Monday, July 20, 2009

ROAM! (Restoring Our American Mustangs) passed!

From the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign:

The Restoring Our American Mustangs (ROAM) Act - HR 1018, introduced by U.S. Representatives Rahall and Grijalva, passed in the House of Representatives this morning. The bill amends the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act by adding important new protections and provisions, such as the banning of helicopter round-ups and the reclaiming of land lost by America's wild horses over the past 30 years.

Thank you so much to all who raised your voices in support of this critical piece of legislation. Now we need to prepare for the Senate vote!

On behalf of the horses, thank you for your support, The AWHPC Team
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
Click here to join our email list and receive the latest updates.

(Note: The blogger is exstatically happy!)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Live dogs used as shark bait??

On the rare occasion I manage to rant about domestic animals being abused instead of wild ones...
Dog's used as live bait for sharks.

WTF I say? How does stuff like this still go on in the world, and in a French controlled land not some backwoods place in Africa or South America? Then again, French people eat horses, so I wouldn't put anything past them...Petition is closed now, and I hope like hell it makes some sort of impact! Wish I had known about it sooner, thanks for letting me in on it, Joanna.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gray Whale 'Duh' moment.

I have whales on the brain.

Um. Duh?

I mean, I get it. I know you have to do these studies and come up with hard evidence to show to the oil and gas companies to make them listen...but when have they EVER listened?

Point in fact, and I quote: "However, Exxon, BP and Rosneft have refused to address their threats to the Western Gray Whale and these oil giants plan to carry out further activities in 2009 including seismic testing, construction and other loud activities that could displace whales from their annual feeding area."

The last line of the article reads thus: The Western Gray Whale is one of the world’s most endangered whales, with only 25-30 breeding females remaining.

So why is it that a petition seems to be all that stands between these whales and extinction? When is some authority going to actually step in and say "Hey, big bad oil company, what you're doing is illegal, because it's harming a critically endangered species! So Sod Off!"

Or do I have to go up there and do it myself? Btw, BP, You're on my list now, buddy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Whale Wars

The new season of Animal Planet's Whale Wars started today with a literal bang, as a Japanese whaling vessel harpooned a minke whale in plain sight of the Sea Shepherd crew. I couldn't watch. Footage of the so-called 'research' vessel where the whales are actually butchered and packaged (basically a floating slaughterhouse) were particuarly disturbing. While rubber-suited 'researchers' chop up whale carcasses on deck blood flows by the gallons from ports leading to the lower decks of the ship.

I'm really at a loss for words at this point. I had them earlier, but my laptop wasn't cooperating. It's still not cooperating or I would be looking up every single petition I could find to stop whaling and copying it here and mass emailing it to every single person I could begin to think of.

For now, just having said what I've said will have to do.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy June!

Hey, few and farspread loyal readers. Welcome to June!
Been busy, and then sick, but I'm on the mend and trying to re-allocate my time between work, workwork, and play.

Got a few links for ya'll today, a cool new website from the Sierra Club, and the other is

Both offer endless suggestions and discussion about ways to be greener. If you have Facebook you can look up "The Green Workplace" in their search engine and become a fan, so you can get new posts directly on your homepage.

The Sierra Club's Climate Crossroads is a new social networking site where you can meet other like-minded greenies, learn about activism opportunities, and even trade vegan recipes.

Damn, for an antisocial misanthrope I sure plug social networking a lot! But hey, if it helps the planet...
Ta for now, friends, and hope is see you online!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Denver speaks out against Aerial Gunning

Defenders of Wildlife and Timber the wolf-hybrid showed up in downtown Denver on Monday to protest Alaska's Aerial Gunning program. Passers-by were able to pet the docile animal and sign postcards and leave their comments condeming aerial gunning.
Go Denver! Thanks for leading the pack (haha pun) on this one. Maybe you can teach those coyote killers up in Washington or the Croc killers in Florida a thing or two about understanding, accepting, and finding non-lethal and/or humane methods of managing wildlife.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The New Riding Lawnmower!

Okay, okay, so I actually got this in a joke from a friend of mine about a husband who's wife wanted a riding lawnmower, so he made her one. He seemed surprised that she didn't hug him and squeel for joy. But if someone made ME one of these, I would! It's awesome! Maybe we can start a new bike-mower fad and sweep the nation. I would maybe stop bitching so much about people watering their lawns if they used this kind of 'riding' mower. Maybe.

