Event in Steamboat to focus on oil’s aftermath

Transition effort comes to Steamboat with Thursday event

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If you go

What: “In Transition 1.0” film and Q-and-A with Michael Brownlee, co-founder of Transition Colorado

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Bud Werner Memorial Library, Library Hall

Cost: Free

Contact: Call 970-879-0240 or visit the library's events website for more information.

Online

Can’t make it Thursday? Watch the 50-minute “In Transition 1.0” here

Learn more about transition efforts across the globe here and here

— A growing movement to coordinate sustainability and conservation efforts in anticipation of oil’s decline — a debatable topic itself — comes to Steamboat Springs this week.

Michael Brownlee, co-founder of Transition Colorado, hosts a screening of “In Transition 1.0” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Bud Werner Memorial Library. In addition to the 50-minute film, the free event includes a discussion about growing “transition” efforts, which coordinate groups and individuals to increase a community’s self-sufficiency in areas including transportation, food production and more, with the goal of drastically reducing carbon dioxide emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.

Andrea Kennedy, a board member for the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, noted that many Routt County residents already are involved in numerous efforts on those lines. Community gardens, carpool groups, green building programs and healthy lifestyles, for example, are abundant in the region.

“This is kind of perfect timing,” Kennedy said about Thursday’s event. “I really do feel like Steamboat’s already on the right path.”

According to the Transition Network, based in Totnes, England, its efforts began in 2005 and have spread to communities across the globe, often in rural, geographically isolated areas.

Routt County Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush noted Sunday that the Sustainability Council is doing a very admirable job of promoting local awareness of environmental conservation issues.

“I think that coordinating and networking and education are major functions of the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council,” Mitsch Bush said.

Kennedy said the transition efforts of Brownlee and others provide guidance for how to further coordinate sustainability efforts and share new ideas.

“It gives kind of a roadmap, so you can kind of plug yourself in,” she said. “How are we going to support ourselves when peak oil really diminishes in the next 50 years?”

The concept of peak oil, meaning when global oil production reaches its maximum point and then declines, has been debated for decades. Viewpoints and theories range from an imminent decline to a plentiful, long-term supply of hydrocarbon fuels.

Transition Network literature cites other global conditions, such as climate change and economic instability, as additional reasons for its efforts to increase communities’ environmental sustainability.

Mitsch Bush said a conservation ethic is valuable regardless of the reasons.

“I think energy efficiency and conservation are actually great energy sources,” Mitsch Bush said. “There are so many relatively easy ways that we all, as individuals and organizations, can save energy. … I think it’s always good to get fresh ideas.”

— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4233 or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

seeuski 4 years, 7 months ago

I went to the website that Paul Potyen posted in the Sunday letter and perused around. transition-us.org This is about controlling populations and ending Suburban life. If Cap and Trade is passed they will be well on their way to achieving their stated goals.

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ybul 4 years, 7 months ago

The current oil based paradigm needs to change anyway. The oil leak,beyond any spill, is proof positive that we need to rethink things.

That said I have spoke. With mr brownlee and found him to be an ideologue, inflexible to listen to opinions that differ from his own. I do not know if that has changed but he was not open to hearing middle of the road proposals.

One simply has to ponder what would be more difficult to make diamonds or oil. As most ccome up with the hardest substance known and then realiZe these are being made in Florida today. This should bring about the real world belief that oil can be made today using wind, water and carbon residues, as oil is simply a store of solar energy.

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dave mcirvin 4 years, 7 months ago

Peak oil has likely happened and even if you don't subscribe to the elitist concept of global climate change the availability will become more scarce and expensive (without gov't subsities, yeah that evil gov't, most estimates state we would be paying 15 bucks a gallon at the pump now).

Speaking of commodities, US mined oil rarely goes to US stock piles and is auctioned on the worldwide commodities market. Many estimates (from oil executives, pentagon and wall street firms) estimate oil at 150 bucks or more a barrel in as few as 2 years.

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seeuski 4 years, 7 months ago

ybul, I agree that we need to move towards more efficient and cleaner forms of energy but what these groups endgame is is the total elimination of carbon production by humans and the total control over civilization. That includes things like global governance and the ability to limit reproduction to 1 child per family. YVB, Haven't looked into it as far as funding goes but most likely the sources can be traced back to people like Maurice Strong and George Soros with the amount of money Cap and Trade will represent. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpErEVB9gcc

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freerider 4 years, 7 months ago

AFS Trinity produced a full sized SUV that gets 150 MPG years ago ...the owner of the company drove it from Seattle to Wash. DC on one tank of gas and gave rides to Senators and House members .Then the SUV was driven to the Detroit auto show and all three , the big three auto makers passed on it....

Now our completly stupid and moronic leaders , I mean bought and paid for corporate puppets, sorry I mean our over paid bought and paid for corporate puppets in Washington want 35 MPG to be the new standard for cars and trucks ....

We have freking idiots in charge of this ...we are going to run out of oil someday that's when the meadow muffins hit the fan .

This is just one example of alternative transportation but nobody wants to hear it

you can see the AFS Trinity extreme hybrid on you tube

http://www.youtube.com/user/afstrinity?blend=2&ob=1

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freerider 4 years, 7 months ago

If you watch the you tube video and your pissed off that you can't buy a car like this you should be screaming at your congressman....I've written to jerk head Bennet many times and before him Salazar with zero response ... the oil company's have them all by the balls

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seeuski 4 years, 7 months ago

freerider, I can totally agree with you, there has been oil company conspiracies for nearly a hundred years. Look up Jack Philby,Kim Philby, Alan Dulles follow those trails. A good read that gets into the oil wars and power struggle is"The Secret War Against The Jews". It's a long one though.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 7 months ago

Makes no sense to use solar to make oil. Makes far more sense to use solar to make electricity. Just like it makes no sense to use nat gas and tons of water to make oil from tar sands. We'd be far better off pipelining that nat gas to consumers.

