You can find more rescued green diaries below the sustainable squiggle.
I’m Not Giving Up on Our Earth Because it’s Difficult—by paradox: "Facts, truth, empirical realism, logic, rationality, un-biased observation methods, these are the cherished mental crown jewels of the liberal reality-based community, and I attempt to employ them as rigorously as Ezra Klein does when examining the prospects for success in eliminating global warming. Ruthless rationality and objectivism are not weak excuses for failure here, however, and objectivity aside publishing alleged impossibility is another mistake. Climate change is a policy goal where failure isn’t an option. Should we fail Miami and half of Florida are just gone, underwater, every sea city to be barricaded in dikes like the Netherlands. No snow, the great American desert swallowing the plains. All of our political structures unwittingly set up on a stable food chain soon to be in chaos, politics and peoples naturally to follow. The challenges listed by Klein are very daunting, yes, but in no way is that an excuse for not trying a start in what we know we can do: completely convert domestic transportation to electric renewable along with everything in housing. In that evolution other solutions will be earnestly searched for on Klein’s list and of course variables may change, success suddenly might not seem so dim."
ALEC spurs states to resist EPA's CO2 power-plant emissions rules—by Meteor Blades: "The proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule limiting carbon dioxide emissions from electricity-generating plants will, when finalized, put the responsibility for implementation on the states. The rule is designed to lop 30 percent off power plants CO2 emissions by 2030 compared with the 2005 base year. In reality, because of reductions from 2006-2013, half of that 30 percent goal has already been achieved, something that has spurred many environmental advocates to say the rule doesn't go nearly far enough, nor fast enough. But while environmentalists prepare to urge a stricter rule during the 120-day public comment period EPA has established, there's a problem at the state level. As with so many state problems, this one has a foundation in the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council. In this case, ALEC is returning to its early 1970s origins as an implacable foe of the EPA. As usual, as reported by Andrew Restuccia, in January ALEC produced model resolutions filled with ample boilerplate but designed specifically to block the imposition of EPA regulation of greenhouse gases at the state level, even though the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that such regulation isn't an agency option but rather its obligation under the Clean Air Act."
GOP Senator: Science Not Known. He's a Doctor—by RLMiller: "Another day, another Republican pretending ignorance on climate science. This time it's John Barrasso (R-WY), claiming that the role of human activity in climate change is not known. It's easy to see why the Party of Stupid gets even stupider on climate change - they're boxed in to a corner of their own making. If they acknowledge reality, their base will tear them apart. If they deny reality, the media will tear them apart. Here's a thought experiment for Dr. John Barrasso, who used to be an orthopedic surgeon before representing the state of Wyoming: A patient presents with a serious, potentially life-threatening condition you haven't treated before. Do you: (a) consult with another doctor, a textbook, WebMD, or any authority at all, or devise an experiment to determine the cause of the condition, or try anything at all you've learned during your many years of training; or (b) shrug and watch the world burn?"
Krugman refutes three GOP talking points in battle over EPA's proposed reduction of carbon emissions—by HoundDog: "Writing an op-ed for the New York Times, Paul Krugman attacks three GOP talking points in the battle over the new EPA regulations proposing to reduce coal's carbon emission by 30% in The Climate Domino. Krugman lists the three primary Republican attacks on the proposed regulations as the 'three C's: conspiracy, cost, and China.' Dismissing the idea of a vast international conspiracy by scientists around the world to commit a hoax, as craziness not worth responding to, Krugman moves on to address the issues that taking action to limit carbon emissions would wreak havoc on our economy, and that it doesn't matter what we do because China will just keep on polluting regardless of what we do. Before admitting that there may be some small cost involved, he repeats his analysis of a few days ago, that in a depressed economy when we are leaving both significant amounts of labor and capital unused, so it is quite possible to argue that regulations requiring new investment to control carbon emissions could provide a Keynesian boost that might increase jobs, and not really cost anything, but that even if one did not argue this point the amount of the cost is small relative to the economy."
President Obama's clean-energy push and new EPA rules will prevail predicts John Podesta in CSM—by HoundDog: "David J. Unger of The Christian Science Monitor scores a great interview with President Obama'a White House counselor, and writes Obama's clean-energy push, new EPA rule will prevail, predicts Podesta, who says 'We're committed to getting this done," describing the new EPA proposal to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30% from 2005 base levels by 2030, that were announced Monday. Coal burning power plants emit the most carbon so they receive the most attention. Republicans and fossil fuel industry lobbyists reacted with alarm citing the controversial Chamber of Commerce study, claiming that new regulations for the power sector could cost "tens of billions of dollars and and hundreds of thousands of jobs each year." I reviewed two Paul Krugman articles refuted his study which Podesta also dismisses as flawed, and based on assumptions that have nothing to do with the actual rules, which Krugman. Krugman refutes three GOP talking points in battle over EPA's proposed reduction of carbon emissions."
