Climate Lessons for U.S. From Down Under

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Australia has seen the light and is ripping up its economy-wrecking climate change policies.

Conservative Tony Abbott won last weekend’s election, having run on a platform that would scrap Australia’s carbon tax. His election brought in a new government that rejects the hype of manmade global warming. Australia will now climb out from under that economy-killing gorilla.

According to New Scientist, Abbott declared that “the climate change argument is absolute crap.” Accordingly, the new leadership has several actions planned. Among them is disbanding the country’s Climate Commission and redirecting funds away from “ridiculous research.” On this, Abbot was speaking of studies that inquired into “I,” better known as understanding one’s self. Such research sounds like so many of the self-obliging subjects that are studied when global warming research fails to yield some impending climate catastrophe.

Speaking of science, Australian scientists abjectly objected to the politicization of science. It’s representative body opined that government should not be in the business of picking and choosing research areas nor funding the favorites. Like America, Australia supported the studies that supported global warming.

But that is about to end. Australia regained its senses with the institution of conservative leadership. Unlike America, wasting unavailable funds and diving deeper into debt and recession will no longer be what Australia is about. The stranglehold of the greens has given way to the clear thinking of leaders interested more in prosperity than propensity for doom.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if American leaders thought so too?…

Environmentally Friendly Marketing Ideas for Green Businesses

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When running a green, eco-friendly business, working your environmental stance into your marketing is important for projecting your business’s image. Here are a few ideas for marketing your business in a greener way!

Paper-based marketing, including flyers and posters, can be highly effective. Unfortunately, a large percentage of the paper used for these marketing tools will be destined for the landfill. Avoid excessive paper waste in your marketing by instead using practical items to promote your business. Things like ink pens and refrigerator magnets are useful things that are far less likely to be thrown away. Not only will this help reduce your environmental impact by saving natural resources, but it will give your advertising more longevity as well. A flyer will probably be thrown away and forgotten within a few days, whereas an item like a pen will be around for weeks, months, or even years. This means that your company logo and information will also be there, bringing your business to mind on a regular basis.

Be selective in your advertising. Look for places to advertise and market your business where green-minded folks will see your ads, such as alternative newspapers. Try to advertise only in print media that uses at least some recycled paper in their printing. If your favorite local publications do not use recycled paper, you should encourage them to do so!

Always look for ways to add value to what would otherwise be considered garbage. For instance, many stores have coupons printed on the reverse side of their cash register receipt paper. There is usually a number to call in order to inquire about purchasing ad space here. Look for businesses like health food stores or other places where environmentally conscious people shop and see if they use this kind of receipts.

Offering your customers special green services will help draw them to your business. For example, you could purchase a TechnoTrash can from GreenDisk to offer your patrons a way to recycled things like printer ink cartridges, old floppy disks, and other used-up or outdated technology. Advertise that you have these services available. Green-minded people will often use businesses that go the extra mile with services like this. Offering extra green services to your customers will help retain a loyal customer base, as well as draw in new customers who are excited to see your commitment to the environment.

Thinking “outside the box” and using a little creative ingenuity in your marketing will help to project your image as an environmentally friendly business!…

Environmental Activities

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I called to the mountains
but they didn’t reply.
Perhaps the distance truncates
the force of my lamentations.
Or perhaps they don’t care;
I belong to a race of terracidal maniacs
who’ve killed her kin.
Likewise the flowing waters
strain to avoid my legs, kicking at
lily pads,
perhaps marking it as insult to injury,
striking the earth when she is down.
We are porcelain and too dainty
for survival.
My hands coated in red dirt
is phony: I’m a closeted urbanite
with product
in my
hair.
I should bake myself
in the sun. I should bury myself
in hay and clippings.
I should….but I won’t.
There is work to be done.…

Living a Christian Life in the Current Political Climate

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I am a Christian. That simple statement sparks so much controversy among the masses. There was a time I too thought the face of Christianity had become marred by hatred and judgment. But I have seen a change.

The current debate in this country is centered on the return of Christianity to our government. Even as a Christian, I find this debate confusing. While I am committed to my beliefs, I do recognize that our country was founded with two basic principals in mind: religious freedom and the separation of church and state.

I recognize that those who came to this country were escaping a government that tried to force them to follow a religious doctrine they did not believe. I also recognize that our founding fathers saw fit to make sure that the government did not have that type of control over individual freedom.

I get confused by political platforms that suggest big government is too intrusive while at the same time suggest that government should follow a Christian belief and mandate very personal choices. I wonder how government can be too big in the realm of capitalist enterprise but not too big in the realm of personal choice, regarding belief and body.

