Green Diary of the Week
|Every week Daily Kos diarists write dozens of environmentally related posts. Many don't get the readership they deserve. Helping improve the odds is the motivation behind the Green Diary Rescue. In the past seven years, there have been 227 of these spotlighting more than 12,723 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to 78 more that appeared in the past seven days. That makes for lots of good reading during the spare moments of your weekend. [Disclaimer: Inclusion of a diary in the rescue does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.]
Top Comments: The magic of old growth Redwood forests—by Steveningen: "It is no secret that California is a diverse and beautiful state. The scenery here is as varied as its people and everyone has their favorite place to visit. For some, it's Yosemite National Park, others are drawn to our beaches or the Sierra Nevada mountains. For me, it is California's old growth Redwood forests, particularly those in the Redwood National and State Parks on the North Coast of California. The first time I went, I nearly wept at the awesome beauty around me. The stillness and majesty of these ancient trees never fails to restore my soul. Knowing just how much I love these forests, my friends took me there to heal the weekend after my mother died. I even have instructions in my will to scatter a very small amount of my ashes in one of my favorite groves. That is how much they mean to me."
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520 scientists sign statement on Maintaining Humanity’s Life Support Systems in the 21st Century—by Laurence Lewis: "In the one month since it was written, 520 global scientists have signed on to this statement. You can, too. There is more information, including ideas for solutions, at Stanford University's Millenium Alliance for Humanity & the Biosphere website. [Here is the beginning]: Earth is rapidly approaching a tipping point. Human impacts are causing alarming levels of harm to our planet. As scientists who study the interaction of people with the rest of the biosphere using a wide range of approaches, we agree that the evidence that humans are damaging their ecological life-support systems is overwhelming. We further agree that, based on the best scientific information available, human quality of life will suffer substantial degradation by the year 2050 if we continue on our current path."
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Interview with second citizen arrested for demanding fracking meeting with Illinois Governor—by willinois: "A second person in two days has been arrested for demanding that Governor Pat Quinn meet with citizens about proposed fracking legislation. Southern Illinois resident Dayna Conner was arrested for refusing to leave the Capitol building Wednesday after two days of waiting outside Quinn's office with others who want a meeting. [...] I spoke with Dayna earlier Wednesday outside the Governor's office while she waited for a meeting. Here's a short clip of why she felt her arrest was necessary."
A whole lot more links and teasers to green diaries can be found below the fold.
Water & Sustainability
The New Dust Bowl: High Plains Aquifer Pumped Dry—by FishOutofWater: "Three years of extreme drought, amplified by climate change, and decades of excessive withdrawal of groundwater from the high plains aquifer are turning the rich farm lands of southern high plains into a dust bowl with faint hopes of recovery. Water stored since the end of the last glacial period cannot be replaced. Temperatures in Texas soared to record extremes that cannot be explained by natural variability. The Texas beef cow inventory is a remarkable 1 million head (20%) smaller than two years ago. When Cargill shut down it's beef processing plant in February because of a lack of supply of cattle 2300 workers in Plainview lost their jobs. The plant's annual payroll of $55.5 million was the base of the town's economy. Moreover, jobs that provided services to surrounding cattle ranches have also been lost as hot dry weather took its toll on the land and the herds. A million less cows in Texas translates to thousands and thousands of lost jobs across the state and hundreds of millions in economic losses."
In 2007, Climate scientists warned of imminent drying in the southwest.
Why should Californians pay for $50 billion tunnel boondoggle?
—by Dan Bacher
: "Dr. Jerry Meral, Governor Jerry Brown’s point man for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels, recently said, 'the Delta cannot be saved,' in spite of administration claims that one of the co-equal goals of the plan is 'ecosystem restoration. Restore the Delta (RTD) responded to Meral’s latest statement by asking, 'So why then should rate payers from Southern California and tax payers throughout the state be asked to pick up the tab for a $50 billion project that will not make more water for Southern California or save the Delta?'"
Delta Protection Commission Opposes Peripheral Tunnels!—by Dan Bacher: "The Delta Protection Commission voted 9-2 on May 24 to oppose the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels as currently drafted. This is a huge victory for Delta advocates, fish, the environment and the people of California. The construction of the twin tunnels would hasten the extinction of Sacramento River chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt and other fish species and take large areas of Delta farmland, among the most fertile on the planet, out of production in order to continue irrigating toxic land farmed by corporate agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley."
