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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 224 of these spotlighting more than 12,565 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to 69 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.]
Green Diary of the Week

The hidden politics lurking behind the climate change challenge—by Mike Stark: "Republicans are not to blame for climate inaction ... Bad people are. And there are plenty of bad people on both sides of the political divide. Let me be clear: There are, of course, millions of Republican voters captivated by rhetoric peddled by Rush Limbaugh, the Tea Party, and/or Fox News. Similarly, there are millions of Democratic voters that know nothing of climate science, but recognize an obligation to line up against Republicans. None of these rank and file partisans are relevant to the discussion because none of them are in a position to influence policy or public opinion. The cynical and destructive contributions of Republican/conservative influence peddlers is fairly well documented. Googling 'climate change' in tandem with 'Republican' or 'Koch brothers' or 'Inhofe' or 'CEI' will yield page after page of results describing their hostility to science and the environment. But if you put google 'climate change' in tandem with 'Democrats' the picture is much less clear."

••• •••

Brian Schweitzer: a bold progressive or just another fossil fueled politician?—by RLMiller: "Why are progressives so willing to overlook Schweitzer’s pro-Keystone, pro-coal stands? Myth: 'There are no other viable Democratic politicians in MT. If we don’t run Schweitzer the Democrats will lose a seat.' Fact: This Great Falls Tribune story lays out all the potential candidates, including Denise Juneau and Stephanie Schriock."

The Daily Bucket - goslings? yes.—by bwren: "It took a while before the Canada Goose pair down at the Marina brought their goslings out for viewing, but indeed, the nest was successful this year. [...]

Saturday I stopped by again and found a creche of ten goslings protected by four adults. Six of the ten are here, with an adult who eyed me in a very wary manner. I backed off."

Shelter. April 29, 2013.Seattle. The Marina. April 29, 2013. Shelter.

Fish & Wildlife

Dawn Chorus: The Events of March 5—by matching mole: "Not a lot of words but plenty of pictures in this Dawn Chorus.  All of these pictures were taken on March 5 of this year at the amazing St Joseph Peninsula State Park, on the coast of the Florida Panhandle. Everybody and every bird has to eat. A few months back Kestrel did an excellent diary about bird beaks that showed some of the highly specialized forms of bird beaks. A birds beak/bill is the crucial part of its anatomy allowing it to feed."

Brown Pelicans
Coastside Fishing Club Will Release 420,000 Salmon From Net Pen—by Dan Bacher: "The Coastside Fishing Club will raise 420,000 Chinook salmon smolts from the Department of Fish and Game’s Feather River Fish Hatchery in its pen acclimation project for 10 to 12 days in the Pillar Point Harbor before release into the ocean. This is the second year the program, a cooperative project between Coastside and the CDFW to improve recreational fisheries, will be in operation."
Shame-faced crab
Shame-faced crab.
Marine Life Series: Shame-faced Crabs—by Mark H: "If there’s one crustacean that can be described as tank-like, this is it. The body is compact, the exoskeleton incredibly hard and the claws have evolved to form a perfect fit to cover the entire face. This “face”, actually the breathing apparatus and mouthparts, are the most vulnerable part of a crab’s body, but the shame-faced crab’s claws form an impenetrable barrier to this opening. [...] Now, about those claws. Aside from being incredibly powerful -- if you get pinched by one you may have to resort to snapping the claw off because this guy will not let go -- you would be hard pressed to find an animal with a body part that is so specialized in so many different ways."

Sterling Nature Center (NY) - a photodiary —by boriscleto.

Herons in Sterling Nature Center
Climate Change

The Daily Tck: Day 1 of Bonn Climate Change Summit—by boatsie: "The second session of the ADP opened today in Bonn with Christiana Figueres sharing the news with the assembled that we are about to pass 400ppm of carbon dioxidein the atmosphere, a significant and scary benchmark in the measure of how we're changing the atmosphere. Despite these real life events, it feels at times that the UNFCCC talks happen in a bubble. Will these events push policy makers to make 2013 a game changing year for climate action?"

Sébastien Duyck: Bonn Climate Talks & Battle for Equity—by boatsie: "No aspect of international climate policy is perhaps more interesting from an ethical perspective and more frustrating from the viewpoint of the climate negotiations than the question of who has the responsibility to take climate actions in the mid-term – a question at the core of the climate negotiations ongoing this week. During the past round of negotiations (2007-2012), this discussion remained constantly on the table, negotiators debating on how to operationalize the principles of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capacity and of equity. The absence of a common understanding on this question has prevented up to now the adoption of a global climate agreement. This discussion is particularly difficult because of its heavy historical context."

