Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Post and discuss.


Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Not on topic.

Marilynn and Karen have you figured out why your title and links stuff/previous posts/contributors has slid to the bottom of the page?

I added a new post to the blog you inspired me to start and it did the same thing. My profile and other links slid to the bottom of the page. On old posts from the links it is still all up top. Guess you can't complain too much when it is free, but if you figure it out let me know. I will do the same.

Now off to the show.

john Ashman said...

I just want to say that I hate the environment and we should ruin it just as quickly as possible.

skids said...

John A.: Don't worry, we don't have to do anything. China will do it for us.

Marilynn M said...

Christopher, I think Karen mentioned something about it being screwed up on her computer. Mine was fine. I think she said she was using a different browser than the one I'm using. I use Mozilla Firefox. I could be crazier than a pet cootie about this because I was busy and only half listening to her. If that doesn't work let me know. I'll ask her when she gets back from school.

Anonymous said...

Why can't I get into the environment blog?

Judy B. said...

The global consumption of bottled water reached 154 billion liters (41
billion gallons) in 2004, up 57 percent from the 98 billion liters
consumed five years earlier. Even in areas where tap water is safe to
drink, demand for bottled water is increasing-producing unnecessary
garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy. Although in the
industrial world bottled water is often no healthier than tap water, it
can cost up to 10,000 times more. At as much as $2.50 per liter ($10 per
gallon), bottled water costs more than gasoline.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Marilynn I figuered it out last night.Sidebar Shift to bottom

Judy that is interesting about the bottled water. Many people think I am crazy because I don't buy bottled water as a habit. I do keep several old plastic water bottles filled with tap water in the freezer to take to work. When the plastic bottle gets icky I will get a new one. I think a lot of people have been advertised to believe that any municipal water must have some harmful quality.

Cheryl V said...

Marilynn, I have a suggestion for this blog. Can Karen add a last updated date tag to each of the categories?

As the categories increase, it would make it much easier to check for updates.


john Ashman said...

I know where at least two bottling facilities are and it's just like filtered water out of a tap, at best. It's 100% marketing.

Cheryl V said...

The class action lawsuit against current and former EPA officials has been allowed to continue. The lawsuit is for the EPA telling residents that it was safe to return after 9/11.

U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts wrote: "No reasonable person would have thought that telling thousands of people that it was safe to return to lower Manhattan, while knowing that such return could pose long-term health risks and other dire consequences, was conduct sanctioned by our laws.”

deb said...

Bush fired or moved all of the scientists when he stepped in. Science and propaganda just don't mix, so he put a "Brownie", as in "good job Brownie" in all of the top positions. The EPA person that called that one probably didn't get it. I go with SKIDS theory that they want a government so big and incompetant that they will drown it in a bathtub.

Marilynn M said...

john Ashman said...
I know where at least two bottling facilities are and it's just like filtered water out of a tap, at best. It's 100% marketing.

It's worse than tap water. It's in plastic bottles. The plastic leeches into the water. No telling what chemicals are in plastic. I'll bet plastic is a carcinogen if you research it.

john Ashman said...

"It's worse than tap water. It's in plastic bottles. The plastic leeches into the water. No telling what chemicals are in plastic. I'll bet plastic is a carcinogen if you research it"

Actually, the human body appears to be pretty well immune to the effects of plastics (and I'm sure a chemist could tell you exactly what's in a plastic), though I do agree with the sentiment that it's just causing a bunch of pollution for nothing.

Judy B. said...

John, I gotta jump in here...some plastics have proved harmful to health... don't know which ones right off hand.. I will try to find out and post later...

Judy B. said...

For more on bottled water go to:


Anonymous said...

how come when I come to the thread marked Marilyn, this thread,,environment, comes up??

Judy B. said...

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) -- Questioning whether the Bush administration is manipulating science for political ends, Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., called Tuesday for an inspector general's investigation into why federal funding was suspended for a study that goes against White House-supported legislation to speed up logging after wildfires on national forests.

