Lee Bergquist of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes:
|Environment getting plenty of notice in Wisconsin Legislature
Wisconsin lawmakers are paying more attention to the environment than at any time in the past decade.
Pollution bans, river and groundwater protections, pro-hunting and fishing initiatives, and measures to fight global warming are getting strong consideration, even as the state grapples with record budget deficits.
"It's been an incredibly proactive pro-conservation session," said Jennifer Giegerich, capitol liaison with the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.
The activity has been pushed along by Democrats, who took control of both houses of the Legislature in January. But it's also driven by a sharper interest in energy and environmental issues, especially renewable power and strategies to control greenhouse gas emissions.
"What you've seen is that we had about a dozen years of rather relaxed efforts on environmental legislation," said Rep. Spencer Black (D-Madison), chairman of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. "Now we are going full steam."
Environmentalists say they are better organized than when Republicans controlled the Assembly and environmentalists had to fight efforts to thwart green regulation.
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The rescue begins below and continues in the jump.
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One can only hope that the scene in these two photos, taken by Frankenoid in her Denver garden, will soon reflect events in Iran as a fed-up populace deals with the authoritarians who rule them. She wrote about how she got these photos in her weekly Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 5.18: "I don’t know how the ants got hold of the bee: the area was bare ground; the bee was very much alive and fighting the onslaught of the tiny monsters and its wings and legs all appeared intact. My mad google skilz can find very little information on ants vs. bee in the wild. But there it was. Instead of doing a bit of weeding as planned, I grabbed the camera and started shooting."
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kiwiheart told us the stunning story, A Grizzly Ate My Brother - Perseverance in Tough Times: " ‘Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you.’ You’ve probably heard this saying before. Of course, very few people have actually been eaten by a bear, and even fewer have lived to tell about it. My big brother is one of the few. Fifty years ago, on June 18, 1959, he battled a grizzly for close to an hour, as the hungry bear consumed a good part of him. This week, he reunited in Glacier National Park with the ranger who saved his life. What can we learn from his story? Among other things, perseverance and flexibility are the keys to surviving tough times."
Mark H wrote another installment of his wonderful Marine Life Series: Reflex Amputation: "The main distinction between reflex amputation and your average run-of-the-mill amputation is that the former is intentional. The animal purposely detaches the appendage, be it a tail, leg or claw, as a way of escaping from a larger predator, losing just a limb rather than its life. Of course, autotomy wouldn’t be much use if the animal didn’t have regenerative abilities as well.The lizard in the above example is exceptional among vertebrates in being able to re-grow an entire limb. But this ability is a cinch for most of the lower backbone-less organisms."
route66 warned about Ug99, possible new threat to world food supply: "Although most outside of Africa are unfamiliar with it, Ug99, a type of fungus commonly called 'stem rust' due to its production of reddish-brown flakes on wheat plant stalks, is a serious threat to eliminate 80% of the world's most widely grown crop."
Filling in for lineatus, who is on a short diarying hiatus, maxxdogg wrote the week’s Dawn Chorus Birdblog: Vacation Birding: "I love my backyard birding. We get tons of cardinals, goldfinches, chickadees, nuthatches. Blue Jays are common visitors along with sapsuckers and doves. Occasionally, an eagle soars overhead. Sometimes hawks look to make lunch out of a songbird. And once a year or so, a pileated woodpecker will decimate the dead limbs of our silver maple."
Anne Polansky posted under the climate science watch moniker to ask: What does Rep. Broun of Georgia have against a National Climate Service?: "Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) is on a mission to de-fund climate change programs and defeat cap-and-trade legislation. This week he offered a House floor amendment to kill funding for a National Climate Service. Broun’s website includes this: ‘Broun Bashes Wacky-Marxist Cap and Tax Bill.’ He’s among a small contingent in Congress who deny the science and a much larger group who act as if a sober response to global climate disruption were a partisan issue. The climate science and policy community must step up its efforts to emphasize that climate change affects everyone, has no political party affiliation, and is too urgent a matter to be used for political grandstanding."
