You can find more rescued green diaries below the sustainable squiggle.
A top NOAA methane researcher on Arctic Craters "something is happening to the Earth"—by Lefty Coaster: "From the Scientific Journal Nature: 'Mysterious Siberian crater attributed to methane' By Katia Moskvitch. Air near the bottom of the crater contained unusually high concentrations of methane—up to 9.6%—in tests conducted at the site on 16 July, says Andrei Plekhanov, an archaeologist at the Scientific Centre of Arctic Studies in Salekhard, Russia. Plekhanov, who led an expedition to the crater, says that air normally contains just 0.000179% methane. It has the potential the become front page news on a daily basis if we've reached the dreaded 'Tipping Point' where methane from hydrates start being released into the atmosphere at increasing rates creating an unstoppable feedback loop with results so disastrous they're hard to imagine. It could even wreck human civilization as we know it."
Caruba's Denial Off By More Than A Century And A Half—by ClimateDenierRoundup: "Long time denier, Alan Caruba, has a new blog post that's virtually indistinguishable from similar posts claiming that climate change is 'about the money, not the climate.' This particular piece stands out though, because of one blatantly incorrect statement Caruba makes: '"global warming" was invented in the late 1980s as an immense threat to the Earth and to mankind.' Now that's odd, considering Fourier first postulated the greenhouse effect in 1824; Tyndall discovered greenhouse gasses in 1859; Arrhenius calculated the effects of a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere in 1896; Callendar presented evidence of a warming trend in 1938; the Stockholm meeting focused on man's impact on climate in 1971; and the US National Academy of Sciences reported that doubling CO2 will bring 1.5-4.5°C warming in 1979. The American Institute of Physics has a handy timeline if you'd like to see more!"
New study shows denial is not inevitable—by ClimateDenierRoundup: "Social science literature about political beliefs and climate change has traditionally held that giving certain kinds of conservatives more information about climate change just leads to stronger denial. The idea behind this "cultural cognition theory" is that conservatives see climate change as a liberal issue; they believe that—in order to be a conservative—they must deny the need for action. But now, a new paper in the European Journal of Social Psychology finds that providing basic information about climate science may actually help overcome personal bias, depending on the flavor of conservative receiving the information. So this provides support to the "information deficit model," which holds that once people know enough about climate change, they'll be motivated to act. Dana Nuccitelli provides a great overview of the the study and its context, with the succinct headline: 'Facts can convince conservatives about global warming—sometimes.' Dana explains how the study shows that conservatives of a libertarian persuasion seem to be reachable, while 'hierarchists' (those that prefer distinct social classes) are more likely to sink further into denial when more information is presented. The research also helps explain why some non-climate scientists, like engineers and physicists, are less convinced than climate scientists—they overestimate their own knowledge, which then allows for their ideological biases (instead of the evidence) to guide their conclusions."
Methane release...not just the permafrost—by don mikulecky: "This news is very disturbing:Vast methane plumes spotted bubbling up from the Arctic Ocean floor. An international team of scientists, who are studying the vast deposits of methane trapped on the floor of the Arctic Ocean, have captured their first look at plumes of this powerful greenhouse gas bubbling up through water. This discovery could lead to better forecasting, but it also has serious implications for Earth's climate in the years to come. Bill Moyers alerted us to this on Facebook and in his Morning Reads he says: Tipping point? –> Scientists have discovered plumes of methane gas rising from the seafloor under the Arctic, and believe it’s a result of global warming. The potential danger of large amounts of methane that had been locked up in the ice being released as it melts is enormous, as a pound of methane has approximately twenty times the warming power of a pound of carbon."
