Thursday, February 28, 2008

Environmental organization of the year offers pancake breakfast Saturday

The OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology Presents:

This Saturday Morning
March 1st, 2008
8:30 - 11am

Only $5!

At United Campus Ministries
902 W. Maple (corner of Storer and Maple), in Fayetteville

for more information, go to

Governor's, Sheffield Nelson's plans differ

But neither mentions providing funding for environmental damage done by gas-drilling and production.

Beebe negotiating on severance tax 2/27/08

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Biofuel Demand Leading to Human Rights Abuses, Report Claims.

Biofuel Demand Leading to Human Rights Abuses, Report Claims. By Jessica Aldred, London Guardian, February 12, 2008. "EU politicians should reject targets for expanding the use of biofuels because the demand for palm oil is leading to human rights abuses in Indonesia, a coalition of international environmental groups claimed today. A new report, published by Friends of the Earth [of the UK] and indigenous rights groups LifeMosaic and Sawit Watch, said that increasing demands for palm oil for food and biofuels was causing millions of hectares of forests to be cleared for plantations and destroying the livelihoods of indigenous peoples. The report, Losing Ground (PDF 108 pp) said many of the 60-90 million people in Indonesia who depend on the forests are losing their land to the palm oil companies... 'The unsustainable expansion of Indonesia's palm oil industry is leaving many indigenous communities without land, water or adequate livelihoods. Previously self-sufficient communities find themselves in debt or struggling to afford education and food. Traditional customs and culture are being damaged alongside Indonesia's forests and wildlife,' the report reads. It claims that oil palm companies often use violent tactics as they move in to convert the land to plantations... The alleged human rights abuses come after several recent reports have highlighted the environmental problems caused by the conversion of land for farming palm oil. Last week a study by the University of Minnesota and Nature Conservancy, published in Science, found that the carbon lost through the clearance of forests, peat lands or even grasslands far outweighs the greenhouse gas savings that can come from biofuels. Conversion of land for corn, sugarcane, palm oil or soybeans released 17 to 420 times more carbon than the annual savings from replacing fossil fuels with bioethanol or biodiesel, the researchers said."

The Last Straw

The Last Straw. Commentary by George Monbiot, London Guardian, February 12, 2008. "Now they might start sitting up. They wouldn't listen to the environmentalists or even the geologists. Can governments ignore the capitalists? A report published last week by Citibank, and so far unremarked by the media, proposes 'genuine difficulties' in increasing the production of crude oil, 'particularly after 2012'... The issue is complicated, as ever, by the refusal of the OPEC cartel to raise production. What has changed, Citi says, is that the non-OPEC countries can no longer answer the price signal. Does this mean that oil production in these nations has already peaked?... What contingency plans has the [UK] government made?... None. The European Commission, by contrast, does have a plan... It has ordered the member states to ensure that by 2020 10% of the petroleum our cars burn must be replaced with biofuels... Its draft directive rules that they shouldn't be produced by destroying primary forests, ancient grasslands or wetlands, as this could cause a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Nor should any biodiverse ecosystem be damaged in order to grow them... It sounds good, but there are three problems. If biofuels can't be produced in virgin habitats, they must be confined to existing agricultural land, which means that every time we fill up the car we snatch food from people's mouths. This, in turn, raises the price of food, which encourages farmers to destroy pristine habitats -- primary forests, ancient grasslands, wetlands and the rest -- in order to grow it. We can congratulate ourselves on remaining morally pure, but the impacts are the same. There is no way out of this: on a finite planet with tight food supplies you either compete with the hungry or clear new land... All these convoluted solutions are designed to avoid a simpler one: reducing the consumption of transport fuel. But that requires the use of a different commodity. Global supplies of political courage appear, unfortunately, to have peaked some time ago."

St. Paul's Episcopal Church site of February 16, 2008, Sierra awards banquet

February 16, 2008

The Sierra Club Conservation Awards

Please join us as we honor Arkansas businesses, legislators, community organizations, and individuals who have made accomplishments in the way of conservation and protection of our state’s natural resources.
February 16, 2008
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church 
224 N East Ave.
Fayetteville AR.
Doors open for the Silent Auction at 6 pm. 
Dinner, provided by Greenhouse Grille, will be served at 6:30 pm. 
Ticket prices:
$25 in advance
$30 at the door
$15 Students

To reserve advance tickets, please mail your payment to the address below by February 9th. Make checks payable to OHG Sierra Club. For more informaion contact Molly Rawn @ 479.527.9499 or HYPERLINK ""
Molly Rawn
1239 E Cain Dr
Fayetteville AR 72703

Sierra Club Conservation Awards Banquet at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, February 16, 2008

