|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 241 of these spotlighting more than 13,695 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to 59 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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Michelle Bachmann & Clean Energy for The Poor—by Jguay: "It turns out Michelle Bachmann has something in common with the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All campaign goals of delivering electricity for the world's poor—energy efficient lighting. While Michelle Bachmann really, really hates it the world's poor love it. That's because energy efficiency lighting has revolutionized the economics of distributed clean energy for the poor. The reduced demand from LED lighting brings the size, and therefore cost, of everything down from solar panel to battery. This lesson—energy efficiency unlocks distributed energy for the poor—is the basis of a novel new approach to mini-grids that serve poor populations in developing countries dubbed by my colleague Stewart Craine of Village Infrastructure Angels 'Skinny Grids.'"
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Transportation & Infrastructure
Sunday Train: Rapid Rail and Pedal to the Metal Climate Change Policy (pt 2)—by BruceMcF: "This week, I am going to turn from Rapid Freight Rail and consider what kind of Rapid Passenger Rail policy would qualify as a front-runner policy for a Pedal to the Metal Climate Change Policy. The foundation of my argument are five features that, singly and in combination, make a policy action suitable to play a front-runner role in this kind of Climate Change Policy Package. Refer back to part 1 for more detailed argument as to the importance of each of these five features: Speed of project roll-out: A ten year project with concrete results in five years or less. Self-reinforcing: The results of the project as it is rolled out supports continuation of the project Cross-reinforcing: The results of the project as it is rolled out support other elements of a Pedal to the Metal policy package. National in scope: The project should be able to be pursued on a national basis. Multiple Benefit: the project should be able to deliver benefits that are valuable independent of the benefit to Climate Change."
China Builds Successful High Speed Rail While U.S. Flails under Austerity—by FishOutofWater: "When the great global recession hit, the Chinese government went full speed ahead on plans to develop high speed rail. China embarked on a massive debt-funded spending program to develop public infrastructure. Now, just 5 years later, China is reaping the benefits of increased productivity. The Republican mantra for over 30 years, cut government spending, has led to American stagnation while China has prospered by investing in public infrastructure. Just five years after China's high-speed rail system opened, it is carrying nearly twice as many passengers each month as the country's domestic airline industry. With traffic growing 28 per cent a year for the last several years, China's high-speed rail network will handle more passengers by early next year than the 54 million people a month who board domestic flights in the United States. [...] President Obama and the Democrats passed a modest brief stimulus program that boosted spending enough to prevent a full-blown depression in America, but the stimulus has worn off and U.S. public investment is dropping towards all time lows as a percentage of GDP. Republicans have bitterly fought high speed rail and other stimulus investments pushed by President Obama. And, frankly, that's why China is kicking out asses. Privatization is making America uncompetitive."
Dispelling Electric-Vehicle Myths, #2: Other Environmental Issues—by Assaf: "3c. Last but not Least: EVs are still Cars. And we MUST move away from Car Culture. Now let us address the car-culture argument head-on. I completely agree that for a sustainable future, Humanity and in particular America must move towards far more transit, far better cycling infrastructure, less sprawl, less per-capita driving, more walkability, etc. EVs are not a major help in getting us there. Which is why I keep saying: if you don't need a car don't get one, EV or otherwise. But by this point, I (and you too) have grown tired of explaining the obvious and countering point-by-point the specious demonizations of EVs and the villification of its drivers. So here's a shortcut: regarding car culture I couldn't help notice the similarities between the attacks on the EV, and the attacks from the Left on Obamacare."
5 Things You Need to Know About the Big New Climate Report—by Michael Brune: "Our top priority must be to reduce our dependence on dirty fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas, while boosting clean energy such as wind and solar. The proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants that the Obama administration announced this week are aimed at our single biggest source of carbon pollution: coal. If you care about climate disruption, the most important thing you can do right now is voice your support for these protections, and get ready for an even more important fight next year to clean up pollution at existing power plants already in operation. But President Obama also has some other big tools at his disposal: Rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, ending destructive oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and on public lands, stopping mountaintop-removal mining, curbing fossil fuel exports, and closing loopholes that exempt drilling and fracking for oil and gas from fundamental environmental protections."