We face real problems in our country right now that grow from personal fears. We are distracted by rhetoric that gains popularity through fear mongering. I have seen adolescents lash out at each other based on ideals that they have very little to no true knowledge about. I have seen people, groups of people, injured due to the spread of ignorance and hate. If we pretend that these differences are a reason to hurt others to protect ourselves from our own fears and insecurities, we are weakening our country, our society and ourselves. 

At the same time, I have seen changes among the Christians I know. There was a time when their choices and beliefs were dictated by fear rather than love. I have also seen the backlash from people of other beliefs that feel ostracized by Christians asking the same questions I felt compelled to ask. But as all people become less likely to just read headlines and listen to rhetoric, and instead start asking questions – understanding, acceptance and tolerance has begun to flourish.

The fact is, we are human beings, individual human beings, and the only way we will live peacefully with each other is if we educate ourselves and learn to accept differences in others. As a Christian, it is my goal to follow the life of Christ. I am human, so will I perfect this? Probably not. I am weak, but I will continue to try to live a life of acceptance, tolerance and love – even for things I don’t understand.…

Wildlife in Your Backyard: Baby Dove and Mother Dove

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I awoke one morning, surprised to see that there was a bird’s nest on my back porch. It wasn’t just any bird’s nest- it was a dove’s nest! The bird had chosen to make a nest sitting perched above my fusebox, about seven feet off the ground. I found this quite interesting. Here is the story…

Doves are beautiful birds. I don’t ge

nerally see many of them around Hagerstown, MD. More often I see sparrows, black crowes, cardinals, and the like. When I first saw the bird’s nest on my porch, I didn’t necessarily think it was a dove’s nest. Then, a couple of hours later, I saw the gray dove sitting in the nest. This is quite a treat, because usually birds of any type will want to keep their nests hidden, to ensure the safety of the eggs and the baby birds. If a dove is letting you see the nest, it must feel very comfortable in this location!

The doves on my porch were considered Mourning Doves. They have actually grown quite used to nesting in areas occupied by humans, so it isn’t that strange to find them on your porch or in a windowsill, or in a planter hanging on one of your trees in your backyard. The doves adapt well to these situations.

The interesting thing about mourning doves is that they usually mate for life. The two birds will stick together, and often both parents will watch over a nest. I personally only think I saw the mother dove on my porch, however. The mother dove showed up first in May, right before summer.

The dove at first was there on and off again, for a period of about a week. This nest had actually been used by some other birds in the past, other than doves, and so the dove was making it her own. She added about an inch all the way around in height to the nest, and then she was ready to have her egg.

Doves usually have two baby doves at one time, generally. Each spring, they will have up to six “hatches” of offspring, two in each hatch. It was literally impossible to be able to see the egg, though, because the mother dove stayed on the nest at all times. At least, every time I looked she was there. Whereas the previous bird who used this nest always flew away when I would come outside the back door, the dove stayed put. She wasn’t moving for anything.

In a couple of weeks, she seemed to get very fat. It isn’t because she was pregnant. It’s because she was positioning her body to cover the baby dove that had hatched to keep it protected from prey. After three weeks total, I saw the baby dove. It was smaller than the mother dove, but not by much. It was as if by the time the bird was able to show its face, it was already pretty big. I assume that there were two eggs initially, but that only one of them made it. Thus, for the next two weeks, both mother and baby stayed in the nest. Once or twice, I would see the baby bird alone, but not often. Finally, both mother and baby left, on to bigger pastures…

I didn’t see anymore of mother and baby dove, but generally the baby dove will live on the ground for a few days after leaving the nest. It has to gather its strength to be able to fly. The mother …

Environmental Road Rage

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The endless string of red ruby taillights, like a necklace outlining the curves of a sleeping beauty does not incite pleasurable images, rather it sends me into a rage. “How dare you cause a traffic jam in my mountains,” I scream in typical Coloradoan road rage. I swerve off to a frontage road only to get stuck behind Denver plates going under the speed limit. “Must be from California or Texas,” I fume as I yank my mother’s three-quarter ton pick-up into the on-coming lane to pass on a blind corner. It’s a normal Sunday drive home from work, taking an hour and a half to travel fifteen miles. I’m livid by the time I get home.
I am a native, said with condescension and righteous snobbery; born and raised (by my transplanted Californian mother) in Colorado’s beautiful mountains. I remember when Vail and Eagle were separate towns. I remember skiing when snowboarders were dangerous herds of out-of-control kids, before terrain parks and sick jibbers. I learned to drive on the switchbacks of Fall River Road, and lost kids in my high school to the unprotected cliffs of Oh My God Road. These mountains thirty miles west of Denver are my mountains.

