Environment

Immoral, unacceptable

Submitted: Apr 17, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

We've long known that the industrial chemists that create our pesticides test for one thing and one thing alone: how effective is the poison for the targeted pest. We know another thing: no pesticide ever annihilated any pests. Pests develop resistance which keeps the poisonmakers in business. A third thing we know is that the poisonmakers do not test for collateral damage to the environment or other species.
In the case of the new, souped up rat poison, there was no thought given -- except perhaps to conceal and deny -- the inevitable damage the poison would do to the many predators who eat rats and mice as a regular, perhaps even primary part of their diets. The existence and wide-spread use of this new super poison may explain a mysterious outbreak of eagle deaths in the Madera foothills reported last year and perhaps continuing to this day.
The existence and distribution of the poison is immoral. The government's failure to regulate and enforce is immoral. The whole greedy, politically cowardly slide into wanton killing of wildlife is despicable. We conclude that among the many owners of wildlife agencies we must include rat poisoners. The slimy deal here is that most, if not all, the predator species being poisoned are already listed as threatened or endangered so agencies like the state Department of Fish and Game do not make any money selling tags to hunters to hunt them.

Badlands Journal editorial board

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Green history (9)

Submitted: Apr 14, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

4-8/10-11
CounterPunch.com
A Concise History of the Rise and Fall of the Green Establishment (Part 9)
How Green Became the Color of Money
By JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
http://www.counterpunch.com/stclair04082011.html
Munich in the Big Woods.

The Wilderness Society was founded in 1930 by three early heroes of the environmental movement: Aldo Leopold, Benton McKaye and Robert Marshall. MacKaye and Marshall were both socialists, who believed that corporate-owned forest land should be seized by the federal government. Leopold was the father of modern forest ecology and author of Sand County Almanac, the classic text on “land ethics.”

The modern Wilderness Society, with its cautious political approach and $20 million a year budget, bears little resemblance to the lean and radical organization started by Leopold and Marshall. The Society’s board of directors is culled from the elite ranks of corporate America and the social register. In the 1990s, the board included John Bierworth (former CEO of defense contractor Grumman International), David Bonderman (CEO of Continental Airlines), oil heiress Caroline Getty, Christopher Elliman (Rockefeller heir) and Gilman Ordway (heir to the 3M chemical forture).

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The real drought continues

Submitted: Apr 11, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

4-4-11
Lloydgcarter.com
Drought of Candor
By Lloyd G. Carter
http://www.lloydgcarter.com/content/110404477_drought-candor
The House Subcommittee on Water and Power, now under the control of Republicans, will hold a field hearing in Fresno April 11 with the provocative title “Creating Jobs by Overcoming Man-Made Drought: Time for Congress to Listen and Act.”

The phrase “man-made drought,” like the terms Obamacare, death tax and death panel, was cooked up by political consultants with the intent to trigger an emotional response from listeners, rather than intellectual analysis. Use of the phrase began surfacing in 2009 when water deliveries to the western San Joaquin Valley were significantly reduced, thanks to reduced rainfall and snowpack and deteriorating ecological conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, triggering the Endangered Species Act.

It was “1984” author George Orwell who wrote that political language “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”  That is the case with the phrase man-made drought.

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Despite regulations, irrigators are still polluting ground and surface water

Submitted: Apr 05, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Below is a letter to Katherine Hart, Chair of the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region, concerning the failure of the present Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program Framework.

One of the more than 100 signatories to the letter summarized it by saying:

You may remember that the causes of the crash of the ecosystem in the Delta were mainly 3 issues - water diversions (limited at times under the BiOps), toxins flowing into the system, and invasive species.  Not addressing this, and giving an additional 5 year waiver means that we will NOT be addressing one of the 3 causes of the Delta crash, which makes no sense to most of us. 

Many members of the Merced County public will remember Kate Hart, to whom the letter is addressed. Kate, an attorney representing Merced County at the time, was one of the masterminds behind railroading the Riverside Motorsports Park project through its local land-use hurdles. The project eventually wrecked on a California Environmental Quality Act lawsuit. The new governor might consider replacing Katie with someone more friendly to the California environment than she is.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

ENVIRONMENTAL, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE, AND RECREATIONAL AND
COMMERCIAL FISHING COMMUNITY JOINT COMMENTS ON PROPOSED
IRRIGATED LANDS REGULATORY PROGRAM FRAMEWORK
CENTRAL VALLEY REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD

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“A new invention to poison people … is not a patentable invention.” Lowell v. Lewis, 1817

Submitted: Apr 03, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

4-2-11

Global Research

Lawsuit seeks to invalidate Monsanto’s GMO patents
by Rady Ananda
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24103
  

  “A new invention to poison people … is not a patentable invention.” Lowell v. Lewis, 1817

A landmark lawsuit filed on March 29 in US federal court seeks to invalidate Monsanto’s patents on genetically modified seeds and to prohibit the company from suing those whose crops become genetically contaminated.

The Public Patent Foundation filed suit on behalf of 270,000 people from sixty organic and sustainable businesses and trade associations, including thousands of certified-organic farmers. In Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, et al. v. Monsanto, et al. (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Case No. 11 CIV 2163), PUBPAT details the invalidity of any patent that poisons people and the environment, and that is not useful to society, two hallmarks of US patent law.

