|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 269 of these spotlighting more than 16,603 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to 67 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.]|
You can find more rescued green diaries below the sustainable squiggle.
Climate change impacts will kick our butts, and the poor will get it worst—by Meteor Blades: "It was an epic British understatement. "The picture it paints with respect to the consequences of continued climate change is rather bleak," wrote The Guardian's Dana Nuccitelli of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The panel's summary and full report were released Sunday in Yokohoma, Japan, after five days of final discussions and final tweaks of their contents. It is the second of four reports in the fifth assessment by the IPCC. This one is Working Group II's look at “Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.” More than 300 authors contributed. The bleakness: Heat waves, droughts, floods, wildfires, more intense storms and other extreme weather, rising seas, saltwater intrusion, whole islands made uninhabitable, ocean acidification, reduced fish populations, crop yield declines, food shortages, species extinctions, severe health effects from spreading disease, massive displacement of human populations and violent conflicts will be or already are the lethal products of climate change that will all worsen even if action is taken immediately. And get much, much worse if it is not."
Don't Skimp on Climate—by jcullen: "The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in March issued an uncharacteristically blunt call to action on climate change, Joe Romm noted at ThinkProgress.org March 20. Its Climate Science Panel issued a report, “What We Know,” with several simple messages. Among them: Climate scientists agree that climate change is happening here and now. Average global temperature has increased by about 1.4˚F over the last 100 years. Sea level is rising, and some types of extreme events — such as heat waves and heavy precipitation events -– are happening more frequently. Recent scientific findings indicate that climate change is likely responsible for the increase in the intensity of many of these events in recent years."
"Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change" ~ IPCC Chairman—by Lefty Coaster: "As the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Rajendra Pachauri is in a position to know what he's talking about here. But dire official pronouncements like this has failed to pierce the impervious ignorance of many Americans on this issue. I've seen the devastation in the aftermath of of a Super Typhoon striking the Philippines in recent months so I know how drastic these changes in climate can be. The past two months rainfall here in the Pacific Northwest has been more than twice its normal levels. March broke the all time record for rainfall, and in the rainy Northwest in March that's saying something. All that rain almost certainly contributed to the massive mudslide in Oso Washington about 40 miles East of here. That resulted in 21 confirmed deaths so far with 30 people still missing. Most of those 30 people most likely are buried too deeply for the search dogs to find."
Head of World Bank: "Fights over water and food" coming from "direct impacts of climate change"—by Lefty Coaster: "Jim Yong Kim knows a lot about how the world's economy is interconnected, and how vulnerable the world's food system could be to climatic disruptions as weather and rainfall patterns become more erratic due to climate change since Kim is the head of the World Bank: Battles over water and food will erupt within the next five to 10 years as a result of climate change, the president of the World Bank said as he urged those campaigning against global warming to learn the lessons of how protesters and scientists joined forces in the battle against HIV. 'Is there enough basic science research going into renewable energy? Not even close. Are there ways of taking discoveries made in universities and quickly moving them into industry? No. Are there ways of testing those innovations? Are there people thinking about scaling [up] those innovations?'"
It's SHOWTIME For Climate Change—by boatsie: "Less than 40 years from now, a 16-inch rise in sea level precipitated by global warming will swallow a sizable chunk of Sausalito's historic waterfront, according to scientifically rendered climate simulation models. So I've been working for the past few months in this pint-sized piece of paradise designing a community education 'template' which integrates the practices and teachings of Yoga and Mindfulness with learning basic principles about climate change and how to adapt and take action. My 'lab' is Yoga of Sausalito and earlier this month we kicked off our project with a community screening of Let Fury Have the Hour. Next month, Dr. Peter Joseph, leader of the Marin Chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby and an early graduate of Al Gore's Climate Reality Project, will present Preventing Climate Chaos: Civilization's Greatest Challenge. And in May, we collaborate with 350Marin, presenting an interactive evening which restorative and beginner yoga poses and inspirational passages with video shorts and story telling. But all this is Lilliputian. THE BIG NEWS HERE is, at long last, just two days after Dr. Joseph's appearance, climate change hits the mass media market bigtime as Showtime premieres Season 1, Episode 1 of Years of Living Dangerously. The April 13, 10 p.m. episode is part one in an eight-part series which 'explores the human impact of climate change.'"
