Friday, August 1, 2014

What We Learned This Week - "Strong is Vader"

U.S. Geological Survey researchers have documented significant levels of neonicotinoid pesticides in Midwestern streams.  The Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction event, and this one is on us.  Streamflows in eastern portions of the Missouri River watershed increased over the past 52 years, but they decreased in the western part of the basin. A bill that would block the EPA from requiring water quality permits for farmers spraying pesticides was passed by the House.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture published an interim rule (effective on the Friday date of publication) that makes "minor" changes to conservation programs.  EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe is trying to "build a bridge" over the regulatory divide with Republicans, but says they're making EPA's job hard.  Darth Vader is more popular than any of the potential 2016 U.S. presidential candidates, and the despised Jar Jar Binks is more popular than Congress. The frequency of coastal flooding is increasing in much of U.S., particularly along the Gulf of Mexico coastline.  A new University of Michigan study finds that there is a lack of minority representation in environmental groups.  There is no more farmland in Minnetonka, Minnesota; the last 25.5 acres were just sold to a housing developer for $6.22 million.  And last but not least, groups gave free ice cream away outside of the Washington, DC Environmental Protection Agency offices to raise awareness about climate change on Tuesday - one of the coolest days of the summer there.

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