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Many environmentally related posts appearing at Daily Kos each week don't attract the attention they deserve. To help get more eyeballs, Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The most recent Wednesday Spotlight can be seen here. So far, more than 18,500 environmentally oriented diaries have been rescued for inclusion in this weekly collection since 2006. Inclusion of a diary in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.
46 Democrats Join GOP in Latest Anti-Environment Crusade—by Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees: "Today, the House passed the deceptively named “Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act,” a bill that expands offshore drilling on federal lands but would not actually address the problem of high gasoline prices. Among other things, the bill would do the following: • Direct the Interior Department to develop a new five-year offshore leasing plan that makes available for oil and gas exploration and development at least 50% of the unleased coastal areas with the most potential for energy production. • Require said plan to establish a domestic oil and natural gas production goal under the Administration’s current 2012–2017 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) leasing plan of 3 million barrels of oil per day and 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day by 2027 (which is triple current production levels). • Require that drilling be allowed off the coasts of California, South Carolina, and Virginia, and statutorily reorganizes the Interior Department agencies that oversee offshore leasing and permitting, safety inspections and revenue collection."
green dots
Texas sets new peak wind record for state and probably for nation too says U.S. EIA—by HoundDog: "The U.S. Energy Information Administration records show that Texas set a new record for instantaneous peak wind production at 8:48 p.m. on March 26, reaching an output level of 10,296 megawatts (MW). 'At that moment, wind supplied almost 29% of total electricity load,' according to Energy Information Agency's website. [...] This output record has been enabled not only because of the record amount of wind power generating capacity in Texas, but also is a result of the completion of a upgrade and expansion of the electrical transmission lines called the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) connecting the western and eastern parts of the state."
green dots
The Daily Bucket - a tangle of Eagles—by OceanDiver: "My resident pair of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) have been very scarce since spring until this last week. Now they're back - flying together, fishing in the bay, perching on tall firs on the several local headlands, flying from one bay to another. Really great seeing them again, most every day, and hearing them calling. It's likely they've been preoccupied with nesting, although I can't know whether they did this year and I don't know where their nest is. In Washington, eagles lay their eggs in mid-March. Hatching occurs toward the end of April and the eaglets fledge in early to mid-July. Two 1-year-olds and two 2-year-old youngsters live in the area here, and I've seen a 4th-year kid too occasionally. These all may be eaglets raised in previous seasons, since young eagles don't go too far from where they were born.  Eagles are on their own by the fall of their first year, and they will be driven away from the parents' nest if they get too close, just like intruding ravens, gulls, crows and hawks. But I've read that the adult pair is more tolerant of immature eagles in their territory than other adults. On this day, I was floating in my kayak watching the adults and one 2-year-old youngster fishing in the bay, swooping down onto the surface and making grabs, sometimes successfully. It's an incredible sight, seeing these huge graceful powerful beautiful birds so close."

You can find more rescued green diaries below the sustainable squiggle.

Climate Chaos

Bjorn Lomborg's Funding Exposed—by ClimateDenierRoundup: "A great piece in DeSmogBlog by Graham Readfearn has revealed some of the funding behind Bjorn Lomborg, who is one of the most prolific voices arguing against climate action. In the piece we learn that Lomborg—after losing public funding from the Danish Government for his think tank, the Copenhagen Consensus Center (CCC)—turned to less savory sources to keep CCC going. Readfearn reports that Lomborg not only receives $775,000 a year from the CCC as his annual salary, but also receives money from secretive conservative groups to keep the center afloat. So despite the insistence of CCC's executive vice president, Roland Mathiasson, that '[CCC does] not take funding from [the] fossil fuel industry,' it appears they have received grants from Koch-connected, climate-change denying groups."

How science deniers use false equivalency to pretend there's a debate—by SkepticalRaptor: "If you read a news article, Google a scientific topic, or watch TV, you'd think that some scientific principles were actually being debated by scientists. From listening to the screaming and yelling, you would think that scientists aren't sure about evolution, vaccines, global warming, and the age of the earth (or even the age of the universe). There are even those who think there's a debate that HIV doesn't cause AIDS. Part of the problem is that some people think that science is unapproachable and too hard to comprehend. It isn't. Now, that doesn't mean it's easy, because it shouldn't be. Answering questions about the natural universe requires, demands that scientist approach it with the least amount of bias and the most amount of evidence. And sometimes it is complex and nuanced, but why do people give false balance to someone, without the expertise or education in the field, as if they know more about the issue than does the scientist."

