|Every week Daily Kos diarists write dozens of environmentally related posts. Many don't get the readership they deserve. Helping improve the odds is the motivation behind the Green Diary Rescue. In the past seven years, there have been 225 of these spotlighting more than 12,630 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to 72 more that appeared in the past seven days. That makes for lots of good reading during the spare moments of your weekend. [Disclaimer: Inclusion of a diary in the rescue does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.]|
|Sustainability: The Challenge of Change—by phoenixvoice: "I don’t know of any non-lethal ways to handle wasps’ nests—but I figure that wasps are probably good pollinators. I needed a quick solution, so that the guys could get on with the work I was paying them to do. They had dealt with this problem in the past, and wasp spray was how they would handle it. So we got the wasp spray. My friend recognized the can as the one they usually use—so I had fulfilled their request, which felt good. Here it is a week later and the can of spray poison is on a high shelf—next to the fish tank, of all things. One of my sons in a fit of frustration threatened to spray it at his brother earlier this morning. I’d leave it outside in a shed, but the aerosol can should not be stored in the heat created by the Arizona sun as summer approaches. I begin thinking about how I do not like poisoning things—not even wasps."|
The Siberian Arctic Was a Summer Resort Spot the Last Time CO2 Was Today's 400ppm—by FishOutofWater: "A meteorite crashed into eastern Siberia, just north of the Arctic circle 3.6 million years ago forming a basin that became the deep lake named Lake Elgygytgyn. Sedimentary layers buried deep under the lake contain pollen grains that tell of a much warmer, wetter climate from 3.4 million to 3.6 million years ago when CO2 levels were around today's level of 400ppm. The last time CO2 levels were this high, about 3.5 million years (m.y.) ago, this desolate lake in the Siberian Arctic would have been the perfect place for an upscale summer resort. [...] One hundred years of humans burning fossil fuels has reversed over 2 million years of rapid natural geologic carbon sequestration. The last time atmospheric CO2 was 400 parts per million (ppm) was 3 to 5 million years ago when global temperatures averaged 5°F to 7°F higher and the poles were 17°F warmer. Sea levels ranged from 25 feet to 130 feet higher than today's. Over the past year CO2 levels jumped up about 2.89 ppm, a rate about 15 times faster than the rate of increase during earth's last great geologic catastrophe 65 million years ago. The asteroid impact, fires and volcanic events that combined to end the age of the dinosaurs caused CO2 levels to rise at the extreme rate of 0.2 ppm per year."
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Please read below the fold to whet your appetite for more green diaries.
Food & Agriculture & Gardening
Macca's Meatless Monday...Come and get this one pot meal—by beach babe in fl: "Each time you have a plant-based lunch like a PB&J you'll reduce your carbon footprint by the equivalent of 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over an average animal-based lunch like a hamburger, a tuna sandwich, grilled cheese, or chicken nuggets. For dinner you save 2.8 pounds and for breakfast 2.0 pounds of emissions. Those 2.5 pounds of emissions at lunch are about forty percent of the greenhouse gas emissions you'd save driving around for the day in a hybrid instead of a standard sedan."
2013 Farm Bill would Cut $20 Billion from Food Stamps—by Eternal Hope: "The Farm Bill currently under consideration in the House would cut $20 billion from the Food Stamp program in a plan endorsed by both the House Ag Committee chairman, Frank Lucas, and his Democratic counterpart Collin Peterson. On the program Agritalk, one of the largest farm talk shows in the country, Lucas said today that eligible people would not get a dime less from the Food Stamp program. He said that the savings would come from making sure that the people getting assistance actually were eligible for food stamps."
Saturday Morning Garden Blogging: Vol. 9.12: Is this "Bud" for you?—by JupiterSurf: "Most people can identify a plant by its flower when they see it..But how many of us take the time to really look at the buds on the stem? The buds, to me have a beauty, symmetry and texture, all their own, separate from the flower they become. Some buds seem to gracefully, unfurl into flowers. Some just pop into flowers. But they all turn their faces towards the light and warmth of the sun to grow. I have put together a "BUD" challenge. How many can guess what flower or plant the buds below are found on."
Wall Street Journal tells its readers Climate Change is a GOOD thing we should welcome—by Lefty Coaster: "A piece one would have expected to see in the Onion was published yesterday by the Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal extolling the wonderful improvements to our quality of life that altering our planet's climate for us to look forward to. [...] While these authors are actually scientists with backgrounds in engineering and physics their piece is about as far from sound science as as they could conceivably get. They claim that some types of plants will be able to capture the more plentiful CO2 more efficiently needing less water to do it, and that will be a boon to mankind."
