Sunday, June 29, 2008

Missouri legislator finds albino cave fish and crayfish in cave in back yard

Missouri legislator finds rare Ozark underground species in back yard. Please click this link

Associated Press, Arkansas Democrat/Gazette report that Missouri legislator finds rare Ozark underground species in back yard

Please click on images below to Enlarge April 28, 2004, photos from what now is now known as the Hill Place student-apartment development site. These photos were taken looking west between the west border of the Moody property and the Town Branch.

What would workers have found if they had dug here before the floodway on the east side of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River was cleared of timber and covered with yellow non-absorbent dirt for the Aspen Ridge project in 2005?

Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission fails to add carbon dioxide to state list of air contaminants

Panel denies air-code changes
Posted on Saturday, June 28, 2008
Saying the request was premature, the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission on Friday unanimously rejected a request by environmental groups to change Arkansas’ air code to consider carbon dioxide an “air contaminant.”
“I do think this is putting the cart before the horse,” commission member Scott Henderson, explaining that he believes the governor’s Global Warming Commission should have first crack at determining how carbon dioxide emissions should be regulated.
The commission, established last year, is studying ways state agencies can offset factors that might contribute to climate change.
“I don’t agree with the discussion about waiting for the federal government to do it, but I do think the Global Warming Commission has to do its work,” Henderson said.

The Arkansas Sierra Club, Audubon Arkansas and the Environmental Integrity Project had filed a petition seeking to amend definitions included in Regulations 18 and 26 of the state’s airquality regulations. The proposal called for the definitions in both regulations to eliminate carbon dioxide from a list of emissions not considered air contaminants, including water vapor, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and inert gases.
The petition cited concerns that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can lead to higher maximum temperatures, more hot days, higher minimum temperatures, fewer cold days, more intense “precipitation events” and increased risk of drought.
Environmentalists argued their proposal wouldn’t immediately require regulation of carbon dioxide by the Environmental Quality Department. But industry and department officials disagreed.

“We are not opposed to the removal of this exemption.... We realize that global warming is a global problem,” department Director Teresa Marks said. “Our concern is unintended consequences, and the practicality of what we would do if the exemption was removed immediately.”
Marks said existing regulations would require the department to regulate anyone who emits more than 25 tons per year of an “air contaminant.” The department today doesn’t have the technology available to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide, she said.
After more than a half-hour of comments from industry leaders and environmentalists, the commission approved an order supplied by the Arkansas Environmental Federation, an organization that lobbies on behalf of companies on environmental matters.
The order states that the request from the environmental- ists was defective for a number of reasons, including that it failed to include an economic impact statement and an environmental benefit analysis. Such statements are required by state law if the proposed change is more stringent than federal requirements.

Glen Hooks, regional representative of the Sierra Club, said he was surprised by the decision.
“I think what these guys have done is stand up and say we know CO 2 is a pollutant, we know it is a contaminant, but we don’t want to do anything about it,” Hooks said.
“They said it publicly, and I found it amazing.”
He said he and other environmentalists expect to bring forward a new petition that addresses the commissioners’ concerns sooner rather than later.
“We’ll be back,” said Ilan Levin of the Environmental Integrity Project.
The concerns can be addressed in a number of ways, including by increasing the allowable emission threshold from 25 tons per year, Levin said.
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Association for Beaver Lake Environment growing!

Sent: Sat 6/28/08 12:51 PM
This is an e-mail from ' - Association for Beaver Lake Environment '

Hello ABLE members,

I wanted to let you know that ABLE hosted a special Town Hall Meeting for Beaver Lake Dock Owners on Monday, June 23, 2008. The purpose of the meeting was to sell ABLE to Beaver Lake property owners, identify/discuss issues affecting and threatening the lake, and to increase ABLE membership. This meeting was very successful! We have signed up many new members, the meeting was standing room only, over 110 people attended!