Daily Tck: Day 4 of Bonn Climate Talks—by Joshua Wiese: "There are growing concerns that the U.S. pledge and review preference is gaining momentum amongst countries who want to see the U.S. in the next climate deal.  For example, in a significant shift from their long-held position, China is showing indications that it might be moving in that direction. But at what cost? As UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christina Figueres points out "The process is not on track with respect to the demands of science."

Daily Tck: Signs of "Convergence" at Bonn Climate Talks?—by Joshua Wiese: "What can be said about latest round of UN climate negotiations, which wrapped-up in Bonn Friday? In some ways, the outcome wasn't much of an outcome at all. Negotiators merely took note of what progress was made; knowing discussion on many of the same issues would continue when they meet again in Bonn in just a few weeks time. However, the rare focus on a single track of negotiations (as opposed to multiple tracks going on at once) seems to have allowed countries to hold more productive conversations about the issues at hand without getting stymied by how various pieces will fit together."

Scripps Institute of Oceanography: Atmospheric CO2 nears 400 ppm for first time in human history—by Laurence Lewis: "This one speaks for itself. The Scripps Institute of Oceanography maintains a daily record of atmospheric carbon dioxide:
Concentrations of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere are approaching 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history."

World Meteorological Organization: 2012 ninth hottest year on record, 2001-2012 among top 13—by Laurence Lewis: "Just as atmospheric carbon dioxide is hitting levels not seen in human history. Which the traditional media, for the most part, continue to ignore. But there is this exciting news: The federal government is doubling its estimate of how much oil might be discovered and harvested in the booming area of the Dakotas and Montana, a region that’s already helping to drive the United States’ dramatic shift into a role as the world’s leading oil producer."

If you ever thought a hell pit was wonderful, you are a conservative—by kos: "If some closet liberal in the design department isn’t trolling the National Review editors with this, then National Review is definitely trolling us. 'Go ahead,' it’s saying. 'We DARE you liberal reactionary ninnies of the press to tell us this isn’t a photo of a beautiful, idyllic miracle wonderland.' Honestly, though, I totally support its contention that the tar sands represent a many-splendored bower of bliss. Go live there, guys! Live there in pastoral ease and leisure! Jealousy guard your miracle home against minorities and illegal immigrants! You deserve it. We will just wait here in our inferior non-wonderland and feel really, really jealous. I totally buy it. The complete lack of trees or anything smacking of an "ecosystem" gets them legitimately excited; a feeling only compounded by that black-lung-inducing haze. This is what they wish America looked like."

Row, Row, Row your Boat -- gently across the Arctic Sea—by Jamess: "Three Irishmen and one Canadian will attempt to row across the Northwest Passage in a single season for the first time ever this July. Their goal is to become the first people to cross the 3,000km passage by human power alone, a feat that is only made possible as a result of melting ice in the passage. Until recently, it was not possible to row across the Northwest Passage but melting sea ice has changed all of that, so the adventurers will also use their expedition as a platform to highlight the impact of climate change."

Climate Change and "Hubris"—by rktect: "The IPCC's V assessment report is due to begin release in September 2013. It turns out that the worst case analysis from the last report has been exceeded and instead of 1m of sea level rise by 2100 we may see 4m by 2050 and 6 m by the end of the century. That would suggest that over 100 major east coast cities with populations of over 100,000 need to be relocated back to the Appalachians ASAP. I'm interested to know what effect people think all of this is going to have on their lives as opposed to those of their grandchildren."

The Hailstone Ice near Houston was flowing like a River—by Jamess: "Just another day in a climate-crazy world.  Or not. They report. We decide. After all, the definition of "weird weather" seems to be a moving target lately."

White House warned on Arctic Ice Death Spiral—bybeach babe in fl: "Among fears that due to extreme rapid melting the Arctic could be free of summer ice in the next two years, a contingent of some of the brightest minds in the science of climate change that includes NASA's chief scientist, the director of the US National Science Foundation, representatives from the US Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon will be meeting at the White House this week. Joining them in Washington will be Professor Carlos Duarte, a marine scientist from Perth, who is one of 10 researchers from around the world called on to help protect the Arctic. Professor Duarte, who leads the University of Western Australia's Oceans Institute, warned the Arctic was suffering and the 'snowballing; situation would prove as hard to slow down as a runaway train."

