|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 236 of these spotlighting more than 13,334 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to 77 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.]|
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On Chris Hayes Show, Climate Scientist Michael Mann Lays Out Stark Choice for Virginia This November—by lowkell: "I've said it a million times, but I'll say it again and again: anyone who denies climate science should be marginalized, laughed at, treated as a pariah, and certainly not considered for political office, let alone governor of Virginia! In addition, regardless of the specific topic of climate science, Ken Cuccinelli's "monomaniacal witch hunt of intimidation, persecution and bullying" (in Chris Hayes' words) against UVA Professor Michael Mann, represents a clear case of (massive) abuse of government power, and should also, in and of itself, automatically rule out Ken Cuccinelli for public—let alone higher—office. As for Michael Mann, we should all be profoundly grateful to him for his courage and perseverance in fighting back against Cuccinelli's (and others') thuggish attacks on science, on climate scientists, and on him personally."
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Bell's Brewery Sues Enbridge Oil over Polluted Kalamazoo River—by Muskegon Critic: "Over 200 organizations, including our own, the West Michigan Jobs Group, are asking Obama to sign an executive order to complete the Federal water budget study. Here's the thing...when energy's impact on water starts screwing with my beer..... that's it, man. That's where we draw the line. Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan—brewer of Bell's Oberon Ale—is suing Enbridge Inc in an attempt to keep their source water clean. Bell's is one of the fastest growing craft breweries in America. If you haven't had a Bell's Oberon, go out and get one. It is a transcendent beer. It's one of the prides of West Michigan. ...and Enbrdige, you know Enbridge. They're the folks who dumped nearly a million gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo river. Lots of it is still there by the way. Four years later. At the bottom of the river."
You can find the remainder of the week's rescued green diaries beneath the fold.
Eco-Activism & Eco-Justice
Fighting for green: People of color and environmental justice—by Denise Oliver Velez: "We know that many of the ills that plague poor communities, especially in communities of color, are directly related to toxic waste dumps located in or next to our neighborhoods, garbage, sewage dumps, the link between cockroaches, rats and asthma rates, poor quality food—there are hundreds and hundreds of studies that prove this. Across the nation there are a slew of community groups who continue to fight back against the disproportionate burden we have dumped upon us. I became an applied medical anthropologist, focused on health and healing issues in communities of color—both here and in the Caribbean—later in my life as a direct result of political activism in the late 60s and 70s. Looking back at that time, it was only recently that I realized that at no point in those early years did I or any of my comrades in struggle think of ourselves as part of a green movement. Not one of us ever said "we're environmentalists." Yet, in truth, we were."
BREAKING: Gore's Climate Reality Project Joins Forces with President Obama's Organizing for Action—by julesrules39: "Former Vice President Al Gore's Climate Reality Project team just completed three days of climate change leadership training in Chicago today. The news was exciting and groundbreaking. The group is joining forces with President Obama's grassroots organization, Organizing for Action in the August campaign, "Turn Up the Heat on Climate Deniers". A previous leadership training session that took place in Istanbul, Turkey in June of 2013 had attendees from 97 countries. And, at least two more training sessions are being planned for next year which you can find out about by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org."
'Give me two and a half million dollars and I could change the world'—by VL Baker: "This is not news to us here at Daily Kos as I have been writing about the short-lived climate pollutants including black carbon (soot) for several years. It's good to know that the scientific community is catching up with us. The importance of the "Dark Snow Project" is that we now have the technology to determine exactly where in the world soot on Greenland is coming from and can target reductions based on that information. So the research that Dr. Box and his team gathers is vital to determining the solutions to mitigating a near term solution to climate change."
Dark Snow Project, Miami and Our Fragile Planet—by Independent Musings: "There is no place on earth that's changing faster—and no place where that change matters more—than Greenland", wrote Bill McKibben in a Rolling Stone Magazine article. The Dark-Snow Project is the first-ever Greenland expedition relying on crowd-source funding; the project aims to answer the 'burning question': How much does wildfire and industrial soot darken the ice, increasing the melt rate? It's unconscionable that scientists have to beg for funds to study such critical planetary issues. Please donate to the project if you can."
New England coal plant protest—by cordgrass: "I just got back from a protest at the largest coal plant in New England, the coal plant at Brayton Point in Somerset, Massachusetts, right near Providence. I didn't go to the training yesterday. I'm a mom, so I just went to the protest. There was a pretty good crowd for being out in the middle of nowhere. People came from all over New England. I'd say there were about three thousand people, maybe more. There were people of all ages there, from a baby in a stroller up to elderly people in wheelchairs. Lots of cops! Definitely over fifty cops. There were regular police officers and a lot of what looked like National Guard in camo, and even a SWAT team! Did I mention the wheelchairs and strollers? I was surprised about the SWAT team."
