A little more than six years ago, frustrated that environmental diaries got too little attention at Daily Kos, I began a weekly series called Eco-Diary Rescue. It was a round-up with excerpts and links, sometimes with and sometimes without my own commentary, of the hard work so many Kossacks put into bringing matters environmental concern to the community. In February 2009, the series became the Green Diary Rescue. Over the years, I put together 216 of them. You can read the first one here.
In August 2011, I took a three-and-half-month hiatus from Daily Kos. When I returned, I didn't bring the Green Diary Rescue with me.
But today marks its return, in a similar but slightly different format that doesn't require so much time to produce but still provides a sorted collection of such diaries. Usually, but not in this first edition, I'll be starting out with some commentary of my own on an issue related to the environment, a word I take in its broadest meaning.
Before launching into this first of the new series, let me put up a disclaimer: Just because I select a diary to include doesn't mean I agree with all or even part of it. I may even think it's a crock, and sometimes I'll say so. But eco-advocates don't always agree with each other, and it doesn't do us any good to hear only one side of an argument whatever the subject.
Last week, in his usual thoughtful, informative style, citisven told us how The Good Food Revolution Goes Vertical. Here's how he started off:
This is a story about something that is right in this world. It's a story of inspiration and real world solutions, a down to earth celebration of the most basic yet profound connection we have to the planet that sustains us — its soil and crops. It's also a simple appeal for support of a transformational project that combines human ingenuity, ecological healing, and more widespread and equitable access to life-enhancing nutrients for everyone.
Farmer and MacArthur Fellowship recipient Will Allen has been a giant in the urban farming and food justice movement for years. His organization Growing Power is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary of connecting inner city residents with the land they live on, developing community farms and food centers that provide access to high-quality, safe, healthy, affordable food for everyone.
One of the biggest challenges of growing enough healthy local food in dense urban areas is to secure enough acreage to run a viable farm, so Growing Power's most recent endeavor is the realization of a state of the art, 5-story Vertical Farm in the middle of Milwaukee.
The five-story Vertical Farm will expand Growing Powers greenhouse and aquaponics
operations currently spread over a two-acre site in the City of Milwaukee.
For more green diaries excerpts and links, please continue reading below the fold.
Fish & Wildlife
Fraud in the Fish Industry—by PhotoHog: "Widespread fraud was uncovered some time ago in the fish industry, and now it has been verified beyond doubt by Oceana,a non-profit established solely to advocate for the oceans using fact-based campaigns. And what facts are better than DNA tests?"
Pretty Cool Cougar Photo?—by talktothemike.
Dawn Chorus: Celebrating Birders, birding (and the birds that watch them)
Cougar at dusk in the Mt. Adams area of Washington taken by talktothemike's son.
: "Backyard birding is great when the weather is lousy. But this time of year I'm getting "cabin fever" and starting to plan on where I want to go when the weather breaks. Lucky for me, I'm close to a couple IBAs (Important Bird Areas) There are also birding groups in the area that offer field trips and opportunities to participate in species counts throughout the year."
Peripheral tunnel plan will hurt Trinity River also—by Dan Bacher: "The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels not only threatens the Chinook salmon, steelhead and other fish species of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, but also the fish and communities of the Trinity River, the largest tributary of the Klamath River."
Peripheral tunnels could increase fish kills from water exports—by Dan Bacher
World's Most Notorious Wildlife Trafficker—by ban nock: "The seeming impunity under which Vixay Keosavang of Laos operates his wildlife laundering business is perplexing. To understand one needs remember where and how he operates. In come massive amounts of ivory or tiger meat and rhino horn. Out go legal exports."
When the Media calls them Killer Bees—by GreenMother: "An established colony of bees can contain 20,000 to 80,000 adult bees. And it doesn't take nearly that many, to sting you into submission, much less, to death. It won't matter if they are "Killer Bees" or not. There is a reason that beekeepers wear Bee Suits when they work domestic bees. Even docile, gentle bees can sting if adequately disturbed."