Transportation & Infrastructure

Republicans unclear on what bike lanes are —by ericf: "For Minnesota's latest entry in the reality show known as "GOP state legislators are the craziest people", a bill just passed the State Senate regarding bike lanes. Republicans don’t understand what bike lanes are, and fear for our pizza. Just for fun, I made this one a video. This is the Minneapolis Star Tribune article I refer to."

Food & Agriculture & Gardening

Move Over Salt, Sugar and Fat, here comes Caffeine!—by jetfan: "Big “food” manufacturing companies like General Foods, Kraft, General Mills, Nestle, Nabisco, etc. have long relied on old favorites fat, sugar and salt to make their chemically laden and extruded “food products” taste, um, good.   I know what you’re thinking – when you have awesome chemicals like:

Polyoxyethylene (40) Stearate
Phenethyl Isobutyrate
Ammonium Phosphate, Dibasic

why would you even need fat, sugar and salt? That just sounds good already.  But these massive companies have a lot at stake so they gild the lily and add as much fat, sugar and salt as they can jam into a pop tart, hot pocket or Double Stuft Chocolate Dildo Oreo Madness Supreme (trademark and patent pending)."

How Your Aunt Martha & Uncle Jim From South Bend, IL Ruined the Jalapeno Pepper—by Keith930: "You don't have to take my word for it that jalapenos are a lot more bland these days.  No less an authority than Rick Bayless, chef/owner of Chicago restaurants Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, and Mexican cookbook author, has noticed it for some time now.  At a seminar he conducted on the cuisine of Mexico's Yucatan Region, he commented: They’re breeding the heat out of jalapeños, and it’s all because of poppers. Actually, it isn't all because of poppers, but that ubiquitous appetizer, once found mainly in Tex-Mex restaurants in the Southwest, but now available at the Applebees in  Wenatchee, WI or the Red Robin in Charleston, WV, is responsible for a lot of the changes that plant breeders have wrought on the Late, Great Jalapeno.  Commercial Salsa producers share much of the blame as well, though."

Weeding Corporate Power out of Agricultural Policies: Communities Mobilize for Food and Farm Justice—by Bev Bell: "From the school cafeteria to rural tomato farms, and all the way to pickets at the White House, people are challenging the ways in which government programs benefit big agribusiness to the detriment of small- and mid-sized farmers. Urban gardeners, PTA parents, ranchers, food coops, and a host of others are organizing to make the policies that govern our food and agricultural systems more just, accountable, and transparent. They are spearheading alternative policies on the local, state, national, and international levels."

Macca's Meatless Monday...Climbing up the Eiffel Tower—by beach babe in fl: "April in Paris. Ooh,la la. I'm missing Paris. and as I'm waiting for solar powered airplanes to become practical it may be a long time before I see Paris again. But, not to worry we can recreate its food, music and wine and enjoy an Earth friendly virtual trip. Here's some Ella to get you in the mood."

Famine in America in 2050—by bigjacbigjacbigjac: "As America runs low on oil, America will run low on food. As America runs very low on oil, America will have widespread famine."

Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 9.11—by Frankenoid: "On May 2nd Denver set a new record low temperature for the date at 19°, and tied the lowest temperature ever recorded in May."

Energy

The Sun Is Rising in the West—by Michael Brune: "When Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a few weeks ago that his city would be off coal power entirely by 2025, it was both exciting and, as Al Gore put it, 'a really big deal.' It was also only part of the story. The other part—also a really big deal—is that Southern California is rapidly locking in new sources of energy to replace dirty fossil fuels. One of them—the Antelope Valley Solar Projects that officially broke ground on Friday—represents large-scale renewable energy technology at its best and its brightest. When completed in 2015, these solar projects will provide 579 megawatts of clean energy (enough to power about 400,000 homes). Every one of those megawatts will replace energy that would otherwise come from dirty fossil fuels like natural gas. In the process, they'll eliminate more than 775,000 tons of carbon pollution per year (not to mention quite a lot of air and water pollution)."

