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Monday, September 2, 2013

Couple of good updates from Better World Club

We appreciate their work and some of the good stories that run in their newsletter:

President Obama expected to make a critical decision on Keystone XL in coming months

BWC offers free carbon offsets to KA subscribers carpooling to protests

President Obama is expected to make a decision regarding his support or rejection of the pipeline project by the end of this year. In recent months, rhetoric coming from the White House has shown recognition that the XL Pipeline will not add jobs in the long term and may have a significant impact on continued expansion of global CO2 emissions. Most important is President Obama's open recognition that something has to be done about climate changenow.

This is a change from the "like-it-or-not" feeling environmental groups have had over the last couple years and has both proponents and opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline planning rallies, tailgate parties, and plenty of protests to pull our pragmatic president to one side of the fence or the other. 

Central Utah's Pando, world's largest living thing, is threatened, scientists say

LOGAN — Utah scientists are trying to organize an emergency rescue effort to save the largest living thing ever discovered, anywhere on Earth. It's known as Pando, a single organism living in central Utah, that some scientists say could also be the world's oldest living thing.
But Pando is dying and may have only a few more years of glory.
It's a grove of quaking aspen trees spanning 106 acres near Fish Lake. Scientists call it an aspen clone, which is essentially a single plant comprised of thousands of trees connected by underground roots. When Pando was discovered a few decades ago, scientists named it with a Latin word that means "I spread."
An aspen clone starts with a single seed and spreads by sending out underground sprouts that emerge to become trees. In the 1970s, scientists tentatively mapped Pando's boundaries. More recently, Utah State University geneticist Karen Mock wondered if Pando's reputation as the world's largest known organism was overblown.
"So we set out to either confirm or deny that," she said.
Mock took DNA samples from 209 trees, mostly within that boundary. Her testing verified what was long suspected. "Genetically, in fact, Pando is one enormous clone over 100 acres," Mock said, "probably over 40,000 individual trees."
In all, Pando weighs about 13 million pounds, which makes it by far the most massive organism ever found.
"There may well be some larger clones than Pando out there," Mock said. "But it's the largest organism that's been described" by scientists..."

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