Friday, September 26, 2014
What We Learned This Week - "Do you hear the people sing?"
Government Accountability Office found that the Army Corps of Engineers has been unable to adequately track, and give Congress an accurate reckoning of, its backlogged water resources projects. The Waterways Council believes that barge operators are the only waterway users who pay for the nation’s waterways infrastructure improvements. Grafton, Illinois residents don't love the smell of dead Asian carp in the morning. Already banned in Illinois, toothpaste brand Crest will no longer put polyethylene microbeads - under growing scrutiny for their potential to contaminate water - in its products. USDA's Office of Inspector General has filed a request to purchase submachine guns in the interest of agency staff self-protection. Environmental benefits and profitability are boosted on 95% of the farmland where cover crops are utilized. 2014 is shaping up to be one of best years ever for the ethanol business, and one of the worst years ever for passing laws: the current Congress has seen just 165 pieces of legislation enacted over nearly two years. And the odds of major legislation becoming law during the next two years are equally low, no matter the outcome of November's mid term election. The Global Carbon Project reports that global emissions of greenhouse gases jumped 2.3 percent in 2013 to record levels: the latest indication that the world's nations are not making headway in their efforts to control climate change. Some angry people took to the streets around the globe to protest that inaction. But not everyone cares; polls show that while most Americans believe in climate change, many give it a low priority. There will likely be many more people soon than we've heretofore anticipated, as global population growth is now predicted to exceed previous projections. New Orleans made the list of top cities with "the most to lose from rising sea levels." The American Society of Civil Engineers reports that the country has failed to adequately act upon the flood risks exposed by 2005's Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans. And last but not least, Kansans will use October to prepare for zombie apocalypses and other natural disasters.