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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 245 of these spotlighting more than 14,932 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to 47 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
Toxic petcoke dust covers a working class community in south Chicago.
Toxic petcoke dust covers a
working-class community in south Chicago.
The Kochs Dirty Secret is Out in Chicago—by FishOutofWater: "Detroit found out the Kocks dirty secret first. Now south Chicago knows. What happens in Alberta doesn't stay in Alberta. Petcoke, the dirty high carbon residue of Canadian tar sands refining, fouled Detroit. Detroit ordered the petcoke piles out. Now petcoke piles are covering south Chicago with black dust laced with toxic vanadium.  Petcoke, the tar sands residue that is worse for the climate than burning coal, has been piled up near midwest refineries awaiting export to countries that allow it to be burned. Because it's a waste product of oil refining the Kochs sell it for prices cheaper than coal to poor nations willing the accept pollution as a trade off for cheap energy. Petcoke is the carbon cost ignored in the State department analysis that falsely claimed that Keystone XL tar sands oil will not significantly increase greenhouse gas pollution compared with conventional oil. The dirty carbon secret that the Kochs don't want you to know about is literally blowing in the wind. Working class and lower middle class communities were, as usual, the first to learn the Koch's dirty secret."

••• •• •••

Native Americans Declare War on Fracking. Canada Declares War on Native Americans. Updates—by jpmassar: "The twitterverse exploded this morning with reports of Royal Canadian Mounted Police taking up sniper positions, pepper spraying blockaders and arresting Mikmaq tribal elders, while other protesters torched numerous police vehicles. Mounties have arrested at least 40 protesters at an anti-fracking blockade in New Brunswick after police cruisers were torched when RCMP moved in. Charges include firearms offences, uttering threats, intimidation, mischief, and refusing to abide by a court injunction. Native protesters hit with rubber bullets and pepper spray apparently retaliated by torching at least five cop cars."

••• •• •••

Celebrating the 1,000th Sierra Club Solar Home—by Mary Anne Hitt: "It's been more than two years since my husband and I installed solar panels on the roof of our home in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. As the months have passed, I've enjoyed watching the ticker continually rise on the amount of solar power our panels have generated. I love knowing that our home is more powered by the sun, and less by dirty coal mined by blowing up the beautiful mountains in Appalachia. And across the U.S, I'm not alone! Rooftop solar power is expanding exponentially, and the Sierra Club just celebrated our 1,000th solar home as part of our Solar Homes initiative."

••• •• •••

The chicken that caused the recent salmonella scare: It's still being sold—by VL Baker: "There was outrage when we heard about the chicken salmonella outbreak which had been tied to Foster Farm plants. Certainly we thought that the contaminated product would be taken off the shelves and we would be safe. Not so fast. Little has been done and the toxic product is still available in stores. You see, in the U.S., salmonella contaminated chicken is par for the course. In fact at least one-quarter of raw chicken is contaminated with salmonella and much of it is antibiotic resistant. We bring the toxic chicken bomb into our homes and it is our responsibility to detonate the bomb by proper cooking methods. If we don't our families run the risk of sickness or worse. The customers for this tainted product include fast food, institutions such as the school lunch program, supermarkets and restaurants. Really anywhere where costs and profits are the most important criteria for choosing product which in the U.S. is just about everywhere."

You will find more rescued green diaries beneath the fold.

Eco-Activism & Eco-Justice

DAY OF ACTION TOMORROW: Help Elsipogtog Anti-Fracking Blockade, Looks like War Zone—by War on Error: "There are armed men, lying on their stomachs with rifles aimed at the tar sands/fracking protesters. In Canada, ay! Oh Canada! October 17, 2013, 7:30 AM – about 700 Canadian police raided the Elsipogtog anti-fracking blockade in New Brunswick. Police have descended on a blockade encampment of members of the Mi’kmaq First Nation, who have been holding a weeks-long blockade to prevent the Texas-based company Southwestern Energy (SWN) from conducting fracking exploration in their lands. Several people have been hurt and all of the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society has been arrested. Over 200 supporters broke police lines to join the blockade. Reports of rubber bullets fired, reckless use of pepper spray, brutality, all at the behest of SWN."

