KRITTER AND THE LARGE OUTDOOR AREAS
RonK writes –The daily bucket: mushrooms and mycelium: fun, good food and life itself: “Pacific Northwest. Whatcom County, WA. Not only are some mushrooms delicious (mushrooms), they are fun to look for and identify. They also make a major contribution to much of life on earth. Mycelial fungi form networks that can be found in most of the earth's land mass and are symbiotically connected to many Trees, plants and agricultural crops. They range in size from unicellular microscopic organisms to huge underground giants. A mushroom and its underground network known as "Humongous Fungus in Oregon, represent the largest living organism on earth and are estimated at 2,400 acres (AKA honey mushroom, Armillaria ostoyae). Put together, that's a pretty big deal. ((see video of the Humongous mushroom here.) In fact, mushrooms are so big of a deal that their entire scope, as far as is known, is far too large to provide more than a cursory overview. As a very amateur mycologist, I'll focus here on some of my observations and photographs, and illustrate some of the interesting relationships between fungi and plants. Since there is extensive literature on these topics, at the end I offer a number of reference links and a bibliography for those who want to delve deeper into the mushroom labyrinth. Like so many things in nature, there are fungi that are harmful to us, plants and other animals, and there are those that are useful and even essential for normal functioning, survival and enjoyment.”
Dan Bacher writes –Fish need water – urge the CA State Water Board to set flow standards to protect the bay / delta! “Please join a coalition of environmental, tribal, fisheries and environmental rights groups on Tuesday, February 2nd, to urge the State Water Resources Control Board to adopt and implement new river standards. More river is needed to protect the fish and wildlife in the Bay Delta ecosystem and the rivers that flow into it – including the salmon runs that support salmon fishing jobs from Morro Bay to Fisherman & # 39; s Wharf and into Oregon. The state board has been paralyzed for years. We need strong public support for them to do their job. "
Red-winged blackbird nest in the cattail
CaptBLI writes –The Daily Bucket open thread – nest foundations: “The cover photo shows that the red-winged dipper nest consists of grasses woven around the stalks of cattails. Here is the cattail stand where the picture was taken. Last year there were up to a dozen nests in this one-acre stand. There were just as many other bird species' nests in the adjacent black willow trees. These nests had foundations that held other basic materials. I started studying nest constructions while the leaves were still removed from the trees and the birds had not returned to old or selected new locations. Numerous nests were built in layers of durable materials as a base, then lighter materials (leaves, twigs, pine needles) with linings made from soft materials (feathers, moss, animal hair, etc.). I will focus on the first materials used in my native feathered friends' nest building. "
CaptBLI writes –The daily bucket – an open thread and the lake is low: "Heusamen told me that he went to Sardis Lake (in northern Mississippi) and saw seagulls and pelicans; I was forced to see for myself. The main reason for my visit was his description of how low the lake level was. The engineering corps flushes the lake each year to prepare for the spring rains that swell the Mississippi. The low water is an unusual sight for me.”
Chloris creator writes –Dawn Chorus: a Corvid Cawcus: "I work on the Crow Nickels (Chronicles), a series of novels about crows that save the baby bird from extinction. My stories are fiction, but I've read real research on the corvid family. Here is some of what I learned. The people are particularly impressed by the toolmaking of the New Caledonian crows: The construction of novel composite tools by assembling otherwise non-functioning elements involves anticipating the affordability of the tools to be built. Apart from a few observations in captive great apes, the construction of composite tools is unknown outside of humans, and tool innovations emerge late in human ontogeny. We report that habitual tool-using New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) can combine objects to create novel composite tools. We presented 8 naive crows with combinable elements that are too short to find food targets. Four crows spontaneously combined elements into functional tools, depending on the position of the forage. One of them made 3- and 4-part tools as needed. "
Paul Frea writes –Winter Robins – a poem and three observations: "Observation # 1: There is a medium-sized deciduous tree with no leaves, about 40 feet from a shorter holly tree with green leaves and red berries. In the morning I saw a flock of about 25 robins who spent their time flying back and forth between the two trees. A bird flies in one direction and is replaced by a robin that goes in the opposite direction. On the higher tree, the birds rest on the upper branches and soak up the warmth of the sun. On the holly tree, the birds scurry through the leaves, make small leaps between branches and get into the best position to grab a holly berry. When it's colder, they ignore me, which allows me to get close enough to watch robins devour berries, one, two, three, and the berries travel down their esophagus.”
