Thursday, December 31, 2015

How Progressives Won in 2015 — Medium

We can change some things - but could do much more if we get together and understand how all of these issues are connected. Happy New Year. And yes - consider supporting a cell phone company that stands on the right side not on the side of big corporations...

Click the link below:

How Progressives Won in 2015 — Medium

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bernie Sanders is the Only Presidential Candidate to Take a Clear Stand on Climate Change

Right now, we have an energy policy that is rigged to boost the profits of big oil companies like Exxon, BP, and Shell at the expense of average Americans. CEO’s are raking in record profits while climate change ravages our planet and our people — all because the wealthiest industry in the history of our planet has bribed politicians into complacency in the face of climate change. Enough is enough. It’s time for a political revolution that takes on the fossil fuel billionaires, accelerates our transition to clean energy, and finally puts people before the profits of polluters.

Full Plan: Combating Climate Change to Save the Planet

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

San Diego Vows to Move Entirely to Renewable Energy in 20 Years - The New York Times

By MATT RICHTEL DEC. 15, 2015 - The New York Times Last weekend, representatives of 195 countries reached a landmark accord in Paris to lower planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. On Tuesday, local leaders in San Diego committed to making a city-size dent in the problem. With a unanimous City Council vote, San Diego, the country’s eighth-largest city, became the largest American municipality to transition to using 100 percent renewable energy, including wind and solar power. In the wake of the Paris accord, environmental groups hailed the move as both substantive and symbolic. Read the full story here: San Diego Vows to Move Entirely to Renewable Energy in 20 Years - The New York Times

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Paris climate deal: nearly 200 nations sign in end of fossil fuel era | Environment | The Guardian

Paris climate deal: nearly 200 nations sign in end of fossil fuel era | Environment | The Guardian

Paris climate deal: key points at a glance | Environment | The Guardian

Paris climate deal: key points at a glance | Environment | The Guardian

[Michigan Climate March] Over 800 strong in the #MIClimateMarchduring...


Ethan Wampler, Jayson Toweh and Nicholas Jansen posted in Michigan Climate March.
Ethan Wampler
December 12 at 5:53pm
Over 800 strong in the #MIClimateMarch during #D12!! It's time to #ActOnClimate ourselves!!!
Nicholas Jansen, Vee Epshteyn, Alex Kendig, Jayson Toweh, Ellen T. Loubert, Julia Wang, Ginny Rogers, Jim Stehlin, Noor Ahmad, Joshua Ruiz, Will Feuer, Will Ellis, Louis Salvatore Finazzo III, Eva Roos, Simone Shemshedini, Kate Hutchens, Anna Silver, Bridget Vial

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Michigan Climate March in Ann Arbor this Saturday at 2pm

As world leaders from 195 countries end their negotiations on how to stop climate change and how to transition to a fossil-free world, here's a chance to urge Michigan to do the same, as well as to celebrate progress made in Paris .

Michigan Climate March, a state-wide event in Ann Arbor

Location: In front of the Federal Building at 200 E. Liberty St.
Details: March through downtown, ending with a Rally on the UM Diag

It would be great to see you there!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Less = More Coalition Documentary - Crisis: Factory Farms and Lake Erie Algae

Pam Taylor 

Hello to All,

I've included a copy of Less = More "Follow the Manure ..." Report, plus the Appendix, in the OneDrive below, in case you'd like to download it directly. The interactive map is available at the link in the press release.

(Note that the manure calculations are average-per-species-per farm, so if a farm has different animal classifications such as nursery pigs, finishing pigs, etc., an average manure production for that species was used. All sources listed in report endnotes.)

One of the things that this data showed us is that, while Michigan has less than 1% of the NPDES-permitted CAFO animals, they provide almost 20% of the manure produced by NPDES-permitted CAFO animals in the WLEW. This manure is applied on a relatively small amount of land acreage.

This report does not include non-permitted farms, i.e., smaller CAFOs or farms that don't confine their animals.

Video documentary here:

Pam Taylor


Media Contact: Gail Philbin, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, 312-493-2384,<>

Federal Funding Flows While Lake Erie Contamination Grows

New report offers first-of-its-kind mapping of factory farm pollution & federal subsidies
630 million gallons of waste annually in Lake Erie watershed, $17 million in subsidies to waste generators since 2008

LANSING, MI––NOVEMBER 19, 2015––Today, the Less=More Coalition<> released a report that takes an unprecedented look at the relationship between the manure load from factory farms in the Western Lake Erie Watershed (WLEW) and the federal subsidies that have poured into the region to facilities that generate that waste over the last seven years. Between 2008 and 2015, U.S. Department of Agriculture direct payments, cost-shares and other conservation subsidies to owners of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) totaled more than $16.8 million in the WLEW, which includes Ohio, southern Michigan and eastern Indiana.

