Work is underway at the long-abandoned bridge connecting Route 72 and Old State Road. And of course, the rail-trail. This bridge is for pedestrians and bicycles, not motorized vehicles.
It's an exciting expansion of the trail system at Swatara State Park.
Dinosaurs are no longer here because they couldn't see oncoming disaster.
But we humans can see the future because we've studied the past.
Climate science has learned nothing new since this dinosaur was in college 40 years ago.
But computers are much faster now and can better model climate change and its effects.
The world is getting hotter due to carbon dioxide and methane emissions, and forests being destroyed
but people are working to reverse the damage
and restore the healthy environment
that nurtured our ancestors.
Don't be an asteroid.
As we break record heat temperatures around the globe, yet another fossil fuel pipeline skirts the border of Swatara State Park and Swatara River in Pennsylvania.
Keeping carbon in the ground is imperative, yet the boy in the blue car couldn't even restrain himself from harassing me as I took these photos. The pipeline workers are here for a short time in geologic terms (one from Oklahoma recently OD'd on heroin in Harrisburg). But the damage they are doing is long-term.
We are only beginning to fully understand the consequences of unleashing ancient sunlight in a warming world. If you would go ten shades of ballistic to protect your children from harm, now is the time.
Voting is the new ballistic.
In Lancaster newspaper archives is a photo of a several young people protesting the Vietnam war circa 1967. Perhaps eight brave souls were huddled against the wall of the Greist Building. They were heroes who risked a lot in that act of non-compliance.
That was then. On Saturday, March 24, people by the thousands took to the streets of Lancaster in a peaceful protest against uncontrolled gun violence in the United States. Shouting "Enough is enough!" and "Remember Nickel Mine!" we marched in solidarity with people across the nation and around the world.
Uncontrolled gun violence is a violation of the Second Amendment's cautionary phrase "well-regulated". If most of the people shooting crowds of people in schools, nightclubs and shopping malls had been female, Congress would've intervened to stop it long ago.
The men strutting around during the riot last year in Charlotteville, Virginia with openly displayed guns, not in uniform, not police or National Guard, were not a well-regulated militia but self-appointed vigilantes who made a powder keg situation even worse.
The U.S. needs to get real about well-regulated gun control in order to end gun violence. It's time to honor the Second Amendment in spirit as well as in letter.
The garage in this video is on a residential-zoned street but has been rented for business purposes to different tenants since at least 2005, when the tenants were a shady-looking pair who may have been manufacturing methamphetamine. Thankfully they left - only to be replaced by a chain of renters who have stored toxic materials, not in small amounts as a homeowner might do, but in large amounts. They have also run propane heaters and vehicle engines, causing fumes that leak into neighbors' homes.
An absentee landlord is a recipe for illegal and dangerous activity, whether in the city or the country. When the current scofflaws are made to cease and desist, will the next renters again be meth cookers?
The sleepy village of Lawn was once named Roseland and it was the closest thing to paradise on this green earth. Yes, as a college student I used to call it "Yawn", but it was a blessing to grow up there because good food just leaped out of the fertile soil and as long as you worked for it, you'd never go hungry.
The past few weeks brought the pipeline workers and their machines that they parked at the fire company where my father and brother were "first responders" though we never used that phrase back then. They were just volunteers who would've been embarrassed to be called "heroes."
The pipeline trench is on the edge of the village. It cuts through the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail and the Conewago Creek. It just missed the curve of the creek on the Hess farm where we kids camped.
It crosses the highway near the rise in the road where young Billy Hess was struck by a car and killed one terrible evening. My father was first responder.
"It'll grow back," a hiker on the rail trail told his children when one of them asked what what was happening -- the chain link fence along the trail, the earth torn but not for planting good food. Pipelines crisscross the United States; this is just one more. But when they leak, they spill poison into our water. Many people in Roseland ...er, Lawn, depend on well water, as do many people across the country.
The earth will endure, one of my geology professors used to say. But will we?
Click the button below below to hear Joe "Papo" Daddiego teaching rumba rhythms called yambú and guaguancó. And then there's Colombian - Papo's hands take flight, to Charlie the parrot's delight, while Paul Montigny holds the bottom groove in this 2008 recording. Where was yours truly? Battling not one but two familial sexual predators including a convicted pedophile.