Also on my mind today, new cars. Chrysler is coming out with an awesome looking line of electrics, featuring a sports model, a luxury sedan, and my fave, the Jeep Wrangler. I have a wonderful vision in my head of a quaint little garage with my little electric jeep sitting out front, and a windturbine on the end of the roof where the old fashioned tv antennae used to be. Ah, a picture of America, as I'd like it to be. I'd wash my jeep in the yard so the grass would get watered and use only biodegradable soap. And hey, by the time these cars hit the market, proposed in 2010, I might be able to afford one. Of course Dodge said the Charger was coming out for YEARS before it happened...only time will tell.
At the other end of the spectrum I was appalled by a Cadillac commercial the other day touting the fact that their new Escalade Hybrid got a whole friggin' 20 mpgs! Wow. Twenty. You guys seriously need to step it up. It hurts me every day to drive my gas-guzzler. Help me get away from the pain, people.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wild Horse Round-ups

From the AWHPC:

On Wednesday, May 20, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will conduct a public hearing to discuss the use of motorized vehicles or aircraft in the monitoring and management of wild horses and burros on public lands in Nevada.
Please contact BLM to protest the harsh practice of chasing wild horses and burros with helicopters, often over exceedingly long distances. Please also ask that what appear to be no-bid contracts to BLM's primary round-up contractor, Catoor Livestock Roundup, Inc., totaling about 18 million dollars (our tax dollars!) since 1996, be subject to review.
BLM's primary concern in round-up operations continues to be efficiency, to the detriment of the horses' welfare. Instead of helicopters, urge officials to use bait trapping, a much safer and more humane method of capture. BLM has refused to use bait trapping in such instances as the 2007 Jackson Mountain round-up, when 185 horses ended up dying at the holding facility due to stressed immune systems. Demand that limits on distances over which horses may be chased be enforced, and that accountability and penalties be established for round-up contractors who violate humane handling procedures.
The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. in the Great Basin A and B conference rooms at the BLM Nevada State Office located at 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nev.
To make oral or written statements to present at the hearing, contact JoLynn Worley at (775) 861-6515. Written comments can be emailed to: or mailed to:
BLM Nevada State Office,
Attention: Helicopter Hearing,
P.O. Box 12000,
Reno, NV 89520
and must be received by Tuesday, May 19 to be considered at the hearing.
For eye-witness accounts of helicopter round-ups, please click here.
The AWHPC TeamAmerican Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
Click here to join our email list and receive the latest updates.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Unofficial Climate Awareness Day

That's right. I'm making up my own environmental holidays now. Unofficial ones, of course. So today is my Unofficial Climate Awareness Day, because I just so happen to have a couple of climate change issues to share with you.

Earlier today I made a comment on the Environmental Defense Fund's Facebook posting of THIS great satirical look at a future after the effects of global warming.

I then checked my email and signed a petition for Defenders of Wildlife to urge congress to protect animals threatened by global warming, such as polar bears, pika, and Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep.

Next I went to the Sierra Club website where I can log a public comment concerning global warming and the coal and oil industries.

Now I eagerly await the slew of identical form letters from Roscoe Bartlette telling me he can't help me because he's an idiot - I mean because I'm not in his district. But I am. Idiot.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mattawoman Creek Maryland's Most Polluted?

Hey, Maryland and Virginia Sierra Club Members, not to mention any friends I have at American Rivers! Here's the skinny right from the horse's (That'd be the Sierra Club) mouth:

Dear Members of the Maryland Sierra Club,

Spring and summer are in the air! As temperatures reached in the 90's this weekend I'm sure all of us thought about our favorite spot by the water. Everyone has that special creek where the water is refreshing and the swimming and fishing are perfect. Unfortunately, one of those gems that is a favorite to many Maryland residents is in jeopardy.

Mattawoman Creek, one of the most productive tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay is in danger. Charles County officials have requested permits to construct a four lane, 6.5 mile highway, the Cross County Connector - extension, that would plow across the full width of the sensitive Mattawoman Creek watershed.

Where do things stand?

Before the highway can be built, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) must decide by June 1st whether or not to issue a permit. According to the Southern Maryland Newspaper, MDE has "indicated that they are prepared to deny the permit." (

Mattawoman Creek is so threatened by this road, that it has been recognized by American Rivers as the FOURTH MOST ENDANGERED RIVER IN THE COUNTRY!