Don't Say You Were Not F**ing Warned—by LaFeminista: "How many times have we heard politicians say we must act? Then we get, but, but the economy, but gosh chickens are crossing the road, heaven forbid we upset the right, heaven forbid we fucking do something. This is why I rarely talk about global warming and climate change I just get too damn angry and having to say the same thing over and fucking over. So now we found out the process is going faster than we ever imagined? We will see a joint pearl clutching moment perhaps, but any real action? Give me a fucking break. Stupid, stupid, stupid; Jesus how can we continue to be so fucking idiotic. I'll stop here before I get really angry."
Utilizing an all volunteer force and climate change—by GreenMother: "It seems that early on, Environmentalism felt like it was made into a dirty word/concept, much like the word Feminist. Even though the notion of keeping clean air, clean water, soil and the like, preserving species diversity and generally not shitting where one eats feels like common sense to me, somehow Environmentalism came to mean something else, like Feminism came to mean Man-Hating Femi-Nazi. We now know that uncountable dollars have been launched for decades to accomplish this. To not just cast doubt on the science, but to also make sure that most environmentalism is considered woo woo fringe. But environmentalism already had some very big strikes against it, the biggest being that 1) People seem to instinctively resist change, even if the change will benefit them, and 2) Multi-generational habits die hard. I believe that number (2) is the most damning. So what do I mean by that? I came to environmentalism as an adult. And this was because of two reasons: 1. My parents saw no reason to practice what they thought were self limiting habits associated with environmentalism way back in the day, and 2) our infrastructure makes it so that we have to fight to practice environmentalism at all, in most places, whether it be rural or urban."
Guardian live blog of release of IPCC Report in Yokohama, Japan—by HoundDog: "The Guardian has obtained a leaked copy of the much anticipated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report they describe in IPCC report: climate change felt 'on all continents and across the oceans. Over 500 Government and Science officials are meeting in Yokohama, Japan this week to finalize the wording of the final summary on Monday. 'In recent decades, changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans,' the final report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will say. Some parts of the world could soon be at a tipping point. For others, that tipping point has already arrived. 'Both warm water coral reef and Arctic ecosystems are already experiencing irreversible regime shifts,' the approved version of the report will say."
Don't Skimp on Climate—by jcullen: "Bush handed new President Obama an economy in freefall, financial markets on the verge of collapse, an unbalanced budget and a $10.6 trillion national debt in January 2009. President Obama and the Democratic Congress passed a stimulus and largely succeeded in stabilizing the economy while putting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on the books, but the debt has grown to $17.46 trillion at the end of February. Now Republicans complain that it is unconscionable to pass such a debt onto the next generation. The kids won’t thank us if we hand them a nation with negligible debt but also leave them with a climate of extreme weather and droughts that make it increasingly difficult to sustain human life—and that appears to be where we’re headed. [...] We should divert the $14 billion that we now spend on subsidizing oil, gas and coal production and spend it on developing sustainable energy sources, such as solar, wind and geothermal."
Exxon: Highly Unlikely World Limits Fossil Fuels—by Pakalolo: "On the same day the world's scientists issued their latest report on climate change and the risks it poses to society, the nation's biggest oil and gas company said the world's climate policies are "highly unlikely" to stop it from selling fossil fuels far into the future. Exxon Mobil issued a report Monday on the risks that climate change policies could pose to the value of its assets and future profitability, by coincidence on the same day as the latest paper by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a Nobel Prize-winning United Nations group assembled to assess the science and risks of climate change. The report, the first detailed response to these concerns by a major oil company, acknowledges the need to adopt policies to address climate change. But it concludes that because oil and gas are so critical to global development and economic growth, governments are "highly unlikely" to adopt policies that cut emissions so sharply that fossil fuel consumption would be severely restricted."
The show on climate change they don't have on networks.—by martianexpatriate: "I watched an episode of Chris Hayes where they were talking about another issue, but Chris Hayes made a passing comment about the level of CO2 in the air that I thought was interesting. It occurred to me that it was the sort of thing that really devoted more time. I'm writing a letter to the show to ask them to cover it in the future. This is the letter I have written so far." [Excerpt]
I would absolutely watch a show that talked about what a minimal level of carbon dioxide production might be. If we don't know have numbers for that yet, we can still invite scientists to talk about where they think it might be, and why that much CO2 could be reabsorbed. Nobody on the networks ever seems to want to have that conversation, and I think it is a problem. It leads to an unhealthy conversation about the climate."