Prince Charles speaks of 'climate changing' earth as "dying patient"—by SeaTurtle: "Prince Charles thas taken the gloves off with 'corporate lobbyists' and those who deny climate change, excoriating them in no uncertain terms. The Prince, who has long been a proponent of organic farming, reforestation, alternative medicines, has gone firmly on the record in support of immediate action to forestall the worst of climate change in his recent speech."
Climate Change Dominates Headlines from Sacto to Petersberg to Bangladesh—by boatsie: "As California Governor Jerry Brown sounds the alarm today over the rising expenses of dealing with extreme weather events caused by climate change, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in attendance at the Petersberg Climate Conference, also emphasized the economic consequences of failing to address rising levels of atmospheric GHGs. 'Doing nothing means that is will be much, much more costly for us all,' Merkel said."
Global Warming: Parching and Flooding my Home—Again.—by Environmental Action: "Global warming is often described as an abstract, distant issue. For any of us who grew up in Wisconsin in the 1980's, it is far from that. In 1988, as the news was breaking of the dire environmental threat of global warming, even worse than the hole in the ozone layer,the worst drought since the Dust Bowl era struck. It decimated our lovely Wisconsin summer, the pay off for enduring frigid Arctic winters, and was the starting gun on what would become a painful, dry decade. For an area that's home to most of the planet's fresh water, where the lakes are both Great and plentiful, it was scary stuff. I remember that the fire of my environmental activism was further enflamed by those long hot summers."
Video: Bill McKibben's Brilliant, Powerful Sermon at The Riverside Church - "God's Taunt"—by lowkell: "This is absolutely brilliant, I strongly recommend that everyone watch 350.org founder Bill McKibben's sermon delivered on April 28 at the Riverside Church in NY City, on the topic of climate change. I particularly would hope that climate science deniers and "skeptics" like Ken Cuccinelli would listen to people like Bill McKibben, as they are a gazillion times smart, more knowledgeable, and wiser than those fools - and tools of the fossil fuel industry - are. Here are some excerpts from McKibben's brilliant, inspiring sermon: Consider that, so far, human beings have burned enough coal and gas and oil to raise the temperature of the planet 1 degree Celsius...the energetic equivalent of exploding 400,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs every day...enough energy so far to melt the Arctic...We've taken one of the largest physical features on earth and we've broken it, and with the others not far behind. The oceans are now 30% more acidic...The atmosphere itself, because warm air holds more water vapor than cold, is now 5% wetter than it was 40 years ago, which loads the dice for drought and for flood...."
Ways Climate Change Will Surprise Us—by Xaxnar: "Climate Change is turning out to be a lot more complicated than just plain old Global Warming. It's not just about the weather; there are biological, chemical, and geophysical manifestations all linked together. Which, among other things, means we have to pay attention to changes that might not be obvious at first glance. Here's one that could be a biggie: the Arctic Ocean is becoming more acidic. Cold water can absorb more CO2 than warmer water, and the decreasing amount of polar ice exposes more water to CO2 in the atmosphere."
Belief in the Second Coming is Stifling Climate Progress—by Ring of Fire: "A new study suggests that the United States has been impeded, in part, by the Biblical “end time” belief. Research by University of Pittsburgh’s David C. Barker and David H. Bearce of the University of Colorado revealed that the belief, held by a large number of Americans, that the earth has a predetermined expiration date, is a motivating factor behind resistance to addressing climate change."
We have been on a Carbon Binge and are waking up to find ourselves with the mother of all hangovers—by beach babe in fl: "As we awaken from our addictive carbon over indulgence with our head in our hands and wonder: How did we let this happen? What can we do about it now? We find ourselves with only one path to avoid runaway climate change... This is it folks, in two years we could have some or all of the above happen and we would have runaway climate change. At that point there will be nothing to do but be on the defensive of disaster. Nowhere to hide either. Some of us will be victims of rising seas and devastating storms. Others will be displaced by wildfires. Oh, and NASA is predicting that some areas in the western US will have no rainfall due to severe drought. Those areas in the west happen to include California one of our greatest food producing areas. You see the picture? No matter where you are and what your circumstances there will be suffering due to food and water shortages."