TEXAS Company Wants to Frack Near Pristine Richibucto River, NB Canada: Tensions Rising—by War on Error: "The New Brunswick government has been allowing SWN Resources to explore some 2.5 million acres of lands for the purpose of shale gas extraction through hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”. Apparently, the Canadian government has leased 1/7 of New Brunswick for shale gas exploration. [...] The fracking industry loves to locate near big rivers because they need millions of gallons of water to frack with. No wonder The Mi’kmaq Warrior Society is upset.  This river is life supporting. For that matter, all the citizens of New Brunswick should be up in arms. There water supply is under attack from the oil and gas industry. [...] Yesterday the Royal Canadian Mounted Police descended on the protestors hoping to buy time to stop the destruction of this pristine area of the world, actually one of the cleanest places on the entire planet. [...] There were literally armed men in camo, lying on their stomachs with rifles aimed at the anti-fracking protesters."

Blog Action Day: Violence and Intimidation Don't Stop Indian Activists Fighting Deadly Coal Plant—by nicoleghio: "What would you do if a massive coal plant that would poison your air and water broke ground adjacent to your home? What if your neighbors were forcibly removed to make room for the project? What if friends who attempted to protest the plant disappeared mysteriously? And what if this was not a new occurrence, but rather a story that has been repeated again and again for over 50 years? If you live in Singrauli, India, this is your reality, and amazingly, the answer is you would still fight back. Starting with the construction of the Rihand Dam in the 1960s, and continuing with the opening of numerous, massive coal mines and multi-thousand megawatt coal plants, Singrauli is a sacrifice zone for power and powerful interests. When I visited the district in 2011, I was told no one was an "original" resident - everyone had been forcibly moved, many multiple times, as new projects are developed."

Dream Defenders News: The Fight For A Green Economy—by JoanMar: "Dream Defenders are beyond excited to head to #Powershift2013 this weekend. Disparities in the quality and care of our environment drastically impact communities of color around the country (and world). We must all work to leave environments and communities that allow future generations to live with dignity. — with Mstery'us SwaggaMiss Sharon. The Energy Action Coalition under the banner, 'Power Shift 2013' will be marching through downtown, Pittsburgh, this Monday. The group will be protesting against fracking and seeking to draw attention to the harm it does to communities."

What I Do and Why I Do It—by gmoke: "I publish a weekly listing of Energy (and Other) Events at the colleges, universities, and in the community around Cambridge, MA ( and have been doing it consistently since the end of January, 2010. My original idea was to have a searchable calendar of all the public lecture information at all the colleges and universities around the Boston area, something like 70 of them, so that anyone could take the opportunity to gather in all the free learning they want.  Imagine the resource for anyone from high school kids to retired people.  I'd been availing myself of the privilege for a number of years already, meeting in small seminar rooms with distinguished experts and famous names that normally you'd only see on TV.  And I even got to ask them questions. What a gift!"

The Great Outdoors

The Daily Bucket: waiting for the ferry...October morning—by OceanDiver: "There's no bridge to the island I live on. Getting over to "the world" and back requires a ferry trip for most of us, and we are limited to the space available on the half dozen scheduled sailings in the day. This isolated lifestyle is not for everyone. Every year newcomers move to the island, and usually move back off within a year...few stores, little entertainment, tiny population, everything shuts down at night. And you can't just get in your car and go where you want. We islanders like this peaceful remoteness. But even for us, there are times we have to go off, for appointments and such. Then we scrutinize the current ferry schedule, and figure how early to get in line, calculating the car quota, the day of the week, the time of year, how critical it is to make that boat, and several other variables. Because when the ferry fills up, any "overloaded" cars will have to wait for the next boat, which might be hours later. All of which is to explain why I was at the ferry dock an hour before departure this day. It was a bit overcast, but the crisp October fresh air drew me out for a little walk on the rocky headland there, instead of waiting out the time in the car."

The Daily Bouquet - Grape Hyacinth—by FOYI: "Each fall come the rains and with the rains come the grape hyacinths. Their little bulbs having quietly waited nestled in the soil through the heat of summer. The scientific name is Muscari armeniacum. Muscari from the Greek word for musk, so you can imagine the fragrance, and armenia because they are native to Armenia.  I'm not going to google that last bit. Preferring the cool moist air, they stretch out their thin floppy leaves at the first sign of fall. But they're just keeping up appearances. Their bunches of little cobalt blue vases,  resembling grapes, won't be arriving until spring. So you have quite a wait for the grape part. Seems strange for a plant to emerge in the fall and thrive in the winter only to die in the early spring."

