Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Trucks "Rollin' Coal"

They simply hate "God's Green Earth", and are influenced by commercial values to the point that many "Coal Rollers" would love to see all of nature to be used up, and to target "liberals" and "leftists" for death on the road (using their smoke to provoke an accident).

“Rollin’ Coal Is Pollution Porn for Dudes With Pickup Trucks"
2014-06-16 by Elizabeth Kulze []:
Diesel drivers in rural America have been modifying their trucks to spew out black soot, then posting pics to the Internet. They hate you and your Prius

In small towns across America, manly men are customizing their jacked-up diesel trucks to intentionally emit giant plumes of toxic smoke every time they rev their engines. They call it “rollin’ coal,” and it’s something they do for fun.
An entire subculture has emerged on the Internet surrounding this soot-spewing pastime—where self-declared rednecks gather on Facebook pages (16,000 collective followers) Tumblers and Instagram (156,714 posts) to share photos and videos of their Dodge Rams and GM Silverados purposefully poisoning the sky. As one of their memes reads: “Roll, roll, rollin’ coal, let the hybrid see. A big black cloud. Exhaust that’s loud. Watch the city boy flee.”

Of course, there are things about diesel lovers and their trucks that the rest of us weren’t meant to understand. Like how the guttural noise of a grumbling engine sounds like music when the muffler is removed. Or how the higher the lift and the bigger the tires—the better the man. As Robbie, a 25-year-old mechanic at a diesel garage in South Carolina, puts it, “Your truck is not just something to get you from point A to point B. It’s who you are.” In other words, mushrooming clouds of diesel exhaust are just another way to show off your manhood.
Robbie has been rollin’ coal since he got his first truck 12 years ago, but he admits the allure is “kind of hard to put words on.” “It’s just fun,” he says. “Just driving and blowing smoke and having a good time.”

The pollution pageantry has its origins in Truck Pulls, a rural motorsport where diesel pickups challenge one another to see who can pull a weighted sled the farthest. In order to have an edge, drivers started modifying their trucks to dump excessive fuel into the motor, which gave them more horsepower, torque, speed and a better chance of winning. It also made their trucks emit black smoke, an affectation that apparently won the hearts of country boys everywhere. Today kids will spend anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 modifying their pickups for this sole purpose; adding smoke stacks and smoke switches (which trick the engine into thinking it needs more gas), or even revamping the entire fuel system.

Aside from being macho, the rollin’ coal culture is also a renegade one. Kids make a point of blowing smoke back at pedestrians, in addition to cop cars and rice burners (Japanese-made sedans), which can make it dangerously difficult to see out of the windshield. Diesel soot can also be a great road rage weapon should some wimpy looking Honda Civic ever piss you off. “If someone makes you mad, you can just roll coal, and it makes you feel better sometimes,” says Ryan, a high school senior who works at the diesel garage with Robbie. “The other day I did it to this kid who was driving a Mustang with his windows down, and it was awesome.”

The ultimate highway enemy, however, are “nature nuffies,” or people that drive hybrid cars, because apparently, pro-earth sentiment is an offense to the diesel-trucking lifestyle. “The feeling around here is that everyone who drives a small car is a liberal,” says Ryan. “I rolled coal on a Prius once just because they were tailing me.”

According to the Clean Air Taskforce, diesel exhaust is one of the country’s greatest sources of toxic pollutants and leads to 21,000 premature deaths each year, but even that won’t deter the coal rollers. “I’m not a scientist, but it couldn’t be too horrible,” Robbie says. “There are a lot of factories that are doing way worse than my truck.”

It should be said that not all diesel drivers roll coal. Older enthusiasts call it a waste of fuel and think it gives their kind a bad name, but like a tobacco habit, the younger set are willing to overlook the risks. “It’s bad for the environment. That’s definitely true,” says Ryan. “And some of the kids that have diesel trucks can look like tools. And you can cause a wreck, but everything else about it is pretty good.”