In a letter and a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Inslee called for an investigation by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Interior into whether the U.S. Bureau of Land Management was punishing researchers from Oregon State University for coming up with findings that don't fit with White House policy goals.

"Unfortunately, it's very apparent to most neutral observers that under this administration in a variety of ways that the scientific process has been corrupted by political influence," Inslee said in a telephone interview. "We saw that when the administration and their political forces tried to shackle distribution of information by the chief climate scientist in the United States, Dr. James Hansen, two weeks ago."

Hansen, director of the Goddard Space Institute, has said the Bush administration tried to stop him from talking about global warming since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases.

"There is a very quiet non-threatening but nonetheless growing concern in the scientific community about this administration's distrust of the scientific process," Inslee added. "It goes back to Galileo being punished for his views. We can't go back to those days."

The study, which found salvage logging killed naturally regenerated seedlings and increased, in the short term, the amount of fuel on the ground to feed future fires, was embraced by environmentalists fighting a House bill to speed salvage logging on national forests after wildfires and other disasters.

BLM acknowledged Monday that it asked OSU whether the three-year study led by graduate student Daniel Donato and published last month in the journal Science violated provisions of a $307,000 federal fire research grant that prohibits using any of the funds to lobby Congress and requires that a BLM scientist be consulted before the research is published. Donald Kennedy, editor in chief of Science, has said editors at the magazine were responsible for including a reference to pending legislation in supplemental material posted online, and that the researchers had asked them to remove it.

BLM Oregon spokesman Chris Strebig said the decision to suspend funding was purely a question of whether researchers had followed the terms of their contract, and the decision was made in the Oregon office by Kathy Eaton, deputy director for management services, a career employee.

"We would cooperate fully with that process," Strebig said of any investigation that may develop. "We feel like the assistance agreement was reviewed and we identified just a couple concerns. We asked OSU to respond to that. We are in that period of waiting to hear back, and we would resolve those concerns with Oregon State University and move ahead."

OSU is to produce its response Thursday, said OSU Vice President Luanne Lawrence.

The director of the Joint Fire Science Program in Boise, Erik Berg, has said he has never heard of this kind of inquiry before into research funded by the federal program.

White House spokesman Ken Lisaius referred comment to the Department of Interior, which did not immediately return telephone calls for comment.

Cheryl V said...

It's OK to supress evidence of global warming, but don't lie on your resume. This guy is also (in)famous for making NASA insert the word "Theory" every time "Big Bang" is mentioned on the web site.


Bush NASA Appointee Resigns Over Resume Fabrication
In other news, a presidential appointee at NASA’s public affairs department has resigned following the disclosure he fabricated parts of his resumé. George Deutsch, who was appointed last year after working on President Bush’s re-election campaign and inauguration, wrongly claimed he had graduated with a journalism degree from Texas A & M University. Deutsh is one of several NASA officials accused by agency scientists of attempting to silence their warnings over the threats posed by global warming.

deb said...

Some of you may already have caught this in today's news, but the WTO has ruled in favor of trade of GM food.

US may press Africa on GMOs

US wins WTO backing in war with Europe over GM food


Judy B. said...

This is great...
Once again i urge finding our areas of agreement and go grom there...

New York Times
February 8, 2006
Evangelical Leaders Join Global Warming Initiative

Despite opposition from some of their colleagues, 86 evangelical Christian leaders have decided to back a major initiative to fight global warming, saying "millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors."

Among signers of the statement, which will be released in Washington on Wednesday, are the presidents of 39 evangelical colleges, leaders of aid groups and churches, like the Salvation Army, and pastors of megachurches, including Rick Warren, author of the best seller "The Purpose-Driven Life."

"For most of us, until recently this has not been treated as a pressing issue or major priority," the statement said. "Indeed, many of us have required considerable convincing before becoming persuaded that climate change is a real problem and that it ought to matter to us as Christians. But now we have seen and heard enough."

