Archive for August, 2008

Hurricane Gustav A Bit Weakened But It Is Too Early To Tell And More About ANWR

August 31, 2008

Hurricane Gustav has weekened a bit blowing, and causing a lot of damage, over Western Cuba…but conditions are ripe for the hurricane to pick up strength as it heads into the USA, possibly in the New Orleans area, which has the potential to be quite cruel.

I have lived in Alaska, worked in Alaska and visited Alaska on the order of twenty times. I have been to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and have (as a youth) hitch-hiked up the haul road back when it was gravel and since 1972 have opposed all drilling in ANWR. Im not going to change my thinking now on that.

 I firmly believe we need to cure our fossil fuel addiction and support a transition, in the world, to alternative forms of energy. I believe we should look at solar, wind energy and biofuels first. Then we should look at other forms of energy.

My thinking is that this change to alternative forms of energy is good for us (We humans), better for birds and bears (will they survive our change, and will our change be quick enough…I do hope so if this is the way our species goes on energy…there are troubling signs that we may keep our oil addiction going…I hope thats not the case!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and the win-win alternative for other life forms.

Matt

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Gustav, Duck and Get Out

August 31, 2008

Gustav is now a category 4 Hurricane and it is coming on a course for New Orleans or the Texas Coast( I am helpless and I know the storm is coming. I have my theories about the storm, but the bottom line is to now move out of the area. Or if you are like me watch the news when you can about the storm.

Is it (the storm) going to weaken or is the storm going to stregnthen?

I am in Montana, a long ways from Gustav, there are fires burning in the middle of nowhere (big ones) and the weather is about to get fall like for this area. Is summer over?

Matt

Gustav Is Coming

August 29, 2008

There is a lot of debate as to whether, or not, Katrina was instigated by Global Warming. I say that at this point who cares.

We will no Gustav’s Landfall landfall by next Tuesday. It might be hurricane forcre by then and all communities need to prepare for the worse, now assuming that no matter what, Gustav will create damage in the US. There is nothing to debate. If you do not have transportation to get out of the way, then you need to see if you can leave Gustav’s path, if you can, on a public bus…but leave if you are able. A bad storm is almost bankable. We will have more hurricanes in vulnerable areas as Global Warming increases and weather really becomes a problem for most Americans.

Matt

I Want to See What the Inuit Hunter Is Seeing

August 28, 2008

I just read a poll of hunters and fishermen who belong to the National Wildlife Federation and they agree we need to do something about Global Warming. I so agree.

Some of the truest skeptics I read about are Inuit Eskimo Hunters who live in the Arctic.  Things are changing dramatically in the arctic, there is no doubt in my mind about that.

Just what are the Inuit hunter’s seeing? I would rather hear from those hunters first hand rather than hear about them third hand. Inuit Eskimo Hunters will feel the impacts of Global Warming much the same way polar bears, ice seals and whales will. So what do they (Inuits in the USA and Canada) see up there now and what is aticipated for the future of these proud persons from the perspective of an Inuit????

Matt

Leadership For The Brave New World

August 27, 2008

I see several models of leadership and my feeling is that the world will need it soon and I have a strong bias that it will come out of the United States.

Here are my thoughts on what a leader will entail: I am not sure what gender the person will be. I was raised in an era where males dominated politics, as well as many other things. I definitely see that changing. I am sure the person will have to be technically proficent. We in the world have come a long way since the days of the typewriter. I see this person as thoughtful, not the A-type of leader from my generation that might have worked for the Cold War or Poker in the old days (for me). I do not see John Muir or Aldo Leopold as good models for the future, nor do I see Teddy Roosevelt or John Kennedy as good models, nor any of the great CEO’s of the past. I do not see the world of the future as a money or shareholder driven problem or a political problem. I think like the “Brave New World” leader as a new type of a leader and I have no idea what sector that person will come out of. I just know it will take some leadership, a new kind of leadership, to deal with the challenges that will be posed to the earth and I see the problem as global in scope.

Matt

Whats Happening To Honeybees?

August 26, 2008

Honeybees are important pollinators and their numbers are down in the USA  by 70% and the reason for this decline is anybodie’s guess. Honeybe colonies are collapsing.The disorder ailing honeybees is called Colony Collapse Disorder. Is it chemicals that we are putting into our environment? Scientist can only speculate. The entire USA agricultural community can collapse as a result of this incredable maladybecause it may happen before American Agriculture is able to adapt. This is very grave and a component of our society is trying to identify the cause of honeybee Colony Colapse. I wish these scientist great speed in this endeaver.

