Spotlight on Green News & Views: Facebook & climate denial; post-scarcity civilization

Spotlight on Green News & Views: Facebook & climate denial; post-scarcity civilization

CRITTERS AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS

funningforrest writes—The Daily Bucket. Feeling a Little Parched: “The truth is, of course, that it’s not quite a desert around here yet.  No water from the sky doesn’t mean there’s no water around. You just have to know where to look.  There are three small creeks that flow down from the north-facing slopes of the mountains surrounding American Valley, and if you want to see some water you just go visit them. This first creek doesn’t have a designated name.  But usually this creek flows year round.

Upstream at the Troll Bridge
The blue metal railing is on a very small bridge over this creek (looking upstream). I call this bridge the “Troll Bridge” because as a kid playing here it could be sort of spooky at night. This is on the bike path, which used to be a railroad track. But there’s a lot more water here than I expected to find.

funningforrest writes—The Daily Bucket. Meanwhile, back at the ranch…: “October 7, 2020. It’s been a full month since I took a walk out in the Leonhardt Ranch Learning Landscape, located just across the way from where I live.  It being well into Fall it was time to go see what was up out there.  This is one of my favorite places to get out and look for birds and other wildlife. […]  The Feather River Land Trust protects critical headwaters and habitat for thousands of wildlife and plant species in the Sierra Nevada’s largest watershed—a source of drinking water, agriculture, and hydropower for 27 million people. Since 2000, FRLT has protected 59,000 acres of ecologically and culturally important landscapes in the Feather River Watershed. We’re working with private landowners to conserve priority lands in three regions across the watershed: Lake Almanor, Spanish & Indian Creeks, and Sierra Valley.”

Quiilayute River on the Olympic Peninsula
Red arrow points to mouth of Quillayute River, dark green is Olympic National Park.

OceanDiver writes—Dawn Chorus: By the Quillayute River: “We have a tradition to go out to the open ocean every year during the winter season to a special spot on the Olympic Peninsula. That’s off this year due to Covid, since the place we stay has been shut down since spring and likely to remain so for some time. As a remembrance of that stretch of coast, I’m posting some birdy pictures from last year’s trip, late October 2019, which I never got around to sharing here at the time. We stay in one of the cabins rented out by the Quileute Indian Tribe. Their reservation is the very small portion of their original lands around the mouth of the Quillayute River. A narrow strip of land to the north and south is part of Olympic National Park. Trails take you wilderness beaches there, for those who can walk them: Second Beach and Third Beach to the south, and Rialto Beach to the north of the river. I’ve become progressively disabled so I can’t walk far, but I can walk First Beach out in front of the cabin and on either side of the river. That’s where most of these pictures are from. A few of the pictures are from previous years, of birds I didn’t get photos of last year.

OceanDiver writes—The Daily Bucket – otter families in the bay: “September 2020. Salish Sea, PacificNorthwest. One quiet bay near my house is popular among river otters. I see them there pretty regularly. There are a few houses fronting on this bay but they are only used occasionally in summer so most of the time otters freely come and go back and forth between the water and the wetland/forest next to it (or houses: one of the summer people related a long story once about what it took to evict and exclude a family of otters who had moved into their crawlspace). There are otter trails and at least one den in the bramble thickets by the beach. Usually it’s just one lone otter I see fishing in the bay. Lately though I’ve been seeing two families of them. An otter family is a mom and her pups from the current year. Otters are born in spring, weaned in summer, and then hang out with mom until next spring learning the ropes and the neighborhood. (WDFW River Otters) One day I saw a group of four otters doing something on the edge of a little island in the bay. Then another group paddled over from shore and climbed up on the island. A couple of them waited for a bit, watching behind; a few minutes later another paddled over and joined them. They were clearly all a group. The second family climbed onto a flat bare patch and rolled around there for quite a while.”

Wheel bug on my county road
Wheel Bug

lostintheozarks writes—The Daily Bucket – Forgive Us Our Trespassing…: “Douglas County, Missouri. October 9, 2020. It has been a busy week and as a result I missed my daily walk a couple of times and cut it short a couple more. When I finally got the chance to walk today it seemed that October has finally decided to get colorful. When that happens I sometimes stray off the beaten path and walk into the fields I normally walk past. Yes, I am a trespasser! But can you blame me? […] For most of the year, walking in these fields is an invitation to be attacked by biting insects. But when the weather cools down and the haying is done it becomes much safer to wander through. Nobody lives here anymore, so nobody really cares that I am here.