Eco-Activism & Eco-Justice
Top 5 Actions to Make a Difference in the Fight Against Climate Change—by Kelly Rigg: "Marjan Minnesma may be the most inspiring person you've never heard of, unless you live in the Netherlands as I do. A few years ago, Marjan got fed up with waiting on governments to act. As a citizen of a small, industrialized country -- blessed with resources but riddled with challenges—she realized that if we can't 'do it' here, what hope do others have? By 'doing it' she meant figuring out innovative approaches to greening energy and living sustainably, without succumbing to the old cliché that would have us shivering in the dark with the lights out. So she rolled up her sleeves and created the Urgenda Foundation (Stichting Urgenda). Urgenda has achieved some impressive results. They negotiated a group-discount on solar panels which made it affordable for thousands of people to solarize their homes and businesses."
@OFA "Call Out Climate Change Deniers"—by A Siegel: "[I]t is unlikely (essentially impossible) that OFA will take a stance attacking the Administration's ill-conceived promotion of fossil fuels even though that would be popular with much of the base and with OFA activists. For example, there has been (deservedly) serious pushback at OFA climate-change meetings with questions / discussion of the Keystone XL pipeline. Yet, the willingness to be actually discussing climate change/climate change denial/climate science and making it a major part of OFA's messaging is a serious shift in what we've been seeing for years."
Monsanto is Focus of Capitol Protest Wednesday—by Dan Bacher: "Protesters will urge the governor and attorney general to issue a statement in regards to the Supreme Court ruling of Vernon H. Bowman v. Monsanto Co. that legally protects patenting of genetically modified seeds that could adversely affect California small farmers. They will present a set of resolutions to address the bill rider, agricultural issues and the uncertainty of human health risks of GE foods,' according to the release."
Here's an idea (National Parks)—by jared the bassplayer: "I was recently at Joshua Tree National Park here in Southern California (pretty cool, you should go) and in their gift shop was your typical array of cheesy trinkets and souvenirs. Well, being a good consumer, I began inspecting the tags on all the T shirts and key chains, etc. I could get my hands on. MADE IN CHINA. Can we not do that? These are our National Parks. If we can demand that everything the Pentagon buys be made in the USA, can we not demand that everything sold at one of our country's National Parks also be made here?"
Climate change isn't AN issue, it's THE issue—by Laurence Lewis: "On Monday, a British newspaper reported on America's first climate refugees. That same day, British and Australian scientists announced that without climate mitigation, more than half of all plant species and one third of all animal species will lose more than half of their climatic range by 2080, with biodiversity declining almost everywhere. On Wednesday, came news that after a year that saw privately insured property losses of $35 billion, which is $11 billion and almost 50 percent above the past decade's average, the insurance industry accepts the scientific reality that by burning fossil fuels humans are causing climate change, which the industry expects to get worse. "
Thunderstorm Damage (including Tornadoes) has doubled since 1970 as Climate Change amplifies storms—by Lefty Coaster: "As another Tornado Season gets underway the scientific journal Nature reports on a new study showing a trend toward more violent storms as climate change amplifies extreme weather events making them more destructive."
Overnight News Digest: Climate Change Edition—by maggiejean.
Benghazi!! Umbrella!! 400ppm? ...Yawn—by Glen the Plumber: "While Congress is busy chasing the next great conspiracy in Benghazi or voting to repeal Obamacare for the 37 millionth time - the arctic icecap is quickly disappearing. In early April, Carlos Duarte warned that the Arctic summer sea ice was melting at a rate faster than predicted by conventional climate models, and could be ice free as early as 2015 - rather than toward the end of the century, as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected in 2007. He said: 'The Arctic situation is snowballing: dangerous changes in the Arctic derived from accumulated anthropogenic green house gases lead to more activities conducive to further greenhouse gas emissions. This situation has the momentum of a runaway train.'"
How Many People Must Be Killed and Pain Suffered Before We Get Busy on Climate Change?—by StewartAcuff: "As carbon in the atmosphere allows the earth to heat up, the global ice caps melt, the seas rise, and the climate changes and becomes more violent in unpredictable ways, our weather is changing in dangerous ways. The weather in Oklahoma continues to be dangerous with tornado warnings across the state."
The baseless Hoax that is Climate Change Denial—by jamess: "Isn't it funny how those who couldn't perform a Scientific Experiment, or even understand the results of one, if their livelihoods depended on it are usually the ones that appoint themselves as uniquely qualified to pronounce blanket statements about the credibility of Scientific findings, as if by some sort of Divine Fiat. Because of their deep wells personal wisdom, presumably. Peers-reviewers move-over, there's a new critic in town."
Top Comments - Hate Democrats!—by BeninSC: "Of course, Democrats cannot fix this problem. No political party can, no single country can. This problem is going to require the focus and cooperation of the entire world. How could that be possible? It will be possible because the day will come when everyone (no matter what kind of agenda one has, what kind of ‘truth’ one would PREFER to have) will have to admit the magnitude of the problem. Sadly, we cannot wait until those with the entrenched political and economic agendas now admit this reality to themselves and others. That time will come, but it will be far too late. We cannot wait for them. You cannot wait for them. Your children cannot wait for them. Your grandchildren cannot wait for them."
