You can find more rescued green diaries below the sustainable squiggle.
Eco-Activism & Eco-Justice
It's a Koch Thing—by New Minas: "This is a brilliant video. It really underscores the effort by the Koch brothers and ALEC in their attempts to roll back energy efficiency and renewable energy developments, all while at the same time pushing for the Keystone XL pipeline."
Standing up to Climate Change (by Sitting Down in Harvard Yard)—by Bill McKibben: "Ah, nothing like pictures of the Old Campus to bring an alum to misty nostalgia. Especially today, when the pictures coming out of Harvard Yard show brave, smiling young people sitting in outside the president's office to demand that she talk about fossil fuel divestment. When I was there--a long time ago, back in the late 1970s and early 1980s--the issue was divestment from apartheid. In fact, that was the last huge divestment campaign to sweep American campuses--and Harvard, to its shame, resisted for many years. This time too the administration has refused to sell its stock in the oil giants, arguing (among other things) that it would be hypocritical while the university still used fossil fuel. (Great argument: 'we'll take steps to solve the problem once it's been solved'). But the backlash is coming fast and furious. Three days after the president's latest statement, a hundred of the most senior faculty sent a letter demanding divestment. Soon after that, Desmond Tutu--hero of the apartheid battle--added his august voice to the pressure."
Today we sent this Letter...—by mnementh: "... to our state representatives urging them to not support recently proposed special surtaxes on electricity sold back to the grid by small, Eco-friendly (Solar, Wind, Hydro) producers. I decided to make it simple and to the point. 'I live in Oil Country; I share the roads with the tankers and oilfield workers who break their backs every day to feed this nation's hunger for energy and I fix their computers when they break on the job. I spend time with them every day, and I talk with them while we work. Even THEY know, maybe better than all of us, that OIL is NOT the future; it is just the way they can make a living RIGHT NOW for their families.'"
Anti-Tunnels Comment Party Set For May 13—by Dan Bacher: "Restore the Delta (RTD) will host a party for a great cause on Tuesday, May 13 - a "Public Comment Party" to complete more than one hundred citizens comments against the environmentally destructive peripheral tunnels. The event will run from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Reserve at Spanos Park, Mt. Diablo Room 6301 W. Eight Mile Rd. in Stockton. RTD, opponents of Gov. Brown's plan to build Peripheral Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom Central Valley Chinook salmon and other Pacific fisheries, noted that people have just a few weeks left to respond to the Brown Administration's 40,000 page proposed BDCP Plan."
Food, Agriculture & Gardening
WHO: Antibiotics are losing effectiveness in every country—by VL Baker: "Yesterday, The World Health Organization issued its first ever global surveillance on antibiotic resistance report(pdf) stating that the world is rapidly entering the post antibiotic era taking us back to a time when common infections now easily treatable become lethal again. 'Without urgent, co-ordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,' said Dr Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's assistant director general for health security. 'Effective antibiotics have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer, live healthier, and benefit from modern medicine. Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public-health goods and the implications will be devastating.' The key findings of the report are cause for major alarm."
God-fearing, gay-bashing America wants chicken sandwiches without antibiotics; now that's news—by VL Baker: "Yup, pigs are starting to fly. Slate reports that in a really incredible move the company Chick-Fil-A has announced that they are responding to the majority of their customers by beginning to offer antibiotic free chicken. 'Our market research showed that 70 percent of Chick-fil-A customers we researched think about antibiotics usage and wonder whether it is necessary,' says company spokeswoman Tiffany Greenway. This is amazing in that their customers tend to be people who would agree with their ignorant gay-bashing. Really who else would want to support their homophobic agenda by supporting them financially?"
Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 10.11—by Frankenoid: "It's been a strange week for me here in Denver, and the weather was equally strange. The cold front that went through brought us little moisture, but a lot of wind: extremely unpleasant."
