It’s undeniable that the use of plastics for practically everything is terribly convenient.
It’s also undeniable that this convenience has a huge downside; the Planet is becoming a trash heap and it’s having a devastating impact on wildlife everywhere.
It’s imperative that we get serious about this and make some real changes.
Yes, I know this will not be easy.
A tiny bit of good news: the French are getting serious about weaning themselves off of the use of plastic for everything. And it’s having an impact.
Of course, it would have an even greater impact if we in the U.S. were to follow their lead.
But it’s virtually certain that our resistance to change, coupled with the determination of the Fossil Fuel industry to prioritize its profitability over the welfare of the environment, will mean that we will never actually rise to meet the challenge.
This is regrettable, to say the very least.
And it’s just one more reason–and there are so many–that the outlook for our Planet is very bleak.
We had better wake up.
Not only about our use of plastics, but about a whole range of issues that are contributing to this horrible degradation of the Earth.
My traveling companion and I made a trip to Wekiwa Springs earlier this month.
It was a great trip and we enjoyed it immensely.
She had not seen it before; had not seen any of our fabulous State Parks here in the Sunshine State and she loved it.
The banner photo is of the bridge that visitors see when they leave the parking area and walk towards the springs.
I’m sure I’ve taken well over a hundred photos of this beautiful and well-loved sliver of the Park. I’m quite pleased with this one.
You can rent canoes and kayaks here and paddle about to your heart’s content. Here you can see plenty of colorful kayaks just waiting to launch.
I’ve had many friends who swear that kayaking is THEE way to go when you’re near the water. I’m sure that their feelings about that are quite well-founded, but I’m more of a canoe guy! Here four of them greeted us when we came of the way with our cameras in hand.
We are planning another visit soon. This time we’ll be set to camp again. It’s really hard to beat this gem of a park when it’s time to pitch your tent and set up camp.
I will keep you posted on that, of course. Here’s a photo of two happy outdoor-folk getting a selfie in one of Florida’s best outdoor spots!
If you’d like to visit the Park sometime soon or simply learn more about it, just follow this handy link.
If you do make it out to Wekiwa Springs, I’m quite sure you won’t be disappointed!
Today is National Public Lands Day and it provides a good occasion to learn more about our National Park system and public lands in general. And to learn what volunteer opportunities there are to preserve and improve America’s public lands.
If you’d like to do any of that, this link would be a pretty good place to start.
The current administration seems to be pulling in the opposite direction. This is not a good thing. Not at all.
Happy National Public Lands Day to all of you today. May we do all we can to keep our Country’s parks and public lands some of the best on the planet and pass this wonderful legacy on to the generations to come.
Made another trip out to the Canaveral National Seashore yesterday and it was a bit different.
It was our first visit since Hurricane Dorian passed by, skirting our coastline.
Although the storm never got closer than about 50 miles offshore, the unmistakable tell that Dorian had come and gone was litter on the beach.
I’m happy to report that we saw no large items, but lots of flotsam and jetsam a lot assorted small debris. Bottle caps and plastic items of every kind and description were all over the beach.
I’m pretty sure that the rangers saw to it that the larger, uglier debris was removed but didn’t have the manpower to get the rest of it. I’ve been to the park many times and the beach has always been pristine.
As you might imagine, it was a bit off-putting to see it that way.
Here’s the silver lining in that dark cloud: those of us who like to pick up seashells when we go to the shore had thousands of shells of all kinds right there for the collecting.
I’ve never seen that at the beach, either. And we came back with quite a haul.
I’m planning another trip to the park soon to do what I can to get more of Dorian’s debris off our beloved beach. We couldn’t do much this time as we didn’t anticipate the situation and the park service does not put out trash cans on the beach.
We will be prepared next time.
Get outdoors, people!
Find some oasis of beauty and tranquility in your neck of the woods.
Enjoy it. Enjoy it and leave it a little better than you found it.
Climate Scientists have been sounding the alarm for years about how the Earth is warming and how big changes are on the way for all of us.
The signs that our planet is changing–and changing very fast–are so numerous that it’s hard to know what to focus on.
But we should not allow that to keep us from getting and staying engaged and advocating for policies and actions to mitigate the damage we are inflicting upon our beleaguered planet.
In an article that appeared in June, writer Jordan Davidson lays out for concerned readers some of the alarming signs that the melting of ice around Greenland is a very big deal and is–most troubling of all–accelerating at a rapid pace.
Davidson followed up with another piece yesterday which focuses on one of the more urgent aspects of this whole matter of melting glaciers and rising sea levels.
Scientists, researchers and policy wonks have been warning all who will listen that we need to be prepared to move away from the coastal regions of our planet as the phenomenon of rising sea levels proceeds.
And to this observer, it appears that not too many people are listening to those warnings.
Mr. Davidson’s article makes a fine entry point for anyone who’d like to take a closer look at these issues. It focuses closely on the melting of ice around Greenland, the Helheim Glacier in particular. The piece is very timely and not overly-wonky and can be read here.
So many are doing this work of watching for the signs, for the evidence, that our planet is struggling, is being seriously degraded.
Keep listening. Stay engaged. Stay engaged and take action!
One of the really important headlines coming out of Florida this last week was about the just-passed budget for the coming year and how it highlights new priorities in the Sunshine State.
Make no mistake, this thorough re-ordering of spending priorities is a direct result of Gov. Ron DeSantis replacing former Governor and infamous boot-licker Rick Scott.
Some quick facts to help you get a feel for what this new budget in Florida can mean:
$100 million for spring restoration in several locations
$417 million for Everglades restoration in particular
$40 million for alternative water supply
$25 million for research to combat blue-green algae and red tide, specifically.
If you’d like to dive a little deeper into this issue of the new budget and how it impacts our Florida environment, here’s a link to an excellent article that just ran in the latest issue of Florida Weekly.
This development has certainly been heartening for those of us who keep a close eye on environmental issues in the Sunshine State. Gov. DeSantis has been commended over and over again for stepping up on this issue, as well he should.
I’m hopeful that we all will still be offering kudos to Mr Desantis for his wise and serious advocacy for Florida’s environment as his time in office draws to a close.