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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 18,600 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.

The Daily Bucket: The Northwest Salmon Wars: Conservationists versus Hatcheries—by RonK: "Once believed to be the salvation of the salmon fishing industries in the Pacific Northwest, the state run fish hatcheries are now under fire. Over one hundred and fifty years of habitat degradation and over fishing of Pacific Northwest salmonids, have left the stocks of original wild salmon seriously depleted. (I use the term salmonid which includes not only the various species of salmon but also steelhead which are ocean-going rainbow trout and bull trout, within the salmonid family.) Having observed this decline over one hundred years ago, the states developed a large network of hatcheries in an attempted to replace and maintain runs of salmon and steelhead by raising and releasing millions of salmonid fry each year into spawning streams and rivers of the state. While this process has nominally maintained some salmon runs and kept the commercial and sport fishing industries alive, they have neither replaced nor sustained the wild salmon runs of old. In fact, the hatchery raised fish appear to have harmed and reduced the viability of the wild salmon and steelhead. The Endangered species Act (ESA) of 1974, operates to regulate fisheries so as to sustain and return these precious resources to their earlier levels. According to the ESA, states are required to develop plans for how their hatchery and release programs will enhance and sustain the return of wild salmonids to their native state. Before implementation, these plans must be approved by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) which is the wing of NOAA charged with overseeing the marine fish covered under the ESA, and as being consistent with the intent and dictates of the ESA. It is a sad commentary on many fronts that after 40 years and who knows how many dollars later, natural stocks continue to decrease."
green dots
Realistic Solar Roadways—by Rei: "SOLAR FREAKIN ROADWAYS! We've all seen it plugged. And we've all either cheered it on or smacked our head in the ridiculousness of the proposal. Some of us, myself included, doing both. It's a utopian vision. There's vastly more road surface in the world receiving solar energy than would be needed to power all of human society. So we just replace our roads with solar freakin roadways, and the climate problem is solved without using any more land. No need to get every house retrofitted for a custom-designed solar panel array installed by hand with its own transformer and all sorts of overhead, you just pave out your solar roads en masse whenever a new road is needed or an old road needs to be repaved, and viola, climate crisis solved and human impact on the planet vastly minimized. And think of all the side benefits. Batteries in the road storing excess between day and night! LEDs providing customizable traffic messages and illumination! Heaters melting inches of snow away in minutes! Piezoelectricity capturing even more power! The proposal is incredible. The proposal is also, as it stands, ridiculous. The goal of this article is to remedy that."
green dots
The 150th anniversary of the idea of national parks—by elfling: "One hundred and fifty years ago, the United States was in the midst of the Civil War. And yet, a group of men dared to press a curious idea. A magnificent valley and a grove of immense sequoia trees had been discovered in California. What if this land were to be preserved and protected from exploitation and development for all time? Sen. John Conness was persuaded to introduce legislation for the Yosemite Grant. Conness sold the bill by describing the land as: ... for all public purposes worthless, but which constitute perhaps some of the greatest wonders of the world. It is a matter involving no appropriation whatever. The property is of no value to the government. On June 30, 1864, not long after a devastating loss by Gen. Ulysses Grant of 7,000 soldiers at Cold Harbor in Virginia, and during a major siege at Petersburg, Virginia, President Lincoln somehow found the time and attention to sign it, an act to protect a place he had never seen and that had been visited by only 653 tourists by horseback over the past 10 years."

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

Climate Chaos

Kentucky Republican: Climate change unproven because 'temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here'—by Hunter: "State legislators in Kentucky held a meeting to discuss—i.e. react with frothy fury to—the new EPA rules meant to slow climate change. As you might expect, our entire species is doomed. I don’t even know were to start on sharing some of the wisdom that was expressed by our state legislators during this hearing. No, actually I do. I give you the honorable Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard: 'As you (Energy & Environment Cabinet official) sit there in your chair with your data, we sit up here in ours with our data and our constituents and stuff behind us. I don’t want to get into the debate about climate change, but I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There are no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.' First of all, I did not make up that quote, it’s quite real. The average temperature on Mars, for any of you bastards that might want to dispute that, is somewhere in the neighborhood of minus 67 degrees Fahrenheit."