The report, "Follow the Manure: Factory Farms and the Lake Erie Algae Crisis," shows that millions of dollars in taxpayer funds continued to be disbursed, even as phosphorus contamination levels in the WLEW climbed and CAFOs in the watershed were fined for illegal waste discharges. The Less=More report also provides a groundbreaking set of interactive maps at this link<> that locate all CAFOs in the watershed and connect them with novel data about manure production and subsidies in the region.

"While agricultural runoff has been identified as a major contributor to the growth of Lake Erie algae blooms, no one has connected the dots between the problem and federal subsidies before," said Gail Philbin, director of the Michigan Sierra Club, a Less=More member. "This report is a portrait of a watershed inundated by waste and taxpayer money to fix it, but with nothing much to show for it after many years."

Follow the Manure also spotlights the environmental violations and subsidy records of seven CAFOs in two counties in southern Michigan—Lenawee and Hillsdale Counties—that offer a closer look at what is happening throughout the WLEW.

Currently, 146 industrial CAFOs are sited in the WLEW, housing nearly 12 million animals that produce more than 630 million gallons of waste annually. The manure contains dissolved phosphorus, which is considered the key culprit in the growth of blue-green algae, known as Cyanobacteria, and microcystin that caused the 2014 toxic algal poisoning of the City of Toledo's drinking water and this year's record algal bloom in Lake Erie.

"The deterioration of the WLEW is proof that no amount of money can create a healthy, safe and sustainable CAFO," said Lynn Henning, a Lenawee County, Mich., family farmer. Henning is the 2010 Goldman Environmental Prize winner (North America) and a regional associate for Socially Responsible Agricultural Project. "Instead of slowing or reversing the pollution levels, the subsidies seem to only deepen and accelerate the contamination crisis."

The WLEW covers portions of Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, encompassing the Maumee River, the largest tributary to Lake Erie, as well as several other major waterways, including Michigan's River Raisin. Ohio has the largest land area in the WLEW, and its 57 CAFOs generate the most manure. Michigan and Indiana also play a major role in the WLEW, together contributing nearly 38 percent of the waste in the watershed.

"CAFO owners and those who should be regulating them tell you everything is being done to protect our land, water, natural resources and public health," said Henning. "This report says otherwise."

Findings in the report include data showing that Indiana's Adams County has received the most federal subsidies to-date ($10,622,663); Michigan's Lenawee County is home to the most CAFOs with environmental violations (67) and the most illegal discharges (37); and Ohio's Paulding County along with Lenawee are the top manure producers in the WLEW. In addition, CAFOs in the watershed were cited for 112 illegal discharges of waste since 2008, an average of 16 per year, and were fined a total of $1,137,000.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires certain qualifying farms to obtain a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Follow the Manure demonstrates that, despite this regulation, many CAFOs fail to meet the EPA Clean Water Act regulations as stipulated in their NPDES CAFO permits.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," said Philbin. "Our report only represents what we were able to track down from Freedom of Information Act requests and our own research online and in person. It's not easily accessible information, and it's highly likely that there are many more federal payments and violations that occurred over the last seven years that aren't reflected in this report."

A set of interactive maps included in the report provides a new and essential information tool for public understanding of CAFOs in the WLEW. Using the maps, individuals, state agencies and watchdog organizations can obtain detailed information on which animals are housed at each CAFO, the amount of manure produced, the violations incurred and the taxpayer subsidies awarded.

"If information is power, this report is a game-changer," said Pam Taylor of Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan, a Less=More coalition member. "Before, there was no single source where people could go to find accurate and current information about the largest factory farms in the WLEW with explanations for how the manure they produce impacts Lake Erie, how it contributes to algae blooms and how federal subsidies are connected. Now there is."

The Less=More coalition presents Follow the Manure for use by policymakers and agricultural producers to aid in understanding of the issues at play in the WLEW and to facilitate efforts to solve Lake Erie's algae problem. To this end, the report contains several recommendations for key first steps to tackle the impacts of CAFO waste in the WLEW. These steps include: declaring Lake Erie an impaired watershed; ending the practice of giving federal taxpayer dollars to polluting CAFOs; changing the phosphorus soil-test requirements; and banning the application of CAFO waste on frozen or snow-covered ground within the WLEW.

