|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 242 of these spotlighting more than 14,754 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to 44 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.]|
The Oceans are Dying: Oxygen is Depleting, Acidity Rising at Fastest Rate in 300,000,000 Years—by FishOutofWater: "Today's explosive increase in human CO2 emissions and warming of the oceans are recreating the conditions of the great Permian extinction 300 million years ago when massive volcanic eruptions in Siberia triggered the release of enormous amounts of stored carbon. A leading theory is that deoxygenation and acidification of the oceans led to the bacterial production of toxic hydrogen sulfide gas which poisoned species dependent on oxygen.
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You Can't Own ALL the Solar, Mr. Monopoly, Not with Your Huge Profits—by AnneBB: "Imagine making 14 percent post tax profit with no competition in a captured market, on electricity service, over 4 times what some other utilities make? That's the pleasure of being Xcel Energy in Colorado. And right now they aim to protect all that by laming Colorado's net metering policy, the nation's best policy for rooftop solar, the power generation that can be owned at the household and which lowers peoples' power bills so much. It's one thing to allow a company to make a fair return on investment, it's quite another to let that monopoly turn your state into the company's cash cow moving to destroy the growth of distributed generation and the local ownership it entails. In Germany, the world center of distributed generation, small operators like families and farmers own 10 percent of the entire nation's power generation, an astonishing accomplishment and an integral part of how they achieved 20 percent renewables on the grid."
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Sunday Train: Unleashing the Political Power of Bio-Coal—by BruceMcF: "This essay is about undermining that political power at its base, by creating more jobs from a direct rival to coal production than Big Coal can offer. Once a better deal is made available, with more employment, more value-added circulating locally, and no destruction of people's health through the hauling up of poisonous by-products from underground, the foundation on which Big Coal's political power is based is in a position to fracture. What is that direct rival to coal production? Biocoal production. Biocoal is a solid fuel made from biomass by heating it in an inert atmosphere. The result is either charcoal, or if the process temperature is mild, a product called torrefied wood. Charcoal and torrefied wood can be called by common name biocoal. Compared to untreated biomass biocoal has several advantages. It has high energy content, uniform properties and low moisture content. Biocoal can be used in coal fired power plants, which have difficulties with other biomass based fuels, such as wood chips."
You can find more rescued green diaries below the sustainable squiggle.
Dawn Chorus: Da "Boids" of Summer—by JupiterSurf: "This summer I spent 5 weeks out in the Rockies and California and 1 week in Ohio on the western edge of Lake Erie. When I go to a new place, I get one of those nice foldover folders that show birds commonly found in the region. For me it's a good place to start for identification. When I think I have narrowed it down, I will then consult one of my larger bird books to see if I am right. First check is to see if they are found in the area I see them. When I am totally stumped, I email a photo to my neighbor. You see I got in the bad habit of photographing birds and then looking them up. I should have started to make note of the bird, size, shape, bill and tail, before I learned to rely on the photographs. It's a habit I am trying to break...but it's not easy. Cause most of time I see a bird I don't have a camera in my hand. Learning the tricks the hard way."
10,000 Walrus amass ashore and GOP defunds NOAA, EPA, DOE, etc.—by Pakalolo: "An estimated 10,000 walrus were unable to find sea ice and have come ashore on a barrier island near Point Lay, an Inupiat Eskimo village 300 miles southwest of Barrow and 700 miles northwest of Anchorage. As we all know the IPCC came out with the first of a series of volumes constituting its fifth assessment of climate change. Doesn't look good. The walruses were forced ashore by the disappearance of Arctic sea ice over their preferred feeding areas. " Link to photo of them here.
As world burns, GOP arsonists set fires everywhere in Washington—by Mike732: "Climate change demands a massive and immediate response — a decade ago. We need a war on climate change, which is a real problem, and not an expensive and ultimately counterprodictive war on terror, and not a war on the middle class, and not, dear God, a war on drugs. We won't get the right war. Maybe we never will, we'll just go up in smoke while pretending everything's fine. We're not just rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, we're reduced to using the damned things as lifeboats."
Climate Change Drivel—by btfjd: "The 9/30 edition of the Wall Street Journal online carried an article asserting all sorts of errors in the latest IPCC report on climate change. That, of course, is to be expected--the WSJ is not, after all, Scientific American. What I found interesting, though, was who the WSJ chose to write their attack piece. The article, entitled 'The Political Science of Global Warming,' was by a writer named Rupert Darwall. Mr. Darwall, the Journal tells us, is the author of The Age of Global Warming: A History. I googled that book, and it got rave reviews from the usual conservative sources. Sounds somewhat impressive, I think, but perhaps with the miracles of the internet, I can find out more about Mr. Darwall. And I did."