We also had two guest speakers:
Thad Cheaney from the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers - discussed dock and shoreline issues.
Nathan Jones, VP of Power Source Solar - discussed solar applications on boat docks.

I have posted the program on the website ( Login, click on "Information Library" page, and then click on Town Hall Meetings. You will see the "Dock Owners Meeting". You will need Adobe Acrobat in order to view the program.

Thanks for supporting ABLE!

Doug Timmons
President, ABLE

Friday, June 27, 2008

Petition to protect council-, citizen-initiated forums on government channel


The City Administration recently cancelled issue forums about Fayetteville High School and Walton Arts Center, although the forums were requested by a City Council member. The City has arbitrarily decided that they will not allow such forums, although they have served our community for over 15 years. Please keep television Channel 16 open to requests by city council members and citizens, so that the channel can continue to help create an open and participatory city government, as called for in Fayetteville Ordinance 4504 and current Government Channel policy.


I, being a registered voter, living within the city limits of Fayetteville, ask that the Telecommunications Board and City Council continue the current policy and procedures of allowing City Council members and citizens to request forums, about issues faced by local governments, to be produced and shown on the Government Channel.

Printed Name Signature Address Telephone and/or E-mail¬¬¬¬¬

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Congress to hear call to punish fossil-fuel industry executives for pretending global-climate change not real

Put oil firm chiefs on trial, says leading climate change scientist

· Testimony to US Congress will also criticize lobbyists
· 'Revolutionary' policies needed to tackle crisis

Ed Pilkington in New York
The Guardian,
Monday June 23, 2008
Article history
James Hansen, one of the world's leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer.

Hansen will use the symbolically charged 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking speech (pdf) to the US Congress - in which he was among the first to sound the alarm over the reality of global warming - to argue that radical steps need to be taken immediately if the "perfect storm" of irreversible climate change is not to become inevitable.

Speaking before Congress again, he will accuse the chief executive officers of companies such as ExxonMobil and Peabody Energy of being fully aware of the disinformation about climate change they are spreading.

In an interview with the Guardian he said: "When you are in that kind of position, as the CEO of one the primary players who have been putting out misinformation even via organisations that affect what gets into school textbooks, then I think that's a crime."

He is also considering personally targeting members of Congress who have a poor track record on climate change in the coming November elections. He will campaign to have several of them unseated. Hansen's speech to Congress on June 23 1988 is seen as a seminal moment in bringing the threat of global warming to the public's attention. At a time when most scientists were still hesitant to speak out, he said the evidence of the greenhouse gas effect was 99% certain, adding "it is time to stop waffling".

He will tell the House select committee on energy independence and global warming this afternoon that he is now 99% certain that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has already risen beyond the safe level.

The current concentration is 385 parts per million and is rising by 2ppm a year. Hansen, who heads Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, says 2009 will be a crucial year, with a new US president and talks on how to follow the Kyoto agreement.

He wants to see a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants, coupled with the creation of a huge grid of low-loss electric power lines buried under ground and spread across America, in order to give wind and solar power a chance of competing. "The new US president would have to take the initiative analogous to Kennedy's decision to go to the moon."

His sharpest words are reserved for the special interests he blames for public confusion about the nature of the global warming threat. "The problem is not political will, it's the alligator shoes - the lobbyists. It's the fact that money talks in Washington, and that democracy is not working the way it's intended to work."

A group seeking to increase pressure on international leaders is launching a campaign today called It is taking out full-page adverts in papers such as the New York Times and the Swedish Falukuriren calling for the target level of CO2 to be lowered to 350ppm. The advert has been backed by 150 signatories, including Hansen.

About this article

This article appeared in the Guardian on Monday June 23 2008 on p8 of the UK news section. It was last updated at 10:42 on June 24 2008.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Please urge Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission to classify CO2 at pollutant

Would you write to the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission (APCE) and tell them you support changing the definition of CO2? Art Hobson describes the petition from Sierra Club, Audubon, and the Environmental Integrity Project, and asks people to write in support, kind of like this:

"Because anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are causing global warming that is changing our planet and could be disastrous in the future, carbon dioxide needs to be classified as a pollutant, or "air contaminant," in Arkansas. I hope you will change Regulation No. 26 accordingly, as requested in the petition from Sierra Club, and others that will appear soon before the APCE." (Art Hobson)

Instructions for writing APCE are in Art's email below. Thanks to all you moved to write.

