At High Country News, Rachel Waldholz has written a shouldn't-be-missed piece about environmental justice called Greening a city ... and pushing other colors out. An excerpt:
The Hunters Point Naval Shipyard covers 500 acres on San Francisco's southeastern flank, jutting out into the bay like the fletching of a giant arrow.
Acquired by the U.S. Navy in 1940, it was once one of the West Coast's largest shipyards, at its World War II peak employing up to 17,000 people, many of them African Americans who settled nearby. The Navy ended its work at the Shipyard in 1974, devastating the local economy, and it was eventually listed for cleanup as a Superfund-equivalent site. These days, it's a rusting city unto itself, its drydock and warehouses abandoned. For a long time, its only tenants were the city's crime lab and artists drawn by the cheap space and haunting surroundings: a boarded-up diner, its Pepsi sign intact; the giant crane where the Navy once tested rockets; deserted labs that hosted radiological experiments.
As one of the largest chunks of vacant land left in San Francisco -- which has some of the highest land values and housing costs in the country -- the shipyard represents an immense opportunity. And so last summer, after decades of wrangling and neglect, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved an ambitious redevelopment plan for the site. If completed, it will be one of the largest developments here since the creation of Golden Gate Park -- and perhaps the most contentious.
The city has hired Florida-based Lennar Corp., a major housing developer, to transform the site. Lennar's plan calls for 10,500 new housing units, and space for retail and artists' studios. It's chock-full of green goodies: parks, mass transit upgrades, and a "green tech" campus. Thirty-two percent of the housing will be sold at prices well below the city's sky-high market rates. It's the kind of mixed-use, mixed-income development that sprawl-weary environmentalists have cheered from Denver to Portland -- dense, transit-oriented, and built on reclaimed brownfields near the city center.
But many locals have received the plan with deep ambivalence. "The project is flawed from stem to stern," says Saul Bloom, executive director of Arc Ecology. The local nonprofit has advocated for the Shipyard's cleanup and redevelopment since 1984, but contends that the current plan won't benefit the community. […]
If the typical environmental justice story involves a poor community of color living in the shadow of toxic industry, Bayview is the next chapter. What happens after the mess is cleaned up? From New York City to Denver to Seattle, sustainable redevelopment projects promise to address festering issues of environmental injustice. But instead of delivering economic lifelines to struggling communities, they often threaten to displace the very residents who for years endured the burdens of pollution and fought to relieve it.
In recent years, a growing number of cities have adopted "smart growth" policies aimed at encouraging infill -- the development of unused space within city limits. And in 2009, the Obama administration announced a major shift in federal policy -- which it dubbed the Partnership for Sustainable Communities -- to push more cities to adopt such codes. For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, and Department of Housing and Urban Development will work in tandem to direct federal money to projects that curb sprawl and are close to mass transit. […]
"One of the complaints about the (smart growth) movement has been, 'It's always upscale, it's expensive, it drives people out,'" says John Frece, the director of the EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities. To prevent displacement, federal funding for smart-growth projects through the Partnership includes requirements for affordable housing, job-training programs, and community engagement in the planning process. The administration's goal, Frece says, is to make sure communities aren't "penalized just because their environmental problems get cleaned up."
Accomplishing that, though, isn't easy. Says Malo Hutson, assistant professor of city and regional planning at UC Berkeley, "You would get the Nobel Prize in Economics -- or Peace -- if you could figure out a way to keep the community that existed before the redevelopment project came along." …
Green Diary Rescue appears every Saturday afternoon at Daily Kos. Inclusion of a particular diary does not necessarily indicate my agreement with it.
ban nock posted A year of wildlife on a video cam: "I'm very aware of tracks, scat, nibbled plants, bits of feather, or any other signs that tell a story of what other animals were at a particular place before me. When just walking I make no effort to be sneaky preferring to warn of my presence and not startle anything. I figure it's important for wildlife to be wary of me, and as undisturbed as possible. This video shows what happens when we aren't there. "
practically did the Snoopy dance in his diary1 Month, zero gasoline
: "My life changed when I got this car—in my commute world I dropped off the oil grid. I am a smaller contributor to foreign wars (I originally was going to put 'I am not a contributer' but I know I still am in other ways) and if 10% of America could take this route it would be glorious. The higher the number gets the better. I'm also much less of a contributor to climate change (again—I am not so delirious to think I'm not a part of that at all)."