I don't see the big deal with AFS Trinity, looks to me like some company that makes a plug in hybrid. Looks like they claim to have a patent on the idea of using capacitors and batteries. I can see why Detroit and other auto manufacturers would not want to pay royalties on that patent because it would seem to be an old idea and they don't need that patent.

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freerider 4 years, 7 months ago

Scott you kinda missed the point , Congress is setting bar too freking low for MGP ratings regardless if you think the technology is valid or not and the fact that the oil company's are dictating policy ....altenative hybrids are being passed over , this is just one example...if you could drive a car that 150 MPG or one that gets 15 MPG which one would you choose ??

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freerider 4 years, 7 months ago

Here's something else to think about regarding the recent off shore drilling accident , maybe it wasn't an accident at all , maybe OPEC paid somebody off to blow the rig , Opec has been paying off the EPA for years to prevent the U.S.A. from drilling our reserves...the U.S.A. is sitting on the world's biggest oil deposit's in the world .

But guess who is preventing us from drilling ?? The EPA

Now in light of what just happened in the gulf guess what ?? it's going to be a tough sell to drill off shore . OPEC is dancing on tables right now

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 7 months ago

You want Congress to mandate plug in hybrids and ban non hybrids? Talk about government takeover.

Lithium Ion batteries and ultra capacitors are not cheap. Their hybrid is at least $50K and probably closer to $100K.

Maybe Congress did set the bar low for MPG, but what they did is a heck of an improvement. If we improve average mpg of US vehicles from about 20 mpg to about 30 then we cut our usage by a third. That would be huge.

And during the middle of this massive oil blow out you are mad at the EPA for not allowing more accidents?

So OPEC had a guy dive down to 5,000 ft to tie some propane tank to the well and blow it up? Those guys and their friends cannot even make a car bomb that blows up and you think they sabotaged a well 5,000 ft underwater?

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the_Lizard 4 years, 7 months ago

Yampavalleyboy Some sources for funding of YVSC:

Funding from the city of Steamboat Springs, Routt County and other fundraising efforts have allowed the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council to hire Anne Mudgett as its first part-time employee starting this month. http://www.steamboatpilot.com/news/20... .

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Matthew Stoddard 4 years, 7 months ago

LOL @ George! Had I not looked at the posting name, I'da thunk someone's spelling became more coherent, but only a smidge.

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John Fielding 4 years, 7 months ago

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Regardless, it is not sound policy to send so much wealth out of our country to buy energy from people who hate and fear us and what we stand for.

We can make it here from sun, wind, waves, and yes nukes and fossil fuels too. Make electricity, turn it into hydrogen and pump it through the pipelines.

But the fastest, easiest new source is conservation. An old idea, once known as thrift.

That said, we still must use it to create value from it. Conservation for its own sake makes little sense

Take water for instance. Many excellent uses are forgone in construction due to regulations mandating trucking it to the site instead of using the hydrant (they can be metered). Dust control and improved germination and growth of erosion preventing cover plantings to mention a couple.

So lets use it, lets use lots of it, just making sure we are being productive not wasteful.

Let us be fruitful and multiply and replenish the Earth.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 7 months ago

John, You are right that conservation is smart. It will also be painfully natural as prices go up. And they will. We got a break in prices only because our economy slumped and so did its demand for oil. Prices are now going up because the other big players and their economies have kept growing. When our economy gets out of bed, maybe even before, oil prices will be pissing us off anew.

But its hard to grasp when it comes to water, the next wall we will hit, you are thinking "lets use it, lets use lots of it..." Which John are you?

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 7 months ago

free, Perhaps the "60 minutes" interview of the drill rig's chief electronics officer would convince you? According to him, BP's guy overruled the drill rig's guy and when they capped the finished shaft, they skipped the fluid usually placed as back pressure against leaks up the shaft. The methane gas in the shaft leaked through a broken plug and literally became the atmosphere on the rig, thereby being sucked into the rig's generators. The generators went turbo and things started blowing up.

But the rig also made bad calls, such as ignoring the pieces of the broken plug that came up the shaft, and ignoring a dead backup device. The "conspiracy" was about their own bottom lines. The free market does need responsible people involved and mechanisms/regulations keeping a lid on this behavior. The question is who will be the responsible people. Everyone can get greedy, even those in the Dept of Interior. This is another arena where we should get more conservative. But that will probably amount to another conspiracy to you? I read this blog and one thing's for sure, being conservative doesn't mean what it used to mean.

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canyonwind 4 years, 7 months ago

sounds like a fundraiser to me. these guys are no different than the oil companies they bash. They will talk about the end times, maybe play that tired old song global warming just forget the May snow. touch on the spill in the Gulf and then somehow tie in SB1070 in Arizona. and yes someone will buy this steaming pile and lick it up. another fun night in the boat

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John Fielding 4 years, 7 months ago

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Lewi,

Whether it is water, fuel, land, bio-resources, or human power it is all the same. These are the means and materials to use for worthy purposes, to ends that fulfill the purpose of life. They are too precious to abuse and waste.

(The purpose of life being to create and advance. It's what Life does).

.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 7 months ago

Let's keep John Fielding the 4th in mind, eh?

And strive to leave him a finer place than we enjoyed.

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ybul 4 years, 7 months ago

Scott,

the point was that oil is simply a store of solar energy (as plants captured that solar energy and died and stored it under ground for years where it fermented and became oil under heat and pressure. Just as technology exists to make diamonds, technology exists to make oil.

