June, 2015

It's the principle of the thing

Submitted: Jun 30, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 In late October, 2011, during a previous Greek finance crisis, former Prime Minister George Papandreou called for a referendum on the terms of a bailout to the horror of the heads of state of Germany, France and the US, retreated from it and resigned, leaving political and economic chaos in his wake.

The stakes are high. If the Greeks vote to stand up to the "troika" (European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF), the "OXI KREOS" option, they may inspire other peripheral European Union countries to follow suit -- Ireland, Spain, Portugal and, largest of all, Italy.

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Air pollution: profits and costs

Submitted: Jun 29, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

“Agencies have long treated cost as a centrally relevant factor when deciding whether to regulate,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote. “Consideration of cost reflects the understanding that reasonable regulation ordinarily requires paying attention to the advantages and the disadvantages of agency decisions.” ... Mercury emissions from power plants fall into water and accumulate in fish, while other toxins like arsenic and hydrochloric acid also poison the environment and endanger public health. Regulators estimate strict emissions controls can prevent between 4,200 and 11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 non-fatal heart attacks annually.

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Water lawsuits scream overhead

Submitted: Jun 28, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 There have been a slew of articles this past 10 days about California water-rights lawsuits following the state's announcement of its intention to "curtail" the rights of senior water-rights holders. There have also been articles that try to explain California water rights. And there have been articles about cities and towns under mounting water-supply stress and about farmers ignoring various orders to stop using various sources of water to which they believe they are entitled. Throughout is stated the generally agreed upon ratio that agriculture uses 80 percent and municipalities 20 percent of California water resources.

 

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Vineyard expansion in Malibu curtailed -- quelle horreur!

Submitted: Jun 26, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The ban was opposed by vineyard operators.

“It seems like we’re being targeted for vines, whereas other things that might actually lead to more significant drought reduction are not even being mentioned in this -- agriculture, housing, horses,” said Malibu resident Dan Fredman, who has been operating a vineyard for about five years. “All of those things use significantly more water than grapes do. -Paige Austen, Patch.com, June 17, 2015

 

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Thanks, guys, for your rendition of "I hear that huge, old suckin' sound"

Submitted: Jun 24, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Thanks guys, for another rendition of that same-old/same-old Country favorite, "I hear that huge, old suckin' sound"(the Trans-Pacific- Partnership version). Thanks for all the bribery and corruption enabling  our cowardly, venal and crooked members of Congress to vote to blind themselves from what's in the trade agreement.  Thanks for all the lies and corporatist "rules" of secrecy. Thanks for helping further close the American mind -- what's left of it -- for your profits. Thanks for shrugging your shoulders about Global Warming. Special thanks in advance for all the jobs this trade "agreement" will cost the US -- surely many entrepreneurs and dues-paying members of the Chamber of Commerce will arise from all that involuntary leisure.  Thanks for your treason, all bunted up in the red, white and blue.

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The pope and the water gurus

Submitted: Jun 23, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The world's water challenges are technical, economic, political, and social issues, but the Vatican Encyclical reminds us that ultimately they are ethical and moral issues as well. This is a valuable and timely reminder. -- Dr. Peter Gleick, Huffington Post, June 18, 2015

 

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The Pope, capital, environment & water

Submitted: Jun 21, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The pontiff later denounces past failures to enact bolder environmental policies. “The failure of global summits on the environment makes it plain that our politics are subject to technology and finance. There are too many special interests, and economic interests easily end up trumping the common good and manipulating information so that their own plans will not be affected,” he writes. -- Francis X. Rocca, Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rattle some sabers, kills some whales, etc.

Submitted: Jun 20, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Keep in mind that this sort of far north drilling can only go on because the past drilling and burning of fossil fuels has helped melt Arctic sea ice and open up its potentially vast energy reserves to exploitation.  It’s a little like watching the proverbial snake eat its tail. -- Tom Engelhardt, Tomdispatch.com, May 21, 2015

This time, in other words, the bombs will be falling far closer to home. Whether it's war-torn Iraq or "peaceful" Alaska, Sunnis and Shi'ites or salmon and whales, to me the omnipresent “footprint” of the U.S. military feels inescapable. -- Dahr Jamail, Tomdispatch.com, May 21, 2015

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Finest young minds confront California drought

Submitted: Jun 18, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences recently developed a tool to quantitatively evaluate these water management options. Working with the Nature Conservancy, we designed the model to assess strategies for restoring populations of native fish on Mill Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River. -- Jenny Ta, Joshua Viers, California Water Blog, June 14, 2015

 

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The horror! The horror!

Submitted: Jun 16, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

6-13-15

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War of the moral universes: California water stories, June 2015

Submitted: Jun 15, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 “The problem lies, in part, in the social isolation of the rich, the moral isolation of the rich.” The rich, she said, were “lacking a sense that we are all in this together”. --Tim Walker, The Independent, April 4, 2015.

 

Barbre sits on the 37-member board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a huge water wholesaler serving 17 million customers. He is fond of referring to his watering hose with Charlton Heston’s famous quote about guns: “They’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.” -- Rob Kuznia, Washington Post, June 13, 2015.

 

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The new face of agro-plutocracy

Submitted: Jun 10, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

 

"Many of these businesses are getting 20 to 30 to sometimes 40 percent of their gross revenues directly from the government," Phillip Bowles told KGO. "I don't have a good explanation for that. Somebody else might, but it beats me."

Economists say they can find no rationale for the subsidies, which started in 1933 as temporary aid for small farmers devastated by the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Then, a quarter of Americans lived on farms. Today, less than 1 percent do -- so few that the Census Bureau quit counting.

-- Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle, July 26, 2007.

 

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The problem with dinosaurs

Submitted: Jun 08, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

The problem with dinosaurs is that rather than staying put underground, which scientists say is necessary for the survival of the planet, they keep oozing to the surface in order to graze on enormous quantities of the Green while traipsing about the boardrooms of energy companies masquerading as human beings.-- blj

 

6-6-15

Washington Post/CommonDreams.com

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A good year for fixing dams

Submitted: Jun 03, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 While dams provide many benefits, they also pose a significant hazard.  Dam owners, individuals living and working downstream, first responders, local and state officials all are encouraged to know the risks and benefits of dams located in their respective communities. -- California Department of Water Resources, May 28,2015

 

Last week, we received  a press release from the state Department of Water Resources announcing National Dam Safety Awareness Day.

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Merced by the numbers last week

Submitted: Jun 01, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Like most Mercedians, our attention was grabbed by Friday's frontpage stories in the Sun-Star. Above the fold, we saw the headline: "Area manufacturing growth fastest in U.S." Below the fold, we read "Gang probe yields guns, drugs."

The top headline was such a typical bit of the cognitive dissonance we expect from the Sun-Star that we moved to the cops-and-robbers story on the theory, reached entirely unconsciously over the first cup of coffee, that the second story might be more realistic.

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