Matt

Global Warming and Birds

August 25, 2008

Migrarint songbgird populations seem way down from the sixties. Most of my fiftyish friends, who bird, see that as the case. So do I.

The problem with bird conservation for years in the USA has been North American forest fragments, cowbird parasitism, bird conservation, or the lack of it, in places like Mexico, Central America, Cuba and Dominican Republic, and the Caribean in genera, clearing of boreal forests (primary transgressor is Canada), migratory stopover sites like Deleware Bay, the clearing of forested lands in the lower 48 states and so on and diseases lik West Nile virus.

These have been bird conservation problems for birds in North America for many years. Experts believe that bird populations are down because of these things. I so agree! BUT…

I see Global Warming as a nail in many migrating songbird populations. Even some of the mitigations for Global Warming like misplaced wind turbines create conservation problems. I see Global Warming as the new frontier for impacts on songbirds. Many of the new Global Warming Bird Conservation problems are unfolding right now.

I see exotic plants, and habitat shifts, timing for seed development as a major problem for birds in the near future. I see diseases, like increasing  West Nile Virus, encouraged by Global Warming, as a larger problem for birds. Global Warming will only complicate bird conservation, which is already  complicatied enough.

It will be hard, but it is a hardy, and worthwhile endeaver, that will have a strong following of people. That is what counts.

Matt

9 Polar Bears Can You Believe That

August 23, 2008

Yep! That is what I read today…9 polar bears were swimming north. They were a long way from land and they may have been looking for pack ice, or land, to hunt on, but there was none…the polar bears might drown first. What a tragedy this is waiting to happen. How many polar bears will really drown this year? Global warming, not hunters, will kill those bears.

Matt

There May Be a National Park Near You

August 20, 2008

I have, personal experience, and have seen many examples of our (USA) current (I hope) recession.

There may be a nearby National Park for you to visit to mull over the bad hand you have been dealt or to enjoy for a moment. Here is a sampling.

Near New York City is near Acadia NP. Near Baltimore and Washington D.C. is Shenandoah NP. Near Atlanta and Birgmingham is the Great Smokey Mountains NP. Near Miami and Fort Lauderdale is Everglades NP.

In Texas you might try Big Bend NP along the Rio Grande. In the upper midwest you might try Voyagers NP or little visited, Isle Royale NP, or the Boundary Water NP or Mammoth Cave NP. In the Rockies you want to go to Yellowstone NP if you can or Glacier NP or Rocky Mountain NP (Near Denver, Colorado). In the US southwest you might go to Grand Canyon NP or Mesa Verde for some Native American history, or Carlsbad Caverns National Park. On the West Coast you might consider Yosemite NP or Seqoia NP or Kings Canyon NP. If you are a desert person you might like Death Valley in the Great Basin or you might want to visit one of Utah’s many wonders. In the Pacific NW you might go to Mount Rainier or North Cascades NP near Tacoma or Seattle.

I missed a lot of great places but the point of this collum is that there are neat places in your own backyard..and there are…I never got to State Parks, Regional Parks nor County Parks…and there are some real gems there..get up off the couch and visit now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matt

There Is A Lot That We Do Not Hear, That Is Wrong With China

August 19, 2008

 It is hard to wag a finger about problems when there are more than enough problems in our backyard here in the USA.

NBC was going to be evaluated for its Olympic coverage of China, a country less we forget , that is a dictatorship. What I saw on NBC this morning was a travelouge. We can all go to China and sample the food.

Bejing is one of the most polluted cities in the world, and this “Olympic” city will go back to poisoning its people, and their air, when the world is not looking and we all go home (I am not there) from China. China has bear gall bladder farms, tiger farms (with a panelopy of bears and tigers in terrible conditions) and all based on myth to improve the virility of, now rich, Chinese males. Panda birth is more like a factory of Chinese political goodwill and has little ,or nothing, to do with biodiversityof a highly endangered bears. Circus bears on highwires and bycicles and more unbelievably sick things can be seen in China because it exsists in China.

China has a long and illustrious history that extends back more than 5,000 years so as they develop Great Walls they develop their seamy side.The Chinese have a dinosaur prehistory that virges on the spectacular.

This is a potentially great country that has some serious problems and wants to be like the worst in the US. NBC should not promote this country and GE, NBC’s owner, should not count their dollars yet in China.

Americans should go and visit great American institutions like the museums in D.C. or Chicago or New York and many of the great National Parks. They are close to home and the price is more right than an expensive trip to China. WE should look towards China later, when it vastly improves. I am skeptical about that no matter how much their men’s gymnastic team improves.

Matt