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 222 of these spotlighting more than 12,300 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to 79 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.]
All too often our focus on the environment takes us to places that are grim—the ExxonMobil spill, hazardous sites like Hanford, the continuing delay in doing something, really doing something about climate change. All the more reason why diaries like those emanating from "Backyard Science" and "Dawn Chorus" are important for our psyches. With recharging and refreshing in mind, I picked the current ...

Green Diary of the Week

Lots of digging and hauling.
My Garden Escape—by John Crapper: "I spend a lot of time studying climate change and the many challenges we face in trying to deal with it. It can be pretty depressing at times. I need escapes to lift my spirits and recharge my batteries. One of my ways is gardening. Being a passionate gardener Springtime is without a doubt my favorite time of year. Growth is everywhere. Different shades of newly grown green dot the landscape. The days are noticeably longer. My spirits get lifted. For me it is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. My gardens are where I spend time imagining a world where mankind is in harmony with our natural surroundings. In essence my gardens are my escape from environmental realities." 
The payoff.
••• •••  •••

Keystone Environmental Impact Public Comments Blogathon

DK Blogathon Hosts Eco Coalition in #NOKXL Public Comment Campaign—by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse: The law governing whether the XL Tar Sands Pipeline should be approved makes our views expressed in public comments an integral part of the process. The number of comments received and substantive issues raised, particularly when the comments don't look like "form letters," can make a difference. Thus, we are holding a blogathon as part of a campaign to obtain one million public comments in opposition to the XL Tar Sands Pipeline Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement or SEIS.  It is coordinated with Bill McKibben and 350.org and in  coalition with Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council,  Oil Change International and Bold Nebraska.

Please continue reading other rescued green diaries below the fold.


What's the matter with "The Google Bus?"—by citisven: "Google alone runs over 100 buses and 380 trips daily across the Bay Area, which has earned them the honor of being the poster child for the luxury liner phenomenon. However, the trend was first started about 7 years ago by some of the more established biotech companies in South San Francisco like Genentech. It wasn't really a big deal when there were just a handful, but the last 2 two years has seen such a rapid explosion of these behemoths into our neighborhood streets that it feels a bit like an invasive species."

Some of these rolling luxury liners load and unload in the public transit (MUNI) bus stops, and quite frequently just double-park right in an intersection.

Stop the Slaughter of Ancient Oaks in Northern California—by Time Waits for no Woman: "The transportation agency of the state of California, CALTRANS, has started cutting down beautiful ancient oaks and tearing up pasture land to build a six mile long bypass for Route 101 around Willits.  Why is this a stupid idea?  First, the highway will only be 2 lanes wide (one in each direction).  The state argues that it needs this bypass because the present route of Hwy 101 through downtown Willits, also 2 lanes wide, gets backed up with traffic sometimes, e.g. in the summer on weekends and holidays.  The state has rationalized building huge deeply sunk pilings for the bypass by claiming that the highway will be widened to 4 lanes (2 each way) in 2030.  2030!  And the projected cost of this 4 lane highway is $350 million, which works out to $58 million per mile!  California was just recently broke.  But in 18 years it enough money will be pouring in to widen unnecessary highways?" 

Climate Change

The Antarctic Half of the Global Thermohaline Circulation Is Faltering—by FishOutofWater: "The sudden cooling of Europe, triggered by collapse of the global thermohaline circulation in the north Atlantic and the slowing of the Gulf Stream has been popularized by the movies and the media. The southern half of the global thermohaline circulation is as important to global climate but has not been popularized. The global oceans' coldest water, Antarctic bottom water forms in several key spots around Antarctica. The water is so cold and dense that it spreads out along the bottom all of the major ocean basins except the north Atlantic and Arctic. Multiple recent reports provide strong evidence that the formation of Antarctic bottom water has slowed dramatically in response to massive subsurface melting of ice shelves and glaciers. The meltwater is freshening a layer of water found between depths of 50 and 150 meters. This lightened layer is impeding the formation of Antarctic bottom water, causing the Antarctic half of the global thermohaline circulation to falter." 

Anvers Island, Antarctica moon rise over sea ice
Anvers Island with Antarctic moon rising over the sea ice.
If These are the Early Stages of Climate Change—by AndySchmookler: "All through March, I was pining for spring and  looking at the extended forecast to see when warmer weather would be coming. The average high temperature for March in my area of year is the mid-50s, but we had less than a handful of days that have reached that average. Most days were a good 15 degrees colder than that. Then I read this in The Guardian (UK): Climate scientists have linked the massive snowstorms and bitter spring weather now being experienced across Britain and large parts of Europe and North America to the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice."

#MDGMomentum: 999 Days to meet Millennium Development Goals—by boatsie: "Hundreds of global partners and individuals are participating in#MDGMomentum, a  week-long schedule of activities relating to the work ahead until the goals expire in 2015. They will be replaced with a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) determined at the Rio+20 Conference   through an 'inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process open to all stakeholders, with a view to developing global sustainable development goals to be agreed by the General Assembly.'" 