IPCC: 'Unequivocal' human-caused global warming on course to raise temperatures above 2°C by 2100—by Meteor Blades: "The bottom line of the IPCC report is what its authors say about the continuing emission of carbon into the atmosphere. To keep the average global temperature from rising above 2°C (3.6°F), the scientists say, the world can only afford to add 800 to 880 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. We have already emitted 530 billion tons. In 2012, the world added another 31.6 billion tons to that total. The math is straightforward. At the current level CO2 emissions, that upper limit will be reached by 2025. Kids born today will only have reached the age of middle schoolers."
New UN climate report set to establish global climate emissions budget—by VL Baker: "The smart, serious people are on the job. As the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) prepares to release its fifth report on the state of the global climate this Friday; the details of the report are beginning to leak. It seems that rather than just scaring the bejeebers out of us, which is totally appropriate giving the reality of our global climate situation, they will be offering scientific recommendations and solutions. Next week’s landmark UN climate science report is likely to set a figure on the amount of fossil fuels that can be burnt if global warming is to be limited to safe levels. It could warn that less than a quarter of the planet’s oil, coal and gas reserves can be consumed between now and 2050, and set a worldwide ‘carbon emission budget’."
Global Warming Deniers Drop Their Bombshell--And It's A Dud—by Dartagnan: "You may have seen it. They want you to see it. They need you to see it. It was positioned as a 'lead' story on Google news over the weekend. It has been taken up by Forbes magazine and many others. Global Warming is a hoax. Completely overstated. The official, scientific consensus about the impact of CO2 emissions on the planet's temperature are based on flawed, speculative models. 'More than three dozen' scientists have come out with a report that says so. As the Forbes columnist states: Your Move, Global Warming Alarmists. Science Has Exposed Your Unwarranted Hysteria. Well... no. What is really being exposed is the power of a few vested interests to create a controversy out of whole cloth for purposes of deliberately muddling what is expected this week to be a brutally stark assessment of the nature and progress of global warming on our planet."
Deniers working hard on their lies to trash UN climate report in advance of its Friday release—by Meteor Blades: "You may have noticed that the IPCC's release is being preceded by a well-funded—sound familiar?—effort by global warming deniers to undermine the assessment's findings in the eyes of the public. They're helped along by parrots and stenographers in much of the traditional media. Leading the denier effort is the oil- coal- and rightwing foundation-fueled Heartland Institute. As reported by Katherine Bagley at the Pulitzer prize-winning InsideClimate News, Heartland has released its own 1,200-page study, the cutely named Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. You might remember Heartland's notorious campaign tying those who accept the scientific findings about global warming with Unabomber Kaczynski. The nastiness of Heartland's public discourse is a match for its scientific 'research.'"
VIDEO: Climate Deniers confronted, caught lying amid New IPCC Science—by cgibosn: "Yesterday, the Heritage Foundation hosted The Heartland Institute's CEO Joseph Bast, along with two of Heartland's contracted climate denial scientists (Willie Soon and Bob Carter), to present their new report that denies the seriousness of global warming. Greenpeace was there to ask Heartland about the report's funders, including billionaire Barre Seid, and to challenge Heartland's assertion that their work has any scientific validity (it doesn't). See the video for yourself. Heartland's 'Climate Change Reconsidered,' written by the usual climate denier suspects under the guise of the "Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change" (NIPCC) is intended to undermine new scientific findings from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Despite what Joe Bast and Heartland communications director Jim Lakely claim, their false report is not peer-reviewed, a formal process conducted by editors at actual scientific journals have other qualified scientists rigorously review and critique submitted work if it is to be approved for publication."
