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Trump and Ryan Zinke And Scott Pruitt Are Environmental Disasters


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#21 Traveler

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:49 AM

I recall that study now. Makes eminent sense. I don't drive near as much now as I did then, but I can vouch for how many there were. I always wonder how swallows manage these days. Especially during our current week of wet weather. But the drop in warblers, gnat-catchers and kinglets this year has me worried even more. Finally heard a red-eyed vireo yesterday. Usually tons of them around. LFC notes similar dropoffs in his location.
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#22 LFC

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:21 AM

I'm seeing less nest success for nearly exclusive insect eaters when our area gets a cooler, wetter spring. Great-crested Flycatcher is one in particular that seems to close up shop early when it's like this. Unfortunately the forecast for this as a trend in the Northeast was predicted well over a decade ago.

Meanwhile I think the new crop of woodpeckers, Gray Catbirds, and Blue Jays are hatching at my place. My suet cake burn rate is going up as expected. By mid- to late-June we'll probably be going through two a day with zero gray squirrel damage. The Pileated is coming in multiple times a day now and can make a pretty big dent in just a few minutes. The night crew (a.k.a. flying squirrels) munch on them at night. It's like we have our own wildlife restaurant. "The Feeding Station, now open 24 hours!"
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

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""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#23 Traveler

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:26 AM

Too many darn bluejays IMO. A couple of years ago there were hardly any. Now we have a gang of up to 7 camping out. Catbirds doing well also. As are red bellied woods. Thankfully few starlings these days. They were bad this winter. Pillys dont come by though. Just fly over.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
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#24 DCoronata

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:47 AM

View PostTraveler, on 16 May 2018 - 08:49 AM, said:

I recall that study now. Makes eminent sense. I don't drive near as much now as I did then, but I can vouch for how many there were. I always wonder how swallows manage these days. Especially during our current week of wet weather. But the drop in warblers, gnat-catchers and kinglets this year has me worried even more. Finally heard a red-eyed vireo yesterday. Usually tons of them around. LFC notes similar dropoffs in his location.
I've seen about 5 pairs of red-eyed vireo, and one white-eyed yet and at the same time, I've seen and discussed with other birders this seems to be an amazing year for yellow-throated vireos. White-eyed are more northerly US/Central American wintering birds, red's South America, yellow's central.
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#25 DCoronata

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:53 AM

View PostLFC, on 16 May 2018 - 10:21 AM, said:

I'm seeing less nest success for nearly exclusive insect eaters when our area gets a cooler, wetter spring. Great-crested Flycatcher is one in particular that seems to close up shop early when it's like this. Unfortunately the forecast for this as a trend in the Northeast was predicted well over a decade ago.

Oh man, I LOVE G-C flycatchers. About ten years ago I had a nesting pair in Alley Pond Park, about a quarter mile walk from my mom's house. I used to go there in the late-spring and watch the two adults with almost military precision, leave the nest, return 30 second later each with a red admiral butterfly, and then go back out for another round. How on earth they were able to find so many in such a short time is just beyond me, this was in NYC, not a mountain in the Catskills. On the two times I got too close, they just waited until I got further away and then they'd continue to feed. I've seen breeding pairs of RB grosbeaks and multiple pairs of redstarts even though by the book, they aren't supposed to be breeding in NYC. I guess nobody showed them a map.
Ambassador Spock: "There's an old Vulcan proverb, that only Nixon could go to China, and only Trump could screw up North Korea."

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
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#26 LFC

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:38 AM

It's kind of depressing to be discussing birds when we have an administration that is hell bent on killing them and just about any other life form that gets in the way of profit.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#27 Traveler

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:40 AM

LFC, we all need a break from uninterrupted disappointment. GC Flycatcher was back this morning.
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#28 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 03:05 PM

View PostLFC, on 16 May 2018 - 11:38 AM, said:

It's kind of depressing to be discussing birds when we have an administration that is hell bent on killing them and just about any other life form that gets in the way of profit.

I don't see profit as being much of an issue. Look at Trump's offspring: kill whatever they can, regardless. Lots more where that kind come from. Somebody is going to have an unmatchable trophy when they shoot the last of their species.
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#29 LFC

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 02:26 PM

In Zinkeland cattle are always more valuable than native wildlife which just takes up valuable space and eats valuable cow food.

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Yellowstone National Park’s superintendent said Thursday he’s being forced out as a “punitive action” following disagreements with the Trump administration over how many bison the park can sustain, a longstanding source of conflict between park officials and ranchers in neighboring Montana.

