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A little more than 26 months ago, I started a project at Daily Kos called Eco-Diary Rescue. My motive was simple. As I wrote then:

I’ve long wished that environmental Diaries would get more face time at Daily Kos. Not that I think environment should trump all other issues, although global climate change (and all its offspring, like resource wars) surely must qualify as one of the top three major crises of this century. I would merely like to see Kossacks pay more attention to environmental matters than has been the case in the nearly four years I’ve been hanging around this site. So I’m going to do my part to give eco-Diaries a little extra boost every Monday by "rescuing" a couple of big handfuls of them. Depending on your point of view, you can blame or credit SusanG, the Rescue Rangers, and Land of Enchantment for being the impetus behind my effort.

It was a large undertaking. Typically, Kossacks wrote 75-100 eco-Diaries every week. Thus, each of the 70 or so weeks the project was under way it produced gigantic rescue Diaries and required an immense amount of time – for reading, selecting and coding. Work on a congressional campaign and other projects spurred me to give it up nine months ago.

Tonight I’m reviving it as a six-days-a week rescue to replace the Open Thread for Night Owls, Early Birds & Expats. That's because I would still like readers here to pay more attention to environmental issues. (Don’t freak out. The Green Diary Rescue is still an open thread where you can advertise your own Diaries – green or not. As always, nothing is off-topic in an open thread.) I hope that these smaller but more frequent eco-rescues are more digestible than the behemoths of the earlier project.

• • • • • • • • •

On Wednesday, 25 environmental advocacy groups unveiled their Green Budget for fiscal 2010, which begins in October. (Warning: 148-page pdf. You can access the press release and other material here.)

This is an exceedingly detailed plan and much easier to read than the stimulus legislation. From the introduction:

Many of the challenges faced by the U.S. during the Great Depression are similar to those today, including a tumbling stock market and rising unemployment. The solutions to our country’s current recession will require economic reforms and the creation of new jobs. Our antiquated energy policies and accelerated global warming add additional challenges. However, they also provide a way out. A sounder, cleaner energy policy that includes a meaningful cap and trade program, will not only generate revenue and produce healthier communities, but will also
create millions of well-paying jobs that provide for our people and help get our economy back on track.

In this economic downturn, green energy investments offer governments a prime opportunity to stimulate growth. In a report entitled Invest in Climate Change 2009: Necessity and Opportunity in Turbulent Times, Mark Fulton of Deutsche Bank's Asset Management Division says,

"Governments have before them a historic opportunity to 'climate-proof' their economies as they upgrade infrastructure in response to an economic downturn. Encouraging investment in renewable energy is a key focus. Infrastructure stimulus can be tied directly to climate-sensitive sectors such as power grids, water, buildings, and public transport, which present a vast field for the creation of new technologies and jobs."

Because appropriations were still not fully available for FY 2009, the 2008 numbers were used instead. Here’s what the Green Budget says about a few of them:

FY 10 Recommendation: Land and Water Conservation Fund - $450.0 million ($325.0 million for federal and $125.0 million for stateside) An increase of $295.7 million over the FY 08 enacted level of $154.3 million

FY 10 Recommendation: Amtrak - $2.534 billion. An increase of $1.209 billion over the FY 08 enacted level of $1.325 billion

FY 10 Recommendation: National Environmental Education Act Programs - $14.0 million, An increase of $5.0 million over the FY 08 enacted level of $9.0 million

FY 10 Recommendation: Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program - $7.0 million. An increase of $5.5 million over the FY 09 president’s budget of $1.5 million

FY 10 Recommendation: Building Technologies - $220.0 million, including at least $40.0 million for the Building America/ Zero Net Energy, Homes Program, $30.0 million for CBI, $25.0 million for building energy codes, and $15.0 million for DOE Energy Star. An increase of $111.1 million over the FY 08 enacted level of $108.9 million

Here are a couple of rescued Diaries to whet your appetite. The remainder – all written in the past 24 hours – appear in the jump. As always, my selection of a Diary does not necessarily mean I agree with the author’s opinions.