A copy of "Follow the Manure: Factory Farms and the Lake Erie Algae Crisis" can be downloaded at

Less=More is a coalition of organizations engaged in diverse aspects of our food system and seeking to level the playing field for sustainable farming in Michigan. Less support for polluting factory farms means a more sustainable Michigan. For more information, please visit<>.

Members of the Less=More Coalition include: Beery Farms of Michigan, LLC, the Center for Food Safety, Crane Dance Farm, LLC, ELFCO food cooperative, Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan, Food & Water Watch, Greater Grand Rapids Food Systems Council, Groundswell Farm, Zeeland, Humane Society of the United States, Michigan Voices for Good Food Policy, Michigan Young Farmers Coalition, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter and Socially Responsible Agricultural 

ptaylor001 has files to share with you on OneDrive. To view them, click the links below.
[] Follow the Manure (FINAL) 11.19.15.pdf <>
[] Follow the Manure Appendix (FINAL) 11.19.15.pdf <>

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Victory! Agent Orange Crops Halted

From: Center for Food Safety <<>>
Date: November 25, 2015 at 17:39:38 EST

In response to CFS litigation, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced it is revoking the registration of "Enlist Duo," a toxic pesticide designed to be used with genetically engineered "Agent Orange" crops!

Responding to a lawsuit brought by Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice, yesterday EPA announced it is revoking the registration of "Enlist Duo," a toxic combination of glyphosate and 2,4-D – the main ingredient in Agent Orange.

Approved by the agency just over a year ago, Dow's Enlist Duo was created for use on the next generation of genetically engineered (GE) crops, what we dubbed "Agent Orange crops", designed to withstand being drenched with this potent herbicide cocktail. In its court filing, EPA stated it is taking this action after realizing that the combination of these chemicals is likely significantly more harmful than it had initially believed.

EPA had approved use of Enlist Duo in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and North Dakota, and had intended to approve it in additional areas in the near future.

Dow created Enlist crops as a quick fix for the problem created by "Roundup Ready" crops, the previous generation of genetically engineered crops designed to resist the effects of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. Just as overuse of antibiotics has left resistant strains of bacteria to thrive, repeated use of Roundup on those crops allowed glyphosate-resistant "superweeds" to proliferate, and those weeds now infest tens of millions of acres of U.S. farmland. Enlist crops allow farmers to spray both glyphosate and 2,4-D without killing their crops, which they hope will kill weeds resistant to glyphosate alone. But some weeds have already developed 2,4-D resistance, and the escalating cycle of more toxic pesticides in the environment will continue unless EPA stops approving these chemicals, and USDA stops rubber-stamping new genetically engineered crops.

The decision by EPA to withdraw the illegally approved Enlist Duo crops is a huge victory for the environment and the future of our food!

Thanks for your support. We are so grateful to be able to share this tremendous victory with you!

- the Center for Food Safety team

Read more about this victory:<>

Contact Us

CFS welcomes your questions and comments. Please contact us at<>, or at one of our offices.


National Headquarters
660 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, #302
Washington, DC 20003
phone (202) 547-9359 | fax (202) 547-9429<>

[empowered by Salsa]<>

Rover posting to FERC

From: Frank Zaski

Date: November 25, 2015 at 11:39
Subject: Rover posting to FERC

This was just posted to FERC to counter the demands of Rover and 3 shippers to pull ahead the timing for the final EIS and approval.

Rover assumes FERC will approve their application and that nothing in the EIS will delay or deter them. Rover has even set a DEADLINE FOR FERC TO APPROVE ROVER, "no later than the second quarter of 2016." (Roughly a 5-6 month pull ahead.)

Unlike Rover, many people think FERC approvals are not automatic and depend on a thorough evaluation of all factors.

Rover states that the "numerous pipeline certificate applications" are evidence of lack of pipelines. On the contrary, perhaps they represent the irrational speculation and poor planning that has plagued this industry for years.

However, THIS application is not about "numerous pipelines" but specifically Rover. Energy Transfer has not provided enough specific facts to prove Rover is justified, especially north of Defiance, OH.

If there really was a pipeline shortage, there would be high gas prices and low working gas storage levels. As it is, hub prices are below average, and the US is awash with natural gas with working gas storage at a record 4,000 Bcf level. All parts of the US have gas storage levels above their 5 year averages.