The Lipsticked Pig writes—Today is World Octopus Day! Orion magazine’s email today was entitled ‘What has eight legs and three hearts?’ They referenced a Sy Montgomery article, ‘Deep Intellect,’ from the magazine some years back. They say it is the most read Orion article of all time. Since today is World Octopus Day, they reached out to her again and she wrote a new article, ‘Why I Need You to Take World Octopus Day Seriously.’ After reading Montgomery’s ‘Soul of an Octopus,’ and then ‘Other Minds’ by Peter Godfrey-Smith, I’m a huge octopus fan. (I confess I even almost bought an octopus toilet paper holder from one of those catalogs that show up in the mailbox.) I mean, how can you not love a creature with three hearts!?! So, to celebrate World Octopus Day, I’m sharing Orion magazine’s (and Sy Montgomery’s) lovely octopus offerings, in case you missed that it is World Octopus Day and that is something to celebrate!

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“Whitey” Bulger, named by the author for the bulge in its throat when the egret swallows a fish.

6412093 writes—The Daily Bucket–The West Side Gang moves in: “For 20 years, I’ve tracked the movements of herons and egrets where I’ve worked and walked. I’d been working at a golf course in Banks Oregon, 20 miles west of Portland. We had a year-round heron, and every autumn, an egret visited and fished for a few days, angering the golf course’s resident heron. Then I noticed that (or another) egret started visiting 10 miles farther east, at a stormwater pond, again during early winter, and then vanishing. This spring an egret showed up out of season about two miles farther east, at Bethany Lake.   It’s back, a little early to be migrating — again. This local  heron is also shadowing or leapfrogging the egret, moving its fishing spots to the east, possible in response.  “Icepick” Willie the Heron will not give up this prime fishing territory to the West Side Egret Mob! The local Red Winged Blackbirds are attacking both sides, exploiting their advantage in numbers and agility.”

CLIMATE CHAOS

Lefty Coaster writes—60 Minutes puts Climate Change front and center in report on 4% of California burning this season: “Tonight 60 Minutes made the California fires and Climate Change their top story. At least 31 have died in the largest wildfires in California history. The east is defending itself against twice the usual number of tropical cyclones. And what may be the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth came in August in the United States. It’s a torrid 2020 and it was forecast 32 years ago. In the 1980’s, a NASA scientist named James Hansen discovered that climate change, driven by carbon emissions, was upon us. His graphs, of three decades ago, accurately traced the global rise in temperature to the year 2020Thom Porter: These are fires that nobody, when I started in this business, ever even dreamed of happening in California. Not even close. California State Fire Chief Thom Porter ‘started in this business’ in 1999. That year just over one million acres burned. By 2007, it was a million and a half. In 2018, two million. This season, nearly four million acres have burned so far.

xaxnar writes—Climate change sucks – and it’s everywhere: “Okay, so small potatoes compared to all of the hurricanes that have hit so far, and the west coast in flames, but still not fun. A strong front swept through the other day with 60 mph wind gusts. Trees down all over, power lines down, roads closed. They are slowly getting power back, but over 100,000 were affected in a broad swath from NY into New England. A couple of months ago a thunderstorm popped up over the area around my house — and just sat there most of the day. It did not move on; it just kept dropping rain. We got almost 5 inches in just a few hours. It was a local event, but it was not fun and there was some flash flooding. Extreme weather events; prepare to deal with them because they are going to become more common. I have two portable generators, but haven’t got the house wired so they can run critical systems yet — just what I can plug in. Two months from now this would be really bad; at least today is sunny and mild.”

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Helping Curry Crowdsource Examples of “Fallacious Thinking From Climate Science”: “Earlier this week, Dr. Judith Curry wrote a post on her Climate etc. blog asking for some help with something she’s writing about cognitive biases and logical fallacies. She apparently could ‘use some help fleshing out’ the definitions of terms like Ad Hominem with ‘examples from climate change.’ The very first cognitive bias listed is confirmation bias, which she describes as ‘the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions.’ For example, if you were Judith Curry, and wanted to write about cognitive biases and logical fallacies in the climate space, but didn’t have any examples on hand, so you asked your blog denizens to give you examples to prove the point you’re trying to make, that might be confirmation bias. So we’ll put aside for the moment that her “How we fool ourselves” post very much looks like an example of confirmation bias. And we’ll just briefly mention that if you want an actual expert’s take on fallacies and misinformation, John Cook’s got you covered.” 

