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Many environmentally related posts appearing at Daily Kos each week don't attract the attention they deserve. To help get more eyeballs, Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The most recent Wednesday Spotlight can be seen here. So far, more than 18,300 environmentally oriented diaries have been rescued for inclusion in this weekly collection since 2006. Inclusion of a diary in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.
Silent Coup: How Enbridge is Quietly Cloning the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline—by Steve Horn: "While the debate over the TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has raged on for over half a decade, pipeline giant Enbridge has quietly cloned its own Keystone XL in the U.S and Canada. It comes in the form of the combination of Enbridge’s Alberta Clipper (Line 67), Flanagan South and Seaway Twin pipelines. The pipeline system does what Keystone XL and the Keystone Pipeline System at large is designed to do: ship hundreds of thousands of barrels per day of Alberta’s tar sands diluted bitumen ('dilbit') to both Gulf Coast refineries in Port Arthur, Texas, and the global export market."
green dots
Group says new fracking rules let Big Oil hide toxic chemical use—by Dan Bacher: "Proposed new regulations governing fracking and other dangerous oil well stimulation techniques in California would “do little” to protect the state’s air, water and public health, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. The Center said draft rules unveiled on June 17 by Governor Jerry Brown’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, authorized under Fran Pavley's Senate Bill 4, also allow regulators to rubber-stamp multiple fracks and include a 'well maintenance' loophole permitting oil companies to conceal dangerous chemical use. 'Governor Brown’s weak fracking rules are a huge gift to oil companies using dangerous chemicals in California communities,' said Hollin Kretzmann of the Center for Biological Diversity. 'State officials are simply refusing to protect people from fracking pollution or even ensure we know what hazardous substances are used in our neighborhoods. That’s why cities and counties are moving to safeguard their residents by halting fracking and other risky extraction methods.'"
green dots
seal swim by
The Daily Bucket - seal welcome—by OceanDiver: "June 14, 2014. Barlow Bay. Salish Sea. It's been many months since I've been out in my kayak. On my first day out, the Harbor Seal who lives in this bay welcomed me, with a sort-of interspecies "hug." I know this particular seal. I took a few pictures to compare her features to photos I have of previous encounters ... she's the same one, based on permanent fur color patterns. Harbor Seals are very intelligent by all accounts, which means they are also very curious creatures. I've found that to be true in my interactions both from the beach and out on the water. Interpreting their thoughts from facial expressions is difficult if not impossible, inevitably subject to anthropomorphizing. I try to get a sense of their interests and intentions by their behavior. [...] We brought our sailboat back down to Barlow Bay after months of electrical repairs, necessary after sinking back in December (or as Mr O puts it 'not floating when the tide came back in'). Arriving in the bay in late evening, I snapped a pic of this seal watching us anchor. It was getting dark so we skiffed back to shore as quick as we could. Flat calm this day."

You can find more rescued green diaries below the sustainable squiggle.

Climate Chaos

"It's 10,883 to 2.": Toe-tapping takedowns of climate deniers—by A Siegel: "Communicating on science is difficult in American society. Tackling that communication in the face of concerted efforts to undermine science is an even more difficult challenge. Effective teachers use a variety of methods to communicate with their students, seeking to find ways to communicate to all of the seven types of learning. For aural, we're advised to "use sound, rhyme and music in your learning." Those concerned with educating, engaging with, and mobilizing people about climate risks pursue multiple tools, including music such as the catchy song in this video (which is worth watching for some of the embedded graphics)."

Scientists Predict Increased Rain, Floods for Northeast—by brasch: "Residents of New England and the Mid-Atlantic states will experience increased rainfall and floods if data analysis by a Penn State meteorologist and long-term projections by a fisheries biologist, with a specialty in surface water pollution, are accurate. Paul Knight, senior lecturer in meteorology at Penn State, compiled rainfall data for Pennsylvania from 1895—when recordings were first made—to this year. He says there has been an increase of 10 percent of rainfall during the past century. Until the 1970s, the average rainfall throughout the state was about 42 inches. Beginning in the 1970s, the average began creeping up. “By the 1990s, the increase was noticeable,” he says.  The three wettest years on record since 1895 were 2003, 2004, and 2011. The statewide average was 61.5 inches in 2011, the year of Tropical Storm Lee, which caused 18 deaths and about $1.6 billion in damage in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, and devastating flooding in New York and Pennsylvania, especially along the Susquehanna River basin."

