Organisation October 17, 2019 RSF asks President Radev to defuse Bulgaria’s press freedom “crisis” Finally, Deloire referred to Bulgaria’s signature of the International Partnership on Information and Democracy, a partnership that is the result of an RSF initiative. This inter-governmental document was the subject of a presentation and signing session at an Alliance for Multilateralism event on 26 September, during the UN General Assembly in New York. Bulgarian foreign minister Ekaterina Zaharieva, who attended the event, signed the document without RSF being informed in advance. News During today’s meeting, in which Pauline Adès-Mevel, the head of RSF’s European Union and Balkans desk also participated, RSF asked Radev to deliver a solemn address to the nation and parliament to remind them of the principles of justice and the fact that judges and civil servants, especially those who represent society’s interests, are obliged to scrupulously respect the fundamental right to freedom of opinion and expression. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) secretary-general Christophe Deloire met with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev in Sofia today to discuss how to improve respect for press freedom in his country, which is ranked 111th in the World Press Freedom Index. Bulgaria is embroiled in an extremely serious “media civil war” situation that could be exacerbated by the new prosecutor-general’s appointment, Deloire warned. Urging Radev to use all of his powers to guarantee press freedom in Bulgaria, Deloire deplored the harassment of Bulgaria’s journalists (using arbitrary administrative and judicial procedures), political manipulation of the media (exploiting unequal political and economic power relations) and the deliberate creation of a climate bordering on “media civil war.” Bulgaria’s general election: RSF publishes 10 proposals to rescue press freedom News News Bulgaria is ranked 111th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. Receive email alerts to go further Help by sharing this information “We will make sure that, with regard to all of its media, Bulgaria adheres to both the letter and the spirit of this document, which above all concerns the online information and communication space,” Deloire said. RSF and 60 other organisations call for an EU anti-SLAPP directive BulgariaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independence Freedom of expression RSF also asked President Radev to ensure that Bulgaria’s legislation respects the country’s international obligations, starting with article 11 of the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. During today’s meeting, RSF also explained the Journalism Trust Initiative, a self-regulatory project launched by RSF that is designed to encourage the media to comply with the highest journalistic standards in the digital era. Follow the news on Bulgaria December 2, 2020 Find out more News RSF_en BulgariaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independence Freedom of expression March 10, 2021 Find out more With a World Press Freedom Index ranking that is the European Union’s lowest, Bulgaria does not need the added concern that the appointment of the next prosecutor-general is causing. The judge proposed by the government, Ivan Geshev, has recent made extremely scathing comments about media outlets that are not to his liking, raising fears about possible reprisals. Without regard to procedure, without evidence and in violation of his duty to be impartial and principled, Geshev has expressed himself in terms that suggest that Bulgarian democracy is in great danger. Bulgaria: RSF condemns refusal to investigate reporter’s violent arrest February 11, 2021 Find out more Last month, after a public radio journalist’s suspension and an outcry when the radio station was taken off the air for several hours to cover up an internal dispute, Radev said: “The suspension of national radio broadcasting has again shown the importance of knowing who governs the public media and how they are governed (…) Free speech is fundamental in a democracy. Bulgaria is clearly in a crisis.” Radev has himself expressed concern in the past. In November 2018, he said: “Professional media standards have collapsed and, as a result, so too has the public’s trust in the news and information it receives. Pluralism has been stifled by propaganda. Free speech is being punished.” “We must do something to improve professional practices, and to obtain more transparency and a stable legal framework for the media,” President Radev said during the meeting.
WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists RSF_en to go further Receive email alerts News Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the US government’s persecution of WikiLeaks. Secret documents published by journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher show how the US and British intelligence agencies, the NSA and GCHQ, were used against the news leaks website and its founder, Julian Assange.These classified documents, leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, reveal that the NSA and GCHQ went far beyond their responsibilities as security agencies in order to serve political interests that violate freedom of information.“The NSA’s surveillance, the US government’s attempts to bring judicial proceedings against WikiLeaks and the criminalization of the website’s publisher, Julian Assange, constitute a violation of freedom of information,” Reporters Without Borders said.“WikiLeaks cannot be prosecuted for exercising the right to gather and publish information, a right guaranteed by the First Amendment.”One of these secret documents shows how GCHQ used its TEMPORA surveillance system to monitor all visits to a WikiLeaks site, acquiring the IP addresses of the visitors and even the search terms they used to get there.Another document describes how the United States pressured its allies to treat Assange as a criminal. The same document lists, country by country and year by year, the efforts deployed by the United States and its allies to locate, pursue, capture and kill terrorists, drug traffickers and other enemies of the state.The document reveals that, after WikiLeaks published the Afghan War Logs, “the United States on August 10 urged other nations with forces in Afghanistan, including Australia, United Kingdom, and Germany, to consider filling criminal charges against Julian Assange.” It refers to him as the “founder of the rogue WikiLeaks Internet website and responsible for the unauthorized publication of over 70,000 classified documents covering the war in Afghanistan.”According to a third classified document, the US government considered designating WikiLeaks as a “malicious foreign actor,” which would allow it to be subjected to much more extensive electronic surveillance.From his refuge in the Ecuador embassy in London last September, Assange condemned the US government’s persecution and announced that WikiLeaks’ lawyers had filed a criminal complaint in Sweden accusing US authorities of “unlawful interference” in its journalistic activities and “unlawful seizure” of its property.The persecution of WikiLeaks has included the suspension of transfers to its accounts in October 2010 by Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and