Funningforrest writes –The daily bucket. Open thread; Weather: “The great winter storm in the Sierra Nevada that hit a few days ago put less than a meter of snow on the ground here in Quincy, CA. We have had cloudy days for the past two days, then it started to rain late at night and it is currently raining heavily. Forecast for the rest of today and the next two in order: rain, snow, sun. Then it should be sunny and mostly sunny by next Monday. For Quincy, forecasts of more than two days are not very reliable. Hope to come out on the sunny days and take some pictures so I have something new. Apart from you. "
Pakalolo writes –Breaking: Considered stable, the Antarctic Larsen D Ice Shelf calved two named icebergs: “Nobody has reported this discouraging news yet. The last news I saw on Larsen D was in June 2020 when satellites showed cracks in the massive ice shelf. Suitland, MD – The Larsen-D Ice Shelf calved two more icebergs large enough to be named. The separation took place in mid-December 2020In the northern part of Larsen-D, approximately 150 nautical miles north of the recently mentioned A-70 and A-71 icebergs. Similar to the calving of the A-70 and A-71, it was difficult to confirm whether they were icebergs large enough to be named or extremely old sea ice that had fasted to the ice shelf. Recent images showing the surface topography typical of icebergs have allowed us to confirm that they are indeed icebergs. The new iceberg A-72 is located at 69 ° 39 & # 39; South, 60 ° 53 & # 39; West and measures 11 nautical miles on its longest axis and 4 nautical miles on its widest axis. The new A-73 iceberg is located at 69 ° 47 & # 39; South, 60 ° 38 & # 39; West and measures 9 nautical miles on its longest axis and 5 nautical miles on its widest axis. "
annieli writes –AntiCapitalist MeetUp: Climate Crisis, Technologies for Negative Emissions and Financialization: “If the climate crisis returns to the US government's new agenda, the implementation of negative emissions technologies (NETs) may be hampered by neoliberal financialization. An earlier ACM story showed how Steve Keen & # 39; s review The use of climate change by Nordhaus shows that the orthodox economy is unable to accelerate innovations, especially in the event of a climate crisis. Cap and trading won't even be enough in the long run. Carbon markets under neoliberal financialization may not be able to solve the crisis, though C.Striving for capitalist will will not save the environment as the market for the demand for emission allowances is 15 times too weak. " In addition, the rentier structure of the economy will offer higher cost structures for private and public capital. "
ClimateDenierRoundup writes –Ted Cruz had years to sort out those rejection points, and he's still botched them: "‘You should be able to choose your life, ”says Cruz, apparently trying to find appropriate language for jobs that promote climate warming fossil fuels. But Climate Commissioner John Kerry apparently said the word "inevitable" in relation to climate policy, and that was Cruz's starting point to talk about Avengers: Endgame. In particular, Cruz is rooting out the worn argument we saw 2018, when the film was still relevant, about how Thanos allegedly portrays environmentalists who want to kill people to save the planet (as opposed to saving people from the effects of changing the planet). Cruz then referred to Watchmen, which is actually not one of the movies or shows others pointed out when making out Cruz's argument about Hollywood's cast of environmentalists as the villains a slightly more coherent way. That earned himliterally what the hell are you talking about? " Response from the show's writer, one of lots of adorable tweets Let the senator know he is stupid and his attitudedoesn't really make much senseIf Hollywood writes villains motivated by environmental protection, and then the heroes of these films defeat these villains, wouldn't that be a rebuke for that point of view? Not a hug like that? So not only is Ted Cruz digging up old denial about wicked Hollywood liberals, he's not doing it right either!”
ClimateDenierRoundup writes –The denier shortlist for papers to overthrow the consensus includes one published in the Predatory Scam Journal: "One of our favorite rituals this time of year is to marvel at the collection of papers that Kenneth Richard posts on NoTricksZone and claim they are a fatal blow to the consensus that burning fossil fuels is causing climate change. This year it isover 400 ' Studies that purportedly "support a skeptical position about climate alarms" and are like a stretch every year, and even if they weren't, it still wouldn't be enough to question the basics. If you are unfamiliar with NoTricksZone and are wondering whether this list of studies might be published by a scientific organization as a kind of literature review, here is a quick refresher. Previous posts from the blog included Scooby-Doo-esque anti-renewable and alien planet Conspiracy theories. It's the kind of place that lose a bet on warming only increases your conviction. It's the kind of place that claims COVID-19 pandemic lockdown didn't reduce pollution in Europe based on a pollution map … in 2015. It's also the kind of place you go when you go to Dr. Willie Soon are able to do this accuse scientists I'm talking about 2014 being the hottest year (at the time) of "Prostitute Science. “Ironically, because only two months later, the New York Times reported Soon he took a million dollars from the fossil fuel industry in return for his talents.”