Patrick Moore is not a Greenpeace founder—by ClimateDenierRoundup: "There has been a recent resurgence in the visibility of one of the deniers' favorite spokesmodels: Patrick Moore, 'Greenpeace Co-Founder." A recent Breitbart UK article, for example, covered the forward Moore wrote in yet another denier's book. The piece espouses the beloved mantra of the conservative media that a "Greenpeace Co-Founder says there is no proof of climate change.' The problem, however, is that Moore was NOT a Greenpeace co-founder. In fact, he applied to join the group a year AFTER it was created. And in the last 20 years, he has been a paid spokesman for timber, mining, chemical, nuclear and other industries."

Sun Rises on New Climate Model—by ClimateDenierRoundup: "Aussie blogger Jo Nova is unveiling a brand new climate model that her husband, Dr. David Evans, has been working on. It's all very complex (to a layman) and concerns an old denier favorite: the sun. [...] While we're sure they won't come to the obvious conclusion that greenhouse gasses are trapping heat and causing the planet to warm, we eagerly await their findings. It's been hinted that it may have something to do with cosmic rays, so it should be entertaining!"

Global Warning: Syria, Iraq and India—by New Minas: "The civil war progressed and moved across the national border of Syria and, drawn by the power vacuum of Iraq, into Anbar Province. Now the Syrian Rebels have melded into a new multi-national force, ISIS, which seeks to form a national caliphate out of a  region carved out of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and the West Bank of Israel. Today this group has taken Iraq's largest oil refinery, and their black flags are seen today flying over this critical infrastructure. 80% of India's oil is imported and 13% of India's oil imports originate from Iraq. Just this year a crushing heatwave has plagued the northern areas leading to widescale riots and rolling brownouts as the electric grid is stretched to its limit. A forecast for a much delayed monsoon season is placing additional pressures on the country's social, economic and political structures. In addition a severe march hailstorm destroyed over 8 lakh hectares (about 3,000 square miles) of food crops, with resultant farmer suicides. These compounding factors of weather, political unrest and delayed monsoons have led to significant food and fuel inflation in the region. This has forced India to implement market controls, as they did in 2008 to curb price inflation. If a greater energy crisis occurs with ISIS moving to restrict oil exports from Southern Iraq it would push India into a very real threat of widescale explosive inflation and economic and social unrest. All of these forces are directly or indirectly exacerbated by climate change."

Food, Agriculture & Gardening

Chemical Companies Not-So-Slowly Poisoning Kaua'i—by EmilyCare2: "Hawaii. When most of us think of it, we think of pristine landscapes and clear water, a paradise that no one would dare do anything to damage. But now, news is breaking that the island of Kaua'i is ground zero for companies like Dow, DuPont Pioneer, Syngenta and BASF to test their pesticide-tolerant crops. For 3-4 growing seasons a year, with very little oversight, these companies experiment with excessive amounts of the most toxic agricultural chemicals. Sometimes pesticides (neurotoxins, carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, etc) are applied 10-16 times a day, causing a toxic film to cover nearby homes, schools and hospitals. But locals are getting the attention of the international community and saying enough is enough. As stories break all over the world, more and more people are joining the movement and focusing the lens on Kaua'i and the disgraceful things that are going on in the name of profits and owning the rights to the food people around the world are eating."

Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 10.17—by Frankenoid: "We've had another beautiful week here in Denver: started with highs in the 70s, building up to 91° by mid-week—and then a nice thunderstorm dumped over a half-inch of rain on my neighborhood late Wednesday afternoon, taking temperatures back down into the 80s. The veggie patch is starting to leap forward—I'm now stuffing snap peas into my mouth whenever I wander out to pull a few weeds, water the potted plants, and check that the newly-planted agastache and penstemons haven't dried out. And then there are these—yes, those are pea vines, an heirloom variety from Pinetree named Tall Telephone. They are shelling peas, and described as heat tolerant, an important quality here where pea season and heat waves often coincide. The vines are loaded with large pods, but the peas aren't quite picking size yet. [...] I was feeling very proud of myself last Sunday, as I'd finally managed to transform all the plants from the nursery into plants into my garden. And then I remembered I hadn't planted the gladiolus. Damn. So today I'll trot out with electric drill and bulb auger in hand and pop them into the ground."


Senator Bernie Sanders accuses oil speculators of using Iraq as excuse to drive up prices—by HoundDog: "Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) accused speculators of using the chaos in Iraq "as a phony excuse to artificially drive up crude oil and gasoline prices." Sanders was responding to news that the price of oil rose above $115 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, yesterday, a nine month high, despite the fact that Sanders says oil supplies are higher, and demand is lower than five years ago when prices were lower. For example, Sanders says the price of regular gasoline was $3.67 yesterday ( while it was only $2.67 five years ago. Senator Sanders published an article on his Senate website entitled, Speculators Use Iraq to Drive Up Oil and Gas Prices."

Sign the petition: Pull Big Coal's dishonest ads off the air!—by Nathan Empsall SierraRise: "It reminds me of that old phrase: There's lies, damned lies, and statistics. Greedy Big Coal has been caught red-handed lying in ads about the president's climate action plan. They've got a new radio campaign citing statistics that sound scary—except that those are completely meaningless stats, based on a discarded proposal that isn't even in the EPA's plan! It's a little like saying we shouldn't eat organic apples because processed candy bars are high in sugar... it makes no sense at all. That's why the Washington Post's fact checker gave the ads 'Four Pinocchios.' This was no accident—it's a bald-faced, intentional lie, one rooted in greed. The corporate polluters are putting their private profit ahead of our public health, doing whatever they can to stop the new climate action plan."

Nebraska utility phasing out 5 coal plants for 49% reduction of greenhouse gases for little cost—by HoundDog: "Kate Sheppard  of The Huffington Post reports that Nebraska Utility Is Phasing Out Some Coal Units, And It Won't Cost That Much. The Omaha Public Power District in Nebraska will shut down three coal powered electrical generation units in the next two years and phase two other into using natural gas withing in a decade, a spokesperson for the utility said this yesterday. The three coal units will be retired by 2016, the public utility said. Another two units at that plant will get updated pollution controls by 2016 as well, and will transition to burning natural gas by 2023. OPPD will similarly retrofit its Nebraska City coal-fired station and implement new energy-efficiency programs to reduce demand. These changes will reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 49%, cut nitrogen emissions by 74%, and sulfur oxide by 68%. Exactly, the goals of President Obama's recently announced proposed goals by the EPA for reduced carbon emissions, with a bonus of the reduction of the other pollutants."


Koch brothers are fighting against Republicans who support clean energy and do not oppose state RPS—by HoundDog: "Here is another story illustrating the nationwide campaign backed by the Koch brothers to roll back state Renewable Portfolio Standards, aka RPS. Joanna M. Foster of Think Progress reports Koch-Funded Group Won’t Back Kansas Republicans Who Supported Clean Energy. Last week, Kansas State Rep. Scott Schwab (R-Olathe) failed to obtain the Kansas Chamber of Commerce political action committee endorsement. In a surprisingly frank and revealing email to his supporters, Schwab claims that his position on the proposed weakening of Kansas’ renewable energy portfolio standard and a dispute with lobbyists for Koch Industries Inc. cost him the Chamber PAC’s support. The Kansas Chamber of Commerce is the state’s leading business lobbying group and is funded by petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch. Schwab says he ended up supporting the bill but did not support the many subsequent attempts to weaken or repeal the Kansas state RPS so his name is apparently being 'whispered' as the enemy."