other online payment services, undermining its finances.Members of the WikiLeaks network have been subjected to abuse of authority within the United States. They include WikiLeaks informant Jeremy Hammond, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison last November for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.Jacob Appelbaum, a WikiLeaks representative since July 2010, was the target of US government spying on the website’s volunteers in 2011. On 4 January and 15 April 2011, the government obtained secret court orders forcing Google and Sonic.net to surrender the IP addresses and email addresses of all of his contacts since November 2009.The United States and United Kingdom are ranked 46th and 33rd respectively in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. The United States’ 13-place fall from its position in the 2013 index was due above all to its excessive and abusive use of national security grounds to curtail of freedom of information. February 20, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Leaked documents show how US authorities hounded WikiLeaks Help by sharing this information Follow the news on United States NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say News News Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says Organisation June 7, 2021 Find out more United StatesAmericas June 3, 2021 Find out more United StatesAmericas News April 28, 2021 Find out more
Studying ice chemistry may not sound very exciting – after all, isn’t ice just frozen water? Almost true, but glaciers and ice sheets, along with snow, contain traces of everything in the atmosphere. All the impurities remain as long as the ice persists. The central parts of the Antarctic ice sheet are over 3 km thick. By drilling right through it, scientists have obtained layers of ice that are over 800 000 years old. Each layer contains a story about the composition of the atmosphere and the climate that the Earth was experiencing at that time. Extraction of this information requires painstaking analysis of the tiny quantities of impurities. A good understanding of the physical and chemical processes that take material from the atmosphere into the ice is also needed.
Draker Labs, a provider of high performance turnkey monitoring systems for large commercial and utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, is moving into new, larger offices on April 1, 2011. The company’s new offices will be located in the Maltex building at 431 Pine Street in Burlington, VT. The move reflects significant growth the company experienced during 2010 as well as future expansion plans.Commenting on the upcoming move, Draker CEO Charles ‘Chach’ Curtis noted that the company doubled its staff in the past 12 months and expects to do so again in the coming year. ‘The original Draker building has served us well over the past 10 years but given recent and projected growth we knew we needed more space. The new facility will more than double our current space and allow us to continue to expand as needed.’ Curtis added that, ‘We are excited to be moving into the Maltex building, a beautifully renovated historic property situated near Lake Champlain and at the center of what is fast becoming a hub for technology companies located in the Burlington area.’Draker’s new offices are being outfitted to accommodate the company’s manufacturing, operations, hardware and software development, and sales and marketing groups. Draker’s executive offices will also be located at the new facility. The company will continue to maintain a west coast operations and sales office located at 1029 H Street, Suite 301 in Sacramento, CA.Draker’s main phone and fax numbers will remain unchanged. Effective April 1, 2011, the company’s new address will be:Draker Labs431 Pine Street, Suite 114Burlington, VT 05401About Draker LaboratoriesDraker Laboratories provides highly accurate and reliable monitoring solutions that help owners and operators of commercial and utility-scale PV systems maximize the efficiency and profitability of their solar assets. As a supplier of complete, end-to-end monitoring solutions, Draker provides turnkey systems that combine proven field instrumentation with an intuitive Web-based data management system and unmatched customer support. For more information, visit www.drakerlabs.com(link is external).(March 24, 2011 – Burlington, VT) Draker Labs
Team registration is now open for the Citizens Bank Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival. This year’s festival is Sunday, August 7th at Burlington’s Waterfront Park. Each team is comprised of 21 paddlers who race head to head in 41 foot long dragon boats over a 300 meter course. Festival organizers encourage everyone to join together with your co-workers, friends, and family and form a team. No paddling experience is necessary, it’s all for fun, friendly competition, and raising money to fund programs to help friends and neighbors living with a cancer diagnosis. Online registration is easy. Just visit www.ridethedragon.org(link is external) for complete festival information and registration details. Every team gets a free one hour practice session in July. Space is limited so organize your team right away. The festival has become one of Vermont’s most popular summer events with over 20,000 paddlers and spectators annually. It’s all about community with entertainment, food vendors, a silent auction, raffles and more. The core of Dragonheart Vermont’s mission is to give back to the community and over the last five years the Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival has raised over $435,000 to support critical cancer programs in Vermont. This year, Dragonheart is expanding its community mission. With the on-going support of presenting sponsor Citizens Bank and other local businesses and organizations, the festival has set a goal to raise $250,000 to launch Survivorship NOW, a new Dragonheart Vermont initiative to help bridge the gap cancer survivors face between treatment and recovery. The Network on Wellness will promote opportunities for therapeutic treatments, strengthening programs, education, and networking to better serve cancer survivors in our community. The initiative has the strong endorsement of cancer survivors, doctors, and health care institutions in our area. The need is real and Survivorship NOW promises cancer survivors a network of services that will help them live well with cancer. Linda Dyer, Dragonheart Vermont, Executive Director:‘Our Dragonheart organization is excited about putting our efforts toward helping to promote more opportunities for wellness for cancer survivors in our community. As a breast cancer survivor and supporter organization, we have seen firsthand how valuable fitness, camaraderie, and connection can be. Our hope is that all cancer survivors in our community will have the chance to get the programs needed to live each day to the fullest.’ Marni Willams, Team Captain of Paddling in Vein states:‘We are honored to take part in the LCDBF for the 6th year in a row. Many of our members have been touched one way or another by cancer and we look forward to this opportunity to pay forward the efforts that have been made on behalf of those affected.’ Visit www.ridethedragon.org(link is external) for complete details.
