February 09, 2005

"Environmentalism" is dead

The assertion that "environmentalism is dead" rocked me back for an instant, but I see the authors' point. (Registration required, or use Bugmenot.com.)

Their paper asserts that the movement's senior leadership was blinded by its early successes and has become short-sighted and "just another special interest." Its gloomy warnings and geeky, technocentric policy prescriptions are profoundly out of step with the electorate, Mr. Shellenberger and Mr. Nordhaus say.

"We have become convinced that modern environmentalism, with all of its unexamined assumptions, outdated concepts and exhausted strategies, must die so that something new can live," they wrote. As proof, they cite the debate on global warming and the largely unsuccessful push for federal regulation of industrial and automobile emissions.

They avoided making tactical prescriptions, but they did chide the movement for its limited efforts to find common ground with other groups, like labor and urged their compatriots to tap into the country's optimism.

Yup. Rants and jeremiads will get you only so far. Look at my other post for today; there is plenty of, um, energy to be tapped into.
Loving the trees

These young Scandinavians are taking the idea of erotic nature religion to its logical conclusion. Their public actions get attention too. (Not safe for work.)

February 02, 2005

Count birds in your own backyard

Want to do a little science but not have to spend too much time on data collection? Sign up online for the annual Great Backyard Bird Count, February 18-21. The bird sightings that you collect will go into a continent-wide database and "help build critcal information on long-term trends in bird populations," says Paul Green, director of citizen science for the Audubon Society.

February 01, 2005

The art of snow

What was forecast to be an 8-10-inch snowfall turned into three times as much last weekend. With no telephone service to call the man with the backhoe, the only way to open a Jeep-wide trail to the plowed county road was by hand. I reckon my wife and I moved about 600 cubic yards of snow with our one Ames snow shovel, a tool that I have to cherish these past few years.

Keeping my mind occupied beyond the mantra of "Scoop, scoop, scoop, step," I started inventing T'ai Chi Ch'uan moves: Bend Knees and Scoop, or Toss Snow Like Cloud. It was either that or drift back into humming one of Tenneesee Ernie Ford's greatest hits.