Global warming? Yeah, but. Socialism! Invisible Hand! Deregulate!—by Bruce Brown: "Formerly Nazi Germany, now a bastion of Socialism, ruled by a woman who heads a coalition of political parties with suspicious names like Christian Democratic UNION and Christian SOCIAL UNION and SOCIAL Democratic Party, has figured out how to cut carbon emissions using a new-fangled invention called the sun. That's what this outfit called Treehugger claims, anyway. On June 6, between 1pm and 2pm, solar power output rose to a record 24.24 GW, according to the Fraunhofer ISE solar energy research institute. That was a Friday. Over the entire week, German solar power systems generated 1.26 TWh of electricity, another new record for the country. The way they do that, of course, is they make everybody live in ugly houses like the one at the top right. Cutting emissions is nice and all. But how did they do it? Oh, the oppressive socialism! Oh, the burdensome regulation! It's been going on for decades!"

Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation

U.S. oil-production boom means oil-train booms of the explosive kind are likely to proliferate—by Meteor Blades: "Since 2012, a limited amount of tar sands petroleum has been traveling the rails in manifest trains, that is, those with mixed cargo. But late last year, for the first time, a unit train—a train dedicated to a single cargo—carried tar sands petroleum from Bruderheim, Alberta, to refineries in the U.S. Midwest. Such unit trains—with as many as 100 railcars—are more cost-effective than manifest trains. Tar sands trains from the Bruderheim terminal are now moving about 50,000 barrels a day. Plans are to be moving 550,000 bpd in unit trains from Western Canada within the next 18 months. Keystone XL is meant to carry a maximum of 830,000 bpd. At the moment, however, it's not shipping tar sands petroleum by rail that is the chief worry of environmental advocates, community leaders, emergency responders and regulators. It's the boom in shipments of crude oil, particularly shale oil taken by hydraulic fracturing from the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana. One big problem: Some of those rail shipments themselves go boom, as occurred in Lac-Mégantic last July when 47 people were killed by a derailment of a 72-car shipment of Bakken shale oil that destroyed 30 buildings in the center to town. Costs of the accident could reach more than $2.5 billion."

Oil-by-Rail Regulatory Capture—by Justin Mikulka: "If you are a politician these days, you can't miss by having a press conference about the oil-by-rail issue. Chuck Schumer, known for his relentless press conferencing ability, appears to be a champion of safety when it comes to New York and the trains that are rolling all across that state. But if you attended any of the congressional hearings on rail safety, since the Lac-Megantic disaster, you wouldn't see Chuck there. Chuck knows a good press op when he sees one. But he isn't going to sit through a hearing and ask questions. And while the politicians talk a good game, they don't do anything. Meanwhile, the new regulations for oil-by-rail are currently being reviewed by the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). OIRA is an interesting branch of government.  The head of it is appointed by the president. The public gets almost no information on what OIRA does when finalizing regulations. But OIRA does have meetings with people who want to have input on the regulations. Not with politicians. But with lobbyists, former government regulators turned lobbyists, and members of the industries that are putting the public at risk so that they can have higher profits. Which is why The Wall Street Journal went so far as saying OIRA was where activists thought 'environmental, workplace safety, consumer products and other areas of regulation often stalled or died.'"

National Parks & Other Public Lands

A Map of What Lands Belong to the Feds—by ban nock: "Notice the thin green line along the California coast? I think that's 'marine fisheries' or something administered by the BLM. I can see Yellowstone and Glacier, not sure if the big park in CA is Yosemite or not."

