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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 228 of these spotlighting more than 12,801 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to 93 that appeared in the past seven days. That's four more than the previous record in the 13 weeks since the GDR was resurrected, and it 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

WATCH: The "Obama Pipeline"?—by Van Jones: "But if President Obama approves a pipeline equal to more than seven new coal-fired power plants? And does so just months after promising to act AGAINST climate change? Now THAT'S a scandal. President Obama said in his second inaugural address that failing to act on climate change would "betray future generations." Now, it looks like he will do exactly that by approving the Keystone XL pipeline."

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Chevron touts big oil profits [= past] while cyclists generate people power [= future]—by citisven: "Well, there couldn't be a better symbolism of yesterday's shareholder meeting at Chevron's San Ramon headquarters than today's headliner in the business section of the San Jose Mercury News: a bunch of inspired cyclists biking the math of climate change to their doors topping Chevron CEO John Watson's bragging about record oil profits that was going on inside. [...]

Bike the Math demonstration, May 30, 2013
First I thought he was talking about the $1.9 trillion a year in fossil fuel subsidies, which would be the only sensible thing to cut when you're talking about trying to reduce carbon emissions. But no, in John Watson's alternate universe it's solar and other renewable subsidies we should get rid off to bring down CO2 levels. Really, in this guy's carbon bubble we should stop wasting our money on that lazy old sun, the very source of all the fossil fuel it took millions of years to form that will be gone if Chevron follows through on its current business plan to suck it out of the earth and burn it as quickly as possible.[...] As mighty freewayblogger pointed out the other day, Chevron should just change its name to"

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My 3-Minute Video In a Borrowed Lab Coat Explaining How We Can Stop Keystone XL—by Raul Grijalva: "I'll make this short and sweet. I don't make many videos. I'm not naturally a ham and I prefer to talk to people directly. But if this is the best way to get people on board, I'm going to share it. I think it explains what's going on more clearly than any essay ever could. I hope you watch it and sign the petition at the link. As it says in part, "Efforts already under way are saving Americans money at the pump and creating new engineering and manufacturing jobs. Approving Keystone would put many of these advances in jeopardy. It would mean a return to the dirty economy of the past rather than a step toward the clean economy of the future." That's a message I think President Obama needs to hear right away."

Climate Change

Sen. Chris Murphy taking the lead on near term solutions to Climate Change—by beach babe in fl: "Senator Chris Murphy D-Ct writes in The Hill of his frustration with the political impasse on climate change legislation. He doesn't foresee any improvement with the current makeup of congress which he states is still debating the existence of anthropologic climate change. So he is proposing a solution which he thinks can receive more congressional support by circumventing the usual political hot buttons. Carbon dioxide isn’t the only gas driving climate change. Some greenhouse gases are hundreds to thousands of times more potent. Carbon dioxide only accounts for about half of man-made global warming. The bulk of the rest is comprised of so-called “short-lived climate pollutants” which include methane, black carbon (soot), and hydroflourocarbons (HFCs), all of which have a shorter atmospheric lifespan than CO2."

OK-Sen: Jim Inhofe (R), "Liberals Trying To Exploit A Tragedy By Linking Tornado To Climate Change"—by poopdogcomedy: "Oh crap!  Inhofe's on to us, guys!  Game over, man!  Game over!"

Obama May Have "No Patience" for Climate Deniers. But He Has a Lot for Procrastinators—by Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees: "Obama may have "no time" for climate deniers, but he certainly has a lot of time for procrastinators, like himself."

Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson: 'What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?'—by Hunter: "Exxon Mobil continues to look like a finishing school for psychopaths:
The CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp. says there’s no quick replacement for oil, and sharply cutting oil’s use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would make it harder to lift 2 billion people out of poverty. 'What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers? CEO Rex Tillerson said at the oil giant’s annual meeting Wednesday. Oh, he's a card, that one. Raise your hand if you think Exxon Mobil's corporate board gives a crap about lifting people two billion people out of poverty. Put your damn hand down, Joe Barton. Now raise your hand if you think Exxon Mobil would gladly help flood two billion people out of their homes for the next 10,000 years if it meant a 10-cent boost to next quarter's earnings report."

The 400 ppm threshold—by BiocarbonImperative: "The only way back to Target 350 is to stop putting so much carbon pollution in the air and at the same time to remove a lot of the accumulated carbon from the air. In other words we need to move rapidly from a global economy powered primarily by fossil fuels to a clean energy economy. And at the same time, we’ve got to get busy on biocarbon to restore nature’s capacity to absorb CO2 from the air and store it in living soils, plants, and trees. Biocarbon, or the second climate solution, is the focus of the Northwest Biocarbon Summit in Seattle on June 10."

Everyone talks about the weather, But ... FTN does something about it—by jamess: "I woke up this morning to a surprisingly frank and sober discussion on Face the Nation, about Weather vs Climate, Extreme Weather events as they relate to Climate Change. The general consensus of the expert panel is that Climate Change is real, and Climate Change is a serious problem, that deserves our attention as a nation. Even Bob Schieffer seems to be catching on to the "fact" of a warming planet."

Face the Nation looked at Climate Change—by Eddie C: "Memorial Day weekend must produce very low rating numbers for the Sunday talk shows. Perhaps today when Face the Nation waited until the show is no longer a national broadcast and started the second half off with a surprisingly honest and engaging look at climate change, it was a means of testing the water."

Food & Agriculture & Gardening

GMO Truthers need to be kicked out of the Progressive movement—by Obamalover20122: "I would probably say that most progressives don't know much about GMO at all because this topic—especially the science behind it—is not discussed nearly as much as something like climate change or evolution. And this is perfectly all right! It is impossible to know everything about everything. You know GMO has something to do with big corrupt corporations (i.e. Monsanto) and there are a lot of people and groups you inherently trust who say GMO is bad, so you are naturally inclined to think of GMO as a negative thing."

