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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

The Conservation Alliance

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Solar Power for $0 Down

Many of us would love to have a solar-powered home, but the upfront cost of buying and installing solar panels is prohibitive. Now, it seems that the business model for solar is finally catching up with the technology: companies are starting to lease solar panels. You can put $0 down and have panels installed and serviced for years, and according to Solar City executives, you can see immediate savings on your utility bills even when you factor in the cost of leasing. So if you're a ...
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Misha the Flamingo flies north

I used to think of flamingos as being tropical birds who only enjoyed African lakes and coral islands in deep blue seas -- but no more. [caption id="attachment_3375" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="African flamingos in soda lake"][/caption] It seems that some of these iconic pink birds have been trying to reach more northerly climes as described in an amazing story on NPR recently. Reports of flamingos found near the eastern Siberia city of Irkutsk seemed like a thing of ...
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Seas are arisin'...fast

NASA and JPL have just released a study in Geophysical Research Letters based on 20 years of satellite data from the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. The melting of the land-based ice masses is not abating but actually happening faster than previous melt models had predicted. It's even accelerating with each satellite measurement. This is hardly good news if you live near any low-lying coastlines in Florida, the Gulf Coast, Holland, or Bangledesh, just to name a few coastal ...
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"Let us bid"

A fellow at the Property and Environmental Research Center in Bozeman, Montana, pushes the idea of letting the public bid on oil and gas leases. This would create more competition and create a fair price to pay for drilling, one that includes some externalities. And it would have kept Tim DeChristopher out of jail. The story first appeared here. It goes like this: ... open lease auctions have the potential to reduce much of the acrimony surrounding energy leasing on public lands. It ...
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Resilient People, Resilient Cities

By Greg Greene Documentary filmmaker Back in 2003, when Barry Silverthorn and I were making "The End of Suburbia," we were focused on the consequences of the coming peak oil crisis on the cities of North America. It was the world’s first documentary on peak oil; the theory that world oil production follows a bell curve, and we are on the top, or peak, of that curve. Peaking would mean that the world demand for oil would outstrip the available supply, resulting in rising food and fuel ...

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Neutron stars sure are weird

When I was a kid growing up in LA, I read heaps of science fiction literature before studying environmental science in college and then going into business. I couldn't get enough of writers like Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, and so many others. The 1950s are now considered the "golden era" of the genre, but I would have read their stories no matter what. The worlds they conjured excited me to no end, and they still entice readers, filmmakers and scientists ...
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Distraction from the coral disaster

Check this out ... an underwater garden near Cancun ... meant to distract tourists from the dying coral.   They're planning 400 underwater sculptures. NatGeo did a little piece on it. - RC
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Other thoughts

Here are a couple more bloggers about Tim DeChristopher. Robert Redford weighs in, saying: Every day, oil, gas, mining and other energy and extractive industries are indiscriminately polluting our air, land and water as the new U.S. Congress works diligently to take away the power of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate their actions and protect the well-being of the nation's people. There's something wrong with this picture. And Jeff Biggers, who often writes about ...
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DeChristopher speaks

Tim DeChristopher, a forceful speaker for his causes, speaks after he was convicted on both counts of disrupting a federal lease sale of the rights to drill in Utah: DeChristopher often talks in a way that is more emotional than other environmentalists. And if I had to say why, I'd say this: he talks like there's something at stake. Because, for him, there is. And not just jail time or a huge fine. He believes deep down what many of us only really grasp intellectually, which is that a ...
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DeChristopher's guilty. Aren't we all?

The jury in Utah found Tim DeChristopher guilty on both counts. His lawyer, Ron Yengich, said all DeChristopher did was try to give some people some hope. He asked the jury to consider, "whether the spur of the moment desire for hope is a federal crime." It is, according to the jury. DeChristopher will be sentenced June 23, and still faces up to 10 years in prison and a $750,000 fine. My take: Look, he clearly did something that was against the law. And when someone breaks a ...
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In his own words

At Riled Up, we have followed Tim DeChristopher's journey since the earliest days after he disrupted an oil & gas leasing process. He is now on trial in Utah for his actions. It makes sense to provide a direct opportunity of listening to Tim's own words and motivations. Here is an excellent interview on American Public Media: The Story Besides the conversation with Tim, APM host Dick Gordon presents a companion perspective on pollution impacts from expanded gas drilling that is ...
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The best Tweeting about Tim DeChristopher

If you want to follow the trial of Tim DeChristopher in close to real time, follow SLC TV reporter Ben Winslow's Tweets. He's prolific and quick. And here's the full blog. - RC
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I know a guy...

I know a guy who stuck his neck out to benefit everyone. He may go to jail because of his non-violent act. My friend is 30-something, I'm twice his age, and we met because he had the courage to take direct action over concerns of serious climate change induced by burning hydrocarbon fuels and the concurrent production of atmospheric CO2. His trial has now begun in a federal court in Utah. It was preceded by a march of concerned citizens who came from around the country to brave the cold ...
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DeChristopher waves

God, look at this photo of Tim DeChristopher that appeared on the online Washington Post, from the AP. It's like he's a head of state or something. Much as I'd love to be there, it's good to know that his story is getting play all around the world, even from some such venerable organizations as the Post. Our man Hugh is there. I'm hoping he has some firsthand accounts. - RC
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The Merchants of Doubt

Recently, I attended a history of science lecture by Naomi Oreskes from UC San Diego after hearing a radio interview about her book, Merchants of Doubt . In her lecture, Oreskes presented how several obscure researchers, Fredrick Seitz, William Nierenberg, and S. Fred Singer. --none of whom studied atmospheric science but were rather atomic physicists --were able to cast doubts upon an entire field of scientific endeavor. To say the least, I was disturbed by what this says about our bi-polar ...
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50 Billion and counting

The Kepler telescope is the latest camera to present fantastic new dimensions for space discovery. Just a month ago, the Kepler team at JPL announced the discovery of over 1200 extra-solar planets-- exoplanets --that circle their stars within a specific partial arc of the Milky Way. Approximately, 50 of the newly ID'd worlds were situated within the Goldilocks Zone where temperatures would allow liquid water and biology as we know it might exist. [caption id="attachment_3138" ...
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