"It's a gas!" - Ignoring methane doesn't cut the cheese, anymore—by HoundDog:  "Dr. Sten Odenwald, an astronomer at the National Institute of Aerospace, writes Singing the Methane Blues, in which he teaches us the basic foundation facts we need to know about Methane (CH4)  to understand is role as the second leading greenhouse gas behind carbon dioxide. He concludes that while carbon dioxide levels, which have already exceeded 400 parts per million (0.04% of the atmosphere), still need to be our primary focus in controlling atmospheric warming, methane levels should be on our radar scopes for the longer-term as well."

Climate scientist's accusers grasping at straws in libel case—by ClimateDenierRoundup: "For those unfamiliar with this ongoing story, climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann has brought a lawsuit against conservative pundit Mark Steyn over a column in which Steyn accused Dr. Mann of fraud (and referred to him as the 'Jerry Sandusky of climate science'). Steyn contends that Dr. Mann's hockey stick graph is fraudulent, a serious charge in response to which Dr. Mann has sued Steyn for libel. Now, Jay Ambrose is jumping into the fray with a syndicated McClatchy oped in which he defends Steyn and attacks Mann. Ambrose points out that the case hinges on whether Steyn acted with 'actual malice,' meaning that he knew his claim was false before publishing it. So the case is contingent upon whether Steyn actually believed Mann was a fraud when he said it. If Steyn had any doubts about the veracity of his claim that Mann's hockey stick was created fraudulently, then he may be guilty of libel."

"Global Warming is a Hoax!" Louisiana Republican candidate Lenar Whitney reveals in Video—by Lefty Coaster: "Lenar Whitney is making a bold move to stand out in her crowded race in Louisiana's 6th District with new video where she stiffly recites a litany of long-debunked climate charlatan nonsense points including that the climate is actually cooling. Whitney is one of as many as eight Republicans vying for for a slot in the probable runoff in a district where Big Oil is used to calling all the shots."

CNBC solicits commentary calling climate change a 'hoax'—by Hunter: "CNBC needed to do a story on the new report suggesting that climate change is going to be very, very bad for business (and the coastline, and human life, and whatever else you've got). This led them to do the obvious thing, which is to figure out how to reach for 'balance' in a story that there is no actual 'balance' on, so for "balance" they decided to drum up one of the more notorious climate change deniers around. Too bad they got the email address wrong. CNBC reached out to DeSmogBlog, a website that rebuts climate change denial, to ask Alan Carlin, an economist who denies that the majority of recent warming is man-made, to write about "global warming being a hoax." (CNBC apparently mistakenly assumed that Carlin worked with DeSmogBlog because they had profiled him.) The actual email says, in fact, exactly that. CNBC solicited him to come on to say that climate change was a 'hoax'."

Food, Agriculture & Gardening

The Daily Bucket--FERC Construction Report, Frog Mitigation Area—by 6412093: "FERC (the Frog Environmental Regulatory Commission) requires periodic reports on construction activities in its jurisdiction.  I offer the following report on construction progress  of the Frog Mitigation Area. Here is a current photo, with about 50% of the civil work finished.  Please note the yellowjacket trap.  I've halted construction until my stung-and-swollen hand recovers. !@$##$%@^%$."

The Daily Bucket--Frog Mitigation Report #3—by 6412093: "Many agencies monitor construction activities in riparian areas. A few days ago I reported to FERC (the Frog Environmental Regulatory Commission).  Today I must report to ACOE (All Critters On Earth) about my construction progress  on the Frog Mitigation Area. Here is an important element of the Mitigation Area; the waist-high waterfall. This crucial equipment was fabricated off-site to ASME standards. Hopefully it will provide enough drop that I can install a pumped hydroelectric system (snark)."

Séralini Paper Damning GMO Roundup Ready Corn Republished—by occupystephanie: "A scientific study that identified serious health impacts on rats fed on 'Roundup ready' GMO maize has been republished following its controversial retraction under strong commercial pressure. Now regulators must respond and review GMO and agro-chemical licenses, and licensing procedures. The study by Gilles-Eric Séralini et al., Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize, which found massive tumors, kidney and liver damage in rats on a GMO Roundup-Ready maize diet, has been republished in the Springer open source journal Environmental Sciences Europe (ESEU, 2014, 26:14). The ESEU journal editor gave the following reason for republishing Seralini's study: 'To support rational scientific debate rather than to censor it.' Originally, Séralini's study underwent peer review by five reviewers and was published in the Elsevier journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), in November of 2012. Massive criticism by commercial pro-GMO sources pressured FCT into the unprecedented step of retracting the study, a move that was condemned by the scientific community (Retracting Séralini Study Violates Science and Ethics)."

