Archive for Environmental Consulting

I Have to Travel First Class Because People Yell at Me

Scott Pruitt Military JetAlthough not an exact quote…it is very close and the reason that Scott, I don’t know the meaning of the word ethical Pruitt, uses to justify wasting taxpayer money while cooperating to cut EPA’s budget. This is the same man who had to travel by military jet…also quite expensive. The same man who spent tens of thousands of dollars to put a sound proof telephone booth into his office so that he can collude with polluting industries in private. So, why do you wonder, that people might yell at him?

I will again state; Scott Pruitt must go. He is an insult to the all of us who actually believe that public service means not enriching one’s self.

Read the full article:
First-class travel distinguishes Scott Pruitt’s EPA tenure


The Administration’s Attack on the Land that the Government is Supposed to Hold in Trust for ALL

Public lands, as noted in the articles printed recently in the Guardian, are supposed to be held in trust for ALL of the people. Yet, as we have seen in the past year, this administration has made every effort to destroy that trust. From shrinking protected lands so that energy companies can exploit resources and destroy our legacy, to making the national parks more expensive for people to see, the attacks on that trust are multiplying.

As noted, our public lands generate some $92 billion in economic activity. We have a shortfall of some $11 billion in maintenance. Yet, what does this administration propose? Raise prices on entry…i.e. make public lands pay for themselves in a way, and give away valuable resources to large corporations.

This is shameful action. People in this country tend to love their parks and open spaces.

public land parks

This administration can find billions to give corporations tax cuts, but cannot fix or maintain our public lands? Something is wrong here.

Read the full article:
Rotting cabins, closed trails: why we’re shining a light on US national parks


Resource Scarcity, a formula for Discord

Who would have thought that a modern city like Cape Town would be on the list to face what is clearly a catastrophic event with regard to resources; or should I say, a lack of resources. The fact that the City is fast approaching a point where the usual expectation of clean water may be no more should be frightening.

clean water moneyPerhaps more frightening is the observation that the City is about to really be split into water haves and water have-nots. Worse still, is the opinion of some of the water haves who can dig wells saying that they can maintain their lifestyle without using City water.

This kind of a statement underlies an entire thinking process that is a partial cause of the water crisis in the first place. That is, as long as I have money, I can get mine.

I suggest that people read the piece on Water and U.S. National Security.

Read the full article:
Dangerously Low on Water, Cape Town Now Faces ‘Day Zero’
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.


Airbnb as a land protection model?

Recent posts tried to cover the damage being caused by Washington through its opening of previously protected lands to exploitation and destruction by commercial interests. Specifically, the formalization of the “Tragedy of the Commons”.

In the last article posted on this topic, we saw how land owners/users in the west have viewed that Federal Government’s actions as a form of taking in the sense that they can no longer do whatever they want with large swaths of land. This article on the Airbnb model is an interesting twist. It is not new in my mind, the Nature Conservancy has used a financial model of sorts for decades.

What is interesting is tying the land to the value of the environment and encouraging landowners to do what we know makes sense through financial incentives rather than proscriptive regulations. Why not do both?

It is important to distinguish the fact that many ranchers and energy companies seem to view the common good as only that which makes money for them, but I do think that this model could somehow be incorporated into the current regulatory system.

What do you think?

Read the full articles:
Using the Airbnb Model to Protect the Environment
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.