Close Down Brayton Point: Training Day—by rugbymom: "Today was training day for the action tomorrow (Sunday) at the gates of the coal-fired generating plant at Brayton Point, Somerset, Massachusetts, the largest such facility in New England. (According to the organizers, the plant emitted 6 million tons of CO2 in 2010, along with 15,000 tons of mercury, arsenic, lead, and other pollutants.) The action is part of the "Summer Heat" series sponsored by 350.org. It is intended to put pressure on Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to use the authority given to him by the state's 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act, to set allowable carbon emission levels low enough that the plant will have to close."
Brayton Point Photo Diary—by rugbymom.
Peaceful protesters stage road blockade, prayer ceremony to stop Utah tar sands strip mine—by Dan Bacher: "Dozens of individuals peacefully disrupted road construction and stopped operations today at the site of a proposed tar sands mine in the Bookcliffs range of southeastern Utah. Earlier this morning, Utah residents joined members of indigenous tribes from the Four Corners region and allies from across the country for a water ceremony inside the mine site on the East Tavaputs Plateau. Following the ceremony, a group continued to stop work at the mine site while others halted road construction, surrounding heavy machinery with banners reading “Respect Existence or Expect Existence” and 'Tar Sands Wrecks Lands.' 'The proposed tar sands and oil shale mines in Utah threaten nearly 40 million people who rely on the precious Colorado River System for their life and livelihood,' said Emily Stock, a seventh generation Utahn from Grand County, and organizer with Canyon Country Rising Tide. 'The devastating consequence of dirty energy extraction knows no borders, and we stand together to protect and defend the rights of all communities, human and non-human,' Stock said."
Outsourcing Carbon Pollution - Not So Fast!—by James Wells: "I want you to imagine something. Imagine being held responsible for what you do. If you create a mess, then you have to clean it up. When you make a plan, you are required to make sure that your plan won't harm others. That's not hard to imagine, because you are a person living in today's world. Now imagine something just a little bit different. Imagine that you are a fossil fuel company being held to the same standard - being required to fully assess the harms that may result from your activities. While that may sound like a far-fetched scenario, it actually happened today. And it's big news."
Pollution, Hazardous Wastes & Trash
India Declares Dolphins "Non-Human Persons", Dolphin shows BANNED—by Jason Hackman: "Why? 'Whereas cetaceans in general are highly intelligent and sensitive, and various scientists who have researched dolphin behavior have suggested that the unusually high intelligence; as compared to other animals means that dolphins should be seen as "non-human persons" and as such should have their own specific rights and is morally unacceptable to keep them captive for entertainment purpose,' the ministry said. I was surprised to read about this the other night, since it happened back in May and somehow escaped worldwide attention and the 24 hour media hoopla. The effort to re-categorize Cetaceans (dolphins, whales, porpoises) as non-human persons has been gathering steam since a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011 where a group of philosophers, conservationists, and animal behaviorists attempted to gather wide support for a Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans from the scientific community."
The Daily Bucket-Killdeer Chronicles—by 6412093: "Since 2008, I’ve tracked a killdeer population at the golf course where I work. Here are my observations, starting five years ago, with updates. This Spring, predators, probably hawks, again almost wiped out the adult killdeer. I could initially verify only two mated couples. The remaining killdeer seemed to adapt by abandoning their courting process and mating immediately, by hatching two, rather than one batch of eggs, and also by flocking for protection. However not all eggs hatched in the second nestings."
Half Of This Year’s Winter Run Chinooks May Have Died—by Dan Bacher: "As many as half of this year's endangered Sacramento River winter Chinook salmon run may have perished in irrigation ditches, according to information disclosed in a federal agency report, a state agency report and an independent scientific assessment. To compound the problem, the weakened survivors face being hammered by the mismanagement of cold water releases from Shasta Dam by the state and federal government."
Massive Loss of Endangered Winter Run Chinook Salmon—by Dan Bacher: "Hal Bonslett, the late Fish Sniffer publisher and founder, and I spent many hours going to meetings and writing articles in the late 1980s advocating for the listing of the winter run Chinook under the Endangered Species Act. Now here we are are over two decades later watching the state and federal agencies imperiling the once huge run of winter run Chinook again!"
