Green Gaze

Suit threatened over possible lease sale of 20,000 acres in Santa Fe National Forest

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 20 October 2014 14:35

A broad coalition of local and national conservation groups announced plans to sue the federal Bureau of Land Management if the agency proceeds with the sale of 13 parcels — almost 20,000 acres of public lands — in the Santa Fe National Forest for oil and gas fracking.

The BLM has received more than a 100 letters protesting the sale and challenging the agency’s failure to consider potentially serious impacts to the area’s air, water, wildlife and surrounding communities.

Defense secretary says climate change creates challenges for military

Written by The AP Wednesday, 15 October 2014 08:05

Rising sea levels and other effects of climate change will pose major challenges for America's military, including more and worse natural disasters and the threat that food and water shortages could fuel disputes and instability around the world, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said earlier this week.

Addressing a conference of military leaders as the Pentagon released a new report on the issue, Hagel said, "Our militaries' readiness could be tested, and our capabilities could be stressed."

California is 1st state to ban plastic bags

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 06 October 2014 06:10

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores, driven to action by pollution in streets and waterways.

A national coalition of plastic bag manufacturers immediately said it would seek a voter referendum to repeal the law, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2015.

Activist group says it broke into Iowa fox farm

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 30 September 2014 02:04

An animal rights activist group admitted to breaking into an eastern Iowa fox fur farm and trying to free about 30 foxes.

The group, Animal Liberation Front, said in a written release sent to news organizations that it had released 30 foxes from an Anamosa, Iowa, farm that raises foxes for fur.

Day after march, environmental activists staging Wall Street sit-in

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Monday, 22 September 2014 08:26

The day after a massive march to call attention to climate change and demand action to protect the planet, a storm of protesters were expected to descend on Wall Street.

An estimated 400,000 demonstrators participated in the People's Climate March in New York City on Sept. 21.

Environmental groups sue government to protect wolverine

Written by From AP
and WiG reports
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 06:23

A coalition of advocacy groups on Oct. 13 challenged the U.S. government's denial of protections for the snow-loving wolverine, arguing in a lawsuit that officials disregarded evidence a warming climate will eliminate denning areas.

An estimated 250 to 300 wolverines survive in the Lower 48 states. The elusive but ferocious members of the weasel family give birth to their young in deep mountain snowfields that scientists say could be at risk of disappearing as the climate changes.

Proposed wind farm near Missouri wildlife refuge will move

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 02 October 2014 14:12

A company that had planned to build the largest wind farm in Missouri near several wildlife areas has decided to look elsewhere because modifications needed to protect the area’s animals made it financially unworkable.

Element Power, based in Oregon, had proposed erecting 84 to 188 wind turbines near Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Holt County and seven nearby conservation areas. The company, which had been studying the project for five years, had leased 30,000 acres of private land near the wildlife areas since 2010.


While Wisconsin’s Republican leadership continues to thwart efforts to create a clean-energy infrastructure in the state, an alliance of four companies has proposed an $8 billion project that within a decade could send wind power generated on the plains of Wyoming to households in Southern California.

Foodies, feds and factory farms — Why we need vegans now more than ever

Written by Sangamithra Iyer,
Special from Waging
Monday, 15 September 2014 22:56

It was their screams that woke Donald Watson. Born in 1910, in South Yorkshire, England, Watson’s earliest memories were of holidays spent at his Uncle George’s farm. His first impression of that time was “one of heaven,” surrounded by so many interesting animals who each “gave” something, whether it be the cows who gave their milk, the hens who gave their eggs, or sheep who gave their wool. As a young boy, Donald couldn’t quite figure out what the friendly pigs gave, until one day when he bore witness to his uncle in the act of slaughter.

“And I still have vivid recollections of the whole process from start to finish, including all the screams of course, which were only feet away from where this pig’s companion still lived,” Watson recounted many decades later at the age of 92 in an interview with his colleague George D. Rodger. “I suppose at that point I decided that farms — and uncles — had to be re-assessed… this idyllic scene was nothing more than death row.”

Plastic bag manufacturers push to overturn California ban

Written by The AP Monday, 13 October 2014 07:41

Plastic bag manufacturers on Oct. 10 passed their first hurdle in their effort to delay and eventually repeal California's new ban on single-use plastic shopping bags before it takes effect.

The office of Attorney General Kamala Harris cleared the way for the groups to begin collecting signatures for a referendum vote on the ban on the November 2016 ballot.

Unregulated genetically modified wheat popping up in Montana

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 01 October 2014 08:57

Unregulated genetically modified wheat has popped up in a second location in the United States, this time in Montana, the Agriculture Department has said.

No genetically engineered wheat has been approved for U.S. farming, and the discovery of unapproved varieties can pose a potential threat to U.S. trade with countries that have concerns about genetically modified foods.

Pomp but not much action expected at UN climate summit

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 23 September 2014 04:53

More than 120 world leaders convene on Sept. 23 for a U.N. summit aimed at galvanizing political will for a new global climate treaty by the end of 2015.

Environmentalists took to the streets on Sept. 21 in what was billed as the largest march ever on global warming. Celebrities, CEOs and climatologists will appear at a string of events as part of New York's annual climate week. "Titanic" star Leonardo DiCaprio will talk about what causes rising seas.

State of the Birds: 230 species face serious threats

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Friday, 12 September 2014 05:57

In 40 years time, the population of wild passenger pigeons went from 2-3 billion to none. Today, hundreds of species, with their habitats disappearing and their climate changing, face critical threats and need conservation help.