Environment

Hail Mary

Submitted: Oct 12, 2008
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

On a weekend when the whole world is holding its breath to see how investors will respond tomorrow to numerous bailout plans here, there and everywhere, a story about a Bush administration plan to gut more crucial provisions within the Endangered Species Act might seem unimportant.

It is not. If the Pomboza, that awesome duo of former Rep. Richard Pombo and Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Maryland's newest congressman, had had their way in Congress, the act would have been gutted long before now. And the result of that would have been even more destruction of natural resources for the construction of more over-priced McMansions, bought by speculators for more subprime mortgages to default on when the boom busted. Yet, at precisely the moment when the values of the ESA, the Clean Air and Clean Water acts as well as state environment laws like the California Environmental Quality Act, and the people who have tried to defend them before land-use authorities and in court, should be respected more highly at least for the damage they prevented to the environment and to the global economy, the Bush administration is trying to do by administrative order what Congress three times denied by legislation during this regime, whose corruption has not yet begun to be fully analyzed.

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Long live the Prince!

Submitted: Oct 05, 2008
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

When you can't trust your own political parties but can trust your governor, congressman and both US senators to do the wrong thing most of the time, it is time to seek an older, more reliable political affiliation, like the HOUSE OF WINDSOR/SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA!

Prince Charles' opposition to genetic engineering continues despite great criticism.


10-5-08
The Independent (UK)
Charles targets GM crop giants in fiercest attack yet
In a provocative address to an Indian audience, the Prince echoes Gandhi with a stinging attack on 'commerce without morality'...Geoffrey Lean
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/charles-targets-gm-crop-giants-in-fiercest-attack-yet-951808.html
 
It is less than two months since Prince Charles was on the receiving end of a fusillade of scientific, political and commentariat criticism for voicing, yet again, his concerns about GM crops and foods. He was widely accused of "ignorance" and "Luddism"; of being too rich to care about the hungry, and even of trying to increase sales of his own organic produce. It was put about that Gordon Brown was angered by his intervention.

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Hurricane Gustav: collateral damage

Submitted: Oct 02, 2008
By: 
Gary McMillen

 

NEW ORLEANS -- Returning to the apartment after Hurricane Gustav feels like watching a clip of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. The air, the stillness and the stark definitions of form make everything almost appear to be black and white. Eerie. There are no people in sight. A car passes every 15-20 minutes. While the city has been abandoned, nature has been quick to re-gain a foothold. I have been gone seven days and the once familiar surroundings resonate with something akin to treachery. Do I need a passport in this alien landscape? Is it safe?

Bugs I have never seen before attach to the car window. Insects, like miniature tornadoes, swarm around rotting garbage bags. A gray possum scampers across the parking lot toward the dumpster in broad daylight. Birds lined up on the handrail of the second-floor porch of the apartment. Mostly crows, looking down at me. Unconcerned with my presence. I start to climb the stairs and they shuffle and flutter up as if asking me, “What are you doing here? This belongs to us now.”

* * *

First things first. I am always intrigued about what gets done in the aftermath of a hurricane. Entering the city, along the shortcuts and back streets---all of the gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants are closed but the giant billboard announcing the Power Ball payoff has been up-dated to $87 million. You can’t find a bag of ice for 10 miles in every direction but somebody climbed up there and updated the bankroll. Who are those guys?

* * *

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US Fish and Wildlife extends range of Red-legged frog critical habitat

Submitted: Sep 21, 2008
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board
9-17-08
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Sacramento Fish & Wildlife Office
Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes 300% Increase in California Red-legged Frog Critical Habitat
Comment period opens for proposal based on entirely new analysis
Contacts:  Al Donner, (916) 414-6566...al_donner@fws.gov... News Release
http://www.fws.gov/sacramento/ea/news_releases/2008_News_Releases/ca_red-legged_frog_proposed_critical_habitat_revision.htm
Contacts:
Al Donner, (916) 414-6566
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Usual pork menu for proposed final Bush regime endangered species barbecue

Submitted: Sep 06, 2008
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The attempted change should be seen for what it is: a final Bush administration gift to those who benefit when environmental laws are weakened.-– Concord Monitor

Below, we've included the Associated Press story by Dina Cappiello on Aug. 22 about more than 100 conservation groups throughout the nation (including three from Merced) that opposed the Bush administration's latest attempt to gut the Endangered Species Act. Three groups came from the Merced: San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center, San Joaquin Valley Conservancy and San Joaquin Et Al. The story was widely distributed throughout the nation and even in the UK -- a partial list is also included. Finally, there is some information about a number of local business and political leaders, large Republican fundraisers, who stand to benefit from this last-minute attempt by the Bush administration to reward its contributors.

Badlands Journal editorial board

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Associated Press
Groups: Bush rushing to rewrite species rules...(AP) DINA CAPPIELLO...8-22-08
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hkF1lWZoKQaqIgrv4XHs4RAorcQgD92NHQMG6
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bush administration is providing insufficient time for public comment as it seeks to loosen rules protecting endangered species, representatives of more than 100 conservation groups charged Friday.

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Sacramento's "tortured middle way"

Submitted: Aug 19, 2008
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Thanks to Sacramento’s man on the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Anthony Kennedy, who created the meaningless “significant nexis” to determine the connectivity of waters to navigable streams, federal resource agencies have been up a creek as far as knowing their jurisdiction to enforce the Clean Water Act. The EPA has done nothing about more than 400 CWA enforcement cases since the Supreme Court ruling called the “Rapanos Decision.” Kennedy’s middle ground stood between four conservative justices who wanted CWA enforcement only on permanent streams and four liberals who voted for intermittent streams as well, including wetlands and vernal pools.

 

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Special Places for Special People

Submitted: Aug 13, 2008

Jim Marshall, city manager of the City of Merced, intoned theologically in the UK Financial Times on Tuesday that there “should be a special place in hell for” speculators, mainly from the Bay Area, who bought McMansions in Merced, took out subprime loans and tried to flip them before the first balloon payments hit.

In fact, Marshall knew well there was no local market for the subdivisions of McMansions the city was approving weekly during the speculative real estate boom, the collapse of which has made Merced nationally famous for its foreclosure rate, and now internationally famous, or infamous, along with Modesto and Stockton.

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Raptor and POW file two suits to protect Merced River

Submitted: Aug 11, 2008

Press release: For Immediate Use !! ******* Press release: For Immediate Use !!

Raptor and POW file two suits to protect Merced River

MERCED (Aug. 11, 2008) — San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center and Protect Our Water (POW) filed two California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuits in Merced County Superior Court this week.

Petitioners sued Merced County, the Merced County Board of Supervisors and Christopher Robinson, alleging four arbitrary and capricious actions of abuse of discretion in approving a series of parcel splits.

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