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Upsetment
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Why the EPA is Partly to Blame for the Flint Water Crisis

Why the EPA is Partly to Blame for the Flint Water Crisis | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The federal agency knew the water toxic long before the public
Kenneth Weene's insight:
There is no clear mechanism by which the federal government could have pushed this issue more effectively. Could the EPA have gone public? Well, that would have become another "example of the Obama administration using its power to harass Republicans." That is the sad truth about anything the feds do, it can be used as political fodder no matter how it impacts lives. Could they have tried to go over the state bureaucracy's head to the governor? Good luck on that; it gets called federal overreach and becomes fodder for the "anti-government" far right. Maybe the real problem is our system isn't always the best. Maybe the problem is that we let politics run things until they go awry and then scream in pain. Maybe, just maybe, it's time to let the scientists and engineers do their jobs properly.
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We’re drinking ourselves to death: The alarming numbers behind our bottled water addiction

We’re drinking ourselves to death: The alarming numbers behind our bottled water addiction | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Last year, Americans drank more than 10 billion gallons of bottled H2O. The toll on the environment was devastating
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The waste of energy and the creation of undesirable plastic are the major reasons we should turn to reusable bottles. Even when recycled, those bottles are harmful to the environment. And, to be honest, bottled water is seldom any better than the water from the tap. For my part, I seldom buy bottled water and at home I use a water filter, which is itself of course an environmental issue if a much smaller one, because the tap water is overly chlorinated and has too many minerals for my taste. The bottom line is we have to learn how to live more in harmony with nature and without taking so much from the environment.

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Zimbabwe calls for extradition of Cecil the lion's killer

Zimbabwe calls for extradition of Cecil the lion's killer | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The American dentist who killed Cecil the lion was a "foreign poacher" who paid for an illegal hunt and he should be extradited to Zimbabwe to face justice, environment minister Oppah
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I have the definite sense that he knew he was breaking the law and didn't think that mattered. So, yeah, I'm for extradition. How do others feel about sending Walter Palmer to Zimbabwe?

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American recycling is stalling, and the big blue bin is one reason why

American recycling is stalling, and the big blue bin is one reason why | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Falling commodity prices have left U.S. cities with big bills to dispose of once-profitable products.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Most Americans are willing to recycle, but they are not getting good training in that skill. I wonder if any schools try to teach what is and what is not good recyclable material. As for composting, there is almost no effort to encourage that at a local level, especially not in cities. The big improvement that I do see is more people are using Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and the like to recycle usable objects and clothing. Do you recycle?

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The Weird Effect Climate Change Will Have On Plant Growth

The Weird Effect Climate Change Will Have On Plant Growth | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Climate change could turn forests them into carbon emitters
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Whether or not you believe that climate change is man-made, whether or not you believe that climate change is real, just imagine a world in which we, and other species, are slowly suffocating. Now, that's the stuff of horror.

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When Humans Declared War on Fish

When Humans Declared War on Fish | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Victory in 1945 meant a new era of violence against ocean life.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It isn't just war on animals but on the oceans themselves. Consider the dumping of sewage and garbage that has gone one, the discharge of oil from ships and from wells. We are such foolish animals we humans; our wanting knows no bound. Sadly, while we are able to find ways to take more we are often unable to see how our greed will affect the future. Well, isn't that the nature of "war."

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These Are America's 10 Most Polluted Cities

These Are America's 10 Most Polluted Cities | Upsetment | Scoop.it

California is well-represented on the list, but Arizona has two locations on it, one of those the Phoenix metro area. Here's a picture of morning from Piestawa Peak. 

Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is a matter of personal concern for me that Phoenix has now slipped into the bottom ten places for air quality in America. It is important that all Americans have clean air and clean water.

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Hundreds of pits filled with oil wastewater discovered in Kern County

Hundreds of pits filled with oil wastewater discovered in Kern County | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Unbeknown to state officials, oil producers in Kern County have been disposing of chemical-laden wastewater in hundreds of unlined trenches in the ground without proper permits, according to an inventory that regional water officials completed this week.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Even the drunks at the Dew Drop know you  have to incredibly stupid to foul your own nest.

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Hunter shoots Echo, the first wolf to return to Grand Canyon - Telegraph

Hunter shoots Echo, the first wolf to return to Grand Canyon - Telegraph | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Conservationists are furious at death of animal who raised hopes that species might be making a comeback
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If you caught the It Matters Radio show of Feb 5, you will understand what a real shame this is. Wolves help to make a better environment for all species; nature is connected.

