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Family of elephants
The inaugural World Elephant Day took place August 12 with the intent of drawing more attention to the plight of the Asian and African elephant. Says Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair: "We admire elephants in part because they demonstrate what we consider the finest human traits: empathy, self-awareness, and social intelligence. But the way we treat them puts on display the very worst of human behavior.”
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 Saturday Spotlight can be seen here. So far, more than 19,050 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.
Climate Change: Professor Chanton's Message to Florida Governor Rick Scott—by jtietz: "A recent feature in Ecology Florida News reported on an offer from ten climate-change specialists to meet with Governor Rick Scott to explain to him the basics of climate change and the impact global warming is having and will have on the state of Florida. As noted in that feature, it is still not clear if the governor or only members of his staff will meet with the scientists. What is clear is that the scientists know what they are talking about and one, Jeffrey Chanton, can present the facts of climate change in a very clear straightforward language. He does so in 'What I will tell the governor on climate,' published on August 8, in the Tampa Bay Times. Chanton is a good writer, and presents the reality of global warming in a way that nearly anyone with basic literacy skills can understand.  He also specifies the looming catastrophes that await the state if nothing is done."
Florida Sea Level Rise (5 meters)
green dots
Risky Business; Drilling for Oil and Gas in the Arctic—by Gwennedd: "Canada's major oil and gas regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB) has given in to the requests of Imperial Oil (a subsidiary of ExxonMobile) and Chevron to fast track an exemption from one of the most important safety regulations that guard against catastrophic oil spills. The drilling of relief wells. In 2007, the Canadian government, under Steven Harper, granted licences to several oil and gas companies to do exploratory drilling: Imperial Oil and Chevron as well as British Petroleum and ConocoPhilips. Those licences now extend until 2020. In 2010, the massive explosion and resulting horrific oil spill happened in the Gulf of Mexico. BP had drilled no relief well when building the well. Despite this disaster, Imperial Oil has pushed ahead with it's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. Following the Deepwater disaster, the NEB updated their requirements for off-shore drilling. In September, 2013, Imperial Oil submitted their plans to the NEB and a regional regulator(the Environmental Impact Screening Committee) and confirmed that they would not be drilling a 'same season relief well.' The proposal was then sent to the Environmental Review Board (EIRB). Public input is a part of that board's decisionmaking process. Now, Imperial Oil and Chevron are trying to bypass that process and cheat."
green dots
The Pentagon is preparing for societal collapse due to Climate Change—by Pakalolo: "Most of us on this site are well aware that climate change impacts will exacerbate marginal living in poor and desperate nations particularly those in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. These humanitarian and natural  disaster impacts will be occurring in multiple places all around the world, possibly occurring all at once and on a scale human civilization has never seen before. But what about the developed world, particularly the United States? National Security and the threat of Climate Change prepared by CNA and released in 2007 with an advisory board of 11 of the country's top retired generals and admirals summarizes those threats and how the military will need to adapt. The report finds that in the US, security threats will consist of an unimaginable need for worldwide humanitarian aid and increasing migrations to the US from our neighbors to the south. This does not take into account that we will be dealing with our own catastrophic climate change impacts."

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

Eco-Justice & Eco-Activism

The Need for Clear Demands at the Peoples’ Climate March—by Anne Petermann: "In New York City on September 21st, a major climate march is planned. It will take place two days before UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s UN Climate Summit–a one-day closed door session where the world’s 'leaders' will discuss 'ambitions' for the upcoming climate conference (COP20) in Lima Peru. 350.org and Avaaz originally called for the march, but environmental and climate justice organizations and alliances based in the New York/New Jersey region and across the US demanded (and won) a seat at the organizing table to attempt to ensure that the voices of front line and impacted communities are heard. So, what are the demands of the march? There are none. That’s right. The march will simply bring together an estimated 200,000 people to march through the streets of New York and then … There will be no rally, no speakers, and no strong political demands. Just people showing up with the overarching message that the world’s leaders should take action on climate change. Why no solid demands? I’ve been informed by organizers that the reason this march is being held with no actual demands is because we need a big tent."

