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 249 of these spotlighting more than 15,154 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to 74 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.]
Fracking Conflict Heats up in NM—by Land of Enchantment: "Mora County, NM is famous as being the first in the nation to pass an anti-fracking ban earlier this year. It's a rural county, with a small, mostly Hispanic population, one of the poorest counties in one of the poorest states in the nation. Mora County lies along the front range of the Southern Rockies, a mixture of mountain and high plains terrain, up to above 13,000' of elevation. As one local resident succinctly put it: 'I don't want to destroy our water. You can't drink oil.' Not the obvious candidate to take on the Goliath of the oil and gas industry, but that's what they've done. People don't have a lot, but what they do have they want to protect. The battle's been opened on a new front now: In a dispute being watched around the United States, a statewide oil and gas association and three Mora County landowners are suing the Mora County Commission over its ban on oil drilling. The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, claims the county’s action in April violates the plaintiffs' civil rights and is unconstitutional. Their civil right to make money and rape the lands and water. County commissioner John Olivas says 'We're ready for this fight.' But it won't be easy."
One of the many roadside signs along New Mexico state highway 518 in rural Mora County.
"Canada is the dirty old man of the climate world"—by Eyesbright: "I had long viewed Canada as America's sane neighbor but their current Prime Minister Stephen Harper has put a screeching halt to that. Nothing illustrates the horrendous and radical change as starkly as Harper's muzzling and censorship of Canada's scientists, especially on the issue of tar sands. It began badly enough in 2008 when scientists working for Environment Canada, the federal agency, were told to refer all queries to departmental communications officers. Now the government is doing all it can to monitor and restrict the flow of scientific information, especially concerning research into climate change, fisheries and anything to do with the Alberta tar sands — source of the diluted bitumen that would flow through the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Journalists find themselves unable to reach government scientists; the scientists themselves have organized public protests."
Al Gore: "Civilization might not survive the next 100 years"—by VL Baker: "Al Gore is sounding the alarm. He says we've reached a point where the very survival of our civilization is at risk. But he's optimistic that we can turn things around if we make the changes necessary both as a society and as individuals.The societal change he's proposing is nothing less then a "Occupy Democracy Movement" as our democracy has been hacked by money representing special interests."
Please check below the fold for the rest of this week's rescued green diaries.
Walmart's green energy claims mask climate pollution at oil company levels—by Laura Clawson: "As much bad publicity as Walmart gets for things like poverty wages and putting local stores out of business, one area it's managed to get some good publicity is its supposed commitment to sustainability. The retailer issues a Global Responsibility Report, describing itself in 2013 as "the largest onsite green power generator in the United States." But a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance says Walmart is anything but sustainable: Today Walmart ranks as one of the biggest and fastest growing climate polluters in the country. If it were included in the Greenhouse 100 Polluters Index, a list that is limited to heavy industrial firms, such as oil companies and power plants, Walmart would take the 33rd spot, just a hair behind Chevron, America’s second largest oil company."
Fracking executive confirms: Homeland Security thinks fracktivists are terrorists—by TXsharon: "According to comments made by Mark Grawe, Chief Operating Officer at EagleRidge Energy (EagleRidge), Denton, Texas residents who object to his company's reckless operations way too close to their homes, schools and parks are terrorists worthy of inclusion on the Department of Homeland Security's watch list. Wednesday night Grawe attended a Home Owners Association meeting in Mansfield where EagleRidge has drilled and fracked several wells very close to a neighborhood, schools and playgrounds. He appeared at the meeting with a police officer in tow. When a resident asked if the officer was for his protection, Grawe talked about a Barnett Shale Energy Education Council meeting he attended where his industry peers advised him to take security with him to community meetings because 'they' have been to meetings where 'it escalated.' I have been to hundreds of fracking meetings but I have yet been to one where anything 'escalated.' Sometimes we have carried paper gas mask masks glued to Popsicle sticks."
ShelterBox Diary: Box 1 bought! $290.06 towards Box #2—by TexMex: [As she has previously, TexMex made her project the getting of direct aid of the sort that anybody in a disaster can appreciate into the hands of Filipinos as soon as possible. This diary was the first in a series of diaries raising money for Shelterboxes. Click on her name in this diary to see the other posts in the series.—MB] "Back during the Haitian earthquake this community stepped up and raised more than 130 thousand dollars for ShelterBox. And not only did we raise funds, we also raised awareness of this very well organized NGO. That was BEFORE Facebook! Each box is $1,000 but it holds a family of ten people and a fantastic ShelterBox Response Team."
Dawn Chorus: Last Minute
: "So how do we figure out her age? We know juveniles and adults have very different plumage. For one thing, kids don't have the stunning red tails, like the one above. One thing that can be confusing is that the outer tail feathers on redtails often look very different from the others. On juveniles, you may see outer tail feathers with a bit of red in them, and adults may show greys and browns along with the red, making them look more like juvenile feathers. Redtail plumage is crazy with variation. When they've got juvenile plumage this time of year, we know they were hatched this year. When they have a mixture of juvenile and adult plumage, we know they were hatched last year. When they have a mixture of old and new adult plumage, we know they were hatched at least two years ago, but it can be difficult to say specifically how many years ago."
Grey Wolves betrayed by Fish & Wildlife Service—by Agathena: "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to delist gray wolves nationwide is flawed because it’s based on the total number of wolves, a statistical approach that, according to wolf biologist Gordon Haber, is 'ecological nonsense.' Haber spent over 43 years observing Alaska’s wild wolves, mostly in Denali National Park, before dying in a plane crash while tracking the animals. To locate wolves, he snowshoed, skied and flew in winter; he backpacked and hiked in summer. He endured minus-50-degree Fahrenheit temperatures, blizzards, thunderstorms, mosquitoes and the risk of grizzly and moose attacks. Few modern biologists have such unassailable experiential authority."