Drastic Measure Needed to Save Bees -- and Our Food—by EmilyCare2: "The danger of certain pesticides on bees has come into the spotlight more and more in the past weeks. Now, a panel of independent scientists operating as the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides has said that neonicotinoids and fipronil (which account for 40% of the insecticide market) are harming the environment and bee populations. As bumblebees die out, so too will the produce we take for granted. Most of the fruits and vegetables we eat rely on pollinators, and the world would be a very dull (and unhealthy) place without them. Some environmentalists estimate that the common bumblebee species populations have plummeted by 95 percent in the last few years. Whether it is indeed pesticide use, habitat destruction, climate change or disease from non-native species, we must take seriously the immediate danger to these vital members of our ecosystems. If we don't act fast, the bumblebees—and the crops they pollinate—could be gone for good."

Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 10.18—byFrankenoid: "June has been beautiful here in Denver — enough heat to get the veggies going, but no consecutive days of record-breaking highs. Regular waves of thunderstorms have kept night time temperatures in the 50s—a little on the cool side for tomatoes, but lovely for the peas. The Tall Telephone shelling peas are now ripe enough to eat and seldom make it from the veggie patch to the kitchen—peas straight from the vine to the mouth are too rare a treasure to waste by cooking them! And Zasu loves laying in the shade at the base of the pea vines on warm afternoons. The only lack we've had is moisture: the rain part of the thunderstorms have missed my neighborhood, so I've had to water the grass and veggies."

Energy

Please don't mind the smell.—by thefarleftside: "Do you think Big Oil execs treat their homes like they treat the rest of the world? Probably not."

Is this the end for the Alberta Tar Sands? Canadian Court decision—by Roger Fox: "Today's Canadian Supreme Court decision gives full title to Yinka Dene of their land. Not all First Nations, just the 6 bands in the Yinka Dene Alliance. This probably means the Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal to the Pacific Ocean is Dead. Yes Enbridge can route around the Yinka Dene lands, only to greatly added cost, and more permitting. [...] The Tar Sands Partners shelved 2 pipeline proposals to the East Coast in 2008 because of the bad economy, but resurrected both recently, even though the economy hasn't improved. Why? It may be they knew the southern and western routes (KXL & Northern Gateway) were in trouble. These 2 pipelines represent about a million barrels a day and the 2 eastern routes would equal that."

Requiem for a serial killer—by DWG: "Brothers and sisters, this is what unregulated capitalism looks like. A month ago, two coal miners died in West Virginia. Here is the gist from Reuters. A West Virginia coal mine collapsed, killing two miners during an operation that had been one of the most hazardous in the industry, officials and the company said on Tuesday. A 'ground failure' caused the Patriot Coal Corp's Brody Mine No. 1 to collapse at about 8:30 p.m. on Monday, trapping two miners, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration said in a statement. Not only were these men killed playing retreat mining roulette, but the company had one of the worst safety records in the business. How could a risky process in the hands of a company that routinely cut corners on safety possibly go wrong? [...] Risky business, indeed. A report from National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health said ['retreat mining'] creates an 'inherently unstable situation' under the best of circumstances. Mining roulette is always played with bullets in multiple chambers. Sometimes it just goes boom. [...] In the glorious unregulated free market envisioned by the Tea Klan, nothing stops a reckless company, not even the untimely deaths of its employees. When you can continue to operate with 535 safety violations in the past year, regulation has already been rendered largely meaningless."

North Omaha Residents Win Major Clean Air and Climate Victory—by Mary Anne Hitt: "In North Omaha, Nebraska, local residents just won a powerful, inspiring victory to move their utility beyond coal. After years of amazing community activism from local parents, business owners, residents, citizen groups, and community leaders, last week the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve plans to not only phase out the use of coal at its North Omaha coal-fired power plant, but also to ramp up energy efficiency. What's more, thanks to the continued work from concerned citizens, OPPD cited its decision to phase out coal and invest in energy efficiency as the best path forward for its ratepayers. This is a big victory in the struggle for clean air, a safe climate, and healthy communities."

