Promoting quiet recreation in Wisconsin.
Opposing the coming attempts to sell off Wisconsin's natural heritage.
Fighting denial about climate change. When are we hitting the streets?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spreading disinformation update...

Don't be fooled by this astroturf debate.

Experts believe global climate change is real, that human production of greenhouse gases is likely to be disastrous, and that we need to drastically reduce emissions-something that will require courage and creativity.

Some corporations will be winners, and some-like Exxon- will be losers.

Fortunately for Exxon and unfortunately for us, they don't need to prove that global warming isn't a problem, they only need to spread the idea that there is some sort of "debate". Then, any real solution to the problem like Cap and Trade or a carbon tax will seem extreme. (Same tactics used by Tobacco companies at the expense of thousands of lives-but this time many more people will die and the price tag will be beyond calculation)

A quick web search will help you connect the dots from the Marshall Institute to Exxon.

Again: As close as consensus gets; scientist believe man made climate change is happening, and it will be a disaster if we don't act.

What Exxon and the Marshall Institute are up to is not "conservatism" or the defense of the free market, it is pure self interest at the terrible expense of humanity. Consider: If there was a 20 percent chance of a terrorist attack causing a fraction of the damage that experts tell us will happen due to climate change, shouldn't we act to stop it? The thing is, we should be much more sure of global climate change than a 20 percent possibility

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rising Sun Grange

An itch I haven't scratched: The Rising Sun Grange. I drive by this building every week, and I have always wondered at its history. It isn't a Wisconsin-like name. (On the other hand, hwy 26 also directs us to El dorado. Must be an interesting story there as well.) But the contrast between the sign and the signed grows every year. With all of us, maybe?

Friday, January 01, 2010

Wisconsin State Journal editorial on Harley Noise

The Wisconsin State Journal has an editorial about motorcycle noise that doesn't actually address any of the complaints about motorcycle noise. Instead, they take umbrage at a group called "Noise Free America", calling them shrill for, well, taking umbrage at motorcycle noise.

I don't know anything about the group "Noise Free America". Perhaps they are shrill and use a shotgun approach to advocacy. But, from their press release, the group seems to make four points that the editorial staff could have attempted to refute with evidence and argument. To summarize:

-Harleys are loud, as motorcycles go.
-Many Harley owners make a virtue of making their bikes even louder with after-market tinkering.
-Noise is unhealthy for us.
-Noise screws with a lot of other people's interests and activities.

Instead, the only point that the Wisconsin State Journal manages to address is the final one, and only the way that all such complaints are addressed: By name calling. Or, to be more generous, with the following argument: "Complaining that noise screws with your interests and activities isn't a valid point because we don't recognize your interests and activities."

A recent television commercial showed the joy of Harley riders cruising along winding rural Wisconsin roads. Rural roads often wind because they follow river valleys. Canoeists and Anglers also like river valleys-partly because they are ways of getting away from human noise. This does not have to be a conflict because motorcycles don't have to make so much noise.

Albino Deer Blogging

I was grading assignments at home in December when I looked up to see him. This one really seems to like sunflower seeds this time of year-I think we took a picture of him last Christmas. I only had my cell phone camera, and the picture was taken through the kitchen window. Bruce Card helped improve the image. (Photoshopped the antlers and colored it white. In spite of what you hear, there are no albino deer in Wisconsin. )