Below are photos from our visit today (Monday, 8/13/12) to Yosemite National Park. Unfortunately, because of the extreme heat Yosemite Falls was dry as a bone and Bridal Veil Falls was nearly so. The park was still impressive, as were the efforts to reduce traffic congestion. Even so, portions of the park must be near gridlock on weekends.
Posts Tagged ‘environment’
Posted in Climate Change, Environment, Geology, history, Nature, seasons, States, Travel, tagged Crater Lake, environment, geography, geology, nature, Oregon, parks, volcanoes on August 10, 2012 | 4 Comments »
Posted in Environment, fun, history, Land use, Nature, seasons, Travel, Wildlife, tagged California, environment, National Parks, nature, parks, tourism, travel, volcanoes on August 8, 2012 | 1 Comment »
Posted in Alternative energy, civics, civility, Climate Change, Communications, deregulation, Economics, Economy, Environment, government, politics, pollution, Renewable Energy, Trade, Transportation, writing, tagged Congress, environment, logic, oil, politics, subsides, Taxes on July 16, 2012 | 5 Comments »
A month or two ago I wrote my Congressman, Republican Mike Rogers about ending subsidies for oil and gas companies. Today, I received a response in the mail. His letter was very cordial and polite, but the logic of his argument is simply laughable.
“Like you, I am concerned with the high price of oil and gasoline, and I believe that the oil industry must be closely monitored for anti-trust violations. That said, I have serious concerns with raising taxes on any employers, especially now when Americans are struggling to pay for gasoline.” (underline emphasis added)
SOURCE: Letter from Mike Rogers dated July 10, 2012
Are you freakin’ kidding me? Eliminating subsidies is raising taxes? Who the hell came up with that logic? Since when did eliminating a subside become a tax increase? Sir, these idiotic subsides cost all of us from $10-52 billion per year. That’s money that could be put too much better use funding renewable energy, feeding the malnourished, carrying for the poor and unemployed, or at the very least helping homeless veterans.
“In the United States, credible estimates of annual fossil fuel subsidies range from $10 billion to $52 billion annually, while even efforts to remove small portions of those subsidies have been defeated in Congress, as shown in the graphic below. Download your own pdf copy here.” SOURCE: priceofoil.org
Meanwhile, Congressman, big oil reaps larger and larger profits at our expense. According to priceofoil.org,
“ the top five oil companies alone have made almost a trillion dollars in profit in the last decade.“
So, I have no idea where Congressman Rogers gets the idea that ending subsides amounts to a tax increase. My guess is some anal-retentive GOP think tank funded by big oil came up with that bilge of an argument. All I know is it is one of the most illogical things I have ever heard, let alone read.
Posted in Animals, Climate Change, Economics, Environment, fun, Nature, politics, pollution, Renewable Energy, Science, weather, tagged arid, climate, drought, environment, funny, politics, satire, weather on July 16, 2012 | 2 Comments »
- You can use your lawn as sandpaper or a bristle brush.
- Shade is for rent by the hour.
- Wrigley’s stops selling Rain chewing gum in your town.
- Arid Extra Dry sells out in all the stores.
- Vultures start circling you when you are outside.
- Camels decide to migrate to your town.
- Climate change deniers evaporate (their ideas are all wet).
- Bookings for rain forest vacations jump exponentially.
- You could bake a cake on the driveway.
- Businesses finally learn to stop watering their asphalt and concrete with sprinklers.
- The scorpions come to town (the insects not the band).
- Bald becomes beautiful again.
- You wish it was January.
- Everyone has the dry heaves.
- No one wants to grill out anymore.
- You feel like you are being sandblasted on windy days.
- Fish sue!
- Lightning bugs are required to douse their lights to prevent wildfires.
- Car washes clean by only spit and polish.
- There is absolutely no need for crop dusters.
- Even Endust is overwhelmed.
- Spit and urine are hoarded.
- It stops being humorous – which for many it unfortunately has (see photo below).
Posted in Alternative transportation, Cities, civics, civility, Climate Change, consumerism, Economics, Economy, Environment, history, humanity, Land use, Music, Nature, politics, pollution, Renewable Energy, States, Transportation, Travel, writing, tagged bicycling, environment, music, politics, songs, Woody Guthrie on July 12, 2012 | 1 Comment »
Saturday, July 14th will be the 100th anniversary of Woody Guthrie’s birth. To honor him and express this eco-bicyclist”s concern beyond those expressed his original lyrics, here is a modified version of Woody Guthrie’s classic folk song This Land is Your Land. The original lyrics written by Mr. Guthrie may be seen through this weblink.
