Archive for December, 2007

Best, or Should I say Best and Worst “Things” of the Year

December 30, 2007

I have seen more than my share of “tops of the year” lists in the past several days. So here is mine; important to me; obscure to you.

Global Warming is a threat to our way of life and will happen in spite of what we do. We will see its impacts this decade. I really see it as important because I do believe it is spread up disasterously by our excesses as a species. I think most of the world passed by the Global Warming skeptics this year. I believe the Washington Post has been a great source for news about Global Warming, one of my favorite sources.

I think the changed Carnivore Network is a good website for more than the few in the world, like me, interested in these kind of things.

I saw some great films this year, they included, Into the Wild, Eastern Promises (very bloody) and I enjoyed The Kingdom. On Specialty Films I thought the Western, 3:10 to Yuma, was exceptional, but I love good westerns. On the Environmental Front I liked, Arctic Tales (take the children) and Di Caprio’s-11th Hour. On the local Front  I very much enjoyed, Talk To Me. I remember Petey Greene

I would reccomend Africa (middle eastern) and Costa Rica to anybody, especially wildlife watchers. If you are interested I will set down my course. I researched both places, have wanted to go to both places for a long time and finally did and have some definite ideas about what works for neophytes.

Birdwatching in D.C. has changed for the better. I believe in Maryland it is worse.

I am trying to wrap my mind around a life-changing Neurological disorder that does impact much of my physicality.

I am much impressed, if the living code can be cracked, with the legitimate bloggers out there. By that I do not mean blogging from the mainstream media, but blogging by real people.

Pakistan has me on seats edge for many reasons.

I really think Bush and Cheney are worse than Nixon and Agnew and have changed the American landscape for the worst.

I do not care for Paris Hilton or Brittany Spears or that type of news at all.

Keith Olbermann and Bill Press are the real political news for the likes of me and yes I am,  as far as I can tell,  very liberal in my leanings which is an oxymoron in the very Liberatarian Rocky Mountain west.

Everything that happened this year to Al Gore this year, I thought was well deserved.

I did enjoy the Live Earth Concert and went everywhere, but Walmart, to find the Eagles Reunion CD, Travelling Wilburies double CD, but came out with paperbacks about Gore and the now Movie-Atonement… I do like Ian McEwan as a writer.

This year Harry Potter reached me and Dean…of the Nixon Era suprised me the most with his, Broken Government, book.

I find I am a birder at heart (and proved it to myself many times this year. For me the C andO Canal was seen from the view of a National Park walking staff with my binoculars, and that is my plight for walking these days.

My best by memory by far is my older daughter and son and 2 children at home…I would not have it any other way and they made me smile the most; at times a troubled smile.

there, my years best list!!!  A little more…I very much miss bears and the Rocky Mountain western scene, which I lived in for most of my adult life.

Matt

Hughes Hollow, One of the Wildest Places Left in Montgomery County, Maryland

December 24, 2007

My friend and I lived and interacted in much wilder places , but we both cut our teeth on birding, amongst other things, at Hughes Hollow about 40 years ago.

We went back to Hugh’s Hollow over the Holiday Season. We went  back to Bird Watch.  My friend’s wife joined us. She is learning the fine passtime of Birding, so she can Bird when she is not kayaking.

We did see a Red-Headed Woodpecker and irrupting finches (we picked them out from the many flocks of Redwings that were around). The marsh at Hughs Hollow had some skiddish ducks and a flyover of Canadian Geese. There were pockets of bird activity and leftover wildlife food in many managed pastures.

We crossed a slightly damp portion of the C and O Canal towpath for easy towpath hiking in the National Park. I reminised with my old friend about the time when there were houses and people all along the towpath and small communities. I was content not having the houses along the towpath but missed that part of our culture. We could only surmise that these communities and houses were bought out on Federal Lands by the US Government. There were still many mansions above the Potomac River on non Federal Land.

Happy Holidays to all Climate Change officianados and Birders who are able to read these “Snippets”of birding.

Matt

On the Bay

December 24, 2007

There is an article in today’s Washington Post about the EPA  overestimating it’s cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay. There is a graphic that summarizes the article by David Fahentold called, Health of the Bay Revised. Read at least that graphic!!!

Matt

Op-ed in Todays Washington Post; A View Very Much Like Mine

December 24, 2007

There is an Opinion piece in today’s Washington Post about the Bushies and “Arnie” on Climate Change. I so agree that the States should lead on this important issue. Read the Opinion piece.

Matt

Mileage Limit Debate Is now A State’s Right’s Issue

December 21, 2007

The issue of Global Warming is apparantly a State’s Right’s issue unless you are the EPA under Bush. The big news on the Global Warming Front is that California and 15 other states were going to have stricter gasoline emmision limits by 2020.

California’s EPA supervisor, under this administration said the Federal limits of 33 MPG were adequate for all of the USA for 2020 and that all states whether they want a tougher standard for emmisions will do what the EPA says to do. Bushes buddies in the oil business win again as the Bush administration talks a line about Global Warming; then lines the line with Texas Bull Crap. The EPA should be way ashamed!!!!We cannot afford this time let alone the high mileage when we can get 33 MPG on automobile Technology today. My prediction is that by 2020 we will have other energy sources than oil. We have to, Bushes pals or not.

Matt

Brown Writes A Significant Article On Global Warming

December 17, 2007

David Brown writes, As Temperatures Rise, Health Could Decline, an important article in today’s Washington Post (A 7). Juliet Eilperin deserves a break in Bali or at Home here in the D.C. area in the aftermath of Bali.

I find it harder to write about policy than I do about the science of Gloal Warming, but that is just me. Brown writes an important, complicated article that is about some of the real impacts (relatively unseen )impacts of Global Warming.