Will the Millions March On Against Monsanto?—by IndiePundit: "Sure Monsanto is seeing great resistance but they are still going strong. Even several countries have banned Monsanto and many of their Frankenfoods. The United States however isn't really seeing such action. Attempts to get legislation passed to simply require GMO's be labeled are being shot down. Let's not forget the 'Monsanto Protection Act' that allowed seeds to be planted even before they are deemed safe by the USDA. The powers that be don't seem to be listening or care."

March Against Monsanto, Louisville, Kentucky May 25, 2013. Photos and Video—by Rural Progressive: "A beautiful day with beautiful people. To tell you the truth I felt honored to capture this. It was a wonderful day in the neighborhood."

Monsanto protest May 25, 2013, in Louisville, KY
Food is Good — A Meditation Upon Humanity—by Vijaya: "Today, people gathered in the rain and gloom in Boston to protest the strangling grip that Monsanto has in all matters pertaining to the growing and marketing of food. I regret to say that I was not there. Other matters kept me at home, although I was mentally cheering on my friends who were there. However, I thought that I should post my thoughts about food—simple, unadulterated, good food, and what it means to someone from India, as I am, and why I find it so unfathomable that people are stingy with it, contaminate it, sell it at horribly high prices, and tread shamelessly upon the growers of it."

Monsanto demonstration May 25, 2013.
Monsanto, stop trying to get in our plants!—by nicolemm: "Of course, they are already in our plants. While I am not convinced GMOs are safe, I have friends and family who are, but even they can admit we should be labelling them. There is also what Monsanto is doing to farmers who try to resist their dominance in the seed market to consider. So maybe I should not have been surprised this was one of the biggest marches I have ever been in, probably 2000+, exceeded in my experience only by the 2008 RNC protest. It was a very diverse crowd, too [...]"

US About to Become One Big Factory Farm for China UPDATED! Sign Petition to Stop Sale!—by beach babe in fl: "China's largest meat processor struck a surprise $4.7 billion agreement to acquire Smithfield Foods Inc., a deal that would mark the biggest Chinese takeover of an American company and underscores the Asian nation's renewed determination to scoop up overseas assets. People involved in the deal said Wednesday that the purpose of the sale is to export more of Smithfield's output to feed rising demand in China. Essentially this off shores China's industrial factory farming of hogs to the US.  Just as the US off shored our manufacturing (along with all the pollution it caused) to China; China is now returning the favor. We get the pollution along with increased greenhouse gas emissions, extreme water and land pollution and China gets the product."

Upstream—by arlenegoldbard: "Ecojustice Canada (joined by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs) filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans a few weeks ago, challenging them with allowing Marine Harvest (the world's largest producer of farmed salmon, licensed by governments) to introduce diseased fish into Canadian waters. The fish farm footage is disgusting: heaps of dead fish succumbing to rapidly spreading viruses first introduced from fish feed lots in northern Europe (since the farms grow mainly Atlantic salmon, they imported their eggs as seed-stock, and with them, several viruses)."

The Buzz on Honey Bees—by Agathena: "A study in Canada concludes that neonicotinoids are linked to mass honeybee deaths but the government is not ready to ban them. Farmer's using neonics on corn crops claim their yield has increased by 15%."

school garden
Meatless Mondays.... From the Ground Up—by kirbybruno: "Establishing a school garden in the Midwest is tricky, because our growing season for most crops starts just a few weeks before school lets out and then the kids are gone just as things start to take off. Our early spring meetings with the 4th graders consisted of deciding what to grow, starting seeds in our greenhouse, planting things like spinach, peas, and lettuce that like the cool weather, and talking about the other part of Green Club, reducing, reusing and recycling."

A Farm Bill Labor Can Support—by StewartAcuff: "Is anyone following the farm bill that’s limping through Congress? We’re not and we doubt that you are, either. In our opinion, the farm bill is pretty much a way to pass buckets of cash on to giant farms that are lucky enough to have powerful friends in Washington. In spite of all that, some conversations we’re having with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) in Minneapolis are changing our thinking on the farm bill. They recently called us about a project they call 'Beyond the Farm Bill.'"

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of a growing number of winter farmers’ markets.
In Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of a growing number of winter farmers’ markets.
Bringing the Food Home: Local Food and Agriculture Systems—by Bev Bell: "In today’s globalized system, the number of miles a typical piece of food travels before it gets to its final point of sale averages 1,000 to 1,500, depending on which of the many studies one is reading. A small bag of trail mix we recently purchased listed 11 countries as far-flung as Greece, Chile, India, Vietnam, and Tanzania as possible sources for its three ingredients of almonds, cashews, and raisins. Food literally transverses the globe, creating a major disconnect between us and our source of survival, and creating plenty of opportunities for middle-people to make a profit along the way. For every dollar spent on food in the US, about 84 cents go to middle-people, while only 16 cents go to farmers."

Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 9.15—by Frankenoid: "After a couple of beautiful days in the 80s last weekend, mid-week we started catching the edge of the wild weather to the east of Colorado.  On Wednesday we had cloud cover and a little rain, and the start of a whole bunch of wind.  We’ve had gusts into the 50s over the last few days.  At least we’ve missed the tornados that have been hitting the plains. I really, really, really hate the wind."


* New Day * — Solar Power at home. Any green energy source where you live?—byparadise50 : "Just last week we replaced our old solar panel from the late 1970's with a new one. Our old one was installed during Jimmy Carter's presidency when there were the first financial incentives for installing solar. Ronald Reagan ended that. Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the White House. Ronald Reagan tore them down. Our old solar panel had simply worn out and corroded to the point the glycol wouldn't circulated inside it any more. Our new panel is a fancy German model...and boy does it work! It is far far superior to our old one."

Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson: 'What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?'—by Hunter: "“What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?” CEO Rex Tillerson said at the oil giant’s annual meeting Wednesday. Oh, he's a card, that one. Raise your hand if you think Exxon Mobil's corporate board gives a crap about lifting people two billion people out of poverty. Put your damn hand down, Joe Barton. Now raise your hand if you think Exxon Mobil would gladly help flood two billion people out of their homes for the next ten thousand years if it meant a ten-cent boost to next quarter's earnings report."

Circumventing Transparency: The Latest Shell Game to Protect Big Energy—by brasch: "The failure to maintain records in an easily searchable method continues to allow the [Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection] to withhold public information from the public by burying the requested data within piles of irrelevant documents, most of which need interpretation from scientists."

LNG Exports: The Wrong Side of History—by Michael Brune: "Future generations will be incredulous that we ever debated the wisdom of increasing LNG exports. The permits that the Department of Energy is considering would export as much as 45 percent of current U.S. gas production. Once the terminals are built, trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership currently being negotiated could make it difficult to impossible to limit how much gas we actually export. The result will be higher domestic prices as well a lot more drilling for natural gas—primarily by fracking."

San Onofre: "It's over."—by Joieau: "Yesterday, May 28, 2013, Friends of the Earth issued a press release entitled: San Onofre: Internal letter reveals Edison knew of defects at crippled reactors but misled federal regulators to get expedited license. 'This letter from Edison management is truly shocking,' said Damon Moglen, climate and energy director for Friends of the Earth. It shows definitively that Edison was more concerned with keeping to a construction schedule and making money than with assuring safe operation of their reactors. It raises serious questions about their honesty and about the NRC’s handling of the San Onofre license. 'The restart of San Onofre reactors is now off the table. No one can possibly argue for the further operation of these crippled reactors when such an experiment places the lives and livelihoods of millions of Southern Californians at risk.'"


Can the Shawnee National Forest survive regulated fracking?—by Willinois: "After watching the state house overwhelmingly vote for a bill that will launch the fracking rush in Illinois, I spotted the cover of Illinois Times' latest issue. 'A Guide to the Shawnee National Forest.' Go soon. When I first heard someone claim that fracking would destroy the Shawnee, I scoffed. It can't be worse than coal mining, right? There are protections in national forests, and drilling has gone on in the region for years. I didn't understand the massive scale of fracking proposed for downstate Illinois, and how much more damage fracking installations do than the small wells Illinois is used to seeing. Even fracking that complies with regulations supported by Governor Pat Quinn, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and several accommodating environmental groups can result in the destruction of the crown jewel of Illinois."

Shawnee National Forest in Illinois
Top Comments: What could save Germany from fracking? Beer!—by Steveningen: "Fracking, the process of drilling and injecting water and other chemicals into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside, is as contentious an issue in Europe as it is in the United States. The potential for ground water contamination is often cited as the biggest danger associated with the practice. The powerful German beer industry is now stepping up and placing pressure on the government's fracking plans over their fear that it could contaminate beer's main ingredient, water."

Fracking "Shock Doctrine" Unveiled as 2013 Illinois Legislative Session Nears End of Primary—by Steve Horn: "The shale gas industry has performed the “shock doctrine” at the 11th hour of the 2013 Illinois State Legislature’s debateover hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), the toxic horizontal drllling process through which oil and gas is obtained from shale rock basins nationwide. [...] With the deadline looming rapidly, anti-fracking activists – or “fracktivists”—have been protesting, sitting in, testifying in committee hearings and committing acts of non-violent civil disobedience daily at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield."

A map of every fracking well in the US and the list of many of its chemicals—by Risen Tree: "You don't need all the info on the well to find it; just do a search by state and county, and you can use the map from there. Note that it lists not just the chemicals but their concentrations as well. (It's the second column of percents). It also has a few other statistics, such as the last drill date and the depth of the drilling."

Californians Do Not Want to Be F****ed—by jpmassar: "Pew came out with a detailed poll of Californian's attitudes towards, well, just about everything today. (Except, oddly enough, marijuana legalization). They asked forty one different detailed policy questions of 1706 California adults. Here's the one concerning whether they want to be f----ed: Do you favor or oppose increased use of fracking, a drilling method that uses high pressure water and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations? Favor: 39%. Oppose: 47% .Don't Know: 14%. And here's one on global warming: Do you think that global warming will pose a serious threat to you or your way of life in your lifetime? Yes: 57%. No: 39%. Don't Know: 4%."

National spotlight on Illinois fracking fight as citizens push for moratorium—by Willinois: "The passionate push to save Illinois from poorly regulated fracking continued at the state Capitol Wednesday. After meeting with an aide to Governor Pat Quinn who worked on the inadequate fracking regulatory bill, [Internationally recognized ecologist and Living Downstream author] Sandra Steingraber and author Jeff Biggers spoke to Illinois residents feverishly pushing for a moratorium on fracking during the final days of the legislative session."

EPA's FRACKED UP REPORT - See Interactive Maps to View EACH Fracking Well Info—by War on Error: EPA is relying on the Fracking Companies to provide data on the "Impact on Drinking Water Report" that won't be completed until next year after 1000s of wells are already in place near and even in rivers, lakes, and drinking water reservoirs.  Details below: [...]"In short, EPA is saying they have relied heavily on the oil/gas industry and the states experiencing an economic boom from the fracking industry.  The Progress report is the BEGINNING of a much longer process which includes several other steps before EPA concludes whether or not fracking might have a negative impact on drinking water."

Sponsor of Illinois fracking bill living large on fat campaign fund—by Willinois: "The passionate push to save Illinois from poorly regulated fracking continued at the state Capitol Wednesday. Internationally recognized ecologist and Living Downstream author Sandra Steingraber made a return trip to her native central Illinois to support the push for a public, science-based examination of fracking. After meeting with an aide to Governor Pat Quinn who worked on the inadequate fracking regulatory bill, Sandra Steingraber and author Jeff Biggers spoke to Illinois residents feverishly pushing for a moratorium on fracking during the final days of the legislative session."

Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation

Swapping Keystone XL Approval for 18 x 18: A Lead Balloon—by RLMiller: "From a climate policy point of view, trading the enormous carbon impact of the Keystone pipeline for a modest 5% bump in a renewable electricity standard is an appalling idea. A meaningful trade would be a complete halt to mining the Powder River Basin's coal on both public and private lands; or an end to Arctic oil extraction; or an end to all fracking of natural gas in the United States on both public and private lands. (The fact that any of these is seen as politically impossible shows how thoroughly fossil fuel interests have permeated every aspect of the American political elite.)"

Canada Scraps Giant Keystone XL-Style Tar Sands Pipeline UPDATED x1—by ericlewis0: "Great news! The government of Canadian British Columbia just shitcanned the West Coast tar sands pipeline project, a.k.a. Northern Gateway. Unlike Keystone XL, this massive monster of a pipeline would have remained within Canadian borders."

British Columbia says no thanks to Enbridge's Northern Gateway Tar Sands Pipeline—by Lefty Coaster: "The Government of British Columbia Canada's province on the Pacific Coast has come out in opposition to the Enbridge proposal to build a pipeline from the Tar Sands in northern Alberta to Kitimat B.C. [...] 'British Columbia thoroughly reviewed all of the evidence and submissions made to the panel and asked substantive questions about the project including its route, spill response capacity and financial structure to handle any incidents,' B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake is quoted as saying in a May 31 media release. 'Our questions were not satisfactorily answered during these hearings.'"

Canadians reject Canadian pipeline—by scottsvine: "Creamer Media, an on-line mining news publication is reporting this morning that the newly-minted liberal Canadian government has rejected authorizing a pipeline from Alberta to British Colombia (B.C.). Apparently, it's OK by them for the USA to shoulder any potential risks, but the risks are "unacceptable" up north-a-way."

Did Big Oil write the State Department's Keystone XL analysis?—by dturnbull: "You know what they say about crap in crap out?  Well that may just be the case for the State Department's report. There are so many problems with it, it's hard to imagine anyone but the oil industry itself having written it...and unfortunately it appears that's not very far off."

State Department Inspector General Investigating Keystone XL Contractor ERM's Conflicts of Interest—by Steve Horn: "The Checks and Balances Project has announced that the U.S. State Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) has launched a conflicts-of-interest investigation into dirty dealings pertaining to the contractor tasked to perform the environmental review for the northern half of TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline on behalf of State. Environmental Resources Management, Inc. (ERM Group) declared the northern portion of Keystone XL as environmentally safe and sound on behalf of State in March, in defiance of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's assessment, among others."

Why the GOP loves the Keystone XL Pipeline—by thefarleftside.

Will the public comments of foes of the Keystone XL pipeline sway President Obama to say nay?—by Meteor Blades: "Public comments are a mandated procedure for any major projects that could cause harm to the environment. But it's rare for one to get so many responses. According to the department, it received 1.2 million of them in the 45-day period allowed. Some of these were generated with a 10-day blogathon here at Daily Kos. Not all the public comments have been posted yet, and it's unclear when they will be. But as a consequence of the lobbying efforts for transparency by various interested parties—including the Pulitzer prize-winning InsideClimateNews website—you can take a look at the comments that have been posted here. John H. Cushman, Jr. at Inside Climate has done just that. Many comments are form letters signed by hundreds or thousands of members of organized groups, such as the Sierra Club. But, as Cushman discovered, there were unique individual voices as well."

Keystone XL - To Build or Not—by cwsmoke: "Apparently OFA (Organizing for America), the Obama grassroots political action group, while advocating for climate change remedies and 'getting after' climate change deniers, is distancing itself from the presidential decision on whether to build the Keystone XL pipeline. CREDO, another progressive political action group, is opposed to the pipeline being built because (they rightly believe as do the reputable climate scientists) Keystone is the lynchpin, the tipping point that will drive us into irreparable climate change disaster if it is built. Make no mistake. If the pipeline is not built, the big oil companies will lose billions of (US) dollars, and if it is built, then we all will lose, our health, our clean air and water, and our (habitable) planet."

Eco-Related DC & State Politics

Extreme weather boosts need for accurate flood maps. Federal response? Slash funding—by Meteor Blades: "This extreme weather isn't a fluke. As a consequence, one thing that is going to be needed more than ever are accurate federal maps used, among other things, to determine premiums Americans pay for flood insurance. The maps are drawn by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and it's not having an easy time of it."

Members of Congress Slam Brown’s Peripheral Tunnel Plan—by Dan Bacher: "On the banks of the Sacramento River less than a mile from the State Capitol on May 30, four Members of Congress from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region blasted the current Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels and the lack of input afforded their constituents at a press conference. As the Representatives spoke, adult spring run Chinook salmon and American shad, fish whose very existence is threatened by the peripheral tunnels, migrated up the system to their spawning grounds. Meanwhile, juvenile fall run Chinook salmon, including 3 million released into the river by the Nimbus Fish Hatchery in May, made their way downriver to the ocean. Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-6), Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA-9), Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) and Rep. Ami Bera (CA-7 said the current plan proposed by Governor Brown, the Obama administration and south of the Delta interests would 'devastate' the Delta region and ignores the concerns repeatedly raised by stakeholders in the Bay-Delta region."

Michigan Congressman wants study of petroleum coke piles on health & environment on Detroit River—by Bateach.

Oklahoma flooding - this is not a great place to build a pipeline for toxic corrosive gunk—by SantaFeMarie: "Much of the soil in Oklahoma, including the Keystone XL route, is red clay—a porous substance that makes foundations settle and basements and underground tornado shelters leak."That's the reason we don't have basements," said Tom Bennett of Tulsa, past president of the National Storm Shelter Association. In greater Oklahoma City, which includes Moore, only 3.5 percent of homes have basements, according to Reuters. If this red clay causes cellars to leak, wouldn't it also cause a 36" pipeline to leak?"

