Shades Of U.S. Attorney Scandal: Top EPA Official Forced Out By Political Appointees | Think Progress…….

Poor, EPA administrator, Stephen L. Johnson.

By making a career of putting political hackery above science, and your sworn duty to protect the environment, your decision to betray the public trust may finally be reaping the consequences which it so richly deserve.

The Wonk Room has previously described Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson as “the environment’s Alberto Gonzales.” After years of scandal as White House Counsel and Attorney General, Gonzales finally resigned after it was revealed that numerous U.S. attorneys were fired without cause under his watch.


Now it seems the EPA is following the Department of Justice’s efforts to rid itself of staffers who are not “loyal Bushies.”

 
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Judge Rules Against Bush in Polar Bear Protection Case | Think Progress…….

polar arrest

Yet another sorry example of how the Bush administration is "protecting the environment" and "taking a rational, balanced approach" to climate change.

In a major victory against Bush’s failure to admit the threat of climate change, a “federal judge has found the Bush administration guilty of violating the Endangered Species Act and ordered the administration to issue a final listing decision for the polar bear by May 15, 2008.” The district court ruling against Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne found:

Defendants have been in violation of the law requiring them to publish the listing determination for nearly 120 days. Other than the general complexity of finalizing the rule, Defendants offer no specific facts that would justify the existing delay, much less further delay. To allow Defendants more time would violate the mandated listing deadlines under the ESA and congressional intent that time is of the essence in listing threatened species.

Remember all of the mainstream news outlets which were so quick to praise Bush’s empty climate speech as a sign of "bold action" by the denier in chief.  Where are they now?

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The Great Sunflower Project…….

We all know the bees are in trouble right now, but the question becomes—what can you and I do about it?

Here is one way to help.  Gretchen LeBuhn, an associate professor of biology at San Francisco State University, has created a citizen science project which is looking for volunteer bee watchers.

This is how it works.  After registering at The Great Sunflower Project website, you will receive a packet of sunflower seeds, a growing guide, and a bee identification kit.

Once your planted sunflowers bloom, your bee watching duties will begin.  Twice a month, for about 30 minutes each session, you will document how many, of which type of bees, are visiting your sunflowers.

After your data is recorded, you will submitted this information back to the study through the Great Sunflower Project website.  Couldn’t be simpler, right?

So, join me and other citizen scientists around the country this summer to do something for the bees.  After all, bees are responsible for every third bite of food.  It seems like the least we can do.

Frog’s Anti-Infection Agent May Help Millions of Diabetics | The Times Online…….

When the earth’s biodiversity shrinks, both humans and animals lose.

What other discoveries will be lost to extinction, as the United States refuses to rise to the challenge of combating global warming?

A nocturnal frog that dwells in the ponds and lagoons of the Amazon could prove to be an unlikely lifesaver for millions of people suffering from diabetes, researchers say.

The South American “paradoxical frog” (Pseudis paradoxa) owes its name to an uncanny ability to shrink as it grows older.

Scientists studying the properties of its slimy skin have found a substance that can stimulate the release of insulin, the vital hormone that is deficient in sufferers from diabetes.

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Encyclopedia of Life Is Alive! First 30,000 Represent 1.6% | The Daily Green…….

E.O. Wilson’s brilliant project comes to life.

The 30,000 species in the database now is miniscule, not even 2% of the 1.8 million species known to science. No surprise, then, that it will take til 2017 to fill the database with 250 years of scientific exploration and discovery.

"It is exciting to anticipate the scientific chords we might hear once 1.8 million notes are brought together through this instrument," says Jim Edwards, Executive Director of the EOL. “Potential EOL users are professional and citizen scientists, teachers, students, media, environmental managers, families and artists. The site will link the public and scientific community in a collaborative way that’s without precedent in scale.”

What, exactly, is the Encyclopedia of Life?  Check out this clip:


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Coal Industry Exploits Kids To Spout Coal Propaganda | Think Progress…….

When the facts are against you, time to break out the kittens, puppies, and cute children.

Yesterday, the Physicians for Social Responsibility blasted ABEC for its unethical exploitation of children to shill for an energy source that causes so many health risks for kids:

Coal-fired power plants also are the single largest source of mercury emissions in the U.S. Pregnant women and children are especially vulnerable to the toxic effects of mercury, which can damage the brain and cause learning disorders and impairments in motor function. No parent would allow their child to be exposed to such danger; yet, across the country, as many as 600,000 children are born each year with increased risk of developmental disorders because of mercury exposure in the womb.

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Forest Service to Pull Thousands of Scientists and Planners | PEER…….

Green Zone

The green-zoning of America continues.

The U.S. Forest Service is on the verge of approving a massive restructuring that will remove land management planning from individual forests, according to agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The resulting reorganization will affect one in four agency jobs, shrink its on-the-ground firefighting militia and rigidify resource planning.

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EPA Spews Auto Industry Propaganda | AlterNet…….

oil addiction

Which is more exasperating?

Having lying creeps like EPA administrator, Steve Johnson in charge of our environmental well being, or the toothless Democrats who let these characters sabotage our public institutions, and actively promote industry’s goals, over sound judgment based on scientific evidence.

Sometimes, a sternly worded letter just isn’t enough.

In the process, Johnson lied through his teeth to the media. Among other lies, Johnson claimed approving California’s request would create a "confusing patchwork of state rules" (No, this is just auto industry propaganda. There would only be one standard that other states could adopt. So many had either done so or contemplating adoption, that it could have become a de facto national standard.). Johnson claimed that the standard would save less gasoline than the new fuel economy standards in the energy bill. (Another lie. The car companies opposed the California standards because they would require them to do more.) And the EPA chief gushed over his "world-class professional staff" at the same time that he froze them out of the decision-making process.

Instead, Johnson did what the White House wanted him to do, which was give a giant Christmas gift to the car industry, which had lobbied various White House agencies and even Vice President Cheney in an effort to kill the California request.

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Weyerhaeuser Got to Edit U.S. Letter on Logging, Owls | Seattle P-I…….

Just in case you missed this. More evidence of the Bush Administration’s continued assault on the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offered a Weyerhaeuser Co. executive the opportunity to edit a letter the agency was sending the timber company regarding "concerns" about Weyerhaeuser logging harming spotted owls.

And an internal Weyerhaeuser memo prepared for a meeting with a Bush administration official shows the company wants to do as little as possible to get environmentalists off its back while still cutting as much timber as possible

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