Where Divesting from Fossil Fuels was born—by wade norris: "There is a lot of news about Colorado lately, but I bet this story is still under the Radar. I interviewed John Powers who is the founder and visionary for the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado and found out that the idea of Divestment from University Portfolios from Fossil Fuels was birthed at a place made to find Energy solutions, the Alliance Center. (a movement needed internationally for Low Lying Islanders)."

Critters

Firing Fish From A Cannon: It's For Their Own Good...Really—by Retroactive Genius: "Of all the images of nature battling to reproduce, there's probably none so iconic as the sight of salmon fighting their way upstream to mate and die. But the hydroelectric dams blocking the Columbia River in Washington state are an obstacle too great, even for these powerful and single-minded fish. But where there's a will, there's a way and man has gone to some extraordinary lengths to assist salmon in getting to where they're going, from trucking them to their destination, to flying them by helicopter. Now Whoosh Innovations have come up with another way of getting salmon home: the salmon cannon."

Daily Bucket: Please Fill Me :)—by Lenny Flank: "A Brown Anole with his lunch. I think I saw little legs wiggling, so I think it's a salamander rather than a worm. It was almost as long as the Anole, though, so it took him a lot of work to get it down—and it wiggled the entire time."

brown anole
Brown anole with lunch
Daily Bucket - Alas, Sweet Sorrow—by Attack Gardener: "Today's bucket is simply a bunch of images to remind us of the beauty around us. Hug someone you love, or even just like, today. As Spider Robinson says, shared sorrow is halved while shared joy is doubled."
raccoon
Take Action to Avoid Another Catastrophic Klamath River Fish Kill—by Dan Bacher: "Right now, an estimated 60,000 fall Chinook salmon are in the ocean off the Northern California Coast waiting to enter the Klamath. The conditions they will be met with as they begin their journey to reproduce are currently equivalent to a death sentence, according to Amber Jamieson of the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC). [...] "Last week, the BOR announced that it would not release the preventative flows needed to avert a fish kill. Instead, they will wait until salmon show signs of disease and start dying, and would only release an 'emergency flow' that would take at least four days to reach infected salmon in the Lower Klamath. It is widely accepted fact that once salmon are diseased and dying to the extent that the emergency flow criteria is met, an attempt to minimize losses will be too late and a large-scale fish kill in the Lower Klamath would already be well underway," said Jamieson. The water is available, but according to the BOR saving the lives of 60,000 spawning salmon is not a priority."

The Great Outdoors

The Daily Bucket - kelp bed, August—by OceanDiver: "The kelp beds along the Strait of Juan de Fuca are just past peak sun-gathering mode, as the days shorten toward fall. Some are breaking off and washing up on shore. Out here on Iceberg Point, in the swift currents where the bluff drops straight down, the beds still look dense and vigorous - the spent strands  are washing ashore in the bays. It's an active marine zone, useful to fish and invertebrates down below as well as the more visible birds and mammals on the surface. In fall and winter, it gets broken down and eaten by countless scavengers, and turned into nutrients for next year's photosynthesizers (makes a great fertilizer for gardens too!). [...] The big brown leafy blades are fast-growing species of the Brown Algae family (Phaeophyta). It's Bull Kelp mainly (Nereocystis), the one with the leafy bulb at the end of a long strong flexible cord, firmly attached to the rocky bottom. I also see Sugar Kelp, Feather Boa and Sea Colander among others easily visible from up on the bluff."

cormorant buoy
Dawn Chorus: Midsummer birds by sailboat in the Salish Sea—by OceanDiver: "I live in the center of the Salish Sea, the large estuary in the northwestern corner of the U.S. with deep tidal-scoured passages. These inland waters were officially named as such in 2009 in honor of the Indian tribes who made a living off the sea in this area for thousands of years.  [...] In winter, our shallow bay, 25' deep at most, is full of ducks, mergansers, loons and grebes. Right now it's pretty empty and very quiet. So sometimes we take the Blue Penguin out to see wildlife activity further from shore. In summer there isn't much wind so sailing is iffy. But out in deeper water there are birds I never see from the beach, and others that do frequent shallow water behaving differently out there. So it's worth a trip out onto the bounding main even if we have to use the iron wind to get there."
osprey
Climate Chaos

Murdoch on Global Warming: "We've got to stop building vast houses on seashores & go back a little"—by Lefty Coaster: "Rupert Murdoch is no Climatologist but he tries to play one on Australian TV. Murdoch does his best to minimize the impacts of Global Warming based on what? His notions of what's best for his bottom line judging from his casual dismissal of the science."