Eco-Related DC & State Politics

The Obama Administration and Climate Change—by Agathena: "The reality of the period was that the economy was first and foremost on most peoples' minds. It seems the economists' warnings tempered the President's initial bold attitude on climate change. The administration began to see protecting the environment in opposition to the economy. After Obama became president he said, "I have business on my right and environmentalists on my left" and this explains somewhat how as president, he began to see protecting the environment as a leftist political issue in opposition to the economy. In the spring of 2009 there was the day [26 March 2009] Obama's Green Team chose a strategy of silence on climate change. Those green allies of President Obama receiving the invitation to the White House from the White House Green Team thought it was a "big moment" and would offer a chance for the WH to share plans for climate change law. Imagine their disappointment when they were handed a sheet of talking points indicating that the term "climate change" would lose elections. 2009 was a year when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress - a year of great expectations. But the moment was lost and an opportunity was missed."

Even if the Democrats Keep the Senate, the Republicans Could Still Control the Energy Committee—by Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees: "After Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) was confirmed as US Ambassador to China, the Senate had a game of musical (committee) chairs. Ron Wyden (D-OR) took over the Finance Committee from Baucus, and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) took over the Energy Committee from Wyden. Let's see what our new Energy chair has been doing lately. [...] The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved a bill on Wednesday that would force approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. But the bill isn't expected to go up for a vote in the full Senate any time soon. The bill, cosponsored by committee Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), passed on a 12-10, mostly party-line vote. Landrieu and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) were the only two Democrats voting for it, the Wall Street Journal reports. The bill's Democratic supporters also pledged to keep Keystone in the spotlight. "Today was the latest skirmish, and, unlike some, I'm not giving up until it is built," said Landrieu in a statement. "I’ve been in a lot of tough fights over the years, and the ones that matter the most are the toughest. I won’t give up on Keystone until we get it built, and I will press for a vote on the Senate floor." The bill in question (S. 2280) is supported by the full Republican caucus but only 11 Democrats, including Landrieu. The other Democrats are Mark Pryor (AR), Claire McCaskill (MO), Jon Tester (MT), Mark Warner (VA), Kay Hagan (NC), Mark Begich (AK), Joe Manchin (WV), Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), and John Walsh (MT)."

Keystone XL Pipeline, again—by Bruce Brown: "The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved a bill on Wednesday that would force approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. But the bill isn't expected to go up for a vote in the full Senate any time soon. The bill, cosponsored by committee Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), passed on a 12-10, mostly party-line vote. Landrieu and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) were the only two Democrats voting for it, the Wall Street Journal reports. This action prompted someone (disclaimer: maybe me) to post My least favorite Congressman just helped revive the Keystone XL pipeline here at Kos. Among other ideas, the article suggested contacting Senator Mary Landrieu (D, LA), who leads the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and ask her to make sure the bill dies in her committee. Instead, she sponsored it, got it through her committee, and turned it over to Harry Reid. The Huffington Post says, 'Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is not expected to bring the bill up for a vote in the full Senate.'"

The Great Outdoors

Bottle Palm
Daily Bucket: St Pete Palm Arboretum—by Lenny Flank: "The Kopsick Palm Arboretum is one of the smaller parks in St Petersburg, FL, and the tourists usually pass it right on by as they make their way to the beach. It contains around 500 palm trees and cycads, from 150 different species all over the world. Here is a selection of palm trees in the park. Since the park is not a tourist spot it is sadly not very well maintained by the city, and many of the identification signs are missing, or placed in ways that make it hard to tell which tree it is referencing. So I apologize in advance if any of these are misidentified. [On the left:] Bottle Palm, Hyophorbe lagenicaulis. Found only on Round Island, in the Mauritius Islands.  It is critically endangered in the wild."


POTUS Acts to Save Honey Bees, Launches Pollinator Health Task Force—by ericlewis0: "In response to the challenges to commercial bee-keeping, the President’s 2015 Budget recommends approximately $50 million across multiple agencies within USDA to: enhance research at USDA and through public-private grants, strengthen pollinator habitat in core areas, double the number of acres in the Conservation Reserve Program that are dedicated to pollinator health, and increase funding for surveys to determine the impacts on pollinator losses. Building on this budget initiative, President Obama today issued a Presidential Memorandum on Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators that takes a number of important steps to tackle the problem of pollinator declines."