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Scientists: Human activity has pushed Earth beyond four of nine ‘planetary boundaries’

Scientists: Human activity has pushed Earth beyond four of nine ‘planetary boundaries’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A paper contends that we have already crossed four “planetary boundaries,” including carbon dioxide levels and the extinction rate.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Certain questions cross my mind as I read this upsetting report> First,  where is Dr. Who when we need him? Second, when will the quality of life start deteriorating for us, not just for the poor and desperate but for all of us? Third, can we stop our egocentric behavior long enough to recognize as a species what we are doing to our children and to other life; and if we do recognize it, can we care and try to do better? Fourth, can I find a Tardis?

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Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General

Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Republican attorneys general have formed an unprecedented, secretive alliance with some of the nation’s top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda, an investigation by The New York Times has found.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Hey voters, this is what corruption is really about. Sadly, it will be our grandkids who reap the consequences. But that's okay because the grandchildren of those energy maggots will have just as hard time breathing as will the folks who say they don't care about politics or that the parties are all the same and don't bother to vote. Shame on us all.

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Oil Tankers Leaking into Seattle’s Water

Oil Tankers Leaking into Seattle’s Water | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A highly flammable byproduct flowed from oil tankers into an area stormwater system for at least a year before state regulators inspected the problem.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Often we here how there are too many regulations and regulators strangling business. Here we see the other side of the problem: there are too many regulations and regulators for government to exercise proper supervision. Time to simplify regulation and enforcement by creating integrated systems for specific problems and industries. In the process, my guess is that most of the small businesses that actually get stifled will actually be given more freedom while real problems are addressed. Most important, we need better whistle-blower laws.

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Unleashing An Epidemic To Kill The Tumbleweeds

Unleashing An Epidemic To Kill The Tumbleweeds | Upsetment | Scoop.it
U.S. Agricultural Research Service scientists have applied to release exotic Eurasian fungi to kill invasive tumbleweeds in the American West.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As we should always ask when we try to change nature, even nature that has been changed: "What could possibly go wrong?" Now say "Cane Toads in Australia."

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A Question of Environmental Racism in Flint

A Question of Environmental Racism in Flint | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Civil rights advocates say that the Michigan city’s health crisis smacks of the kind of discrimination that causes the disproportionate exposure of blacks to polluted air, water and soil.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I do not know that racism was at the heart of the bad decisions or the failure to act when problems became clear, but I do know that government is supposed to protect the most vulnerable not hang them out to dry, or in this case to soak in unhealthy water. Over and over, however, government at all levels has demonstrated its inability to take those little people and their needs into serious consideration. We can blame bureaucracy, we can yell racism, we can shout for free market solutions: all of that is crap. Until there are penalties for those who fail public trust, nothing will change. For a governor to say, "I let you down" without himself being forced to step down is as meaningful as saying next time we'll have cadmium in the water or arsenic instead of lead. Until public officials are really accountable to the public there is no possibility of good government. The question is will the people of Michigan hold the Republican party responsible for this disaster. That is the way to force real change, and it is why we need more than two parties in this country. Going from Tweedle-dy to Tweedle-dum doesn't make for real change, just musical chairs. 

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Drone flights overhead cause stress for black bears, study says

Drone flights overhead cause stress for black bears, study says | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Drones operated by researchers may have unintended consequences for wildlife, warns the lead author of a new study showing the buzzing of unmanned aerial vehicles overhead can leave black bears stressed, with racing hearts.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is a given in science that the process of studying something has its own effects. Therefore, scientists, especially those studying animals, must have a clear sense of responsibility and take care to not do harm. Drones are not toys but invasive incursions into the environment.

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One of the World's Largest Tiger Habitats Has Only 100 Left

One of the World's Largest Tiger Habitats Has Only 100 Left | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A new survey in Bangladesh's Sundarban forests is alarming.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Tigers are a threatened species, but more importantly they are a glorious animal that reminds us of the incomprehensible beauty that is nature.

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The Power Plant Fueling America's Drought

The Power Plant Fueling America's Drought | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Navajo Generating Plant powers pumps that push trillions of gallons of water out of the Colorado River and send it shooting over mountains and through canals to cities like Phoenix and Tucson. It's also an environmental disaster.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

A very disturbing review of the history of one of Arizona's biggest mistakes. If we must keep moving that water, perhaps it's time to build nuclear plant. More importantly, we have to stop wasting water, which includes the waste built into poor infrastructure. If we keep kicking the can down the road, we may find that we have run out of road.

