Posts filed under ‘The Environment, Weather, Etc.’

Dunkin’ Donuts Bucks The Styrofoam Kids Club at its Peril

Dunkin Donuts Coffee Cup

A grade school club that began on the wooded Brookline campus of the Park School has spawned a nationwide campaign urging Dunkin’ Brands to stop using styrofoam.

Last school year, a group of Park School fourth and fifth graders (now headed to fifth and sixth) formed the Kids Styrofoam Club during recess. They subsequently launched a petition that asks the company to eliminate styrofoam from its Dunkin’ Donuts stores by Earth Day of next year. The same petition has now garnered 250,000 signatures on

The club and its faculty advisor will deliver the petition to Dunkin’s Canton headquarters Friday morning. The middle schoolers from the independent school are also scheduled to meet with Dunkin’ staff after they drop off the petition.


Dunkin’ stated during 2012 that it was exploring ways to “roll out an alternative cup that meets our cost, performance and environmental criteria in 2-3 years.”


Dunkin’ Brands, are you serious?  (No you’re not.)  Hundreds of outlets in my town use recyclable cups.  This isn’t all that hard.  It shouldn’t take you “2-3 years” to get it together on that.  Call me.  I’ll show you around.

That said, BRAVO TO THE STYROFOAM KIDS CLUB acting up.  They aim to get things done, unlike corporate IDon’tGiveAShitLazyAsses like ah, Dunkin’ Brands.

July 17, 2014 at 8:14 PM Leave a comment

They’re Putting a Pipeline Under Rockaway Beach

Hey “Liberal Media,” let’s blow this up:

(Image via


A Massive Rockaway Gas Pipeline Is Being Built Right Under Our Beaches

A year and a half after Hurricane Sandy swept surging seas over the Rockaway spit, the neighborhood is finally beginning to claw its way back to a normal summer. Fort Tilden beach, closed to the public last summer season due to dangerous debris left by the storm, has finally reopened. And what better way to celebrate the partial recovery from a climate-change-fueled Superstorm than by laying a high-pressure fracked-gas transmission pipeline right under the beach?

At this very moment, work is underway on the Rockaway Lateral Project, a giant 26-inch diameter pipeline that will bring 647,000 dekatherms per day of fracked natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, under high pressure, beneath the beach, under a golf course, under the Marine Parkway Bridge, through Floyd Bennett Field, and into a new meter and regulator station in an old hangar at the airfield before connecting to distribution lines running up Flatbush Avenue into Brooklyn.


Ordinarily, it’s pretty hard for gas companies to lay pipe through taxpayer-protected parkland. But less than a month after Sandy, ethically embattled and all-around-reasonable guy Rep. Michael Grimm pushed a law through Congress granting an energy company the right to do just that.


Of course, with the approval process concluded and construction virtually underway, the Rockaway Lateral looks like a done deal. Even the CARP activists who fought long and hard against it consider the pipeline inevitable at this point. But this summer, a new group calling itself No Rockaway Pipeline has popped up on the beaches and on social media, distributing flyers that declare their intention “to take over the beach and stop the Rockaway Pipeline for good.”


Meet Michael Grimm.


July 15, 2014 at 9:36 PM 2 comments

Yo, Environmental Defense Fund – What’s With Your Obnoxious Solicitation?

Check out this photo

Environmental Defense Fund Solicitation

It’s of an envelope that came in the mail today from the Environmental Defense Fund.  Yes, the Environmental Defense Fund sent a solicitation in an envelope measuring 13″ x 10.5″. Inside were four letter-sized pieces of paper, a return envelope and a letter-sized sheet of personalized return address labels, the “gift” that’s presumably supposed to make me feel guilty enough to send them money.

What planet do these people live on? The disconnect here is unbelievable.  There is no way in the world I would join an organization this obnoxious. this wasteful and this hypocritical.

I think the Environmental Defense Fund has lost its way.


