Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's the habitat, stupid

© Joshua Stark, 2009

One of the most-paraphrased line in the past16 years, so I thought I'd get in on it. Anyway...

I just stumbled upon a piece at a blog named Aquanomics that I found interesting. It is about concerns over California's water quantity and quality, but with a twist. You see, the blogger (David Zetland) has found a news article from an English paper, The Graphic, about concerns over California's timber harvest, its population growth, and its water use.

Only, the quotation is from 1878.

When we consider our impacts on the environment, please note that it is the 90% or so who don't know/care enough to make different choices. Enviros and conservationists and environmental justice folks may snipe at each other, but in the end, any infighting defeats our chances at dealing with the real threats, threats we have known for years and years.

Just remember, then, when you get into a scrape with a granola munching people-excluder, or a red-neck access freak, that we all are there, fighting, because we all love the place.

Net plagiarism

© 2009 Joshua Stark

This here is a non environmentally-related post, but it is important enough to bring up. In the wake of some plagiarism taking place among bloggers, I would like anybody publishing to the web to read this little primer on how to help find plagiarizers to your work, written by Albert Rasch.

I'll be implementing these tips soon, although I probably don't need to worry too much about folks wanting to take my stuff. Anyhoo, if you write on the web, definitely check out his blog post.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Up in arms over junior deer hunt

I read this piece in the Sacramento Bee yesterday, where folks are raising a stink about proposing a proposed junior doe hunt (that wasn't a typo) for Southern Placer County.

When I first heard of the proposal, my first instinct was selfish: My child is only two, and I'm, well, not a junior anymore. However, the article is about the 'controversy' of such a proposal, because of the youth focus, the doe focus, and the urban-wildland interface. Of course, the online comments quickly span the range of ridiculousness, with little in the middle.

So, my two cents: Folks, if I hadn't hunted and fished as a kid, I would most likely not have become an environmentalist. In addition, hunting and fishing (and kayaking, of course) are the primary ways in which I continue to interact with the wild. So get your young ones out there with guns in their hands! Teach them ethics, teach them that they need to know how they impact the world, and also sit back and let them learn things for themselves, on their own time, with their own experiences and in unstructured places. That's right, I'm not just condoning, but encouraging that we arm 16 year-olds, and let them run around in the wild. We complain that our kids never seem to grow up, yet we don't let them off the kiddie-leash. You would be surprised at the responsibility many teens can take if they are given the chance. We give them weapons that kill more people in the US every year and let them loose in highly urban, dense neighborhoods (cars), so stop your hypocritical whining.

Second, a doe, as the song goes, is a deer. That folks viscerally react to the notion of culling female deer more than male deer means that our motives have moved away from honest, clear-eyed management decisions to one of emotion, and an emotion based on some pretty sexist thinking, and with some serious violence thrown into that thinking, too.

Third, folks concerned with hunting going on at the urban-wildland interface need to move back to the city. Yes, I said back, because it's obvious where you came from.

My biggest problem with the report was the bias, beginning with referring to opponents not as animal rights activists, but as "animal activists." I am an animal activist, yet I am diametrically opposed to the position and philosophy as described in the article. This first bias of omission belies the angle of the rest of the story, and it gives me the feeling that the reporter is so completely unable to understand hunting that Mr. Fletcher cannot seem to get the balance right (I checked out his Tweets, and the closest thing to hunting he's done is, "Just killed 150 emails.")

So, Mr. Fletcher, if you wish to try to understand it, I am more than willing to take you hunting, especially if you hope to accurately report Placer County. Deer season is just around the corner up there.