A Picture is worth a Thousand Tons of CO2—by Jamess: "The thing about CO2 is you can't see it.  Out of sight, out of mind. The thing about Oil Spills, you can see them. And touch them. And smell them. And man do they stink! Must be why "the Officials" in charge of our latest 'object lesson' in CO2 addiction, are doing their dastardly best to prevent us, J.Q. Public -- from seeing it.

GOP Climate Science Support Rising. Will Conventional Wisdom Catch Up?—by TheGreenMiles: "A new Gallup poll shows worry about global warming and acceptance of the climate science consensus is up sharply in the last two years. The spike isn't being fueled by Democrats - it's being fueled in large part Republicans. But the political conventional wisdom in Washington presents a very real obstacle to this reality breaking through."

What kind of Future do you foresee on the Horizon?—by Jamess: "How can we keep hitting the Climate Snooze-button, when deep and persistent droughts in the Midwest are "decimating" the price of food? Month after month, year after year, decade after decade -- the fallout from a more chaotic super-charged climate becomes more apparent, while the our adaptive response to these warning signs, has become increasingly casual."

Food & Agriculture & Gardening

Obama budget cuts FDA inpections = Salmonella chicken soup—by Lisa Lockwood: "In a move that will increase profits of poultry producers and save only 90 million dollars over three years, one of the Obama budget items that seems to have garnered little attention recommends cuts to FDA inspections, especially at chicken processing plants and allows for the gap to be filled with privatized inspectors. Because, as we all know, privatization has worked so well in all other venues in which it's been used to replace actual government regulators or government functions. Think Blackwater. Cutting right to the chase, do we want BP regulating its own oil rigs? Exxon regulating its own pipelines? Tyson regulating its own chicken processing plants?"

English garden
An English country garden – well suburban, actually!—by shortfinals: "The grass is left long, on purpose, to encourage wild flowers and other plant life; actually the guardian of this garden is a member of a U.K. charity called 'PlantLife' which is dedicated to the survival of wild plants of all kinds, hence the attempt to encourage a diverse habitat. If you look to the left of the photograph you can just make out the yellow flowers of Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens) amongst the grass. This member of the Buttercup family is classified as a noxious weed in certain areas of the United States, and can be fatal to livestock if they are allowed to eat too much of it; the toxin it contains, protoanemonin, fortunately breaks down if the plants are allowed to dry out, so hay made from meadow grass which contains the plant is quite safe. It thrives in moist soil, and the area against the hedge is very damp." 

Solar Garden: Overwintering Kale—by gmoke: "For years, I've been using recycled solar cloches or hot caps made out of 2 liter bottles filled with water circling another plastic bottle with its bottom cut off in the center for the plant.  I've used them to start tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, and other seeds up to six weeks before last frost.  This year, I used them to overwinter a couple of kale plants and they worked just as well for that too.  These simple devices can extend your growing season in the Spring and throughout the Fall and Winter." 

Macca's Meatless Monday...checked into his mushroom—by beach babe in fl: "Mushrooms are one of the best meat substitutes ever. The chewy texture along with the deep meaty flavor mushrooms impart to gravies and sauces makes mushrooms a healthy, Earth friendly alternative to health and Earth killing animal meat. Today I'm sharing some of my favorite hearty, satisfying and delicious mushroom entree recipes." 

Know Your Food: Eden Organics doesn't like the birth control—by TigerMom: "I don't purchase Eden products (I don't care for the quality of their products), but I have been impressed with the company's philosophy and dedication to maintaining organic purity and its involvement with the Non-GMO Project.  But I am really getting tired of companies engaged in commerce in this country trying to avoid a legal mandate on "religious" grounds, and even more infuriated by companies that purport to be progressive, but when it comes to $$$, they come up with a reason not to comply."

Eden Foods - The Organic Food Company - Sues to Escape Covering Contraception—by Celtic Merlin: "Eden Foods, which bills itself as being "the oldest natural and organic food company in North America” has filed suit to exempt itself from the requirement under the Affordable Care Act to provide its employees with contraception coverage as part of their health care package. Do they not know that their biggest customer base is WE the LIBERALS? You're going to wanna vomit up your organic soy milk when you read some of the excerpts below."


82% of New US Electrical Capacity is Renewable Energy—by beach babe in fl: "Obama's stimulus package was a ginormous green clean energy bill which jump started this revolution which is now market driven. In 2012 renewables accounted for almost half of all new electrical generating capacity - 46.22%.. These figures understate gains in solar as significant levels of solar capacity exist in smaller, non-utility-scale applications."

Rachel explains, with Charts, why "Exxon is Too Big to Care"—by jamess: Now they know. A bad way to find out it's there, right?  We also know about previous safety violations as it relates to that specific Exxon pipeline. In 2010 the Federal Government fined Exxon for failing to inspect a different portion of that same pipeline as frequently as is required by law. Sounds bad, right? Not only did they not do it because they got caught and the federal government nailed them for it. You want to know what fine was for that? The fine was, $26,000. Okay just for some perspective, so Exxon made $44 billion in profit last year." 

