Saturday, September 07, 2013

There was a time when North Carolina was only second to California in conservation efforts.

Mecklenburg County bought Cowan's Ford Wildlife Refuge in 1992 to preserve water quality and wildlife habitats. The refuge, along with nearly 4,000 acres on both sides of the river, was designated by the National Audubon Society in 1999 as North Carolina's first Important Bird Area. 


September 7, 2013

The majority in control of North Carolina’s state legislature (click here) this year killed two amazingly successful land conservation programs. If North Carolina’s legislative leaders and the governor care about North Carolina’s natural heritage and environmental resources, they should reinstate both the Natural Heritage Trust Fund and the state’s income tax credits for land conservation.
More than half a million acres of North Carolina’s finest natural places in many hundreds of locations have been permanently protected over the past 30 years when owners voluntarily agreed to conserve their land because of the state’s Conservation Tax Credit and the N.C. Natural Heritage Trust Fund. Both of those programs were enacted by nearly unanimous, bipartisan legislative consensus....

...Where are the champions for land conservation in North Carolina? An exceptional example has been U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, who merits accolades for defending the U.S. Land and Water Conservation Fund (financed by royalties on oil and gas wells) that has been the primary funding source over the past 50 years for America’s national, state and local parks. The national Land and Water Conservation Fund also is in jeopardy. 

Have current Republican leaders in North Carolina determined that land and water and wildlife conservation, parks and greenway trails and preserves are no longer of concern to them or the public? Do they care about safeguarding the common public goods – clean and healthy lands, water and air?
If our legislative leaders and governor care about North Carolina’s natural environment, they should reinstate the Natural Heritage Trust Fund and the state’s income tax credits for land conservation. 

Chuck Roe of Raleigh was founding director of the N.C. Natural Heritage Program (1976-92) and the Conservation Trust for North Carolina (1984-2002).

Read more here:

North Carolina has some of the most incredible biotic content in the USA, if not the planet. It is situated at that place on Earth where it starts to turn north to meet at the North Pole. Earth is round, you know.

The state has basically three regions; the coastal plain, the piedmont and the mountains.

The coastal plain is all wetlands. There are a couple of major cities, but, that area of the state is primarily small towns and farms. The coast is host to many marine mammals as well as an abundance of shell fish beds. The beaches are primarily clean and then there are the historic out banks. North Carolina doesn't host a boardwalk, but, the beaches are incredible. The coastal plain also hosts some endangered species, too.

The Piedmont is a higher elevation and when traveling along I-40 at exit 312 it is easy to discern an uphill climb. The Piedmont is host to a large number of golf courses and water reservoirs. It is the capital seat and home of some of the finest universities and medical centers in the country. 

Moving west toward The Great Smokey Mountains, the state host a golf course and hotel at a higher elevation than most are used to. There is also a monastery in the mountains along route 194. But, one of the best tourist attractions is The Biltmore Estate in Asheville. It has become a place where many weddings occur every year.

Much of what is the beauty of North Carolina was insured by the thirty year old trust funds conducted by the State of North Carolina. This horrid Republican legislature is ending all that. The state is not going be the same. It's quality of life will deteriorate due to the lack of funding and maintenance of these programs. 

Republicans claim to the party that loves tradition and holds dear the treasures passed down by previous generations. According to these actions, that is a profound lie. They destroy more than they ever protect. 

Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE)

Image released by NASA on September 7, 2013 shows NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer launching (NASA/AFP, Carla Cioffi)

MOUNTAIN VIEW -- Among the several thousand people (click here) who jammed into a grassy plaza at NASA's Ames research facility for a live telecast of an extraordinary rocket launch to the moon was the Brady bunch, who came all the way from Stockton.
The youngsters -- 12-year-old Kyra Brady and her brothers, Ethan, 10 and Alex, 9 -- were driven to the event by their grandparents more than four hours before the launch to make sure they got a good seat. And as they waited at the sprawling facility's Shenandoah Plaza, the kids were clearly pumped.
"They're going to launch from Virginia to orbit around the moon and collect dust," Kyra said. "I think it's pretty cool."
Alex wholeheartedly agreed. Acknowledging he's been a Buzz Lightyear fan for as long as he can remember, he noted solemnly: "I like space."
Dubbed the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer -- or LADEE -- it is the first spacecraft designed, built and controlled by NASA Ames. The launch from NASA's facility on Wallops Island, Va., was displayed for the Mountain View throng on a huge screen in front of a ghostly lit Hangar One, the former home of the USS Macon Airship now stripped of its contaminated outer covering. And as the last seconds to take off were counted down, the spectators fidgeted and snapped smartphone pictures....