In addition if the wind blew or the sun shined all the time there would be no need for storing the produced energy somehow. Yet it does not and somehow it needs to be stored so it can be used in transportation or other devices which are not stationary. Oil is an energy storage device that has an easy distribution channel already developed. Batteries have there own problems, aicd gassing (I know from driving my ev I built), disposal and what to do in the event of an accident, as an acid spill is not something our first responders are trained to deal with, nor would any people standing by that happened to get the acid on them be equipped to deal with the burns that would develop.

So while one can say that oil is evil and why waste the time with using it as a store of energy, it probably is the easiest one for our country to convert to. Wind to make the hydrogen (30% of e- is lost in transmission), carbon first from coal and then from carbon capturing devices in our technology and then heat from solar concentrators which have been developed and concentrate the heat to 5000 degrees fusing the hydrogen to the carbon giving you a hydrocarbon battery.

Fort those stuck on carbon emissions, you really need to open your mind to the fact that our soils have lost over 50% of their organic matter (carbon) and if we move away from industrial row cropping back towards pastoral agricultural systems all that excess carbon would be returned to our soils leading to a more sustainable system.

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John Fielding 4 years, 7 months ago

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Has anyone developed a technique for taking CO2 and using it to boost the organic component of soil? There is the old slow way of course, photosynthesis.

Which brings up the most powerful of the new technologies, now just emerging on the stage, bioengineering.

Our historic practices in this field of breeding animals and hybridizing plants will soon (this century?) seem primitive by comparison. We will be able to create life forms to do our bidding.

Imagine crops that produce thousands of tons per acre of feed on what is now marginal range-land. Or 4000 pound cattle? Super-photosynthesizers converting many times their mass of CO2 into hydrocarbons each day?

I have always wanted to get a tree to grow into a living highway bridge. I hope someday we have created the type of world where our posterity can achieve such miracles.

But to get there we must continue the creativity and advancement that are our mandate. We must continue to build educational institutions, improve energy production and delivery systems, transportation and food production, advance philosophy and the arts, promote understanding and cooperation among the peoples of the earth, uplift the oppressed into freedom and the destitute into sufficiency.

A tall order? Perhaps, but within our capability. But we will not do it by believing that we have reached our peak and from here must retreat.

The most important knowledge we have gained in recent centuries is not any of our technologies but rather the realization of the interconnectedness of life. That is now beginning to drive our decision making, sometimes a little erratically as we explore the new concepts, but in a direction that can lead us to a future where the ultimate potential of life may be expressed.

.

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John Fielding 4 years, 7 months ago

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PS Steve,

4th in mind? I don't get it, what does it mean?

.

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ybul 4 years, 7 months ago

The old slow way of sequestering carbon? Gee, I guess you know lots on the subject.

Abe Collins with Carbon Farmers of America is working with farmers/ranchers to utilize grazing techniques which simulate nature, more importantly the predator-prey relationship that our grasslands evolved under. Where massive herds tens of thousands of animals were in tightly packed herds. Moved in a "mob" and grazed an area and moved on, leaving it ample time to rest and recover before they made it back to the same area.

He uses grazing techniques along with sub soil tillage which has grown topsoil (carbon that was in the atmosphere and now in the soil) by three inches per year (the old slow method is believed to be about 1 inch in 50 years). This is happening while water infiltration is going up at the same time. On one ND ranch he has worked with, they have increased water infiltration from less than 1 inch per hour to over 17 inches per hour.

When the flooding occurred several years ago in ND, while other areas were shedding water, his farm was storing all of that water for later discharge into the water system, slow percolation back into the water shed.

You really are out there, just because we can Genetically modify stuff does not mean it is the best course of action.

One only needs to look to the super weeds that are evolving to be resistant to Roundup, pretty much the only conventional method for eradicating weeds. Of course one could simply use goats and a herder to take that captured solar energy and turn it into food energy for people or pets. But that would be insane to think there is a natural answer to the problem.

Like the dreams, just seem so far out of touch with reality, and the progress being made by simulating nature, with relatively new simple technology and a change in mindset

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 7 months ago

Making oil is energy intensive and has bad environmental consequences. We'd actually be better off burning coal tor electricity to make up the gaps of wind and solar.

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ybul 4 years, 7 months ago

Bad environmental consequences? yes the stink at the plants in MO that made it from chicken/turkey offal was awful, from what I hear, but excluding a spill, I see no more than with any other technology.

To be honest, this technology (http://www.advbiorefineryinc.ca/home/), which makes oil, might actually have positive environmental benefits, in a soil amendment (terra preta).

Coal can not make up for the gaps in demand as it takes too long to ramp up or down. Where as natural gas can, this can be made too from biomass. But we need our eggs to be in several baskets.

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ybul 4 years, 7 months ago

Can you tell me how mining coal would have any less environmental impacts. Not too mention the fact most coal mining is underground and subject to disaster and the loss of lives.

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ybul 4 years, 7 months ago

on energy intensiveness, if you lose 30% o the energy in transmission for e-, if you could take that loss factor and use that in the creation of oil, how would that be any more energy intensive?

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John Fielding 4 years, 7 months ago

ybul

Thanks for the report on Carbon Farmers, they are an excellent example of what can be achieved by applying human ingenuity to enhance natures processes.

Genetic modifications are very much the same thing. The day of creating organisms from scratch is far off, but making small and cumulative changes to existing life forms and environments is ongoing, has been for millennia, results generally beneficial.

Buffalo no longer roam the plains, but it is the breadbasket of the world, and high quality animal proteins are still produced there as well. That is all the result of human manipulation of life. We are simply learning to do it on a micro level, within the cell, instead of at the species or habitat level.