WE as a state can stand up for Mattawoman Creek and urge MDE to deny a permit to build the Cross County Connector. If Maryland is for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, let's be sure not to pollute one of the remaining healthy tributaries.

ACT NOW: Please, email Secretary Shari Wilson today at (or call 410-537-3084) and share this message (in your own words is best):

Subject: Deny wetland permits for the Cross County Connector extension. Save Mattawoman Creek.

"Please deny permits for the proposed Cross County Connector extension in Charles County which threatens the Mattawoman Creek. The Mattawoman Creek is the healthiest fish nursery in the Chesapeake Bay because it is protected by surrounding forests and wetlands. This highway proposal would destroy the Mattawoman Creek by increasing traffic, development, and pavement in its watershed. Finally, if transportation is really needed, let's build smarter, with public transportation like a light rail link to Waldorf.

"Your name

Your address (especially town and zip code!)

Be sure to give your town and zip code when writing!

The Secretary needs to understand both the breadth of concern (if you are nonlocal) and the depth of local opposition (if you are local).

So that we can keep track of the amount of pressure MDE is getting on this issue, PLEASE LET US KNOW WHEN YOU CALL OR EMAIL MDE. Hopefully, come June 1st we'll all have something to celebrate! Please see below opportunities to join us at Mattawoman Creek for a canoe trip, hike, or invasive plant removal to see with your own eyes just how wonderful a place it is. Hope to see you at the creek!

Alana Wase
Conservation Program Coordinator

***Want to do more?
Visit this site:,0,3072403.story , print out the newspaper article and mail in a copy to Governor O'Malley (Office of the Governor, State House, 100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401) with the same message, urging that Maryland deliver its promise on cleaning up the Bay and therefore, DENYING a permit to destroy non-tidal wetlands.

***Want to see the Mattawoman Creek for yourself? Join us at one of these upcoming outings: Mattawoman Creek Canoe/Kayak Trip Saturday May 2nd at 9am to attend, you MUST RSVP for more details visit:

Chapman Forest Invasive Removal Sunday May 3rd at 10am

Mattawoman Wildland Family Walk Saturday May 16th at 1pm, you MUST RSVP for more details visit:

***For more information about the Mattawoman Watershed:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Are Factory Farms the cause of disease?

From the Daily Green, environmental news:

Swine Flu, Factory Pig Farms, and the Pandemic waiting to happen.

Hmm. Makes plenty of sense to me, nevermind the horrible environmental impact of Factory Farming, and not to mention the terrible mistreatment the animals suffer in such an environment. Factory Farms in the USA are not a pretty picture, I cannot imagine what they are like in Mexico, where horse slaughter means a man with a knife stabs the animal repeatedly until he manages (miraculously!) to severe its spine and paralyze it.

Factory Farming is just evil. And that's all I have to say about it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What is Maryland without Blue Crabs?

According to a WalletPop blog report, Blue Crabs are disappearing from Maryland.

Seems like the estimated population has dropped some 70% in the past twenty years. I'm with all the commenters though who wonder exactly how a census on crabs his done. Do we wrangle a potful and ask'em "Hey guys, tell us where your buddies are and how many you have, and we'll set you free!" According to the DNR "The survey is based upon a scientifically peer-reviewed design, and provides precise estimates each year of the number of crabs over-wintering in the Bay." Sers'ly? How do you KNOW it's precise?

I know, I'm being overly sarcastic and cynical. I'm just in that sort of mood. Check out these exerpts from the DNR report and you'll understand why I'm irked:

"Despite the low 2007 harvest and a persistently low crab population, the 2007 exploitation rate substantially exceeded the target removal rate. A bay-wide target removal rate has been set at 46%. In 2007 crabbers removed approximately 60% of the available crabs."

"In 2007, reproduction was extremely poor, placing the resource and the fishery in an increasingly perilous position. When the abundance of these adult crabs is low, the population and the fishery are heavily dependent upon annual reproduction."

And yet, said Fisheries reaction to such news seems to be a knee-jerk "Wow, the crab are on their way out, we'd better scoop'em all up before they're gone!" sort of attitude.

From the DNR page it sounds like they have a good plan in place for limiting harvesting, especially of female crabs...except that they make no mention of how they intend to ENFORCE these limitations.