Joe Romm: Temperature is changing 50 times faster than when civilization and agriculture developed—by Laurence Lewis: "In short, thanks primarily to carbon pollution, the temperature is changing 50 times faster than it did during the time modern civilization and agriculture developed, a time when humans figured out where the climate conditions — and rivers and sea levels — were most suited for living and farming. We are headed for 7 to 11°F warming this century on our current emissions path — increasing the rate of change 5-fold yet again."
Greedy Lying Bastards
—by beach babe in fl
: "The film "Greedy Lying Bastards" investigates the reason behind stalled efforts to tackle climate change despite consensus in the scientific community that it is not only a reality but also a growing problem that is placing us on the brink of disaster. The film details the people and organizations casting doubt on climate science and claims that greenhouse gases are not affected by human behavior. Produced by actress and climate activist Daryl Hannah and directed by filmmaker and political activist Craig Rosebraugh, Greedy Lying Bastards documents the impact of an industry that has continually put profits before people, waged a campaign of lies designed to thwart measures to combat climate change, used its clout to minimize infringing regulations and undermined the political process in the U.S. and abroad."
Engelhardt, Climate Change as History's Deal-Breaker—by TomDispatch: While protesting that Sunday, I noted one slogan on a number of hand-made signs that struck me as the most pointed (and poignant) of the march: “'There is no planet B.' It seemed to sum up what was potentially at stake: a planet to live reasonably comfortably on. You really can’t get much more basic than that, which is why hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, should have been out in the streets demanding that our leaders begin to attend to climate change before it’s quite literally too late."
Global Temperatures Highest in 4,000 Years—by teacherken: "But what difference does science make if the likes of the Koch Brothers can buy enough politicians to prevent our governments — including state and local — from making the changes in law and rules to try to prevent this from happening?"
House climate change hearing called off due to bad weather—by Hunter: "Well, I think we've seen what will happen in our new, climate-change-fueled future. The weather will suck, but since the weather sucks nobody will want to go to the meetings talking about it. Problem solved."
More climate reality—by DWG:"The good news is that we have not exceeded the highest temperatures recorded during the interglacial period. The bad news is that current global temperatures exceed about 75% of temperatures since the previous ice age. The worse news is that every emissions scenario in climate models pushes us over the interglacial record during the 21st century. In other words, even if we wake up and drastically slow fossil fueled climate change, we will still face the warmest planet since the ascendance of our species after the last ice age, along with the highest levels of ocean acidification, sea levels, and a bevy of other nasty consequences of deliberately destabilizing the atmosphere."
Teaching climate science literacy in schools gets a boost—by DWG: "We know the fossil fuel industry has funneled cash into efforts to teach climate change "skepticism" in schools. Steve Horn has documented the fingerprints of the American Legislative Council (ALEC) on identical bills introduced in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Colorado to teach children that climate changes and the causes are controversial (see Daily Kos, PolicyMic, DeSmogBlog). This latest push comes on the heels of the ALEC "Environmental Literacy Improvement Act" being introduced in eleven states, passing in four (Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and South Dakota). The Heartland Institute also raised $200,000 last year to develop a curriculum that satisfies the ALEC legislation."
Reading climate policy tea leaves—by DWG
How climate "skeptics" win science blog awards—by DWG: "Year after year, websites that attack climate science win Web Blog Awards for best science site. It adds an air of legitimacy to these sites, further increasing traffic and profile. I never could figure out why." But now, DWG has figured it out.
US Scientists report big jump in heat trapping C02—by beach babe in fl: The 2.67 parts per million rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during 2012 is the second highest jump ever recorded.
NYT reports trees, ignores forest—by Keith Pickering: "In its continuing quest to pretend that climate change does not actually exist, the 'paper of record,' having gone paperless, is now edging toward recordless. Or make that reckless."
Introduction to Agroecology: Holistic Management- "There is No Other Alternative Left to Mankind"—by FinchJ.
Three big problems. One simple solution—by thereisnospoon: "The great tragedy here is that we have three gigantic problems right now, each of them with the same simple solution. We have a climate problem, first and foremost. We have a global economic and unemployment problem, second. And we have a global terrorism (or imperialism, depending on your point of view) problem focused largely on oil producing states, third.