Distributed vs Centralized Fuels—by Frank Paine: "With Hydrogen Fusion, the ocean is full of our fuel. Fractions of ounces of heavy water can generate as much energy as a 500 Megawatt coal plant. A cup of heavy water can run a modern city for days. Fractions of ounces vs. tons of coal: Doesn't that make sense? Hydrogen Fusion is an energy source that has more potential than fossil fuels, renewables and nuclear fission energy combined. Please sign the White House Fusion Petition." 

An Important Scientific Breakthrough: Super Capacitor Batteries—by yuriwho: "I think this may be one of the best discoveries of the last century."


Opponents of fracking in California win big court victory—by Dan Bacher: "In a precedent-setting victory for fracking opponents, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration violated the law when it issued oil leases in Monterey County without considering the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing. U.S. Magistrate Paul Grewal of the U.S. District Court in San Jose ruled on March 31 that the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sold the leases without properly assessing the threat that fracking could pose to water, fish and wildlife. Some of these leases are within the Salinas River watershed, habitat for endangered Central Coast steelhead." 

Fracking Resumes Less Than a Month After 200,000+ Gallon Spill—by ProgressivePatriotPA: "Last month, seven homes in Wyoming County, PA had to be evacuated when a natural gas drilling rig had a blowout, and gallon after gallon of fracking waste-water began spilling out uncontrollably. Now, not even a full month later, fracking has resumed on the site with the full endorsement of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Even if promises of improved practices are kept, this is a prime example of why there needs to be a moratorium on fracking until it can be researched enough to discover how to do it with guaranteed safety — if it can be done with guaranteed safety at all." 

Fed. Judge Stops Fracking on BLM Leases in CA Until Feds Address Environmental Impact—by Steven D: "Some good news on the environmental front, and it comes from a Federal District Court Judge in California.  It seems the Obama administration (specifically the Bureau of Land Management) approved the use of hydrofracking in the development of four oil and gas leases.  After that decision was challenged, a federal magistrate ruled that the government violated federal laws when failed to address the potential environmental impacts of hydrofracturing before it sold those leases in California." 

Keystone & Other Fossil Fuel Transportation

Oil spill surreality—by DWG: "Within hours of the spill being reported, the EPA notified Exxon it had violated the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act. As long the company cleaned up the mess quickly, the feds would just be there to monitor the situation on the ground.

The discharge of a prohibited quantity of oil or a hazardous substance is a violation of the Clean Water Act, as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA).  Under OPA, the responsible party is liable for clean-up costs and damages resulting from an incident.  A responsible party is the owner, operator, or person in charge of a facility or vessels from which the oil is discharged or poses a threat of discharge.
The process leading to the spill was set in motion in 2006 when Exxon wanted to reverse the flow, change the contents, and increase the operating pressure for a 65-year-old pipeline. The old pipeline that once carried refined petroleum products to the Midwest was soon carrying tar sands bitumen under high pressure. We learned the oversight process is so lax that all the company had to do was ask." 

Federal lawsuit is filed over Arkansas oil spill—by beach babe in fl: "A Federal class action lawsuit has been filed by two women who live near an ExxonMobil pipeline that ruptured last week and spilled thousands of barrels of oil in central Arkansas. The Pegasus pipeline, which runs from Patoka, Ill., to the Texas Gulf Coast, was originally built in 1947 and 1948, according to federal pipeline safety officials. It is currently out of service. For that to change, ExxonMobil would need written approval from a federal pipeline safety official, according to the order from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration." 

Keystone XL hearing in NE 4/18—by Bateach: "Submit your comment to the State Dept. right now using the form below. If you are looking for details on the Tarsands-Free BBQ, activities at the hearing or if you are press and need info, click here or scroll below. Submit State Dept. Comment: here.

Exxon clearly leaked oil on Blackfoot reservation—by Horace Boothroyd III: "Exxon reported 420 gallons, a number that appears contrived to me looking at the extensive ecological damage. The corporation’s reports are false. How can 420 gallons of oil travel a mile through a wheat field into a wetland, down a winding ravine and into a river? It was much much larger. We also do not know when it began, but we know it was three weeks ago was when it was first reported."

Groups Call for State Dept. Investigation into Keystone XL Consultant’s Conflicts of Interest—by elsner: "Early last month, the State Department released a 2,000 page environmental impact study for the Keystone XL pipeline claiming that the pipeline would not have major impact on the environment. But, Environmental Resources Management (ERM), the consulting firm hired to perform the "draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS)," has ties to fossil fuel companies with major stakes in the Alberta Tar Sands. This conflict of interest was not accurately disclosed  in ERM’s answers on a State Department questionnaire. Checks & Balances Project considers ERM’s responses in its proposal to be intentionally misleading statements." 

Keystone XL: a pipeline THROUGH the US, not to it—by dturnbull: "It’s amazing what corporations and oil-soaked politicians will do to promote their cause when the facts aren’t on their side.  And when it comes to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, the lies keep coming. One of the most common arguments coming from proponents of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is that Keystone XL will help bring energy security to America.  Or sometimes they call it “North American energy independence.”  Unfortunately it’s just not true."

