Image of Gum Weed Plant

Oklahoma Prairie Country

~Conservation of Nature~

Image of Gum Weed Plant
Horizontal Bar

Home Page
About Me
Prairie
Flowers
Bison
Grasses
History
Indians
Misc.
Photos
Photos II
Email
Global Warming
Conservation
Preservation of Species
Endangered Species Act
Sustainable Economy Vision 2050


Global Warming

There are people in the United States, who do not believe that global warming is a reality. Some even refer to global warming as a scam. One of Oklahoma's senators, J. Inhoff, is well known for this belief. Some who admit that it is real feel that taking steps to reverse this process will cost too much and would cost jobs. This is a very short-sighted view and will jeopardize future generations. Scientists already have data to indicate the rise in ocean levels and the loss of land areas, as well as the disappearance of glacial ice. Let the politicians leave it to the scientists to lead us out of this dilemma. The countries of Europe and Asia are doing so much more than the USA to curb the effects of global warming.

President Trump is so bent to undoing the actions of the Obama administration that parks, conservation, endangered species, etc. will take a big hit. The Republicans for the most part side with the president or are looking the other way in respect to these matters.

The Republication controlled House of Representatives passed a bill in February of 2011 that would:

1. Prohibit the EPA from collecting information about sources and amounts of global warming pollution and prohibits making this information available to the public.

2. Prohibit the EPA from setting limits on greenhouse gases from power plants, factories and refineries.

3. Prevent the US from contributing to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the international body tasked with reviewing the most recent scientific and technical information on climate change.

4. Eliminate funding for the development of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Service.

5. Reduce or eliminate funding for dozens of clean energy and climate change-related programs across government agencies.

6. Eliminate or reduce sources of international climate finance fulnding, inhibiting the U.S.'s ability to honor its international climate commitments.

Global warming deniers look at the unusual snowfalls and low winter temperatures that have been occurring this year as proof that global warming is not a reality. Here in eastern Oklahoma we have experienced 24 inches of snow and drastic sub-zero temperatures. All records have been broken. The temperature got to -31 degrees in Nowata, Oklahoma. The previous record was -5 degrees. The very small temperature increases cause a shift in weather patterns. That means that in any particular area the temperature and rain patterns can deviate substantiously from the norm. Our weather patterns have changed. Oklahoma has seen record summer temperatures as high as 117 degrees and a drought nearly as bad as the Dust Bowl era. Consider the record number of tornadoes north and east of "Tornado Alley." Iowa and other eastern states have experienced disastrous flooding and the majestic Mississippi River has been miles wide in places due to the rising water level and the breach of levees. Now the Mississippi River is so low, due to drought, that barges in some areas are prohibited from traveling the waterway. In 2005 it was announced that the ice cap on Mt. Kilimanjaro has melted and disappeared for the first time in 11,000 years.

The Arctic sea ice is melting faster than thought before. The rate of melting is over 3,000 square miles a DAY. In one year the sea ice has decreased by over 55,800 square miles. I don't know how people can repute these scientific facts. Will the melting continue or will the process reverse so that some time in the future sea ice will start being produced again? This type of "wait and see" can produce irreversible results.

So we have two main factions, one that thinks that global warming is due to man-made green house gases and the other faction that contends that the global warming is just a natural occurrence and has been cycling for eons. The latter faction believes that no action needs to be taken as the global temperatures will reverse and the earth will be in a cooling off period. Who is right and who is wrong will be decided by the future history of the planet. I tend to say, "but WHAT IF." I don't want my great-grand children to be suffering and saying "Why didn't my great-grandfather's generation do something, because it is too late now!"

Here in Oklahoma we have indications of global warming in the migration of species to the north. The Saturniidae Sphingicampa hubbardi moth has normally been found across Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico. A sighting of this moth in Oklahoma by Jim Whitehead, and confirmed and documented by Rex Moore, a student at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. A letter of confirmation was received from Dr. John Nelson, a biology professor at Oral Roberts University. This moth is considered to be in the silk moth family. The moth has gray wings with red coloration at the bases. It feeds upon mesquite leaves and can be found also in shrub land and oak woodlands.