Climate change comes home in Ventura County—by RLMiller: "Thursday morning, the Santa Ana winds were bad. They pushed my son's 20 year old little car around the roads like a toy needing repair. Fire follows the Santa Anas just as surely as night follows day. Now my sleepy county just outside of Los Angeles has made national news. You may know it as the Springs fire, which began in Camarillo and so far has burned 28,000 acres. To me it has another name: climate change comes home. [...] I've been driving the Golden State the last couple of weeks. The Tehachapis usually come alive in April: green hills covered with the soft haze of blue lupines and punctuated by neon-orange California poppies. This year the hills are already in their closed-off summer mode awaiting the next big rains. They'll be waiting a long time."
Another proposed Northwest Coal Port canceled at Port of St. Helens—by Lefty Coaster: "Kinder Morgan drops plans to build coal export terminal at Port of St. Helens industrial park. "So that still leaves by far the two largest of the proposed coal terminals the planned Mega-Ports in Bellingham, and Longview, and a smaller proposal for a barge port in eastern Oregon at Bordman on the Columbia River. going forward."
Green Energy: Large Scale Battery that Might Work—by sdelear: "Researchers at MIT are working on a way to solve the intermittency problem of offshore wind by creating an energy storage system made from huge concrete spheres."
The Always-On Solar Energy Collector—by jamess: "The Oceans aren't getting any colder, you know. We might as well tap into Nature's built-in heat pump. It's free. It's clean. And it's immense. As big and vast as the deep blue sea. [...] The advantage of OTEC is that it provides continuous, consistent, base-load power."
World Nuclear Energy Roundup #33—by davidwalters: "Vietnam is to set up a new National Council for Atomic Energy Development, tasked with identifying strategies and priorities for the development of nuclear energy in the country.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's announcement of the decision to set up the council was reported by Vietnam's official government press agency. Headed by Vietnam's science and technology minister, the council will advise the government on "orientations and strategies," identify priority areas for each development stage, and draw up key policies on nuclear energy development and application."
656 Wind Turbines Represent $1.9 Billion Record Iowa Investment—by Eternal Hope: "Today's Des Monies Register has a front page headline in its print edition -- 656 wind turbines are coming to Iowa that will bring a $1.9 billion windfall to the state. The front page has a quote from Nathaniel Baer of the Iowa Environmental Council: "I think it is a welcome development for wind energy, the Iowa environment, and the economy." With the feds stuck in sequestration mode, state and private authorities are stepping up and providing an economic windfall to Iowa."
National Parks, America's Best Idea, Being Ruined—by Agathena:
Photo Credit National Parks Conservation Association
"How to take a very good idea, the preservation of National Parks and turn it into a fracking disaster. The Federal government owns the land surrounding the parks and has given fracking and drilling permits to the fossil fuel industry helter-skelter without any regard for the adjacent pollution threatening the parks. Fracking sucks up precious ground water and turns it into a poisonous mix that industry puts into settling ponds to be injected back into the earth (what you don't see can't hurt you). The fracking goes on day and night with excess methane flares lighting up the night sky. Fracking is a threat to the water table in more ways than one. It uses tons of water in the fracking process and the fracking itself which occurs under the aquifer leaves it vulnerable to pollution."
Another Spill in PA Town Where Fracking Just Resumed in April After 200,000+ Gallon Spill in March—by ProgressivePatriotPA: "A natural gas drilling rig operated by Carrizo Oil and Gas from Texas in Washington Township, PA has spilled thousands of gallons of fracking waste-fluid in the surrounding environment. If you're experiencing any deja vu right now, it may be because the very same company was responsible for a fracking spill in the very same municipality in March. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection had the company stop all fracking operations following the March spill, but then allowed them to resume less than a month later essentially 'just because.' It turns out - surprise, surprise - giving a fracking company that prioritizes profit over the environment the benefit of the doubt regardless of the environmental threat they present wasn't such a bright idea after all. This marks a monumental failure for PA DEP."