The advances of the near future will be mostly with small or single cell organisms such as yeasts, algae, bacteria, etc. There is great potential in the virus model of a sub-cellular genetic package changing the operations of the cell.

Nature already does it. As a part of nature ourselves we are just continuing on the path Life has brought us along and directed us toward.

.

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ybul 4 years, 7 months ago

Yep nature does it, but does not cross strawberries with fish.

The ego of men to think that we will be able to control the unintended consequences, which we have no idea what they will be when you start mixing species through gene splicing.

Here is a quote for you to ponder...

Soil scientist Michael Crofoot has said, "Ecological processes are not only more complex than we think, they are more complex than we can ever think.”

Most of the time we look to one, two, ten variables and yet so many are at play in whatever we are trying to do that we end up simply moving further from our goal.

Just as Brownlee fails to look at all variables at play, in my opinion, those on the other side of the fence fail to realize there is common ground that we all would like to be at, if we united.

Making oil using wind, solar concentrators and a source of carbon is little different than the mfg process for solar panels. Both have negative impacts and yet solar is thought of as a holy grail. yet those plants are very toxic and the panels only last 20-30 years before there production falls.

A more local food shed, yields more jobs, probably a better income distribution across the board and many positives, that 99% of the population would like to see. Not socialism, simply coming to grips with there are structural issues within our society which tend to concentrate wealth. One being an oil centric society which allows one to do more work with less and the other major component is the banking/stock market system we have today. These are items which facilitate the concentration of wealth.

The concentration of wealth is a bigger problem to me than the overhyped peak oil cataclysm that people are running in fear from. Global warming is another fear based motivator that the sheeple run from in fear as chicken little has said the sky is falling, especially in relation to CO2.

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John Fielding 4 years, 7 months ago

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ybul I agree with pretty much all your points. And we should defiantly not cross strawberries with fish, who would want to eat them.

But we do not have to understand the entire ecological process to determine that changing a few genes will result in elimination of a common birth defect in humans, increase cold hardiness in tomatoes, or enable a useful algae to reproduce many times faster than before

There will likely be "unpleasant" consequences as well, much like introduction of non-native species to a previously "stable" environment can cause loss of indigenous species that we preferred.

But in Natures way, a new stability emerges. The fact that we liked it better the old way is about as significant as the grizzly resenting the reduction of his range. They become accustomed to avoiding the ranches full of calves and sheep as a survival mechanism.

The notion that a bird dropping seeds of salt cedar on a foreign shore is an unintentional act by the bird, and our transplanting it is intentional by us is beside the point. In each case the intention of Life was served. (BTW have you seen the success in salt cedar control achieved in the test areas where they relocated the plants natural parasite form China?)

The fact is we do not know how much we do not know. We prize our awareness and speak of it as if it is exclusive to us, but that is only one of the many planes of awareness in Life. Within our bodies are billions of cells which possess an awareness of their own, self from non self, time to eat, time to reproduce.

Life has a direction, like time. It has an order, like gravity. It has awareness and intelligence, some manifestations of which we are familiar with. We are its agents, unwitting or otherwise.

Nothing we can do can stop it, but we may serve to promote it, as we are intended to. Our challenge is to do so while we maintain aspects such as reverence, dignity, compassion, hope, and joy.

.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 7 months ago

John, "Life has a direction... Nothing we can do to stop it". Huh. I'll acknowledge humans, as a civilization, are prone to changing little. We spend much more time reacting than pro-acting. Agreeing on even what a problem is seems harder than ever. But "nothing we can do" is still a terrible philosophy. Maybe you didn't mean it that way.

My reference to John the 4th, was a reference to our great grandkids. Hope they fair better than we do. Rather than enjoy a cozy impotence, we should try to reduce the obvious problems they will face. There is something we can do, at least on a personal level.

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John Fielding 4 years, 7 months ago

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Steve, you are right, that is not a philosophy, just an observation of our condition.

Not that we would want to. but we cannot stop Life anymore than stop time or gravity.

Nor change its direction, but only realize we are part of the process, and try to do it well.

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ybul 4 years, 7 months ago

I think that the oil leak in the gulf has changed life's direction. Also, we have created the starlight gene in corn which is a wonderful pesticide, that is killing good bugs along with the bag, no way to control the application of this pesticide.

What about the pollen drift that could occur from one farm to another that contaminates my crops with GMO genes? I have ZERO desire for them on my Ranch/Farm and in the long run will eliminate my ability to produce organic foods as GMO's are not acceptable, in organic food production.

Then if you want to go to crop yields and how GMO's are better, pointing to studies that show as much. I will point out that any time that you give someone a lab and a million dollars (probably more today) they will prove whatever you want, rerun the tests or skew the input data to show that.

Call me a cynic and I will go out and provide you with references to people who are beating year in year out crop yields of industrial agriculture.

I spoke at length about the results that Abe is having and how can we do a study to prove these results, to change the paradigm that is out there. Unfortunately, it comes down to money to pay the professors in the hallowed university halls as they can not do the research without being paid (yet farmers many times are expected to work for next to nothing, needing off farm income to survive).

Would be nice to have an unending pot of money so that I could fund the study that NEEDS to be done so we can stop the insanity that grain subsidies have created in this country, health issues, environmental problems, and a deepening concentration of farms in the country and more so the seed production which Monsanto, your GMO friend, holds over most farmers, raising prices far faster than the funds than the farmers receive in return to boost their bottom line.

I am done speaking to the subject as this is getting no where, you hold your beliefs I hold mine.

However, your last post seems to show some humility in that we are very subservient to the natural process' that will always push forward. My problem is that you seem to think it is a good idea for us to splice genes (and yes they are splicing genes of fish into strawberries, or something similar which could never happen naturally).