The New Windmills are Up at Altamont Pass—by paradox: "[W]hat total horseshit the marginalization of environmental issues are. Look at our kids and tell me we’re not stewards of their future, how is that somehow less of a priority than Afghanistan? What about all the heavenly employment we could get from converting to solar and electric cars? Well, words can only do so much. My suggestion, if somehow possible, is to walk and be among the new windmills at Altamont Pass or Palm Springs. There one can find such breathtaking beauty and grace, yes, but far more importantly a tangible reality of our urgent immediate need and future, a place of easy clean electrons and no gasoline. That is our total future, yapping fossils who cling to gasoline soon to be marginalized themselves."

Ontario's Energy Transition—by davidwalters: "Air quality in Canada's Ontario province has improved dramatically in recent years, simultaneously with the ramping up of nuclear power and the phase-out of coal. [...]  While Ontario has encouraged and facilitated investment in renewables and gas as well as efficiency in power generation and industry, two power sources have played leading roles in the province's transition: coal, because it has been gradually reduced and is set for phase-out; and nuclear, because it has increased to replace that supply."

Plastic Bags, Tape, and Broomsticks: Everyday Maintenance at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station—by freshwater dan: "San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) has been shut down since January of 2012, due to premature wear found on the tubes in the newly installed steam generators.   Southern California Edison has since petitioned the NRC to allow restarting of Unit 2, to be run at 70% load. But numerous whistleblowers have called attention to lax maintenance and the horrible conditions found at SONGS."

SONGS: Safety Engineer Blows Whistle—by Joieau: "The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station [SONGS] has been having a hard time since buying some very badly designed replacement steam generators for its two units from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 2010 and 2011. Turned out stress and metal fatigue in the interior tubing makes the steam generators unable to handle the job they were designed to do. Unit 3 was shut down in 2011 due to a radiation leak caused by steam tube failure, and will be out of service for the foreseeable future. Southern California Edison [SCE] has been trying to talk the NRC into allowing them to restart unit 2 at 70% power so it can use up the fuel currently in its core, despite the fact that so many of its damaged SG tubes have been plugged that the facility would be in violation of regulations without a special exemption."

If We're Relying on Tar Sands to Save Us, We're So Screwed—by Muskegon Critic: "You don't just "get oil" from tar sands. You don't just jam a pipe in the ground and up it comes. You need to dump a LOT of energy into the tar sands to make it a useful form of oil. It takes massive amounts of water, it takes massive amounts of heat, from coal or natural gas, it takes more energy intensive transportation. And the more energy you dump into PRODUCING oil, the less net energy you get OUT of it. As in a THIRD. You get a THIRD the energy output as from conventional oil. The tar sands are bitumen. bitumen is junk energy. A joule, or unit of energy, invested in extracting and processing bitumen returns only four to six joules in the form of crude oil. In contrast, conventional oil production in North America returns about 15 joules."

Protect the Great Barrier Reef from Coal Exports
—by nicoleghio: "The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia literally sits in the way of the fossil fuel industry and its massive expansion plans. There are so many new coal terminals in the works that just one port, Abbot Point, near Mackay, could increase almost nine-fold in capacity to become by far the biggest coal export port in the world. While campaigns in Australia to resist fossil fuel expansion in the Reef have stepped up in recent days, the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Exim) and its Chairman Fred Hochberg have been quietly using our taxpayer dollars to support these controversial projects."

Fracking

Do You Trust the EPA? —by chloris creator: "This article describes how the EPA has revised its estimate of how much methane is released during fracking. Downward. Significantly downward."

Sand Land: Fracking Industry Mining Iowa's Iconic Sand Bluffs in New Form of Mountaintop Removal—by Steve Horn: "The rolling hills of Northeastern Iowa’s Allamakee County defy the state’s stereotypical flat-land geography, and local residents boast of the serene beauty and rich geological history. Yet those same bluffs also play host to robust reservoirs of frac sand. In order to extract the frac sand, mining corporations have adopted a method of newfangled mountaintop removal of sorts, blasting away entire hills laced with this frac sand to access this new 'prize.' While devastating the landscape, it’s justified by Big Oil as necessary because the Midwest’s unparalleled geological characteristics have transformed it into a 'New Saudi Arabia for frac sand.'"

FLORIDA FRACKING TERROR NEIGHBORHOOD—by obamarmyd: "Earlier on April 9, I spoke of the dangers of fracking at a Collier County, Republican Board of County Commissioners meeting, asking the commissioners to schedule a workshop to discuss regulating fracking, and to consider a ban on fracking here in Collier County. I did this because Republican Chairwoman Georgia Hiller, alerted me back in October 2012, to the environmental dangers of the potential use of fracking in the neighborhood of Golden Gates Estates, in eastern Collier County. But after a recent meeting with Republican Governor Rick Scott in Tallahassee, Commissioner Hiller, who is up for re-election in 2014, flipped her position on fracking ... resulting in no action taken by the Board of County Commissioners."