The warmer weather in Oklahoma caused by global warming is changing the ecological system and allowing the moth species to move northward. This is just one more indication that global warming is indeed a reality. Similar patterns can be seen in bird populations.

Let me say that I don't think the fact that we have two opposing factions is necessarily a bad thing. Each will hopefully do research to prove themselves right. That means that the scientific community will continue to gather data, and with that, hopefully, the truth will emerge.



Conservation

   Ever since I became interested in nature and conservation I have been concerned about the lack of interest of most people in preserving what has been put into our hands to be nurtured and protected. This includes not only plants and animals, but the air we breathe and the water we drink. This disdain by many people can be illustrated by the trash, bottles, and cans that litter the roadside. As a docent at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, I volunteer to periodically pick up the litter along the roads. In a five-mile stretch I picked up seven large trash bags of litter. And this is on an area designated as a preserve! It is even worse on other public roads.

   I never intended establishing this web site for political propaganda, but what is happening to the conservation of our natural resources should alarm everyone. Some of the initiatives being made by politicians may very well threaten the health of our children and grandchildren. The refusal to accept the scientific findings of reputable researchers borders on the irresponsible and will have lasting detrimental effects upon the future of this planet. Seriously consider the following, which are just a very few of the administrations actions:

  • According to The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) a group of pesticide manufacturers met with the EPA to urge a weakening of pesticide safeguards under the Endangered Species Act. Result: in January, 2011 the EPA announced its intent to establish new Endangered Species Act rules that, among other things, eliminate the role of fish and wildlife experts in assessing the impact of pesticides of endangered species.
  • According to the NRDC the Centers for Disease Control's Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention wanted to recommend that the legal definition of lead poisoning be lowered by half. The Secretary of Health and Human Services removed a highly regarded scientist from the panel and rejected the appointment of two others. Instead he stacked the committee with his own "experts," some of whom have no background on the issue, but are friendlier toward the lead industry. One (from Oklahoma) testified on behalf of a paint manufacturer that the amount of lead that must be present in a child's blood to incur harm is 10 times the federally recommended limit. The lead limits were not lowered, leaving our children to suffer the consequences.
  • EPA Administrator Michael Leavitt's first major action was to scrap new regulations on toxic mercury emissions in favor of a weaker plan supported by polluting utility companies.
  • EPA drops at least 50 investigations into power plants for violations of the Clean Air Act.
  • The Superfund trust fund ran out of money after the Bush administration failed to renew the "polluter pays" fees that funded it. Now taxpayers must pay.
  • Contrary to released studies, the Bush administration further weakened regulations for the coal industry.
  • The U. S. Bureau of Land Management approved a massive expansion of natural gas drilling in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming, which will pollute rivers and streams and harm fish and wildlife.
  • EPA gave polluters a green light to continue dumping tons of sludge into the Potomac River for the next seven years.
  • Bush administration officials announced plans to rewrite Clean Water Act regulations in order to remove many wetlands, streams and other "isolated" waters from protection under the law.

   It is important for the people of this great country to become aware of the actions taken by our government, whether Republication or Democratic, which may affect the natural resources in a detrimental way.

Preservation of Species

   I have found that it is hard to impress upon people the seriousness of species extinction. It is perhaps harder to explain to children. The use of illustrations or symbols can offer some degree of enlightenment. I have had some success using the idea of a very large net. Each knot in the net represents one species. The knot (species) is directly dependent upon other knots for strength and stability.

   Let us cut out and remove one of the knots (species) and immediately the knots surrounding that position have become weakened and the dangling dependent ends of the twine can now move about with some freedom, but in doing so can allow the attached knots to loosen.

Net with Hole
   Continue cutting knots out of the net at random and large holes develop until the integrity of the net is destroyed and there is no resemblance between the remaining fragments and the original net.

   So the destruction of only one species affects the well being, if not the very existence of many others.


Endangered Species Act

   The Endangered Act was signed into law in 1973 by President Nixon. There had been two previous laws, but they did not do much more than make lists of vanishing wildlife. The 1973 law, however, made it illegal to contribute to the extinction of any species. It also protected the habitat of listed species. It also funded the states for carrying out the assessment programs for protecting America's most jeopardized animals and plants.