July 15, 2014 at 2:15 PM Leave a comment

Explainer: Glaciers in West Antarctica Beyond the Point of No Return

Here’s a very clear, simple, two minute and 16 second explanation of why the glaciers in West Antarctica are past the point of no return:


July 5, 2014 at 2:10 PM Leave a comment

Guy Hates Prius Owners

Guy hates Prius owners so he spews crap into the environment in protest.

I wonder if he has kids or grand kids because they’ll be the ones who pay for his ignorance:

July 4, 2014 at 6:23 PM Leave a comment

800,000 Years of Atmospheric CO2

Peter Gleick is no slouch:  He’s a “climate/water scientist; member National Academy of Science, MacArthur Fellow; President Pacific Institute; author of Bottled and Sold.”

Here’s a tweet he just sent out and the news isn’t good:

Peter Gleick Tweet re CO2 7-3-14

(Image via Peter Gleick on Twitter)

July 3, 2014 at 11:56 AM 2 comments

Cool Morning Time Waster

Here’s a really neat interactive showing real-time wind patterns around the Earth.  Click on the globe to turn and then click on the background to activate.  Interesting.  And fun.

Wow, wind’s really blowing in the Antarctic today:

Antarctic wind

Image via Earth.NullSchool.Net)

Again, here it is.

July 3, 2014 at 8:24 AM Leave a comment

Ozone Alert Issued in Boulder, CO Due to Smoke From Fires…in Canada

As soon as the Sun started to rise this morning I noticed how hazy it was. Initially I thought it was caused by humidity but then I saw this:

Ozone Alert Issued for Boulder County, Front Range Due to Smoke From Canadian fires


The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Regional Air Quality Council have issued an ozone alert for Boulder County and other counties along the Front Range due to smoke from fires in Canada.

The alert says ozone concentrations are expected to reach the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” range this afternoon and evening, and warns that unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.

The alert is in effect until at least 4 p.m. today.

According to the alert, smoke from fires in Canada is causing hazy skies across portions of Colorado.


I did a bit more digging and the smoke isn’t just from fires in Canada, it’s from fires in northern Canada, as in the Northwest Territories. Here’s a map:

Fores in Northwest Terrorities

(Image via



July 2, 2014 at 10:33 AM Leave a comment

Tropical Storm Arthur: The National Hurricane Center Issues First Ever Storm Surge Map

What with Tropical Storm Arthur approaching the Eastern seaboard, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued its first ever storm surge map:

Natl Hurricane Center storm surge map 7-1-14

Image via NHC_Atlantic on Twitter)


Good idea.  What with the rise in sea level due to global warming it doesn’t take a full-blown hurricane anymore, with its high winds, to push ocean waters deep into coast areas.  Folks have to get that.  It could rain like hell and the already-higher sea level could push inland.  Things have changed.

July 1, 2014 at 7:03 PM Leave a comment

So-Called Democrats in Montana Refuse to Include the Words Climate Change in Their Platform

coal Mine via Wikimedia Commons

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Democrats in Montana who are (1) owned by the oil and gas industry or  (2) who suffer from Stockholm Syndrome and are to immature to know it and too terrified to get therapy to overcome it have got to go:

BUTTE – While the Obama administration is churning out rules to limit greenhouse gases that cause climate change, Montana Democrats on Friday resisted placing the words “climate change” in their party platform.

“We can sit here and talk about what we believe here as Democrats,” said Sen. Jim Keane, D-Butte, who argued against mentioning the costs of climate change in the platform. “I believe in the (coal) workers who work in eastern Montana, too.


A party platform committee considered the change, which would have said the party believes in protecting the environment rather than burdening future generations with the “extraordinary costs of climate-change-caused” effects, but voted against adding the climate change language.


Short-sighted, uninspired, backward-looking idiots chained to the coal lobby:  A huge majority of Americans support regulating carbon from power plants. And they’re even willing to pay for it.

Do they have kids?  Grandkids?

We need LEADERS.





