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"Scaling the Edge" (Crowdsourcing funds for good causes through micro-philanthropy)

Interesting project & premise. Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2011-06-20 02:09:14 -0400. - GH

Reposted from Dailykos - there are still a number of #NN11 registrations claimable per the detail below for EPM readers.

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

Rather than attend NN11 this year (I live in Australia), last Saturday I attended an Australian, what one could describe as a progressive conference, called Gathering 11.

This was a group of about 150 individuals who’d come together to listen to keynote speakers, workshop & brainstorm ideas (an excellent format called World Café ), network & connect with one another around the big issues facing us today. Much like what Netroots Nation is all about. The statement which most resonated with me, as much of the discussion was that our existing way of doing things is not working for a lot of people, was “Ignore the Core, Scale the Edge”.

In other words, if you want something to happen, you have to make it happen.

The question for me however, (& I’m sure many others) was how?

  Make the jump»

My First Day at LEAH

Crossposted from A Stick in The Mud. - GH

It’s 6:30 in the morning. I’m at the house of a stranger. The lights are off and I am trying to break in. Ten minutes go by, fifteen. I’m pounding on the door, circling the house, cussing at the door, peaking through the window, pleading with door, but it does not open.

I met Ellen the day before. I also work at Staples and I was helping her lift a box of paper into the trunk of her car. We got into a conversation about the non-profit she is running, The LEAH Advocacy Group (Staples calls this customer communication technique the Selling FunnelTM). Before long, she had hired me on to help support a bill set to hit the floor of the New Hampshire House the very next day.
For those of you who don’t know Ellen, she is a bit disorganized and, that morning, she was still asleep. It took some time, pleading with the door of my employer-to-be, but she finally came downstairs to open the door.
“Would you mind taking off your shoes?” And just as I was about to, she added, as if needing explanation, “I just don’t want you to track in any pesticides into my house.”
Boy, I thought, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

***

  Make the jump»

Via weatherdude: "High Risk" Major Tornado Outbreak Expected -- PDS Tornado Watch for Dallas/OKC

Now in liveblog mode over on Daily Kos, folks in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas are being warned of the potential for a major tornado outbreak:

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a rare high risk area across Oklahoma and Kansas for a major tornado outbreak this afternoon. The outbreak is expected to be centered across Oklahoma, extreme northern Texas, and southern Kansas, with a lower (but still elevated) risk of a major tornado outbreak across northwestern Arkansas, northern Texas (including Dallas/Ft. Worth), most of the rest of Kansas, and western Missouri this afternoon.

A PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) tornado watch has been issued for parts of Texas and Oklahoma for the threat of very large, long track, destructive tornadoes, hail larger than baseballs, and destructive wind gusts over 70 MPH.

For liveblog updates, keep checking back over on the Daily Kos diary by weatherdude, here.

If you're located in the affected area, please be safe.

 

Wednesday Open Thread: BP Gulf Blowout Anniversary, New PA Fracking Disaster Edition

It's the first year anniversary of the BP blowout on the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico, but this isn't the way most people expected it to be remembered:

Gas Drilling Emergency in Bradford County

Officials said thousands of gallons of fluid leaked over farm land and into a creek from a natural gas well in Bradford County.

Now there is a massive operation underway to contain the spill of drilling fluids.

The rupture near Canton happened late Tuesday night, contaminating nearby land and creeks.

The blowout happened on the Morse family farm in LeRoy Township outside Canton, a farming community.

Chesapeake Energy officials said a piece of equipment on the well failed.

Now a major response is underway to stop the leak of frack fluid and get control of the well.

[...Click for full story...]

One year ago today marks the date when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig experienced an explosion that led to a "gulf gusher," spilling millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. In spite of any claims to the contrary, the facts remain that these things happen and will continue to happen...both at sea and, as proven by this latest incident as well as the ongoing heroic blogging efforts of TXSharon at BlueDaze.

Isn't it about time we did something to regulate tighten the quality standards of the equipment and operations that have enormous potential for such disaster?

As you chew on that for a bit, keep in mind: This is an Open Thread. Your thoughts in comments are always appreciated.

Update on penguin rescue efforts from oil spill in south Atlantic

Originally posted on Daily Kos. Reprinted here with permission at our request. - GH

This is a follow-up to an earlier diary about the threat posed by oil spilled by a freighter that broke up off Nightingale Island, home to approximately half of the world's endangered Northern Rockhopper penguin population.

Here is a brief recap of key events. On March 16, for reasons no one has been able to determine, a fully loaded freighter containing soybeans slammed into the rocks off Nightingale Island in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago (a World Heritage site) in the south Atlantic. The freighter broke in half and sank, dumping at least 1500 tons of fuel oil in the seas, which formed a heavy oil slick around the island, threatening marine life. The penguins attracted the most attention as they are a critically endangered. Because of the remote location, it took wildlife rescue teams nearly a week to reach the island by boat and set up operations. Wildlife biologists estimate that half of the 20,000 penguin colony have had some exposure to the oil and over 300 oiled penguins have already died.

