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 at:www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/03/earth_hour_2009.html

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 PledgeBank.com!) 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 planetforward.org. 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.