IPCC Report: Man-Made Climate Change Is A Scientific Certainty—by Marcia G. Yerman: "The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its new reporton September 27. The media and blogosphere were immediately filled with articles, comments, and push back. It’s a square dance that happens with regularity around this issue. Everybody plays their role. The debate goes on. Unfortunately, time is running out."
Food, Agriculture & Gardening
Feed an extra 4 billion: Grow crops for humans, not animals—by VL Baker: "An additional 4 billion people in the world could be fed if land currently used to grow crops for livestock were given over to crops for human consumption, according to a new study. The work of a team at the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, and published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the study says that 36 percent of the calories produced by the world’s crops are being used for animal feed … and only 12 percent of those calories ultimately contribute to the human diet (as meat and other animal products). In the US two thirds of calories produced per acre of land are consumed by animals, rather than people. The authors of the study state that 'the US agricultural system alone could feed 1 billion additional people by shifting crop calories to direct human consumption'. With the global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, it casts into stark relief the assessments made by some in the livestock and agricultural industries that the only way to feed the world is to increase production or use more efficient technology."
Agroecology: "...Outperform(s) the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production..."—by FinchJ: "Even with all of the recent attention agroecology has been receiving, reporters of all stripes have been routinely ignoring developments in agroecology. I believe that the lack of coverage by those on the forefront of environmental reporting has much to do with the public's unfamiliarity with these issues. If environmentalists do not write about agroecology, what makes anyone expect that the corporate media will?"
The Foodstamp Gourmet: Workarounds—by Alexandra Lynch: "An inescapable fact of my existence is that I have a lot of foot and ankle pain, and back pain, and I have to factor that in to my plans as the household cook. I do a lot of my chopping prep seated, whether on a stool or at the dining room table. I precook hamburger, shredded beef and chicken, shredded or grilled and diced, or roasted whole, so that I don't have to stand there and make it happen on the days where I am having trouble walking. I plan things with nice long chunks of simmer time or bake time, during which I can go take a load off and keep well within the day's standing budget. I've also learned to make sure to stretch my hamstrings and my deep hip flexors on a regular basis, or pay the price. It's also been worth it to get and keep good cooking tools; knives that make my work efficient and safe, my stand mixer, and my slicer to name a few."
Contaminated Food Kills 33 Americans, Farmers Arrested, Monsanto And GMOs Involved?—by bernardpliers: The cantaloupe growers' farm is considered the source of a national listeria outbreak that killed at least 33 and sickened another 147 people in 2011, one of the country's most deadly outbreaks of food-borne illness, according to government investigators. [...] Are Monsanto and GMOs involved? No! What are you, fucking kidding? Of course not. In fact, every year more Americans are probably killed by contaminated food than died on 9-11!"
Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 9.33—by Frankenoid: "In preparation for the first freeze, on Thursday I gave the patch of lawn it's last mowing of the season; pulled out the giant nicotiana sylvestris; picked the tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and eggplants; and bagged up the powdery-mildewed killed melon vines. Yesterday, with the assistance of Da Boys, the brugmansia were shoved into the cold storage space in the basement — after brutal pruning to get the plants short enough to fit."
Wendell Berry and Bill Moyers to Talk Coal, Climate This Week on PBS—by Mary Anne Hitt : "Beginning October 4, PBS will air a special conversation between two of the people I admire most in the world - Kentucky farmer and author Wendell Berry, and journalist Bill Moyers. Among many other topics, these two giants of American culture will discuss issues very close to my heart: coal, climate change, and the future of Appalachia and the planet. Wendell Berry spoke to us, and so many others, because his essays, poems, and novels told a deep, clear truth about the place where we lived, about Appalachia and the South, with some of the most beautiful language I've ever encountered. That included telling the truth about coal, and the legacy of social, environmental, and economic unraveling it created across Appalachia, which stills plagues the region today. Wendell Berry brings this same lucidity and power to the topic of climate change, and the urgency to act now, before it's too late."
"Why Indian Point Won't Kill You" - Puff Pieces for Nuclear Reactors?—by rexxnyc: "The two nuclear reactors at Indian Point, New York (40 miles from New York City) have reached the end of their approved 40 year operating life. Entergy—the utility that now owns the reactors— naturally wants to extend their licenses. So the public relations blitz is beginning. Last week the above-titled puff piece appeared in the New York Observer. The New York Observer is a weekly aimed at the upper crust of Manhattan. The Observer's circulation isn't huge, but because the paper targets the 1% it has influence. It's appalling that they ran this story."