One of thousands of Rockhopper penguins found oiled

"Unlike previous spills of this size, it didn't happen way out to sea and gradually approach such a vital conservation area. It struck right at the heart of the penguin colony and it's devastating to them."

- Sarah Sanders, Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds

Thanks to outreach and updates by marine biologist David Guggenheim, the difficult wildlife rescue operation is starting to get broader attention by NGOs and the media. CNN has finally covered the story.

  Make the jump»

Atlantic Oil Spill Near Nightingale and Inaccessible Island

Via a piece from March 22 on Boston.com,1 another environmental disaster:

LONDON—Thousands of endangered penguins have been coated with oil after a cargo ship ran aground and broke up on a remote British South Atlantic territory, officials and conservationists said Tuesday.

The shipwreck also threatens the lobster fishery that provides a livelihood to one of the world's most isolated communities.

The Malta-registered MS Olivia was grounded on Nightingale Island in the Tristan da Cunha chain last week. The ship had been traveling from Brazil to Singapore and contained 1,500 metric tons (1,650 tons) of crude oil and a cargo of 60,000 metric tons (66,000 tons) of soya beans.

The ship's 22 crew members were rescued before it broke in two.

[...Read more...]

Nightingale Island is part of the Tristan da Cunha chain of islands located about halfway between South America and Africa. The article notes that the British government has expressed concern over the potential environmental/ecological and economic damage, but that it is too early to tell what the impact of the accident will be.

The image included in the Globe piece shows three oil-covered rock-hopper penguins who do not look very pleased at all with recent events.

Footnote references below the fold.

  Make the jump»

Friday At 2:46PM

Last Friday as I sat in my apartment watching Ghost Busters an earthquake started at first it seemed like any other for about 30 seconds. Suddenly that all changed as the power of the quake increased about 100 times. Because so many of my neighbors are retried I went downstairs to check on them as my feet touched the ground it was like having instant vertigo. Its amazing just how difficult it is to keep ones balance when there is no point of reference tell which way the ground was moving.

People here are used to earthquakes so it was very strange too see them fleeing their homes and apartment blocks.

As Japan is quite well prepared for these kinds of events all trains ceased operation, all students were evacuated from their schools as well all other public buildings. After making sure my neighbors were OK I rode my bike around the area while there was some damage it was nothing like that which took place in the worst effected areas.

For the last 3 days deliveries to shoppes have been very limited with all most all the shelves completely empty. Hopefully that will change soon.

The Tsunami didn't effect us and so far we are not effected by the problems in Fukushima. At least not yet as far as the radiation is concerned. Where we are effected is that TEPCO has announced rolling blackouts in the Kanto region the first of which occurred this evening staring at 5pm.

My description of what happened doesn't even do it justice. It might impossible to do just that. One of the places I visited on Friday was the local elementary school all of them were in the school yard and the shocked look on their faces was unsettling so I stayed for a while to help comfort them.

Explosion at 3rd Nuke Plant; Second Tsunami Spotted Off Coast [Update - NO 2nd Tsunami]

Update: The meteorological service has said there is no second tsunami.

______________________________

Another tsunami spotted off the coast of Fukushima - the site where the distressed nuclear plants are located. And an explosion occurred at Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant unit 3 ("The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says a hydrogen explosion occurred Monday morning at the No.3 reactor at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture." via news banner atop NHK World news page). Meanwhile, rescue temas from 9 countries arrive in Japan to assist in relief operations.

What a bloody mess.

For those who may want to help, Shelterbox is on the ground in Japan. Donations to them are one of many possible ways to try to help.

Earthquake, Tsunami, and now a Volcano

Crikes - it's been one hell of week for Japan. Now, Shinmoedake volcano on the southern island of Kyushu has started erupting:

Hundreds of people were forced to flee when the Shinmoedake volcano on the southern island of Kyushu began spewing ash and boulders.

The explosion from the eruption could be heard miles away and an ash plume extended two miles into the sky.
[Read more]

Located 950 miles or so from the epicenter of the quake, experts are uncertain if the volcano's activity is tied to the recent quake.

Sorry for the short diary - but wanted folks to have something to add to if following relief and recovery efforts in Japan. There is nothing below the fold.

Side note: Something called 'volcano monitoring' was used by experts in recent weeks, who noted increased activity and lava buildup.

BP Pressure Tests To Continue Today

YouTube: 

The efforts to fully cap the gusher continue with tests to ensure that the existing cap is holding, integrity is good and that there are no other leaks.

From CNN,

__________

Critical test to continue Saturday in fight to contain oil spill
By the CNN Wire Staff
July 17, 2010 3:18 a.m. EDT

New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) -- BP will continue crucial testing Saturday to determine whether a new containment cap will keep stopping oil from gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

On Friday, the containment cap left some, including President Barack Obama, cautiously optimistic after it seemed to stop the massive flow of oil.

