Picture/Poem Icon February 2007:                      
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Starker Lecture

A Picture/Poem collection
of links

From the Starker Lecture Series website: 

How can we fail to be excited when a world-class department
in Forest Science in the Pacific Northwest opens its doors
and makes an outstanding program of lectures available
online to the general public?

2006-07 Series
[hosted by Oregon State University]

100 Years of Forestry in the Pacific Northwest:
A Critical Look Back, A Fresh Look Forward
a series of eight lectures presented in online
webcasts in RealAudio
The most recent lecture
was given by the remarkable and
brilliant author
John Perlin

Thursday, October 26, 2006
A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization
LaSells Stewart Center, C&E Auditorium
Corvallis, Oregon   
4:00 p.m.
Archived Video [realaudio]

"John Perlin is author of A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization,
which recounts how wood, the principal fuel and building material from the
Bronze Age through the 19th century, played a major role in the culture,
demographics, economy, internal and external politics, and technology
of the great civilizations of Sumer, Assyria, Egypt, China, Knossos, Mycenae,
Classical Greece and Rome, Western Europe, and North America. Harvard
University Press has chosen A Forest Journey as one of the Press’
“One-Hundred Great Books” of all time.  [...]

The Starker Lecture Series website also maintains an excellent
archive of PAST SERIES:


Also of interest coming out of the Pacific Northwest
is the website of the North Cascades Institute:

William Dietrich on the importance of environmental education

"Sedro-Woolley, WA-- In November, North Cascades Institute hosted a regional
summit to develop an environmental education plan for Whatcom, Skagit and
San Juan counties as part of the statewide "E3" initiative. Senator Harriet Spanel
and Representative Dave Quall were both represented and Pulitzer Prize-winning
environmental journalist Bill Dietrich gave the rousing keynote address. Dietrich's
speech so aptly captured the sense of urgency many of us feel about educating
the next generation and engaging them with the natural world that we decided to
post the whole thing here on our website. Read it and then pass it on!

E3 Conference Keynote Address
By William Dietrich

Welcome to God's Country.

I don't mean that in a religious sense -- we've far too much religious politics already,
in my humble opinion -- but rather as a spiritual greeting. Northwest Washington
-- San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom counties -- has one of those geographies so
beautiful, so moody, so varied, and so powerful that it serves as a gate, a station
platform, for the mystical. It confirms our suspicion that there is more to life than
everyday survival. It reinforces our hunch that there is a reality deeper than what
we commonly see. This has nothing to do with religious dogma. It has everything
to do with finding meaning beyond materialism, and serenity beyond sensation.
The sea and land, from the scattered emeralds of the San Juan Islands to the crystal
crest of the Cascades, is surely a place where gods dwell, pixies cavort, mermaids
swim, and trolls brood under piles of mossy boulders. Bald eagles have anointed
it. Herons stand sentry. To conserve and protect such a place is a spiritual act
destroy it is desecration.

We are among the most fortunate people in the world. Few places are so lovely,
so temperate, so well-watered, so civil, so wealthy, so educated, and so new.
In the islands, the marine ecosystem plunges to depths of a thousand feet. At the
crest of the Cascades, the peaks rise nearly two miles high. Between is a cornucopia
of ecosystems, of rocky shore and sandy beach, of tulip field and dairy farm, of old
growth and murmuring cottonwood, of alpine meadow and sullenly retreating glacier.
We live on a very small percentage of this paradise. True wilderness is still just an
hour from our doors.

That's the good news. More troubling is that we're going to have to share. The state's
intermediate projection of population growth in our three counties in the next 19 years,
to 2025 -- which is the horizon this E3 conference is aimed at -- is 126,000 more people.
That means that in the next 19 years we have to build another Bellingham, another
Lynden, another, Mount Vernon, another Anacortes and another Friday Harbor.
In 19 years! " [...]

Navy Sonar Exempted from Marine
Mammal Protection Law


"WASHINGTON, DC, January 24, 2007 (ENS) - The Defense Department has exempted
the U.S. Navy and its use of mid-frequency active sonar from the Marine Mammal Protection
Act for two years, raising protests by environmental organizations that say the loud blasts
of sound harm whales and dolphins.

The Navy’s position is that continued training with active sonar is "absolutely essential in
protecting the lives of our sailors and defending the nation." Sonar is needed to detect
increasingly quiet diesel-electric submarines that continue to proliferate throughout
the world, the Navy said in a statement Wednesday." [...'

[...] "One of the best documented incidents occurred in the Bahamas in 2000 when 16 whales
of three species stranded along 150 miles of shoreline during a Navy exercise. The entire local
population of beaked whales was never seen again.

The U.S. Navy later acknowledged in an official report that its use of sonar was the likely cause
of the stranding. It appears that the whales were exposed to sounds in the range of 145 decibels,
the loudness of a rifle blast." [...]

In the Rockies, Pines Die and Bears Feel It

http://www.nytimes.com/ [REQUIRES registratioin]

[...] "The tree (Pinus albicaulis) has no value as commercial timber. But gnarled and bushy
whitebark pines anchor the timberline in much of the West. They hold the soil for other
vegetation to get a foothold, and they trap snow, prolonging the spring runoff.

They are slow-growing trees and may not even bear cones until they are a half-
old. In the late 19th century, the naturalist John Muir counted rings in a weatherbeaten
example high in California’s Sierra Nevada. Its trunk was just six inches across. To his
astonishment it was 426 years old." [...]

Jim Hansen's Very Urgent Warning:
It's not too late


[...} "The action must be prompt. Otherwise, CO²-producing infrastructures that may
be built within a decade will make it impractical to keep further global warming under
one degree. Of top concern is the large number of coal-fired power plants that China,
the United States and India are planning to build without CO² sequestration (the process
whereby CO² is separated and stored in the ground)." [...]

[...] "Keeping the rise of global temperature below one degree Celsius is technically within
reach. Everything depends on an informed public to bolster the political will of leaders
across this warming globe." [...]

Related sites:
The Whitebark Pine Ecological Foundation

[...] "Whitebark pine is a slow growing, long-lived, stone pine (subgenus Strobus,
section Strobus, subsection Cembrae} of high-elevation forests and timberlines
of the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada. It is one of five
stone pines worldwide and the only stone pine in North America." [,,,]

The Center for Alpine Studies

Record Drought Will Force Australians
To Drink Purified Waste Water


[...] "Beattie had promised to hold a statewide vote on the controversial issue of recycled
drinking water but said the current drought had left him no choice but to authorise plans
to start building water-recycling plants." [...]

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