Transportation & Infrastructure
Tesla repays government loan, Republicans sniff
: "Good news for those who believe government should invest in next-generation green technologies that won't just help preserve our environment, but will make America industry a leader in that effort: In a boost for the Obama Administration and controversial federal cleantech programs, electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors (TSLA) announced Wednesday it paid back its $465 million government loan nine years early. The U.S. Department of Energy oversees $34 billion in taxpayer-funded loans for 33 clean energy projects, and Tesla is the first American car company to pay back its loan.
About that 'government subsidy' of those losers at Tesla Motors...—by xxdr zombiexx: "This is what Job Creation looks like 'The Department first offered loans to Tesla and other auto manufacturers in June 2009, when car companies couldn’t get other financing and many people questioned whether the industry would survive,' U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement. 'Today, Tesla employs more than 3,000 American workers and is living proof of the power of American innovation. This is another important contribution to what the Obama Administration has done to preserve and promote America’s auto industry.'"
Tesla Repays DoE Loan 9 YEARS EARLY!!—by Brainwrap: "SUCK IT, FOX, LIMBAUGH AND ROMNEY!! "Tesla Motors announced that it has paid off the entire loan awarded to the company by the Department of Energy in 2010. In addition to payments made in 2012 and Q1 2013, today’s wire of almost half a billion dollars ($451.8M) repays the full loan facility with interest. Following this payment, Tesla will be the only American car company to have fully repaid the government."
Carbon Footprint Friday—by dhonig: More discussion regarding his awesome recumbent trike.
Food & Agriculture & Gardening
Surprise! USDA plans to expand privatized meat inspection after finding that it doesn't work—by beach babe in fl: "In 2012, USDA announced a proposal to privatize inspection in most poultry facilities even though serious food safety concerns remain with that proposal. The President’s proposed budget for FY 2014 assumes the implementation of privatized inspection program in poultry. Privatizing inspections means that inspection duties are turned over to slaughter house company paid employees. Foxes guarding the hen house analogy is most appropriate here."
GMO Rant—by aFlyoverPerson: "Labeling products as GMO only tells me the technique that was used to put the gene into the organism or get it out. It tells me nothing about what the gene does. Yes, please do label GMOs. Then label it further to say what was done to modify the organism and why. The regulatory process should deal with these on a case-by-case basis, with consideration to the application, not a broad brush to ban the technique."
EPA and Monsanto Team Up to Destroy Your Microbiome—by Panacea Paola: "[N]ot content with suing farmers with cross-pollinated fields and engineering the poisons and poison-resistant plants which crowd out all natural foods in our markets, the Evil Giant [Monsanto] has teamed up with its government pal, the EPA, to arbitrarily increase the acceptable levels of Roundup in our diet, as detailed in a post by Tom Laskawy at Grist."
Which Democrats Just Voted Against GMO Labeling?—by Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees: "In the ongoing farm bill amendment process, progressive champion Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced an amendment that would guarantee states the right to pass and implement GMO labeling laws. The statement of purpose for Sanders's amendment reads "to permit States to require that any food, beverage, or other edible product offered for sale have a label on indicating that the food, beverage, or other edible product contains a genetically engineered ingredient." Companies like Monsanto have argued that states do not have the right to pass such laws, that only the federal government has that authority. Sanders's amendment would eliminate that counterargument. [...] Who stood up for consumer rights and sustainable agriculture and voted for Sanders's amendment?"
OR-Sen: Food Democracy Now! Teams Up With Jeff Merkley (D) To Repeal The Monsanto Protection Act—by poopdogcomedy: "'One of the most outrageous special interest provisions in years.' That’s what Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) calls the Monsanto Protection Act, which became law in March. Now we have an opportunity to stop it. Senator Merkley has proposed an amendment to the Senate Farm Bill that would repeal the Monsanto Protection Act – but it will take serious grassroots pressure to even make sure the amendment comes up for a vote."
Monsanto: A Beginner's Guide to the World’s Most Dangerous Corporation—by JohnAloysius: "What are the long term effects of consuming GMOs? Truthfully, no one knows. Monsanto created the first GMO in 1985 and only within the past few years has their use become widespread in our food supply. Monsanto argues that because their GMO corn has been manufactured to have roughly the same amount of vitamins and minerals as natural corn then it must be safe. Meanwhile, scientific studies on rats have shown that GMO corn causes tumors, organ failure, cancer and premature death. At this point you may be wondering how this can be allowed."
Macca's Meatless Monday...The Ice Is Melting—by beach babe in fl: "In this weekly series we have been discussing the benefits of a vegetarian/vegan diet including: better health, animal rights, food safety, public health, frugal living, global food crisis and the staggeringly huge contribution of meat/livestock production to climate change/resource depletion."