US offers $1 million for Lao Wildlife Trafficker
This is said to be a photo of Vixay Keosavang.
—by ban nock
: "Sometimes it's not so great to have the worlds greatest this or that. Highest building or longest river, ok, most notorious wildlife trafficker, not so much. According to the New York Times
the US State Department has offered a cool million USD for information in helping to dismantle one of Asia's largest wildlife trafficking syndicates. The syndicate stretches out into the source countries of Africa (rhino horn, ivory) and South East Asia (tiger, pangolin, elephant etc), but is led by one man, Vixay Keosavang. The State Department seemed to be saying they weren't focusing strictly on the head of the operation but on, The people who ordered that the poaching be done, the people who accept bribes along the way, the people who forge customs documents, the people who receive the products I'm sure many people would love to get a million dollars, I'm not so sure that's enough money to bring down this wildlife trafficking syndicate."
The Daily Bucket - precision and band codes—by enhydra lutris: "Yesterday, November 9th, was the first possible feederwatch day for this season. That means a greater degree of accuracy than I usually indulge in with my records. The electronic check sheets will want me to log in Chestnut Backed Chickadees, American Robins, Northern Mockingbirds and California Towhees instead of Chickadees, Robins, Mockers, and Towhees. For this and other reasons I have finally broken down and started using band codes in my own personal records. Before we get into all of that however allow me to say that."
The Daily Bucket, The Bobcat made me do it!—by burnt out: "A couple days ago we were driving home from a doctors visit when Mrs. burnt spotted an animal at the far edge of a recently harvested field we were passing by. She brought my attention to it but I was only able to get a very brief glimpse of it before we had passed on by. She thought it was coyote or maybe a grey fox and I agreed and started to drive on down the road, but for some reason decided to turn around and go back for a second look. Fortunately it hadn't moved far when we got back there and I quickly pulled off the road and grabbed my camera. If I'd have been standing up I'd have probably fallen over when I realized that the animal standing there so brazenly in an open field in broad daylight was no coyote or fox but one of the wariest animals to wander the Ozark woods, the illusive Bobcat. [...] Bobcats aren't all that rare here but normally are extremely shy and illusive and this was only my second sighting of one after a lifetime of wandering around in the woods. Most people that live here have never seen even one so I feel very fortunate to have seen two now. If I'm ever so lucky to get yet a third chance, I'll be ready for it."
Protection of Wildlife means Revenue and Jobs, says Secretary Jewell
: "Well this seems worth noting. Perhaps, even repeating to those who just hate "economic stimulus" -- just on the principle of it. A recent report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revealed that refuges are strong economic engines for local communities. The report, released by Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, said the refuges pump $2.4 billion into the economy and support more than 35,000 jobs.
That's quite the return on the investment: $1 in and almost $5 out! Now, that's what you call a Multiplier Effect."
Indian train hit a herd of elephants trying to cross the tracks—by Jen Hayden.
The Daily Bucket: Florida's Invaders: The Brown Anole Lizard
Male Brown Anole displaying his
dewlap on a tree trunk.
—by Lenny Flank
: "Florida is the land of invasive species. Because of our status as a center for the importing of exotic pets and houseplants from overseas, and our neo-tropical climate, we have been invaded by everything from kudzu plants to Burmese pythons. The most common of our invaders is the Brown Anole Lizard. [...] There are about 400 different species of Anole lizards, all of them found in the tropical Americas. Taxonomically, they have been recently moved from the Iguanid family into a new family of their own, the Polychrotids. Anolis
contains the largest number of species of any vertebrate genus. A proposal has been made (but not widely accepted) to separate about 150 of these and place them into their own genus, Norops. Among these proposed species is Anolis (Norops) sagrei
, the Brown Anole."
Daily Bucket--The Vole Empire—by 6412093: "I work at a golf course in northwest Oregon. In spots, it features acre-sized patches of dense, unmowed fescue grass, designed to capture errant golf shots. Fescue is a flowering grass commonly used for turf, easily established, and relatively drought resistant. We mow the fescue once, in the late fall when the rains start. During the year, it grows to as much as four feet high, but the wind and rain push the fescue down to lie almost flat, so it often forms a foot-high arch over the ground underneath. But the fescue also harbors a secret world."
Loss and Damage @Warsaw—by boatsie: "The issue of 'loss and damage', which at long last mainstreamed at last year's COP18, is vying for center stage in Warsaw as COP19 participants wrestle with the problems of effectively addressing and financing the irreparable impacts of climate change, those impacts already beyond the options of mitigation or adaptation. The World Wildlife Fund pounced yesterday on the urgent need for an international mechanism to address this problem with the publication of Tackling The Climate Reality: A Framework For Establishing An International Mechanism To Address Loss And Damage At COP19. [...] Announcing "a new era" of climate change, where rapidly rising sea waters, desertification, the acidification of the oceans and glacial melt overwhelm the world's most vulnerable communities, the report implies a shift in focus to climate justice: poverty, lack of infrastructure and vulnerability of geographic locale cripple inadequately funded adaptation and mitigation policies and elevate the severity of the problems. The authors suggest an over reliance on flawed adaptation schemes will result in severe devastation to lives and livelihoods, ecosystems, and food and fisheries in many countries."