All of these problems have the same solution: a global effort to create jobs in renewable energy, conservation and climate adaptation technologies while transitioning away from fossil fuels."
ExxonMobil's chief pretends it's still yesterday for fossil fuels—by Meteor Blades: "Tillerson may believe the future will be like the past when it comes to fossil fuels, just with more sophisticated extraction methods. He couldn't be more wrong."
Wearing Clean Underwear, Going Fossil Free.—by RLMiller: "The "warm" argument for divestment points out the morality. It's not primarily an economic strategy, but a moral and political one. Just like in the struggle for civil rights or the fight to end Apartheid in South Africa, the more we can make climate change a deeply moral issue, the more we will push society towards action. Fossil fuel divestment, explicitly modeled on the successful anti-apartheid movement, has been endorsed by Nelson Mandela. If it’s wrong to wreck the planet, than it’s also wrong to profit from that wreckage. At the same time, divestment builds political power by forcing our nation’s most prominent institutions and individuals (many of whom sit on college boards) to choose a side. Divestment sparks a big discussion and gets prominent media attention, moving the case for action forward."
The Great Outdoors
DKos Tour Series: Canyon de Chelly National Monument—by richholtzin: "The name (de) Chelly is Spanish in origin and comes from the Navajo word Tséyi’ meaning canyon(literally, inside the rock). The most distinctive feature of this setting, apart from its attractive geology, is the twin sandstone spire, Spider Rock. Its stunning column rises totem-like some 800 feet (240 m) from the canyon floor at the junction of Canyon de Chelly and Monument Canyon. According to Navajo legend, the taller of the two spires is also the home of Spider Woman. Canyon de Chelly remains in the ownership of the Navajo Nation, while matters pertaining to its natural features are administered by the Department of the Interior (under the auspices of the NPS). Visitors entering the canyon complex must be authorized by either a park ranger or a Navajo guide."
DKos Special Diary: The Mythical John Wesley Powell and the 1869 Expedition, Part 8—by richholtzin
DKos Special Diary: The Mythical John Wesley Powell and the 1869 Expedition, Part 9—by richholtzin: "In later years after his demise, Major Powell's reputation as a heroic explorer was duly criticized by historians and contemporaries alike, that is, once all the facts were known. When Sumner and Hawkins got around to sharing their side of the story, as well as what Bradley’s writings revealed, a whole new side of the John Wesley Powell saga comes to light, including what these men thought of their missing comrades who weren’t around to defend their actions, much less their characters."
snowy river—by blueyedace2: A photo diary
sun and snow—by blueyedace2: A photo diary.
The Daily Bucket, Deer Scat & Blooms—by enhydra lutris: [In the Castro Valley of California] "On Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2, both our neighbors and ourselves had piles of deeer scat in the front yards. They are coming into civilization to look for delicacies, such as roses and such even though there is plenty of forage in the nearby parks and open spaces from which they come. This means that they expect such foliage to be here already — go figure."
2013 Backyard Science Yardbird Race Tally #4—by bwren: "The Daily Kos Backyard Science Yardbird Race is a birding competition where, over the course of one year, participants strive to identify the most bird species — by sight and/or by sound — from the confines of their yards."
The Daily Bucket, ducks on the move.—by burnt out: "[W]e decided to drive over to a small conservation lake a few miles away and see if there might be any migrant waterfowl resting up on their journey north. It has a small flock of Canada Geese that stay there year round except during extremely harsh winters, and it isn't uncommon to see small flocks of ducks there at times."
The Daily Bucket: winter wetness—by OceanDiver: "This day was a wet one, raining all day long, never very hard, but steadily. The amount I reported to CoCoRaHS, the citizen science precipitation network, for that 24-hour period was 0.46". That's quite a bit, considering the total annual precip in the area I live is only about 20". I'm in the rainshadow of the Olympic Mountains which block a lot of the moisture that keeps most of western Washington famously damp. But almost all of that comes between October and April, so it wasn't surprising to have a nice soggy late winter day like this, hardly any wind and not too cold either."