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AmericaAdapts writes—Inside Out: The Grief, Trauma and Anxiety of Climate Change (and what you can do) Dr. Renee Lertzman: “ In episode 121 of America Adapts, Doug Parsons hosts Dr. Renee Lertzman. Dr. Lertzman is an environmental psychologist and founder of Project InsideOut, a forthcoming resource hub and emerging community of practice that unites activists with clinical psychologists. Doug and Renee discuss what is climate grief and anxiety; steps individuals and organizations can do to address these issues and turn to action; the value of emotional intelligence and how adaptation and mitigation have more in common that you think.” 

Extreme Weather & Natural Phenomena

ian douglas rushlau writes—NOAA has issued grave warnings about Hurricane Delta. Now Cat. 4, will hit Gulf Coast this week

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AKALib writes—Hurricane Delta about to become the 7th major storm to hit the Gulf Coast this year:Hurricane Delta, now a major category 3 hurricane, is traveling over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, headed for the Louisiana coast. With sustained surface winds over 115 mph, it is expected to strengthen to 125 mph winds in the next 12 hours, before weakening a bit and making landfall late Friday evening. The storm will bring strong winds, heavy rainfall and tornadoes in its path through LA and MS and into TN.

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e2247 writes—Hurricane Delta landed as Category 1 Saffir-Simpson Scale ─ 8pm 21 miles East of Lake Charles: “Hurricane Delta Intermediate Advisory — National Hurricane Center  8:00 PM CDT   Fri   Oct 09 2020Cat 1 is Very dangerous winds that produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.” 

OCEANS, WATER, DROUGHT

Dan Bacher writes—Attorney General Becerra Slams Trump Administration Plan to Raise Shasta Dam: “On October 5, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sent a comment letter to David Brick of the Bureau of Reclamation opposing the Trump Administration’s effort to raise the Shasta Dam by up to 18.5 feet. A copy of the comment letter can be found here. Reclamation has been pushing the dam raise proposal for years to deliver more Sacramento River water to the Westlands Water District and other wealthy agribusiness interests in the San Joaquin Valley. The Winnemem Wintu Tribe, other California Tribes, environmental groups and fishing organizations are opposing the proposal, saying the plan would result in the destruction of imperiled salmon and steelhead populations and the inundation of the remaining sacred cultural sites of the Winnemem Wintu. In the comment letter, Attorney General Becerra argues that the proposal by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau) relies on an ‘incomplete draft supplemental environmental impact statement’.”

CANDIDATES, STATE AND DC ECO-RELATED POLITICS

AKALib​​​​​​​ writes—Cherries—An Ad from the Biden/Harris team on Climate Change and Food: “This new ad from the Biden/Harris team is being claimed by many to be the first presidential campaign ad focused solely on climate change. It is devoted to climate change and its effect on the future of food, described from the perspective of farmers. The farmers in the ad plead that we need to address climate change now, so that they and their grandchildren can continue to produce food for Americans and the whole world. Although the YouTube video is dated Oct 3, it seems to have been released today.” 

Pakalolo writes—The Biden/Harris climate plan just may buy us time to prevent the worst impacts: “Vice President Joe Biden’s climate plan has received rave reviews across the planet. Many have hope that the United States carrot and stick approach, domestic and foreign, could help buy us time in our battle for a livable world. It won’t be easy, but perhaps the news summaries below will ease the fear and anxiety that so many of us feel. Nick O’Malley of the Sydney Morning Herald writes: But the US is not only battling a pandemic and the consequential economic collapse but relentless civil strife supercharged by a poisonous election campaign. As a result, Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s adoption of what some consider to be the most ambitious climate change action plan ever put forward by a major party of a major nation has attracted far less attention than it probably deserves. Washington Governor Jay Inslee, one of many on the party’s left who had opposed Biden on environmental grounds and who have now embraced his candidacy, described Biden’s plan as visionary.