Philippines call for strong climate action. How should Obama respond?—by evanlweber: "The 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)—the annual meeting of delegates aimed at creating an international framework for dealing with climate change—began yesterday in Warsaw, Poland amidst nationalist protests and rioting and with a large coal summit in the background. As the talks kicked off with the opening plenary speeches, the lead negotiator for the Philippines, Yeb Saño, drew our attention to another crisis that was unfolding six-thousand miles away—the climate crisis. [...] In a passionate speech, Mr. Saño drew attention to the plight his country was undergoing from 'Super-typhoon' Haiyan—a storm that some are calling the largest in recorded history—and commenced a hunger strike until meaningful outcomes for the Warsaw talks were in sight. Many youth and other activists present at Warsaw and abroad have joined him in solidarity."
Stanford Poll Finds National Mandate for Greenhouse Gas Cuts with Strong Red State Support—by FishOutofWater: "An overwhelming majority of Americans want the government to take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions because they believe climate change is a real and present danger. It doesn't matter, red state or blue. Americans are seeing the increasingly devastating effects—extreme heat, droughts, severe storms, floods and fires—of climate change where they live and they want the government to do something to stop it from getting worse."
A Single Tragedy, a Global Crisis
Survey Question: 2012: As you may have heard, greenhouse gasses are thought to cause global warming. In your opinion, do you think the government should or should not limit the amount of greenhouse gasses that U.S. businesses put out? 2008-2011: Some people believe that the United States government should limit the amount of air pollution that U.S. businesses can produce. Other people believe that the government should not limit air pollution from U.S. businesses. What about you? Do you think the government should or should not limit air pollution from U.S. businesses?
—by Michael Brune
: "Ironically, even as the people of the Philippines began the grim job of digging out from the destruction, delegates from nearly 200 nations were gathering in Poland for the 19th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. By 2015, they hope to have an international climate action agreement to replace the now-expired Kyoto Protocol -- with the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 3-4 degrees F above preindustrial levels. Once upon a time, in a world before storms like Haiyan, Sandy, and Katrina, it seemed reasonable to pin our hopes on a UN climate agreement or on a U.S. cap-and-trade bill. You have a problem, you sign a treaty or pass a bill and consider it solved. We no longer live in such a world. Climate disruption is already killing thousands, and scientists tell us that we're on a path for much worse. There are times when the human race seems like an emphysemic smoker who has a heart attack, pops an aspirin, and reaches for another pack. Right now, the people of the Philippines need humanitarian aid. But ultimately, we owe them—and ourselves—another commitment: We must eliminate the fossil fuels that are—let's not mince words—killing our planet."
Warsaw: Saving the Carbon Market or the Planet?—by boatsie: "Yale University Student Reginald Rex Barrer hopes without hope that Typhoon Haiyan will be the game changer to promote action at last in Warsaw—'As I write this, I am literally going through so many updates from different news agencies that have painted a very heartbreaking picture of the deaths , the missing, the devastation, the hopelessness and the chaos that have ensued. Of course your hope for humanity is restored somewhat when you also see the efforts of people who go beyond their role as members of media reporting on the catastrophe, to save even at least one life. Still other stories attempt to show how both the local and national governments have tried to cobble a plan to get the provinces affected, particularly Leyte, get back on their feet. Albeit not too positively. Yet rehabilitation and recovery put together are painstaking processes. Unfortunately, disasters and rehabilitation come as part of a package. Rebuilding only happens after a disaster has struck. Without disasters, we normally call it development.'"
Something's Missing From Obama's Weekly Address on Energy. Oh, yeah, Climate Change—by Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees: "When I noticed that the president delivered his weekly address on 'our energy future,' my first thought was 'I wonder if he'll address climate change at all.' The question of energy and the question of climate change (or global warming, whichever term you prefer) are inextricably linked. Although there are many arguments to be made in favor of switching from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy like solar and wind, the climate-related arguments are perhaps most urgent: In their starkest warning yet, following nearly seven years of new research on the climate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said it was "unequivocal" and that even if the world begins to moderate greenhouse gas emissions, warming is likely to cross the critical threshold of 2C by the end of this century. That would have serious consequences, including sea level rises, heatwaves and changes to rainfall meaning dry regions get less and already wet areas receive more. How many times did the president directly invoke climate change or global warming in his address? You guessed it. Zero."
"we see increasing risks that are more pervasive & more severe w greater amounts of climate change"—by Lefty Coaster: "The 29-page summary, leaked and posted on a blog critical of the panel, has been distributed to governments around the world for review. It could change before it is released in March. 'We see a wide range of impacts that have already occurred ... on people, ecosystems and economies,' said Chris Field, a scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science and co-chairman of the group writing the report. "Looking into the future, we see increasing risks that are more pervasive and more severe with greater amounts of climate change." Field and an IPCC spokesman confirmed the authenticity of the draft. 'This is a close-to-final work in progress,' Field said."
Global Warming Since 1997 Underestimated by Half—by pollwatcher: "A report from RealClimate.org discusses a new study that explains the so-called "warming pause" the denialists and media love to talk about. [...] A new study by British and Canadian researchers shows that the global temperature rise of the past 15 years has been greatly underestimated. The reason is the data gaps in the weather station network, especially in the Arctic. If you fill these data gaps using satellite measurements, the warming trend is more than doubled in the widely used HadCRUT4 data, and the much-discussed “warming pause” has virtually disappeared. [...] But errors in global temperature trends arise if these areas evolve differently from the global mean. That’s been the case over the last 15 years in the Arctic, which has warmed exceptionally fast, as shown by satellite and reanalysis data and by the massive sea ice loss there."
Faux News' Ignorant Dana Perino: People Who Discuss Global Warming Don't Help Poor People—by Lawrence: "For the past week I have been doing nothing but working and trying to drum up disaster relief aid for the Philippines. Little did I know that - as someone who cares greatly about addressing man-made Global Warming and who frequently discusses the issue - I am just using that as "an excuse not to give to poor people", according to Faux News' Dana Perino. [...who] then goes on to give the mindbogglingly dumb advice that the Philippines should be using more fossil fuels. Anyone who has actually visited the Philippines and has actually taken the time to understand the energy supply situation there knows that fossil fuel generated electricity is very expensive there because the Philippines is an island nation that has few fossil fuel resources and it is expensive for the Philippines to import fossil fuels. Renewable energy, on the other hand, is, by far, the least expensive option for energy production in the Philippines because the country has excellent solar, hydro, geothermal, and wind resources."
Why Many People Do Not Believe in Global Warming—by molepost: "In a nutshell, if we're exposed to enough lies about something, we'll start believing those lies even if we're presented with solid evidence to the contrary. [I think FOX and the republicans have known this for sometime.] In fact, the belief system becomes so fixed that it becomes almost impossible to change. However, he did find that there's a critical period just after exposure to the lies, that if presented with rational, truthful evidence the belief system is less fixed and can change. I guess this explains why there are still some people who deny the holocaust, believe Reagan didn't raise taxes and the Iraq war was fought to bring democracy to the Middle-East."
Must watch: Philippines speech brings COP19 climate talks plenary to tears—by VL Baker: "The Philippines chief negotiator, Yeb Sano, opened the UN climate talks with an impassioned plea for urgent action, and announcing a hunger strike in solidarity for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. In a speech that moved negotiators and observers across the conference center to tears, Sano said governments had to take notice of what was happening in his country as they were making their decisions over the coming fortnight."
One Thing for the Philippines—by brooklynliberal: "There are many ways kossacks have been supporting the Philippines, post Haiyan. I'm asking for one more: support Yeb Saño. He is the Philippines' lead representative at the UN Climate Change summit. The talks are happening now and for the next 2 weeks in Poland."
Global Climate Change: A Blow to the Head—by bobburnett: "As evidence mounts that global climate change is dramatically impacting our lives, resistance hardens. What will cause Americans to address this grave danger? Perhaps the answer lies in the campaign to reduce traumatic head injuries in American football. Both global climate change and football head injuries are controversial. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence, there are many climate change deniers. In fact, denial is so heavily funded that it has stymied meaningful congressional action. Meanwhile, mainstream American lifestyle remains dependent upon consumption of carbon-based fuels: coal, natural gas, and petroleum. Americans suspect that rising temperatures and radical weather are caused by carbon consumption, but we are loath to change our behavior."
It's the Silence that worries them ...—by jamess: "That's what aid workers are being greeted with in the Typhoon disaster zone all across the Philippines. Well you've heard about "Katrina"—meet her cousin "Yolanda" (or more formally "Haiyan")— who's unfolding aftermath is beginning to shape up as be FAR worse, than "Katrina ever conceived of ... Biggest, Strongest, Deepest Typhoon/Hurricane in history, is bound to leave some 'serious' human misery in its wake. 'Silence' worries aid workers in wake of Typhoon Haiyan; 56K homes wrecked on one island."
Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda - A ray of light from the black hole of silence—by oldpotsmuggler: "How in the hell can an area be almost entirely destroyed, and cell phones still work. Land lines out, electricity gone, and, yet, the relief of hearing good news, tales of survival, in real time. Amid unfathomable destruction, confirmation of near miraculous survival. A look at the map of the northern end of Cebu Island shows one population center, Bogo City, another ten miles or so that, by satellite is mainly sugar cane plantation, but interspered with pockets of houses and small farms, and that all of this is the next piece of land directly west from where the center of the monster storm was first slamming ashore around a short 24 hours ago."
Third Typhoon update: We're sending in a relief vehicle—by oldpotsmuggler: "The immediate need is food. Locally, we have not been able to locate any, but blessings continue to appear. Medellin is north of Bogo, and a four-hour drive from Cebu City. We have family in the city, and it's damaged but operational. Amazingly, there is already open road from where we can get food, to where it is desperately needed."
Fourth Typhoon Update: Danger past, only the hard part is left—by oldpotsmuggler.
Fifth Typhoon Update: Please feed the police first—by oldpotsmuggler.
Sixth Typhoon update: Human suffering—by oldpotsmuggler.
Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Super Typhoon Haiyan)—by Neon Vincent: "Manila—One of the most powerful storms ever recorded killed at least 10,000 people in the central Philippines province of Leyte, a senior police official said on Sunday, with coastal towns and the regional capital devastated by huge waves. Super typhoon Haiyan destroyed about 70 to 80 percent of the area in its path as it tore through the province on Friday, said chief superintendent Elmer Soria, a regional police director."
Eco-Philosophy & Essays
Privatize Everything in the Universe?—by Dan Bacher : "Catch Shares - The oceans are being privatized under the Obama administration's "catch shares" program that concentrates ocean fisheries in fewer, increasingly corporate hands. According to Food and Water Watch, 'Catch shares are a system for managing our nation’s fisheries that are causing consolidation in the fishing industry at the expense of the livelihoods of thousands of smaller-scale, traditional fishermen and their communities. Such programs are being heavily touted as a means to promote sustainable fishing, but a closer look reveals they do not have a positive environmental record. Catch shares can incentivize the use of larger-scale boats, more damaging gear and wasteful fishing practices that hurt fish populations and the habitats on which they depend.'"