Autumn leaves
Blue skies, autumn leaves (photo heavy)—by klompendanser: "Winter is coming; shorter days, cold temperatures, snow, ice. Which is why you should get out and enjoy the fall while you can."

Climate Chaos

Turning Texas: SCOTUS to hear Texas EPA rules. State Republicans pleased as punch—by bastrop: "The US Supreme Court today agreed to hear a challenge of Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, the major 2007 law allowing EPA to "regulate emissions of greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles if it found they endangered public health or welfare." (NYT 10/15/13) In 2009, EPA issued a finding that “elevated concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere” caused by stationary power plants as well as motor vehicles threaten the welfare of "current and future generations". Texas and other States, along with Industry and interest groups challenged the finding, charging the EPA had overstepped it's authority and lacked evidence. The Court agreed to hear six petitions but narrowed the focus to the question of whether EPA 'permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouses gases.'"

Supreme Court Grants Cert Putting Clean Air Act Greenhouse Gas Controls on Chopping Block—by Lake Superior: "The U.S. Supreme Court today issued certiori for 6 petitions from industry and state petitioners seeking review of EPA's greenhouse gas emission control regulations for stationary sources. The petitioners are seeking the invalidation of EPA regulations specifying emission control regulations from greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources of pollution. The Supreme Court's certiori Order provided a specific issue of regulation to be considered: 'Whether EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases.' The Supreme Court previously affirmed EPA's authority to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases from mobile sources in a 5 to 4 decision in a case from Massachusetts years ago."

Prepare your Locale for "Climate Departure"—by jamess: "I love it when Scientists try to break down the data, to make it more understandable to us more "average humans."  Here is very good example of that: By 2047, Coldest Years May Be Warmer Than Hottest in Past, Scientists Say—Dr. Mora is not a climate scientist; rather he is a specialist in using large sets of data to illuminate environmental issues. He assigned a class of graduate students to analyze forecasts produced by 39 of the world’s foremost climate models. The models, whose results are publicly available, are operated by 21 research centers in 12 countries, and financed largely by governments. Thousands of scientific papers have been published about the model results, but the students identified one area of analysis that was missing. The results are usually reported as average temperature changes across the planet. But that gives little sense of how the temperature changes in specific places might compare with historical norms. “We wanted to give people a really relatable way to understand climate,” said Abby G. Frazier, a doctoral candidate in geography [...] So the idea here is, that a non-climate scientist is crunching the data, to show what Climate Change will mean for individual locations across the globe, and also across local historical norms. In other words, what Climate Change will mean in your backyard."

Extreme Weather

Up to 100000 cattle dead in record storm—by TellerCountyBlue: "Last weekend (Oct 4-5) left tens of thousands of cattle dead in the high plains of South Dakota. Estimates vary from 20,000 (CNN) to 100,000 (Fox News). The fatality rate is so high due to the timing of the storm. Few herds had been moved to winter pastures. Cattle hadn't developed their winter coats yet and were subjected to 12 hours of freezing rain before the storm turned to snow for another 48 hours. Regions in western South Dakota saw losses up to 20% of their herds. Individual ranchers may have had losses as high as 50%. Snow and winds as high as 70 mph drove cattle from their pastures leaving a trail of dead behind."

Food, Agriculture & Gardening

Macca's Meatless Monday: I'm shutdown—by VL Baker: "It was predictable that with a wingnut, idiot governor like Rick Scott, Florida would be one of those states that would feel the shutdown up close. I'm starting to hear stories of people being impacted right in my community. Children and seniors especially are feeling the pinch with the closing of many Head Start and Meals on Wheels programs. Our heartless governor has said there will be no reimbursement of funds to those agencies that run out of money. It's a good time to stay close and listen to hear of those who are needing immediate help with meals and other services. Today I'm sharing some economical, hearty recipes which make healthy one-pot meals to share with those in your community experiencing food stress."

World Food Day goal is to end hunger—by VL Baker: "October 16 is World Food Day.  World food day is about ending hunger and is an achievable goal when we are able to think outside the box of the status quo unsustainable industrial food system. People who are chronically hungry are undernourished. They don't eat enough to get the energy they need to lead active lives. A hungry person is weak. Tired. Unable to concentrate, study or work. Undernourished children do not grow as quickly as healthy ones. Mentally, they may develop more slowly. Constant hunger weakens the immune system and makes you more vulnerable to diseases. Why are millions of people hungry? So far, there is enough food for everyone in the world. Food production is not the main problem. War and natural disasters can disrupt food supplies but are not the main problems either. The problem is that millions of people are poor and can't get their hands on enough good, nutritious food every day."

Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 9.35—by Frankenoid: "Yesterday morning we woke up to the season's first measurable snow — a proper October snow of an inch or two; enough to moisten and cool the soil, making it just right for planting spring bulbs. And the first measurable snow came at the right time: the average first snow date in Denver is October 19. I don't have a lot of bulbs to plant this year; okay, make that I don't have a lot of bulbs to plant this year for me. Only 50 daffodils, and however many hyacinth I decide to put in the yard instead of forcing."


The Latest News in Fossil Fuel Addiction—by Michael Klare via TomDispatch: "Today, peak oil seems a distant will-o’-the-wisp.  Experts at the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) confidently project that global oil output will reach 115 million barrels per day by 2040—a stunning 34% increase above the current level of 86 million barrels.  Natural gas production is expected to soar as well, leaping from 113 trillion cubic feet in 2010 to a projected 185 trillion in 2040. These rosy assessments rest to a surprising extent on a single key assumption: that the United States, until recently a declining energy producer, will experience a sharp increase in output through the exploitation of shale oil and natural gas reserves through hydro-fracking and other technological innovations. 'In a matter of a few years, the trends have reversed,” Moreau declared last February. 'There is a new energy reality of vast domestic resources of oil and natural gas brought about by advancing technology ... For the first time in generations, we are able to see that our energy supply is no longer limited, foreign, and finite; it is American and abundant.'"

Two engineers discover power grid is extremely vulnerable to attack—by Christian Dem in NC: "A few months ago, engineers Adam Crain and Chris Sistrunk discovered a potentially catastrophic vulnerability in the nation's power grid.  Due to a flaw in the software used to monitor most of the country's electrical substations, an attacker can easily break in and cause a widespread power outage. The engineers say they hardly qualify as security researchers. But seven months ago, Mr. Crain wrote software to look for defects in an open-source software program. The program targeted a very specific communications protocol called DNP3, which is predominantly used by electric and water companies, and plays a crucial role in so-called S.C.A.D.A. (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems. Utility companies use S.C.A.D.A. systems to monitor far-flung power stations from a control center, in part because it allows them to remotely diagnose problems rather than wait for a technician to physically drive out to a station and fix it. After finding they could successfully break 16 different SCADA vendors, they sent a detailed report to the Department of Homeland Security's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team.  But ICS-CERT didn't issue a formal alert about Triangle's system until August--four months after Crain and Sistrunk first alerted them."


Fracking: The Other EPA Shutdown—by Michael Brune: "Sometimes we overlook that the EPA (and the rest of our government, for that matter) is made up of people who take pride in serving their community and doing a good job. And as I've written before, we need the EPA to have our back when it comes to protecting the water we drink and the air we breathe. If they don’t, we're in big trouble. Unfortunately, when it comes to hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the EPA has let down its guard. Go to the EPA's webpage on fracking, and the first sentence sounds like it came from a fossil fuel PR flak: 'Natural gas plays a key role in our Nation's clean energy future.' Even if you defined 'key role' as a dirty and dangerous drilling boom with lax and inconsistent regulation as the result of loopholes in seven major federal laws and regulatory programs, that sentence would still be only half-true. That's because natural gas is unequivocally not part of any clean energy future. As long as we're still drilling and burning gas, we still have at least one foot stuck in the dirty-fuel past."

Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation

US Court: Transcanada's Keystone XL Profits More Important than Environment—by Steve Horn: "In a major ruling that's flown under the radar, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit - based in Denver, Colorado - decided not to grant the Sierra Club and Clean Energy Future Oklahoma a temporary injunction on the construction of the southern half of Transcanada's Keystone XL tar sands export pipeline. In a 2-1 decision, the Court sided with Transcanada, ruling 'the threatened environmental injuries were outweighed by the financial harm that the injunction would cause Transcanada.'"