Seen this? New Mexico county becomes first in nation to ban drilling and fracking!—by jan4insightFollow: "The mouse is roaring! Mora County, NM, population about 5,000 (that's not a typo), just voted to ban drilling and fracking."

Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation

Bigger than the Keystone XL Pipeline -- More Time to Submit Comments on Enbridge Line 67—by Lake Superior "Canadian pipeline company Enbridge wants a Presidential Permit to expand its "Line 67" from Hardesty, Alberta to Superior, WI.  That line was originally authorized for about 500,000 barrels per day capacity.  Enbridge is seeking to expand the pipeline's physical design capacity by modifying pumping operations to achieve a design basis capacity of 880,000 barrels per day -- larger than the Keystone XL Pipeline at 830,000 barrels per day. The U.S. Department of State is conducting a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement process as part of a Presidential Permit application and approval process to address the planned increase in the capacity of this pipeline."

Action Alert: Public Comments on Enbridge Tar Sands Oil Pipeline Expansion Due Tomorrow M 4/29 —by peregrine kate: "Yes, those critics who said that if the KXL pipeline were blocked, then tar sands oil exploiters would find another way to get their product to refineries and to market, were correct. At least in part, because Big Oil is not waiting for that decision; they’re already working on developing these alternate routes.
One of the major routes now under consideration is the so-called 'Alberta Clipper,' Enbridge’s Line 67, a pipeline that already stretches from Hardisty, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin. It has been operating since 2010 and currently transports about 450,000 bpd. Detroit Free Press Last November, Enbridge filed an application with the U. S. State Department to request approval for massive expansion of the daily pipeline load. They seek approval for the pipeline to transport the full design capacity of the pipeline, or 880,000 barrels/day (bpd). That is a carrying load, by the way, some 50,000 bpd greater than KXL. Tomorrow, April 29, is the deadline for public comments regarding this expansion."

Map of Tar Sands Oil pipelines to Eastern N. America
No Alberta Clipper Pipeline: Send your comments to the State Dept—by Roger Fox: "The Alberta Clipper pipeline project by Enbridge, would move tar sands oil, or dilbit from Alberta to Superior Wisconsin. From there across the Great lakes. [...] A little bit bigger than Keystone XL, the Alberta Clipper pipeline would enable tar sands oil to be shipped all over the Great Lakes region."

Keystone XL Start to be Delayed According to TransCanada—by accumbens: "TransCanada had expected a start date in late 2014 or early 2015 but it is now expecting a mid- to late 2015 start, CEO Russ Girling said at a conference call with analysts after the company reported first-quarter results on Friday."

Bringing tar sand spills right to State Department staffers—by dturnbull: "Yesterday, Oil Change International, SumOfUs, and Environmental Action teamed up to place a series of hard-hitting ads essentially taking over the Foggy Bottom metro station in Washington DC. These ads, pushing for rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline with images of the recent tar sands pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, will be up for the next month."

tars sands signs in DC Metro Foggy Bottom station
Texas minority neighborhood to bear full brunt of Tar Sands Pipeline—by beach babe in fl: "If the Keystone XL pipeline is approved, 90 percent of the tar sands crude that flows through it will be processed near an embattled Houston neighborhood called Manchester. It's residents are primarily Latinos and African Americans with many undocumented immigrants. You won't find children playing in Manchester's playground because playing outside for too long has children begin to cough."

Study: 30 Toxic Chemicals at High Levels at Exxon Arkansas Tar Sands Pipeline Spill Site—by Steve Horn: "An independent study co-published by the Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group and Global Community Monitor reveals that, in the aftermath of ExxonMobil’s Pegasus tar sands pipeline spill of over 500,000 gallons of diluted bitumen (dilbit) into Mayflower, AR, air quality in the area surrounding the spill has been affected by high levels of cancer-causing chemicals. Roughly four weeks after the spill took place, many basic details are still unknown to the public, according to recent reporting by InsideClimate News. Questions include what exactly caused the spill, how big was the spill exactly, and how long did it take for emergency responders to react to the spill, to name a few. But one thing is certain according to the new study: For the residents of Mayflower, quality of life has been changed forever."

