|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 240 of these spotlighting more than 13,608 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to 57 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.]|
The United Progressive Movement Against ALEC—by Phil Radford II Greenpeace: "Corporate money is currently flooding our political system and drowning out the voices of everyday Americans. We are gathering together in Washington to send the signal that this is still our fight-and we have the momentum to win it now. People from across the country are fighting to tip the balance of power back to the people, and away from big money and bigotry. We want to realize Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of America, but we can't do it if we're divided into separate groups."
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700 Tortoises to be Slaughtered. Because. Austerity—by jpmassar: "The race is not always to the swift... Federal funds are running out at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center, and officials plan to close the site and euthanize hundreds of the tortoises they've been caring for since the animals were added to the endangered species list in 1990.
Nor the battle to the strong...The Bureau of Land Management has paid for the holding and research facility with fees imposed on developers who disturb tortoise habitat on public land. As the housing boom swept through southern Nevada in the 2000s, the tortoise budget swelled. But when the recession hit, the housing market contracted, and the bureau and its local government partners began struggling to meet the center's $1 million annual budget. I can be outraged over people being thrown out of their homes because of bankers follies. I can seethe than none of the banksters are in jail for their frauds. Here, though, I feel no fury within. This is just something unspeakably sad."
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Florida citrus grower gets slap on the wrist after killing millions of honeybees—by Jen Hayden: "A large, well-known Florida citrus grower has been hit with a $1,500 for intentionally killing millions of bees: One of Florida's largest citrus growers has been fined after a state investigation found it illegally sprayed pesticide that caused the death of millions of honeybees. For the last seven years, the nation's beekeepers have been plagued by a malady known as colony collapse disorder, in which bees disappear from their hives. Pesticides have been blamed as one of the causes. The $1,500 state fine last week is believed to be the first time a Florida citrus grower was cited in connection with a bee kill. It might be the first time a fine has been levied, but the $1,500 is angering local beekeepers and environmentalists."
Journal Science reports rising Ocean Acidification reducing cloud cover speeding climate change—by Lefty Coaster: "This is dire news. The journal science reports that rising Ocean Acidification as more CO2 is absorbed by the oceans is creating a feedback loop by reducing Phytoplankton, causing less dimethylsulphide (DMS) to be released. DMS in the atmosphere in important in cloud formation, fewer fewer clouds reflecting less sunlight back to space, resulting in accelerating warming. [...] Back in the 1980s researcher James Lovelock hypothesized that that rising CO2 would increase DMS emissions putting a brake on accelerated warming. But now researchers have discovered the opposite it true with increased CO2 is lowering DMS emissions instead as the oceans grow increasingly acidic as they absorb more CO2."
Could see 10F warming by 2100 due to rapid ocean warming and acidification—by VL Baker: "Fasten your seatbeats, it seems that the new United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate report which I wrote about here is even scarier when you look at the climate chaos that they did not include in report. The nature of these large studies done by the IPCC is that they are obsolete the moment they are published. Climate change is moving so fast that impacts are tipping over each over and are edging closer to runaway status. What was not considered into that report was the speeding up of Ocean warming and acidification. Much of the planet warming has been settling into the depths of the oceans; risking a marine biological meltdown 'by end of century.'"
Fox News ignores elephant in the room: Wonders what's happening to Florida's beaches—by VL Baker: "Max Greenberg at Media Matters catches Fox News in another 'duh' moment. Thank you to Media Matters for watching so that I don't have to spend time pulling out my hair in response to the idiocy. Fox News doesn't believe in climate change so it's hard for them to say 'the word.' So they just look around at the eroding Florida beaches like the fools they are and scratch their heads, asking, 'What could be happening to Florida beaches?' Fox News reported on the 'very unusual problem' of diminishing sand at Florida beaches, terming it an 'environmental ... crisis of the future.' However, the network did not mention that phenomenon's connection to sea level rise, a major consequence of climate change."
Cattle—not climate change—killing the Great Barrier Reef—VL Baker: "The Great Barrier Reef is considered one of the great wonders of the world and was granted World Heritage status in 1981. It's the largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. [...] But all is not well at one of The Seven Natural Wonders of the World."