The statement calls for federal legislation that would require reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through "cost-effective, market-based mechanisms" — a phrase lifted from a Senate resolution last year and one that could appeal to evangelicals, who tend to be pro-business. The statement, to be announced in Washington, is only the first stage of an "Evangelical Climate Initiative" including television and radio spots in states with influential legislators, informational campaigns in churches, and educational events at Christian colleges.

"We have not paid as much attention to climate change as we should, and that's why I'm willing to step up," said Duane Litfin, president of Wheaton College, an influential evangelical institution in Illinois. "The evangelical community is quite capable of having some blind spots, and my take is this has fallen into that category."

Some of the nation's most high-profile evangelical leaders, however, have tried to derail such action. Twenty-two of them signed a letter in January declaring, "Global warming is not a consensus issue." Among the signers were Charles W. Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries; James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; and Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Their letter was addressed to the National Association of Evangelicals, an umbrella group of churches and ministries, which last year had started to move in the direction of taking a stand on global warming. The letter from the 22 leaders asked the National Association of Evangelicals not to issue any statement on global warming or to allow its officers or staff members to take a position.

E. Calvin Beisner, associate professor of historical theology at Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., helped organize the opposition into a group called the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance. He said Tuesday that "the science is not settled" on whether global warming was actually a problem or even that human beings were causing it. And he said that the solutions advocated by global warming opponents would only cause the cost of energy to rise, with the burden falling most heavily on the poor.

In response to the critics, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Rev. Ted Haggard, did not join the 86 leaders in the statement on global warming, even though he had been in the forefront of the issue a year ago. Neither did the Rev. Richard Cizik, the National Association's Washington lobbyist, even though he helped persuade other leaders to sign the global warming initiative.

On Tuesday, Mr. Haggard, the pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, said in a telephone interview that he did not sign because it would be interpreted as an endorsement by the entire National Association of Evangelicals. But he said that speaking just for himself, "There is no doubt about it in my mind that climate change is happening, and there is no doubt about it that it would be wise for us to stop doing the foolish things we're doing that could potentially be causing this. In my mind there is no downside to being cautious."

Of those who did sign, said the Rev. Jim Ball, executive director of the Evangelical Environmental Network: "It's a very centrist evangelical list, and that was intentional. When people look at the names, they're going to say, this is a real solid group here. These leaders are not flighty, going after the latest cause. And they know they're probably going to take a little flak."

The list includes prominent black leaders like Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr. of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, the Rev. Floyd Flake of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in New York City, and Bishop Wellington Boone of the Father's House and Wellington Boone Ministries in Norcross, Ga.; as well as Hispanic leaders like the Rev. Jesse Miranda, president of AMEN in Costa Mesa, Calif.

The evangelical leaders are meeting Wednesday with senators or their staff members concerned with legislation on energy and the environment. Their letter commends senators who last year passed a resolution by Senators Pete V. Domenici, a Republican, and Jeff Bingaman, a Democrat, both of New Mexico, which called for regulatory measures like a cap and trade program, a system in which industries would buy or trade permits to emit greenhouse gases.

In their statement, the evangelicals praised companies like BP, Shell, General Electric, Cinergy, Duke Energy and DuPont that it said "have moved ahead of the pace of government action through innovative measures" to reduce emissions.

The television spot links images of drought, starvation and Hurricane Katrina to global warming. In it, the Rev. Joel Hunter, pastor of a megachurch in Longwood, Fla., says: "As Christians, our faith in Jesus Christ compels us to love our neighbors and to be stewards of God's creation. The good news is that with God's help, we can stop global warming, for our kids, our world and for the Lord."

The advertisements are to be shown in Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia.

The Evangelical Climate Initiative, at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars, is being supported by individuals and foundations, including the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Hewlett Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation.

The initiative is one indication of a growing urgency about climate change among religious groups, said Paul Gorman, executive director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, a clearinghouse in Amherst, Mass., for environmental initiatives by religious groups.

Interfaith climate campaigns in 15 states are pressing for regional standards to reduce greenhouse gases, Mr. Gorman said. Jewish, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox leaders also have campaigns under way.

Richard Yarnell said...

Regarding bottled water:

Places that were reputed to have good tasting water and that successfully lured bottling plants to their communities have come to rue the day. The water is pumped out of the ground, bottled, and shipped away. In some places, enough water has been removed that it has changed the nature of groundwater flow, lowered the water table, and drawn in less desireable water.

My solar co-op rented a building in West Haven CT that once housed an early bottled water company. They implied it was spring water when, in fact, it was pumped out of a well drilled inside the building. They filtered the water, I think, and sold a lot of it for awhile.

I bought one case of water from Costco and have been refilling them for a couple of years. Even sent my kid, who thrives on appearing to live high on the hog, a filter with instructions. I have no idea whether he uses it. It would save him roughly $10/day.

The ground water situation is serious though and applies to any process that doesn't put the water back into/onto the ground locally.

Suggested reading: "Cadillac Desert."

Richard Yarnell said...

Judy B:

PET plastic is used for acid foods among other things. We can no longer find traditional glass honey jars. The reason is obvious: a one pound queenline jar weighs as much as the honey in it. The PET bottle weighs an ounce.

Some of the softer plastics are permeable to gas; some do leach components into the contents. There are lots of plastics among which you will find one for almost any purpose imaginable.

Anonymous said...

go vote

Cheryl V said...

Bush administration moves to sell national forest land
By Seth BorensteinKnight Ridder NewspapersWASHINGTON -

The Bush administration will unveil a proposal Friday to sell up to 200,000 acres of national forest land in "isolated parcels" ranging from a quarter of an acre to 200 acres, much of it in California.
The sale is part of a National Forest Service plan to raise $800 million over the next five years to pay for rural schools in 41 states, offsetting shrinking revenues from sale of timber from national forests. The Bureau of Land Management also plans to sell federal lands to raise an estimated $182 million over five years.
Environmentalists charge that the short-term gain would be more than offset by the loss of public land. Congress would have to approve the land sales, but it has rejected similar recent proposals.
"I am outraged, and I don't think the public is going to stand for it for one minute," said Wilderness Society policy analyst Mike Anderson. "It's a scheme to raise money at the expense of the national forests, the wildlife, recreation and all the other values that Americans hold dear. It's the ultimate threat to the national forest."
Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, said the proposed land sales make sense.
"Private property will end up in the possession of those who value it the most," Taylor said. "That is an iron law of economics."
Details about what plots of land would be put up for sale are expected to be revealed at a noon press conference by Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Rey, a former timber industry lobbyist. The Forest Service owns 193 million acres of land and plans to sell about 175,000 to 200,000 acres, according to Forest Service spokeswoman Heidi Valetkevitch.

The rest is at:

Judy B. said...

Ond of the past practices has been to trade forested land to timber companies for land that has already been clear cut.

In essence this gives the private sector the ability to get already grown trees without having to wait for 20-40 years for trees to grow again on their land that has been clear cut.

Powerful people/corporations with money effectively taking our natural resources

deb said...

I don't know of any policy that this bunch has enacted that I think best serves the country, selling off our national forests is one of the worst.

I am really serious...we do have the power to stop this stuff. If we quit spending money with those that support these policies they will not be able to put their policies into place.

I changed *all* of my spending habits, inc. car ins. I am in the process of changing my retirement package. I am determined to give them as little as possible . A few things that we rely on cannot be changed, such as local phone and dish...but I can sign up for the minimum and get some of the other services from "blue" or neutral providers.

It is not going to take half of the country changing their spending habits to put a real dent into the machine. If their profits are at 10% then with 10% less of us buying from them they will be affected.

Buying "blue" also helps your fellow workers as blue companies tend to be the ones that pay well and have good benefits.

Richard Yarnell said...

Selling forest land:

Whether or not you like trees, have ever set foot in a National Park, Wildlife Reserve or any place else that has trees, on principle you don't sell capital assets to pay current expenses unless there just isn't any other way. There are lots of ways.

I would look on this move as a way to test the waters. If it works, that is if they get Congress to go along or if the public foolishly lets it happen, you can bet there will be many more sales.

