Biodiversivist

My real name is Russ Finley. I also have my own blog called Biodiversivist, which contains articles in addition to those submitted to Grist. I live in Seattle, married with children. Suffice it to say that although I am trained and educated as an engineer, my passion is nature. I very much want my grandchildren to live on a planet where lions, tigers, and bears have not joined the long and growing list of creatures that used to be.

Birth Control will not stop climate change

Cross posted from Biodiversivist …but it sure could help. From a study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences  …reducing peak population to roughly 8 billion, for example, could save 29 percent of expected greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, if people are allowed to retire at a reasonable age (there is a trend to increase retirement ages), some industrialized countries could also see a very large drop in CO2 emissions. On the negative side, increasing urbanization could increase emissions because that trend tends to go along with greater wealth and wealthier people tend to do stupid …

Renewable Fuels Association not happy with E85 labels on pumps

Bob Dinneen, head of a very well-funded corn ethanol lobbying organization, has a  new press release in the Huff Po green blog which begins by claiming: Other nations, including Brazil, with at least as many older vehicles on their roads, allow higher levels of ethanol blends with no discernible damage to their cars and light trucks. In reality, unlike American cars, cars in Brazil where ethanol blends have been 22% since 1993 are all designed to run on that higher blend. According to Wikipedia: “All Brazilian automakers have adapted their gasoline engines to run smoothly with these range of mixtures, …

Automotive X Prizes Awarded

  Original article on Biodiversivist. The $10 million dollar X Prize was split between two electric car designs and a design that runs on biofuel (E85) called the Edison 2. In the above video the Edison 2 is hyped by the guy who bankrolled it. He tells us the main reason the wheels stick out is to enhance crash safety. Actually, they stick out for stability and aerodynamic reasons as they did for the defunct Aptera and the popular Cessna 172 aircraft. To be more accurate, they are hoping the wheels will also act as a kind of bumper, unless …

Adirondack Adventure–No Bats, One Rabid Fox

Crossposted from Biodiversivist The above Animal Planet video shows a man trying to fend off a rabid fox …with a loaf of bread. I just spent a week with my family in a cabin on the shore of Brant Lake in the Adirondacks. While walking along a main road my wife and I were met by a guy coming up his driveway with 2 x 4. He said that a pregnant woman had just been bitten by a fox with rabies. She had to hit it with a paddle to get it to let go of her leg. He graciously …

A New Verb is Born — Outgreen

Cross posted from the Biodiversivist Blog From Wiktionary: VERB to outgreen (third-person singular simple present outgreens, present participle outgreening, simple past and past participle outgreened)    1. (transitive) To surpass in environmental activism or consciousness I submitted this word to Wictionary after writing a review of Tom Friedman’s book Hot, Flat, and Crowded where he gave the credit for it to a friend of his during breakfast. It took the Wiktionary police a while to decide that it meets their criteria for a new word. Check out the 2007 citation. Note that my use of the word predated Friedman’s pal’s …

Natural Enemies–People And Nature

Crossposted from Biodiversivist The above photo is from Rhett Butler’s (of Mongabay) latest trip to Bali. It inspired me to do a post. Beetle collecting was all the rage back in Darwin’s day. Photos from today’s high-quality, affordable, digital cameras, which allow anyone to snap cool pictures and video of wildlife, may be just the thing to end the collection of actual specimens to show off and to aid other conservation efforts, like saving the endangered stag beetle in Britain. The above video of a hummingbird nest on a porch swing chain was taken by my neighbors. At first we …

Response To The Cornucopians

(Photo credit: Ollie Crafoord’s photo stream Flickr) Cross Posted from Biodiversivist There have been four recent articles in Grist (mine makes the fifth and I would not blame anyone for not bothering to read it) on the topic of population. I put it together mostly as a matter of record. Good luck keeping track of it all. I list them below in chronological order: 1) On World Population Day, take note: population isn’t the problem by Fred Pearce. 2) To the population doomsayers: What do you propose? by Jason D Scorse. 3) Of course population is still a problem by …

Bald Eagle Take Out (Red-Tailed Hawk)

Last week a bunch of crows (called a murder for reasons unknown) were making so much noise I stepped out of my house to see what was up. Most of my neighbors did as well. We discovered a pair of red-tailed hawks in a nearby tree, one of which was eating a crow. Today I heard another murder of crows raising hell and figured that the hawks had returned. Instead, I found two bald eagles in my neighbor’s tree. I assumed they were eating a crow but when one flew out I could see that it was eating a bird …

Corn Ethanol's Enemy List

Photo courtesy of, er, Hidinhumiliation via Flickr A short, relatively innocuous post on an obscure farming blog created a small stir last week when it caught the attention of some less obscure bloggers, Robert Rapier in particular, who was was on the corn ethanol enemy list presented in this article. I didn’t want to open a can of worms in that blogger’s comment field, but the can got opened anyway so I finally chimed in. Mine was comment number 41. I outed an anonymous commenter named “Cindy” who was critical of anonymous posts: Cindy, “If you believe so strongly in …

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