Pacific Islanders call for climate change action—by Horace Boothroyd III: "On the front page right now are four images of shrinking ice sheets. Ice is made of water and that water has to go somewhere. Since water like all liquids takes the shape of it's container it is entering the ocean. Well, with islands like the Marshall's averaging only two meters above sea level all that melted ice water, not only from our Poles but the water once consolidated in glaciers at mountain peaks above a certain elevation depending on latitudes, is encroaching on the fragile island ecosystems and displacing both human and other life forms to the ocean. This is becoming a great concern to those on the islands in the wide open Pacific as they are looking at losing their homes and becoming climate refugees."
Yahoo! doesn't want you to even THINK about climate change—by Mike732: "Yahoo! that bastion of freedom, the Fox News of the Internet, that glorifier of consumption and the Democracy of the Dollar, hopes that you never learn the truth. Probably not about anything, I imagine, but most assuredly not about climate change. As they say, you can learn a lot of things surfing the Net, much of it wrong and most of it useless, but that's your fault. Usually. But say you want to find out the latest on 350.org, the major United States champion of at least going through the motions of trying to save the planet. Well, you had better 'google it.' Only actual yahoos (guilty) 'Yahoo! it,' apparently."
Open thread for night owls: East Antarctica Ice Sheet is melting, too—by Meteor Blades: "A study published in Nature has some more bad news about global warming. This time it's Antarctica. Andrea Germanos reports at Common Dreams: [T]he world's largest ice sheet, previously thought to be at little risk from climate change, has undergone rapid changes in the past five decades, signaling a potential threat to global sea levels. The East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) holds enough water to raise sea levels over 50 meters."
Food, Agriculture & Gardening
Federal Cuts to Food Assistance to Increase Hunger in PA as Farmers Markets Access Expands—by ProgressivePatriotPA: "I discuss a new report that shows a cut in federal assistance scheduled to take effect this November will reduce the already scarce amount of food available to nearly 2 million Pennsylvanians who benefit from the program, and offer a little of my own commentary about what this means especially since a program that just launched this year is starting to make fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers markets available to Pennsylvanians who participate in the program."
Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 9.28—by Frankenoid: "We've had a weird August here in Denver — hot at the beginning, hot at the end, and a week in the middle where it didn't even get to 90°. We've had high humidity, sprinkles of rain, but few of the thundershowers have fallen in my neighborhood. The failures have been many this year — the front beds are a mess, with bare spots from lost perennials which quickly fill with purslane, spurge and foxtail grass (and I hate foxtail grass — it makes such a mess in Zasu Pitts Pootie's long, soft fur). The French cantaloupe were killed by powdery mildew, few of the cauliflower escaped the predation of feet and/or pooties, and for whatever reason the standard tomatoes are taking forever to ripen."
Breaking: Japanese Government takes over Fukushima cleanup—by Horace Boothroyd III: "After over two years of being continually lied to by the corporation claiming to stabilize the critically damaged plant, Japan takes over. Now that we know that radioactive water has been leaking since day one into a water table adjacent the Pacific Ocean and unknown exposure to the population of the Pacific Rim could be worse than that of Chernobyl. We do know that they were planning to attempt pick up sticks with fuel rods in an environment that destroys robots and the first responding engineers alike."
Entergy's Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant closing down by the end of 2014—by Lefty Coaster: "This is very good news. Plan to close Vermont Yankee marks latest blow to nuclear power: The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, Vt., will be shut down by the end of next year due to financial factors, the company that owns the plant announced Tuesday, in the latest sign of a difficult economic climate for nuclear power companies. Entergy Corp., the New Orleans-based company that owns Vermont Yankee, plans on closing and decommissioning the plant by the fourth quarter of 2014, in cooperation with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It is the fifth nuclear plant this year to close or to have plans made for its closure."
Nuclear energy: Lessons from Japan (and Murphy)—by Ivy Main: "A friend asked me recently whether I thought the ongoing disaster at the Fukishima nuclear plant in Japan would have repercussions here in Virginia, where Dominion Power operates four nuclear reactors at two plants and wants to build another. I feel pretty sure the answer is no. Economics will kill Dominion’s nuclear dream, but not risk. We just don’t think that way. We think like this: Fukishima was taken out by a tsunami. There are no tsunamis in central Virginia. Ergo, there is no risk to Virginia’s nuclear plants from a tsunami, so Japan’s sudden revulsion against nuclear power shouldn’t put us off our feed half a world away. So why did countries like Germany, which also has no tsunamis, freak out and swear off nuclear for good? They drew an entirely different lesson: Japan is a smart, technologically-advanced nation. Japan did not anticipate the disaster that destroyed Fukishima. Ergo, unanticipated disasters happen even in smart, technologically-advanced nations."
