PS Mag: The Long Lasting Legacy of Droughts in Forests.
The effects of drought are deep and complex. Our tall pine and aspen forests are hanging on by a thread. At some point, more hardy species will take over. When the bark beetle killed the piñons in ‘03, our foothills here became denuded of >50% of their evergreen cover. The junipers have not made up the difference, so instead of green hills with small bits of rock showing, we have rocky foothills with clearly spotty tree cover. I look at photos I took pre-‘03, and it’s quite shocking. We get used to the ‘new look’ of things rather quickly, and forget even faster.
Paris Review: Think Like a Mountain—Aldo Leopold’s Path to Conservationism.
And I have to point out - he wasn’t a 20-something doing this. Worldchanging work is still done by those over 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 ...
Tumblr/BestintheWest: I have gotten lots of questions these last few…
Guardian.UK: Cecil the lion’s cubs most likely killed by rival lion, say conservationists.
“Lion cubs fathered by Cecil, the celebrated lion shot dead in Zimbabwe, may already have been killed by a rival male lion and even if they were still alive there was nothing conversationists could do to protect them, a conversation charity has warned.” The ripples flow outward, from that one selfish act.
Guardian.UK: Killer of Cecil the lion was dentist from Minnesota, claim Zimbabwe officials.
“They tied a dead animal to their vehicle to lure Cecil out of the park and they scented an area about half a kilometre from the park.” Given the fact the lion was wearing a radio collar (a rather unsubtle addition to the lion’s mane), you wonder if they ever actually looked before shooting.
DesignYouTrust: US Salt Flats Speed Week photos.
As in, No Speed Week. Thank El Niño.
Guardian.UK: Zimbabwean authorities hunt Spaniard accused of killing Cecil the lion.
“Orford calculates that with tourists from just one nearby lodge collectively paying €8,000 per day, Zimbabwe would have brought in more in just five days by having Cecil’s photograph taken rather than being shot by someone paying a one-off fee of €50,000.” Perhaps, but who owns the camps? And does that money stay in the local economy? I have a feeling there’s much more to this, before the animals can experience any sort of safety.
Dallas Observer: Fracking Sucking Up Vast Amounts of Texas Water.
My God, south Texas. Are you folks in the UK observing this?
c|net: Man tries selfie with rattlesnake, gets snakebit for $150,000.
Another?!!! Okay, people. Wild animals do NOT do selfies. Just don’t.
BBC: Boa constrictors’ lethal secret revealed.
Hmmm. Can I hire a few to take care of the rats, ground squirrels and thrice-damned mice?
Guardian.UK: Bison ruins woman’s selfie at Yellowstone in fifth run-in of the season.
You know, I keep seeing youngsters on Tumblr linking images of lions and tigers hugging humans. I fear they believe that is humanity’s natural relationship with predators.
Guardian.UK: Arctic sea ice volume showed strong recovery in 2013.
Sliver of hope? The tendency these days is to attack any science that might forestall an extraordinary effort to counter climate change. I expect this to attract similar opposition. But if this means recovery could be rapid, wouldn’t that bolster a quick, powerful thrust to diminish global warming?
Guardian.UK: Does the Bible really say that global warming will make the Earth ‘vomit us out’.
ArtDaily: After 24 years, Loch Ness Monster hunter Steve Feltham hooked on catfish theory.
The National Weather Service says our drought is still receding ... but ...
If you dig in the earth, you’ll find the ground rock-hard about six-eight inches down. There may be plenty of water at the moment, but the longer-term, less-seen effects of drought are still manifest. It’s going to take a long period of wet years to undo what’s been done - and if we start getting dry again, it’s only going to allow drought to return with a vengeance.
Guardian.UK: Government makes ‘outrageous’ U-turn over fracking in precious wildlife sites.
“The government has made a U-turn on its promise to exclude fracking from Britain’s most important nature sites, arguing that the shale gas industry would be held back if it was excluded from them.” If I were in Britain, I would be *furious.*
Guardian.UK: Warming of oceans due to climate change is unstoppable, say US scientists.
“I think of it more like a fly wheel or a freight train. It takes a big push to get it going but it is moving now and will contiue to move long after we continue to pushing it.” So, when can we talk population control?
New Mexico Department of Health Warns Residents about Tularemia
CS Globe: Harvard Study Proves Why The Bees Are All Disappearing.
“A new study out of Harvard University, published in the June edition of the Bulletin of Insectology puts the nail in the coffin, neonicotinoids are killing bees at an exponential rate, they are the direct cause of the phenomenon labeled as colony collapse disorder (CCD).” Thanks Jim Roepcke on FB.
Discover: Latest Report - El Niño Continues to Bulk Up in the Pacific.
Yeow. Good skiing this winter. I’d better get those snow-removal alternatives lined up.
Guardian.UK: Two coyote attacks on young children prompt California to warn residents.
“Maybe just a handful of coyotes are acting a little aggressive, but in general they do a huge amount of service for the ecosystem. They’re great at rodent control.” Yes indeed. But don’t leave small children unattended in coyote areas - they’re as easy to snatch as household pets. And I’ve repeatedly posted here about what happens when the local coyote pack starts frequenting the area. The “Missing Pet” signs blossom like forsythia in the springtime. The pack can bring down pit bulls and rotts with relative ease.
Guardian.UK: Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, email says – but it funded deniers for 27 m
“ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change – seven years before it became a public issue, according to a newly discovered email from one of the firm’s own scientists. Despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial.” The Cosby of climate denial?
PS Mag: A New Breed of Ranchers Is Restoring the Landscape and Learning to Live With Predators.
“Cattle ranchers have traditionally been hostile to large carnivores; wolves were nearly hunted, trapped, and poisoned to extinction in the Lower 48 a few decades ago, due in part to the threat they posed to livestock. Zaranek, who has done wolf research in Yellowstone and Canada and now works for the Centennial Valley Association, is trying to ease that relationship. She is testing whether range riders on horseback and ATV can minimize conflicts between livestock and predators.”
YosemiteBlog: Rockfall Reshapes Iconic Half Dome Climb.
SciAm: Water Use Rises as Fracking Expands.
“Oil and natural gas fracking, on average, uses more than 28 times the water it did 15 years ago, gulping up to 9.6 million gallons of water per well and putting farming and drinking sources at risk in arid states, especially during drought. Those are the results of a U.S. Geological Survey study published by the American Geophysical Union ...”
In which case, the technique should be banned in any drought-risk area. Common sense, please?