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 223 of these spotlighting more than 12,475 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to 88 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.]
Green Diary of the Week

This week's selection is a gorgeous photo diary from Haole in Hawaii. If you've been around here for any length of time, you're probably familiar with his fine work. And even if you're new, you've seen some of his photos, because all those in the Green Dairy Rescue banners are all his. Glad to see him back.

An Earth Day Photo Diary —by Haole in Hawaii.

Sunset on Oahu
Day's end on Oahu
Coming for lunch
Java sparrows

Pressurized Solar Steam Test!—by ZenManProject: "For the last half dozen years or so I've been studying solar power. I've been actively attempting to convert my book knowledge of optics, electrical engineering, physics and computer science into a working prototype for the last couple years. My main goal is to reduce the total system cost of concentrated solar power below fossil fuel. I recently got over a HUGE hurdle. My solar prototype has produced pressurized solar steam! This is a big deal. Boiling water with the sun is easy. Grab a lens and focus it on water and it'll boil. But creating a complete insulated steam system that can handle high pressure steam and can grow to any size necessary is a more difficult challenge."

Seeds of Change: Shifting National Agricultural Policies—by Bev Bell: "The need for us to become the policy-makers to create a just and sustainable food supply chain is urgent, because in the hands of the US government it has become increasingly unjust and unsustainable. Over the past 50 years, agricultural policies that once supported small- and mid-sized farmers have been whittled away. As a result, more than 100 family farms go out of business every week. The government has instead turned food production over to agribusiness and allowed large firms to buy up small producers and traders. Currently, in the pork, poultry, beef, and grain markets, the biggest four firmscontrol more than half the market share. Three companies control 90% of the massive global grain trade."

Please read below the fold to see a bunch more rescued green diaries.

The Great Outdoors

tree blossoms in Port Townsend, Washington
The Daily Bucket - A Palette of Green and White —by Milly Watt: "There is a color scheme that is very common in the early spring wildflowers here on the NE corner of the Olympic Peninsula of WA. I was struck by the number of white flowers during my walk in the woods yesterday."

The Daily Bucket - blooming Parsley—by enhydra lutris: "I have an Italian parsley that I have let go to seed. It is about 5 feet tall and developed what I had previously considered to be seed heads. Today some of them opened out into flowers. The plant produces numerous flower clusters, each looking like green Yarrow or Queen Anne's Lace, and each point in the cluster is a miniscule flower. These flowers sit there closed for the longest time, but today a very few have at last opened."

The Daily Bucket - 2013 Canada Goose nest watch. Goslings?—by bwren: "On March 26 I found the first pair of this year's Canada Geese setting up housekeeping down at the Marina, very close to the place where a pair had nested in 2011 and 2012. Five days later Mama Goose looked as if she was settled in for the duration. [...] Today I walked south from the parking lot where our street stops just above the Marina, under the cottonwood grove that shades the gravel nesting bank in the evening, and on past the willows that line the shoreline where the turtles sun themselves on floating logs. Searched the Marina island, and peered under the pier that connects the island to the boulevard. Continued, checking the spaces between the moored boats and their connecting docks, then paying attention to the widening gravel of the beach. There were no Canada Geese. No adults. No goslings."

Canada geese
Mama Goose and other birds not of a feather.
The Daily Bucket - First Housefinch Fledge—by enhydra lutris: "I saw what is probably my first housefinch fledge of the year today. I qualify that because ther have been two prior sightings where I thought I saw a fledgeling, but couldn't be sure. This one is definite, practically no tail and little feather tufts on the top of the head. "
The Daily Bucket: Ding Ding Ding - I got Sparkleberries—by PHScott: "The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note any observations of the natural world.  Birds, blooms, bugs and more, all are worthy additions to the bucket. Please let us know what is going on around you in the comments, with location as close as you care to share. [...] can't do a bucket without a bug so here is a dragonfly I found numbed out and not moving after a night in the upper 40s. No idea as to why it is resting upside down. Anyone know?"

Bluebells and woodland - what's not to love?—by shortfinals: "The ground cover is fairly diverse, but in spring - before the woodland canopy closes - it is carpeted with Common Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta). Although the Common Bluebell was, well, common when I was young (half the Bluebell woods in the world are in Britain), the status of this bulbous plant has changed somewhat. Their beautiful inflourescences still indicate an area of 'ancient woodland' (before 1600 in England & Wales, or 1750 in Scotland), but hybridisation with the introduced Spanish Bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica) has meant that this stronger hybrid strain (H. massartinia) has taken over in some locations."

bluebells in Durham, England
Landslide photo diary and update—by Lefty Coaster.

Dawn Chorus: Lost Dutchman and the Superstition Mountains—by tgypsy: "The Superstition Mountains are located east of Phoenix, Arizona. We visited the area a couple of weeks ago, staying at the Lost Dutchman State Park Campground. We've visited this park several times over the years - always in the spring. We like to go there for the spectacular scenery, for the abundance of wildflowers, and, of course, for the birds. Join me for a tour of this little gem of a place where just about anyone who loves the outdoors can find something of interest."

