1:48 “Recent Ice-Sheet Growth in the Interior of Greenland”
Ola M. Johannessen et al, Science November 2005
2:10 “Recent Greenland Ice Mass Loss by Drainage System from Satellite Gravity Observations” — S. B. Luthcke, et al., Science November 2006
2:12 “Melting of Greenland Ice Sheet Satellite Gravity Measurements Confirm Accelerated Melting of Greenland Ice Sheet” —
J. L. Chen, et al., Science 2006
Just a day after the House voted largely along party lines to gut the Antiquities Act (222-201, with all but 10 Republicans approving and 3 Democrats crossing over to approve), a Texas Republican is looking at gutting the whole purpose of national parks by opening up the parks to oil and gas drilling.
Texas Congressman Wants National Parks Opened To Drilling http://t.co/Tn1mP81mFL
The Antiquities Act is the law that allows the President to designate lands for protection as a national monument or national park. It’s been used by 16 presidents since Teddy Roosevelt established the first national parks more than 100 years ago.
The Republican moves are absolutely asinine. These parks are part of our legacy and heritage, and these guys want to drill and spoil the very land that had been previously set aside in perpetuity.
As it is, drilling is going on in close proximity to the parks. On my drive through the area around Moab to Canyonlands Islands in the Sky District and Dead Horse Point State Park, there were signs of drilling everywhere (2003 image courtesy of Getty Images). There were pipelines being laid, and drilling rigs, which have to locate the oil before the pumps can be installed, were being erected at any number of vista points - and this is along the designated scenic byway (I’ll have to locate photos I took of the active drilling operations).
Nebraska Judge Stephanie F. Stacy has struck down a law that allowed the state government to approve the route of the Keystone XL pipeline and seize property for it through eminent domain, because it violates the state’s constitution: Nebraska Judge Strikes Down Legislature’s Move Allowing Keystone XL Route.
Stacy concluded that the state legislature could not take the routing power away from its Public Service Commission and allow Heineman to make the decision. More than 200 miles of the proposed pipeline, which would carry as many as 830,000 barrels of heavy crude oil daily from Canada to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, would run through Nebraska.
The judge’s decision to overturn LB 1161, enacted in the final hours of the state’s 2012 session, means “there is no approved route across Nebraska now,” said David A. Domina, the lawyer who represented the three landowners who filed the lawsuit. “This statute is the only statute we have out here that creates a procedure for getting a permit” for a pipeline, said Domina, who is running for U.S. Senate as a Democrat this fall.
The good thing about Bill Nye debating these right wing demagogues is that people get to see how completely deranged and disconnected from reality they are. In this clip from Meet the Press, Tennessee GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn is our case in point, as she actually insists increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a good thing. Nearly everything Blackburn says here is a lie or a distortion, including her false claim that there’s no scientific consensus humans are causing climate change.
Marsha Blackburn is the face of the Republican Party’s anti-science, willfully ignorant, smug denialism. These truly horrible people are playing stupid games with the future of the human race.
Authorities in Utah are considering criminal charges against a group of men who gleefully shoved a boulder off its perch in a state park — and disturbed a rock formation that park officials say is 170 million years old.
The men, identified by The Salt Lake Tribune as Boy Scout leaders, recorded the antics, and cheered and high-fived after they toppled the rock. As one of the men was jostling the boulder loose, the cameraman sang a 1990 dance-party hit: “Wiggle it — just a little bit.”
“Some little kid was about ready to walk down here and die,” the cameraman says, “and Glenn saved his life by getting the boulder out of the way.” Glenn is shown striking a pro wrestling-style strongman pose.
“We have now modified Goblin Valley,” says the cameraman, identified by local news outlets as Dave Hall.
Utah authorities did not see it that way. County and state prosecutors are considering criminal charges, Eugene Swalberg, a spokesman for the Utah state parks, told the Deseret News newspaper.
“This is not behavior that is appreciated or should exist in state parks,” he said. “This has been formed for literally millions of years, and it’s supposed to last for a long time. It doesn’t need individuals doing the work of Mother Nature.”
Local “Deseret News” article:
This is just sad. I have been to Goblin valley and my reason for going was of course to see the “goblins” (or hoodoos) that it is named for. For these clowns to come along and destroy one of the formations and then to rationalize it as being to protect others is just ignorant. The rock has been there for 170 million years without injuring anyone, it probably would have stood for thousands of years more without injuring anyone.
Watching the video I certainly get the impression from the whoops and posturing that this was done for fun and not for safety reasons. The rationalization about safety only comes afterwards, after the man has to strain mightily and put his own body into a very unsafe position to budge the supposedly “unsafe” rock.
Someday, hundreds or thousands of years from now, in a rare heavy desert rain storm the rock’s underpinnings would have eroded just enough more to allow it to fall. In the meantime many thousands of more people could have seen and appreciated it as a part of a beautiful and unique formation in a protected State park.
I hope that they stop “considering” charges against these men and actually file charges against them for defacing public property. A fair monetary fine should be levied to discourage others that might wish to take the place of nature and change the park as they see fit. It is just too bad that there is no safe way to make them put the rock back where it was to begin with. :(
Update: The rock pusher (Glenn Taylor) and his cameraman (Dave Hall) have issued a rather non-apologetic statement in which they decline any responsibility other than doing “the right thing in the wrong way.” They also lie about the way in which the rock was pushed over as you can see for yourself below.
“We came across this two- to three-thousand-pound boulder that was resting on about an inch-and-a-half-thick, razor-thin ledge of dirt,” Hall said. “Upon putting a little pressure on it, you could see that it was moving and just then a couple of families walked up right below that rock and went around it…and stopped for a family photo.
“And the thought that went through our minds was if this would have fallen while they were coming up that valley, up that very well-used walkway, numerous fatalities would have happened.” In retrospect, they say, they should have just told a ranger of the hazard. Instead, Taylor went up to the rock “and with one arm put a little bit of pressure on that [and] it went right over,” said Hall, who acted as cameraman.
The Utah Attorney General has issued a statement saying that he is declining to file any charges against either of the men. There has not yet been any statement by the county district attorney as to whether or not any charges will be filed against the men from his office.