Keystone Kops: TransCanada Spent $280,000 Lobbying For Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline in Q1—by Steve Horn: "TransCanada, the multinational corporation hoping to build the controversial northern half of the Keystone XL pipeline, spent over $280,000 on lobbying the U.S. government in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013, according to lobbying disclosure records. In addition to the $250,000 paid to Paul Elliott— TransCanada’s infamous in-house lobbyist and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s national deputy campaign manager during her 2008 run for president—three outside firms lobbied on TransCanada’s behalf to promote KXL."

Obama’s Former PR Flack’s Firm Does PR For Keystone XL Pipeline, Tar Sands Rail Transport—by Steve Horn: "Double-dipping is a 'no go' in the real world of eating chips and salsa with a circle of friends but an everyday reality in the world of lobbyists and PR professionals. Enter double-dipper Anita Dunn, former White House Communications Director for President Barack Obama who now runs the firm SKDKnickerbocker (Squier Knapp Dunn), a firm that 'brings unparalleled strategic communications experience to Fortune 500 companies, political groups and candidates, non-profits, and labor organizations.' Dip one: TransCanada Corporation, which SKDK does public relations work for, as revealed in an Oct. 2012 New York Times investigation. TransCanada is the multinational corporation currently building the contentious southern half of theKeystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipeline, following the dictates of a March 2012 Obama Administration Executive Order. Within months, the fate of the border-crossing Alberta to Port Arthur, TX KXL export pipeline will also likely be decided by the U.S. State Department."

Eco-Related DC & State Politics

Republicans want to be able to dictate what federally funded scientists can research—by Laurence Lewis: "Republicans finally are doing something about the increasing conflict between science and their own political ideologies and beliefs. They're trying to stop such science from happening. [...] The science proving human-caused climate change is overwhelming. Republicans overwhelming ignore and deny what the science proves. So, with scientific reality so consistently demonstrating a liberal bias, the Republicans are trying to legislate that science away."

Despite record atmospheric CO2, White House Press Corps fails to ask one question about climate—by Laurence Lewis: "So, President Obama holds a press conference, and he is asked not a single question on climate. The most important issue humanity has ever faced, an important new marker that ought to be taken as a screaming alarm, and not a single question. It's no secret that the traditional media have done a horrendous job on climate change, either misrepresenting what is known, or all but ignoring it; but the seeming media blackout won't make the crisis itself disappear."

Outright deniers of global warming are no worse than those who accept it, but refuse to take action—by Meteor Blades: "Progressives, liberals, leftists, whatever the preferred label, ought always to be proposing policy that they would enact if they had the clout to get it enacted. One key ingredient of gaining that political clout is to show voters over and over again what you would do if you had the congressional votes, the political clout to do it. You persuade those voters to give you the clout. While decrying the buffoonery and Kochfakery of the right-wing climate change-deniers, every Democrat in the Senate ought to be speaking up every week the way Whitehouse does. They ought to be signed on as co-sponsors of the Sanders-Boxer legislation. But they're not."

NM-Sen: Tom Udall (D) Releases Proposal To Handle Droughts In New Mexico—by poopdogcomedy: "Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM, was in Las Cruces Tuesday to release a 31-page paper looking at ways to deal with the continuing drought in the region.The study grew out of a conference held last August. Udall said New Mexico needs to realize that while the drought is likely to end at some point, current conditions have to be addressed."

White House Meeting on Arctic Media Blackout—by New Minas: "Within the discussions, which are very well researched and indicate that we are again approaching another arctic sea ice minimum, the general understanding is that we are headed toward a summer ice-free Arctic sometime around 2016.  This is projected to lead to increased methane release and increased absorption of sunlight which will significantly raise surface temperatures. It has already been shown that the warming of the Arctic has led to the current weather extremes with the polar jet stream slackening with larger eddies and currents."

The Great Outdoors

Triceratium
Triceratium
The Daily Bucket: emerald sea—by OceanDiver: "The ocean has bloomed in the last few days. Millions of single-celled phytoplankton have proliferated in the nutrient-rich cold waters of the Pacific Northwest, photosynthesizing with abandon under the sunny skies we have enjoyed recently. The clear winter water has turned emerald green, dense with life. [...] I took a sample today to see which populations are blooming. This is what I saw under 40x. Mostly diatoms, one of the main groups of phytoplankton."