Wind, Water, Solar how New York State could get the fossil fuel monkey off its back—by Horace Boothroyd III: "Much has been said to try and insist that there would be no way to replace everything we do with electric. That it is impossible to use solar in northern climes and that wind is too intermittent. But no studies have been done to assay the reality of such broad denials of alternatives. New York State was known, before warming became the norm, to have harsh snow packed winters. It is also densely populated and full of industrial infrastructure. So it is an excellent place to show how wind, water, and solar (WWS) can be utilized in such a manner as to ensure total renewable energy utilization. To completely cut away the, expensive in all aspects, fossil fuel umbilical cord."
We Deserve Facts on Marcellus Shale Air Quality Impacts—by jessewhite: "There has been a sudden burst of activity in the media in recent days regarding air and water pollution from the heavy industrial sites involved in the Marcellus Shale drilling process. Beyond the drilling sites themselves, the focus has been on compressor stations and processing plants, as well as the wastewater impoundments where millions of gallons of hazardous waste from far beyond the local community are being hauled in at an alarming rate. The enormous natural gas processing plant in Chartiers Township operated by MarkWest, the midstream company for Range Resources, has been the center of much of the attention. Following last month’s problems which included large clouds of black smoke visible for miles away, a new problem related to a power failure caused more heavy black smoke emissions last week. MarkWest said the problem requires specific manufacturing of parts and could take several months to fix, asking residents to be patient. In a move that surprised nobody who has ever dealt with them, the PA Department of Environmental Protection said they have no intention of taking any specific action to ensure the problem is fixed."
New Fracking Deregulation Used by Corporation That Lobbied For It to Sue PA Families—by ProgressivePatriotPA: "This is a video from my show Counterpoint PA, the only grassroots progressive newscast exclusively about Pennsylvania politics. In this video, I report about a new deregulation of the controversial natural gas drilling process called hydraulic fracturing or fracking in Pennsylvania that was used immediately after it passed by a corporation that lobbied for it to sue scores of Pennsylvania families and a Pennsylvania business to get to the natural gas under their land, and give due credit to PA House Republican who voted against it for now seeking cosponsors to repeal it."
Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation
Why Keystone Flunks the Climate Test—by Michael Brune: "In June President Obama set a climate test for his decision on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. He said he will not approve the pipeline if it would significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. Today the Sierra Club, Oil Change International, and 13 partner groups have released a report that settles the issue unequivocally: Keystone XL would be a climate disaster. Our report, "FAIL: How the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Flunks the Climate Test," spells out the full consequences of building the pipeline."
Good news! Decision on Keystone XL pipeline delayed until 2014—by VL Baker: "Bloomberg breaks the good news that the Obama administration is probably delaying the decision on Keystone XL pipeline until 2014. Seems that they are bogged down in the investigations into conflicts of interest, improper financial ties and downright lies. Doesn't appear that even delaying until 2014 is giving enough time.The State Department’s Office on the Inspector General announced Friday that it was reviewing whether recommendations it made in a separate February 2012 report into conflict questions about another Keystone contractor are being followed as the department conducts an environmental review of the US$5.3-billion project. That review won’t be completed until January, Douglas Welty, a spokesman for the watchdog agency, said in an e-mail. The inspector general’s office earlier this month said it opened an inquiry into allegations made by Friends of the Earth and other Keystone critics that ERM Group Inc., which is writing the supplemental impact statement, has financial ties to TransCanada Corp., Keystone’s sponsor."
Eco-Related DC & State Politics
Over 100 groups call for California moratorium on fracking—by Dan Bacher: "As oil companies expand fracking operations in California, environmental, health and progressive groups released a letter on Wednesday, August 28 calling SB 4's regulations "insufficient" and demanding that Governor Jerry Brown immediately impose a moratorium on fracking in California. More than 100 groups, including CREDO, Food and Water Watch, Center for Biological Diversity, MoveOn.org, California Water Impact Network (C-WIN), Environmental Protection Information Center, Butte Environmental Council and Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, signed the letter. SB 4, a weak bill sponsored by Senator Fran Pavley, was the only fracking bill that wasn't defeated in Committee under intense pressure by the Western States Petroleum Association and oil companies. The association, headed by President Catherine Reheis-Boyd, is the wealthiest and most powerful corporate lobby in California."