Global Warming Hasn't Stopped - It's the Hottest Decade on Record—by KGrandia: "With the release of a major climate science report by the United Nations coming this week, the self-proclaimed climate "skeptics," better referred to as the climate deniers or flat-earthers, are kicking it into high gear for their fossil fuel clients and right wing ringleaders. The likes of Tom Harris, better known for his lobbying work on behalf of the Canadian energy industry, and Fred Singer, formally a tobacco company expert-for-hire, are trying to make headlines again claiming that the warming of our planet has significantly slowed down. As Harris, a man with absolutely no scientific background in climate change, reassures us like a bunch of schoolchildren, 'don't be scared.'"
Massport Won't Say Climate Change (And Won't Tell You Why)—by TheGreenMiles: "Massport took another step forward in its long-term plan to confront the impacts of climate change last week ... but there was something missing from its news release. [...] I asked a Massport spokesman why the agency wouldn't use the words climate change. He never wrote back. It's not like Massport's in denial here—they're quite obviously talking about climate impacts and they absolutely deserve credit for that. [...] Does Massport think it would be defenseless against criticism from the few climate science deniers in Massachusetts? Or that those deniers will be thrown off the trail if they don't see the words climate change? Weird."
Resilience and Climate Change—by gmoke: "Recently, I've noticed there has been a shift from talking about mitigation to adaptation to resilience when dealing with climate change. From my perspective, this is not a bad development as resilience focuses on practical preparedness for immediate hazards. This can partition change into small increments that are readily understandable and remove the polarized politics of climate change from the discussion. If you're talking about measures to prevent system failure because of a weather emergency, it tends not to matter what your position is on greenhouse gases because everybody remembers the last hurricane, flood, or blizzard. In addition, resilience measures can also be adaptation and, even in some cases, mitigation strategies for climate change as well. At least, this is what I'm observing here in the Boston area and what I've heard out of post-Sandy New York and other areas."
Public Lands, Forests & Water
House Advances Bill to Sell AZ Public Lands to Foreign Mining Company, Kills Two Dem Amendments—by Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees: "While you were busy watching Ted Cruz yesterday, the House started the amendment process on H.R. 687, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2013. H.R. 687 would expedite the sale of 2,400 acres of public lands in Arizona to Resolution Copper, bypassing the normal permitting process and environmental assessments. Oak Flat, the public land being privatized, is a popular camping ground, especially with rock climbers, and contains Native American sacred sites."
Bay Delta Conservation Plan officials can't get ANYTHING right!—by Dan Bacher: "Governor Jerry Brown's Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels is only matched by the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative in the conflicts of interest, junk science, green washing and outright incompetence that infest the process. In the latest screw-up by BDCP officials, the BDCP website on September 20 touted their new and improved website that was to include the opportunity for the public to email questions to then be answered on the website."
Expanding the National Park System—by MorrellWI1983: " This will be the beginning of a series on expanding our national park system, by adding more national monuments into the system. Currently there are 108, but I believe there are literally hundreds more areas deserving of National Monument status."
Food, Agriculture & Gardening
Bill Clinton has become vegan, reversed his heart disease and is sharing his recipes!—by VL Baker: "We all remember when former president Bill Clinton had emergency heart surgery. At the time the prognosis for his recovery was in doubt and Hillary and Chelsea rushed to his side. A lot has changed and Bill Clinton is doing great with a new trimmed physique and healthy outlook. He shares his newfound health success with us in this conversation with CNN."
Is USDA Organic Really Organic?—by Duckmg: "The most serious degradation of national organic standards occurred in October 2005. In a back room deal the Organic Trade Association lobbied Congress to legalize the adulteration of organic food with basically any toxic additive a manufacturer may want to use, including substances that do not need to appear on ingredient panels. More than 400,000 consumers contacted their government representatives asking them not to weaken organic standards in such a way, but agribusiness influences prevailed. I always buy organic because in my opinion, the food is better. The producer usually takes more care in its production besides the added benefit of not having pesticides and other poisons. But the big question is whether or not Eden's is correct in claiming that: As a result, food bearing the 'USDA Organic' seal no longer needs to be natural food."