The Daily Bucket - Late Hatch of Nuthatches—by enhydra lutris: "For a few days now there has been a ton of Nuthatch noise in our yard. For us, that means Red Breasted Nuthatches. I was thinking that maybe there was a migratory element to the local presence, even though we have some all year, when my wife came in from the front yard and said 'We've got a tree full of baby Nuthatches.' So, there you have it, within the last few days a batch of Nuthatches has fledged in our yard."
Dawn Chorus: Michigan—by tgypsy: "The weather during the middle 4 or 5 days of my visit was extremely hot - mid-90s and humid. Fortunately, we spent the hottest days "up north" at a condo adjacent to Boyne Mountain (not far from Traverse City), with a pool and hot tub for lounging. I did get out early in the morning and late evening to bird a little - even got three life birds out of the effort - Scarlet Tanager, Vesper Sparrow, and Red-eyed Vireo. I had a bird call that I tentatively identified as a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher but I'm not confident enough of my ID to take credit, especially because they are very few records of this species in July for the lower peninsula (they breed in the upper peninsula). We spotted a Blue Jay taking advantage of the water fountains on display at a roadside fruit/plant nursery/souvenir place we stopped for some goodies. Cherry jam made with Michigan cherries, for one - yum. There are lots of Blue Jays in Michigan but they tend to be shy about getting too close to people so they are heard more than they are seen."
The Daily Bucket: Salt Marsh Fishes—by matching mole: "St Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County, Florida. The NWR preserves a large portion of the coast line of the western part of what is known as the Big Bend region of Florida. In the parlance of the Florida tourism industry it is also known as the Nature Coast. From Panacea in the northwest to around Crystal River to the southeast the gulf coast of Florida is almost exclusively salt marsh. Compared to the rest of the state, coastal development is minimal. In fact the number of places you can drive down to the coast is fairly small. Salt marsh is an important habitat, trapping nutrients and serving as a sheltered location for juvenile fish to grow up and wintering water and shore birds to feed. It can also be a challenging place to live."
Products & Miscellany
Fields Of Algae: Turning The Red Tide—by eOz: "[O]ur lakes are seeing the red tide, arising from the same flow of nutrients from our collective ass into the waters of our nation. An artificial ecology is afoot, and these critters are responding according to their nature. It so happens an agricultural practice exists which can turn that tide and introduce a negative feedback loop into this brave new ecology of our creation: fields of algae. The best of breed of these technologies is called algal turf scrubbers (ATS), invented in the 1970s by Dr. Walter Adey of the Smithsonian Institution. Now field tested and proven for over thirty years, it exemplifies the opportunity to unleash our farmers in the quest to turn the red tide back everywhere."
The Many Household Uses of Baking Soda and Why You Should Care—by karmsy: ""Baking soda," or if you prefer its chemical name, "bicarbonate of soda," is a nice, simple molecule, both cheap and inert. It's not under patent anywhere. And, take my word for it, you can use baking soda for much of what you already buy specialized household- and personal-care products for. [...] What could baking soda replace? If many more people cleaned and washed with baking soda, the household products industry, including scouring powder, dish detergent, laundry detergent, and household cleaners of all kinds, could take a major hit. By some estimates, that industry is currently worth more than $50 billion a year, in the United States, alone. That doesn't even include the personal-care products market, e.g., shampoo and under-arm deodorant, which captures approximately another $250 billion per year, globally."
New Study predicts increases in all kinds of Violence as the Planet warms from Climate Change—by Lefty Coaster: "For a number of years now the Pentagon has reported that Climate Change is likely to increase instability and conflicts. [...] Now scientists have done a study that predicts that all kinds of violence are likely to increase as Climate Change warms our planet. [...] As an anti-war activist for over four decades this prospect of a rash of climate driven conflicts engulfing the planet makes me shudder in horror at scale of the violence that could potentially could be in store over the coming centuries as Climate Change plays out.The very thought that we could be the generation sowing the seeds for centuries of climate driven violence, conflict, and human misery makes it that much more imperative for us act to reduce the harm we are bequeathing our progeny."
Scientists: Current Projected Levels of Climate Change Will Lead To Increased Violence—by Heavy Mettle: "Among all the other, perhaps more obvious, results of climate change is the prediction that it will lead to more global violence. Even this article from LiveScience listing Top Ten Surprising Effects of Climate Change doesn't think of it. The scientists say that with the current projected levels of climate change the world is likely to become a more violent place. They estimate that a 2C (3.6F) rise in global temperature could see personal crimes increase by about 15%, and group conflicts rise by more than 50% in some regions."