Oceans, Wetland & Water
cskendrick wrote in detail about a ceiling that doesn't get talked about much in Washingon, our Water Debt: "[T]he limit that matters for human existence never mind economics is the water supply and we have been living leveraged, tapping into the future's water, the ground water, for decades now at a level that cannot be sustained. The Great Plains are considered, rightly so, one of the breadbaskets of the planet. But what if the water went away? For much of the land just east of the Rockies, rainfall just...isn't. Let me pick on an area I know pretty well—western Oklahoma, and it's not just this year—that's some seriously dry real estate!) It's good for pasturage and mesquite and that's about it.... until you sink a well, construct a few artificial reservoirs and give life to the semi-desert."
barath made suggestions about avoiding Invisible waste (part 1): Water: "Every product that you buy has likely used tens if not hundreds of gallons of water in its production process. In the United States, every 1 out 5 gallons of gas (roughly) comes from Canadian tar sands syncrude, which requires one of the most environmentally destructive and water intensive processes imaginable. Conventional agriculture typically uses underground aquifers or long-distance irrigation without any concern about sustainability. I agree that it's good to use a little less water during daily showers (or take showers less frequently). But maybe it's time to rethink whether simple things like staying clean are the luxuries we should be feeling pressured to cut out rather than cutting the world's water use where it should be cut—at and by the biggest users of it. And here we can have some small impact, as we choose what products we buy and what food we eat."
dadadata urged readers to comment on public access to the Chesapeake Watershed: Get Wet: "The interactive map where people can point and click to add suggestions on public access in the Chesapeake Bay watershed it surprisingly easy to use. (The state of Maryland uses on built on ESRI's GIS software, and it's a human interface disaster, sluggish, and did I mentioned, has a user interface designed by Sleepy and Dopey?) "
faithfull was incensed With HR 2018, House Again Passes Brutal Attack on Water, Science, Humans:" Yesterday evening the House of Representatives passed The Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act (HR 2018), a bill that turns back the clock forty years on the environmental and public health protections in the Clean Water Act. This brazen attack on public protections is the closest big industrial polluters have ever come to completely gutting laws that protect Americans' ability to access clean water."
Air, Water and Soil Pollution
Karen Hedwig Backman had some big news about a big problem in Exxon/Valdez, Exxon/Yellowstone, Exxon/Torture: "'In a major ruling with wide implications for corporations that operate overseas, a divided federal appeals court in Washington today said Exxon Mobil Corp. is not immune from liability for alleged brutal conduct that agents of the company allegedly orchestrated against a group of Indonesian villagers.'"
Consumer Watchdog wondered what other things can't be dealt with If Exxon Can’t Deal With the Montana Spill.. .: "Exxon is still fumbling to deal with a 42,000-gallon oil pipeline spill on the Yellowstone River west of Billings, Montana. Its initial response was pathetic—it was slow to turn off the gushing pipeline, had no plan for dealing with a spill in high water (i.e. every spring) and, most alarmingly, 'misspoke' about how deeply the pipe was buried in the riverbed, even denying a shortly before the spill that the pipe could be damaged by water erosion."
That wasn't gratitude Stuart H Smith conveyed in his diary, Thanks BP for Making Louisiana's Beaches Among the Most Polluted in America: "According to a new study from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Louisiana has the highest rate of contaminated beachwater of any state (that has shoreline). In 2010, the Year of the Spill, 37 percent of the beachwater samples taken in Louisiana exceeded public health samples. […] Even Ohio, which borders the heavily industrialized shores of Lake Erie, came in a distant second with 21 percent—and the rest fell off dramatically from there."
Crashing Vor was glad to see Meaningful Testing for Gulf Seafood Finally Begun: "HoumaToday is reporting that a consortium of universities and other groups, led by the University of Texas Medical Branch of Galveston, will begin comprehensive, independent testing of Gulf of Mexico seafood for components of petroleum and dispersants. This is very good news for fishers, consumers and environmentalists looking for answers to the question that has plagued Louisiana and Gulf seafood aficionados since the Macondo Well blew last year: 'Is it safe?' "
people power granny asked Are we ready for more rivers to catch on fire? Or more streams polluted by mountaintop removal?: "I don't like regulations, especially when they apply to me. But I sure do like regulations that protect the lives of my children, grandchildren and all the other children getting ready to take over from us someday. Can't other parents and grandparents empathize with me? Have we forgotten rivers catching on fire back in the 70s?"
Agriculture, Gardening & Food
In a five-part series, DawnG discussed her new obsession, A rabbit in every pot: a tale of food independence almost anyone can enjoy. (part 1): "A couple months ago I had bariatric surgery, and in the course of recovering I stumbled on an article on raising rabbits. I became so fascinated that it quickly turned into an obsession. I scoured the internet for articles and discussion forums and videos about breeding and raising rabbits for meat. I plan to get a couple rabbits in September but wanted to present the case to the dailykos community on why rabbits may be the perfect option for people wanting to raise their own meat, even in a city environment." Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.
Ellinorianne was flabbergasted by the story of the woman who was sentenced to 93 Days in Jail for Planting a Vegetable Garden in Her Front Yard: "According to Oak Park, Michigan, Julie Bass has violated the local city ordinance of what one can and cannot have for landscape in their front yard. Water wasting turf? YES! Ornamental plants that look nice but do little else? Yes! Raised Garden beds growing your own organic fruits and vegetables to feed your family of 8? Hello no! Julie Bass—a mother of 6, law-abiding citizen, and gardener—is facing 93 days in jail after being charged with a misdemeanor."
ScottyUrb had a take on that story, too, Planting a vegetable garden? You're under arrest!: "So even if it is YOUR property, and even if you paid for the property and pay taxes on the property, that’s still not enough for somebody at Oak Park City Hall."
In another installment of Macca's Meatless Monday, beach babe in fl went into detail about How You Manage To Make Ends Meet: "Today I will calculate the costs of each recipe using the prices I find at my neighborhood market. I've always been a frugal shopper, it's just in my DNA, and I usually buy generic market brands so the pricing will reflect that. What it will not reflect is that I often buy my staples on 2 for 1 offers and stock up so that my costs are even less than what I will list. So let's get started with some of my all time favorite foods."
Going Beyond Agricultural Production to Achieve Food Security was NourishingthePlanet's topic for the week: "Agricultural production is only the first step in moving the world’s food from farm to fork. […]The other links in the food chain—harvesting, packaging, storing, transporting, marketing, and selling—ensure that food actually reaches consumers. Inefficiencies in these activities, rather than just low yields or poor farming techniques, are often to blame for food shortages and low prices for growers."
The weather was been wild in Denver, wrote Frankenoid in Saturday Morning Garden Blogging: "We had a thunderstorm every day since July 5. Some have been spectacular, with rainfall rates of hitting up to 25" an hour in isolated locations at the core of the storms (yes, that's over 2 feet an hour). […] It's been ten years since we've had a monsoon season this intense. Another half-inch of moisture and this July will break into the top ten wettest Julys on record. As the month is only half over, and there are more storms in the forecast, we just might make it. And Wednesday night the dreaded hail hit my neighborhood—hailstone as large as a quarter fell for ten minutes or so."
CatJab went tongue-in-cheek with Why does the Tea Party and The Bible hate Manatees?: "[Manatees] must be using some sort of huggable mind control to destroy the very fabric of our American life, beginning with...boating!?! 'We cannot elevate nature above people,' Citrus County Tea Party Patriots leader Edna Mattos told the paper. 'That's against the Bible and the Bill of Rights.' Nooooo!Slowly, very slowly, dog paddle away for your very lives! Nature is coming and it's gonna destroy our civil liberties! "
xenubarb described encounters with those grand imitators in Great Backdoors: Mockingbirds: "When I was a kid growing up here in San Diego, I was enchanted by the varied songs of mockingbirds. Well, except those full moon nights when the bird who claimed the tree outside my bedroom window went off at 3:00 am. Those were the times I wished for a bb gun. Back then, their songs included a mix of other bird calls from the canyon. When we moved here, it was a new neighborhood recently scraped from the sage covered hills. The mockingbirds would imitate California Quail and other inhabitants of the coastal sage. No more. I don't hear today's mockingbirds imitating the quail, or the chirp of ground squirrel. They're still infringing on many copyrighted songs, however. "
In the most recent installment of Dawn Chorus, Four More Years!, lineatus discussed what sparked fours years of bird posting at Daily Kos.
ban nock discussed one of the world's most successful predators in Can we talk about your cat?: "Every day cats in the US kill hundreds of times the number of birds killed during the months long environmental disaster of the Deepwater Horizon blow out. That’s every day. Every day hundreds of Deep Water Horizons for birds. A million birds a day. The IUCN is the international organisation tracking species threats in a scientific, non-political manner. When I read on their web site that a species is in danger I believe it. They are scientists. They list cats at the very top of their list of invasive species, the very worst. House cats have made species go extinct, they threaten dozens more. Not just birds either, but rodents and even that sea otter in California."