Superintendent Dan Wenk last week announced he intended to retire March 30, 2019, after being offered a transfer he didn’t want to take.

He said was informed this week by National Park Service Acting Director Paul “Dan” Smith that a new superintendent will be in place in August and that he will be gone by then.

“I feel this is a punitive action but I don’t know for sure,” Wenk told The Associated Press. He wasn’t given a reason and said the only dispute he’s had with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was over bison.

Ranchers in neighboring Montana have long sought reductions in Yellowstone’s bison numbers because of worries that they could spread the disease brucellosis to cattle and compete with livestock for grazing space outside the park.

Wenk and park biologists have said the current population of more than 4,000 bison is sustainable. But Zinke and his staff have said the number is too high, Wenk said, and raised concerns that areas of the park such as the scenic Lamar Valley are being overgrazed.


Well if Zinke and his cronies disagree with science then there you have it. So why would he be sticking his nose into an issue like this anyway?

Quote

Zinke is a former Montana congressman. His close attention to projects back home has stirred speculation he has future political ambitions in the state.

Aaaaah, personal payoff. Of course.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#30 LFC

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 11:23 AM

As expected Pruitt's successor will be equally or even more damaging to the environment if not equally corrupt and buffoonish.

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Here are 6 horrifying things about Pruitt’s replacement, Andrew Wheeler.

1. His last gig was as a coal industry lobbyist. Wheeler worked for Murray Energy Corporation—the largest coal mining company in America. Wheeler must have been good at his job promoting big coal interests, netting close to $3 million for the gig.

2. Murray Energy’s CEO, who doesn’t believe in climate science, worked hard to stall the Obama administration’s efforts to pass environmental protections.

3. Wheeler formerly worked for James Inhofe, pre-eminent climate change denier, according to DeSmog blog.

4. While Wheeler worked for Murray Energy, the company was forced to pay millions in fines for contaminating water in three states with coal slurry, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

5. Prior to his nomination, Wheeler hosted fundraisers for Senators in order to evaluate his chance of getting the post.

6. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, Wheeler presents a dire threat to mitigating the negative effects of climate change. “Unlike Pruitt, Wheeler worked for the EPA early in his career and has played key roles in Congressional oversight of the agency and its budget, making him a formidable opponent with intimate knowledge of the agency’s programs and regulations,” they wrote.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#31 LFC

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 02:35 PM

Woo hoo! Let's poison Americans for the sake of a little more in lingering profits from a dying industry!

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday it has eased Obama-era standards on the disposal of toxic coal ash, a move expected to be the agency’s first revision of the standards and one that was slammed by environmentalists.

The 2015 rule established minimum national standards for the disposal of coal ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants that contains materials such as arsenic and lead.

The EPA said the revision would give flexibility to utility companies and states, which had fought against the standards calling them unduly burdensome, and save $28 million to $31 million per year in regulatory costs.

“Our actions mark a significant departure from the one-size-fits-all policies of the past and save tens of millions of dollars in regulatory costs,” said Andrew Wheeler, the acting head of the agency. Wheeler took over last week after Scott Pruitt, who was facing more than a dozen probes into ethics issues, stepped down.

It was the first rule that Wheeler, a Washington insider who in recent years worked as a lobbyist for coal and other companies, signed in his new position.

Under the new rule, state and EPA officials will be able to suspend groundwater monitoring requirements at coal ash sites if it is determined there is no potential for pollutants to move into certain aquifers. The rule also extends the life of some coal ash ponds from early 2019 to late 2020.

Coal ash is stored at hundreds of power plants throughout the country. Spills in Tennessee and North Carolina leached sludge containing toxic materials into rivers in those states over the last decade.

Environmentalists said the signing of the rule showed that the EPA’s direction of slashing regulations since Republican President Donald Trump took office will not change under Wheeler.


Aresenic and lead. It's what's for dinner ... and lunch ... and breakfast ... and in your iced tea ... and ...
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#32 LFC

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 11:28 AM

Trump blames regulations for the California wildfires and nobody is really sure what the hell he's babbling about though they're trying to guess.

Quote

President Trump tweeted on Sunday evening about the ongoing California wildfires, stating that "bad environmental laws" have "magnified" the disaster and "made [it] so much worse."

Quote

"California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!"

Our thought bubble, via Axios science editor Andrew Freedman: President Trump appears to be referring to endangered species protections, which mandate availability of water for some species. However, firefighters haven’t complained about lack of water for firefighting, but rather, the extreme nature of these fires.