Fish & Wildlife

The Daily Bucket: Great Blue Heron—by OceanDiver: "Recently, during a lull in the rain, I had a chance to watch a Great Blue Heron  (Ardea herodius) feeding much closer than I'm usually able to...I think it's because I was in a kayak rather than on the beach. Herons are fairly common on the sandy beaches here, even right next to a road, and show no interest in cars or bicyclists. But if you stop, they are immediately on their guard, and will usually fly off. Brisk walkers are watched warily, but so long as you maintain a pace, they wait for you to go by, and then resume fishing. For some reason, this heron allowed me to drift quite nearby, but I stayed far enough away that he continued to fish."

Collared Lizard in Organ Mountains, NM
Collared Lizard in Organ Mountains of New Mexico
Lizards!!—by Desert Scientist: "My father had a muscular, strong foreman on the electrical construction team for which he worked back in the 1950s.   He claimed to be a direct descendent of Robert E. Lee,The foreman had, as far as I could tell, only one fear - Lizards! It seemed a little strange to me. However, almost all of us have some phobia or other and I have had a nurse at a clinic say she could not be in the same room with me because I was wearing a tee-shirt with a spider on it!"

Open thread for night owls: Two decades and still no definitive reason found for amphibian decline—by Meteor Blades: "Amphibians have been around for more than 300 million years. Today there are some 6,000 species. But every single one of them may be in danger of extinction. Half are already under threat and scores have already been lost. Scientists have over the past two decades collected immense amounts of data about amphibians and the population crash has been a prime topic of conversation at the six meetings of the World Congress of Herpetology held since that first one 24 years ago. But what they have yet to discover is a definitive answer to what is happening to these creatures and, therefore, no means of stopping the die-off."

Daily Bucket: ocean grazers—by OceanDiver: "The plankton is blooming in this spring sunshine, and I'm finding all sorts of life waking up. Last time I showed you pictures of the "pastures of the sea" out in the bay, the drifting plant life, the phytoplankton. Today we'll take a close look at Copepod, the most important and by far the most numerous of the grazers of that phytoplankton. The impact of Copepods in aquatic ecosystems can not be overstated. In biomass, nothing compares, except possibly their Crustacean cousin the krill, which are much larger in size, and have populations more pelagic and geographically specific. I don't see krill much in these inland waters. But copepods are evident all year round, in any plankton tow, and in spring their populations explode. The photo above is typical for this time of year."

The Daily Bucket - Highly Successful Ospreys—by matching mole: "This morning it is about 70 degrees and still - humidity remains low. Calling birds include the usual suspects: Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Blue Jays. A Yellow-billed Cuckoo could be heard down the street a few minutes ago. Fish Crows are around this morning and the sounds Limpkins and Pig Frogs again drift up from the lake. Yesterday we had two separate observations of very successful Ospreys. Around 730 PM I spotted one perched on the snag visible from our house. It had a very substantial (I would guess close to two feet long) catfish in its talons. As we were just going out for a walk we didn't linger and watch it eat."

I just saved a hummingbird's life—by xxdr zombiexx: "It is very sunny and hot today and more so sitting in a metal building like an idiot. But I like it. It has a 14 foot wide roll up door at one end and that makes a huge opening in which it is basically being outdoors. That door lets in every thing nature has to offer. A snake came slithering in the other night during a downpour; box turtles wander in and all sorts of flying things up to starlings. Today a hummingbird flew in and got confused and panicked. It was flying all around, looking at the light reflecting off the steel of the building but getting trapped at the back. It's about 100 degrees in the back of the Mancave and the poor bird is back there crashing around. Finally it lands on a tiny bolt sticking out of the ceiling. I decided to open the roll-up door fully and shut off the lights to help. Bird stayed confused. I decided to yell at the bird, and chided it that even bugs figure it out. No good."

today i saved a life—by edrie: "i saved a snake today (well, actually yesterday). he was trapped in fine plastic meshing used to discourage birds from “stealing” berries from the trees, although i must wonder if the birds really understand the concept of 'stealing' what is freely grown in their open world. as he pushed forward to try to disentangle himself from his now unwise choice, he found that the mesh was ever more convoluted, leaving him with fewer and few options but to push forward to try to find an exit at the other end of his journey."

yellow-billed magpie
Yellow-billed Magpie
Dawn Chorus: Meet the locals!—by lineatus: "Who are you looking forward to seeing in San Jose at Netroots Nation? Our locals welcome you to San Jose. I'll do my part to help you meet as many of them as possible. [...]Though the Bay Area may not offer quite as many "target" species as southern Arizona, Florida, Texas or Alaska, it is a great place for birding. Most counties in the area have a "300 Club"—people who have seen at least 300 species within that county. Just over the hill in Monterey, there's a "400 Club" with 19 members; one member has 460 species in Monterey County alone. Our area's dense mix of habitats—ocean and bay, redwoods, oak woodlands, coastal scrub, sage scrub, grasslands, tidal marshes and more—gives birds a lot of options. At Netroots Nation, we will try to introduce you to as many of them as possible. There will be an "official" birding trip on Sunday after things wrap up at the convention, but I'm up for early morning and lunchtime quick trips whenever it works.


The Fight For Clean Water—by runningwaterspr: "This Memorial Day is the anniversary of Rachel Carson's (1907-1964) birthday. Most known for her influential 1962 work, Silent Spring, Rachel Carson was a marine biologist, writer, and early environmental activist. This book has long been credited with setting into motion a massive environmental movement. The establishment in 1970 of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) too was a consequence of Silent Spring, in addition to its resulting public discourse. Her warnings on the use of pesticides, fertilizers and their ever-widening problem of polluting were in the beginning largely written-off as alarmist. The public and government then eventually took her work seriously."