The Daily Bucket - Chickadee Fledges—by enhydra lutris: "Yesterday evening our front yard, near the chickadee house hung in the spruce, we were surprised by the activity of a small flock of Chestnut Backed Chickadees. Their behavior makes us think that they are recent fledges."

The Daily Bucket - Forest update—by bwren: "I can walk the Forest's paths in street shoes again. They're the old street shoes, given that I still have to maneuver around the remains of winter's muddiest places, but the mud boots have been living under the passenger seat of the car for a week now. They'll find their summer place in the back closet when I can walk in sandals. The view from the stump has greened remarkably since early April."

View from the Stump. April 27, 2013.April 27, 2013. The Forest, Seattle. View from the Stump.
It looked like this just a month ago.
View from the Stump. April 2, 2013.April 2, 2013. The Forest, Seattle. View from the Stump.
The Daily Bucket: A Pile of Privet—by PHScott: "Another day at the Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve, another day of sweat and mosquitoes, getting dirty, and a feeling of doing good  - knowing we are doing good. There were only 3 of us today but we were armed with new tools - root jacks, aka weed wrenches - tools for pulling these shrubs out of the ground by the roots. And we were after this invasive privet Ligustrum sinense."
Butterweed Packera glabella
tiny flowers & tiny bees—by blueyedace2.
Bee and flower
Backyard Science - Native Plants Versus Privet, A Photo Diary—by foresterbob: "Invasive species draw the wrath of many of us who care about the natural world. For residents of the southern states, Chinese privet is probably the most despised plant of all. It certainly is mine. For all the talk about kudzu, that plant doesn't even come close to the destructive power of privet. Privet is one of those 'perfect storm' invaders. It thrives under a wide range of habitats. It can grow on hilltops or creek bottoms, full sun or deep shade. A single plant can put out thousands of seeds per year. Some seeds drop to the ground to produce dense thickets. Some are distributed far and wide by birds. And in creek bottoms where privet is at its very worst, flood waters carry seeds relentlessly downstream. A single home site at the headwaters of a stream can infest the entire drainage over a span of time. Privet spreads from human habitation into the nearby forests like a green cancer, overwhelming nearly everything in its path."

The Daily Bucket: black bird colors—by OceanDiver: "I stopped by a wetland nearby and saw this lone Brewer's Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) standing on a fencepost. Usually I see them in big flocks, plain dull black, perched on a power line, or scavenging in fields. But this is breeding season, and this fellow was the only one around that I could see. He sang quietly, a light squee, and preened, showing off his shiny plumage of iridescent green, blue and purple."

Eco-Activism and Sustainability

The Veterans Green Bus (that's environmentally green) on the road again—by llbear: "When it comes to the Greening of America I'm a conservationist's worst nightmare. Indifference best characterizes my attitude towards the many green schemes presented at Daily Kos. It's not that I don't care - it's that I have my hands full with Veterans issues. However, when you can show me something that combines helping veterans deal with Posttraumatic Stress with a great and cost effective green scheme, I'll pay attention."

Forests & Public Lands

Glacier National Park: Apgar April 2013 (Photo Diary)—by Ojibwa: "For the June Glacier National Park meetup, I have suggested that we gather Friday night at the Apgar picnic area. We just spent the weekend camping in the picnic area (the regular campground isn’t open yet) and what follows are some photographs of the area."

Pollution & Hazardous Wastes

Air Quality Awareness Week—by Marcia G Yerman: "It’s hard to believe that the first federal air pollution legislation was the Air Pollution Act of 1955. Fifty-eight years later, the United States—and the world—are still struggling to come to terms with the importance of preserving the quality of the air we breathe. Air Quality Awareness Week is on the calendar for April 29 through May 3, with the goal of bringing recognition to this vital concern. The Environmental Protection Agency has devoted a page on its website to resources and information about the topic, breaking different areas down into digestible headings."

Five-year Reunion: Environmental Coalition Weighs in on BP Whiting Refinery Water Permit Renewal—by LakeSuperior: "The summer of 2007 was heated in Chicago.  And I’m not referring to the weather.  Some of you may remember that in July of that year, the Chicago Tribune published a front-page story that Indiana had granted BP’s refinery in Whiting, Indiana a Clean Water Act permit allowing it to discharge increased ammonia and metals-laden solids to Lake Michigan in connection with its plans to start processing more tar sands from Canada. Local residents, who have worked for decades to clean up Lake Michigan into the beloved recreational resource it now is, were not pleased.  BP insisted that there was absolutely, positively, no physically possible way to avoid the increase — that is, until the picket signs went up at BP stations around the city, and you couldn’t swing a cat without hitting a politician crying foul. At which point BP abruptly got religion and promised to find a way to hold its discharge down to then-current levels."