Sen Tester Kills Monsanto Protection Rider—by Karen from Maui: "Despite the efforts of House members like Rep Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) to kill the Monsanto Protection Rider, it passed in the House version of the short-term appropriations bill, the Continuing Resolution (CR). Today the Senate was successful in stripping this provision out of the CR."
Macca's Meatless Monday: We can do what we want; we can stop the worst effects of climate change—by VL Baker: "We now know that the worst effects of climate change will continue on their current disastrous trajectory unless we reduce the amount of greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere. The focus of a transition to green energy has been to reduce the dangerous C02 levels in our atmosphere and this must be done. But it will not happen in time to mitigate the worst effects of climate change because CO2 remains in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. So here is where reducing the short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP's) of Methane, Black Carbon and ground level ozone becomes essential. By reducing the atmospheric concentration of these short-lived GHGs, it should be possible to see strong and relatively quick climate change mitigation. A recent NASA study estimated that 0.5oC of global warming could be avoided by reducing the atmospheric concentrations of key short-lived GHGs like Methane and Black Soot. And we now know that the greatest source (pdf) of the SLCP's is livestock production. This gives us all a way to participate directly in reducing GHG's by simply reducing/eliminating meat and animal products in our diet. This is important as it buys us the time for the necessary reduction of the long living C02."
Where I'm Coming From When I Write About the Food System—by marc brazeau: "My first diary on Kos yesterday was one taking a look at how I saw the cognitive landscape change around GMO's and specifically how the polarization of the subject had changed things for journalists covering the topic. I realize that I am starting off with such a polarized topic that it would have been useful to provide a little more background on where I'm coming from. The comment thread turned to the politics of labeling. I tried to lay out the wonkier reasons why I'm opposed to mandatory GMO labeling. Among people who had no idea what my politics are, that predictably lead to acrimony and doubts about my motivations and values. Sadly it wasn't until the end of the conversation that I posted my strategic reasons for opposing labeling."
Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 9.32http://www.dailykos.com/...]—by Frankenoid: "Denver started the downhill slide towards winter weather this week: on Wednesday we hit a high of 82° and an overnight low of 45°; yesterday the high in a drizzly Denver was 53°, the low this morning was in the 30s, and it's snowing in the mountains. Meanwhile, I don't have a single bud on the passionflower (it usually starts budding in late August), the sweet autumn clematis has barely started blooming (at least 2 weeks late), and the chatter at the estate sale I went to yesterday morning was how the high country aspen — usually at their peak this time of year — are still largely green."
Coal's Days of Future Passed—by Michael Brune: "Now that the EPA has released its draft carbon pollution standard for new power plants, coal apologists -- those who are left, anyway—are doing their best chest-clutching =Fred Sanford impressions. Why is no one taking their cries of doom seriously? Because coal already had no future. In the 21st century, investing in a new coal-fired power plant makes as much sense as building a typewriter factory. The market has already decided that coal is no longer competitive."
The Utility Reform Network California Update, Fall 2013—by mettle fatigue: "The Utility Reform Network (TURN) is a California non-profit grassroots consumer advocacy organization focused on justice for the poor and fairness for all rate-payers for electricity, natural gas, phone service, and related utilities."
Is the World Bank Serious About Ending Finance for Dangerous Coal Projects?—by nicoleghio: "Starting with President Obama’s announcement of an end to overseas coal financing in his Climate Action Plan, and quickly followed by new energy strategies at the World Bank and European Investment Bank that also reject coal, large international financial institutions are finally wising up to the fact that coal is a financially risky investment that causes massive suffering in local communities while doing little to alleviate energy poverty. But investigations by our partners at Oil Change International reveal that the World Bank continues to fund development policy loans and financial intermediaries that then use the money to fund coal projects, a clear violation of the coal ban that must end now or risk calling into question World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim’s commitment to protect public health and fight climate disruption. So how exactly does this work?"