ClimateDenierRoundup writes –Real estate and home builders are joining fossil fuels and utility companies to prevent climate action en masse: "As the Biden government brings climate action back to the federal level, the fossil fuel industry is stepping up efforts to deny, distract, and delay. But all politics are local. To see how the industry will defend itself, let's take a look at a case study: Massachusetts. It is considered one of the most liberal states, home to notable national progressive figures. Why do the state lawyers encounter such strong opposition in climate policy? Well, apparently it's because Republican Governor Charlie Baker, who recently vetoed a changed climate bill and is back on his desk, is being influenced by the gas and utility lobby and front-line groups that have been quietly with the for a decade Housing industries work together to destroy climate change in the Commonwealth. The question of why climate legislation is met with fierce opposition is the subject of a new report from the Brown Institute for Environment and Society. They analyzed over a thousand testimonials and 4,000 lobby visits related to the 53 top environmental laws introduced in Massachusetts between 2013 and 2018, and found that 90% of the public's testimony on legislative committees was for the bills. But there has been little legislative success. Why?”
Meteor blades writes –Scientists say $ 2 trillion in investment can decarbonize energy by 2050, which is paid for in a carbon tax: “Well, the National Academies of Science, engineering and medicine Has published the pre-release draft of a 209-page study – Accelerating the Decarbonization of the US Energy System – which concludes that a net-zero economy is not only achievable by 2050, but "Also build a more competitive economy, increase quality jobs and help tackle social injustice in the energy system. “The authors hastened the publication of their acceleration study specifically with the idea of influencing the direction of climate action by the new government, but without consulting the Biden-Harris team. Stephen Pacala, Frederick D. Petrie Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University and chair of the committee that authored the report said The press release said: “With the drastic reduction in the cost of renewable electricity and batteries, the US can now – in the 2020s – make progress towards a net zero-emission energy system that costs less than the investment in lower air pollution alone. With the energy system affecting so many aspects of society, a transition to net zero will have profound implications well beyond climate and energy – and it is of paramount importance that we maintain a strong social contract to ensure that this transition benefits all communities comes. “That perspective is a climate hawk has been voicing itself for at least two decades, although the technology that makes it possible has become better and cheaper, some gradually and others by leaps and bounds.”
Angmar writes –"The concerted global response to the pandemic could be repeated in the fight against the climate crisis.": “While the pandemic was raging, so was the climate emergency, as if two horror films were overlapping. We saw record-breaking forest fires devour the west coast of the United States, a record number of mighty ones Atlantic storms that Arctic ice Late October did not freeze and cause deadly floods in countries from Italy to Indonesia. We got a glimpse of a chaotic world ravaged by multiple crises that made each other worse, and it was terrifying. As extraordinary as the disasters of 2020 may be, they could just give a taste of what is to come if we don't change direction. Neither the pandemic nor the extreme weather are random occurrences. Outbreaks of disease are increasing and about 70% are the result of viruses crossing the animal-to-human barrier. From rampant deforestation in the Amazon to COVID infected mink farms In Denmark, industrial agriculture is opening a Pandora's viral box that could trigger pandemics even worse than this one. While scientists were busy developing a vaccine, destructive industries were even more busy clearing forests and displacing wildlife. increase the risk to wake up the next deadly virus. We mop up the floor and make the leak worse. "
CANDIDATES, STATE AND DC ECO-RELATED POLICIES
Lefty Coaster writes –Big Tech supports the climate with its political donations: “Big tech companies like to crow about how their own operations are becoming more environmentally friendly. But their political giving is inconsistent with their greenwashing efforts and the overall effect is that they are negated. Are the tech giants deploying political capital for climate change? • • The five big tech companies (Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft) account for more than 25% of the S&P500's value and 20% of its earnings in Q3 2020. They have grown tremendously during the COVID pandemic. Amazon alone has created nearly half a million jobs in an "unprecedented hiring frenzy". With this unprecedented concentration of economic and financial power comes the ability to influence government policy. • • This report shows that, despite Big Tech's solid top-line climate change commitments, Big Tech is not strategically using its significant influence on government policies to support much-needed climate change policies. In addition, all members of powerful cross-sector groups remain – including the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, BusinessEurope, and the Japan Business Federation – – All continue to oppose binding measures required to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. "
GALiberal1776 writes –How Pursuing a Climate Change Agenda Will Help Revive the US Economy: "The U.S. clean energy industry has lost 400,000 jobs since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to the BW Research Partnership. This was not supported by the Trump administration's sweeping war on this sector. Even before the pandemic, the industry had suffered from the 30% tariff for importing solar panels into the country, which suffocated the sector it was supposed to save. The total lack of government support has not improved the clean energy industry, which has created a huge job for the US in recent years. In fact, in 2019, the World Resources Institute estimates that zero-emission power generation created 544,000 jobs in the country, while fossil fuel generation only created 214,000 jobs. Given the importance of this sector, the Biden government's proposed $ 2 trillion package will play an important role in revitalizing the clean energy industry and economy. This could be achieved by building the sustainable, modern infrastructure America needs. In the short term, this could be one of the levers ahead of the Biden government to address the country's deep economic crisis. In the long term, however, this could also have dramatic consequences for the US and the world.”