 

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Here's What a Massive 5-Year Study of Ocean Life Reveals

Here's What a Massive 5-Year Study of Ocean Life Reveals | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Scientists don't know how climate change may affect life in the ocean
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Plankton, oxygen and viruses: all are showing changing levels and reactions to the rise of global temperatures and therefore the rise in temperatures of the seas. While the oceans are under that attack, we humans continue to dump waste and contaminants into the water. Let us not forget that the oceans, our largest single bio-system may be vast but it is vulnerable.

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Elephants, Rhinos and Other Large Plant-Eaters Face Extinction, Study Says

Elephants, Rhinos and Other Large Plant-Eaters Face Extinction, Study Says | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Scientists see a bleak future for large herbivores
Kenneth Weene's insight:

We must act to preserve the balance of nature and the lives of animals or we shall surely leave our children a much poorer planet.

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Climbers Leaving Everest Shit-Covered Biohazard, Sherpas Warn

Climbers Leaving Everest Shit-Covered Biohazard, Sherpas Warn | Upsetment | Scoop.it
According to the Associated Press, the chief of Nepal's mountaineering association says that human sewage has become a critical problem on Mount Everest, urging his country's government to make visitors properly dispose of their shit and piss.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Man, despoiler of his own world. This has to be the ultimate high in selfishness, taking a crap on the top of the world and leaving it there to trickle down in years to come into the lives of others.

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In EPA’s expected ‘veto’ of Pebble Mine in Alaska, foes see a vein of overreach

In EPA’s expected ‘veto’ of Pebble Mine in Alaska, foes see a vein of overreach | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Records show the agency working with activists on a preemptive “veto” of the proposed mining operation.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is this bureaucratic overreach or protection of a priceless environment before the literal love of gold can infect the process. For my part, I will say the process should go forward, but the question that must be answered is what gets done if something goes wrong and who will actually be responsible for doing it. Will this company have the resources to correct an error or mishap? Will they use those resources properly? I think of the oil spills in Alaska and the Gulf and think this is a very rocky shoal onto which they wish to sail.

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Study: Cats, foxes behind Australia's alarming extinctions

Study: Cats, foxes behind Australia's alarming extinctions | Upsetment | Scoop.it
SYDNEY (AP) — Australia has always been unique, from its geographical isolation at the bottom of the Earth to its infamous bevy of venomous creatures. Now, scientists have uncovered another unique — and disturbing —…
Kenneth Weene's insight:

In North America coyotes and other animals prey on feral cats, but in Australia the cat has become (along with European imported fox) a major threat to indigenous animals. Just one horrifying example of the hubris of humans in our treatment of nature.

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Tree Tipping Generates Cash and Seasonal Woes in Maine

Tree Tipping Generates Cash and Seasonal Woes in Maine | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The telltale white tips of snapped off branches may be signs of the seasonal larceny, in which branches are snatched without permission and sold to make wreaths.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Sure it isn't taking rhino horns or elephant tusks, but it is still a form or poaching and even when legal harmful to the growth of these great trees, which I grew up loving. And for what? That wreath somebody buys at WalMart or Target or Michael and discards after the New Year. We are such wasteful creatures, we human scavengers.

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Preserving an Accident, the Salton Sea in California, for the Good of Nature

Preserving an Accident, the Salton Sea in California, for the Good of Nature | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Salton Sea, a briny lake created by a mismanaged effort to divert a river, has become a key habitat for migrating birds and is now in danger of drying out.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I have visited this region, and it is a very sad place. The drought has certainly made a bad situation worse. The use of the water for irrigation of crops in the Imperial Valley is frightening; one can only imagine the illness that will eventually cause. The best solution would obviously be to add fresh water, but we have less and less of that available. A national water management plan is essential—not just in the U.S. but in every country. We must look at the future and PLAN!

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U.S. carbon emissions tick higher; Obama tells U.N.: ‘We have to do more’

U.S. carbon emissions tick higher; Obama tells U.N.: ‘We have to do more’ | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A growing economy produced more greenhouse gases, defying efforts to battle a major cause of climate chage.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What are you personally doing to lower your carbon footprint? Will our individual efforts matter if business and government don't follow suit? What about all the military activity; doesn't that cause emissions and lots of them? Well, today I'll turn the temp on the air conditioner up another degree and try to avoid driving to the store. At least I'll try.

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