Providing 25% of electricity in Western U.S. from wind energy cuts pollution, saves billions—by michaelgoggin: "The Western U.S. could reap huge benefits in pollution savings and reduced spending on fossil fuels by installing more wind and solar power plants, according to a comprehensive new analysis released today by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The study found that obtaining 25 percent of electricity in the Western U.S. from renewable energy will reduce carbon dioxide pollution by up to 34 percent and save $7 billion annually in fossil fuel costs. The NREL report also conclusively puts to rest the fossil fuel industry myth that wind energy’s pollution savings are smaller than expected because fossil-fired power plants run at lower efficiency when wind is generating electricity. Even at the very high level of renewable energy use examined in the report, the impact on the efficiency of fossil-fired power plants was found to be 'negligible,' reducing the carbon emissions reduction benefits of wind and solar by only 0.2 percent, so that on net wind and solar produced 99.8 percent of the expected emissions savings."
BFD: New Wind Contract Cheaper Than Coal, Nuclear—by TheGreenMiles: "A dollar a month may not seem like a lot. But if wind is cheaper than coal & nuclear, why would you ever build a new coal-fired or nuclear power plant? And that's not even starting to account for all the climate change, public health and wildlife benefits that come with switching from coal to wind. When the cost of pollution is factored in, both wind and solar power blow the doors off of coal and are competitive with gas. Why should we go all-in on wind when gas is projected to be slightly cheaper? Because New England is already dangerously dependent on gas, leaving us vulnerable to price spikes like we saw last winter. And since gas plants can fire up much faster than coal plants, gas and wind actually go very well
Big Clean Energy News Just Keeps Coming: "Solar is the Most Economical Option," Says Energy CEO—by Mary Anne Hitt: "This week Xcel Energy announced it will triple the amount of solar power it offers while also adding another 450 megawatts of wind power. Here’s the best part -- they're investing in clean energy because it's the most cost-effective option. Look at this quote from Xcel spokesperson Michelle Aguayo: 'Based on generation needs, the most reliable and most cost-effective resources happen to be solar and wind. We are not taking on solar because we have to, but because it is cost-effective and economical.' And this quote from Xcel CEO David Eves: This is the first time that we've seen, purely on a price basis, that the solar projects made the cut—without considering carbon costs or the need to comply with a renewable energy standard—strictly on an economic basis.'"
The Passage of AB 327: Part of a Trend?—by BaileyA: "What do potatoes, surfing, and Mardi Gras have in common? They represent states where leadership has made decisions demonstrating a strong commitment to rooftop solar. Over the past several months, the states of Idaho, California, and Louisiana have served as battlegrounds where the rooftop solar industry and its advocates have successfully defeated monopoly utility attempts to limit or eliminate net metering. In all three states where the battles have been waged, utility regulators and legislators’ decisions have led to the preservation of net metering. Net metering is the cornerstone solar policy that gives rooftop solar customers full retail credit for the excess energy they put back on the grid."
Help needed tracking back astroturf petition against "Environment Renewable Fuel Standard"—by JerryNA: "There is a petition against the "Environment Renewable Fuel Standard" showing up as a sponsored ad on the web. It is clearly astroturf, given the website has no indication of the group sponsoring it- not even a "Friends of Smog" fake front group. Someone is paying $ for the site and paying even more for the frequent ads. My guess is this is a fossil fuel company or owner (Koch bros.?), since they're trying to roll back environmental laws, would most directly benefit, and have deep pockets."
Going Green one Project at a time—by jamess: "Offshore wind took another major step toward becoming reality in America yesterday with the second-ever competitive lease sale to develop renewable energy in federal waters. Virginia Electric and Power Company, a subsidiary of Dominion Virginia Power, won the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) auction to develop 112,800 acres about 23 miles from Virginia Beach with a final bid of $1.6 million. Wednesday’s auction was the second successful DOI offshore wind lease sale held in a month, after a July 31st auction of 164,750 acres in New England, and could signal the start of a rush to develop new tracts of wind-rich areas off the Atlantic coast."