Your Tax Dollars Subsidize Tobacco and the Farm Bill Creates Strange Bedfellows—by Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees: "Yesterday, Jeanne Shaheen offered an amendment to reform the federal sugar program. Because of the import restrictions, production limitations, and price supports in place to protect domestic sugar producers (e.g. cane sugar and sugar beets) from the world market, sugar in the U.S. is about twice the price of what it is in other countries. The USDA was recently considering purchasing 400,000 tons of sugar to boost market prices and then selling the sugar to domestic ethanol producers--likely at a loss of $80 million."
The Daily Bucket -- Horror in the Strawberries?—by 6412093: "Raised beds have many virtues; no bending over to pick berries or to weed. You can plant in selected, weed free soil. But the main reason I built flat-stone-edged raised beds is because you can sit on the edges and rest, and look at the strawberries. So I sat, and looked. But what I saw gave me bad feelings, like when the temperature gauge on your car suddenly sweeps to 300 degrees, and the engine starts making a hammering sound. There were scores of what looked like winged termites all over my strawberries!"
In praise of farmers' markets—by annetteboardman : "I often get up, go downtown, and then come home to have breakfast and go back to sleep. This morning I had a frozen waffle with a bit of maple syrup and nearly a cup of fresh-picked strawberries which never saw the inside of a fridge so still have that intense sweetness that is almost never found at the grocery. They were varied in size, uneven in shape, and some were slightly overripe. I am so happy it is strawberry season again."
Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 9.14—by Frankenoid: "In the veggie patch, the tomatoes are planted and caged and the zucchetta and cucumbers are basking in the warmth of their wall-o-waters. The pile of completed compost was shoveled into the wheelbarrow, preparatory to turning the space it occupied into the leek trench. The newly-emerged melon plants are hardening off on the front porch. And I dug out the Maximillian sunflower that never bloomed for me — a friend of the Mister has a home for it."
The Carbon Bomb & Industry Doublespeak—by Agathena: "The consortium of oil industries mining the tar sands bitumen in the world's biggest carbon bomb is fighting back against critics as could be expected for a project that could top $218 billion in investment. This international consortium has staked out 54,000 square miles within the boreal forest in Northern Alberta, Canada. Our Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the boreal forest covering the tar sands deposits 'an unuseable mass of dirty sand.' Words matter and we know that the boreal forest, the muskeg, the lakes and rivers, the flora and fauna are so much more than that."
World Nuclear Round Up #34—by davidwalters: "Continuing coverage of the world's nuclear renaissance. Here, the French designed EPR is coming on line, apparently on time and at budget. Go figure? This will be 2 reactors each 1700 MWs of non-carbon energy."
Big New Investments in Wind Energy Across the Country and Around the World—by Mary Anne Hitt: "Wind power is growing like gangbusters across the country, and employs more than 75,000 workers across 43 states. Just last week, Warren Buffett's Mid-American Energy Co. announced it will make a $1.9 billion investment in Iowa wind power, which Governor Branstad called, "The largest economic development investment in the history of the state. [...] The clean energy stakes got even higher last week when Facebook announced it had chosen Iowa over Nebraska as the location for a $1.5 billion new facility."
This diary is trash!—by indycam: "In this week's Aviation Week and Space Technology, there is a story 'Muck to money' by Graham Warwick Washington. It's all about turning trash into Jet Fuel. They are going to take trash from London run it through a 500 million dollar plant and turn the trash into fuel."
"All of the Above": Most Meaningless Slogan Ever—by kindler: "First, we have driven civilization into such a mess, with systems and lifestyles that waste unbelievable amounts of energy, while letting ourselves become utterly dependent on fossil fuels to meet those needs, that we cannot simply snap our fingers and have a renewable-energy based economy tomorrow. It will take a very thoughtful strategy with many interlocking elements. So, this complex situation gives politicians an excuse to refuse to develop such a strategy or even to set priorities -- easier to just say 'all of the above'."
Three fracking moratorium bills pass Resources Committee, referred to Appropriations suspense file—by Dan Bacher: "Despite intense political pressure by the oil industry, the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on April 29 approved three bills proposing to halt fracking (hydraulic fracturing), a controversial method of oil and natural gas extraction, in California."
Gasland 2 Grassroots Premiere in Illinois Highlights Industry PSYOPS and Ongoing Fracking Fights—by Steve Horn: "The movie builds on [Josh] Fox’s Academy Award-nominated 'Gasland,' further making the case of how the shale industry’s hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') boom is busting up peoples’ livelihoods, contaminating air and water, polluting democracy and serving as a 'bridge fuel' only to propel us off the climate disruption cliff. A central theme and question of the film is, 'Who gets to tell the story?' That is, industry PR pros and bought-off politicians utilizing the “tobacco playbook” and saying 'the sky is pink,' or families directly injured by the industry? Fox explains how the industry has gamed the system, ensuring the communities have their voices drowned out. The Gasland films seek to tell some of the victims’ stories."