--- On Mon, 6/23/08, Art Hobson wrote:
From: Art Hobson
Subject: Ask that CO2 be classified as a pollutant
Date: Monday, June 23, 2008, 2:51 PM

Dear Friends,

You can make a real difference in Arkansas global warming politics. The Ark Sierra Club, Ark Audubon Society, and the Environmental Integrity Project are petitioning the Ark Commission on Pollution Control and Ecology (PCE) to allow CO2 to be declared an "air contaminant" (or pollutant). Their petition is attached. This issue is of crucial importance because the Ark Dept of Environmental Quality (ADEQ, which is PCE's parent organization) must soon either grant or deny a permit to the proposed Hempstead coal-fired generating plant, and ADEQ has been unable to include CO2 as a possible air contaminant in this case because present Ark regulations proclaim that CO2 is not an air contaminant. As you know, human-caused CO2 emissions are now the most deadly pollutant of all, because they can change our planet in large and harmful ways. In a contentious 2-to-1 ruling, the Hempstead plant has already received its Public Service Commission permit to proceed. If ADEQ also grants a permit, Swepco will immediately begin construction of the plant and it will then be impossible to stop. If CO2 is declared a pollutant, ADEQ will need to consider the entire issue of global warming before making a ruling on the Hempstead plant, and there's an excellent change that they will rule against the plant (for confirmation that there are good reasons to rule against the plant, see Judge David Newbern's dissenting opinion in the PSC ruling).

The PCE is a public commission that will hear/read your comments and take them into consideration. Your comment can be long and detailed, or it can be as short as:

Because anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are causing global warming that is changing our planet and could be disastrous in the future, carbon dioxide needs to be classified as a pollutant, or "air contaminant," in Arkansas. I hope you will change Regulation No. 26 accordingly, as requested in the petition from Sierra Club and others that will appear soon before the APCE.

Feel free to quote me on that.

To submit a comment, go to the ADEQ website, PCE is actually a sub-division of ADEQ. At that website, you'll find a space to make your written comment to both the PCE and to ADEQ. You'll also find a phone number if you'd rather talk with them.

Please pull out all the stops in telling others about this. If we can get excess CO2 classified as the planetary threat that it actually is, it will make a big difference.

Cheers - Art

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ozark Highlands Group of Sierra Club to meet with James Burke to discuss fight against dirty coal burning in Arkansas at Smiling Jack's at 7 p.m. Wed.

Our June monthly meeting will be this Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Smiling Jack's just off Dixon Street behind the Dixon Street book shop.

James Burke will be joining us to talk about the coal campaign and the progress we are making in that area. It will be very informal; this is a great opportunity to learn more about what we can do to make sure Arkansas doesn't build any new coal fired power plants. Bring your coal questions for James to answer!

Our Arkansas Chapter chair, Adrienne, will be bringing some yard signs protesting dirty coal if you would like one.

As always, please forward this email along to others you think might be interested.

Molly Rawn
Sierra Club, Ozark Headwaters Group
(479) 879-1620

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wetland article ignores drawbacks in wetland mitigation projects but provides valuable insight and source of hope for urban wetland protection