Standing in the Sunshine, The Answer is Blowin’ in the Wind—by brasch: "There is some evidence that Americans are beginning to understand the need to abandon fossil fuel energy and prepare for a world of renewable energy. Lancaster, Calif., a city of about 160,000 in Los Angeles County, was the first American city to require all new houses to produce a minimum of one kilowatt of solar energy, beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Wind turbines already provide about one-fifth of all power in Iowa and South Dakota. About three-fourths of Americans want to see more development of solar and wind energy, according to a Gallup poll conducted in March. So, who doesn’t want to see renewable energy replace fossil fuel dependence? Conservatives and Republicans tend not to want to reduce fossil fuel energy and develop more renewable energy, according to Gallup. The Gallup poll reveals that 78 percent of Republicans want to see more of an emphasis upon fracking and natural gas as a primary energy source. That’s probably because conservatives don’t like change. It scares them. They understand coal, oil, and gas. They don’t accept solar, wind, and geothermal energy."
Large-scale investment to stimulate economy, reduce carbon emissions—by petercgoldmark: "More weather extremes, plus reduced agricultural yield, plus droughts, plus dwindling marine life as a result of growing ocean acidification, are what the overwhelming majority of climate scientists tell us to expect if we continue to spew carbon into the atmosphere in growing amounts.The U.S. economy continues to stutter: roughly 20 million people unemployed or wanting more work than they can find, and business investment hesitant. Europe is in worse shape—it has tumbled into a crippling longterm recession. Is there a way to address soaring carbon emissions and stimulate economic growth at the same time? Can one response address both challenges—help create jobs and avert a global recession on one hand, and help avoid frying the planet on the other? The answer is yes.That response is a program that mobilizes large-scale investment to stimulate the economy and create jobs, and directs that investment to energy efficiency and built-space retrofit around the world in order to reduce carbon emissions."
Energy COOL opportunity at govt facility in DC amid shutdown—by A Siegel: "Since diving into the deep end when it comes to energy issues, almost every day [I see] new, fascinating concepts, approaches, and technologies. Fascinating … exciting … even hope inspiring at times. And, as well, as the passion builds, so many of these are trulyEnergy COOL. One pleasure of attending energy-related conferences is the chance to wander the trade show and talk to (and learn from) a range of innovators and experts from a diversity of firms. Yesterday morning, with the government shutdown, I wondered whether a four-day demonstration at National Defense University (oops, website down with government shutdown) in Washington, DC, would actually be open ... and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was."
Solar Divide -- First Solar Attacks its Own Industry—by BaileyA: "You might assume that the solar energy industry represents one united group, working together in harmony towards a renewable energy future. It’s a beautiful thought, but evidently this is not the case. Within the solar industry there is conflict arising between rooftop solar and large scale solar developers—namely First Solar—which see rooftop as a threat to its future success. James Hughes, the CEO of First Solar, a solar panel manufacturer and PV power plant developer based in Tempe Arizona, has come out publicly against net metering. Despite the fact that studies show distributed solar provides $34 million in annual benefits to all Arizona Public Service ratepayers, Hughes makes false claims that net metering is a subsidy 'funded by all other utility customers who must pay proportionately more in rates.' He uses false information to make a direct attack on his own industry."
Feds urged to halt fracking off California coast—by Dan Bacher: "A national environmental group on October 3 charged the federal government for violating a key national environmental law by allowing offshore fracking (hydraulic fracturing) in waters off California’s coast without analyzing the risks to human health and endangered marine species. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice letter with two federal agencies in charge of regulating offshore oil development, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. The group plans legal action if the government fails to act (http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/....)"
Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation
Eco-Related DC & State Politics
Nuclear Regulatory Commission on shutdown: Only one week's funding available—by VL Baker: "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has enough leftover funds from past appropriations to continue operating for about a week, according to a statement on their website. If the shutdown is longer than that, 300 of their 3,900 employees will continue to report to work."
Let 'Em Blow in New Jersey—by Michael Brune: "Three years ago, Governor Christie signed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act but, ever since, his administration has done nothing to advance offshore wind. That has squandered the opportunity to make New Jersey a double-barreled clean-energy leader, since the state already ranks fourth nationally in total solar installations. The benefits of offshore wind for New Jersey would be immediate and substantial. The proposed five-turbine demonstration wind farm for state waters off the coast of Atlantic City would power 10,000 homes and bring more than $150 million in economic activity and hundreds of jobs to the state."