A kid from Colorado and a river in Alaska—by Mark Mehringer: "CleanSlateNow.org just released their third story on how special interest PAC money influences Congress. The first two focused on Republican Mike Coffman and Democrat Diana DeGette. This one is about Cory Gardner. Here is an excerpt: The Colville River flows through much of the Brooks Range. Alaska’s largest Arctic River is home to 20 fish species. Known as an internationally-recognized area for nesting birds of prey, the Colville River’s bluffs provide significant nesting habitat for raptors such as Peregrine Falcon, Gyrfalcon and Golden Eagle. - from On Arctic Ground. The river delta has been designated an 'Aquatic Resource of National Importance.'One would have thought that this is one of the few places on Earth where other species might be safe from encroaching human development….and that would have been true except for the hundreds of millions of barrels of oil under the cold, sparsely-populated tundra."
Eric Cantor skips March on Washington to follow the oil money—by VL Baker: "In their responses the invited Republican lawmakers cited schedule conflicts or ill health. The excuse offered by House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor could not have been more telling. Cantor had a meeting with oil lobbyists in North Dakota, which prevented his attendance."
GOP senator says he's a climate change denier because he cares about workers. Yeah, right—by Mark E Andersen: "[An] ad calls out Sen. Johnson (R-WI) for being a global warming denier. On Tuesday, Sen. Johnson responded to the ad: They're calling me a global warming denier, I believe that's what they're saying. And they say he isn’t smart. He catches on pretty quick. But Johnson says he's still not convinced, and he's against any policy that could hurt the American worker. 'Listen, I view myself as a strong environmentalist, I want to protect the environment. I want a pristine environment. I love to fish, I love the outdoors, I get my water out of a well. Listen, I'm all about protecting the environment.. but you need a strong healthy economy in order to afford that.' So in order to have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and an unpolluted environment to play in—we must first destroy it in order to be able to protect it so that the economy is healthy? Wouldn’t it be easier to just do the right thing now and take care of what we have?"
The Great Outdoors
Glacier National Park: Photos from the Bus—by Ojibwa.
Hetch Hetchy - Yosemite National Park (photo diary)—by jbob: "The Rim Fire now burning near this area of yosemite is the biggest fire in the nation. The last update I saw had it about 1 mile from the reservoir. Here are some photos I took while visiting there a few years ago. I am, worried that they won't be able to contain this fire. That got me thinking that it would be good to post some photos."
The Daily Bucket: Drying Out—by matching mole: "Volunteer Chive is flowering in one of my Aloe pots. This is a testament as to how easy it is to transport seeds. The chives grew in my garden in Illinois and frequently grew in pots left outdoors in the summer. The Aloe has been moved to a new pot (it was shipped here bare root) so the seed must have been attached to the root. [...] Turkey Vulture flying over the lake. Numerous great egrets visible as well as a single Anhinga and a Belted Kingfisher."
Birding by Radar—by Mark Mywurtz: "You might not have a thermal imaging camera at your disposal, but there are ways you can observe nocturnal migration. For example, if there is a half to full moon outside during the migration period in your area, you can train a spotting scope on the moon and zoom until the moon is the full field of view. Watch for a few minutes, and you may see birds flying in front of the moon--you might even attempt to identify the closer ones by body shape, tail length, etc! You'll probably notice them all flying southward, though sometimes "reverse migration" occurs. There have been nights where I have seen several birds per minute pass in front of the moon."
The Daily Bucket - a cooper's hawk comes calling—by Polly Syllabic: "Flap-flap-glide.......flap-flap-glide.......she flew in slowly after launching from the willow on the riverbank. I watched her pull up and flutter gracefully onto the deck rail, much like mourning doves do. A polite, delicate hawk? Usually, a Cooper's incoming strike on a birdfeeder comes in low, hits hard with lightning force and explodes the birds in all directions. The best hope is to crash a victim into the window to fall unconscious or to tangle others in the bushes for an easy pickup meal. Confusion! Bird hunting hawks think like that. There's a newbie in my backyard checking out the neighborhood."