The Daily Bucket- Herons Nesting—by enhydra lutris: "This year, multiple pairs have found the island. As of Sunday, March 3, we spotted at least 9 Great Blue Herons, and 7 apparent nests. We feel that at least 2 of the nests are active nests, and have, for now, categorized the remaining five as probable nests. It appears that things are looking up again for the Lake Chabot Herons."
I Whored for an Oil Company Pipeline—by 6412093:"I had the TV on without the sound, when the picture filled with roaring flames. I turned the sound on. The existing gasoline pipeline had leaked, owned by the companies I was supporting. The horrors mounted. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of gasoline spilled into a creek. The fumes overwhelmed and killed a man who was fly-fishing. Then the gasoline exploded, burning two ten-year-old children to death."
RI-Sen: Jack Reed (D) Pushes For Job Growth & Renewable Energy—by poopdogcomedy: The senator is pushing the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act. This provide a tax credit for investors in the the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind facilities that are built and go into service. That would be approximately 600 wind turbines. The diarist writes: "These tax credits are important because of the longer lead time for the permitting and construction of offshore wind turbines, as compared to onshore wind energy."
Norquist, ALEC, Koch lose on home turf. Wind and sanity win.—by RL Miller: "What's the matter with Kansas? Nothing at all regarding wind power. Thursday, the forces of light scored a major victory.
Solar Report Stunner: Unsubsidized Global Solar Revolution—by beach babe in fl: "Deutsche Bank just released new report concluding that global solar market will become sustainable on its own terms by the end of 2014."
Fracking the Energy Department—by DWG: "More depressing news. It looks like the rumor that the president was going to nominate Ernest Moniz to head the Department of Energy is well-founded."
Breaking: NY Assembly Passes Two Year Fracking Moratorium, Senate Expected to Follow—by Steve Horn: "In a roll call vote of 95-40, the New York State Assembly has passed a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), the toxic horizontal drilling process through which oil and gas is procured that’s found within shale rock basins across the country and the world.
The bill, if passed by the Senate and signed off by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, would close the state’s doors to the oil and gas industry’s desire to begin operating in New York’s portion of the Marcellus Shale basin until May 2015. New York has had a moratorium on the books since 2008."
Protest encampment to shut down Enbridge pipeline under Red Lake lands—by ImpeccableLiberalCredentials: "Enbridge Energy LP has been trespassing on Red Lake Nations Ceded lands in Minnesota by operating multiple pipelines without an easement. Nizhawendaamin Indaakiminaan, a group of grassroots Red Lake tribal members and allies, demand that the flow of oil through these pipelines be stopped."
The Snowstorm Experience: Protesting the Enbridge pipeline near Leonard, MN—by ImpeccableLiberalCredentials
Opponents of Keystone XL Pipeline Considering Legal Action—by beach babe in fl: "Let's keep the resistance going. Keeping the oil in the ground is an essential component to mitigating the worst effects of climate change."
Oil consultants shaped State Deparment's Keystone XL pipeline assessment—by DWG: "Outsourcing of complex reports is standard operating procedure for the State Department. The question is why you would tap firms that service oil industry clients rather than find expertise about the carbon footprint of the tar sands? The report cites life cycle estimate for emissions that low balls extraction emissions and ignores refinery emissions."
Transocean: had BP not lied, oil spill could have been ONE THIRD the size—by Simplify: "BP intentionally underrepresented the oil flow rate by as much as two orders of magnitude, in order to throw the game on their later monetary liability. In so doing, they turned a one-month spill into a three-month one. Knowingly and on purpose."
What Greens on Kos Need to Know about Energy—by RainDog2: "As no renewable looks remotely promising when faced with 100 quads of energy demand, tackling energy demand might be the only way to stave off the global ecological crisis.Politically, however, this move is almost certain to be deeply unpopular. There is no way to substantially lower US energy demand without great sacrifice, to say nothing of the developing world that seeks to emulate a US lifestyle. Thus platitudes about the need to invest in Green Jobs may sound reassuring, but as serious solutions to the ecological crisis, they are not remotely realistic. If a serious solution is desired, a more revolutionary course is needed."