Roger Fox wrote a pair of diaries about a fusion reactor, here: Polywell Proton Boron fusion reactor: "Yeah I know Fusion is 50 years away, right? And fusion makes lots of radioactive waste anyway, right? Stellarators, Focus, Pinch, ZEE. Whatever. Probably not anymore." And here: A Polywell fusion primer. Disrupt this technology
Curiosity profiled the ancient monkey puzzle tree: "This enigmatic tree is native to Chile and Argentina, though it's gaining in popularity in the states. It's found in many places world-wide because it's a rather hardy plant. Besides Chile, this tree has become popular in England and the west coast of the US (i.e., Oregon and Washington state). But, this species doesn't thrive well in very dry-hot climates. This plant is currently classified as Vulnerable (one step above endangered) by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Here's a picture of a younger tree."
teacherken wrote I lost a dear friend yesterday: "He was already elderly when we moved into this house in 1984. For almost a quarter century he was a part of our lives, although in recent years he was fading. Yesterday I went out to the car to put a bag in of someone I was taking to Union Station in DC, and realized he was finally gone. The heavy rain had been too much, and as the soil loosened, he gave up the ghost and keeled over, into the driveway."
davidwalters took a stab at Parsing Out California's electricity grid and the case for nuclear: "Let's do the numbers: California's electrical generation at a glance. (All numbers in Megawatts) Total: 63,813; Coal: 389; Petroleum: 754; Natural Gas: 38,556; Other Gases: 282; Nuclear: 4,390; Hydroelectric: 10,041; Other Renewables: 5,734; Pump Storage 3,688. The Fresno Nuclear Group has proposed building a nuclear power plant: two French designed EPRs, for a total of 3600MWs in California's Central Valley, away from the coastal earthquake zone. A bill to allow for the one-time exemption from California's ban on new nuclear energy, AB719, went down to flaming defeat in the overwhelmingly anti-nuclear, Democratic Party State Assembly. The bill was sponsored by Chuck De Vore, a very conservative Orange County Republican (is there any other kind one might ask?)."
Vikingkingq looked at the possibility a new, greenish industrial policy could take place in After Detroit: Rethinking Industrial Policy for a New Era: "As Robert Reich notes, the U. S is now, despite the widespread mockery of industrial policy by neoclassical economists and neoliberal politicians in the 1970s and 1980s, engaged in a program of industrial policy – but in a weird and rather piecemeal way. ... Policy is being driven by response to crises – AIG’s going to take the economy down with it! The Big Three are going to wipe out the Midwest! – trying to stave off losses. And I agree with Prof. Reich that the major mistake we’re making is that we’re trying to save firms, not jobs (or industrial capacity), so that we’re still facing thousands of layoffs and ripple effects (the big three lay off and shrink production, which means auto dealers and suppliers take it in the neck, which ripples outwards, etc.). The combined problems of ever-increasing fuel consumption, the rising price of oil and its effects on the U.S economy, our large and increasing CO2 emissions can be addressed by moving our automotive industry and the American people’s cars to more fuel-efficient and ultimately carbon-free cars; moreover, one of the major reasons why the Big Three faced such a startling erosion of market share and consumer demands was that they weren’t building and selling hybrid, high-mileage cars when other companies were. The only problem I have with pushing higher fuel standards is that it’s not being predicated on building the new cars in the United States; we’re still focused on having the U.S firms be making more efficient cars, instead of U.S plants. (And as Prof. Reich has pointed out in the past, U.S companies don’t necessarily mean U.S-based production and employment any more)"
Can A Number Save the World? It can if that number is 350, wrote Billy Parish: "That’s the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: 350 parts per million (ppm). It’s also the rallying cry of a creative campaign to raise awareness of the climate crisis and build grassroots support for the 2009 Climate Conference in Copenhagen. 350.org wants communities around the world to join together on October 24 for an International Day of Climate Action. You can join with your church, your school, or your friends and do something to visibly get the word out about 350."
wide eyed lib did some more Foraging for Free Food on the Longest Day of the Year: "Cornelian cherries aren't cherries at all, but instead are members of the dogwood family. They're an unusual fruit in that they need to finish ripening off the tree. Although cornelian cherries aren't well known here, they're beloved in Turkey, and you can sometimes find jars of pickled cornelian cherries in Turkish grocery stores."
daveinojai inquired Where do Animals Really Stand in the Kos Calculus?: "A recent ballot initiative in California (Proposition 2) granted a small measure of relief to millions of farm animals condemned to a life of extreme confinement from birth until violent death. Do issues of this kind belong on a progressive political agenda? Or are such issues merely a kind of sideshow, a luxury for those who choose to promote them, instead of remaining constantly preoccupied with economics, civil rights, war and peace? If animal welfare is not part of a progressive political agenda, why not? If it is part of such an agenda, why is it not more conspicuous on Daily Kos?"
terryhallinan found a mistake in a report about Iceland's newest geothermal well and wrote about it in Does Geothermal Power Promote Mathematical Illiteracy?