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Cliven Bundy Exposes the Cravenness of the Modern Right

Mother Jones

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Like a lot of people, Ed Kilgore is distressed at the outpouring of support on the right for Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy:

Call it “individualism” or “libertarianism” or whatever you want, but those who declare themselves a Republic of One and raise their own flags are in a very literal sense being unpatriotic.

That’s why I’m alarmed by the support in many conservative precincts for the Nevada scofflaws who have been exploiting public lands for private purposes and refuse to pay for the privilege because they choose not to “recognize” the authority of the United States. Totally aside from the double standards involved in expecting kid-glove treatment of one set of lawbreakers as opposed to poorer and perhaps darker criminal suspects, fans of the Bundys are encouraging those who claim a right to wage armed revolutionary war towards their obligations as Americans. It makes me really crazy when such people are described as “superpatriots.” Nothing could be more contrary to the truth.

The details of the Bundy case have gotten a lot of attention at conservative sites, but the details really don’t matter. Bundy has a baroque claim that the United States has no legal right to grazing land in Nevada; for over a decade, every court has summarily disagreed. It’s federal land whether Bundy likes it or not, and Bundy has refused for years to pay standard grazing fees—so a couple of weeks ago the feds finally decided to enforce the latest court order allowing them to confiscate Bundy’s cattle if he didn’t leave. The rest is just fluff, a bunch of paranoid conspiracy theorizing that led to last week’s armed standoff between federal agents and the vigilante army created by movement conservatives.

The fact that so many on the right are valorizing Bundy—or, at minimum, tiptoeing around his obvious nutbaggery—is a testament to the enduring power of Waco and Ruby Ridge among conservatives. The rest of us may barely remember them, but they’re totemic events on the right, fueling Glenn-Beckian fantasies of black helicopters and jackbooted federal thugs for more than two decades now. Mainstream conservatives have pandered to this stuff for years because it was convenient, and that’s brought them to where they are today: too scared to stand up to the vigilantes they created and speak the simple truth. They complain endlessly about President Obama’s “lawlessness,” but this is lawlessness. It’s appalling that so many of them aren’t merely afraid to plainly say so, but actively seem to be egging it on.

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Cliven Bundy Exposes the Cravenness of the Modern Right

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Food, Genes and the Feeling of Risk


The Crochet Answer Book – Edie Eckman

Wouldn’t it boost your confidence to have an experienced and confident crocheter on call, day and night, offering assistance when needed? Most of us aren’t fortunate enough to have that kind of aid, but now there is help available 24/7 with The Crochet Answer Book. Being a “good” crocheter is not about making perfectly stitched, elaborate […]

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Inside of a Dog – Alexandra Horowitz

The bestselling book that asks what dogs know and how they think, now in paperback. The answers will surprise and delight you as Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist, explains how dogs perceive their daily worlds, each other, and that other quirky animal, the human. Horowitz introduces the reader to dogs’ perceptual and cognitive abilities and then draw […]

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Codex: Tyranids (Enhanced Edition) – Games Workshop

From the cold darkness of the intergalactic void comes a race of ravenous aliens known as the Tyranids, a numberless horde of super-predators governed only by the instincts to hunt, kill and feed. Each Tyranid is a living weapon, perfectly adapted to its designated function, but each creature is no more than a single cell in a vast gestalt entity controlled […]

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Following Atticus – Tom Ryan

After a close friend died of cancer, middle-aged, overweight, acrophobic newspaperman Tom Ryan decided to pay tribute to her in a most unorthodox manner. Ryan and his friend, miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch, would attempt to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s four thousand- foot peaks twice in one winter while raising money for charity. It wa […]

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Penny Saving Household Helper – Rebecca DiLiberto

This handy guide resurrects the fine art of frugal housekeeping with over 500 tips on saving money throughout the home and garden. Learn creative ways to cut back, pinch pennies, reduce, recycle, and re-use. Want to save on the grocery bill? Buy the whole chicken rather than individual cuts. Get more wear out of your wardrobe? Add a dash of salt to the washe […]

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The Knitting Answer Book – Margaret Radcliffe

Every avid knitter has faced this dilemma: deep into a project at midnight, just trying to finish one more row, and, then . . . oh no, a dropped stitch three rows back! Help! If only there was a 24-hour hotline to answer every question a knitter might encounter. Well, now there is, with The Knitting Answer Book . The expert authors, Margaret Radcliffe and Ed […]

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Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team (Interactive Edition) – Games Workshop