Hurricane Iselle threatens Hawaii. #VoteClimate.—by RLMiller: "The Hawaiian Islands are facing an unprecedented pair of extreme weather events. Hurricane Iselle is scheduled to hit the Big Island Thursday night, possibly as a weakened tropical storm, possibly a Category 1 hurricane, although the Wunderground models disagree considerably on just how weak it'll be. Following up, Hurricane/Tropical Storm Julio is currently forecast to veer north of the islands Sunday. In any case, Iselle will likely be the first hurricane/tropical storm to make landfall on the islands since Hurricane Iniki devastated Kauai in 1993. The governor has issued an emergency proclamation. However, I am hearing from sources on the ground that the August 9 primary will not be rescheduled, moved, or extended. The good news: many polling places are also emergency shelters. Are these hurricanes fueled by climate change? Maybe. Hawaii can certainly expect more hurricanes."
Food, Agriculture & Gardening
Even Neil Degrasse Tyson can miss an obvious truth—by ThinkerRay: "A recent diary implied in defense of Neil DeGrasse Tyson's comments about the 'consensus' among scientists that GMOs as currently defined are perfectly safe that all of us that see GMOs as a major threat to health and the environment as conspiracy theorist crackpots. I say currently defined since the argument took the tack that all that we currently know of 'organic' food is the result of hybridization. Although this is true in a historical sense the current connotation of that term is in reference to something altogether different than the limited selective cross breeding that's been done for ages. Mixing individuals within a species or generally crossbreeding in nature that we as humans take advantage of is where we actually fit in nature. When we mix things that would never mix on their own in nature, that's another story. No matter how much we think we aren't governed by nature anymore, we still are."
Energy & Conservation
Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation
Silent Coup: How Enbridge is Quietly Cloning the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline—by Steve Horn: "On July 30, the Republican minority of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, headed by Sen. David Vitter, released a report titled 'The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA.' Critics of the report say it is propaganda designed to skewer the Obama EPA and environmental philanthropists for 'conspiring to help the environment.' Vitter’s chief source of campaign cash is the oil and gas industry and he recently called the billionaire Koch Brothers 'two of the most patriotic Americans in the history of the Earth.' What the 92-page report leaves out is that Vitter—an esteemed member of the Senate 'Millionaires Club'—owns tens of thousands of dollars in stocks of the electric utility Wisconsin Energy Corporation (We Energies), which owns major coal-fired power plants in both Oak Creek, Wisc. and Pleasant Prairie, Wisc."
Eco-Related Candidates, DC & State Politics
Yes, I am a Green Democrat—by LauraNicol: "The Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter sent me a State Rep Candidate questionnaire. Since I've been an environmentalist longer than I've been a Democrat, this was a great chance to show off. The questions were in 5 categories: GENERAL (lame), ENERGY (tough), WATER (tricky), ENVIRONMENTAL (routine), and TRANSPORTATION (fun). [...] 4. Texas leads the country in installed wind power. As a state official, what would you do to improve market conditions for other renewable resources, such as solar and geothermal energy? A. Repeal incentives, subsidies, & rule exceptions for fossil fuel production. B. Encourage renewable power generation with tax incentives & subsidies. C. Impose steep tariffs on exports of power (electricity, fuel, etc.) needed locally. D. Update regulations on fossil fuel production to protect air, water, and soil. E. Require independent inspections and audits of power production (extraction, collection, refinement, conversion, storage, shipping, & delivery) to ensure the health and safety of the surrounding communities, including air, water, and soil. F. Fine violators of safety regulations the cumulative cost to the affected communities, including projected cleanup, restoration, medical costs, etc."
Grimes May Be Using This Against McConnell and His Phony War on Coal—by Merlin1963: "You all have heard the statistics about the loss of coal mining jobs in KY, and observers have noticed this has been going on all the time McConnell has been Senator of KY. But now, McConnell declares that the anti-Christ in the White House is waging a 'War on Coal' with his new EPA rules on power plant emissions. McConnell may want to take a closer look at his own family for a traitor within means to eliminate the coal industry: Elaine Chao, McConnell's wife. The Grimes campaign should pay attention to this little development among our lying, hypocritical Senator's family. According to the report, Chao has down some work for Bloomberg Philanthropies, whose stated goal is the closing of coal fired power plants. Now, McConnell's campaign is trying to argue that the funding for this initiative from Bloomberg came AFTER his wife signed on to do some work, which she was only paid $9,400 dollars. However, is on the Board of Directors of Wells Fargo; this company wants to disinvest from the surface mining of Coal in KY. And Chao got a hefty $332,000 dollars for that work. And it is completely fair to go after Chao during this campaign. Chao has decided to insert herself into her husband's campaign by making an ad calling Grimes and liberals a bunch of liars about her poor hubby's records on women's issues."
The Great Outdoors
Glacier Park: Logan Pass, July 2014 (Photo Diary)—by Ojibwa: "As was common at most HBC trading posts and factories, planting a garden was one of the first activities at the new post. By the 1840s, at the height of HBC power in the region, the garden covered eight acres and provided produce as well as large numbers of flowering plants, shrubs, and fruit trees for the fort’s residents and visitors. According to the National Park Service: The large gardening operation was symbolic of the power that HBC exerted over the entire region and was representative of their extensive agricultural enterprises. Fort Vancouver today is operated by the National Park Service and a small, interpretive representation of the larger historic garden is maintained by a dedicated group of staff and volunteers. The garden contains heirloom fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers to give a feel for the abundance that was once here."
Daily Bucket - Vischer's Ferry Nature Preserve—by Attack Gardener: "Hubby and I enjoy taking Gracie the Wonder Pug on nature walks as often as possible. Not only are they edifying for us, they give vent to some of her natural pug energy and willfullness. One of our favorite strolls is at the Vischer's Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve. [...] Normally, when we go on a relatively local and well known hike, we limit our gear to the essentials. Camera, binocs, water, poop bags and water bowl for Gracie and a walking stick for me. If we're feeling ambitious, we might take along a bird guide or notebook, bug spray, food, etc. This day, not feeling at all ambitious, we went with the basics and set out with high hopes for a relaxing walk."
Rescue Me - The Wildcat Sanctuary - Sandstone, MN—by Pam LaPier: "Mission—Provide a natural sanctuary to wild cats in need and inspire change to end the captive wildlife crisis. [...] The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) is a 501c3 non-profit, no-kill big cat rescue located in Sandstone, MN. TWS provides a natural sanctuary to wild cats in need and inspires change to end the captive wildlife crisis. TWS is funded solely on private donations. The Sanctuary is a rescue organization and is not open to the public. Combining natural and spacious habitats with a life free of exhibition, TWS allows all residents to live wild at heart. As a true sanctuary, we do not buy, breed, sell or exhibit animals. The Wildcat Sanctuary is accredited by the American Sanctuary Association and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. We are also licensed by the USDA and members of the American Zookeepers Association."
The Daily Bucket - seal pupping season—by OceanDiver: "This is pupping season in the Salish Sea for Harbor Seals. These seals are by far the most common marine mammals hereabouts, and this genetically distinct population does not migrate out of the Salish Sea. Seals were killed in huge numbers during the century before the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Since then the population increased until the 1990s and has remained stable since then, at or near carrying capacity, in spite of about 2000 baby seals born every year. On offshore rocks, protected from raccoons, dogs, people and other terrestrial hazards, seals bear their single pups in summer. Seals aren't particularly sociable, but they share haul-out spaces, especially at this time of year. [...] Pups are precocious, able to nurse and swim within an hour. In the 4-5 weeks until it's weaned, a pup will more than double in size, and become skilled enough in diving and fishing to take care of itself."
The Daily Bucket - animal, vegetable or mineral—by OceanDiver: "This shoreline nearby has em all, and more. How many kinds of animals, photosynthesizers and rocks/minerals can you see here on the side of Long Island in the Salish Sea? pretty cool colors and textures too!"
The Oceans, Water & Drought
Who Needs Clean Water?—by Michael Brune: "With a couple of decisions in 2001 and 2006, the Supreme Court managed to break the Clean Water Act by calling into question what Congress meant by 'the waters of the United States.' The existing law had been working just fine for almost 30 years. When the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, about two-thirds of America's lakes, rivers, and coastal waters were unsafe for fishing and swimming. Before the Supreme Court waded in, that number had been cut in half. That still left about a third of America's waters polluted, and yet the Clean Water Act could no longer be counted on to do its job. Overnight, millions of wetland acres and stream miles had lost protection. Good news for condo developers; bad news for wetlands. Thus began a long and painstaking effort by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to fix what the Supreme Court had broken. The result is a proposed EPA rule to clarify which wetlands and streams in the U.S. are covered under the Clean Water Act. This new rule would restore protection to most, though not all, of the waterways previously covered."
Is this the future of California water? Watch reporter drink purified sewage—by VL Baker: "In a collaboration with Climate Desk, Suzanne Goldenberg of The Guardian, goes beyond the call of duty to recommend what could be the answer to California's water woes. The golden state’s historic drought is forcing once-squeamish Californians to take a new look at 'toilet-to-tap' water re-use. Or as they prefer to call it in Fountain Valley, 'showers to flowers.' The town in conservative Orange County is home to the largest water recycling plant in the world and an example during this epic drought of the life-altering changes California will have to make to avoid running out of water.The first would be to get over the idea that water is an infinite resource, or that it pours out of the tap straight from a pristine, underground spring. This is the third year of drought in the west. By July end, more than half of California fell into the worst category of 'exceptional drought.' The biggest challenge seems to be getting over the 'yuck' factor. I get that."
Delta tunnel opponents ask Brown to release water bond language—by Dan Bacher: "In an email sent to his campaign supporters on August 5, Governor Jerry Brown called for a 'no frills, no pork' $6 billion bond that would be 'tunnels neutral.' Opponents of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan’s proposed $67 billion tunnels quickly challenged claims that the bond is 'tunnels neutral'—and called for Brown to release the language of his water bond. Brown explained the reasons for his pared down bond in his email, one of only three his campaign staff have sent out to supporters: 'Five years ago, state legislators and the Governor put a pork-laden water bond on the ballot—with a price tag beyond what’s reasonable or affordable. The cost to taxpayers would be enormous—$750 million a year for 30 years—and would come at the expense of funding for schools, health care and public safety. This is on top of the nearly $8 billion a year the state already spends on bond debt service.'"
Pollution, Hazardous Wastes & Trash
Ohio contractor gets 28 months in prison for ordering dumping of fracking waste and lying about it—by Meteor Blades: "Lupo pleaded guilty to having his employees at the Hardrock Excavating LLC dump a toxic combination “consisting of saltwater brine and a slurry of toxic oil-based drilling mud, containing benzene, toluene and other hazardous pollutants.” They tried to persuade him against dumping this fracking waste, but he would not give in and they wound up following those orders 33 times. They did so under cover of darkness after other employees had left the facility, purging holding tanks where the waste was stored. Lupo told them to lie if questioned. One of the employees was finally caught in the act by regulators. The dumping turned a section of the river into a dead zone. It took six weeks to clean up. The two employees were previously sentenced to three years of probation. For the 64-year-old Lupo, who must submit to dialysis and has other health issues, the prison term would be a death sentence, his lawyer told the court before sentencing was pronounced."
Halliburton-owned business almost blows up town, gets $49k fine—and $1.8 million tax break—by weinenkel: "Multi-Chem is a Halliburton business. They mix fracking and oilfield chemicals. After their plant blew up in 2011, OSHA gave them a fine of $49,000 ($7,000 per worker onsite at the time) and the state of Louisiana gave them a $1.8 million tax break. [...] Mult-Chem now wants a permit to discharge water from one of its facilities into local waterways. People aren't happy. But remember, guys—there's nothing to see here."