#NOKXL Blogathon: Your voice on the Keystone XL pipeline matters—by DWG: "I urge you to lend your voice by making a public comment by the April 22nd deadline. Start with Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse's introduction to the Blogothon, which contains a treasure trove of resources. To simplify the process, 350.org has created a template and will deliver the comment to the State Department. If you have limited time and do not wish to wade through the 2000 page SEIS, this option is ideal. Their goal is to deliver one million comments by the deadline."

Activists Claim Exxon Intentionally Diverted Oil Spill Into Wetland—by ProgLegs: "Today activists with the group Tar Sands Blockade posted video which shows oil from the pipeline spill intentionally diverted into a wetland to keep it out of sight of the media. The activists were turned away by police and Exxon cleanup workers but were able to sneak in Saturday evening and take some photos and video of the area. [...]

The letter [from Exxon] claims that, as of [March 31], 'the pipeline is no longer leaking and no oil has reached either the cove or Lake Conway.' That assertion stands in stark contrast with Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's statement on April 5 that '...of course there is oil in Lake Conway.'" 

ExxonMobil's Mayflower Mess—by Michael Brune: "Sierra Club organizer Glen Hooks, who grew up about 20 miles southeast of Mayflower, in Gravel Ridge, attended a meeting for the displaced families at Mayflower High School: 'I had to really stare down some ExxonMobil goons who told me to leave because it was a private meeting. I politely explained that it was a meeting in a public building about a public subject with numerous public officials in attendance, and that I was planning to stay.' Here's something that ExxonMobil probably didn't tell those homeowners: In 2010, it was fined $26,200 by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration for failing to regularly inspect each point where the Pegasus line crosses under a navigable waterway." 

ExxonMobil Arkansas Tar Sands Pipeline Gash 22 Feet Long, Attorney General McDaniel Confirms—by Steve Horn: "Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that ExxonMobil's Pegasus pipeline suffered a 22 foot long gash that led to the rupture that gushed up to 294,000 gallons of tar sands dilbit down the streets of Mayflower on March 29." 

Exxon calls us liars—by DWG: "Poor little Exxon. First, their Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas springs a leak, costing them money. Then people starting saying mean things about them, hurting their feelings (because corporations are people, too). They had little choice but to push back on all these negative stories circulating about their spill. Ken Cohen, Exxon's vice president of public and government affairs, did that with a missive entitled, "Five lies they’re telling you about the Mayflower pipeline spill." It is actually quite revealing." 

Exxon's Tar Sands Oil Spill One of Four Oil spills in One Week—by JesseC: "The spills, which were the result of both train derailments and pipeline ruptures, spilled many hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic crude oil in and around neighborhoods, marshes, and rivers." 

Season of Spill Episode 3: New Oil Spill in Texas has Shell Scrambling—by KGrandia: "Of course, this all comes at a time that the Obama administration is under great pressure to make a final decision on the new Keystone XL pipeline that will complete a span of pipe from Alberta, Canada all the way to Texas." 

What Exactly is in Dilbit? It is a Secret.—by Agathena: "Researchers and regulators know roughly what’s in dilbit—just not enough. 'I think what they don’t know are what the specific chemicals are in any pipeline or any batch, because companies could use different chemicals at different times, depending on what’s cheapest at hand at any one moment,' Carl Weimer, the executive director of the Pipeline Safety Trust, told The Nation." 

Does dilbit float?—by aoeu: "When the Earth collapsed from space the carbon was included and it is now in many places. An exact guess regarding how much there is does not exist. It has moved in interesting and unknown ways. Bitumen is an interesting case. Will it become crude oil or will it become coal? It's just barely liquid." 

Mayflower residents interviewed—by Horace Boothroyd III: A 12-minute video.

The Dangerous Tar Sands Oil Spill in Arkansas—by StewartAcuff.

Eco-Related DC & State Politics

Keystone XL proponent Rep. Joe Barton cites the Bible's great flood to dismiss climate change—by Lefty Coaster: "Rep Joe Barton chairs the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. That makes him in important player in US energy policy. Today Barton cited the Book of Genesis as evidence to dismiss climate change as an urgent problem affected by the kinds of energy we produce and how we use it as a nation. [...] 'I would point out if you’re a believer in the Bible, one would have to say the Great Flood is an example of climate change. And that certainly wasn’t because mankind overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy.'

Ernest Moniz gets easy questions in confirmation hearing for energy slot. Eco-groups remain uneasy—by Meteor Blades: "While an affirmative vote in the committee and on the Senate floor is all but a certainty, some environmental groups are not pleased with Obama's choice because of Moniz's ties to the oil and gas industry, with one critic going so far as to label him Dr. Frackenstein for his support of hydraulic injection of water and chemicals to extract oil and gas from shale." 