Not all battles in the 41st Millennium are massed engagements between lumbering armies and towering war machines. In the shadows of these epic conflicts, squads of elite soldiers clash – their missions no less vital, their foes no less deadly. Designated as Kill Teams by the Imperium, or by a myriad of different names for their alien and daemonic counterpart […]

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What the Dog Did – Emily Yoffe

Dave Barry meets The Secret Lives of Dogs in Emily Yoffe’s funny and insightful look at all things canine. Filled with adventures of heroic dogs, lovable and lazy dogs, malodorous dogs, phlegmatic and incontinent dogs, What the Dog Did delivers some of the most outlandish and certainly the funniest dog stories on record.

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How to Raise the Perfect Dog – Cesar Millan & Melissa Jo Peltier

From the bestselling author and star of National Geographic Channel’s Dog Whisperer , the only resource you’ll need for raising a happy, healthy dog. For the millions of people every year who consider bringing a puppy into their lives–as well as those who have already brought a dog home–Cesar Millan, the preeminent dog behavior expert, says, “Yes, […]

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Codex: Inquisition – Games Workshop

The Inquisition is the most powerful organisation within the Imperium. Bound by no Imperial law or authority, its agents – Inquisitors – operate in a highly secretive manner and answer only to themselves. Inquisitors use whatever means are necessary in order to safeguard the Imperium from heretics, mutants and aliens. It is not without good reason that Inqui […]

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Food, Genes and the Feeling of Risk

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Illinois is America’s nuclear waste capital

Illinois is America’s nuclear waste capital


Nuclear power plants across the U.S. have nowhere to send their spent fuel, so they’re storing it on site in ever-growing radioactive piles.

Bloomberg reports that no state is home to more of that nuclear waste than Illinois:

About 13 percent of America’s 70,000 metric tons of the radioactive waste is stashed in pools of water or in special casks at the atomic plants in Illinois that produced it, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, a Washington-based industry group. That’s the most held in any state.

Across the country, atomic power plants “have become de facto major radioactive waste-management operations,” Robert Alvarez, a former adviser to Energy Department secretaries during President Bill Clinton’s administration, said in a phone interview. …

“That’s not a long-term solution,” Everett Redmond, senior director of non-proliferation and fuel cycle policy at NEI, whose members include reactor owners Exelon Corp. of Chicago and Southern Co. of Atlanta. There’s a “general obligation to society to dispose of the material,” Redmond said in a phone interview.

In 1987, Congress designated Nevada’s Yucca Mountain as the spot where the country’s nuclear waste would be buried. But the proposal is not particularly popular among residents of Nevada, including powerful Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D).

The Obama administration in 2010 abandoned studies needed to prepare the site for its radioactive load, but a federal court recently described that move as “flouting the law” and ordered the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to resume the work. Still, the project lacks adequate funding, among other problems, so don’t expect a nuclear dump to open at Yucca Mountain anytime soon.

And even if it did open, it wouldn’t solve the country’s nuclear waste woes. “Regardless of what happens with Yucca Mountain, the U.S. inventory of spent nuclear fuel will soon exceed the amount” that the facility could hold, a federal task force concluded last year.

Illinois Biggest Atomic Dump as U.S. Fails to Pick Site, Bloomberg

John Upton is a science fan and green news boffin who tweets, posts articles to Facebook, and blogs about ecology. He welcomes reader questions, tips, and incoherent rants:

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Illinois is America’s nuclear waste capital

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Let’s fight the 1 percent — of power plants

Let’s fight the 1 percent — of power plants


One of the dirtiest power plants in America.

It’s time to target the 1 percent.

But we’re not talking about bankers or CEOs this time. We’re talking about the nearly 1 percent of American power plants — 50 of them, all fueled by coal — that produce 30 percent of the U.S. power sector’s climate-changing pollution.

A new report by Environment America Research & Policy Center says America’s 6,000 power plants, which collectively produce 41 percent of the country’s carbon emissions, are the world’s single greatest contributor to climate change. To address that problem, the authors recommend targeting the dirtiest facilities:

Dirty power plants produce a disproportionate share of the nation’s global warming pollution – especially given the relatively small share of total electricity they produce. For example, despite producing 30 percent of all power-sector carbon dioxide emissions, the 50 dirtiest power plants only produced 16 percent of the nation’s electricity in 2011.

If the 50 most-polluting U.S. power plants were an independent nation, they would be the seventh-largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, behind Germany and ahead of South Korea. These power plants emitted carbon dioxide pollution equivalent to more than half the emissions of all passenger vehicles in the United States in 2010.

