FEDDZ - electric motor scooter.
German e-bike design. I like where they put the primary storage - under the top tube. Much more stable. Size-limited, but still ... smart.
Guardian.UK: Activists threaten lawsuit against EPA over fracking-induced earthquakes.
“Other groups involved in the lawsuit include the Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthworks, Responsible Drilling Alliance, San Juan Citizens Alliance, West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization, and the Center for Health, Environment and Justice.” Go, Earthworks, go!
Guardian.UK: North Dakota’s big oil boom in a man’s land - ‘It’s like capitalism on steroids’.
A bit light and fluffy. Is anyone preparing for when the money stops flowing? And no real mention of the environmental concerns. At least the author did hit the infrastructure issue.
Hemmings: Bonneville Speed Week cancellation spurs proposals for salt flats replenishment.
“Potash had been mined from Bonneville since the early 1900s, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the Bureau of Land Management, tasked with overseeing public lands including the Bonneville Salt Flats, determined that potash mining “may be causing the salt layer to thin and retract” and that ‘such diminshment would degrade the unique geology and historical relevance of the site and would disrupt the recreational opportunities that have been part of the BSF for over 80 years.’”
GlobalPost: It’s official. Earth just had its hottest month ever recorded.
Well, with El Niño, it was quite wet and mild here in Santa Fe. No 100+ degree sweltering-nights weeks. I should be thankful for small favors in the midst of ecopocalypse.
Guardian.UK: There are 45 fracked wells within 2 miles of my daughter’s school.
“Many students at the school suffer from asthma and serious, debilitating illnesses. What is causing this spike in health problems in normally healthy children? Fracking. It exposes our children to unsafe levels of air toxins that can cause a broad variety of serious health complications, including asthma. Students at my daughter’s schools were often forced to stay inside for weeks at a time because of the noxious fumes from the fracking sites. They think it’s strange when people don’t get nosebleeds every day.” Let me reiterate this - you cannot broadcast smells, so noone really understands this fact. Driving through southern NM and the Fort Stockton area of Texas, the stench of fracking is incredible, brain-pounding. Even with your car on a/c and recirculate, you cannot ban it from the passenger capsule. There’s no question in my mind it’s unhealthy. #endtodaysfrackingrant
Atlantic: New EPA Rules Would Cut Methane Emissions From Oil and Natural-Gas Industries.
Ten years to accomplish this? Too slow. You should see what the fracking fields are burning off. I would give these pirates two years, tops. They geared up to drill in a flash, they should be able to handle capping emissions in a flash, too.
Archaeology News Network: Corrected sunspot history suggests climate change not due to solar trends.
Of note. Worth a bookmark, if you discuss issues with environmentally-minded folk on occasion. If not sunspots, then what *was* the Maunder Minimum?
The Nation: The Apache vs. Rio Tinto.
“Altaha spoke briefly in Apache before explaining her opposition to the mine, and her fears about the effects a mine would have on the sacred site, the area’s water supply, and on the safety of Apache women.” Wise woman. It’s not just the mine itself, but the consequences of mining. The tailing ponds (Animas River, anyone?), the exploitative labor practices, the increased need for law enforcement, the degradation of infrastructure (roads, water, etc.).
Superpedestrian - The Copenhagen Wheel.
Check this out! Watch the vid.
Later, some caveats. See the bottom of this article. Even so ... $800? Pretty nice for the price point.
SciAm: Wastewater Spill from Colorado Gold Mine Triples in Volume.
“The discharge, containing high concentrations of heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and lead, was continuing to flow at the rate of 500 gallons per minute on Sunday, four days after the spill began at the Gold King Mine, the EPA said.” Local news is saying, “Only some iron and zinc. No worries.” It is passing into Navajo tribal water sources right now.
Time: A Massive Waste Spill Turned This River in Colorado Orange.
Oh no, Durango! Mine waste heading for their trout fishery. Noone seems to be saying what’s in it other than “heavy metals and sediments”. Betcha there’s more than that, but few journos seem to be on the ball anymore.
SciAm: Shallow Fracking Wells May Threaten Aquifers.