Mat 4 VA HS05 writes –Energy platform part 1: “It is important that we balance energy independence with environmental and cost impacts in order to achieve affordable and clean energy production. A solid plan that addresses both short-term and long-term needs is critical to understanding what is needed, who will be affected, and how to get there. Del. Suhas Subramanyam submitted a good bill that contained a nice report on his proposal, which was passed by the VA House. energynews.us/… However, it does not go far enough and not fast enough. Look at some recent stories about coal jobs and miners. www.greenbiz.com/… Ann Eisenberg achieved a number of very good points. "For communities that are dependent on fossil fuels, especially in regions like Appalachia with few other major industries, job loss today is only the final phase of a long decline. "Overcoming Resistance to Non-Metallurgical Coal Mining (One type of coal that can be used to make good quality coke, which is an essential fuel and reactant in the blast furnace process for making primary steel, has been a difficult nut to crack. Retraining was difficult, with a sea of red tape and confusion. Because of this, a plan needs to be developed for SW Virginia. "
Ffflats writes –California Power: The utilities lied: “Recently I was referred to one presentation by Clean Coalition regarding their investigation into rolling blackouts on August 14-15, 2020 in California. The discussion is lengthy but worthwhile. If you'd rather read the slides, Here you go. Conclusion up front: A lack of capacity did not cause power outages. Rather, the power outages resulted from artificial and inappropriate demands on the system. By that, I mean that "investors" ordered a 553% surplus over the blackout, while those exports took precedence over California ISO customers. Had this not happened, no power outages would have occurred. Demand, including murky exports, turned into emergency financing rates at extortionate prices. The market needs transparency and regulation, while the cause of market irregularities should be viewed as shameful for investigation so that the subpoena can shed light on the details of the measures contained therein. Shameful intent can be considered reasonable grounds for initiating a legal investigation because the effects were severe, financial instruments were causal, and emergency power rates represented large flows of money that indicated someone had made money. "
FOSSIL FUELS & EMISSIONS CONTROLS
OK dodo writes –GOP leaders advocate oil and gas in Houston: “Republican leaders, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, visited the Houston Ship Channel to send a message to the Biden administration. They have stated that oil and gas jobs are important to the economy, and they want the Biden government to be cheaper than oil and gas, and they state that it would not irreparable damage to the American economy. The Texas Oil and Gas Association estimates a loss of 120,000 jobs in Texas as a result of the Biden government's energy policy, which favored renewable energies over oil and coal. "Biden is launching an attack on our country's oil and gas workers, including the hundreds of thousands here in Texas, "Brady said during a press conference after her roundtable, which was closed to the media." So I join my Republican colleagues in Houston today, to stand up for our workers. "(…)" If President Biden is serious about unity, come to Houston, "said McCarthy." Come to Central America. Look at workers who make $ 80,000 a year and tell them why you took their jobs away. "
DrMarmot writes –Trump has epically failed at ANWR. Here's how: "Drilling would clearly be a disaster for the planet. If people want to mitigate climate disturbances that have gotten out of control, fossil fuels must be preserved in the ground. ON Explanation A coalition of environmental and human rights organizations stated that “the people of Gwich & # 39; in and Iñupiat have been the stewards of Alaska's Arctic for millennia – and that selling the coastal plain for corporate profits disregards that legacy of management. Indigenous Arctic people are already experiencing the most dramatic climatic impacts in a region that is warming three times as much as the rest of the planet, and the coastal plain sell-off continues to threaten our Arctic climate and people, land and wildlife. Oil drilling in the Arctic will increase carbon emissions even further and harm communities that are already bearing the brunt of the changing climate. “As always, environmental quality and human rights remain inextricably linked. With great anticipation, Deputy Home Secretary Kate MacGregor opened the tender for the supposedly rich oil packages. “I am honored to lead this momentous occasion,” crowed MacGregor. The honor did not last long. After just 13 bids, covering only half of the packages available, MacGregor ended the process just 10 minutes after it started. Even the Petroleum News admitted that the results were "somewhat disappointing".”