A Pre-Emptive Strike Against Koch, ALEC, and Black Energy Proponents—by Bruce Brown: "A New York Times editorial ('The Koch Attack on Solar Energy') reports on lobbying efforts in state legislatures all over the US to get them to adopt measures that discriminate against green energy in favor of black. For the last few months, the Kochs and other big polluters have been spending heavily to fight incentives for renewable energy, which have been adopted by most states. They particularly dislike state laws that allow homeowners with solar panels to sell power they don’t need back to electric utilities. So they’ve been pushing legislatures to impose a surtax on this increasingly popular practice, hoping to make installing solar panels on houses less attractive. I propose a Daily Kos pre-emptive strike against ALEC, big oil, and the Kochs: emails, letters, and phone calls to our governors, state representatives, and state legislative utility/environment/energy committee heads and members."
NY Times learns nothing from Chernobyl, evades reality of nuclear failure in U.S.—by nirsnet: "Rather than listen to paid spokespersons from nuclear industry-sponsored organizations, the Times editorial board should take a look at what some of its own reporters are saying. Nuclear power has destroyed a portion of Japan, and the lives of the people who once lived there. It did the same in Ukraine and Belarus. It will do so again, somewhere, and will do so over and over until it is finally ended. That is the real warning of the 'great shield over Chernobyl.'"
ALERT: Californians! Intercepted email reveals frackers plan to stack Gasland 2 screenng—by TXsharon: "An intercepted email from the California Independent Petroleum Association shows what the fracking industry has planned for Bakersfield, California residents who show up for a Gasland II screening Saturday evening. The May 3rd screening hosted by Clean Water Action, the Sierra Club of Kern and Earthworks at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2216 17th St, Bakersfield, CA 93301, starts at 5 pm. But, according to the email below, industry plans to fill the church to capacity early so locals won't have seats."
How Much Fracking Will be Remain Unregulated in Illinois?—by Willinois: "Fracking has begun in Illinois. Governor Pat Quinn's Department of Natural Resources issued a permit for a test well at a site where oil fracking is planned. The well isn't subject to Illinois fracking rules due to loopholes in the law passed last year. By utilizing methods that require a lower volume of water, and exploiting other loopholes, oil frackers can avoid new regulation. As Illinois State University emeritus professor William Rau writes, that will deny the state tax revenue from those operations, along with other consequences."
Against fracking in California? You should be "dragged into the courtyard and dealt with."—by bobstandard: "Residents of San Benito County have gathered more than 4,100 signatures, almost three times the number required and almost 10% of the population, to get a fracking ban put on the ballot in the county. San Benito County sits atop the Monterey Shale formation, which may contain a large volume of oil and natural gas. Naturally, the oil industry is interested. San Benito County also sits within the Salinas Valley, the salad bowl of the nation, where water is more valuable than, well, oil and natural gas. Naturally, people who eat salad in San Benito, and who work in or make their living off agriculture are interested. Who knows, maybe others around the country who eat the vegetables, fruits and nuts from the region are interested too? At least one oil and gas industry executive is outraged that the people of San Benito are doing what they are doing. You know, like talking about facking, and not liking fracking, and signing petitions against fracking. Armen Nahabedian, president and CEO of Citadel Exploration is reported to have said 'In a fair world, these people would be dragged out in the courtyard and dealt with accordingly.' I wonder what he means by 'dealt with accordingly?'"