Montana and Minnesota: Coal vs. Clean Energy—by Mary Anne Hitt: "Having once lived in Montana myself, I can't imagine wanting to ruin such a beautiful big sky with coal pollution - but that's just what the Colstrip coal plant is doing. The Colstrip plant is one of the largest and most polluting facilities in the U.S., and this week we joined the Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC) in legally challenging the owners to clean up the plant."
WA GOP Lawmaker Believes Bicycles Bad For Environment...Because CO2—by kovie: "In another installment of things Republicans say that are so stupid you just can't make them up, Washington state rep Ed Orcutt, a Republican, claimed in an email to a constituent regarding a bike tax he supported, that bicycles were bad for the environment because they caused cyclists to have 'an increased heart rate and respiration.' Reached for comment, he added that: 'You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car.'"
The 1st EV Rally in freezing weather - Chicago——by bldr: "4 years ago I thought the [Electric Vehicle] industry needed to host an EV Rally in below freezing weather to eliminate talk about 'Range Anxiety & Cold Weather issues,' and since no one had hosted that below freezing EV rally, I had to make it happen. The thought came when I read an article describing the 1st auto race in the USA, the 1895 Times-Herald race, the purpose of which was to prove to the public that the automobile was a better and less polluting way to move goods and services to market compared to the horse."
Food & Agriculture & Gardening
Fried Lake Perch—by Muskegon Critic: "The boys and I walked on Muskegon Lake to the ice shanty villiage. Drilled holes into the thick ice and sat on buckets, fishing for winter's lake perch. As man passed dragging his hunting sled and five gallon bucket my boys ran over to see if he'd caught anything, some with a pile of lake perch, folks who had be on the ice for eight hours, always modest, always diminutizing the size and number of lake perch, yellow bellies and reddened fins — 'I caught a few' and 'just small ones' bound later for a skillet or a frier."
Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 9.3—by Frankenoid: "WTF? All winter long I prayed for snow. It was so damned dry I feared for the survival of the grass and perennials. Now when I need for it to stay dry for a few days so I can go out and do yard work? It fucking snows. I just can't win."
Learning your place on Earth: Center for Human-Earth Restoration—by MsSpentyouth: "Randy and Iris [Senzig] teamed up with Ross Andrews, an ecology restoration expert at N.C. State University, to establish CHER. Randy and Ross had partnered for several years to develop programs and curricula for collaborative teaching efforts at NC State and the high school where Randy taught. And more! The list of their collaborative projects to give students the chance to interact with nature and hone their thinking and learning skills is exhaustive — and pretty darned amazing."
Stop Plugging Away and Start Unplugging Away!—by John Crapper: "One of the things about language is that it is always changing. New words and phrases are constantly being created and defined and new meanings are being given to existing words and phrases. I would like to do this with the phrase "plugging away". I want to give it new meaning with regard to the use of electricity."
Obama nominates Gina McCarthy to head the EPA and Ernest Moniz as chief of the Department of Energy—by Meteor Blades: "The president selected world-renowned MIT physics professor Ernest Moniz to replace Steven Chu to head up the Department of Energy. Moniz is chief of the MIT Energy Initiative and served under Bill Clinton as a science and technology adviser and under both him and Obama as undersecretary for energy. [...] Obama's choice to replace Lisa Jackson as the Environmental Protection Agency is Gina McCarthy. McCarthy has served for the past four years as the assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Air and Radiation where she has been referred to as Obama's 'green quarterback.'"
EVOLVE OR DIE: Environmentalism in the 21st Century—by Dracowyrm: "The True Believers of the Sixties are fading away. Muir/Thoreau/Abbey-style Nature romantics who frame every proposal they don't like as an environmental disaster belong to a generation now averaging over 60 years old, and their values have not penetrated to the youth of today. If theirs is the modality of operation and the mentality we continue to call "environmentalism", environmentalism will die as a significant political and social movement.
Today's generation does not view technology with suspicion. It spends most of its life engaging with it and interacting through it."
Are we reasonable? Can earth not sustain a human population of 9 billion and other forms of life?—by marthature.