The Two Faces of Governor Quinn's Environmental Policy Puts Downstate Illinois in Danger—by Willinois: "Governor Pat Quinn recently spoke at the annual dinner of the Illinois Environmental Council held in Chicago, where he was applauded as a longtime ally. His record as Governor reflects his commitment to clean energy and the environment. At least when he's in Chicago. When Quinn travels south, the tree-hugging Dr. Jekyll transforms into a dirty energy Mr. Hyde on issue after issue. Environmentalists celebrated when Quinn vetoed a bill to provide rate increases for a coal-to-gas plant Leucadia Corp proposed in a heavily polluted area of southeastern Chicago. But for southern Illinois, Quinn signed a bill to subsidize a similar coal-to-gas plant proposed near Mt. Vernon. When signing the bill Quinn claimed, 'This important project will help revive the coal industry in southern Illinois.' The project eventually failed after plunging natural gas prices made it difficult for the company to find investors."
Congressmen Shimkus, Davis team up to show hypocrisy on energy prices—by Willinois: "Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis usually does a good job of sounding vaguely moderate, even when he's pursuing extremely conservative policies, so I'm a little surprised to see him co-author an energy editorial in a Champaign newspaper with his mentor, former boss, and national punchline for anti-science extremism, John Shimkus. Shimkus and Davis joined forces for an editorial to let you know they oppose new carbon regulation proposed by Obama's EPA because it may result in rate increases. They neglect to mention their record of supporting large rate increases, as long as the money is going to the coal industry."
Boehner's temper tantrum shuts down the EPA—by Environmental Action: "Watching the government shutdown over partisan bickering is frustrating. But it's also really bad for our planet. While national parks and forests are closed to visitors, they're open for fracking, mining and logging to continue. What's worse, almost the entire EPA has been sent home, meaning there are no cops on the beat to stop polluters from poisoning our air, water and land."
VA-Gov: Terry McAuliffe (D) Comes Out In Support Of EPA Rules On Coal-Fired Plants—by poopdogcomedy: "Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday that he supports new Environmental Protection Agency rules on carbon emissions, taking a clear stance for the first time on an issue that has become a key flashpoint in the Virginia governor’s race."
The Great Outdoors
Sunday Driving through Grand Teton National Park—by jbob: "On the way up to Yellowstone National Park during a recent trip I decided to drive through Grand Teton National Park just for fun. I have spent some time hiking at Grand Teton on other trips and srtongly recommend it. This day there was only enough time to pass through and hit a few quick highlights along the way."
But it is not the same plant."
Ponds, Streams, Lakes, Rivers & Oceans
The Long Island Nature Conservancy Needs Volunteers to Help With Clam Stocking In Great South Bay—by organize: "The Long Island Nature Conservancy needs volunteers hardy enough to help load their boat and travel out on The Great South Bay to seed the bay bottom with clams. In the past three years, their Shellfish Restoration Program has restocked the bay with over 7,000,000 cherrystone clams in places where they are most likely to spawn. The hope is that if we can reintroduce these filter feeders to the bay, we can begin to clean it through natural means. Similar efforts are being tried in The Chesapeake Bay and New York harbor with oysters. In 1976, 40% of the bay water was filtered by clams each day. Today, due to over harvesting and water pollution, that percentage is negligible and the Great South Bay is on life support."
Environmental Water Caucus: Shasta Reservoir Study Is A Sham—by Dan Bacher: "The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation recently published the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for a controversial plan to increase the storage capacity of Shasta Reservoir on the Sacramento River by raising the dam height 18.5 feet, a project strongly opposed by the Winnemem Wintu Tribe and conservation groups. The Bureau claims the primary purposes of the project are to 'increase survival of anadromous fish populations in the upper Sacramento River' and 'increase water supply and water supply reliability for agricultural, municipal and industrial, and environmental purposes.'"
Eco-Activism & Eco-Justice
New Day — This Week In American Indian News: "Scars Upon Sacred Land" Environmental Edition—by Aji: "Environmental and American Indian rights activist Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca) was chosen as one of 100 women delegates worldwide to attend the International Women's Earth and Climate Initiative (IWECI) Summit in New York City from September 20th through 23rd. Ms. Camp-Horinek is the sister of American Indian Movement (AIM) co-founder Carter Camp, known to Kossacks as cacamp. [...She] is a warrior woman in every sense of the phrase. An actor and long-time activist, she has spent her life fighting tirelessly for her people and planet. At home, she is the traditional Drumkeeper for the Woman's Scalp Dance Society, known as the Ponca Pa-tha-ta. In 2008, she and her brothers were Indigenous Environmental Network [IEN] delegates to the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, where she presented IEN's 'global platform regarding the environment and Native rights.'"