Ties That Bind: Ernest Moniz, Keystone XL Contractor, API and Fracked Gas Exports—by Steve Horn: "As first revealed on DeSmogBlog, Moniz is also on the Board of Directors of ICF International, one of the three corporate consulting firms tasked to perform the Supplemental Environmental Impact Study (SEIS) for TransCanada’s Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipeline. KXL is slated to bring tar sands – also known as “diluted bitumen,” or “dilbit” - from Alberta to Port Arthur, TX, where it will be sold to the highest bidder on the global export market." 

Senate confirms Sally Jewell as 51st secretary of interior by 87-11—by Meteor Blades: "Jewell replaces Ken Salazar of Colorado who has been subject to a decidedly mixed perspective among environmental advocates, many having been particularly disturbed by his stance on opening up more federal land to oil and gas drilling on- and offshore. The Department of Interior oversees more than half a billion acres of national parks and other public lands, more than a billion acres offshore and is responsible for providing services to the nation's 566 federally recognized Indian tribes." 

Fighting for Environmental Justice in Omaha—by Mary Anne Hitt: "Ever since President Obama invited the American public to a national climate conversation, thousands of Americans have taken him up on that offer by participating in town hall meetings held by the Sierra Club and our allies. I'd like to highlight one of these events I found particularly powerful and worthy of more attention." 

OBAMA BUDGET: 30% cut to LIHEAP funding—by nonprofit jim: "This proposed reduction in funding comes at a time when more than half of U.S. households now devote more than 20 percent of their family budget to energy costs, nearly double what it was just 10 years ago. And household expenditures for heating oil and natural gas are expected to increase 15 to 20 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information and Administration short-term outlook. Roughly 40 percent of LIHEAP recipients are senior citizens, and 20 percent are veterans." 

Have you used low income energy assistance- LIHEAP? or more?—by Roger Fox

Fish & Wildlife

Keep Your Distance From Wildlife—by bannock: "Most all wildlife is hard wired to fight when flight is impossible. Beavers are very vulnerable to all predators on land. Too slow to run away and not fast enough to bring those big teeth to bear, mostly when caught on land they run for the water, if the water is too far away they are lunch.  Beaver are chock a block full of tasty fat and humans have been eating them for a long time. They don't believe you are there just to take a picture."

song sparrow

Dawn Chorus: What We Did That Sunday—by Kestrel: "Thanks to the kindness of navajo, some of you got to see a number of terrific photos from a recent birding adventure that a few of your fellow Dawn Chorusers shared. Our friend realalaskan and mrs. realalaskan paid a visit to Northern California and several of us gathered at the Point Reyes National Seashore for an outing. This diary offers a bit about that trip and shares some bird shots I captured, along with a re-sharing of one of navajo's photos she shared in a New Day diary. Song Sparrows were abundant and were flitting about on shrubs, on fence posts and on wires. I was about to grab a shot of one hopping about on some water vegetation when it chose that exact moment to take off before I even had it in the frame. I've included it below because it's cool to see the rufous-coloring in its wings."
White-breasted nuthatch
White-breasted nuthatch

It's finally Spring - a photodiary—by boriscleto: "Saturday April 6th was the day Spring finally seemed to arrive in Central New York after what seemed like an endless March and a couple late snow storms. So to shake off the cabin fever, and pass the time while waiting to be crushed by the defeat of my Syracuse Orange, I went to my local nature center to take a walk through the bog and watch the feeder birds." 


The Red River Flood of 2013 Is Coming—by Dbug: "Note that four of the seven worst floods have occurred in the last seven years. If you add in 1997, five of the seven worst floods have been in the last 16 years. I thought I’d combine some weather, geology, history (going back 9000 years!), with a bit of politics and current events. I will probably tell you more than you want to know about the 2013 Red River Flood. Which has not yet happened. It will probably start in a week or two."

The Great Outdoors

deer in Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve
last snowy hike—by blueyedace2: "The Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve is a 775 acre independent, nonprofit wildlife preserve and nature education facility, located in Outagamie County, Wisconsin. Financial support comes solely from individual and corporate donations, memberships, grants and program fees. We do not receive support or tax dollars from state, federal, city, county or other government entities. Our operational budget comes from the generosity of those in the community who care about nature and protecting this site from development." 

The Daily Bucket: ... on the dock of the bay—by OceanDiver: "Water was still as glass this day. While Mr O was in the marina store picking up brake cylinder stuff, I wandered down to the marina dock to see what the wildlife was up to. With no ripples on the surface, and good visibility still (since the plankton has not yet bloomed in earnest), it was pretty easy to see down into the water. It was much busier and more crowded below the surface than it is anywhere on land here." 