The Climate Change Impact Few People are Talking About: The Great Lakes' Drought—by Steven D: "Not surprisingly, the drought conditions in the Great Lakes region are causing both ecological and economic effects that threaten the region's inhabitants, animal, vegetable and human. [...] The impact is even being felt by America's automotive industry. Why?  Because ships and barges that carry iron ore and other raw materials to the automobile plants have had to lighten the amount they can deliver because of the lowered levels in the lakes or face running aground."

Remaining Delta tunnel plan documents released amidst broad opposition—by Dan Bacher: "The California Natural Resources Agency today released to the public the remaining chapters of the controversial Administrative Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. A broad coalition of environmental groups, fishing organizations, Indian Tribes, family farmers, consumer advocates, Delta residents and elected officials opposes Governor Jerry Brown's tunnel plan because of the dire threat it poses to the Delta ecosystem and because of its enormous economic costs."

Westlands Water District Files Lawsuit Against Delta Plan—by Dan Bacher: "Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, began his presentation in the public comment period of the Delta Stewardship Council meeting on May 16, by stating, 'Good morning, welcome to the resumption of California's water wars.' In spite of massive opposition to the Final Delta Plan by environmentalists, fishermen, family farmers and most elected officials who attended the meeting, the Council unanimously adopted what it described as a "comprehensive management plan" for the Delta."

California Members of Congress Blast BDCP Process and Plan—by Dan Bacher.

The Great Outdoors

A Ramble by the River—by Ojibwa: A photo diary.

River near Little Hoquiam Shipyard
Hoquiam River in Grays Harbor, Washington. "Hoquiam" is an Indian word
 in the Salishan language group denoting "hungry for wood."
Glacier National Park: The Second Decade—by Ojibwa: "In 1924, Peter Oscar Little Chief began to circulate a petition among the Blackfoot calling for recognition of their hunting rights in Glacier National Park. He claimed that the Blackfoot retained these rights in their 1895 treaty: 'We sold to the U.S. Government nothing but rocks only. We still control timber, grass, water, and all big or small game or all the animals living in this [sic] mountains'. He submitted his petition to the Bureau of Indian affairs, but received no response."

Hooker's groundcone, a parasitic plant
Hooker's groundcone
The Daily Bucket: Parasitic Plants of the PNW Woods—by Milly Watt: "Hooker's groundcone (also known as Vancouver groundcone) looks like a conifer cone growing out of the ground. It is relatively rare, but is found in my favorite local park. In this photo, you can see its light purple flowers emerging from the overlapping yellow scales.  The flowers have turned brown in the older specimen to the left. This is a root-parasitic plant that grows with Salal (Gaultheria shallon) and Evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum). It derives nutrition from a connection with their roots. Since a single plant can produce more than one-third of a million seeds, it is surprising that it is so rarely found. However, seeds may not grow for 7 to 12 years, or even decades, after dispersal."

The Daily Bucket - Forest timing—by bwren: "The Forest canopy closed sometime in the last couple of weeks. I missed the day this year, likely too distracted searching for the owl families. Last week I found that I had no shadow on the trail I depend on for bright winter light. Now shaded, the shrubs on the Forest floor continue to develop. Oregon Grape (Mahonia nervosa) bloomed back in March, when the forest floor was still bright."

The Daily Bucket: Shoo fly, don't bother me—by PHScott: "There's been so many horseflies buzzing around me the last few weeks. That and deer flies, we get them early down south. The constant attacks are aggravating - you swat aimlessly, twitch like a cow, blow like a deer, and know it's hopeless. They never give up so I wasn't sad when I spotted this big monster down and caught between the deck boards. [...] Those are some awesome mandibles, quite capable of ripping into your flesh for a bit of blood. Good news - while females need the blood for their eggs, males are happy to buzz around looking for flowering plants and nectar. We're half safe, but watch out for those ladies most active early in the morning or before sunset."

green trails at heesakker park—by blueyedace2: A photo diary.

❀hooray for flower p0rn!❀—by blueyedace2: A photo diary.

The Daily Bucket: Bug of the Day—by PHScott: "Unknown bug found in my bathroom. I was ready to smash it thinking it was a roach that had snuck in, but took it outside instead. Got one picture before it slipped thru the deck and found new freedom."

Eco-Activism, Eco-Justice & Sustainability

Bill McKibben Awarded the Sophie Prize—by ask: "Today it was announced that he has been awarded the Sophie Prize in recognition of his environmental activism and mobilization against global warming. You may be happily unaware of this prize, so I'll try to provide some background. The Sophie Prize is an international award (US $ 100,000), for environment and sustainable development, awarded annually. The Sophie Prize is established to inspire people working towards a sustainable future. The Prize was established in 1997 by the Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder and his wife Siri Dannevig."

Urban schools and Sustainable meals—by erratic: "Today I helped with a Sustainable Food presentation to 8th-grade classes in a DC Public School. This was part of an educational program where we created and planted raised-bed gardens with the 7th-grade classes. This week, we're leading an educational presentation on the ethics and environmental costs of food choices, with an emphasis on healthy, sustainable, locally-sourced alternatives. This includes bringing students out to harvest salad from the garden, and then preparing a vegan meal including salad, hummus, and pita bread."

OFA Targeting Climate Change—by ericlewis0: "While President Obama's reelection campaign was almost completely silent on the issue of global warming, Organizing for Action, the advocacy group tooled from his 2012 campaign machine, has launched a campaign designed to build support for the president's climate-change agenda. The article says it is to be a multi-faceted, multi-year campaign, so perhaps it will be a while before we see any tangible results. But it's still nice to see that this is a major priority. Let's, in the meantime, do what we can to get President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline."

OFA Conference: Can we talk about KXL?—by Mokurai: "Organizing for America supports President Obama on the Keystone XL pipeline, whatever his stance turns out to be, and no matter what grassroots members want. The Web site is still But you can make your voice heard. I just got the announcement below for my local OFA State Conference in Indiana this coming Saturday, and I would like to put a group together to attend it and say something about President Obama's dreaded All of the Above energy policy that is producing record amounts of offshore oil drilling, coal permitting, and fracking, and looks like it will also give us KXL unless we step up to shame him. [...] So I say to Indianapolis Kossacks: Are you in? and to Kossacks everywhere in the US, tell us what OFA is up to in your state, and what you are doing in response."

