Snapshot Tuesday: hot spring in Yellowstone National Park

photo from Yellowstone National Park

Hot spring from Yellowstone National Park

National Park Service: Hot Springs and how they work

A few summers ago, we took a family vacation to Wyoming to visit Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, plus an afternoon and evening in Jackson Hole.  Lots of hot springs and geyser activity in Yellowstone, where we learned that we were touring above one of the world’s supervolcanoes, the Yellowstone caldera. What would happen if …..

There was a recent earthquake and some animal migrations that had the ‘Net buzzing with speculation that the supervolcano was going to blow … the USGS say that it’s business as usual at Yellowstone, that the accounts are exaggerated.

So I dug up a snapshot from that trip in honor of Snapshot Tuesday.  Enjoy!

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Friday Zen

close-up of a dragonfly from May 2013
A dragonfly – taken at last year’s RFM spring retreat, Memorial Day weekend at the Clearing in Amelia County, Virginia .

We spend a portion of each summer near my parents’ home on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. We’re next to a swamp … a freshwater seep that drains into the creek … one that provides water for frogs and dragonflies and birds. At dusk, we can sit on the back deck and watch hundreds of dragonflies feeding, aerial acrobats feasting on mosquitoes and gnats. A bit later, the frogs start to sing.

It’s a sweet spot, a small farmhouse in a soybean field just a short walk from my childhood home. How much longer will the frogs sing?  My heart breaks when I  think about climate change, about what we’ve done with fossil fuels, about a world without frogs.

But for now – isn’t this creature exquisite?

What doesn’t come up in the political debates: “let them eat cake?”

This is the real story – told in Chrystia Freeland’s book Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.  

In this video clip, Bill Moyers talks to the author, Chrystia Freeland, and Rolling Stone magazine’s Matt Taibbi. I’m going to vote for Obama – no question – I don’t want anyone as wealthy as Romney entrusted with my democracy. Can you say “let them eat cake” ?

This video was posted on Alternet – an independent source of news that I’m going to return to again.

“AlterNet’s Mission: AlterNet is an award-winning news magazine and online community that creates original journalism and amplifies the best of hundreds of other independent media sources. AlterNet’s aim is to inspire action and advocacy on the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, health care issues, and more.”

on the US military “going green”

I had no idea that the U.S. military was leading the way on “going green” … there might be some hope for us yet.

The Real Reason the Military is Going Green by Natalie Pompilio — YES! Magazine.

Here’s a snippet from the article:
    …  Climate change simply brings the question of alternative fuel development into sharper focus.   “[Climate change is] a threat multiplier, increasing instability in some of the most volatile regions in the world,” said Lt. Gen. Norman Seif, a retired U.S. Air Force commander who is now active in promoting clean energy. “That can be a threat to us and our own national security.”  …

The military’s initiatives are much broader in scope than simply developing alternative fuels to end dependence on foreign oil.  By 2020, the Army will have 17 bases using “only as much energy and water as they can produce” – part of their “net zero initiative.”

The Marines like solar power for a number of reasons.  There’s more room in their packs for food and supplies if they’re not hauling in batteries.  And solar-power generators are quiet … “Marines start using this, and they believe it scares the bad guys because they can’t hear where we’re at because there’s no generator running” (Marine Col. Bob Charette, director of Expeditionary Energy for the Marine Corps as qtd in the article).

I guess it’s a lucky thing for the planet that the military doesn’t have time for the rhetoric and doublespeak that’s preventing the rest of us from doing what we need to do about climate change.  But I do wish some of that military funding for innovation would be diverted into the private sector.  It’s not good for our democracy if only the military is “green”.