Climate Change and Everything Else—by UN Dispatcher: "Climate change is the thread that weaves through issues like human security, conflict, water scarcity, development and health. To solve these issues requires progress on climate. This report should serve as ammunition to policy makers this september as they gather in New York for the latest round of climate talks. At the very least it provides evidence that climate change connects pretty much every global challenge that confronts the United Nations and the majority of its member states."
Food, Agriculture & Gardening
Maui gets enough signatures for GMO moratorium to go on ballot—by Karen from Maui: "Maui Initiative signature collectors stood in front of stores, worked community events, and canvassed their neighbors on a quest for registered Maui County voters to support the ballot initiative for a temporary moratorium on GMO growing until a study is done showing they are safe. Organizers counted up the notarized petitions and announced that they had gathered the necessary 8,500 signatures. However when each signature is verified some may be thrown out as invalid, so petitions will continue circulating for another week."
Hawaiian community, which has come out in force against GMOs destroying their land.
Farmers call for ownership of their private farm data—by brooklynbadboy: "At the national convention of the American Farm Bureau, a very conservative bunch, farmers are beginning to push back against Big Data by asserting that the data gathered from their farms is theirs, not multinationals like Monsanto [...] The farmers believe that the data is just as much their property as the farm itself. The multinationals have tried to assure them that the data they gather is secure and that it will only be used for commercial purposes of the gatherers, but to the farmers these assurances aren't enough."
Digging Steamers, And How To Make Them Tasty—by commonmass: "I grew up summering on an island off the coast of Maine, and we liked to harvest our own seafood. Now, we weren't allowed to take lobsters--you need a license for that and it takes five years of permanent residency--but you could take clams and mussels (though today you're supposed to have a clamming license but no one can see what we're doing and only take as much as we need). You're looking for an oval hole under a rock or in the mud. A square one is not what you want. Take your clam rake and dig like hell. The clams will race you; they are faster than you think. When you get them, put them in your clam hod. That's usually a wooden rectangular basket that will hold about half a bushel. Wash them out in the ocean before you..."
The Daily Bucket: Turning invasives into black gold—by Elizaveta: "The Washington Invasive Species Council calls this a highway infestation of Scotch broom. Infestation isn't a word that I think of when it comes to plants, but in the case of broom, if the word fits, swear it. [...] Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) is a native plant in Europe and North Africa. It arrived in the U.S. in the 1800s and was used as an ornamental and for animal fodder. [...] Broom is pretty when it’s flowering, and the bees love it, but according to the Council: Scotch broom crowds out native species and negatively impacts wildlife habitat. It can form dense, impenetrable stands that degrade farmland, prevent or slow forest regeneration and restoration of upland sites and wetland buffers, and create fire hazards. Scotch broom produces toxic compounds, which in large amounts can cause mild poisoning in animals such as horses."
Gallup: Americans Overwhelmingly Favor Clean Energy, Efficiency Over Fossil Fuels—by lowkell: "The fossil fuel industry can (and does) spend millions of dollars trying to persuade people that their product's great, that renewable energy isn't, and that climate change isn't real. Unfortunately for the fossil fuel folks, it looks like the American people are a lot smarter than ExxonMobil, the Koch brothers, etc. think they are. Evidence? How about this newly-released polling by Gallup, which finds the following."
Don't cry over spilled oil?—by don mikulecky: "Here is a list of oil spills in reverse chronological order: List of oil spills. Notice that they are increasing significantly as time goes on. [...] The mind of Homo sapiens has accomplished a lot. We are a very special species. A list of these achievements would not fit here for sure. So we make mistakes now and then. So we are really not good at governing ourselves. So we have poisoned the soil and water from which we must gain sustenance. How do we evaluate this? The talk about he coming end of civilization as we know it grows. Myopic pessimism?"
A Big Serving Of Energy Supply Nonsense—by richturc125: "Perhaps we should introduce some of these Happy Talkers to the reality of high prices. There’s a long line of other not-quite-so-Happy experts who prefer the factual side of the discussion. Look up almost anything written by Steve Andrews; Chris Nelder; Steve Kopits; Ron Patterson; Gail Tverberg; Chris Martenson; Kurt Cobb; Tom Whipple; Jeffrey Brown; Richard Heinberg, among many others (apologies for not running the long list) who point out that high prices are enabling the oil industry to produce the inferior, more costly, harder-to-extract, environmentally-questionable (I’m being kind) tar sands and tight oil now being relied upon. They also point out that even at current high prices, profit margins are not justifying further expenditures. Uh-oh! [* added for clarification/correction]."