Moon sets over the Superstitions.
Eco-Activism and Sustainability

San Francisco Board of Supervisors to Vote Tomorrow on Divesting $500 million from Fossil Fuels —by citisven.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors UNANIMOUSLY Passes Resolution to Divest from Fossil Fuel—by citisven: "SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Board of Supervisors (SFERS) passed a unanimous resolution this afternoon calling on the San Francisco Employee Retirement System to divest over $583 million invested in the 200 corporations that hold the majority of the world’s fossil fuel reserves. The resolution makes San Francisco the third city in the nation after Ithaca and Seattle to push for fossil fuel divestment. If the SFERS Board agrees to the Supervisors’ request, it will become the largest pension fund in the country to divest from the fossil fuel industry."

Bill McKibben Epic Win: 10 More Cities Join Seattle to Divest from Fossil Fuel. UPDATED w/Santa Fe—by ericlewis0: "A move to turn fossil fuels into the 'new apartheid' has gathered pace as a further nine US cities join a push to sell any investments held in the coal, oil and gas industry blamed for climate change. San Francisco; Boulder, Colorado; and Madison, Wisconsin, are three of the nine cities following Seattle, whose $2bn city employee pension fund this year started looking at selling its fossil fuel holdings following a request from the city’s mayor, Mike McGinn.
The six other cities are: Berkeley, CA; Richmond, CA; Ithaca, NY; Rochester, Minn.; Eugene, OR; Bayfield, WI."

#NOKXL: Cut Off the Tar Sands - Switch to an Electric or Plug-In Vehicle—by Assaf: "The oil economy literally moves our world. Oil has a stranglehold on our very concept of movement. Take that monopoly away, even just on ground travel - and the entire malignant oil-politico-economic complex that generates global warming, wars and instability in many parts of the world, direct environmental destruction in many others, and disgusting government corruption everywhere - might collapse. Now, in 2013, the ability to defeat oil's monopoly is at our fingertips. We can do this. All that remains, is to spread this change by example and by word-of-mouth. How do I know?  For the past 8 months we've been leasing an all-electric 2012 Nissan Leaf as our main vehicle."

Green Party of Pennsylvania Stages Earth Day Protests Around the State—by ProgressivePatriotPA: "Yesterday was Earth Day, and to mark the occasion the Green Party of Pennsylvania—in partnership with over 60 other environmental organizations—held protest rallies at all six regional offices of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection across the state. The protests centered around a list of five demands, most of which relate to fracking, the commonly used term for hydraulic fracturing which is a process used to extract natural gas that involves drilling as far as 10,000 feet underground and injecting millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals to pressure rock into cracking and releasing the gas."

Animal Torture ruled Expressing 1st Amendment Right —by DRo: "U.S. District Judge Sim Lake on Wednesday ruled that a section of the law 'abridges (diminishes) the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution' in dismissing five federal counts against a couple  accused of creating and distributing 'animal crush videos.' [...] A petition has been launched to reverse this ruling. According to court records the couple still faces two federal counts in the indictment, for selling or transferring obscene matter, and production and transportation of obscene matter."

Bidder #70 Released From Prison For Earth Day/ UPDATED with interview from "Democracy Now"—by beach babe in fl: "Climate activist Tim DeChristopher is set to be released from prison on Earth Day, this Sunday April 21st, since being incarcerated on July 26, 2011. It's amazing to consider his release from prison lands right on Earth Day. Poetic justice abounds."

Climate Change

Recent Temps Highest in 1400 Years, Reversed 2000 Years of Cooling—by FishOutofWater: "The largest consortium of scientists ever assembled to work on the climate of the past 2000 years combined detailed regional data sets and analyses to make an systematic analysis of climate change over the past two millennia. They determined that the period from 1971 to 2000 was the warmest since a warm spike over over 1300 years ago. The recent decade 1981 to 2010 has apparently reversed 2000 years of natural cooling resulting from declining summertime insolation in the northern hemisphere related to earth's natural orbital variations. This is the largest and most comprehensive validation yet of the recent rapid warming trend found by Dr. Michael Mann, derided by 'skeptics' as 'the hockey stick.'"

Carbon Bubble will plunge the world into another financial crisis says report—by beach babe in fl: "The so-called "carbon bubble" is the result of an over-valuation of oil, coal and gas reserves held by fossil fuel companies. According to a report published on Friday, at least two-thirds of these reserves will have to remain underground if the world is to meet existing internationally agreed targets to avoid the threshold for 'dangerous' climate change. If the agreements hold, these reserves will be in effect unburnable and so worthless – leading to massive market losses. But the stock markets are betting on countries' inaction on climate change."

Believe in Carbon Dating? Believe people cause Global Warming!—by Tom Lum Forest: "So what we get is more carbon dioxide with a smaller fraction of 13C all the time. The only way for that to happen is for the ancient  13 C - free carbon to be released, via human combustion of fossil fuels.  As of last week, Mauna Loa was at 398.41 PPM - 2.33 PPM higher than this time last year; 20.37 PPM over 10 years ago; and almost 120 PPM higher than the pre-industrial levels. We are frogs in a boiling pot, we lit the fire, and we are still adding more fuel it."

A Path to the Future—by Michael Brune: "The 20 million Americans with family members whose legal status is in limbo share the Sierra Club's concerns about climate and the environment. For example, our own polls indicate that Latinos support environmental and conservation efforts with even greater intensity than the average American: 90 percent of Latino voters favor clean energy over fossil fuels. A California study found that 74 percent of Asian-Americans, the fastest growing group in America, accept climate science. Yet, significant numbers of these stakeholders and change agents have been denied their civil rights in the public arena. The Sierra Club is committed to partnering with all who share our urgent concerns about advancing our democracy and fighting the climate crisis. It is time for us to work together."

