|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 263 of these spotlighting more than 16,169 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to the record number of eco-diaries—99!!—that appeared in the past seven days. [Disclaimer: Inclusion of a diary in the rescue does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.]|
You can find more rescued green diaries below the orange hiking loop.
Eco-Philosophy, Eco-Essays, Eco-Poetry
What gives me hope in the face of the huge climate challenge—by dturnbull: "I was invited to speak tonight via Skype at the introduction to a movie screening benefiting the West Kootenay EcoSociety in Nelson, British Columbia. They had asked me to talk about what inspires me to do the work I do to fight climate change, in the face of the daunting challenges, hugely vested and powerful interests, and everything else that stands in our way. Naturally, ahead of the talk, I asked my friends on Facebook for help ... Thanks so much for having me tonight....So, I was asked to talk about what gives me hope in the fight against climate change, what message I might send to you all up there in a town in Canada to get inspired to take action in whatever way you can to help in the fight against climate change. [...] My old colleague in Australia, wrote: 'It's easy to be driven forward when you have a sense of justice at your back. And it's hard to sit still when you know what is at stake. And, because amazing changes happen even though they may seem impossible before they do.' And a mentor of mine from Brazil wrote: 'Someone someday will write our story, the story of a very small group of incredible people who came together from around the world and grew into a movement that changed the course of human history.' That’s the thing. It’s the people that are standing up that give me hope. And it’s people like you that will drive the solutions, in so many ways. What we’re talking about is fundamentally changing the way we live life on this planet. The only way that is going to happen is to build communities that will stand up and build that new future together."
The Real Eco-Terrorists—by socialismorbarbarism: "Tim DeChristopher served 21 months in federal prison for making fake bids in an oil lease auction. Protesters just received felony convictions and were denied bail pending appeal for resisting the construction of a pipeline in Michigan. These things have already happened. And CREDO Action has a list of 50,000 people pledging civil disobedience if President Obama approves the Keystone tar sands oil pipeline. There is a surge of resistance coming from the environmental movement, recognition that our laws are not protecting us, that our political system is failing us, and that both the law and the political system have been hijacked by the astonishing wealth and power of Big Oil. Some people slander these resisters as "eco-terrorists" because they engage in civil disobedience to protect the planet, themselves and future generations. But who are the real eco-terrorists?"
Cost-Benefit Analysis—by Liberal Protestant: "We've had a pretty lively discussion hereabouts on the Bill Nye-Marsha Blackburn segment on yesterday's edition of Meet the Press. We've covered the main ground—their discussion about whether recent extreme weather events have shifted the political discourse on climate change—pretty well. But it's worth noting that while she cited a number of familiar, right-wing canards, Ms Blackburn (TP-TN) also resorted to one Republican shibboleth that we too often let slide by. In talking about possible regulation that seeks to mitigate future climate change, she asserted that we should subject any such proposals to cost-benefit analysis. Cost-benefit analysis is an old Republican standby for derailing regulation in all fields. They've used it successfully to weaken financial services regulation under Dodd-Frank, and Ms Blackburn seems to have let slip that cost-benefit analysis is their next fallback on environmental regulation aimed at climate change."
Climate Change extracts its Polar Costs whether People listen to the Scientists or Not—by jamess: "You've heard about the Carbon Tax, that has never seriously gotten off the ground here in the U.S.—well Say Hello! to the Vortex Tax, arriving soon in a mailbox near you! 'Polar vortex' costs billions. Open next fuel bill with care. January's frigid 'polar vortex' may have cost the US economy as much as $5 billion. Meanwhile, consumers are cranking up furnaces and bracing for their February utility bills."
Whose Problem is the Coal Ash ...—by jamess: "Whose problem is the Coal Ash
when it breaks the banks that bind it?
Not Mine, says the Governor
who likes giving Polluters a pass.
Not Mine, says the CEO
who is just providing what the market demands.
Whose problem is the Chemical Tank
when it bursts the seals that contain it?
Not Mine, says the Mayor
who likes declaring tainted water Clean, based on a whim.
Not Mine, says the shell-company Owner
who declares Chapter 11, before the damage is even done.
Whose problem is the CO2
when it breaks the record of history?
Not Mine, say the Congressional paperweights
who claim there's nothing we can do, but keep on drilling.
Not Mine, says the cash-strapped Rate-payer
who rationalizes, long as it stays Cheap—What's the Problem?"
Greenbacks, "Trophy" big game heads, and Kossacks—by oldpotsmuggler: "At 14, as I recall, I was first age eligible for a big game license, and shot, skinned, butchered, and ate a mule deer (with assistance, obviously, but still). The rule of capture applicable to this version of licensed killing back then was that we citizens 'owned,' collectively, huntable wildlife up to the point of the 'harvest.' Then the 'tag holder' clearly and without controversy, converted the remainder of that once life form into an item of private property. And this was totally egalitarian, by the way. So, fast forward to the present and we discover the modification engineered by the 1% to advantage their own (because none other will ever be the highest bidder) in the pursuit of trophy animals that previously required only some combination of luck and skill for first come to participate in the hunting of. But now our wealthiest citizens need only to first hunt for a tax deduction before going on domestic 'safari.' And, really, the animals that were ours in life, ought to remain collectively owned, should they not, if we're all paying taxes to make up for the taxes avoided by the 1% in their embarking on this new form of recreational pursuit?"
Daily Bucket: Florida's Invaders-Giant African Land Snail—by Lenny Flank: "The Giant African Land Snail (GALS, for short) lives up to its name. The cone-shaped spiral shell is fist-sized, and the snail within can measure over eight inches, making it one of the largest land snails in the world. Achatina fulica (some authorities classify it in the genus Lissachatina instead) is one of three species of giant land snail. Native to Tanzania and Kenya, these huge mollusks are plant-eaters, feeding on live or dead vegetation. To obtain the calcium they require for their shells, they will also eat pebbles, animal bones, cement, or the plaster stucco from houses. Like most snails, GALS are hermaphrodites--that is, each individual has both male and female sex organs. When breeding, two individuals that are about the same size will fertilize each other, and both will then lay eggs. If the snails are unequal in size, the smaller one will fertilize the larger, who will play the role of the female. The courtship display involves lots of head-rubbing and neck-twining. Each clutch can contain two hundred eggs, laid every two months, and youngsters can reach sexual maturity in five months. Adults can live up to nine years."
December 19, 2013, at least a
week into the chewing.
Global Warming - Evidence—by unioninohio04: "Third year in a row we have robins in our yard during the month of February in Northern Ohio. Obviously the temperatures where they are wintering has told them time to go north for spring. A sure sign of global warming. But this year...we have record snowfall ...70 inches for the year (most since 73 inches the blizzard of 78 season)in northern Ohio and about 24 inches still on the ground."
Moose Could Be Extinct in Minnesota by 2025; Climate Change Blamed—by Eternal Hope: "Moose could become extinct in Minnesota by 2025 and climate change is being cited as a factor. Some moose show serious neurological symptoms, according to Seth Moore, a biologist for the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa, a Native-American tribe near the Canadian border. He’s been working with the state, using the same GPS collars on tribal land. 'The things that are affecting moose are parasites that are transmitted from deer,' he explained, pointing out that deer numbers increase in warmer temperatures. Winter ticks also affect moose, he added, and spike with early snow melt. The moose is one of the best known of 180 different species that were moved to the endangered species list last year."
Pollution, Hazardous Wastes & Trash
Federal investigators dig into Duke's coal-ash spill and its coziness with NC regulators and McCrory—by Meteor Blades: "Federal authorities are now seeking to draw their own conclusions in the matter. They have issued a flood of subpoenas: Eighteen state water-quality officials have been ordered to appear before a grand jury March 18 in Raleigh to report on their communications with Duke for the past five years as well any payments or gifts from the company. A week ago, the DENR was subpoenaed solely for its records related to the coal-ash spill. But it now has been subpoenaed to supply all coal ash-related records for Duke’s 14 operating and shuttered coal-fired plants in North Carolina. Duke itself has received a subpoena, but company officials have not revealed its contents."
