“From Hocking Hills to Salt Fork, Ohio’s parks are some of the best places the Buckeye State has to offer. The last place we should be fracking is in our state parks and forests,” Christian Adams, the group's state associate, said.
“We welcome Governor Kasich’s change on heart on this issue, and urge him to protect Ohioans by declaring a moratorium on dirty drilling in our state parks and forests,” he said.
The industry's chief lobbying group in Ohio, the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, maintains fracking can be done safely and with minimal impact to the environment.
An international agency that represents the industry has implored oil and gas companies not to take shortcuts, pointing out that the industry's reputation and potential for more development is at stake.
Ice Ice Baby.
Meeting President Obama in 2010. Credit: Pete Souza/White House
The award also gave Henning the opportunity to deliver a Earth Day speech in 2010 on the Washington Mall in front of 200,000 spectators.
Truth is, Henning became a figure on the national level before her job with SRAP began in January.
She's traveled the country giving speeches and has helped promote books and movies that probe the issue of land use, water use, farming ethics, and animal welfare - activity that hadn't even entered her mind while tending to her and her husband's corn and soybean farms.
Henning is like Lois Gibbs, North America's first Goldman Prize recipient in 1990: A housewife whose life was upended by others.
Gibbs is the former Niagara Falls housewife-turned-activist who spearheaded the landmark Love Canal investigation into toxic dumping by Hooker Chemical in upstate New York in the late 1970s, spurring federal community right-to-know laws and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund emergency cleanup program.
Michigan environmental regulators were at first skeptical of pollution issues Henning raised.
Eventually, they came around and took Vreba-Hoff to court with help from the Michigan attorney general's office.
The recognition vindicated Henning and her husband, who used to find dead possums and skunks stuffed in their mailbox.
Someone once blew up their mailbox.
Hate mail and phone calls with foul language were common. So was the creepy experience of being followed on quiet country roads in southeast Michigan — something that happened frequently enough that Ms. Henning began telling her local sheriff's office when she would be out.
Henning said she will continue to do volunteer work for the Michigan chapter of the Sierra Club.
She also remains on the board of directors of the nonprofit advocacy group Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan — to which she donated some of her Goldman prize money. Other recipients, she said, are the Michigan Sierra Club, and the National Sierra Club Water Sentinels.
Potholes, potholes, potholes...
Being relatively new to the blogosphere, I was intrigued by this Jan. 17 court ruling about bloggers getting the same libel protection as traditional journalists. http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2014/01/17/12-35238.pdfHere's a short summary in a publication called The Verge.It's good to know, though I can't say I ever planned to libel or defame anyone.Embedded in The Verge's story is a link to a much longer 2011 article in which The New York Times kicked the tires of this particular case and found things are not always as they seem to be.The Times described this case as one of "a blogger using the Web in unaccountable ways to decimate the reputation of someone who didn't seem to have it coming."Crystal Cox, a blogger and real estate agent in Montana, is accused of making blatantly false and unproven allegations against Kevin D. Padrick.Padrick is a West Coast lawyer serving as trustee in the bankruptcy of Summit Accommodators, a cash-holding company for property exchanges.The Times suggested near the end of its story that Ms. Cox might have even been attempting to blackmail Mr. Padrick's company, Obsidian Finance Group, to the tune of $2,500 a month.Irrespective of whatever motives Ms. Cox may or may not have had, her case has raised serious questions about how far bloggers can go.See this legal analysis by Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, who claims the decision "is in sharp contrast to the view of Senator Dianne Feinstein and Obama administration officials who have fought against such protections for bloggers in a new federal shield law."Here's a link to a Facebook discussion.This passage appears to get to the heart of the ruling:"As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institution press and other speakers is unworkable: 'With the advent of the Internet and the decline of print and broadcast media. . . the line between the media and others who wish to comment on political and social issues becomes far more blurred.'"In its analysis, The Times said Ms. Cox seems to be the highly determined, perhaps obsessive, type who - before the Internet came along - would have brought in a stack of documents to the lobby of a newspaper office and not left until she had convinced a reporter to do a story."The Web has allowed Ms. Cox to cut out the middleman; various blogs give voice to her every theory, and search algorithms give her work prominence," the article said.The case has potential ramifications for all facets of journalism and communication, of course.That includes science and environmental writing done for 40 million people who co-exist with North America's largest collection of fresh surface water.The Great Lakes are unique not just because they hold six quadrillion gallons of fresh water, enough to submerge the continental United States in nearly 10 feet of water.They're unique also because of their access and their convergent uses by manufacturing, shipping, tourism, recreation, agriculture, and other sectors of the economy.They're a work in progress, a living laboratory, if you will.They're one of the most intensely studied examples of how humans interact with nature on this planet.From Detroit to Cleveland, there's no place with as many people exerting as much pressure on one of the world's top freshwater shorelines.What's written and broadcast about the Great Lakes shapes how they will be used.As I've told people, I take my role as an environmental journalist seriously.We have the ability to needless inflame people with science, health, environment and technology stories.But we also have the power to do something equally as bad by lulling them to sleep by omission or giving them a false sense of comfort by pooh-poohing an issue they truly need to know about.Great Lakes science has a lot of grey areas. It's not simple and neat.It doesn't need to be confined to an exclusive fraternity of journalists.But it needs to be accurate.It needs proper balance and perspective, regardless who acts as the messenger and attempts to bridge those gaps of scientific knowledge.