Climate Change: Can't We All Get Along—by webranding: "I live in a pretty rural area. This is the view outside my front door a summer or so ago: Not so liberal of a town/place. If you came and spent a few days with me you would be stunned. Folks in public will tell you Obama is a Muslim, from Kenya. He wants to take your guns away. IMHO stupid is everywhere. Logic or facts don't seem to matter. It can and is painful. But then something strange can happen. Bring up climate change and those same folks will start to sound like pot smoking hippie liberals."

Climate Change Deniars Are Trying Harder—by Suzanne 3.

Hansen calls for an End to Subsidies that ensure our continued Oil Dependency—by jamess: "There has been some backroom back-slapping going on this week, at the intersection of US Resource Management Agencies and Canadian Oil Extraction Ministers; and at the heart of the wrangling is the "credibility" of what a former NASA Scientist has said about the Keystone Pipeline's potential to kick the world's Carbon level up into the stratosphere. Up by 150 points (ppm) when all is said and done, and seeing as how the world just broke the 400 ppm CO2 milestone -- that is decidedly NOT good news. Yet we, as a society, continue to "support" the Ministers of Oil Extraction by giving their clients (like TransCanada) free use of our land, our water, and our air. We, as a society, fail to charge them for the "hidden costs" of what their very profitable product, will ultimately end up costing us."

The real hoaxers of climate change—by Meteor Blades: "It would be so therapeutic to laugh off this lunacy. To acknowledge that in a Congress of 535 members there are bound to be a couple or three morons. A handful of representatives and senators providing the nation with a daily eye-roll. Hicks and halfwits who sit heavy-lidded in meetings all day long with their earbuds tuned into Limbaugh or other hate-radio losers."

Climate change, world energy production in 2030—by Deward Hastings: "Note that 2030 is three years short of my general projection of 450ppm CO2 within 20 years (based on current trends) ... but then this article suggests an even more substantial growth in CO2 (although it's unmentioned in the report) than I have been assuming, and neither account for probable “natural” releases of CO2 and Methane from sources in the warming Arctic (permafrost and clathrates). It does not look very promising."

#NOKXL Over 1 Million Comments! Earth Is Near the Planetary Habitable Zone Limit—by FishOutofWater: "The geologic record shows that the earth has one last line of defense against large releases of greenhouse gases, but that natural defense would be catastrophic to modern human civilization."

What the birds and the birders are telling us—by Dave in Northridge: "And what are today’s birds telling us? The Audubon Society estimates that nearly 60 percent of 305 bird species found in North America in winter are shifting northward and to higher elevations in response to climate change. For comparison, imagine the inhabitants of 30 states — using state residence as a proxy for species of American human — becoming disgruntled with forest fires and drought and severe weather events, and seeking out suitable new habitat. Don't believe in climate change? THE BIRDS ARE TELLING YOU IT'S HAPPENING."

How Climate Change Destroyed Our Civilization: A View From The Year 2373—by Dartagnan. A Review: "'To the historian studying this tragic period of human history, the most astounding fact is that the victims knew what was happening and why. Indeed, they chronicled it in detail precisely because they knew that fossil fuel combustion was to blame. Historical analysis also shows that Western civilization had the technological know-how and capability to effect an orderly transition to renewable energy, yet the available technologies were not implemented in time.' From Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, 'The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future,' Daedalus, Winter 2013."

Illinois drought and flooding isn't climate change. It's a Climate Clusterfuck.—by Willinois: "Remember the stories about rivers in Illinois earlier this year? They were about a long drought so bad it was slowing barge traffic on the Mississippi River down to a halt. And here we are in spring with our rivers and half the state flooded. In fact, heavy flooding forced the closure of about a dozen locks on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Sections of both rivers have been closed to barge traffic. [...] As usual, almost no one in the press is pointing it out, but this is exactly what those nagging scientists told us would happen."

Food & Agriculture & Gardening

Macca's Meatless Monday...All we are saying is give Earth a chance—by beach babe in fl: "Fast forward forty-three years to today and the challenges have increased.  We are now dealing with a limited time frame to solve the most crucial environmental challenge in our planet's history, that of Climate Change.. We have lost precious time and are needed to try to influence policy changes but we are also needing to make the changes that must be made in our own carbon intensive lives. We are fortunate in that the simple decision of what to eat that we make everyday can have tremendous consequences to our environment and can be part of the solution to mitigating the worst effects of climate change."

Monsanto Exempt from GMO Prosecution—by rktect: "A Congress that allows lobbyists to write legislation and or suggest language and amendments which get buried in bills that nobody reads does more damage to this country than any terrorist act of sabotage and ought to be treated accordingly."

Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 9.10—by Frankenoid: "We’re getting suspicious of nice weather here in Denver.  Our average temperature for the month of April has been over 8° colder than normal — since the beginning of the month we’d get a few nice days, and think it was time to contemplate basking in the sun. Only to look around and see storm clouds gathering."


BP's Gulf Oil Spill Was Worse Than You Thought—by Baculum King: "In a piece far too long to extract here Newsweek details BP's successful coverup of the extent of the spill and the true nature of the "dispersant" from the public, the Government and even the workers they hired to "clean" it up. I know, accusing a corporation, especially an oil company, of dishonesty is shocking, but it looks like Newsweek has the goods this time."