Weeks, months, and years later, still no coal ash safety standards—by Mary Anne Hitt: "This week marks the six month anniversary of the Dan River coal ash spill in North Carolina. In February 2014, a broken pipe released up to 82,000 gallons of toxic coal ash and wastewater into the Dan River. The cleanup still continues today as Duke Energy drags its feet. But if you think that sort of coal ash water contamination happens only once in a blue moon, you'd be wrong. Coal ash contains arsenic, lead, mercury, and selenium, as well as aluminum, barium, boron, and chlorine. Coal ash waste is stored in more than 1,400 sites in 45 states—and just this week coal ash waste was found buried beneath a softball field at a middle school in Brunswick County, North Carolina. [...] Well guess what—coal ash STILL isn't deemed hazardous waste despite its toxic contents. For that matter, it isn't subject to any national protections at all! There simply aren't any federal standards to govern how to safely dispose of coal ash, to keep it out of our streams, rivers, lakes, and drinking water. That's right – no Environmental Protection Agency safeguards for toxic coal ash. And yet, according to the EPA, coal ash has already contaminated waters at 200 sites in 37 states across the country."
Eco-Philosophy, Eco-Essays & Eco-Poetry
New EPA Study Ranks Alternative Fools—by Heywaitaminute: "Growing concerns over broadcast air quality and noxious congressional emissions has spurred the EPA to fast-track a study of potential GOP candidates. Officially known as the Democracy Opposition/Oppression Field Study (DOOFUS), wags have dubbed it 'the search for alternative fools.' A gradual rise in toxic, brain-cell-killing oral-radiation has suddenly spiked, reaching near-fatal concentrations in GOP congressional offices. As mid-term elections near, EPA officials, citing data from remote monitoring stations across the media spectrum, have expressed alarm at the consequences; a rapid thinning of the bozone layer, a naturally occurring atmospheric component which shields voters from cancer-causing infra-right radiations. GOP staffers, cornered into confessing they engineered a ban on fact-based emissions, have divulged a scheme hatched by ALEC to recruit and run Tea Party candidates against GOP incumbents deemed 'not conservative enough to lick David Koch's loafers.'"
Products & Miscellany
Terrified about methane burps and water shortages? Start mitigating right now: SolarCoin—by jbalazs: "If the world stopped burning fossil fuels for energy RIGHT NOW and carbon emissions came to a full stop, we would survive as a civilization. It would take decades, perhaps even centuries, for Mother Earth to begin correcting herself and we would still face climate change disasters in the short term as the planet would continue to warm based on the amount of warming gases that are already in the atmosphere, but humanity and civilization as we know it would likely survive. Right?What if we came to a full stop in 5 years? How would we fare? Not as well compared to stopping today but we could still prevent a full on extinction event within that time frame. We can do it. It is entirely within our reach via technology available now to power the planet exclusively with solar and wind power, yet we just sit back and 'wait' for the powers that be to do it for us. I have news for you: if we wait for them to save us, we are most certainly doomed."
¡OMG, GMO!—by DocDawg: "Thanks to Dr. Evil and his flying monkeys at Monsanto, there are no shortage of examples of GMO done wrong. But in states and countries around the world where tobacco is still an important crop (like here in my dear Carolina, where trendy folks and happy families bike the American Tobacco Trail and nosh at Brightleaf Square), both GMO and the Evil Weed are suddenly starting to look pretty darn good, recently by fighting Ebola, and now too by enabling your carbon-neutral wanderlust: Boeing Co. and state-owned South African Airways SOC Ltd. agreed to cooperate to produce jet fuel from a new type of tobacco plant to reduce environmental pollution. The partners will use SkyNRG’s hybrid plant Solaris, which can be grown for energy crops by farmers instead of traditional tobacco, the companies said today in a statement. Initially, the oil from the plant’s seeds, effectively nicotine-free, will be refined into the fuel. Sadly, I'm a pack-a-day man, myself. Sir Walter Raleigh really was such a stupid get. But, thanks to GMO technology, tobacco is starting to make up for its past sins."