CFACT Teases "Big News"—by ClimateDenierRoundup: "The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, one of the key organizations propagating climate denial, has sent a teaser to its email subscribers promising "big news" on July 8th. This will be the second day of Heartland's International Conference on Climate Change in Las Vegas, so we expect the news will be announced there in an attempt to drive mainstream news coverage. CFACT's email message contained only an image of a man standing in a storm [...] The text on the image reads 'IT'S COMING…6 days until the big news.' (We assume the news won't be the fact that standing in a field with an umbrella during a thunderstorm is a great way to get struck by lightning). Whatever it is, there's no doubt the news will be just as big as JoNova's recent 'big news' about a solar model that amounts to nothing more than an exercise in circular reasoning."

Quick!  Somebody Move that Mountain—by jamess: "The solution can be a fundamentally conservative one that will empower the marketplace to find the most efficient response. We can do this by putting a price on emissions of carbon dioxide—a carbon tax. Few in the United States now pay to emit this potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere we all share. Putting a price on emissions will create incentives to develop new, cleaner energy technologies. It’s true that the United States can’t solve this problem alone. But we’re not going to be able to persuade other big carbon polluters to take the urgent action that’s needed if we’re not doing everything we can do to slow our carbon emissions and mitigate our risks."

Republican Jim Brainard Believes in the Science of Climate Change—by Marcia G Yerman: "The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) recently met in Dallas to discuss how to move their cities forward in order to meet the challenges before them. Topics included energy related issues, the impact of pollution, and climate change. EPA administrator Gina McCarthy was on hand to take part in a panel, where she expressed how leaders could avoid the animosity surrounding climate change by stressing the related concerns of health, safety, and economics. One of the leaders focusing on the environment and sustainability was Jim Brainard, the five-term mayor of Carmel, Indiana. Brainard was tapped to be on President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. He won first place honors from the 2008 Mayor’s Climate Protection Awards Program. The most exciting news in his bio…he is a Republican! I interviewed Brainard by telephone upon his return from USCM to learn more about the programs he has implemented, and to inquire about his response to the overwhelming number of Republicans who push back on environmental regulations while hoisting the banner of climate change denial."

Please "stand up and be counted" for your support for measures to control global warming—by HoundDog: "Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University, calls for people to  Stand Up and Be Counted on Climate Change. Warning us that time is running out to keep the rise of global temperature below 2 degrees Centigrade (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). [...] We must take dramatic action to turn around out-of-control global warming, and we are not on track to accomplish this. Only a much more dramatic an unprecedented response to greatly reduce the burning or carbon emitting fossil fuels has the chance to prevent our globe from exceeding the benchmark of 2 C degree rise in planetary temperatures which is still going to be traumatic, however, experts hope staying below the benchmark will be enough to avoid setting off feedback loops, beyond our control that could be catastrophic."

Boehner, climate and coal—by rgantibully: "The Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner seems to be upset by an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal that would decrease carbon emissions from coal-burning power plants by 30% by 2030. I can't help wondering why he would consider suing President Obama. Speaker Boehner professes to believe that increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon and more rapidly diminishing polar ice caps and glaciers occurring simultaneously is nothing more than coincidence. But I can't believe that at some quiet moment as he is worshiping in church or as he is quietly laying in bed waiting for sleep, that he has not wondered if there is even a slight chance that the majority of the world's climate scientists are sincere and may even be right this time. Or does the congressman believe there is a conspiracy to ruin the world's economy by bankrupting the fossil fuel industry? Who could have organized this effort and what would their motive be? What would the motive of all those climate scientists be in going along with this subterfuge? The reader may share my next thought. What is more believable, that there is a mysterious, inexplicable conspiracy to bankrupt the world's fossil fuel industry or that the present rapid rate of climate change is due to human activity?"