Eco-Philosophy & Essays

Keystone Kops: TransCanada Spent $280,000 Lobbying For Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline in Q1—by Steve Horn: "TransCanada, the multinational corporation hoping to build the controversial northern half of the Keystone XL pipeline, spent over $280,000 on lobbying the U.S. government in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013, according to lobbying disclosure records. In addition to the $250,000 paid to Paul Elliott— TransCanada’s infamous in-house lobbyist and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s national deputy campaign manager during her 2008 run for president—three outside firms lobbied on TransCanada’s behalf to promote KXL."

Cohousing: Life Is Easier With Friends Next Door —by citisven: "The yearning to live in community is not a new one. Human beings evolved sharing common space, resources, and neighborly support, not only for physical survival but also for a sense of belonging and togetherness. But modern society values autonomy, often at the cost of the social connection offered by traditional communities. Cohousing, an idea that originated in Denmark in the 1960s, has been increasingly filling the gap. Each household in cohousing has an individual residence but takes part in the design process, consensus-based decision-making, shared meals, and socializing. The model is flexible enough that each cohousing community has its own aesthetics and sense of place. In San Francisco’s East Bay alone, several cohousing communities have been in existence for more than a decade, showing not only their staying power but also how they can evolve and mature over time."

For Your Consideration, A Post-Human Landscape —by xaxnar: "It was just 27 years ago yesterday that a major industrial complex in an advanced nation suffered a catastrophic failure. Yeah. Chernobyl. It's a story with so many human elements: arrogance, heroism, stupidity, random chance, sacrifice, some small triumphs, and megatons of tragedy. And at the end of it all, the only answer has been to walk away, seal things off, and hope that it won't become a continuing disaster somewhere farther along the river of time and history. The best efforts of humankind are no match for the consequences of human error combined with the implacable forces of radioactive decay, at least no match for any price we are currently willing to pay."

Conservatives less likely to buy same lightbulbs if you tell them it will help the environment—by Hunter: "Got that? With all other factors being equal, conservatives were less likely to buy the exact same lightbulb if you told them it would help the environment. They didn't have any more aversion to buying energy-saving lightbulbs than anyone else, unless the package pointed out that this particular lightbulb was slightly less earth-screwing than the other one. Tell them that, and they were more likely to go for the other one."

Conservatives are less likely to purchase products labelled as environmentally friendly—by xxdr zombiexx: "Rightwing Radio, in addition to spreading racism, paranoia, hatred of liberals, and general stupidity, also propagandizes against Earth-friendliness. And it does it very well. Green labels scare conservatives away from energy efficient products."

Bottoms Up - Ass Forward Thinking—by John CrapperUnfollow: "Each of us pays good money to have purified water pour into our toilets. We then do our business and flush it into the sewer system. We also pay hard-earned money to carry our excrement away to a sewage treatment plant. Along the way it is mixed in with all kinds of foreign substances including chemicals, solvents and medical waste. At our sewage treatment plants varying energy intensive, expensive processes are utilized to separate out the contamination from the water and return it to its pure state. The value of the remaining sludge, as a result of human excrement being mixed with other sources of contamination, is diminished. It must be further sterilized, with questionable results, before it can be used as a fertilizer. This never-ending, expensive cycle of mishandled waste typifies truly ass-backward logic and indicates just how out of touch we are with our true nature. It also demonstrates what lengths we will go to deny our bodily functions and ignore our relationship and dependence on nature."

Insanity—by Dania Audax: "Oh, the corporations have lawyers and law makers on their side.  They will argue and tell you it’s not their fault, it’s not one particular evil corporation that is the cause.  They are right because it’s ALL of them.  The people who make fertilizer from oil aren’t thinking about the people who make aerosol sprays, why should they when the almighty dollar is the bottom line?  The people who make paint aren’t concerns with what the drug companies are putting out.  Why think globally?  Think profit!  Screw the 7th generation!"

Products & Miscellany

Free Energy: Solar and Dynamo LED Keychain Lights—by gmoke: "I want a solar rechargeable reading light just as cheap, adaptable, and readily available as a disposable cigarette lighter. We need to make it possible for every child around the world to read in bed and dream. That's one way we could transition to a more renewable economy."

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