Recent comments

  • KHV Virus Implicated in Lake Mohave Carp Die Off   5 years 24 weeks ago

    I was just at Lake Mohave last week for one of our traditional family boating trips we've been taking for the past 20 years. Each day we would find a different beach to stay at, and every beach had at least 20 dead carp washed up on the rocks, sand, or even caught in the trees. One beach in particular we went to, I walked around the whole premisis and counted about 100 dead carp. Every beach had a horrible rotten smell. Now I know why... It's really really sad. We always enjoyed feeding the carp on our way down to the dock each morning just to see them all fight over some cereal or bread. This time when we went, there was just a few left to feed that were still alive.

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 24 weeks ago

    If i could make a suggestion to the judge i would suggest these GREENPEACE idiots be put on a highway clean up program let them clean up all those gronola bar wrappers,banna peels and apple core left by all those eco-wackos

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Maybe not a lower standard of living, but a different one. Our dependence on petroleum would be reduced a lot if we weren't so in love with our vehicles. For myself, I don't own a vehicle by choice. I take mass transit to work, and I joined a car-sharing club (Zipcar) for those times when I do need to drive out of town. Each Zipcar takes 15-20 personally-owned vehicles off the road, a sustainable transportation option for an urban dweller.

    I have also seen Segways used around town but they creep me out - I'd rather walk.

  • Ever Consider "Adopting" A Cove at Lake Mead National Recreation Area   5 years 24 weeks ago

    My kids and I have started going to a couple of coves near Nelson, Nevada. We drive there. The first day we went, we got there pretty early, around 10 AM, and we were the only ones there, but there was SO MUCH TRASH, for such an otherwise beautiful setting! Lots of broken bottles, I was afraid to let my dogs run there, even. We decided to come back early the next morning with trash bags and dive masks, and clean up both the shore and underwater areas. We aren't even FROM Nevada, we are visiting from California. We gradually changed our minds later in the day, as cars full of "kids" (teenagers, mostly) arrived, drove right onto the beach area, blasted their stereo with music with vulgar and obscene lyrics, and set about littering like they have never thrown anything away properly in our lives. We then decided that we didn't really want to clean up so that morons like that could come back the next day or week and mess it up again! I would love to be able to turn them in for littering, etc. We have since found another cove, harder to get to, cleaner, with much less trash. We clean up there a little bit every day we go, and it is staying pretty nice looking! Today on the way out we saw police cars and a tow truck hauling up a car that went over the cliff on the way to Nelson's landing. I couldn't help but hope it was one of the car loads of morons. Sorry, but they have no business ruining a place that we should be preserving for future generations!

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 24 weeks ago

    I've heard objections to nuclear power plants beyond the unsolved waste disposal issue: 1) The lack of a standardized design means each facility so far built is essentially a prototype, increasing cost and decreasing safety. 2) Radiation buildup limits their useful life to about three decades. 3) If one includes all the wages and energy involved in planning, construction, inspection, maintenance and especially de-commissioning and waste disposal, the true cost of the facility might be close to the value of the power produced.

    This hillbilly ain't really qualified to judge, but even if all of these points are true, nuclear power might still be preferrable to fossil fuel power plants, especially coal, if only as a bridge to more sustainable technology. It does sound similar to the energy cost of domestic oil exploration, where on average it now basically takes a barrel of oil to find one. I'd agree with Ray that the only truly sustainable long-term solution to our energy and environmental problems is a lower standard of living and/or a reduced population.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Very interesting discussion. Even some takers (maybe) for nuclear power as a solution. Ray is right. Anything we do on alternatives will take decades to provide large enough amounts of power to offset coal and gas power. However the thought of going on "strict energy diets" is a little like my earlier comment about going back to the cave. If people like the EPA and related cronies had not been such obstructionists to progress over the past 20-30 years, I think we would have better options in place now to help with the transition.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Can't help thinking of "Chernobyl" (in the Soviet Union) where a so called safe nuclear plant blew up, and causing a huge radiation meltdown that caused thousands to die and suffer. Not to mention the world scare of this nuclear catastrophe and it's potential radiation sickness. The question still remains where's a safe place to dump the HOT spent rods. And, what about the imposing question regarding security (the potential terrorist threat) to guard these nuclear installations. Apparently, there appears to be a lot of kooks out there with a hell bent attitude. Remember T. McVey...the loose cannon! I'll take the high tech alternative energy sources any day...and it can only get better folks.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 24 weeks ago

    The bottom line in re: to mitigating global warming is starkly clear; dramatically reduce the use of carbon based fuels. Sounds simple, but it is an enormous challenge. First, there is virtually no chance that new technology or alternative sources of energy will come on line fast enough or in sufficient quantity to provide more than a very small fraction of the current energy derived from oil, coal and natural gas, at least for the next several decades. It is critically important to develop viable, clean energy, but it is folly to believe that we can somehow quicky and smoothly transition to a new energy regime without some major lifestyle changes. At the very least we will have to go on a strict energy diet to substantively shrink our carbon footprint. In simple language, we will have to consume less of virtually everything. It is literally a "no pain - no gain" scenerio. What we would gain is a world that just might be a healthy place for tomorrow's children to grow up in. Eventually, we will either make these changes voluntarily or they will be forced upon us by very unpleasent circumstances.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 24 weeks ago

    There's plenty of uranium on the moon.

