Recent comments

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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 37 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

  • Managing Elk at Theodore Roosevelt National Park – The NPS has Released Its Plan   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I applaud this decision to use volunteer hunters who have demonstrated firearm proficiency to help cull the elk herd in TRNP. This plan is cost effective and sensible. donating the meat (if proven to be free of MCD) is ethical and just. Huzzah!!

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 37 weeks ago

    With all due respect, this is not the case. All units are protected by the same laws and regulations (courtesy of the General Authorities Act and Redwood Act amendments). When Petrified Forest, Congaree, Cuyahoga, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, changed their designations to national park their protection and resources did not change. If Pinnacles changes to a national park its resources will not change. There are national parks you can hunt in and national lakeshores you cannot hunt in. There are hotels and other development in some national parks you will not find in some national monuments. Craters of the Moon National Monument has outstanding natural resources and is far larger than many national parks. I could go on. My point is, there is no objective criteria that defines the title designation. Designation is often political and often driven by the desires of local tourism boosters. There is no defending a nomenclature that has no rationale.

  • Scuttlebutt Has It That A Hold Has Been Placed On the Nomination of Jon Jarvis as National Park Service Director   5 years 37 weeks ago

    All of the above rhetorical back and forth is nice to debate, but the bottom line is that Jarvis will be an excellent head for the NPS, that the 'hold' has nothing to do with him as an individual but is just a procedural power play, and this nonsense needs to stop.

    Surely there is leverage we can apply to these mouthbreathers to get Jon Jarvis confirmed.

  • Another Entrance-Fee-Free Weekend in the National Parks   5 years 37 weeks ago

    $25 isn't going to persuade me to come to a National Park. I'm going either way, and I'll plan around when I have free time. If the local hotels were giving away free reservations, then I might think about it. Throw in free airline tickets and I'm as good as there. But $25? That's a bargain already. Give it to me for free and I feel like I'm not doing my part.

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 37 weeks ago

    The absurdity of this will become more obvious when the Ken Burns series on national parks airs on PBS next month. Mr. Burns chose to focus only on the "national parks," not any other designation. And ignored national parks he did not find worthy like Cuyahoga and Hot Springs. The NPS is playing this series up and telling all the parks to catch this wave of publicity. I think it will leave the public confused when they try to relate their nearby national monument or national seashore to a “national park”. I also think many NPS employees will also see this as insulting to their units because they are left out of the series. Is Dinosaur National Monument really inferior to Congaree National Park? Is a series that omits Gettysburg, the Statue of Liberty, and Cape Cod really showing the greatness of the National Park System? I think not.