Second Coal Ash Dump in North Carolina—by Eternal Hope: "A second coal ash dump is sending arsenic-laced toxins into waterways, Raw Story reports. Duke Energy is already facing federal criminal charges over its first leak in the state. These spills are spreading far and wide with residues from the first spill spreading as far as 70 miles. The new spill heightens focus on Governor Pat McCrory and his ties with Duke Energy. Southern Studies reports on how Duke Energy bankrolled his campaigns for governor. Adding to environmentalists' concern is the fact that Gov. Pat McCrory worked for Duke Energy for 28 years and received over $300,000 in direct campaign contributions from the company's political action committee and its employees, former employees, and their spouses. In all, McCrory's 2008 and 2012 gubernatorial campaigns benefited from a total of $1.1 million in political spending by Duke Energy, according to an analysis by Democracy North Carolina. It remains unknown whether the Renew North Carolina Foundation, a pro-McCrory shadow campaign committee, received money from Duke Energy because the 501(c)(4) tax-exempt group does not disclose its donors. In addition, McCrory still holds a substantial amount of stock in Duke Energy, though he has refused to say exactly how much."
Yet another coal-related spill flows into a West Virginia creek as clean-up of two others continues—by Meteor Blades: "According to state authorities, run-off from melting snow sent debris from sediment control ponds into a local creek in McDowell County Wednesday. No drinking water supplies were expected to be tainted by the "blackwater" spill at the Antaeus Gary former coal slurry impoundment. The site was abandoned in 2002 after a major accident, reclaimed to the tune of $7.5 million by the Department of Environmental Protection and slated to be re-mined for leftover bits of coal."
Yet another waste slurry spill into a West Virginia stream—by Lefty Coaster: "Yes it has happened again, this time in McDowell County into Fields Creek in the Kanawha River watershed. [...] Its not difficult to see a pattern of disasters like this emerging. The state government in West Virginia has a long history of being subservient to mining interests. That tawdry history is rearing its ugly head with disturbing frequency."
There's a problem at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant - Update 1—by Just Bob: "The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), near Carlsbad, New Mexico, is the nation's only geological radioactive waste storage facility. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP, is the world's third deep geological repository (after closure of Germany's Repository for radioactive waste Morsleben and the Schacht Asse II Salt Mine) licensed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste for 10,000 years that is left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. For now, this is just something to watch. Yesterday there was a radiation alarm underground. Fortunately, there were no workers underground at that time. While there have been false alarms in the past, this looks like a real thing according to Department of Energy spokesman Roger Nelson. The news reports I've seen state that only low level waste is stored at WIPP. That isn't true. Although that was the design and the site is limited by law to low level waste, WIPP is an example of deregulation though defunding."
Possible Nuclear Radiation Leak in New Mexico—by Eternal Hope: "A possible nuclear radiation leak has occurred at a Department of Energy nuclear waste plant near Carlsbad, NM, in the south east corner of the state, Raw Story and Reuters report. The story reports that there have been several false positives in the past; however, this one is likely the real thing: 'They (air monitors) have alarmed in the past as a false positive because of malfunctions, or because of fluctuations in levels of radon (a naturally occurring radioactive gas),' Department of Energy spokesman Roger Nelson said. 'But I believe it’s safe to say we’ve never seen a level like we are seeing. We just don’t know if it’s a real event, but it looks like one,' he said."
Texas-based company refuses to allow Federal inspectors after CA accident—by Dem Beans: "Well, if this doesn't take the ol' cake! Last week, two workers at the Golden Eagle Refinery in an unincorporated part of Pacheco, CA were burned in the face by sulfuric acid when a pipe carrying the caustic chemical burst. What followed next tells you how American corporations have decided that they're now in the driver's seat and need not follow even the pretense of adhering to Federal law."
Time Change for Public on Michigan Petroleum Coke Meeting—by LakeSuperior: "DEQ will host its previously announced March 5 public outreach meeting on petroleum coke from 4-7 p.m. to better accommodate the schedules of attendees. The date and location remain the same. Residents and local leaders expressed concern that the original meeting time would not allow interested parties to participate in the informational meeting. DEQ responded with a new time. Pet coke is a solid byproduct generated by petroleum refineries. High in carbon, it is commonly burned as fuel in cement kilns and power plants. The meeting will be held at the Grand Harbor Banquet Event Center, 1 Saint John St. in Wyandotte, from 4-7 p.m. It is designed to share information and answer questions. DEQ air and water quality specialists will be on hand to listen to concerns, discuss DEQ’s regulatory role, answer questions and share information gathered from a DEQ lab analysis of pet coke completed last year."
Tesoro Bars Feds after Acid Burns Two at California Refinery, Defies Federal Law—by FishOutofWater: "Tesoro Corporation barred federal inspectors from it's refinery in Pacheco, California, after two workers were seriously burned by sulfuric acid spraying from a broken pipe, declaring the federal government lacked jurisdiction. The unprecedented move by Tesoro, challenged long-established precedent that the U.S. Chemical Safety Board has the right to inspect chemical plants after accidents. Tesoro claimed that the bursting of a sulfuric acid line, that hospitalized two workers with acid burns, was a minor incident that didn't give the federal government the right to inspect for possible safety violations. After seven workers were killed in an accident at a Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Washington in 2010 the chemical board wrote, in a recent draft report, that Tesoro had a lax approach to safety which had catastrophic consequences. Tesoro is claiming that only state regulators have authority, apparently to avoid the federal examination of it's pattern of lax safety practices in multiple states."
Created Developmental Disabilities? No, Harvard Study Links Developmental Disabilities To Chemicals—by Publius2008: "Why are so many children diagnosed as suffering from autism, ADHD, dyslexia and other developmental disabilities? There is a notion that the developmental disabilities being seen and treated in students is a creation of a failing education system, or provide psuedo-scientific clinical diagnoses for what are just stupid or lazy kids or kids from broken or single parent homes. A Harvard study, published by the Lancet, indicates these notions are false and in fact the disabilities are linked to chemical exposure. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/....The report follows up on a similar review conducted by the authors in 2006 that identified five industrial chemicals as "developmental neurotoxicants," or chemicals that can cause brain deficits. The new study offers updated findings about those chemicals and adds information on six newly recognized ones, including manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos and DDT (pesticides), tetrachloroethylene (a solvent), and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers (flame retardants). "
Transportation & Infrastructure
Rick Scott rejected high speed rail stimulus funding - supports rail project with ties to top aide—by Pakalolo: "Gary Fineout of the Associated Press reports: The $200 million that Florida Gov. Rick Scott pledged this week to put toward a train depot at Orlando's busy international airport also will benefit a company that previously employed the governor's chief of staff. Adam Hollingsworth worked for companies connected to the company behind All Aboard Florida, a private passenger line that would link central and South Florida. All Aboard Florida stands to get a significant boost from the airport depot. Text messages obtained by The Associated Press show Hollingsworth discussed the rail project with a top aide in the Scott administration while he was still working for Flagler Development Group and Parallel Infrastructure. Three years ago, Scott scuttled a planned high-speed rail line linking Orlando and Tampa after he rejected billions in federal aid awarded to the state. He said the project was too risky and predicted the state would wind up subsidizing the project because ridership and revenue projections were 'overly optimistic.'"