New EPA Chief Gina McCarthy Targets Climate Change—by Marcia G Yerman: "On July 30, Gina McCarthy gave her first public speech as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at Harvard’s Environmental Law Program building. Described by The New York Times as an 'earthy, tough talking New Englander,' McCarthy didn’t disappoint her audience. With ties to many in attendance and clearly invigorated by being back on her Massachusetts home turf, she took the podium after an introduction by her daughter, Maggie—who is involved in the clean energy field."
Drowning Sacramento in a tide of oil—by RLMiller: "A new Climate Central report warns that sea level rise is locking in quickly and threatening cities across the United States. Florida is, by far, the most vulnerable state; but other coastal states have plenty of threatened cities. In my own California, here's a very partial list of well known cities and the estimated date at which they become 25% submerged: Huntington Beach, Orange County's "Surf City," 2020; Stockton, 2030; Palo Alto, home of Stanford University, 2060; Sacramento, home of the state capitol, 2060; Long Beach, 2090."
Now hiring 210,000 workers—by chloris creator: "Peter Lehner, executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), contributed this article to LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. ...Cutting dangerous carbon pollution now is imperative to protect public health. It's also — as cutting pollution has proved to be in the past — a good way to create jobs. President Obama's new plan to combat climate change will at last set limits on carbon pollution from power plants, the biggest source of carbon emissions in the country. Energy efficiency will play a key role in the president's plan: it cuts energy waste and reduces carbon pollution; it lowers energy bills; and it also drives job growth. In fact, according to a new NRDC analysis, cutting U.S. power plant pollution 26 percent by 2020 could net 210,000 new jobs, mostly in the energy-efficiency sector."
The scariest climate change visualization you'll see today. Or maybe this decade—by Susan Gardner: Global temperature anomalies from 1880 to 2012 based on NASA data:
Macca's Meatless Monday: It's our 5th birthday party!—by VL Baker: "It was five years yesterday, July 28,2008 that I published my first Macca's Meatless Monday on Daily Kos! The first MMM had no photos and only one recipe which was for Falafel Pitas. MMM was the first Meatless Monday blog in U.S. Washington Post started one in October 2008. I'm very proud to be part of this movement which has helped to reduce meat consumption in U.S. by over 12% in 5 years! And all while having lots of fun getting to 'talk' with you and listening to great music! Many thanks to the regulars who have been my motivation: I love you guys!"
Should food inspection be privatized?—by david78209: "Let the fox guard the hen house? What could possibly go wrong? This time, somebody who's just gone through the revolving door is suggesting we privatize food safety inspections. 'If you look at the cost of doing it all by the feds, what you end up with is inadequate dollars,' said Dr. David Acheson, a former F.D.A. official who is currently with Leavitt Partners, a food safety and health care consulting firm in Washington. The current system, he said, doesn't work anymore. So let's leverage the private sector."
Urban Factory Farming: Industrial Agriculture Ecologies and LED Pinkhouses—by gmoke: "According to the BBC (http://www.bbc.com/....), 'Urban agriculture has the potential to become so pervasive within our cities that by the year 2050 they may be able to provide its citizens with up to 50% of the food they consume.' The BBC forgets that the Victory Gardens of WWII produced 50% of US vegetables by the end of WWII. At that rate, if we decided to, we could be producing at least 50% of our vegetables from local urban and suburban gardeners before 2020 using only 1940s technology. Besides the already existing community gardens and the rooftop gardens which are beginning to spring up in places like Brooklyn and Boston, vertical farming in one form or another is now happening in Japan, Korea, Singapore, the United States, and Canada."
Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 9.24—by Frankenoid: "Yes, Denver had normal July weather in July. Temperatures stayed within normal ranges — no record highs, no record lows — a huge difference from last year's hottest July ever. We got a well-established monsoon season — the rain totals for the month are within normal range and most afternoons we've seen clouds piled like meringue on a lemon pie."
Duke Power 'legally' steals $3 billion from Florida customers—by plan9pub: "So, in Florida, a utility company can say they plan on building a nuclear power plant, start charging its customers for the "planned" plant, then dick around for a few years collecting over a billion dollars, then say, "Nah, just pulling your leg. We won't build the plant but we will keep all the money we "raised" to build a plant we never really intended to build.' Highly profitable way to do business. I am sure the Ayn Rand crowd are creaming themselves over this 'free market' tactic for 'maximizing shareholder value'."