Fracking Up The Golden State - Part 2 : Duplicitous Dems & Gasland, California—by FractivistForce: "We started this bill session with 10 Fracking bills, 8 of which have failed, 1 is currently in submission, and Fran Pavley's SB 4. This was a seemingly improbable course of action from our legislative leaders. During a legislative session in which the California Democratic Party had a super-majority, Democrats had the capacity to pass whatever form of legislation they wanted to. Unfortunately, the Democrats in our state Assembly chose to let Holly Mitchell's AB 1323 fail alongside 7 other fracking bills. Not surprisingly, all 25 Republicans in the Assembly voted no on AB 1323. What is surprising, however, is the fact that 12 Democrats voted in opposition to the party base who worked diligently to pass a moratorium resolution at this year's convention. The resolution had more supporters, sponsors and authors than every other resolution passed at this year's State Convention."
Brown Signs Bill Creating ‘Environmental Platform’ to Expand Fracking—by Dan Bacher: "Governor Jerry Brown on Friday, September 20 signed Senator Fran Pavley’s Senate Bill 4 - a controversial fracking bill that the head of the oil industry lobby admitted will clear the path to expanding the environmentally destructive oil extraction process in California. 'While SB 4’s requirements went significantly farther than the petroleum industry felt was necessary, we now have an environmental platform on which California can look toward the opportunity to responsibly develop the enormous potential energy resource contained in the Monterey Shale formation,' said Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA)."
Range Resources Doesn't Know Chemical Composition of Their Frack Fluid—by S Kitchen: "A court opinion (which can be viewed in its entireity) issued by Smith Butz LLC to the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board shows that Range Resources failed to provide chemical information and MSDS to state authorities, and the opinion also shows that the natural gas corporation does not know the chemical composition of fracking fluid being stored at a well impoundment that has been at the center of controversy for the past couple of years.The opinion issued by the law firm revolves around the Yeager well impoundment in Amwell, Pennsylvania."
Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation
In a letter to President Obama, environmental groups warn against approving the Keystone XL pipeline—by Meteor Blades: "In a sign of stiffening resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline, leaders of 25 environmental and other groups sent a letter to President Obama Tuesday reiterating their opposition to the project and urging him not to approve it. In June 2011, writer and environmental activist Bill McKibben, the poet Wendell Berry, climatologist Jim Hansen and actor Danny Glover persuaded 10 environmental groups to sign a letter to the president objecting to the pipeline."
Eco-Related DC & State Politics
Will House wackos let NRCC get away with saying they aren't all 'crazy climate deniers'?—by Meteor Blades: "Republicans are gearing up to use the Obama administration's efforts to curb CO2 emissions as a cudgel in the 2014 elections. The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday announced proposed limits on emissions from new coal and natural gas electricity-generating facilities and the GOP sees those as a huge liability for Democrats in coal-rich states. The National Republican Senatorial Committee sent out an email Friday targeting seven Democrats under the title of "Democrats Side With Obama's Radical EPA over Local Workers, Business and Industry." The seven are all in competitive races: Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana; Reps. Bruce Braley of Iowa and Gary Peters of Michigan; and Secretaries of State Natalie Tennant of West Virginia and Alison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky."
Will a pro-nuclear Rep get promoted to the Senate in anti-nuclear Hawai`i?—by Karen from Maui: "Hawai`i is a no nukes state. Section 8 of Article XI of the state constitution says [...] No nuclear fission power plant shall be constructed or radioactive material disposed of in the State without the prior approval by a two-thirds vote in each house of the legislature. So the Aloha State has no nuclear power plants. That’s why Hawai`i Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa’s apparent affection for nuclear energy and nuclear weapons seems so misplaced. Then again, maybe Hanabusa's stance isn’t so surprising considering that she’s a member of the New Democrat Coalition – which is heavily funded by the energy and defense industries. Even among the New Dems, Hanabusa has compiled one of the most pro-nuclear records in Congress."
