Not Littering but Environmental Crime

Not Littering but Environmental Crime

I came across a story on Wednesday about a Florida man who had just been arrested for the crime of littering. Felony littering, that is. Our Department of Environmental Protection was on the case.

As with any crime, any bad act, sometimes the offender is merely dipping his toe in the water, so to speak. But sometimes they’re way out in that beautiful, deep, blue sea, swimming with the sharks.

That’s a better metaphor to use in trying to describe the seriousness of this miscreant’s very, very serious act of littering. All he did was dump ten 250 gal drums of liquid polymers and paint onto someone else’s private land.

So no, it’s not quite like the low-life who pitches his full, greasy Wendy’s bag out of the driver’s side window while cruising down the freeway. No, this unnamed environmental disaster on two legs needed a rental truck and a forklift — and multiple trips — to carry off this Lollapalooza of Litter!

Hearing about crimes like this can leave me so angry and frustrated that I hardly know what to do. In this case, it’s a powerful consolation that Florida’s DEP has the necessary tools to hold accountable the criminals who commit such outrages.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

Yes, anyone arrested and/or charged with crimes is innocent until proven guilty.

The banner photo is from another incident and is — I’m pretty sure — covered by Fair Use.

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

The Environmental File: another troubling sign

The Environmental File: another troubling sign

Climate scientists are doing great work, trying to get ahead of some of the many problems we’re facing as the damage we’ve done to the Earth becomes more and more apparent.

The way rainfall is distributed around our planet is changing. And, as you might imagine, those changes will become more pronounced going forward.

It’s a bleak situation and the effects are being felt over large portions of the Earth.

The good news — if there is any — is that we have climate scientists who have their eyes on this, and so many other urgent issues arising out of our collective failure to care for our Planet. 

The bad news is that there are still many citizens — and governments, sad to say — who don’t believe any of this is real. Or that it is caused by from human activity.

To have a look at a CBS News article from last week that shines a light on this bleak situation, just follow this link.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

Ben is not the owner of the banner photo and believes it to be covered by Fair Use.

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile

The Glaciers of Greenland are

The glaciers of Greenland are retreating at a frightening pace.

One of the sad illusions to which many of us cling tightly is that humanity will eventually “get it” and we’ll get off our collective ass and finally act.

That may or may not happen.

What I know for certain is that a lot of the damage that’s been done can never be reversed.

Scientists who are keeping an eye on the loss of ice on Greenland’s continent are now saying that the losses will not stop even if the planet stopped warming today.

And we all know it won’t.

So the signs keep coming. If you understand the gravity of the situation, you don’t need any more evidence.

There are, of course, many who don’t believe the evidence. The evidence that gets clearer every day.

The sad truth is that in so many cases, those are the people who could do something about it.

So we keep slouching toward that day of reckoning. The day when it becomes actually impossible to deny the reality of what’s happening.

And then we get to see what judgement humanity will impose on those who were actively engaged in the campaign to conceal the truth about the inevitable consequences of treating our Planet like an inexhaustible vending machine.

Like a playground.

Like that dark, dead end on that obscure county road where we go to dump our old, tattered mattresses.

That reckoning is coming.


“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Some Good news for Grizzlies

Some Good news for Grizzlies

Grizzly bears have been off limits to hunters for a while. But–sad to say–that changed recently and there were three seasons scheduled where these marvelous animals could be hunted down.

They now have a reprieve and that’s a wonderful thing.

It’s quite possible that due to pressure from hunters and others that grizzlies may be back in the cross hairs soon. But this is, nevertheless, a very good thing indeed.

If you’d like to have a closer look at this bit of good news, just follow this link.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Banner photo from TheConversation.com

More signs of trouble

Here in the US, most of us are very much focused on the upcoming election and all the unprecedented, insane drama coming from Washington.

It’s hard to imagine it being any other way.

But while we’re dealing with a never-ending stream of outrages and crises, all that other stuff that was going on in our world is still going on.

One of those things is the welfare of our Earth. There are so many indicators that our planet is in a bad way. Well, that’s putting it mildly.

One of those signs is that it’s been unusually warm in Siberia this year. Scientists are now seeing temperatures that have never before been recorded north of the Arctic Circle.

It’s just one more piece of evidence. As though more were needed.

Stay engaged. Don’t let yourself slip into hopelessness and despair.

We’ve got to keep shining a bright light on the crises we’re facing on the environmental front.

We’ve got to learn all we can, stay engaged and put our hands to the work.

There are so many on the front lines–volunteers, laymen and professionals–engaged in this work, giving their all to make a difference.

We can support them by contributing our time, contributing financially and by refusing to let other priorities–as urgent as they are–keep us from addressing the singular problem that can render all of the others insignificant.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Something tells me…

Something tells me…

…it’s all happening at the zoo! And our visit last week confirmed how true that is.