Back in Colorado for a post-college internship, after spending four years attempting to pry open my mind, I was conflicted in a new way. They were still my mountains; but my driver’s license had Oregon written across the top. Still a native I get pulled over so the cop can verify that I am my mother’s daughter, and oh how I’d grown. I now understand economy and the need to relocate for the numerous reasons that life proposes, but my mountains are being trampled by thousands of summer-heat melting Denverites. Heading west and up to break from city heat, they hike off trails increasing erosion; they start camp fires without rings, not putting them out completely; they invade small tourist towns making daily life for residents nearly impossible; their kids graffiti rocks; their trash floats down creeks; their million dollar houses destroy entire mountain slopes, creating uninteresting views and displacing wildlife. They are destroying the mountains that I love. It seemed an unstoppable spiral motivated by an unreasonable expectation of ownership (theirs and mine) and economics. 
Then I saw Colorado 1870-2000, by William H. Jackson & John Fielder. This photo history of Colorado compared landscape photos taken by Jackson in the 1800’s with photos taken by Fielder from the same spots in 2000. The comparisons showed once seemingly booming towns, now empty meadows desecrated by harsh winters or wildfires. Growing population centers then, now Lake Dillon. For pages the then and now photos showed me that though I worried for my docile mountains, they always had the upper hand. Blizzards; rock, mud and snow slides; floods, fire, wind, and draught have kept man’s transgressions in check far as long as man has attempted to inhabit the folds of the Rockies and conquer their peaks.

Once in a while out-of-town drivers force a scream from behind my steering wheel for their incessant braking, but now I worry less for my powerful mountains loved my Mother Nature herself, and I laugh when I hear of her demolishing storms and construction thwarting weather and plate movements. Millions of years from now, she will be here and we will not, and I’m ok with that.…

Lake Tobias Wildlife Park: A Don’t Miss Attraction in Central Pennsylvania

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Family owned and operated since 1965, Lake Tobias Wildlife Park has fascinated thousands of people each year with all the wonderful exotic animals and their wildlife safari. Located in Halifax PA, the park is home to many animals from all over the world. When you arrive, the one thing that stands out right from the very beginning, are the columns of deer antlers that mark the entrance to the park, and the large lake that you can fish from if you desire. The park has a very farm like appearance to it, with it’s dirt roads and buildings that resemble barns. You can stroll around the park and view the animals including Zebra, Gemsbok, Black Bears, Monkeys, Lemurs, Mountain Lions, Snow Leopards, Wallaby, Ostrich, Ducks, Prairie Dogs, Bobcats, Tortoises, Arctic Fox, and many, many more.

Lake Tobias Wildlife Park also offers a petting zoo, where you can feed the animals the park’s regulated diet food and crackers are sold to feed the animals for 25 cents. The petting zoo is open from 10am-6:30pm on weekends, and from 10am-5:30pm on weekdays. As a personal note, you may want to visit a camel in the back of the petting zoo area. You will have to make a mad dash past the goats, sheep, fawns, and deer, as they will come to nibble for some food. There is a camel in the one area to the right inside the petting zoo. This camel is incredibly friendly and loves to be petted. He is extremely gentle and seems to enjoy a good neck scratch. If I could speak camel, I would have swore he was asking me to take him home with me. There are a few other animals back there too, such as Llamas, and other camels as well. Admission to the petting zoo is included with your park admission.

Another excellent feature about this park is the reptile building. The reptile building is open Tuesday through Sunday from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. They have half hour presentations throughout the day for those who like to gain more information about the animals there. The animals vary from time to time, but you can find Pythons, Boa Constrictors, Anaconda, various other snakes, lizards, turtles, Argentine Horned Frog, even baby alligators. You will also find parrots such as the Cockatoos, and various kinds of Macaws. You can even see a Two-Toed Tree Sloth! Admission is $1 for ages 3 and up.

By far, the most exciting aspect of Lake Tobias Wildlife Park is their safari tour. This tour takes you across 150 acres of land in a bus that has the top cut off of it. There is approximately 500 animals to view on this tour. Here you will find Buffalo, Yak, Texas Longhorn, Elk (some of the most magnificent), various types of deer, Barbado and Mouflon Sheep, Rhea, Emu, Scottish Highland Cattle, Watusi, and Llamas. You can see herds of animals grouped together doing what they would do naturally in the wild. These animals come right up to the bus, and some even step up onto the stairs, for some food from the driver. Truly amazing! You don’t realize how large these animals are until you have one standing within 2ft of you. Numerous tours are given throughout the day, each about 45 minutes in length. Tickets are sold at the refreshment stand located near the entrance to the park. The cost is $5 for adults and $4 for children, under 3 years old is free. This is such a great price for the amount of animals you get to see and …

Climate

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Even when the climate
is very hot and you’re tired
of preaching and you
feel no one is listening-

Keep going! 
Drink the water of God’s Word 
and continue.

Walk by faith, 
knowing that a harvest will come.

