Category: Environment

Behold The Majesty Of The Arches

I am returning today from speeches in Texas and Utah. As many on the blog know, I tried to use such travel to do some hiking. Utah is one of my favorite places on Earth. You could spend a lifetime hiking this state and only scratch the surface of the natural beauty and wonders. I have hiked all part of this state and expect to do so for many years to come. This trip was tough however because a cold front came in the day I arrived (after 70 degree weather) that dumped more snow on an already heavy snow season. With the rain and snow, most of my selected hikes (and even my backup hikes) were no longer advisable due to slippery rocks and mud. I tried to find a trail on Friday with limited success so I decide to “go big or go home” on Saturday. I decided to drive over three hours to the Moab where snow and rain would not be an issue. While once covered by a prehistoric ocean, this area receives less than 10 inches of rain a year. It proved to be an awesome experience hiking Arches National Park, one of the great gifts of this state to the world. While many of us often hike deciduous forests, these desert hikes hold tremendous beauty and Western parks offer views that can go 100 miles or more.

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Trump: Windmills Cause Cancer

President Donald Trump left many scratching their heads again this week with the repeated claim that his father was born in Germany (he was born in the Bronx). However, the most curious moment came with this statement to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s annual spring dinner: “If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75 percent in value. And they say the noise causes cancer.” The basis for this claim remains a mystery.

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Father And Son Shown Killing Hibernating Mother Bear and Her Two Cubs

Video footage of an Alaskan father and son poaching and killing a hibernating mother bear and her two cubs last April has been released to the public for the first time.

The video below shows a disgusting crime by an Alaskan father and son who killed a hibernating mother bear and her two cubs in their den on Esther Island on Prince William Sound. Last April, Andrew and Owen Renner were captured on tape as they killed the sleeping bears. Andrew, 41, and Owen, 18, are heard shooting the mother first in their den at the base of a tree as the cubs are heard crying out before they then killed by the two poachers.

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“A Very Nice Lion”: Trophy Hunter Shown In Video Shooting Sleeping Lion

As many of you know, I am no fan of such trophy hunts.  I often hike in remote spots to see bears and other animals in their natural habitat. We have previously followed the controversy over the shooting of “Cecil the Lion” by an American dentist Walter Palmer from Minnesota as well as  subsequent controversies of an Idaho hunter taunting animal advocates and killing giant elephants or giraffes  or famed wolves or mountain goats or hundreds of hippos for trophies. Now, a disgusting videotape has emerged of a trophy hunter shooting a sleeping lion and then celebrating as the lion writhes in pain.

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Study: 800,000 People Die Prematurely In Europe Due To Pollution

We have previously discussed how the environmental values often lose out to business or economic arguments because the environment remains something of an abstraction. When President Donald Trump heralds lower gas prices, that is a concrete value. However, when many of us call for cleaner air, it is treated as a good but not an immediate benefit. There is yet another study (in addition to our earlier discussed studies here and here and here) that show the real costs of air pollution. An article published in the European Heart Journal estimates that nearly 800,000 people die prematurely each year in Europe due to pollution and that every life is cut short by about two years. If that cheaper gas is put against a death or a two-year reduction in life expectancy, the political calculus may change.

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HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of the leprechauns of the blog from the Turley Clan. It is a beautiful St. Patty’s Day in McLean, Virginia and I went on a dawn hike on Billy Goat Trail (though the trail was closed due to flooding so I hiked to Olmstead overlook instead). The leprechauns came to bring treats and tricks to the Turley house this morning. Some of the hiking pictures from this morning are below.

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Maryland Man Under Investigation After Disturbing Video Of His Jumping On A Pelican


According to the Baltimore Sun, a Maryland man is now under investigation following a disturbing video in which he jumps on a pelican floating in the water in the Florida Keys. Hunter Hardesty of Davidsonville posted the video to his Facebook account and appeared surprised that a wide array of readers condemned his harmful and juvenile conduct.