Reminder of the Sierra Club's upcoming Conservation Awards Banquet from Molly Rawn.
My apologies to anyone receiving this who did not receive a paper invitation in the mail. I would like to share with you a little about our keynote speaker, Rita Harris, who has led Memphis-area environmental justice efforts for close to 20 years. She's designed and coordinated several grassroots environmental conferences and given "Toxic Tours" to educate area groups about environmental justice. These tours point out the injustices experienced by people living in the shadow of chemical polluters. She served on the Enforcement Subcommittee of the EPA's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council during the Clinton Administration.
As for the menu, Greenhouse Grille has a wonderful meal planned to include:Organic Shiitake and Portobello-Scallion Cheesecake served with
Grilled Breads
Greenhouse salad with Mixed Organic Greens, Carrot Ribbons,
Green Apples, Cranberries, Toasted Pecans, with a Balsamic
Organic Foccacia Bread and Olive Loaf
Grass Fed, Arkansas Raised Buffalo Lasagna with Mixed
Vegetables and 3 Cheese Medley.Pesto Pasta Primavera with Organic Shiitake Mushrooms,
Artichokes, Peppers, Tomatoes, Squash and Zucchini, mixed with
Fresh Organic Local Pesto and Parmesan Cheese
Our Silent Auction is sure to be a huge success! We have donations of origianl artwork made with found materials, locally made pottery, hiking equipment, hand blown glassware, gift certificates to local restaurants, locally made gourmet foods, jewlery, and spa products to mention just a few!
If you haven't purchased tickets yet, it is not too late. We will be selling tickets at the door for $30 and 15$ for students.
Please contact me if you have any questions!
See you at the banquet!
Molly Rawn, OHG Sierra Club Intern, (479) 879 1620

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Study: Climate Set To 'Tip' This Century.

Study: Climate Set To 'Tip' This Century.

The researchers have listed and ranked nine ecological systems that they say could be lost this century as a result of global warming. The nine tipping elements and the time it will take them to undergo a major transition are:

Melting of Arctic sea-ice (about 10 years)
Decay of the Greenland ice sheet (about 300 years)
Collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet (about 300 years)
Collapse of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation (about 100 years)
Increase in the El Nino Southern Oscillation (about 100 years)
Collapse of the Indian summer monsoon (about 1 year)
Greening of the Sahara/Sahel and disruption of the West African monsoon (about 10 years)
Dieback of the Amazon rainforest (about 50 years)
Dieback of the Boreal Forest (about 50 years)

Coal Sequestration: A Pipe Dream?

Is Capturing and Sequestering CO2 a Pipe Dream? By Andrew C. Revkin, NYTimes, February 3, 2008. "It looks like it's going to be a long while before anyone knows... whether [carbon capture and sequestration is] possible at a scale that could meaningfully cut into the tens of billions of tons of CO2 slated to be released in coming decades by coal-rich countries led by the U.S. and China. An array of experts have been warning that current efforts... are grossly insufficient. And now one of the most vaunted projects, President Bush's FutureGen plan for an emissions-free coal-fired plant, has been overhauled in a way many say amounts to a dismantling and more delays. The budget was ballooning to close to twice the original $1 billion, so the new proposal is to have industry add carbon-capturing systems paid for by taxpayers... [at] commercial plants built by industry... Environmentalists say this [new approach] will surely set back construction years. Other plans are afoot... in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. But, again, scientists and energy experts see an enormous gap between the scale and timetable of such plans and the real-world, real-time expansion of coal burning... In December, I wrote that 'The Energy Future is Not Now,' as warning signs over FutureGen's prospects built. So when is it?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Check YOUR Climate Change Risk

By Patrick O'Driscoll, USA TODAY
A computerized service that assesses global warming risks and other environmental threats is now available for any address in the contiguous USA.
Three University of Arizona scientists won approval from the board of regents this month to create Climate Appraisal Services with an East Coast entrepreneur. They call it the first online, address-based tool for gauging climate-change hazards in the next 50-100 years. It also lists natural and man-made dangers, from hurricanes and earthquakes to pollution and disease.
The service taps the scientists' own climate research, numerous public databases and studies, and data from about a dozen government agencies.
Company CEO David Purcell hatched the idea after wondering what sea-level rise might do to coastal property he was seeking for a home. "That had troubled me, the aspects of climate change and what that meant with shoreline reduction," says Purcell of Easton, Conn. He says he and his wife have held off on buying near the water "because it's high-risk" for the future.
Climate models estimate global warming could raise sea levels from a few inches to 3 feet or more by century's end. Purcell's group notes that uncertainty but emphasizes that hurricane intensity and surge, worsened by warming, raises the risk along the shore. That issue alone "could realign real estate values on coasts in this century in a major way," Purcell says.