P EST takes a look at the experts who are talking about Climate Change and Human Health: "The Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard Medical School reported that, ‘The economic development necessary for improvements in the public health infrastructure is directly hindered by the presence of malaria itself. Changes in climate have the potential to make it even more difficult for poor countries to reduce the burden of malaria.’" Climate change already contributes to the global burden of disease, and this contribution is expected to grow in the future.

denis diderot discusses Chicken in America: A Lesson In Irony (And Bad Taste): "There are a lot of reasons why chicken today has no taste, but the main one is because someone seems to have decided that chicken must be cheap. And for chicken to be cheap, each chicken must be cheap to raise, which is to say quick and easily-managed. Thus, for starters, you need to get rid of genetic diversity, which is what occurred in the 1950’s with the wide-scale commercial production of chickens. In a recently-published study by William Muir of Purdue University, it was found that more than 50% of the diversity of ancestral breeds has been lost."

• • •

The Overnight News Digest is posted and includes the story, Army Gen. David McKiernan also predicted that the bolstered numbers of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan — about 55,000 in all — will remain near those levels for up to five years.

Prolific energy-focused A Siegel wrote two Diaries – Extreme Makeover: UK Sustainable Home Edition: "Ed Milibrand, the UK Minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change has announced a plan to give the United Kingdom's 27 million homes a 'sustainability makeover.'  This 6.5+ billion pounds/year program will operate with three core elements: A universal, street by street, house by house approach with everyone offered comprehensive and free or low-cost advice; a plan for finance which all can have access to, linked to the house not the individual; and a commitment to ensure fairness in what we deliver and the way we deliver it."

And Sticky Icky Tar ... Canadian Tar Sands and US-Canadian Relations: "When it comes to Canadian-US relations, there is one issue that lies amid the tangled heart of the intertwined economic, energy, environmental, and climate challenges:  Canadian Tar Sands. Now roughly accounting for 10 percent of the United States' oil imports, the processes for transforming tar sands into fuel for America's gas guzzlers makes traditional oil production (even into ANWR) look benign in comparison.  Devastating for the local (water, forests), regional (air pollution, bird), and global (GHG emissions) environment, Tar Sands is the wrong answer to North America's energy challenges."

ytterbius is happy that the Secretary of Energy has been charged with producing a National Electric Transmission Congestion Stud.  He writes in his RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY TRANSMISSION STUDY: "One of the basic tenets is 'You can't manage what you can't measure.'  Well, here we see direction for the Energy Department to get some data on the real system that's out there.  From this will be found Natural Priorities based on measured results, rather than on Politically Motivated Claims. I like."

Ethanol Profits Tanking In Illinois, according to Superpole, because: "Corn based ethanol isn't working. It's not a true, green/sustainable strategy to obtain cleaner burning fuel. ... For those of us who live/work in Illinois (Chicago & metro area) who also drive to Indiana, Michigan, etc., we know the price of gas can be up to 50 cents higher per gallon in Chicago than in surrounding states. This is not due to different tax rates alone; it's more about Illinois' and federal mandates for ‘cleaner burning fuel’ to reduce car related pollution.

BobTinKY thinks it’s Time to construct hydrogen delivery infrastructure: "The naysayers always point out the chicken and egg nature that impedes development of the hydrogen economy. There are precious few automobiles capable of running on hydrogen, no hydrogen transmission and distribution network, and few retail pumping stations in place. The carmakers point to the lack of hydrogen infrastructure as the reason for not building hydrogen fueled vehicles, and those who might invest in infrastructure see no demand for the fuel."

How where we live affects how much we drive and what we can afford, writes Kaid at NRDC : The Urban Land Institute has produced a remarkable report that examines in depth how where we live affects how much we drive, and consequently how much we must spend on transportation and housing.  The illustration is the Washington, DC area, but the same patterns apply almost everywhere.  The report contains lots of GIS-based maps that are fascinating for a wonk like myself."