Here are two Plumose anemones at the extreme ends of their color range,
which come in all shades between brown and white,
2013 Backyard Science Yardbird Race Tally #5—by bwren: "Welcome to the 2013 Daily Kos Backyard Science Yardbird Race! This is our fifth tally diary of the year, the official place to post your sightings, ask for help, and politely brag as much as you wish. Please let me know in the comments if I missed you last time or need to make any corrections. Alas, I got overwhelmed with keeping track of who's seen what, so there won't be any of those notes this month. Perhaps next time. It's never too late to join in." 
July 24, 2007.The Forest, Seattle. Licorice Fern, first fronds.
First fronds of licorice ferns

The Daily Bucket - Licorice Fern—by bwren: "The northern quarter of the Forest slips down gently, opening from the big conifers on the Forest ridge down into the light of Alder and Big-leaf Maple and on to Where-Grandmother-Tree-Used-To-Stand. The northern Barred Owl nest tree is located just where the slope begins, an older Douglas Fir with an elbow branch jutting out about a third of the way from the top. A mob of PO'd crows yelled from a place near the nest tree when we walked there today. Owl kept hidden as more crows streamed in from the west to join in the ruckus. I watched for a long time before moving on, and saw nothing.

Halfway down the slope is a stump, most likely the remains of a fallen Big-leaf Maple old enough that its body has melted into the forest floor. The only sign of its erstwhile presence is the stump and the Licorice Fern (Polypodium glycyrrhiza) rising up from the forest floor in a thick band to the northwest. Licorice Fern likes to grow on upright trees, but will hold its grip even years after its upright matrix has gone horizontal."

Daily Bucket, Sapsucker for sale, cheep.—by burnt out: "Yellow bellied sapsuckers don't live here in Missouri but they do travel through the state on their annual migration every spring and fall. Though I very rarely see them, they usually stop by and spend a little time in our yard in the midst of their trek. It's not hard to tell that they've been here. Their unique feeding habit of drilling a series of small holes in order to lap up the sap that runs from those holes is unmistakable and we have several trees in the yard that bear them." 

Iowa prairie burn
The Daily Bucket - Prairie Burn—by janislav: "Our prairies are crisscrossed with walking paths that we mow weekly in the summer. These paths serve as natural fire breaks between areas we want to burn and areas we do not plan to burn. The weather must cooperate for a safe burn. The prairie grasses from the previous year must be dry and winds must be light. The local fire department was called to notify them of the burn should someone report a grass fire. My neighbor and I were assisted by a member of the local volunteer fire department who was experienced in prairie burns. Also helping was our "good friend from up the road" who took 2 of the pictures that follow and manned an iron rake - the primary means of fire control." 

The Daily Bucket - Umbrella Magnolia—by foresterbob: "When I bought my house in Macon, Georgia at the end of the last millenium, the yard contained the usual suspects of nonnative (and often invasive) plants: Chinese privet, English ivy, Asian wisteria, liriope (monkey grass), nandina, and others. In the time that I've lived here, I've replaced most of those suspects with plants that are native, or at least ones that are not invasive. The invasive plants do not like being replaced, and they grow back repeatedly. As long as there are seed sources in my neighbors' yards, I will never win the battle, but I can keep them at bay."

Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 9.8 Hunting Desert Wildflowers—by Ed in Montana: "It has been nine years since the first of our trips to Death Valley National Park in search of Spring color and I remember that first year distinctly. It was February in the Northern Rockies with cold winds blowing dust around the snowless streets of the capital city. I was bored to death with my routine at work and life’s Winter routines in general. Go to work in the dark. Sit in front of the computer for 8-10 hours. Go home in the dark. Repeat until you go completely mad. One evening, NBC news featured a short piece on the remarkable wildflower bloom in the southern deserts and especially Death Valley National Park. I was transfixed by the huge splashes of bright color across the desert landscape. The next day at work, I was even more miserable than normal, knowing that something remarkable was happening in the Mojave Desert, just a twelve hundred miles south of town. A friend and co-worker said, “You look miserable. You should go.” I left four days later."

The Lone Pine Trail (Photo Diary)—by Ojibwa.

Eco-Activism and Sustainability

The Fossil Fuel Resistance—by Ewashstate: "I just read a fascinating story in the latest issue of Rolling Stone Magazine about the next big thing in global warming/climate change. Taken togther the new movement is loosely called The Fossil Fuel Resistance. It seems its becoming a very big thing, very much like a form of Occupy which itself, had many members who where also involved in the climate change movement."

Moapa to Lead Powerful, Symbolic Walk from Coal to Clean Energy—by Mary Anne Hitt: "Southern Nevada's Moapa Band of Paiutes are organizing a 16-mile "Walk from Coal to Clean Energy" on April 20, 2013 in concert with Earth Day. This walk will celebrate the tribe's efforts to retire the polluting Reid Gardner coal plant that adjoins their tribal lands, and also their success in developing the largest solar project on tribal lands in the nation, which will begin construction later this year. The walk will start at the coal plant and end at the solar site - a powerful symbol of change for Nevada and the nation."

Exxon Hates Your Children: The ad Exxon will not allow on air in AR—by Susan from 29: "Not satisfied with trying to prevent any media coverage of the Mayflower spill, Exxon has successfully forced television stations to pull an ad critical of its policies. 'Exxon is and will always be a bully,' said David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International. “Instead of engaging their critics appropriately, Exxon uses its billions to hire high-priced lawyers to make scary-sounding but unsupported legal claims to suppress criticism. It’s a window into how they have preserved billions in taxpayer handouts for their industry for so many years.'"