MA-Sen: Ed Markey (D) To Co-Chair U.S. Senate Climate Change Clearinghouse—by poopdogcomedy: "Senator Edward J. Markey has been named to be the lead co-chair of the Climate Change Clearinghouse, a Senate discussion group that gives lawmakers a forum to consider efforts to curb global warming. The move signals that the Massachusetts Democrat—despite his freshman status—will have a chance to pick up where he left off in the House, where he was a leading voice among lawmakers on the issue. The appointment was announced on Wednesday by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Democrats Barbara Boxer of California, the chairwoman of Environment and Public Works, and Ron Wyden of Oregon, chairman of the Energy Committee, will co-chair the forum with Markey."
OH-Gov: Ohio Coal Watchdog Explains How John Kasich (R) Forced Him Out—by poopdogcomedy: "George Elmaraghy, a top watchdog at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, says he was forced to leave his job for running afoul of the coal industry and Gov. John Kasich. Elmaraghy explained the chain of events in an extensive phone interview with TPM. His story -- which the Ohio EPA and Kasich's office declined to comment on -- suggests an administration beholden to the coal industry and willing to push out employees who weren't going to capitulate to its demands."
Joe Manchin's Obamacare betrayal is all about coal—by Stormin: "Sen. Joe Manchin apparently has broken with fellow Democrats on Obamacare Thursday, saying that he would support a one-year delay in health care law’s individual mandate, a central tenet of the new law. This is a very inconvenient moment for Manchin to turn against the Affordable Care Act, but somehow I don't think the White House was much surprised. Because this has nothing to do with healthcare, and everything to do with coal."
The Great Outdoors
The Daily Bucket - Coastal Migration Time—by enhydra lutris: "Like a lot of the CA coast San Gregorio interrupts cliffs that terminate in narrow beaches and is the seaward terminus of a valley of sorts. There is a bench with low cliffs to a moderately wide beach and an impermanent lagoon. The lagoon is the end of a stream that usually lacks sufficient flow to punch through the dunes furthest from the ocean. After a significant rainfall, however, the lagoon becomes an estuary. This transformation also occurs at very high tides and after storm surf, when the barrier is breached by the ocean instead of the stream."
The Daily Bucket-there's a hole in my bucket—by FOYI: "A whole lot a holes.
A spidey hole. A worm hole. A nest hole. A crawdad hole. And an ant hole."
Morning Birdwatch - a photo diary—by boriscleto: "Above the Montezuma National Wildlife Center's visitor center."
NRA lobbyist Tony Makris kills an elephant on NBC Sports' "Under Wild Skies"—by deadletterboy: "I'm not really sure what else to say. Should I say that shooting an elephant is disgusting in itself? Should I say that drinking champagne afterwards and discussing how bringing the ivory back to camp will be a very special moment? Should I say that these two men are horrible disgusting affronts to the human race?"
The Daily Bucket - things only friends should know—by bwren: "We've been traveling a lot this summer. We always assume our accommodations have been thoroughly cleaned ... So, I was stripping the beds the other day for the weekly laundry, and noticed this little smear of blood on my forearm. There was a tiny pinhead sized whitish object occluding the bloody place. My first impulse was to brush it off, but on closer look realized that the tiny pinhead sized whitish object was, like ... organic ... and was ... um ... moving. OHMYDOGWE'VEGOTF#$%BEDBUGS!!!! OK. Deep breath. Find a jar. Encourage the tiny pinhead sized whitish object into the jar. Shut the lid. Tight. Find the magnifying glass. Find the right pair of glasses. Focus. Focus. Focus. Race to the computer. Look up bedbugs. Inhale."