"Rolling Coal: Conservatives Modify Trucks to Spew Toxic Black Smoke to ... 'Screw' Obama?
So-called “coal rollers” install smoke stacks and special equipment in their diesel trucks that makes the engine think that it needs more fuel, resulting in plumes of black smoke"
2014-07-08 from "AlterNet" []:
Conservatives who detest President Barack Obama and EPA clean air regulations are modifying their vehicles to purposefully spew black smoke into the atmosphere.
So-called “coal rollers” install smoke stacks and special equipment in their diesel trucks that makes the engine think that it needs more fuel, resulting in plumes of black smoke.
According to Slate’s Dave Weigel [], the phenomenon is not new, but it is becoming more popular among conservatives who want to protest the president and his efforts to clean up the environment.
“I run into a lot of people that really don’t like Obama at all,” a smoke stack seller in Wisconsin told Weigel. “If he’s into the environment, if he’s into this or that, we’re not. I hear a lot of that.”
“To get a single stack on my truck—that’s my way of giving them the finger,” he added. “You want clean air and a tiny carbon footprint? Well, screw you.”
In June,  Vocativ reported on the trend of “coal rollers” using their toxic exhaust as revenge against “nature nuffies” who drive environmentally friendly cars, like the Toyota Prius.
“The feeling around here is that everyone who drives a small car is a liberal,” a South Carolina truck owner named Ryan explained. “I rolled coal on a Prius once just because they were tailing me.”
“It’s bad for the environment. That’s definitely true,” he admitted. “And some of the kids that have diesel trucks can look like tools. And you can cause a wreck, but everything else about it is pretty good.”
The Clean Air Task Force estimates that pollutants from diesel vehicles “lead to 21,000 premature deaths each year and create a cancer risk that is seven times greater than the combined risk of all 181 other air toxics tracked by the EPA.”

Monday, June 23, 2014

"Caltrans Willits Bypass Work Stopped by Permit Suspension"

2014-06-23 from "Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters (BACH)":
This is huge news! We will see where things go from here and what Caltrans' response is. Stay tuned. This is the press release we sent out this morning. There will be another ABC News (Ch. 7 KGO in the Bay Area) segment tonight (June 23rd) at 6 pm with an interview with Tribal representative Priscilla Hunter.

Willits, CA—In a move that was welcomed by but that stunned long-time opponents of the highway project and stung Caltrans, the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) suspended the permit for the Caltrans Willits Bypass on Friday, June 20, reported ABC News []. ACE is the agency that regulates impacts on federally protected wetlands.
“This appears to be the first time ACE has ever pulled a permit on an approved project under construction,” said Ellen Drell, co-founder of the Willits Environmental Center, one of the project’s opponents.” We are surprised and elated that ACE has finally acted, although we have been pointing out the enormous problems with Caltrans’ plans for years. Since construction began last year, Caltrans’ violations have been so blatant and egregious that the Army Corps could not overlook them any more.  We see the solution as simple:

1) Downsize the Bypass northern exchange, salvaging approximately half the wetlands Caltrans is destroying;

2) Eliminate the scientifically unjustified and untested “wetland creation area” areas (Group II and areas in the 29.5 acres Caltrans purports to use as “additional” mitigation land in their just-released mitigation plan, using approximately 30 acres of wetlands already allocated to satisfy other mitigation conditions—so-called “double-dipping”); and

3) Protect and restore Native American Archeological and Ancestral sites.

Over 50 people were arrested last year in protests to stop Caltrans construction and advocate for alternative plans.  In addition to the issues of  wetlands destruction, a long list of violations of the Migratory Bird Act, Clean Water Act and numerous permit violations and other habitat threats, it has come to the attention of local Tribes that archaeological sites were buried with new fill without Tribal consultation, as required by law.
A resolution was put forward in April by the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians [], in addition to a resolution opposing the Bypass by the National Congress of American Indians [], the “oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the interests of trial communities.”
On Thursday, June 26, American Indian Spirit Runners will run through Willits in support of Indigenous people, sacred sites threatened and destroyed by Caltrans, and to support the campaign to stop the Bypass.  This pass through Willits is part of a 500-mile Spiritual Marathon, with the runners expected in the Willits area about 12:30 pm [].
It has just been learned through a phone call between Caltrans Assoc. Environmental Planner Timothy O’Keefe and Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians (CVBPI) Historic Preservation Officer Eddie Knight that another archaeological site was damaged by construction crews on June 12. The damage occurred in the area where Caltrans is carrying out “environmental mitigation.” It is covered in a piece in the Anderson Valley Advertiser [].
The CYBPI is currently involved in government-to-government consultations with Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration regarding damage done to ancestral villages and sites in the construction area. Priscilla Hunter, Tribal Representative to the consultations said, “There are so many archaeological sites in the contruction area that the CA. Office of Historic Preservation has declared that the entire area of the Bypass could be designated an “archaeological district”, and thus our Tribe has called for a downsizing of the Project’s footprint in order to protect these sites.”

Monday, June 2, 2014

"Microalgae Capable Of Assimilating The Ammonium From Agri-Food Waste"

2014-06-02 []:
Basque Region, Spain -
Chlamydomonas acidophila microalgae display characteristics suited to growing and reproducing in a medium that contains up to 50% of the liquid that comes from the decomposition of agri-food waste.