Had a chance to visit The Brevard Zoo again just a few days ago. This fine Central Florida zoo–like most in the country–closed back in March. It reopened about six weeks ago but zoo-lovers must book well in advance and will not be admitted until the time of the reservation comes around.

The few guests that are admitted each half hour can take in some fine sights and see plenty of critters. It was reassuring that with the admission policies and the rules about the wearing of masks and social distancing, the zoo is as safe as any public place can be.

Enjoyed seeing many of the “usual suspects” on this visit. Below is one of the jaguars that call this zoo home. He was just chillin’ and though we only saw him from the neck up, it was pretty cool!

We stayed around to get another shot or two. But Jerry Jaguar soon got bored with our feeble efforts to immortalize him digitally and he went back to what he had been doing before we showed up. Napping, of course!

Because the Brevard Zoo is here in the East Central Florida region, it must have a gator or two. So here are a couple of photos featuring one of the reptilian superstars that were checking us out while I was angling for a good spot to catch him for posterity.

Mike Macaw was enjoying the pleasant mid-afternoon slice of a fine Thursday. As usual, he wasn’t doing much besides just looking authentic and colorful.

The Brevard Zoo has a large and colorful aquarium and it kept me entertained for quite a while. Here’s one photo that’s ready for prime-time.

Our piscine friends seemed to be enjoying their their afternoon cruising all about. I understand they sometimes travel in schools of three…

One of my favorite things to do at the zoo is to get photos of some of the vistas that don’t actually feature a creature at all. The beautiful landscapes at this–or any zoo–can keep a shutterbug like me entralled for hours.

Zoos are the one place where ordinary people can observe an assortment of animals, learn something about them and their habitats, and how they’re faring in the natural world.

The girl in this picture is enjoying a rare opportunity to observe a wild primate up close; this encounter was fun for all but–sad to say–involved neither a real girl nor an actually monkey.

The Brevard Zoo offers something you won’t find in most zoos: a chance to go on a guided kayak tour around a good portion of the park.

We arrived too late to take advantage of the tour but found that the view from the pavilion where guest wait until their tours begin, was splendid, indeed. Have a look, I think you’d agree.

Being annual passholders for this fine zoological park, located in Melbourne, Florida, is something we feel very good about. I’ve taken many trips to plenty of zoos; more than I can count, truth be told.

And I’ll take many more.

A proud, card-carrying lover of zoos, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credits Benjamin Basile

From the Eco File: Yes, 100° in Siberia

From the Eco File: Yes, 100° in Siberia

You know I keep a close eye on what’s happening with our Planet. Doing so can be really draining, as many of you no doubt know.

The latest distressing but very important news to land in my inbox: the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk recorded a high temperature of 100 degrees this last Saturday.

Yes, our planet’s in really big trouble. There are so many indicators pointing in that tragic direction. This is just one more.

Don’t look away.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

banner photo is from NASA

National Trails Day

National Trails Day

Now, that’s one of my fave days, to be sure!

We do observe this auspicious day each year and I’m thinking of some of the trails I have known and loved.

The banner photo is of one tiny stretch of the Florida Trail. This was taken in the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area three years ago.

Planning a trip back to that WMA before this year is over. Have covered many a mile and there are many, many yet to traverse.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Green Energy Up, Nuclear Down

Green Energy Up, Nuclear Down

The trend of renewable energy accounting for an ever-increasing share among the many ways we get power has been going on for years.

And now we see that this process of green energy displacing other forms of power generation — nuclear, in particular — is picking up speed because of the drop in consumption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This afternoon I came across a story from Yahoo Finance that delves deeper into this trend. I recommend it highly for anyone who’s environmentally conscious and/or is trying to pay attention to some of the larger trends happening in the US and on the Planet in general.

Hope you’re all doing well and staying safe as we go through this ordeal. I’m still on furlough and somewhat stressed about how all of this will work out.

One silver lining in the cloud is that I do have more time for blogging. More content is coming soon; most of which will be right down the middle of our theme of outdoor fun.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit ssuaphotos/shutterstock

Earth-lovers are smiling today

Earth-lovers are smiling today

A huge victory today, especially for those of us who care about our Planet. The Supreme Court has ruled that a Utility Co. providing water to Maui County must stop injecting contaminated wastewater into the ground where it eventually reaches the sea.

Because we’re living in the trump era, our EPA had sided with the polluters in this important case. No surprise there. But they’ve now been stopped by the SCOTUS and the utility company must now comply with the law and clean up the water before they inject it into the ground.

The real shocker for me was that Justices John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch sided with the four progressive justices and against the polluters on this important case.

The Hawaii-based environmental groups that brought the suit, nature lovers and clean water advocates everywhere are smiling today.

I have no doubt that the trump-appointed industry lackeys that now run our EPA are pissed today. That really makes my day.

For the details on this important story, follow this link.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile