Showing posts with label Nature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nature. Show all posts

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Leave the Damned Owls Alone

How many posts have I had to write about this? Too many:

A Utah man is facing federal charges for allegedly chasing a barn owl with a motorized paraglider.

The United States Attorney's office in Utah on Tuesday charged Dell Schanze, 45, with two misdemeanor counts of "knowingly using an aircraft to harass wildlife" and "pursuing a migratory bird." The alleged incident happened in March, 2011.

The first count alleges that Schanze violated the Airborne Hunting Act, and count two of the document alleges Schanze violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Schanze did not return a call to NBC News Thursday.

Schanze is a minor celebrity in Utah who once owned a chain of computer stores and worked as a TV pitchman. As a candidate for Utah governor, he received less than 3 percent of the vote in the 2008 election, according to NBC affiliate KSL. He also failed in a 2009 mayoral campaign.

Do you remember that scene in The Shawshank Redemption where the warden says "I'll pull you out of that one-bunk Hilton and cast you down with the Sodomites?"

That's the part of the jail where owl chasers are sent.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bears Are Environmentalists

They are not giving up their oil:

A worker at an oil sands plant in Canada was attacked and killed by a bear Wednesday.
The attack took place at a Suncor Energy base plant, 200 miles north of Edmonton.

"We are shocked by this very unusual incident and there are no words to express the tragedy of this situation," said Mark Little, a Suncor executive vice president.

Between 1900 and 2009, 63 people were killed in 59 incidents in Canada and the United States, according to a 2011 Journal of Wildlife Management report. The study concludes that as human populations and developments rise, so have bear attacks.

The bear in the Wednesday attack was put down.

While it is rare for people to die from a bear attack, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that the environmental impact of absolutely destroying the land in order to extract fossil fuels is going to be thwarted at times by the inconvenient reality that there are bears trying to live where the oil is.

The bears are no different than the people who had to be displaced and the real tragedy is that there will be no introspection and no debate over whether it's a good idea to build the Keystone Pipeline or continue to wreck everything. The only thing that matters is cheap gas and looking the other way.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Space Rays and Mutant Cherry Trees

Holy cow. What's going on here?

To everyone’s surprise, however, a few of these seeds did sprout into saplings, at least one of which grew to a height of around thirteen feet in just four years—another surprise, say the botanists. “It is difficult for us to judge why this has happened, but one reason the tree has grown so fast may be related to space rays,” Kaori Tomita-Yokotani, a scientist at the University of Tsukuba, told the South China Morning Post. The tree was starting to sound like the arboreal version of the Fantastic Four, who acquired their own amazing powers during a ride aboard a rocket ship. Some suggested that the tree’s premature blossoming, as well as the fact that its flowers have only five petals each (the parent tree’s flowers typically have thirty), had similarly sci-fi explanations.

Keep those space rays away from lizards, I guess. I don't understand how such a mutation could happen and not cause people to panic, but there you have it.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Are You Dumber Than Andrea Peyser?

Have you heard? Al Gore is fat.

Andrea Peyser is convinced that because it has been cold, there is no global warming.

Forget about trying to explain how climate change has nothing to do with whether or not the weather is unpleasant right now--you just cannot get past the fact that some people are stupid on purpose. If the climate all over the globe has been thrown for a loop and if things have begun to fundamentally shift in varying directions, then the data would seem to indicate the climate is changing. The permafrost in Alaska is melting and the glaciers in Europe are disappearing. This was the summer to be in Greenland. Oh, and the jet stream shifted, making the world's climate shift with it.

Why any of this is about Al Gore is beyond me. There really is no debate--it's well past time to start thinking about alternatives to turning the planet into a greenhouse where everything begins to shift and change in response to human activity.

Peyser is proof you can get a job in the media--at America's most ridiculous newspaper, The New York Post--and know nothing at all.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Who Drinks Tap Water Anymore?

I am just as amazed as anyone else--why isn't this the biggest story on the news?

Try to imagine New York or California dealing with a situation like this: The tap water's only good for toilets, not drinking, washing, cooking or showering; more than a dozen people have been hospitalized for complaints related to water that's been contaminated with a somewhat mysterious chemical; and residents wait in line for bottled water -- or for ice to melt -- in order to have something to drink. 

That's been life since Thursday in West Virginia's capital city, Charleston, where 300,000 people were left without safe water -- again, except for toilet flushing -- after chemicals contaminated the Elk River. Some of the taps have started coming back on; cleanup and testing are underway, according to the news reports on Monday. But the spill, which has been attributed to a leak in a chemical-storage tank not far upriver from the city's water treatment plant, continues to paralyze Charleston.

Now I get the fact that people consume drinking water radically different than they did twenty or thirty years ago--bottled water has become ubiquitous. Drinking tap water is something someone who owns their own well might enjoy but I haven't had tap water in ages. We buy bottled water and drink it regularly, both at home and wherever we go. But clean, safe drinking water is essential for cooking, unless a person buys it by the gallon or uses a large bottled water dispenser. You absolutely have to have it in order to survive for very long. You cannot expect any community to tolerate the loss of their clean supply of drinking water for more than a few days.

This is what it means when we forget the lessons of Love Canal and the environmental movement of the 1970s. We had poisoned, burning rivers, tap water that would make kids sick, and whole communities inundated with birth defects and deaths from cancer and Americans rallied to the idea that the government was supposed to be a watchdog and companies were not to be trusted. Then came the 1980s and de-regulation.

