Archive for September, 2007

Inclination

September 30, 2007

There are many things, non-global Warming, that I have an opinion of. In fact I would definitely be described as a Progressive on most things, but bottom line  is that I am most interested in bears and birds and by far my political interests are in global warming, an issue that will be a huge, worldwide problem in about a decade. So those are the things I will write about. I have a definite scientific training and a scientific background but as a director of non-profits for 11 years I had to learn some other skills that society has a hard time understanding but nevertheless are essentual for that profession. The way I look at things Society has a hard time paying teachers for what they do but we pay a lot to insurers, healthcare and lawyers. Go figure!

I went to the movie “Into The Wild” yesterday. I had to admire it,( In some respects it was very beautiful and thoughtful). I would highly recommend the movie and it was filmed in an area of Denali National Park in Alaska, that I spent time  in spring (winter in most places) camping for two weeks. This was about 29 years ago, but I recognise the area because not much has changed there yet. I lived in Fairbanks, Alaska at the time. I did not live on a bus but in a cabin on Chena Ridge. The hardest thing was not hunting moose, but hauling water from the town of Fairbanks up to Cheena Ridge. I identified with the Alaskan, and his Redball Boots, who gave “Supertramp” a ride to the end of the road, moreso than I did with “Supertramp”,who in a strange way I admired.

I liked Jack London, when I was younger (as far as I know I still do). I liked Jack Kerowac’s, Dharma bumbs and On the Raod, as a college student, (and even bought eBay copies for my own children.) . I personally identify with the nationally obscure, Kingbird Highway, because I did not have the family problems of “Supertramp” and I was a hardcore birder from the start.

 Do not forget to read the Global Warming articles in yesterday’s Washington Post(September 29th’s). There is an interesting Opinion Piece on Global Warming in that paper. Peter Baker has been following Bush on Global Warming?

The Post has an interesting article in the Metro Section of today’s paper (September 30th)  called, D.C. Area Outpaces Nations in Pollution. This article is by David  Fahrentold who has been very good on the Global Warming issue. The jist of this article is that our area outpaces medium-sized European Countries on Global Warming. I just shook my head because that is all I could do on such bad news

I can say the Bushies are worse on this issue than James Watt, Secratary of Interior under Regan (he was real bad, but real active, I thought there could be knowone worse.Watt was a Cheney Crony from Wyoming), was bad on the general environment and he was bad. Real bad!

We, as Americans, are just as threatoned by Global Warming, it just seems that we are threatoned in the decade sense. Does it take a biologist to see this? Americans are very smart people on the average. Certainly they are just as smart, or smarter, than I am ( I am one of you!) We are threatoned by Global Warming as we are by many of our worst issues and we will look back on the “do nothing Bushies” and ask ourselves where was a Roosevelt type of president? We definitely need that in this country. That is just pragmitism speaking. Bush is bad but this issue is bigger than Bush and even Cheney, for that matter…you and I are players in Global Warming.

Matt

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CCAN Global Warming Rally

September 28, 2007

Today CCAN helped sponsor an anti-Bush and State Department rally on Global Warming and I participated. Some things were crystalised for me.

 I came on the Red Line and the Orange Line. I think Mike Tidwell reminds me of a fusion person, that is, he brings together all walks of life and that is good. A lot of young people came and that is good because they will be effected by Global Warming more than I and many of tham are idealistic and that is good. There were a bunch of retirees and that is good. They will be around the least of time but they tend to have the most bucks to fuel a good movement. A black woman ,whose last name is Murphy, sang for us and she can sing. Tidwell did a believable job, and so did the first speaker, of linking Global Warming to things like Katrina and New Orleans. This, as far as I am concerned, is true but Tidwell and our first speaker both said the time for talking is done, now is the start of action. I ask what is an action? I do not mean a protest, but Tidwell was in Africa with the Peace Corps for two years,that is an action for a single person. I listoned hard to the very good scientist on stage. His message was the gloomiest and the most realistic but the young folks in the back were ready to let there idealism take over. They were tired of speaches.