Murdoch Misleads—by ClimateDenierRoundup: "While it's usually just his media doing the misleading on climate change, Rupert Murdoch himself gave an interview for The Australian, which has been labeled as "misleading" by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's 'Fact Check.' Mr. Murdoch claimed there will always be a little climate change and that the North Pole is melting while the South Pole is getting bigger. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation explains how this is misleading, by pointing out that—while Antarctic sea ice is increasing in size—the increase is probably due to the melting of continental ice. This melting creates an influx of fresh water into the ocean, which freezes more readily than salt water, and increases sea ice cover. Arctic sea ice on the other hand is, of course, melting, and it is doing so at a rate far greater than the rate at which Antarctic sea ice is growing. Overall, this means that sea ice is melting. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation also points out that ice sheets over the Antarctic are melting, as is the Greenland ice sheet. So when considering this global warming problem on a global scale, it's perfectly clear that the ice is melting and Murdoch is misleading."

Winter in Antarctica is Cold—by ClimateDenierRoundup: "The deniersphere is again lit up by news of Antarctica being cold. The British Antarctic Survey lost power, during which time the temperatures dropped to –55.4°C, a record cold. Since this is winter in Antarctica, that's not particularly surprising. But it is an opportunity for deniers to mention last year's expedition that got trapped in ice, where again the subtext is: 'If it's cold in Antarctica, how is the globe warming?' Although they're asking everyone to 'send [their] hopes and prayers' to the team, the schadenfreude is palpable."

You don't say? Study shows Climate Deniers get disproportionate amount of Media Attention—by Lefty Coaster: "Yes our prescriptions that these subcontractors of doubt do get an awful lot of fawning media attention have now been confirmed by a new study—30% of fringe climate scientists who say carbon pollution causes little global warming report frequent media coverage vs. just 15% of mainstream climate scientists. A new study led by Bart Verheggen surveyed 1,868 scientists studying various aspects of climate change, asking them several questions mainly focused on what’s causing global warming. They survey also asked the respondents, 'How frequently have you featured in the media regarding your views on climate change?'"

Study finds Climate Deniers get far too much Air Time—by jamess: "The survey went through great pains to find a 'representative population; to sample from; the "sample size" responding to the survey (1868 scientists)—makes the study's conclusions 'rock solid': There is an overwhelming consensus among expert scientists studying climate change that man-made pollution is the main cause of global warming. But the media may be skewing its coverage of the issue by persistently seeking out the views of a contrarian minority, according to a new study. In an opinion survey of nearly 1,900 scientists, 90 percent of the respondents with more than 10 peer-reviewed articles to their name 'explicitly agreed with anthropogenic greenhouse gases being the dominant driver of recent global warming,' the study found. [...] 'Those who most strongly disagree with the discernible influence of anthropogenic GHGs [greenhouse gases] on climate are overrepresented in the media,' the authors wrote."

New Survey Confirms Consensus—by ClimateDenierRoundup    : "A new survey study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, finds there is widespread consensus that climate change is a man-made phenomenon. It also shows that those who've published more are more likely to agree with the consensus. Interestingly, but unsurprisingly, it also shows that skeptics receive far more media attention than their mainstream counterparts. This highlights the ongoing 'bias-as-balance' problem in the media's presentation of climate science. The lead author has a blog post explaining the findings, and Dana Nuccitelli has a piece focused on the media mismatch. The survey has a lower total rate of consensus than the more-often cited 97% figure because it asked more specific questions that set a high bar for what's considered the consensus position. It finds that scientists with the most publications agree at a rate of 90%. Deniers, predictably, are claiming the study rebuts the 97% figure, when in fact the variation is due to the different approaches researchers used to define the nature of consensus."