Climate Change & Weather Anomalies
In a trio of diaries, boatsie wrote about the Famine That Threatens 11 Million in Horn of Africa: "In what is being referred to as 'the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today,' 11 million people residing in the Horn of Africa totter on the edge of famine as two years of drought, combined with escalating global food prices combine to create 'a perfect storm.' Meanwhile, Oxfam reports that the Kenyan government is barring many of the thousands of refugees arriving daily from entering what is now the largest refugee center in the world because of security fears."
East Africa: Famine II: "The 30-mile-long Dadaab Refugee Camp is ground zero in the relief effort for victims of the East African famine, now being called the 'worst humanitarian disaster in the World.' With a population of over 400,000, the three Dadaab camps—Ifo, Hagadera and Dagahaley—are now home to the third largest population center in Kenya, after Nairobi and Mombasa."
East Africa Drought: You say La Niña & I'll say ... HELP!: As scientists rally around the notion that the Horn of Africa Famine is not attributable to climate change but rather to a particularly virulent La Niña event, meteorologists in Lagos, Nigeria, have no problem equating the torrential rainfalls currently crippling Lagos to the changes in climate associated with global warming. In fact, AllAfrica reports that the Nigerian House of Representatives Wednesday pressured President Goodluck Jonathan to sign Nigeria’s National Climate Change Commission Bill to accelerate interventions as extreme flood events increase in both intensity and frequency. Meanwhile, Alternet reports from Lagos on growing concerns regarding the rapid spread of water-borne illnesses perpetuated by flood-contaminated drinking water.
GlowNZ also wrote on the subject in People are Starving.: "There is a massive drought in East Africa that is killing people."
Roger Lamb was happy to see that Australia Puts Price on Carbon Pollution: "Approximately 500 heavy polluting companies will be levied at an initial rate of Oz $23 per ton (about US $24) of carbon dioxide emitted. The levy will be in place for 3 years, and will rise each year. After the initial 3-year period, the policy will morph into an emissions trading scheme with a national cap set on carbon pollution. The BBC writes that the Australian government's aim will be to cut 159m tonnes of carbon pollution by 2020, reducing emissions by 5% below 2000 levels. and, further out, by 2050, by 80% below 2000 levels. Prices of various goods are expected to rise as some of the cost is passed down to the consumer, and therefore a significant portion (something around half) of income raised by the government will be distributed (tax breaks, cash payments) to low- and middle-income households."
weatherdude gave us a Condensed Anatomy of the Phoenix Dust Storm: "Dust storms (also called sand storms, haboobs, fuckupyourlung-a-thons, and AHHHH in OCDese) are caused when winds pick up large amounts of loose soil and spread them over large distances, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of miles. They mainly form in dry places with loose soil (think of the sand in the desert or soil on a poorly farmed land), and can grow several miles tall and hundreds of miles wide if conditions are perfect. The winds that cause dust storms can come from different types of weather events, but the main ones are dry frontal passages (usually a cold front with lots of wind but no precipitation… this happened often during the Dust Bowl in the 1930s) or from thunderstorms over the desert."
Another corporate rip-off was reported by Steven D in American Utility Kills Off Largest Carbon Recapture Program. "Political Climate" Blamed: "For two years, a major coal burning utility company, American Electric Power (AEP), has run a pilot program to limit carbon emissions from a coal fired plant using a carbon sequestration technology (i.e., carbon en=missions that are pumped underground). The US government has helped foot the bill by paying 50% of AEP's costs. AEP had intended to convert an existing 31-year-old coal burning plant in West Virgina to begin using this carbon sequestration on a larger scale. Now it has canceled the project even though the Federal government is still willing to pay one half of the conversion costs."