Is fracking beginning to spiral down?—by patbahn: "Fracking has been enormously controversial , Gasland, Gasland 2, The truth about Gasland, Anthropogenic earthquakes ... But I've argued fracking is economic folly and likely to fail soon." Stung with high costs and mired in more than $20 billion in debt on its U.S. shale operations, the company continues to sell off billions in its assets base as it struggles to right itself. Its actions follow a developing trend of cutbacks, spin-offs, divestures and write downs for oil and gas majors operating in U.S. shale formations. In the last 10 days, British Petroleum, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell have all announced they will be spending less on oil and gas exploration
The Fracking Prostitutes of American Colleges (part 2)—by brasch: "Two of the reasons Pennsylvania has no severance tax and one of the lowest taxes upon shale gas drilling are because of an overtly corporate-friendly legislature and a research report from Penn State, a private state-related university that receives about $300 million a year in public funds. Opponents of the tax cited a Penn State study that claimed a 30 percent decline in drilling if the fees were assessed, while also touting the economic benefits of drilling in the Marcellus Shale. What wasn’t widely known is that the lead author of the study, Dr. Timothy Considine, 'had a history of producing industry-friendly research on economic and energy issues,' according to reporting by Jim Efsathioi Jr. of Bloomberg News. The Penn State study was sponsored by a $100,000 grant from the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an oil and gas lobbying group that represents more than 300 energy companies. Dr. William Easterling, dean of Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, said the study may have 'crossed the line between policy analysis and policy advocacy.'"
Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation
Gulf Stream: Williams Nixes Bluegrass LNG Export Pipeline, Announces New Export Line—by Steve Horn: "Right before the champagne bottles began popping for activists engaged in a grassroots struggle to halt the construction of Williams Companies' prospective Bluegrass Pipeline project—which the company suspended indefinitely in an April 28 press release—Williams had already begun raining on the parade. The pipeline industry giant took out the trash on Friday, April 25, announcing its intentions to open a new Louisiana pipeline named Gulf Trace. Akin to TransCanada’s ANR Pipeline recently reported on by DeSmogBlog, Gulf Trace is not entirely “new,” per se. Rather, it’s the retooling of a pipeline system already in place, in this case Williams’ Transco Pipeline system."
NWF News on Enbridge Line 5 Great Lakes Pipeline Crossings—by LakeSuperior: "All Michigan Democrats and citizens concerned about the Great Lakes should begin tracking the issue of Michigan's past, present and future responses to the Enbridge Pipeline Company and its Great Lakes Line 5 crossings The Great Lakes crossings are at the Mackinac Strait [5 miles, with under-canyon, unsupported pipeline] and on the St. Clair River near Marysville, MI [swift current on the St. Clair River would rapidly transport spilled hydrocarbons downstream over a very long, wide area & threatening a lengthy and wide area of the Michigan-Ontario border]."
Explosive Virginia Train Carried Fracked Bakken Oil, Headed to Potential Export Facility—by Steve Horn: "Platts confirmed CSX Corporation’s train that exploded in Lynchburg, Virginia was carrying sweet crude obtained via hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin. CSXCEO Michael Ward has also confirmed this to Bloomberg. 'Trade sources said the train was carrying Bakken crude from North Dakota and was headed to Plains All American’s terminal in Yorktown,' Platts explained.'The Yorktown facility can unload 130,000 b/d of crude and is located on the site of Plains oil product terminal.' In January, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a Safety Alert concluding Bakken crude is more flammable than heavier oils. Hence the term 'bomb trains.'"
Oil Train Derails, Burns in Lynchburg—by Senor Unoball: "Despite assurances from industry that behemoth trains carrying thousands of gallons of crude oil are safe, evidence continues to show that's not always the case. A CSX train derailed and burned in Lynchburg, VA, on Wednesday afternoon, spilling oil into the James River. Hundreds have been evacuated. Officials say there were no injuries. The Richmond Times Dispatch says, 'Lynchburg has declared a state of emergency and Richmond has begun to switch to an alternate water supply after a train carrying crude oil derailed today, spilling oil into the James River upstream from Richmond's primary water supply.'"
Crude Oil 'Bomb Train' Derails into VA Drinking Water Supply—by Desi: "A train carrying crude oil derailed in Lynchburg, Virginia on Wednesday, forcing the city to declare a state of emergency. The CSX train of 12 to 14 tankers has spilled into the James River, which is the primary water supply for Richmond, the state’s capital. Three to four of the tankers have also caught fire. No one was killed or injured, but parts of Lynchburg had to be evacuated. A spokeswoman for the city said the plan was to 'allow the fire to burn itself out.'"