MA-Gov: DNC Chairwoman Slams Charlie Baker (R) For Ignoring Threat Of Climate Change—by poopdogcomedy: "Wealthy venture capitalist, Charlie Baker (R. MA), has been getting some help on the campaign trail from big GOP name: As Tropical Storm Arthur approached Cape Cod from Florida, a former Sunshine State governor, Jeb Bush, arrived in Sandwich to raise money for GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker in the privacy of the gated Ridge Club. Neither Bush, who is regarded as a potential frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, nor Baker, the party's presumptive nominee in the governor's race, made themselves available for comment after the Ridge Club fundraiser, which came before a cocktail reception and dinner held at the Nantucket home of Savannah and Henry Helgeson. And DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D. FL) took the opportunity to hit Baker and Bush on a big issue: Today, Republican Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker will be joined on the campaign trail by former Florida governor Jeb Bush. Although they will be together for a fundraiser in Cape Cod, it is unlikely that the two will discuss one of the most critical issues facing the area: the looming threat of climate change. As a congresswoman from South Florida, I'm deeply familiar with the risks that rising sea levels and warming ocean temperatures pose to Cape Cod's local industries like tourism and fishing. And as a mother, I'm concerned that carbon pollution has contributed to increased asthma attacks among children. [...] We know that inaction has serious potential costs to public health and safety. Meanwhile, efforts like the RGGI show that improved energy efficiency and investments in renewable energy can produce cost savings in the long run. So why won't Bush and Baker be talking about win-win solutions on climate change?"

Climate Change; A Few Republicans Take Responsibility—by tshire: "Former Treasury Secretary and current Republican Henry 'Hank' Paulson made news last month when he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times acknowledging the seriousness of the threat that global warming poses to mankind, while simultaneously proposing a carbon tax that would incentivize solutions to the problem.The carbon tax in itself is not a new proposal. What made Paulson's opinion piece newsworthy was the rare spectacle of a prominent Republican sounding the alarm about climate change and making a concrete proposal to deal with it. [...] You would think that most Republicans might notice little things like disappearing glaciers at Glacier National Park, collapsing ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland, and the simple fact that 13 of the 14 hottest years ever recorded all happened to occur in our young new century. A child just born will likely watch sea levels rise by three feet in his or her lifetime. Republicans claim concern over the fiscal debt we leave future generations, yet I can't recall hearing any propose a method of paying for the wars we've been embroiled in over the past decade. Moreover, beyond the well-informed insiders previously identified, few Republicans willingly discuss the environmental debt we are bequeathing future generations."

Food, Agriculture & Gardening

Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 10.19 - Pond Adventures—by kishik: "During the summer of 2012, I set out to reestablish a back garden after many years of neglect. And with plans (in my head), I knew I wanted to shut down the small pond near the back of the house and put in another at the back garden where I could expand it. Digging in the Long Island sandy soil isn't really that difficult or even really back breaking. I had no boulders or clay to deal with. Long Island has sandy loose soil. This area long ago was where my dad set up an above ground pool when we were kids, and where he poured water in the pool impression in the winter so we could skate. It also is where we had a vegetable garden and compost area. In choosing a pond location, I let the garden do the selection. After I had the back area cleared (yes, I paid a landscaper to have it cleared out—something I could never do in the one day it took a crew of six), what was left behind was a natural depression formed from the removal of a mid-sized weed tree and it's stump and most of its rootball. From there, I began to dig. I knew I wanted a somewhat circular shape, created 'steps' or spots where I could climb out when I would inevitably have to do maintenance within the pond, and dug deeper spots to allow the fish to hibernate easily."

Flower garden or vegetable garden? [Photos] [Poll]—by Wee Mama: "Our best sunlight is in our front yard, and over the years our garden there has grown from two blueberry bushes to about a third of the footage now. It's delicious - stroll out to the front yard, and pick half to two-thirds of dinner: all no spray, zero carbon foot print and fresh. It even reduces the mowing! We like interplanting for the most part, rather than keeping everything in strict rows."

