Fish Creek Road runs along the eastern edge of Estes Park, Colorado – or at least it used to. The recent record rainfall of September 2013 flooded Fish Creek proper, washing away entire segments of the roadway that runs alongside it – more than three miles of roadway, according to
Category Archive: Opinion
The U.S. has been stockpiling confiscated ivory — from tusks to idols to bangles and bracelets — for over 20 years. Until now, the bulk of this ivory was stored in the repository at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.
But on November 14, officials from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service lugged the six tons of ivory out of the warehouse and into a rock crusher. While many other countries have burned their stockpiles, this is the first time the U.S. has destroyed its ivory — and the first time ivory has been mashed into pebble-sized pieces.
The advantage to crushing, officials explained, was that the resulting bits and pieces could be turned into some sort of memorial for the elephants. Additionally, there were concerns from some environmentalists about the CO2 released into the atmosphere from burns.
After attending a reception the night before the crush and touching base with some of our interviewees for a mini-doc for OnEarth, an online environmental magazine, fellow graduate student Caitlin Rockett, CEJ associate director Michael Kodas and I headed out to the beige plains of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.
When we arrived workers were hanging a large mural representing the 30,000 elephants that were killed last year. U.S. Fish & Wildlife staff carefully assembled tusks into a pyramid-shaped funeral pyre, and ivory idols were lined neatly on tables.
The craftsmanship of many of the pieces was impressive. Exceedingly intricate images of elephants and deities were carved into tusks, while other tusks were carefully shaved down to make elaborate statues. Yet behind the artistry and artisanship was, for me, a profound sense of sadness and loss.
After a set of rousing speeches and celebrity appearances later that afternoon, the ivory was loaded into bulldozers and carted away to the rock crusher.
Shards of ivory spewed into the air, with rows of cameras capturing each burst.
It’s not every day you get to see six tons of ground up ivory shoot through the air. As young journalists, being able to witness a historical event like the U.S. ivory crush – and, more importantly, tell its story – is something that both Caitlin and I will remember for years to come.
To see our OnEarth mini-doc, click here.
By Tom Yulsman (originally posted at CEJournal, Dec. 20, 2011).
As anyone who used to read CEJournal probably knows, I went into semi-retirement from blogging last spring. The time commitment played a role. But so were doubts I harbored about what I was contributing to move conversations forward on issues like environment and energy. But as the year draws to a close, a breach of journalistic standards by Grist has gotten me out of the rocking chair.
In their eagerness to toss red meat to their readers, Grist and Mark Hertsgaard, author of its story about the “Extreme Climate Risks and California’s Future” conference, accepted uncritically the idea that Rajendra Pachauri jokingly advocated that climate change deniers should be rocketed into space. When it was shown that Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, never said such a thing, Grist sort-of kind-of corrected its story — but not its screaming tabloid headline.
So forever more, Grist’s readers and countless other climate activists, will think of Pachauri and the IPCC as being on their ‘side.’ Climate change skeptics will be confirmed in their false suspicion that the IPCC is a hopelessly biased activist organization, rather than a policy-neutral scientific assessment body. Pachauri and by extension the IPCC have yet again had some of their credibility chipped away. And thus the cause of climate change mitigation Grist and Herstgaard so passionately advocate for has been undermined.
By Jim Dimmick
There are many misconceptions about climate change that confuse the issue. This is my viewpoint on three of these misconceptions that will hopefully add some clarity to the discussion:
1. “We are addicted to oil.”
I don’t believe this is true. I believe most people don’t give a hoot where their energy comes from as long as it is cheap and plentiful. Even anti-nuclear folks don’t mind electricity from nuclear as long as the power plant is far away. I believe a more accurate statement is “we are addicted to a lifestyle based on cheap, plentiful energy.”