The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, Neiker-Tecnalia, the public body that reports to the Sub-Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy of the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community, has confirmed the capacity of Chlamydomonas acidophila microalgae to absorb ammoniacal nitrogen present in the effluent generated in the digestion of organic waste coming from the agri-food sector.
These algae can grow in these liquids and assimilate the ammonium, which prevents this gas from being volatilised in the form of ammonia (NH3) and contaminating the atmosphere. Furthermore, the microalgae biomass obtained in this procedure can be used as a raw material for producing biogas or used as animal feed, compost or fertilizer besides being an extraordinary source of lutein, a powerful antioxidant used as a food supplement.
The decomposition process of agri-food waste in oxygen-free conditions produces effluent that has a high content of ammoniacal nitrogen, specifically between 2 and 5 grams per litre. Significant quantities of this waste is produced on farms and biogas plants, among other facilities. That is why it is essential to find suitable methods for managing it and for preventing the ammonia from being volatilised and ending up in aquifers and surface waters.
Chlamydomonas acidophila microalgae display characteristics suited to growing and reproducing in a medium that contains up to 50% of the liquid that comes from the decomposition of agri-food waste, as Neiker-Tecnalia researchers have been able to confirm. The main advantage in cultivating them lies in their capacity to develop in very acid mediums (pH 2-3) and to tolerate, to a high degree, the presence of heavy metals and high organic loads.
In addition to their environmental contribution owing to their capacity to assimilate ammoniacal nitrogen, they have a significant capacity to produce lutein, a powerful antioxidant that helps to delay cell and tissue deterioration and oxidation; lutein protects the organism from free radicals attack and is used in various therapeutic treatments.
Optimum consumption of it leads to better vision, prevents cataract progression and also accumulates a large quantity of carotenoids -organic pigments- of commercial interest for the food industry.
Neiker-Tecnalia is currently developing various lines of research devoted to identifying and subsequently assessing microalgae strains that are of commercial and environmental interest. Among the projects being conducted features the quest for oil-rich microalgae that can be used to obtain biodiesel.

Source of new products and applications -
Microalgae form a heterogeneous group of microorganisms distributed across all imaginable environments and which share the characteristic of being photosynthetic. These organisms perform an essential role in global ecology since they are responsible for fixing about 50% of the planet's carbon.
Through photosynthesis they use solar energy to trap atmospheric carbon dioxide and turn it into organic carbon.
Due to their huge biodiversity, microalgae represent one of the most promising sources of new products and applications. Today, they are a source of a large variety of compounds and biomolecules with a high commercial value and applications as wide ranging as food, dietetics, fine chemicals, biomedicine, cosmetics and bioenergy, all of which are an indication of their biotechnological potential.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Campaign to preserve the Mattole River Watershed

If you are interested in getting more involved with trying to stop the madness of industrial logging in the Mattole, please call (707) 442-7465 . Or Message "Friend Mattole Forest" on Facebook.

"Old Growth in Mattole Being Logged Next to Humboldt Redwoods State Park", 2014-05-31 alert from Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters []:
Humboldt Redwood [Logging] Company (HRC) has begun its plans to hammer the Mattole River Watershed. In the Rattlesnake Creek area, right next to Humboldt Redwood State Park, HRC plans to build another logging road. HRC is clearing and building a helicopter pad to helicopter log on some of the most steep and unstable slopes in the continental U.S. and has already begun its logging operations on the beautiful and unstable Long Ridge. At risk are old growth Doug Firs, Grand Firs and Tan Oaks; also in the area are endangered salmon and fisheries habitat.
HRC, who bought the property from Pacific Lumber (of Headwaters Forest fame) after PL went bankrupt, had committed to not log old growth and to be a responsible, sustainable logging company, in contrast to PL. The company also claims it wants public input and will bring people out to the areas it plans to log.

Mattole Update! 2014-05-30:
Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) told folks in the Mattole woods today that they'll keep falling trees right next to where people are standing. One person was hit with flying debris while observing logging from the state park. Report from on the scene: "The loggers and sheriffs left the ridge road site early because we were refusing to stand back while they cut right on the park boundary. Just forest defenders here now."
We want a moratorium on all Mattole logging until a scientific and objective old-growth survey can be conducted on the lands Humboldt Redwood Company plans to destroy!
Humboldt Redwood Company, LLC phone number: (707) 764-4253- Main Number  (707) 764-4400 – Facsimile. Website []
* PLEASE call, fax, or fill out an online contact form to Humboldt Redwood Company, and tell them to STOP its plans in the Mattole! Tell them to stop endangering activists' lives. HRC knew it was going to meet community resistance when it went into the Mattole...
* Take take HRC up on its "open invitation to visit any forest operation or any part of our forests, any time" (from the HRC website Request that HRC plan a "field visit" for members of the public to check out the land and trees and waterways that will be affected by HRC logging plans. The company can drive people out to the rugged and gorgeous areas of the Mattole and show us what they want to do...  HRC says on its website "please please contact us..."
Let's get 200 of us on a few field visits to the Mattole!!
From HRC's website:  "Field Visits  We believe that the best way to reach common ground on complex and sometimes controversial issues is to go to the forest and see the issue or concern first-hand. Our policy is to take any interested people out on the land to review any concerns or observations they would like to share and review. If you are interested in seeing a part of our operations or our forest, please please contact us via our online contact form."