New Solar Farm Shows Clean Energy Can Be Compatible with Conservation Values —by Mary Anne Hitt: "Today the Sierra Club welcomes the Antelope Valley Solar Projects in California, one of the largest planned solar projects in the U.S., as developer SunPower and owner MidAmerican Solar marked the start of major construction. The Sierra Club endorsed the project early on because it was planned and sited in a way that protected local plants and wildlife. [...] The solar farm will go online in 2015 and provide 579 megawatts of real clean energy, enough to power approximately 400,000 homes. The projects will help California meet its renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions goals, as well as displacing demand for dirty fossil fuels like coal or natural gas. These solar panels will also offset more than 775,000 tons of carbon per year, the emissions equivalent of three million cars over the next 20 years."

One Doable Policy Change that Can Dramatically Expand Clean Energy—by Billy Parish: "So here’s a modest proposal: let’s open up to ordinary people some of the incentives for clean energy investments that big banks already enjoy. Specifically, let’s make it much easier for anyone to access the federal Investment Tax Credit. Thanks to the federal Investment Tax Credit, investors can receive as much as 30% of the capital they put into clean projects back as a tax credit, which they can use to reduce their overall tax burden. As it stands now, though, this tax credit can only offset what the government calls “passive activities income.” A good example of passive activities income would be income from a rental property. The owner is not actively participating in generating the income; the income passively accrues."

Nearly Zero-Carbon Grid: An Example—by mojo workin: " a zero carbon grid in the real world can be achieved with aggressive use of nuclear power.  This is proof, right here, right now. Renewables, however desireable,  can't be relied upon and that has real world consequences without utility-scale storage.  Ontario has spent, and wasted, vast sums building gas plants which are a consequence of needing shadow-capacity to back up the wind fleet. "Back-up" is a misnomer, however, because the wind fleet doesn't produce 75% of the time.  It is, in essence, a way to greenwash new gas plants. If we want to slash emissions, coal must be retired and the only way to do that is with nuclear power to get to any scale like the example I just cited."

Was Fukushima inevitable?—by 6412093: "Long-suppressed court documents now reveal that GE originally put the Mark I into service without rigorously testing its ability to survive operational problems and disasters. A recent investigative report by Cascadia Times documented that GE knew all along they’d designed faulty reactors.  GE hoped they could fix them later. Instead of coming up with a better design, GE suppressed information, ignored complaints from engineers and wrote “limited liability” contracts with utilities that unwittingly bought these reactors."

Turkey Point Nuclear Plant adds 400MWs!—by davidwalters: "Turkey Point 4 was the last of the units to undergo an extended power uprate: work was completed at Turkey Point 3 and St Lucie 1 and 2 in 2012. The overall project was initially projected to add a total of 399 MWe, but according to FPL it surpassed that mark by end of 2012, and it is now estimated that the major engineering work at the plants will add around 30% more capacity than originally projected. The power increase has been achieved through significant upgrades to plant systems and components, including feedwater pumps and high-pressure turbines."

Florida sues BP, Haliburton for Deepwater Horizon damages—by Christian Dem in NC: "Late yesterday—around the time Dzokhar Tsarnaev was taken into custody—Florida attorney general Pam Bondi announced the state of Florida is suing BP and Haliburton for damages related to the Deepwater Horizon spill."

"The Sky Lit Up Orange!" Natural Gas Barges Explode on Mobile River in Alabama This Evening—by jpmassar.

Good News in Arctic Oil Drilling!—by ek hornbeck: "When we started 2012 there were 3 Oil Companies with licenses to drill in the Alaskan Arctic- Statoil (Norwegian), Royal Dutch Shell, and ConocoPhillips. Last fall Statoil announced it was not going to start Arctic activity before 2015, well before the scope and depth of the Shell failure became apparent.  Woefully ill-prepared Shell was forced to withdraw after they wrecked all their equipment (to the tune of $4.5 Billion and counting) and send it to South Korea for repair. This week ConocoPhillips announced that it will not start operations until 2014 at the earliest either."

ExxonMobil rakes in $9.5 billion profit, on which it will pay a 13 percent tax rate, if that—by Meteor Blades: "One tax break is particularly egregious. Exxon (and other oil companies) don't have to pay eight cents a barrel into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for tar sands oil. That's because tar sands oil gets an exemption from the tax because it's not "conventional oil." Very convenient when your company spills a half-a-million gallons of ... uh ... unconventional oil somewhere as Exxon's Pegasus pipeline did on Easter Sunday in the little town of Mayflower, Arkansas. An incredible mess. For PR purposes, Exxon called this "oil." For tax purposes, however, it's "dilbit," diluted bitumen shipped from the tar sands of Alberta. The tar sands deposits are definitely unconventional "oil" that is dirtier, harder to extract, harder to refine, harder and more expensive to clean up, and viewed by many of its fans as North America's pathway to the elusive objective of energy independence."

Keystone & Other Fossil Fuel Transport

President: Raise a Million Voices/KXL Campaign: Okay—by Bill McKibben: "It's as if the president was setting it up for us. This morning, in his Earth Day proclamation, he said: 'Nothing is more powerful than millions of voices calling for change.' This afternoon, as we entered the final hours of the 45-day drive for public comments, a passel of green groups announced that Americans opposed to Keystone had, in fact, sent 1,036,542 of those comments off to the State Dept. They explained all the ways that State's EIS was inadequate--a finding echoed late this afternoon, when quite astonishingly, the EPA, in its formal comments, declared that State's work was 'insufficient.'"