Energy Supply Nonsense, Part Deux—by richturc125: "Earlier this week, I commented on an especially egregious example of right-wing nonsense from the fossil fuel industry. In an article from Gene Epstein at Barron's (“Here Comes $75 Oil”), a delightful array of carefully-massaged “facts” about our future energy supply served as an ideal example of how the self-serving interests of the few at the expense of the many takes shape. To those unaware of a looming energy supply challenge (at least one where our ongoing needs can be met efficiently, affordably, timely, and with limited harm to the environment—among other considerations), the article was a wonderful and uplifting offering of full assurances that one thing none of us need concern ourselves with is filling our gas tanks. But ignoring reality works only for so long."
35th anniversary Three Mile Island Nuclear Meltdown—by Churchill: "On March 28, 1979 the Three Mile Island accident begane. Why is there almost no national news coverage of this meltdown, especially in light of the Fukushima Nuclear disaster? Nuclear power is a very dangerous way to generate electricity."
Time for Congress to Act and Save Clean Energy Jobs—by Mary Anne Hitt: "Today, the US Senate is casting a vote critical to the future of the U.S. wind industry. Wind power has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and the wind industry now employs more than 80,000 Americans and generates enough electricity to power 15 million homes. Wind is providing affordable, reliable electricity from coast to coast—in 2013 Iowa got 27 percent of its electricity from wind power, while South Dakota got 26 percent. Despite this momentum, wind power's full potential continues to rest in the hands of members of Congress, including some with close ties to fossil fuel industries. The Senate Finance Committee is voting today on legislation that includes an extension of critical clean energy tax incentives, namely the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for renewable energy, as well as key energy efficiency tax credits. This is a critical step in ultimately renewing these provisions. These clean energy incentives support tens of thousands of American jobs—jobs that are at risk if Congress does not act immediately."
5 Injured In Fracking Accident In Washington State—by blueoregon: "Five people were injured following an explosion at Northwest Pipeline in Plymouth, WA this morning. Approximately 1000 people were evacuated from the area in Benton county after leaks from a tank holding liquefied natural gas exploded at 8:22 am."
Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation
XL Pipeline: Sen. Whitehouse and Rep. Waxman Question Koch Bros—by Marcia G Yerman: "So each side is mobilizing in their own manner. Yet I couldn’t help thinking of those rote answers when I read the press release from the offices of Rep. Henry A. Waxman(D-CA) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), which released a letter they had sent to Koch Industries. It specifically asked if their business or affiliated companies had 'financial interests' in the pipeline. Addressed to David L. Robertson, the President and COO of Koch Industries, the letter (online) continued with the following paragraph: 'Groups backed by Charles and David Koch have lobbied and run political ads to support construction of the pipeline. But Koch Industries has consistently denied financial motives played any role in these activities, asserting that the Keystone XL pipeline has ‘nothing to do with any of our businesses.’ We want to know whether this is true.' The letter points to Americans for Prosperity, which was founded by David Koch, as having 'run a multi-year pressure campaign in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline, including airing ads against members of Congress for opposing the pipeline.' It goes on to underscore the Koch financial connection to entities seeking to dismiss the science that has emphasized 'the relationship between the use of carbon-based fuel and climate change.'"
Chart of the Day: Affluent opinions about the Keystone XL pipeline—by Meteor Blades: "Here's some affluenza news from Spectrem's Millionaire Corner: Nearly half of Affluent investors have a “build, baby, build” attitude toward the Keystone XL pipeline, according to a new survey conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner. Forty-seven percent of Affluent respondents believe President Barack Obama should approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to help make America more energy independent. This is twice as many as those who said they had no opinion on the 1,700-mile, $5.4 billion project that would move oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast (23 percent."
Pipeline disaster spun as scientific progress—by ImpeccableLiberalCredentials: "Canadian pipeline company Enbridge and its allies are working hard on spinning the Alberta Clipper pipeline that increases US dependence on foreign "oil" and delays necessary development of sustainable domestic energy (and job creation in this field) as "energy independence". [...] While the idea that the pipeline represents "energy independence" from unstable, corrupt regimes in parts of the world the average American might associate petroleum conflicts with is great spin—there is no greater spin than Enbridge or its predecessors failure to contain and cleanup the 1979 pipeline spill near my hometown is a boon for science, or demonstrates that in situ bioremediation (not doing anything with oil spills seeping into an aquifer) is an appropriate reaction to catastrophic failure of a pipeline. Unfortunately we see the same "scientific" approach being used to delay cleanups of failures of tar sands tailings ponds in Alberta now, too... (Oilsands study confirms tailings found in groundwater, river vs. Oil sands industry group says jury out on tailings ponds polluting Athabasca)."