Frackalypse Now: Mark Fiore Spoofs Oil Industry's PSYOPS Campaign To Derail Fracking "Insurgency"—by bdemelle: "DeSmogBlog partnered with Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Mark Fiore to produce this spoof video in the vein of Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now." Making its debut today in honor of Gasland 2, which features the details of the gas industry's psychological warfare scandal, here is 'Frackalypse Now'":
Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation
House set to vote Wednesday on whether to snatch Keystone XL approval from president's hands—by Meteor Blades: "Not good enough for certain members of Congress, mostly Republicans, but including some Democrats. They want an immediate decision on the pipeline. To get it, they seek to short-circuit NEPA and the presidential permit process by taking authority over the pipeline's approval out of the president's hands. On Wednesday, they will vote on HR 3, the Northern Route Approval Act."
Nineteen House Democrats vote to take authority over Keystone XL decision away from the president—by Meteor Blades: "In statement after statement on the House floor Wednesday, Republicans clearly were tracking the same talking points on why representatives should vote for legislation to transfer to Congress the president's authority to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to the Keystone XL pipeline. They might as well have been on the payroll of TransCanada, the pipeline's builder. And they might as well have been playing tiddlywinks since President Obama has indicated that he will veto the bill that some have called unconstitutional if it makes it to his desk. With those 19 Democrats in tow, including eight of the 14 remaining Blue Dogs, all but one Republican voted for the bill, 241-175-1."
Which 19 House Democrats Just Voted for the Keystone XL Pipeline?—by Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees: "Today, the House of Representatives voted for the flagrantly unconstitutional Northern Route Approval Act. The act eliminates the need for TransCanada Corp., the company constructing the pipeline, to get a cross-border permit from the President, overriding executive authority and long-standing tradition. Obama has said that he would veto the bill if it came to his desk. [...] The final vote was 241 to 175 with 19 Democrats voting with the Republican majority in favor of the pipeline."
Supporters of Keystone XL in today's House vote received 6 times more oil money than opponents—by dturnbull: "Today, just an hour or so ago, the House of Representatives voted 241-175 in favor of HR3, a bill spearheaded by Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska that would circumvent normal procedures and force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. And like any vote affecting the fossil fuel industry, the disparity between the amount of money those voting in favor of fossil fuel interests receive from dirty energy companies and the amount those voting against receive is truly shocking."
Standing Tall for Landowner Rights—by brasch: "When TransCanada first approached [Julia Trigg] Crawford’s father in 2008, and offered to pay about $7,000 for easement rights, he refused, telling the company, “We don’t want you here.” He said the corporation could reroute the line, just as other pipeline companies in oil-rich Texas had done for decades. TransCanada increased the offer in the following years, but the family still refused. In August 2012, with Dick Crawford’s daughter, Julia Trigg Crawford now managing the farm, TransCanada offered $21,626 for an easement—and a threat. “We were given three days to accept their offer,” she says, “and if we didn’t, they would condemn the land and seize it anyway.” She still refused."
Exxon knew of contamination in Lake Conway, claimed area was "oil-free"—by JesseC: "A new batch of documents received by Greenpeace in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has revealed that Exxon downplayed the extent of the contamination caused by the ruptured pipeline. Records of emails between Arkansas’ DEQ and Exxon depict attempts by Exxon to pass off press releases with factually false information. In a draft press release dated April 8, Exxon claims 'Tests on water samples show Lake Conway and the cove are oil-free.' However, internal emails from April 6 show Exxon knew of significant contamination across Lake Conway and the cove resulting from the oil spill."
Eco-Related DC & State Politics
Obama Admin. Approves ALEC Model Bill for Fracking Chemical Fluid Disclosure on Public Lands—by Steve Horn: "On May 16, the Obama Interior Department announced its long-awaited rules governing hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') on federal lands. As part of its 171-page document of rules, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), part of the U.S. Dept. of Interior (DOI), revealed it will adopt the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model bill written by ExxonMobil for fracking chemical fluid disclosure on U.S. public lands."
NE-Sen/Gov: Gov. Dave Heineman (R) Keeps On Delaying Wind Power Legislation—by poopdogcomedy: "As debate looms on legislation that could lead to Nebraska getting a $300 million wind farm, Republican Gov. Dave Heineman reiterated his opposition Monday to the tax breaks that could pave the way for the project. A bill (LB104) by Omaha Sen. Steve Lathrop would remove a barrier to the development and export of wind energy in Nebraska. The measure would provide a sales tax exemption for the purchase of turbines, towers and other wind-farm components—which Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma have used to create a wind-energy boom."