“Shallow wells are cheaper and easier to operate.” Extraction companies, cut corners? You shock me. [Not.]
Discover: As El Niño Gets Even Stronger, He’s Not Really Looking Like a Child Any Longer.
“In fact, conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are looking a bit more intense right now than they did at this point in the summer of 1997, when a true monster of an El Niño was brewing.” I may need to consider that snowblower.
PS Mag: The Long Lasting Legacy of Droughts in Forests.
The effects of drought are deep and complex. Our tall pine and aspen forests are hanging on by a thread. At some point, more hardy species will take over. When the bark beetle killed the piñons in ‘03, our foothills here became denuded of >50% of their evergreen cover. The junipers have not made up the difference, so instead of green hills with small bits of rock showing, we have rocky foothills with clearly spotty tree cover. I look at photos I took pre-‘03, and it’s quite shocking. We get used to the ‘new look’ of things rather quickly, and forget even faster.
Paris Review: Think Like a Mountain—Aldo Leopold’s Path to Conservationism.
And I have to point out - he wasn’t a 20-something doing this. Worldchanging work is still done by those over 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 ...
Tumblr/BestintheWest: I have gotten lots of questions these last few…
Guardian.UK: Cecil the lion’s cubs most likely killed by rival lion, say conservationists.
“Lion cubs fathered by Cecil, the celebrated lion shot dead in Zimbabwe, may already have been killed by a rival male lion and even if they were still alive there was nothing conversationists could do to protect them, a conversation charity has warned.” The ripples flow outward, from that one selfish act.
Vox: Rooftop solar is booming. But it may be more vulnerable than you think.
“But as rooftop solar penetration rises, time-of-use pricing begins to have the opposite effect. As a bunch of solar floods the grid during peak hours, it will have the effect of suppressing peak prices, reducing the incentive for additional solar.” If price is the only motivator, that is.
Guardian.UK: Zimbabwean authorities hunt Spaniard accused of killing Cecil the lion.
“Orford calculates that with tourists from just one nearby lodge collectively paying €8,000 per day, Zimbabwe would have brought in more in just five days by having Cecil’s photograph taken rather than being shot by someone paying a one-off fee of €50,000.” Perhaps, but who owns the camps? And does that money stay in the local economy? I have a feeling there’s much more to this, before the animals can experience any sort of safety.
Dallas Observer: Fracking Sucking Up Vast Amounts of Texas Water.
My God, south Texas. Are you folks in the UK observing this?
Register.UK: Disaster-gawping cam drones to be blasted out of the sky in California.
“Possibilities include jamming drone control frequencies, shooting them down, or just letting firefighting aircraft drop water on a site like Cajon without fear of getting sued. With the popularity of drones increasing steadily and forest fire season coming to California, the politicians feel that legislation is needed.” I can’t blame them. One tap in a tail rotor, and down goes a helicopter. Difficult enough with airplanes and ‘copters in the same area [an aircraft pilot can’t tell, while in the air, what direction a helicopter is travelling in. Helicopters can move in multiple directions, not necessarily in the direction of the nose of the craft. This has caused so many crashes.] Drones? Even worse. Drones don’t belong, unless controlled by the emergency services themselves. Even then, it’ll be dicey with all the air choreography required.
If I were in a firefighting area and lives were at stake, you’d better believe I’d draw a bead with a shotgun and knock down the drone.
NBC/South CA: Drivers Who Fled 15 Freeway Fire Frustrated by Tow Fees.
SciAm: Drought-Plagued Western States Play Politics with Water.
“If these states stopped effectively double-counting their resources, they would have to change laws, upend traditional water rights and likely force farmers and cities to accept even more dramatic cuts than they already face — a political third rail.” Keep your hand on your hogleg when you talk water around here. Seriously.
Guardian.UK: Arctic sea ice volume showed strong recovery in 2013.
Sliver of hope? The tendency these days is to attack any science that might forestall an extraordinary effort to counter climate change. I expect this to attract similar opposition. But if this means recovery could be rapid, wouldn’t that bolster a quick, powerful thrust to diminish global warming?