Eco-Related DC & State Politics
Oil lobby spent $56.63 million in Sacramento over past five years—by Dan Bacher: "The oil industry, including the Western States Petroleum Association, Chevron, BP and other oil companies, spent $56.63 million on lobbying at the State Capitol in the five years from 2009 through 2013, revealed Stop Fooling California. 'It’s enough to spend $471,000 on each California Senator and Assemblymember,' according to http://www.stopfoolingca.org, an online and social media public education and awareness campaign that highlights oil companies’ efforts to mislead and confuse Californians. 'It’s enough to buy a gallon of $4 gas for every household in California. It’s a lot of lobster dinners.'"
Trade & Eco-Related Foreign Policy
"Our Energy Moment": The Blue Engine Behind Fracked Gas Exports PR Blitz—by Steve Horn: "Behind nearly every major corporate policy push there’s an accompanying well-coordinated public relations and propaganda campaign. As it turns out, the oil and gas industry’s push to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) obtained via hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') plays the same game. And so on February 5, 'Our Energy Moment' was born. The PR blitz is described in a press release announcing the launch as a 'new coalition dedicated to raising awareness and celebrating the many benefits of expanded markets for liquefied natural gas.'"
Tomgram: Michael Klare, Shooting Up on Big Energy—by TomDispatch: "Of all the preposterous, irresponsible headlines that have appeared on the front page of the New York Times in recent years, few have exceeded the inanity of this one from early March: “U.S. Hopes Boom in Natural Gas Can Curb Putin.” The article by normally reliable reporters Coral Davenport and Steven Erlanger suggested that, by sending our surplus natural gas to Europe and Ukraine in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the United States could help reduce the region’s heavy reliance on Russian gas and thereby stiffen its resistance to Vladimir Putin’s aggressive behavior. Forget that the United States currently lacks a capacity to export LNG to Europe, and will not be able to do so on a significant scale until the 2020s. Forget that Ukraine lacks any LNG receiving facilities and is unlikely to acquire any, as its only coastline is on the Black Sea, in areas dominated by Russian speakers with loyalties to Moscow. Forget as well that any future U.S. exports will be funneled into the international marketplace, and so will favor sales to Asia where gas prices are 50% higher than in Europe. Just focus on the article’s central reportorial flaw: it fails to identify a single reason why future American LNG exports (which could wind up anywhere) would have any influence whatsoever on the Russian president’s behavior."
The Great Outdoors
International Court of Justice Bans Japanese Whaling—by Lib Dem FoP: "Commercial whaling has been banned since 1986 but Japan has flouted it by claiming its mass killings are for "scientific research." There's not many scientific experiments where bits of the subjects end up on a plate in a restaurant! The Australian government made a complaint to the International Court of Justice, a UN body established to settle disputes between countries. Now the Court has ruled that the Japanese that it is what it is - a thinly disguised excuse for flouting international law. The Japanese hid their commercial operations behind two consecutive "research" programs known as JARPA and JARPA II. In its judgment the Court is scathing about the justification for the increase in number of whales and that two additional species were targeted."
A Victory for the Southern Ocean! International Court's Ruling halts Japan's Antarctic Whaling—by Lefty Coaster: "Japan had long claimed that its program to take minke, fin, and humpback whales in the Southern Ocean was aimed at collecting scientific data. But the International Court of Justice (ICJ), headquartered at the Hague in the Netherlands, found that the program was not scientific in nature and that it could be considered commercial whaling. 'It's a huge victory,' Leigh Henry, senior policy advisor for wildlife conservation at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), said of Monday’s ruling, which goes into effect immediately. "We've been fighting this battle for over three decades with little results.' 'Essentially, [Japan] was exploiting this loophole' in the whaling ban, Henry said."
SIERRA CLUB "Oil Drilling Threatens Florida Panthers"—by obamarmy: "The boos started almost immediately. From the podium at the front of Golden Gate Community Center, Darrell Land, panther team leader for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee, told the rowdy crowd of about 225 what they didn’t want to hear: there was no evidence oil drilling hurt Florida panthers. Since last May, the issue has stirred the ire of local environmental groups who view the well as detrimental to aquifers and sensitive habitat. And to the big cats. The well-being of the state’s remaining 100-160 panthers has been a rallying cry for oil drilling opponents. They state the proposed well will disrupt the endangered cat’s last remaining habitat, through everything from noise and lights to heavy truck traffic. They believe more study is needed to determine what effects drilling will have on panthers."