The substantial Marcellus price differential is being caused by Marcellus drilling companies blindly seeking production volumes rather than value. The pipeline companies are complicit. Economics dictates excessive production results in excessively low prices.

Over speculation and production has resulted in many gas drillers having risky debt levels and poor credit ratings. It is probably that some will not be able to fulfill their commitments.

Shipper/drillers requests to pull ahead the Rover EIS should be evaluated considering FERC's own policy, "the Commission's traditional factors for establishing the need for a project, such as contracts and precedent agreements, MAY NO LONGER BE A SUFFICIENT INDICATOR that a project is in the public convenience and necessity."

And regarding the long view…

The DOE reports the US needs only "relatively modest interstate pipeline capacity additions (2.2–2.7 Bcf/d annually between 2015 and 2020). These "are potentially lower-cost alternatives to building new infrastructure and can accommodate a significant increase in natural gas flows."

Few new pipelines are needed to meet the proposed Clean Power Plan. The EPA expects the proposed "Plan to increase natural gas use for electric generation by 1.2 Tcf in 2020, declining over time."

A study finds new natural gas pipelines are NOT needed even in New England.

Rover's hopes for LNG EXPORT may be dashed. Many analysts predict few new US and Canadian LNG export facilities will be built. From an SNL analysis of worldwide LNG overbuild, "The new consensus<> among analysts and other industry observers that the global LNG market will be oversupplied<> in the near term could mean that expansions of U.S. export projects constitute an overbuild." Longer term, even more foreign LNG capacity is coming.

It is up to FERC to consider ALL factors NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES to conduct a thorough review of Rover.

Based on available information, it appears the economic, social and environmental COSTS OF ROVER FAR OUTWEIGH ANY BENEFITS.

FERC, thank you for your thorough review of Rover and for asking the right questions.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Higher Fees for Electric and Hybrid Cars and Discouraging Net-Metering Rates for Residential Solar Roofs

Thanks to Governor Snyder and some other Republican lawmakers Michigan will soon be the joke of this nation that finally starts to wake up to reality. Instead of increasing incentives for people to move towards more sustainability in face of undeniable man-made global warming, they are planning to punish people to do the right thing. It is almost unbelievable and follows a very crooked logic to increase registration fees for cars that use less fuel like electric and hybrid cars. In all reality, people who own cars that are less efficient than 45 miles per gallon should be penalized for polluting our environment more than necessary by paying higher taxes and fees - not the other way around. This almost unbelievable and unethical stupidity follows the same lines as a proposal to allow utility companies to buy electricity from net-metering owners of rooftop solar panels at wholesale rate but sell them the energy back at retail rate. To even come up with such an absurd double-standard is mind-bugling. It is like - wait a minute where am I - in the dark middle-ages?

Update: I reached out to several electric car and hybrid car groups but nobody seems to care to object this INSANE, MAD and BACKWARDS ruling on cars that should be paying less!
For the solar panels, the proposal is not yet signed into law - there is a petition, which you all can sign to show our lawmakers that we will not take this false signal and discouragement to do the right thing. You can find the petition here:

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Stories of Hope

Dear Tom,

Guardian readers have asked us to report more often on stories of hope -- and so we have turned to Africa. From Morocco to South Africa, we've covered some of the communities and governments who have turned to solar power – not just as a way to fight climate change, but to bring some people electricity for the first time.

As Erick Kabendera found in Tanzania, solar is not just helping health centres and on the way to lighting up 1m homes, but it's keeping snakes away too. 

In Burundi, despite civil unrest and violence, one of the continent's most ambitious solar projects is moving ahead on 17 hectares of land in Mubuga village. David Smith heard how it'll change lives, as well as creating hundreds of jobs.

On an even bigger scale is Morocco, where Arthur Neslen visited the edge of the Sahara desert to find out more about plans for a mega solar plant. Once complete, it will be the largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the world.

We're not the only ones to find these projects hopeful. So do leading figures such as former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, who calls lack of access to electricity as "intolerable, avoidable and profoundly unfair" for Africans. He believes solar holds the answer. 

Please continue to share your reporting requests with us. Just reply to this e-mail with ideas. 

Adam Vaughan, online environment editor
You are receiving this email because you opted to receive Keep it in the ground emails from Guardian News & Media Limited.
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Friday, November 6, 2015

BREAKING VICTORY: President Obama has rejected the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline!!!