BTW, as you said you do not know me from adam.

I have been raising grass finished beef north of Craig, CO for 8 years. Not making any money doing so though and trying to market my beef like Omaha steaks, without shipping outside of the northern front range for years as This market can not assimilate all of the animal products raised here. So while I do a little marketing in NW Colorado, I focus my efforts outside of the region, helping to create more jobs and bring more outside money into the area.

John Weibel Rockin J Cattle

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John Fielding 4 years, 7 months ago

John,

I commend your efforts, particularly in raising awareness. I do recognize hazards and problems will attend implementation of our new ways of altering lifeforms. They are similar to hazards from environmental impacts we have had in the past, habitat degradation, loss of species, introduction of noxious weeds, etc.

The new techniques are here, and advancing. It is unlikely they will be made illegal, and even that would not stop their use. We need to manage this tool as wisely as we can.

My main point is that in the big picture we will not change the direction of life, it will advance, with or without us. If we are wise we may continue to be a part of it. If we are very foolish we may delay its advance on this planet for a few hundred million years at most. But Life has that much time to spare.

I support the conservation and wise use of all our resources. I am an advocate of natural processes, actually tried to make a living at organic vegetable farming back in 1979. I got a lot of ribbons at the fair, and my earthworms got a foot long, but the market was not ready yet.

Most of all I support Respect. I have a reverence for Life that pervades my existence. Some close encounters with the Reaper help keep me humble and grateful.

But I know many will not share the long view and can cause much misery for others as a result. I try to help raise awareness as the best recourse.

.I am sure we share many more points of view than we differ on. Thank you for your efforts .

.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 7 months ago

John W., Rockin J is the only beef we buy. Its great. Thanks for your enterprise and for going local.

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ybul 4 years, 7 months ago

Thank You Steve.

I just can't drop it. Yep the new techniques are here, even in trying to revert to a system that existed when the prairies evolved. We only move our cattle once a day, though the best at high density grazing are moving there cattle 4+ times per day, stocking there cattle at a million pounds per acre and seeing crop yields go up 6 fold over their neighbors.

There real question you need to ask is what is our goal as humans and as we can only influence on the fringes of the system. We need to sit back and ensure that our decisions are moving us closer to our goal whatever that may be.

Is introducing a non-native species, a new genetically modified one with no history in the environment anywhere a good idea. Drilling for Oil in the Gulf appeared to be a good idea, I normally would be indifferent to the idea, as it is a tool to move us to more energy independence. Though eliminating grain subsidies and subsequently a farming practice which consumes 15-25% of all energy used in this country moves us toward a goal we all share energy independence. I get to the personal level on the subject and any time I use energy I am simply burning money and trying to eliminate the practice as much as possible.

I guarantee we can feed far more people on this planet going back to traditional farming methods. Yes we are not going to have the "vibrant" economy which we have today, but many times I think we are spending money in hopes of making more and our returns are so small it makes no sense to be running as fast as we are on the hamster wheel. Maybe, less is more.

The real reason I am not making money is I am trying to have my coworkers be co-owners and had the wrong individual helping me last year. That cost me a lot of money in trying to help him out. Oh well, I will try to realize my mistake quicker, have better communication and hopefully we move forward in the coming months and year. So that I reach my goals of helping others get ahead in life, have a high quality food at a reasonable price, one that helps to maintain health not deteriorate it and of course make a modest income for myself so that I can enjoy time with my family as that is most important to me.

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Jeff_Kibler 4 years, 7 months ago

ybul,

Are you planning to vend at the Steamboat Farmer's Market this summer on the courthouse lawn? It'd be great to see you there.

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John Fielding 4 years, 7 months ago

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I propose our goal as humans be to achieve evolution rather than extinction.

Steve mentioned thinking of John the 4th, lets also think of Steve the 10 to the 1000th.

We are planning for him to still be tending our nuclear waste.to

Can we engineer a bug to eat it and poop it out safe?

It's worth looking into.

.

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ybul 4 years, 7 months ago

Yep, that is the plan. Though I am not sure when it starts this year. I have been preoccupied on trying to grow to the next level on a shoestring budget.

You go John. Build your bugs, just don't let them near me as chaos theory would say that we screw up.

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John Fielding 4 years, 7 months ago

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You go too John.

What you and Carbon Farmers are doing is the right thing for today.

If we keep doing the right thing for today everyday, the future will turn out OK.

.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 7 months ago

John F., Keep your bugs away from me too. Natural evolution is fine. Evolution in a test tube is not. 95% of those test tubes are seeking newgoo #x that will make them money. The consequences of #x beyond their business plan are guesswork, if not avoided altogether. Its about making maximum $$. Side effects are obviously minimized in that equation. And ybul is right about the chaos.

In my opinion, your faith in engineering is misplaced. If you want to see "evolution, and not extinction", you might reconsider. You seem to be a "big picture" kind of guy. In the big picture to date, hasn't engineering caused more extinction than evolution?

The big picture can also mean no focus. Again, I suggest considering your impacts on John Fielding the 4th. Putting your sights on John the 100th, as you offer, seems like closing your eyes. Your cause and effect on John the 100th is impossibly remote and intangible. "Life will happen" strikes me as a similar choice. There is little responsibility to be found in that choice.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 7 months ago

Interesting to get this link fwd from my Louisiana cousins, raised in that oil industry, with the subject line,"Oil slick I HAD NO IDEA HOW BAD IT WAS AS EARLY AS IT WAS: SEE THESE..."

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/05/disaster_unfolds_slowly_in_the.html?s_campaign=8315

I doubt they're still singing Palin's refrain.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 7 months ago

Steve, Evolution has caused far more extinction than human activity including engineering. We know from fossils and DNA that there have been far more forms of life that have gone extinct than are alive now.