While Snyder removes democracy and underfunds education in Michigan his cronies are being well served.

This is the "State of Play" in Michigan. This has been a chronic march to doomsday by Michigan judges. They always allow preliminary actions by the government that ultimately destroy public lands. There is a stark example along the Boardman River in Grand Traverse County. It is corruption. There is no other word for it.

The Boardman River once served the logging and oil industry in the early 1900s. The river was harnessed for electric power through a series of dams along this fast flowing river.  The "overland flow" of snow, ice and rain caused a great deal of oil pollution runoff into the river for nearly one hundred years. There are still a few pumps along this river that provide an income to government and private non-profits still today. The oil is found in a geological structure called, "The Michigan Reef."

But, that said, one hundred years is a long time and there has been a lot that has transpired in those years, namely population growth and modernization of the area. The ponds formed by the dams were much sought after and until this past year the river was a tourist attraction. There are reviews of The Boardman dating back to the 1950s highlighting it as "A Blue Ribbon Trout Stream." But, that has ended now.

About nine years ago the natural gas industry reared it's ugly head in Grand Traverse County. There were an unemployed fish biologist. The two have provided the worst government infrastructure project in the nation. The project was called, "The Boardman, A River Reborn." It was/is to be the projects of all projects. The river would be returned to it's natural course by dam deconstruction. The project is a deeply corrupted project at the consent of local government. 

That aside, the project has resulted in what is termed in Michigan as "Dam Drawdowns." That means incremental amounts of lowering of the ponds occurs while the dam is still intact. It has been years since the first dam drawdown at the Boardman Pond. The drawdown resulted in loss of raparian rights to land owners, devaluation of the real estate, including homes. There are now abandoned homes along the river and more are in the works since the gross mismanagement of the engineering firm, AMEC.  AMEC allowed an inexperienced engineer to over see a temporary dewatering facility and it collapsed sending all the contaminated sediment downstream along with huge amounts of water. The entire river is now contaminated by toxic sediment and the status of fishing along the river is basically gone. The homes involved have chronic issues, including Black Mold which is causing respiratory disease and winter it on it's way.

If that isn't enough, far earlier on when the project's first draw down was to occur, there was a resident, an artisan wood carver, that sued the city, county and state for his losses and to stop the project. The citizens basically want the hydroelectric power and until this past year there was a FERC Permit to allow the continuation of it with a private interest. Those people do exist by the way. Honest people, PRIVATE INTERESTS, that believe alternative power far exceeds that of temporary drilling. One hundred years of proof of a highly stable river and it's power generation would turn a nice profit to any private investor and their capital. The returns were far better than Wall Street.

But, back to the lawsuit. 

The judge ruled that the permit was a 'temporary draw down permit' and there was no reason for the action until it was to be known to cause PERMANENT damage. The definition to deny the lawsuit relied on the 'idea' that no permanent damaged occurred yet. It didn't matter the property owners were abandoning their property because their homes already lost over 50% of market value, it was all temporary according to the judge. Corruption. Plan and simple. The same dynamics are playing out now since the temporary dam collapse and people could very well die of Black Mold in their lungs. The judicial system in Michigan SLOW WALKS injustice in the hopes it does not appear to be injustice. If you've lived in the state long enough, it is nearly anticipated these days.

But, the entire lawsuit by citizens of conscious who would prefer alternative energies like wind, solar and hydroelectric are being slow walked through the Michigan judicial system to destroy public lands, yet again.

I believe it was yesterday Snyder stated he was creating a commission to study hydrofracking in the state and provide GUIDANCE to local governments. The study is to take about a year. The NC government said that as well and it took less than 30 days.

Snyder is dismantling alternative sources of energy in the state. He has provided the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality monies to deconstruct every dam in Michigan. The Michigan DEQ has rubber stamped every document required to deconstruct these dams. The investigation into any toxins is grossly mismanaged. The Boardman sediment investigation by the DEQ for toxins allowed shallow cores to count for what should have been core samples deep into the sand to find where the contamination ended. The shallow core samples was to mask what actually has accumulated in the way of toxins over a century. See, the sand along the Boardman is the reason for the temporary dam collapse, but, they won't admit it. According to official sources the cause is unknown. But, that sand, WHEN UNDISTURBED, acted as a filter to the toxic sediment that washed into the river and trapped the toxins away from water quality. UNTIL NOW.

So, the focus by Snyder is to indulge Koch Industries, deconstruct dams regardless of the hardship to citizens, glamorize the process, hide the facts and don't forget deforest the beauty everyone loves.