The traditional media's shoddy reporting on the Keystone XL pipeline is no surprise—by Laurence Lewis: "If the traditional media were professional and honorable, they would research and report facts, as accurately as possible. On questions of science, they would talk to scientists. When talking to scientists, they would not give equal or even more time to those whose opinions are in a teeny tiny minority. But on climate issues, the traditional media are not professional and honorable, they almost never talk to scientists, and when they do talk to scientists they give wildly disproportionate coverage to the opinions of those who are so marginal and discredited as to be no better than flat-Earthers.

Appropriately and with great timing, this year's Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting went not to any traditional media outlet, but to the online site InsideClimate News, "for their rigorous reports on flawed regulation of the nation’s oil pipelines, focusing on potential ecological dangers posed by diluted bitumen (or 'dilbit'), a controversial form of oil." InsideClimate has an entire page dedicated to Keystone, tar sands, and oil sands. The information is plentiful, even if the traditional media choose to ignore or distort it."

Shouldn't We Know Whether Tar Sands Causing Cancer With First Nations Before XL Pipeline Decision?—by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse: For years, there have been increased cancer rates for First Nations (Athabasca Chipewyan, Fort McKay Metis,  and Mikesew Cree) communities in Canada, as well as impacts on water, fish and animals. Several studies have been conducted over the years, each suggesting a link between tar sands development and cancer and now a definitive study will soon be commenced. The U.S. has a legal, political and moral obligation to wait for the study results before deciding whether to approve the XL tar sands pipeline."

#NOKXL: The 'UnSilent' Spring—by boatsie: "Dear Mr. President: I refer often to the Malia-Sasha Horizon, probably because it is such an evocative and powerfully framed concept on the impending and foreseeable impact of climate change. And as I listened throughout the day Thursday as 311 people spoke at the State Department's Keystone XL hearing in Grand Island, Nebraska,  I was equally inspired by the speakers' breadth of knowledge and the rawness of their emotions as they appealed to you as a father. As a future grandfather."

Asking State Dept for more time on comment period for Keystone XL—by bateach.

TransCanada is surprised by the 'about face' by the EPA on the Keystone XL EIS—by jamess: "The significance of this seemingly "about face" of the EPA on Keystone XL, is not lost on the TransCanada — the company with the most to lose, if the USA fails to do their world-market bidding. [...] The significance of the EPA's 'hold on a minute' speaks volumes. So much so that TransCanada decided to pull out their 'big guns' today and aim them directly at the USA's EPA — their big 'national sovereignty' guns, that is."

Keystone XL Pipeline is NOT Canadian—by Agathena: "Transcanada is a North American company. Like many American companies with operations in Canada, we are incorporated and registered in both Canada and the United States. We currently have over 1,600 talented employees in 33 U.S.states.Our U.S.operations are headquartered in Houston and will be responsible fort he U.S. construction of Keystone XL."

#NOKXL From Alberta Tar Sands to Steele City, Nebraska—by Agathena: "Thousands of miles of Canada's boreal forests are being destroyed by the 24-hour-a-day strip mining for bitumen. That bitumen is then diluted with chemicals to form dilbit the product that will be flowing in the Keystone XL pipeline at the rate of 830,000 barrels a day. The Keystone XL pipe line begins at Hardisty, Alberta Canada, the hub where all the pipelines from the tar sands deposits in Alberta meet. It is south of Fort MacMurray, Alberta the center of the Canadian tar sands mining. Blocking the KXL will discourage investment and slow down the destruction of the boreal forest. No matter what the oil industry says, the forests, the wetlands, rivers and lakes cannot be reclaimed."

Boreal forest being cut so tar sands can be stripped.
The Pipeline Itself Won’t Mind Climate Change: KXL Report’s Internal Inconsistency—by 350ppmc02: "To paraphrase liberally, it appears that you are saying: “don’t worry – a well-built, well-covered steel pipeline can handle worst-case changes in temperature and precipitation … however, in other parts of our analysis, we’ll won’t play out this worst case.” This does not meet basic standards of internal consistency. I expect Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama to base their decisions on well-written summaries of complex social technical issues. At the least, Volume II, especially sections 4.1-4.16 and 5.3, must be completely revised."

CA-49: Darrell Issa Continues to Push Keystone Pipeline - There He Goes Again!—by pipsorcle: "It's wonderful how a Congressman like Darrell Issa continues to give the lamest reasons in the world for the Keystone Pipeline without even paying one ounce of attention to the factual information that is coming out of NASA as pertains to global warming."

EPA Slams State Dept.'s Rosy Assessment of Keystone XL Pipeline—by ericlewis0: "'Insufficient information' — yowch. That ought to leave a mark. I remember being saddened by the State Department's recent report on the pipeline, thinking it amounted to a green light from the Obama Administration. But this criticism from the EPA would seem to indicate the situation is more complicated than that."

KXL, a native perspective.... Protecting Mother Earth!!—by Marty Cobenais: "How ironic is it that the final day for comments on the KXL is today.  Fighting this proposed black snake for 3+ years I have had the honor to meet and learn a lot about this land, and its people. I have learned of why people are fighting this project for many different reasons. Water is the key to this whole fight for all. Starting at the source, the dirty Alberta Tar Sands Region. They use 4-6 barrels of water to make 1 barrel of bitumen. The water is contaminated and is effecting the lives and health of the people, animals, and fish down stream. First Nations peoples lives and way of life are directly impacted, as they are not allowed to safely hunt, collect and live off the land like they have done for thousands of years."