NASA satellites see Arctic surface darkening faster—by Pakalolo: "The retreat of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is diminishing Earth's albedo, or reflectivity, by an amount considerably larger than previously estimated, according to a new study that uses data from instruments that fly aboard several NASA satellites. As the sea ice melts, its white reflective surface is replaced by a relatively dark ocean surface. This diminishes the amount of sunlight being reflected back to space, causing the Earth to absorb an increasing amount of solar energy. Albedo is measured as a percentage. A perfectly black surface has an albedo of zero percent and a perfectly white surface has an albedo of 100 percent. The albedo of fresh snow is typically between 80 and 90 percent whereas the albedo of the ocean surface is less than 20 percent. Clouds and other factors also influence the albedo of the Earth. The researchers calculated that the albedo of the Arctic region fell from 52 percent to 48 percent between 1979 and 2011."
Brainiac Gingrich tweets that John 'Kerrey' should resign over 'delusional' global warming speech—by Meteor Blades: "Ethically challenged former congressman and failed presidential candidate Newt Gingrich didn't much care for Secretary of State John Kerrey's global warming speech in Indonesia on Sunday. In fact, he thinks Kerrey should resign for his views. [...] It's tempting to add Gingrich's own term—"delusional"—to the long string of eye-rolling descriptions by which the former Speaker of the House is known. Perhaps "delusional, amateur paleontologist" would catch on. But that would be charitable, giving this consummate opportunist the benefit of the doubt. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe has at least been consistent in calling global warming a hoax. Gingrich? It all depends on what he figures will gain traction. When it suited his purposes, he agreed that global warming was a scientific fact. He even cut that ad about it with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Then he switched gears to accord with his new purposes. Now he's talking about how wonderful the climate was for the dinosaurs."
Kerry warns CC is weapon of mass destruction: urges action, slams deniers and fossil industries—by boatsie: "But because of climate change, it is no secret that today, Indonesia is also one of the most vulnerable countries on Earth. This year, as Secretary of State, I will engage in a series of discussions on the urgency of addressing climate change—particularly on the national security implications and the economic opportunities. And I want you to think about those. But I wanted to start right here, in Jakarta, because this city—this country—this region—is really on the front lines of climate change. It’s not an exaggeration to say to you that the entire way of life that you live and love is at risk. So let’s have a frank conversation about this threat and about what we, as citizens of the world, need to be able to do to address it."
Steering the climate conversation to sanity re economic analysis—by A Siegel: "Monday evening, the PBS' Newshour hosted a segment on climate change issues building on Secretary of State John Kerry's strong comments over the weekend equating climate change with weapons of mass destruction. [...] Sadly, the Secretary's comments suggest that there is a minority who believe that climate mitigation costs outweigh the benefits: that is actually the mainstream perspective. The 'mainstream', however, is sadly horribly wrong due not just disinformation from those opposing action and denying basic science (for whatever set of reasons) but more fundamentally due to the difficulty of assessing 'wicked problems'. Secretary Kerry also solely discussed the issue in terms of avoiding costs of damaging climate change (an insurance value) as opposed to discussing the direct benefits from action. Analysis that doesn't stove-pipe issues—that forthrightly seeks to tackle the 'wicked problem'—would reveal that the benefits of climate mitigation and adaptation action (massively) outweigh costs—e.g., a set of investments that will provide massive returns."
John Kerry on Climate Change: "the entire way of life that you live and love is at risk"—by Lefty Coaster: "Today John Kerry had a dire warning for the people in Indonesia about what Climate Change has in store for the archipelago 247 million Indonesians call home. 'When I think about the array of global climate, of the global threats, think about this: terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,' Kerry said in a speech to students in the capital, Jakarta. 'All challenges that know no borders. The reality is that climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them." He stressed that 97 percent of scientist agree that climate change is 'unequivocal' and that those people who deny the facts 'are simply burying their heads in the sand.'"
Extraordinary N Atlantic Storms Driving Gulf Stream Water into Arctic, Sea Ice Melting in February—by FishOutofWater: "Storm after storm has pounded England and western Europe, smashing the coastline with massive waves and flooding, making this the stormiest winter in the long English weather records which go back to 1766. But there's something happening in the ocean that's even more disturbing than the destruction to Europe. The extreme wind field across the Atlantic this winter is literally driving water that originated in the Gulf Stream into the Arctic Ocean causing sea ice extent on the Atlantic side of the Arctic ocean to decline in the middle of February. Water temperatures reported by NOAA are far above normal from the coast of north America, to the Labrador and Greenland seas, extending all the way into the Arctic ocean. The sea surface temperature anomaly maps are shocking. Water temperatures are more than 10°F above normal near Svalbard in the Arctic ocean. Likewise, Gulf Stream temperatures off of the east coast of North America are stunningly hot. The Norwegian Atlantic current carries hot Gulf stream water mixed with cool water from the north Atlantic, up the coast of Norway. The current then flows north towards Svalbard, in the Arctic, or east towards Murmansk, Russia depending on the storms and winds. This winter, the much stronger than normal winds across the north Atlantic and in the Greenland sea, have spun up the Norwegian Atlantic current to higher than normal speed, driving warm water rapidly towards both Svalbard and Murmansk. Temperatures near the north pole were 35°F (20°C) above normal on February 13."
W2 (@SenWhitehouse and @WaxmanClimate) school @SenJohnMcCain and @NewtGingrich re #ClimateChange—by A Siegel: "Secretary of State John Kerry made strong statements about climate change over the weekend, including equating climate change impacts and risks with those from weapons of mass destruction. When I think about the array of global threats … terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction … the reality is that climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them. Several Republicans, who in the past had made strong statements about the risks from climate change, came out with strong statements condemning Secretary Kerry. Earlier today, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Henry Waxman released a letter to Senator John McCain and former Representative Newt Gingrich that is worth reading in entirety."
Bill Nye versus Marsha Blackburn on Meet The Press: Climate Change Politics—by xaxnar: "[E]ven a blind squirrel sometimes finds an acorn - and the media occasionally lets some air into the room. I suspect Bill Nye's willingness to debate on evolution versus creationism led someone at NBC to see if he'd be willing to 'defend' climate change as well. Paradoxically, Nye's lack of standing as a researcher, academic, or advocate for an organization fighting climate change may have helped him slip through the media filter. As a mere science communicator/entertainer, he could be dismissed as a marginal figure; NBC could put him on the air without risking the dangers of giving a 'real' climate change figure like Bill McKibben a media platform and legitimacy. So it was that on Sunday February 16, 2014, Meet The Press featured a segment where Bill Nye the Science Guy 'debated' Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) over the recent string of severe weather events and Climate Change. There was a lot of pre-emptive disparagement here at Daily Kos and elsewhere, but watching the actual segment, it turned out to be better than I expected. (If you watch it several times, you get a better appreciation of the job Nye did - and how disingenuous Blackburn's arguments really are.) [...] Blackburn's arguments were practiced and polished; she's been working this schtick for some time; Nye started out a bit hesitant, but became stronger as it progressed."
“We Are Not Doing Enough to Counter Climate Deniers” – Madeleine Albright—by Marcia G Yerman: "It seems that despite whatever statistics are presented to show evidence of climate change, a vocal contingency continues to question the findings. It has become an ongoing source of contention and debate. Recently, Wellesley College hosted a conversation entitled 'The Politics of Climate Change.' Present were former Secretary of State Madeline Albright (Class of 1959) and Carol Browner, who served as EPA Administrator from 1993-2001 and was the director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy from 2009-2011. [...] Albright, who is both funny and direct, spoke bluntly. She referenced those who maintain the science remains unproven as 'delusional' and 'flat earth people.' Browner commented that the level of deniers was at a six-year high. In terms of countering those who challenged the science, she said, 'We are not doing enough.'"
