Ranchers Cope with Cattle and Drought; Companies Make Moves Toward Biofuel 'Milestone'

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The Daily Climate on ranching Susan Moran reports from Colorado to illuminate how the changing environment is making life difficult for ranchers, who are facing a drought that has made their operation "untenable." Though they may not "call it climate change," the ranchers have taken measures including selling breeding cattle, liquidation, and purchasing alternative feeds as the natural food sources for cattle have dried out. Moran writes: "many are scrambling to adapt—or make themselves more resilient—to a future of greater uncertainty and risk. Their survival kit consists of a mixture of emerging cattle-breeding technology, sustainable rangeland and farmland practices, and new business plans." 

The New York Times on cellulosic biofuels Matthew L. Wald reports that two companies say "they are very close to beginning large-scale, commercial production" on cellulosiac biofuels, made from agricultural waste and and "even household garbage." Wald writes that while both plants "are far smaller than typical oil refineries, but commercial production at either one—or at any of several of the plants that are a step behind them—would be a major milestone in renewable energy." 

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Mother Jones on California's cap and trade As California gets cap and trade underway, Josh Harkinson explains what exactly that is and why it could work. He uses a metaphor involving getting smokers to cut back by reducing how many cigarettes they are allowed daily, and says "in this case the state of California sets an upper limit on the number of tons of carbon dioxide that can be emitted. It then lets big polluters—factories, power plants, oil refineries, etc.—bid on emissions 'allowances.'" Harkinson says evidence supports the fact that California did not "rush" into cap and trade as the oil industry has suggested, because it has collected emissions data over many years so it could have the appropriate number of allowances.

Grist on the sounds of climate change  Claire Thompson interviews artist Andrea Polli, who "works somewhere at the intersection of science, technology, art, and media" and "translates raw data into sensory experience." Polli's work has included "sonifications of Antarctic weather patterns." The artist tells Thompson that at first she was just exploring the aesthetics of climate, but now has made efforts to influence people on how they can change their behavior. 

The Guardian on a Vietnamese fishing village Pollution in Vietnam's Ha Long Bay, where residents survive by aquaculture, is destroying the livelihood of the the population and prompting the local government to plan for them to move inland. The deputy head of the Bay's management board said: "If we do not take action, pressure to Ha Long's environment will become bigger, causing bad effects." These plans have been in the works for a while, but now officials are working to convince villagers that some should move away. 

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