Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Generation that "Could but Wouldn't"

Will we will be the generation that future generations blame for failing to protect the earth. Will we be the generation that could have saved the planet but decided not to?

Each day dozens of e-mails hit my inbox attesting to the perilous state of our environment and the deplorable state of some of our most endangered species. The gray wolf is under attack in many states where complete annihilation is the only thing that will satisfy the cattle industry. The only wild buffalo herd left in the United States is being systematically hazed and killed by those we entrusted with their care. Whales continue to be killed by Japan and Iceland. The oceans are approaching collapse. The National Parks are being starved of funds needed to keep them healthy as mining and gas and oil interests continue to try to encroach on these magnificent places with little regard for the consequences. Our air and water is being polluted at an unbelievable rate and our congress is trying to roll back most of the environmental safeguards that we have managed to put in place over the past few decades.
Politicians pander to those interests that have the deepest pockets, caring little for the future of our country and the world. In some circles environment is a dirty word and cash is king. Many of our leaders seek to undo any regulation that stands in the way of an absolute and total plunder of our resources with little or no regard for the other species that inhabit our planet.

Many sit back watching it happen and it is happening. It's picking up speed , moving at an unprecedented pace toward an irreversible outcome. Imagine a world without eagles, a world without ponderosa pines, a world where every storm turns violent, imagine a world without polar bears, or seals, or hammerhead sharks, one with no whales, no salmon, no sea turtles. All of these things are possible if nothing changes. If we continue to ignore the truth of our planets final chance at redemption then the future is bleak and generations to come will curse our lack of action.

We must get involved now. We must speak out now. Please join an organization that works to protect nature or volunteer at a preserve or perhaps a national park. Become politically aware and help elect environmentally friendly politicians.We must save the eagles, the wolves, the fishes in the oceans and we must do it now or we will become the generation that "could have saved the earth but wouldn't".

Photos taken at Madera Canyon south of Tucson, Arizona.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Monsoon Season

The rains finally came here in Tucson Arizona. Their brief but welcome stay was the most violent that I had experienced here in the Sonoran Desert. High winds and torrential rains came in the early evenings on several days inside a single week damaging buildings, knocking down power poles and creating rivers across many of the roads. At times there was one to two feet of water in intersections with no traffic lights to guide us. A major dust storm (haboob) was spawned here in Tucson which then traveled northward and engulfed all of Phoenix, truly an amazing event certainly aided but the very dry conditions in the desert.
With all of the inconvenience that the rains bring I was happy for the many animals and plants that have had to struggle to find water during this very serious drought period. A period so serious in fact that national forests were closed due to extreme fire conditions from a lack of moisture, a first since we came here to Tucson. Over 500,000 acres burned in multiple fires across the state including the Sierra Vista fire which leveled many homes and businesses as it marched across the parched earth. I watched the tragedy unfold in Sierra Vista and could not believe how fast thousands of acres were lost.
The rains have left us at least for the time being and the small watering hole that we provide outside our window remains busy with visits from coyote, rabbits, mule deer, all manor of birds and I'm sure many night visitors while we sleep as the water seems to disappear when we are not watching. Birds come to drink and bathe all day long and in the evening the rabbits gingerly approach including our very special three eared one that has been a regular for some time.
I am hopeful that the rains will return soon as the temperatures exceed 100 on most days this time of year and have reached as high as 111 degrees on occasion. Can you imagine temperatures over 100 degrees and not being able to find adequate water? What must it feel like to be thirsty in that kind of environment? Perhaps it's time to stop denying mans impact on the environment, time to admit that global warming is real and that we can and should try to do something about it before it's too late.

P.S. I just startled a coyote getting a drink outside my window.