Bill McKibben: How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Democrats?—by TomDispatch: "A few weeks ago, Time magazine called the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline that will bring some of the dirtiest energy on the planet from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast the “Selma and Stonewall” of the climate movement.

Which, if you think about it, may be both good news and bad news. Yes, those of us fighting the pipeline have mobilized record numbers of activists: the largest civil disobedience action in 30 years and 40,000 people on the mall in February for the biggest climate rally in American history. Right now, we’re aiming to get a million people to send in public comments about the “environmental review” the State Department is conducting on the feasibility and advisability of building the pipeline.  And there’s good reason to put pressure on.  After all, it’s the same State Department that, as on a previous round of reviews, hired “experts” who had once worked as consultants for TransCanada, the pipeline’s builder.

Still, let’s put things in perspective: Stonewall took place in 1969, and as of last week the Supreme Court was still trying to decide if gay people should be allowed to marry each other. If the climate movement takes that long, we’ll be rallying in scuba masks. (I’m not kidding. The section of the Washington Mall where we rallied against the pipeline this winter already has a big construction project underway: a flood barrier to keep the rising Potomac River out of downtown DC.)" 

Farmers and Consumers vs. Monsanto: David Meets Goliath—by Bev Bell: "The maker of Agent Orange, Monsanto’s former motto used to be, 'Without chemicals, life itself would be impossible.' Today its tag line is 'Committed to Sustainable Agriculture, Committed to Farmers.' Its website claims the company helps farmers “be successful [and] produce healthier foods… while also reducing agriculture's impact on our environment.' It even boasts of the corporation’s dedication to human rights. Behind the PR gloss is a very different picture. Via Campesina, the world’s largest confederation of farmers with member organizations in 70 countries, has called Monsanto one of the 'principal enemies of peasant sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty for all peoples.' Via Campesina members also target Monsanto as a driving influence behind land grabs, forcing small farmers off their land and out of work. The agribusiness giants also contribute to climate change and other environmental disasters, outgrowths of industrial agriculture." 

Forests & Public Lands

DKos Tour Series: Joshua Tree National Park—by Jill Richardson: "I was first introduced to Joshua Tree, believe it or not, by a Kossack. Years ago, Occams Hatchet invited me to his family campout there. And I don't know if it was me or Googlemaps who had the brain fart, but the drive took hours more than I'd expected and I got there after dark and wasn't packed appropriately to spend the night in the cold weather. I ate some s'mores, hung out, and went home. Lesson learned: Yes, it's the desert, but it gets COLD." 

Hikers trekking the South Kaibab Trail.
DKos Tour Series: Grand Canyon National Park Hiking Trails (Addenda)—by richholtzin: "There are many trails into the Grand Canyon, but keep this well intended advice in mind if you intend to hike here: FOLKS, THERE ARE NO EASY TRAILS INTO THE CANYON. NONE. The trails, and in many cases the steeper switchbacks, in the Canyon are classified as "highways," 'backcountry,' or "backcountry-wilderness" (i.e., primitive as in 'What trail?')." 

DKos Tour Series: Wupatki National Monument Archeological Ruins—by richholtzin: "Wupatki's ruins, as an overall setting, is some 2,000 feet lower than the volcanic region north of Flagstaff. Hence, the monument's desert scrub vegetation is quite different. The three-story Wupatki Pueblo was once home to many people at different times, and agriculture was vital to sustain them. The settlement is built on the edge of a small plateau with unobstructed views eastward toward the Painted Desert and the valley of the Little Colorado River, entering the Grand Canyon region just east of the canyon at Cameron (notably, the famous Trading Post), and not too far from Wupatki. All the rooms at the ruins are partially reconstructed. Less than eight hundred years ago, Wupatki was the largest pueblo throughout the region." 

DKos Tour Series: Grand Canyon National Park (Part 2)—by richholtzin: "Today's continuing tour of the big ditch of northern Arizona gets a bit heavy given the theoretical explanation of how this chasm came to be a chasm." 

DKos Tour Series: Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico—by richholtzin: "Bandelier's main attraction is Frijoles Canyon. Its setting features a number of pueblo homes, kivas and petroglyphs. Some of these Ancestral Puebloan dwellings are structures built on the canyon floor, while others are alcoves high in the canyon wall. These sizable openings, called cavates, were later enlarged by humans. This rugged and arid landscape maintained an indigenous population that lived along the streams in the canyons, and in some cases on mesa tops above them. The Rito de los Frijoles ("Bean Creek") in Frijoles Canyon runs nearly year-round, while most canyons have seasonal streams that dry up during parts of the year."