Well, heres hoping I can check the DNR website this year and see some results! But all the crab-harvesting restrictions in the world won't help if we can't curb habitat loss and pollution!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Water Conservation in the news

Yesterday I noticed that half of the news stories on my news ticker widget involved water conservation, so I thought I might highlight those on this wonderful Earth Day!
Here are some of the headlines:

New Mexico: Water Authority Rewards Conservation
California: California Launches $4 Million Water Conservation Push
California: Pittsburg Approves Water Conservation Plan

I did my part to conserve water yesterday, too. I sat the water buckets out in the rain to fill. I didn't fill them up by any means, but collected several inches of water overall, and am confident that I conserved at least a couple of gallons of water, which saves A) the water itself, and B) the electricity needed to run the pump. So go me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In your face, Sarah Palin!

While Palin was campaigning in Indiana last week, so was Defenders of Wildlife. Thanks to donations from Defenders supporters, they were able to run ads exposing Palin's brutal wolf slaughter record, including 240 wolves killed already this season, and plans to implement gas and snares to kill denning wolves and pups.
So thanks, Defenders supporters, for helping to run this hard-hitting ad campaign against Palin's anti-wolf agenda.

Facebook Fairy Garden Update: I harvested my first vitual flower and helped secure 2 square feet of endangered rainforest!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Facebook App helps save rainforest!

Ever wish you could just sit around and play silly games, and magically save the planet at the same time? Now, thanks to Facebook's 'Fairyland' application, you can! Check out this update from the Fairyland News page:

Rainforest Protection News!
Saturday March 7th
As you know, whilst having fun in Fairyland, every plant you grow and harvest also makes a small contribution to real-world rainforest conservation (which is the "sq ft" of rainforest protected you see whenever you harvest a plant.)Every 2 months, we total this up across all Gardens and make an equivalent donation to the Nature Conservancy's "Adopt An Acre" programme, which works to protect rainforests around the world (more details here if you're intersted in learning more.)In January/February, the Fairy Gardens harvested enough plants to help protect another 2,866,068 sq ft (about 66 acres) of rainforest which equates to a further donation of $3,300 to the programme. This brings our total donations to date to $10,700 (or 214 acres of rainforest protected!)The money to make this donation comes from our advertisers and from Gold purchases. For total transparency, we make our donation through the Causes application on Facebook (view our Causes page right here.)
Thanks for supporting both Fairyland and our planet!

Talk about fabulous. Now you can play, have fun, connect with your friends and help a cause all at the same time. Finally, social networking lives up to its potential! I have to say, I avoided getting a Facebook page for a long time, but now I'm kinda liking it. I talk to my sister more than ever, I get great links to other causes, and Facebook provides you with easy applications for sharing websites and petitions. Not to mention all those fun, silly, pointless surveys. All in all, kinda awesome. So come visit me on Facebook, and water my garden for me if I forget! The more virtual flowers we grow, the more real life rainforest we can save.
You can find me on Facebook by my email, . Friend me, and lets save some rainforest together!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's the Crocodile's turn!

First Coyotes, now Crocodiles, what next, Coati?
The American Crocodile is now considered such a threat to the pet population in South Florida that the LA Times has picked up the story. Maybe that's because people who live in the California foothills know what it's like to have their poodle eaten by a coyote, or a mountain lion, or say, an 11-foot crocodile.

Well, buddy. Keep your poodle on a leash. The crocodiles were there first.

I love how they didn't even get the name of the story right, check it out. It says 'alligator population on the rise', not Crocodile. Brilliant. Genius!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Petitions out the wazoo

I get half a dozen of them in my mailbox on a good day. They are petitions from countless conservation organizations, and I try to share as many as I can with you. Just in case you don't get them on your own!
Here are the ones I've signed so far today:

Reinstate Moritorium on Drilling the Outer Continental Shelf

Help Save the Grand Canyon

Support Historic Bill to End Canada's Commercial Seal Hunt

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Coyote 'problem' in Colorado