This land is your land, this land is my land
From Car-lifornia to Wall Street canyons
From clear-cut forests to oil-stained waters
This wasteland was allowed by you and me
As I was pedaling – a crowded highway
I saw above me – a concrete skyway
I saw below me – more golden arches
This wasteland was made by you and me
I’ve roamed on cell towers – and taken exits
To sprawling cities - paved over deserts
And all around me – neon signs were shouting
This wasteland was made by you and me
The sun dawns hazy - as I was rolling
Weeds were waving – and dust was falling
As the smog now settles - voices start shouting
This wasteland was made by you and me
As I tried walking – no sidewalks for me
As I tried biking – drivers scowl right at me
Few remaining places - of peace and safety
Those are the ones for you and me
Throughout our cities – empty seas of asphalt
Are clearly saying – whose really’s at fault
And some are grumblin’ – and some are wonderin’
Why this wasteland was allowed by you and me?
Chorus x 2
Happy 100th Birthday, Woody!
- Repair you snowblower so you mind is fixed on cold things.
- Have 200 pounds of ice ready to put in your bathtub for soaking.
- Install a walk-in freezer for your kitchen.
- Buy stock in slushies, smoothies, snow cones, Eskimo Pies, ice cream bars, ice cream, sherbert, gelato, and anything else cold.
- Wear your winter wardrobe all summer and then take it off when the temps hit 90F. You’ll at least know what your dog feels like.
- Buy a dvd of the movie Ice Station Zebra or The Day After Tomorrow to watch over and over again.
- Move to a cave.
- Buy a tuxedo and install a penguin pool.
- Learn to hibernate in summer.
- Buy Michael Jackson’s cryogenic freeze chamber at a local garage sale or auction.
Posted in Alternative energy, Climate Change, deregulation, Economics, Environment, fitness, health, history, human rights, humanity, Nature, Peace, politics, pollution, Renewable Energy, Science, seasons, sports, Travel, tagged climate change, environment, global warming, olympics, sports, Summer Olympics on June 29, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
- Sauna cycling
- Climate change denier decathlon (make them run till they drop)
- Heat wave high-jumping
- Swimming in sweat
- Bad ass butt-blistering badminton
- Empty pool concrete crawl
- Track and burnt to a crisp fields
- Diving into melted marshmallows
- Hop, skip, and puddle jump
- Arid aerobics
- Hot as hell hammer throw
- Molten lava shot put (can you say hot potato?)
- Blistering baseball
- Torrid tennis
- Fiery flame fencing
- Hot foot gymnastics
- Desert doom marathon
- Asphalt egg-frying
- Perspiration polo
- Dead tree trunk lifting
- Bermuda short boxing
- Water bottle relay
- Mirage javelin and discus throw
- Greenhouse gym-gastics
- Wrestling with guilt (everyone qualifies)
While I was riding my bike to work the other morning, I stopped for a traffic signal to change. As I was sitting there, I noticed four separate lawn care crews at the intersection, each distinguished by the rumble of their oversized diesel pick-up truck and attached utility trailer filled with mowers, leaf blowers and a litany of other lawn care tools and instruments. It was if reveille had been blown and the competing armies were on the move across the front lines of the summer turf wars.
In all honesty, I have never quite figured out what all the fuss is about regarding having the perfectly manicured lawn. They look so sterile and are hardly natural. You get far more interesting wildlife by “de-sterilizing” it some.
Manicured lawns may be aesthetically pleasing to some, but traditional turf is hardly good for the environment. So much of the crapola we spread, spray, pour, drop, or distribute ends up washing right down our collective storm sewers and right into the local watering holes turning them into yucky and smelly algae blooms.
When I was looking at houses some time back, a realtor told me that one homeowner they knew actually used a carpenter’s level to make sure his grass was neat, tidy, and evenly cut. As my dad used to say, “if it is green it is good.” Thankfully, he never obsessed for the perfect lawn in sure a manner.
Neither have I. Fertilizer or weed killer have been rarely applied to my lawns and then if it must, it had to be organic. I also fail to see the need to drench your yard when dry conditions take place. The grass goes dormant and brown. So what? As soon as the weather turns, it will turn green again.
While lawn care services proliferate the yellow pages, advertising, and other media, most of the time I see the summer turf wars as good money being wasted by consumers on elusive dreams. That money could have been used for something more environmentally friendly and far more productive.
Lastly, instead of hiring a service, maybe more people should get off their duff and get some light exercise taking care of their property. Every little bit helps, particularly in this era of gargantuan soft drinks, super-sized servings, and sugar-coated everything else. Just a thought.