“Climate change” added to my blog’s subtitle

We are truly entering Orwell’s age of doublespeak ( i.e., language used to deceive, usually through concealment or misrepresentation of truth). One such example is the Trump Administration’s  deletion of the term climate change from government websites (and funding agencies are suggesting that applicants do the same in their federal grant proposals), so it is up to the rest of us to keep this term in the public’s eye. Yes, the vast majority of us believe that climate change is occurring as we witness extreme weather events and fires in the west.

 

Myth, Mysticism, and Magic

Until now, the focus of my blog has been to show images of birds, animals, and landscapes to encourage people to think more deeply about the consequences of climate change and preserving our natural environment. I have backed up all my environmental statements with scientific evidence from credible private and governmental sources. I have kept direct political statements out of my posts. However, I must make an exception as political events could limit the free flow of scientific information on my blog.

An article in today’s New York Times cites the “disappearance” of scientific data from some U.S. Government websites as a result of the Trump Administration’s wish to sweep climate change and other topics with which it sees as contrary to its agenda “under the rug.” This is akin to the Catholic Church’s suppression of science in the days of Copernicus and Galileo. So, not only is democracy increasingly eroded here in the U.S. and elsewhere, but now the most objective way we have for understanding how the earth, and indeed the universe, works is also at risk. The implication is that we are to believe in myth, mysticism, and magic, as well as government propaganda.

I will be reviewing the U.S. Government hyper-links in my earlier posts and pages. In those cases where I find a link to be inactive I’ll post, [Link deactivated by the Trump Adminstration].

A Little Lunar Laud

It seems only fitting to say a little something about the moon photos. The bright full moon against an otherwise dark sky seems to have an impact on us in one way or another. Let me start with the scientific perspective. We know that the inner rocky planets of our solar system (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) were formed during the asteroid period. These planets, including the earth, were formed when asteroids collided, forming masses of increasing size held together through the melting of iron, and gravitational force. Later, but still early in earth’s history, a large asteroid hit the earth obliquely, splitting off what became the moon. As we know, the moon’s gravity is the principal driver of the tides, aided to a lesser extent by the sun.

Then there’s the moon’s “sinister” side, giving rise to werewolf and vampire legends, witchcraft, some religious beliefs, and “mental illness” (i.e., lunacy, lunatics). Of course, there is the moon’s romantic side. As I was sitting behind my camera and tripod on those Maine rocks, two cars with young couples parked nearby and went onto the rocks to watch the full moon rise. Somehow, watching the moon relaxes us in such a way that it is easier to express affection. The aesthetics of that giant orange disk rising over the horizon apparently is one of our emotional triggers.

All this encourages people like me to go out and photograph the moon despite the possibility of last minute weather vagaries, bug bites during warmer weather, and frozen fingers during winter.

-From Portland and the mid-coast

New and Improved!

Starting today, you will find that posts in the Bird Focus category are now tagged with the birds’ North American population trend status over the past 30 years: Increasing, Stable, and/or Decreasing.  Those posts featuring more than one bird with differing population trends will be tagged for each trend, and the first mention of each bird in the post will carry its population trend in parentheses. This additional tagging will enable you to select posts on the basis of population trends.

Note that all categories and tags, along with any related articles, appear at the bottom of each post. By clicking on any one you will be able to select that group of posts.