Environment America Research & Policy CenterCO2 emissions from America’s power plants compared with CO2 from entire countries, measured in millions of metric tons per year. (Click to embiggen.)

The 10 dirtiest plants alone produce 0.5 percent of the worldwide energy industry’s carbon dioxide emissions, the report says:

Environment America Research & Policy CenterAmerica’s dirtiest 10 power plants. Click to embiggen.

Still, power plant operators do not face any federal restrictions on their CO2 emissions — although those operating in California and New England participate in regional carbon-trading programs. The Obama administration is working on rules that would impose CO2 limits on power plants, but they’re still years off from implementation — and already under fierce attack from industry.

Environment America Research & Policy Center

America’s Dirtiest Power Plants, Environment America Research & Policy Center

John Upton is a science fan and green news boffin who tweets, posts articles to Facebook, and blogs about ecology. He welcomes reader questions, tips, and incoherent rants:

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Let’s fight the 1 percent — of power plants

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We can’t blame everything on climate change: Soot melts glaciers too

We can’t blame everything on climate change: Soot melts glaciers too

Frank Paul, University of Zurich

The Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland.

The world’s glaciers are wasting away at a cracking pace — but it’s not just because the climate is warming.

Soot and other black carbon is settling on ice and snow, absorbing the sun’s rays and causing frozen water molecules to melt. It can be hard to tell how much of the melt to attribute to warming and how much to soot.

But researchers have pinpointed a period shortly after the Industrial Revolution when black carbon alone appears to have caused glaciers to melt in the European Alps.

During the middle of the 19th century, the filth from fossil-fuel burning was starting to blanket parts of Europe. “Housewives in Innsbruck refrained from drying laundry outdoors,” said Georg Kaser, a glaciologist at the University of Innsbruck in Austria and coauthor of a paper published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But temperatures weren’t yet rising; if anything, it was still getting colder.

Yet in 1865, more than 40 years before temperature records started showing warming in the Alps, the region’s glaciers began a retreat that has continued until this day, marking the end of a 500-year ice age.

PNASA chart from the PNAS paper tracking the expansion and decline of five glaciers in the Alps since the first measurements. (Click to embiggen.)

Scientists used ice cores and computer simulations to calculate that heat absorbed by polluted snow would have been enough during the second half of the 19th century to melt the snow and expose glaciers to sunlight, kicking off their decline.

“The end of the Little Ice Age in the European Alps has long been a paradox to glaciology and climatology,” wrote Kaser and his coauthors. “Radiative forcing by increasing deposition of industrial black carbon to snow may represent the driver of the abrupt glacier retreats.”

Andreas Vieli, a glaciologist who was not involved with the research, told Nature that the study offers “a very elegant and plausible explanation” for the glacial melt. “It appears that in central Europe soot prematurely stopped the Little Ice Age.”

John Upton is a science fan and green news boffin who tweets, posts articles to Facebook, and blogs about ecology. He welcomes reader questions, tips, and incoherent rants:

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We can’t blame everything on climate change: Soot melts glaciers too

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Here’s How Europe’s Woes Are Continuing to Haunt America

Mother Jones

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The great and good are all gathered this week at Jackson Hole, sort of a Davos for powerful nerds that’s run by the Kansas City Federal Reserve. Neil Irwin reports that Robert Hall of Stanford presented an assessment of “why the housing crash and financial crisis caused such sharp and prolonged economic pain,” which prompted a comment from Hyun Song Shin of Princeton. You may recall Shin as the ideal median economist, but in this case he’s pointing out that one big problem with the economy is that bank credit has been anemic for the past few years. As the chart on the right shows, banks normally lend at about 2.5 percentage points above the Fed’s target interest rate, but ever since 2009 they’ve been lending at about 4 points above the Fed’s target. This isn’t a huge problem for big companies, which mostly rely on bonds to finance themselves, but it is a big problem for small companies, which rely more on mortgages and bank loans.

This reminded me of something Shin predicted a couple of years ago. During the housing bubble years, he said, European banks were indirectly providing about $5 trillion in credit to U.S. borrowers, nearly as much as American banks provided. But after the financial crisis, as European banks were forced to delever, that funding dried up. This is one way that America is suffering from Europe’s woes: Credit remains very tight, and as a result, interest rates on ordinary bank loans remain stubbornly high. Shin’s latest set of charts seem to suggest that he was right—or at least partly right—two years ago when he wrote about the malign effect of European delevering on American finance. We’re not immune just because we’re an ocean away.