"As Justice Story wrote in 1817, to be patentable, an invention must not be 'injurious to the well being, good policy, or sound morals of society,'” notes the complaint in its opening paragraphs, citing Lowell v. Lewis.

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Revenge of the Ceres mayors

Submitted: Mar 27, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

When former Rep. Gary Condit went to Sacramento as an assemblyman, he formed with four other state assemblymen the "Gang of 5" that tried to oust Willie Brown from the speakership of the state Assembly. When former Rep. Tony Coelho resigned due to exposure for accepting a loan from Michael Milken, who served a prison sentence for high financial derring-do, Condit went to the House of Representatives, where he served a dozen years. Near the close of his tenure in office, he was able to bring a great deal of political pressure to bear on the governor and University of California to site a new UC campus in Merced, thus making certain that there would be an absurdly destructive residential housing market boom, complete with much construction, followed by a colossal bust -- sort of like what happened to Condit's political career. Condit and was replaced by another former Ceres mayor, Sal Cannella. Now, Cannella's son, Tony, yet another former Ceres mayor, has joined another gang of 5, this time in the state Senate, winning the seat his father was unable to win 12 years earlier. The object of this crew is to hold up the state budget unless the Gov. Jerry Brown agrees to weaken the California Environmental Quality Act.

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Spriggsy and the out-of-town demons

Submitted: Mar 27, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Below lies an annotated version of our Mayor Spriggsy's attempt to boost Merced to the bunch of frat boys in the editorial offices at Forbes Magazine. It is pathetic because Spriggsy is caught in the very painful position of having to argue with his rightwing ideological betters, who have nominated Merced for the title of third most miserable city in America. It is an example of flak v. flak. Badlands comments are in italics.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

3-22-11
Merced Sun-Star
William Spriggs: Opportunity, not misery
http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/03/21/v-print/1819809/william-spriggs-opportunity-not.html

I sent the following letter to Forbes magazine taking issue with its listing our city as the third-most miserable community in the nation.

only a knuckleheaded wingnut like spriggsy would argue with a knucklehead wingnut magazine like forbes, last refuge of the flat taxers.

Editor: Thank you very much for including Merced in your recent list placing us No. 3 in the nation. However, we feel obligated to point out a slight error in your list: It should have been titled the Opportunity Index, not the list of Most Miserable Cities.

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Are we still in America?

Submitted: Mar 26, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

3-24-11
RobertReich.org
Why Governor LePage Can’t Erase History, and Why We Need a Fighter in the White House
by Robert Reich
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/24-2
Maine Governor Paul LePage has ordered state workers to remove from the state labor department a 36-foot mural depicting the state’s labor history. Among other things the mural illustrates the 1937 shoe mill strike in Auburn and Lewiston. It also features the iconic “Rosie the Riveter,” who in real life worked at the Bath Iron Works. One panel shows my predecessor at the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins, who was buried in Newcastle, Maine.
The LePage Administration is also renaming conference rooms that had carried the names of historic leaders of American labor, as well as former Secretary Perkins.

The Governor’s spokesman explains that the mural and the conference-room names were “not in keeping with the department’s pro-business goals.”

Are we still in America?

Frances Perkins was the first woman cabinet member in American history. She was also one of the most accomplished cabinet members in history.

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All floods are local

Submitted: Mar 24, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

This is a fine report by Dennis Wyatt, managing editor of the Manteca Bulletin, on flooding in his vicinity, complete with a brief history of floods there. We can expect pronuncimientos from state, federal and agribusiness sources on the present weather impacts, but Wyatt's focus is the only one that really counts, because all floods are local. It remains to be seen if any paper in a northern California flood area produces a better report of what its readers need to know, now. If there is one thing you can say about journalism in San Joaquin County, it is that there are always a few reporters and editors on duty there that know water.

Badlands Journal editorial board

3-24-11
Manteca Bulletin
Flood releases swell rivers
Big runoff expected for New Melones
By Dennis Wyatt
Managing Editor
dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com
209-249-3532
http://www.mantecabulletin.com/news/article/22041/
Steady rain and continuing snow accumulation in the Sierra has prompted the Bureau of Reclamation to spill from all of their Central Valley Project reservoirs for flood control.

New Melones on the Stanislaus River was the last Bureau dam to impose flood releases. Spilling was scheduled to have started Tuesday. Rain is expected for the next four days with a high wind advisory through 5 p.m. today.

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National environmental corporations and the nuclear industry

Submitted: Mar 23, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

This is a grim tale about the "greening" of nuclear energy in the US, done by national environmental corporations. -- Badlands


3-18/20-11
Counterpunch.com
How Global Warming Rescued the Atomic Lobby
The "Green" Nuclear Cabal
By JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
http://www.counterpunch.com/stclair03182011.html

This is an excerpt from Jeffrey St. Clair's environmental history, Born Under a Bad Sky, published by AK Press / CounterPunch Books.

Striding into Kyoto in December of 1997 claiming to be a mighty warrior in the battle against global warming was a familiar beast, the nuclear power industry. Some of the industry's biggest lobbyists, men such as James Curtis (a former deputy secretary of energy during the Reagan years), prowled the streets and sushi bars of this ancient city (itself running on juice from an aging nuke) angling for some positive words in the treaty for their troubled enterprise. The big reactor makers, GE, Westinghouse, and Combustion Engineering, were there too, dissing the oil and coal lobby, downplaying the long-term viability of natural gas and generally treating the eco-summit as if it were an international trade show.

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