Archive for March, 2008

Buy Braasch’s Book Than Join The Gore Alliance

March 31, 2008

I told myself that this site was not going to be for endorsements, but I lied.

Buy the Braasch book on Global Warming I know you will not regret it. Then if you have a little money left, in these hard times, join the Alliance For Climate Protection. Give them 25 or 50 or 100 dollars or more if you can. This is a grassroots group founded by Albert Gore, who is showing some real chops for this issue of Global Climate Change, and our fingerprint in the process. I can still remember the bad old days of fighting oil development in wildlife areas. That now has to be expanded to coal, a major contributor to Global Climate Change.

In the film “Into the Wild”, highly reccommended by me, our hero, a stupid, young punk, somewhat arrogant, but nevertheless a great hero, there is a mantra near the end about using the right name for things. I told that to my children many times and use that mantra to this day on my youngest daughter. I remember my ornithology teacher (study of birds) saying that mantra lot. I looked up to him and still do. When I was a grizzly bear research associate I heard that mantra all the time for wildlife in Yellowstone from persons whom I admired a lot.

I guess what I am trying to say is that there is a side of me who knows we have a big fingerprint in Global Warming, but we cannot change Global Warming. I will leave those semantics for philosophers for now and concentrate on our (human) bad habits and lack of will to change these habits and the negative impact of these habits have on Global Climate Change and species diversity. What is the name for the feedback that is accelerating that is popularly called Global Warming …what is this negative process, human caused, called?

Matt

More on Gary Braasch, The Book, Earth Under Fire

March 30, 2008

This is an awsome book. Yesterday I was sitting at my older daughter’s waiting for some furniture to be delivered and I read a lot of Earth Under Fire.

I read the captions of all of the photos. I have to say that a photo at the begining of the book is like a Global Warming political Comic . The picture is from Bhola Island in Bangladesh in Southeast Asia. About 50 persons are standing on what remains of an Island.

I read in the book, on page 55 through 57, about the polar bear, with great interest. He (Braasch) cites two men who have researched  polar bears for a long time, the USGS’s, Steve Amstrup, who has been around for about 20 years researching polar bears and longer timer Canadian, Ian Stirling, two of my hero’s. Braasch and I are very much on the same wavelength about Global Warming and polar bears. His inconclusive, but very hard remarks on Caribou and Reindeer herds in Siberia, in Canada and Alaska, and in Europe and some of the plant studies Braasch sites, are very interesting reading to me and cite how complicated this issue of Global Warming is.

Braasch is a firm believer in the human footprint of Global Warming, and so am I. He is definitely a man who believes photos speak a thousand words, and they do. His book, Earth Under Fire, is proof of that. It is a very personal quest that he goes on in Earth Under Fire. If I took photos as well as Braasch I would do the same thing, at least I think so. I proceeded to read all of Brasch’s book.

 If I learned anything it was that even with 6 plus billion persons on this planet Global Warming is very complicated issue there are many bad technologies today that contribute to it.

Coal burning seems to be one form of energy that we have to get over soon if we are to resolve Global Warming

We have already identified oil as a major contributor to Global Warming. These fuels are really help heat up the planet, that is one of the messages I get from Braasch. I can say, Earth Under Fire, is a great book for all with sad but great pictures of a time where a lot seemed right to us in North America, but Global Warming was getting a troublesome foothold on the globe. We are onto our role in Global Warming now.

Matt

The Start to the Braasch Review

March 29, 2008

Braasch wrote a timely, well photographed (by him a stellar photographer) book, Earth Under Fire. It is far meatier than the average coffee table book and deserves a lot of blogging in this blog. This book has been around for almost a year and like Braasch, who is definitely an excellant photographer, Bill McKibben, well known in most Global Warming circles, writes the Afterword in Braasch’s University of California Press book.

Braasch is not only a world class photographer, he is an excellent writer from what little I have read of this large, great value of a book. We all know about Gore’s Great film, An Inconvieniant Truth, well meet the real companion piece, Braasch’s book. Braasch is not Gore and vice Versa, but they both passionately believe in a complicated topic, Global Warming, and our species life threatening paw print in the speed of Global Warming.

As evidenced by the Braasch book we as a species have been warned about this issue for  at least 6 years, by some accounts more like 20 years, and we are just mobilizing now. So it gets back to Gore,s question, how hard do we want to fall?