Why a "green dictatorship" will not solve the global warming problem—by Cassiodorus: "Wanting to remold society according to one's wishes is nice, pleasant wishful thinking. In reality, the means of remolding would take over if we could somehow amass the power to realize eco-fantasies of global transformation through dictatorship, and bring us the same crazy world we thought we were trying to transcend. If we are to change the world to survive global warming, we must have the patience, humility, and expertise of star teachers, and cultivate learning experiences in which the people find out how to direct their own, collective fates. It can happen democratically."
Pope Francis may be working on an environmental encyclical—by Aximill: "We've been hearing a likely change in stances on those issues from the new pope. From women in the church to formally responding, and blessing gay Catholics the pope has indicated a more progressive stance on those issues. The environment may be the next big thing the pope plans to speak on. At a meeting on Monday with Argentinians dealing with environmental issues comes a Pope opposed to fracking."
Climate is a Feminist Issue: Our Threatened Cultural Infrastructure—by WarrenS: "What does an ongoing extinction event and the concomitant drastic winnowing of humanity's numbers have to do with feminism? Everything. [...] We progressives have a variety of important social issues to organize around—but underpinning the notion of social progress is the critical role of an environment which does not actively threaten our survival as a species. Change the planetary ecosystem to one in which our struggle to perpetuate our DNA dominates our collective thinking, and many positive social developments could well be sacrificed in response to the short-term exigencies of existence. A stable climate has formed the stage upon which we've acted out our self-improvement."
Why I am an Independent/Democrat—by Loraxe : "I am an environmentalist and realize that this world and the resources upon and in the Earth are finite and, therefore, understand that our numbers, human population, are too many. For things to truly be sustainable, we need fewer people. Any rancher knows what happens when you put 40 sheep in a pasture that can only support 20, starvation and death—perhaps of the entire population. The only political party with any common sense when it comes to population control is the Democratic Party. The Republicans say that since Roe VS Wade we have killed over 50 million Americans with abortion. If those pregnancies would have come to term, who would have cared for them? Where would they have lived? What of their children and their children’s children? Generationally speaking, we are easily talking about another 100 million people in The United States."
Food, Agriculture & Gardening
How many times a week should you eat Tripolyphosphate? IAN:11-14-2013—by weck: "I should be eating more fish, and I really want to; I love fish dinner, fish sandwiches and fish soups. Some day I will bravely try a fish taco, it is on my bucket list! But, the fish I have been getting lately is awful. When it cooks, a watery white liquid is left behind, and neither my cats nor my dog is interested in tasting it. I recently bought haddock from my usual source, but as I was unwrapping it, it felt funny and kind of sticky. Also, lately, I have to wring water from frozen/thawed shrimp and there is nothing left of the scallops after cooking. This time I looked closer. The haddock, instead of being from Iceland turned out to be from China. I kept looking and hidden where it could not be seen at the time of purchase were the words, 'Contains Tripolyphosphate'."
Macca's Meatless Monday: Our actions can save us from the worst effects of climate change—by VL Baker: "Macca's Meatless Monday/Meatless Advocates is a solution oriented activist group, with solutions for some of the most pressing issues of our time including: climate change, global food/water insecurity and public health. Here we don't just talk about the severity of the crisis. Armed with knowledge about how our actions can contribute we become part of the solution. [...] It's perfect picnic weather in Florida but summer cook-out food doesn't cut it in this crisp fall weather. A lovely, substantial room temperature salad utilizing available fall produce fits the bill. It can be made ahead, travels well even for hiking and also makes a welcome make ahead dinner for a busy day."
OR-Sen: Jeff Merkley (D) Fights Back Against GMO Salmon "Frankenfish"
: "Received this e-mail today from Senator Jeff Merkley (D. OR) regarding the GMO salmon known as "Frankenfish": When I first heard that the Food and Drug Administration was considering approving a genetically-engineered salmon, I got a little queasy. The FDA has never before approved a genetically-modified animal for human consumption. But it might just happen as soon as this week -- even though the FDA's review has been insufficient, failing to consider broad environmental and public health risks from GMO salmon. Sign my petition right now and tell the FDA that GMO salmon is too risky.
Kitchen Table Kibitzing 11/9/2013: Hearty Winter Chili, the Meatless Way—by Chrislove: "It's starting to feel more and more like Christmas, even here in Houston. I think the two-and-a-half years I've spent here have really spoiled me weather-wise, because I walked out the door the other day to 45-degree weather, and I felt the need to put on my coat. Around this time of year, I start craving things like a delicious cup of hot chocolate or a bowl of piping hot soup. Lately, I've really had a hankering for a big ol' bowl of chili, so I decided I'd make some today. I have a few favorite chili recipes, including Azazello's incredible beer-based recipe and my mom's version, which includes elbow macaroni. But as of late, I've really been trying to cut down on my red meat consumption. Mainly for health reasons, I've been experimenting with preparing vegetarian meals at home and saving the meat (which, let's just be honest, I'm not going to give up) for when I eat out."
The Garden: Intersection of History and Hunger—by DrLori: "I'm talking about vegetable gardens. They're part of the culture. Not a phenomenon, not a fad. Before locavorism, before foodies and urban gardens, before the Back To The Land movement of the '70's, before the Victory Garden, around here, there was hunger. Among the locals, the older people—actually, among just about everyone who hasn't moved in from Somewhere Else—when you talk about a garden, you're talking about a vegetable garden."