ND Flaring Nearly $3.6M in Gas Daily Some $1bil. Plus a Year—by jimstaro: "Meanwhile fracking continues, more states joining in to allow, along with everything else related to the fossil fuel industry! [...] Ceres' Analysis Shows North Dakota Oil Industry Burned Off $1 Billion of Natural Gas in 2012; Industry Now Flares $3.6 Million Each Day. The tremendous growth of unconventional oil production in North Dakota has also led to a rapid rise in the production of associated natural gas and natural gas liquids. A new Ceres report reveals that large and growing volumes of this gas are being burned off rather than sold, creating significant economic and environmental impacts."
New Show idea, The Alberta Hillbillies—by ontheleftcoast: "Last night while I was yelling at NPR for their inane pandering to Darrel Issa another story came across the airwaves via NPR. This one was about the tar sands in Alberta and in particular the fact they're already spilling. Just not in the way you might think. Government regulators in Canada are investigating a series of mysterious oil spills around tar sands operations in Alberta. Thick oil is gurgling up unexpectedly from the ground instead of flowing through the wells that were built to collect it. So it turns out the very process of extracting the tar sands appears to cause oil to squirt out of the ground."
It's Good to have Goals ... Carbon-based Energy isn't going to Downsize itself—by jamess: "Unless of course, Carbon-based Energy continues to price itself out of the Goldilocks 'affordable zone.' Some Companies aren't waiting for consumer markets to wake up and take their inevitable course -- they are forging ahead with some ambitious Carbon-free goals ... for when they do, bother to wake up. AGL is building the nation’s largest solar power development, covering a combined area four times the size of downtown Sydney, as Australia moves toward a goal of getting at least 20 percent of its power from renewable energy sources by the end of the decade. The Nyngan plant is also expected to be the largest in the southern hemisphere, AGL said."
20% Improvement in Wind Power Output is a BFD—by LeftOfYou: "So how hard should we celebrate this? Well, according to the site ClimateProgress at ThinkProgress.org, new innovations in wind turbine and turbine network designs have resulted in much, much larger than 1% improvements in efficiency of wind generation technology, '20 and 24 percent more power than the previous best turbine in its class'. At the utility end of the wind power picture is a new product mix from GE Wind Energy that promises remarkable improvements in wind farm performance:GE’s Brilliant 1.6-100 and 1.7-100 wind turbines are different from previous efforts because they use a short-term, grid-scale battery storage system paired with an 'industrial internet' — a sophisticated system that is able to predict when power will be needed and when the wind will be blowing. It’s also bigger. All of this increases efficiency and capacity factor, or how much energy a turbine actually can produce."
Photo Diary: Re-doing the base of my solar wall—by Lefty Coaster: "I had long wanted to find a better treatment for the section of wall below the solar collector on my Trombe Wall. When I built the house 20 years ago I covered this portion of the wall with some 3/4 inch pressure treated plywood intending it to be just a temporary solution. The years went by and it looked uglier with each passing season. It was so hideous I can't bear to include a before photo. [...] I decided to add a decorative buttress to the wall and cover it in granite tiles. I started work last summer. [...] After applying some quickset mortar and sanding it got three coats of Hydroban waterproofing. I this point I handed off the project to a subcontractor for the stone work."
Obama EPA Censored Key Pennsylvania Fracking Water Contamination Study—by Steve Horn: "A must-read Los Angeles Times story by Neela Banerjee demonstrates that—once again—the Obama administration put the kibosh on a key Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study on hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") groundwater contamination, this time in Dimock, Pennsylvania."
Californians Oppose Expanded Fracking—by Dan Bacher: "A new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) reveals that the majority of Californian residents oppose expanded fracking in the Golden State. 'As state legislators debate stricter regulations on fracking—already under way in California—51 percent oppose increased use of the drilling method used to extract oil and natural gas (35% favor it, 14% don’t know),' according to PPIC, a nonpartisan research foundation. 'Asked whether they favor or oppose stricter regulation of fracking, 50 percent say they are in favor. Among those who favor increased use of fracking, 62 percent also favor stricter regulation.'"
Where is a structural geologist when you need one?—by northsylvania: "I have been keeping up with the potential for fracking in England since I moved here from Fort Worth seven years ago. I grew up around the oil and gas business; my dad worked as an oil and gas equipment engineer. I also heard the seductive reasoning of the Chesapeake Energy land men when they came to town, and watched my neighbourhood embrace fracking to their eventual cost. When I moved to rural England and lived somewhere that the windows could be opened without the pervasive smell of hydrocarbons, I swore I would never see it happen here without a fight. Therefore my first paranoid thought, when the Tories first came to power and immediately tried to sell off England's national forests, was not outrage at potential residential development, but to wonder what was under the ground. So I looked up the underground resource maps, and there was the answer: lots of gas and coal bed methane."
Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation
Report reveals Keystone XL Pipeline would raise U.S. gas prices—by Dan Bacher: "The report finds that: Drivers, especially in the Midwest, would pay 20 cents to 40 cents more at the pump if the disputed pipeline were built, as the current discount of up to $30 a barrel for Canadian oil disappears. The true goal of multinational oil companies and Canadian politicians backing the pipeline is to reach export outlets outside the U.S. for tar sands oil and refined fuels, which would drive up the oil’s price. With U.S. oil production rising fast, any 'energy security' benefit for the U.S. would vanish as American oil output exceeds that of Saudi Arabia in about 2020, according to the International Energy Agency."
Groups call on Secretary of State Kerry to toss out tainted Keystone pipeline environmental review—by VL Baker: "Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline have called for Secretary Kerry to throw out the compromised and tainted ERM study (which I wrote about here) and initiate a transparent and independent new review. In a letter to Secretary Kerry, 29 groups, including The Checks & Balances Project, Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club, said the State Department's Office of the Inspector General must pursue a full investigation into how ERM was hired to write the environmental impact statement for the pipeline, despite its extensive work with TransCanada and other oil companies who will benefit from Keystone XL's construction."
Nothing certain, of course, but President Obama again hints Keystone XL pipeline could be rejected—by Meteor Blades: "In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times published Saturday, President Barack Obama hinted once again that he might not approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The interview added to hopes of foes of the pipeline that he may say no when the environmental review and presidential permit process now under way for the pipeline are complete. Rejecting the pipeline would be both a symbolic and an actual move that says the United States is not kidding about ending its dependency on fossil fuel. Approving it would not be merely a green-light for further development of the dirty tar sands in Canada. It would also encourage those who seek to develop tar sands in the United States and what is arguably an even dirtier source of petroleum—the oil shale kerogen in the Green River formation of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The latter would be a huge disaster, one that so far has been avoided because of technological inadequacies and, in the 1980s, a plunge in oil prices that made extracting the stuff uneconomic."
Republican Jobs Stimulus Plan: Keystone XL—by LeftOfYou: "Why all the chatter about Keystone XL jobs? It's because a new voice has chimed in. President Obama has called BS on the extravagant job creation claims being bandied about by Keystone XL lobbyists and their thralls. According to Reuters, the New York Times has quoted the President saying: 'Republicans have said that this would be a big jobs generator,' Obama said, according to the newspaper. 'There is no evidence that that's true. The most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline, which might take a year or two, and then after that we're talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 jobs in an economy of 150 million working people.' Well, you can imagine the reaction from the usual suspects, who took no time to rise in full bray, at the Chamber of Commerce, The Wall Street Journal blog and in even darker corners of the Right where I have not the courage to look."
Goldman Sachs: Coal export terminals are a bad investment—by VL Baker: "As the demand for coal has lessened in the US; the coal industry has looked to China to take its coal surplus off its hands by proposing export terminals in the NW Pacific US to ship coal across the pacific for use in Asia. The export terminals depended on demand in China. Now that it looks like China will have slower growth and possibly even decompress economically the Chinese demand for coal is drying up."
In Big Victory for NW coal export terminal opponents Army Corps will consider Climate Impacts—by Lefty Coaster: "This is very good news that the formerly narrow review of impacts of the proposed coal export terminal near Bellingham must broaden its scope to include impacts of increased train traffic will have on local communities, and all the way up to including the proposed project's impacts on climate. Big proposed coal port will get sweeping evaluation. A giant export terminal proposed north of Bellingham, which would export coal to China, must undergo a sweeping review of environmental, transportation, health and climate impacts, the state Department of Ecology, Whatcom County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on Wednesday."
47 Dead and MM&A refuses to pay for oil cleanup—by Horace Boothroyd III: "Fortunately the government in Canada is not a wholly owned subsidiary of oil companies like some governments we know The Quebec government has ordered the rail and fuel companies involved in a devastating train crash that killed 47 people in the town of Lac-Mégantic to pay for cleaning up the crude oil that spilled in the town and surrounding lakes and rivers. Quebec Environment Minister Yves-François Blanchet invoked powers under a provincial law on Monday to force the companies to take financial responsibility for fixing environmental damage."