   The National Wildlife Federation and 10 other conservation groups made a list of 30 species that would now be extinct or greatly diminished if we did not have this law's protection. The following is just a few on that list.

  • Florida Panther
  • Key Deer
  • Mauna Silversword
  • Piping Plover
  • Florida Manatee
  • Desert Tortoise
  • Karner Blue Butterfly
  • Gray Bat
  • Whooping Crane
  • American Alligator
  • Grizzly Bear
  • Chinook Salmon
  • Peregrine Falcon


   We know that the law works. Unfortunately, the law is under assault from developers and some industrial interests. With their financial support and active lobbyists they have found support in Congress and the White House and are gradually whittling away at the Endangered Species Act.
(From the National Wildlife Federation, Aug/Sept 2004 eNature.com)


Sustainable Economy Vision 2050

-By Andrew Donovan-Shead-

    Our economy, and those of the other nations on the planet, is based on endless growth. You hear politicians, business people, and organizations talking about and promoting economic growth as the road to prosperity. Indeed, as many of us are painfully aware, we are experiencing an economic depression where growth has slowed and with it the means to earn a satisfactory livelihood. For many years it has been clear to me that this economic paradigm of endless growth is ultimately unsustainable as it is necessarily limited by the finite resources of our planet. To me, talk of endless growth is a delusion. To me, an economy of endless growth looks very much like a terminal cancer infecting human society. An individual with terminal cancer will die. Humanity founded on a growth-based economy will eventually die when it has consumed the available resources, if not die then it will pass through an evolutionary bottleneck in which a very small fraction of humanity will emerge to live in much reduced conditions. As Karl Marx might say if we were to conjure his spectre from beyond the grave: Endless growth is the seed of our destruction.

What does a sustainable economy looks like? How do we go about implementing a sustainable economy? What does an economy of conservation look like? How do we conserve and recycle in a way that sustains our lifestyle while conserving the natural world that ultimately gives us life?

At long, long last there is a glimmer of hope, an excellent start. I was delighted to read an opinion piece in the 17 December 2011 edition of New Scientist magazine by Robert E. Horn, entitled: To save the planet, listen to everyone. Horn says: Almost four years ago I joined what must be one of the world’s most ambitious projects: a plan to put Earth well on the way to global sustainability by 2050. The Vision 2050: The new agenda for business report produced 70 measures of success and 350 milestones to span the next four decades. The plan was billed as the most comprehensive, detailed description of what we must do to support or save much of civilisation from the ravages of climate change, overpopulation and declining renewable resources. Robert E. Horn is at the Human Science and Technology Advanced Research Institute within Stanford University, California. He specializes in translating complex ideas about everything from manufacturing projects to political arguments to scientific and philosophical debates into the visual language of large-scale maps and info-murals. Horn’s role in the Vision 2050 project was to summarize the results. He did this by producing a poster, a mural, and a two-page instruction sheet on how to use these materials; you can download them via the World Business Council for Sustainable Development web-site: www.wbsd.org/vision2050.aspx.

The best way to view these documents is to use Acrobat reader with the window maximized and the magnification set to about 50-percent. Use the scroll-wheel on your mouse to scroll vertically; hold down the Shift-key while using the scroll-wheel to pan across the document horizontally; hold down the Ctrl-key and use the scroll-wheel to change the magnification and zoom in and out. Read down the left-hand edge of the mural first. You can click-n-drag anywhere on the mural to move your point of view in any direction.

How Can the Vision 2050 Pathway Info-Mural be Used?
The work of the Vision 2050 task force of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development has been synthesized into two large visual displays:

   1. Vision of 2050. This poster contains the 22 key elements that define the sustainable future identified by the task force of 29 companies involved in the WBCSD project.
   2. Pathway to a Sustainable 2050. Decade by decade this info-mural details 350 major milestones needed to be on track to a sustainable 2050. These milestones are portrayed on 10 tracks (energy, transportation, buildings, materials, economy, food, forests, governance, etc.). In addition, the mural also identifies 40 must haves and 40 big risks for the next 40 years.





JKJ Benefits


Updated 7/26/2018