To be fair if we cut down all the trees and stripped mined or farmed all the land then there wouldn't be a lot left to burn.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#33 pnwguy

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 11:36 AM

View PostLFC, on 06 August 2018 - 11:28 AM, said:

To be fair if we cut down all the trees and stripped mined or farmed all the land then there wouldn't be a lot left to burn.
Those lands just need to be all turned into Dumpster Golf Courses, and the rivers diverted to keep watering the greens and fairways. Problem solved! Its just so EASY to Make America Great Again, but only Dumpster can fix it. Well, maybe after 8 years, he'll be gracious and just let Don Jr. fix things.
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#34 LFC

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 05:07 PM

THE STUPID! IT BURNS!

Quote

President Trump doubled down on his criticism of California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), saying Monday that the state's water management policies are responsible for deadly wildfires.

“Governor Jerry Brown must allow the Free Flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the North and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean,” Trump tweeted. “Can be used for fires, farming and everything else. Think of California with plenty of Water - Nice! Fast Federal govt. Approvals.”

Trump said on Sunday that too much water from the northern part of the state is being allowed to flow into the Pacific Ocean, instead of being captured or redirected to use for firefighting, agriculture or other purposes.

The president's remarks echo longstanding Republican arguments that environmental policies like the Endangered Species Act make it harder for California to hold onto its water. Congressional Republicans for years have pushed for policies to direct more water into storage or to the southern part of the state.

But fire officials have generally not complained that they are running out of water to fight the blazes.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#35 golden_valley

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 09:56 AM

Trump's been listening to Nunes too much. In the middle of drought Nunes announced that there is plenty of water and that some radical environmental fringe working on a Communist plot shut the water pumps down. The article was written by the author of The King of California about how a family figured out how to drain a large freshwater lake so they could grow cotton.

#36 LFC

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 12:20 PM

View Postgolden_valley, on 07 August 2018 - 09:56 AM, said:

Trump's been listening to Nunes too much. In the middle of drought Nunes announced that there is plenty of water and that some radical environmental fringe working on a Communist plot shut the water pumps down. The article was written by the author of The King of California about how a family figured out how to drain a large freshwater lake so they could grow cotton.

I have a relative who works in the lumber industry and we've had some discussions about things he's read in industry rags. One concerned the harvesting of old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. The article complained that the timber industry was being blocked from harvesting virtually all old growth in this country and that wasn't fair. He asked me (in good faith) what I thought with my conservation background. My reply was that over 95% of all old growth forests had already been harvested in this country and that was the proper baseline to work from, not from the tiny bit that was left. He started to push back a little and I asked "The industry has already taken 95%. How much is enough? Is it 98%? 100%? What do you think is a reasonable stopping point?" He didn't really have a reply to that. He's not stupid or ideological by any stretch. He just never thought of it in terms of the true baseline because he industry moved the baseline by 95%. The nice thing for the industry is that no matter how little is left they're always COMPLETELY blocked from harvesting. How unreasonable!

It's the same way with water. How much is enough? "Conservatives" believe that it's 100% as long as somebody is making money off of it. The baseline always changes to argue for "more."
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#37 AnBr

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 07:20 PM

and now the EPA is allowing asbestos back into manufacturing

Note that if the US planning to sanction Brazil, Russia could become the sole supplier of asbestos raw material to the US.
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#38 JackD

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 08:38 PM

"Russia could become the sole supplier of asbestos raw material to the US."

Purely a coincidence, I'm sure.

#39 baw1064

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 11:33 PM

View PostJackD, on 07 August 2018 - 08:38 PM, said:

"Russia could become the sole supplier of asbestos raw material to the US."

In addition to Po-209 and Novichok.
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#40 LFC

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 09:25 AM

View PostAnBr, on 07 August 2018 - 07:20 PM, said:


From the original FastCompany story (bold mine):

Quote

On the nose, that may sound like Trump’s EPA is diligently regulating asbestos—but as the New York Times reported, the agency has significantly narrowed the way it evaluates the risk of potentially harmful chemical substances, all but making these two safety measures moot, and signaling a win for the powerful chemical lobby. A lengthy report of EPA’s new “framework” for evaluating risk, placed into effect this month, detailed how it would no longer consider the effect or presence of substances in the air, ground, or water in its risk assessments—effectively turning a blind eye to improper disposal, contamination, emissions, and other long-term environmental and health risks associated with chemical products, including those derived from asbestos.

Soooooo if it doesn't spontaneously combust then it's OK? They are literally taking refusing to do their job. Sounds like a recurring Republican theme.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





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