Gray Wolf Population in Northern Rocky Mountains Little Changed—by ban nock: "The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released it's numbers for the gray wolf in the Northern Rocky Mountains late this week and populations remain steady despite increased efforts in Montana and Idaho at population reductions. The most recent data available (end of 2013) indicate that the NRM wolf population contains at least 1,691 wolves, at least 320 packs, and at least 78 breeding pairs. This population has exceeded its recovery goals since 2002. By every biological measure the NRM wolf population is recovered and remains secure under State management. [...] In other words, the wolf populations have no problem with endangerment, the problem is with people who want more, or less, or more to the point, no wolves, or no management. Of the four types I'd say most people fall into either the "less" or the 'no management' category."
bird distinguish ravens from crows.
Stand Your Ground, Gators vs. People.—by wtayscue: "So here's the deal. If a gator is on your property, you have to call the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission. Even if the gator is threatening humans or pets, you can't go in your house and get a gun and shoot it. You have to call and wait for the Fish & Wildlife Commission to show up. So, if Trayvon Martin and Ronald Westbrook had been gators instead of people (at least in FL) George Zimmerman and Joe Hendrix would have been required by law to stay in the safety of their car / home until the police showed up. If they did not, they would have been guilty of a third degree felony and sentenced to years in prison. Unfortunately, people aren't afforded the same protection under Stand Your Ground."
Eagle? Something is dining on squirrels! IAN:4-3-2014—by weck: "In the last month I have see a new bird in my expanded neighborhood. It is dark brown with a blue sheen on its feathers. It is much larger than any raptor I have seen here before and flies far more elegantly than the local buzzards. We are guessing that it is a young bald eagle. Since we live within a few hours drive of the Alabama Swamp (NY) and the Montezuma Swamp (NY), it could surely be possible that an eagle is checking out our neighborhood. I am thrilled!"
Photo Diary: An Afternoon at Sawgrass Lake—by Lenny Flank: "The city of St Pete, FL, really has a great parks system, which includes several wildlife reserves right in the city limits. One of these is Sawgrass Lake, which is a great place to see Florida wildlife, especially now that Spring has sprung. So here are some photos taken during a recent afternoon:
Brown reappoints former Resources Legacy Fund head to Delta Conservancy—by Dan Bacher: "Jerry Brown, one of the worst Governors for fish, wildlife and the environment in California history, on March 28 appointed Michael Eaton, 62, of Galt, to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy, where he has served since 2010. Eaton has been owner of Kingbird Farms since 2010, according to the announcement from the Governor's Office. Eaton was executive director at the controversial Resources Legacy Fund and Resources Legacy Fund Foundation from 2007 to 2010 and project director at the Nature Conservancy from 1995 to 2007. Eaton headed the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, known for its support of corporate greenwashing campaigns in California, as it was funding the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create so-called "marine protected areas" that don't protect the ocean."
State and federal governments increase Delta exports by over 400 percent!—by Dan Bacher: "On April 1, state and federal officials announced in a media call that they will 'temporarily' allow increased water exports out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to capture run off from the latest storm—as Californians reel from the impacts of a record drought. Combined pumping levels at the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project will rise from about 1500 [cubic feet per second] (csf) to no more than 6500 cfs over the course of the next few days, according to Mark Cowin, Director of the Department of Water Resources. That translates into an increase in Delta pumping by 433 percent! Cowin said the increased pumping would continue for at least a week."
Eco-Activism & Eco-Justice
Anti-Fracking Activist Can Now Go to the Hospital (update)—by Walter Brasch: "Vera Scroggins of Susquehanna County, Pa., will now be allowed to go to her hospital, supermarket, drug store, several restaurants, and the place where she goes for rehabilitation therapy. She can also go to the county’s recycling center, which is on 12.5 acres of land the county had leased to Cabot Gas & Oil Corp., one of the largest drillers in the country. Common Pleas Court Judge Kenneth W. Seamans, Friday, revised a preliminary injunction he issued in October against the anti-fracking activist. That injunction had required the 63-year-old grandmother and retired nurse’s aide to stay at least 150 feet from all properties where Cabot had leased mineral rights, even if that distance was on public property. Because Cabot had leased mineral rights to 40 percent of Susquehanna County, about 300 square miles, almost any place Scroggins wanted to be was a place she was not allowed to be. The injunction didn’t specify where Scroggins couldn’t go. It was a task that required her to go to the courthouse in Montrose, dig through hundreds of documents, and figure it out for herself."