Eco-Related DC & State Politics

Climate change denier David Vitter makes case that shutdown is good because EPA, EPA, EPA, EPA—by Meteor Blades: "Having Republican David Vitter as the ranking member of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works is a bit like having Custer as Commissioner of Indian Affairs. The senator's lifetime environment score from the League of Conservation Voters is four percent, although he managed a higher flunking grade of seven percent in 2012. The Senate average for 2012 was 56 percent. Naturally, Vitter is a denier: “I do not think the science clearly supports global warming theory." Which makes his recent 'listicle' posted on the Environment committee's minority blog about why the federal government shutdown is a good thing not all that surprising. Five of the 10 reasons: Thousands of Environmental Protection Agency employees aren't working."

VA-Gov: Climate Change Scientist Michael Mann Returns To Help Defeat Ken Cuccinelli (R)—by poopdogcomedy: "Climate scientist Michael Mann has teamed up with NextGen Climate Action in a new web video posted last week, urging Virginians to vote against Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the governor's race. Mann, a former University of Virginia professor, has been the subject of Cuccinelli's anti-climate science attacks. Beginning in April 2010, Cuccinelli attempted to use his position as the state attorney general to subpoena Mann's records and email correspondence, in order prove that the scientist's research constituted "fraud" against taxpayers in the state. The effort dragged on for two years and cost UVA hundreds of thousands of dollars, but was ultimately unsuccessful."

Darrell Issa Subpoenas Park Service for Government Shutdown Documents—by pipsorcle: "Truth be told, Darrell Issa will stop at nothing to make a headline, even if it does absolutely nothing to address pressing issues like unemployment. First Issa loves to do investigations. Now he's in love with subpoenas. And he believes the National Parks Service is up to no good apparently"

Californians to protest Governor Brown's environmental award in S.F. Oct. 17, 5:30 - 7 pm—by Dan Bacher: "The protest was organized by a group of individuals unaffiliated with national environmental organizations who were galvanized by Brown’s most recent assault on the environment: the green lighting of fracking in California. 'Jerry Brown ignored the majority of Californians and the rank and file of the Democratic Party who support a moratorium on fracking,' said organizer Damien Luzzo. 'He signaled that he would not sign any of the moratorium bills and only signed the already weak SB4, after he gutted it at the 11th hour at the behest of Big Oil.'"

Monsanto Protection Act Dead?—by The Baculum King: "Everybody is probably aware of and over this, but looks like a little-noticed benefit of the Teabaggers meltdown...Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said Thursday that he removed the “Monsanto Protection Act” from the bill Congress passed Wednesday night to fund the government. Tester has been working to repeal that provision, which directed the U.S. Agriculture Department to ignore a judicial ruling that blocked the planting of genetically modified crops."


Silvery Checkerspot
Silvery Checkerspot
The Daily Bucket; Butterflies Are Free—by burnt out: "In the spring of 2012 I began taking pictures of any interesting animals that I happened upon, which, since they are all interesting in one way or another, means that in the spring of 2012 I began taking pictures of just about every wild critter that I happened upon. So my computer is now overflowing with folders, all bulging with pictures of everything from ants to zebras. Well ok, no zebras yet, but just about anything else that's likely to be found in the woods or along the rivers and streams that run through them here in mid Missouri. An ongoing lifetime love and fascination with nature has resulted in me spending an inordinate amount of time in those wild places so I've long been aware that there was a wide variety of wildlife around me. But I have to admit that once I actually began documenting all the various species, I was truly surprised at the incredible biological diversity that surrounded me."

spined micrathena
The Daily Bucket: Kingdom of the Spiders!—by PHScott: "As we near Halloween, it seems people like to drag out the classic horror movies of old. I see it in the comics, on the web, and our own DK diaries. "Kingdom of the Spiders" is a self-described "cult classic" from 1977 starring William Shattner. Yeah Shattner, that says it all right there, eh? I consider one of the worst movies ever made, not scary, not frightening, but horrific in a horrible way.
There's another kingdom of the spiders, a much more interesting one, and that is right around my house. Here's some photos of the current residents enjoying the last weeks of fall. Starting off with the oddest spider I have seen that I found building a web between the 2 ropes I use for a clothesline. Thanks to burnt out with his photos in the comments on my last spider bucket, I was able to identify this one right off. Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis) or Spiny-Bellied Orb Weaver."

Moose on the Loose ... but for How Much Longer?—by Jamess: Scientists worry that fallout from climate change is killing off moose.