Alonso del Arte writes –Enbridge is breaking the rule of law to profitably endanger the Great Lakes: "Last week I wrote about it Enbridge's "fact sheet" about their Line 5, which threatens to destroy the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes are an important source of drinking water, both tap water and bottled water. But what happens to this drinking water when line 5 breaks and spills a few million gallons of light crude oil? The company has broken newer pipelines under solid ground, causing terrible but localized devastation. However, if line 5 breaks under Mackinac Street at any point, it will cause a huge disaster in such a vast area that the Flint water disaster looks like a bit of a misunderstanding. And just like with Flint, Line 5 should have been prevented from spilling before it could happen. The fact sheet came to my attention because Enbridge has commercials on television. I took the "fact sheet" at face value and assumed that it omitted unfavorable facts but did not falsify any of the facts it contained. Well, at least one of the fact sheets deserves a closer look than I gave it last week. "
Senorjoel writes –Joe Manchin gets away with green jobs: "The article, paraphrasing Manchin, adds that"If the Biden government is to be dragged toward a "green energy" policy, he wants to make sure the coalfield workers have a seat at the table. “That only seems fair. It's fair, and if you ask Congressmen Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Markey, who have been promoting the Green New Deal since 2019, the restructuring of the economy with green jobs begins where people are hardest hit by the fossil fuel switch were and will be to renewable energies. West Virginia, by this definition, should be Green Jobs Central. Manchin is the new chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. I admit I had reservations about that; It is seniority based and Manchin has always been in the Senate. In this purely political sense, he "earned" the position of Chairman, but if he succeeds in creating a mass of green jobs in the heart of poor, mostly white America, we may owe him great thanks. There may not be a safer way to stop the Trumpist politics of white grievances and fully involve these people in the climate justice movement.”
Dan Bacher writes –Support the residents of Kern County and decline drilling expansion Feb 11th: "A regulation under scrutiny by Kern County's Regulatory Agency would expedite nearly 70,000 new oil and gas wells without significant environmental oversight – nearly doubling the number of wells that already exist, according to an action warning from the Center on Race, Poverty and Environment ( CRPE) and the Sunflower Alliance. The southern central valley has some of the worst air pollution in the country, with oil and gas extraction a major contributor. Kern County is home to approximately 80% of California's oil and gas production, even without the proposed increase. More than 71,000 people already live within 2,500 feet of oil and gas wells. Die vorgeschlagene Verordnung, die von der Ölindustrie gefördert wird, wäre eine Katastrophe für die Gesundheit der Bewohner und für die Klimaziele Kaliforniens. Hier sind vier Möglichkeiten, wie Sie Maßnahmen ergreifen können. "
Dan Bacher schreibt –Big Oil gab 10 Millionen US-Dollar für Lobbyarbeit bei CA-Beamten aus, da sich die Genehmigungen für neue Ölförderbohrungen im Jahr 2020 verdoppelten: „Die mächtige Lobby der Ölindustrie in Kalifornien gab 2020 weniger für Lobbying in Kalifornien aus als 2019, schaffte es jedoch dennoch, die gegen sie gerichteten Gesetze zu umgehen und CalGEM, die staatliche Regulierungsbehörde für Gas und Öl, dazu zu bringen, die Anzahl der neuen Ölförderungen zu verdoppeln Brunnengenehmigungen im Staat genehmigt. Die vier größten Lobbyisten der Ölindustrie – die Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), Chevron, Aera Energy und die California Resources Corporation – gaben 10.192.047 US-Dollar aus, um Lobbyarbeit beim Gouverneursbüro, der Gesetzgebung und den Aufsichtsbehörden zu leisten, um die Agenda von Big Oil im Jahr 2020 voranzutreiben Die Website des kalifornischen Außenministers bis zum 1. Februar. Die Western States Petroleum Association, die größte und mächtigste Lobbyorganisation für Unternehmen in Kalifornien, gab insgesamt 4.267.181 US-Dollar aus, weniger als die Hälfte der 8,8 Millionen US-Dollar Die Ausgaben für Lobbying im Jahr 2020 umfassten 1.084.702 USD im fünften Quartal, 1.220.986 USD im sechsten Quartal, 1.116.397 USD im siebten Quartal und 845.096 USD im achten Quartal. "