Also, it would seem that human activity is far more of a cause of extinction of species than engineering. Sure some giant dam or such may have eliminated some species, but simple folk clearing land for farming has probably killed the most species.

Though, I agree with the premise that it is not wise to allow a problem to exist and worsen on the expectation or hope that engineering will come up with a solution. Engineering can help control the effects of a problem, but rarely without secondary effects.

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seeuski 4 years, 7 months ago

Uh, the POTUS had just presented an oil drilling plan that expanded gulf drilling and he was the top recipient of BP donations during the 2008 campaign cycle. So go ahead and blame Sarah Palin till it hurts. It took POTUS two weeks to react to the disaster, if this were any Republican POTUS the Lame Streamers would be 24/7 attacking. Why did this happen after what, 50 years of gulf drilling? This is a terrible tragedy. Run Sarah Run in 2012. They said Reagan had no shot also.

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ybul 4 years, 7 months ago

See, You know, you and I probably agree on most things but really if Sarah is running she will lose. I can not think of many people helping to push for Ron Paul in 2007, where I was, that would have voted for Palin. In addition most people who associate with the tea party, or used to before the racist smear campaign, did not believe Palin was competent according to a NY Times article.

Scott, Yes you may be right you may be wrong, I think that the industrial ag system today is responsible for a lot. However, we have seen a wolverine, thought I saw a ferret, have hundreds if not thousands + of sage grouse on our property (saw about 100 in one field last fall and would have guessed thousands one winter day several years ago, the predators have probably done more harm to them than man as we used to have thousands of rabbits and now they are hard to find).

So the idea that we "simple folk" have caused more extinctions is probably off the mark. I think the corporate farmers, not simple folk might prove you right and those hundreds of years ago. However to think that agriculture can not coexist with the wildlife is pretty far off the mark.

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seeuski 4 years, 7 months ago

ybul, I looked into Ron Paul and he represents a different type of radicalism to me. The types of followers that he attracts and that attended his town halls seemed to want things that are against what I see as important, for one the support of Israel. Sarah Palin is, in my opinion, a perfect choice because she has no allegiances to any of the political machines or groups as the rest of the field and she absolutely has executive leadership experience. Until she was picked by John McCain and the Liberal attack media went after her she had an 80% approval rating in Alaska, the highest of any Governor in the US. The thing that confuses me with some Ron Paul supporters who think Palin is too Conservative is that he is staunchly pro life and anti abortion and has affiliations with very ultra conservative Christian leaders like Chuck Baldwin. Sarah Palin is left of center compared to some of Ron Pauls positions, but maybe that's what you want. So yea we agree on much and maybe more than that, but not Ron Paul. People have under estimated Sarah in the past but the left wing attacks that she receives consistently show a level of fear on their part that this woman can win.

"Ron Paul added: "[This support has] been going on for more than 50 years, because there has been a pretty strong case made for the Jewish people being treated quite badly, and emotionally there was an argument for having a place they can call their homeland, and people bought into this."

Yea, I can't get behind that kind of shameful rhetoric. And as a matter of fact Sarah Palin is wearing a pin that depicts the flags of the USA and Israel side by side. I'm all in for that.

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seeuski 4 years, 7 months ago

And anyone who has run from the Tea Party because of the lying propaganda campaign of it being racist were not truly committed to what it stands for. Popularity in these times is the last thing we need to worry about, how about whether or not we retain the Republic that our founders fought for and gave to us? The freedom to complain may be a thing of the past some day.

How about a little dose of Greece brought to you by the nice folks at SEIU and delivered by the DC Police into Rockville MD, not their jurisdiction, and authorized by whom? http://bigjournalism.com/acary/2010/05/21/d-c-metro-police-escorted-seiu-protesters-to-greg-baers-home/

If any Republican POTUS had the connections that Obama has to these thugs we would have 24/7 coverage.

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ybul 4 years, 7 months ago

that is my only problem with his platform. Though the point was that I think you are backing an unelectable candidate.

In addition, trying to draw in more people to support the movement would be good as opposed to rallying behind a polarizing figure.

I believe that most issues can find common ground if we stop the insanity of the federal government. A good example is animal ID where I get to tell the government when a calf is born on a 1-4 square mile pasture within 24 hours, when they move from place to place or face a $5000/occurrence, all in the guise of animal health even though the purported program is not 100% effective and the system we have does a pretty good job. In addition to all of the town hall meetings last year that had thousands of people protesting the legislation. So what the heck lets rename it and try to shove it back down their throats.

I think you could do better in promoting your views if you tried to establish common ground and move from there.

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seeuski 4 years, 7 months ago

I have put my beliefs out there, it is no mystery where I stand, and as you said earlier we have common ground. You believe Palin is unelectable and I said she has been under estimated before just like Reagan was. Who would be the candidate that represents common ground here? I would welcome Mike Pence, Michelle Bachman and a few others but not Ron Paul. Heck, the NJ Governor looks pretty good. I do see your point that differing issues, as they effect people like you and I personally, can only be successfully addressed by Constitutional Conservatives at the helm.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 7 months ago

ybul, When I talked about simple folk clearing land, I was not thinking about you or this area. I was thinking about how Europe and the Northeast US was once forest that has almost totally been cleared. I was pointing out that human population simply overwhelming an area has been a major cause of extinctions.

Right now the battle ground for extinctions and such are rain forest and jungle areas. Some of which is being cleared by corporations looking for cheap land to farm and some by growing populations.