Saturday Morning Garden Blogging. Vol. 9-39—by Frankenoid: "It is November. What is historically Denver's 2nd snowiest month. A time for cold weather, frosty windows, and homemade chicken soup. Not the time for the high to top 70° as it did on Wednesday. And definitely not the time for the flowers pictured in today's diary to be, like, flowers. They should have had their leaves stripped and been smashed flat by snow by now."
Pope Francis: "Thou shalt not frack!"
Pastor Peter Hasenbrink and his solar church.
: "What I'm thinking is why stop here? What if Francis became known as the Solar Pope? Advocating for Creation Windows and Heavenly Energy, like his Lutheran brother, Pastor Peter Hasenbrink, whose church in Schönau Germany has 431 solar modules on its rooftops, generating more than 40,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, enough for eight churches of its size. Follow me below the fold for a few statements from my interview with Pastor Hasenbrink about tying Christian theology into environmental action. Lutherans in Germany have long been on board with the Energiewende, but their Catholic brothers and sisters are starting to get into it too. So this is some of the "theosolar" language Francis could use."
Country's Largest Public Power Provider Takes Major Step to Move Beyond Coal
—by Mary Anne Hitt
: "Today the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced it will retire boilers three of its coal plants in Alabama and Kentucky. Retiring these coal boilers means less pollution in the air and water in the southeast U.S. According to the Clean Air Task Force, the Colbert coal plant in Alabama alone contributed to 940 asthma attacks, 83 heart attacks, and 57 deaths per year. These retirements also mean less of the carbon pollution that is pushing our climate to the brink. This is big. It's a great move for public health, for clean air and water, and for our climate."
Co-firing wood and coal—by ChuckInReno: "The NY Times has a surprisingly enlightened piece on the fairly esoteric topic of co-firing: Power Plants Try Burning Wood With Coal to Cut Carbon Emissions. In the article, the reporter points out some of the opportunities and challenges facing coal-fired power plants. Keep in mind that until recently, fully 50% of domestic power was generated from coal combustion, and even now, it's something like 45%. (Coal has come into disfavor with utility companies due to both low cost of "natural" gas, and increased costs of emissions compliance.) The potential is huge; the challenges are equally huge. This is a topic I'm pretty familiar with, having done research into various alternative energy schemes over the years. I'll summarize and provide some nuance and opinion below the orange flame."
"the golden decade for coal is over"—by Lefty Coaster: "Good news! China needs and insists on having cleaner air. China's smog threatens health of global coal projects. A choking smog across much of northern China threatens not just the health of local residents, but also of major coal projects globally that are still on the drawing board. I got an idea how bad the air in Beijing can get last winter, in only moderately bad air pollution."
Two Canadian Premiers prepare to betray future earth generations and the citizens of Canada—by Keone Michaels: "Canada is on it's way to being China's vassal state big time. Most of the toxic Alberta"Tar Sands oil is going to China and Christie Clark and Alison Redford's active efforts to make this happen are disgusting. Procuring toxic goods for China is not what Canada's leadership should be doing. More below about how these two Canadian Premiers (British Columbia and Alberta) conspire to ship tar sands oil across Canada to go to China."
Ty-D-Bol Robot Finds Fuku Leaks—by Joieau: "This Ty-D-Bol robot and its camera managed to find two significant leaks. One is in a conduit shunting water from the lower level of the drywell [containment] to the pressure suppression pool - a donut-shaped tank also called the torus—in the first level basement of the plant, at the juncture of the conduit and the torus itself. The other is from a pipe leading from the torus to a lower basement level and into the ground. Of course, one might legitimately wonder why a nuclear power plant would have pipes leading from the torus 'into the ground,' I mean, pipes that don't go anywhere wouldn't appear to be very useful, but we are talking about Daiichi here, which has 6 badly designed nuclear plants on one badly designed reservation."
Fukushima Threatens Humanity—by Duckmg: "Folks writing about Fukushima have been troll rated and told to shut up when writing about the possible worst case scenario. This is a fact based community. This translates into no conjectures about Fukushima allowed. I call BS. In science one often starts with the extreme to test a hypothesis. Calculus, for example, is the science of the extreme. Now we have a professor at Yale claiming that Fukushima threatens humanity. I share his concern. How is it not possible to lose control at Fukushima? "
Fukushima: Putting Current Risks In Perspective—by Joieau: "Over the past several months the world nuclear industry has launched yet another of its perpetual propaganda campaigns to diminish public concerns about nuclear power in general—and Fukushima's Daiichi disaster in particular. Ostensibly for the purpose of convincing the public to invest trillions of dollars in about 4,000 new nuclear power plants to replace dirty coal as the world's #1 energy source. Which, we are told, is the only way to mitigate human contributions to global warming. In order to accomplish this dubious goal, public attention and concerns about the ever-ongoing—and now worsening—disaster at Fukushima Daiichi must be diverted and/or dismissed. Deal is, the public isn't very trustful of nukes these days, so they have enlisted scientists and academics for the task."
Ten reasons to invite more natural gas into your home? You must be joking—by Jensequitur: "Found this on Motley Fool—guess I shouldn't be surprised by now at the garbage that passes for interest-story journalism these days. America's energy boom has unlocked abundant sources of inexpensive natural gas. That's just one of the many reasons why homeowners should look to invite more natural gas into their homes this year. So, the next time an appliance dies or the furnace needs to be replaced consider exchanging it for one that's fueled by natural gas. So here's ten reasons why maybe natural gas isn't the best choice."
