Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

earth-screensaver_largeThe news continues to grow worse over global warming. The Peru meeting revealed new research showing that time is running out for humanity to act on climate change. Now to new reports indicate that we may have underestimate the rate of loss on the huge ice sheet of West Antarctica — new calculations under global warming could mean a rise in global sea levels of as much as 23 feet. That would create massive changes in the coasts of the world.

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MORNING ON THE BILLY GOAT

IMG_1782I did my morning hike on the Billy Goat Trail this morning and I was a bit sluggish in the 29 degree temperature at dawn. I was beginning to think that it would have been better to stay at home (particularly when I broke though an ice pond and soaked a leg) when I spotted a beaver. I have had a record of beaver sighting this winter and this big boy walked right in front of me between the river and a pond. It also seems that a great hike always offers a prize and that was my reward.

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220px-AlfedPalmersmokestacksgopREPUBLICANSA new poll shows broad support for carbon limits, including half of all Republicans. The poll comes out as scientists warn (as reported in the NY Times) that time is running out on climate change and, without decisive action, the world could eventually become uninhabitable for humans. Today, the Pope added his voice to the overwhelming weight of world scientists that time is running out. Likewise, island nations are now demanding action and calling on the world to witness the loss of their very existence to the rising seas.

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hiker-3As many readers of this blog know, I love to hike and bring back pictures from the various trails of wildlife so this story was particularly chilling for me. Darsh Patel was hiking with his four friends when they spotted a black bear in New Jersey and stopped to take pictures. Patel continued to take five pictures with his cellphone as the 300-pound bear charged and killed him.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

220px-Minke_Whale_(NOAA)Icelandic news source IceNews reports that the governments of Japan and Iceland are negotiating a trade agreement that also would include exports to Japan of whaling products. The agreement will certainly attract much attention from the environmental groups, and NGOs world-wide.

Japan does however have both cultural and culinary appetites for whale meat and will go to lengths to obtain these products which are a valuable commodity in Japan. A new trade agreement with Iceland could provide a means for sources that would have otherwise become increasingly restricted by International actions

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Dawn on Billy Goat Trail

IMG_1719I did my dawn hike on the Billy Goat this morning but started out with wildlife coming to me. I try to quietly sneak out before 6 am in the morning, but Luna was barking like crazy. When I opened the front door, I found myself face to face with a large deer from the nearby forest. At 32 degrees, I was tempted to just take a picture and stay home. But I am glad I didn’t because it was an amazing morning on the trail.

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220px-CatfillerRadioactive SymbolThere are so many surprising aspects to this story including the two salient points that we use kitty litter in nuclear plants and using the wrong kitty litter can cost you half a billion dollars. However, a recent report states that the mismanagement of the kitty litter issue at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico by its private operator, Los Alamos National Security LLC, led not only damage, but the injury of at least 20 workers — and the creation of a type of kitty litter dirty bomb. The concerns of an Al Kitta threat however may be premature. It turns out that you can avoid the risk by selecting clay-based kitty litter over wheat-based kitty litter.

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