New Year News Roundup

  • Happy New Year, the UN has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity.
  • On Monday, a ban on red snapper fishing went into effect. Surprise, the fishermen are not happy. The
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    decline is estimated to be about 97% in 60 years.

  • The sea lions of Fisherman’s wharf, who showed up after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and whose disappearance was causing some consternation, have been found off Oregon, where there’s better fishing in an apparent El Niño year.
  • SEED magazine interviews Paul Ehrlich. “I don’t think I’ve seen a single scientific review of something I’ve written that says, ‘this is wrong.'”
  • Fantastic / superb essay on the great discrepancy between predicted and observed extinctions.
  • How did Obama do environmentally? Good not great. From the Conservation Maven, reminding me once again how similar ‘conservation’ and ‘conservative’ look.

Posted by Tim on January 6th, 2010 • • Comments Off on New Year News Roundup

News Roundup

Posted by Tim on August 17th, 2009 • • 1 comment

News Roundup, (Catchup edition)

Posted by Tim on May 11th, 2009 • • Comments Off on News Roundup, (Catchup edition)

News Roundup

Posted by Tim on March 3rd, 2009 • • 5 comments

News in Review #3

It’s condensend Conservation Blog, January 1 – 8. Back on a regular schedule tomorrow.

  • Some thoughts on the Salazar nomination in the New West. Probably the key lines: “In the list of things that Obama has on his plate for the coming term, public lands reform is not at the top…Obama, no doubt, did not want to begin his administration’s tenure with a fight over his appointment to Secretary of Interior and use up any political capital over something that would distract him from his larger goals.” Watching Obama roll out his other cabinet picks was sort of satisfying because I had no dog in those fights. “Ah, another sensible pragmatist! Excellent. Good government,” I would think, “Best not to appoint too many ideologues.” To people who don’t really care about Interior, the Salazar nomination probably looks the same way. It’s a strange feeling realizing you’re that far out of the mainstream.
  • George Bush, working on his legacy, just designated huge swaths of the Pacific as Marine National Monuments. Who knew that the U.S. had jurisdiction over the Marianas Trench? The Washington Post is eating it up. Well, okay, the Pew Environment Group is saying that “Mr Bush has protected more special places in the sea than any other person in history.” Maybe we all have Laura Bush to thank. Regardless of what he’s doing in the middle of the Pacific, Bush is passing a lot of midnight regulations on his way out of town. Pro Publica is keeping track.
  • A nice piece on gorillas, conservation and livelihoods in Rwanda. Meanwhile, WCS says that the key to saving mountain gorillas is funding the guards that protect them.
  • A beautiful poster of recently-introduced species to the Amazon.
  • It doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, but the piglet squid is always smiling.

Posted by Tim on January 8th, 2009 • • 3 comments

More Interior Rumors

Former deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes

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Posted by Tim on December 10th, 2008 • • Comments Off on More Interior Rumors

News Roundup

  • A coalition of 29 environmental groups have released a 391-page policy document for the incoming administration, focusing on green jobs and clean energy and highlighting the need for science-based policy and transparency, but covering a wide range of topics. You can read it here (pdf). NRDC, one of the co-signers of the document, has some of their folks blogging about various aspects of the proposals.
  • FWS has decided that the Northern Mexican Garter Snake should be listed as endangered, but it doesn’t have the funds to do so. Plenty and ESA Blawg consider that fact.
  • In honor of Thanksgiving, the NY Times offers a charming editorial on wild foods. “We have a great deal to learn from Twain’s instinctive premise: that losing a wild food means losing part of the landscape of our lives.”
  • The Vigorous North, one of my new favorites, shares some links on inner-city wilderness areas, including a proposal to turn Fresh Kills
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    from a dump into a preserve. (Preserve of nature, not trash. Well, the trash is still there. &c.)

  • An update on what the American Bison Society’s been up to, including a public survey that shows that Americans care about bison but don’t realize that there are only a few thousand “pure” bison left in the wild.

Posted by Tim on November 26th, 2008 • • Comments Off on News Roundup

Grijalva rumored for Interior

The Washington Post reports that Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) is a “leading contender” for Interior Secretary. He’s the chair of the House Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. The article points out that Grijalva has a 95% rating from the League of Conservation Voters. He’s also the newly-elected co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Congress. If you really want to get into it, he just released a 23 page report (PDF) on the Bush administration’s failure to protect our public lands. Or you can browse through his legislative record, which is impressive. In particular, he appears to have a dedicated interest in American Indians, who fall under the purview of Interior,

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and who were consistently ignored and abused under both the Bush and Clinton administrations. Okay, not to mention back to ~1492, but there has been a bi-partisan disinterest in Indian rights, so Grajilva is a potentially re-assuring pick for both them and those interested in parks / endangered species conservation. He also seems to be

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getting universal approval from various and sundried bloggers, so… cool. (Lots of positive response / comments at Dos Centavos, Screechowl at Daily Kos, and Ralph Maughan’s Wildlife News)

Posted by Tim on November 23rd, 2008 • • Comments Off on Grijalva rumored for Interior

Physics lessons for Obama (and us)

Five physics lessons for Obama. Including: “If the [nuclear] waste is stored underground in such a way that there’s only

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a 10 percent chance that 10 percent of it will leak—which should be more than doable—the risk will be no worse than if we had never mined the uranium in the first place.”

Or how about: “What about high-quality batteries—the kind used in cellphones and laptops? These batteries contain only 1 percent of the energy of their equal weight in gasoline. You can recharge them cheaply, but current batteries typically die

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after 1,000 charges. If you include the cost of replacement, then they are far more expensive to use than gasoline, though a bit less harmful to our atmosphere.”

Worth a quick read.

Posted by Tim on November 20th, 2008 • • Comments Off on Physics lessons for Obama (and us)

News Roundup

Posted by Tim on November 20th, 2008 • • Comments Off on News Roundup