Category Archives: environmental issue

The folly of building on a barrier island (and taxpayers foot the bill!)

This feature-length look at Dauphin Island, the barrier strip off the Gulf coast of Alabama take a nice hard look at what is surely the folly of building on a place that nature wants to move – all the time. And climate change and sea-level rise are only making the whole thing even more disastrous (hurricanes notwithstanding).

Iowa corn-processing plant agrees to pay $4.1M for dumping

The federal EPA accused Roquette America of repeatedly sending sewage and industrial wastes into the Mississippi River and Soap Creek, some of it through storm sewers. Read about the whole pollution episode in this link.

Global disaster? Climate change not on today’s media agenda

According to the National Climatic Data Center, July 211 to June 2012 was the hottest 12-month stretch on human record. But even as the devastation resulting from humanity’s ongoing alteration of the Earth’s atmosphere became more and more obvious, coverage of the 2012 presidential election campaign seemed completely impervious to the effects of climate change,”the media watchdog organization FAIR reported. You can read about FAIR’s findings right here. The conservation impact of what we humans are doing to our fish and wildlife heritage by burning fossil fuels goes well beyond the crisis faced by one or two species.

The passing of a conservation giant: Russell E. Train

Mr. Train was the founding father of the EPA and was a big player in getting laws like the National Environmental Policy Act past the jaws of  Congress. Read his obituary here.

Citizens or government scientists: Who does better in selecting candidates for Endangered Species Act protection?

American citizens seem to do as good a job as government scientists in selecting candidates for federal protection. That’s the gist of this article. The statistics may say one thing, but that’s hardly the whole story. Still absent from most mainstream media reporting is this: What led to a given species’ population dive? In the balance of things, more imperiled flora and fauna benefits through citizen participation. After all, there are only so many fisheries and wildlife biologists on the staff of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. And Republicans’ non-ending desire to de-fund, as much as possible, agencies like Fish and Wildlife, only makes the campaign that much harder.

The business of fracking

The federal government should set baseline environmental safety standards for hydraulic fracturing. So pleads the NY Times in this editorial. Again, missing from the discussion are the ancillary effects of drilling, whether for natural gas or oil or even water: The construction aspect of setting up a drill pad etc. means building a new road, chopping up wildlife habitat, clear-cutting forest, touching off noise pollution, etc.

A carbon tax: Pathway to energy security

A carbon tax is an opportunity to reduce existing taxes, clean up the environment and increase personal freedom and energy security.