Woolsey wetland article in The Morning News

The Woolsey Prairie is adjacent to land where the new wastewater-treatment plant was built. Actually, the plant was built on what might be called the original Woolsey Prairie.
Because the plant destroyed a great many wetland acres, the Corps of Engineers permit required mitigation. There have been many shows on Government channel about the progress of creating the mitigation area over the past couple of years, mostly as a part of shows on progress of construction of the plant itself.
The good news is that the city is "manufacturing" wetland to make up for destruction. That isn't as good as preserving existing wetland exactly as nature made it. However, it is beautiful site.
The bad news is that a plan to allow developers to "purchase" shares in such mitigation land is similar to trading carbon-pollution rights. It means developers can dredge and fill to build on wetland in the city and "mitigate" it by paying for creation of such sites. This is better than nothing. However, it doesn't protect property from flooding downstream from the development. And it allows valuable habitat to be destroyed where it should be kept. It doesn't make stormwater remain where it falls and soak in to keep vegetation healthy and replenish underground aquifers.
That was the first story I ever read by Skip Descant. He appears to be a good reporter.
He wouldn't likely know about World Peace Wetland Prairie or that "keeping the water where it falls" is the contrasting idea that would have had to have been included in the story if his plan was to write a truly multi-source story.
In fact, WPWP is exactly opposite to a manufactured wetland area. It protects habitat and lets water soak in UPSTREAM where it falls. It was saved from development and stands in stark contrast with the Aspen Ridge/Hill Place development site to to its north.
While it has a large population of nonnative species, particularly fescue and Japanese honeysuckle that require constant volunteer effort to remove, it never had its basic seed and root base of native species removed.
Being inside the city and a part of the headwater system of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River and thus a significant area that helps protect the Beaver Lake watershed, its soil and plant life (even the invasive nonnative species) are functioning perfectly for stormwater management and protection of water quality.

The already completed Woolsey Prairie serves to catch water NEAR where it falls on the sewage-treatment plant. But adjacent parcels that may be saved as wetland prairie or savannah will be for sale to developers as mitigation for environmentally destruction parcels upstream. That part of the story has been discussed on several Government Channel productions related to the new sewage-treatment plant.

It would be nice to have a map of wetland areas. I frequently offer such information with photos from various parts of the watershed on my blogs and Flickr photo sets. But an overall plan to protect wetland isn't something everyone wants. Such a citywide delineation of wetland areas could prevent developers from buying property that should not be developed on the assumption that they will always get permission to dredge and fill such places simply by buying a share of an already preserved parcel miles away or not even in the same watershed.

Some developers and even some city officials and staff members don't want to acknowledge the existence of more than minimal wetland because public knowledge of the facts of Northwest Arkansas' environment might stifle their desire to build and pave every acre in the city.

More than two years ago, the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association created a booklet with a list of environmentally sensitive areas in the city that the group deemed worthy of protection. That information has never been used by the city in any way, as far as I can tell. During the June 17, 2008, meeting of the Council of Neighborhoods, Bruce Shackleford's presentation on Woolsey Prairie got his ideas out to a lot of people and excited some of the neighborhood advocates to realize the importance of wetland prairie, exactly what we've been trying to do with our photos on Flickr and on our blogspots for the past year and for more than six years on and for decades in various newspaper and magazine stories.
Fran Alexander and others persevere, but are only voices in the wildnerness, it seems.
Too many of the most outspoken people in the green, "sustainability" movement mostly focus on compromise positions. The paid environmentalists are all about compromise these days. Compromise mostly leads to learning to lose gracefully.
It takes people such as Fran Alexander with passion to get things done. And Shackleford's passion about the prairie wetland can do more to stir fervor in the fight to do the right thing in Fayetteville than some of us have done in decades. A lot of us old "tree-huggers" will be supporting his educational effort in every way we can.
For photos and more information, please use the following online links.

Hill Place/Aspen Ridge set of photos

Pinnacle Prairie set of photos — west side of World Peace Wetland Prairie

World Peace Wetland Prairie collection of sets of photos

Town Branch watershed set of photos

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Environmental training to be available in September

In September, Ruth Rosenhek (Director of the Rainforest Information Centre) will be travelling through Canada and the US offering several Deep Ecology Facilitation Training Workshops as well as showings of her new film entitled Earth Spirit Action.