We're taking it to Chevron tomorrow!—by citisven: "Tomorrow bright and early a bunch of Bay Area cyclists and I are going to bike the math of climate change to Chevron's shareholders and call for the company to be a part of the renewable energy future rather than be the unsustainable, fossil foolish, retro backwards 20th century dinosaurs they are right now. [...] But really, what makes this story so powerful is how it highlights how everything is connected and how this one mega oil company represents all that is wrong with the way things are. From greed, shortsightedness and exploitation to political corruption, externalized costs, environmental destruction and social injustice, Chevron is one of those entities that are at the core of a planet out of balance with all the pain and suffering that entails."

Morning Open Thread: Veteran Farmers - Featuring Adam Burke—by JaxDem: "Several months back I stumbled upon the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), an organization mobilizing veterans to feed America. I was delighted to learn that my city, Jacksonville, Florida had a Veteran Farm/Farmer and by following that farm specifically and the FVC in general I am continually impressed."

Iowa Farmers Oppose Nuclear Power—by Paul Deaton: "About 65 people gathered at the Wilton Community Center last Tuesday to view a screening of the documentary, 'The Atomic States of America,' hosted by the group Saving America's Farmland and Environment (S.A.F.E.). Attendees also heard an update from two of the group's co-founders Dwight and Dianne Glenney. S.A.F.E. began with a group of farm families who rose in opposition to MidAmerican Energy's plans for a nuclear powered generating station on 150th Street near Wilton. No surprise that a group of farmers would fight a large corporation in the biblical terms of David v. Goliath when MidAmerican Energy bought options on 729 acres of prime Iowa farm land in the middle of an established rural community to build a power plant. According to Glenney, the electric utility has three possibilities for the land should they exercise the options: build a nuclear powered generating station, build a natural gas powered generating station, or do nothing. S.A.F.E. is organized so their Davids can remove MidAmerican's Goliath from their lives and the land options expire without action."

Pollution & Hazardous Wastes

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: A Moms Clean Air Force Exclusive Interview—by Marcia G Yerman: "New York State Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has been an unwavering voice emphasizing the importance of environmental protections. The mother of two young boys, she has pointed to the connection between children’s health and the air that they breathe. Gillibrand has also been working in tandem with Sen. Frank Lautenberg to spearhead the modernization of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), forging a bipartisan coalition. An announcement was made on May 22 outlining the achievement. One of the key points includes the requirement that the EPA assess potential harm to pregnant women and children when evaluating a substance, a proviso not included in the existing law."

A Big Win for Clean Air in Pennsylvania - and Nationwide!—by Mary Anne Hitt: "Coal pollution contains all sorts of nasty, dangerous things, but one of the worst pollutants is sulfur dioxide. Just five minutes of exposure to sulfur dioxide can lead to respiratory problems, difficulty breathing, and contribute to lung disease. So you can imagine the sigh of relief from Pennsylvanians with this major news: The Homer City Generating Station—the largest source of sulfur dioxide pollution in the U.S. in 2010—will now be subject to new, strong limits for this particularly dangerous pollutant. Up until now, only one of the coal plant's boilers had any ability to limit sulfur dioxide pollution!"

New Documents Reveal Top Toxics Regulator Knew of Exide Safety Risks for Years—by Consumer Watchdog: "New documents reveal that, contrary to its public statements, the state’s top toxics regulator knew about lead and arsenic emissions at Exide Technologies for years but looked the other way, Consumer Watchdog said today. The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) suspended Exide’s operations on April 24 and is now negotiating with the company on how to resume operations in heavily industrial Vernon where roughly one hundred residents live, but some 45,000 factory workers go every day."

Transportation & Infrastructure

NC Hybrid and Electric Drivers may be forced to pay discriminatory auto tax—by Kimball Cross: "To make a long story short, the latest state budget now under consideration by the state Senate calls for increases in registration fees for vehicle owners. Drivers of cars with conventional engines have to pay $50 extra. Drivers of electric and hybrid cars pay $100 extra. Declining revenue from the gas tax, which is used to finance road repair, is offered as the rationale for this discriminatory tax. I'm really steamed about this."

Chevrolet Spark
This is HUGE! Chevy Spark EV could cost as little as $12,495!—by Brainwrap: "Chevy is pricing the new (fully electric) Spark to come in just under the $20K wire (assuming the full $7,500 tax credit). It has an 82 mile range on a charge (7 miles further than the Leaf), which is very good, although still limiting (the Tesla Model S gets 210-250 miles per charge, for comparison). And it's cheaper than the new Leaf, which has an MSRP of $28,800 ($21,300). Of course, there's a caveat--they're only releasing it in 2 states for now: California and Oregon."

Content-free EV hype discourages readers!—by Morgan in Austin: "Many of you know I’m a huge electric vehicle (EV) fan. But I’m almost to the point where I automatically skip any article about EVs. Why? Because the EV boosters love to write about stuff—new models that don’t exist, brilliant breakthroughs that aren’t repeatable or scalable—that isn’t true.   Today “Brainwrap” informs us that a car that doesn’t exist, if purchased in a state where it won’t be offered, would be really cheap to a millionaire buyer. Yeah. Chevy will release a 2014 Spark Electric. Probably. Unless they change their mind. But in any case only in CA and OR. Not in, you know, West Virginia, where a hypothetical tax credit would be useful only if you pay a LOT of state tax. Like, if you’re a West Virginia billionaire. The original content could have been worthy of a quiet news update."

