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Parched, but still hoping for a March Miracle

Well, as a farmer, I have a lot of worries, but lately this is what has been keeping me up at night.

California teeters on the edge of the worst drought in the state’s history, officials said Thursday after reporting that the Sierra Nevada snowpack – the backbone of the state’s water supply – is only 61 percent of normal.

January usually douses California with about 20 percent of the state’s annual precipitation, but instead it delivered a string of dry, sunny days this year, almost certainly pushing the state into a third year of drought.

The arid weather is occurring as the state’s water system is under pressure from a growing population, an aging infrastructure and court-ordered reductions in water pumped through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta – problems that didn’t exist or were less severe during similar dry spells in the late 1970s and late 1980s.

It just kills me whenever I hear folks praising all the sunshine we’ve had. How can people be so out of touch?!?

Mr. Fusion, Meet Ejeep

Seems like we’re getting back to the future in style.


The Climate Friendly Cities is a project of the Green Renewable Independent Power Producers (GRIPP), a local non-government organization. In the Ecopolis episode, GRIPP Chairperson Athena Ballesteros explained that she envisioned GRIPP to address the pollution and noise problems that come with the 250,000 or so diesel-fed jeepneys clogging Philippine streets.

The project’s first component involves the use of electric-powered jeepneys – or eJeepneys. Their diesel engines cause traditional jeepneys to emit a lot of noise and smoke. In contrast, eJeepneys run on electric motors and emit barely any noise and no smoke at all. The project’s second component involves the installation of bio-digesters coupled to gas engines – essentially power plants that would convert organic trash to energy, producing electricity to run homes, offices, and, of course, the eJeepneys. The project’s third major component is a piece of land that will serve as the garage, maintenance area and charging station of the eJeepneys.

(via my friend Pia who is involved with this project in Manila.)

Barr says: DOMA not working as planned, will take ball and go home.

Bob Barr, author of the Defense of Marriage Act, recants, like sort-of, in this article.

Maybe hidden in the causes of his commitment to federalism is an understanding of the inherent civil rights of human beings — as stated in the the Bill of Rights and, oh, in this little phrase from a certain document: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness — but I might be stretching my optimism a little thin.

I guess I’ll just be content with the fact that he’s calling for it to be repealed.

Let’s hear it for the invertebrates!

The Xerces Society has a new website. Yay, bugs!

Xerces Society

I mean, seriously, just because they lack endoskeletons and have more appendages than you do is no reason to get all squeamish.

Here, we’ll start you off slowly with some really, really important bugs: native honeybees and bumble bees (one of my favorites). And they’ve got all these cool books and guidelines.