poopdogcomedy writes—CO-Sen: HuffPost, “Sen. Cory Gardner’s (R) Climate Conspiracy Theory Revealed In 2017 Recording”: “From The Huffington Post:Facing an uphill battle for reelection in a state where two-thirds of registered voters polled last month said they favored a Senate candidate who promised “aggressive action” on climate change, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R) has billed himself as a ‘national leader’ on climate issues and run three separate ads casting himself as a pragmatic environmentalist. But in a 2017 audiotape HuffPost obtained, Gardner squirms out of questions about what is causing climate change, instead leaning into conspiratorial thinking that efforts to curb carbon emissions are part of a larger plan to ‘control the economy.’ ‘There are people who want to control the economy as a result of their belief about the environment,”’Gardner said in a previously unpublished interview with a local newspaper columnist in his native Yuma County in rural eastern Colorado. ‘Absolutely, there are’.” 

greenandblue writes—Tie Republicans to the fossil fuel anchor they grabbed: “After Biden and Harris trounced their respective opponents in televised debates, I have one simple request for our candidates. Embrace the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, aggressively and with passion. It’s a winner. For the sake of humanity, we need it. At the debate with Kamala Harris, Mike Pence repeatedly thought he had Harris caught in some fracking corner. He lied about unleashing energy, which follows years of Trump’s sucking up to coal. Don’t worry Democrats. It’s an opening, not a corner. Here’s some things to keep repeating as often as they tout fossil fuel jobs, or when they cower about China. There are more jobs in renewables than in fossil fuels. The green economy is coming. Other countries are going hard towards this future. They will pass us if we don’t make the transition. China advanced to the top position in renewable and clean energy investment because they embrace science and renewables. Clinging to fossil fuels will let them dominate the future energy economy.” 

Lefty Coaster writes—Greta Thunberg Endorses Biden – vote “to protect science instead of destroying it”: “Good news.” 

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ENERGY

Nuclear

skralyx writes—Physicists throw down the gauntlet! Nuclear fusion in 2025: “We believe it’s going to work”: “It’s hard to overstate how much the world would be changed by success in net energy generation by nuclear fusion. A mini-Sun, on Earth, on demand. But every time you hear about nuclear fusion, it seems the timeline for it just got extended again. It’s always 20 or 30 years away, isn’t it?Well, here’s a refreshing change, to say the very least: The Journal of Plasma Physics has just released a special issue stating, via 7 papers, involving 12 different research teams, that due to recent advances in theory, design, and materials, the first working demonstration of net energy production by nuclear fusion, with no need to add external heat once it gets going, has been moved up by a decade.  It’s now projected for 2025. Joe Biden will be presidin’ as this thing fires up right here in the U.S.  Sheesh, it’s near enough that you’ll still own some of the same pairs of underwear.  (OK, er…  I will, anyway.)  The gauntlet has been thrown down!

Fossil Fuels & Emissions Controls

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Wyoming Taxpayers Fund Dark Money Pro–Coal Lobby Group – Whether They Like It Or Not: “Usually, dark money donors try their best to hide their involvement with the front groups they fund — that’s the whole point of setting up such a group instead of just doing it yourself. But occasionally, there’s other reasons. Because at a press conference last month, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon proudly announced that the state would ‘contribute’ $250,000 of taxpayer money to the Energy Policy Network. Now, that doesn’t necessarily sound scandalous … if you don’t know what the vaguely-named Energy Policy Network does. (And unless you caught last year’s IndyStar feature on them, you probably don’t!) Now you will though, thanks to a piece published Friday by Wyoming Public Radio and WyoFile. The story, by Andrew Graham and Cooper McKim, provides a sweeping overview of the Energy Policy Network’s nine-state campaign to keep coal plants from shutting down. Armed with internal communications, interviews and regulatory findings, the investigation shows how Wyoming taxpayers are funding the industry’s answer to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.

Dan Bacher writes—Governor Newsom Pledges to Conserve 30% of Land and Coastal Waters by 2030 as Oil Drilling Expands: “California Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order making California the first state in the nation to pledge to conserve 30 percent of land and coastal waters by 2030, joining 38 countries in that conservation commitment. While some environmentalists lauded the order, other public interest groups weren’t impressed, with Food and Water Watch urging the governor instead “to go back to the drawing board and tackle the state’s biggest polluters head-on.” The group criticized him for expanding oil and gas drilling in California during a year of an unprecedented pandemic, record heat and record wildfires. The text of today’s executive order can be found here and a copy can be found here.