Via TomDispatch Bill McKibben took on The Great American Carbon Bomb: "If you could burn all the oil in those tar sands, you’d run the atmosphere’s concentration of carbon dioxide from its current 390 parts per million (enough to cause the climate havoc we’re currently seeing) to nearly 600 parts per million, which would mean if not hell, then at least a world with a similar temperature. It won’t happen overnight, thank God, but according to the planet’s most important climatologist, James Hansen, burning even a substantial portion of that oil would mean it was 'essentially game over' for the climate of this planet."
beach babe in fl urged everyone to acknowledge that Fast Solutions Are All We Have Left: "We need fast solutions and we need them NOW! There are some working on these fast solutions and World Preservation Foundation had them meet and focus on fast solutions to our climate change catastrophe. "
While Washington is all abuzz about "adjustments" to Society Security and Medicare, Ellinorianne found some outrageous spending the Republicans don't want to touch in her diary, Speaking of Entitlements...Big Oil has to GO!: "The League of Conservation Voters is pushing for the end to Oil Subsidies. That's an entitlement as well. Not only has ExxonMobil enjoyed record profits, they've just unleashed another environmental disaster in the middle of one of our National Treasures, the Yellowstone River."
Stranded Wind gave a highly technical presentation of A Virtuous (Albeit Nuclear) Cycle: "I’m a big proponent of solar and, wait for it … wind, but we need baseload power and that’s one of large scale hydro, coal, or nuclear. Coal sucks, hydro might start sucking as climate change spoils output for existing large dams, but nuclear will be there … if only we can manage it safely."
There was a good deal of head-shaking and eye-rolling in three diaries about brainless opposition to energy efficiency.
Joan McCarter weighed in with Dim bulbs in House GOP just can't let go of the lightbulb. And A Republican House victory for inefficient lightbulbs: "When economic Armageddon comes because House Republicans remained in persistent denial about the fact that the debt ceiling and consequences for not raising it are very real, at least those Republicans will be able to enjoy it in the hot glow of their old, inefficient incandescent lightbulbs. If the lights actually stay on."
Lefty Coaster wrote, Dim Bulbs in House vote 233 to 193 to roll back the clock on energy efficiency: "The Republicans' purely symbolic attack on efficiency and modernity is an attempt to appeal to those who say "Bah Humbug!" to many encroachments the modern world makes into their daily lives. Rigid people, who resist every change whether its for the better or not. Republicans are making a nonsensical appeal to that get off my lawn crowd, while at the same time pleasing their coal and utility corporate sponsors."
He also pointed to some environmental monkey-wrenching in Anonymous announces "Project Tarmaggedon" targeting Tar Sands Oil Companies, hacks Monsanto: "The underground activist group Anonymous has announced 'Operation Green Rights/Project Tarmaggedon,' a new campaign targeting the Oil Companies developing oil production from Canada's Tar Sands. … If you have a chance to attend one of the State Department's public hearings on the Keystone Pipeline please take the time to do so. We need to send an unmistakable message that Americans don't want this destructive pipeline."
TXsharon was back on the beat with Water: Fracking sucks more than you think!: "Did you think that industry was telling you the whole story about the amount of water they use to hydraulically fracture a natural gas well? In the Barnett Shale, estimated frack water usage ranges between 2.5 to 9 million gallons per frack. The Marcellus Shale average, according to Dr. Anthony Ingraffea is 5.5 million gallons per frack. The Eagle Ford Shale average, according to the Texas Water Development Board, is 7.5 million gallons per frack. We don’t know exactly how much water they use because most of the estimates come from industry."
In his every-now-and-again series to keep us updated on global nuclear power construction, davidwalters reported Russian Plans for Massive Expansion of Nuclear Energy: "The latest Federal Target Program (FTP) envisages a 25-30% nuclear share in electricity supply by 2030, 45-50% in 2050 and 70-80% by end of century."
Deep Harm wrote NRC report finds nuclear industry's "defense in depth" too shallow: "This morning, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a report concluding its (initial) study of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster for lessons applicable to the U.S. nuclear industry. In an accompanying press release, the NRC recommends 'strengthened regulatory oversight of plant safety performance...by focusing more attention on defense-in-depth requirements.' That's government-speak for there's too little of it."
Rep Michael Honda of California's 15th District had some harsh words for aRepublican Bill in Congress Increasing Nation's Dependency on Coal, Oil and Gas Interests: "The Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, which is being considered on the House floor this week, is yet another glaring example of the flawed nature of the Republican budget. To try to meet their unrealistic goal of reducing the deficit solely through domestic non-defense discretionary spending cuts, Republicans are proposing to make crippling cuts to our national investment in improving energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy sources."