Renewables

Breakthrough in Photovoltaic Manufacturing—by xaxnar: "Researchers at Liverpool University have found a way to greatly reduce the cost and toxicity of manufacturing the next generation of solar panels. The key is substituting one chemical for another. [...] One of the problems new technologies have in the process of replacing established but less desirable ones is the time factor. Technologies that have been around for a while have had time for refining and incorporation of efficiencies from years of practical experience. They are at the end of a long learning curve. Using a cheaper and less toxic chemical is one of those incremental steps in getting photovoltaics to be more competitive. The price can only keep going down. We can see a similar phenomenon at work in the auto industry. The gasoline powered internal combustion engine has been around for decades. It's now being challenged by electric and fuel cell alternatives, but they have a lot of catching up to do. As with the solar panels above, advances in materials sciences and chemistry could make a big difference. Electric battery improvements in capacity, weight, expense, and charging time are closing the gap."

Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation

Pivotal ruling by Canada's Supreme Court gives First Nations title to traditional lands—by Lefty Coaster: "This morning Canada's Supreme Court handed down a long awaited decision giving Canada's First Peoples title to lands that they have traditionally used over centuries, beyond their First Nation Reserves. Almost as importantly the Supreme Court ruled that First Nation tribes will get to decide what kinds of development projects are appropriate on their traditional lands. This momentous ruling has direct implications for some of Canada's biggest planned dirty energy projects, like the proposed Northern Gateway Tar Sands pipeline project to ship Bitumen across British Columbia to the Pacific Ocean near Prince Rupert, and the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline to ship Alberta Bitumen to Vancouver transforming Vancouver into a major oil port for Bitumen. This ruling would also affect some fracking proposed for native lands in Eastern Canada."

YES!!! Northern Gateway..kiss my A&*! Victory for First Nations—by Gwennedd: "Early this morning, The Supreme Court of Canada handed down their judgement on First Nations lands/treaty rights, expanding on them. The decision was unanimous! 'The right to control the land conferred by Aboriginal title means that governments and others seeking to use the land must obtain the consent of the Aboriginal title holders,' the court said in an 8-0 ruling written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin. 'If the Aboriginal group does not consent to the use, the government’s only recourse is to establish that the proposed incursion on the land is justified' under the Constitution. For those of you wondering why this is such a victory..This ruling means that any pipeline that has to go through First Nations lands must consult with the band holding the title to that land. There are, however some lands without clear title. Many First Nations' land claims have been held up in court for years."

Recent Federal Court Decision Could Muddy Waters for Keystone XL South, Flanagan South—by Steve Horn: "On June 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit handed down a ruling that will serve as important precedent for the ongoing federal legal battles over the Keystone XL and Flanagan South tar sands pipelines. In the Delaware Riverkeeper v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) case, judges ruled that a continuous pipeline project cannot be segmented into multiple parts to avoid a comprehensive National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review. This is what Kinder Morgan proposed and did for its Northeast Upgrade Project. As reported on DeSmogBlog, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did the same thing to streamline permitting for both the southern leg of TransCanada’s Keystone XL and Enbridge’s Flanagan South."

Exclusive: North Dakota Oil-By-Rail Routes Published for First Time—by Steve Horn: "For the first time, DeSmogBlog has published dozens of documents obtained from the North Dakota government revealing routes and chemical composition data for oil-by-rail trains in the state carrying oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') in the Bakken Shale. The information was initially submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) under the legal dictates of a May 7 Emergency Order, which both the federal government and the rail industry initially argued should only be released to those with a 'need-to-know' and not the public at-large."

Critters

Woman Attacked by a Canada Goose Spends 5 Days in Hospital—by Agathena: "After five days in hospital, Kerry Surman describes the how she was riding her bike along The TransCanada Trail near her home when she saw a Canada Goose family, 2 adults and a gaggle of goslings cross the trail. As the last adult passed the trail, she figured it would be safe to zip by. She was wrong. [...] 'What I remember is the goose giving me the evil eye and then the goose wrapping its wings around my head, and I can't see and I hear myself screaming,' she said. The next thing Surman remembered was that she was lying on the ground and having difficulty getting up."