Dan Bacher writes—Alliance launches ad campaign to pressure Governor Newsom to phase out oil drilling in California: “During a year of an unprecedented epidemic, record fires and record heat, the California agency in charge of regulating oil and gas drilling, CalGEM, has approved over 1540 new oil and gas drilling permits so far. Faced with this expansion of fossil fuel drilling in California, Last Chance Alliance, a coalition of over  750 climate, environmental justice, and public health groups, has launched an ad campaign calling on Governor Gavin Newson to phase out oil drilling as part of his plan to address the climate crisis, according to a press release from the alliance. The ads direct audiences to fuelingtheflames.org where they can take action. Since Newsom become Governor in January 2019, his regulators have approved a total of 7071 oil and gas drilling permits in California, according to a data analysis from Consumer Watchdog and the FracTracker Alliance. ”

trubludude writes—Fracking must end: “ Biden’s position on fracking is…problematic. Recovering natural gas by injecting the porous shale substrate of entire counties along the Ohio River Watershed and sensitive coastal areas with toluene, benzene, and hexane is not a “transition” or ‘bridge’ to anything other than ecological disaster. Gulf Energy executives on ‘Unitization Calls’ (an undemocratic land grab process that allows the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to force reluctant land owners to allow fracking under their property) admit that there is no guarantee that the chemicals remain contained in the shale substrate. Additionally, only 50% of the toxic sludge produced is recoverable and must still be stored in above ground holding ponds. These ponds are poorly regulated, and, as precipitation increases from climate change, they are more and more likely to flood, releasing the toxins into ground water, and destroying property value. You wouldn’t believe how inexpensive and undesirable property is once its been fracked.” 

Alan Singer writes—Coal: A Two-Front Trump Betrayal: As President, Trump appointed company executives and lobbyists to self-regulate coal at the same time he collected large campaign checks from the industry. The Trump administration also worked to undermine the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan to cut carbon emissions by coal-fueled power plants. But despite Trump’s promises and futile efforts, in the last three years seventy-five coal-burning power plants and fifteen percent of the United States’ coal-generated capacity has gone off-line. Another seventy coal plants are scheduled to close, the fastest decline in coal-fuel capacity in history. In 2017, over thirty percent of U.S. energy came from coal. It is estimated that in 2020, coal power will decline to only twenty percent. After Donald Trump promised his presidency would revitalize coal, coal-mining jobs have declined by 5,300 and 12,000 jobs were eliminated by coal-burning utilities.” 

GoodNewsRoundup writes—Biden won’t have anyone from fossil fuel on transition team: Day 79 of 100 days of loving Joe Biden: “In a new ethics plan released by his campaign, Joe Biden signaled that he won’t allow leaders of fossil fuel companies on his transition team if he wins the general election in November. He also will limit lobbyists from his presidential transition team. Under the new rules released on Wednesday, members of Mr. Biden’s transition team must commit to not working on policy matters that might represent a financial conflict of interest. Transition staff are also barred from buying or selling individual stocks without approval from the transition team’s general counsel, former Facebook lawyer Jessica Hertz. ‘The Plan aims to ensure that Transition team members abide by the highest ethical standards, act solely in furtherance of the public interest, and base all policy and personnel decisions on merit, free from individual conflicts of interest,’ the ethics plan says.”

Renewables, Efficiency, Energy Storage & Conservation

A Siegel writes—Clean Energy & Dept of Defense in the Biden-Harris Administration:From Marine Corps outposts using solar panels to reduce diesel demand (and thus refueling requirements) by about 50 percent to hybrid-electric ships cutting fuel demand by about 15 percent to installing LED lights throughout installations to solar panels proliferating on military facilities, the DOD energy picture has seen real change over the past 20 years. These measures, through life-cycle, almost certainly are saving the Department (and taxpayers) money as taking Energy Smart measures are typically (near universally) also fiscally smart measures. Far more importantly, these measures are improving capabilities while reducing risks.  Let’s take that hybrid-electric ship: greater fuel efficiency translates to longer range (e.g. more capability) and reduced requirements for refueling at sea (and thus less vulnerability).  With those real benefits, who cares (at least in the Department) whether it saves a penny or reduces pollution? An energy efficient domestic base with renewable energy sources within the wire might save the taxpayer money while reducing pollution but, in terms of the DOD mission, is far more resilient in the face of (either natural or manmade) threats to grid electricity. While much has happened over the past twenty years, there are still significant opportunities to improve DOD capabilities, boost resiliency, and reduce financial burdens through Energy Smart practices, policies, and procurement.”