Oil from the 2010 spill in the GoM is impairing swimming in one of the ocean’s fastest fish—by Pakalolo: "A team of scientists at the University of Miami published a study concluding that mahi mahi, a pelagic fish, exposed to Deep Water Horizon crude oil even for short periods of time struggle to swim. According to a report by the Miami Herald, mahi, which depend on speed in order to survive, have significantly slowed in [their] ability to swim quickly than fish not exposed to the BP oily mixture. The inch-long mahi-mahi, being used as part of a study to assess damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that spread crude across the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days in 2010, were exposed when they were embryos to oil collected during the cleanup. Now, at 25 days old, the oil is doing exactly what scientists suspected it would do: hamper the swimming of one of the ocean’s fastest fish. And significantly so. Young mahi usually swim at a rate of five body lengths per second. For perspective, imagine a six-foot man swimming 30 feet in a second. The fish, struggling against a current in a little tube attached to a propeller called a swim tunnel, can only muster three body lengths."

Pollution, Hazardous Wastes & Trash

Texas turning into a Toxic Dump under Republican Governor Rick Perry and AG Greg Abbott.—by ValleyForger: "The nuclear waste disposal site operated by Waste Control Specialists in West Texas is steadily morphing away from its original mission as a depository for very limited quantities of low-level radioactive items from Texas and Vermont. Today, the site is taking on much greater quantities and higher levels of radioactive waste from multiple states, and its owner wants permission to dramatically expand operations. If this mission creep continues, Texans could find themselves the unwitting hosts of the nation’s first permanent for-profit high-level nuclear waste facility. And not just Texans should be concerned, since the for-profit high level nuclear waste facility, owned and operated by Waste Control, is situated northwest of Midland-Odessa, right on top of the Ogallala Aquifer. The Ogallala lies under eight states, supplying a third of the groundwater used for irrigation in the United States and drinking water for several million people. Waste Control first sought their permit for their "depository for very limited quantities of low-level radioactive items from Texas and Vermont" in 2007. Of course, after 13 years of Governors George W. Bush and Rick Perry appointing Commissioners, the license was approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality."

Transportation & Infrastructure

Rev your engines baby, Harley Davidson is going electric!—by VL Baker: "We're living in exciting times when one of the most iconic symbols of our culture gets on board a blast into the 21st century. Ari Phillips brings us the good news from Think Progress/Climate. On Monday, June 24, Harley-Davidson will kick off of a 30-city tour across the U.S. promoting its newest gambit: an electric motorcycle. Part of Harley’s Project Livewire, the motorcycle is not yet for sale and the company is looking for customer feedback as part of a long-term vision of electrifying the industry. 'Project LiveWire is more like the first electric guitar — not an electric car,' Mark-Hans Richer, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Harley-Davidson, said in the press release. 'It’s an expression of individuality and iconic style that just happens to be electric.' As far as the sound, 'think fighter jet on an aircraft carrier,' Richer said."

Solar Roadways: At the White House!—by Phoenix Woman: "This little news item greeted visitors to Solar Roadways' Indiegogo site this morning:
We were sworn to secrecy until now, but Solar Roadways was invited to the first ever Maker Faire hosted by the White House. The event will feature Makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs of all ages who are using cutting-edge tools to bring their ideas to life. We're honored to be chosen. Off to the White House now! Will report back tonight. [...] White House event was wonderful! Got to hear President Obama speak in the East Room. He didn't stay to talk to anyone afterward though. Later we learned that he had rushed off to a press conference on the Iraq situation. But it was an honor to be there."

Eco-Philosophy & Eco-Essays

Protect the Palisades.
LG is a Scumbag Company—by Eddie C: "The New Jersey Palisades designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a National Treasure offers natural beauty from the George Washington to the Tappan Zee Bridge. Here's a Manhattan view of the famous cliffs from Ft. Tryon Park and the Cloisters. After a century of developers agreeing to protect the New Jersey Palisades from Manhattan’s northern green belt to all points north and keep the view 'forever wild,' an agreement that Teddy Roosevelt took part in before he even became President and John D. Rockefeller donated 700 New Jersey acres to, things are about to change. LG, the Korean electronics corporation has been ignoring massive public protest and is going forward with plans to destroy the famous view with a skyscraper right behind the protected parkland. How one of their representatives put it at the groundbreaking “We’re just not concerned about the appeal,” LG spokesperson John Taylor told The Wall Street Journal. 'Our plan is to move the project forward, appeal or not.'"