    France has the cleanest skies in Europe.

    Wind power also affects wildlife.

    One of the things we should be talking about is technological improvements in increasing fossil fuel efficiency, too. There are new chargeable hybrids that can get gas mileage in the tipple digits. Nuclear-generated electricity used for electric cars, like the mass-produced version Nissan just announced, makes a lot of sense.

    This is a good discussion. Thanks Jim.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Beamis -

    I admit to being ambivalent about nuclear power. I'll concede that it's "clean" from the standpoint of "smokestack" emissions. By "renewable," I presume you refer to reprocessing nuclear waste, since the turnaround time to "make" any new uranium in its natural state is a bit long.

    After hearing a couple of interviews with people with good credentials on the subject, I still have serious concerns with the nuclear waste problem - both the storage and safe movement of waste to storage sites. So ... from that standpoint, I can't yet put nuclear on my own list of "clean" sources. One serious accident involving nuclear fuel or waste would create some really serious "climate change," at least on a local basis.

    As to "medieval technology like windmills" - those knights have gotten pretty high tech, and are getting better at a pretty good clip.

    I certainly agree that no source of energy, including wind and solar, is without issues.

    Hey, at least we're talking about it :-)

  • Managing Elk at Theodore Roosevelt National Park – The NPS has Released Its Plan   5 years 24 weeks ago

    It's good to see that there still might be a little common sense left in this world. Thank you Senator Dorgan for all the work you did on this. Now let's carry this through.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Keep traveling Kurt, but all I can find is a brief mention in the following NCPA (EdoAdapt) listed source:

    (The Appalachian Trail MEGA-Transect, page 12, Caroline Dufour and Elizabeth Crisfield, editors. Appalachian Trail
    Conservancy, 2008, www.appalachiantrail.org/MEG)

    This source mentions, briefly, that birds use the AT corridor as a migration corridor, but I'm making a wild guess that birds are continuing to use the Appalachian Mountain range as a migration corridor just as they always have. It remains unclear what proof exists that the trail corridor itself (not the parks and forests and yards that are along it and independent from it) would assist animals in adapting to climate change.

    I'm sure this is one of many weak conclusions inside the NCPA article.

    It is a joy to believe that the Appalachian Trail would be of benefit to wildlife. But, regardless of climate change or climate stagnation, the primary reason for the AT is to provide a continuous backcountry footpath for the enjoyment of people.

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Bucket list is a great term in this context, mimi. I should have stolen that phrase too. Darn!

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Actually, Bat, I just borrowed the idea. There are baseball caps for sale with "SOB" printed on the front in large letters with "Sweet Old Buddy" beneath in tiny letters. The first time I ever saw one was in 1970 when a fellow graduate student at the University of Illinois presented an SOB cap to a geography professor during a Christmas party. It was richly deserved, I might add.

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Great story! I am now putting all 58 on my bucket list less the 8 that i've been to. That leaves a lot of travelling to do. Can't wait to start it, which will be in Sept with a trip to Arcadia.

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 24 weeks ago

    "Sweet Old Buddy"? That's LOL hilarious - mind if I use that? Seriously, if there are only 58, then I've actually visited a third of them! You've made my day, Bob - thank you!

  • Managing Elk at Theodore Roosevelt National Park – The NPS has Released Its Plan   5 years 24 weeks ago

    We don't cull people. Yet we constantly are overpopulating and damaging the planet far more then any animal could. If we would just let nature be nature and stop trying to control everything maybe we would have a better planet. We think just cause we can do things we should. By controlling animal populations in National parks they become like a zoo. If there was a balance of prey, predator and land there would not be a problem. But the lack of land and predetor problems are due to people, so our way to fix it is kill the now overpopulated prey? Why do we never look to ourselves as the problem and try to fix what people are doing to contribute to these problems? Maybe we should control our population?

  • Managing Elk at Theodore Roosevelt National Park – The NPS has Released Its Plan   5 years 24 weeks ago

    I agree. We don't cull people. Yet we constantly are overpopulating and damaging the planet far more then any animal could. If we would just let nature be nature and stop trying to control everything maybe we would have a better planet. We think just cause we can do things we should. By controlling animal populations in National parks they become like a zoo. If there was a balance of prey, predator and land there would not be a problem. But the lack of land and predetor problems are due to people, so our way to fix it is kill the now overpopulated prey? Why do we never look to ourselves as the problem and try to fix what people are doing to contribute to these problems? Maybe we should control our population?