Not that I was expecting a lot from President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
While many of us - myself included - eagerly await Jimmy Fallon taking over the helm of NBC's The Tonight Show on Feb. 17, the bitter cold we've been dealing with of late could rekindle thoughts of another late-night comedian.Not Jay Leno. Not NBC's chief competitors, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, or Arsenio Hall.
But the late Johnny Carson, the legendary "King of Late Night TV" who served as The Tonight Show host for 30 years.Carson's been off the air for almost 22 years now, stepping down in May of 1992. So a lot of people 30 and younger likely don't remember the times he baited his audience during his opening monologue with the phrase "It was soooo cold today (or soooo hot, if it was summer)..." and waiting for a combination of guffaws from sidekick Ed McMahon and/or the audience to ask him "How cold (or hot) was it, Johnny?" before delivering his corny punchline.Well, imagine that schtick with a reference to Toledo.Or Cleveland. Or Akron, Buffalo, Madison, Detroit, Rochester, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul or another major city in a Great Lakes state.Toledoans, we can now proclaim: "We're No. 11!"Believe it or not, The Weather Channel recently analyzed America's major cities for plunging mercury from December through Feburary. http://www.weather.com/news/weather-winter/20-coldest-large-cities-america-20140107It has determined that Toledo, statistically, is America's 11th coldest major city.
Major is apparently the optimum word here. International Falls, Minn., which has long promoted itself as the "Icebox of the Nation," was not on this list.Having Toledo ranked No. 11 will no doubt be a source of amusement to former Blade health writer Luke Shockman, now a senior editor of MayoClinic.com and MayoClinic.org in Rochester, Minn., who lived in North Dakota when he was younger and enjoys poking fun at cold-weary Toledoans.
In a recent Facebook post, he told us it's time to "man up."
When North America got its first visit from the polar vortex in 20 years earlier this month, causing much of the Great Lakes region to flirt with -50 wind chills, he was just as hardy."It's called winter," Shockman wrote.Well, we Toledo wimps now hold the title as the 11th coldest metro area in America.
Not as cold as Minneapolis-St. Paul, mind you. But we're no slouches, either.Shockman's an AC/DC fan and, for those of you under 30, I'm not talking about electrical currents.Enough said.Hi-yo.Btw, note that Omaha is the place Johnny Carson started his broadcasting career in 1950. He had the Tonight Showin frigid New York for 10 years until moving it to, um, sunny Burbank, the southern California city he poked fun at for reasons other than the weather.Following are the Top 20, with cities from Great Lakes states in bold, followed by each city's average temperature from December through February1. Minneapolis-St. Paul: 18.7 degrees2. Anchorage: 18.8 degrees3. Madison, WI: 21.6 degrees4. Milwaukee: 24.9 degrees5. Omaha: 25.9 degrees6. Chicago: 26.4 degrees7. Lincoln, Neb.: 26.8 degrees8. Rochester, N.Y.: 27 degrees9. Buffalo: 27.1 degrees10. Fort Wayne: 27.4 degrees11. Toledo: 27.8 degrees12. Detroit: 27.9 degrees13. Akron: 28.5 degrees14. Cleveland: 30.3 degrees15. Indianapolis: 30.6 degrees16. Colorado Springs: 30.8 degrees17. Pittsburgh: 31.1 degrees18. Denver: 31.2 degrees19. Kansas City: 31.3 degrees20. Boston: 31.8 degreesSource: The Weather Channel
"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads."
- Henry David Thoreau
About Ripple Effect
Every pollution battle ultimately comes down to mankind's desire to better itself while protecting its sense of home. In this blog, Blade Staff Writer Tom Henry looks at how Great Lakes energy-environmental issues have a ripple effect on our public health, our natural resources, our economy, our psychological well-being, and our homespun pride.
About Tom Henry
Tom Henry is an award-winning journalist who has covered primarily energy and environmental issues the past two decades. He is a member of the national Society of Environmental Journalists, one of North America's largest journalism groups.
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