Good news for windmill operators

Good news from a long-term experiment in Norway: painting a single blade of a power-generating windmill may reduce fatal birdstrikes by as much as 70%. This is certainly an experiment that bears replication, especially at facilities that (1) keep careful records of birdstrikes and (2) care enough to make the effort. It’s pretty sad that the Norwegians spent 7 years on this, and few other researchers got on board with it. If this were clinical research for a debilitating disease, mobs would be clamoring for more trials.  Bird conservationists should be outraged at the pace. Of course, they’re not even … Continue reading Good news for windmill operators

It’s about time…

…that somebody, Trout Unlimited in this case, called an auto manufacturer on those ceaseless TV ads of off-road vehicles crashing through forest, field, and stream, tearing up everything in sight.  After a week or so of seeing that crap on the tube, I’m surprised there’s an intact meadow, stream, or game trail left anywhere in North America.  Off-roading is a hobby that is incomprehensible to me.  Besides being an enormous money pit, it looks a lot like high-tech vandalism of nature. Continue reading It’s about time…


I just learned about the Chinese craze for pandas from Albinotronix, a new blogfollower, whose blog, The Curious Guy, is even more wide-ranging than mine.  I was particularly struck by his pithy summary of panda evolutionary foolishness: Take a moment to think about this magnificent species For no reason they decided to turn herbivores For no reason they decided to stop reproducing So this makes pandas the vegan hipsters of the Animal Kingdom. I shall henceforth refer to such persons as “Pandas.” Continue reading Pandas

The Feds are not your friends

Writing in the New York Times Magazine, Jennifer Percy describes Fear of the Federal Government in the Ranchlands of Oregon.  Try though she might, her east coast acculturation won’t let her quite get into the heads of the folks in towns where she spent her childhood. They visited Yellowstone Nation Park and saw, they said, two million acres of natural resources gone to waste. “At least one day a year,” Robin said, “we ought to be able to go in and take advantage.” Emily thought the trees were too close together. “Didn’t look healthy,” she said, “because they don’t log.” … Continue reading The Feds are not your friends

Do You Spell FAIL with Green Letters?

More and more of all this hippy-dippy green energy bullshit we’re saddled with is turning out to be a collection of Really Bad Ideas: corn likker for yer car is destroying more land and polluting more water than all the frackers in Christendom, and starving folks in Latin America solar power arrays and wind turbines are wreaking havoc on migratory bird populations (almost as bad as those friggin’ housecats) The only upside I see is that some of our more obnoxious greeny hipsters will tool around town on their BikeShare bikes and get clocked by some drunk in an SUV. Continue reading Do You Spell FAIL with Green Letters?

Oh noes! It’s ‘sposed to go the other way!

Paleoclimatologists working in Lapland have some new and interesting findings: Professor Dr. Jan Esper’s group at the Institute of Geography at JGU used tree-ring density measurements from sub-fossil pine trees originating from Finnish Lapland to produce a reconstruction reaching back to 138 BC. In so doing, the researchers have been able for the first time to precisely demonstrate that the long-term trend over the past two millennia has been towards climatic cooling. Where’s my hockey stick? Tip from Gary Jones, who’s making that Google+ thing work. Continue reading Oh noes! It’s ‘sposed to go the other way!

Maybe y’all should listen to those old squares

Mom’s First Law of Floods:  Where water has been before, water will be again. Lots of Japanese ignored that law, but the folks of Aneyoshi followed it scrupulously.  Too bad most folks don’t stop to read the writing on the wall–or on those corny old stone markers, either… Update (9 April).  Masanobu Shishikura didn’t need to read old stone markers; he figured out the tsunamis were coming just by looking at dirt. Nobody listened to him, either. Continue reading Maybe y’all should listen to those old squares

Birds, bats, and wind farms

Surprise, surprise!  Just like in California, flying critters in Texas get whacked by wind turbines.  The problem seems to be most worrisome along the Gulf.  The wind farm developers are studying the problem–and installing safeguards, but they’re getting nothing but grief from conservationists, who want the developers to make their data public. Those who opposed the wind farms are not convinced the studies are credible or conclusive. The work was paid for by the companies and not peer-reviewed. In their reports, biologists wrote about the challenges of collecting good data with rattlesnakes biting their search dogs and cows that would … Continue reading Birds, bats, and wind farms

Uh, oh!

Stupid old New England joke: A man and his son are out in their New England pasture, picking up rocks and stacking them along the fenceline. “Daddy,” asks the son, “where did all these rocks come from?” “From the glaciers, son,” Dad answers. “So where did the glaciers go?” asks the son. “Back for more rocks.” Tip from the Instapundit. Continue reading Uh, oh!