The GD myEARTH360 Report: Could the Loss of Net Neutrality Harm the Environmental Movement?

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Listen to the latest Green Divas myEARTH360 Report with cranky Green Diva Lynn and (thankfully uncranky) Green Diva Meg as they explore net neutrality (WTF?) and other environmental news.

Internet regulations could essentially silence the Green Divas and others like us.

Our very survival depends on net neutrality. What is net neutrality? It’s the idea that no providers of legal Internet content should face discrimination in providing their content to people like you. It also means that you should have equal access to see (or hear) any legal internet content you choose.

But the speculation out there is that the open internet continues to be in jeopardy.

Broadband companies continue to push for the right to build special, faster lanes for companies that can pay for it. That would guarantee their content reaches end users ahead of those who don’t pay.

The loss of net neutrality would require money to get into the fast lanes. Kinda like payola.

It could mean the end of the internet as we know it, impacting the very information we’re trying to get out there. How can The Green Divas and the bloggers of the world compete with Monsanto? Or… Fox News? How would it alter the average person’s access to information about environment and climate change—topics that are even now under-reported?

Please read on for more about the internet fast lanes, the latest F.C.C. response and how you can take action. Of course there’s more WTF and encouraging news headlines to help get you up to speed on environmental news.

WTF

csx freight train crude oil explosionExplosive Virginia Train Carried Fracked Bakken Oil, Headed to Potential Export Facility

Platts confirmed CSX Corporation’s train that exploded in Lynchburg, Virginia was carrying sweet crude obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin. CSX CEO Michael Ward has also confirmed this to Bloomberg.

“Trade sources said the train was carrying Bakken crude from North Dakota and was headed to Plains All American’s terminal in Yorktown,” Platts explained. “The Yorktown facility can unload 130,000 b/d of crude and is located on the site of Plains oil product terminal.”

In January the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a Safety Alert concluding Bakken crude is more flammable than heavier oils. Hence the term “bomb trains.”

At least 50,000 gallons of the oil headed to Yorktown is now missing, according to ABC 13 in Lynchburg. Some of it has spilled into the James River, as previously reported on DeSmogBlog. Read more…

Science writer: Fox News refused to let me talk about climate change

Michael Moyer, an editor at Scientific American, had exactly the type of experience appearing on “Fox & Friends” this morning that you’d expect someone who subscribed to their unique brand of climate-denying news coverage to have. After filming the live segment, about trends for the future in science, Moyer tweeted:

According to Moyer, a producer for “Fox & Friends” had reached out to SciAm several days ago about doing a segment on the next 50 years of science and technology, inspired by this Pew poll. Moyer said he replied agreeing to do the spot, but didn’t want to speculate on, say, whether teleportation was going to exist in the next half-century. As he explained to Salon via email (and repeated in a blog post describing the incident), “About the only interesting thing that the scientific community is sure will happen in the next 50 years is that climate change is going to get worse, and that we’re going to have to deal with the impacts.” So, he listed it as one of his talking points, along with topics like robot drivers, gene therapy and rocket technology. Read more…

Franken says FCC Net neutrality proposal would “destroy” open Internetwoman crying internet computer

Sen. Al Franken criticized as “misguided” a plan being considered by the FCC’s head to let companies pay for preferential access to ISPs, warning that it would “destroy” the concept of an open Internet.

In a letter sent to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on Tuesday, Franken said that the idea would constitute “an affront to Net neutrality and have no place in an online marketplace that values competition and openness.”

A federal appeals court decision in January essentially assigned the Federal Communications Commission to write new Open Internet rules. Wheeler has since drafted rules that would let Internet service providers charge companies varying rates for faster connection speeds.

Franken blasted that idea, predicting that it would create a “fast lane” that would shut out small businesses and jack up consumer costs. Read more…

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler defends proposed net neutrality reform

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler strongly defended rules he has proposed for the Internet that critics fear would result in preferential treatment for big companies and place too much power in the hands of the nation’s broadband providers.

“Let me be clear. If someone acts to divide the Internet between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots,’ we will use every power at our disposal to stop it,” Wheeler said Wednesday in remarks at the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn.’s annual convention in Los Angeles. Read more….

Watch the Google Plus video discussion about net neutrality.

Encouraging News…

 

How Wolves Change Rivers

Who (or should I say howl) new wolves had such a huge indirect impact on ecosystems? Watch this Sustainable Man video to learn more:

Apple’s New Green Manifesto: Renewable Energy is Ready to Become Mainstream

With the launch of Apple’s new environmental initiative, the world is once again buzzing with comments, critique and speculation on what the world’s biggest brand is doing. Apple’s bold move is an impetus for the private sector to move in the same direction. Renewable energy is ready to become mainstream, and those companies that fail to pick up on the trend will lose their competitive edge.

From the full-page ad in newspapers around the world, to the homepage placement of a powerful video narrated by Tim Cook himself, Apple is launching its first major manifesto in years, making the very public declaration that “environment” is a significant new string to the brand’s bow. Read the full story…

Texas Family Awarded $3 Million in Nation’s First Fracking Trial

t took three years, but a Texas family finally emerged victorious in a case that could long impact fracking companies and the impact they have on the communities in which they operate.

A Dallas jury favored the Parr family, which sued Aruba Petroleum back in 2011 after experiencing an array of health issues attorneys argued were the result of dozens of gas wells in the area. The family was awarded nearly $3 million in what attorneys believe was the first-ever fracking trial in U.S. history. Read more…

Framework emerges to build the business case for natural capital

After months of consultation with stakeholders, the Natural Capital Coalition has published the first draft of a suggested framework to help businesses account for the value of natural resources such as water, soil, forests and even clean air in strategic decision-making.

It’s the group’s first step toward creating a common approach to natural capital accounting and measurement, the process of assigning monetary or economic values to the earth’s assets so that they can be considered in investment or risk management discussions.

“We are very conscious that right now, natural capital means different things to different people,” said Dorothy Maxwell, CEO of the Natural Capital Coalition. Read more…

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About the author / 

Green Diva Lynn

Lynn Hasselberger is The Green Divas Managing Editor and Associate Producer of the GD Radio Show. She's also a mom, writer and award-winning cat-herder who lives in Chicagoland. Sunrises, running, yoga, chocolate, comedy and NYR are just a few of her fave things. In her rare moments of spare time, she blogs at myEARTH360.com and LynnHasselberger.com. A treehugger and social media addict, you'll most likely find Lynn on twitter (@LynnHasselbrgr & @myEARTH360) and facebook. She hopes to make the world a better place, have more fun, re-develop her math skills and overcome her fear of public speaking.

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