Documents Show Natural Gas Lobbying Groups Threatens Endangered Species in PA—by S Kitchen: "In my latest article on the Raging Chicken Press, I obtained, and published, an email and letter from the Marcellus Shale Coalition. The email and letter is another attempt by the fossil fuels industry in Pennsylvania to get every last drop of gas out of the ground, even if it means destroying the habitats of the Commonwealth's 62 state-specific threatened and endangered species."
The Daily Bucket: Meta-morphosis—by FOYI: "Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar Morphing—This video was made by compiling 321 photos into a 1 minute 30 second fast speed slideshow. The actual change taking place lasted roughly three minutes and took place on August 12, 2013 beginning at 9:55 AM."
Outbreak of measles-like virus in Mid-Atlantic bottlenose dolphins—by Kysen: "I live in Virginia Beach and have been watching with interest the recent numbers of dolphins washing up dead along the Mid-Atlantic shoreline. There have been over 300 found in recent months from NY to NC. From the Virginia Beach coast to the Eastern Shore, 26 were found in one weekend alone. Doctors from out of state are already aiding with the dolphin autopsies, known as necropsies. Dead dolphins were left at the door of the marine care center, because the freezers are already full. Most of the dolphins affected are males of all ages. 'We're seeing lesions in their respiratory systems. We're seeing joint problems. We're not seeing animals feeding normally,' said Barco. 'A lot of them are thin.'"
Weekend Hummingbirds—by not4morewars: "We are getting into the time of year here in central IA when the hummingbirds are starting to fatten up for the fall migration to Cancun."
The Daily Bucket: gulls passing through—by OceanDiver: "MacKaye Harbor. Salish Sea. Pacific Northwest. A large flock of gulls congregated in this bay the other day. I'd seen a similar flock a few days earlier, but was on my way somewhere and couldn't stop to get a good look - an hour later on my way back that flock had departed. The flock this day was tightly bunched up, approximately a hundred, fairly close to shore. I approached them in my kayak as quietly as I could, and snapped photos at maximum zoom as I drifted toward them broadside. It became clear they were bathing, not feeding. Lots of water getting splashed, wings spread as they lifted partly out of the water, some horseplay."
'Clean' version of the Delta Plan isn't fooling anybody—by Dan Bacher: "The Delta Stewardship Council on Wednesday August 28 released what it described as a "clean" version of the Final Delta Plan, a controversial document now being contested in seven lawsuits by diverse parties ranging from the Winnemem Wintu Tribe to the Westlands Water District. So does that mean that the previous version of the plan was "dirty," as in obscene, corrupt, poorly written, ill-conceived and driven by dirty corporate money?"
Eco-Activism & Eco-Justice
Sunflowers and Cops: Climate/EJ Frontline Richmond 8/3/2013—by RandW: "350.org's Summer Heat series of 11 climate actions across the country concluded August 3rd with Summer Heat Richmond. It turned out to be the largest Environmental Justice (EJ) rally (2800 attended according to Richmond PD) in that traditionally Chevron-refinery-dominated town to date. Over 200 protesters underlined the importance of the message, risking their freedom by being arrested in civil disobedience. While Richmond groups such as APEN and Communities for a Better Environment have been battling Chevron's influence and electorial money for three decades, this action marked the first time a coalition of Bay Area climate, labor, faith and national organizations participated. The event was diaried on DK by dturbull, showed up in media from San Jose Mercury News to Rachel Maddow - all the press and photo & video are referenced here on 350 Bay Area's website."
El Yasuní es la gallina de los huevos de oro—by angelajean: "For those of you who haven't been keeping up with the conversation about oil development in Ecuador, I hope you decide to read this and learn more. Last week, President Rafael Correa cancelled an agreement with Germany that would have created a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Yasuní National Park. The agreement, referred to as Yasuní ITT, was a groundbreaking experiment in economic development; the government of Ecuador asked the international community for the equivalent of 50% of the potential oil revenue in exchange for not developing the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini oil reserves. Since Correa's decision to cancel the agreement, a local newspaper in Quito, HOY, has had a constant stream of articles about the Yasuní, the National Park, and oil exploitation. Yes, they call it exactly that. This Sunday alone, the first three pages of the paper were about this single topic."
When Beer and Natural Gas collide—by wade norris: "What happens when Oil and Gas companies contaminate the Water that Brewers rely on for their Beer in the State of Colorado? What happens after the citizens of the towns with those Beers (Da' Beers!) passed ballot initiatives to protect their towns? What happens these towns are sued to force Fracking against their will and their best interests? Find out when the Beer lovers of this great state (more Microbrews per capita in the Union) come together for the Frack Free Brew Festival on Sunday August 25th 2013 at the Boulder Bandshell Amphitheater—at the heart of the University of Colorado's campus."