Climate science has evolved rapidly since the early days of computer models. Such models were still quite primitive by today's standards when this dinosaur studied earth science in college. But even then we learned about Earth from studying our fellow travelers in the solar system, including the planet Venus. Permanently obscured by thick clouds, its atmosphere is almost entirely carbon dioxide and the surface temperature and pressure would destroy life as we know it.
The example of Venus served as a warning in and of itself that we need to be careful about carbon dioxide emission. But in addition to that, today's more powerful computers affirm what scientists theorized decades ago.
More and more people are turning to alternative energy. One sees solar panels everywhere here in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania -- even on Amish farms. We the people are buying into alternative energy. We're creating more and more healthy, clean energy jobs to give us hope... and a future for our species.
Now that's beauty on the rise.
With thanks to Ebee Bromley, Director of Music at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks (Reading, Pennsylvania), and especially to composer Clif Hardin who gave permission to post this on YouTube (words by Jan Elicker). It was a blessing to be part of singing this song. Pianist Tracy Blunt powers us with an uplifting accompaniment.
Volunteers using taxpayer dollars continue to clean up the damage from the coal industry in Pennsylvania. Meanwhile the practice of fracking inflicts even more harm. Gas companies are reaching deep into Pennsylvania headwaters. Now is the time to take action, as Dr. Carol Kafer writes below.
Dr. Kafer is a professor on the Natural Sciences Faculty of Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. She is Associate Professor of Biology (anatomy & physiology).
Hello, LCWA Members and Friends,
This is your last chance to contact the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) and give your input regarding Chief Oil and Gas’s application to withdrawal 2 million gallons of water per day from the Loyalsock Creek at Forksville. The deadline for receiving comments is Monday, August 17, 2015.
On behalf of the LCWA members, the LCWA Board has provided testimony at two hearings, both in Grantsville, PA. On April 30th, Vice President Steve Szoke and Advisor Dr. Jon Niles gave testimony. Their main concern was that Chief was applying to withdraw far more water than the “safe” volume recommended by The Nature Conservancy for headwater streams. On August 6th, President Carol Kafer testified that according to the LCWA Mission Statement, we insist that mechanisms be in place to determine if a water withdrawal is having a negative impact on our Exceptional Value stream. Biologist and LCWA member Harvey Katz gave testimony stating more in-stream flow data must be collected before we can determine negative impacts.
For the August 6th hearing, there were 28 projects scheduled for action for which people could give testimony. Only ONE project was discussed: the withdrawal from the Loyalsock Creek! I am a great believer is the old adage “the squeaky wheel gets oiled”, so please, take a few moments and add your “squeak”. If you are struggling for words, maybe this will help. It is a paragraph from a document published by the SRBC titled “Frequently Asked Questions, Question #2: What kinds of approvals from the SRBC do the natural gas companies need to operate?”
“When reviewing proposed surface water withdrawals, SRBC evaluates whether the proposed withdrawal would adversely impact other water users, fish, wildlife, other living resources or their habitat, recreation and flows in streams; or cause water quality degradation that may be injurious to water users. SRBC also assess the potential for the withdrawal to cause adverse impacts, both individually and cumulatively, to the water resources of the basin and other nearby water users, including residential uses.”
Please don’t be self-conscious about your writing skills. What is important is that you make your voice heard. If you live and/or own property in the Loyalsock Watershed, include that in your email. This is YOUR habitat.
Carol Kafer, President
Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association
How to Post Your Comment on the SRBC Website:
1. Start with the SRBC Home Page: http://www.srbc.net/
2. In the Public Participation box on the left of the Home Page Screen, click on Commenting
3. On the Public Participation Center screen Hearings box, click on: Click here to submit comments on pending applications not currently scheduled for action
4. On the Water Resources Overview Portal screen, in the Water Resources Portal Pages box: Scroll down and click on Search for Projects
5. On the Search for Projects screen, in the Project Sponsor box, scroll down and click on Chief Oil and Gas, LLC, then enter the Project Identification Number 2014081; then click on Submit
6. In the Table, click on View
7. On the Project Details screen, scroll down and click on Add a Comment
8. Fill in the Submit Comment form and Submit Comment
Submit your comment by August 17th.