Coyotes seem to be the whipping boy of suburbanites these days.
Greenwood Village, a suburb of Denver, has hired a contractor to monitor its coyotes and shoot them if 'necessary.'
Nicole Rosmarino, wildlife program director of WildEarth Guardians doesn't approve of this approach, and neither do I. The trapper/shooter/tracker in question, Jay Stewart seems to be annoyed that people are trying to chase the coyotes away, meanwhile past efforts made by the city to control the coyote population have included trapping....which means that someone had to BAIT the coyotes into the traps. Baited traps can only lead to more opportunistic coyotes in the area. Placing signs around coyote denning sites to keep people away is a good way to keep the people from getting hurt, but it's basically enabling the coyotes. By giving them their space, the village is actually encouraging them to take root and move on in.
"Scientists tell us the best way to address problems with coyotes is to enforce leash laws and wildlife feeding ordinances and reinstill a wariness of humans in them," Rosmarino said.
So basically, don't blame the coyotes for your problem. Blame yourselves. Click Here to read WildEarth Guardians take on the 'problem.'

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Earth Hour Success

Earth Hour 2009 was an amazing success and we wanted to thank you for your support.
Lights went out in 4,085 cities in 88 countries in what is being described as the largest demonstration of public concern about climate change in history.
Check out this amazing view of the world going dark

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour Update

I forgot to blog about Earth Hour before the fact. So sue me. I have a migraine.
I managed to get about 45 minutes of lights out in before a non-believer came and turned on the kitchen light. Hopefully most of America did better! Kudos to everyone who turned out their lights to make a statement about conserving energy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just for locals! Catoctin Group of the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club Catoctin Group invites you this Saturday to join us at the Waste Not! Expo & ZeroWaste Festival.
Communities across the country are successfully recycling and choosing alternatives to landfills and incinerators. Frederick & Carroll counties face a $527 million dollar incinerator which could pollute the air we breathe with toxins and discourage recycling. San Francisco has reached 70% recycling of all waste. Join us at this exciting event to learn how Frederick and Carroll counties can do it too.
Waste Not! Expo
Saturday March 28th 9:00-2:00pm
9:30 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Frederick High School Auditorium
650 Carroll Pkwy Frederick, MD 21701
Speakers: Eric Lombardi - Executive Director of Eco-Cycle, Inc. Brenda Platt - The Institute for Local Self-Reliance Rod Muir - Sierra Club National Waste Diversion Campaigner
Vendors & Information Tables, Music, Kids activities, Child care available for 2 years and over
Sponsors: Catoctin Group/Sierra Club, e-End USA, Reliable Recycling, Cafe Nola, Standard Solar, Jason and Pouv Judd, Maryland Heartland Sustainable Living Fair, ArrowBio, Frederick Magazine, Lolo Productions

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ada Lovelace Day: International Day Recognizing Women In Technology

I took a brief hiatus from writing about conservation this past week, you might notice. I'm a little bit what they call 'wolfed out.' One can only scream so loud for so long before they begin to lose their voice, be it from larangitis brought on by the screaming, or because they become so angry they lose their sense of purpose and start railing at the world. So instead I joined a pledge to write about Ada Lovelace Day. Who is Ada Lovelace?
Ada Lovelace is the person who literally defined the computer.
Admittedly, I don't know a whole lot more about the woman, but I remember reading the information on the pledge page (and thanks, sis, for introducing me to!) and going "oh, yeah, I remember learning about her." However, I don't remember what I learned. The point being, without Ada Lovelace it is conceivably possible that none of us would be blogging about anything, least of all Ada Lovelace today. Funny, isn't it, that women in the field of science were often scorned, and yet some of the greatest scientific breakthroughs have come from women. Without Marie Curie we wouldn't have modern cancer treatment. Florence Nightingale has been romanticized out of history almost, but in truth she was instrumental in establishing women in medicine. Jane Goodall and the late Dian Fossey pioneered primatology and conservation.
At risk of upsetting my sister I'm going to use her favorite phrase: "Now, more than ever!" women are needed in science, to bring their natural nuturing and caring sensebilities into play to create the new green technologies we're going to need to survive on this planet, and continue to pay homage to the greatest woman in science of them all: Mother Earth.

Friday, March 6, 2009

And the award goes to...

That would be the 'Jackass of the Day' award. Or as I prefer to dub it the 'Rat Bastard' award.

And it goes to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, for following the Bushies misguided justification for delisting Grey (gray) wolves in the Northern Rockies and Greater Yellowstone. Way to jump on that 'change' thing, buddy.

As you can probably tell I'm just a little frustrated and a twinge angry right now. I'm not going to say anything else, lest I be forced to censor myself.