While coal-burners in the United States are having a hard time getting their projects approved, that's not the case elsewhere in the world, as Mary Anne Hitt pointed out in The UN Clean Development Mechanism's Growing Coal Scandal: "Just days after a UN panel recommended immediately suspending the Clean Development Mechanism methodology for coal projects, yet another project—the 'Ultra Mega' Krishnapatnam coal-fired power plant in costal Andhra Pradesh—was registered. The project will provide developers with over $165 million, and it is just the latest example of the CDM allowing windfall profits to end up in the hands of coal developers."
A Siegel created a theme in UMW: messaging for a clean-energy future: "When it comes to discussing the value and power of a clean-energy future, in a way that touches core values and life-experiences of a good share of Americans, perhaps it is time to think and speak UMW. No ... not the United Mine Workers. Instead, when we think UMW and energy, we should turn to three 'institutions' that have a particular role in America (and Americans' lives): University: Americans aspire to see their children go to university. 'Seventy-five percent of parents in 2010 thought a college education was very important, versus only 58 percent in 1983 and 36 percent in 1978.' (And, have their children going to schools.) Military: The military is, according to poll after poll, the most respected institution in America. Wal-Mart: Yes, Wal-Mart... bear with me ... Representing several percent of the U.S. economy, 'each year, 93 percent of American households shop at Wal-Mart.'"
Thutmose VThe Key to Renewable Energy: "Storing large amounts of electrical power will enable a smart grid to make full use of power not only from any place, but from any time. The better our energy storage, the easier it will be to do really large scale wind and solar. There is a lot of activity in electric power storage."
Green Communities & Sustainability
In the latest installment of Living Simply, cordgrass discussed Zero waste and community: "I thought a lot about what involved me with other people face to face, and how important even trivial human interaction is for feeling connected to humanity. And I realized that my quest for zero waste, from the mundane to the profound, was the right path to get connected back to my local community."
The Natural World & The Great Outdoors
Daily Bucket series
enhydra lutris: Milkweed and such: " We had a horrible problem with Oxalis, and in one area I decided to plant a local dense growing native—Santa Barbara Daisies. In a fairly large area we pulled up most of the existing Oxalis and planted a six pack of SBD as starters last spring or summer. We pulled Oxalis out of it off and on, up through early spring of this year. The result is that the Oxalis cannot get to the light when it tries to sprout from the corms after being disturbed and has been supplanted by the SBDs. "
enhydra lutris: First Blackberry: " Yesterday I picked and ate the first 'ripe' blackberry I have seen in my wanderings around Northern Califronia. It was from my own yard and was appallingly bitter. This is not only my first blackberry of the year, but the first from this plant, a thorn-less cultivar planted from a cutting provided by a friend about two years ago. We have also been harvesting moderately bitter strawberries for a few weeks now. We must harvest them, or the snails, slugs and birds get them, the blackberries maybe not, so we will the the rest ripen a fair while longer. "
enhydra lutris: Mimulus & Morning Glories: "Yesterday, Sunday, July 11, we ran up to Lake Chabot on the border between San Leandro and Oakland, CA to verify that there were no active Great Blue Heron Nests and that all the young had indeed fledged. Yep, it was all true. On the way we noticed virtual walls of blooming monkey flowers, a degree and extent of bloom that neither I nor my companions had never noticed before. Presumably this is due to the overly long rainy season and the overly heavy rains therein followed by a sudden intense burst of heat."
enhydra lutris: Dusty Miller.
July 13, 2011. Dewberries.
bwren: first dewberries: "I call them Teaseberries. Their vines scramble all over the forest floor and into its edges, up and over the nurse logs and higher, looping through salal and willow thickets towards the light. In May their blossoms are everywhere, the sweet promise of fruit. By June almost every one of those blossoms has crumpled into brown dust. I consider myself lucky if I can collect a single handful of edible berries over the course of the few summer weeks when they come ripe. Not this year."
CitizenScientist: Nearly Midsummer Sunday Edition: "Agh, lots of yardwork today. Not able to observe much other than my garden: tomatoes and peppers are coming out, I've got some monster cucumbers, and the eggplants are hanging on from their beetle infestation."