Food policy guru OrangeClouds115 Horizon's Illegal Tactics Endanger Your Organic MilkI wrote earlier today about the dairy industry as a whole being in crisis. Which they are. Milk prices are at about 50% the cost of production - and unlike a factory, you can't turn off a cow. Well, you can kill it - and that's what's going to happen to a lot of dairy cows very soon. But in addition to the problems with milk in general, the situation is even sadder for organic dairies right now. Because on top of the normal crunch they'd be feeling, they've got an enormous corporation (Dean, the maker of Horizon) rubbing salt in their wounds by CUTTING retail prices and offering discounts... all while threatening to cancel the contracts of dairy farmers and building a new factory farm!

translator ponders Regulation versus Choice: Which is better?: "Case in point: several years ago, a brass smelter swept the flue out for zinc oxide to put in animal food supplements. They did not know that the salvaged copper wire, with polyvinyl chloride insulation, produced dioxin that coprecipitated with the zinc oxide. As it turned out, many thousands of food animals, including swine, beef, and catfish, were contaminated with dioxin. It did enter the human food chain. With closer cooperation between the agency and industry, this might have been avoided."

Naturegal tells us the Border Wall Impact Documented by Conservation Photographers: "Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff waived as many as 19 American laws in order to rush the building of the wall, and several conservation groups are now working together to minimize the damage.The International League of Conservation Photographers is currently using a team of photographers, writers, filmmakers, and scientists to document the wildlife, landscapes and human communities of the US/Mexico borderlands, and the impact that the border wall is having on them."

Hope is alive: green schoolyard in SF gives dlcox1958 a chance to talk about kids and organic gardens (better than a pootie Diary, and a video, too): "The ad features two moms, and without disrespect, this is so much a product of Linda Myer's vision.  The schoolyard is beautifully landscaped, the kids are gardening in it, they hold their morning assembly in it, and it has many cool things besides organic fava beans. There are solar powered pumps. There is a cob bench built in a workshop by parents. There is just a great spirit about the place."  

lofatchow has high hopes for the The ‘Depleted Uranium Screening and Testing Act’: "The ‘Depleted Uranium Screening and Testing Act’, (H.R. 177,) introduced January 6, 2009 by Rep. Jose Serrano D. NY addresses one of the most potentially deadly hazards that face our soldiers: Depleted Uranium Exposure."

kimg explains How to stop the Housing Crisis in a green way: "Part of the solution, lies in mass transit!  If the Federal government designs a national high speed rail system that connects major cities and airports together, we can start this project by buying up the rights-of-way in major metropolitan areas where land costs are always more expensive then rural areas.  With the glut of housing, the Feds could buy up the large tracts of homes and businesses at bargain rates and could then move displaced residents to existing, vacant properties of comparable value.  Such a project could even set high standards for insulation and energy efficiency so that the net effect would be increased energy efficiency as well as a modern, national  high speed rail system that we need to move forward."

danieljkessler alerts us to  Dr. James Hansen Calls on Americans to Join Him at the Largest Protest on Global Warming in U.S. His: "Dr. James Hansen, one of the world's leading climate scientists, is calling on Americans to join him on March 2nd at the Capitol Power Plant in the largest display of civil disobedience in U.S. history to demand national action on global warming. Check out his video. It pretty much says it all:"

oilcreekdem my subterranean homesick instant on hot water heaterhello all. long time no diary.  today i took the final step in what has been a long time coming: finishing installation of an electric instant on whole house hot water heater... as most of us know, hot water heaters are a major consumer of electricty or natural gas.  my electric hot water heater is oldish and works fine, but i have been always fascinated by the concept of an instant on hot water heater.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Feb 18, 2009 at 09:43 PM PST.

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