TRANSPORT & INFRASTRUKTUR
6412093 schreibt –Eine korrupte koreanische Firma schmuggelte Arbeiter nach Georgien, um ein Batteriewerk für Elektroautos zu bauen: „Viele Progressive freuen sich über den bevorstehenden potenziellen„ Green New Deal “, der bereits vor der formellen Gesetzgebung zum Green New Deal Gestalt annimmt. In Michigan und Georgia steigen bereits Produktionsanlagen für Elektrofahrzeugbatterien im Wert von mehreren Milliarden Dollar, die 2000 Arbeitsplätze pro Werk bieten. Pipelines für fossile Brennstoffe, die bereits teilweise wie KXL gebaut wurden, werden mit enormen Kosten gestrichen. Aber Trumps ehemalige Verbündete in Georgia konnten nicht widerstehen, den Steuerzahlern in Georgia Ausgaben aufzuerlegen. Sie beraubten die Georgier aufgrund dieses Baubooms der Millionenlöhne. Ein Teil dieses Dramas spielte sich am Flughafen Hartsfield im Großraum Atlanta ab, einem der verkehrsreichsten Flughäfen der Welt. Die vielbeschäftigten Zollagenten nahmen die Flut koreanischer Arbeiter zur Kenntnis, die angaben, im neuen SK-Batteriewerk im Nordosten von Georgia zu arbeiten. Der Zoll hat 33 der Bauarbeiter wegen falscher Visa in einem Durchgang von Flughafenankünften aus Korea überfallen. Eine Verkehrsbehinderung eines Transporters brachte weitere 13 koreanische Arbeiter hervor, die für 10 Jahre ausgewiesen wurden. apnews.com/… Im Gegensatz zu Präsident Bidens Versprechen amerikanischer Arbeiter für amerikanische Jobs hatten Trumps Schergen dafür gesorgt, dass Tausende koreanischer Bauarbeiter in den USA 35 US-Dollar pro Stunde von qualifizierten US-Bauarbeitern annehmen. "
eeff schreibt –Pete Buttigieg wurde mit 86-13 Stimmen als Verkehrsminister angenommen: „Der CNN-Senat bestätigt Pete Buttigieg als Transportsekretär. Der Senat stimmte am Dienstag dafür, Pete Buttigieg als Transportsekretär zu bestätigen, was ihn zum ersten vom Senat bestätigten LGBTQ-Kabinettssekretär machte. Buttigiegs Bestätigung erhebt den ehemaligen Bürgermeister von South Bend, Indiana, und demokratischen Präsidentschaftskandidaten von 2020 zu einem Spitzenposten in der Bundesregierung Buttigieg what many Democrats believe is needed experience should he run for president again. The role of transportation secretary is expected to play a central role in Biden's push for a bipartisan infrastructure package.”
fromberkeleytocville writes—Mayor Pete is now Secretary of Transportation! ““This confirmation breaks through a barrier that has existed for too long; where LGBTQ identity served as an impediment to nomination or confirmation at the highest level of government,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Let this important moment for our movement serve as a reminder to every LGBTQ young person: you too can serve your country in any capacity you earn the qualifications to hold.” (…) The 13 senators who opposed his confirmation were: Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Tim Scott, R-S.C.; Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala.; Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Roger Marshall, R-Kan.; Rick Scott, R-Fla.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.; Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn.; Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; and James Lankford, R-Okla.”
Christopher Reeves writes—Good news for the environment as auto manufacturers start to see gas as a dead-end: “When Tesla reports profits, one of the big reasons it does so is because many car companies end up paying Tesla in regulatory credits. These credits helped make Tesla profitable at the unhappiness of other car manufacturers. The Trump administration was onboard with trying to break this plan by opposing states that held auto manufacturers accountable, like California, Colorado, Maryland, Oregon—11 states in total. When President Biden won the election in November, the hopes of a White House that would press that case went away, and now automakers are seeing that they need to offer something different: like improving their own electric line. Instead, today, GM noted they plan to be carbon neutral by 2040 and end all tailpipe cars by 2035. Ford hasn’t been as forward but is previewing an electric Mustang and their ever-popular F150 truck, combined with other vehicles. The Biden presidency is already walking away with a huge win for environmentalists by simply sending the signal that there is a new sheriff in town, and they aren’t interested in dirty air.”