Brown writes about heat stroke, (which I have felt), extreme weather, (which is constantly in the news now), air pollution, (which does seem to effect my wife and young girl’s allergies), water born disease(very real in developing countries), vector born disease, (very real in places in continents like Africa and Asia and threaten to come here every year) and planning, which I have spent an adult life reviewing.

My stuff or measurements are not real science. They are just my educated hunches and anecdotes about things I pay attention to.I am definitely a canary in the mind shaft on Global Warming. The science of these things are on the way!!! I hear the trumpets of the data blaring first in peer reviewed journals and then in the Press.

Matt

Europeans Raise Ante at Bali Climate Talks and Farmed Salmon

December 14, 2007

Eilperin has been busy in Bali, writing. She has kept people like me,who are very interested in Climate Change, informed. Bali is very unaffordable in December for a father of 4, for many reasons. Thanks Eiilperin.

Gore, who I very much agree with, told the people at Bali to leave a large blank space to be signed by the next US president.

The German Environmental Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, has lost patience with the stalling Bushies (sounds like a circus act, and this is very much like this  one). Gabriel is the co-author of a compromise first step in Bali Talks for Global Warming. The train is leaving the station with, or without the US on board, Can we catch up? This article, outlining these dynamics, starts on today’s cover of the Washington Post.

Eilperin has been very busy writing.In an article titled, Salmon Farming May Doom Wild Populations, Study Says, an article written by Juliet Eilperin and Marc Kaufman in the A section of toda’s Washington Post;Look for these articles online at Washingtopost.com. This is not a plug for the Post but we are talking about my hometown paper that I have read for forty yars, starting with the comics and online since the first days of  Washington Post.com .

This was the number 2 issue for fishermen on Kodiak Island, Alaska 12 years ago. Issue number one back then was, “bottom dragging” or dragging nets on the bottom of the seas, like the Bearing Sea, to fish for Pollock and Cod (bottom feeding fish eaten by pets and people.

“Salmon Farming”, as they called it, might ruin their (fishermen in Alaska) wild salmon fishery. The time is now; the future is here. Sea Lice for smolts (young salmon) and genes were the enemies in the Farmed Salmon verses Wild Salmon controversy. Back then wild salmon seemed plentiful, which is not the case now!!!

Matt

U.S. Strategy Succeeds in Bali

December 13, 2007

That is the kind of bad news I expect to come out of Bali. Juliet Eilperin writes that for today’s Washington Post on page A 24; though you can probably get her article on line at Washingtonpost.com.

The Bushies win this round with this dismal news. Being an Environmentalist for a very long time, I am used to this type of bad news, but even though we know the Bushies are going to be real bad on Climate Change, you know they are, we do not have a lot of time to debate this one, and any measure to debate this one will not sove the inevitible.

 We do have to eliminate our use of Carbon and we do not have a lot of time to do it. Don’t titles like “Ice-Storm in the Middle US of Biblical proportions” put a lightbulb on in your thinking.

It reminds me of my 4 year old daughter. She has so much confidence that her parents will solve any problem for her, little does she know how much sleep is lost over her fate by her parents, who essentually do not control her destiny. I am one of her parents.

I have known a child who got lost in the crowds at Disney Land or another child strangled by a curtain chord. In both cases the parents were loving, protective and watchful of their children. Like Bali; who is in control?

I red an internet article by Glen Barry on Climate Change. He thinks that Carbon or pollution mitigation is a hypocrasy. He is so right. But who is listening to him. He is just a canary in a mindshaft; gadfly type; I know the type well. 

For locals of the Chesapeake Bay there is a summit on the Bay in Annapolis. In a local article Sean Seadam writes about the summit. I am sure that the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is heavily involved in the summit because it takes pollution in the Bay by the horns. The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) is a grassroots group that I am sure is represented at this summit. All of the local leaders see the Bay as this area’s hub. This includes Mayor Fenty of Washington, Governor Martin O Malley of Maryland and Governor Timothy Kaine of Virginia.

 Pennselvania has a headwaters to the Bay, but Govenor Edward Rendell was at the summit also. Where was the Deleware Govenor. Deleware is not on the Bay but its actions, or lack of actions, impact the Bay for sure.

Matt

More on the Wooden Gore in the Style Section of the Washington Post

December 12, 2007

Mellisa Ethridge is one of my favorite singers and Uma Thurman, well what can I say..definitely sexy.

Gore is as wooden as they come and he walked on to the International Stage in Oslo, Norway to help take on Global Warming; the challenge of our time and he seems to know it!!!!!!!!!!

I new Mellisa Ethridge, for all her gaynesas, liked Gore…but Uma Thurman called him “adorable” and that is a start for me.

Now I never have viewed Gore as adorable (apologies Tipper). I do like Gore’s taste in music as evidenced by Live Earth.

I hope Gore does Rock the Planet with this issue.

Matt

More on the Bali Climate Meetings

December 12, 2007

Juliet Eilperin writes, that “Hard Choices on Climate Wait for Next President, Aides Indicate”, on A 24 of today’s Washington Post. The  Bush represenative, because the USA wants to help resolve this worlwide crises, is Harlan Watson and he is stalling or should I say stinking up what is already a hard process.

The “USA is once again,playing a game” according to Kevin Knobloch, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

From my standpoint the game looks like Russian Roulette with life. The next administration is going to get stuck with the Bushie’s lack of action on this one and the next generation will say “what were you thinking”?

We do not have an acceptable choice on this one. I can only hope some other smoking gun is there to take Bush and Cheney down before they do more damage to not only us!!!! but humanity. I do not think I am over reacting on this one.

Matt