The Daily Bucket--Frog Mitigation Area, Technical Appendix—by 6412093: "When the pump runs, it draws water through the filter and the porous rocks, allowing some filtering, and also slowing the water movement which gives nitrogen-loving bacteria time to digest any fish poop in the water. Fish and plants go in the pond later. It takes about five minutes for the pump to send enough water to get the waterfall flowing, and for the waterfall discharge to fill up the 30 feet of stream channel, which then delivers the water back to the pond containing the pump. The pond loses 1.5" of water depth until the waterfall and channel fill with water and return flows begin. The stream channel is about 6 inches deep in water for 10 feet near the waterfall, and about 2-3 inches deep the rest of the way to the pond. There are two inches of pea gravel in the channel which retain about an inch of water. "


From East to West, Good News for Wilderness and Communities Threatened by Coal Projects—by Mary Anne Hitt: "In the past week we've received good news on major proposed coal projects that pose a threat to communities and beautiful places, from both the eastern U.S. and the western U.S. First, last Friday a federal court cited climate change as a major reason for rejecting federal agencies' approval of a coal mine expansion plan that would bulldoze roads through the pristine and beautiful Sunset Roadless Area wilderness in Western Colorado. The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service had authorized the leasing of 10.1 million tons of coal under 1,700 acres of the Sunset Roadless Area in order to expand Arch Coal's West Elk Coal Mine. Last year Earthjustice, on behalf of the Sierra Club, High Country Conservation Advocates, and WildEarth Guardians, filed suit to overturn that authorization on the grounds that they had failed to adequately consider the environmental harm the project would cause. 'BLM's federal coal leasing program has a massive impact on our climate and public health, affecting the waters we use, the air we breathe, and the wild areas we enjoy,' said Roger Singer, Senior Organizing Manager with the Sierra Club in Colorado. 'For years, BLM has been telling the public that its individual coal leasing decisions—even those approving hundreds of millions of tons of coal—have no impact on our climate. That assumption is out the window.'"

The "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" Con: Newt Won, America Lost—by TheGreenMiles: "Back in the summer of 2008, incurable Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich pushed the slogan 'drill here, drill now, pay less,' claiming that making the U.S. more oil-independent would be a solution to high gas prices. Democrats, worried voters would reject the reality there's nothing we can do to lower market-set gas prices and absolutely terrified of saying no to Big Oil, embraced the slogan. Later, President Barack Obama implemented it as our national policy. Six years later, how's drill baby drill working out for you? [...] Today, while U.S. oil production is approaching an all-time high, gas prices also remain near all-time highs. Drill baby drill has been great for multinational oil companies, but terrible for American consumers. Meanwhile, we continue shoveling billions in annual taxpayer subsidies to those same oil companies. A side effect of higher oil production is that oil transportation disasters are also at record highs. Oil train wrecks and spills, gas pipeline explosions, and oil pipeline ruptures are skyrocketing. Our communities, wildlife and clean air and water are now at the mercy of our national petro-state."

Renewables & Conservation

Energy & The Games People Play—by John Crapper: "As with most things, it's the little things, the things that fly under the radar sometimes that can make a big difference. One of those little things (turns out it's not so little) came to my attention the other day. It's not all fun and games when it comes to the latest and most popular games consoles. Two of the most popular new video game consoles guzzle large amounts of energy—much of it in standby mode when no one is using them. The Microsoft Xbox One and Sony Playstation 4 use at least twice as much energy per year as their predecessors largely because of new features, according to tests by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group. The tests found the third major console, the Nintendo Wii U, is an 'energy sipper.'"


cardinal meadowhawk dorsal
Daily Bucket - red, white, and blue in a runoff pond—by OceanDiver: "Early summer 2014. Pacific Northwest. Holiday for us today. Meanwhile, the bugs and beasts are going about their lives as usual, focused on getting food, avoiding capture and propagating their kind. Today the critters in an artificial stormwater runoff pond are doing that, making the most of the summer day. From the looks of it they better - the pond appears to be drying up. Let's look at some of this busy and beautiful aquatic wildlife I observed a few days ago. Tiny bits of colorful life can be seen, drawn to the murky green water: red, white and blue, among others. Brightly conspicuous is this red male Cardinal Meadowhawk (Sympetrum illotum). The females are rarely seen. This dragonfly is found in even very small temporary ponds, producing large eggs that hatch into larvae that develop quickly."