Don't give in to the GOP liars by reopening the parks—by Cpqemp: "Tennessee is home to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. It is the most visited national park in the country. Fall season is here and the trees are turning. It's a very busy time of the year. Don't let Marcia Blackburn and the rest of the loons from Tennessee off the hook. Let them defend their behavior to the locals. Perhaps we can crack the GOP hold on this side of the state."
Community Defenders Celebrate 4th Anniversary Blockade of Proposed Hydroelectric Project—by Jonathan Treat via Bev Bell: "I had the pleasure and privilege recently of writing about a happy and inspiring event celebrating the anniversary of nonviolent resistance to a proposed hydroelectric that would directly and very negatively affect 43 community on the Oaxacan coast. Unfortunately, some of the communities who have led that resistance recently have been hard-hit by torrential rains and extensive flooding. At least 40 homes in Paso de la Reyna alone--including those of many interviewed in the article--have been flooded. I urge readers to send much needed and much deserved support to these communities that for 4 years now have been courageously commited to nonviolent struggle in spite of threats and considerable risk. Information on how to do this is at the bottom of the article."
Thousands In Bangladesh March for 5 Days to Stop Proposed Coal-Fired Power Plant—by nicoleghio: "Last week, thousands of Bangladeshis completed a nearly 250-mile, 5-day march from the capital city, Dhaka, to Rampal, in the Sundarbans area of southwest Bangladesh and home to the worldâs largest mangrove forest. The participants—men and women, students and professionals—joined this massive undertaking with one unifying goal: to stop the 1,320-megawatt Rampal coal-fired power plant backed by the Indian state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and the Bangladesh state-owned Power Development Board (PDB). Home to rich biodiversity, including the planetâs largest mangrove forest, the endangered royal Bengal tigers, and nearly extinct Irrawaddy dolphins, the Sundarbans was a finalist for the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and remains a UNESCO World Heritage site. But it is also so much more. The marchers know that toxic pollution from the plant will not only endanger this rich biodiversity, but also people who breathe the same air and drink the same water. The destruction of mangrove forests will devastate the local economy, costing nearly $7 billion (5.4 trillion taka), according to Professor Anu Muhammad, Secretary Chair of National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports."
Forests & Public Lands
Grijalva calls for cessation of mineral and energy extraction on public lands until shutdown ends—by Meteor Blades: "While the government shutdown has locked visitors and concessionaires out of America's national parks (at a cost to local communities of $76 million a day), and most federal overseers of other public lands have been furloughed, mining and energy companies are continuing their operations on those lands. Big surprise, eh? This irks Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. He has, therefore, sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell asking them to stop these operations until the shutdown ends."
Expanding National Park System #1- Alabama—by MorrellWI1983: "Here is the first entry in series about expanding the National Park Service, via adding new national monuments or reclassifying existing areas as national monuments. Wherever possible, I list the budget for the existing areas, when it was established and how big the current area is. Now many sites may be in negotiations to add more land, so the numbers may change. The first areas listed will be existing national monuments, if the state has any. Currently, 22 states have no national monuments. After that come national forests, then national preserves, and then wildlife refuges. After that, I will list the areas I would like to add or reclassify to meet the number of monuments specified for each state by total area (land and water). For some states this will include ocean coastline and Great Lakes coastline. I will also list the length of the state coastline, if applicable.The first state I look at will be Alabama. Total Area: 52,419 sq. miles; Land, 50,744 sq. miles; Water 1,675 sq. miles; Coastline: 53 sq. miles. Additional national monuments: 4. Currently, Alabama has one existing national monument, 11 wildlife refuges, 4 national forests, and 4 preserves or historic sites."
Eco-Essays and Eco-Philosophy
Steal This Democracy—by Michael Brune: "America's best idea is in trouble -- but I don't mean our national parks. Yes, the parks are closed, which is inexcusable. It's not only a crushing disappointment for millions of would-be visitors but also an economic gut punch for neighboring communities -- to the tune of $76 million dollars a day. But what's really under attack is something even older than our national park system: our democracy. [...] Finally, big polluters and other special interests are spending millions to keep anyone who disagrees with them away from the polls and out of office. No sooner did the Supreme Court gut a key part of the Voting Rights Act, than state houses across the country with Republican legislatures pushed through suppressive legislation to keep young people, seniors, students, and people of color away from the polls. It's no coincidence that those are the same citizens who have voted against them."