alone a just ruling,” Smith wrote.

“Exaggeration doesn’t help. Gross exaggeration is worse. It makes you look bad,” wrote Schaul, who is one of more than 800 members on the committee, including 66 from Wake County.

Honestly, I hate getting involved in these things, but I'm also a precinct officer who struggles every year to get people to step up and help organize. Diversity is our superpower, and condescending stuff like this is our Kryptonite. If he had left it with the above, it would have been bad enough. But he didn't:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Pandemic recovery is boosting coal burning

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2021 is shaping up to be a really bad year for global emissions:

The pandemic abruptly slowed the global march of coal. But demand for the world’s dirtiest fuel is forecast to soar this year, gravely undermining the chances of staving off the worst effects of global warming.

Burning coal is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions, and, after a pandemic-year retreat, demand for coal is set to rise by 4.5 percent this year, mainly to meet soaring electricity demand, according to data published Tuesday by the International Energy Agency, just two days before a White House-hosted virtual summit aimed at rallying global climate action.

Any time you have an economic setback, the "easy way forward" is the first to get chosen. Coal deposits are still abundant, even after a few centuries of sustained mining, and they are relatively easy to access. In other words, it will take a continued (global) effort to promote alternatives, or the human race will always revert to that "easy" approach when economic pressure comes to bear. We have made much progress in the right direction:

The biomass bait-and-switch: From scraps to whole trees

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This was both predictable and preventable:

Several Enviva mills were soon processing material from logging sites and sawmills throughout the region. Environmental groups say they have documented truckloads of logs and whole trees, not just leftovers, entering pellet mills. Publicly available images show logs stacked at mills, and a reporter outside a pellet mill entrance saw trucks of logs entering.

Pellet makers’ pledges to rely on waste wood “painted them into a corner,” said Robert Abt, a forest economist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, because the wood-products industry already used its supplies relatively efficiently, leaving little waste.

Around 2009 or so I got into a protracted (online) debate with an NC State grad student about burning biomass as a replacement for coal. I could not get him to admit that, eventually, the industry would grow to the point it would need to consume whole trees instead of detritus. Which he stubbornly claimed would be "more than enough" to satisfy demands. But aside from the deforestation issues, the environmental justice impact of these plants is horrendous:

Protect the NC Constitution: TABOR is back, and it's really bad

Voting about voting about tax increases:

No law shall be enacted to impose or increase any tax, or to allow the counties, cities, or towns to do so, unless approved by a majority of the qualified voters of the jurisdiction to which the tax or increase pertains.

This isn't just about sales taxes, it's about all taxes. Including property taxes levied by county, city, and town governments. Those property taxes are a major source of funding for school construction, but they also cover police and fire protection, public works, parks & recreation, etc. Every year (or two) municipal governments crunch numbers on their budgets (which the state requires to be balanced, by the way), and those elected officials have to decide what is needed, and whether property taxes have to be increased to cover those needs. They are already constrained by electoral politics, but this Amendment would shift those decisions directly to the voters. And if you believe they would ever vote to increase their own taxes, I've got a bridge to nowhere I'd like to sell you.

In the struggle against Climate Change, all roads lead to China

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And John Kerry is answering the call:

A main purpose of Mr. Kerry’s travels to China and elsewhere has been to rally support for Mr. Biden’s virtual climate summit of dozens of world leaders next week. Mr. Xi has not yet accepted the invitation, but he will join a similar conference on Friday with President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

Cooperation between the United States, the worst emitter of greenhouse gases historically, and China, the worst in the world today, could spur greater efforts from other countries. China accounts for 28 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions; the United States, in second place, emits 14 percent of the global total.

To call this issue "complicated" would be a laughable understatement. And thanks to that idiot man-child Trump, it's more complicated than it should be:

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