Climate Change & Extreme Weather
Koch Bros decline to take part in a debate on Climate “We are not experts on climate change"—by Lefty Coaster: "This comes as no surprise that the billionaire brothers that prefer to keep their lavishly funded network for gaining political influence at the state and national levels as anonymous and untraceable as lawyers can devise, wouldn't want to take part in a public debate on human caused climate change. A group supporting the political views of retired billionaire investor Tom Steyer bought a full-page color advertisement Friday in The Wichita Eagle—the Koch brothers’ hometown newspaper—inviting the brothers to a public debate on climate change. The brothers, Charles and David, don’t plan to take him up on it. 'We are not experts on climate change,' wrote Koch spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia in an e-mail Friday afternoon."
Wet enough for ya? Just wait.—by xaxnar: "Anecdotes are not evidence; climate is what we expect while weather is what we get. A single weather event isn't enough to be evidence of climate change, but enough single events add up to a pattern. And the pattern is worth noting. A news report from Air Force Magazine has some details from the recent torrential rains that hit the south. As an organization with a huge interest in what the weather is doing at any time, the Air Force has to pay attention. June L. Kim reports: Eglin AFB, Fla., and near-by Hurlburt Field, closed this week due to torrential rainfall that flooded parts of the East Coast, Eglin spokeswoman Lois Walsh told Air Force Magazine. Eglin closed April 30 and reopened the following day, but Hurlburt Field, which is just 12 miles southwest of Eglin, remained closed as of Thursday afternoon. The area received more than 10 inches of rain during a two-day period, said Walsh."
Eco-Related DC & State Politics
Western States Petroleum Association spent $6.1 million in 3 months—by Dan Bacher: "The new numbers for the amount of money spent on lobbying in Sacramento in the first three months of 2014 just came in from the Secretary of State's Office and guess who finished first? Yes, holding fast to number one—you guessed it—is the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), 'making sure lawmakers don't forget about the Big Oil little guy,' according to Stop Fooling California. (http://www.stopfoolingca.org). The Western States Petroleum Association, the most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento, spent $6.1 million in only 3 months. This is more money than the association normally spends on lobbying in Sacramento in an entire year."
Stacks of Bills—by BlueDuPage: "I too found myself with a little time on my hands this afternoon and, evil troll that I am, chose to point out that these same House Republican members are receiving #StacksOfBills from the fossil fuel industry. To do so (and this is the main point I wanted to make) I used a fantastic tool that has been developed by the fine folks at Oil Change International. They've created this terrific database that allows you to see the contributions that a Senator or Congressman has been raking in from the fossil fuel industries."
John Shimkus: Serving Up Scripture and Toxic Chemicals—by BlueDuPage: "I want to apologize on behalf of Illinois for afflicting the nation with John Shimkus. He doesn't represent most of us here, although he seems to be pretty popular with residents of his rural Illinois' 15th District and with polluters who want to poison our air and water without consequence. A religious man, Representative Shimkus starts most days by Tweeting out a bit of scripture, and then proceeding to do the Lord's work from his seat on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and its Sub-Committee on Environment and the Economy which he chairs. All that scripture reading has certainly helped Shimkus to more effectively carry out his his party's number 1 priority: burning every last gram of extractable fossil fuels and damn the consequences to the environment and the future of humanity."
Fracking Moratorium Bill Passes Senate Environmental Quality Committee—by Dan Bacher: "A bill imposing a moratorium on fracking and acidizing for oil extraction in California passed through the Senate Environmental Quality Committee today by a 5 to 2 vote. [...] 'People must come before profits,' said Senator Mitchell after the vote. 'My community needs jobs, but those jobs need to be safe for workers and surrounding communities.'"
Trade & Foreign Policy
How Canada is going to charge the U.S. $4 billion more annually for gas—by jenesaiswha: "You hear many lies about the Keystone XL Pipeline, but today we are just going to talk a bit about a document that completely refutes one of them: that that pipeline will make our gas cheaper.A few years ago TransCanada, the company that’s building the pipeline, submitted a Section 52 application to Canada’s National Energy Board. Section 3: Supplies and Markets and its appendixes, clearly states that the company expects the pipeline will allow Canadian shippers to add up to almost $4 billion dollars every year to the United States’ cost of gas. How? Partly due to scarcity."
