Archive for the ‘environment’ tag
Having natural habitat in farming areas that supports ladybugs could help increase their abundance in crops where they control pests and help farmers reduce their costs, says a Michigan State University study. Read the rest of this entry »
Review by Brian Charles Clark
4 out of 5 stars
Directed by Werner Boote
Originally published on Curled Up with a Good DVD
At the rate we’re going, we’re all going to need to isolate ourselves from the toxins we’ve dumped into our environment by diving into HazMat bubble suits. We’ll have to invent filters that keep the nano-sized particles of cancer-dealing crap out – but, hey, we’ve got the technology for that. And plastics.
On second thought, no: plastics are one of the biggest sources of toxins. Bisphenol A, for instance, is a plasticizer that makes plastic, well, plasticy, and has been a known estrogenic since the 1930s. Estrogenics are those wonderful chemicals that are the secret culprits behind the bitching and moaning of the Iron John crew. Chief among them, Robert Bly has long complained that men have become too feminized, and clearly plastics are to blame, not doting mothers. I mean, look at the amphibians: scientists have been observing them changing sex, male to female, mid-stream for years, so why not humans, too? Is there a problem? Read the rest of this entry »
This looks like it might be just-in-time precedent useful for stopping (or at least slowing) the deployment of “megaloads“:
The right of all citizens to request a preliminary injunction was upheld in a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday in a case brought by two environmental groups.
The appeals court set a precedent by defining at what point citizens groups may obtain a preliminary injunction to stop federal projects in the Western states.
“This landmark precedent is vitally important because the court ruled that citizens can still get injunctions to temporarily stop government actions, such as clearcutting, while a case is being heard,” said Michael Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, which, along with the Native Ecosystems Council, was a plaintiff in the original lawsuit at the district court level.
“Environmentalists aren’t the only victors today,” said Garrity. “Right now we have farmers and ranchers fighting proposed transmission lines to export power from Montana,” said Garrity. “This ruling preserves the right of all citizens to request a preliminary injunction to stop construction before the damage is done.”
“The preliminary injunction is a critical tool for environmentalists because it allows opponents of a project to stave off an imminent destructive project,” she said.
Brown said the issue clarifies the Supreme Court ruling in Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, in which the court refused to grant plaintiffs an injunction against the U.S. Navy’s use of sonar off the California coast. In that case, the Supreme Court allowed Navy maneuvers to continue despite plaintiffs’ contention that such use was causing damage to whales and other sea mammals.
Under the Winter decision, plaintiffs must establish that irreparable harm is likely, not just possible, in order to obtain a preliminary injunction.
“In the wake of the Supreme Court decision in Winter v. NRDC, the Department of Justice began arguing nationally that Winter substantially curtailed plaintiffs’ ability to obtain injunctive relief, and that the sliding scale test – which allows the court to balance the often-great magnitude of environmental harm against the likelihood of plaintiff’s success – was no longer good law,” Brown explained.
“We put DOJ’s theory to the test, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in our favor,” she said. “This is vitally important because it can be difficult to fully demonstrate damages when confronted with the short timelines and incomplete agency decision-making records that are common in preliminary injunction cases.”
At this point, the Justice Department could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review this Ninth Circuit decision, and all parties are waiting to see if that happens. If no Supreme Court review is sought, this case goes back to the U.S. District Court in Missoula, Montana for a ruling on the merits.
Rich Wesson told me the first four megaloads are set to roll up scenic highway 12 over the Lolo Pass into Montana on their way to the Alberta tar sands. The Missoula Independent has an article about the megaloads, lengthy but a full summary and one of the best I’ve read.
The first two loads will probably leave Lewiston Feb. 1. Locals like the Friends of the Clearwater have called for peaceful protests on Jan. 29 or 31 at 11 a.m. in Lewiston, either at the bridge or more likely at the IDT office there. If that happens, I’ll be going and will be able to take people with me who would like to go and ride together. Bob, Lynne and I attended a direct action protest seminar last Monday and I strongly suspect that there will be an escalation of the protests sooner or later. After the first four loads, which are imminent, the next 207 loads will have to go through their own permitting process.
For those wanting to know just a little more about the Alberta Tar Sands, a trailer for the movie H2 Oil is here.
Update from the Friends of the Clearwater:
We would like to invite you to a 2nd peaceful public rally on *Saturday January 29th* on the Memorial Bridge in Lewiston. A car-pool will be leaving from the Eastside Marketplace in Moscow at 12 noon. Look for us on the south side of the parking lot, close to Highway 8. Our scheduled snow-show hike for the 29th has now been cancelled and will be re-scheduled pending on weather conditions. Sorry for any inconvenience.
The rally is to defend the Wild & Scenic Clearwater and Lochsa River corridor from Big Oil’s mega-loads and will last from 1-3pm. Parking is available at the Pepsi Ball Field, which is adjacent to the bridge. The event is family friendly and we encourage you to bring signs, banners and musical instruments. We will be walking along the west side of the bridge, just upstream from the Port of Lewiston.
If you cannot make it to the public rally on Saturday 29th, you are invited to join us for a press conference in the parking lot of the Lewiston ITD office on *Monday January 31st*. A number of groups and citizens will be giving statements to the media. Event is family friendly and will last from 11am-1pm. A car-pool will be leaving from Eastside Marketplace in Moscow at 10am. Look for us on the south side of the parking lot, close to Highway 8. The Conoco Phillips mega-loads are set to begin moving up U.S. Route 12 on Tuesday February 1st. Please contact our office (208) 882-9755 if you are interested in helping us monitor the loads traveling on the highway. They will be moving between 10pm and 5am. The ExxonMobil loads are still sitting at the Port and have not been given permits yet.
ExxonMobil has over 30 mega-loads at the Port of Lewiston. A series of locks and dams are being repaired on the Columbia River and when they are re-opened in late March, the remaining 177 oil-processing modules will be shipped up river. ExxonMobil has requested to truck 207 mega-loads up the Wild & Scenic Lochsa River corridor so that it can expand its Tar Sands strip-mining operation in Alberta, Canada. Learn more here.
Hope to see you at the public events in Lewiston.
“The unprecedented drive for wealth and well-being of the past 40 years is putting unsustainable pressures on our planet,” writes WWF Director General James Leape in the newly released 2010 edition of WWF’s Living Planet Report, a biennial survey on the state of the planet’s health.
One of the longest-running measures of the trends in the state of global biodiversity, the Living Planet Index shows an overall trend since the first Living Planet Report was published in 1998: a global decline of almost 30 percent between 1970 and 2007.
Leape explains, “The Living Planet Report relates the Living Planet Index – a measure of the health of the world’s biodiversity – to the Ecological Footprint and the Water Footprint – measures of humanity’s demands on the Earth’s natural resources.” Read the rest of this entry »