Interview: Energy Investor Bill Powers Discusses Looming Shale Gas Bubble—by Steve Horn: "The book’s title – “Cold, Hungry and in the Dark: Exploding the Natural Gas Supply Myth” – pokes fun at the statement made by former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon at the 2011 Shale Gas Insight conference in Philadelphia, PA. 'What a glorious vision of the future: It’s cold, it’s dark and we’re all hungry,' Powers said in response to the fact that there were activists outside of the city’s convention center. 'I have no interest in turning the clock back to the dark ages like our opponents do.' What Powers unpacks in his book, though, is that McClendon and his fellow 'shale promoters,' as he puts it in his book, aren’t quite as 'visionary' as they would lead us all to believe. Indeed, the well production data that Powers picked through on a state-by-state basis demonstrates a 'drilling treadmill.' That means each time an area is fracked, after the frackers find the 'sweet spot,' that area yields diminishing returns on gas production on a monthly and annual basis."
Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation
The Dirty Truth About Keystone XL—by Ring of Fire: "The following interview is from the April 28th, 2013 episode of Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV. The time is up for Americans to submit their comments to the state department on the Keystone XL pipeline, and soon we’ll have a decision from the administration on whether or not this pipeline will be constructed. Ring of Fire host Mike Papantonio talks about how disastrous the Keystone XL pipeline would be with Farron Cousins, the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer Magazine and a contributing writer for DeSmogBlog.com."
The Key(stone) to Long-term Goals—by John Crapper: "There are many battles that have been fought, are now being fought, and will be fought in the future to put this country on a path to energy sanity. Some past battles have been lost and some have been won. Going forward all must be fought. . The long-term goal is winning this war. One present battle being fought is over the Keystone Pipeline. If the battle is won it will be a step in the right direction and will take us closer to winning the environmental war to put this country on a sustainable non-polluting renewable energy path. If we loose, it will be a setback and we'll have to regroup. But we have no choice. We must continue the fight for our ultimate long-term goal of winning this war."
TransCanada Files for Rates for Using the Keystone XL Pipeline at FERC—by Lake Superior: "This notice is in the Federal Register today and appears to address what rates TransCanada can charge for transporting crude in its pipeline. This notice is posted for the purposes of someone else other than me figuring out what TransCanada is doing with this petition to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and its implications. Anyone who is fighting with TransCanada needs to carry out due diligence on this kind of thing to discover how and whether such a FERC filing affects your issue with TransCanada."
BP Whiting Refinery Wastewater Permit for Lake Michigan Discharge Goes to Public Hearing, June 4—by Lake Superior: "This matter addresses a renewal of the wastewater permit for the refinery, which is increasing its utilization of heavy sour tarsand synthetic crude delivered to Whiting, IN through Enbridge Line 67 to Superior, WI and then south around the southern end of Lake Michigan."
NYT's Tesla Smear Artist Pushes For Keystone XL Pipeline Approval—by ericlewis0: "Remember New York Times 'reporter' John Broder? He wrote the fraudulent review of the gas-free Tesla Model S car back in February titled, 'Stalled Out on Tesla's Electric Highway.' Well, today it looks like there may be proof that John Broder is the dirt bag big oil shill he appeared to be. His article in today's Times is titled: 'Some Hope Obama Offers Tradeoff if He Approves Pipeline.'"
A dozen top Canadian Scientists present Joe Oliver with a letter ripping Tar Sands & Keystone XL—by Lefty Coaster: "In a scathing letter to Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, a dozen prominent Canadian climate scientists have ignored a Harper Government gag order and [gone] public with their opposition to the Canadian Government's vigorous promotion of the Tar Sands and the Keystone XL pipeline project to export Alberta Tar Sands oil overseas."
Canadian Oil Chief says US State Dept. EIS Wrong: Tar Sands XL Pipeline Will Increase Emissions—by beach babe in fl: "So will the State Dept. consider the statement of the President of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (tar sands) Steve Laut when he said: 'Long-term, we do need Keystone to be able to grow the volumes in Canada'. What got into him going honest? Doesn't he know that that statement dooms the industry and US State Dept. argument that the XL Pipeline will not increase emissions?"
Eco-Related DC & State Politics
Boycotting EPA nomination while hanging with big energy lobbyists—by Joan McCarter: "Just for fun, let's take a look at the 2012 contributions from the electric utilities and oil and gas industry:
Senator Whitehouse Climate change—by lbchn: One of his weekly floor speeches on the subject.