Click here if you'd like to donate to Defenders of Wildlife's emergency legal fund, or sign petitions, or do anything else remotely useful.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tell the President NO on Mountaintop Removal Mining

Ya'll already know I'm against coal because its the dirtiest burning fossil fuel we've got. We'll here's another good reason:Moutaintop Coal Mining is literally blowing the top off of the iconic Appalachian skyline. High explosives blast loose the very stones of the mountain, and the scraps are shoved into valleys and streams, forever changing the topography of the mountain range and causing massive water pollution. The biological diversity of one of the planet's oldest mountain ranges is at risk of being devistated by a recent court ruling which states that the Clean Water Act 'as written' will not protect streams. According to The Stop Mountaintop Removal Campaign 'About 100 mountaintop removal mining permits were on hold pending this case. The ruling potentially opens the floodgates for more destruction in Appalachia. These permits will destroy 432 valleys and 213 miles of streams in Kentucky and West Virginia alone.'

So what can we do? Tell them to rewrite the Clean Water Act so it DOES IT'S JOB! And to not allow Mountaintop Removal Mining to do any more irreversible damage to one of the most geographically and culturally unique locations in America. You can do so by sending a message to our leaders through both The Sierra Club campaign, and the Stop Mountaintop Removal Campaign.

Sierra Club's message (Video)
Stop Mountaintop Removal Campaign

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Planet Forward: A chance to share YOUR thoughts

Sierra Club newsletter:
Planet Forward

Do you have your own thoughts about what America's energy future should look like? A new PBS special called Planet Forward is looking for your ideas in the form of videos, photo essays, commentaries, songs, and salsa recipes (ok, we made up that last one). When the special airs on April 15 (one week before Earth Day), the best submissions will be part of the program.

So if you're feeling creative and/or opinionated, check out the submission guidelines at Your contribution could be seen on prime-time TV.

Planet Forward

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lazy update! The blogger is ill and incapable of cognizant thought. What do I blame for my poor health? Cigarette smoke! I never used to get sick until I was living full time with a smoker! Now go back to the article on Clean Coal (not) and think about it some more! In the meantime, here's a hopeful little snippet from my latest SierraClub e-newsletter.

As Carl Pope wrote in a recent blog entry: "What a four weeks!" Congress and the Obama administration continue to deliver a steady stream of environmental milestones.

The best environmental good news came in response to economic bad news: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contains approximately $80 billion in funding for promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy, and higher-mileage cars.

Specifically, that means:

  • $25 billion for energy efficiency
  • $20 billion for renewable energy incentives
  • $11 billion in grants and $6 billion in loans to modernize the electric grid and increase its capacity to deliver power generated by renewable sources, and
  • $17.7 billion for mass transit, Amtrak, and high-speed rail.

The significance of this funding for putting America on the path to a clean-energy economy can't be overstated.

The Obama administration also checked off another item from the list of "Clean Slate" actions that the Sierra Club suggested before the inauguration, when EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson indicated that the agency will likely change course and begin regulating as pollutants the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. (Reconsidering an EPA clean-car waiver to California and other states was the first. See below.)

Then, just this week, a years-long stalemate on mercury emissions appears to have broken after the White House Council on Environmental Quality issued a statement saying, "The United States will play a leading role in working with other nations to craft a global, legally binding agreement that will prevent the spread of mercury into the environment."

Let's hope the good news keeps coming from Washington, D.C.

Yes, lets hope, fingers, toes, and eyes crossed! Just don't try to drive like that.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Turtle Power!

Yes, it isn't just in popular 1980's cartoons. It's in the more than 45,000 people who have already signed the petition to help protect sea turtles from bottom longline fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. With 6 out of 7 species of sea turtles listed as threatened or endangered, continuing protections for these animals is critical, starting with working to limit the number of deaths each year from irresponsible fishing practices. Snared on sharp hooks or in nets, sea turtles often drown. In incidents of snaring by longlines in 2006-07 the government estimates nearly 1000 turtles were snared, with up to an 80% fatality rate. So call that 800 a year. 800 doesn't seem like that high a number, but consider that we have no idea how many sea turtles there really are because we can only track females who come to shore to lay their eggs. Male and juvenile sea turtles will spend their entire lives at sea.
But wait! There's more!
Fatality rates for sea turtle hatchlings are staggeringly high, due to natural predators alone. Add to that all the trouble man makes for them, and repopulating the oceans becomes a truly daunting task. Sea turtles are constantly losing prime nesting beaches to development, and like the polar bears and their melting ice, sea turtles are faced with the problem of global warming raising water levels and putting much of their nesting habitat under water. Even if the beaches are left alone, nearby lighting from developments can confuse turtle hatchlings, causing them to flounder inland and be run over on roads, die of dehydration, or become prey to domestic cats and dogs.
What more can you do to help besides signing the petition and donating to sea turtle conservation? Defenders of Wildlife has a list for you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Urge your Representative to support the new Anti-Slaughter bill