Chicken Politics: Life in the Flock—by Lenny Flank: "In evolutionary terms, the humble domestic chicken is one of the most successful species on Earth. There are an estimated 20 billion chickens alive right now--almost three times as many as there are humans. Apparently, "tasting good to people so they'll protect you" is a pretty effective evolutionary strategy--well, aside from that whole "they eat you" thingie. Statistically, every human on the planet eats the equivalent of 27 individual chickens every year. The only other terrestrial vertebrate that may rival the chicken in sheer numbers is the Norway Rat. And even the lowly chicken has important things to teach us. It was through the careful observation of a backyard chicken flock that one of the most important principles of social biology was uncovered—one that applies equally well to humans. [...] For over 4,000 years, since the Red Jungle Fowl was first domesticated in Southern Asia, farmers had noticed that a flock of hens was a very orderly group.  At feeding time, the dominant birds in the flock would eat first, picking out the best morsels, then came the less-dominant birds, and finally the least dominant who got whatever was left. Farmers knew that if anything happened to disrupt this order--introducing a new bird to the flock, for instance, or removing one of the dominant birds--there would be a brief period of discord as birds fought with each other to re-establish dominance, then peace would reign once again. But it wasn't until ten-year old Thoreiif began his years of observations, however, that anyone finally began to get a clear picture of how this flock order was established and maintained."

National Parks & Other Protected Public Lands

MT-Sen: John Walsh (D) Vows To Stop Sale Of Public Lands—by poopdogcomedy: "Hey Montana voters, here's another good reason to keep Senator John Walsh (D) in the U.S. Senate: Speaking from the Senate Floor, Walsh blasted an initiative passed by the House of Representatives that would sell or transfer public lands managed by the federal government, calling it 'as radical as it is wrong.' In April, the House of Representatives passed the Ryan Budget which included the authority to sell off up to 21 million acres of public land in Montana. 'Selling off our kids’ and grandkids’ heritage is a terrible idea,' Walsh said. 'I want my granddaughter to grow up in a Montana with the same easy access to the streams and forests that I enjoyed, whether she wants to hunt, hike, fish, or bike.' Walsh criticized efforts to transfer federal lands, saying, “What this really means is handing over our most popular recreation areas to the highest out-of- state bidder, creating the next copper barons and trophy homes. This theory is as radical as it is wrong.'"

Bill to ban oil drilling in marine protected area passes committee—by Dan Bacher: "A bill to ban offshore oil drilling in state waters in the Santa Barbara Channel known as Tranquillon Ridge passed out of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on June 26 by a vote of 6 to 2. Senate Bill 1096, sponsored by State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. [...] The passage of the bill through the Committee sheds the spotlight on two glaring loopholes in the implementation of California environmental law—one in the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative’s creation of 'marine protected areas' and the other in the California Coastal Sanctuary Act. Fishermen, Tribal leaders and grassroots environmentalists have repeatedly criticized the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative for creating questionable 'marine protected areas' that fail to protect the ocean from oil drilling, fracking, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering."

Pollution, Hazardous Wastes & Trash

GA Coast: the good, the bad, and the ugly—by hannah: "If you haven't heard about the Spit controversy before, see here and here and here. [...] Longer running is the Rayonier saga of polluting the Altamaha River from Jesup to the coast. It's a story that reminds us that the line about "teaching a man to fish" is really mean, considering that all over the globe industrial pollution has made fish unfit to eat. You'd think the Sea Island resort people would have an interest in providing their guests with edible fish. But, it seems all sectors of U.S. enterprise have been taken over by people aiming to exploit our resources, both human and natural. The ex-men have got the upper hand and that's what we've got to change. Installing Democrats in our state houses and governors' slots will make a start."

More than 900 dead dolphins - thanks, BP—by Nathan Empsall SierraRise: "Neverending. A recent report shows that impacts from the disastrous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are 'far from over'—and that bottlenose dolphins and sea turtles are especially suffering. These dolphins and their baby calves are just trying to swim and live in their natural habitat. That's hard enough with climate change warming the water—now they have to deal with BP's lung and liver diseases, too? According to National Geographic, 'More than 900 bottlenose dolphins have been found dead or stranded in the oil spill area since April 2010. If you stretched the corpses lengthwise, that's 1.5 miles of dead dolphins.' Even though greedy BP has tried to get out of paying the settlement they agreed to, the courts are thankfully holding their feet to the fire. The next step—making sure that money goes to the wildlife and Gulf communities who need it most—is up to us."