We currently have two Facilitation Training workshops scheduled for the West Coast on September 12-13th (Victoria, B.C.) and September 19-20th in Southern Oregon (contact if you are interested to attend).

It would still be possible to schedule in an east coast training on the weekend of September 5-6th. Let us know if you would be interested to host this.

Also, please let us know if you would like to show Ruth's new inspirational film, Earth Spirit Action featuring Starhawk, Vandana Shiva, Matthew Fox, John Seed and Ruth Rosenhek speaking on topics such as Deep Ecology, the Council of All Beings and Transformation of Consciousness. The film includes beautiful nature footage and a compilation of action footage as well.

It is also possible for Ruth to offer a few one day Earth Spirit Action workshops in follow-up to film showings that will include Despair & Empowerment work and Deep Ecology.

Let us know your thoughts! Please reply to

for the Earth

Ruth and John

Rainforest Information Centre
Box 368 Lismore
NSW 2480
61 2 66897519

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Global warming called a war-generating machine

Global Warming is a war generating machine. Fight it to avoid more conflict.
Cutting back would hae been gentle if started iin 1990. Sarting cutting back this late, now, if to be successful - it's going to be really drastic. But even so, not as bad as the comnig Runaway Global Warming.

Harry Holloway
Came from


Various C&C News World Environment Day

[1] “The Age of Stupid”

Simply the best film on climate change ever made. The 'Age of Stupid'
was previewed to a selcted audience in London yesterday.

This full-length climate docu-drama is certainly informative. It is also
authentically hilarious yet gut-wrenching around the folly of our double
standards on the global impacts of poverty and climate change - now and
into the future.

The film's grim prognosis is seen ‘retrospectively’ by the actor Peter
Postlethwaite. He reviews the descent into the hell-on-earth of runaway
climate change from a specially created ‘future-archive for a failed
civilizations’ in the Artic Ocean.

Picking up the words of a Katrina survivor he asks ‘how could we have
been so stupid?’

The film recognises that the only serious proposal between now and that
prognosis-come-true is C&C.

As serious critical journalism, this film ranks with Naomi Klein, Robert
Fiske and a host of eminent others. But for relevance it outranks them
all as it understand the reality in the recent words about climate
change of James Hansen: - “The stakes, for all life on the planet,
surpass those of any previous crisis. The greatest danger is continued
ignorance and denial, which could make tragic consequences unavoidable.”

An extraordinarily effective piece of work. If five-stars is tops this
gets them all.

The general release date has not yet been revealed.

All this goes straight to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate
Change. The news from there is that the UK Climate Bill is back for
'debate' in the UK Parliament next week. Still without any coherent
methodology behind its numbers for emissions control, it is said the
Government want its 'Royal Assent' before summer recess [Mid July].

This UK 'uni-lateralism' is at odds with the debate beginning again in
the US Senate where, the Liebermann 'Climate Act' notwithstanding, the
demand for globality [this equals at least India and China on the
accounts] hasn't gone away and the 'pragmatic' C&C answer to this
stand-off has been upheld on both sides of that divide.

We are now beyond climate denial. So the severe and worsening problem
for us is 'picking emissions control numbers out-of-a-hat' . . . that
don't add up now to a coherently safe and stable ppmv outcome. With
Hansen calling for 350 ppmv [!] all out best local efforts will be
wasted in the large global failure that attends this absence.

As the film upholds, there is a way to address this - its called C&C.


[2] Fair Shares Fair Choice: -
A brilliant local campaign in the UK South West specifically based on
C&C: -

. . . . has reached the support figure of 1,000 MPs and Councillors etc.
Here is the press release from Sustainability South West: -


[3] Nice new website for the indefatigable C&C champion Mayer Hillman: -


[4] A very funny and very clever critique of Foot-printing/C&C at ‘Cheat
Neutral’: -


[5] Some more C&C input to Government from: - [Plaid Cymru] [Brecon Beacons] [Welsh Greens]


[6] Derek Wall of the UK Green Party – “C&C is Progress”!