Eco-Related DC & State Politics
House Republicans--and a Handful of Democrats--Vote to Block the EPA from Doing Its Job—by Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees: "Today, the House voted on legislation that would allow the Energy Department to veto EPA rules with $1 billion or more in costs if DOE thinks that such rules would harm the economy. This bill, deceptively titled the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013, is just the latest episode in the GOP's war against the EPA, one of its governmental bête noires, and against science, more broadly. The House GOP is angry because the EPA recently increased the social cost of carbon for federal agency rule-making. [...] The three Republicans who stood up against their party's anti-science and, frankly, anti-human position were Chris Gibson (NY-19), Walter Jones (NC-03), and Dennis Ross (FL-15). Here are the 15 Democrats who should be shamed for their anti-science and anti-human vote."
CO-02: Jared Polis (D) Fights Back Against Fracking—by poopdogcomedy: "Received this e-mail today from Congressman Jared Polis (D. CO-02) regarding fracking: There is no other way to put it than to say that I’ve been fracked. Like so many Coloradans my family is now the victim of the under-regulated drilling process that is part of hydraulic fracturing. For years, I have met with devastated families and communities that have been impacted by fracking, and now it’s happened to my family. Click here to see what happened."
VA-Gov: Climate Scientist Michael Mann Calls Ken Cuccinelli (R) An "Anti-Science Zealot"—by poopdogcomedy: "BOOM! Renowned climate scientist Michael Mann has taken the unorthodox step of jumping into politics and campaigning with Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial candidate, worried that an 'anti-science zealot' could win the election in November. In an interview with radio host Ari Rabin-Havt on Sirius XM Progress on Monday, Mann sharply contrasted Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) with his gubernatorial opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe. The election is on Nov. 5. Mann said Virginians 'can either vote for an anti-science zealot like Ken Cuccinelli, who would use his authority to try to persecute scientists whose views he doesn't agree with ... versus Terry McAuliffe, a pro-science, pro-technology politician.'"
Climate change-denier Republicans could mess with party's energy strategy during the August recess—by Meteor Blades: "Quite a few Democrats back Keystone XL, and for quite a few others it's not a big deal one way or the other. Quite a few Democrats, including the president, support more oil and gas drilling, including in the Arctic. Quite a few support natural gas fracking. And coal-state Democrats from Montana to Pennsylvania to West Virginia oppose restrictions on power-plant emissions of greenhouse gas emissions. Like their Republican counterparts, they too often point to the creation or loss of jobs as the rationale for their stance, ignoring the jobs that would be created by full-bore development of non-carbon energy sources. So it's not as if Republicans are the only ones taking a backwards approach to energy. Look, for instance, at how many co-sponsors the Sanders-Boxer Climate Change Act has. (In case you don't have the energy to click, it's just Sanders and Boxer.)"
HI-Sen: Brian Schatz's (D) Pacific Islands Parks Act Advances In The Senate—by poopdogcomedy: "U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz introduced a bill Wednesday that seeks to expand Hawaii’s national parks while preserving the state’s special places and bringing in more tourism dollars. Hawaii has seven national parks, but Schatz wants to add more. The Democratic senator held a conference call Wednesday joined by several conservation organizations in which he said Hawaii wants to identify those places that are biologically and historically significant, or just 'extraordinarily beautiful.'"
Part 2: My Interview w/Sue Lyons, Author of Anti-Fracking Resolution Adopted by PA Dem Party (VIDEO)—by ProgressivePatriotPA: "In this video, I present the second half of my interview with Sue Lyons, author of the resolution calling for a moratorium on fracking that was recently formally adopted as the official position of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. In this second half of the interview, we discuss her studiously documented list of top 10 myths about fracking, what it says about the Pennsylvania Democratic Party that it now officially favors a moratorium on fracking, the Gasland documentaries by fellow Pennsylvanian Josh Fox, and the future of the anti-fracking movement in PA. Link"
The Great Outdoors
William deBuys, Goodbye to All That (Water)—by William deBuys via TomDispatch: "One remarkable feature of the modern Colorado, the great whitewater rollercoaster that carved the Grand Canyon, is that it is a tidal river. Before heading for our sleeping bags, we need to retie our six boats to allow for the ebb. These days, the tides of the Colorado are not lunar but Phoenician. Yes, I’m talking about Phoenix, Arizona. On this April night, when the air conditioners in America’s least sustainable city merely hum, Glen Canyon Dam, immediately upstream from the canyon, will run about 6,500 cubic feet of water through its turbines every second."
New California Water Grab for Fracking and Agribusiness—by Dan Bacher: "The alarming role that the peripheral tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta could play in increased fracking in California and the leadership position of the Western States Petroleum Association and oil companies in the state's environmental regulatory processes are two scandals that the mainstream media has for the most part failed to cover."
