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Showing posts from January 5, 2014

West Virginia Chemical Spill Declared Federal Disaster

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UPDATE: 3-3-14

Received from Environmental Action:

Jan,

Thanks for being a part of our campaign for clean water in West Virginia. When a chemical spill last month poisoned the Elk River in West Virginia, we responded. Thousands of us signed a petition to make sure the Obama Administration took over the management of West Virginia's access to safe drinking water from corrupt and inept state officials. Hundreds more of us chipped in to buy clean drinking water for residents that (even now) can't trust what comes out of their taps.

The federal officials who accepted Johanna's report admitted that they'd never seen this level of detailed reporting. Meanwhile, they haven't even done basic data gathering in Wast Virginia.

I could see the impact of our friend's expertise and passion right on the faces of the Office of Surface Mining officials when they accepted the petitions. When we speak out government really can do the important work of protecting the planet…

Colorado River Drought Forces a Painful Reckoning for States

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Colorado River Drought Forces a Painful Reckoning for States

LAKE MEAD, Nev. — The sinuous Colorado River and its slew of man-made reservoirs from the Rockies to southern Arizona are being sapped by 14 years of drought nearly unrivaled in 1,250 years.

The once broad and blue river has in many places dwindled to a murky brown trickle. Reservoirs have shrunk to less than half their capacities, the canyon walls around them ringed with white mineral deposits where water once lapped. Seeking to stretch their allotments of the river, regional water agencies are recycling sewage effluent, offering rebates to tear up grass lawns and subsidizing less thirsty appliances from dishwashers to shower heads.

But many experts believe the current drought is only the harbinger of a new, drier era in which the Colorado’s flow will be substantially and permanently diminished.

Faced with the shortage, federal authorities this year will for the first time decrease the amount of water that flows into La…

The "Polar Vortex" Freezing Us Today Due In Part To Global Warming

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Frozen Chicago

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

What Is This Polar Vortex That Is Freezing The US?

Excerpt:

"The polar vortex is a prevailing wind pattern that circles the Arctic, flowing from west to east all the way around the Earth. It normally keeps extremely cold air bottled up toward the North Pole. Occasionally, though, the vortex weakens, allowing the cold air to pour down across Canada into the U.S., or down into other regions such Eastern Europe. In addition to bringing cold, the air mass can push the jet stream—the band of wind that typically flows from the Pacific Ocean across the U.S.—much further south as well. If the jet stream puts up a fight, the moisture it carries can fall out as heavy snow, which atmospheric scientists say is the circumstance that caused the February 2010 “snowmageddon” storm that shut down Washington, D.C.

But why does the vortex weaken? Now it gets interesting. More and more Arctic sea ice is melting during summer months. The more ice …

The Ocean Is Broken

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The Ocean Is Broken

Reading this account I was saddened, chilled, outraged and ashamed.

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From article:

The next leg of the long voyage was from Osaka to San Francisco and for most of that trip the desolation was tinged with nauseous horror and a degree of fear.

"After we left Japan, it felt as if the ocean itself was dead," Macfadyen said.

"We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, sort of rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumour on its head. It was pretty sickening.

"I've done a lot of miles on the ocean in my life and I'm used to seeing turtles, dolphins, sharks and big flurries of feeding birds. But this time, for 3000 nautical miles there was nothing alive to be seen."

In place of the missing life was garbage in astounding volumes.

"Part of it was the aftermath of the tsunami that hit Japan a couple of years ago. The wave came in over the land, picked up an unbelievable load…