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Sea Cape Cod by Michael Mosier

Coming soon: Link to Waterfront Photography, in historic downtown Hyannis, Massachusetts, Cape Cod, USA 02651

March 10, 2012

Bruised Bird’s Eye

Filed under: Blog — Michael @ 12:24 pm

Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the snow squalled island of Nantucket! Great to be with you on this Saturday morning, the tenth day of March, 2012, a virtual white out in Cotuit, ‘where the ocean meets the wood’, with Cotuit Bay and Oyster Harbors almost invisible due to the heavy blizzard like conditions at this nine a.m. hour.  Perhaps this filthy, liberal, tree hugginhippy was a little quick on the draw yesterday ‘arrogantly’ claiming…  ‘so much for winter’.   Being one of the ‘radical environmentalists’ out there (credit Sarah Palin, a true life cartoon character from the John Heilemann/Mark Halperin authored new HBO film airing tonight, check your local listings, entitled, “Game Change”, starring Julianne Moore, Ed Harris and Woody Harrelson), I wish to apologize to all of the global warming deniers in the U.S. today, mostly in James Inhofe’s (R-OK) state of Oklahoma who once famously stated, ‘global warming is the greatest hoax ever played on the American People’, as I am not right 100 percent of the time.   Please accept my deepest and most sincere desire to amend whatever feelings I may have hurt, I am so sorry, how can I make it up to you?  What?  By writing more truth as to what is really going down with our planet?  Explain the hazards of our own man made folly? OK, if you insist, but remember, I am only a messenger, I write to serve the TRUE greater good… As we all know, radical shifts in weather on the present day planet earth are just symptoms of a much larger problem, one that has everything to do with mankind’s continued blindness to what the constant emission of CO2 (and soon to be methane) into the atmosphere is truly DOING to our precious lakes, rivers, forests, oceans, wildlife, and overall beauty that was not made by ‘man’, rather by a power much greater than any of us–the power of NATURE and the life force of creative intelligence therein, of which we are a part OF, not the other way around.  Taking a break as it were from the television box for just a moment, as I will be back for more of those horrible pharmaceutical advertisements presently, I was struck by something said on the venerable news program “UP, with Chris Hayes” (Saturday and Sundays, 8-10 a.m., eastern standard, only on MSNBC), where Bart Chilton, Commissioner of the CFTC, or commodities futures trading commission, whose job it is to implement the Dodd-Frank Law (via cost/benefit analysis) put in place after the financial meltdown in 2008, spoke at length as to our real issues with gas prices, moreover the speculators on Wall Street who own that commodity in more ways that one.  Just one of the many abuses ready to be remedied by this start to financial reform so that what happened at the end of the Bush administration does not happen again.  Something WE all should be for, regardless of ‘what side of the aisle one hails from’.  Mr. Chilton expressed frustration with the 10-1 ratio of lobbyists in our nation’s Capitol who are attempting to block these new rules for Wall Street, via the courts, thus, preventing as of this moment, 70 percent of said rules set in place to PROTECT all of the consumers in this nation.  One investment bank, the biggest, Goldman Sachs stated recently that oil and gas speculators on Wall Street are pushing those gas prices at the pump upwards of 50 percent, meaning that if you say, own a Honda Accord, and when you go to fill it up with gas, seven of those 50 fifty or so dollars you spend at the gas station go directly into the hands of some broker on those dark streets of Wall.   Think about that for a moment, and when these PUPPET politicians, many with an ‘r’ next to their name, and many with a ‘d’ as well, try and sell you on this horrible Keystone XL pipeline, remember this–it is a sham, a ruse, and joke, it IS a profit center for big oil and nothing more. This pipeline will not bring a drop of oil to this country for many, many years, should, God Forbid, it be completed, and when it does produce oil, it will go to the highest bidder on the international market, for that is the world WE live in today, a global, multinational corporate conglomerate if you will, or, that is the goal of the plutocrats at this moment in ‘time’…  In a celebrated article in National Wildlife Federation magazine, January 2012 edition, the one with the little baby ducks on it, entitled “Tar Sands Trouble”, Daniel Glick gives a sobering view of what is at stake here, not to mention what every credible scientist, climatologist or not, says about tar sands in general–especially the excesses of a dirty pipeline giving out the WRONG message to our nation’s kids and grand kids, a nation that could be locked into a dirty, filthy (for real) energy future, bereft of glacier, song bird and deer, as opposed to a clean renewable future of solar, wind and geothermal–“if the tar sands pipeline is built, it will spell lights out for the environment”, pretty harsh stuff that should be heeded, heeded, that is, assuming WE want a clean future to begin with.  And so, on this glorious winter wonderland on Cape Cod and the Islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, I give to you Mr. Glick’s final chapter (the first part of the article is a few blogs back on seacapecod.net) of “TAR SANDS TROUBLE”, enjoy.  WILDLIFE SENTINELS‘Tar sands devolopment’s effects on wildlife already offer a huge clue about its dangers.  