Transportation & Infrastructure
Sunday Train: Traveling to Our Death and The Fatal Santiago Train Derailment—by BruceMcF: "While train wrecks and airplane crashes grab the headlines, the Grim Reaper's real helpmate in passenger transport is the motorway. In 2008, 3,100 were killed on the motorways of Spain, a mortality rate of 67.2 per million. This is substantially better than the grisly toll taken by US motorways, with a Wikipedia contributor listing 32,267 US road fatalities in 2011, a mortality rate of 104 per million. I mean, imagine if some single event killed even 1/10th as many Americans ... if there was some single event that killed around 3,000 Americans, the reaction would be national shock and a massive hue and cry to go after those responsible. But 30,000 killed by our primary passenger transport system is widely dispersed and accumulates day by day in widely scattered individual "accidents", and so accepted as a matter of course: it is a largely routine tragedy, unless, of course, it is not our family that has been hit by that particular incident."
MI-Sen: Gary Peters (D) Promotes Transportation Jobs For Michigan—by poopdogcomedy: "Transportation jobs are going to be a key theme in Congressman Gary Peters' (D. MI-14) U.S. Senate campaign Detroiters should start preparing now for the jobs that will be created through infrastructure projects, including the M1 Rail, Ann Arbor to Detroit commuter rail and reconstruction on I-94 and I-75, U.S. Rep Gary Peters said today. Peters said he wanted the word out now on the jobs because many require some form of post-secondary education, from eight weeks of training for welding jobs, through four-year degrees. 'Contractors may say there aren’t enough skilled people in that local area to actually work, and they look outside,' Peters said. 'I want to make sure the people working on those projects are from the city of Detroit.'"
Eco-Philosophy, Essays & Poetry
When Drill Rigs Push up Against Unspoilt Rockies—by ban nock: "If you can imagine a lifelong lover of nature and wild animals and places, who is also a very good writer, spending months belaboring a very few hundred words about a place he chose to live and raise his kids in, then you have Hal Herring's magnificent article about the changes wrought by energy development to an unspoiled landscape south of Glacier. The fact that Hal has the greatest respect and admiration for his neighbors with whom he disagrees is evident half way through the article. Hal even goes beyond the place most would go in recognizing the legitimacy of those with whom we disagree, he sees the inherent legitimacy and righteousness in his neighbor's ideas, even though in the end he still disagrees in the best action to take. Hal displays a largeness of heart, a generosity of spirit, that all should attempt to emulate in our strong views, whether they are politics or conservation."
Kegonsa Diary, Chapter 2: On the Prairie—by ruleoflaw:
"Come for a walk on the prairie.
Bobolinks and bluebirds are calling.
Contemplate a bee on a coneflower
while yet you can.
She will not stay for you.
The white dog and a green-eyed woman lead us down the path.
The bluestem is matted where deer have bedded down.
Milk snakes and box turtles lurk unseen.
The swallows twist and glide over the tall grass.
They loop and turn through the swarming banquet.
In the grove, beside the prairie black walnuts and acorns abound.
The black pearl eyes of feathered apes observe us
Beside the hickory and wild cherry
runs a smooth and level path.
The man-made lane eases our way.
At the side of the road,
wild asters sway in their violet blueness
They saw bare, brown feet pass by.
On the same path, trod hard shod horses.
The blooms bowed to steel wheels smoking past.
In a rusty, dented truck,
I am drawn to their fragile mellow blue.
I trust them like my own daughters.
They will die and return again and again and again.
I bloom once and once only."
Kegonsa Diary, Chapter 3: TOAD RAID!—by ruleoflaw.
Kegonsa Diary, Chapter 4: The Truth of Chokecherries—by ruleoflaw.
Fast Food causing diabetes, heart disease and climate change—by AntonBursch: "What do you think will happen to these jobs if the wage doubles? Everyone out there who in other industries that don't pay as much will quit their industry to get a fast food job, thus, there will be a shortage of fast food jobs, which will lead to competition for obtaining and keeping the fast food jobs, which will mean that the HIGHER QUALIFIED people will push out the people who are currently stuck in these jobs because they aren't qualified for anything else right now. Well, shit. Ah, forget it. Facts be damned! We gotta do something, so, let's just do this. Who cares if it doesn't stand a chance in hell of succeeding. Who cares if we're backing an industry that is giving our kids diabetes and our dads heart attacks at 40. Forget about the fact that cows cause climate change more than cars, so, we're killing our planet by supporting fast food."