Bandelier's Great Kiva

DKos Tour Series: Valley Of The Gods & Valley Of Fire—by richholtzin: "About 33 miles north of Monument Valley, this smaller rock-hewn estate is like a geologic afterthought. Here, in this 50-square-mile basin managed by the BLM, the studded and picturesque setting of spires, buttes and towers of this, the other neighborhood valley, represents a panorama of sheer fascination. Navajo legend says the lofty sandstone sentinels in the ocher-hued amphitheater setting are warriors long ago turned to stone. Its sprawling backcountry consists of miles and miles of exposed red rock, shallow dry river channels, and of course stunning, rising landmarks that beckon visitors. Just take plenty of water, for this is indeed a parched landscape, another desert Southwest place in one sense, yet very singular in another."

Air & Water Pollution, Mining, & Hazardous Wastes

Jury Orders Exxon-Mobil to Pay $236 Million for Contamination in NH Case—by ericlewis0

Three years after BP oil spill, new research finds massive die-off of Gulf ecosystem—by beach babe in fl: "Three years after the worst environmental disaster in US history, new research from the University of South Florida (USF) finds that the oil that spewed into the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon disaster three years ago killed off millions of amoeba-like creatures that form the basis of the gulf's aquatic food chain.
Tampa Bay Times Editorial in response to new research. The immediate lesson is that it will take years — if not decades — for a complete picture of how the BP spill damaged the gulf and that the nation cannot quickly walk away from the worst environmental disaster in its history. BP needs to be held accountable for the damage over the long term. And the federal government and the states need to acknowledge that offshore drilling remains highly risky, despite the post-spill safety reforms. This is no time to open more of the gulf to the unknown danger of oil drilling. Developing renewable energies and working harder on the conservation front must be the nation's new priority.

Lessons (Not) Learned From the Chevron Fire—by Consumer Watchdog: "On Friday, federal accident investigators told California legislators that the state’s patchwork of oil industry regulations needs a serious overhaul. The Chevron fire that produced a toxic cloud and sent 15,000 people to the hospital could have been prevented, but the system was reactive and not designed to foresee and forestall problems, said the U.S. Chemical Safety Board. Duh. The board didn’t need 18 months to come to that conclusion. But Don Holstrom, lead investigator for the board, did put his finger on one problem: the need to bump up the number, skills, and authority of refinery inspectors. Something smells when an agency purposefully cripples its own enforcement abilities." 

Trempeleau County - Home to One Quarter of the Sand Mines in Wisconsin—by Wisconsin Grassroots Network: "On Thursday, March 28, two members of the DeForest Area Progressives drove 2 & 1/2 hours north to Whitehall WI, pop. 1558, the county seat of Trempeleau county. The purpose of this visit was to show solidarity with a group of concerned citizens who were seeking a moratorium on sand mining in the county, which is now home to 25% of Wisconsin's permitted sand mines. All in all, the trip was both educational and depressing. I highly recommend that every progressive in the southern third of Wisconsin or Minnesota take the time to search out sand mines to the north of you, even if only on the web. These things are erupting like measles or small pox on the face of the land and are turning neighbor against neighbor. And what is worse: the miners are moving south."

Science info on iron mine in Wisconsin's Penokee Hills—by James Richard Bailey: "I'd like to provide some logical, scientific information about the open pit iron mine proposed for the Penokee Hills in Ashland and Iron Counties of Wisconsin. The first and most important thing to understand is the difference between the old style shaft mines that have operated in the past around the Ironwood/Hurley area and the open pit mine that is now being proposed for this region. The tailings piles that people keep referring to that are located adjacent to the Montreal River are tiny compared to the mountains of waste rock that would be generated by the Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) operation. In just the first phase of its operation, the GTAC mine would be the world's largest open pit iron mine. Period. We are talking a hole four miles long, a half mile wide and 1,000 feet deep. When I said mountains of waste rock that was no exaggeration. We are talking billions of tons of the stuff. And, they propose a total of three phases, extending through a 100-year time span."

Miscellany & Essays

The meaning of 'ex,' as in ExxonMobil—by hannah: "It is increasingly obvious that the U.S. economy has been and continues to be run by the ex-men. ExxonMobil can be their poster-child. First, the ex-men explore extract exhaust extinguish exterminate extort exact execute except, and then, when they are done, they become mobile and move on. It's the instinct of the predator or the herder writ large. To take free goods from Mother Nature to market for a profit is the essence of the 'free market.' It's lucky the corporate behemoth is bloated with dollars, figments of the imagination. Something more substantial would have caused it to explode, like the pipeline, by now." 

Margaret Thatcher's Stirring Call for Action on Climate Change, Transition to Clean Energy—by lowkell: [Her speech at the second World Climate Conference in 1990.] "The IPCC tells us that, on present trends, the earth will warm up faster than at any time since the last ice age. Weather patterns could change so that what is now wet would become dry, and what is now dry would become wet. Rising seas could threaten the livelihood of that substantial part of the world's population which lives on or near coasts. The character and behaviour of plants would change, some for the better, some for worse. Some species of animals and plants would migrate to different zones or disappear for ever. Forests would die or move. And deserts would advance as green fields retreated." 

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 01:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Climate Change SOS, Climate Hawks, Holy $h*tters, Kosowatt, and Gulf Watchers Group.

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