First of all Gary Braasch’s book, Earth Under Fire, has a photograpph of Delray Beach, which will be flooded by my scenario in 30 years. If you look down at the photo you will see an area of South Florida that I haunted frequently . From my office,  at the time the photo was taken, you could see nothing but Atlantic Ocean, so by my scenario that office will be abandoned by mid-century.

My wife and I were talking. She is a geo-hydrologist by training and lived for twenty years in South Florida and we feel 3 feet of mosly south Florida will probably be under water by mid century it has in earth’s past. Only the Atlantic Ridge, a spine that protrudes through that part of Florida, will be above water, it averages about 14 feet above sea level, unless we put expensive diking along the coast in Hurricane Alley that only the government will be able to pull off because insurance companies by there very nature will not. People with money in South Florida will move away from the coast. People without money will be near the coast, displaced and the Katrina scenario will be all over south Florida where over 10 million people currently reside, and people like me will be gone, like nature center’s along Delray Beach’s coastline, a distant memory of a pleasant past.

Matt

West Needs to Wise Up

March 28, 2008

The Rocky Mountain West has some good Global Warming advocates, but it has its share of skeptics also. Unfortunate for the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest, as the western climate begins warming up and nothing is done about it.

These are facts sent to me by a friend who is seeing the impacts of Global Warming in the basins on the edge of the Rocky Mountains.

This report is credible and carried by the scientists of the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, RMCO, based on data from our very own goverment. In the east you can get this report from the NRDC, a well known National conservation group. There are no lefty crazies reporting what looks like a real, true scourge in the West. At least read the below press release, copied, verbatum, and “do not shoot the messanger” (me) of this important piece of the Global Warming debate in the US.

Matt

West Warming Up

March 28, 2008

Washington, rest of West heating faster than rest of world, federal figures showReport shows strong actions needed now to combat climate change  SEATTLE –The latest federal government figures show that Washington and other Western state’s residents are feeling nearly twice the global warming experienced by the rest of world, underlining the urgent need for strong state, regional and federal action to significantly reduce our global-warming emissions.For “Warming in the West,” the report released today by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO) and the Natural Resources Defense Council, RMCO analyzed new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration temperature data for 11 Western states. For the five-year period 2003-2007, the average regional temperature was 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 20th-century average, compared to the overall global rise of 1 degree. Both Washington and Oregon saw temperatures 40 percent higher than the worldwide figure.The report is available here: www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/west/contents.asp.“We are seeing signs of the economic impacts throughout the West,” said study author Stephen Saunders of RMCO. “Since 2000 we have seen $2.7 billion in crop loss claims due to drought. Global warming is harming valuable commercial salmon fisheries, reducing hunting activity and revenues, and threatening shorter and less profitable seasons for ski resorts.”Glaciers in Washington state’s North Cascade Mountains, for example, have lost 20 to 40 percent of their volume since 1984, with five disappearing altogether. Snowpack is dwindling, with severe consequences predicted not just for recreation but for irrigation, power generation, transportation and human consumption, as well.“Our fishermen are seeing the impacts of global warming first hand on our fishery resources,” said Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association director Liz Hamilton. “Rivers are blown out due to flooding, extensive fish kills due to lethal high river temperatures, and there are growing concerns about rising ocean temperatures reducing ocean productivity.  More than an ecological issue, this is an economic issue. Hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing contribute billions of dollars to Washington’s economy, supporting more than 40,000 jobs.  We need bold, urgent action such as the Western Climate Initiative and the Climate Security Act.”“This report shows how ‘global’ warming packs a local and regional wallop,” said Climate Solutions’ Policy Director KC Golden. “We’ve got strong action under way at the local, state, regional and international levels.  But there’s one critical piece missing:  a national climate policy that commits America to real solutions, including science-based limits on global warming pollution and accelerated investment in building a low-carbon, clean energy economy with opportunity for all.” Climate change is a priority issue for Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and for state conservation groups, who have celebrated passage of crucial climate bills in the last two legislative sessions. Gregoire joined the governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah, Montana and Oregon in the Western Climate Initiative, an agreement to reduce global-warming pollution through a market-based system, such as a cap-and-trade program. “I am proud that Washington is being a leader in combating global warming,” said National Wildlife Federation Western office director Doug Howell. “We urge Governor Gregoire to ensure the Western Climate Initiative meets science-based cuts in carbon; that pollution permits are auctioned to create revenue for public benefit; and that a portion of the funding helps our natural resources weather the impacts we can no longer avoid.”Meanwhile, leaders across the political and economic spectrum say more aggressive action is needed at the national level. The bipartisan Lieberman-Warner global-warming bill, “America’s Climate Security Act” (S. 2191), is the first piece of climate legislation ever passed out of a U.S. Senate committee. The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill by summer.  “Warming of the West” finds the greatest temperature increase in the Colorado River Basin, which stretches from Wyoming to Mexico. There, the average temperature was 2.2 degrees higher in the 20th century.The basin is now in the throes of a record drought, shrinking water supplies for upwards of 30 million people in fast-growing Denver, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Diego. Most of the Colorado River’s flow comes from melting mountain snow. Climate scientists predict even more and drier droughts in the future as hotter temperatures reduce the snowpack and increase evaporation.“We need strong leadership from Western senators to pass America’s Climate Security Act,” said the NRDC’s Theo Spencer. “The longer we wait to put a concrete cap on global warming pollution, the greater the threat to all Americans.”