June 7, 2014 at 8:11 PM Leave a comment

Outrageous: Louisiana’s Republican Governor Signs Bill Blocking Lawsuits Against Oil and Gas Companies

Wow, what hutzpah and what a huge middle finger to all the people, animals, sea creatures and land damaged or destroyed by British Petroleum (BP) and oil companies past, present and future.  Talk about a corporatocracy.  This is just sickening. Talk about outrage overload:

BP Oil Spill via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia.)

Rejecting the advice of his own attorney general and dozens of legal scholars, Louisiana governor and potential presidential contender Bobby Jindal effectively blocked a New Orleans-area levee board from suing oil and gas companies for allegedly destroying the state’s coasts – and in so doing, may have also derailed state and local claims against BP for damages and tax revenue lost following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association, was also quoted in the statement distributed by the governor’s office, hailing the measure as a “huge victory for the oil and gas industry.”

The law, SB 469, essentially bars a levee district in New Orleans’ East Bank – the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, or SLFPA-E – from pressing forward in its lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies, which it blames for exposing New Orleans to catastrophic damage from hurricanes Rita and Katrina by cutting thousands of miles of pipes and canals through sensitive barrier islands and wetlands that otherwise would have protected the coastal city.

The lawsuit, filed last summer, sought to force energy companies to restore the wetlands, fill in the canals, and pay for past damages.

“We are looking to the industry to fix the part of the problem that they created,” SLFPA-E vice president John Barry told the Times-Picayune last year. “We’re not asking them to fix everything. We only want them to address the part of the problem that they created.”


Impeach the bastard for crimes against humanity and nature.  Not only that, what, he wants to use taxpayer dollars to clean-up BP’s mess?  What, he probably doesn’t care about clean-up at all.

Everyone in the country, er, the world needs to know about this.  This is what politicians who are owned by oil and gas companies do.



June 7, 2014 at 1:16 PM 7 comments

#NotAScientists (i.e., Republicans) On How Global Warming is a Bunch of Hooey

This is good, via Act.TV/Americans United:

The GOP may be a lot of things, but “climate scientists” is not one of them. But that won’t stop them from ignoring a 97% consensus among actual scientists, along with 7 out of 10 Americans, that climate change is man-made and needs to be dealt with.





June 5, 2014 at 9:34 AM 3 comments

Chart Shows How Environmental Regulations Destroy the Economy

Oh, ah, wait. Maybe not.

Despite what Republicans and their corporate masters are screaming about with regard to Obama’s proposed cuts to power plant emissions, history shows that environmental regulations do not — repeat — do not slow and/or destroy economies.  They might force corporations to spend money to retrofit plants (the real reason for all the screaming) but implementing them doesn’t mark the end of life as we know it.  To those of us who’ve been around for a while, that meme is as old as dirt.

From Peter Gleick:


Enviro rules Don't destroy the economy

(Via Peter Gleick)

BTW, a huge majority of Americans support regulations like the ones proposed.


June 3, 2014 at 1:42 PM 1 comment

111º in Phoenix Today

Summer officially begins on June 21st.  I’m wondering what we’re facing if this is where we are now:

111 Degrees in Phoeni 6-2-1`4


June 2, 2014 at 8:08 PM 1 comment

Bad News for Puffin Lovers

I just set up a new category, Global Warming is Here, because I’m reading about lots of “little” things that are happening right now that add up to already-big, imho, ramifications.   I.e., the cascading decline of the Earth’s systems has begun in earnest.

Take this for example (so, so sad — way to go humans!):

The new poster child for climate change had his coming-out party in June 2012, when Petey the puffin chick first went live into thousands of homes and schools all over the world. The Puffin Cam capturing baby Petey’s every chirp had been set up on Maine’s Seal Island by Stephen Kress, “The Puffin Man,” who founded the Audubon Society’s Project Puffin in 1973.


Puffin parents dote on their single chick, sheltering it in a two-foot burrow beneath rocky ledges and bringing it piles of small fish each day. Researchers would get to watch live puffin feeding behavior for the first time, and schoolkids around the world would be falling for Petey.