I heard the local Public Radio Station (which, in the Portland OR area is the highest rated station (more listeners) than any of the commercial ones!) report on the land in Oregon and Washington that's up for sale. By and large, they are relatively small tracts, many are surrounded by private land. In some ways, it makes sense to get rid of these little islands that are hard to administer and not much good for anything. I live next to a piece of BLM land that is a thin strip of forest that stands between my line and the county road. I'd be willing to buy it to manage with the rest of my wood lot. I'd also be willing to take a long term lease on it, which is what they should do, with limits on how the land is used. Some of it, like 5 acres at the east end of the Columbia Gorge, should be kept if only to prevent this wonderful protected area frombeing spoiled.

Judy B. said...

Here is one site you can all go to and 'join' to help get environmental messages to congress in mass numbers...

Richard Yarnell said...

If you participate in any mass mail/fax campaigns, I suggest that you always edit the text they propose to send if they allow you to do that.

Always change the first paragraph.

If the organization doesn't permit you to edit their canned text, use the "contact us" mailback routine to ask them to.

Judy B. said...

Very good suggestion Richard,,,

Some of the mass mail sites also allow you to send directly to your representative...

Especially in environmental concerns it is important to contact Republican representatives.
While we may have some differences with them, the environment is emerging as a place where we can get their votes, especially if enough people contact them on the ideas..

Richard Yarnell said...

You don't need the mass mail sites to reach Congress or cabinet officers, for that matter.

Another source of satisfaction is writing to Committee chairs and members. Some will hide behind the notion that you aren't their constituent. When they chair a Congressional or Senate Committee, you bet we are. Sometimes it takes some chicanery to get the mail through - the address of one of their state offices will do it (I always put my real address in the body of the letter and I always use my real email address.

Cheryl V said...

First we had the actor that thought movies were real, now we have a president that thinks novelists are scientists.

Bush's Chat With Novelist Alarms Environmentalists

Published: February 19, 2006
WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 — One of the perquisites of being president is the ability to have the author of a book you enjoyed pop into the White House for a chat.

Over the years, a number of writers have visited President Bush, including Natan Sharansky, Bernard Lewis and John Lewis Gaddis. And while the meetings are usually private, they rarely ruffle feathers.

Now, one has.

In his new book about Mr. Bush, "Rebel in Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush," Fred Barnes recalls a visit to the White House last year by Michael Crichton, whose 2004 best-selling novel, "State of Fear," suggests that global warming is an unproven theory and an overstated threat.

Mr. Barnes, who describes Mr. Bush as "a dissenter on the theory of global warming," writes that the president "avidly read" the novel and met the author after Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, arranged it. He says Mr. Bush and his guest "talked for an hour and were in near-total agreement."

"The visit was not made public for fear of outraging environmentalists all the more," he adds.

And so it has, fueling a common perception among environmental groups that Mr. Crichton's dismissal of global warming, coupled with his popularity as a novelist and screenwriter, has undermined efforts to pass legislation intended to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, a gas that leading scientists say causes climate change.

Mr. Crichton, whose views in "State of Fear" helped him win the American Association of Petroleum Geologists' annual journalism award this month, has been a leading doubter of global warming and last September appeared before a Senate committee to argue that the supporting science was mixed, at best.

"This shows the president is more interested in science fiction than science," Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, said after learning of the White House meeting. Mr. O'Donnell's group monitors environmental policy.

"This administration has put no limit on global warming pollution and has consistently rebuffed any suggestion to do so," he said.

Not so, according to the White House, which said Mr. Barnes's book left a false impression of Mr. Bush's views on global warming.

Michele St. Martin, a spokeswoman for the Council on Environmental Quality, a White House advisory agency, pointed to several speeches in which Mr. Bush had acknowledged the impact of global warming and the need to confront it, even if he questioned the degree to which humans contribute to it.

deb said...