What has happened in West Virginia is a direct result of the Reagan legacy--government is the problem, you say? The government stayed out of the way of Freedom Industries, leaving them alone since 1991 and the first Bush Administration. Look what leaving them alone got the 300,000 people exposed to 4-methylcyclohexane methanol--it got them a little bit of news coverage and not much else. You'd think the Gulf of Mexico spill, courtesy of BP, would have reinvigorated advocacy groups and raised awareness. It appears that it didn't. Drink up.That bottled water is going to have to last you, though.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Thanks, Obama

Back in the day, we had an anti-war movement, an environmental movement, and a labor movement. The ratfuckers and the bagmen and the Republicans--pretty much all one and the same--have systematically destroyed advocacy as a way of life in this country. There are still people who care about clean air and clean water, and there are people who care about the militarization of the police and the destruction of labor rights, but they've been turned into criminals, they've been watched by police intelligence units, they've been deemed ACORN sympathizers (thereby marginalizing them because, well, ACORN no longer exists) or worse.

The people you see above need advocates now. They need people to raise hell about what happened to their ground water. They need to organize and agitate. They need to complain to high Heaven. They need to say something about what it's like to live in an area where the very water they're supposed to be able to drink and bathe in is doused in chemicals.

The militarization of the police helps strike breaking companies and it allows polluters to run wild. Any attempt to watch them or stop them is met by batons and violence. If you think the people you see above should be rioting or protesting, think again. They should be lucky to get their bottled water and they should watch for people they have never seen before, showing up to write down their license plates. They should be mad as hell once they get home and figure out what to do next. But they should think again before holding an American corporation responsible for anything because, well, that simply won't do. We don't hurt the fee-fees of job creators and we don't want another Occupy movement, do we now? Good.

At some point, in the next few days, you'll see how this was all Obama's fault how these corrupt and incompetent chemical companies were allowed to poison the watershed of West Virginia and threaten hundreds of thousands of people with sickness or even death.

How many kids have to die from gunshots, neglect, malnutrition, abuse, or environmental poisoning for people to wake up and see that their way of life is being stripped from them by paid shills and politicians who can relentlessly litigate and legislate and regulate what they want to have stuck in a woman's vagina in order to scare her out of having an abortion but can't help themselves from giving dangerous chemical companies the right to do whatever they want whenever they want without fear of a fine or a nosy government inspector showing up unannounced? Sorry to go all run-on sentence on you, but, damn. How many people have to live in fear, horror, and pain so that someone can buy a fifth house?

Thanks, Obama. I'm sure that someone at Fox News is figuring out how to blame you for this.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Geese on Wilde Lake

This is for a whole slew of new readers coming to the site from HoCo Blogs. Thank you!

Shot today, and shot with a simple digital camera. Some enhancing done on the mac, nothing special.

Today was the most gorgeous day of the year and I had to shoot something.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Floating Plastic Gyre

I can specifically remember being told that we, as humans, needed to stop throwing shit into the oceans. That was in the 1970s, and it was not that long after a thing called Earth Day.

Apparently, we haven't been paying attention.

Someone, somewhere, needs to invent something that can go out in the ocean, suck up all of the plastic, and then turn it into magical ocean-renewing pixie dust. We need to turn loose a vast army of ships to go and clean up this mess and I can almost guarantee you, someone somewhere is smirking about how it's not really a problem and that Obama sucks! that's why.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Glenn Taylor is the Dumbass of the Year

That's Glenn Taylor, rocking the grey t-shirt and he might just be the dumbass of the year.

Taylor and his dumb, stunt-filming buddies have been ejected from the Boy Scouts and are facing possible legal ramifications for destroying a natural feature in a state park. Now, come to find out, he's a deadbeat trying to catch some disability money raining down on his goofy head:

The attention has led to revelations that Taylor filed a personal-injury lawsuit in September, claiming he had suffered "serious, permanent and debilitating injuries" from a 4-year-old car crash. 

"Someone with a bad back who's disabled, who can't enjoy life, to me, doesn't step up and push a rock that big off the base," the defendant in Taylor's lawsuit, Alan MacDonald, told Salt Lake City television station KTVX. 

Taylor's lawyer did not return calls for comment. But when CNN affiliate KUTV noted that Taylor didn't look particularly debilitated in the video, he replied, "You didn't see how hard I pushed." 

CNN Legal Analyst Danny Cevallos said when someone has a pending disability lawsuit, "You'd think they'd avoid the camera like the plague. 

"But instead, they think no one will ever see it or repercussions will ever come of it," Cevallos said.

A breathless nation, shocked by the sheer dumbassery evident in the video, can't wait to find out.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Natural Jackasses

I am of two minds on this example of this sterling example of wanton public jackassery. Basically, some clowns went into a place called Goblin Valley and altered the physical landscape in a significant enough way to make people mad. The "boy scout" leaders in question here toppled a boulder and bragged about it on social media. Common sense abandoned them. They made the lame excuse of doing something to protect the public.

Utah authorities did not see it that way. County and state prosecutors are considering criminal charges, Eugene Swalberg, a spokesman for the Utah state parks, told the Deseret News newspaper. 

“This is not behavior that is appreciated or should exist in state parks,” he said. “This has been formed for literally millions of years, and it’s supposed to last for a long time. It doesn’t need individuals doing the work of Mother Nature.”

How long should a perched boulder stay perched and can a lawyer successfully claim that the shelf life of this boulder expired several million years ago? And was this incident significant enough to warrant criminal charges?

Humans alter and change the environment every day. This is the natural course of events. We have created state and federal parks so that we can preserve our environment, and I think that is what will come into play here. They're going to fry these jackasses solely because they were stupid enough to post a video on the Internet. You'll note that this comes up quite often and that the number of stupid videos posted on the Internet does not seem to be in decline.