But Kress soon noticed that something was wrong. Puffins dine primarily on hake and herring, two teardrop-shaped fish that have always been abundant in the Gulf of Maine. But Petey’s parents brought him mostly butterfish, which are shaped more like saucers. Kress watched Petey repeatedly pick up butterfish and try to swallow them. The video is absurd and tragic, because the butterfish is wider than the little gray fluff ball, who keeps tossing his head back, trying to choke down the fish, only to drop it, shaking with the effort. Petey tries again and again, but he never manages it. For weeks, his parents kept bringing him butterfish, and he kept struggling. Eventually, he began moving less and less. On July 20, Petey expired in front of a live audience.


Kress assumed [Petey's parents] were just unlucky. Then he checked the other 64 burrows he was tracking: Only 31 percent had successfully fledged. He saw dead chicks and piles of rotting butterfish everywhere. “That,” he says, “was the epiphany.”


Herring and hake had dramatically declined in the waters surrounding Seal Island, and by August, Kress had a pretty good idea why: The water was much too hot.


Here’s the video of poor Petey trying to swallow a butterfish.  It is 1.08 minutes long and is condensed from video of Petey’s attempt to swallow the fish over the course of — get this — three hours.

<iframe width=”430″ height=”242″ src=”//″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>





June 1, 2014 at 3:54 PM Leave a comment

Chemicals Used in Fracking Must Be Absolutely Awful

Fracking Well Heads via Wikipedia

(Fracking well heads via Wikimedia)

Check out what corporate-owned Republicans in North Carolina are doing.  The chemicals used by the fracking industry must be terrifying if they’re going to this length to keep them secret:

As hydraulic fracturing ramps up around the country, so do concerns about its health impacts. These concerns have led 20 states to require the disclosure of industrial chemicals used in the fracking process.

North Carolina isn’t on that list of states yet—and it may be hurtling in the opposite direction.

On Thursday, three Republican state senators introduced a bill that would slap a felony charge on individuals who disclosed confidential information about fracking chemicals. The bill, whose sponsors include a member of Republican party leadership, establishes procedures for fire chiefs and health care providers to obtain chemical information during emergencies. But as the trade publication Energywire noted Friday, individuals who leak information outside of emergency settings could be penalized with fines and several months in prison.

“The felony provision is far stricter than most states’ provisions in terms of the penalty for violating trade secrets,” says Hannah Wiseman, a Florida State University assistant law professor who studies fracking regulations.

The bill also allows companies that own the chemical information to require emergency responders to sign a confidentiality agreement. And it’s not clear what the penalty would be for a health care worker or fire chief who spoke about their experiences with chemical accidents to colleagues.


Amazing.  The citizens of North Carolina pay these guys’ salary but these state senators are blatantly and flagrantly working against the wellbeing of the very people who voted them into office and again, who pay them to ah, work for them not against them.  Thomas Jefferson must be twirling in his grave.

May 19, 2014 at 11:52 AM Leave a comment

Oil Companies Will Cheer When the Arctic is Ice-Free

And it’s no wonder. Look where they’re itching to drill:

Where Oil Cos Want to drill for oil via save the artic on twitter

(Image via SaveTheArctic on Twitter)

This is where and how they’ll put the final dagger in the Earth’s heart.

Larger version here.

May 15, 2014 at 12:10 PM Leave a comment

Slide Show: Antarctica Melting

Stranded Penguins reuters

Two Adelie penguins stand atop a block of melting ice on a rocky shoreline in East Antarctica January 1, 2010. (Reuters/Pauline Askin via

See the slide show here, via Reuters.

May 13, 2014 at 2:07 PM Leave a comment

Boulder Getting Weather-Bombed Again

This is a photo I took of the perennial bed along the east-facing fence in our backyard at roughly 5:30 p.m. yesterday (MDT):

Back bec before snow 5-10-14

This is a photo I took of that same spot minutes ago:

Back Bed after snow 5-11-14

I covered the peonies and cut and brought in the cream-colored tulips (they were in their prime).