I am a bear scientist and can best help the movement from that perspective since the polar bear will be an Icon of Global Warming. I have children of all ages ranging from 4 to 25, so I know the fatherhood perspective quite well. So I can help while I can. I shoot a lot from the hip, like the fellow in “Into The Wild” but I am a real pragmatist also (oxymoron).

There is a loose coalition of groups such as CCAN(Regional and grass rootsy), NRDC and Greenpeace, these latter groups are large. NRDC is a national environmental group, Greenpeace is an international environmental group. (Sorry I am at a loss of the names I am not,nor profess to be, a journalist and I am a computer phobe who does not even know how to look in my email; go to the CCAN site if you want names).

The rally was in the right place, had many of the right persons, was about the right thing, was the right length of time, looks like the front end of a movement and reminded me of what started as a Civil Rights movement or also opposition to the Viet Nam War (two very different things but in my mind good analogies). The boomers were either working or asleep at the switch, or maybe a little of both, but the train’s motor is definitely running. See the Steam?

Read Yesterdays Washington Post On Global Warming

September 28, 2007

There is no doubt that the SCHIP Bill, Childrens Healthcare Bill, is playing out, and I will watch it closely. Many Americans are not through with the Bill by any stretch of the imagination!!!

The Post continues to do good reporting on Global Warming, my issue and one of the issues of our time. There is an opinion piece on Montana climte. I lived in Montana for 26 years and Florida, in which I lived for five years. I am interested in both places. The article on Montana and Florida is by,if you can believe your eyes (more on this),the Insurance Auditors of both states, John Morrison and the Florida Financial Officer, Alex Sink. The article is called The Climate Change Peril That Insurers See. I cut the article out but not the page. I remember first hand the great Yellowstone Fires of 1988 for good and bad. That is the type of thing to be expected commonly. But the fact that insurers see a profit in Global Climate Change gives me the creeps. The article says that there needs to be a change in the way insurers look at  Global Warming. It is interesting that they, the insurers, are taking Global Warming seriously, that is telling by itself.

Another article by David Fahrenthold called Kaine, Omalley Urge US Action On Global Warming. It is good news. O,Malley is the Democratic Govenor of Maryland and Kaine is the Democratic Govenor of Virginia. They want to see more done to save the Chesapeake Bay, in MD and VA, from the wrath of Global Warming. Of course like Montana we are really talking about huge solutions and reductions in our dependance on Fossil Fuels. Do not count on Bush or Cheney for any leadership here…its not going to happen and that is too bad!!!!

The C. Bay will have a much reduced Blue Crab and Oyster population for many reasons. The C.Bay will have more pollution and larger dead zones if nothing is done to stop Global Waarming threats in the C.Bay. We are now talking about how large we want the dead zones to be in the C. Bay. There may be entire human communities wiped out by rising sea levels. These govenors are following the lead of whom? Even “Arnie” is good on this one in fact by my judgement is that he is everything that Bush and Cheney are not on Global Warming. I could go on, but will not,because I am not a policy person, and I applaud the US lawmakers, mostly in the States, for what they are doing.

By the way there is a Global Warming rally today at Foggy Bottom, near Georgetown, (orange line stop on the subway) Washington D.C., at 12 noon to 1:oopm. I heard about the rally from the good folks at CCAN of the D.C. area. I urge you, if you can,to go. It is about 4 blocks from the Subway stop on 21 st. N.W. . If you can make the rally (first of many for me) make it. If you cannot, write to the appropriate people.

I am missing my beloved migration birdwatching to go to this rally, so you can miss whatever you do. I will understand if you cannot go because of work.

Matt Reid

Todays Post Stirs An Internal Debate

September 22, 2007

In the A section of today’s Washington Post is a Juliet Eilperin article call “Auction to Name Fish Species Nets @2 Million for Conservation”. The Article made me think about getting that kind of funding for Conservation. I support that.