The invincible ignorance of global-warming deniers means we should 'debate' them differently—by Meteor Blades: "Don't get me wrong. I appreciate Nye's exuberant demeanor and all he has done to get young people to understand and engage in science. And I appreciate his willingness to go head to head with Blackburn. Given the dreadful Meet the Press format based on the premise of false balance regarding climate change—something he had no control over—and given that he needs serious media combat training, Nye did an okay job. But even if he had been spectacular, it wasn't the right job. It's way past time to stop politely coddling these deniers, stop treating their opinions as anything but scientifically illiterate nonsense and lies promoted by fossil fuel fools and mountebanks. Their well-honed use of the Gish Gallop—dumping so many exaggerations, half-truths, quarter-truths and outright fabrications into the conversation that their factually motivated foes can't keep up—works unless the counter-technique is to run a relentless, focused attack on a few key points without getting distracted. Doing that takes skill, passion and determination because it's not something the typical radio or television host wants to happen."
Open Letter to Rep Marsha Blackburn about The Benefits of Carbon—by FishOutofWater: "Dear Representative Blackburn, Things don't grow well when there's too much or too little water. BLACKBURN: David, one of the things we have to remember is cost/benefit analysis has to take place. … And it is unfortunate that some of the federal agencies are not conducting that cost/benefit analysis. They’re focused on the outcome. … Now, you know, when you look at the social cost of carbon, and there is a lot of ambiguity around that, what you also need to be doing is looking at the benefits of carbon and what that has on increased agricultural production. A lot of good studies out there about that, and scientists and biologists have done that study."
if you are not a scientist, please shut up about climate change this winter—by samsoneyes: "It would be nice if people trying to prove or disprove man-made climate change would stop hitting each other with snow shovels while the scientists figure it out. And if you must make the case, make it to someone who disagrees with you. The rest of us are already there, mate."
Determined ignorance: still impervious to facts—by danps: "Climate change is a hard policy question to address because it pits those who believe in evidence against those committed to knowing as little as possible. And unfortunately, the dumbasses control a great deal of political territory, a gigantic ice sheet of stupid that never recedes enough for facts or data to gain purchase. The cretinous mass inched forward this week courtesy of Joseph Curl. His empty-headed triumphalism in the Washington Times is a nearly perfect illustration of the problem: climate change flat-earthers like him simply refuse to acknowledge arguments against their position or pay attention to new developments in the area."
ABC connects extreme weather to climate change—by cocinero: "The real meat of the segment came from Dr. Heidi Cullen. CULLEN: The cold that we're seeing here is very much connected to this broader pattern. And really when you put it into context, climate change, burning fossil fuels means that we're going to see more of these very expensive extreme weather events, specifically the kinds of extremes we can expect -- more heat waves, droughts, floods. We're already seeing those. Then she answered those fools who say because it's cold, global warming can't be real. You know, this winter certainly doesn't disprove global warming. I think it's one of these things where every time we have a really cold winter we begin to ask ourselves all over again, so is global warming real or not. Cold winter doesn't mean global warming is gone. And really, when you look at the big picture, we've actually globally been incredibly warm. January is probably going to come in as one of the top three warmest Januaries on record. And, you know, the 10 warmest years have all happened since 1988. Then she explicitly linked extreme weather to global climate change."
With Climate Change Increasing, Interest in Solar Radiation Management Grows—by Eternal Hope: "With the effects of global climate change becoming more acute, interest in solar radiation management is growing. The question is, who would control the thermostat if the world were to adopt such a model? As the prospect of a warmer planet becomes reality, scientists are seeking ways to control the climate and keep the planet cooler. It’s a risky and highly controversial idea and, if successful, could imperil the ozone layer and lead to changes in rainfall patterns worldwide. It could also pit nations against one another as they try to control the weather or even use it as a weapon. 'Whose hand would be on the thermostat?' a leading climate scientist at Rutgers University, Alan Robcock, asked the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology in 2009. 'What if Canada or Russia wanted the climate to be a little warmer, while tropical countries and small island states wanted it cooler?'"
Recession Progression: One Glacier in Retreat—by misterwade"It is not the intention of this diary to convince anyone that human caused global warming /climate change is causing the graphic change to the Denver glacier visible in the photos below, though I am personally convinced that human caused impacts to climate systems are, at the very least least, exacerbating some of the changes that we are experiencing in many places on Earth. I do, however, find the progression demonstrated in the images dramatic and compelling, and figured some of you all may as well. The Denver Glacier, near Skagway, Alaska, is the northern most of the 40 glaciers that compose the Juneau Icefield. The Icefield offers amazing opportunities for outdoor adventuring.'"
The Brain-Trust of Cruz and Krauthammer have declared Climate Change "an unsupported myth"—by jamess: "The overall trend towards increasing oceanic and atmosphere heat loading has prompted some to assert proof that climate change is causing severe weather events; others point to snow and ice blanketing their communities as evidence against global warming at all. The cold weather in the northeast US, for example, prompted ridicule of climate science by such noted atmospheric experts as Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh, and senators James Inhofe (R-OK) and Ted Cruz (R-TX). [...] Well, Mr Switzerland is having none of it. He is still unconvinced. Indeed he seems to be declaring himself the final arbiter of all things, 'scientifically debatable' ..."
Manmade Climate Change Strikes Again; Winter Returns with Vengeance—by Eternal Hope: "Many of us who grew up in the 1930's or who are familiar with history can recall worse events. These sorts of severe winter storms usually happened once a year in the past. But now, they are happening increasingly frequently. These are the sorts of things which shut down commerce. [...]With the snowstorms wreaking havoc on our economy the way they are, this is no time for our politicians to play partisan political games. Our Congress needs to do whatever it takes to reduce carbon emissions to the point where the damage to our climate is mitigated."
Food, Agriculture & Gardening
"Organic Shmorganic" ... Are you kidding me?—by schoolpsyc: "Boy was I taken back by a recently published article at Slate, "Organic Shmorganic", written by Melinda Wenner Moyer. Of course, why should I be surprised? No one wants to do the research and present all the facts. Just more journamalism. [...] Boy was I taken back by a recently published article at Slate, 'Organic Shmorganic,' written by Melinda Wenner Moyer. Of course, why should I be surprised? No one wants to do the research and present all the facts. Just more journamalism. But, what a great teaching moment for me since I run a foundation that funds research in comparative oncology (aids both people & companion animals) and cancer treatment for working dogs. I am all about health, of course, and constantly on the lookout for ways to educate."
Food Stamp cuts plus Drought equals Widespread Hunger—by gjohnsit: "It was only two weeks ago that Congress cut $8.7 Billion from food stamps, the second cut in less than a year. That cut will effect 320,000 households in just California. This is on top of ending extended unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans just two months ago. Those things could have been avoided, but the worst drought in 500 years in California is not something that could have been predicted. However, what the drought will do to food prices we can predict. [...] What this means in the immediate future for the rest of the country is that there will be less food produced. This will show up in food prices."
Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 10.1: Seeds of Change—by Frankenoid: "Saturday Morning Garden Blogging is usually a politics-free zone; perhaps that’s why we’ve avoided flame wars. But for today, it’s dedicated to local elections, and you can blame this man, Aaron Silverstein, who is running in the primary for my district, Colorado House District 2. Late last year Aaron asked me if I’d be willing to host a fundraiser at my home. Well… we’re in the midst of more renovations and the house won’t be ready for guests until at least summer time, and by then it would be too late. Last month it occurred to me that the Saturday Morning Garden Blogging anniversary edition could be a good opportunity for Aaron, and candidates like Aaron, to get some exposure and raise a few dollars."
Largest radiation leak at Fukushima this year—by patbahn: "The Huffington Post reports that the largest leak at Fukushima Reactor station in the last year was noted. The operator of Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant said on Thursday that 100 tonnes of highly contaminated water had leaked out of a tank, the worst incident since last August, when a series of radioactive water leaks sparked international alarm.Tokyo Electric Power Co told reporters the latest leak was unlikely to have reached the ocean. But news of the leak at the site, devastated by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami, further undercut public trust in a utility rocked by a string of mishaps and disclosure issues."