Cheryl, I have read everything that Michael Chrighten ever published, including and awesome memoir "Travels". State of Fear is the last book I will ever read of his. He has always been so meticulous in making sure that the premise follows scientific possibility. State of Fear often uses weak excuses to promote the premise. He criticizes air pollution, but doesn't seem to understand that oil consumption *causes* air pollution. It is all just weak. Not surprised to see that he won a major award from oil companies for it. I wonder if the same companies asked him to write it.

w has admitted that he doesn't read. He must have had a briefing.

Judy B. said...

Clean water and the Supreme Court a

Judy B. said...

Chickens and the environment at:

Cheryl V said...

Ag business can be as bad or worse than industrial plants.

I hate to hear about abused chickens. They make great pets. They can be friendly, interesting, and smart, (in a chicken sort of way). A small flock does wonders for the backyard garden. After getting spoiled on fresh eggs, store bought eggs will never do.

Judy B. said...

We grow lots of garden stuff, but haven't gone in for the anumals. Now maybe I will.

Cheryl V said...

My husband and I both grew up on what I call suburban farms. Between the two of us, at various times, we had chickens, rabbits, bees, and a goat. You can do a lot, even with a small yard.

We've always thought that it was important for kids to understand that food doesn't just appear in the grocery store.

Judy B. said...

We have 23 acres that is half wood and half meadow. We are at an age when the work load is too much, but we continue to garden...
We don't want to sell, but that is looming as an option. Don't know what I will do without some land tho...
Want to come out and raise chickens? bees? goats? and m,aybe geese to eat the slugs?

Cheryl V said...

Your place sounds beautiful. When the next layoff comes, it might be very tempting.

Judy B. said...

Richard, did you see this AP article?
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Global warming could hurt the quality of future ski seasons in the Pacific Northwest, according to a study released Tuesday by Oregon State University.

Judy B. said...

And this one?
SEATTLE (AP) -- Federal fish managers told the Pacific Fishery Management Council on Tuesday that salmon fishing from California to Oregon must not be allowed this season.

Richard Yarnell said...

No, I haven't hear about the future of the ski industry, but I do know they're not suffering too much on Mt Hood this year. Even at 1000 feet, I'm looking out the window at the snow on the ground. Last year this date, we had record temps in the 70's.

Before there are "permanent" annual patterns, there will be lots of variation. Judging from how early the (now grumpy) migratory birds got here, the trend is toward an earlier spring.

Cheryl V said...

Alaska Oil Spill Ten Times More Than Original Estimate

WASHINGTON - March 10 - Statement by Natalie Brandon, Policy Director, Alaska Wilderness League:

"This historic oil spill is a catastrophe for the environment. Tone-deaf politicians in Congress should now stop trying to push for more drilling through sneaky maneuvers.

Today's news of the actual estimated oil spill volume--more than 201,000 gallons --is ten times the figure originally reported by the oil companies earlier in the week.

The fact that the oil spill occurred in a caribou crossing area in Prudhoe Bay is a painful reminder of the reality of unchecked oil and gas development across Alaska's North Slope. Aging infrastructure, corroded pipes and failed leak-detection systems ensure that more big accidents like this are a matter of time, especially if Congress opens up the Refuge."

deb said...

Gag order in Iowa: (from Judy...thanks)

Ag Lobbyists Target Activists

Cheryl have you noticed how little the oil spill is covered in the media? The huge oil spill that occurred during Katrina was barely touched by the media.

The article linked above shows that corporations can "buy" legislation that allows them to get away with anything.

dan said...

The latest from NASA (including a pretty photo).

Global Warming

Judy B. said...

Thanks Dan for the global warming site. I watched Al Gore on LinkTV this weekend talking about global warming. I know that we have cyclical climate changes, but i have no doubt that what we have been experiencing with all the massive storms, and storms occuring out of normal season is in part man-made because of our refusal to take global warming seriously.

dan said...

President Gore would have taken action on global warming. President Bush can't even figure out why saving the planet deserves to be a priority.

dan said...

This is a steam video of a simple product that produces fresh drinking water.

Bright Idea