This is one of those lazy copy paste updates I know ya'll love. It derives from the fact that the internet hates me, and I haven't been able to get webpages to cooperate, so I'm just pasting you the email the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign sent me. Enjoy.

With the 111th Congress comes a new opportunity to end the transport of American horses for slaughter in Mexico and Canada: please call your U.S. Representative and urge him/her to co-sponsor the newly-introduced Conyers-Burton Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503).

While our Campaign's main focus is on keeping wild horses in the wild, we must also ensure that the thousands of wild horses unnecessarily rounded up each year do not end up over the border at Mexican or Canadian slaughterhouses. Although the last remaining U.S. slaughterhouses have closed their doors, slaughter remains our wild horses? greatest threat once they have been removed from the range. Nothing the Bureau of Land Management says or does will change that sad reality.

Please visit and enter your zip code to locate your U.S. Representative. Remind him/her that horse slaughter is NOT humane euthanasia and that America's wild horses are also being slaughtered - we should not allow these living symbols of our Nation to end up as a gourmet meal for diners in Europe and Asia (which is where horse meat is exported to).

On behalf of America's wild horses, thank you for your support.

The AWHPC Team
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sarah Palin vs El Lobo

I took this quote from the comments section of Scientific America's article "Why does Sarah Palin Support shooting wolves in Alaska?"
Quote from commenter "Alaskan Lady"

"There is a lot of confusion about Sarah Palin and her support of aerial wolf hunting. We are former 20+ year Alaska residents, and my husband, a hunter, was appointed to the Alaska Board of Game by former Alaska Governor Tony Knowles in 2000. The 7 member Board makes wildlife management decisions for the state. The current Board has approved aerial wolf control.

We made the 10 minute video, End Aerial Wolf Hunting, in Jan of 2008 using testimony from Alaska Department of Fish & Game staff, a master hunting guide, and Board of Game members. Although the video has not been updated since the ballot initiate vote in August of 2008, the testimony, documentation, and research has not changed. The video also references a study done by the National Research Council and the American Society of Mammalogists.

This video exposes the fallacy behind Governor Sarah Palin's claim that predator control is based on sound science. Declarations that the program is for the benefit of subsistence hunters are shattered with documentation showing that sport and trophy hunters take up to 73% of prey in areas where aerial wolf hunting has taken place.

A 4 1/2 minute version of the video can be seen here:

Five years in the making, this video exposes the truth about the stranglehold the hunting lobby has on wildlife management in Alaska.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

No such thing as 'clean coal'

A billion gallons. That's a lot. That's how much waste was spilled in the recent Tennessee coal ash disaster. That's worse than the Exxon Valdez oil spill. How is that clean?
Now take into account the tons of coal slag that gets dumped into creeks and valleys every year, the tons of carbon emitted by coal burning plants and factories. Even if you clean up coal, it's still not remotely clean. That's like saying "Oh, this is clean chalk, though. It doesn't leave white smears on your black slacks, and you never have to cough and choke on chalk dust when you beat the erasers." It just doesn't happen. So do you know what people started doing instead of getting chalk dust everywhere? They switched to white boards and dry erase markers. Ah, progress.
Nowadays most markers are nontoxic, and their components can even be recycled. Why can we do this with markers and not with energy? Simply because people aren't making the effort and the commitment needed. Tell them they need to make a commitment.
Sign the Petition.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Leaders for Energy Independence

“The prices of fossil fuels have fallen significantly over the last six months, but now is not the time to become complacent and fall back into wasteful habits,” Rendell said. “Demand for energy will rebound, but the rate of new discoveries of easily obtained, high-quality oil will not be able to match it. Prices will increase again, so we must make ourselves ready.”
So said PA Gov. Edward G. Rendell today.
“Since taking office, I’ve set out to make Pennsylvania a leader in the development and deployment of alternative and renewable energy technologies, because we cannot continue to depend on foreign oil and we need to be better stewards of our environment,” said the governor. “We’ve also stressed the importance of conserving energy and using it more efficiently because the cheapest, cleanest energy is that which we do not use."