BP officials were still analyzing tests on the containment cap Friday and were uncertain about whether there was a leak in the well.

Thad Allen, who's overseeing the government's response to the oil spill, said Friday that pressure was rising in the well. That was a sign that the well was holding and that the leak that had been spewing oil into the Gulf for nearly three months could be contained.

But pressure readings had not reached the optimal level.

[...more...]

__________

So far, so good.

Make the jump»

Record Keeping: Signs of Civilization and Its Subsequent Demise

The Largest Oil Spills in History, 1901-Present

 ChartsBin.com has a great flash animation on a page titled The Largest Oil Spills in History, 1901-Present.

 Check it out if ever you need to get an idea of the amount and placement of some of the largest oil-related disasters (aside from war) that the global ecology has had to endure.

These spills have an impact not only on any local environment affected but also on any systems that the pollutants pass through as they are dispersed far and wide through the ocean.

The current huge gusher in the Gulf will leave an ecological wound that will impact not only the local communities, but also other ocean-based life -- even if the oil remains relatively close in proximity. [more on affected species] And we already have plenty of indicators that "close proximity" is highly unlikely, with some predictions stating that the oil (including all the accompanying toxins and chemical dispersants) may ride the Gulf Stream for a trans-Atlantic boost to start impacting far-off places like Norway.  The more conservative estimates range from only affecting shores along the inner gulf to tainting shores along the eastern US seaboard.

It's not just oil itself that we have to worry about with regard to polluting our environment.  We have, as a species and particularly as a culture, often regard ourselves as masters of our environment, not subject to or impacted by it, the occasional wild storm tornado, earthquake, fire or flood notwithstanding.  Our habits and self-importance have led to an arrogance and disregard that is getting more difficult to ignore as our everyday overconsumption begins to stress, strain and compromise a variety of systems.  The impact of our negligence is becoming more difficult to ignore, too.  [pacific gyre, domestic drilling, mountaintop removal]

As a parting thought, here's a little something to think about: how much of an impact on our environment do we have simply in pursuit of pleasure? Here's a question and answer that may bear some further investigation, as well as some somber thinking:

 How much pollution do cruise ships dump into our oceans?

Now, I'm off to go wobble der wooblekint ("walk the dogs" in warped English-Germanesque).

Peace.

Make the jump»

Hundreds of miles of Boom not deployed correctly...

And thousands of good men and women in the military that are sitting idle when they, with a little training, could be deployed to take care of that Boom properly.


Watch CBS News Videos Online

There are a lot of things where I would just roll my eyes when both sides play political games. But this game that Jindal is playing is resulting in the physical destruction of part of the United States of America. Same can be said for any of the states that are holding back on using these soldiers that can and should be doing something very useful in this disaster. Because if you are doing this because you don't want the government to be seen doing the kind of things that it can and should do...

Then the government isn't broken in this case but you, Gov. Jindal,  are clearly busted: Make the jump»

Drilling relief wells

The shutdown of the drilling operations is expected to have a substantial impact on the Louisiana economy, as the 33 rigs contemplated in last week's shutdown order probably employ 7,590 people, and each of those is believed to support four other jobs on land.

The Interior Department has released a list of 17 companies with deepwater drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico that are affected, but it has not disclosed the names of the prospects, rigs or locations, saying the information is proprietary
Source

And of course today

Judge Blocks Drilling Moratorium
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A federal judge in New Orleans has blocked a six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling projects that was imposed in response to the massive Gulf oil spill.Source

Revisiting the Lyrics to "America the Beautiful"

With all the recent changes in our world, and the impact of those changes upon our nation, perhaps it's time to adjust some of the songs of old to better reflect our current state of being. Let's start with "America the Beautiful" for example:

O beautiful for spacious polluted skies,
For amber waves of grain oil,
For purple flattened mountain majesties
Above the fruited poisoned plain!
America! America!
God The GOP shed his grace shat mightily on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood sown thy guv'mint with trait'rous greed
From sea to shining dying sea!

Mmmmm...that seems a lot less positive. More accurate? Sure -- but not very positive.

Too bad they still have enough power to prevent any attempts at undoing their damage.

Image from RLMiller's Daily Kos diary. Make the jump»

Why Is Oil Spill Cleanup Technology So Outdated?

Doug Suttles of BP: Well, Tom, I'm not the best expert on the technology but I think events like this typically advance the technology by leaps and bounds....I think that probably part of the reason is there have been so few big spills. The events haven't driven the technology change that's out there. I think this event probably will.

Apparently it is because < shakes my head > they claim  they have not had enough oil spills to practice on:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Meanwhile and exhibiting its infinite wisdumb in disaster manipulations, BP has decided to hire the Vampire Squid, among others, to teach them how to navigate the Gulf Gusher fall out: Make the jump»

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