Pelican's wing.
Dawn Chorus: I didn't want to go to Bodega Bay, for a change—by lineatus: "I love Bodega Bay, get there several times a year.  But yesterday I would much rather have been banding. However, thanks the ongoing tantrum by the GOP, the shutdown made that impossible. We operate in a National Recreation area and are not allowed to access the banding blinds. We have lost nearly two weeks worth of data at the peak of the season.  People doing informal counts around the area during this period have recorded several days with huge flights.  We can go back to banding, hawkwatching and telemetry when the shutdown ends, but we'll never get this peak back. [...] We started our drive back and kept an eye to water.  A flock of shorebirds looked interesting, so we pulled over. Some Dunlin, a few peeps and a bunch of Black-bellied Plovers. This time of year, it's always worth checking to see if a stray Golden Plover is in the mix. There was also something large and white beyond them at the water's edge. It was a white pelican, and it became obvious that it was dead.  From my time working with the collections at California Academy of Sciences (while working on book illustrations), I knew that this bird could potentially be very useful to them, and called a friend to see if they might be interested in a very fresh pelican.  Yes!  So we gathered up the bird, and packaged it for the ride back."

The Daily Bucket--Improbable Creatures—by 6412093: "Something's been killing the killdeer.  Every springtime, in this valley in northwest Oregon, a half dozen mating pairs of these quirky birds fall in love, nurture eggs, raise little killdeer, and get the killdeer population up to about 20. And then over the grey winter months of January and February,  the killing starts.  This year, it started even earlier; yesterday. I was walking at 7 am, through the fog that clung to the low hills on the golf course where this killdeer flock chose to live, and I came across the crime scene;  two throw-rug-sized clusters of brown and white killdeer feathers, a few feet apart. There were too many feathers there to hope it was just a skirmish. Mated killdeer often forage side by side.  It looked like these two had both been sent to the great hardpan in the sky. At least they went together. I knelt nearby, searching for clues.  I knew intuitively the golf course had too much open space, and too little cover for the killdeer to thrive unmolested. But that's how the killdeer liked it. Maybe it reminded them of the beach; they were beach birds."

National Parks, Forests & Other Public Lands

New Day — What's your favorite national monument or state park?—by paradise50: "The parks will be opening again...yay! This got me thinking about my favorite state parks, national parks and national monuments. Since I'm from Colorado and have also lived in Oregon and now California, I have tons to choose from. I really want to know about your favorite state parks and national monuments since we all know about the national parks. Those are in our collective consciousness as Americans. But state parks and most national monuments are different because usually people don't know about them if they don't live near by."


Sand mining industry rewrites Wisconsin law to restrict local control. Update: Vote may be Monday—by Mike Kahlow: "While all of us were watching the debacle in DC, Wisconsin republicans, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), and Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association have been rewriting Wisconsin law behind closed doors. You see, they have a problem. Wisconsin municipalities have the right to approve and regulate nonmetallic mining. But that's going to change. Hearings are being scheduled for next week for a bill to strip from municipalities their rights to regulate sand mining."

Transportation & Infrastructure

Sunday Train: eBikes & Green Austerity—by BruceMcF: "About a week ago, the following story caught my eye: For the first time on record, bicycles have outsold cars in Spain. Higher taxes on fuel and on new cars have prompted cash-strapped Spaniards to opt for two wheels instead of four. Last year, 780,000 bicycles were sold in the country — compared to 700,000 cars. That's due to a 4 percent jump in bike sales, and a 30 percent drop in sales of new cars. And this is not primarily about a wave of government policies promoting cycling, or an outbreak of climate activism among the young ... it's the result of the crisis."

Dispelling Electric-Vehicle Myths, #3B: Business Viability and Consumer Value—by Assaf: "The main message of this diary-pair is that the reality is far better than what conventional wisdom would have you believe. We've seen this in other fields: CW has such a hold on pundits' minds, that they are willing to deny reality to its face long after the CW had been debunked. In the EV case, the CW has been that this is a 'zombie technology' unworthy of Prime Time—not now, probably not ever. Any sign of life from EVs has been dismissed as artificial, irrelevant to ordinary people, or a sign of desperation. Any negative sign has been seized upon as a treasure: the most hillarious example was the NYT quoting an 'expert' proclaiming 'a stake in the heart of electric vehicles' because of a viral video of a single Tesla Model S that caught fire following an accident, after over half a billion cumulative EV miles on the road. Things are not perfectly rosy. But if you'd like my bottom line, it is this: EVs are very close now, perhaps a single year away, from attaining the critical mass and momentum needed to irreversibly affect the automotive-market economy."