Energy & Conservation

Rail CEOs to Investors: "Bomb Trains" Safe At Almost Any Speed—by Steve Horn: "Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) recently said it would proceed with plans to increase speeds for oil-by-rail unit trains in Devil’s Lake, N.D. to 60 MPH from 30 MPH, despite opposition from local officials. BNSF’s announcement came merely a week after the Obama Administration announced its proposed regulations for trains carrying oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') from North Dakota's Bakken Shale basin. The rail industry’s position on speed limits for 'bomb trains' is simple: they continuously claim velocity has nothing to do with oil-by-rail accidents or safety. For example, Big Rail—as revealed by DeSmogBlog—lobbied against all proposed oil train speed reductions in its dozen or so private meetings at the Obama White House before the unveiling of the proposed oil-by-rail regulations."

37 House Democrats Urge Administration Against Atlantic Drilling—by Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees: "We elected the candidate with the "Drill, Baby, Drill!" slogan, right? No? Well, "all of the above" isn't that much different: All signs point toward the administration giving the thumbs up to Atlantic drilling. In June, the administration gave its strongest signal to date that the Atlantic would likely be included in the Interior Department's five-year lease plan for 2017-2022, by opening it up to new oil and gas exploration for the first time in 30 years. That decision followed the Interior Department’s release of an environmental review in February, setting guidelines for seismic surveys to test Atlantic waters for potential energy sources. 'It does not look good because, if he weren’t going to allow drilling, then he wouldn’t have opened the Atlantic to seismic tests,' said Sara Young, a marine scientist for Oceana, a conservation group."

Who's Cool at School?—by Michael Brune: "For the eighth year in a row, Sierra magazine has dedicated a big chunk of its September/October issue to higher education. So why is the "Cool Schools" issue such a big deal? I'll give you a hint: It's not because of the schools. Over the last few years, I've spoken to many different audiences about how clean energy is going to change our world—I never get tired of talking about it. And people seem to appreciate hearing the good news that we're already well on our way to a future without fossil fuels. But one particular audience always leaves me with a net surplus of energy— and that's college students. I don't know if it's because young people have always been passionate about social issues or because our planet's future is especially important to the people who'll be spending the most time there, but young people seem to possess a singular fervor for making the world a better place. So, although the "Cool Schools" sustainability rankings of universities around the country are interesting in and of themselves, their most important function is to foster accountability. Colleges and universities should be leading the charge on sustainability and the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. When they don't, students will be the first to speak up."

Renewables

Sunday Train: The Era of Reverse Pumped Hydro—by BruceMcF: "In a sense, Sunday Train has been mentioning reverse pumped hydro before the Sunday Train actually existed. In 2007 at Daily Kos, in 'Driving Ohio on Lake Erie' (reprinted in 2012 at Burning the Midnight Oil), reverse pumped hydro was mentioned as one technology for smoothing the variability of Lake Erie offshore wind. In 2008 on Docudharma, talking about what we could do if we pursued serious goals, as opposed to 'predicting' what 'they' are 'likely to do,' I mentioned it again. I mention it again in 'The Myth of Baseload Power.' And it features in the description of where Biocoal would fit into among dispatchable renewable energy in 'Unleashing the Political Power of Biocoal.' But one thing that Sunday Train has not done is to give a closer look at the current state of play of reverse pumped hydro in the United State, what are the regulatory obstacles that stand in the way of greater development of reverse pumped hydro, and what can be done to sidestep or overcome those regulatory obstacles. Evidently, I must have been saving all of that for today [...] The idea of reverse pumped hydro is straightforward. If a reservoir dam can store energy from the annual flow of a river, generating power by running water stored at a height through a turbine [...] suppose when you wanted to store power, you pumped water uphill, back into the reservoir. When you need the power, you can run that water back through the generator turbines. Used in that way, the reservoir is not a power source [...] it's an energy storage device. Now, while reverse pumped hydro can be added to many reservoir dams, you don't actually need a hydropower dam for reverse pumped hydro.."

Agriculture, Food & Gardening

President-elect of American College of Cardiologists is vegan—by VL Baker: "The US medical establishment tends to be quite conservative so the news that Dr. Kim A. Williams, the president-elect of the American College of Cardiologists is vegan is significant and  an indicator that that body is now in acceptance of the heart health benefits of a vegan diet. [...] [He] often sees patients who are overweight and struggling with hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. One of the things he advises them to do is to change their diets. Specifically, he tells them to go vegan. Dr. Williams became a vegan in 2003 because he was concerned that his LDL cholesterol—the kind associated with an increased risk of heart disease—was too high. Dr. Williams wrote about his reasons for going vegan and his belief in the cardiovascular benefits of a plant-based diet in a recent essay at MedPage Today."