Think about it. Gas has been creeping back up again. By no means must we imagine that the tough times are over. But let us also consider this concept of 'rebounding.' Do we really have to? Think about it. You've survived the economic and energy crisis so far by driving less, carpooling, eating in, turning the lights off when you leave the room, dialing the heater back just a couple of degrees. Just because costs have dropped for a time, do you suddenly feel compelled to go wasting electricity and gas willy nilly? You're comfortable with the temperature set at 68 instead of 72. Stick with that. Is it REALLY necessary to drive halfway across town to pick up pizza from that place you like? Or would you maybe be just as happy slapping together one of those 'do it yourself' pizzas at home with the kids? hmm.

We, as consumers, can't really control the cost of services like water and electricity on our own. But we can learn to conserve out own resources. Not all of us can afford to install solar panels, or a wind generator. But all of us can turn off the lights when we leave, turn down the heat, maybe take shorter showers which saves water and electricity by not using as much water from your water heater. Some of us can maybe afford to get water conserving faucets and shower heads and toilets. The point is, do what you CAN, and you CAN make a difference. Even if the difference is only to you.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bison get a new home in Utah

Bison Make New Home on the Range

Great news for Bison! I was glad to see that state and advocacy groups worked together to bring this project to fruition. I can only hope that such efforts will be made for other symbols of our American West, such as the Mustang. This sort of cooperation is just the sort of thing we need!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bush targets Wolves. AGAIN!

Alright, how many times are we going to have to go through this process? The Bush administration, even in its literal last days (THANK GAIA!) continues to mount attack after attack on one of the most amazing wildlife recovery success stories ever: The Grey Wolf. For the umpteenth time in the last few years the Bush admin is making a last ditch effort to once more strip wolves in the Yellowstone region of the vital protections that have allowed this keystone species to make such a remarkable comeback, revitalizing tourism and the very ecosystem itself in the process.
This is our moment, guys. This is the last chance the Bush Administration will ever have to destroy all the hard work of countless conservationists, and the people like you and me who help support them. Until individual states can come up with a SOUND plan to maintain their wolf packs in a SUSTAINABLE manner, this duty must continue to fall under Federal jurisdiction, which means that endangered species protections must remain in place until a management plan can be agreed upon by states and conservation organizations alike.
No other endangered species, save one, has made such a remarkable recovery from the brink of extinction as the wolf. That other species is the very symbol of our country: The American Bald Eagle. The Bald Eagle has made such an amazing recovery that it is now delisted. We can all hope that this is true for another symbol of American power and perserverance, the Grey Wolf. But today is not that day, friends. We still have a long road to travel, much to teach, and much to learn before the Grey Wolf can enjoy that fabled status. And they need our help to get there.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Powellton Coal violates agreement

Hey kids, sorry for the lack of updates in the new year! I had a wicked nasty virus, but I'm better now. Here's a nice copy/paste email from Stop Mountaintop Removal to get you up to pace.

Powellton Coal Company is currently in violation of the terms and conditions of their surface mining permit for polluting the headwaters of Rich Creek in West Virginia. Now they're trying to get their permit renewed by the Department of Environmental Protection. Make sure this doesn't happen!

Large scale surface mines like Powellton's Bridge Fork West Surface Mine are environmentally devastating, resulting in wide-scale deforestation and water pollution. This mine is located between the New and Gauley Rivers, two of the premier whitewater rafting rivers in the United States! Although laws and permits are supposed to minimize the effects of mining, the laws only work if coal companies obey them. Powellton is definitely not! So why should they be rewarded with permit renewal? Tell the DEP to deny their application.

Take action to stop Powellton from polluting West Virginia even more! Sign this petition today or send your own letter by January 24, 2008 to:

Ed Wojtowicz
DEP Regional Office
116 Industrial Drive
Oak Hill, WV 25901

If you send your own letter, make sure to say that it's in reference to Powellton Coal Company’s Application to Renew Surface Mining Permit Number S300301.

Thank you for taking action!


Your friends at Stop Mountaintop Removal