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Poll: Sixty-Eight Percent of Americans Would Not Be Willing To Pay $10 a Month To Combat Climate Change

For those of us worried about climate change and the Administration’s environmental policies, there is a disheartening poll this month about the disconnect between environmental aspirations and the willingness to sacrifice to achieve the needed progress. An AP-NORC survey found that 68% of Americans wouldn’t be willing to pay even $10 more a month in higher electric bills to combat climate change. It reflects the calculus of President Donald Trump that voters still prioritize jobs and financial concerns over countervailing environmental values.

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Beach To The Rescue

By Daren Smith, Weekend Contributor

© 2019 Darren Smith

There are times in operating any business when one needs to walk away else levy a deafening rebuke against a vendor.  After one just likely cost me a grand in lost income due to their incompetence and making promises they could not keep, I found myself at a bit of a crossroads.  I could either drive East read him the riot act or I could drive West and take in some photos and save my heart the aggravation.

Here is the result: (click to enlarge)

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Airborne Wolves Drop Into The United States

U.S. Army photo

No, this is not the lead to the new “Snakes on a Plane” cult movie. However, it is a Canadian invasion of sorts. Four Canadian wolves were air-dropped into Lake Superior’s Isle Royale National Park in Michigan to augment the island’s dwindling wolf population and to control the resulting rising Moose population. That might seem an unfair advantage when the perspective of the moose but the park long had a wonderful balance between the populations of wolves and moose. I have a particularly interest in Isle Royale because I have spent many weeks backpacking around the island when I lived in Chicago.

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Zambia Under Fire For Plan To Allow Thousands of Hippos To Be Killed By Trophy Hunters

First my usual disclaimer: I am no fan of such trophy hunts.  I often hike in remote spots to see bears and other animals in their natural habitat. We have previously followed the controversy over the shooting of “Cecil the Lion” by an American dentist Walter Palmer from Minnesota as well as  subsequent controversies of an Idaho hunter taunting animal advocates and killing giant elephants or giraffes  or rare goats or famed wolves for trophies. The most recent example is the decision of the highly corrupt Zambian government to allow trophy hunters to kill thousands of hippos, including rare and threatens species for windfall payments. Some 1,250 hippos have reportedly been slaughtered under the program. Hunters are allowed to shoot two hippos at a time for a few thousand dollars.

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American Trophy Hunter Triggers Controversy After Shooting Protected Goat In Pakistan

YouTube

As many of you know, I am no fan of such trophy hunts.  I often hike in remote spots to see bears and other animals in their natural habitat. We have previously followed the controversy over the shooting of “Cecil the Lion” by an American dentist Walter Palmer from Minnesota as well as  subsequent controversies of an Idaho hunter taunting animal advocates and killing giant elephants or giraffes  or famed wolves for trophies. Now, American trophy hunter Bryan Kinsel Harlan, an entrepreneur from Texas, has triggered an outcry in Pakistan after paying over $100,000 for the joy of shooting a rare mountain goat (a national symbol of Pakistan).

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Trump Again Wrongly Suggests That Cold Weather Disproves Climate Change

We have previously discussed the continued statements of President Donald Trump questioning the overwhelming science behind climate change. Yesterday, President Trump was again mocking the notion of climate change by pointing at the polar air hitting the Midwest. It is part of a long history of Trump transposing weather with climate change — a point repeatedly made by experts but ignored in these tweets. Notably, recent polls show less division among the public, including Republicans, who overwhelmingly agree that we are experiencing climate change.

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Alaskan Guide Fined After Herding Grizzly Bears With Snowmobiles So Clients Could Shoot Them More Easily

USFWS

As many on this blog know, I am no fan of trophy hunting.  I fail to see why it is impressive or thrilling to shoot a giraffe or elephant with a high-powered rifle.    I just do not understand the thrill kill. I feel the same way about shooting grizzly bears, which I have traveled to Alaska to watch in the wild. However, there are many responsible hunters and, while I would not allow hunting grizzly bears, it is lawful in some states. What is not lawful is herding with snowmobiles so some fat cat on a high priced hunting thrill could shoot one. That is what Brian Simpson of Fairbanks, did for Wittrock Outfitters. He is now stripped of his master guide’s license and fined $2,600 in restitution for the killing of two grizzly bears.

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