Author name: Ruedigar Matthes

I'm a 22 year old student of English and Environmental Studies at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, I've grown up loving the red rock of southern Utah as well as the pristine mountains of the northern fronts. Besides saving the planet one blog post at a time, I enjoy soccer, the natural world, reading and writing.

Earth's Biogeochemical Cycles Slipping Into Disarray

The conductor walks on to the stage and mounts the podium with applause from the crowd. He bows to the audience, then turns to his orchestra and, with one fluid motion pulls music from the vast expanse of silence. Each musician moves, almost mechanically, in perfect time, in perfect concert. The violin section becomes one great body, no longer individual musicians. Together, as one, the orchestra ebbs and flows in crescendo and decrescendo. Melody. Harmony. Symphony.

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EPA to Reconsider Monitoring Requirements for Airborne Lead

Lead is a metal found in the earth’s crust. However, due to human activity such as mining, burning fossil fuels and manufacturing, it has become more widespread. Lead is also toxic. Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body over time. At very high levels lead can be fatal; but even in small amounts it can cause serious health problems, particularly in children under the age of 6 who can develop mental and physical impairments.

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Midst Senate Rebuttles, USDA Reports Benefits of Climate Change Legislation

Much has been said in opposition to the cap and trade climate legislation that is currently on the Senate’s plate. Opponents have argued repeatedly that the legislation will do nothing but increase the cost of energy, which will force companies send jobs over seas, where labor is cheaper, in order to keep up with production demands. Senator Kit Bond (R-Missouri) even went as far as to call the Waxman-Markey Bill “a pig in a poke.”

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Salazar Calls Time-Out on Grand Canyon Mining Claims

โ€œI am calling a two-year โ€˜Time-Outโ€™ from all new mining claims in the Arizona Strip near the Grand Canyon,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, “because we have a responsibility to ensure we are developing our nationโ€™s resources in a way that protects local communities, treasured landscapes, and our watersheds,โ€ said Secretary Salazar.

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Breaths of Fresh Air: Bush-Era Pollution Waivers Rejected By Courts

Power plants play a huge role in emitting pollutants that make up the ozone. This pollution browns and blackens our horizons. We call it smog. Smog has been linked to premature deaths, thousands of emergency room visits, and tens of thousands of asthma attacks each year. Pollution in the ozone is particularly dangerous to small children and the elderly, who are often warned to stay indoors on days with poor air quality due to pollutants.

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The Time Has Come to Reform Outdated Mining Laws

With an economic crisis knocking at the front door and an energy crisis knocking at the back, the Department of Interior is working to responsibly balance development of conventional energy sources and the accelerated development of clean, renewable energy while at the same time protecting the treasured landscapes, wildlife, and cultural resources that claim America as their home.

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A Nuclear Blueprint to Cheap, Clean Energy

With the historic passage of climate legislation through the House of Representatives, many concerns have trickled forth. Does the climate legislation do enough? Will it even work? Does it have the right aim? With the issuance of similar concerns have come proposed solutions and substitutions. The republicans have proposed that 100 nuclear power plants be built by 2030 in place of the proposed cap-and-trade climate bill. I’ve recently written two articles on the republican “solution” to both the climate and economic crises. And today I’m writing more.

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Show Me the Money: More Recovery Act Funding Put Toward State Energy Programs

[social_buttons] More money was distributed today by the Department of Energy. 141 million dollars to be more precise. This timeย Hawaii, Maine, Nebraska, New Mexico, the Northern Mariana Islands and Texas will play beneficiaries of the Recovery Act. As a part of the Department’s State Energy Program, which has been apportioned $3.1 billion, states and territories

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100 Down: Sierra Club Celebrates the Abandonment of Another Coal-Fired Power Plant

[social_buttons] I can see clearly now, the smoke is gone. Or prevented. Thanks to the Sierra Club, who celebrated a landmark in the fight against coal today. Thanks to advocacy in favor of ending coal, Intermountain Power decided to pull the plug on a coal plant in Delta, Utah, making the 100th plant to be

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Weatherizing the Nation: States to Receive Recovery Act Funding

Oh! The weather outside [can be] frightful, which is why Stephen Chu of the U.S. Department of Energy announced Monday that 7 states (Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, and New Hampshire) will be the recipients of more than $288 million dollars, which will be put toward weatherization projects.

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"Tug-O-War" Oil and Gas Lease Sites Must Past Tribal Test

Oil and gas leases have been a hot topic for a long time, especially since the controversial disruption of a BLM land sale by student activist Tim DeChristopher in Salt Lake City this past December. The sale which, according to some, was a midnight move by the Bush administration found itself floundering when an unknown bidder (DeChristopher) won parcel after parcel of land. Since December the leased parcels have been pulled back and forth between the BLM and the Interior, between developers and nature-lovers.

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Obama Administration Announced Plans to Expand Hydroelectric Program

The U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that up to $32 million dollars of Recovery Act funding will be used to expand the harvest of hydroelectric power. โ€œThereโ€™s no one solution to the energy crisis, but hydro-power is clearly part of the solution and represents a major opportunity to create more clean energy jobs,โ€ said Secretary Chu.

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Republicans Call For 100 New Nuclear Plants

โ€œWe all remember this time last year,” said Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., at a hearing on Capitol Hill on Monday. “We were in the midst of an energy crisis, paying $4 for a gallon of gasoline, and Americans were seeing their utility bills skyrocketing.” Since then, he went on to say, the energy problems haven’t disappeared and no changes in policy have been made.

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Dumbo Behind Bars: Elephant-Sized Controversy Arises Over Captive Elephants

For years and years parents have taken their children to zoos to see exotic animals, animals that they don’t get to see everyday. They want to see lions and tigers and bears. Oh my! High on the the list of animals to be seen are elephants, nature’s gentle giants. These cute, (hardly) cuddly animals are the largest of the land mammals. But all of that could change. Elephants could be removed from zoos forever if In Defense of Animals (IDA) and a handful of scientists and activists get their way.

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Uranium Tailings Removed From Moab Site

[social_buttons] Desert spreads endlessly beyond the horizon, where crystalline azure meets rusted bronze. This is red rock country. Moab, Utah is known for its breathtaking scenery. Red rock arches, labyrinth-like canyons, the clever Colorado River. This paradise permeates the soul and the soil. ย But something else sleeps in the soil: uranium tailings. Uranium was discovered

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Nuclear Power Plant's Water Rights Threaten Endangered Species

[social_buttons] In southeast Utah rests a peaceful town located on the banks of a peaceful river. Here the Green River flows between two canyons, Gray and Labyrinth, allowing for farming and ranching in an arid desert. Driving through Green River, Utah doesn’t take but a few moments, including a stop to purchase some mouth-watering melons,

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Dodging Development: Conservation Group Reaches an Agreement Over Leased Land

Salt Lake City, UT – The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) announced that on May 28, 2009 an agreement was made with Equity Oil Company (“Equity”) concerning oil and gas leases on lands in Utah’s San Juan County. The agreement “gives SUWA certainty that oil and gas development in an important part of the Hatch

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The Most Destructive Project on Earth: Chevron Escapes Tar Oil Accountability

San Ramon, CA – Much will be said at the Chevron Corporation’s shareholder conference this week; the agenda is full. ย However, there will be little said about Chevron’s involvement in controversialย projects concerning tar sand. ย Despite the requests of shareholders owning $31.4 billion dollars, Chevron will remain quiet, keeping the Alberta tar sand projects off the

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