The Great Outdoors
The Daily Bucket - blooming at Iceberg—by OceanDiver: "Flowers reliably bloom at particular times in the season, but as our climate changes rapidly due to anthropogenic warming, the timing and duration of flowering is changing in subtle and unpredictable ways. Plants, insects, birds and mammals have coevolved making the most efficient use of each other...if blooms (and the fruits that follow) don't coincide with their pollinators and consumers, or in sufficient density, all will suffer. I'm a bit late in beginning to monitor my local native flowers and fruits, but this year is the start of my informal baseline monitoring. [...] Iceberg Point is a dry rocky bluff, mostly south-facing, with rain in spring and then dry for the rest of the season."
The Daily Bucket - view from the stump—by bwren: "Some find delight in travel and change, always seeking out the new. I am a creature of habit, walking the same paths every day. Perhaps this is the lazy way, but every day is different. Every day is new, yet over the years patterns have begun to emerge. Those are new, too, yet different in their newness. Just over a year ago I wrote an introduction to the view from a stump that sits just off of a footpath at the northern end of the Forest peninsula. I continue to find the stump a convenient tripod, and have rested my camera there for a bit every month since then, witnessing the changes in the landscape."
Oceans in Trouble - Tiny Pteropods' Shells are Dissolving in increasingly acidic ocean water—by Lefty Coaster: "You may never have heard of Pteropods but they play a very important role in keeping the ocean's ecosystem in balance, because Pteropods make up a significant pat of the foundation for the food chain. In a troubling new discovery, scientists studying ocean waters off California, Oregon and Washington have found the first evidence that increasing acidity in the ocean is dissolving the shells of a key species of tiny sea creature at the base of the food chain. The animals, a type of free-floating marine snail known as pteropods, are an important food source for salmon, herring, mackerel and other fish in the Pacific Ocean. Those fish are eaten not only by millions of people every year, but also by a wide variety of other sea creatures, from whales to dolphins to sea lions. The ocean ecosystems are being altered by climate change threatening the collapse of the species that make the base of the food chain, raising the possibility that the oceans food chains will be disrupted in catastrophic ways. Millions of people depend on the roughly 160 million tons of fish caught this year worldwide."
Pollution, Hazardous Wastes & Trash
1,000,000,000 Gallons of Piss and Shit Dumped By Cruise Ships Into US Waters During 2013—by Pakalolo: "1 Billion gallons of sewage: That is how much sewage was dumped into U.S. waters by cruise ships alone in 2013. That doesn't even include the discharge from the tens of thousands of other cargo ships and oil tankers visiting our ports and it does not include the dumping of sewage into international waterways. On April 30, 2014, the US EPA was sued in Federal Court by the Friends of the Earth who are seeking better regulations regarding the dumping of raw sewage, and lightly treated sewage, from cruise ships into our oceans and waterways. [...] Oceana noted that lax state and federal laws allow cruise ships to dump untreated sewage from toilets once the ships are three miles from shore. Within three miles, cruise ships can dump sewage from toilets that has been treated by marine sanitation devices, which have been shown to be inadequate. In addition, sewage from sinks and showers can be dumped without treatment."
Justice Antonin Scalia makes huge blunder in latest dissent misquoting his own previous opinion!—by HoundDog: "According to Dan Farber of Legal Planet, Scalia's dissents contains a second 'hugely embarrassing mistake.' He refers to the Court’s earlier decision in American Trucking as involving an effort by EPA to smuggle cost considerations into the statute. But that’s exactly backwards: it was industry that argued for cost considerations and EPA that resisted. Farbar notes this error is 'doubly embarrassing' because Scalia wrote the opinion in this previous case! "Either way, it’s a cringeworthy blunder.' David Fergusan describes Adam Serwer, of MSNBC saying the 'blunder is particularly galling, because "his dissent was dripping with contempt for the majority’s decision.' It's going to be embarrassing for Scalia to come to work tomorrow."