By Dialogo November 03, 2015 Discussing the lessons FAP and FAC officials learned during an interoperability exercise held by the two countries, an event that Brazil helped arrange concerning the application of International Humanitarian Law (DIH). Sharing their respective experiences using unmanned aircraft (ART), also known as drones; “The threats in border areas are offset by, among other things, combined aerial exercises, the real-time exchange of information concerning illegal air traffic, and the exchange of experiences at the operational and training levels.” Officials with the two Air Forces focused on four issues of cooperation between the FAP and FAC during the rest of 2015 and 2016: Cooperation in the fight against international drug trafficking is needed to fight transnational criminal organizations, which are constantly evolving to develop new air, maritime, and terrestrial transportation routes. Exchanging information about their respective experiences using the A-37 simulator for training purposes; “In this sense, the meeting of the Chiefs of Staff takes on great relevance with the common goal of closing spaces to drug trafficking,” Retired Lt. Gen. Bohórquez explained. “The problem of drug trafficking is very real, and the Colombian and Peruvian Air Forces are constantly updating much of their investigative work to keep up with the crime rings.” Cooperating to produce a Military aircraft; Officials from the two Air Forces discussed their respective capabilities and shared information about their facilities and equipment. Those from the FAP, including Lt. Gen. Valdez, spent part of their time during the joint meeting with officials from the FAC’s CACOM-4 — which is also known as “the Cradle of Rotary Wing Pilots” and is part of a larger technological, operational, and social project. They also visited the FAC’s Aerospatial Medicine Corporation (CEMAE) and the Military Transport Aerial Command (CATAM). The Air Forces’ accord builds on an agreement the FAP and FAC signed in 2002 to combat drug trafficking and related crimes, such as the smuggling of weapons and other contraband. “The standardization of phraseology, communication, the control of air traffic, and the capture of aircraft are essential in the fight against drug trafficking,” Retired FAP Lieutenant General Carlos Bohórquez Castellares told Diálogo. “This is a gargantuan task and requires a great deal of coordination…these procedures must be continuously updated by the two countries to keep up with the new multidimensional threats that arise every day at the regional level. These threats include organized crime, terrorism, illegal mining, and human trafficking.” The Peruvian Air Force (FAP, for its Spanish acronym) and the Colombian Air Force (FAC, for its Spanish acronym) have reached an accord to exchange information and conduct joint training sessions to combat drug-trafficking organizations. The meeting bolstered “the ties of friendship and cooperation between the Air Forces of Colombia and Peru,” according to the FAC. “The cooperative nature of the relationship between the two countries’ Air Forces is of great importance, and it is because of this that a Second-in-Command position has been created specifically for the needs of the Air Force. There is a significant number of overlapping themes and ample opportunity for mutual cooperation with the aim of strengthening operational capabilities, which will benefit regional security.” Colombian and Brazilian organized crime groups traffic drugs throughout the region where Brazil, Colombia, and Peru meet. The need for coordinated anti-drug efforts Those opportunities for cooperation extend to the other branches of the Armed Forces of Peru and Colombia. For instance, the General Armed Forces Command’s “Roundtable Talks of the Senior Officers of the Armed Forces of Colombia and Peru” has boasted participation from Second-inCommand personnel from each of the branches of the Armed Forces for 21 years. Strengthening ties Lieutenant General Julio César Valdez Pomareda, the FAP’s Chief of Staff, and Major General Luis Ignacio Barón Casas, Second-in-Command and Chief of Staff for the FAC, met during the first joint meeting of the Air Forces’ Chiefs of Staff from August 11-13 in Bogotá, Colombia. At the first of what is planned to be an annual meeting, they discussed how to “improve institutional capabilities and strengthen operational performance keeping in mind the hazards posed in border zones,” according to the FAC. Interoperability and training “However, the actual trading is supervised by smaller organizations with operating bases often located downstream in either Brazil or Peru, where much of the drug production in the area happens,” Insightcrime.org reported in April 2014.