Round-ups, Wrap-ups, Live Blogs & Summaries
LeftOfYou 20 Years from Now: Transportation News—July 10, 2031: "Officials at the Barack Obama Presidential Library in Chicago announced today that President Obama, now, of course, World President Obama, will visit Chicago on the occasion of his 70th birthday, on 4 August 2031, to commemorate Amtrak's 10th Anniversary of the inauguration of service on high speed intercity passenger rail service between Chicago and St. Louis that provided the first link in passenger rail improvements under the "American Prosperity Program" and helped lead to the American Renaissance, simultaneously stimulating explosive growth of wind and solar energy production and leaving behind for the former President a transportation legacy as important as President Eisenhower's Interstate Highway System."
Gulf Watchers #536 by Lorinda Pike: Generating an Alternative Reality—BP Catastrophe.
Gulf Watchers #537 by shanesnana: Gulf Watchers Wednesday -Hey BP... We Haven't Recovered! - BP Catastrophe AUV #537.
State & Local Governments
ThirdandState reported Legislative Inaction on Drilling Tax Costs Pa. $200 Million: "This afternoon, Pennsylvania will hit a less-than-noble milestone: $200 million lost to legislative inaction on a Marcellus Shale drilling tax. We're talking about lost revenue that could have helped prevent cuts to schools, colleges, environmental protection and health services for the state’s most vulnerable."
Independent Musings showed us his pilot plan for making a technology economically and logistically viable in Environmentally Friendly Technology: Fuel Cell-based Cars: "Fuel cells are an old technology developed by NASA for the space program when the US went to the moon. Fuel cells combine hydrogen gas and oxygen from the air to produce electricity and their exhaust is clean water. No CO2, no CO, no pollutants at all. Currently there are virtually no hydrogen fueling stations around; however since NASA stocks hydrogen in massive amounts—the liquid hydrogen is kept in an 850,000-gallon tank on the northeast corner of the Kennedy Space Center—it can easily keep fueling stations supplied without modifying its infrastructure. Unfortunately, fuel cell-based cars are currently limited to a small number of demo vehicles. Since NASA uses various vehicles (maintenance / security vehicles, tourist buses, employee cars, etc.) it could requisition fuel cell-based cars to replace the standard vehicles over time. Fuel cell-based cars would be used by NASA employees who could 'fill 'er up' with hydrogen at the Kennedy Space Center fueling station, their workplace."
In his series, Sunday Train, BruceMcF gave grief to the attitude of Chairman Mica to Cities ~ Screw You: "The real bureaucratic red tape in transport, the FRA regulations that impose unnecessary costs and substandard performance on urban and intercity rail systems are untouched. So the 'red tape' being addressed here would entail things like being prevented from building roads designed to kill pedestrians and cyclists, having to show a real economic benefit to more funding of our massive new highway building boondoggles when we can't maintain the roads we already have, and the like. 'Flexibility to states' means that states can dump as much of the federal funding they receive into highway boondoggles as their state highway departments (sometimes misleading called 'State Department of Transport) can finagle.'"
xaxnar praised Amtrak in More RR News from the Empire State: "Things are looking up for Amtrak nationally—and in the Empire State. For those who don't know it, the Rensselaer Amtrak station serving New York's Capital District is among the top ten busiest—and things are getting busier."
Spud1 bemoaned H.R. 1505, which would exempt all of Florida, most of New England, NY from enviro law: "The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act (H.R. 1505) is one of those bills that is well meaning but terribly short-sighted. Introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), it's a 'get tough' on illegal immigration bill that would exempt the Department of Homeland Security from US environmental laws within 100 miles of our border (including coastlines), so as to free the Border Patrol from regulations whilst chasing the hordes of illegals crossing in to the US."
Global Press Institute informed us about Too Much Trash in India Poses Environmental and Health Risks: "Besides being an unpleasant sight, heaps of trash along roadsides, in streams, and even near schools and government buildings pose significant health risks. Trash piles have become breeding grounds for disease vectors, such as flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches, rats and other pests. Animal advocates say street trash is also contributing to the rise in stray dogs on the streets of Srinagar."
boatsie: No Post 7.3 Tsunami & Operation Sunflowers: Fukushima ROV 62.
peraspera: Cesium contaminated beef has been consumed: Fukushima ROV 63.