Looking For Fukushima Radionuclides in Fish Caught of the West Coast of Canada—by MarineChemist: "The purpose of this diary is to report new measurements of radioactivity in fish caught off the west coast of Canada. A collaborative effort between Health Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the University of Victoria is now published in the peer-reviewed, open-access scientific journal Radiation Protection Dosimetry (link). The authors examined the activities of cesium radioisotopes (134-Cs half-life ~2 years and 137-Cs half-life ~30 years) that were released in large quantities from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster in 2011 as well as a naturally occurring polonium isotope (210-Po) that can pose radiological health concerns for human consumers of marine fish. Samples of chum and coho salmon, halibut, sablefish and spiny dogfish were analyzed and none were found to contain detectable levels of Fukushima derived radionuclides. Radiation doses to human consumers were determined by assuming a conservative worst case scenario where Cs isotopes were present at detection limits of the measurement and found to be 18 times lower than doses attributable to the naturally occurring, alpha-emitter 210-Po."
Products & Miscellany
Fox & Friends attack Scientific American editor: 'Scientific Coward'—by Hunter: "The Scientific American editor who said that Fox News wanted him to talk about the future, so long as he didn't talk about climate change, put himself on thin ice with the network by, well, mentioning that it happened. Now Fox & Friends is firing back, which is a bit like being mauled to death by puppies. On Thursday morning, the hosts of 'Fox & Friends' went off on editor Michael Moyer for tweeting about having an uncomfortable experience on the show. During the segment, they showed a photo of Moyer with text on the screen that labeled him a 'Scientific Coward.' [...] 'Clearly he has a problem with Fox,' Doocy said. 'So why did he come on? Clearly, it was just to promote himself, and maybe his magazine as well. But, you know, hashtag classy. We put him on, we have a nice conversation and then he stabs us in the back.' Here's something to note about Fox. Whenever they get into an argument (Hannity and Bill'O being the prime examples of this, but the instinct is network-wide) their 'rebuttal' is to say that so-and-so is an uncivilized jerk, end of conversation. By the end of next week Moyer will be discovered to be a close confidant of Bill Ayers and/or BENGHAZI."
Is FOX an actual cult? This kiss & tell from Scientific American editor makes me wonder—by WCWatch: "There's an editor of Scientific American who went on FOX news, was told not to talk about climate change, and is now tweeting about it all. The one that leapt out at me was the account of his conversation with the "makeup girl" (his words) where she spouts some conspiracy theory: Everyone’s in a bubble. Makeup girl: Where u think the plane is? Me, puzzled: Bottom of the ocean? Her: No it’s on a military base somewhere. So all the way down to the person doing make up for the guests, they have kooky believers working throughout the FOX organization. That's pretty alarming."
“Gas. Makes Me. High.” Climate Change Enters Popular Culture—by Joseph Manson: "A clever video by Blink Tank Films was released this past week and it's very good. Popular culture is finally addressing climate change and its about time. From Showtime's 'Years of Living Dangerously" to comedy and parody to get the message out. In any movement that seeks to communicate its ideas, a diversity of tactics are often employed. Climate change deniers, whether paid for by big oil or people who see climate change as a big hoax, constantly try to 'drown out the alarm.'"
Walgreens: At the corner of arsenic and formaldehyde?—by Ashley Allison via Nathan Empsall SierraRise: "Would you bathe your baby in formaldehyde or fill your dog's bowl with lead? I know I wouldn't! A new study has exposed Walgreens for selling products like school supplies and pet chew toys laced with toxic chemicals that cause asthma, cancer, and more. Thousands of people from across the country have called on our nation's largest retailers to stop selling toxic products. Last year Walmart and Target agreed to take action -- but Walgreens hasn't yet gotten serious about protecting our families."