Public Comment Concerns about the Mattole River Watershed, uploaded to []:
The Pacific Lumber Co. deal for the preservation of the Headwaters Forest left the Mattole River Watershed properties unprotected and slated as a mitigation or sacrifice zone. Over the years, public outcry has included comments, law suits, protests, pepper spray incidents, tree sits and a failed purchase attempt when owned by the Pacific Lumber Co. Maxam.
When the Humboldt Mendocino Redwood Co. took over ownership of the holdings assurances were made to the community that the previously un-entered forest stands would not be taken.
 The mandatory management plans under the Habitat Conservation Plan (H.C.P.) and Sustained Yield Plan (SYP) have inherent problems that will result in the inevitable disappearance of the last stands of pre-Columbian douglas fir forest.  These last stands of un-entered conifer and mixed hardwood forests are crucial to the geological stability of the headwaters located in upper north fork of the Mattole River as well as, the headwatersof the lower north-fork of the Mattole River. Each of these branches of the River system contain numerous class one blue line streams and deliver a great deal of water as well as sediment to the main stem of the Mattole River and the estuary.
The Mattole River Watershed is located along the coast of Northern California, Cape Mendocino being the most westerly point in the continental United States. The triple junction of three major fault lines meet here and are continuously in motion. The San Andreas, the Punta Gordo and the Cascadia make this area particularly active. The potential for major tectonic uplift should be given greater consideration for this
Previously California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Geologists have recommended denial of Timber Harvest Plans  (T.H.P.) in steep areas due to concerns regarding the potential for major tectonic uplift.
Slides and debris torrents have severe impacts for wildlife and fisheries but, the ultimate concern is the safety of downstream landowners, their families and their private property and their way of life.
Over the past three decades considerable amounts of effort and public monies have been spent to recover habitat and increase fish populations in the watershed home to Coho Salmon, Chinook and Steelhead. Please explain how these current plans benefit these efforts?
Although we are writing comments on behalf of certain current THP’s, we are also writing on behalf of every THP that has already been implemented in the Mattole under the HCP . The cumulative effects impact water quality as well as endangered species suchas the Coho salmon.  The Clean Water Act should be taken into consideration as well as Public Trust Values, when evaluating the outcome of these actions. Another unique aspect of the Mattole River Watershed’s temperate rainforest is the fact that it receives more annual rainfall than any other place in the continental United States.
Historically speaking, 170” is not unusual with the record standing at 211” in one rain season. Currently, we are in a drought. Weather conditions have become more extreme but it is not beyond the realm of possibility that when it does rain this may also be more extreme in the future.
The trend has been hotter and drier which could be an indication that the process of desertification is well underway. Either way these last remnant stands are crucial to the integrity of our landscape and the ability to maintain groundwater supplies for humans, fish and wildlife and for the survival of the forest.
The H.C.P./S.Y.P. did not take climate change into consideration. They are out dated documents and inappropriate for this watershed. They offer little in the way of conservinghabitat. Other than agreeing to not log within the riparian zones of class one streams, can you tell us what exactly is being conserved? The vast majority of the streams had already been logged and it will be generations before they recover.
The ridgeline canopy connectivity is crucial for the survival of forest carnivores such as, the Pine Martin and the Pacific Fisher. They have been documented in the adjoining Humboldt Redwood State Park. These creatures need an extensive area to roam through the canopy if they are to have an opportunity to proliferate. Once thought to be extinct, they are making a come back. Without the old growth habitat continuity they will not have areas to expand and will become genetically weak and die off. How have these creatures been taken into consideration?
The methodology being used to determine the age of the trees leaves the Humboldt Mendocino Redwood Co.  room for significant fudging. Core samples revealed that the trees are actually much older than the co. claims.
The taking of trees that are nearly old growth from un-entered stands leaves nothing to replace the current old growth and disrupts microbial communities that have not been appropriately surveyed. The agarikon grows in the canopy of old growth douglas fir specifically. It is a conk like mushroom that is now extinct in Europe and Asia. It is thought to be the cure for numerous antibiotic resistant strains of staff and tuberculosis amongst other illnesses. This is an extremely important matter and one we hope is not overlooked.
Armond Gonzales (D.F.W.) had concluded, when dropping a watershed’s original forest (old growth) retention level below 10% the ability for recovery was greatly diminished if not rendered impossible.
 The Mattole Watershed was estimated to be at seven percent when Pacific Lumber Co. continued logging. What percentage does the watershed retain currently and what percent will be left if these plans are implemented? Please explain?
Thank you for your time and consideration of these concerns. We look forward to your response.