Food, Agriculture & Gardening
EPA Regulations of June 2nd, 2014 in our ridiculous present situation; Obama Must Not Weaken—by e2247: "The extraordinary increase in global coal consumption in the 2001-2011 decade is partly due to the OECD outsourcing its industrial production as most consumer goods are made by using electricity generated by burning coal. Only a tiny part of our population is aware that global coal consumption has risen more than 56% in just 10 years, 2001-2011. The U.S. EPA Regulations of June 2nd, 2014 can help counter the ridiculousness of our present situation in which it is culturally acceptable to encourage indiscriminate consumption and resource depletion."
Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 10.16—by Frankenoid: "Another great week here in Denver. We started out in the low 80s, warmed up to 92° mid-week, then another band of thunderstorms moved in on Wednesday and temperatures went down as the moisture moved in. The forecast calls for more thunderstorms over the weekend—perhaps June will be as wet as May was. Of course the cost of the extra May rain (and the May snow) was a late start to planting. My poor cucurbits were close to pot bound, and with the cool weather are slow in putting out new growth. But they're still alive, and I count that as a victory. I have most of the kohlrabi and cauliflower planted, and a couple of bulb fennel plants. Still have two tomato plants, eggplant, and the leeks in the veggie patch."
Are we beginning to see the death throes of fossil fuels financially?—by don mikulecky: "This article: Why the Petro-Divestment Movement Is Unstoppable is a possible forerunner of things to come. Why would growing numbers of students and faculty collectively challenge the energy future being actively pursued by our prime minister? The short answer resides in a simple report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2012, a report estimating that two-thirds of known fossil fuel reserves need to remain in the ground if run-away climate change is to be avoided. The economic implications of these findings are massive. We are in the midst of monumental struggle and we know the outcome in advance."
Fukushima: A View from the Ocean—by MarineChemist: "The lecture shown below is a great resource that summarizes the most recent results from a crowd-funded program Our Radioactive Ocean dedicated to monitoring Fukushima sourced radionuclides off the US and Canadian Pacific coasts and measurements made by the international scientific community in the Pacific. Probable impacts of the Fukushima disaster on the health of the North Pacific ecosystem and human inhabitants of western North America are discussed and moderated questions are answered at the video's conclusion. [Video link]"
India achieves 12.9% of renewable energy potential with 32,269.6 Mw as of March 2104—by HoundDog: "Business Standard of Bangalore, India reports India achieves 12.95% of renewable energy potential, achieving a total installed capacity of renewable energy of 32,269.6 Mw as of March 2014. With this, the renewable energy, including large hydro electricity, constitutes 28.8% of the overall installed capacity in India. According to the India Renewable Energy Status Report 2014 released at the ongoing Green Summit 2014 in Bangalore on Thursday, the total renewable energy potential from various sources in India is 249,188 Mw. The untapped market potential for overall renewable energy in India is 216,918.39 Mw that shows huge growth potential for renewable energy in India."
Solar Roadways and Capitalism—by Science Watch: "Many of you will have heard of the Solar Roadways Indiegogo campaign. It hit the internet as a viral sensation late last month, but the initial wave of excitement and enthusiasm has been followed by a second wave of articles criticizing the practicality of the technology. (Extreme Tech is perhaps the most readable of the detractors.) These critics have raised a number of excellent issues with the technology. They point out that solar panels are more expensive than asphalt, and always will be. They point out that the roads would (probably) break often, and would need to be maintained more than traditional roads. These are excellent points, not to be ignored. But do you notice something? They are entirely concerned with cost and labor. They are evaluating Solution B against Solution A and finding it wanting. And that is because they are failing to consider the additional metric which Solution B is designed to address. This pattern is going to play out over and over again in the coming decades."
Not even our ocean water is safe from fracking waste—by Horace Boothroyd III: "A 'proprietary' mix of chemicals only known to petroleum insiders. And what I suspect, but can not prove obviously, are toxic wastes costing the petrochemical companies billions to store safely. From what has erupted from faucets around the country reinforces my suspicions because all of the products listed are expensive to store and most definitely are hazardous. But the Pacific Ocean is big enough to absorb nine BILLION gallons of flammable petro waste right? According to the Center for Biological Diversity, oil rig operators have federal permits to dump more than nine billion gallons of fracking wastewater into California's ocean waters each year. That's enough wastewater to fill more than 100 stadiums the size of the Rose Bowl brim-full of toxic waste. And CBD wants the Environmental Protection Agency to do something about it."
Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation
Commander Behind Bin Laden Killing: FBI/DHS Wasting Time Tracking Environmentalists—by Steve Horn: "Dave Cooper, Command Master Chief SEAL (Retired) for the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), has authored a threat assessment concluding TransCanada‘s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is potentially at-risk of a terrorism attack. In the report, Cooper concluded operational security vulnerabilities for the pipeline have been overlooked by the U.S. government. Cooper—most famous for overseeing the Abbottabad, Pakistan Osama Bin Laden raid as the commander of Navy SEAL Team Six—wrote the report as a consultant for billionaire Tom Steyer‘s advocacy group NextGen Climate Action. 'The very nature of Keystone XL’s newsworthiness, should it ever be built, increases its attractiveness as a target to terrorists: Keystone XL, aside from being a "soft" target just like any other pipeline, has a built-in emotional impact that can’t be denied or wished away,' he wrote in the report’s introduction. 'That simple fact, a newsworthy proposal that engenders strong passions, should clue in pipeline owners and government officials to the very real possibility of intentional attack.'"
Birds do it, paramecia do it—by nicteis: "I might note that there's a heckuva sci-fi story here, about a society in which any sexual act results in each partner walking away with one half of their own identity and one half of their mate's. The narrative implications would be staggering. For one thing, how will they ever be able to divvy up their CD collections now that they have half of one another's tastes? Ah, but wait a minute! If the genetic swap was really half and half, and really random, any gene for E-ness or O-ness, you'd think, could have wound up with either parent. So the long standing puzzle was: how does each parent hang on to his, her, or its sexual identity?"
The Daily Bucket - early blooms in the bay—by OceanDiver: "June 3, 2014. Salish Sea. Pacific Northwest A month ago the waters of the bay near my house were clear, with my sampling net showing nothing but microscopic detritus and a few creatures who manage a living over the winter scavenging such organic debris. This week I saw a promising murkiness in the water. A sample under the microscope shows us why: early populations of plankton have begun to bloom. [...] In the marine world, a bloom is the sudden explosive growth of a particular population of microscopic creatures, triggered by sunlight and a nutrient supply. Sometimes these can be dangerous, producing toxins or depleting oxygen in a body of water when massive volumes decompose. HABs (Harmful Algal Blooms) usually occur where excessive nutrients like agricultural fertilizer or sewage are dumped into a small area with poor circulation. I do have reason to think there's anthropogenic nutrient run-off into this bay, from the type and volume of certain kinds of seaweed, but these blooms we're seeing now are entirely expected at this time of year."
Where does your drinking water—by Historyofthe Future: "come from? Where I live, the city's drinking water comes from a nearby river. That river also receives all sorts of sewage, farm and industrial run-off. Every time I drink a glass of water I think ... why do we not take better care of the water that we need to drink in order to live? I grew up near Lake Michigan. Cities along the southern edge (that's Chicago and its numerous suburbs) and also east of Chicago get their drinking water from the Lake. Lake Michigan is also home to major industries. These are concentrated east of Chicago, largely over the state line in Indiana. The BP refinery in Whiting is the one most in the press lately because of mercury discharge into the lake. Mercury is a neuro-toxin. It makes people stupid. That is, mercury exposure is linked to decrease in mental capacity. [...] Can we get to a mental place where everyone agrees that we all need to drink water and that all of us need non-toxic water for our lives and the lives of our children?"
Resources Agency official says tunnel plan documents won't be translated—by Dan Bacher: "In a clear case of racial discrimination, the Brown administration has violated the rights of non-English speaking Californians by refusing to publish the some 40,000 pages of Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels and the BDCP EIS/EIR in any other language than English. This failure to abide by numerous state and federal civil rights laws occurs in a state where 20 percent of the residents, including many people on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta where the tunnels will have the most severe environmental impacts, are non-English speakers."
Pollution, Hazardous Wastes & Trash
Building Bridges Radio: African American Fishermen Still Fight BP Oil Spill—by buildingbridgesradio: "Vanishing Pearls: Generations-Old African American Fishermen Fight for Existence featuring Nailah Jefferson, filmmaker Vanishing Pearls. Following the worst environmental disaster in American history, the 2010 Deepwater oil spill, Nailhah Jefferson’s Vanishing Pearls chronicles the untold story of personal devastation in Pointe a la Hache, a close-knit fishing village on the Gulf Coast and the fight of this community of African American fishermen for justice, accountability and their way of life."