The Wildlife Conservation Society is a good outfit and they employ some very fine people. They benifited from the Christie’s Auction House Species Naming. Conservation International is a group I know little about, but they have staked out a hard part of the earth to conserve in and I admire some of their supporters.

I still think that naming species is the wrong way to fund conservation. Give the funds directly to conservation. In this area it is groups like CCAN(Chespeake Climate Action Network) that are real grass root Efforts. Groups like MOS(Maryland Ornithological Society),which I also like are full of persons,usually older, of the right bent but the groupat times frustratingly tends to be apolitical. CCAN, who I also support, will get down and dirty on Global Warming, and I like that. They tend to be made up of younger people, but Mike Tidwell, who leads CCAN, is no Spring Chicken. Give directly to these groups or some funds. The funds will go a long ways and most of their activities are in their own backyard so the travel overhead is way down.

I have been an Executive of small wildlife conservation groups by D.C, standards and know you have to be creative in your fundraising. I was going to sell Carbon Footprints a year ago before I new Iwas disabled. Are those kind of things a sell-out? I do not know many things seemed like a good ideas at the time. Naming Species seems like one of those fads. Rich funders are like Peacocks, You have to figure out ways to stroke their egos. I have seen rich funders who are just as content sitting in the back of a room.

Matt

I NeedYour Help!!!!!!!

September 22, 2007

I like to write about Global Warming, bears, birds and Wildlife but I find I cannot sleep because the Iraq Fiasco may give billions of contract dollars for Blackwater and Haliburton but not to healthcare for children of the USA!!!!!!!!What a Joke. We all know Bush will veto this bill, but which childrens advocate will hide behind the filibuster. What a bunch of true cowards, and I mean cowards. Lets shine a light on those Hypocrits!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is bad enough that the Bushies are slowing down the US fight against Global Warming and cowards like the Republican Warner hide behind the president, instead of support the very thoughtful Webb Amendment. But American Children Healthcare, so more older children can die for Bush and Cheney!!!!That, as their (Bushies) stand, on Global Warming is simply unAmerican. I must write about this to the wrong group, but surprize me please!!!!!!!!!and raise some hell before we fight the good fight against Global Warming!!!!!

Matt

Advertising Supplement on Green in Today’s Washington Post

September 20, 2007

What can individuals  do to help put some skids on Global Warming? The Post is usually pretty good on this issue so they need to be thanked.

 Today in the Post they have a Chevy PAID Add Supplement about “Your Environment”. First of all I see the advertizement is from a large fossil fuel supporter and I am immediatltly sceptical, as I should be. Being a “Brittany Spears”, or fashionable supporter of the Environment is hypocritical, and that is what Chevy is!!!!

Shame on those usually good Washington Post journalist’s. Chevy is no friend to the Environment and the recent add supplement they paid for in the press (TODAY) is very insidious spin and no self respecting Enviro will buy into it.

I can see now that many of my neighborhood friends,who read the Post will think Chevy is green, and if they have money next year they will buy a Chevy and think they are doing the right thing; wrong,wrong and more wrong…but spin, like ignorance is bliss.Who has time to read between the lines? I know my neighbors do not!!!!

Matt

Another Great Climate Change Article

September 17, 2007

Another article on Climate Change appears in the Science Section of the Washington Post(A7). The Article is buy is by David Fahrenthold. It is entitled, Climate Change Brings Risk of More Extinctions. The article focuses on Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge which is really in an area that is as remote as Maryland gets on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The refuge is about 8,000 acres and a marshy spot that was full of birds when I was young is now flooded over with water. This is very sad to me, but even more tragic are the sidebars to the article, such as the predators decline with their prey and shifting migration patterns, and more sidebars.

The two types of animals that I care about, predators and migratory birds, besides humans and their pets, will become nonexsistant or rare in about thirty years. I see this happening NOW. I am glad I will not be around to watch this extinction process to its fruition. I am middle age but I will not be here in 30 years. That is just a fact of life. I wish my children to be a part of the solution.