Earth Day vs. Tar Sands—by Michael Brune: "A just-released report from Oil Change International, "Cooking the Books," shows that the carbon emissions from the Keystone XL pipeline alone would be enough to undermine most of the progress that we've made to date on limiting climate-disrupting carbon pollution. If approved, the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would be responsible for the carbon-pollution equivalent of more than 37.7 million cars -- every single year. Between 2015 and 2050, Keystone XL's emissions would add up to more carbon pollution than the entire United States produced during 2011."

Keystone XL Pipeline: Can John Kerry’s State Department Finally Get it Right?—by RossHammond: "To reject this flawed review, Secretary Kerry will have to tune out an army of Washington lobbyists and public relations firms that TransCanada and the Province of Alberta have hired to make sure that the Obama administration rubber stamps the permit application. These include three former U.S. ambassadors to Canada as well as former Kerry, Obama and Hillary Clinton staffers such as Kerry presidential campaign staff members David Castagnetti and Broderick Johnson. They also include former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn (who once worked under Kerry at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee). Dunn’s firm SKDKnickerbocker, which is stocked with many former Kerry and Obama staffers, is being paid an undisclosed amount by TransCanada to help with its efforts to secure approval for the pipeline. According to The New York Times, Dunn has met with top White House officials more than 100 times since leaving the administration in 2009."

The Pipeline Itself Won’t Mind Climate Change: KXL Report’s Internal Inconsistency —by 350ppmc02: "To paraphrase liberally, it appears that you are saying: “don’t worry – a well-built, well-covered steel pipeline can handle worst-case changes in temperature and precipitation … however, in other parts of our analysis, we’ll won’t play out this worst case.” This does not meet basic standards of internal consistency. I expect Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama to base their decisions on well-written summaries of complex social technical issues. At the least, Volume II, especially sections 4.1-4.16 and 5.3, must be completely revised."

Breaking: Facebook Backed Group Supporting KXL —by AoT: "FWD.US, a political group backed by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, is currently running ads in support of the Keystone XL pipeline, among other issues."

Eco-Related DC & State Politics

NM-Sen: Tom Udall (D) Reintroduces The Radiation Exposure Compensation Amendments Act —by poopdogcomedy: "U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) on Friday, April 19, led a bipartisan group of senators in renewing their efforts to expand restitution for Americans sickened from working in uranium mines or living downwind of atomic weapons tests. April 19 was the 24th anniversary of the introduction of the original Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) in the U.S. Senate. Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), James Risch (R-Idaho), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) joined Tom Udall in reintroducing the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) Amendments of 2013, according to a press release provided by Udall’s Washington office."

From Floods to Drought and Back: Global Weirding—by RuralRoute: "This year's and 2011's floods sandwich a drought that saw our rural water systems in southwest Minnesota and the Buffalo Ridge stressed to the point that new industries requesting water had to be turned down. The (maybe ) fix for that is the unfinished Lewis and Clark water system, a better part of a billion dollar bunch of pipelines and pumps to bring water from the aquifers along the Missouri as far as south central Minnesota. Good luck getting that funded with the GOP halting all "pork" except their own. So yes, we can maybe mitigate global warming for a few billion dollars just for the Buffalo Ridge and a bit beyond. But this ain't global warming, it's global weirding, with a return of the dust bowl, the flood that swallowed Fargo, and the Hurricane that dumped the built environment from Miami to Naples back into the Everglades in the offing..."

Bush will go down in history as person who doomed the planet—by beach babe in fl: "So with all the areas of failure to Bushs legacy and to the American people we need to keep this in prospective. Destroying the world for future generations; now that is a legacy worthy of our 43rd president."

GOP law weakening protection of Mich dunes bearing fruit for developers, sensitive dunes at risk—by Eclectablog: "Lost in the shuffle of last year's orgy of Republican overreach in the Michigan legislature was the passage of the legislation that became Public Act 297. Signed into law August, the law is described, in part, as 'an act to protect the environment and natural resources of the state.' In his announcement about the signing of the bill into law with the Orwellian title "Snyder signs bill protecting sand dunes, rights of homeowners", Governor Snyder had the audacity to say that he 'worked with the bill sponsor to ensure Michigan's dunes are protected for the benefit of present and future generations.' What the law does, in fact, is quite the opposite."

NJ-Sen/Gov: Frank Pallone (D) Hits Chris Christie (R) For Cutting The Clean Energy Fund —by poopdogcomedy: "Just this week, we found out Christie planned to divert another $10 million dollars from the Clean Energy Fund to close his budget gap– making the total $160 million dollars. While the Governor relies on gimmicks to balance the budget, New Jersey’s progress toward energy efficiency suffers the consequences. It’s time we show Christie exactly what we think of this plan."

Fish & Wildlife

tiny birds —by blueyedace2: Photo diary.

US Fish and Wildlife to Delist the Wolf Across Entire US—by ban nock: "The story in the LA times has quotes from they usual CBD and a prof but nothing from the USFWS. This is probably the new Interior Secretary's first controversial act though in fairness she probably had nothing to do with it, these kinds of things are years in the making and the result of both science and department policy."