Measuring Southward Transport of the Fukushima Contaminant Plume in the Western Pacific—by MarineChemist: "The purpose of this diary is to summarize results of a recent peer reviewed study by Kaeriyama and colleagues published in Environmental Science & Technology who measured radioactive isotopes of cesium (137-Cs half life ~30 yr and 134-Cs half life ~ 2 yr) in the western North Pacific Ocean to help track the location and movement of the Fukushima contaminated seawater plume. They measured the depth distribution of 134-Cs and 137-Cs from August 2011 until March 2013. Measurements indicate Fukushima isotopes had spread as far to the south as 18°N along 135°E longitude at 300 meters depth by September 2012. They estimate that 9.0% of the Cs from the Fukushima disaster is being transported to the south into the subtropical western Pacific Ocean. This result supports and is consistent with previous studies which suggest significant amounts of Fukushima derived radionuclides are being transported south towards the tropics at depths centered around 300 meters. Measurements are thus indicating that previous models have likely overestimated the eastward transport of Fukushima radioactive elements and thus the maximum activity concentrations that will impact the west coast of North America and highlight the utility of trace concentrations of Cs as a tool to build a better understanding of ocean circulation."
Fukushima Poison Is Flowing Into The Ocean—by Duckmg: "Water, water and more water flows into the reactors at Fukushima and comes out poisoned. The apologists say don't worry the world has a lot of water and dilution is the solution. I say Cesium, Strontium and Plutonium can't be good no matter the concentration."
National Parks, Forests & Other Public Lands
Rambling Thoughts on Ranching, Wilderness, and Camping—by ban nock: "Later googling around I found this Early history of the Taylor Grazing Act in Western Colorado which was written back in the days when people wrote to be read and it makes for easy and interesting reading. Most already know the outlines of the story. Tragedy of the commons, open range over grazed, dustbowl, establishment of what was later the BLM. The implementation was interesting. Miles from anywhere, they all got together, sheep men, cattlemen, lawyers, and the people appointed from Washington to implement the act. They hammered out agreements acceptable to all and changed them as new directives came out of DC, and as they gained experience. What they did is establish where each rancher normally grazed his cattle, established how many head he had, and determined if the range was being grazed without damage. The lines on the map establishing where each rancher grazed cattle became more defined and the lines became the grazing allotment that went with that ranch. With approval they were free to put up fences, dams for irrigation, barns, etc. The allotments went with the ranch, no wonder people looked upon the land as being theirs."
Transportation & Infrastructure
Transportation Matters, Too—by richturc125: "An observation worth noting … and pondering, from the 2012 report “The New American Oil Boom,” issued by the Energy Security Leadership Council (a project of Securing America’s Energy Future). In 2010, the U.S. transportation sector relied on petroleum-based fuels for 93.2 percent of delivered energy. Even this figure understates the problem, as liquid fuels derived from biomass provided approximately four percent of delivered energy. These fuels, which are substitutes for petroleum, are priced on the same curve. Taken together, liquid fuels provide 97 percent of the energy that moves our cars, trucks, ships, and aircraft. As a result of this utter reliance, American consumers and businesses, and the economy by extension, are fully exposed to oil prices with practically no means to choose less costly alternatives in the short term. In other words, oil demand is highly price inelastic…. [I]ncreased spending in the short term must come at the expense of other spending on goods and services, the negative effects of which reverberate throughout the economy. It’s actually fairly straightforward and simple to understand. As long as we continue to allocate ever-larger portions of our own finite budgets to paying high prices for gasoline and other fossil-fuel products, we have less of that same budget to spend elsewhere. These spending practices do not exist in a vacuum, and so of course the adverse consequences ripple out across the local, regional, state, and federal economies."
Dems Tone-Deaf on Veterans' Asbestos Issue—by CACourtsMonitor: "A bit of background: You've seen those ads seeking victims of mesothelioma, which is a cancer caused by asbestos, right? Compensation for those tragedies is nearly always in the millions of dollars, and connecting lawyers with victims has made "mesothelioma" the most expensive of Google's search words. Well, a disproportionate number of "meso" victims are veterans. A recent study indicated that, while vets are only 8 percent of the U.S. population, they are 30 percent of mesothelioma victims. The reason is that military equipment, including Navy ships, used a lot of asbestos. It can take decades to kill you, but those "meso" cases are hitting the courts today."