Beware GOP politicians serving "science" on the half shell—by RLMiller: "The Marin Independent Journal op-ed sounds so reasonable on the surface, asking scientific questions about Point Reyes' oysters. It's authored by Sim Van der Ryn, a longtime Marin architect, a former state architect who has served as a professor of architecture at the University of California at Berkeley. And it suggests, so reasonably, that local Member of Congress Jared Huffman of work with Member of Congress Doc Hastings in investigating whether oysters should be removed from Drakes Bay. Rep. Huffman should, the piece urges, "demonstrate the courage of his convictions as an environmentalist and seize the opportunity to turn the House Committee on Natural Resources investigation into a bipartisan effort to ensure that the best science available is used in making decisions that affect the future of Drakes Estero and other shellfish producing areas around the country." What could possibly be wrong with that? It's a trap."
Dirty energy money backs boycott of Senate EPA nomination vote—by dturnbull: "Today the 8 Republican Senators in the Environment and Public Works Committee boycotted a planned vote on the nomination of extremely-qualified Gina McCarthy to serve as the new EPA Administrator...and new analysis by Oil Change International has shown what's really behind this stunt: dirty energy money. The new analysis based off of our Dirty Energy Money database revealed that the 8 Republican members of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee who boycotted the EPA vote have received over $5.2 million in campaign contributions from fossil fuel interests."
The Road to Denial: How the Republican Platform on Climate Change Evolved, 1992-2012—by Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees: "The 2008 to 2012 change is quite stunning. They go from having the most extensive discussion of climate change to date (for the party) in 2008 to near omission. From 1992 to 2004, the Republican platform at least gave lip service to the need to commit to reducing GHG emissions and to have global action on climate change. In 2012, climate change was only invoked to mock Obama's national security strategy."
Mother’s Day: Political Moms Mobilize For Climate Change—by Marcia G Yerman: "[T]he Safe Climate Caucus, chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), has been actively engaged in raising the consciousness of the American electorate about the threat of global warming. I reached out to several of the female members of the caucus, on the occasion of Mother’s Day, to get their feedback on the importance of amplifying the dangers of climate change, and the role of mothers, grandmothers, and aunts in being vigilant about protecting the planet. Below are their responses via e-mail."
In Indiana, Carbon Taxes You (Not)—by Mokurai: "We might have defeated "Indiana's Enron" last week. Leucadia Energy's Rockport Coal Gasification Boondoggle—environmental threat, financial threat, and perversion of democracy in Indiana—is now off, according to the company. Self-proclaimed Free Marketeers in the Indiana legislature previously voted to require Hoosiers to pay far above the market price for Unnatural Gas, aka syngas, that is, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide made from coal and water. This corrupt deal would have been law for thirty years. Now they have changed their minds under intense public pressure. Even our egregious Gov. Mike Pence and House Speaker Brian Bosma have backed away from the deal. Leucadia is complaining bitterly that Indiana changed the rules in the middle of the game. Which is true. The public was outraged at the previous outright legislative theft, and they had to give it up."
MN-Sen: Al Franken (D) & Tom Harkin (D. IA) Introduce The Rural Energy Investment Act—by poopdogcomedy: "Today, U.S. Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) introduced the energy legislation to be included in the 2013 Farm Bill, which includes several provisions expected to create jobs throughout Minnesota and the country. [including]: The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which Sen. Franken included in the 2012 Farm Bill that passed the Senate. The program helps agriculture producers and businesses in rural areas invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects so they can cut energy bills and earn additional income by selling the energy they produce."
The Great Outdoors
The Daily Bucket - owlet fledge watch—by bwren: "The regular Forest watchers have spent many hours over the years standing in rain and sun and the half-light of dawn and dusk - just standing, silently, watching and listening for the Forest's Barred Owls. In January and February we listen for the call and response of the established pairs as they reestablish their territories. A bit later we stop and smile when we hear their courting and mating sounds. We are peeping toms and we know it, and we have no shame sharing the owls' most intimate moments among ourselves."
The Daily Bucket: Shore Pine—by OceanDiver:
May 10, 2013—Salish Sea, Pacific Northwest
The Daily Bucket - Nesting Herons Report—by enhydra lutris: "As many of you know, there is a Great Blue Heron colony at Lake Chabot. I have reported on it before, most recently Here. My wife and I had to miss some observing sessions during which the nest count as observed by others rose to 8 active and probable nests. We were able to participate in the observing session on May 5th at which time there were 4 nests that can be definitely declared to be active."
The Daily Bucket: A Sunday Walk in the Park—by Milly Watt: "The first treat was seeing a Spotted coralroot alongside the trail. This is a native saprophytic orchid in Washington state. They have no chlorophyll and derive their nutrients from mycorrhizal fungi in the soil. These plants are found deep in coniferous forests. They like rich humus soils where a shaft of light reaches the forest floor."
