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Following Up

July 24, 2008

Two quick hits for Thursday.

Following up on the Republican political gamesmanship fact-finding mission to the Arctic Wildlife Refuge I talked about last week, the all too easy to predict results are in. They didn’t see anything. And lest you think it’s because they never actually went into the park, or because it’s practically impossible to see wildlife during a flyover at 10,000 feet, you’d be wrong, you silly enviro-facist. It’s because there’s nothing there according to eagle-eyed representative Michele Bachmann R-MN (no relation to the sparrow):

Visiting ANWR also revealed that almost no wildlife exists in the 2,000-acre area. It was flat arctic tundra with absolutely no trees in view. And, caribou and wildlife were nowhere near the possible drilling sites. Furthermore, we know that nine months out of the year this area is hidden under snow and ice and three months out of the year the area is covered in complete darkness.

See, no trees! And would you believe that it’s under ice nine months of the year? What a dump! We’d be doing it a favor by sprucing the place up a bit with a few oil derricks. And some track lighting during that three month period. Certainly some hard-wood flooring, that permafrost is so 70s.

John at Born Again Bird Watcher has a nice write up on the mind-boggling stupid. Here’s hoping this posturing leads to nothing. It’s a knee-jerk response to constituents whining about the price of gas, conveniently forgetting that these very same Republicans, who controlled Congress for 12 of the last 14 years, did nothing to head off this crisis. That’s not even taking into consideration that the price of oil has dropped $20 per barrel recently because the US began to speak with Iran. Diplomacy has done more in the last two weeks to affect the price of oil than drilling in the Arctic Refuge would do in ten years.

The Arctic Refuge is safe now, but for how long? It’s concerning to think there are those who’ll dig up everything in order to keep the engine humming. I’d like to think that the country as a whole is going through the five stages of grief with regards to gas prices. These folks are still stuck in denial, or at the very least bargaining. The sooner they join those of us in acceptance, the sooner we can move forward in the the fossil fuel free future.

And second, if you got your most recent issue of Birding from the ABA, that is indeed yours truly with the letter to the editor about the interweb and bird-spotting. It’s essentially an edited version of this post I wrote some time ago. And if they say brevity is the soul of wit, then it must also be the soul of editorial responses, because the letter is much more cogently argued than the original post, sometimes a word limit is a good thing.

So check it out. In the same issue there’s also the best article I’ve ever seen on shorebird identification, reprinted from the Surfbirds website. It’s great to see those particular ideas get some wide distribution, that alone is well worth your time.

  1. Sky Girl permalink
    July 24, 2008 10:16 pm

    Woo hoo! No creatures of nature. Let’s dredge the whole place up! Idiots, idiots, idiots.

  2. noflickster permalink
    July 25, 2008 12:48 am

    I believe you summed up the entire endevour and any subsequent interpretations with a simple, concise, catch phrase, “the mind-boggling stupid.” I hope some of the major, or even minor, news outlets and others (maybe some House politicians?) pick up on it.

    Coincidentally, I just posted about Cameron’s peep identification article, too, along with the happy fact you were finally published as well. Congrats! Not to take anything away from your blog writing, but you’re even better in print. 😉

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