Recent measurements of Fukushima derived radionuclides in the Pacific Ocean—by MarineChemist: "More recent work that has monitored the concentration of Cs-137 between Japan and Hawaii to track the dispersion of radionuclides from Fukushima was published by Kamenik and others (2013). They found that Cs-137 levels near to Hawaii were similar to what would be expected for pre-Fukushima background concentrations of 0.0017 - 0.0028 Bq/L. Between Japan and Hawaii Cs-137 values were measured that exceeded background Cs-137 by a factor of 2-3 and the southeastern leading edge of the plume traveling westward. These levels are not significant when compared with total radiation levels in north Pacific seawater."
Koch, ALEC & giant utility company about to derail Arizona's solar industry
—by Mother Mags
: "Simply put, net metering is an odd term that means solar customers, who may collect more energy than they use, can sell excess energy to the local utility company over the power grid. Here in Phoenix that usually means you're selling power to Arizona Public Service (APS), which, like many electric companies, has a virtual monopoly in the region unless you opt for solar or another alternative model. As the price and efficiency of solar units has become more competitive, net metering has quietly emerged as another major incentive to go solar. So it comes as no surprise that APS and other utility companies have created a two-pronged attack on the solar industry—first by reducing the subsides they provided early on to encourage homeowners to install solar. [...] But reducing the installation subsidy hasn't killed the solar industry; it's only continued to grow to the tune of a 76 percent growth rate nationally in the last year alone, and so now APS wants to make net metering prohibitively expensive by charging solar customers up to $100 a month to use the grid to sell energy."
Arizona utility commission rules, connection fee only $4.90/month—by shaso: "The Arizona Corporation Commission ruled yesterday that the connection fee that houses with solar panels would have to pay to be connected to the grid was $4.90 a month. There was a highly recommended diary in anticipation so I thought people would be interested in how it turned out. Personally, I think $4.90/month is a perfectly reasonable fee considering that people are still benefiting and need the grid even if their net usage is zero. It's hard for me to tell how realistic the $50-100 numbers ever were in the first place. Were they a scare tactic by the people who wanted $0 to drum up outrage, or were they a negotiation ploy by APS to get their $4.90? I mean hell, $100 is nearly our entire non-summer electric bill for a fairly large house."
Letter to the Arizona Corporation Commissioners Regarding APS and Solar Customers—by phoenixvoice: "All of APS’s customers are connected to the grid, and as such, they should equally bear the costs of maintenance and upkeep to the grid. If maintenance and upkeep costs increase over time, costs are going to be passed onto APS’s customers. This should be done in an equitable way – with each customer paying the same amount for the same maintenance service. [...] It is illogical to tack “extra” fees onto the bill of an APS customer that exports electricity to the grid. No one should be punished for exporting solar electricity. Costs of grid maintenance should be born equally."
Wind Energy Opponents Go Bats—by LeftOfYou: "Over at Tucker Carlson's Right Wing rag The Daily Caller they are celebrating as 102 conservative groups target wind power subsidies. These groups oppose further extensions of the Wind Production Tax Credit, soon to face another renewal battle in Congress: 'The wind industry has very little to show after 20 years of preferential tax treatment; it remains woefully dependent on this federal support,' wrote conservative groups, including the American Energy Alliance, FreedomWorks and the R Street Institute. I guess these same principled conservatives oppose the preferential tax treatment afforded the oil and gas industry, that has endured for 100 years right? Guess again. This isn't a principled stand against government subsidies, it's a raid by the oil and gas industry on growing green energy competition."
Going Solar: A Massachusetts Journey—by lynne1: "What follows is a very long, comprehensive post filled to the brim with everything I've learned about going solar as a residential electricity customer in Massachusetts. Our installation is now feeding green energy into the grid, I obsess about cloudy days, and I'm looking forward to our new investment paying us back in both money, and in knowing we're contributing a great deal towards a green future. Some of this information is very Massachusetts-specific, and some can be applied to any solar installation."
Want Clean Power? Cynical NV Energy Says “Pay Up”—by GrumpyDem: "This past week, Nevada’s public utilities company, NV Energy, announced they would be happy to sell their northern (not available to Las Vegas) residential and commercial customers energy from renewable resources... if the subscriber is willing to pony up some extra shekels. In one of the most cynical moves by a utility that is held back only by a rubber-stamp utilities commission, you—yes, you!—can get your very own renewable energy delivered to your home or business for just $15.75 a month extra for a 50% green electrical source or $31.40 for a 100% renewable power source. As Denzel Washington so memorably says in Devil in a Blue Dress. 'They must have figured me for some new kind of fool.'"
Transmission dooms the little guy—by Erasmussimo: "The future as envisioned by some of the more, shall we say, avid enthusiasts of renewable energy has an energy grid dominated by small-time operators. With solar cells on every roof and wind energy at suitable locales, we won't need those big centralized power plant dinosaurs, whether they're coal, nuclear, oil, or gas. Individuals will be in greater control of their energy, and there will be less leeway for the 1% to rip off everybody else. But it won't come out that way, for the most mundane of reasons: wire."
What will Katey Sagal's older sister have to say about THIS? Pope Francis goes 'enviro-fascist'!—by quinn: "I'm still not sure who it was, but some lady was on Jake Tapper the other day complaining that the Pope might be drinking too much 'compassionate-Jesus' Kool-Aid. Whoever she was, I suspect she won't be too pleased when she gets wind of his latest commie-liberal move: His Holiness posed with anti-fracking T-shirts after meeting with environmental activists. Ruh-Roh! (Hasn't anyone told the Pope that Jesus' father will haz a sad if we don't go all "Drill, baby, drill!" and exploit all the gifts he's given us?)"
