Green diary rescue: Social costs of fracking, singing to Obama, $91 million of Walton greenwashing

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-11-2013-05-2008

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Every week Daily Kos diarists write dozens of environmentally related posts. Many don’t get the readership they deserve. Helping improve the odds is the motivation behind the Green Diary Rescue. In the past seven years, there have been 251 of these spotlighting more than 15,294 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to 45 more that appeared in the past seven days. That makes for lots of good reading during the spare moments of your weekend. [Disclaimer: Inclusion of a diary in the rescue does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.]

The Daily Bucket: rare oak woodland habitat—by OceanDiver: “On a day trip over to San Juan Island to take care of some business at our county seat there, I went across the island to the west side to see one of the rarest habitats in western Washington, a Garry Oak woodland. The predominant feature of this ecosystem is the Garry Oak (Quercus garryana), the only kind of oak native to the Pacific Northwest. It’s important to realize that the San Juan Islands have never been wilderness. Ever since the ice sheet retreated 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age, and the islands emerged from the meltwater, people have lived here and worked the islands. But before ‘European’ settlement of this area in the mid 1800s, there were extensive oak woodlands here, as elsewhere across the Garry Oak range (mostly northern California to southern British Columbia, on the coastal side of the Cascade Mountain Range). Today, small patches barely survive, although several organizations are actively restoring this habitat in places. What happened to the oak woodlands? And how can current threats be mitigated? I can provide a brief overview, with links to current research and restoration efforts.”

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Southern Illinois Unprepared for Social Costs of Fracking Boom—by Willinois: “The Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence is concerned southern Illinois is unprepared for the social costs of a potential fracking boom. Most attention is given to the environmental consequences of fracking, but a Pennsylvania study by Food & Water Watch is bringing focus to social impacts on rural areas. Arrests for nuisance crimes, drug use and sexually transmitted disease rates went up disproportionately in fracking regions. I spoke with ILCADV’s executive director, Vickie Smith, who says that law enforcement and social service agencies in fracking areas, such as North Dakota and Montana, have struggled with increases in domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes that come with fracking booms. Dickinson, N.D., for example, saw a 300 percent increase in assault and sex offense cases.”

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Bombshell: Methane in U.S. atmosphere 50% higher than previously thought—by VL Baker: “Methane may be a bigger global warming issue than thought, according to a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Methane is 21 times more potent at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, the most abundant global warming gas, although it doesn’t stay in the air as long. The study says that the EPA has underestimated the amount of methane in the atmosphere due to faulty testing and reporting methods. Much of that extra methane, also called natural gas, seems to be coming from leaks from the refining and drilling for oil and gas, known as fracking, which blows up the whole notion of natural gas as a short-term bridge fuel to a carbon-free economy. It also includes a major contribution from industrial livestock production which it says has been underestimated.”

More rescued green diaries can be found below the fold.

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