Three to six more inches are expected tonight.

Fingers crossed that those black plastic covers don’t collapse and that the peony buds survive.

As you can see, the trees have budded out so fingers crossed in terms of branches breaking.

It is so hard being a gardener — much less a plant!  — here in Boulder.


May 11, 2014 at 6:43 PM Leave a comment

Starving Polar Bears Invade Village in Greenland

Polar Bears via

Screenshot –

I watched a video — here — this morning that touched me so much I kept it on my desktop all day.  It moved me.  It’s a 4:30 minute tale about animals and humans struggling to live in a drastically changing climatological world.Yesterday my neighbor told me she and her husband are expecting their second child in September.I’m thinking of the kids again.

May 8, 2014 at 6:07 PM Leave a comment

Video of a Cloud Dumping, and I mean Dumping, Rain on Montgomery, Alabama

Published on Apr 30, 2014

So, just in case you missed it on TV, here’s a clip of the bottom dropping out of a thunderstorm in west Montgomery between 5:30 and 6:00, caught by our Alfa SkyVision Camera at RSA Headquarters. Pretty cool stuff. Rich Thomas WSFA 12 Weather.



May 5, 2014 at 10:39 AM Leave a comment

Another One: Train Carrying Crude Oil “Erupts” in Downtown Lynchburg, VA

It’s not clear whether this train crashed first or exploded first but that said, here we have yet another crude oil disaster (oil is leaking into the James River in the heart of downtown).  I swear, the gods are trying to tell us to get the hell off of oil:

Va oil crash via sherifelipe on Instagram

(Image via sherifelipe on Instagram)

Breaking: CSX Railroad “Bomb Train” Carrying Crude Oil Explodes in Lynchburg, Virginia

A freight train owned by CSX Corporation has erupted in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia, which sent “flames stories high” into the air, creating a large black cloud.

ABC‘s WSET has reported four of its cars were “labeled crude oil” and one witness interviewed on WSET who is an employee at Lynchburg’s Market at Main restaurant, Randy Taylor, told show hosts it “sounded like a jet” when it exploded.

“The train that derailed and caught fire in Lynchburg, Virginia, belongs to CSX Corp. and was carrying crude oil,” explained a Reuters breaking story. “The accident occurred near the waterfront and some crude oil is leaking into the James River, which feeds into the Chesapeake Bay.”

Around 300 people were evacuated following the accident because of the black, billowing smoke. Though the incident happened in the heart of downtown, no injuries or deaths have been reported.


The post I linked to being updated continuously so check it out.

April 30, 2014 at 5:23 PM 1 comment

Fox Does Not Want to Talk About Climate Change, Damnit

My Tweet of the Day is from Michael Moyer, the Editor of Scientific American:

weet of the Day re fox 4-30-14



April 30, 2014 at 9:30 AM Leave a comment

NASA Releases Video of Deadly Storms

GREENBELT, Md., April 29 (UPI) — A video released today by NASA, captured by the agency’s weather satellites, shows yesterday’s deadly tornado-spawning storm from space.

The 31-second computer-animated video was created by weather scientists working on the GOES Project at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. GOES stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite or GOES-East; the project is collaborative effort between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.


April 30, 2014 at 8:55 AM Leave a comment

So What if All the Bees Die — We’ve Got Robobees!

Greenpeace put this video up this morning which I initially thought was sort of a sarcastic parody of what might happen if bees disappeared.  Then I realized it was for real. Instead of figuring out why real bee colonies are collapsing and preventing it, we’re developing robobees which I think is a sickening, bassackward way to run a planet.

Read more here.



April 28, 2014 at 8:18 AM 1 comment

Wildfires Already Raging in Siberia (Yes, Siberia!)

