Welcome to ConserveFewell
We hope that you enjoy our site, interspersed with the beautiful and awe-inspiring work of various wildlife artists, and engage with us for a rich and diverse dialogue on environmental stewardship.
“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, the stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” ― Aldo Leopold
For those interested in a serious alternative on environmental issues, I commend for your reading the work of Daniel Botkin. Botkin’s work has been covered before on Conservefewell by Tracy Mehan – Humanity’s Relationship to the Natural World, covering Botkin’s most recent book, The Moon in the Nautilus Shell. Well-known for his scientific contributions in ecology and environment, he has also worked as a professional journalist and has degrees in physics, biology, and literature. Botkin’s work focuses on how our cultural legacy often dominates what we believe to be scientific solutions. He discusses the roles of scientists, businessmen, stakeholders, and government agencies in new approaches to environmental issues. He also uses historical accounts by Lewis and Clark and Henry David Thoreau to discuss the character of nature and the relationship between people and nature. Botkin is one of the best at explaining and breaking down the elements of this dynamic and evolving relationship. Botkin has studied the issue of human-induced climate change since 1968, and regrettably, although not unexpectedly, has been savaged by some environmentalists because of his criticism of the politicization of the science and solutions involving the topic. Here he is below testifying before the House Science Committee in May of last year on the IPCC’s AR5 report: Botkin’s perspective is refreshing on many levels, but principally because he offers a thoughtful refutation of the oft politically biased narrative on complex environmental matters. Check out his work at his new subscription-based newsletter, dedicated to solving environmental problems by understanding how nature works.
The public is bombarded every day with contradictory science and claims involving environmental risks. It can get so confusing and so many of us would rather turn off the noise than sift through the facts. Take BPA, for example, also known as bisphenol-A, which is an industrial chemical used in plastics and ubiquitous in the environment, found in trace amounts in over 90% of children. To some, it is the chemical from hell, linked to every ailment known to human kind, including heart disease, prostate cancer, neurological defects, diabetes, and obesity to name a few. But stop the presses. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announced this past week that BPA is safe. Here's the press release: EFSA’s comprehensive re-evaluation of bisphenol A (BPA) exposure read more
Pope Francis drew the attention of The New York Times during his recent trip to Manila prompting the headline, “Papal Text Says Man Betrays God by Destroying the Environment.” Speaking on the environment and climate change for the second time in four days, at least in the text from which he departed completely, Francis said, “As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we betray that noble calling.” The text also noted that “this country [Philippines], more than many others, is likely to be seriously affected by climate change.” The day before he visited Tacloban, which Reuters, the source read more
For those interested in a serious alternative on environmental issues, I commend for your reading the work of Daniel Botkin. Botkin's work has been covered before on Conservefewell by Tracy Mehan - Humanity's Relationship to the Natural World, covering Botkin's most recent book, The Moon in the Nautilus Shell. Well-known for his scientific contributions in ecology and environment, he has also worked as a professional journalist and has degrees in physics, biology, and literature. Botkin's work focuses on how our cultural legacy often dominates what we believe to be scientific solutions. He discusses the roles of scientists, businessmen, stakeholders, and government agencies in new approaches to environmental issues. He also uses historical accounts by Lewis and Clark and Henry David Thoreau to discuss the character of read more
By Michael Curley, Guest Contributor Last Friday, the White House made a dramatic announcement about clean water on the banks of the sad, neglected little Anacostia River, which is filthy because it runs through a part of DC that the rich and the politicians don’t ever visit and wish would just go away. The announcement was that the Environmental Protection Agency would create a new “Water Finance Center.” EPA actually calls it the “Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center.” They said the Center would “help address more than $600 billion of needs for drinking water and wastewater management over the next 20 years.” Let’s begin deconstructing this announcement by noting that EPA has operated the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) since 1987. read more
As folks who read this blog know, I've been somewhat critical of EPA's proposed rule redefining Waters of the U.S. for several reasons, mostly because, contrary to the Agency's stated purpose of providing greater clarity, certainty and predictability, the draft rule widely missed its mark. Yesterday, EPA released its final report titled "Connectivity of Streams & Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review & Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence." The rule raises many important policy and legal issues, which no doubt will continue to play out in the public sphere and courts. The science involving the connectivity of waters is complex, but the politics and policy are even more complicated. My criticism should not be mistaken for a lack of care about the importance read more
Over the Christmas holiday, while Santa was spreading joy and good cheer and Cindy Lou Who was tending her stocking, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was looking to play the Grinch and steal Christmas. Earlier this week the FWS announced it would be a conducting a status review of the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the first step in potentially listing the species as a protected species. According to the Service, it has determined that a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Food Safety, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and Dr. Lincoln Brower to list a subspecies of monarch (Danaus plexippus plexippus) presents substantial information indicating that listing may be warranted. Is the Monarch really in danger read more