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Here’s How Europe’s Woes Are Continuing to Haunt America

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Tom’s Kitchen: Gazpacho for a Hot Summer

Mother Jones

Much of the East Coast has been gripped by a brutal heat wave. Here in Austin, we call such weather “summer.” It’s the time of year when I grope for ways to feed myself while applying as little heat as possible. And one of my go-to hot-weather dishes in gazpacho, the iconic tomato-based raw soup of Spain.

There are nearly as many styles of gazpacho as there are households in Andalucía, the southern province where it was born. There are smooth versions, chunky versions, some thickened with bread, some not. I love them all. This time around, wilting from a stretch of high-90s weather, I wanted a simple, light, even drinkable gazpacho—and a spicy one. I learned many years ago on a searing-hot Mexican beach that eating fiery foods had the paradoxical effect of helping me reconcile with the heat.

But you don’t want your gazpacho to end up too spicy—lest (as has happened to me) you be accused of serving your friends and family salsa disguised as soup. You want just enough heat to tickle the back of the throat, whetting the palate for another sip. So add whatever chile you use in small amounts and adjust upward as needed. I used something I can’t live without in summertime: sliced red jalepeño chiles I had put up in apple-cider vinegar. Adding a couple of slices at a time to the blender and tasting between whirs, I nailed my desired level of heat.

To further confound the salsa charge, you’ll want to enliven it with a couple of herbs that aren’t cilantro, which is often found in Mexican salsas. Parsley and chives do the trick.Traditional gazpacho relies on sherry vinegar to add a little zest. This is an excellent choice; but I used a splash or two of the cider vinegar from my jar of chiles.

Serve this gazpacho as an appetizer with toasted bread dipped in olive oil. Provecho!

Texas Summer Gazpacho
Makes about four servings.

About 1.5 pounds assorted ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 cucumber, about a half pound, sliced lengthwise, seeds removed with the scrape of a spoon
1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled
1 small shallot, peeled and sliced
1 small red-hot chile pepper, sliced; or several slices of pickled chile pepper; or, simply, crushed red chile flakes
1 tablespoon vinegar—sherry or apple cider—and a little more if needed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Several sprigs of parsley, coarsely chopped
Several chives, coarsely chopped

For garnish:
Extra-virgin olive oil
More parsley and/or chives, finely minced

Put about half of the tomatoes into a blender and whir until smooth. (This will make room for the rest.) Now add everything else, holding back some of the chile, and leaving out the the garnishes. Whir until smooth. Taste, and consider whether adding more salt, chile, or vinegar is desirable. Adjust accordingly, and whir again. Place the blender in the fridge for at least an hour to chill, and put some small drinking glasses, one for each serving, into the freezer.

When you’re ready to serve, remove the blender of gazpacho from the fridge and give it one last whir. To serve, fill each chilled glass about three-quarters way with gazpacho, and add a dash of olive oil. Stir with a spoon to incorporate, and top with chopped herbs. Encourage everyone to sip it like a beverage.

Store any leftovers in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, in the fridge. It will hold peak flavor for about 24 hours.

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Tom’s Kitchen: Gazpacho for a Hot Summer

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These conservatives like renewable-energy mandates

These conservatives like renewable-energy mandates

Plenty of conservatives like clean energy too — especially clean-energy jobs.

We told you recently that right-wing efforts to overturn state-level renewable-energy mandates have been failing across the nation. Here’s one big reason why: Many conservatives actually like the mandates.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Conservatives fighting against alternative-energy mandates—which they see as unwarranted and costly market interference—are losing ground even in some Republican-controlled states, where legislatures are standing behind policies that force electric utilities to buy renewable energy.

Some of the most vocal support for the policies is coming from an unlikely corner: farmers who see profit in rural renewable-energy projects.

Of the 29 states that require the use of wind, solar and other renewable power sources, at least 14 considered proposals this year to significantly water down or repeal the policies. None have become law yet, with many legislative sessions adjourned until next year.

In North Carolina, state Rep. Mike Hager (R) pushed to repeal the state’s renewable requirement, but his effort failed.

Mr. Hager said his colleagues were swayed by the prospect of local jobs in the renewable-energy sector. “It’s hard to be conservative when it affects your district,” he said in an interview.

