Category Archives: Opinion

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Noah’s Climate Change Action

By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)

The Popular Culture Association slotted me for a talk on “Squirrels: Icons of the Midwest” a couple of weeks ago. On the way to give my talk in Ohio, I stopped at the Ark, the full-size model boat of old Noah, built by the Creation Museum and its founder Ken Ham.

Bill Nye the “Science Guy” says Ken Ham is all about fake science. Nye says dinos lived 65 million years ago and couldn’t have been on the Ark. Ham’s take on Genesis is that the Earth is only a few thousand years old and dinosaurs were human contemporaries. Ham has a few Scutosauruses on his big boat.

I didn’t go to the Ark for my science. And Ham’s lecture on Adam and Eve’s sin causing all the imperfections in the creation – he included gays and kids with Down syndrome – struck me as some kind of warped sci-fi nonsense.

I traveled to Ham’s theme park to get specs on building an Ark. We may need to build a few Arks as our seas rise. I know climate warming skeptics scoff about rising seas. As Noah told his wife, Naamah, while herding Scutosauruses onto his Ark, “scoffers will scoff.”

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“Climate Change Was On My Mind…”

Don Corrigan at Rocky Falls. Photo by Emery Styron

By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)

After three major floods in four years, a lot of Missourians living in flood plains are throwing in the towel — and a very wet one at that. They also have become believers in climate change, because seeing is believing.

Climate change was on my mind a few weeks ago when riding my bike on the Meramec Greenway. Actually, there was very little greenway left to ride. Most of the trail was under water. So I rode on top of the Valley Park Levee and a stretch of Marshall Road between flood barricades and the flood waters.

“This seems to be happening every year now,” I said to myself, while swatting mosquitoes; watching tadpoles swim over the roadway; and enjoying herons in flight over the waves of Tree Court Industrial Park and the fields of the Kirkwood Athletic Association.

It’s been a while since I’ve written about climate change in this space, but it’s not for a lack of material. Among the materials on my desk for reviewing:

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Asian Carp Invasion: Time To Build A Wall?

Don Corrigan has an opinion on “The Wall.” No, not the wall proposed along the Mexico border, but a wall proposed in Illinois.

By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)

It’s time to seize the day and build the wall. Not the wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for at our southern border, but a wall to stop invading Asian Carp from traveling up our Mississippi and Illinois rivers into the Great Lakes.

The multi-million dollar wall would be built underwater near Joliet, Illinois, to keep the Asian carp from swimming into Lake Michigan near Chicago. There are fears the invading carp would make a home in the Great Lakes, including that big lake they call Gitche Gumee.

Around these parts, I have seen Asian carp establish themselves in the lakes we call Simpson, Unger, Creve Coeur, as well as in the Meramec River. During our annual 500-year floods, I have seen hordes of Asian carp kissing the surface scum in the Meramec River tributaries at lovely Emmenegger Park.

Asian carp take over wherever they invade. It’s estimated that they now make up more than 60 percent of the fish bio-mass in the Illinois River. Scientists say if these voracious fish enter our Great Lakes, they could ruin prized fresh water angling and wipe out the region’s $7 billion fishing industry.

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Recent U.S. Climate Report: Likely Human Influence Dominant Cause Of Observed Warming Since Mid-20th Century

By Don Corrigan

It is a serious omission that Environmental Echo is just now getting around to the US government’s new climate report released a few weeks ago.

Bloomberg has had some very helpful background information on this climate report.  As Carl’s Climate Letters reports, because of its length the report will probably not be read by many people, but it can still be useful as a tool in adversarial situations because of its unquestionably high quality.

The Bloomberg report: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-06/how-the-trump-white-house-wound-up-releasing-dire-climate-report

Here is just a short excerpt from that report by Bloomberg: (see below)

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Thoughts On Gavin Schmidt’s Climate Predictions

By Don Corrigan

Gavin Schmidt of REAL CLIMATE continues to follow a disturbing warming trend in 2017.  He predicts 2017, which is now drawing to close, will be either the second or third warmest on record, behind the leader 2016.  Also, it will be the warmest ever for a year not under the influence of El Nino.  Schmidt has a very informative site
that provides a commentary on climate science by working scientists for the concerned public and working journalists.  REAL CLIMATE aims to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. I like to go to Schmidt’s archives, such as July, when RealClimate posts this: 

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What Is That On The Train Moving Through The Local Area?

Photo: Lloyd Todd.

Residents of our area keep a wary eye on what’s coming down local railroad tracks. Maybe this can be traced back to the 1980s, when radioactive rubble from Three Mile Island (TMI) passed through on the way to Idaho.

That rubble caused an uproar. Protests resulted in railroads making a number of concessions. For example, the canisters of deadly materials were put on dedicated trains. Buffer cars were placed on either side of shipment railway cars as a safety measure in case of collisions.

In recent weeks, we’ve had several inquiries about huge tubes passing by on the rails. What do they contain? Do they pose any hazard?

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Carl’s Climate Letter Has Been Following The Flood Waters

Water over the top of Marshall Road in Kirkwood. photo by Diana Linsley.

Check out Climate Carl’s recent flooding analysis and commentary.

“How often can you expect to see a 500-year flood?  This article in Vox has all kinds of interesting commentary on the subject of flood probability.  One spot in the Houston area has had three of the 500-year type in just five years.  New definitions are needed, and they are likely to have an effect on things like community preparations and property insurance rates.”
Find more interesting and informative environmental analysis from Climate Carl at Carl’s Climate Letters.
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Don’s Dossier: Daggers & Daisies – Can A Little Common Sense Save Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park?

Don Corrigan serves up his weekly opinion about who deserves a dagger for being a foe to the environment and who deserves a daisy for being a friend of the environment.

This week: Daisies To Arlene Sandler: This Woman Has A Better Idea for Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park – Daggers to Legacy Ice Foundation’s Indoor Hockey Facility’s Bad Idea for Creve Coeur Lake Nature Area

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Many Local Communities Moving Forward With The Paris Climate Accord

“I believe the President hurt our country and the world by withdrawing from the Paris Agreement,” said University City Mayor Shelley Welsch. Photo credit: West End Word.

“Since we won’t act globally, then it’s time for us to act locally.” That’s the mantra for area residents who do not believe opening old coal mines is the answer to job growth – or the way to address the global warming crisis.

Not long after our President nixed America’s lead role in the global Paris Agreement for combating climate change, my work computer lit up with emails like a Christmas tree – full of LEDs. The messages were about enlisting local mayors to take up the challenge of sensible environmental and sustainable energy policies.

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Don’s Dossier: Daggers & Daisies – GOP Establishes Itself as “Anti-Environment Party” Rejecting Past Legacy; Meanwhile, Environmentalists in St. Louis Go Local

Don Corrigan serves up his weekly opinion about who deserves a dagger for being a foe to the environment and who deserves a daisy for being a friend of the environment.

This week: Steve Bannon and GOP Leaders and Local St. Louis Mayors & Environmentalists.

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