If We Break the Laws of Nature, Are We Justified in Breaking the Laws of Humanity?—by Kelly Rigg: "When an email from Tony Leiserowitz popped up on screen the other day, I was blown away to read the findings of his team's latest national survey of U.S. opinion on climate change: 'One in eight people (13%) say they would be willing to personally engage in non-violent civil disobedience against corporate or government activities that make global warming worse.' That's more than 40 million Americans potentially willing to take to the streets and risk arrest. To put this in perspective, when 50,000 people turned up at the National Mall to protest the Keystone XL pipeline last February, it was hailed as the 'largest climate rally in US history.'"
Copple policy #1: military and civilian use of nuclear power—by augustin: "Roger Copple, as one of his 27 policy initiatives, proposes: Dismantle all nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants, simultaneously and voluntarily, the world over as soon as possible. First of all, Roger Copple covers simultaneously civilian and military nuclear programs. For the purpose of our Community Manifesto initiative, I though it best to break this into two separate polls, dealing with, respectively military use and civilian use: What is your position on nuclear armament?. What is your position on nuclear energy?"
“They fear us because we are fearless": Reclaiming indigenous lands and strength in Honduras—by Bev Bell: "“Honduras has been known for two things only: being a military base for the [contra] attacks on the Nicaraguan revolution, and Hurricane Mitch.” So said Berta Caceres, co-founder and general coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH by its Spanish acronym). COPINH is an organization of hundreds of communities of Lenca indigenous peoples and small farmers. The rest of the story, of the resistance of land reform and indigenous movements, what is at stake, and the source of much of the violence, are largely unknown in the US."
Open thread for night owls: Look out! Here comes Hurricane Paul Ryan—by Meteor Blades: "Hurricane Kristi Noem. Hurricane Ted Cruz. Hurricane Paul Broun. Hurricane Kelly Ayotte. Hurricane Darrell Issa. Hurricane Vicki Hartzler. Those are a few names of congressional blowhards that the eco-advocacy group 350 Action at ClimateNameChange.org would like to see the World Meteorological Organization start attaching to the big storms that scientists believe are going to get worse and possibly more frequent as climate chaos continues on its course. They've set up a petition in this regard. Why? Because those representatives and senators deny that the climate is changing. Or they concede that it is, but say humans aren't the cause. Or they concede that it is, that humans are causing it, but say it's no big deal. Or they concede that it is, that humans are causing it, that it is a big deal, but there is nothing that can be done about it. Or...well...whatever the latest denier trope is."
Forests & Public Lands
Federal Coal--10 tons for a penny—by 6412093: "Step right up, buy your coal! Think there's nothing you can get for a penny these days? Wrong, wrong, wrong. The federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is selling 167 million tons of Wyoming coal, and the minimum bid is one penny for 10 tons. [...] Here's the gory details. The BLM is offering to lease 1253 acres, containing 167 million tons of coal, 12 miles north of Gillette, Wyoming, for a minimum bid of a lousy $100 an acre. It's called the Hay Creek II Coal Tract. Multinational construction giant Kiewit, through its mining subsidiaries, already runs the nearby Buckskin Mine, and wants that coal. BLM is obligated to offer those lands for competitive bid, before just surrendering it to Kiewit for a pittance. There are some other costs in the fine print: a $3/acre annual payment, and royalty payments of 12.5%. Those royalty payments could eventually reach millions per year paid to BLM."
Transportation & Infrastructure
Sunday Train: Florida Rapid Rail project moves toward a 2015 ribbon cutting—by BruceMcF: "A year and a half ago, I had two speculations as to what was behind this privately-funded passenger rail project ~ the first privately-funded passenger rail project in quite a long time. The first speculation was that this involved looking to make money through property development. The idea here is that Rapid Passenger Rail between appropriate end points three hours or less apart can be operated on a break-even basis. Therefore, if providing the service creates additional value for property at or near to stations along the route, the extra profit on those developments may well justify establishing and providing the service. The second speculation involved the expansion of the Panama Canal and works to increase the capacity of the Miami cargo port for the new, larger, "Panamax" container ships made possible by the expansion. The idea was that the passenger service might be bait to help the Florida East Coast regional freight railway to gain access to Class I freight lines near Orlando. The two bids made public this week support the first speculation."