You are only the seed planter, 
God is the One Who will make it 
bear fruits.…

Padre Island Wildlife

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The best show on North Padre Island isn’t in a night club, or in a playhouse, but rather right outside by a canal that’s part of Laguna Madre. I suppose that this is a relative opinion, as some people don’t care much for nature or the out-of-doors. However, for those of you who love watching nature, you may find this an amusing story and will perhaps be inspired to look for such comedy in your own backyard. Just this morning I stopped at the Whataburger on North Padre Island for breakfast. For those of you who don’t know, Whataburger is a fast food chain that’s primarily located in Texas, and was started in Corpus Christi. They have fairly good food, for a fast food chain, and if you’re looking to grab a quick meal while you’re vacationing on North Padre Island, then you might want to stop there.

So what does the Whataburger on the Island have to do with the best show on the Island? Well, right behind the Whataburger is a canal with some public spots to moor your boat. So, if you happen to be cruising around Laguna Madre and want to get a burger, you could come over and park your boat behind the Whataburger. And of course, where there’s water at the coast, especially with summer coming on, there’s wildlife. And wild it is. I parked behind the Whataburger this morning to eat a biscuit, and lo and behold there is this giant crane-like bird. He had to be at least three feet high and he had a really long neck. He was brown and tan in color, and his feathers were very smooth and neat. The immediacy of him was a little astonishing, he was only about five feet from my car when I first pulled up, although he did retreat a few feet in response to a two ton car pulling up so close to him. After shimmying a few feet away down the wall of the canal, he just sat there eyeing me, and attempting to look superior to all the other creatures. He seemed to be saying “I’m so much better than the rest of you.”

This superior attitude could have been in response to all of the rather mad seagulls that were flying around the canal. When I say mad, I mean stark raving crazy. Some of the seagulls were sitting on the dock posts, but never for very long. The reason being was because another seagull would dive bomb the one sitting on the post, forcing him to move quickly so that the kamikaze seagull could alight on the dock post instead. This happened more than a few times, with one of the seagulls (who apparently wasn’t paying very much attention) almost falling backwards off of the post and into the water. He managed to catch himself just before taking a dunk into the canal and flew away as if nothing had happened.

After some time, the seagulls got tired of kamikaze attacking each other and decided instead to pick on some small birds that were in the field beside the canal. A few of the seagulls flew over to the smaller birds and started chasing them all over the place, until finally the small birds gave up and left. There didn’t seem to be any reason for this, it wasn’t over food or at least it didn’t appear to be. As soon as the little birds left, the seagulls went back to sitting on the dock posts. It was as if they had just run the little birds …

Climate Crowd Can’t Cope

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Green campaigners are losing the debate on global warming. Alarmists have lost the lure of climate catastrophe. With increasing desperation, they seek to draw public attention back to global warming and its supposedly dire effects, despite that predictions are overstated or just plain false.

More pressing public matters exist, such as exponentially rising national debt, the stagnant economy, the lack of jobs, opportunity, and innovation in America, and the flight of progress and prosperity from a once great nation forever. If these are the public’s worst worries, why do alarmists worry about climate so much?

Answer: Alarmists are invested in catastrophe. Academic livelihoods depend on it. Reputations rely on it. Governments collect billions of tax dollars on it, supporting a network of subservient scientific societies to promote the hoax.

In the meantime, radicalized conservation associations push climate change instead of solving real environmental problems. Crony capitalists get rich on it by feeding at the public trough, peddling products like windmills and solar panels that could never survive in the marketplace without taxpayer money. Yes, climate ideology is a profitable business for special interests, lining particular pockets at the expense of everyone else.

Yet with all this power and money at their disposal, the alarmists are losing the battle for public attention. Opinion among scientists is turning against the alarmist doctrine too. People worry less about global warming than ever before with air pollution and nuclear power emerging as the most pressing problems, not climate. Why is this?

Word is getting around that warming has stopped, despite mainstream media efforts to suppress the facts. No global warming has occurred for nearly 20 years. Global temperature has flatlined despite that hot places and cold places exist all the time. Sorry to poke holes in ignorant populist beliefs, but Mother Nature attends to neither alarmist agendas nor catastrophe claimers who chugged the climate Kool Aid.

The climate agenda costs dearly at a time when the world suffers economic stagnation and recession. Funds that flow freely to save the environment from unrealized temperature rise ought to flow toward saving jobs, business, and trade. Public sentiment has turned toward saving itself instead of spending on disaster that never comes.

No longer able to cope with the rejection, global warming activists are now claiming that anyone who disagrees with them must be a racist or mentally ill. Pathologising dissent rings of Orwellian reality and a misanthropic regime of radical environmentalists. Every storm, dry spell, and molecule of ice melt — even the cold — is now blamed on global warming. Such nonsense is propagated by mainstream media with no sense of investigative journalism and an alarmist clique that has lost its senses and can no longer cope.…