How can I help?

Here in the Pacific Northwest the drum for environmentalism is beaten daily, lived by thousands of people and we know that climate change is a reality. We do a lot of hiking, biking and hosts of other outdoor activities and see the changes daily. But, what can we do to directly help the research by hundreds of scientists in the Northwest and around the world?
It’s usually at this point that someone asks you to help fund a project or a cause. This is NOT what this article is about so you’re safe to keep reading.
If you’re taking a camping trip up in the Cascades or Rockies or maybe even somewhere exotic like the rainforests of Central America – there simple ways to help.
Scientists need large amounts of data in their research projects and many times there isn’t enough funding to collect all that is needed or they might like. There ways you can aid in their research while you’re out there. Collecting a few grams of soil or water, a leaf from a particular species of tree or taking the temperature of the water can be helpful.
Follow the video link below and you may find some project(s) that you can assist. If you’re a teacher then maybe students at a class level could be involved.

So, to sum it up –  give your word – lend a hand – give a damn!

Act Local – Think Global!


Who Knew?

I’ve liked folk music for decades. It seems to talk about the things that matter. One artist that really gets to me is Woody Guthrie. His song This land is your land’ can be applied to a number of things happening around us today – environmental problems, inequality and poverty to name a few.

One thing I didn’t know was there were a couple of his original verses omitted from the song when it was first published in 1944 – here they are:

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Take a walk, look around and ask yourself if this land was made for you and me?

Think Global – Act Local!


One wheel at a time

I used to  love going to the circus when I was a boy. All the strange looking wild animals, high wire acts and the clowns were so neat – let’s not forget the clowns. I still remember ten clowns piling out of a tiny car as it was driven around one of the three rings. Then came the weirdest thing. A large bear riding a unicycle made his appearance. His name was the ‘One-wheel-wonder’. I thought that one day I’d like to try one of those unicycles. I never did and that’s probably a good thing.

Well sir, a unicycle or ambulance ride may be in my future come the end of this year. There is a company that’s making a one-wheel, no emissions unicycle. I don’t have all the technical details but from the video it seems to be stable and easy to ride. Some folks say something as odd as this could have only come out of California, nope, we’re talking Portland, OR. It will be built just outside of the town. I can see the headlines now, ‘Coming soon to an Emergency Room near you.’ Check out the link below if you’re curious.

Think Global – Act Local!

The Top keeps on Spinning

Earlier I wrote about how climate change is like the top we used to play with as children. We’d get that little cone shaped toy spinning like crazy and then poke it. It returned to almost he same place it was when we first jabbed it. After a time the top would start to slow down and when we poked it again – it wouldn’t come back.
Well, there have been more examples of this over the last few months through the actions of marine animals from whales down to zooplankton. California waters have been experiencing an explosion all types of marine life – double the number of grey whales sightings, a large increase in the number of brown pelicans in the Bay area, Orcas, clouds of sardines and even blue whales. What’s the reason(s)?
With the climate changing there has been an increase in ocean surface temperature, sea level rise, coastal erosion, increased upwelling and a shift in ocean PH toward the acidic. With an increase in upwelling comes more basic nutrients from the deep waters which increases zoo and phytoplankton population thereby increasing the numbers of everything on up the food-chain and attracting top level predators.
We can expect to see more of these types of events in the future with increased mass stranding of marine mammals, fish die offs and species replacement (niche take over).

Think Global – Act Local!