HoundDog: Protecting Children Against Radiation: Japanese Parents and Students Take Issue Into Their Own Hands: "As Japanese parents grow increasingly dissatisfied with their Government's response to the ongoing release of radiation at the Fukushima nuclear reactor accidents, they are taking matters into the own hands, with the assistance of independent scientists and medical experts."
HoundDog: Radiation Detected in Rainwater in Northwest US 130 Times Level Held To Be Safe in Drinking Water: " The World Courts in Geneva, and the The Hague should open an investigation to determine if 'Crimes Against Humanity' may have been committed by Tepco, and Japanese officials who kept vital information secret during the initial periods of this crisis."
HoundDog: Fukushima Decommissioning Will Take Decades Says Prime Minister Naoto Kan: "As Japan still struggles with the aftermath of the combined tsunami, earthquake, and nuclear power accident, Prime Minister Naoto Kan, 'has called on the country gradually to eliminate nuclear power, in his strongest statement on atomic energy since the March tsunami sparked a crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.'"
HoundDog: Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan Urges Phase-Out of Nuclear Power: "Prime Minister Kan is struggling for political survival and this adoption of an anti-nuclear policy is seen 'as a way to rebuild support,' from a public that has turned against nuclear power. "
workingforprogressive: "The Great Shutdown" grows, Japan PM calls for the phase out Nuclear Energy: "No laws have been passed yet, but such a huge bold statement, even as they continue to hide some of the worst, this is not a risky unpopular direction. The end of nuclear power in Japan has leaders, political power and government. I dare the (very right wing) Liberal Democratic Party to be the 'ProNuke Party' as they attempt to regain power from this Party. It might even save this Prime Minister's ass."
ricklewsive: KEPCO, the new TEPCO?: "Since the Great Earthquake and subsequent blow up of Fukushima Daiichi power reservation many of the Japanese nuclear reactors have been shutdown for inspections and regulatory approval before resuming operations. The utilities are becoming impatient with time it is taking and the roadblocks being put in place by Prime Minister Kan. In the old days a utility chief would make a call or have dinner with a regulatory chief and all would be taken care of. Things are not working out so easily for them of late."
The Anomaly: Officials Ran Coordinated Effort to Cover-up Fukushima Meltdown: "In Japan, nuclear companies had employees pose as neutral observers in a public forum: 'A Japanese nuclear power plant has come under fire for trying to sway the outcome of a public forum on atomic safety, dealing a fresh blow to the industry's credibility four months after the world's biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.An employee with Kyushu Electric Power Co instructed workers at the utility and its affiliates to pose as ordinary citizens and send e-mails backing the restart of nuclear reactors in southern Japan to a televised public hearing.' "
Joieau: NHK: Fukushima Reactors 1, 2 and 3 Stabilized: "As of Saturday morning, July 16, Japan time, TEPCO and the Japanese government reported via the governmental news source NHK that all three reactors in 'total meltdown' since mid-March have been brought to a 'stable' condition.' They also report that all 4 of the spent fuel pools are also stable, thus completing the first step of what they originally predicted in April would be a 3-month effort to bring the plants to 'cold shutdown.'"
Joieau: The Energy PR Wars, Nuclear Newspeak and Panic Among the Elite: "Mainichi offers an editorial about how the nuclear crisis at Fukushima has amounted to an exhibition of panic by the elite, who were so terrified of "public panic" that they decided to lie, lie again, and lie some more. It's a very interesting piece, made more interesting by the writer's apparent surprise at how calmly the Japanese people went about evacuating even after such devastation from the natural disasters that caused the nuclear crisis. As if… as if there were ever a single nuclear accident anywhere in the world that actually led to mass citizen panic. Which, of course, there hasn't been."
Dom9000: Tokyo Governor Strikes Again: "We Still Need Nuclear Power" AKA How NOT To Learn From Your Mistakes: "Japan's friendly neighborhood psychopath, Tokyo Metropolitan Governor Shintaro Ishihara has came out and said Japan still needs atomic power, despite what he expects will be a “hysterical reaction” to the ongoing Fukushima crisis (yes he said that). […] He also believes that—currently pacifist!—Japan needs to acquire nuclear weapons as a deterrent to other countries. He also took the time to bash on green energy, saying he thought Japan couldn't use wind power because it was his opinion that 'lightning would strike and cause trouble for the wind generators.' "