The NRDC-RMCO report, “Warming in the West,” analyzed temperature data from Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Again, the report is available online at www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/west/contents.asp. For more information on the report contact Craig Noble at (415) 875-6100 or by cell at (415) 601-8235.

Seals Listed, Its A Start

March 27, 2008

The USFWS is looking at 4 species of ice seal to see if they deserve to be Endangered Species. If you believe Global Warming will be a problem by mid century then you believe the seals should at least be looked at for inclusion under the Endangered Species Act.

It is hard to imagine, but not even the Center for Biological Diversity, the environmental group that spearheaded the polar bear listing, were aware of the move by the Bush Administration, now 2 months late on the polar bear listing, I hope. I, for one, thought the USFWS had to conclude this for sure.

The seals that are being looked at include the ringed seal, primary prey for the polar bear. It may only be where there is permanent ice at mid-century, That is bad news for the seal and the polar bear in the US. The way I look at it, Bush and Chenney et. al., do very few good things for Endangered Species; lets start here and finish up the work on seals in the next administration.

Matt

Antartica, It Is Sliping Away,and So Are We!

March 26, 2008

A chunk of ice slipped away in Antartica that was 7 times as large as Mannhatten. The ice left exposed a chunk of ice the size of Conneticut, that is precariously hanging on. I heard about this on CNN radio, or the media mainstream, not from some Global Warming website.

I thought about that guy in a classic movie riding a nuclear bomb down to earth, yipping and screaming like a rodeo rider. Was that Slim Pickens? What was that classic movie, during the Cold War with that scene ? I have seen the movie, but it has been 20 years.

I felt helpless about stopping a nuke fest then and do now about Global Warming when I hear reports like the CNN report. God I want to be wrong on this, but I do not think my instinct is.

When I see my daughter watch and l a show about polar bears on The Little Einsteins I cannot help but think her generation will deal with Global Warming, (Before I pull my scarce hair out. Did you know you can lull a polar bear to sleep by playing a flute? It must be true I heards it on the Little Einsteins.)

I feel like Slim Picken’s character must have felt riding an A-Bomb to earth. There is a side of me that really cares and there is a side of me that does not believe we can do anything so go about business enjoying what you can, while you can. Am I overplaying this card?

Matt

Check On My Site For No Spam and More On Global Warming

March 25, 2008

I walked my daughter to daycare and my walking has deteriorated but I am not ready to give up. I have no idea what this disease has in store for my future. It is not the kind of thing I dwell on.

I walk like a college aged kid who has had one to many. I find it hard to look up, something I took for granted, and now it makes it hard to cross streets. I usually have to keyboard these messages very slowly because my fine motor skills are very regressed. The only thing that seems the same is my thinking or cognitive ability. I have found that to be good and bad.

I very much want to see bears again and my birdwatching has gone from exellent to average because I am much slower now, birds are heard by song unless the bird is right in front of me.

I used to love hawkwatching, but find that harder to do now, so I tend not to do it.

 I am older middle aged but there are days when I feel oh so much older. I do not drive anymore, but did for 34 years. Believe it or not, I do miss driving. It must be the freedom of the driving.