Transportation & Infrastructure

Transportation Constipation: the High Cost of Low Investment—by GearheadGrrrl: "You can still get from here to there, but you'd best not be in a hurry ... The schedule of what was once one of Amtrak's most timely trains, the legendary Empire Builder, has become a joke. Last "peak season", both UPS and FedEx were lucky to get deliveries made by New Years. Midwest states have raised truck weight limits on main roads, only to have trucks forced to haul reduced loads due to deteriorating bridges and secondary roads. After switching much of it's intermodal freight from Union Pacific to BNSF because UP was too congested, BNSF is now so congested that they've dropped much of their expedited service because they couldn't keep their own schedule. And fly right over this terrestrial transport mess? Sure, if you ever get through the airport, and your luggage should be catch up with you in a day or two. It gets worse... Out here in the rural midwest, we've still got grain on the ground from last years harvest, 'cause the elevators are full. And with the drought disappearing, we've got another record crop on the way. We've looked at those piles of last years corn and more in the fields all summer, and now we're starting to talk about it in a worried way. The recession is giving way to an economic recovery, but our transportation system hasn't recovered from decades of disinvestment."

Sustainability & Extinction

Do we need a new definition of "functionally extinct"?—by don mikulecky: "It’s frightening but true: Our planet is now in the midst of its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals—the sixth wave of extinctions in the past half-billion years. We’re currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural 'background' rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct every day. It could be a scary future indeed, with as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species possibly heading toward extinction by mid-century.' Clearly this study sees us in the middle of mass extinctions and from that point of view far more species are functionally extinct at the moment than we recognize."

Suicide? We are doing it as a species—by don mikulecky: "We as a species are addicted to a way of life that is a great threat to our well being as individuals and as a species.  The way we live creates many threats to our survival and often accelerates the process of dying. Now we are experiencing an obvious threat in the form of Global Warming and Climate Change. We write about the coming collapse of civilization and mass extinctions. We are addicts and we have been in denial. The obvious deniers are not alone. We all live in a way that is bring about the events we are are discussing more and more. We can't seem to grasp the fact that we all are involved in making it happen. We want to change the way we live but can we? The irony and symbolism of one man's suicide at a time like this should not escape us. We have an arrogance as a species that is rather ironic. We see ourselves as so clever yet we fail to see how limited that cleverness really is."

Oceans, Water & Drought

Water bond includes $485 million to buy water for Brown’s death tunnels—by Dan Bacher: "Yesterday Governor Jerry Brown, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and over two dozen agricultural, water, environmental, labor and corporate representatives called for action on Brown's controversial revised water bond, while defenders of the Delta and its imperiled fish populations slammed the proposed measure for containing $484 million to buy water pumped into the Bay Delta Conservation Plan's peripheral tunnels. NGOs backing the Governor's revised $7 million bond include the Community Water Center, Nature Conservancy, California Trout, American Rivers, Trout Unlimited, California Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). None of these groups, as opposed to the majority of grassroots environmental, fishing and consumer groups across the state, have gone on record against the construction of the twin tunnels, the most environmentally destructive proposed project in California history."

Miscellany

Think BPA-free plastics are safe? Think again.—by FaithGardner: "Depressing news for those of us who've gone out of our way to purchase BPA-free containers. In 2010 BPA was shown to be possibly harmful to fetuses, babies and children, which led to a wave of BPA-free merchandise that hit the market. But it turns out the replacement for BPA, BPS, is now looking to be likely equally harmful as BPA itself. BPA is the starting material for making polycarbonate plastics. Any leftover BPA that is not consumed in the reaction used to make a plastic container can leach into its contents. From there it can enter the body. BPS was a favored replacement because it was thought to be more resistant to leaching. If people consumed less of the chemical, the idea went, it would not cause any or only minimal harm. Yet BPS is getting out. Nearly 81 percent of Americans have detectable levels of BPS in their urine."

Only Robin Williams could make us laugh about global warming—by VL Baker: "Joe Romm At Think Progress/climate reminds us of how Robin Williams could bring levity to the most serious situations.  Something to keep in mind as we struggle to continue working for solutions in the face of sometimes devastating climate news."