NAT’L FORESTS, PARKS, MONUMENTS & OTHER PUBLIC LANDSMeteor Blades writes—Biden will have options for quickly fixing Trump mess, including restoring monuments he shrank: “No shortage exists for actions political activists and others would like to see Joe Biden take on his first day as president in January. From protecting voting rights to launching prosecutions of wrongdoers in the Trump regime, from dealing with police violence to reinstating environmental regulations Trump rolled back, a bunch of people and groups have lists long enough to jam-pack not only Day One of the new administration but well past its first 100 days. Sadly, all too many of these items are simply repair and restoration work needed to address the wreckage of the past four years. Quite a number of these matters can be accomplished simply by executive orders, although that presents the risk, without Congress to back them up, that a future administration could re-reverse these decisions with new executive orders. A key arena is the environment. Eco writer Michael Grunwald notes some possible environmental moves that Biden could make right away before the echo of the oath of office has even faded away.”Username4242 writes—Exploring Utah’s most famous sandstone arch! Delicate Arch trail guide (Video): “Another in my series exploring the beauty of the American West.”Username4242 writes—Into the Devil’s Garden: Wandering the Beautiful Arches National Park (Video): “Another trail guide to Arches National park! Due to time constraints, didn’t see all 6 arches on the trail system, but still got to capture some incredible things.” – Advertisement – OceanDiver writes—The Daily Bucket – eagles are back: “Fall 2020. Pacific Northwest. Eagles are back to the islands after their stint on mainland rivers, where they feast on spawned out salmon during the fall. Not all of them, but the skies and treetop perches aren’t empty of them anymore since nesting season ended last summer. For our late bucket today, two encounters with eagles that refresh my familiarity with these glorious birds who make the PacificNorthwest their home. I was stopped at Otto’s Marsh to see the newly arrived Trumpeter swans. All of a sudden most of the hundreds of ducks there lifted off, calling in their mallard and wigeon cacophony. Looking up, I saw the eagle that had been perched on its regular treetop nearby a moment ago now swooping over the marsh. It didn’t catch any ducks this time, but the pair who live right here are back to keeping ducks on their toes.” funningforrest writes—The Daily Bucket. Woof! It’s COLD Out There. Frozen (Open) Thread: “Our sky is currently completely clear, as it was around 4:00 a.m. this morning when I went out to check the sky, and saw the crescent moon and the brilliant stars. Figured it would be, given the 24f temp at the time. In ‘good’ winters here, meaning a heavy snow dump followed by clear sunshine and very cold temperatures, icicles off the roofs around town can reach all the way to the ground. That isn’t the case today, but I have seen it. […] Some folks really don’t like the cold and I can understand that. I grew up with it though and it’s pretty much a seasonal variant I’ve gotten used to. As a kid I even wished for a good hard freeze because when it happened we’d get the chance to go ice skating on the ponds around here. It was actually not that common an occurrence, so we reveled in it when it did happen.”Out the author’s front door in Quincy, California. First snow of the 2020-21 winter season.funningforrest writes—The Daily Bucket. First Snow! Unexpected Bliss: “The internet weather forecast, both weather.com and accuweather, completely missed it. I was getting myself ready to head out for grocery shopping, happened to glance out the window, and was overjoyed to see this.”OceanDiver writes—Dawn Chorus: Open thread – Who was your Spark Bird? “Every birdwatcher’s passion for birds was sparked at some point. Our deep joy in watching and learning about these feathered free-spirited beings was likely inspired by an encounter with a particular kind of bird. In our last Dawn Chorus lineatus referred to a recent observation as an especially sweet moment because it was with her “spark bird”. Here’s what lineatus had to say: A super-special moment, because 33 years ago this month, a Townsend’s Warbler was my spark bird. It’s not an exaggeration to say that they changed my life. I’d never heard the term before but I understood it immediately.”- Advertisement – Lenny Flank writes—Photo Diary: Some Florida Plants: “Some of the plants, native and non-native, I have seen recently during my daily walks in Florida. I’m mostly plant-illiterate, so I tried to pick species I could identify. Sorry if I boo-boo’d on any of them—please correct me if needed. For those who don’t know, I lived in a converted campervan and traveled around the country, posting photo diaries of places that I visited. But the pandemic has clipped my wings, and I am now holed up in Florida until I can begin traveling again.” CLIMATE CHAOSClimateDenierRoundup writes—When “Better” is Worse: Legates and Maue Hires Evidence Of When Politics Trumps Competence: “There’s a fun new study making the rounds, published recently in the American Economic Review showing, when it comes to hiring in political bureaucracies, political connections are often more important than actual competence to do the job. While the study looks at Brazilian public employees between 1997 and 2014, could it be possible that such an effect, of political convenience outweighing competence, can be seen in the United States as well? To be clear, there is a well-defined split between the career US government employees who serve the public through different administrations, and are generally highly qualified as a result of rigorous hiring processes, and the political appointees who are chosen to serve at the President’s discretion. Traditionally, high-ranking, science-adjacent political appointments positions go to qualified experts at the top of their fields, as few are capable of coordinating scientific efforts across vastly different disciplines. Traditionally. But with the eleventh-hour hires of deniers David Legates and Ryan Maue to key climate and science posts in the lame-duck months of the Trump administration, the inverse relationship between political patronage and competence is not just easily inferred. It is explicitly acknowledged by one of their most fervent supporters, CEI’s Myron Ebell.” ian douglas rushlau writes—Effects of climate change are before our eyes, and are measurable. President Biden needs to act: “Joe Biden could bring Paris climate goals ‘within striking distance’. Biden’s presidency could