May Flowers arrive Early in the Northwest—by jamess: "Here in Oregon, we've just gone through a week of clear sunny weather, with temperatures 20 degrees above "normal" this week-end. Normally the 'dry season' doesn't start here until 'after the 4th of July.' When it comes to seasonal milestones, who's to say what is "normal" anymore, during this early-onset era of climate changes. They are predicting another week of sunshine, with a 'slight chance of a shower' next Sunday. That is what you could call weird weather, if you know anything about Northwest springtime weather."
The Daily Bucket, Nature's lessons.—by burnt out: "I've put up a lot of bird houses in my life. I don't really have any idea how many, but I recall building and putting up my first one back in my junior high days, which makes it around fifty years ago give or take a couple. Outside of a few years I was in the service, I've put up one or more every year since I hung that first one on the big locust tree that stood outside my bedroom window. Some would probably say I've gone a little overboard on them the last few years. At last count, before putting up several more this spring, I had around two dozen on the place That number is closer to thirty today. These are scattered over twenty acres of the Missouri ridge top that I've called home for the past thirty some years."
When Mother Nature Refuses to Let You Sky Watch—by michelewln: "As North Carolina’s Legislature tries to out stupid Texas with bills saying that you can't observe the rise of sea level and rely on science that only the crony appointed Coastal Management Commission can do that I have come to the conclusion that Mother Nature has gone on strike. Now I haven't run these observations through the science geniuses of the Legislature (snark) but notice the pattern."
Fish & Wildlife
Colorado Wolf Center Works to Preserve Wildlife for Future Generations—by ProgLegs: "A sanctuary outside Colorado Springs is working to educate the public about and provide 'exceptional lives' for animals which are misunderstood by many. The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which is certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It houses both Mexican gray wolves and Swift foxes on its 35 acre property and teaches visitors about the roles these animals play in their ecosystems at a time when federal protection of gray wolves may be coming to an end."
Wolf Sanctuary Under Attack By StopRush Trolls—by ProgLegs: "The classless Tweeters who spend hours every day vainly attempting to disrupt activity in the #stoprush stream have singled out a Colorado nonprofit for abuse. The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center had its PSA aired earlier this week during the controversial Rush Limbaugh Show on KCSJ-Pueblo without their knowledge. When this matter was brought to their attention, the fine folks at the wolf sanctuary explained they were taking steps to end the unexpected association."
Dawn Chorus: Reyes of Sunshine, aka Herps and Chirps—by lineatus: "Back to Point Reyes, the little slice of paradise to our north. Two weekends in a row—very different trips, but the same overwhelming awesomeness of place. Two weeks ago, I spent the weekend at the Marconi Conference Center in Marshall while hubby took part in a historic radio event; last week, I spent Saturday "Birding to a Fault" as part of the Point Reyes Birding Festival. It's a great time of year to be in West Marin—even with our very dry winter, the hills are still green and the wildflower bloom was pretty good; the days were clear and sunny but not unspeakably hot. Bliss, in other words."
2013 Backyard Science Yardbird Race Tally #6—by bwren: "Welcome to the 2013 Daily Kos Backyard Science Yardbird Race! This is our fifth tally diary of the year, the official place to post your sightings, ask for help, and/or crow some if you wish. Please, please let me know in the comments or kosmail me if I missed you last time or need to make any corrections. Here's what the race is all about: The Daily Kos Backyard Science Yardbird Race is a birding competition where, over the course of one year, participants strive to identify the most bird species - by sight and/or by sound - from the confines of their yards. Remember, anytime is a good time to join in, even if you're just a beginning birder."
* New Day * — All Our Insects Are back! ATTN: Birders Attending NN13, Vote For Date of Your Event—by paradise50: Ladybugs, wasps, butterflies, moths.
Pollution, Hazardous Wastes & Regulation
Human X-Radiation & Gamma Exposure on the Northern U.S. Border - Health Damage Courtesy of the DHS—by Lake Superior: "In today's Federal Register, DHS Border Protection issues a final determination on northern border activities, which includes Michigan's border with Ontario, and which will include a program of gratuitous mass human X-RAY exposure for occupied vehicles transiting DHS Border Protection crossing points. You can pretty much expect this all to be in place for the new Detroit River crossing. The decision to increase human X-Radiation exposure as part of so-called 'homeland security' constitutes a complete corruption and evisceration of what was the previous federal public health radiation protection policy—that human
X-Ray exposure is not justified unless there is a medical benefit to the individual. ..... that policy has been completely abolished at the federal level first by President Bush and now again even more intensively under President Obama."