AGRICULTURE, FOOD & GARDENS
MattJ570 writes—Farmers Stare Down the Barrel of Climate Change: “This is an open letter to my neighbors and community members in rural Northeastern Pennsylvania that I wrote for my local paper. I thought I’d share it here. "Be careful what you wish for’ is generally good advice we give to the wanting all throughout our lives. Who knew it was going to be so prescient right now? For the last two years our area farmers wished and prayed and begged for mercy in the face of torrential amounts of rain. And then it came this year. And the ‘relief’ from the rain never stopped. After spring rains hydrated the soil, April turned into May and the sun came out and it was dry with almost no rain at all through September. (…) It’s time y’all. The National Corn Grower’s Association has a climate task force. The USDA set up climate hubs throughout the US to help farmers make their operations more sustainable. The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers in Action released a report in September stating climate goals. My own milk company Danone has set the lofty goal of total carbon neutrality company wide, from its corporate offices, to responsible packaging, to yes even down to me, a milk producer. Ag giants like Tyson and Cargill have teamed up with The Nature Conservancy to help pay farmers to sequester carbon. All the big players in agriculture are working toward new sustainability goals. Sequestering carbon is no longer a project by urban gardeners in liberal cityscapes. It’s time for us in the heartland to step up and do our part. Even while our politicians nit and pick at green new deals and Paris accords, we live with the consequences of our own inaction. It’s time we as farmers started taking climate change seriously.”
CathyM writes—KosAbility: Gardening and Disability: “This is not an exhaustive list by any means; I do things on the cheap, and I believe there are lots of newer adaptations if you can afford them. Also, my yard is lumpy-bumpy with old mole hills, so some of the wheeled gadgets won’t work. (Also, I’m stubbornly foolish in keeping my 4-circuit labyrinth garden, when of course straight rows would be easier). One thing that probably doesn’t need to be said (but maybe): Plant what will bring you most joy, not necessarily what will please the neighbors or be ‘coordinated.’ It took me a while to stop planting veggies that I never ate (‘but maybe this year’) and switch to flowers that give me great joy as I sit out back. I stopped planting out the front because with limited energy I had to choose. I also plant flowers that might not look coordinated, but each one is something I can stare at for hours. (…) If you only want a small project, container gardening is great. Only issue is that the pots dry out MUCH faster than yard soil. There are gel-bits that hold water (e.g., Quench) that you can mix with the soil before you plant—that helps. One quick trick: Put one or more ice cubes in each pot if you’ll be away or if sun is extra hot. It’s cheaper than those drip hoses.”
nailkeg writes—Farming and Carbon Sequestering: “Tom Vilsack, US Agriculture Secretary nominee! From an interview by the Storm Lake Times, ‘US Agriculture Secretary nominee Tom Vilsack of West Des Moines promised Monday to quickly ramp up efforts to make agriculture an integral tool in battling climate change.’ The article goes on to elaborate, ‘Vilsack envisions creating new markets that pay farmers and foresters to sequester carbon in the soil, … He said he will create demonstration projects that can be incorporated as full programs into the next farm bill in two years. He said USDA will help develop scientific standards for carbon sequestration.’ Addressing past wrongs to Black farmers: ‘The reality is there are inherent, legacy barriers and practices that have prevented Black farmers and socially disadvantaged producers from getting access to programs, and I want to do everything I can to remove those barriers,’ Vilsack said. He goes on to say: ‘ASKED IF THE USDA will be a retread of previous years, Vilsack opened the interview by identifying eight priority areas’ that need significant work or even historic work: • COVID relief • Equity and inclusion • Climate and regenerative agriculture • Rural economic development • Nutrition security and assistance • Open and competitive markets • USDA employee morale, and • Forest Service management in an era of climate-driven wildfires.”
NAT’L FORESTS, PARKS, MONUMENTS & OTHER PUBLIC LANDS
bluewill writes—Fine: President Biden's 60-day federal land closure mark a new relationship with our public lands: “The Biden Administration is here and the Republican Party is fractured—as I projected in my last column in these pages. Now the issue for the San Juan Basin and the Four Corners around it is the future of land which the national government owns and manages. It collected revenues of nearly $10 billion per year before the Pandemic from oil leases which are worked privately in oil and liquids extraction. All this now is in a 60-day “freeze” as the Biden Administration installs new Interior Department Management. (…) The Trump Administration, doubtless, is the final 19th century vision of the West and the use of this Land. It was part of the ‘Manifest Destiny’ and settled through displacement by millions before and after the War Between the States. It is now to be managed consistent with its original people, as a characteristic of the Biden Administration The Navajo Nation's future has been changed by the pandemic. San Juan County can merge with security and equity in building a Four Corners defense, storage, manufacturing and transportation hub with a changed Window Rock government.”