The Bean died on Earth Day—by malapert: "My wife and I are wildlife rehabilitators, mostly working with birds and small mammals. She has all the licenses, I help feed, clean, build caging, assist in capture and release, and help restrain more recalcitrant patients so they can be fed and medicated. This is the just the beginning of our busy season. From late April until mid-fall our lives are not our own; both of us can't be away for more than two hours because there's always some tiny critter who needs frequent feedings. If we do go away for more than two hours—a rare event—we have to take tubs and cages of critters with us. We start feeding first thing in the morning, and are quite often still feeding well after ten at night. The Bean came in a few days ago from the Vet, the sort of incoming patient that makes each of us take a deep breath and prepare for intensive care, non-stop worry, and an all too high probability of heartbreak. The Bean was a baby red squirrel, at most two days old. Pink, naked, blind."

The Daily Bucket - 2013 Canada Goose nest watch. Goslings?—by bwren: "On March 26 I found the first pair of this year's Canada Geese setting up housekeeping down at the Marina, very close to the place where a pair had nested in 2011 and 2012. Five days later Mama Goose looked as if she was settled in for the duration. [...] Today I walked south from the parking lot where our street stops just above the Marina, under the cottonwood grove that shades the gravel nesting bank in the evening, and on past the willows that line the shoreline where the turtles sun themselves on floating logs. Searched the Marina island, and peered under the pier that connects the island to the boulevard. Continued, checking the spaces between the moored boats and their connecting docks, then paying attention to the widening gravel of the beach. There were no Canada Geese. No adults. No goslings."

Canada geese
Mama Goose and other birds not of a feather.
Forests, Parks & Other Public Lands

The Peak District National Park- first among equals! —by shortfinals: "Whatever you might have thought, Britain came very late to the idea of National Parks, and the main reason was — people. You see, Britain was full of beautiful countryside, with many unique geological formations and rare flora and fauna. The main problem was that it was, for the most part, inhabited (or farmed or forested or used as a shooting preserve) and had been so for thousands of years! The US model of buying up land with Federal funds or soliciting private donations would simply not work. With a small, crowded island, a new way would have to be found — yet it MUST be found, or the last areas of unspoilt natural beauty would be lost."

Peavy Arboretum: Street Prophets—by BlueJessamine: "Recently I visited the Peavy Arboretum in Corvallis. It ia very lovely area filled with trees, native plants and birds."

Glacier National Park: What Came Before—by Ojibwa: "Long before Glacier National Park was created it was used by American Indians and then, in the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century, by a few non-Indians who can be classified as 'mountain men,' trappers, social rejects, hermits, prospectors, fortune hunters, and rugged individualists. Glacier National Park, according to archaeological data and Native American oral tradition, has been used by American Indians for more than 10,000 years. Among the Indian nations which utilized the area now encompassed within Glacier National Park were the Cree, Gros Ventre (Atsina), Nakota (Assiniboine), Pend d’Oreille, Bitterroot Salish (Flathead), Blackfoot, and Kootenai."

Natural Wanderings: Searching for Wild Indigos—by PHScott: "This day was spent wandering in the Lake Talquin State Forest with a state forest biologist and a Professor Emeritus from FSU Biology Dept -- Mike and LA. We were in search of a rare wild indigo and looking for samples for the Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium. There is some question about a Baptisia that was identified in 1933 and whether it was a subspecies or not. We did not find that one but we did see lots of others."

Dkos Tour Series: Hiking The Honaker Trail (Down To The Goosenecks)—by richholtzin: "The Honaker Trail: This rough hewn trail to the bottom was constructed in 1893 as a supply route down to the river for gold prospectors. However, the route proved too rugged even for pack animals. Besides, the gold rush was short-lived in this territory. Nevertheless, the trail has endured the test of time."

DKos Tour Series: Goosenecks Of The San Juan State Park—by richholtzin: "Goosenecks SP overlooks a series deep and impressive bends of the San Juan River. These serpentine bends are considered the most classic entrenched meanders in the world."

The Peak District National Park- first among equals! —by shortfinals: "Whatever you might have thought, Britain came very late to the idea of National Parks, and the main reason was — people. You see, Britain was full of beautiful countryside, with many unique geological formations and rare flora and fauna. The main problem was that it was, for the most part, inhabited (or farmed or forested or used as a shooting preserve) and had been so for thousands of years! The US model of buying up land with Federal funds or soliciting private donations would simply not work. With a small, crowded island, a new way would have to be found — yet it MUST be found, or the last areas of unspoilt natural beauty would be lost."

DKos Tour Series: Hovenweep National Monument—by richholtzin: "Here is found a remarkable construction of singular designs of dwellings, almost a Medieval castle impression complete with an engaging watchtower. What was the intended function of the square and round-tower shapes? This austere and outback setting is a possible astronomical site similar to Chaco, though diminutive by comparison."

Pollution & Hazardous Wastes

Courts Affirm EPA's Power to Stop Mountaintop Mining —by FishOutofWater: "The EPA's authority to revoke the permit of the Spruce 1 mine, the largest planned mountaintop removal mine in America was reestablished by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, reversing a lower court decision. [...] The Spruce 1 Mine would have covered many miles of the headwaters of streams with pulverized rock mine waste that the Bush administration and mining industry renamed "fill". The EPA determined that the Spruce 1 mine would violate the Clean water Act and revoked the Army Corps of Engineers permit to mine. EPA monitoring has shown that water flowing out of these mining residues contains toxic chemicals (e.g. arsenic and selenium) in amounts that would exceed regulatory limits."