Eco-Activism & Eco-Justice

Free trade v. freedom: guess who wins (betcha you can!)—by jencke: "My partner Cassie and I recently launched a blog, Cusco Running Club, to share our thoughts as we spend the summer traveling in Peru exploring the social and psychological aspects of global warming in the region. Some of our posts may be of interest to Kossacks who follow the impact of climate change on people and ecosystems in the developing world. We thought we'd start with this post Cassie wrote earlier this evening on a Peruvian law empowering police to use deadly force to protect the interests of private corporations against environmental protesters. On June 5th, 2009, a peaceful protest along a highway in Northern Perú ended in massacre: over 20 people died and more than 170 were injured, primarily indigenous people from the Awajún and Wampís tribes. They were protesting several laws that had been passed as part of the 2007 US-Perú Free Trade Agreement, opening up Indigenous lands to corporate mining and deforestation. They had reached an agreement to clear their roadblock by noon that day. The shooting began at 7:00 a.m."

Stop Gas Exports at Cove Point, MD - Rally July 13th at US Capitol—by mimi: "Shout-out to DC/MD/VA Kossacks. There is a rally at the US Capitol I would like you to pay attention to and invite you to participate. CALL TO ACTION. This spring, even as the world’s leading scientists released new warnings that we must transition rapidly toward clean energy in the next 15 years to prevent runaway climate change, wealthy oil and gas corporations have been pushing a brand-new radical plan – on President Obama’s watch – to move us in exactly the wrong direction. That's why, on Sunday, July 13th, as a decisive decision deadline nears in Washington, DC, we’re coming together for the first national rally to say “no!” to fracked gas exports at Cove Point and other proposed sites nationwide [...] WHERE: Rally begins west of the U.S. Capitol Reflecting Pool on the National Mall. Meet at the intersection of 3rd St NW and Madison Drive NW, Washington, DC 20216."

Pollution, Hazardous Wastes & Trash

TX-Gov: Davis (D) Slams Abbott (R) & The Kochs Over Explosive Chemicals—by poopdogcomedy: "Received this e-mail today from State Senator Wendy Davis' (D. TX) gubernatorial campaign: We’re outraged that Greg Abbott won’t tell us if explosive chemicals—like the kind involved in the fatal explosion last year in the town of West—are being stored in our neighborhoods, just blocks away from our schools and homes. Just yesterday, he said that if Texas families want to find out where these chemicals are, then they should just 'drive around' and ask 'every facility.' Abbott ruled to conceal the locations of these dangerous chemicals. He is hell-bent on hiding these locations—and now we know why. A few months after the explosion in West that killed 15 people, Greg Abbott received $25,000 from a new donor that owns at least one of these deadly stockpiles—none other than Chase Koch, head of Koch Industries’ fertilizer division and the son of one of the billionaire Koch brothers."

Macklemore speaks out for the polluted Duwamish River—by Nathan Empsall SierraRise: "Pollution where you'd least expect it. Seattle prides itself on being green, yet its only river is unsafe for fishing. Boeing and other polluters have been polluting the Duwamish with lead, mercury, and toxic PCBs for years—but local residents are fighting back, and they need your help. Paulina Lopez lives near the river with her young family, and worries about their health: 'My dream is to leave my children a beautiful, clean river where it is safe for everyone to swim, to fish, to work, and to play.' Standing with Paulina is Macklemore, the Seattle musician. He may have had a rapid rise to fame, but he still cares about his hometown and our shared environment. The EPA is finalizing its cleanup plan. Because the plan will set a national precedent, the agency has heard a lot from profit-hungry polluters—but not much from Seattle's new mayor, Ed Murray"

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