Underground Landfill Fire Burning 1,200 Feet from 8,700 Tons of Nuclear Waste—by Eternal Hope: "An underground fire is burning at a waste dump 1,200 feet away from where 8,700 tons of nuclear waste is stored in Bridgeton, MO near St. Louis; the EPA is cutting and running from the problem, Rolling Stone reports. Our politicians would rather sweep this problem under the rug because it does not fit in with their narrative of more jobs. But the landfill in Bridgeton is burning and the problem is getting worse, no matter how the politicians try to sweep it under the rug. [...] The company that owns the landfill, Republic Services, sent out flyers to residents according to Rolling Stone assuring people that there were no safety risks. But the DNR and DHSS and the Missouri Attorney General see it otherwise and are now starting to get involved."
Sierra Club California Condemns Governor's Delta Policy—by Dan Bacher: "The campaign by Delta advocates to stop the construction of twin peripheral tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta received a big boost today when Sierra Club California called on Governor Jerry Brown to abandon his "out-of-step position" on the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas."
Brown and Obama administrations set October 1 deadline for draft tunnel plan—by Dan Bacher: "As the campaign against the peripheral tunnels builds momentum, the Brown and Obama administrations today agreed to a formal deadline of October 1, 2013 for the release of the controversial draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and accompanying environmental documents for public review and comment. The centerpiece of the proposal is two massive 35 mile long tunnels that will divert water from the Sacramento River to corporate agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. A coalition of fishing groups, Indian Tribes, environmentalists, family farmers and Delta residents oppose the construction of the peripheral tunnels because they say they will hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon, Delta smelt and other fish species."
Eco-Activism, Eco-Justice and Sustainability
Raw sewage dumped into black community backyards in GA—by Denise Oliver Velez: "The city of Rochelle, in Wilcox county GA has been in the news recently, as the place where a group of valiant teens pushed for and held an integrated prom for the first time in the city's history. In deference to community standards I didn't use "shit" in the title, but by whatever name you call fecal matter this is a clear-cut case of environmental racism. Black community residents, shown here meeting with Earth Justice attorney Alisa Coe, have filed a lawsuit against the city of Rochelle to get this health and environmental hazard taken care of."
The Inoculation Project 5/5/13: Ecosystems and Minerals—by nervousnellie: "My Project: With the donation of an aquarium and stand by a local community member, we are hoping to put a little life back in the room. We are planning to create a planted tank that will house dwarf frogs and guppies. This tank will not only serve as a relaxing focal point, but also provide several new lab opportunities for my classes. The chemistry classes will be conducting water quality assessments including pH and dissolved oxygen while biology will be studying the genetics of guppy breeding, symbiosis between plants and animals in an ecosystem, and animal behavior. In addition, we will be using the elodea from the tank in our photosynthesis experiments."
Green Veterans On The Road To Netroots Nation 13—by gordonsoderberg: "The Veterans Green Bus is back on the road. The fire damage is repaired and we are ready to get Large Marge back in service."
Forests, Parks & Public Lands
The path through the beechwood....—by shortfinals: "The European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) is a delightful tree, with silver-grey bark and a straight trunk. One of the extensive, worldwide Fagus family, the European Beech is slightly unusual in that its form is different if it is a solitary specimen or one which is growing, as here, in a beech wood. A solitary specimen will have a trunk that is massive and sturdy anything up to 30 feet in circumference, with only 10 to 15 feet of 'naked' trunk without any branches, and a very broad crown with dense foliage; the branches will be very long. However, a tree growing in a woodland setting will have a much more slender appearance as you can see, with branches forming a dense canopy; if beech trees are not managed they will tend to form dense woodlands, over time. This leads naturally to an environment which favors shade-loving plants such as Bluebells and Wild Garlic. As well as shade, growth of the 'understory' is inhibited by the thick layer of dead leaves which seem to be ever-present."
Travellers' Rest State Park—by Ojibwa: "For thousands of years, the Indian peoples of western Montana were connected to the rest of the world through an intricate network of trade routes. The natural hub of these routes is Travelers’ Rest which is today operated as a state park."