The Washington Post has done a superb reporting of the issue of our times. The issue of Global Warming is complex, we really have a lot to do with the current advent of climatic warmth on earth and it is an insidious, sneaky issue and process, to us.

The best leadership on this anomely is not coming from USA politicians but it is coming from the non-profits and the voice of science and reason, which have a hard time being heard in this climate (No Pun Intended). Maybe someone from the private sector will tell us or help lead us to resolve thisvery tough issue that is just taking up a head of steam.This really is a “glass half full” day!

Egotistical

September 14, 2007

Their is a small AP article on A2 of the Washington Post that scares the Hebee Jeebies out of me. Maybe we in the USA are living in caves. We might as well be in caves. The article is called “Cuts Will Limit Climate Research, Experts Say”. War mongering Bush wants to spend Billions of dollars to occupy another country so his buddies can get rich off of the oil and he can either, add to his flimzy legacy, confound the next president, nuke the world or add a bunch to the Climate Crisis that is already here. What a scary person he is without buffoons like Gonzo around. Rove is “Gone.” Cheney is awfully quiet. Afterall we are talking about a guy who would cut health benifits for innocents so his oil company buddies can get more rich. Its almost comical if the guy could’nt do so much damage where he is.

On page A8, starting on A1, of the Washington Post, is an article by Juliet Eilperin, a good reporter . Her article is entitled “New Species Owe Names To Highest Bidder.” It appears in the Washington Post today.

I am glad rich folks are giving their money to Conservation, but could they not give it directly to the non-profits that are fighting the largest issue of our times (Global Warming) instead of giving their funds to a non-profit that gives a part of its proceeds to Christie’s Auction House so some egotistical rich person can name a species just long enough for the species to go extinct and Bush to cut away funds for climate research for  almost two more more years.

Who is going to fill the void while our faithful public servents sit on their hands and wait these rascals, like Bush, out. I have got to ask how much time do we have and why are these wealthy people so needy that they have to name a species that may not be around at the end of te century.? These people could help now! They are too busy naming critters.What a bunch of egotists!!! Does the name Leona Helmsly and her dog come to mind. It does to me. I have been called a curmudgeon but at least I am not her!

 Non-profits tend to be full of hard working, underpaid, passionate people and deserve (at least the ones I know) all funds they can conjur up. Shame on the rich when Bush, et,al. are busy cutting environmetal funds,and such and time “is a wastin”.

Matt

Methane Gas in the Arctic

September 13, 2007

I laugh, like the rest of folks at the farting cow jokes,and their Methane Gas and nightime comedians, but on NPR  I heard about Arctic Coastal Plane Lakes emmiting very high carbon methane gas as the perma frost in the arctic melts with a warming Climate. Have you ever seen the number of lakes in the Arctic Coastal Plane? Siberia has its share of lakes and much more perma-frost melting. Have you ever seen a drunken tree spruce  forest in the arctic.? Bigger stuff, in an area already impacted by Global Warming at a much faster rate, than the many cows in States like California,Texas and Florida.

More on Birds

September 12, 2007

Before I go on about birds read the CCAN site  if you want to know what is happening locally on Global Warming, They are quite good and seem to be dead on on such a complex issue. I read them,CCan, every day.

By the way I am going to do a Step It Up event for another Global Warming outfit on November 3rd, 2007. I do not know what yet but birds,though a tad late for Fall Migrators will be on tap in D.C. or Bethesda/Rockville. You are all invited.

There were a lot of birds in Rock Creek today and yes I took a subway and the bus I used to take to 9th grade(bus,no subways back then).

I saw Black and White Warbler, the ubiquotous Redstart, Tennesee was the birders prize (great views) a lot of Black-throated Greens and Chestnut -sided, Magnolias, Canadas Warblers and some Scarlet Tanagers and all of the usual,  including Northern Orioles, Red-eyed Vireos (everywhere it seemed) and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. I brought my camping chair and that made a difference. Birds were everywhere after yesterdays rain and a NW breeze. It brings out all of the hardcore birders and they were at Rock Creek (at least some of them) early this morning.