Friday, August 7, 2015

What We Learned This Week - "You say you want a revolution"

Like the children in Lake Wobegon, this year's Gulf of Mexico dead zone area is above average. Twelve lawsuits brought against the Obama administration over its “waters of the United States” rule will be consolidated into one case to be heard before the 6th Circuit Court. Agricultural groups requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers delay the effective date of that new clean water rule.  Humans have spiked the Earth with active pharmaceuticals, feminizing male fish, confusing birds, and worrying scientists.  Also being spiked: Twin Cities lakes and streams, with an overabundance of road salt. The New York Times asked, “is New Orleans is safe?”  And The Guardian answered, “not even close.” Sensors, satellites and software are helping to grow more crops with less water. That innovation may prove to be a tiny part of the political, economic and social revolution said to be needed to avoid unprecedented global food system chaos. We are almost certainly headed for the strongest El NiƱo of the past century. Minnesota utility regulators say the state needs to study the cumulative environmental impact of two proposed Enbridge Energy pipelines. Defying state lawmakers, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton partially revived an environmental citizen's board that was eliminated during the recent state legislative session. A U.S. Senate bill was introduced to permanently reauthorize and fund the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund.  The Senate passed two non-controversial water-related bills hours before recessing for the month.  And last but not least, Washington, DC is sinking fast - in a very literal sense.

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