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Okay Jim, I propose that nuclear power be put back on the table as a clean and renewable source that can produce massive amounts of usable energy. Instead of medieval technology like windmills and the land gobbling ugliness of industrial solar panels, this one source has the potential to replace coal and oil in a meaningful way.

    My two cents.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I'll paraphrase a comment I made on another post last month:

    Far too much time and human energy is being wasted debating the truth or fiction of global warming and climate change, and the result is a stalemate on any meaningful action on other problems arising from our current heavy use of fossil fuels.

    I'd suggest we focus instead on recognizing that our continued fixation on the use of oil and coal is continuing to erode our economic health, national security, and physical health - along with impacts on the natural environment. From that perspective, global warming and climate change are not the central issues, so since we can't seem to agree on those subjects, let's set that debate aside and get busy solving the known problems arising from our current energy situation.

    If we can find more environmentally responsible ways to use and produce energy - and that includes significant reductions in the amount of energy we waste - we and the world will be the better for it.

    If the global warming/climate change camp is right, a spin-off from those changes should be improvements with those issues as well. If the global warming naysayers are correct, all of us will still benefit from a major overhaul in our production and use of energy.

    Will changes be easy? No, but they won't be accomplished if we stay mired in the debate over who's right and who's wrong about climate change.

  • Scuttlebutt Has It That A Hold Has Been Placed On the Nomination of Jon Jarvis as National Park Service Director   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I guess the bigger point is that "mouthbreathers" are the ones in charge of the parks. This is the real problem and root of all of the dysfunction.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Richard: Notice the hockey stick in CO2 on that graph comes from the scale. It starts at 270 and goes to 350, so it magnifies the uptick in CO2 by zooming in. Start the graph at zero to put the uptick in perspective. As Dr. Roy Spencer, a government climatologist points out, "2 times a very small number is still a very small number." I don't hear any challenges to this.

    Anonymous wrote: "Far cry from the definitive posture you stand by."

    I do not have a definitive posture. I'm a skeptic. I believe it's possible humans are warming the climate, but there are studies, correlations, and data that suggests otherwise, and I believe the politics of fear and research funding have hijacked science. There are many unanswered questions, most of which are brushed aside by natural climate cycle deniers.

    "Many more qualified scientists all over the world have other views."

    Here you engage in two logical fallacies: appeal to the majority and appeal to authority. Natural climate cycle deniers have repeated these logical fallacies so much that they have become their mantra.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 25 weeks ago

    It was my understanding that this is an independent forum, not an affiliate of Fox News. For every phony fun "fact", I'm sure we can counter with ten proven datasets. Still, it won't matter to a johnny-one-note who chooses to ignore valid science by scientists with proven credentials; in fact, won't even consider the possibility that it exists.

    Hmmm. Of course! Expand the role of the circular argument. If you repeat it often enough, it MUST be true! Well, refusing to step outside this fundamentalist fugue is not productive. You can't have a rational discussion in an echo chamber.

    I'm interested in whatever [i][b]solutions[\i][\b] may be out there that might help mitigate the degradation of the Earth. We've moved WAY beyond proving that a problem exists. My thanks to Kurt and to those posters who are unafraid to provide links to real science. I promise you, you are not wasting your time.

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Jim is absolutely correct.

    The 58 National Parks are recognized as the "crown jewels" of the NPS system.

    It's not just a name.

    They do benefit from more protection and resources than other units.

    You will learn in the Ken Burns movie that although some areas were already National Monuments, there was a considerable effort done by individuals to have them re-designated as National Parks, because it was thought that only then they would be safe.

    It is true that the area itself does not change, but what changes is our perception of its value. When Gates of the Arctic gained NPS protection, and two years later, NP status, no physical changed occurred on the land. No roads, trails, ranger stations, or visitor centers were built. Yet the area took a new dimension.

    Tuan.

    National Parks images

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Ken Burns did not "ignore" some national parks because of their presumed lack of worth, but simply because he had only 12 hours to tell a good story (and a *very* good story this is). However, I think he made sure that an image of each of the national parks (this means the 58 ones :-)) was seen.

    Moreover, the narrative, although centered on the national parks, is not confined to them. There are mention of other type of units, including long segments on Dinosaur NM and obscure ones such as Manzamar NHS, and their meaning within the expended mission of the NPS to preserve all aspects of the American heritage and history.

    Please note that I have seen the 12 hours of the Ken Burns movie. Comments based only on partial previews may not be fair to the series.

    Tuan

    National Parks images