Eco-Philosophy & Eco-Essays

We Are Our Mountain's Keeper: The Fight for the Soil & Soul of Appalachia—by Virally Suppressed: "West Virginia is no country for young men. Nor is it a country for old men, brown men, poor men or women. West Virginia is a country for rich men; men with no names and no faces who live far away from her borders and sip bottled water as they foul everyone else's. These men think that West Virginia's land is their land, but it's not. No one can ever truly own that land. They can bulldoze it, dynamite it, dig great big holes in it and build on it, but they can never own it. To own is to possess and I have yet to meet the man who can possess something after he's dead. Sure, we've got all sorts of rules and laws in this country for protecting people's stuff while they've got life in 'em and for making sure that stuff gets passed on to their kin when they die, but there aren't any laws on the books that confer property rights onto someone who's perpetually laying under six feet of sod and dirt. Embalmed flesh and ascendant souls have no use for property rights and warranty deeds and, contrary to the American ethos, he who dies with the most stuff does not win. He who dies with the most stuff just leaves the biggest mess behind."

We Have Conquered Scarcity—by lucid: "The whole of our economic history has revolved around a single concept, scarcity. While we've supposedly evolved in our understanding of it from the time in which killed each other over fire, arable land, water and gold, we're still killing each other [literally and metaphorically] over fire, arable land, water and gold. [...] The crease in the fold, however, is that our technology has now conquered scarcity. Signs of this pop up every day, like this diary that brightened my morning. We can power the entire planet with incredibly little investment. In fact, far less investment than developing new hydrocarbon harvesting sites with the mild side effect of destroying the surrounding environment and the future of a habitable planet for our species. Hell, if we'd followed Shuman in the early 20th century, the world would be a very different place today."

Miscellany

The new red state fad: Spending big bucks to pollute more—by Hunter: "The devolution of red-state culture into the comical and rudderless "whatever them liberals are for, we're aginnit" continues apace. Now we hear about an entire subculture of pickup truck owners devoted to intentionally polluting in order to stick it to the man. It's called "rollin' coal," and costs a bloody fortune to even pull off so you've got to be committed to the bit. Today kids will spend anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 modifying their pickups for this sole purpose; adding smoke stacks and smoke switches (which trick the engine into thinking it needs more gas), or even revamping the entire fuel system."

"Rolling Coal" new way to compensate?—by TheBlaz: "I really wish I was making this up. In small towns across America, manly men are customizing their jacked-up diesel trucks to intentionally emit giant plumes of toxic smoke every time they rev their engines. They call it 'rollin’ coal,' and it’s something they do for fun. When I'm looking for fun I usually try to minimize how many planets I'm killing, but that's only because my neighbors finally complained about my Death Ray. There's almost no proper way to describe how forehead-slappingly stupid this 'fad' is, so I'll let a dipshit high schooler from South Carolina named Ryan do it for me: 'It’s bad for the environment. That’s definitely true,” says Ryan. “And some of the kids that have diesel trucks can look like tools. And you can cause a wreck, but everything else about it is pretty good.'"

Rollin Coal-Let the Hybrid See.—by Pakalolo: "'Roll, roll, rollin’ coal, let the hybrid see. A big black cloud. Exhaust that’s loud. Watch the city boy flee.' I had never heard of 'Rollin Coal' sub-culture before. Apparently, it is becoming quite the internet sensation with, I assume, young men in rural and small town America posting pictures and videos of their jacked up, diesel tucks that spew out huge plumes of filthy exhaust on people. Sounds fun huh?"

A newly-published overview of chemical-free products—by asterion: "Just published the other day by a part of Nature Publishing Group is a review by two scientists of the chemical-free products available to consumers. Here's the abstract for the review. Manufacturers of consumer products, in particular edibles and cosmetics, have broadly employed the term ‘Chemical free’ in marketing campaigns and on product labels. Such characterization is often incorrectly used to imply—and interpreted to mean—that the product in question is healthy, derived from natural sources, or otherwise free from synthetic components. We have examined and subjected to rudimentary analysis an exhaustive number of such products, including but not limited to lotions and cosmetics, herbal supplements, household cleaners, food items, and beverages. Herein are described all those consumer products, to our knowledge, that are appropriately labelled as ‘Chemical free’."
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