The judicial system is no place for citizen interests in Michigan and this is another example.

By Yvonne Zipp
on August 19, 2013 at 10:42 AM, updated August 19, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Michigan Air Land Water Defense (click here) filed the suit in October 2012, challenging leases sold by the state at auction in 2012 in the Allegan State Game Area, the Barry State Game Reserve and Yankee Springs Parks and Recreation Area, arguing that the state needed to first assess the environmental impact of horizontal hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, on public lands.
Circuit Court Judge Amy McDowell granted the motion of summary disposition filed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Aug. 13, saying that MLAWD's claim was not ripe for review.
In her opinion, McDowell called the plaintiffs' claims premature, since the leases auctioned were classified as nondevelopmental, which means that no surface drilling can occur without an application to the state for a change of status.
"As asserted by Defendants, the mere act of leasing oil and gas rights, in and of itself, does not constitute actual or imminent injury," wrote McDowell. "If the DNR initially classified that lease as 'developmental' or 'developmental with restrictions' prior to a review of the impact on protected areas, then this Court may have reached a different conclusion."

Just as a side note. Don't bother about the local newsprint, they are bought and sold on money and one sided politics. There is no fair play in Michigan. There is no OTHER SIDE, everyone is on the same side. There simply is not other view to provide 'equal opportunity' to be heard.

The letter out of the G20 on Syria was a dodge to the demands of Obama.

It recognized Assad as responsible for the release of chemical weapons according to USA intelligence gathering. There was no endorsement for retaliation. If Obama states there is he would be lying.

...“We support efforts undertaken (click here) by the United States and other countries to reinforce the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons,” said the letter, signed by Canada, Australia, Britain, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Turkey. It was far short of Mr. Obama’s hoped-for coalition of allies willing to endorse U.S.-led military action to punish the Assad regime for killing more than 1,000 people – including several hundred children – with chemical weapons....

Canada's Harmper offered political cover for Obama on Keystone and Tar Sands. Corruption. Harper offers corruption in 'saleable lies' as the coward he is. Harper can't live with the truth regarding his tar sands.

I don't really think that is possible. There is no political cover from Keystone. Every scientist in the world has come out against it. Where can anyone find political cover from that?

September 6, 2013
...Sources say Mr. Harper (click here) sent a letter in late August that urged joint action to reduce emissions in the oil and gas industry, and said Canada would work with the United States to provide political cover for the controversial pipeline project.
Mr. Obama is facing staunch opposition to the long-stalled, $5.3-billion (U.S.) project from the environmental movement and the left wing of his own party, and has said he won’t approve it if the pipeline leads to an increase in greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions.
The Prime Minister’s Office refused to confirm the existence of the letter on Friday, but said Mr. Harper raises the subject of Keystone XL every time he speaks to the President. The two were together at the Group of 20 meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, this week.
Ottawa has long pushed for a bilateral strategy on climate change, and is concerned that costly new regulations on the oil and gas industry will drive investment south to the booming American sector in the absence of similar U.S. rules....

Demonizing Coal and offering a solution through it's abandonment as a fuel source is only going to make people angry. Everyone involved with the brutal barrons of carbon fuels knows the coal mines will export. What difference will that make?

Latin America? The petroleum industry hates Latin America. The companies are owned by the government, NOT private industry. Everyone can look to Nigeria and see what happened there. The oil companies in Latin America are controlled by political pressures and that is the way it should be. 

Why trust Wall Street to drain every drop of a nation's assets and leave nothing but tragedy in it's wake; ie: Ecuador. Harper knows nothing of what he speaks yet he speaks it as if an authority on selling Latin America oil. Mismanagement is in the eye of the beholder. What Wall Street calls mismanagement, others call prudent.
Energy monopolies in Latin America (click here) have proven highly susceptible to politicization, mismanagement, and corruption.

Three energy companies in particular—Brazil’s Petrobras, Mexico’s Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), and Venezuela’s Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA)—are instructive examples of how government intervention can render oil companies uncompetitive and unsustainable. 

Professional management, transparency, free competition with private companies, and openness to foreign capital and technology can help state-owned energy companies maximize their potential and deliver optimal long-term dividends for their nations. 

There have been 280 Canadian Forces missions since 1945.

The Canadian Forces (click here) is creating a database of every operations they've conducted in since 1945, spanning more than six decades of humanitarian aide and military action. The Globe turned this data into an animated video by plotting each mission on a map and setting it to music. For more information, follow the link below or visit

I can only imagine what the USA global map would look like.