Biological Misadventures—by Desert Scientist: "I am a retired professional biologist and because of that I have been fortunate enough to meet a number of interesting people and visit some fascinating parts of the planet. In the process a few misadventures occurred, although I generally limited them by following a dictum that originated with Marston Bates - the view that a expedition that has adventures is a badly planned one. The first two stories I am going to recount actually happened in a museum, the invertebrate museum at the University of Arizona in which I, as a graduate student, was assistant curator for a while and earlier maintained an office there.  At the time I was studying the behavior of a group of spiders and I needed a steady supply of live insects to feed them. Fruit flies did well for the smaller spiders and I had a steady supply of them from old colonies in the genetics lab. Somebody told me that the Entomology Department (I was in the Biological Sciences Department) had cultures of the common house fly (Musca domestica) and so I went over to their building and visited their live insect room. They, very generously, gave me a batch of maggots and a bag of fly chow and I hauled the maggots and chow back to the museum. I put the maggots in the chow in a dish pan and covered it temporarily with a screen, planning to build a fly cage soon. I figured that I had a few days, but I miscalculated badly. The day I was going to build the cage I approached the museum door and notice that the louvers in the bottom of the door were dripping live house flies. They had matured, going through their pupal stage faster than I had thought, and when I opened the door it was to find clouds of flies filling the museum rooms!  What to do?  I quickly closed the louvers and went into town to buy fly paper. I did not dare to use insecticides as my live spiders would have died. I also picked up a large fly swatter. Needless to say I spent the next few hours swatting and trapping flies, until the hoard had lessened to a few individuals."

Cleaning up the sidewalks, greenways for new school board campaign literature—by ImpeccableLiberalCredentials: "One way we are getting to know Minneapolis even better, to meet people and talk about the campaign is by taking long walks through the neighborhoods closest to where we live in the Whittier neighborhood. We've noticed a lot of evidence of public intoxication, and believe it leaves a negative impression on the youth that walk through this litter on their way to play, and enjoy daily free meals provided by the school district, in Minneapolis parks. We've started collecting the obvious cans easily accessible from the sidewalks and the greenway, and in just three outings we've collected six pounds of aluminium for recycling, which netted $3.60 - all of which I am putting into new literature for the campaign. I can't imagine that this is really the best use of my my time, as the candidate, but the problem of discarded alcohol containers everywhere in public places frequented by children bothers me. It also gives me just a little sense of relief when I think I am reducing the need for destructive new metal mining somewhere - mining was a hugely contentious issue at our recent DFL State Convention and a few legislators feeding from the Polymet lobby-trough tried to silence progressives who where tweeting about it from the floor by arguing we had no right to complain as our own cell phones contained conflict minerals, rare earth elements and copper from somewhere."

Toilet Progress - "Green Going" ?—by John Crapper: "There was a time, not that long ago, when doing your business meant taking a short walk to visit the outhouse. You opened the door, sat down and did your business. A very simple procedure and a very environmentally friendly process. Even the phone books and Sears catalogs were put to greater use back then! Now we have the benefits of progress. Today we enter a well-lit public restroom and sit down on a shiny porcelain toilet. More often than not as we get up to leave the toilet an electric magic eye senses our movement and triggers an electric flush. When the eye malfunctions we are left pondering what to do to instigate the desired evacuation of the evidence. Japan has taken the electric toilet to new luxurious heights. The Japanese are sticklers for cleanliness. Sixty years ago it was a country of pit latrines. Now “Japan makes the most advanced, remarkable toilets in the world."

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 01:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Gulf Watchers Group.

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