Eco-Activism & Eco-Justice
Because the Land Is Ours: The Rights of Mother Earth v. Carbon Trading—by Bev Bell and Tory Field: "Inatoy Sidsagi and his cousin Esteban Herrera, from the indigenous Kuna Yala (also known as Guna Yala) nation in Panama, make up the indigenous rap group Kunarevolution. They rap about Mother Earth and the Kuna’s inalienable right to protect their lands and waters. The Kuna Yala people recently prevailed over a threat to their lands, in the form of carbon trading. REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is a global program promoted by the U.N., industrialized nations, and international financial institutions like the World Bank. REDD allows countries and corporations to buy 'clean-air' credits from countries with undeveloped forests. In exchange, governments, indigenous nations, and other groups agree to preserve areas of their forests, with the rationale that the trees’ absorption of carbon, the element that causes global warming, will counteract damage done by industrial polluters."
Corporations Can Wait—by jbmjack: "There is a paper mill there in Muskegon, or was, anyway. It was connected to Scott Paper Company, but it's been closed for a decade or more. The smell of the pulp is tied to memories of my youth. Some group bought the site and wants to turn it into a golf course, or a marina, and they want the land cleared. But that smoke stack: how do you remove a smoke stack? And isn't it full of the poisons that stuck to its inner walls, and isn't it laced with asbestos? A year ago, people there got word that it would be demolished in a week. How that could be possible in a democracy is a good question, but brother Dan's Occupy group got on it. They notified everyone they could think of, including local Native American groups, and the demolition was stopped. Victory for the people!"
A Real Economist on: 3 climate change red herrings; 5th unmasking of right vested interests—by emorej a Hong KongFollow: "Brad Delong shows what a real economist thinks about global warming in the agreeably wonky and disagreeably typo-ridden post here: • Is full employment less attainable if we deal properly with global warming? • Is rapid productivity growth less attainable if we deal properly with global warming? • Is an equitable global distribution of wealth less attainable if we deal properly with global warming?"
Reprogramming the City—by gmoke: "There's a great exhibition at the Boston Society of Architects down by South Station called "Reprogramming the City" (http://bsaspace.org/....). It is all about small but significant design tweaks for urban infrastructures, imaginative and enlivening, from all over the world. There are lamp-posts that include deployable umbrellas for shelter during rain and snow, bus stop walls that light up during the darkness of winter to prevent seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and billboards that become bamboo forests to clean the air or have small apartments attached to their back sides or that gather and store potable water."
Eco-Philosophy & Essays
Sweet Home Schuylkill County: The PA Anthracite coal region 1790-1917—by SteelerGrrl: "Who built all these little towns in the rolling hills of East Central Pennsylvania, and why? Who lived there, why did they settle there, and what did they do for a living? The answer to all of the above comes back to one word: coal. Specifically, anthracite coal."
Commandment #2 - A Closer Look—by John Crapper: "Our economy showers us with everything we think we should have and sells us on owning it. Buy, buy, buy, consume, consume, consume - Why? Because we are special and we deserve it!"
41% of Americans believe End Times upon us: this is what holds us back more than anything else—by stormin: "If you're wondering why there's such a widespread sense of apathy for environmental issues, and reforms meant to make the world a better place for our children and our children's children, here is the number one stumbling block that is the elephant in the room: A recent poll has found that 41 percent of American adults believe the end times have arrived."
TP Partnership - And I Don't Mean Toilet Paper!—by John Crapper: "There are times when you get hit with something and it just makes you say "Holy Shit". This happened to me on Saturday, Septerber 21, 2013 when I attended the 350.org No KXL Draw the Line event in Seattle, WA. While there I attended a workshop on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Although I was vaguely aware of this free trade agreement negotiation I was not anywhere fully up to speed with its implications. I'm trying to change that fast: This agreement is very bad news for anyone who cares about the environment. This agreement consists of 29 chapters and most have nothing to do with trade but instead impose limits on domistic food safety, health, environmental and other policies. The texts of these chapters have not been released to the public but 600 U.S. corporate "trade advisors" have full access. In essence the TPP privileges "investor rights over national sovereignty. Investor rights basically give corporations the same rights as sovereign nations and veto power over national laws. "