Category Archives: Environmental Ethics

Mike Noel embarasses himself all the way to the U.K.

Speaking of cronyism, I can’t resist posting this one. Rick Perry’s campaign is caught censoring scientific climate in this report from The Guardian in Britain. And, as they note,

In Utah, meanwhile, Mike Noel, a Republican member of the Utah state legislature called on the state university to sack a physicist who had criticised climate science doubters.  The university rejected Noel’s demand, but the physicist, Robert Davies said such actions had had a chilling effect on the state of climate science. “We do have very accomplished scientists in this state who are quite fearful of retribution from lawmakers, and who consequently refuse to speak up on this very important topic. And the loser is the public,” Davies said in an email.  “By employing these intimidation tactics, these policymakers are, in fact, successful in censoring the message coming from the very institutions whose expertise we need.”. . . more>>

It is not Disneyland out there, but how about a warning?

This one seems like a tricky call to me.  The natural outdoors is not Disneyland and we all need to look out for ourselves.  But in this case would it have been so hard for the Division of Wildlife Resources or the Forest Service to put up signs that warned campers of the threat?  Some judges say yes, some say no.  Who is right?  . . . more>>

Ranchers wearing Tevas!

Earlier I made a post referring to an article about grazing and land management in the Los Angeles Times.    Now here is one from The Atlantic, featuring 21st century ranchers, one even wearing Tevas.  Tevas on a Suburu driving rancher is not something you see every day.  The Atlantic has picked up on the critical idea that managing range land to optimize grass growth can make a significant impact on global carbon sequestration.  It’s good to see that deceptively benign appearing grazing practices are being seen in the national press as a globally important issue.  But, once again, it is the local “way of life” that stands in the way.  Can Wall Street actually help? . . . more>>

What if your “way of life” is destructive?

The main argument for grazing cows on public land in the West is that it is and has been a “way of life.”  Even the ranchers admit it is not economic.  The rugged cowboy is a favorite modern day icon for the West and we all often feel a fondness for the idea he is still out there.  Until you see a creek or meadow after the cows have been through.  Here’s an article in the Los Angeles Times where allotments are being rested from cows, and allowed to recover.  Will the National Forest Service make the right decision to keep the cows our, save a landscape and a rare trout species, or will “way of life” prevail?  . . . more>>

Post-Primeval Poop Primer

The first shit in the woods is a pure rite of passage for any mountain person. Sure, you can be a casual day hiker for years and avoid it, and maybe even last through a few overnight trips. But sooner or later, you’ll need to confront your ancestral self and drop one amongst the evergreens, without your favorite magazine, scented candle, or plush bathroom rug under your toes.  Brendon Leonard takes us for a true out back journey.  . . .more>>