The News from Fukushima Never Gets Better—by LeftOfYou: "So, to reassure everyone, TEPCO emphasizes that, hey, its only 100 tons. Compared to the 340,000 tons of the same stuff now stored on site, no biggie. That's only 2.77/100ths of 1% of the contaminated water that has accumulated since the reactor meltdowns and that TEPCO has no plan for dealing with permanently. So, 100 tons of radioactive water leaked into the ground. What could go wrong with that? Water that soaks into the ground always stays right there in the very dirt you spilled in on, right? So why worry? Just dig it up and put it into bags. Water in the ground is impervious to gravity, I suppose, and has no tendency whatever to seek a lower level, like, I dunno, sea level, if it can find a way. Anyway, that ocean is way far away, like 700 meters."
U.N. Proposes Dumping Contaminated Fukushima Water—by ypochris: "As the levels of radionuclides in groundwater under the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plants continue to increase dramatically, the United Nations nuclear agency proposes that the massive quantities of contaminated water stored at the facility be dumped into the sea. The March, 2011 earthquake, tidal wave, and subsequent triple meltdown of Fukushima reactors 1, 2, and 3 have presented Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) with a seemingly insoluble dilemma. The cores of the reactors must be kept cool, requiring large quantities of water. But the containment vessels have been breached - in fact, no one is even sure where, exactly, the cores are. Massive quantities of water are pumped into the facilities to keep them cool, but the water just pours right back out again, highly contaminated. Some of this contaminated water is recaptured, and about a third that wasn't reused to cool the reactors (after removing the cesium) is stored in an ever-growing tank farm. In addition to the 400,000 cubic meters of water stored in nearly a thousand tanks, by late last year over 100,000 cubic meters of contaminated water was estimated to have accumulated inside the facilities, according to the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). And a substantial quantity was simply seeping into the ground, with monitoring wells showing ever increasing amounts of radioactivity in the groundwater under the plants."
Fossil Fuel Supply: The Problem—by richturc125: "What a relief! Contrary to popular belief, peak oil alarmists and Greenpeace propaganda, the world is still and will continue to be for at least a century, largely powered by oil. And not just for transport. An endless number of consumer goods depend on a steady supply of petroleum products for their manufacture. As Marin Katusa, chief energy investment strategist for Casey Research points out, ‘A country without oil simply cannot continue to expand or even be competitive on the world stage.’ [...]Whereas those who deny peak oil, like the author of the above quote, seem to think that being powered by fossil fuels for decades to come is the definitive answer to the 'myth' of peak oil, we here in real life [the one with facts and everything] call that statement The Problem. On a planet with increasing demands being placed on finite resources (the kinds which are not infinite); with the main source [conventional crude oil] experiencing production rates which have at the very least been on a plateau for almost a decade if not actual decline; and with alternatives requiring more effort, cost, and energy investment to try and keep pace—among many other considerations/drawbacks—it’s not all that difficult to understand why continuing with Business as Usual is going to lead us all to some serious economic, cultural, and industrial challenges in the not-too-distant future."
Renewables, Efficiency & Conservation
Obama announces plans to mandate increased fuel-efficiency for trucks. Good. But more rail needed—by Meteor Blades: "At a Safeway distribution center in Upper Marlboro, Md., President Obama announced the initiation of a second round of efficiency standards for heavy- and medium-duty trucks Tuesday. He didn't say precisely what standard the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation should set. But the administration will strike for an "ambitious" goal for trucks weighing 8,500 pounds or more. Heavy-duty trucks now average about 5.8 miles per gallon. [...] But, as John Miller of the Energy Collective has written, focusing exclusively on trucks without a fresh look at returning some freight to rail transportation is too timid."
Pres. Obama's Truck Efficiency is a W6+ solution: Win-Win-Win-Win-Win-Win+—by A Siegel: "When it comes to climate mitigation opportunities, there is a simple reality: Benefits outweigh costs ... enormously. And, when it comes to climate mitigation and adaptation investments, we should be striving to achieve multiple wins from the same action wherever and whenever possible. When looking at President Obama's announcement, this morning, of new truck energy efficiency standards, it is clear that the measure meets the criteria of multiple wins."
Chevron gets classy: Sorry about the fracking explosion, here's a coupon for free pizza—by Hunter: "Finally, an oil company reacts with genuine class. Last week a Chevron-owned natural gas well near Bobtown, Pennsylvania, exploded, injuring one worker and presumably killing another (the presumably part being because the worker remains missing, but even after the five-day effort to contain the resulting inferno no body was recovered). The public has been a bit on edge when it comes to tracking operations like the Chevron well and their myriad environmental effects, so having one explode outright presents a bit of an awkward public relations problem. Not to worry, though: Chevron has solved the problem by delivering to every Bobtown household a coupon for one large pizza and one 2-liter drink, along with a heartfelt apology letter."
In Response to Gas Well Explosion, Chevron Gives Residents Free Pizza—by S Kitchen : "Yes. This really did happen. On Feb 11 in Dunkard PA, a Chevron owned natural gas well went boom, killed a couple a couple of workers, and was on fire until earlier today. As a PR gesture, Chevron sent out an apology letter, while the well was still spewing out flames, that stated: Dear Neighbor, We are sorry to have missed you. We wanted to provide you with a status update on the February 11 incident that occurred on Chevron’s Appalachia’s Lanoce 7 H well pads in Dunkard Township and see if you had any questions or concerns that we could address. Chevron recognizes the effect this has had on the community. We value being a responsible member of this community and will continue to strive to achieve incident-free operations. We are committed to taking action to safeguard our neighbors, our employees, our contractors and the environment… Inserted into the letter was a gift certificate to a local pizza shop."
Big Oil, Bad Air & Earthquakes—by Eric Nelson: "Earthquake numbers are soaring in Oklahoma. The land is dotted with injection well sites to dispose of the polluted water from fracking. Ever had a mean or impatient nurse give you a shot for pain and hurried the plunge? It hurts like hell when something foreign is forced into your body. I know this from experience after a car accident that left my '63 Volvo B-18 gear shift and pieces of the walnut shift knob shift deep into my gut that nearly ended me many years ago. Get a kind, gentle nurse who takes her time and slowly injects the pain killing fluid. Or if it isn't an accident at all but purposeful actions taking place; stop doing the thing that causes the pain in the first place. That is a choice. We have that choice."
Denton, Texas Seeks Fracking Ban—by Eternal Hope: "Although it is a long shot, the City of Denton, Texas is seeking a ban on fracking inside city limits. The quality of life issues that affect people who live right next to these operations are so serious that a town like Denton, located right in the heart of oil country, has said that enough is enough. Grassroots groups have formed in opposition to any more fracking and they successfully persuaded the city council to pass a moratorium in 2012."
Exxon CEO sues to stop fracking project, hurts his property values—by Rob Dapore: "As ExxonMobil’s CEO, it’s Rex Tillerson’s job to promote the hydraulic fracturing enabling the recent oil and gas boom, and fight regulatory oversight. The oil company is the biggest natural gas producer in the U.S., relying on the controversial drilling technology to extract it. The exception is when Tillerson’s $5 million property value might be harmed. Tillerson has joined a lawsuit that cites fracking’s consequences in order to block the construction of a 160-foot water tower next to his and his wife’s Texas home."
I was there: Exxon’s Rex Tillerson and the Water Tower—by TXsharon: "I was there in Bartonville, Texas with Rex and Dick. The first time Rex Tillerson and Dick Armey addressed the Town of Bartonville about the water tower
whose toxic emissions and activities would trespass onto their property causing health problems, loss of enjoyment of property, water contamination and diminished property value, I was there. It was a night I will never forget and this is how I remember it. The water tower was first up on the agenda and Rex--as I remember it--was the first speaker on the subject. The speech he made at this town council meeting was very different from the highly publicized, threatening speech he made at the more recent town council meeting. This speech was a good old boy to good old boy type of speech in which he described his enjoyment of sitting on the specially-built for entertaining back patio with his favorite beverage and gazing at the lovely view from his property. He and his wife enjoyed visiting the ranch to relax after their hectic work schedule and they liked to have friends over."