I do not know much about the system for tracking cattle, but the old system was obviously flawed. When we had Mad Cow scares and they weren't sure of where the animals had been then that needed to be fixed. If the question is between the old system and the new system then certainly the new system looks better to the consumer since the old system failed to work in highly publicized cases. If you ranchers were to propose a system that is 100% effective that was less burdensome and didn't cost more then I think that would have a very good chance of being accepted. But defending the old system was just not politically feasible for the industry's customers, the beef eating public.

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ybul 4 years, 7 months ago

The problem with the mad cow scare is that the USDA will not allow small plants test all cattle for mad cow disease. Can't remember the plant that invested a million dollars to test all of their animals to ship to Japan, to ensure no contaminated animals get into the system, but they can not do so. This as the USDA is doing a good enough job. If someone wants to go above and beyond to ensure safety why stop them.

If the government wants to ensure no mad cow then allow all people who want to test every animal to test them. The government is not working for us they are working for their own and corporate interests.

BTW, mad cow is not communicable so can not be caught via a cough. Then if it were foot and mouth, that could be carried via elk, deer, etc. from farm to farm with no traceability. The system down under in Austrailia is similar to what they are trying to implement here, yet the advocates in the ranching community are coming here to speak against it, in hopes of helping us avoid their pitfalls and they are major, equipment not working, when a mistake in data entry is made it is impossible to correct.

The people working for the government were giving up on the system as they felt that it was not working also.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 7 months ago

But Mad Cow has been linked to contaminated feed and so it would be nice to identify others that ate the same feed and so on and then locate them for evaluation. UPS and FEDEX track millions of packages and tracks them onto and off every truck at every sorting facility and can profitably deliver a package for $10. It is not obvious why tracking cattle in a similar fashion should be that difficult or be an onerous burden. The problems you list (equipment not working and data entry errors) are details of properly implementing the plan, not the plan itself.

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ybul 4 years, 7 months ago

Yep UPS accounts for tons of packages every day and probably makes more per hour for their effort. You see their is an economies of scale thing built into their system they scan 100's of packages with each scanner every day.

I would use mine very infrequently.

So I have to adjust my business model in order to tag every calf within 24 hours to satisfy your food safety concerns, yet my cattle are grazing on large areas do not need human intervention to stress out a baby calve right when it is born to tag it. So given the proposal I will face stiff fines of over 5% of my current hopeful profit (including wages) if I fail to report a birth, death, movement immediately to the government.

Sorry but given that many days when I move my cattle I spend 16 hours of that day working as it is and I need to do more work. Sure, I suppose I can pay all of my profit (including wages) to someone else so that I can comply.

Yet all the while if the government allowed an inexpensive test, about $10, to be preformed your desires for a secure food supply would be satisfied. Yet my expenses will be far more than $10 as the RFID tags that they want us to use are just under half of that.

Guess I could brand them so they new where they came from, oh yea I do. I have the paperwork that shows where the animals I bought came from also, typically have a sworn statement that says what the animals were fed if I buy them as I hope to sell them without feeding them animal byproducts, also we typically have documentation on which animals received any medication also.

Yep it is on that antiquated paper system. You know the best way to ensure your food is safe is to know who produced it as opposed to some new fangled system which, probably will do nothing to solve our problems, just create more work for me and in the summer I work way to much as it is, because I like what I do. However, I do not feel the need to tag every chicken, pig, goat whatever other critter I have on my farm for your peace of mind. Come out and see where they live. They do want every chicken tagged unless they are the same age and will live out there lives the same, which probably can only happen in a confinement setting.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 6 months ago

I can't get over this feeling that, in this oil spill, our way of life has just fouled its own bed. I pray they get the damn thing stopped.

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John Fielding 4 years, 6 months ago

.

Hey there everybody! Been offline a while, funny how you miss this place.

Now in New England, visiting my 90ish parents. What an abundance of Life here, green and lush, overwhelming all in its forward rush.

A meadow I cleared 25 years ago now covered with saplings as thick as my wrist so close you can't squeeze through them.

I may recieve the calling of tending my folks in their final years, and come to live at the farm again for a while. If so I will clear that meadow again.

But this time I have neither the energy nor impatience of youth, so I will not use the tractor and chainsaw method again. I will send in the goats, followed by the pigs.

When closely confined, and with a little incentive such as corn cached under a stump with a crowbar, they will render the land fit fot planting for me.

I consider it an appropriate manipulation of life and the enviornment. And I don't like the thought that I may have to register my pigs and chickens.

In looking through my fathers files I have been re acquainted with his poetry He has given his permission for it to be shared here. I hope you enjoy it.

.

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John Fielding 4 years, 6 months ago

ONE DAY IN THE WOODS

I went into my woods one day, to see
Some views that nature had withheld from me
Behind a growth of thickest, screening veil
Along an often traveled woodland trail.

My passing sight before had marked the place As one that justified a slower pace. There seemed to be a marsh, kept from a slope By some piled stones; a wall, I guessed, with hope; For walls intrigue my curiosity As artifacts of human energy.

Perhaps a meadow, overgrown, lay there--
By some old orchard, out of loving care.
These could be restored (if here they lay) 
For past and future joined, is nature's way.

Such tumbling, wishful thoughts are one day's need,
Disowned, sometimes, by next day's lack of deed.
Knowing this propensity, I had planned ahead;
I had both time and tools at hand.

Starting by the stones, I cut through the screen
With sharpest pruning shears; these soon were green
As with the blood of enemies.  
No name for these but brush, once they are dead;
The same fate for those in bloom.
Mixed emotion sometimes stayed my shears;
And my attention wandered from the task.

There was a wall; none I knew had larger stones;
And these all stacked as by some great giant of a man,
How else, I'll never know.
Where it's line ran, 
Some deep serenity seemed to abide;
As though, along its course, perhaps inside as well,
By some artifice
Lasting trace of man remained
Which time could not erase.