CO-Sen: Mark Udall (D) Calls For A Swift Confirmation Of Gina McCarthy For EPA Administrator—by poopdogcomedy: "It’s the same trick, different day. Some Republicans continue to prevent the U.S. Senate from doing the will of the people and moving this country forward. This time it’s the confirmation of Gina McCarthy—the President’s well-qualified nominee for Environmental Protection Agency administrator. Even with much of the country facing the harmful effects of global warming, a drought of disastrous proportions, and wildfire season upon us here in the West, some Republicans would rather play politics than do their job."
Sheldon Whitehouse Offends Republicans With Truth—by xaxnar: "Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island made a statement that is giving great offense to Republicans. 'So, you may have a question for me,' Whitehouse said. 'Why do you care? Why do you, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, care if we Republicans run off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings and disgrace ourselves? I'll tell you why. We're stuck in this together. We are stuck in this together. When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, the rest of the country, for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn't just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas. It hits Rhode Island with floods and storms. It hits Oregon with acidified seas, it hits Montana with dying forests. So, like it or not, we're in this together.'"
Keystone XL Pipeline. Lamar Smith Avoids Telling Lies By Avoiding The Truth Entirely—by LaFeminista: "Now the document he uses to support his statement is for the impact of the project itself not for the material it is carrying final use, nor for its primary extraction. Conveniently forgotten is the pile of toxic garbage left after final processing. He avoids current research on tar sands."
Has Climate Hypocrite Governor Jerry Brown Cut A Deal With Chevron?—by RLMiller: "[H]e's rushing to embrace the anticipated fracking boom of California's Monterey Shale—an estimated 2/3 of all of the untapped oil in the United States. We're not talking fracking for natural gas, which arguably has half the carbon emissions of coal. Instead, Brown wants to frack California for oil. Not just any oil, but dirty heavy sour crude oil as carbon-intensive as the Canadian tarsands. I've previously done the math and found that California's fracked up oil will emit 6.45 gigatons of carbon, or over 1% of the total carbon budget of the planet; which means that California's fracked-up oil is roughly comparable to the Keystone XL pipeline."
Climate Change & Renewable Energy Projects in Pennsylvania —by ProgressivePatriotPA: Video.
The Great Outdoors
An afternoon at the nature center - A photo diary—by boriscleto: "Saturday May 18th, 2013. Beaver Lake Nature Center Baldwinsville, NY."
green trails along the river
: "The 1000 Islands Environmental Center provides the public a place to enjoy our natural resources. Recreation is provided by the many miles of trails, which can be used for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Year-round educational programs teach children and adults the importance of the inter-relationships between them and the environment."
more flower p0rn! - reduxe—by blueyedace2
The Daily Bucket: Beach Debris
—by matching mole
: "Two weeks ago today my wife and I were on Cumberland Island, a barrier island in Georgia and a National Seashore. The area had experienced heavy rain and storms for several days previously. The weather had pounded the sand down hard and had washed a fair amount of debris up onto the beach. One of the best things about walking on the beach is seeing what the ocean gives up and allows us land creatures to see."
The Daily Bucket: My Yard in May 2013—by PHScott: "More Native Wildflowers in Bloom."
Fish & Wildlife
Wardens cite abalone poachers in marine protected area—by Dan Bacher: "'CDFW wildlife officers observed Juni Pong, 47, from El Monte and Kuan Yee, 47, from Yorba Linda, entering the ocean at Moss Cove in Laguna Beach in full SCUBA gear,' according to a CDFW news release. 'After more than an hour of diving the two men returned to the beach and were met by an officer who found two green abalone in each of the men’s diving gear.' Both suspects were cited for possession of abalone and take of fish inside a marine protected area, both potential misdemeanor violations, and then released. The abalone were photographed for evidence and returned to the sea, the men’s diving equipment was confiscated and impounded as evidence. Abalone may only be taken north of San Francisco Bay during prescribed seasons."
Dawn Chorus: Love and Death on the Beach—by matching mole:
Royal terns ponder going surfing.
"Our first stop was Cumberland Island National Seashore. Cumberland Island is the southernmost of Georgia's barrier islands. [...] This one group of Royal Terns (a handful of Forster's in the mix as well) was loafing about. It is pretty common to see Terns resting on the beach in groups. Normally they aren't doing much. But spring was in the air and a young tern's thoughts turn to love. And what better way to express your feelings than with a fish!"
amphibians & earth - very bad news—by Don midwest: "'Amphibians have been a constant presence in our planet's ponds, streams, lakes and rivers for 350 million years or so, surviving countless changes that caused many other groups of animals to go extinct,' said USGS Director Suzette Kimball. 'This is why the findings of this study are so noteworthy; they demonstrate that the pressures amphibians now face exceed the ability of many of these survivors to cope.' 'It’s a loss of biodiversity. You lose them and you can’t get them back. That seems like a problem,' Adams told the Washington Post."