Frack - Free in the Finger Lakes, Part II IAN: February 20, 2013—by weck: "Citizens who have seen fracking in their home towns are aware of the pain and loss that will pour over a community when the juggernaut of Hydraulic Fracturing comes to bully its way into their lives. The costs to society are enormous, just as the profits are enormous to the industry. Fracking operations are not good citizens. This diary is built on information delivered in a presentation to my Town Board before its most recent meeting. I took notes and have used them to write the diary. Substantive resources to affirm and expand what I have written are available at the FrackFreeGenesee website."
The California Frack Wars: Episode 3 Revenge Of The Greed—by FractivistForce: "'California is home to one of the largest remaining deposits of oil in the country: the Monterey Shale. It has 13.7 billion barrels of oil locked underground and fossil fuel companies are spending millions trying to dig it up with hydraulic fracturing techniques. If they’re successful, this oil would be above and beyond what our best scientists say we already can’t afford to burn. Governor Brown’s latest actions make it clear he’s excited by the potential of the Monterey oil play and is paving the way for increased fracking across the state.' (Oil Change International). One would think that Governor Brown would be opposed to fracking, given his statements on the climate crisis in the past [...] However, the self-proclaimed "climate champion" tends to show his true colors in more recent statements."
State Senators Mitchell and Leno introduce fracking moratorium bill—by Dan Bacher: "State Senators Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) have introduced legislation that would impose a moratorium on fracking and acidization in order to protect California’s air and water from pollution caused by this dangerous form of oil and gas extraction. The bill was introduced as California reels from a record drought and Governor Jerry Brown continues to support the expansion of fracking in California and the construction of the fish-killing peripheral tunnels under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). Senators Mitchell and Leno's bill, SB 1132, faces an uphill struggle. All but one fracking bill, including fracking moratorium legislation, failed to pass through the Legislature last year due to intense lobbying by the Western States Petroleum Association and oil companies. The Western States Petroleum Association, headed by Catherine Reheis Boyd, the former chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California, is the most powerful corporate lobbying organization in Sacramento."
The Reform Movement's Resolution on Hydraulic Fracturing—by remembrance: "At a recent Friday Night Service, musical interludes filled the bimah while images of a drought stricken California filled my mind. It was during a quiet moment that we recited a prayer inviting G-d’s presence to suffuse our spirits. As if prayer written centuries ago could have predicted the emergent problems of Global Climate Change, the prayer evoked modern day images of parched fields and waterless landscapes. 'Prayer can water an arid soul, mend a broken heart, rebuild a weakened will,' but it cannot bring water. Here in California, we are experiencing the thirteenth worst drought our state has seen in five hundred years, yet current legislation provides limited regulations on Hydraulic Fracturing, the injection of toxic chemicals and millions of gallons of water into the Earth to dig up oil. Oil that 97% of scientists agree cannot be burned if we are to avoid further damage to our already fragile climate system. The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) issued their Resolution on Hydraulic Fracturing with an eye toward sustainability and protecting future generations. The URJ continues to focus on how to use energy wisely and sustainably, is committed to energy efficiency and conservation, while keeping with Jewish values. This is why they recognize that expanding growth in natural gas displaces research and investment in renewable energy and slows our transition to a clean energy economy."
Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation
Nebraska judge calls law that let governor approve Keystone XL pipeline route unconstitutional—by Meteor Blades: "Foes of the Keystone XL pipeline won a major victory in Nebraska Wednesday, reports Deena Winter. In 2012, LB 1161 was passed by the state legislature transferring authority to approve the route of pipelines in Nebraska from the utilities-regulating Public Service Commission to the governor and state environmental regulators: Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie Stacy ruled in favor of three Nebraska landowners who filed the lawsuit against the state, issuing an order Wednesday declaring the law unconstitutional and void for divesting the state Public Service Commission of control over the routing of pipelines. The ruling includes a permanent injunction preventing Gov. Dave Heineman and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality from taking any further action to authorize or advance the pipeline under the law."
Nebraska judge's ruling on Keystone XL routing could delay Obama's decision until after November—by Meteor Blades: "Fall-out from the ruling of a Nebraska district court judge Wednesday could postpone President Obama's long-awaited decision on allowing construction of the Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline a while longer, perhaps beyond the November election, a number of analysts say. That possibility comes at the same time the president's remarks about what he said to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Mexico this week have given a smidgen of new hope that the White House may give the pipeline a thumbs down."
Nebraska law permitting Keystone XL pipeline struck down—by Just Bob: "I expect to see this overturned in short order due to the power of money, but it's still a win even if it's too late and will only complicate matters. Do we dare to hope again? A judge has struck down a Nebraska law that allowed the Keystone XL oil pipeline to proceed through the state."
Canada's Harper sure to try twisting Obama's arm on Keystone XL in Mexico meeting this week—by Meteor Blades: "While Harper gets an earful over visas, he'll be delivering his own diplomatically toned complaints about the Keystone XL pipeline that the Canadian government at the behest of the tar sands industry has been pushing for five years: 'We want the president to choose Canada over Venezuela, hard-hats over celebrities, a pipeline with fewer [greenhouse gases] over rail,' [Canada's ambassador to the United States Gary] Doer told Platts Energy Week. Doer warned that if the Obama administration opted against building the pipeline, it would be seen as a 'political' decision by the Canadian government. 'If you play by the rules established by somebody else and you're perceiving this country isn't playing by the same rules they established … it would strain relations,' Doer said."
Kerry/Keystone/Us—by John Crapper: "I just read the entire speech that Secretary of State Kerry delivered in Indonesia. It is posted here and I highly recommend reading it in it's entirety. In the speech he says all the right things and hits all the right bases. He's asking for a groundswell of concern from the public regarding climate change. He's asking for us to raise our voices. Although he never mentioned Keystone XL , after reading the speech I'm convinced he is sending out an appeal to us to weigh in big time on KXL approval soon to be decided by President Obama. Take for instance this one paragraph: Today I call on all of you in Indonesia and concerned citizens around the world to demand the resolve that is necessary from your leaders. Speak out. Make climate change an issue that no public official can ignore for another day. Make a transition towards clean energy the only plan that you are willing to accept. This is our Secretary of State folks. He's saying the right things and is doing his part. He's making a big push on the issue right before the upcoming decision on KXL."
10 Reasons to Oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline—by RoseAnn DeMoro for theNational Nurses Movement: "With the clock ticking down on a final decision by the Obama administration on Keystone XL, it’s time to update why the nation’s largest nurses organization is opposed to a project that looks more like a pathway to pollution than a gateway to our gas pumps. Citing the threat to public health and how the project would hasten the climate crisis, nurses have been on the front line of protests against Keystone, a 1,700-mile pipeline that would transport 830,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil every day from Alberta, Canada to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, largely for export."
Just Say No, to spectra energy's New Jersey/New York City natural gas transportation pipeline!—by rebel ga: "This case is being heard today. I don't know how long it will take the Court reach a decision. Not too long of a time probably. It's too late to contact the Court. The time for public comments is over, but we can still flood Governor Christie with messages. To let the politicians know; that we don't want any fracked gas, or the transportation pipelines that carry it, in New Jersey, New York, or anywhere! Governor Christie, Shut Down spectra energy's natural gas, transportation pipeline in New Jersey And New York City. It is very dangerous and spectra has a terrible safety record. Shut Down The Spectra Pipeline!"
I E-Mailed NJ Gov Christie I Told Him Shut Spectra Energy's NJ/NYC Gas Transportation Pipeline Down—by rebel ga: "If Everyone E-Mails Gov Christie Tonight, by tomorrow morning he'll have a flood of emails. Electronic Protesting, a very important protest tool."