Why Tesla Is Not Enough—by wcalvin: "The Tesla itself may have zero emissions but the electrical energy has to come from somewhere. Here in Seattle, 98 percent of our electricity comes from sun-powered renewables: hydroelectric, photoelectric, and wind. Switzerland also has 98 percent clean electricity, half from hydro and half from nuclear, also clean except for the mining of uranium. But most places get their electricity from some less guilt-free mix of clean and traditional. If I recharge while driving through Wyoming, nearly all of the electricity will come from burning the most damaging fossil fuel of all, coal. And until the environmental cost of producing its batteries comes down (Panasonic uses Japan’s electricity mix, now very heavy on fossil fuels), the emissions from manufacturing a Tesla are higher than for a hybrid. That will change as new battery factories are built in the clean energy regions that supply Tesla’s aluminum."
WOW! 2014 Chevy Volt starts at just $34,995!!—by Brainwrap: "This is awesome. I know Tesla is the fave-rave around these parts when it comes to electric cars, and I think it's pretty amazing as well. However, as a guy born & raised in the Metro Detroit area, I'm also strongly rooting for the Chevy Volt. There's nothing wrong with hoping that both cars are huge successes and go mainstream. There's plenty of arguments in favor of pure-electric, but there's also plenty of arguments in favor of the Extended Range Volt as well. Everyone knew that they'd drop the price on the 2014 model substantially, but no one was expecting it to hit the $35K mark already. Another few years and they may be able to make it down to $30K without the tax credits!"
Eco-Philosophy & Essays
TPP & Environment - What It Means to Us—by LeftieIndie: "There's many parts to the TPP, but to date, and general knowledge, there are only 5 sections that deal with actual trade. The rest of the sections vary from Pharmaceuticals, to Copyright and extensions, to ISP's as intermediary internet police forces for copyright. There are purportedly 20-25 sections of the TPP in all, and we are finally being given a glimpse of the Environmental side by our US Trade Representative and asked to publicly comment on it. [...] What can we do? Respond on that link for the review about your concerns. Start putting pressure on your Congressional representatives and Senators for asking for transparency on this. This can not be forced to go into an up/down vote sight unseen and without public consumption or debate. There are enough out there already questioning this, but it needs to be brought into the public eye and not "sold" to the public as the next best wheel invention, because it's not."
Introduction to Agroecology: "A Serengeti on Our Doorsteps"—George Monbiot & Rewilding the Earth—by FinchJ: "At first glance, rewilding and anything with the prefix "agro" would seem to be diametrically opposed to this goal. However, the concepts of rewilding and agroecology share the same fate: for either to become the "new normal," the other must be embraced. They are mutually reinforcing, revolutionary concepts which are absolutely essential if humanity is going to accept responsibility for its collective actions and begin to clean up this planet and fix the natural cycles we have broken before it is too late. In this diary, I want to share how George Monbiot's Feral: Searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding regarding his quest to alleviate his 'ecological boredom' is not just an isolated case, how rewilding relates to agroecology, and how—taken together—the two concepts will be the foundation upon which a regenerative future must be built."
Products & Miscellany
Yet Another Reason to Kick Shampoo—by karmsy: "There seems to be yet another reason to kick shampoo, if you're using it every day. [...] According to the Center for Environmental Health in Oakland, it seems most brands available in the store contain the ingredient Cocamide DEA, which has been identified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a suspected human carcinogen. The scalp is an area of the body richly supplied with blood, possibly compounding the exposure of somebody who shampoos regularly. My tip? Stop buying shampoo altogether. Stop using it. As I advised in a green-living-themed diary earlier this summer, your hair really can look just fine without it. If you kick the shampoo habit, you'll cut your personal chemical exposure and help the environment, too. Probably, you'll also save money."
A Liter of Light—by thenekkidtruth: "While Ireland recently banned plastic bags, here's how the little town of Sitio Maligaya, municipality of Mariveles, Bataan Province, the Philippines dealt with their unwanted plastic. A little inexpensive bleach "softens" the light, making it more uniform and diffuse, and lessens the glare. It's as bright as an incandescent bulb! FYI, the residents of the town are speaking native Tagalog."