Trifecta—Patient Safety, Pollution Prevention & Privacy—by Consumer Watchdog: "On Wednesday, the state’s top toxics regulator shut down the state’s largest battery recycler, Exide, for leaking lead, arsenic and other toxins into the surrounding community for more than two decades. The action came only after Consumer Watchdog exposed endemic failures at the Department of Toxic Substances Control to prevent pollution and punish serial polluters in our report, Golden Wasteland. Nevertheless, Californians could be on the hook for millions in clean-up costs because the DTSC never required the company to put money away for cleanup."

Earth Day, Earth Spin —by Consumer Watchdog: "The Director of the DTSC, Debbie Raphael, recently characterized her agency as one that 'creates ballfields, parks, schools, and vibrant communities.' She says, 'We hold people accountable for polluting the world and California. We protect drinking water…we give people a voice. We are problem solvers. We protect. We heal.' Really? Tell that to the poisoned community of Wildomar built on toxic soil, or to the community of Los Nietos in the heart of Los Angeles that may be drinking water laced with carcinogenic hexavalent chromium, or to the people of Simi Valley who suffer the runoff of carcinogenic waste from the land Boeing owns at the Santa Susana Field Lab that suffered the worst nuclear meltdown in US history years ago."

Essays, Eco-Policy & Eco-Philosophy

Don’t Believe the Hype: Dirty Pipeline Won’t Rebuild America, Investing in Infrastructure Will—by Phaedra Ellis Lamkins: "Just take a look at our water infrastructure. We have a water crisis in America today—our outdated systems lead to 23,000-75,000 sewage overflows a year, and 3.5 million Americans get sick just from swimming in contaminated water. The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that we need to invest at least $188.4 billion over the next five years just to make our water infrastructure safe and reliable. That translates into a lot of jobs: roughly 2 million. Compare that with just a handful of temporary jobs created by the Keystone pipeline. Investments in our water infrastructure would also generate an estimated $265.6 billion in economic activity."

3 miles of breathable air, 12 miles of life.—by respectisthehub: "We humans live in 3 miles of breathable air. As far as we know, all the life on this planet reproduces itself in a twelve mile strip between the Marianas Trench and the top of Everest, and yet we are still talking about saving a planet we can't destroy. Let's stop asking people to worry about the big ole rock, when we want them to  visualize that their thin and wispy 3 miles of air are in danger, and that twelve miles of life is a fragile thing."

Earth Day No. 1 vs Earth Day No. 43—by Thunderthief: "Manny of you have probably seen this pollposted on the Huffington Post today.  [On the first Earth Day] 63% of Americans believed it was ‘very important’ to work to restore and enhance the national environment. In 2013, only 39% said it was very important. This sounds alarming on the face of it. What changed? The conservative revolution? The generational change? The endless onslaught of four decades of “regulations cost jobs” punditry funded by Wall Street? Apathy bred of weariness? I don’t think that’s it."

Two More Victories in the Fight Against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining—by Mary Anne Hitt: "While the fight to end mountaintop removal coal mining is still far from over, we are celebrating today's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on a massive mountaintop removal project, the Spruce Mine. The court affirmed that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority under the Clean Water Act to veto mountaintop removal coal mining permits after they've been issued. This is a major milestone in the fight to end the destructive practice of mountaintop removal mining."


Woman in bee costume at the Earth Ball in Corvallis, OR, on Earth Day, 2013
Big Bee
Earth Ball: All Species Masquerade—by blue jessamine: "This past Saturday the Corvallis Environmental Center hosted the Earth Ball: All Species Masquerade. There was live music, dancing, Earth Fair Eco-exhibits, local food & drink,  Mask-making Station and face painting. The Corvallis Environmental Center (CEC) is a 501c3 that was founded in 1994 as a grassroots effort to take action on a number of environmental issues. Our mission is to educate, engage, and inspire people to get involved in creating a healthy, sustainable community. The CEC fills an important niche in our community–educating and assisting people in the areas of local food security, environmental education, and energy conservation. Every year we directly reach more than 10,000 people through the activities of core program areas."

Green India Rising—by beach babe in fl: "In 2009 Dr. Manmohan Singh became the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1957 and 1962 to be re-elected to a consecutive five-year term. Singh a member of the left leaning United Progressive Alliance and a trained economist understood the challenges. Under his leadership India averaged an economic growth rate of 7.5% for several years prior to 2007, and has more than doubled its hourly wage rates during the first decade of the 21st century. Some 431 million Indians have left poverty since 1985; India's middle classes are projected to number around 580 million by 2030. Singh is lifting his people using the economic model of green sustainability. His government has initiated a National Plan For Climate Change(pdf). India being a tropical country; is well situated to make a major shift to sustainable solar."

Earth Day Procession of the Species: Photo Heavy!!—by BlueJessamine: "The Procession of the Species kicked off Earth Day 2013 in Corvallis Saturday with events planned through out the week."

Earth Day Procession of the Species in Corvallis, OR 2013
All, right what species is that?
The Thing that is Not Cold Fusion—by Collin237: "Cold fusion is impossible, so why do serious scientists continue to study it? There are the typical psych answers, but they don't cut it. Clearly there is a real reaction these scientists are studying. Just as clearly, it's not nuclear. The problem is how to explain this to the public. If they tell the truth, that it's real but it's not fusion, almost nobody will believe them. It'd sound like a typical coverup line."
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