Category Archives: suburban sprawl

How green was my lawn?

This op-ed explores the current direction of “environmentalism” in light of the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring.”

Citizens or government scientists: Who does better in selecting candidates for Endangered Species Act protection?

American citizens seem to do as good a job as government scientists in selecting candidates for federal protection. That’s the gist of this article. The statistics may say one thing, but that’s hardly the whole story. Still absent from most mainstream media reporting is this: What led to a given species’ population dive? In the balance of things, more imperiled flora and fauna benefits through citizen participation. After all, there are only so many fisheries and wildlife biologists on the staff of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. And Republicans’ non-ending desire to de-fund, as much as possible, agencies like Fish and Wildlife, only makes the campaign that much harder.

Environmental groups’ study says subsidies, high crop prices lead to habitat loss

And there is only, what, one percent of the original tallgrass prairie left today? What a damn shame. Read more here.

Matches made in the wilderness, in the name of science

Of one thing we can be certain, dismally certain: With each passing day, there is less wilderness, both the officially proclaimed wilderness and the not-protected-but-still-wild kind. The culprit, of course, is the human growth machine. It’s not hard for today’s conservationists to realize what Ed Abbey would think and say if he were to see North America today, whether the land of his home state of Pennsylvania or the sprawling exurbs wrecking the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. Some recent wilderness literature can be read here.

EPA wants further review of water-diversion project to protect Colorado River

Jeez, it isn’t rocket science. Diverting more of nature’s water from western Colorado to quench the everlasting thirst of exurbia is a no-winner. “Federal authorities say a long-planned project to divert more western Colorado water to growing Front Range suburbs may cause ‘significant degradation’ of already deteriorating ecosystems along the upper Colorado River,” the Denver Post reported today. The sprawl I saw spreading across former prairie just east of the original Colorado Springs last fall is absurd. One can’t hardly move there without driving a motor vehicle.

Urbanization threatens mid-Atlantic fisheries

This is hardly a shocking expose or a sudden awakening of people to a longtime cause of water quality decline and habitat degradation. Yes indeed sprawl has negative impacts on fisheries and thus the human industries that live off those fisheries. Surprise, surprise. Read about it in this article from a Delaware paper.

roposed development a big test for Adirondack Park Agency

I can easily imagine many of the towns/cities in which I lived or visited during my 26-year career in the U.S. Air Force as simply caving in should a mammoth nature-destroying development ever come to their backyards. Not so in the Adirondack Park, which is across Lake Champlain from where I am typing this. Americans tend to easily forget, or just overlook, the fact that Nature is not making any new land these days. Once natural land has been built on or paved over, that’s the end, and Wild Nature is once again diminished. Read about the proposal to build a nw housing empire at Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks.

Welcome to America, land of the car and the car and . . .

This is what results, almost always, when lanes are added to an existing roadway in hopes of relieving congestion: More congestion. And more sprawl. Andmore strip malls. And more gas stations. And . . .

What’s wrong today: Near total reliance on gas-fed automobile

Take a look at the photo accompanying this Idaho Statesman article. I would not be surprised to learn that ever single automobile in the photo has only one person in it. And then consider the zillions of acres of impervious surface, such as the asphalt strip pictured here. Pollution? What pollution?

Sprawl-happy Va. Beach is eighth best city in U.S., magazine says

Gee, this is a real coup for the Virginia coastal megalopolis, part of the sprawling blob known as Hampton Roads. But let’s remember what happened to the Pacific Northwest city of Dante’s Peak after another magazine bestowed similar honors on it. What would the character portrayed by actor Pierce Brosnan in “Dane’s Peak” say about this big honor?