In September 2010, Kevin Timoney of Treeline Ecological Research and Robert Ronconi of Dalhousie University published a study in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology linking the yearly deaths of 458 to 5,029 birds from at least 43 species to the toxins contained in tailings ponds.  Noting that annual morality data provided by energy companies and the government “underestimate actual mortality”, the scientists wrote that even their own estimate “represents an unknown fraction of true mortality.”  In just one event during the spring of 2008, 1,600 ducks died after landing in a tailings pond operated by Syncrude Canada, Ltd.  The company initially hushed up the incident, but after an anonymous tip to authorities, it was forced to pay a $3 million dollar fine.  Toxic tailings ponds represent just one of the many dangers tar sands development poses to the continent’s birds.  Open-pit mining for the petroleum that begins the process destroys enormous swaths of boreal bird habitat.  Drilling fragments forests, while water withdrawals harm wetlands and other aquatic systems.  A 2009 report from the Boreal Songbird Initiative estimates that these and other threats posed by tar sands exploitation will result in the loss of between 6 million and 166 million birds during the next 30 to 50 years.  One species of particular concern is the endangered whooping crane.  In the early 1940’s, only 16 of these elegant, 5 foot-tall birds were known to exist.  Their numbers have slowly climbed, but the crane’s long-term survival is precarious at best:  Tanker spills, habitat loss, illegal hunting, predators, power lines and poison already pose deadly obstacles for this iconic species.  Increased tar sands production will make the whoopers’ rebound more tenuous.  The breeding area for the only self-sustaining population of the cranes is in Wood Buffalo National Park, just north of Alberta’s tar sands mines.  Traveling to their wintering grounds in Texas, the birds migrate directly over the tar sands pits–coincidentally following part of the same path as the proposed pipeline.  Duane Hovorka, executive director of the Nebraska Wildlife Federation, an NWF affiliate, says tar sands operations pose a series of threats to whooping cranes all along their migration route.  The Athabasca River, for example, runs northward from the tar sands toward the Wood Buffalo refuge, and Hovorka says the industry is “polluting the river with some nasty stuff.”  Peter Lee, executive director of Global Forest Watch Canada, says woodland caribou already have been severely affected.  Clear-cutting, pit mining and giant tailings ponds have disturbed 75 percent of the habitat used by caribou in areas overlapping tar sands development.  At 50 percent disturbance, “they have at best a 50-50 chance of survival,” Lee says.  “It doesn’t look good for woodland caribou in that area.”  Timoney, after filing a freedom of information request with the Alberta government, learned that between the year 2000 and 2008, scores of black bears, deer, red foxes, coyotes, moose, muskrats, beavers, voles, martens, wolves and bats perished in the vicinity of tar sands operations.  He and other scientists believe that provincial and national governments are not accurately monitoring effects of the industry, and that the deaths he’s uncovered represent only a small percentage of actual mortality.  “The rate and extent of recent human disturbances is unprecedented,” emphasizing wildlife ecologist Fiona Schmiegelow of the University of Alberta.  “Over the course of a few decades, this region has been radically transformed, with an associated loss of habitat and wildlife populations at a landscape scale.”  The saddest part of this marauding tar sands development is that it’s not necessary. NWF’s Symons says the United States is chasing a “mirage of energy security” by supporting the industry.  “Alberta tar sands operations are the most destructive source of oil on the planet,” he says.  Price hikes, toxic spills and a reliance on a low-grade fossil fuel hardly constitute a road map for this country’s energy future.  “One myth I often hear is that Canada will find a responsible way to mine tar sands,” Symons told Congress.  “Years of experience have proved otherwise.” More importantly, he adds, “the answer to our oil addiction doesn’t lie in simply switching suppliers”–especially when that new supply is linked to so many deadly consequences.  Thank you Daniel Glick, co-founder of the story group and author of Monkey Dancing: A Father, Two kids, and a Journey to the Ends of the Earth.  Seacapecod.net would also like to thank the National Wildlife Federation, please Google ‘nwf.org’, for all the wonderful work you do, it will not be forgotten, or fall on deaf, dumb and ‘blind’ ears and eyes.  This republican party is out to lunch, permanently, and it is HIGH time this country finds it’s collective VOICE so WE may engage in this PRESENT DAY 21st century and stop blindly following a$$holes, greedy bastards if you will, who care nothing about this country, this world or the people, plants and animals that share it with them.  You know, I hear they got plenty of tar sand on the moon.  Why not take Newt’s advice and head on up there, make it your new home, ’cause WE are not going to just sit back and let you rape our beautiful mother earth without a big, bad fight! Put that in your pipe and smoke it Sarah Palin, your voice DOES NOT represent what the TRUE definition of what the WORD ‘conserv(e)ative’ really means and embarrassment to true ‘conservatives’ out there, real leaders like President Teddy Roosevelt who would have taken these guys to the woodshed! PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS! Peace~M

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