Showing posts from June 26, 2011

Comment: The Clean Water Act: A legacy worth saving

In 1972 I was 13 years old and becoming much more cognizant of the fact that the Earth I had lived on up to that point was changing and not for the better. And this disturbed and concerned me greatly even at that young age as I felt a special connection to the environment as I still do. It is innate in me and as much a part of my existence as breathing. The trees, the air and especially the water at that time all told a story to me about who I was, where I came from and where I hoped to go as I became an adult. From the time I was a young girl my mother instilled in me respect for the Earth and taught me that what you put into her you get out. Unfortunately, I lost my mother to cancer at the age of 17 not nearly having the amount of time with her that I needed but the lessons she taught me about life, respecting others and respecting this planet in that short time have always stayed with me.

And at that time in history, those lessons were more important than ever to be learned. Just…

Industry And Residents Square Off Over Water As Severe Drought In Texas Continues

Industry And Residents Square Off Over Water As Severe Drought In Texas Continues

With nearly 65 percent of Texas experiencing exceptional drought, water is becoming increasingly precious—and scarce—in a state that has to divide the resource between the growing appetites of farmers, city residents, and energy corporations.
A severe drought continues to wreak havoc in Texas and shows no sign of letting up, pitting stakeholders against each other as the dry spell threatens reservoirs and rivers.

The dry period began in October 2010, and, since then, only 2 inches of rain have fallen in southeastern Texas, Businessweek reported. Now, 65 percent of the state is categorized as having exceptional drought, and 88 percent is experiencing extreme drought conditions or worse, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Though Texas is no stranger to dry spells, this is the driest 7-month period in Texas history since record keeping began in the late 1800s. The worst drought is still considered to be th…

China evacuates 500,000 as flooding breaks worst drought in 50 years

China Evacuates 500,000 From Severe Flooding

Water levels on 40 rivers, including the Yangtze, above safety limits as authorities warn of dykes and dams under pressure.

And what do you think all of this climate upheaval is doing to water resources and agriculture? Do you not see it at the markets already? The Biodistress-agriculture-prices link is essential to see in order to prepare for the future. And yet we keep emitting more and more CO2 and GHGS into the already oversaturated atmosphere as warming evaporates the oceans. We are affecting the hydrologic cycle and stretching the limits of the Earth's natural processes. Make no mistake about it, the science on this is correct and you need to demand that your leaders in government listen to that science. Lives are at stake.

Severe Rain Pounds North Nigeria City

Floods kill 24 as rains pound North Nigeria city

Twenty-four people died overnight when unusually heavy rains flooded a neighbourhood in Nigeria's largest northern city of Kano, a local government chief said on Thursday.

Dozens of others were injured, 300 displaced and about 100 houses destroyed in the densely populated Fagge neighbourhood of Kano when rains pounded and inundated the city while residents were asleep.

"For now we have confirmed the deaths of 24 people from the floods that occurred Tuesday night through Wednesday following torrential rain in the city," Fagge local government administrator, Abdulmalik Ismail Rogo told AFP.

Rogo said local elders had told him the "area has never witnessed such torrential rains in the past 30 years."

"Some of the victims were buried alive when their (house) roofs collapsed on them, while others were washed away by the floods and deposited along a major sewer in the area," he said.

Fagge is a low-income neighbour…

East Africa: Severe drought due to climate change killing animals and a way of life

East Africa: "It's The Drought"

Climate change is causing devastating droughts across East Africa - leading to an end of the pastoral way of life.

Many tribes across East Africa are having to leave their pastoral way of life for urban poverty because of severe droughts [Andrew Wander/Save the Children]

Whether you ask about the carcasses of livestock baked white in the sun, the gaggle of people crowding around the district commissioner's door, or the wards of malnourished children lying listlessly in hospital beds, the explanation given is always the same.

"It's because of the drought", they say.

The failure of rains across arid parts of East Africa has brought misery to millions of people, affecting almost every aspect of life.

In this dry, dusty part of the world, every drop that falls helps people scrape a living from the land. If the rains don't come for a season people go hungry. If they fail twice in a row, as they have in Kenya's impoverished …

"Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011" seeks to gut the Clean Water Act

Leave The Clean Water Act Alone

When the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, the need was desperately apparent. Rivers were catching on fire. Pollution choked waterways. Most rivers and streams weren't safe to swim in. For some reason, Rep. Nick Rahall is supporting an effort by the coal industry and other major polluters to turn the page back to those days.

Enforcement of the Clean Water Act has kept billions of pounds of toxic chemicals and other pollutants out of America's waterways.

A bill quietly working its way through Congress, H.B. 2018, the "Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011," would undo decades of progress and render the Clean Water Act all but useless.

The bill -- supported by both Rahall and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito -- strikes at two vital provisions of the Clean Water Act. First, it would strip the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of the ability to make states improve deficient water quality standards. The EPA could no longer withdraw app…

Congressional Bill Eases Restrictions On Pesticide Spraying Near Waterways

Congressional Bill Eases Restrictions On Pesticide Spraying Near Waterways
Pesticide spraying near streams to expand under Congressional bill

A bill allowing pesticide manufacturers and users to avoid the Clean Water Act permitting process passed in the Senate Agriculture Committee today.

If passed in the Senate, bill H.R. 872 lets farmers spray pesticides near public waters without having to meet Clean Water Act permitting requirements.

A 2007 EPA rule allowing all pesticides listed in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to be exempted from Clean Water Act permitting requirements was reversed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2009.

The amendment, on its way to the Senate floor, reinstates the exemptions, effectively skirting the legal battles over whether pesticide residue is a chemical waste that can be regulated as a pollutant under the Act.