REGULATIONS & PROTECTION
Michael Brune writes—We Need a Fighter for Environmental Justice to Lead the EPA: “President Biden has already signaled his determination to turn things around at the EPA. His early executive orders and actions direct the agency to review and reverse harmful, anti-environment Trump-era rules, and to prioritize enforcement of existing protections. They’ve also named the need to center environmental justice in fighting the climate crisis as a top priority across his whole administration. Michael Regan brings the values and experience needed to implement this ambitious agenda. I hope to see him swiftly confirmed, and then act quickly to restore, strengthen, and advance key environmental protections. Under his leadership, we expect to see the EPA rebuilt on a foundation of science and justice. We are eager to see the EPA implement strong safeguards under Regan that are a win-win for frontline communities and the climate—like stricter caps on emissions of sulfur dioxide, methane, and mercury; and stronger limits on vehicle pollution and the production of coal ash, ozone, and the regional haze that covers our parks and communities with dirty air. These new rules must go beyond simply reversing Trump’s rollbacks, harmful as they are. Regan must ensure that our environmental protections are robust enough to guarantee every American clean air, clean water, and protection from climate disaster—whether we are Black, white, Brown, newcomer or native.”
Meteor Blades writes—Earth Matters: Tribes reclaim National Bison Range; solar will be cheapest energy source by 2030: “FEDERAL JUDGE AXES TRUMP “SECRET SCIENCE” RULE. Judge Brian Morris, chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, on Monday vacated the Trump regime’s rule The restricted which scientific studies the Environmental Protection Agency can use when it imposes public health protections and other environmental protections. The rule, put in place just as Donald Trump was exiting the White House, was designed to alter the way the EPA has derived regulations for 50 years. Implemented, it would have required the agency to give less weight to studies that use medical data regarding human subjects without revealing underlying information, including in dose-response studies. Foes of the change said it could undermine use of major health studies that keep some data secret legitimate reasons including patients’ privacy. Morris, an Obama appointee, ruled that the EPA could only make procedural not substantive changes in promulgating the rule, and that the changes approved had been substantive in nature.”
Meteor Blades writes—Earth Matters: Expanding Utah wilderness finally has a chance; gov't switch to all EVs a tall order: “For 32 years, environmental advocates have sought to designate as wilderness 9 million acres of unspoiled public land in Utah. Even though the concept of the Red Rock Wilderness Act was first introduced as a 1989 bill by a Democratic representative in the state, it got no traction from Utah’s mostly Republican congressional delegation then, or in the decades since, as other lawmakers have introduced versions of the original bill. In the last session of Congress, Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois and California Rep. Alan Lowenthal proposed establishing wilderness areas in the Great Basin, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Glen Canyon, Moab-La Sal Canyons, and the San Rafael Swell. Given the Biden-Harris administration’s “30 by 30” pledge to conserve 30% of U.S. land and coastal areas by 2030, the Red Rock legislation would appear to have a chance of passage this time around. The 30 by 30 goal is the creation of The Campaign for Nature, a partnership of the Wyss Campaign for Nature, the National Geographic Society, and a coalition of more than 100 conservation organizations. Reaching the goal means conserving additional areas twice the size of Texas—some 440 million acres—within 10 years. If the Red Rock legislation passes, it would give strong protections to 1.5% of the additional land that must be shielded from exploitation by 2030 to meet the goal. In a recent, exquisitely done advocacy report, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance notes that passing the act would ‘increase landscape connectivity in the region, providing a critical link in the chain of predominantly natural landscapes known as the Western Wildway. Such connectivity is critical to mitigating the climate and extinction/biodiversity crises’.”
Nonlinear writes—Metaphysics, Meteorology, and Ecology. A Cold Morning, a Winter Walk: “We live, each and every one of us, in a web. It is an interlocking web of cycles and feedback loops. Truthfully, as a Natural Historian, I will freely confess there are many thinks about this web we do not understand. Among other things, we don’t know how to exist in that web without damaging it in ways we don’t fully comprehend but can see are very bad for the web. Here is a puzzler for those metaphysically inclined. When I first decided to seriously commit to being a farmer and rancher there were more than 30 derelict or abandoned farms and ranches for sale in this part of Alberta. I only bid on this one. When people asked me why I wanted this land, the worst of all, I said, and boy did I get some funny looks, ‘I hear my ancestors calling.’ That was the truth. Ten years later a backhoe dug up the first artifact that tied my ancestors to this land. It dated from 4,000 years ago. There are three active digs planned here this summer. Why did my ancestors come hundreds of miles across hostile territory to camp here? Wir haben keine Ahnung. We just know they did it year after year for hundreds and hundreds of years. Why did it attract me so powerfully? I couldn’t really have heard my ancestors calling, could I?”