Tuesday Shorts

House-cleaning here, some snippets in the to-blog folder I won’t get to at any level more than to pass along the link. I don’t seem to be able to quite catch up, but there’s an end in sight, slower days ahead–sometime in January during an ice storm, I think.

10 Most Fascinating Savants in the World Fascinating indeed. Each one of these unique people tell us something about how the mind works, could work, or changes in some cases for the better when it’s “broken” in some unusual way.

Coal and Civil Disobedience: the Dominion 11 “Wise County residents have been fighting Dominion’s plans since they were first announced 18 months ago. The new Dominion coal-fired power plant, if built would release 5.37 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually.”

Tidbit from SEJ: I think it was Amory Lovins (Rocky Mountain Institute) who told us that, if all the states operated as efficiently as the ten most electrically-efficient states, the nation could reduce its electricity needs by over 60 percent. That certainly does harm to the notion that we can’t get the electricity that the (see above) Wise County plant would produce in less harmful ways. Conservation profits the commons, other options–the profits go to pockets. Which group has the more powerful lobby in Richmond and DC, you reckon?

Hints to White Nose? Or Not? A new cold-adapted fungus has been found associated with–but not necessarily causing–White Nose Syndrome that is causing precipitous decline of some bat colonies in the northeast. If determined to be the cause, it would join the ranks of other newly-virulent or widely spread fungi wiping out our animals. The the class Amphibia is also being seriously harmed world wide by a fungal disease.

The Daily Climate: SEJ08 Award-Winning Reporting on Global Warming Edition. Does your party believe we should simply let market forces deal with global warming?

Earth on course for eco ‘crunch’ The planet is headed for an ecological “credit crunch”, according to a report issued by conservation groups. (BBC) The consensus among panelists and speakers at the SEJ conference (during the World Series) was that we don’t need a “base on balls. We need a home run. In this inning.” Remember that when you vote tomorrow.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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