Daily Bucket--Mama killdeer doing her best—by 6412093: "There are usually about 10 adult killdeer and 20 eggs pending this time of the year on the golf course in the north edge of Oregon's Willamette River Valley. Instead, this year, I found several handfuls of feathers, the only earthly remains of most of the adults, probably after some owls made a sweep. The remaining killdeer are very wary, and I cannot easily determine how many have mated and nested out of the 4-5 remaining adults. So I was happy to find an active nest with 4 eggs in it."
The Daily Bucket - Nesting Herons Report
—by enhydra lutris
: "As many of you know, there is a Great Blue Heron colony at Lake Chabot. I have reported on it before [...] During last Sunday's observing session we saw three active nests. One had one adult and three young, and another has two adults and two young. The third had one adult and seemed to still be incubating eggs, occasionally standing and turning them with her beak. There were also 2 adults out fishing that we never saw associated with any nest."
Falcon Eye View of a Duck—by ban nock: "As near as I can tell you are getting a view from right about between the shoulder blades looking forward. Falcon seems to be flying with it's head slightly below the area seen by the camera. I noticed the buffeting of the winds. It's not all a gently soaring flight, the bird is diving at considerable speed."
The Daily Bucket, Nature's lessons, part two—by burnt out: "This diary is a follow-up to the short diary I wrote a couple weeks ago regarding the hard lesson my grand-daughter learned when she found out that while nature is full of wonderful and fascinating things, it's not always as peaceful and serene as she had thought. She learned this when we went to check on the progress of a growing clutch of chickadees in one of our nest boxes. When we opened the lid to look at the cute baby birds she had come to see, we found instead a black snake curled up inside, having already eaten the entire clutch of chickadees. I too was disappointed, even though I've witnessed the same thing before so although saddened, it wasn't the complete surprise to me that it was to her. But my own sadness at the loss of the birds, was nothing compared to the sadness I saw in her face as she stood there, tears welling up in her eyes, and feeling as much indignation towards that snake as a five year old is capable of."
The Daily Bucket - owlet watch
: "More crows fly in. I watch where they go. The canopy has closed since we first found the nest. It's just green up there now, almost too dense to see any detail. Mama Owl whines and her kids return her call. I find myself in exactly the right place, look up to find one owlet, looking around at it all."
Forests, Parks & Other Public Lands
Deforestation in Brazilian Amazon Rainforest up 88% over last year—by beach babe in fl: "According to Greenpeace, around 80% of the area deforested in Brazil is now cattle pasture. ... Friends of the Earth Brazil estimate that cattle farming in Brazil has been responsible for 9bn-12bn tonnes of CO² emissions in the past decade, almost equivalent to two years worth from the US. The Amazon rainforest is vitally important to Climate Change in two diametrically opposing ways. First as the world's greatest carbon sink it is vital as a storage for dangerous carbon which if released would bring atmospheric greenhouse gas levels to uncontrollable heights. Secondly, it's destruction is making it one of the major contributors to increased greenhouse gases and to Climate Change."
Pollution & Hazardous Wastes
Detroit Black Petroleum Coke Mountain Story Trending—by Zwoof: "It appears the Detroit River Black Mountain is destined for overseas use, which does not mitigate the damage to the global environment. However, it does create a mountain of cash for the Koch family. If the Keystone Pipeline becomes a reality, other black petro waste mountains will arise across America. Perhaps the approach to stop this stockpiling of future air pollution is to regulate the storing of petro coke. Unfortunately in the case of Detroit—New tests by Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality have found the massive piles of petroleum coke sitting along the Detroit River do not pose a threat to human health"
The Kochs are dumping petcoke on Detroit and it needs to stop—by dturnbull: "A few months back, Oil Change International raised some noise about a dirty byproduct of tar sands refining, called petroleum coke...or "petcoke". This stuff is the dirtiest of the dirty—burnt like coal, but with greater greenhouse gas and toxic emissions. Well, just a few months later, petcoke made it to the front page of the New York Times this weekend with a story about a huge, toxic pile of this stuff on the banks of the Detroit River. This 3 story high, block long pile of petcoke has been deposited by the Koch Brothers, and the Michigan state government has yet to regulate it sufficiently. Time for that to change. We've launched a new campaign to push the head of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to put in place measures to protect Detroit citizens (not mention folks in Windsor, Ontario just across the river) from this dirty petcoke pile."
Eco-Philosophy & Essays
Going "Green." My Efforts. What Do You Do? Lets Chat & Share Ideas—by webranding: "I've done a ton of things (or so I like to think), which I will outlined blow the fold, but I still feel I am totally lacking. I like to think I will note a few things others here are not doing or have not thought of. But I KNOW others here are far beyond me and will laugh and say, 'dude there is so much more you could do, then list those things.' I would like that!"