Eastern shore of  Lake Baikal, Siberia via Wikimedia Commons

The Eastern Shore of Lake Baikal, Siberia (via Wikimedia Commons)

When I think of Siberia in April I think of a place that’s sleepily emerging from a long, snow-covered deep freeze.  Silly me:

Anomalous, global-warming-enhanced, fires continued to erupt across Eastern Russia [last week], chasing a rapidly receding freeze line north and into zones still frozen, but starting to shake off ice cover far too soon for comfort.

According to reports from Radio Free Europe, more than 5,000 pieces of heavy equipment and many more firefighters are now battling blazes throughout Siberia this week. As of April 20th, more than 100 blazes were reported in numerous regions including: the Orenburg area around Lake Baikal, the Amur region, the Birobidzhan Autonomous Oblast, the Primorsky Krai, and the Far Eastern region of Russia.


All across Eastern Russia, the story is the same: above average warmth, early thaw, summer-like temperatures in spring time. It has been this way day after day, month after month. Since 2010, the story has mostly been the same: early thaw, record or near record heat, amazing fire hazard. Even more concerning, the situation is steadily growing worse.



April 27, 2014 at 10:44 AM Leave a comment

How About a Bowl of Roundup for Breakfast?

Monsanto logo via

The last sentence here is the killer:

You probably wouldn’t knowingly eat a substance known to induce death in human cells. But that’s what millions of people are doing every day, even when they’re enjoying foods with “natural” on the label.

Norwegian scientists just published a new study that will appear in the June issue of Food Technology showing high levels of glyphosate—the active weed-killing chemical in Roundup—are turning up in genetically engineered (GE) soy. That herbicide-laced soy winds up in thousands of nonorganic packaged foods and in animal feed for livestock like pigs, cows, chickens, and turkeys.

Why is this happening? Genetically engineered crops are manipulated in a way that could never occur in nature so plants like corn, soy, canola, cotton, and sugar beets can withstand high doses of glyphosate-containing herbicides that would normally kill them. The result? Roundup in food that people and farm animals eat.

As more and more weeds become resistant to glyphosate and GE technology fails, farmers spray heavier glyphosate applications—and more often. Glypshoate is systemic, meaning it’s take up inside of the plant. As nonorganic farmers crank up glyphosate use, the Environmental Protection Agency has been slowly increasing allowable levels of glyphosate in food.


So, Monsanto’s Roundup is doing a number on the planet and, here in the U.S. at least, the so-called Environmental (cough) “Protection” (cough) Agency is enabling them.

The corporations really do run the place.

What a country.

April 27, 2014 at 10:19 AM Leave a comment

The Average Temperature in the U.S. Has Gone Up 0.48º Per Decade Since the First Earth Day

Avg. Temp Increase Since First Earth Day via


We should all know by now that when it comes to climate, a few degrees can go a long way. The world’s top climatologists warn that allowing an average global temperature rise of a mere 2° Celsius (about 3.5°F) “would be disastrous.” So it is troubling to think that average temps in the two fastest-warming U.S. states—Delaware and Wisconsin—are 3°F higher than they were four decades ago. Vermont, New Jersey, and Michigan are right behind them, and all of the Lower 48 are heating up faster or just as fast as the rest of the planet. Overall, the average temp for the continental U.S. has gone up 0.48°F per decade since 1970.


As I’ve said before, I feel for the babies.

April 22, 2014 at 5:10 PM Leave a comment

It’s Earth Day

Lots of work to do.

Earth Day 2014

(Image via Indonesian digital artist Ferdi Rizkiyanto)


April 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM Leave a comment

California’s Snowpack at 19% of Normal

Yikes.  This is such bad news for plants and animals (including we human animals) insofar as California went into this year in a dire drought situation to begin with.  This chart represents ground water values from 1962 to roughly the present:

Cal Ground Water via

(Image via

More info and a larger, more readable version of this chart here.

I’m thinking a spike in food prices and all kinds of potential cascading ramifications.

April 19, 2014 at 5:48 PM Leave a comment

Older Posts

Follow Me On Twitter



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,206 other followers