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Posts Tagged ‘guns’

The birds are disappearing!

North America has lost a quarter of its bird population in the last 50 years! That’s a loss of nearly 3 Billion birds in just half a century, and according to the National Audubon study, it’s not the exotic types that are vanishing:

“…the most ubiquitous birds have been the hardest hit. “The common wisdom was that we’d see the rare and threatened species disappearing and the common, human-adapted ones taking over,” Rosenberg says. Instead, his team found that 90 percent of the missing birds came from just 12 families, and that they were all familiar, perchy, cheepy things such as sparrows, warblers, blackbirds, finches, larks, starlings, and swallows… It’s as if all birds are canaries, and the entire world their coal mine.”  https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/09/america-has-lost-quarter-its-birds-fifty-years/598318/

Now most of you know that I love birds. I used to feed them all the time until we moved to the mountains of Virginia and decided they had enough food in the wild and I didn’t need to attract bears to my backyard.

I’ve recently hung a hummingbird feeder on the urban farmhouse porch without much success, but I’ve been told by a friend they are currently migrating and I might have better luck luring those tiny, iridescent, super fast babies in the Spring. For now, we listen to mourning doves coo to each other in our garden.

When we lived in the Berkshire Mountains, and the kids were little, I’d have wild guinea hens under my feeder, and whole families of cardinals would romp around our home on the edge of an actual bird sanctuary. While Grandma Ada was collecting blue birds in all shapes and sizes, I started collecting glass cardinals as my lucky, totem bird.

Grandpa Hudson carved a cardinal into the top of our family totem pole when we moved back to New Jersey. And though I could hear them foraging in the early morning hours, I became a fan of the abundant shore birds I saw migrating over our swamp wetlands. Herons and egrets sailed like ships across our low-slung Rumson ranch house out to the river at daybreak and dusk.

Woodpeckers performed like precision drillers across our Virginia valley when we built a small house with a view of the Blue Ridge. Their rat-a-tat noise would ricochet between the ridges as they searched for food. One day I sat in my car for an hour watching two pileated woodpeckers attack a log in the driveway. We knew them by the singular way they would fly, as if their substantial heft made them descend a little bit with every wing stroke. They skipped across the sky.

I would never keep a bird in the house, in a cage. Don’t judge me, I just couldn’t.

Today, if you are walking out of school or work to protest our climate crisis I salute you! Because it’s a world-wide problem that is calling for some extraordinary solutions.

It’s not just about carbon – though we must address that. We are living comfortably with just one car, walking more isn’t just healthy for us, it’s helping the environment. But deforestation causes 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions, equal to vehicular emissions. https://www.conservation.org/stories/11-climate-change-facts-you-need-to-know

It’s not just about the sea rising and glaciers melting – a significant reason for human migration. Where will Miami be in 10 years, or Sea Bright, NJ for that matter? In our Southern city, government has decided to pay property owners to move out of flood zones! Which is good, cause my grand dogs were swimming in their flooded basement when the Bride and Groom first moved here in 2010. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/06/climate/nashville-floods-buybacks.html

And it’s not just about the birds and the bees!

Thank you to Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old Swedish climate activist who saw what Parkland students did to mobilize gun reform after a massacre at their school. They started a revolution because gun violence in our country is an URGENT problem. And just look what they have started with AR-15 manufacturers, Colt suspended rifle production for civilians! : https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49766257

We also need to sign the Paris Agreement now. Greta asks us to listen to the scientists, because Climate Change should be a global, URGENT priority!

Republican tactics of denial, delay, and disinformation will no longer be tolerated. But don’t just walk out of school this morning – after your #ClimateStrike today students, register to vote if you will turn 18 by next November. Our birds and our fish and our future are depending on you.

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If you grew up in a certain type of household, you would never enter or leave your home without being offered food of some sort. The usual response from my stepfather, the Jewish Judge,  would be, “I *could* eat!”

Fast forward to now, and just try to get out of Great Grandma Ada’s house without a bag of snacks for the journey. Seriously, she will tackle you with Buffalo Cake! It doesn’t matter how long you’ll be on the road, you *might* get hungry, right?

Well who whoulda thunk that the Oregon militiamen would have saddled up their pick-ups with guns and ammo to occupy a federal wildlife sanctuary gift shop and – wait for it – forgot to bring provisions. I mean really? Obviously there are no white guys in this group of Middle Eastern or Italian descent! Here is the tweet that one guy named Blaine sent out, expecting the US Post Office to deliver a package to their well-armed doorstep.

“ATTENTION…SHARE…ATTENTION…SHARE!!!! Anyone that wants to send any supplies (or snacks) can send them to General Mail, Burns, OR”

Here is my solution. You’ve got guns, so go use them as God intended. Shoot a pheasant and roast it outside, on a fire, you guys know how to make a fire right? Make squirrel stew, forage for greens and berries (I know it’s January, but try) and once you run out of soda from the vending machines, melt some snow.

Pundits are saying this would never be tolerated if a bunch of Muslims or African Americans took over a federal building. Let’s see, first of all they would have thought ahead and brought food. And most importantly of all, they would not have brought GUNS. The whole point of a Gandhi/MLKing type protest, or school sit-in like we Boomers used to do in the 60s, is that you sit down and don’t move.

The point is the non-violence part! You bring your own snacks and wait to get dragged out by those police or the national guard. This is what makes a good visual on TV or your nearest hand held device. This is what changes hearts and minds! Not a guy in a cowboy hat with a gun saying he doesn’t want to die here. Guess what, we don’t want you to die there either.

On second thought, maybe we should send him food?

We lived on the border of a bird sanctuary in the Berkshires. And I’m just guessing, but if these guys came to Canoe Meadows in MA, the whole town of Pittsfield would have run them out in a heartbeat. With picnic baskets from Lenox.

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