Eco-Related DC & State Politics
Invoking the well-being of the dinosaurs, Utah legislator says doubling CO2 levels wouldn't hurt—by Meteor Blades: "Jerry B. Anderson, a retired science teacher, has been a Utah state legislator since January last year. Like most rookie lawmakers, he hasn't introduced much legislation yet. But he's tossed a doozie, H.B. 229, into the hopper. It would alter the definition of what constitutes air pollution. [...] If the Chicxulub meteor that many scientists believe wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago had missed earth the way the asteroid 2000 EM26 did two days ago, perhaps whatever the dinosaurs had evolved into by now would be teaching an upgraded level of science at whatever school Anderson used to misinform students. Not to mention introducing sane bills in our legislatures. Alas, the dinosaurs are mere fossils while elected guys with fossilized brains mess with public policy."
Representative from Carbon County, Utah Hopes to Protect Carbon Dioxide from Federal Regulation—by FranklinCat: "What better way to honor the name of the county where he lives, and at the same time also set the stage for a Jurassic Business Park, than to keep carbon dioxide from being slandered by the Feds by proposing a law that prevents classification of carbon dioxide and the other 'natural components of the atmosphere' as pollution including nitrogen, oxygen, and noble gases. The bill by Jerry Anderson (R-Price) clarifies the definition of “air contaminant” with this qualification: 'Air contaminant' does not mean the natural components of the atmosphere, including nitrogen, oxygen, argon, and other noble gases, water vapor, steam, and carbon dioxide in amounts less than 500 parts per million, or any combination of them."
Republicans' concern for future generations is misplaced—by Lefty Coaster: "The GOP has a hot air problem on climate change. The Guardian has an excellent piece on the glaring inconsistencies between the Republicans' hysteria about the debt as a threat to future generations and their dismissal of the threats Climate Change will pose to future generations. [...] If Republicans were really worried about increased spending in the future then they'd be aware that delaying responding to Climate Change will make the costs of doing so in the future exponentially higher."
Coal is Dead—by Dirk Adams: "My name is Dirk Adams and I'm a Montana rancher and Democrat who wants to be the next U.S. senator from Montana. I'm the dark horse running for the open seat to replace Max Baucus. Find out more about me at the Dirk Adams for Senate website. Today I'm writing about a hard subject in Montana, coal. Coal is no longer viable as a long term source of energy, or a reliable source of jobs in Montana. We need to start strategizing now to create alternative jobs for our 1200 workers at Colstrip. The 700 million tons of coal in Montana will be left in the ground. Financial research shows there is not financing for export terminals, and local opposition to proposed West Coast terminals is strong. They will not be built."
ALEC’s Fracking Chemical Disclosure Bill Moving Through Florida Legislature—by Steve Horn: "The American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) model bill for disclosure of chemicals injected into the ground during the controversial hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') process is back for a sequel in the Sunshine State legislature. ALEC’s model bill was proposed by ExxonMobil at its December 2011 meeting and is modeled after a bill that passed in Texas’ legislature in spring 2011, as revealed in anApril 2012 New York Times investigative piece. ALEC critics refer to the pro-business organization as a “corporate bill mill” lending corporate lobbyists a “voice and a vote” on model legislation often becoming state law. The bill currently up for debate at the subcommittee level in the Florida House of Representatives was originally proposed a year ago (as HB 743) in February 2013 and passed in a 92-19 vote, but never received a Senate vote. This time around the block (like last time except for the bill number), Florida’s proposed legislation is titled the Fracturing Chemical Usage Disclosure Act (HB 71), introduced by Republican Rep. Ray Rodrigues. It is attached to a key companion bill: Public Records/Fracturing Chemical Usage Disclosure Act (HB 157)."
The Global Change Research Act—by Sarvepalli: "Last Friday Obama proposed a $1 billion 'Climate Resilience Fund' that—if he can get Congress to agree to it—would help communities adapt to the current and future effects of climate change. However, never mentioned by the media and elsewhere is the fact that Obama has been doing what he's proposing above since his first year in office. That year he implemented the Global Change Research Act. The Global Change Research Act was passed by Congress in 1989 and signed into law by Bush Senior in 1990. It sat on the shelf through both the Clinton and Bush Jr. administrations until Obama began to implement it during his first year in office. Since then the 13 Administrative agencies under the Executive Branch has been quietly drawing up the rules and regs. All Administrative agencies are now required by law to take into account climate change through both mitigation and adaptation when they issue rules/regs."
The Great Outdoors
Natural Beauty Photo Diary: Suicide Rock—by Jill Richardson: "I'm in the seventh year of an intense, torrid love affair with the state of California. Not with the government - I've got a few nasty things to say about that, in fact (repeal prop 13!). Nope, I'm in love with the land itself, and the plants and animals that live on it. I'm in love with the Indians, who learned how to live in harmony with this great land, not living lightly on it without making a mark, but shaping the land by burning, pruning, harvesting, etc, and co-evolving with our native species. Unfortunately, I am most likely going to leave my love in less than a year. I've been accepted to grad school. I don't know where I'm going yet, but I've been accepted to UW-Madison for a PhD in sociology and I'm waiting to hear from a few other schools. Therefore I've developed a bit of a 'California bucket list'—things I want to do before leaving the state. Visit Yosemite. See a bear. See a fire poppy. Stuff my face with figs from the tree in my yard. Hike as much of the Pacific Crest Trail as I possibly can. And to facilitate these goals, I've joined a few meetup groups, including one that combines my two hobbies—photography and hiking. Here are some shots from our recent hike near Idyllwild."
Cold—by Mike Kahlow: "A week ago Saturday, in the middle of our coldest winter in nearly thirty years, I donned my warmest clothing, picked up my old Pentax K1000 camera with a vintage 30mm wide angle lens, and did something I hadn't done in 34 years. I shot a roll of black and white film. Manual exposure, manual focus. Then I came back home and developed the photos."
Of Nightmares and Watersheds—by BobboSphere: "So why do I have recurring nightmares about Northwest Branch instead of recurring dreams of its beauty, a beauty that has largely survived since the end of the last Ice Age? Why? Perhaps because Northwest Branch is a part of the Anacostia watershed. It empties into the dangerously polluted Anacostia River which flows past Southeast DC, a largely African American working class community. Much of the pollution comes from suburbs upstream or from the rest of DC across the river. A short distance away, across the bridges that span the river, are the EPA headquarters and the Congress that passed the Clean Water Act. According to the National Resources Defense Council: 'Toilets in the Capitol regularly flush directly into the Anacostia—our federal government needs to show leadership and contribute its fair share to cleaning up the District's rivers.' Apparently Congress really does give a shit about our watersheds."
California Taking a Closer Look at Desalination—by Richard Lyon: "Water agencies in California have working development plans on the table for the construction of desalination plants. As the drought bakes its way toward a fourth year, the state has a string of secret weapons in the works that could supply millions of gallons of new drinking water and help stave off disaster: desalination plants. Seventeen plants are in planning stages along the coast to convert salt water from the ocean or bays, including one near Concord that would serve every major water agency in the Bay Area. There are a number of considerations that make such plants controversial. In addition to major construction and operational financial cost, there are also important environmental considerations."
CA-42 - Ken Calvert Wrong On Water Rights In California—by Sheridan for Congress CA 42: "Tim Sheridan, Democratic challenger to Congressman Ken Calvert of California’s 42nd district, said this week that the Congressman 'is wrong to say that "regulations have contributed to the water shortage in California".' Sheridan said Calvert's recent statement to that effect was “motivated by politics and is not good public policy.' While speaking in favor of the bill, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act (HR 3964), on February 5th on the House floor, Mr. Calvert said, 'Ongoing drought conditions combined with regulatory restrictions have placed a tremendous strain on California’s water supply.' 'While he is correct to say that the drought is the cause of the problem,” Sheridan said, 'Mr. Calvert’s attempt to blame "regulations" is motivated simply by politics—something that he and the House leadership do too often.'"
