Damage to Joshua Tree during the government shutdown could take centuries to repair

February 1, 2019 by  
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The recent month-long government shutdown may have caused “irreparable” damage to Joshua Tree National Park, according to former superintendent Curt Sauer. During those 34 days, visitors ruined trails, cut down trees and vandalized the park, and when workers returned, they found absolute chaos. “What’s happened to our park in the last 34 days is irreparable for the next 200 to 300 years,” Sauer — who ran the park for seven years — told the Desert Sun . The shutdown reduced ranger supervision, which led to increased vandalism. Officials decided to temporarily close the park on January 8. But the next day, they managed to avoid the closure and stay open with the help of revenue from recreation fees. Related: National Parks are being trashed during the government shutdown During the shutdown, many national parks were forced to operate without rangers, and volunteers helped out by hauling trash and cleaning bathrooms. Joshua Tree national park is 1,235 square miles, and the volunteer help wasn’t enough to keep people from ignoring the extra care warnings and damaging the park. Park spokesman George Land said that some visitors had created new roads with their vehicles and destroyed some of the Joshua trees. David Smith, the current superintendent, explained that there were a dozen different instances of vehicles going off-road and into the wilderness, creating two new roads inside the park. People also cut chains and locks to access campgrounds. “We’ve never seen this level of out-of-bounds camping ,” Smith said. “Everyday use area was occupied every evening. Joshua trees were actually cut down in order to make new roads.” Many locals were not happy with the park staying open during the shutdown . John Lauretig, executive director of the non-profit group Friends of Joshua Tree, said that the parks shouldn’t be held hostage. He added that having a park open and partially staffed isn’t good for the park, the public or the local community. He also believes that if the government shuts down again, the park should close completely to prevent more damage. Via Desert Sun  and  The Guardian Image via Christopher Michel

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Damage to Joshua Tree during the government shutdown could take centuries to repair

South Africa is relaxing restrictions on GMOs to fight drought-related food crisis

February 25, 2016 by  
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Food supplies have grown so unstable in South Africa that the government may soon allow imports of some genetically modified foods , which were previously under tight restrictions, in order to fend off a food crisis. GM corn maize crops from the United States and Mexico may soon be crossing the borders to make up for 3.8 million metric tons of corn crops that South African farmers are unable to grow due to severe drought. Amid fears of cross-contamination of GM crops, the government is considering making exceptions to tough regulations in order to continue to feed people. Read the rest of South Africa is relaxing restrictions on GMOs to fight drought-related food crisis

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South Africa is relaxing restrictions on GMOs to fight drought-related food crisis

What the government shutdown teaches millennials about advocacy

October 14, 2013 by  
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Younger sustainability-minded Americans need to stop being so willfully ignorant about political advocacy.

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What the government shutdown teaches millennials about advocacy

Tesla Model S is rated the safest car of all time

August 21, 2013 by  
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No other car on the road has gotten marks this high from the government's traffic safety agency.

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Tesla Model S is rated the safest car of all time

“Anti-Rape” Electric Undies Fend Off Attackers With an Electric Shock

April 6, 2013 by  
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In response to the  horrific gang rape  in Delhi last December, three engineering students have come up with  anti-rape lingerie  that will deliver an electric shock to a would-be attacker. The underthings, named SHE (Society Harnessing Equipment), are also equipped with GPS and the ability to text emergency services and the girl’s parents to alert them of her location and situation. The trio created the electro-shock underwear because they felt helpless that the government wasn’t doing enough to prevent rape. While these electro-undies address the symptom and not the root cause of rape, they at least represent a step towards protecting India’s women. READ MORE >   Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: anti-rape underwear , ecouterre , electric underwear , India , rape , Undies , women’s health , women’s panties        

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“Anti-Rape” Electric Undies Fend Off Attackers With an Electric Shock

What’s really killing energy behavior change?

November 28, 2012 by  
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Forget the oil companies, or the government. It's the utilities that are stiffling energy efficiency.

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What’s really killing energy behavior change?

Incandescent Light Bulb Ban Pushed Back

December 16, 2011 by  
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A Congressional spending deal made late last night includes a provision that prevents the Department of Energy from enforcing the incandescent light bulb ban set to go in effect in January for another nine months. The first phase of the ban , which still remains on the books but just can’t be enforced, includes higher efficiency standards for 100-watt bulbs.  By the end 2014, all incandescents will be phased out.  According to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, many American light bulb makers had already started investing money on making the change from incandescents to more efficient bulbs like halogen, CFLs and LEDs and this delay may now cause them to lose money to foreign competitors still selling the cheaper bulbs. The delay in enforcement will end on September 30, 2012 at the end of the government’s fiscal year when hopefully the legislation will be able to go into effect. via Chicago Tribune

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Incandescent Light Bulb Ban Pushed Back

Efforts to Reduce Cars’ Impacts Find Only Stop-and-Go Momentum

September 28, 2011 by  
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The Energy Department said this week it needs to invest more in the transportation sector to help wean the country off oil. At the same time, the government will delay new fuel economy rules and the top five most congested cities are named.

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Efforts to Reduce Cars’ Impacts Find Only Stop-and-Go Momentum

Could a Carbon Tax Emerge from the Debt Ceiling Crisis?

August 2, 2011 by  
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Photo: thewritingzone , Flickr / CC BY-SA So, the Senate has just passed a plan that allows the government to raise the debt ceiling — just in time to prevent the United States from careening into an unprecedented default scenario . Hooray! But it meant Democrats and a more-spineless-than-ever Obama caving in to conser… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Could a Carbon Tax Emerge from the Debt Ceiling Crisis?

Citing A Better ‘Environment’ For Business, House GOP Goes After the Environment

February 19, 2011 by  
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Speaker John Boehner, via flickr House Republicans, joined by a handful of Democrats, are making good on their campaign promises to attack the EPA and make life easier for heavy polluters but harder for actual life. Last night, the House passed its short-term government funding measure, which funds the government until March 4 and takes a hatchet to funding for environmental protection. Speaker Boehner, seemingly overlooking the irony, said, “Cutting federal spending is critical to reducing economic uncertainty, encouraging private-sector investment, and creating a better environment for job creation in our country.” ..

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