Fracking Flood Disaster in Colorado a Huge Hoax—by ban nock: "I guess what is most galling is that in the immediate aftermath of the flood a lot of people donated and pulled together to help neighbors save the junk in their cellars or clear roads, find lost kittens, or whatever. At the same time some misguided jerks were attempting to make a media shitstorm over something that obviously didn't happen. What a bunch of losers. They could have been out with a shovel instead of taking photos of some farmers fuel tank afloat with a sheen. The next time you read a title to a news story phrased as a question sprinkle on some healthy skepticism. If it's anything to do with fracking, plain out don't believe it. Wait until you hear from a reputable source and even then wait for the scientific community to weigh in."
Frackers Cause Gas Pipeline Explosion, Whole Texas Town Evacuated—by FishOutofWater: "An accident at a natural gas drilling rig, apparently a 'fracking' well, damaged a ten inch natural gas pipeline causing a huge explosion, forcing the whole town of Milford Texas to evacuate. The official story doesn't make sense. Even the dumbest frackers in Texas aren't dumb enough to drill into a gas pipeline. It looks like someone is covering up something dangerous and possibly illegal that they did. From the video the drilling rig can be clearly seen along with trucks servicing the operation. One truck is clearly on fire. The drilling rig and the trucks are adjacent to the source of the flames, not on top of it, so there's no way they drilled into the pipeline. Correction upon review: Perhaps they damaged it with one of the trucks. The drilling operation is dangerously close to the pipeline."
The Great Outdoors
riverside park - fall colors—by blueyedace2:
The Daily Bucket: ebb tide
: "Just by happenstance, our late afternoon walk out to this special spot coincided with a maximum-speed ebb tide moment. Cool! I hadn't checked the tide table, so it was a wonderful surprise. A few watery late autumn beams of sunlight had broken through the bank of overcast that afternoon and I knew it would feel good to be out on that west-facing bluff on this calm balmy afternoon. Once we hiked through the woods and emerged into the light, we could hear the roar of water flowing. This pass is only a mile wide between here and San Juan Island across the way, and a lot of water moves through with every tidal exchange. Those rocks just offshore funnel the passing water even faster."
The Daily Bucket: Along the Path to School
—by AZ Sphinx Moth
: "Boulder Creek, Santa Cruz County, California. One of the activities that I look forward to during my visits with my granddaughter in Boulder Creek is walking together to and from her school. We choose from several routes that take us through back alleys or away from the commuter traffic. The historical homes we pass have landscapes that are carved from the edge of the forest. Therefore, the wildness of the natural forest is just a hair's breadth away from reclaiming its rightful place. The juxtaposition of native and foreign plants along with the wildlife that they attract make an enjoyable canvas for our viewing. Jump over the orange swirling pile of leaves with us to see what we documented during my most recent visit."
Illinois files New Charges Against Koch Cartel Front Company in Multi-ton Chicago Coke Case—by 6412093: "Racket-busting State Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a civil suit against KCBX Terminals to stop clouds of windblown toxic air pollution from open piles of petroleum coke (Petcoke, an oil refinery byproduct) that are polluting nearby residential neighborhoods. 'Dirty Dave,' 'Chucky G,' and 'Wild Bill,' the secretive Koch (pronounced Coke) Brothers, who run an international petcoke trafficking ring, are the shot-callers behind the privately-owned KCBX terminals. The Koch brothers escaped prison sentences after a 97-count criminal indictment in Texas in 2000 against their enterprises and employees for benzene pollution, but have paid over $400 million in fines for various environmental rackets and other violations from 1999 to 2006. The Koch Cartel, also known among their shadowy underworld associates as the 'Kochtopus,' are infamous for their special blend of Petcoke known as 'PetKoch.'"
Pet coke and the Keystone Kochs—by agnostic: "Just so you know, Pet Coke is a carcinogen. Think of your loved ones and kids living and playing downwind of these mountains, with pet coke dust blowing off in the slightest breeze. 'No, son, that's not pepper. That's a loving gift from Koch Carbon!'"
National Parks, Forests & Other Public Lands
Expanding the National Park System #5- California—by MorrellWI1983: "California is very strong on the environmental front, in terms of laws, regulations, and in protecting its open spaces. California has literally dozens of protected areas. it currently has 9 national parks, 12 national monuments, 20 national forests and a staggering 35 wildlife refuges. as with the other states I will be proposing adding other areas to the monument list, in California's case that might seem like overkill, given the existing areas but I'd wager people in the state would accept having still more areas set aside for posterity."
Overwhelming Support for Climate Action at EPA Listening Sessions—by Mary Anne Hitt: "Last week, I rode a bus from Indianapolis to Chicago for one of eleven listening sessions on the carbon pollution standards being proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. When we arrived in Chicago, I took to the stage to help rally the 500-person crowd (video here), calling on the EPA to put forward strong, just standards for the number one source of the pollution that is wreaking havoc with our climate—power plants. Let me tell you, it was inspiring."
Mining – New Auburn WARNING for Trempealeau—by cordwood22: "New Auburn, Wisconsin is a small village in Barron County much like Independence and Whitehall in Trempealeau County. New Auburn boasts a population of 548 people, 217 households, and 139 families residing in the village as couinted in the of 2010 census. WIKI. New Auburn experienced all of the contentiousness and local political battles of the introduction of frac sand mining and processing near their community months ago. The experience was very similar to the chain of events that has occurred in Whitehall and Independence. Yes. The very same events that have occurred in many other small towns and villages where people have met with the money and power of national corporate mining interests for the first time. Of course, the playing field is not level. Legal maneuvering follows the money, and "Oh" there is a lot of money to go around. Lawyers and money. The mining interest won the battle in the village of New Auburn, and two sand mine facilities are now operating within a few miles of the small community."