This is a historic victory that sets the standard for climate action by keeping millions of tons of carbon underground. And it's a victory for the people: the President's courage today is a reflection of the courage of thousands of people who stood up to fight this project.
We want to thank everyone who fought to make this victory happen. Add your name to the Keystone XL Movement Thank You Card to help celebrate making history:

David W. Orr to speak at Siena Heights University

The Sustainable College Committee of Siena Heights is delighted to present David W. Orr as our Fall 2015 William Issa Endowment Speaker on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the Dominican Hall (Rueckert) Auditorium in Adrian, Michigan. You can find a campus map and directions at:

David is “Counselor to the President” of Oberlin College. He is the author of seven books, including Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse (Oxford, 2009) and co-editor of three others. His eighth book, Dangerous Years: Climate Change and the Long Emergency will be published in 2016. He has authored over 220 articles, reviews, book chapters, and professional publications. In the past twenty-five years he has served as a board member or adviser to ten foundations and on the Boards of many organizations including the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Aldo Leopold Foundation. Currently he is a Trustee of the Bioneers, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, and the WorldWatch Institute. He has been awarded eight honorary degrees and a dozen other awards including a Lyndhurst Prize, a National Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation, leadership awards from the U.S. Green Building Council (2014) and from Second Nature (2012). He has lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. He headed the effort to design, fund, and build the Adam Joseph Lewis Center, which was named by an AIA panel in 2010 as “the most important green building of the past thirty years,” and as “one of thirty milestone buildings of the twentieth century” by the U.S. Department of Energy. He is founder and Chair of the Board of the Oberlin project and a founding editor of the journal Solutions.
The title of David’s talk is "What's One to do in a Hotter World?” - Education and the Long Emergency"
David Orr does not convey the message that "all is lost" but he sees our call in higher education is to tell the truth as best as we can see it. The science of climate change is sobering and it gives us little time to make adjustments. David understands that the role of education is to engage students in the creation of solutions. At Oberlin he led the effort to design and build the Adam Joseph Lewis Center, which is still the only entirely solar powered building on an US college campus (it's also zero discharge). In addition, he is further promoting the Oberlin Project, and he is striving to equip students with the analytical skills and habits needed to solve environmental problems. He beliefs firmly that hope is indeed a verb with its sleeves rolled up.
The Talk and associated events (program below) are free for the public. We would appreciate if you could help us spread the word and forward this announcement to everybody that may be interested.
See You at SHU!
Thomas Wassmer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Chair, Sustainable College Committee
Siena Heights University
1247 E. Siena Heights Dr.
Adrian, MI 49221

Thursday, November 5, 2015

EPA Water Quality Assessment Status for Reporting Year 2012 River Raisin in Adrian

Waterbody Quality Assessment Report

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On This Page

State: Michigan
Waterbody ID: MI041000020206-01
Location: Includes: South Branch River Raisin
State Waterbody Type: 
EPA Waterbody Type: 
Water Size: 
Watershed Name:

2012 Waterbody Report for Rivers/Streams in HUC 041000020206

Water Quality Assessment Status for Reporting Year 2012

Description of this table
Cold Water FisheryFish, Shellfish, And Wildlife Protection And PropagationNot Assessed
Fish ConsumptionAquatic Life HarvestingImpaired
Industrial Water SupplyIndustrialGood
Other Indigenous Aquatic LifeFish, Shellfish, And Wildlife Protection And PropagationGood
Partial Body Contact RecreationRecreationImpaired
Public Water SupplyPublic Water SupplyNot Assessed
Total Body Contact RecreationRecreationImpaired
Warm Water FisheryFish, Shellfish, And Wildlife Protection And PropagationGood

Causes of Impairment for Reporting Year 2012

Escherichia Coli (E. Coli)PathogensPartial Body Contact Recreation, Total Body Contact RecreationTMDL needed
PCB(s) in Fish TissuePolychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)Fish ConsumptionTMDL needed
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)Fish ConsumptionTMDL needed
Original page at:

Similar results for 2008 and 2010. This has history and NOTHING HAPPENS because the little bit of business for a few seems to be more important than the health of the majority of people in Lenawee County and the integrity of the environment!

BTW Also ignored by the local government and the County Health Department!

Not only the South Branch of River Raisin is bad - check out the entire watershed at:

Red/pink is BAD!!!

Now where does this shit (literally) come from? Take a good guess where so much boop may come from????