Browsing All Posts published on »November, 2011«

Regulators Taken Hostage by Cows

November 30, 2011

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Mary O'Brien of the Grand Canyon Trust says it is like doing a study on obesity and not considering what people eat. The BLM is spending $40 million of taxpayer stimulus funds to do a "ecoregional assessment study" but ruling out ahead of time the impact of grazing. The regulators are afraid of upsetting the regulated. Regulatory capture at it's worst. Are we Alice at the Mad Hatter's table? Here's Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman with more.

Our River Run Dry

November 18, 2011

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The Colorado River does not make it to the sea. It's all used up 70 miles before it gets there, leaving the Colorado River Delta parched. Over 75 percent of the water extracted goes to agriculture. Whenever something about water use comes up in the press, watering lawns always comes up. That is the wrong grass. It's not lawns draining the river, it's hay. Buying up the virtual property right of water rights from farmers and ranchers is called "water ranching." I'll try to find more on that in the future. In the meanwhile, here's a piece from the New York Times on the river, and another interesting blog from a recent author on the subject, Jonathan Waterman (great name.)

Leonids Meteor Shower

November 12, 2011

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One of the hidden delights of large, underpopulated, undeveloped places is the prospect for clear dark nights, free of light pollution.  The Colorado Plateau is one darkest places left in the 48 states.  The Leonid meteor showers are coming up. Steve Owen of  Dark Sky Diary can tell you more.  . . . more>>

Turn of tide?

November 11, 2011

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There's been a mounting stream of good news for the environment. 18 new wilderness zones proposed for nine Western states including three in Utah.  Fabulous.  Perhaps with the election year on this will be a new turn of the tide for the Obama administration?  . . . more>>

Private Profit, Public Expense

November 9, 2011

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The Salt Lake Tribune weighs in.  This kind of economic nonsense of allowing an open pit coal mine on the doorstep of a favorite national park in order to create a couple hundred jobs is just what ticks off  Tom Wharton in the previous post.  . . . more>>

Curmudgeon category?

November 9, 2011

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I categorize each of my posts in one of the categories you see on the right. I don't have one for curmudgeon, but perhaps I should. It takes one to know one and it's a favorite of mine. Tom Wharton is turning 61 and as he takes personal inventory of the role of journalism and the state of politics and the environment he is none too happy. I know how he feels. . . . more>>

Don’t do it for the cows!

November 7, 2011

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If these otherwise well intentioned folks are taking out the trees so that the cows can get back in, they will find themselves going in circles. Other than that, way to go! . . . more>>

Alton coal mine: more private profits at public expense.

November 5, 2011

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Speaking of externalities, which I did implicitly in the previous blog, here's an update on the Alton Coal mine expansion next door to Bryce Canyon National Park. Public hearings coming up. . . . more>>

Conservative idea, temporarily disavowed.

November 5, 2011

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Conservatives originally proposed that markets could help correct mans impact on the environment. Just get the cost of environmental degradation included in the cost of production. According to Steve Zwick at Forbes, the idea had some traction until the whole conservative movement "went collectively insane." . . . more>>

Yoga in a stampede.

November 3, 2011

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It's the time of year ranchers bring their dwindling herds down from the mountain and green the road up. New West meets Old West as the cows come through town, a beautiful yoga instructor out Zens a stampede, a cowboy whomps a Cadillac and the boys at the cafe take it all in stride. . . . more>>

Earth’s Great Omninvore

November 1, 2011

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I've been thinking a lot about the fact that the planet now has 7 billion people alive on it, all at the same time. I think just knowing the fact makes it seem more crowded. We are up from 6 billion souls in just 12 years. I wrote earlier about the latest epoch becoming known as the Anthropocene, the age of man. Here, Wired magazine has an essay with some jaw dropping perspectives to help make sense of 7 billion. . . . more>>