Along its upper side, there came a sight,
More like a vision; still more like the fright
Of coming suddenly next to death;
A shock that leaves you cold, and out of breath.

One gnarled apple tree stood on rock-strewn ground; One only left of others once around. Pinned there, so it seemed, by numberless spears, Thrown down as by the sun Demanding years of solitary life; And less to kill than to confine.

Some dominating will kept it alive, though caged.
A few green leaves--small and pale, more like tears 
From one who grieves overlong without hope;
On boughs, riven through by those rooted shafts,
Long since driven and now upward grown--kept it in life.
As though on guard for more offensive strife
(Or was it meant as supplication)?
Two shattered limbs were raised to heaven.

Let those who seek to look on beauty bare

Know that for other sights they must prepare --as now I know. I thought awhile if I should let those other private things go by. One truth today should be enough.

But no, there was the other side.
I had to go across the wall.  Perhaps there was beauty;
There too, was my early sense of duty.
I stayed to set the prisoner free
And made atonement with my sacrificial blade.
That act gave me better peace of mind
And freed me, too, for what I next should find.

.

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John Fielding 4 years, 6 months ago

.

Nearby, a brook lay in its willowed bed
On soiled blankets; its quiet arms outspread.
I thought it dead; but it was only sleeping;
I saw it move and heard its life-keeping
Pulses sounding, far away.

All around was reedy marsh.
On every bit of ground above the listless flood,
A crown of thorns was spread;
And velvet-antlered sumac horns were there as jewels; 
But luster-less now as dried blood.

This marsh had been a meadow, where hay grew, in the sun Before something crept into bed with the brook, pretending to be a blanket. Tufts of flowers grew where now those thorns held place. It knew the keen blade and steady sweep of reaping scythe, Making harvest for the mow.

Sighing, I turned away
No love I had could do what that past demanded.
This too was truth.  It was too much for me.
Today was done, and so was dreaming.
Nature's way had won.
I'll let her be as private as she needs;
At least, she uses screens to hide such deeds.

Then, from the marsh, a brace of ducks took flight
And circling, looked for some new place to light.
And from the wall, a rabbit fled in fright;
A startled grouse beat up, and out of sight.
I saw the moss and lichen on each stone
As though they were from artists' pallets grown.
A dove coo'ed; and I heard the peepers sing;
The woodland seemed to love each living thing.
Perhaps, I thought, my judgment is too harsh--
Is meadow really better than a marsh?

I made another path, to where the brook
Cascaded down in song;
And stayed to look within each rippling pool
That caught the sun
And made a thousand mirrors, just for fun.
Along its course, both up and down, were ferns
And blossomed laurel; beauty seen by turns.
On one small branch, a chickadee
Sang as he worked, and scarcely glanced at me.

This beauty I had come on unaware
Displaced the pain I felt on entering there.
Someone had loved the apple trees and hay;
Some others love what I look on today.
Joy had only gone to joy; but for me
Each joy was seen; and each had need to be.
Some compromise I'll seek, that I may keep
Both joys alive.  Such harvests I would reap!

.R. Kent Fielding

.

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Duke_bets 4 years, 6 months ago

The auto industry has had the technology to produce 40 mpg cars and trucks for decades. I'm not talking about the Geo Metro either.

Big oil obviously does not support that, so here we are in granola land.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 6 months ago

Nice poems John. Best wishes for your family.

This one is from the Gulf. And typical of CNN, it doesn't rhyme:

Ten miles off the coast of Louisiana, where the air tastes like gasoline and the ocean looks like brownie batter…

Dolphins have washed up dead. Endangered sea turtles have been found with oil stuck on their corneas.

Lifeless brown pelicans, classified as endangered until recently, have been carried away in plastic bags. Beaches in Grand Isle, Louisiana, are spattered with gobs of sticky crude.

And when the moon rises over the coast there, the oil-soaked ocean sparkles like cellophane under a spotlight.

Scientists know much less about what's happening (below) in these invisible reaches of the Gulf ecosystem. As one oceanographer put it, a Chernobyl-sized catastrophe could be brewing under the sea. Or the environment here may be dodging a huge bullet.

If scientists' worst fears are realized, the oil plume in the Gulf could choke off and kill coastal marshes in the productive Mississippi Delta and barrier islands,… That would snap the region's marine food chain, exposing and starving all kinds of organisms. … the impacts of such an occurrence would last for a century.

Equally frightening, the oil also could spawn a massive oxygen-free "dead zone" deep in the Gulf's waters, which would suffocate all marine life on the ocean floor. Samantha Joye, an oceanographer at the University of Georgia, said that if that happens, the dead zone could change marine chemistry in the Gulf of Mexico forever.

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John Fielding 4 years, 6 months ago

.

.                         ECOLOGY

Man does not belong to earth as other living things,
Not since he forsook the caves as predatory king.
When he slew the ancient herds and gathered for his food
He was then a part of life that Nature understood.

Man creates; and sentient man destroys the prime intent
Nature had, as manager of life.
Her fullest bent runs against his strongest will
To change the earth to his design
Of what he thinks should be;
She spares no force from this.

Sun and ice, the flooding rain and rumbling earthquake
Tell Nature wants man's work undone
And will not rest, until She has her way.
Yield She does; with patience that surveys
The limits She can let him go
Before She ends his ways.

Quietly She rolls the earth
And tolls each measured day
Until that life which challenged Her
Subsides, and wastes away.

R. Kent Fielding 2/23/73

.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 6 months ago

The air tastes like gasoline. Need more suntan cream?

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ybul 4 years, 6 months ago

I like the method of clearing your land, John. That is the way to do it, it is much better for us to try to work with the force of nature rather than trying to bend it.

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