National Parks, Wilderness and Other Protected Lands

Michael Conathan: Protecting America’s remote Pacific islands—by WonkyNewsNerd : "Few places with this scope of unspoiled wilderness remain within U.S. territory, but a series of them still exist in the central Pacific Ocean. [...] Few places with this scope of unspoiled wilderness remain within U.S. territory, but a series of them still exist in the central Pacific Ocean. On Monday, August 11, there will be a chance to call for their protection: The Obama administration will hold a public town-hall-style meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, to hear comments on a proposal to expand the boundaries of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument."

Eco-Related Candidacies, DC & State Politics

Breaking - Hanabusa threatens lawsuit while Schatz works overtime in Hawaii.—by RLMiller: "I'm proud to have played a role in helping Brian Schatz garner a 1635 vote lead and, I hope, the nomination. The group that I cofounded, Climate Hawks Vote, hired organizers on the ground to make over 2000 phone calls on behalf of Schatz. We signed up 50 new and mostly young voters over a few days. We hosted debate watch parties, talked up the importance of voting climate at a Honolulu conservation conference, and tweeted and facebooked and social media'd the race. We did all that because Brian Schatz understands that climate change is not just another Democratic political issue, but rather the greatest challenge facing the next few generations of humanity. Climate Hawks Vote is focused, like Brian Schatz, on working hard to achieve real results. And we're thrilled that he'll probably be tackling that challenge in the Senate. Colleen Hanabusa needs to stop obstructing elections and give up with some dignity intact."

Texas Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has a thing about the EPA—by Meteor Blades: "Last year, shortly before Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced he was running for governor, the Republican bragged at a meeting of the national tea party group FreedomWorks about his typical day: 'I go into the office, I sue the federal government and I go home.' That may have gotten him some laughs, but he wasn't kidding. Abbott has sued the Obama administration at least 31 times, including the Environmental Protection Agency 17 times. While he hasn't yet sued over the issue, Abbott is in yet another tangle with the EPA that could lead to a lawsuit. This time it's over the EPA's proposed Waters of the United States rule under the Clean Water Act."

Rep. Ken Calvert, CA-42: A Pollutant In The House—by Sheridan for Congress CA 42: "With a historic, long-lasting drought in California and across the country, wildfires blazing everywhere, and earthquakes shaking Oklahoma (not supposed to happen), there is no question that climate change and the environment are two issues dominating the minds of many voters. Renewable energy, resource efficiency, and an overall transition to a green economy are just a few of the known solutions to these problems. Rep. Ken Calvert (CA-42), however, believes in taking the opposite route on these issues; Rep. Calvert wants to increase the burning of hydrocarbons, increase deforestation, and deregulate industries which contribute to climate change and environmental degradation for the sake of corporate interests and at the expense of the planet and the constituents of the 42nd district of California."

Eco-Essays and Eco-Philosophy

A new counter-culture—by DWG: "Climate change provides the perfect illustration of everything rotten with unregulated corporate behavior. The current pace of carbon pollution puts us on track for a nightmarish future by the end of this century. In effect, the quality of life for future generations is being deliberately sacrificed to satisfy the unquenchable greed of the executives and stockholders of fossil energy companies. Their actions have negative survival value for humans and other species on this planet yet these people are treated like paragons of virtue. These same toxic individuals have corrupted our democracy to the point that even most politicians on the left are climate ducks rather than hawks. Politicians on the right worship fossil fuels as their economic savior. How do you change a culture with its collective head this far up its collective butt?"

ALEC has "No Comment" on Free Markets Contradiction—by cgibosn: "The American Legislative Exchange Council doesn't like clean energy. And ALEC doesn't care about free markets. Like most of its operations, ALEC won't talk about these realities in an open way. I tried at ALEC's recent Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas, but ALEC staffer John Eick stood by his organization's reputation for secrecy and deflected my questions. The question I posed references a debacle within ALEC's Energy, Environment & Agriculture task force meeting, of which Mr. Eick is the director. Wisconsin state Representative Chris Taylor was in the meeting--not as a politician carrying water for coal and oil companies, but to provide the transparency that ALEC won't. Writing for The Progressive, Rep. Taylor illustrated a rare debate within the ALEC task force that has made a mission of attacking clean energy incentives and taxing homeowners who put solar panels on their roofs."