In some of the debates over renewable mandates, local people who would benefit from increased job prospects and decreased pollution are pitted against the Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity, which pretty much hates renewables in all cases. That was the situation in Georgia last week, as we reported at the time: Tea Party Patriots pushed through a plan to require the state’s largest utility to increase its use of solar power, despite opposition from AFP.

The Journal reports that AFP was also active in the fight over North Carolina’s renewable mandate:

The repeal’s primary advocates in North Carolina were groups with financial backing from outside the state, such as the conservative political-action group Americans for Prosperity, which also lobbied against such mandates elsewhere. Dallas Woodhouse, the group’s North Carolina director, said he believed Republicans opposed the mandate in principle, but the prospect of jobs is “intoxicating for a lot of legislators” at a time of high unemployment.

Americans for Prosperity has taken funding from the fossil-fuel industry, which competes with renewables.

Imagine that: Even some conservatives prefer job-boosting policies over ideological fealty to dirty energy.

Lisa Hymas is senior editor at Grist. You can follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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Obama: “We Don’t Have Time for a Meeting of the Flat-Earth Society”

Mother Jones

President Obama laid out a detailed plan to address the causes and impacts of climate change in a speech at Georgetown University on Tuesday. “I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing,” he said.

A thread throughout Obama’s plan is the idea that addressing climate change is a “moral obligation” to our children. The two-page outline of the plan sent to reporters Monday evening came with the subhead “Taking Action for Our Kids,” and mentioned “kids” or “future generations” a total of four times. The theme carried throughout his speech on Tuesday. “Your children’s children will have to live with the consequences of our decisions,” he said.

Here are the key components of the plan aimed at reducing US emissions:

Directs the EPA to issue draft emission rules for existing power plants by June 2014, to be finalized by June 2015.
Asks the EPA to “work expeditiously” on finalizing rules for new power plants that the agency issued in March 2012 (though does not appear to include a due date for that).
Pledges that the federal government will draw 20 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020.
Sets a goal of permitting an additional 10 gigawatts of renewable energy on public lands by 2020.
Sets a goal of putting 100 megawatts of renewable energy on federally subsidized housing by 2020.
Creates a new, $8 billion loan guarantee program for advanced fossil fuel projects at the Department of Energy (think clean coal, etc.).
Directs the EPA and the Department of Transportation to work on fuel economy standard for heavy-duty trucks, buses, and vans for after 2018 (following up on the 2014-18 rules they rolled out in 2011).
Sets a goal of cutting at least 3 billion tons of carbon pollution by 2030 through improvements in energy efficiency standards.
Calls for an end to US funding for fossil fuel energy projects overseas unless they include carbon capture technology.

The rules for existing power plants could be huge news, as old, dirty plants account for 40 percent of all emissions in the United States. But there are scant details on what exactly those rules will entail. The EPA has missed deadlines on emissions, and other important rules have been stuck at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for months.

While Obama did not explicitly endorse or reject the Keystone XL pipeline, a major issue for climate activists, he did state in the speech that the pipeline should only be approved if it “does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” “The pipeline’s effect on climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project will go forward,” he said.

The draft environmental impact analysis the State Department released in March found that it wouldn’t dramatically increase emissions, prompting environmentalists to worry about what that means for the administration’s decision. The EPA, however, has said that State’s evaluation of the greenhouse gas impact of the pipeline isn’t good enough. A senior administration official told reporters on Monday night that the State Department is still awaiting a final environmental analysis. “This proposal is not yet ready for a decision,” the official reiterated.

Environmental groups rushed to respond to the plan, putting out largely complimentary statements. Maggie Fox, CEO of the Climate Reality Project, called it a “muscular plan” in a statement Tuesday morning.

What was perhaps most interesting about Obama’s climate plan is the weight it gave to not only mitigating carbon pollution, but also planning for and adapting to changes that are already underway. The plan notes that superstorms, record heat, asthma rates, and drought are already taking a toll. In 2012 alone, the plan notes, extreme weather caused $110 billion in damages.

“The planet will continue slowly warming for some time,” said Obama. “The seas will continue rising…It’s going to take some time for the climate to stabilize.”

The climate-adaptation portion of the plan does the following:

Directs federal agencies to identify and support “climate resilient investments” and remove policies that increase vulnerabilities.
Establishes a Task Force on Climate Preparedness that includes state, local, and climate leaders, which will help identify ways the federal government can help support localities.
Creates seven Regional Climate Hubs through the Department of Agriculture that will work with farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners as well as universities and other research organizations to support climate resilience.
Launches a National Drought Resilience Partnership that will work across agencies to help address drought-related risks.
Directs federal agencies to update flood-risk standards for all federally funded projects to account for sea level rise and extreme weather.
Sets up a Climate Data Initiative that will be used to share federal climate data. This, the administration says, will allow federal and private partners access to data that can be used create appropriate response plans and tools (like sea-level-rise calculator or mobile apps.).