I am following Global Warming like a hawk because I see our paw print in it and I believe it impacts things like bears and my children.

 I checked this site for “spam” let me know in a post what I missed. One of the things I like about WordPress is that they see what they think is “spam” and they will alert you. I did notice that “spam” is put back in the archives when someone does it. There are some new and different ideas on Global Warming so each day I have to look hard at the comments to decide what is new and not “Spammy.” I am new to this and really it will take time to do it but, I am committed to doing it.So I apologise ahead of time for the “spam” impacts that have come your way because of me.

 A while back there were some comments on the late Holocene. While I did not agree with them, They were submitted in a thoughtful way as another way of disagreeing with me by someone who knows the late Holocene. My brain very definitely wanted to discuss this, but what readers I have would have a hard time with a debate abou the late Holocene. I imagine them as smart people, but I believe disscussions of the Late Holocene are for “wonks”. I am definitely a “Wonk” about these kind of things. The way I see those views counter to mine is that is the way the ball bounces. Some of the oldsters who read this opinion blog remember Mitch Miller and the bouncing ball; I do!

 I have a hard time doing any skills I made a living doing, and bears and birds are hard to watch now (for me), so I guess you will hear from me because I still write on a regular basis.

Matt

Earth Under Fire

March 24, 2008

That is the title of photographer, Gary Braasch’s new book, and I cannot say I have read it yet but it is on top of my list.

I am not sure how I have missed out on Braasch’s photos. I read many of the magazines Braasch has published in. I read those magazines regularly so I must have seen his photos, which are great, without knowing they were taken by Braasch.  I enjoy dramatic photos and Braasch, from what I have seen,on his website takes dramatic photos of subjects like bears and Global Warming impacts, which are near and dear to my heart. I will review Earth Under Fire after I read it and look, long and hard, at the photos, so should you, so you know what I am writing about.

To see more go to www.globalwarming.org. This is a good website that features Braasch’s book a good good one. I write about something I passionately believe in; Global Warming Impacts and the human finger print in todays global warming. Gary Braasch’s photographs from what I can see are a feast, though sad one, for the eyes. I have not seen photos, or film footage, this dramatic since Inconveniant Truth by Al Gore.

If I had one complaint about Gore it was his goofy polar bear graphics. With Braasch, his polar bears are in photographs, the ones on the website above and Braasch’s website, are not goofy. By the way Braasch has a very good website and a very good eye for topics he chooses to photograph.

Matt

Look Back

March 22, 2008

I recently read Peter Dunne’s pitch to support the Cape May Bird Observatory, of which he is the Executive Director and has been for a long time. He asks to support his trials and Tribulations at the World Series of Birding and I think you should if you can. Cape May, The Bird Observatory, has been around for a long while and Pete Dunne is at their helm and they are a breeding ground for good birders and good bird conservationists. Dunne is an excellent writer and I am one of those birder conservation crosses who has read most of his books and 5 very well written letter/pitches for the Cape May Bird Observatory, in fact I can solidly blame Dunne for getting more scarce funds from me because I think he is such a compelling writer.

I cut my teeth on the Peterson Bird Guides. I started birding with Chandler Robbin’s classic, golden bird guide. I have long since graduated to 3 of Sibleys bird guides and even though I am a  professional biologist by training, I have Sibley’s guide to bird behavior and like most of Dunne’s writing, I view it as excellent.

I have birded at Cape May and I always make a point out of stopping at the 2 Cape May Bird Observatories. Dunne’s most recent pitch for funds is entitled: “Dont Look Back”. I was ready to quible with Dunne because many of my favorite memories about birds and bear’s,which are numerous, require me to look back. I read things about birds and bears that I think are wrong and I get frustrated and then I remember that I may have an interesting, practical view, but it is one man’s view, and I will die with this viewpoint and I really do not care what other divergent thoughts, that I do not agree with, are rooted in. This is not open minded and is not meant to be. I know a lot about birds and bears, enough to be credible and enough to be dangerous and I harbor opinions that go back and are based on seeing these lifeforms in their uffettered, wild glory. I make no apologies for writing things like birds and bears will be impacted very negatively by things like Global Warming. I have been wrong before, but I do not think I am wrong on this one. We will see!!!!!

Matt