A Siegel writes—Building Back Better: Is Virginia leading the way? “When it comes to clean energy, climate action, and fostering a stronger economy for generations to come, Virginia is in a far different place today than it was just a year ago. Democratic Party control of the Governorship and the Legislature as of January 2020 changed the Commonwealth’s clean-energy landscape. With passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) and the Commonwealth joining the Regional Green Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Commonwealth has embarked on a pathway to an 100% carbon free power sector by 2045, laid out significant energy efficiency requirements, and has mandates for significant investments to address environmental injustice. Even while there is much more than can (and will) be done, Virginia’s leap forward from clean-energy/climate-action laggard to leader could well have lessons for 2021 as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris work with Congress and Governors across the nation to Build Back Better. Monday evening, as part of its national-wide efforts to help put rationality and science respect back into the Oval Office, Clean Energy For Biden (CE4B) is hosting a virtual panel Monday evening with many Virginia leaders for a clean energy future.”

AGRICULTURE​, FOOD & GARDENS

robctwo​​​​​​​ writes—Saturday Morning Garden Blogging vol 16.41, getting toward the change of seasons. A photo diary. Here’s one:

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NAT’L FORESTS, PARKS, MONUMENTS & OTHER PUBLIC LANDS

Username4242​​​​​​​ writes—Exploring the Castle Trail in Badlands National Park! (Video):My trail guide to the Castle Trail in the gorgeous Badlands National Park, South Dakota.” 

REGULATIONS & PROTECTION

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Stripping Tribes’ Sovereignty, EPA Admin Wheeler Springs Trap Laid in 2005 By Former Boss Inhofe: “Back in July, a Supreme Court ruling on a complicated matter of jurisdiction gave way to a surprisingly straightforward ruling. The ruling recognized that the eastern half of Oklahoma still belonged to the Native American nations put on reservations there after their forced relocation on the Trail of Tears from their ancestral homeland in what is now Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. Julian Brave NoiseCat wrote in the Atlantic that it “might be one of the most important Supreme Court cases of all time” because it “acknowledges that Congress has never extinguished the reservation lands set aside for the Muscogee Creek Nation in 1866.” […] And we can now see that the forces of colonization and extraction aren’t about to start respecting those that stand in the way of profit any time soon. Ti-Hua Chang reported in TYT yesterday that Trump’s EPA has decided to effectively reverse the parts of the Supreme Court decision it feels empowered to overthrow. How can the federal government so readily ignore a judicial decision? Because in this governmental game of rock-paper-scissors, the Judicial branch beats Executive, but Legislative beats Judicial. So the Supreme Court ruling is constrained by Congress — courts enforce the laws Congress writes, after all. And back in 2005, Congress approved a midnight rider on a transportation bill. These two paragraphs paperclipped on to the 836-page SAFETEA transportation bill said that if the state of Oklahoma requested, it could seize environmental regulatory control from the tribes in the state.” 

POPULATION, EXTINCTION, SUSTAINABILITY

trumpeloell writes—Breakthrough Earth: Some milestones to a post-scarcity civilization: “After reading yet another dismal Foreign Affairs article (‘Rogue Superpower: Why This Could Be an Illiberal American Century by Michael Beckley) about the diminished human future we can expect even after Trump’s departure, I decided to write a pure Blue Sky piece about an alternative future. I won’t claim this is a ‘progressive’ vision: there is no way to disguise the massive amount of human disruption and suffering we have set in motion with overpopulation and climate change, and though there are paths to a better world through the coming fire, it couldn’t be a completely familiar world we would end up in. And the humans in that world couldn’t be entirely familiar creatures either. In Star Trek, whenever the differences between the humans of the Federation and those of the past became obvious, the writers waved them away with an airy ‘we evolved.’ But that process of ‘evolution’ is never explained.”

MISCELLANY

Meteor Blades writes—Earth Matters: Solar, wind installations soar; $1.29M Earthshot Prizes begun; eco-Latinas on YouTube:Trump regime “sitting on” Fifth National Climate Assessment: The assessments are mandated by Congress to be generated at least once every four years, which means work on the 2022 report needs to be underway now. But the White House has yet to put out a call for scientists to get going with it. ‘It’s not being approved to go out, so therefore they’re just sitting on it,’ Donald Wuebbles, a climate scientist at the University of Illinois and co-author of the fourth assessment, told ClimateWire. That report released in 2018 laid out the case starkly. ‘Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities.’ Donald Trump tried to keep the fourth assessment out of the news by releasing it the day after Thanksgiving in 2018.

By Daily Kos Source

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