Obama had tough words for those who would deny that climate change is a problem. “I am willing to work with anybody…to combat this threat on behalf of our kids,” he said. “But I don’t have much patience for anybody who argues the problem is not real. We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat-Earth Society.”

He also chastised Senate Republicans for holding up the nomination of Gina McCarthy to serve as the new EPA administrator, calling on them to confirm her “without any further obstruction or delay.”

The nearly 40-minute speech concluded with yet another appeal for future generations. “We may not live to see the full realization of our actions,” he said. “But we will have the satisfaction of realizing the world we leave for our children will be better off for what we do.”

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Obama: “We Don’t Have Time for a Meeting of the Flat-Earth Society”

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Anonymous and Libertarians Protest CISPA; Tech Giants Don’t Give a Damn

Mother Jones

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About 400 websites are taking part in an online blackout today to protest the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The web-based demonstration, organized by the hacktivist organization, Anonymous, is not likely to interfere with the average web user’s day, unless that user frequently posts funny videos on Reddit. CISPA, a controversial bill that aims to boost cybersecurity by removing legal barriers that prevent tech companies and the government from sharing sensitive information about web users, sailed through the House last week, despite strong opposition from privacy groups and President Barack Obama, who is threatening to veto the current version of the bill. Early last year, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), two online copyright enforcement bills, spurred widespread blackouts involving more than 7,000 websites and tech giants, including Wikipedia and Google, yet the biggest websites willing to take a public stand against CISPA merely include various subsections of Reddit and a Facebook page for the Libertarian party.

“Unfortunately, there have not been any confirmed reports of larger companies joining the protest,” says a spokesperson for Anonyops, a website that reports news on the activities of Anonymous. “SOPA threatened to take down websites that even linked to copyright infringed material, so for companies that allow their users to post freely on their sites like Facebook, Google+, and Reddit this would have been devastating. CISPA mostly effects the user’s of these services, and doesn’t cut into profits of these big companies, and let’s face it, that’s why they’re a business, to make a profit.”

“We’ve been running ads against CISPA for the past few months, but we didn’t think the timing was right for us to participate in today’s blackout,” says Erik Martin, general manager at Reddit, the social news site. “We’re going to plan more action closer to the vote in the Senate, but in the meantime, the independently controlled subreddits are becoming kind of a lab for how you raise awareness on something important like this. Some of them are blacked out, others are posting about it.”

Molly Schwoppe, a spokesperson for the Libertarian party, tells Mother Jones that the party is “vehemently opposed to CISPA” but refused to confirm whether or not the Facebook page holding the blackout officially belonged to the party.

CISPA was first introduced in late 2011 by Rep. Michael Rogers (R-Mich.), but the measure failed to advance through the Senate. Rogers and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) reintroduced the bill in February of this year. Dozens of civil-liberties-minded groups have cried foul and opposed the bill on the grounds that it delivers personal information like emails and Internet records straight to the hands of the government, which could freely use all this information for vague national security purposes. “This bill undermines the privacy of millions of Internet users” Rainey Reitman, activism director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a press release. The Obama administration last week declared that it “remains concerned that the bill does not require private entities to take reasonable steps to remove irrelevant personal information when sending cybersecurity data to the government or other private sector entities.”

But privacy concerns may not be enough to stop the bill. CISPA supporters spent 140 times more money on lobbying for the bill that its opponents, according to the Sunlight Foundation. Big-name companies that openly support CISPA include AT&T, Intel, IBM, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon, and other tech giants are quietly on board, including Google and Facebook, which released a statement arguing that “if the government learns of an intrusion or other attack, the more it can share about that attack with private companies (and the faster it can share the information), the better the protection for users and our systems.” Facebook also claims that if shares data with the government, it will safeguard user information.

Anonyops isn’t so optimistic. “Do I find it hypocritical that tech companies are supporting CISPA? It could be seen that way, after all,” its spokesperson says. “These companies do have privacy policies, which is the very thing that CISPA would basically make void.”

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Anonymous and Libertarians Protest CISPA; Tech Giants Don’t Give a Damn

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