Georgia Coast—by hannah: "From St. Simons to Sea Island, if it's not one thing it's the other. For, while the land speculators are busy trying to sell off lots on the Spit before the rising tides wash the dunes away, the Land Trust people are busily trying to spread asphalt through the marsh in the name of bikes. Never mind that in the rest of the country bikes and cars manage to share the road. When the Sea Island elite scoot like bats out of hell to leave their retreat, they can't be bothered slowing down for bicycles in the street."
National Parks, Forests & Other Public Lands
Expanding the National Parks System-#16-Kansas—by MorrellWI1983: "This is the sixteenth diary in my Expanding the National Parks series. This week I'm in Kansas, famous for the Wizard of Oz, the Dust Bowl, and Jayhawks basketball. Kansas doesn't have much protected lands at the federal level-1.2%, good for 45th in the country, just ahead of Maine, and just behind Nebraska. Currently Kansas has 1 national preserve, 4 wildlife refuges and 5 historic sites and other NPS Units. I will propose giving Kansas its first national monuments."
Pollution, Hazardous Wastes & Trash
Oil Spill in Lake Michigan Concerns All Chicagoans—by Silky Humble: "The company that polluted 4.9 billion barrels of oil into the gulf waters that I swam in as a young boy are at it again. Lake Michigan, the world's largest freshwater reserve, with seven million houses dependent on it in the Chicago area alone, is now being protected by a few mile gap and the wind from a massive ecological danger. [...] With the amount of oil coming from Tar Sands pouring into Lake Michigan Refineries, one thing is known, more disasters should be expected as BP touts the Whiting Plant on their website concerned with Managing Ecological dangers. [...] This is the same plant that 'For nearly six years, the refinery emitted cancer-causing benzene at its wastewater treatment plant without proper air pollution control equipment,' Gitte Laasby explained, 'In 2008, BP totaled 95 tons of benzene waste — nearly 16 times the amount allowed, according to the EPA. Similar violations took place between 2003 and 2008.'"
Open thread for night owls: Search for missing Malaysian plane shows how trashed the oceans are—by Meteor Blades: "As the Associated Press reports, trash spews out of 'hundreds of shipping containers lost overboard from cargo ships each year...The containers themselves can become hazards as they float around for months, buoyed by plastic objects inside or the air trapped behind watertight doors.' [...] As the Inter Press Service’s Stephen Leahy reported in 2012, plastic in the ocean is negatively affecting marine animals with no backbone, which could mess up the entire ocean food chain."
Plutonium Released from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Disaster—by MarineChemist: "The purpose of this diary is to address the relative releases of radioactive cesium (137-Cs) and plutonium isotopes to the environment from Fukushima. Both elements can cause short and long-term health problems. Plutonium is an alpha-emitting isotope that carries significant radiological health risks if internalized so understanding the amount released is key. Online and in some media there exists a misconception that "massive" amounts of Pu escaped from the reactors. Modeling studies and existing measurements demonstrate that the total activities of Pu isotopes released from Fukushima were 1 to 10 million times lower than the activity of 137-Cs reflecting Cs's much higher volatility. While there was ~3.5 times more Pu isotopes in the Fukushima reactors versus the Chernobyl reactor at the time of the respective disasters the percentage of core inventories released from Fukushima were about 100,000 times lower."
Transportation & Infrastructure
Sunday Train: Our Trebly Broken Highway Funding System—by BruceMcF: "Over the balance of this year, you are likely to hear more and more about our broken Highway Funding system. For instance, William Moore, of the consultancy group Vianovo and member of the Transportation Transformation Group, wrote at Infra Insight this last 13 March that: Absent swift action by Congress, state departments of transportation will begin to have cash flow problems that could delay payments to vendors and slow projects. Without action by the fall, new projects may have to be shelved until Congress can resolve the funding crisis that confronts the Highway Trust Fund. However, this is just the most visible layer of pending crisis in our highway funding system. Even if we were to fix the threat to engage in spending at status quo levels,status quo spending has been falling behind the damage done by cars and trucks to our roads for decades, and even if we were to fund our transportation to address the massive shortfall in maintaining our current highway system, we have not seriously begun in addressing the fact that our current transport system is one of our principle contributor's to our economy's present climate change suicide course."
