Some Natural History and Some Gore

I feel very guilty, that I should put some natural history in this blog while I write so much about things about global warming that are not natural history, but I view global warming as the topic of our times and I find the new Gore book to be chock full of interesting tidbits on global warming.

I was at my camp at point 9648, named after an elevation, for some of the best times I can ever remember. I was their for 4 seasons between the end of June and early September, about 20 to 15 years ago. I would see an average of about 9 grizzly bears per evening. I would see moose every evening. I saw about 150 to 185 elk on most evenings. I saw black bears and coyotes commonly. I saw 2 wolverines and 1 mountain lion and several mountain goats. Lots of mule deer and a huge flight of raptors. There were yellow-bellied marmots. Pikas and Richardson Ground Squirrels chirped, and beeped seemingly everywhere. There were Golden Eagles, Ravens and a lot of Clarks Nutcrackes. There were numerous red squirrels, you get the picture, a lot of mega fauna.

The views were gorgeous. I escaped crackling lightning by going in my tent.

I have since learned that it rains a lot more in Florida but the lightning is more violent in Montana. It is funny but the most violent thundrstorm I have seen was in the state of Maryland, near Fredrick.

Up at point 9648 when whitebark pine, a productive stand near my camp, had a productive cone crop I saw 11 grizzly bears right near the camp eating white bark pine nuts. We had minimal impact on our camp area and did not scare the grizzly bears out of the area, and we made hardly any noise.

We got real good looks at grizzly/black bear interactions and grizzly bears digging up red squirrel caches to get at white bark pine nuts.

On another subject, the Gore Book, Our Choice, writes about new jobs created by building bolts for wind turbines. The company that makes bolts for wind turbines now made bolts for the Golden Gate Bridge and for the Statue of Liberty.

I live in Bozeman, Montana where they have a sixty three million dollar grant to build a large carbon dioxide sequestration demonstration project. I hear mixed reviews about carbon sequestration as a tool that alternative energy producers can use.

The Gore book writes that carbon sequestration demonstration projects have been too small to say whether, or not, this process will work on larger projects. Gore remains optimistic that carbon dioxide sequestration will work and that is good in a state like Montana.

The problem is that if sequestration works we might see a proliferation of coal use which is the way Montana has potential to go with its huge coal deposits in the state’s Southeast.

Which brings up an environmentally horrific practice that you see in state’s like West Virginia where entire mountaintops are lopped off in the quest for coal and stream waste is excerbated from this terrible practice which needs to be outlawed.

A lot of US coal goes over to China where 1 coal gasification plant is built per week. This definitely increases the climate changing polution of fossil fuels.

Trivia: I find “tar sand” production in places like Northern Alberta and lopping off West Virginia mountaintops as two of the most horrific human practices out there. These practices are up with Tiger Bone and bear part uses in countries like China and Shark fin soup. GO FIGURE.

Matt

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