Behold! A National Park Is Born

1600px-Cuernos_del_Paine_from_Lake_PehoéDouglas Tompkins, who founded The North Face and Esprit clothing companies has left a truly inspiring legacy with his wife Kristine McDivitt Tompkins in the creation of one of the world’s greatest national parks.  Chile has agreed to the establishment of a park in Patagonia stretching 10 million acres.  The park was based on land purchases for $345 million by the couple to protect this gorgeous and unique place. I cannot imagine a greater gift to humanity.

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NOAA Data Shows Arctic Ice At Its Lowest In 1500 Years

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We have been following the overwhelming evidence of drastic climate change, but few studies are as striking as the most report from NOAA’s Arctic research program.  The annual Arctic Report Card  that we have reached the highest loss of Arctic ice in 1500 years. Recently discussed the controversial statements of Administration officials like Energy Secretary Rick Perry on the U.S. offering a better future through fossil fuels.  These studies show a potentially catastrophic future as our climate continues to change exponentially.

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Perry: The U.S. Will Give The World “A Better Life Through Fossil Fuels”

440px-Rick_Perry_official_portraitWith much of the world desperately trying to rid itself of fossil fuels to avoid disaster from climate change, the Trump Administration at times seems to be on a different planet.  That seems the case at the Davos conference where Energy Secretary Rick Perry proclaimed that the United States is “blessed” to be able to offer the world “a better quality of life through fossil fuels.”  Not only our closest allies like Germany and England have been making huge efforts to drop fossil fuels, but China is moving aggressively to avoid this “better world” model.

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Belize Permanently Stops All Drilling To Protect Ocean

Belize_Barrier_Reef_from_space.pngThe opening of ANWAR to drilling by President Donald Trump was a major loss for environmentalists.  My views in favor of preserving such areas are well known.  However, the opening up of the entire coastline of the United States has angered even Republican governors and politicians.  The position of the White House is that the drilling is too valuable to pass up, but now tiny Belize has shown the alternative view: the nation has permanently suspended oil operations in its ocean waters to protect the ocean.

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RES IPSA HITS 33,000,000

Audience_Frontier_FiestaWe have hit another milestone today with over 33,000,000 views. We are also expected to reach 35,000 followers on Twitter.  That hardly makes us competition for the largest sites but it is still an impressive collection of people seeking a place for civil but passionate discourse on legal and policy issues  of our time (and perhaps a few wacky stories).  We often use these milestones to look at the current profile of the blog and its supporters around the world.

As always, I want to offer special thanks for our weekend contributors: Mike Appleton, Larry Rafferty, Darren Smith, Kimberly Dienes, and Cara Gallagher (particularly Darren who continues help up with periodic technical problems etc).

I particularly want to thank our regular commentators and readers.  We try to keep this blog as an open forum with as little interference or monitoring of the comments as possible.  Given our free speech orientation, we try not to delete comments and, for that reason, we are deeply appreciative of how most people avoid personal or offensive comments in debating these issues.  We have had to delete a handful of comments with personal attacks or profanity but the number remains quite low for a blog of this size.  The success of this blog is due to the fact that we offer something more than the all-too-common troll-driven, angry, and insulting commentary of the Internet.  Thank you for voluntarily assuming restraint over the tenor and content of your comments. Continue reading