The Solar Panels are Installed at the Local High Schools—by paradox: "Quite impressive, actually. Voted in years ago as part of a bond improvement implementation for local high schools they tilt in the parking lots on squat incongruously fat three foot diameter concrete bases, heavy tubed steel rising above the cars supporting solar panels that will easily stand for 100 years. Perhaps the bases act as sort of a fender, and the steel primarily used for aesthetics, but the result is that these structures are going to stand for a long, long time, cool shade bathing electric cars and baking black asphalt. A good story, of course, but not central to my mission this morning, there are certain elements represented in their construction that are important to talk about."
Call for a Global Moratorium—by don mikulecky: "3. Proposals for strictly science-based solutions to the complex array of global crises are grounded in the assumption that our current industrialized way of life can be perpetuated and improved via technology alone (e.g., ameliorating the energy crisis by mandating higher fuel efficiency for automobiles, or development of alternative energy sources). However that assumption lacks empirical support and is thus highly questionable; holding it is entirely a matter of faith, not science. We suggest that such faith is as misplaced as any other. UPDATE: (N.B.: Reality offers us only two choices: either to change drastically voluntarily, or have drastic change forced upon us by external circumstances. There is no third choice. Yet, there seems to be a widespread consensual belief that science will magically afford one. While understandable, that belief is unrealistic, delusional, and destructive, and must be abandoned — a daunting step.) 4. Accordingly, unless we prefer to passively watch global demise, a more comprehensive strategy needs to be conceived. It is imperative that this strategy draws at least as much from the humanities as it does from science, because science that is not constrained by humanity is a significant part of the global problem that we face. We contend that any solution will necessarily involve a widespread abandonment of the status quo, drastic psycho-socio-economic-cultural change, and major sacrifices from those who currently benefit from (and as a result have the power to control) the global economic system."
Dinosaur Extinction Update: Fossil Fuels And Fossil Fuelishness—by cassandracarolina: "Darwin continues to knock himself senseless with facepalms as witless GOPasaurs continue roaming the landscape. Neither natural selection nor any other laws of biology, chemistry, physics, geology, or fair play have been able to check the advance of these craven Cretaceous critters. Even their own gross malfeasance (I'm talking to you Appalachiasaurus marksanfordii) results in perpetuation of their reign of error rather than well-deserved and long overdue extinction."
Holy $h*t - A Closer Look—by John Crapper: "The Church of the Holy Shitters is an environmental religion. We believe in ass-forward thinking which requires putting waste-end considerations first. Consequently we believe that our shit is the holiest of substances on Earth. That does not mean that we bow down to our brown excrement. Rather it means that we elevate it in our mind as a constant reminder of the importance of waste-end considerations when striving to live a sustainable life of Soft and Fluffy consumerism. Most people, upon first exposure to our belief in the holiness of poop, think it rather odd to say the least. However, when you look back in history at the connections our excrement has had to deity in various cultures, you realize it isn't all that odd. Let's take a closer look."
A Fun Analogy to Connect Our Problems with Energy and Obesity—by Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees: "The trio of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) can be paired with the trio damaging the American diet: fat, sugar, and salt. Clearly, we've already established the coal-fat connection. Sugar would be the equivalent of oil. Sugar is in just about everything that we eat, and the only way to avoid it would be to avoid purchasing any item that has been remotely processed. The US has also invaded other countries or at least threatened their sovereignty because of its sweet tooth just as it has for its oil fix. Because of how big of a sweet tooth we have, we've also been producing a good amount of sugar here at home, in the form of high fructose corn syrup, whose producers the government lavishes with subsidies despite that such large quantities of GMO corn will do to the land."
Miscellany, Round-ups & Products
Environmental Cost of Diapers—by Noddy: "If I'd used disposable diapers, with changing them 6 - 10 times a day, I'd have spent between 60¢ and $1.00 a day on diapers. Over the course of their babyhood until they were potty trained (approximately 540 days if the baby is potty trained by 18 months), that would have worked out to $432 in disposable diapers instead of the $20 I spent. Adding in laundry expenses (I hand washed and line dried), add in another $2.00 for laundry detergent and bleach. $22 as opposed to $432 - it was a no-brainer for me. I used cloth."
Carbon Boom and Bust?—by boatsie: "As scientists last week projected atmospheric carbon dioxide is on track to reach 400 parts per million by month end, other news bytes about the noxious GHG percolates across the internets."