The Biggest Criminal Enterprise in History—by TomDispatch: "In the case of the terrarists—and here I’m referring in particular to the men who run what may be the most profitable corporations on the planet, giant energy companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Shell—you’re the one who’s going to pay, especially your children and grandchildren. You can take one thing for granted: not a single terrarist will ever go to jail, and yet they certainly knew what they were doing."
Global Warming: Fury Unleashed—by praenomen: "In 1945, we unleashed a destructive and terrifying force that threatened to hasten our destruction. Now, because of the greedy actions of a privileged few, our planet is wounded, and once again our existence is being threatened. But, now, it appears that Mother Nature is fighting back."
Oil: Their "Big" Money & Influence Sucks—by webranding: "I mentioned to him I had an economic development idea, which I have mentioned here often and I hear from fellow Kossacks Iowa is already doing. He [said he would] like to hear about it. I said that I thought they should look to replace all these oil wells (many decades old) with wind turbines. I went on to explain that the farmers already were pre-sold that their land could generate revenue from something other than a crop. The "footprint" would be about the same if not smaller then the oil wells. And maybe best of all every few miles, right on the side of the road, are tanks that the oil is pumped into, just yank out the tanks and put in a facility to gather and then transmit the power generated by the turbines. It would be a win, win, win."
Cicada Summer—by erratic: "I remembered a kayak trip a few years back, during a cicada summer, when they were in such abundance that I could close my eyes, and map the landscape from the contours of their calls, dense along the forested banks. It had been a hot summer afternoon, the river moving slow and heavy, a liquid mirror reflecting thousands of flying cicada, and hundreds stuck struggling in the river. The fish had already gorged themselves. I watched cicada fly low, a curving buzzing flight, close with the water, and immerse, blunder-caught like flies in a web. Maybe they fly towards their own reflection, searching a mate. Or maybe the reflected sky below beguiled them as another world."
We choke our Earth at our peril—by StewartAcuff
"Now will the science deniers
Deny the power of nature
With the mile wide tornado
That destroyed huge chunks
And killed children in school and
Folks in their homes and workplaces
How many unbelievable weather disasters
Will it take for us to understand
That we choke our earth at our peril
That no amount of material wealth
Can ever protect us from a nature
That is degraded and poisoned
From the carbon we insist to spew
Into an atmosphere that
We continue to destroy."
Green Nuclear Junk—by davidwalters: "I had a small hand in this letter but it was drafted and finally put together by Ben Heard and Geoff Russell: "In their determination to attack nuclear power and those who support it, anti-nuclear activism has walked away from the scientific process. As a result, nearly the entire community of environmental organisations in Australia is currently standing behind figures that are completely mathematically incorrect. Will they correct these blatant errors and open their publications to expert external review? Or is correct maths and good science optional when you wear the colour green? The great scientist Carl Sagan famously said that extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. So how is it that Jim Green, an anti-nuclear campaigner with no scientific journal publications, can accuse James Hansen, one of the most extraordinary scientists of the last 50 years, of junk science?"
War on Science Rages On—by LeftOfYou: "FOX News got off a salvo in the War on Science today, charmingly titled: Oops! The 5 greatest scientific blunders, which supposedly lampoons the awful mistakes made by scientific luminaries the likes of Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin, Linus Paling, Fred Hoyle and Albert Einstein. The so-called blunders mostly just reflect the nature of the scientific method. Sometimes scientists defend hypotheses too long and too unshakably, and sometimes they give up too early. Scientific method has a record of general success sorting these things out."
Miscellany & Products
Simply raining—by Elizaveta: "During our weirdly-timed streak of sunny days, I heard people admonish each other for complaining about the heat; days like these days are rare, especially in the spring, and we're a little superstitious about them. It's near sacrilegious to say it's too hot. Soak up the sun, but shut up or it will all be gone. We go a little overboard out here, afraid to go indoors and miss out on a minute of what might not be there tomorrow and for a very long time after that. Still, it's not supposed to be that warm at the beginning of May - we shouldn't be afraid to express our concerns about weird weather."
NOAA's GOES 13 Satellite Fails; Congressional War on Weather Well Underway—by weatherdude: "NOAA's GOES 13 weather satellite has failed for the second time in the last 8 months. GOES-East (as it's commonly known) provides visible, infrared, and water vapor satellite imagery for the eastern United States and the Atlantic Ocean, providing a wide range of uses to meteorologists, from simply being able to see weather features to feeding data into weather models so they can pump out more accurate forecasts. [...] NOAA has long warned Congress that our satellite system is woefully out of date and in need of replacing, but Congress is too busy screaming about Benghazi and drones to worry about the impending massive hole in our meteorological infrastructure."