Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Thanks to Karen for the great pic.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


check it out yo! &

There are some incredibly awesome tools and links from this little articles here.

Mostly,,, and yahoo pipes.

With this you can completely super organize your online intake. For instance, build an rss feed out of some sites with dapper - send 'em through aiderss to get the best content from them (what other people have been tagging and making popular) , and then sort from that feed with yahoo pipes and mash them into one feed then put it all in feedburner to create a nice clean mega-feed everyone can subscribe too.

Poo poo, while you're at it might as well have it autoupdate your twitter account w/ all the cool stuff you found using twitterfeed.

And then if you really don't give a flying chuck, make sure that you use friendfeed to autoupdate all of your social sites everytime that your feed hits your twitter.

Then everyone will be super duper connected - and they can use this technique to filter stuff from you.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Drill Baby Drill, Really!?

Cross-posted from Environment America's Daily Kos Diary HERE

I couldn't quite believe it myself when I heard the crowd at the Republican National Convention last week, whipped up into a frenzy over the idea of opening our precious coasts to new drilling.

Click here to see and hear it for yourself.

In the last few days, 10,000 of us have urged our representatives and senators in Congress to say no to new offshore drilling, no to putting our beautiful coasts at risk of devastating spills, and no to the false hope of a quick-and-dirty fix to our energy problems. That's a fantastic accomplishment in such a short time.

But frankly, we need to do more to make ourselves heard over the din of "drill, baby, drill" -- especially when Big Oil's propaganda machine can so easily amplify their call on Capitol Hill.

As soon as the next few days, Congress will vote on whether to pass an energy policy paid for by Big Oil or one that puts us on a path toward a clean, sustainable energy future. Tell Congress to put a stop to the Big Oil agenda right now.

Take Action

We're raising the voice of people from all over the country to expose Big Oil's self-serving agenda, which includes:

* Saying NO to clean energy and energy efficiency tax credits,
* Saying YES to $13.5 billion in tax giveaways to the oil industry, and
* Saying YES to new drilling off our coasts.

Let's face facts. Big Oil's agenda is not about saving us money at the pump. It's about making them more money any way they can.

As outrageous as that is, we cannot win without Congress hearing from more Americans like you.

Click here to tell Congress to pass a sensible energy policy.

"Drill, baby, drill" is no solution to our energy problems, not by a long shot. Help us stand up to Big Oil today.

Thanks, as always, for making it all possible.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My comment on proposed Endangered Species Act Rule changes

Warning: Really long post!

This is a public comment i posted on regarding the "Revised Definitions for ESA Section 7 Consultations; 50 CFR Part 402."

To add your own comment go here.

Basically, (and i read the whole proposal, what a read!!! its pretty long and relatively dry but interesting and recommended by matt) the Dept. of the Interior is proposing changing the rules of the Endangered Species Act. What this means is a few things. The purported goal of the rule changes is to increase efficiency, in effect however it will weaken protections for Endangered Species and Habitats across the US.

For some background info:

Whenever an agency (like the
Federal Highway Administration or the Army Corps of Engineers) decides to do a project they first have to see how that project will affect endangered stuff. They usually have to get scientists from Fish and Wildlife (the Service) to sign off that the project will be okay.


They want to first not have to submit a biological assessment outright to the consulting service, but rather, if they did similar work in other documents they want to submit that for Review instead. Well, this one was no big deal.

Secondly, they want to redefine a bunch of stuff like "cumulative review" and "indirect effect" to have to be shown to be a direct result of the project. This seems sensible enough on paper, but in real life this means that it is impossible to scope the project appropriately. Instead of getting the environmental assessment for an entire pipe line, for instance, the review will only focus on specific portions on specific applications. This also means that far reaching and "long tail" impacts like the effect of green house gas increases on global warming will not be considered; ever. Sorry to the polar bear on that one.

Nextly, well this is the worst part, but basically they propose that if the agency thinks that their project won't affect endangered stuff then they don't have to submit anything for review. Ever. And that's pretty much the crux of the problem. Its like telling the fat kid to guard the pie. The agencies whose goal it is to get a project moving are then the same people charged with protecting the environment which is clearly a conflict of interest. Although, this only applies to circumstances where there is supposedly no "take" (meaning no death or destruction to critters and their homes) whether or not there is take is left up to the agency now. Of course, the Services that review can still say "hey, this is going to have an impact" and they can request one should the need be; but this turns the Services (fish and wildlife and marine) into watchdogs for agencies, which wastes more of their resources and inadvertantly will allow more stuff to slip by. Especially since the new rules are working to set a maximum of 60 days for review which (when a Service is flooded for requests and under funded) will mean a lot more stuff will flow over the dam.

To add your own comment go here.

So here's what i submitted to the public commentors:

***Thank you. Your comment on Document ID: FWS-R9-ES-2008-0093-0001 has been sent.
***Your Comment tracking number is 806ef187 .

I am hereby voicing my opposition to the proposed rule changes of FWS-R9-ES-2008-0093 the "Interagency Cooperation Under the Endangered Species Act."

To begin, the changes proposed by this act would only serve to obfuscate the consultation process between action agencies and Services as well as limit proper oversight by Services.

By clarifying the definition of "cumulative effects" and "indirect effects" to mean clearly that the results of an action must be "reasonably certain to occur" instead of "foreseeable" in the future severely limits the impact of consultation. The inclusion of this definition as well as the inclusion of language requiring that an action must be an "essential cause" of an indirect effect reduces the scope of environmental impact assessment to a level of specificity that undermines the overall impact of environmental review. With these new rules in place, even though an effect would be likely to occur, it will have no standing in the review process unless such an effect can be proven to occur. When dealing with the preservation of species and habitat proof of damage should not be required if it can be shown that damage is likely to occur. This is an intentional attempt to weaken species and habitat protections.

Proposed paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) also exclude from consultation actions which are so uncertain or unlikely that they are tantamount to having no effect on listed species or habitat. Uncertainty should not be tantamount to "no effect." If anything, uncertainty should be cause for review.

Overall the proposed changes in paragraph (b) equate actions which "may affect" species and habitats to actions which can be shown to have "no effect." Once again, this is simply a weakening of protections on species on habitats.

The loss of the need for consultation between agencies and Services based on the proposed changes to paragraph (b) are unwarranted. The changes are unnecessary because under the current regulations there is already a process in place under which actions deemed to have little potential impact on habitats or listed species can be proposed as such by the action agency to the Service. The Service can then concur with that determination and the consultation obligation is satisfied. Therefore, any impact on the expediency on the process will be minimal because a method of increasing expediency is already built into the system.

The inclusion of deadlines for response from the Service to an agency is a means by which, by flooding the Service with requests, an agency could stand to receive no review and thus circumvent a much needed process; even though under the proposed rule changes this review would be optional.

Overall, the proposed rule changes will have little impact on efficiency, will forfeit important reviews in instances where listed species and habitats "may" be threatened, and will require that the review process itself be so specifically and rigidly targeted so that any wide-ranging environmental impacts of an action will go un-investigated and any findings that do not show direct causality beyond the shadow of a doubt (regardless of however likely these findings may be) will be disregarded.

It is for these reasons that FWS-R9-ES-2008-0093, the "Interagency Cooperation Under the Endangered Species Act," is poor policy and should not be implemented.

There are only 3100 comments so far so please add yours too.

To add your own comment go here.