Holy Crap, Tar Sands/Keystone XL Related To Skagit Bridge Collapse—by ratcityreprobate: "Zoltan Grossman, a geography professor at The Evergreen State College outside of Olympia, Washington, has been digging into the facts surrounding the collapse of the I-5 bridge across the Skagit River north of Seattle. The picture he is putting together of this incident is even more shocking than we initially believed. Mullen Trucking, the Calgary based operator of the truck that hit the span is involved in hauling large and heavy drilling from the Port of Vancouver, WA, to the Alberta Tar Sands field. The equipment is placed in a large box for the trip north and east from Vancouver, WA.  After unloading the trucks return to Vancouver with the empty housing boxes to be loaded again. The truck that hit the bridge was carrying one of those large housing boxes back to Vancouver for another load of drilling equipment."

Eco-Philosophy & Essays

You killed my dad in Vietnam; And he didn't even know—by BOHICA: "'You' being Monsanto. The title of this diary is the last line of Country Joe McDonald's 'Agent Orange Song' off of his 'Vietnam Experience' DVD/CD.With Monsanto in the news, I thought it was a good time to remind people that they have been evil motherfuckers for a long time."

Climate Change, My Daughter and I ...—by Vijaya: "We knew the time would come when we'd have to tell [our daughter] about Climate Change, and delayed the awful moment for a while. Not that she was unaware of it all. WarrenS and I'd make allusions to it from time to time while talking to each other. She knew her Dad had been promoting concerts to help the cause of Climate Change awareness for the past three years. The information trickled into her consciousness between the time she was about five and now, eight. Our daughter's upset by it all, of course. We're gentle about how we convey the information, taking care to always say something positive about how people are trying to help the cause of animals, to prevent over-use of fossil-fuels, and to help conserve water."

Thoughts on Ranching and Agriculture in General—by Desert Scientist: "Ranching and farming are very chancy and now to a large degree have been taken over by big agriculture, although there are still family ranches and farms. In the short grass prairie this is especially so. While dry land farming has mostly gone the way of the dodo, pivot farming has been practiced for a while now, using fossil water from the Ogallala Aquifer.  About 50% or more of that water is gone and much of Texas and New Mexico have been under drought conditions.  I'm not sure where this will eventually lead as the world is pretty unpredictable, but I doubt that the alterations in climate and the hatred and divisiveness that has been engendered in the country will lead anywhere good. We are all, in some measure or another, guilty in this affair, and we have allowed our constitution's commitment to work for the general welfare to be usurped by greed and perceived need to the extent that we can't even talk to each other civilly, let alone tackle the very serious problems that require our attention. Whether humans can pull together in the current crisis as they finally did in the Dust Bowl is an open question, but I hope that they will."

Fool's Paradise—by veritas curat : "I know that telling you I think you live in a fool’s paradise probably turned you off from the very beginning so I’m sure you stopped reading after that - thought I was just being rude. But I’m going to keep on anyway because facts matter to me. Reality matters to me. Science matters to me. And I need to clarify my thinking on these matters because there is a whole lot of expensive, powerful propaganda to sort through."

What Jets and Contrails Can Tell Us About the Atmosphere—by janislav: "We all have frequent opportunities to sit outdoors and gaze up. The Sun, Moon and stars are very long distances away, and the air too might seem to go on forever ... but it doesn't. Think about this the next time you see a jet fly over or see contrails near sunset. The CO2 we have added to our atmosphere over the past 150 years has been packed into a very thin envelope indeed."

How I Garden (and Pursue My Calling)—by AndySchmookler: "One of my favorite places to visit is Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, a finite piece of urban land crafted generations ago by Frederick Law Olmstead so that it seems like a special world in itself.  Another is the bonsai collection at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., each specimen of which is a beautifully executed work of art by, in most cases, generations of artists—and by the trees themselves. The role of the trees in creating the beauty of the bonsais calls attention to a general truth:  The art form of gardening/landscaping always represents a kind of collaboration between the artist (the gardener, the landscaper) and nature."

Miscellany & Products

"Eco-San" - Ecological Sanitation—by John Crapper: "Looking at our excrement not as waste that needs to be treated, but as a resource needing to be put to full use, is the key to an ass-forward approach to the whole issue of sanitation. Ecological sanitation (Ecosan) offers a new philosophy of dealing with what is presently regarded as waste and wastewater. Ecosan systems enable the recovery of nutrients from human feces and urine for the benefit of agriculture, thus helping to preserve soil fertility, assure food security for future generations, minimize water pollution and recover bio-energy. They ensure that water is used economically and is recycled in a safe way for purposes such as irrigation or groundwater recharge."

Support your local farm sanctuary—by raatz: "From New York to Hawai`i and everywhere in between, there are some fun ways to support the heroic work of farm sanctuaries in the coming days and weeks. Tomorrow night in New York City, you can enjoy a fabulous Moroccan buffet in support of Catskill Animal Sanctuary, a 110-acre haven for horses and farm animals rescued from cruelty and neglect."

Mixed Blessings: H.O.R.S.E. Rescue and Sanctuary Update—by weck: "The inevitable has happened, my friend Mike Dodge has passed, but not before finding another wonderful person who can continue his work.  Marial (and her brother) have taken the remainder of the horses to their place in nearby Spencerport, NY, and will continue to operate the Rescue.  Chris, Mike's wife, will help them as they learn how to manage the Rescue.  My condolences to Chris and all of Mike's family, friends and the rescue volunteers; it is difficult to lose such a man."

Dancing For The Planet - 350ma Benefit Concert: Boston, MA, 06/21/13—by WarrenS: "On Friday, June 21, three dance companies representing diverse movement traditions will join together to draw attention to the global climate crisis. Featured artists are the Zoé Dance Company, the Navarasa Dance Theater, and Nani Agbeli & The Agbekor Society.  The music begins at 7:00 pm, at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston, MA. Tickets are $20; $15 students/seniors. All proceeds will go to 350ma, the Massachusetts chapter of the environmental organization"

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jun 01, 2013 at 01:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS, DK GreenRoots, Meatless Advocates Meetup, and Gulf Watchers Group.

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