A CO2 sequestration strategy for using coal to generate electricity—by Tim DeLaney: "Coal exists in vast amounts in the earth's crust, and it represents an enormous energy resource. However, climate change considerations dictate that we must not emit CO2 into the atmosphere. That would be irresponsible, as we all most of us know. The burning of coal for energy, however, produces about 3.6 tons of CO2 for every ton of carbon burned. (The coal ash and other toxic valuable minerals such as mercury, sulfur and arsenic are important byproducts, but alas, not commercially recoverable as yet.) Coal is the worst fossil fuel with regard to climate change. It produces more CO2 per unit of energy recovered than either petroleum or natural gas. So, sequestering the CO2 it produces should be a very high priority. Below the fold, I will describe a foolproof method for storing every ounce of this CO2 permanently and effectively. Believe me, you will be impressed."

Mining

Toxic Spill in the Cariboo & The Pebble Mine in Alaska—by Agathena: "Last week I posted this diary: Massive Toxic sludge spilled into pristine wilderness. There were questions in the comments like 'how could this happen?' and 'what are the people of BC saying about this?' I began this diary as a follow-up with some answers to those questions. However, as I started to research the follow-up I hit more and more information on the Pebble Mine, proposed in beautiful Bristol Bay. A mine that will be 10 times the size of the Mount Polley Mine. The mining company for Pebble Mine has hired the same designers that built the toxic pond for the Mount Polley strip mine shown above This diary hopes to answer the questions about how this disaster could happen and what the people are saying about it in British Columbia, Canada. At the same time, I'm hoping to alert people that the same thing could happen to the tailings pond in the proposed Pebble Mine, Alaska. There is still time to stop that mine."

VICE and a few words on Peru's New Cocaine—by jencke: "While the VICE article states that the crackdown on illegal mining is largely related to international pressure for better environmental protections, Peru's heavy-handedness has been more than lopsided. While crushing illegal miners with one hand, it has doled out significant incentives, tax-breaks, and environmental concessions to international mining companies with the other. Many legal mine owners readily acknowledge that their work can be just as devastating to the environment as that of small and artisanal miners. One of the world's most polluted places is La Oroya in the Central Andes, a small mining town that is home to a U.S.-owned mining and processing plant and lead levels triple the WHO limit. 99% of children have lead poisoning, and the soil will remain contaminated for centuries. Yet despite the environmental havoc wrought by legal mining, President Humala recently passed legislation to ease permitting, environmental regulations, and impact assessments for international mining firms, all while scaling back the power and scope of his own Ministry of Environment."

A Modest Proposal: Oceanic Trash Mining—by Rei: "The other day a conversation about seawater recovery of lithium got me curious on what the latest progress in seawater mineral extraction has been. The world's oceans contain vast, nearly inexhaustible reserves of many different dissolve metals, some very valuable... but most, unfortunately, in parts per billion quantities. This usually prices their recovery at several times higher to orders of magnitude higher than the costs of mining on land. Don't get me wrong—it actually does work. For example, there have been various pilot projects mining uranium with long plastic ropes lowered into ocean currents, and the concept of using desalination brine for resource extraction is a new hot topic. But so far, extraction of only a few common oceanic minerals have reached commercial viability."

Pollution, Hazardous Waste, Trash

Just Say No to Big Mines in Headwaters of Salmon Rivers—by akmk: "A serious industry and regulatory failure resulted in a massive poison tailings spill from the Mt. Polley gold and silver mine in BC into the headwaters of the Fraser River watershed this past week. Fraser River salmon runs are significant and important to many: About 1.5 to 2 million sockeye salmon, from the great Fraser River fishery shared by the U.S. and Canada, are headed for spawning beds in the Quesnel Lake region of British Columbia this summer, where they will run into a major mine disaster. The Monday breach of a tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine has dumped millions of liters of mine waste, with islands of debris already floating in Quesnel Lake. The Quesnel-Horsefly river system is one of the mighty Fraser’s four largest salmon producing tributaries. An estimated 500,000 salmon are already headed up the Fraser River, with the rest expected in the river by the end of August."

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A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

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