Eco-Philosophy & Essays

Ass-backward Consumerism—by John Crapper: "Consumers are constantly receiving the message that a healthy economy depends on their spending.  Want more, buy more and spend more. We are conditioned into thinking that growth is always good. We are also told that low unemployment is dependent on consumer spending. There must be a constant increase in demand if new jobs are to be created in sufficient numbers to absorb the new entrants constantly coming into the job market. More people, more consumers, more products, more consumption, more growth, more job creation, more people, more consumers, more products, more consumption, more growth in an endless cycle of escalation. In this endless circle the concept of conserving is completely lost. Slick marketers entice us to buy, buy, buy everywhere we look and listen.  Buy for greater prestige, happiness, better looks, more convenience, or more time."

Shutdown of 150th coal plant reminder that so-called 'war on coal' must not be war on coal workers—by Meteor Blades: "Last week, it was all smiles at Beyond Coal when the retirement was announced of the giant, much-protested Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, Massachusetts. That's the 150th U.S. coal-powered generating plant to go that route since the beginning of 2010. It's the largest remaining coal-burner supplying electricity in New England. It's also one of the filthiest of the nation's power plants, ranked as 14th nationwide out of 378 by the NAACP for its negative impacts on minorities and people of modest means. Protesters have sought to shut the place down for years. In July, 44 were arrested for acts of civil disobedience at the plant. There is little doubt that the shutdown is good news for the planet. But what will happen to the 240 workers at Brayton Point? And to the community of Somerset? For that matter, what will happen to all the other American communities and individuals whose livelihoods depend on coal being dug and burned when the shutdown campaign succeeds nationwide? Can their interests, can they, merely be given a sympathetic nod followed by a shrug, and then cast aside, sacrificed for the greater good?"

We need to liberate manufacturing from King Coal—by Stormin: "If you're an old-school labor Democrat, a New Dealer watching the American Dream slip away, then you're probably desperate to bring jobs back to the United States.  So you have to feel bad for the likes of Sherrod Brown and Richard Trumka as they're caught between two incompatible issues.  If you want to help our desperate steel and iron workers, then you have to ignore the fact that companies like Nucor, the second-largest ferrous foundry outfit remaining in the United States, are giving money hand over fist to coal lobbyists and climate change deniers.  But these same progressives are fully cognizant of the disastrous effects that coal and other forms of pollution have had on the environment.  One only needs look at China, the world's current industrial hub, to see what coal-fired steelworks can do to the countryside in a decade."


Acting with Impunity: The Case of General Electric—by Lawrence S Wittner : "GE has produced other environmental disasters, as well. Three GE nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power site in Japan melted down and exploded on March 31, 2011. This was the world’s worst nuclear accident in three decades, and quickly spread radioactive contamination nearly 150 miles.  Indeed, the stricken reactors are still sending 300 tons a day of radioactive water flooding into the Pacific Ocean."

TURN news updates for California utility customers & consumer advocates—by mettle fatigue: "San Diego Electricity Customers Sound Off on San Onofre Shutdown Costs The thirty-year-old nuclear power plant near San Clemente went off-line permanently in July following small radiation leaks.  Estimated closing and decommission costs: $4.1 billion.  Disputing who should pay what costs and why: Southern California Edison, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Riverside municipal utility, San Diego Gas & Electric, consumer advocates TURN and the California Public Interest Research Group, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the public, seven months after the CPUC proposed allowing SDG&E to raise customer rates 7.7%."

Proposal: An EcoWatch Column on Daily Kos—by Panacea Paola: "I know there have been proposals for eco-themed columns in the past on the banner of Daily Kos (in addition to Elections, Labor, et al.) and even that kos has remarked on these proposals (I believe he said in one post that it would cost approximately $100,000 a year to run such a column). Now, granted, for this proposal, I know neither the finances of Daily Kos and EcoWatch nor the economics of running a blog, so it may not be the best timing for either party. Not to mention, EcoWatch just released a new updated version of the site, so they're probably busy with that. Still, I believe an environmental column on Daily Kos would be a great improvement, and I further believe that EcoWatch, especially with its fabulous new overhaul and expansion, is the website to team up with, should they be interested in the offer."

Collection of Climate & Environmental Stories from the Week—by Panacea Paola.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 01:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots and Climate Change SOS.

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