Protecting the Planet

Protecting our planet is not a partisan issue. Almost everyone wants

  • clean air,
  • clean water,
  • wholesome, delicious, and nutritious foods,
  • healthy natural surroundings,
  • cheap clean renewable energy, generated locally.

There is plenty of scientific evidence that we need to make changes if future generations are to have these things. But so far scientists have not been particularly effective in the public discourse on these matters.

There is a minority among us who don’t want these things. Among that minority is a very influential few who are getting richer and richer under the regime we currently have. They spend a lot of money to persuade others among us not to make the changes that must be made to save the web of life for the generations to come.

The following video talks about why the changes we need in public opinion have not been coming as quickly as they should. It suggests how we might become more effective in protecting our earth for future generations.


Dining on Heart’s Desire Beach

Sonoma County is in the midst of a record-setting heat wave for early May. It’s always cooler at the coast—a good place to escape the hottest weather.

Trimaran sailing past Heart’s Desire Beach

Because my favorite estuary, the Estero Americano, has so little water in it, I decided to try to paddle on Tomales Bay, my second-favorite estuary. In the spring, though, it’s often unpleasantly windy on Tomales. Heat spells sometimes attenuate the winds and I hoped that would happen yesterday.

When I arrived in the morning the wind was already up enough to keep me ashore.

Heart’s Desire, though, is about as nice a beach as one might wish for. A dozen families, most with preschool children, set up for a midday sojourn along the shore near the parking lot and bathrooms.

I ventured a short way south the better to see what wild animals might be up to.

Soon a turkey vulture flew over head.

The ebbing tide revealed a dead leopard shark.

The vulture had become aware of the carcass before me. Turkey Vultures can detect ethyl mercaptan, a gas emitted by decaying flesh, from the air.

Soon it landed on the beach and began to disembowel the leopard shark.

It concentrated on a slit in the underside of the (female?) shark.

The turkey vulture stayed for some time and was eventually joined by other TVs. Taking turns, they worked for about an hour on the carcass, but didn’t get a whole lot of entrails out of the body cavity. Their efforts were interrupted from time to time by humans walking by. They finally flew away leaving the carcass pretty much as they had found it.

Later a seagull flew in for a look at what the vultures had abandoned. It went right to work.

I didn’t expect the seagull, who worked alone, to pull much out of the shark. It was surprisingly successful.

The seagull managed to pull a great deal of food from the leopard shark’s belly.

Such was the show on Heart’s Desire Beach on May 2, 2017.