help reduce global heating by about 0.1C if plans fulfilled, say experts: The election of Joe Biden as president of the US could reduce global heating by about 0.1C, bringing the goals of the Paris agreement ‘within striking distance,’ if his plans are fulfilled, according to a detailed analysis. Biden’s policy of a target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and plans for a $1.7tn investment in a green recovery from the Covid crisis, would reduce US emissions in the next 30 years by about 75 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide or its equivalents. Calculations by the Climate Action Tracker show that this reduction would be enough to avoid a temperature rise of about 0.1C by 2100. However, Biden is likely to face stiff opposition to many of his proposals, from the Republican party nationally and at state level, while his room for manoeuvre will be limited by the Democrats’ showing in the Senate. If legal challenges to his plans are brought, they will be decided by a heavily conservative supreme court.”Michael Brune writes—This Was a Climate Election: “Joe Biden ran on the strongest climate and environmental-justice platform of any major party nominee in history. And climate played a historically large role in his campaign: Biden brought up climate in debate after debate, and closed out his campaign with climate-focused ads. But the presidential race was far from the only one where climate was at play. Across the country, voters weighed in on environmental propositions and environmentally focused candidates. They expressed record levels of concern over the climate crisis: According to the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of adults now view climate change as a major threat to the country’s well-being. Polling from the radical left-wing outlet Fox News found that 72 percent of voters were concerned about climate change, and nearly the same percentage wanted the federal government to invest more heavily in clean energy. Thanks to this rising tide of concern, as well as the tireless work of volunteers from the Sierra Club and our movement allies, we managed to secure some victories even in epicenters of oil and gas production.” CANDIDATES, STATE AND DC ECO-RELATED POLITICSMomeraths writes—Even if We Don’t Take Back the Senate, We Should IMMEDIATELY Pass Some Clean Climate Bills: “I mostly lurk here, but in the aftermath of the election I’m seeing a whole ton of people essentially making the argument that any attempts at bipartisanship are impossible and will only result in the Republicans screwing us over. The consensus on here seems to be that our options for getting anything done are to either win those two Georgia seats or to spend the next two years grinding our teeth to nubs and sticking pins into our travel-sized Mitch McConnell effigies. But here I am with news: there is broad support on the Republican side of congress for more than one sensible piece of climate legislation. In the Senate, Mike Braun (R, Indiana), Debbie Stabenow (D, Michigan), Lindsey Graham (you know who), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D, Rhode Island) have co-sponsored a bill that will pay farmers for reducing their emissions. Bruce Westerman, a Republican rep from wildly MAGA-happy Arkansas, is sponsoring a bill to try to plant one trillion trees. Young Republicans like Benji Backer are plainly very over climate denial, and they’re pushing their elders to do something about it. We have an excellent shot here to hammer out a bunch of solid, clean climate bills which we can then tout as an accomplishment of the Biden administration to skeptical young people.”Diamondman writes—Put a Scientist at the Big Table: “We face two great crises with a world-wide pandemic and climate change that takes lives and livelihood away. While these two events can be connected scientifically (here and here), they can also be connected through a failure to enact science-based policy that could have diminished the threats early. A primary point of failure is that it falls on the scientists, who are not typically trained for this, to convince politicians and policy makers that there is indeed a problem. This at best slows the process and at worst, like the last four years, allows policy makers to outright ignore scientists and the science. President-elect Joe Biden (love typing that) declared while campaigning, over and over and over again, that we need to listen to our scientists. Great! Wonderful! Then I respectfully ask you to sit them at the Big Table. Nominate a scientist, one with noted policy background, to a cabinet level position to prove your seriousness. The founding fathers had Benjamin Franklin, the colonies top scientist, at the table when drafting the Declaration of Independence. We need our modern day Ben Franklins to be in the room where it happens.” poopdogcomedy writes—GA-Sen A: Climate Denier & Hypocrite David Perdue (R) Lives In Protected Beachfront Mansion: “From The Intercept: IF SEN. DAVID PERDUE wins reelection in Georgia’s runoff in January, the Republican Party will almost certainly maintain its Senate majority. Perdue, an outspoken climate denier, urged President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords; voted against a Senate resolution that affirmed that climate change is real and that human activities contribute to it; and dismissed the Green New Deal as a “socialist wish list.” The one-term senator, who is a first cousin of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and golfing buddy of Trump, also vowed to protect the coal industry and was endorsed by the Koch-affiliated Super PAC, Americans for Prosperity. If Perdue wins, the potential for the Biden administration to respond to the global climate crisis will be greatly diminished. But even while Perdue publicly rejects the scientific consensus about climate change, the Georgia senator and former CEO of Dollar General is part of a gated beachfront community that has taken the global phenomenon and its consequences extremely seriously.” ENERGYFossil Fuels & Emissions ControlsDan Bacher writes—AG Becerra, Governor protest federal oil lease sales as CA regulators increase oil drilling permits: “On November 9, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Governor Gavin Newsom and two state agencies filed a protest challenging the proposed sale of seven oil and gas leases in Kern County by the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The proposed December 2020 sale involves seven parcels totaling 4,133.58 acres of Federal public lands and mineral estate within the Bakersfield Field Office. Ironically, the protest against the BLM oil and gas lease sale takes place at a time when state oil and gas regulators under Governor Gavin Newsom have expanded oil and gas drilling in Kern County and other areas in California. Since January 2019, CalGEM, under the the Department of Conservation, has approved 7071 oil and gas drilling permits. Becerra pointed out that more than 95 percent of federal drilling in California already occurs in Kern County, ‘often in close proximity to California’s most vulnerable communities’.”peregrine kate writes—Great climate news from MI: Gov. Whitmer has revoked Enbridge’s easement for Line 5! “Fabulous climate news was announced today in Michigan, as Gov. Whitmer has finally taken a decisive step to shut down Line 5. A report by Keith Matheny just published in the Detroit Free Press provides the key details: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger on Friday notified Enbridge that a 1953 easement allowing it to operate dual pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac to transport petroleum and other products is being revoked and terminated. Whitmer and Eichinger also filed a lawsuit asking the Ingham County Circuit Court to recognize the validity of this action, citing violation of the public trust doctrine, given the unreasonable risk that continued operation of the dual pipelines poses to the Great Lakes. Enbridge now has 180 days to decommission the pipelines, and to appeal this decision.”Pakalolo writes—Whitmer orders shut down of oil pipeline that threatens the fresh water of the Great Lakes: “Fighting Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan has ordered the shut down of an Enbridge petroleum pipeline located on the channel bed (linking Lake Michigan and Lake Huron) in the Straits of Mackinac. The legal action seeks to permanently shut down the Enbridge Line Five light oil and natural gas liquid pipeline. The company moves twenty-five percent of the oil produced in North America and transports twenty percent of the natural gas according to the Enbridge website. The pipeline easement was granted in 1953. This news is stirring up the white nationalist militias and other conservative groups in Michigan. The brave and principled Governor is the sort of fighting Dem this site has advocated for since Daily Kos first appeared. She is an inspiration on how to make a better world, managing pandemic, and fighting for a livable planet. We should have her back on any backlash she may receive.”Renewables, Efficiency, Energy Storage & ConservationTRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTUREAssaf writes—China’s EV market has recovered, with a Surprise Star: “In early 2020, the EV revolution took setback after setback in its flagship country, China. 2019 ended there with a limp, after another round of incentive cuts took effect midyear. Overall 2019 sales were above 2018, but only thanks to a strong first half. And by the time 2020 rolled in, China became Covid Ground Zero. Under the pandemic China’s EV sales plummeted 50% in January, 65% in February, and 51% in March. […] Even though by April China had emerged from under Covid’s first wave, the West was now locking down, greatly impacting Asia’s export economies. With shaky family finances, reduced incentives, and EV makers struggling, will China’s EV segment recover? […] Tesla’s Giga Shanghai’s launch ramp coincided perfectly with the emergence from Covid, allowing the company to pump many thousands of eagerly awaited, locally produced Model 3s onto Chinese roads. By June nearly 50k Model 3s were delivered there, more than doubling the next-most-popular EV. But this was still not enough for China to go into positive territory.”AGRICULTURE, FOOD & GARDENSrobctwo writes—Saturday Morning Garden Blogging vol 16.46, Portland Japanese Garden: “A couple weeks ago my wife went to the Japanese Garden with our daughter, her husband and daughters, and friends who invited them to the garden. My wife, equipped with an iPhone 7 is the photographer. she did a great job. I can’t narrate, I wasn’t there.” CRITTERS AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS6412093 writes—The Daily Bucket—The Newest Hummingbird: “I toss in my sleep, grabbing for the water bottle. I have to push the straw deep for the last few drops of precious cool water. […] And in that moment between a memory and a dream, I was not sure if I was a hummingbird draining the bottom of a feeder, and dreaming I am human, or a human draining a water bottle, dreaming I am a hummingbird. Then the humming bird flew vertically at a million miles an hour. I cannot do that, so I am a human. I am assuming the brightly colored hummers are male Annas Hummingbirds, and the greyer hummers are females. I’m in NW Oregon. within the Anna’s winter range. There’s seven different types of hummers in Oregon. Five are rare or live east of the Cascades. Rufous and Anna’s are more common. But there’s nothing common about any hummingbird’s flashing beauty.” – Advertisement – Ojibwa writes—Lake Mary Ronan State Park: Doug Fir Trail West: “Located just seven miles west of Montana’s Flathead Lake is the Lake Mary Ronan State Park. The park has 120 acres nestled in a forest of Douglas Fir and Western Larch adjacent to a mountain lake. In addition to a boat launch area, there is a day use area, 25 campsites, a group camping area, and nature trails.” MISCELLANYClimateDenierRoundup writes—U.S. Chamber of Commerce Turns Over an Old Leaf, Attacks Plastic Policy in Canada: “One of the common conservative, climate-denier refrains whenever international climate efforts ramp up is that it would be unthinkably terrible for the United States of America to cede any sort of sovereignty to the (evil globalists at the) United Nations. Nothing, not even literally the fate of the planet, is apparently worth even the slightest acknowledgement that the US made a mess of the climate and should therefore help clean it up. That was a regular allegation against the Paris Agreement, for example, which the Biden Administration promises to re-enter on January 20. But that’s far from the only thing the U.S. might want to reconsider, in the eyes of those concerned with national sovereignty. Take a look at Trump’s replacement to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Because as it turns out, it’s US industry that’s attacking national sovereignty, invoking a clause in the creatively-named United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement to try and prevent Canada from adopting new plastic pollution laws. Sovereignty for me, not for thee. (Naturally!)” Meteor Blades writes—Earth Matters: Dogs sniff out wildlife smugglers; Trump wants Arctic drilling leases auctioned now: “There was the pro-fracking Texans for Natural Gas urging voters to ‘thank a roughneck.’ There was the Arctic Energy Center pushing for drilling in offshore Alaska and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. There was the Main Street Investors Coalition that attacked climate activism, which it claimed doesn’t help small investors in the stock market. Hiroko Tabuchi reports that the three seemed to be separate groups promoting the views of rank-and-file people. Turns out they were part of a network of “influence campaigns” put together by FTI Consulting by some of the world’s giant oil and gas companies. Her investigation of FTI uncovered a concerted effort to influence public views while concealing industry’s role. Of course, that’s hardly new. Climate science denialism has for more than three decades been spurred by money from fossil fuel operations, including the notorious Koch Industries. In addition to its other efforts, FTI monitored environmental activists online, even creating a fake Facebook persona—‘an imaginary, middle-aged Texas woman with a dog — to help keep tabs on protesters.’ FTI staffed two websites—Energy In Depth and Western Wire—with people who wrote pro-industry articles on controversial matters like fracking. Former employees of Energy In Depth told Tabuchi that FTI client Exxon Mobil had directed some of that content.”PvtJarHead writes—Charles Koch: “Boy did we screw up! What a mess!” “No shit Sherlock! — Charles Koch is fishing for a do-over of his life’s work — The Wall Street Journal (paywall). Wichita billionaire and GOP mega-donor Charles Koch says his partisanship was a mistake, telling The Wall Street Journal that he believes it caused unneeded division. Well isn’t that special… The Kansas City Star. ’I congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory,’ Koch told The Wall Street Journal in an email. “I look forward to finding ways to work with them to break down the barriers holding people back, whether in the economy, criminal justice, immigration, the COVID-19 pandemic, or anywhere else.’ […] Koch and his brother David, who died last year, were major players in the rise and shaping of the tea party. The brothers founded the conservative organization Americans for Prosperity in 2004. In her 2015 book “Dark Money,” the New Yorker writer Jane Mayer tracked how they used their fortunes to amass political influence and further a libertarian agenda. It’s just a complete coincidence that he’s trying to sell a new book coming out soon.” lostintheozarks writes—The Daily Bucket – A Love Story In My Own Back Yard! “Douglas County, Missouri. November 12, 2020. Time got away from me these past couple of weeks. There was the family visit that was way too short. There were things we needed to do after they left that kept me from spending much time outdoors. And of course I spent way too much time obsessing about the election. And here I am with very few recent photos because our backyard critters are not showing up as regularly as they used to. So yesterday morning I wandered into the sunroom to see my husband shooting photos through the panes of glass in the door. ‘Shhh!’ he whispered. ‘There’s a good-sized buck out there stalking one of the females.’ I ran to get my camera, but by the time I got back the action was over. […] He hadn’t been able to get any photos of the doe because she was hidden among the trees, but the buck was definitely working his way in her direction with that dopey, open-mouth expression on his face.” OceanDiver writes—The Daily Bucket – Cattle Point & ducks: “November 10, 2020. Salish Sea, PacificNorthwest. We ventured over to a neighboring island a few days ago for some necessary errands (for eye appointments, to pick up welding gas, and to visit the pot shop). With an hour to spare to catch the next ferry we took a jaunt down to the southern tip of San Juan Island to visit Cattle Point. It was a stormy day but not actually raining at the moment. Big layers of clouds and near nightfall….a classic winter’s day on the Salish Sea. Cattle Point lighthouse was built in 1935, now automated. The cattle that the point is named for date back to a Hudson’s Bay Company ranch here in the mid 1800s. This end of the island is now in protected status as Cattle Point Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA) and San Juan Island National Historical Park so it was saved from what otherwise have been a series of McMansions on private property, which is what much of the shoreline up here is like. As public land, people like us can visit to enjoy the scenery and birds. It’s a beautiful ‘big sky’ spot that is particularly dramatic in winter.”Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, female (Papilio glaucus)foresterbob writes—The Daily Bucket – Backyard Butterflies in Georgia: “A long time ago, I learned that butterflies of many species are attracted to zinnias and purple coneflowers, which by good fortune are easy to grow at my place. The soil is dense clay which I’ve improved with mulch. There is abundant sunlight between my house and the street. 2020 will go down in history as a year with many dubious events. But one good happening was my first-ever sighting of a zebra longwing. There is a good chance that they had been visiting all along, but I never saw them because of my travels. This year, there have been near-daily sightings since late July. I saw one yesterday, even though the zinnias have nearly played out. The red morning glory flowers offer a Plan B for nectar-loving insects. With no further ado, here are some of the butterflies that posed for pictures this year. As always, I welcome any expert advice if any of my species calls are wrong.”- Advertisement –
Mike Malone only allowed Team LeBron to watch J. Cole’s halftime concert at the NBA All-Star Game on one condition.Lakers star LeBron James asked Malone if his team could watch the show at the break. Malone jokingly agreed to allow it if the team picked up its defensive effort, according to ESPN. Related News NBA All-Star Game 2019: 3 takeaways from Team LeBron’s comeback win James made an NBA-record 15th consecutive All-Star game start, so he’s very familiar with the lackluster defense that has become common in the contest.Malone, the head coach of the Nuggets, is a first-time All-Star coach and his team got the result it wanted at the final buzzer. NBA All-Star Game 2019: Top 5 highlights from Team LeBron’s victory over Team Giannis “I’ll let you go watch the J. Cole concert if you all get your a— back on transition (in the second half),” Malone said, via ESPN.Team LeBron trailed by 13 at the half in the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday. But it pulled off an impressive comeback to claim a 178-164 victory.
Image Courtesy: The HinduAdvertisement ps26lkNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs7o6g1bWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E2krx( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 4n7Would you ever consider trying this?😱fg4qCan your students do this? 🌚4vcRoller skating! Powered by Firework Mayank Agarwal’s second consecutive hundred provided the Men In Blue a platform for piling runs on. Apart from the opener’s contribution, the total was supplemented by fifties from Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli.Advertisement Image Courtesy: The HinduLosing his second straight toss, Faf du Plessis and co. were assigned to bowl first on a sunny day in Pune. Both the teams added one seamer each at the expense of a spinner.The track was livelier than the last surface as the South African pacers were able to trouble the in-form Indian openers. Rabada’s probing spell was met with a reward with Rohit Sharma edging one to de Kock after scoring 14.Advertisement The hosts survived a scare after Pujara was dropped on a duck. The batsman made most of his second life by scoring a fifty before Rabada snatched his wicket. The pair had added 138 runs for the second wicket.Mayank Agarwal notched the second hundred of his career and the series with Virat Kohli at the other end. Rabada’s day continued to brighten by dismissing the centurion himself for 108.Advertisement The skipper Virat Kohli is unbeaten on 63 while Rahane stays on 10 along with him. India are currently placed at 273-3 after stumps on Day 1 of the second test.Read Also:Virat Kohli: Double the points for each away victory in Test Championships!Virat Kohli: Let Rohit Sharma have fun in tests Advertisement
MANAHAWKIN – When you mention volleyball to most Jersey Shore residents it conjures up the thought of ultra-tan men and women romping through the sand on a sunny, 85-degree humid day on the beach in Belmar.Since the AVP professional volleyball tour made its first stop in New Jersey in the early 1980’s, beach volleyball has skyrocketed in popularity, not only as a spectator sport, but as a perfect way to stay in shape and have some fun with hundreds of leagues springing up, up-and-down the Jersey Shore.Volleyball’s origins date back as far as 1895 when a Holyoke, Massachusetts YMCA physical education director, William G. Morgan, combined the game of tennis and handball and called it Mintonette. After an observer, Alfred Halstead, noticed the volleying nature of the game, the game quickly became known as volleyball.The history of Olympic volleyball traces back to the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, where volleyball was played as part of an American sports demonstration event. The competition was a success and ultimately it began to be considered for official inclusion and was officially included in the 1964 Summer Olympics. Beach volleyball was added to the Olympic program at the 1996 Summer Olympics with only two players per team.In the fall of 1999, Southern Regional and Long Branch High School started the first girls’ volleyball programs in Shore Conference history with Colts Neck adding a team two years later.Southern Regional boys head coach, Eric Maxwell, followed suit and in the spring of 2000 formed the first boys’ volleyball program in the Shore Conference.“My sister-in-law Cathy Maxwell had started the girls program at Southern and I had just started teaching there,” Maxwell said. “I was in the right place at the right time. The athletic director was considering starting a boys program and asked me what I thought. I had been involved in the sport my whole life so of course I thought it was a great idea.”Now, 16 seasons later, Eric Maxwell is still the head coach at Southern and the Rams (37-2) are the No. 1 ranked team in New Jersey after winning their second consecutive NJSIAA State Championship in 2014 and fourth title in six years.In 2002, Christian Brothers Academy, Colts Neck and Long Branch added boys programs giving birth to Shore Conference boys’ volleyball. The four teams would play each other twice a season, adding additional games out of the area if they could find them, but usually played around ten games a season.It stayed that way until 2005, when Marlboro and Manchester High Schools joined, then in 2007 Howell, Monsignor Donovan, Barnegat, and the three Toms River Schools (North, South and East) were added and the Shore Conference was split into the A North division and the A South division.In 2009, the 12 member schools held the first official Shore Conference Boys Volleyball Tournament pitting Southern Regional against CBA. Southern beat CBA in the inaugural match and the two teams have faced each other in the final every year since with the Rams taking all six titles.Since the 2009 season, an additional 10 teams, including Lacey Township and Pinelands in Class A South and Neptune and Freehold in Class A North have been added along with Central Regional, Wall Township, St. Rose, Red Bank Catholic, Saint John Vianney and Keyport in the newly formed Class A Central.The success of Southern Regional’s volleyball program has drawn a lot of attention to Shore Conference volleyball and because of this you can expect to see additional growth coming out of the Shore in the next couple of years.— By Mike Ready