Brown, Steinberg and Pérez will announce emergency drought legislation today—by Dan Bacher: "As California suffers from a record drought, Governor Jerry Brown will join Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and administration officials today in Mather to announce emergency drought legislation.m [...] A press release from the Governor's Office didn't mention any of the specifics of the legislation, but focused on drought actions taken so far by the administration, including water use reductions at state facilities, conservation of water in northern California reservoirs, fishing restrictions on some rivers, due to low flows and the seeking of authority to make water exchanges to 'those who need it the most.'"
Restore the Delta releases chronology of drought-related developments—by Dan Bacher: "This is an excellent chronology of events in the current drought provided by Restore the Delta. 'So much has happened in the first six weeks of 2014 that anyone may be forgiven for feeling dazed and confused,' according to Restore the Delta. 'To help you sort out one thread of events, we’re providing a chronology of drought-related developments, with some details about what is in the various declarations and bills. We’ll leave it to you to see some of the interesting connections. 'The Bay Delta Conservation Plan has been pushing forward with tightly structured open houses around the state. Smiling acolytes display glossy foam boards and shiny brochures full of errors, and if you want to make oral comments, you’re limited to three minutes videotaped in a separate room. This chronology doesn’t include BDCP, but we will point out that there wouldn’t have been enough water to run through Peripheral Tunnels this drought year to be worth the massive disruption to the Bay-Delta and the immense cost to the whole state,' the group stated."
Delta advocates, Winnemem call on Obama to not support tunnels—by Dan Bacher: "Advocates for the restoration of Central Valley salmon and the Delta rallied with colorful signs and banners at an intersection surrounded by fields on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley 12 miles west of the town of Firebaugh on Friday, February 14, urging President Obama to not support Governor Jerry Brown’s peripheral tunnel plan. The diverse group of over 60 people, including fishermen, Delta farmers and Tribal leaders, also urged Obama to let federal science officials to their jobs regarding the protection of salmon and Delta fish populations without interference – and to support sustainable water policies that balance the needs of fish, wildlife and people. Many of the group traveled from Stockton via a chartered bus and car pools that morning that ended up at the intersection of Althea and Oxford roads."
Bay Delta Conservation Plan comment period extended by 60 days—by Dan Bacher: "Responding to a request by a coalition of environmental, fishing and Tribal groups, the state and federal governments today extended the public comment period for the Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and the Draft Environmental Impact Review/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) by 60 days."
Eco-Activism & Eco-Justice
FL-Gov: Tom Steyer To Make Rick Scott (R) His Next Big Target—by poopdogcomedy: "After helping climate hawk Ed Markey (D. MA) win his Senate race and helping defeat anti-science zealots like Ken Cuccinelli (R. VA), Tom Steyer is back and is thirsty for more: In early February, Mr. Steyer gathered two dozen of the country’s leading liberal donors and environmental philanthropists to his 1,800-acre ranch in Pescadero, Calif. — which raises prime grass-fed beef — to ask them to join his efforts. People involved in the discussions say Mr. Steyer is seeking to raise $50 million from other donors to match $50 million of his own. The money would move through Mr. Steyer’s fast-growing, San Francisco-based political apparatus into select 2014 races. Targets include the governor’s race in Florida, where the incumbent, Rick Scott, a first-term Republican, has said he does not believe that science has established that climate change is man-made. Mr. Steyer’s group is also looking at the Senate race in Iowa, in the hope that a win for the Democratic candidate, Representative Bruce Braley, an outspoken proponent of measures to limit climate change, could help shape the 2016 presidential nominating contests."
Climate Change 2014: "Team Climate" at Sochi—by boatsie: "Yale University's Team Climate has earned a slot on the winner's platform for its success in bringing awareness of how climate change is impacting Winter Olympians to the forefront in numerous US media outlets. In articles penned by Olympians and published in the Boston Globe, The Salt Lake Tribune, USA Today, HuffPo and the Denver Post, the winter sport athletes write about the impact of climate change on their sport and report how warmer weather has impacted conditions where they compete and train. Team Climate students, enrolled in Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and on site in Sochi, were featured last week in a Scientific American article 'Team Climate' Gets Sochi Athletes All Abuzz about Climate Change. The article mentions January's University of Waterloo report, which predicted that six of the 19 potential sites for Winter Olympics would no longer be suitable to host the games by 2080, even in ;a low-emissions scenario.'"
To All in Anti-KXL Camp Planning Anti-Pipeline Civil Disobedience -- DEATH LURKS IN CONFINED SPACES—by LakeSuperior: "This diary is directed to all organizations and individuals who plan civil disobedience and protest actions concerning the KXL Pipeline or any other pipeline project using direct action. In particular, this diary is addressed to the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands which carries out direct action civil disobedience events incorporating felony criminal conduct. Whatever you do in your civil disobedience, don't jeopardize your life and health by physically entering a pipeline under construction like Christopher Wahmhoff, a Michigan activist from MCATS, foolishly did last year in an MCATS approved direct action. Why was Christopher Wahmhof's action a foolish thing to do? Because....DEATH LURKS IN CONFINED SPACES."
WHEN THE GAS INDUSTRY USES THE/FBI JOINT TERRORISM TASK FORCE TO SILENCE A CITIZEN—by philosleft: "I arrived at the door, signaled to the fellow–who I could now see was holding out a badge–that I needed to get my dogs outside. ‘Barky, not bitey,” I believe I said. The man’s name is MIKE HUTSON, Pennsylvania State Police, FBI Joint Terrorism task Force, Williamsport Office. He was investigating reports of “vandalism” at unspecified compressor station locations, and he had with him a copy of the excellent Jeremy Alderson’s Fall/Winter (2.2) Edition of the NO FRACK ALMANAC (http://www.nofrackalmanac.com/....). Many of us in this movement spend time wondering if we are surveilled. We try to avoid paranoia–all the while we know that, given the immense power and money at stake, this is an industry that does not conceive of the law as anything other than either a nuisance or a weapon to cast legitimate exercise of free speech as 'eco-terrorism.' We see that everyday in its flagrant flouting of environmental, safety, and zoning law, and in it’s liberal use of retired intelligence agents to harass, follow, surveil, and intimidate us."
National Parks, Forests & Other Public Lands
PA-Gov: Don't Let Tom Corbett (R) Lift A Moratorium On Forest & Park Drilling—by poopdogcomedy: "Received this e-mail today from PennEnvironment: Gov. Corbett has proposed lifting a three-year moratorium on leasing of state forests and parks for gas drilling. That will put our parks and forests at risk for blowouts, spills of toxic fracking wastewater and more. We have just 10 days before the Legislature holds a hearing on this terrible proposal and we must make it clear that Pennsylvanians won’t stand by and let this happen. Help us send 10,000 messages to Harrisburg saying: "Keep the current moratorium on drilling in our state forest and parks in place.""
Green Growth: Grameen Shakti—by gmoke: "The Grameen Shakti renewable energy program includes: solar energy through their Solar Home System (SHS); biogas for use as cooking fuel, electricity production and organic fertilizer; and improved cooking stoves (ICS). The model also includes a social business component that: creates employment; fosters entrepreneurship; empowers women, youth and communities; breaks the cycle of energy poverty; and contributes to the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The Grameen Shakti model is expanding rapidly in Bangladesh and has begun to be replicated outside the country. Great strides in overcoming the problem of energy poverty can be achieved by expanding the replication of the Grameen Shakti model through cooperation between governments, corporations, investors, and/or social entrepreneurs. This will help to achieve the goal of universal energy access by 2030."