Burn More Oil! Koch Brothers Try to Block All New Mass Transit In Tennesseee—by rexxnyc: "More demand creation from our favorite billionaires. From Think Progress: The Tennessee Senate passed a bill last week that, if approved, would broadly ban mass transit projects in the region, an anti-transit effort that’s gotten some help in the state from Charles and David Koch."
Eco-Philosophy, Eco-Essays & Eco-Poetry
The REAL obstacle to saving the planet—by gjohnsit: "While all these reports say stuff like we have to cut back carbon emissions, they don't tell us exactly how to do this. Well, I can tell you how to do it. The problem is that the solution isn't politically feasible because it steps on the toes of very powerful people. To save the planet we need to change the economy. [...] Starting with the Sagebrush Rebellion, continuing with Reagan's Interior Secretary, James Watt, and the Wise Use Movement of the late 80's and early 90's, and finally with the rise of the 'free market environmentalism' the Republican base keeps coming and coming for undeveloped land, and they will never stop. [...] No solutions are actually found by the capitalist system in regards to The Commons. It only creates problems that it can then profit from. Those problems will be the destruction of the entire ecosystem. To put it another way, the capitalist free market, as it is practiced today, will inevitably destroy the planet's ecosystem because it cannot privatize the oceans and the atmosphere."
Proof that the market is working the way it was meant to—by gjohnsit: "Multimillionaire Chen Guangbiao set out to simply make a point. Instead he made a profit. Chen Guangbiao, who made his fortune in the recycling business and is a high-profile philanthropist, is selling soda pop-sized cans of air, purportedly from far-flung, pristine regions of China such as Xinjiang in the northwest to Taiwan, the southeast coast. He says 10 million cans have sold in the last 10 days as pollution levels climb to record highs. The cans go for 80 cents each. This is exactly how the current capitalist system is supposed to work. Businesses of all sizes externalize costs. Which means pumping pollution into the air where everyone suffers so that businesses don't have to pay to dispose of their pollution properly."
Some Thoughts About Climate Change and the Degradation Of the Quality Of Life—by Hermenutic: "I departed an area on the east coast that was host to one of the most polluted lakes in the nation. I wrote of the history of Onondaga Lake in The Mushroom Mag a few years back. It's history can be seen as a microcosm of what the entire world is facing at the hands of industrial polluters. I've voiced my current feelings on the topic in art. Art is a first amendment guaranteed form of speech."
Climate Science Deniers Wrap Themselves in the First Amendment—by LeftOfYou: "Issue: When is a malicious lie not a malicious lie? If extremist pundit Mark Steyn and his New York Super Lawyer, Daniel J. Kornstein, have their way, the answer to that question could be—always. Mr. Kornstein has just entered the case to defend Mark Steyn in climate scientist, Dr. Michael Mann's courageous libel suit against the National Review Online, Steyn and his minions who have abandoned science, facts, truth, honesty and honor to maliciously malign Dr. Mann for honest and important scientific work that supports the reality of anthropogenic climate change."
This will boil your blood ... it boiled mine—by theskepticarena: To Randy Weber (R-TX): "You aren't qualified to be the weather girl on the local TV news station. Nearly 100% of all climate scientists agree that humans are the main cause of global warming. Many of these researchers, like myself, have been working as professional climate scientists for decades, while you run a company that produces 'hot air' for Texas."
Gallup: Americans Show Growing Concern for Environment—by Eternal Hope: "The latest Gallup polling shows that Americans are showing a growing level of concern about the environment. Levels of concern went up across the board for all environmental categories. However, the biggest areas of concern were water pollution, soil toxins, and rivers."
The fossil fuel industry and the free sump that is our atmosphere: Zing!—by Steve Masover: "Sometimes a letter-to-the-editor hits its target, right smack in the bull's-eye. Not that Ray Welch is your average letter-to-the-editor writer: a quick look around the intertubes reveals that he's an energy consultant, a member of activist organization Sustainable San Rafael, a novelist, and a blogger (see AChangeInTheWeather.com). This morning, his letter to the editor of the SF Chronicle was outstanding. The most notable excerpt: Without a carbon tax, no fossil fuel company can alter its carbon-based business model. That would violate their fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders, which virtually mandates them to take advantage of the free sump otherwise known as the atmosphere. A carbon tax flips their fiduciary responsibility right-side up: They would be obliged to phase out rather than increase their fossil portfolio."