Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It Ain't Easy Bein' Green.

Kermit the Frog (Muppet) sang it best. Back then "he" was referring to his "different" skin color. Lately, it has taken on a few more poignant meanings. ie. Saving a species...not only a "Mountain Yellow-Legged" one but US! Yes, it seems to me and people like Al Gore and Gary Larson that this may be a very "Inconvenient Truth!"

A little local amphibian may very well be our first and only "canary" in our global environment's mine. Our booming population is causing pollution and warming at an astounding rate. We seem to be unable to do anything significant about it. Oh, we continue to try, but only like a few "bell-weather-individuals" on a scary "ride" called "The Entropic Planet of Doom".

Yes, they found these little survivor tadpoles in one of our local San Jacinto Mountain streams. This was after an earlier attempt to save some others (thought the last of the "Mohiccans") had all died of "frog tuberculosis" in the lab. Now, rather than leave them in that "drying up/polluted" stream they have successfully gotten most of them to morph, as the picture shows, to "froglets". I'm sure this is just the "tip of the frogberg" when it comes to endangered species.

With some degree of guilt I must admit I have enjoyed my share of "froglegs"...yes, they taste just like "fishy chicken". My first time to have them was on a family camping trip to Lake Hume. My dad was a fisherman. He wasn't catching that much on this overpopulated lake, even back then. So he decided to go "frog hunting". He took me along to hold the lantern because you have to do it at night from a small row boat. From somewhere he found a giant, 10-penny nail and cut off the head with a pair of dikes he always seem to have in the trunk. He then found a straight pole-type branch and stripped it of bark. He then took a log and knocked the nail into the end backwards to make a spear. Yes, he was crafty that way. Then out we went with our Coleman lantern, and a gunny sack. Oh, the excitement of it all! Dad and I out on an adventure. I was a bit shocked when I first witnessed the procedure. In the shallows of the lake we sat in the boat and quietly waited. Pretty soon we began to see lots of frogs around our boat and they were just frozen and mesmerized by the lantern light. Croaking ceased. My dad was deadly with that homemade spear...but, they wouldn't die! He had to take them off the spear and hold them by the back legs and konk them in the head on the side of the boat. I became very quiet too. The next morning over the campfire he gleefully pulled their "little pajama bottoms off, rolled them in flour and fried them. They were delicious but I can't remember having them again in restaurants more than once or twice as a "escargot".

Gary Larson's cartoons are missed. He knows it. He has only recently consented to do another calendar with all the profits going to "Conservation International" to help end the illegal trade in Asia...a noble gesture. Since so many of his "subjects" were comic wild animals and how they might want to fight back, I included a cartoon above showing a one-legged elephant talking on the phone about his new "ash-tray" foot/leg. Gary grew up near a great swamp and used to spend hours observing the fauna, salamanders frogs etc. "Now it's filled in...everything is getting filled in, overrun and generally made uninhabitable for everything but humans." To follow up on these concerns:

Thanks to Netflix I just saw "An Inconvenient Truth". Besides being extremely depressing, it was galvanizing and I only wish I was younger. It is a masterful presentation that Al Gore, former Vice President, (winning the popular vote, but losing the electoral vote, thanks to Florida) is giving all around the country and world. It is packed full of facts and proofs that our planet has recently been getting warmer because of the pollution our growing populations are making. He goes into the political and ideological reasons why it is not being recognized. He believes we have a "moral imperative" to now start doing something about it before it is too late. ie. He sites, shrinking glaciers, ice caps, icebergs, polar bear populations as being the "too late" warnings. It then affects the weather and can even be attributed to "Katrina". Our leaders just don't seem to want to pay attention until some shocking "911" type event happens environmentally. It just isn't going to happen that way. It will continue to be very gradual creeping up on us like the "high tides" over many of our major cities ie. New York, San Francisco, not just New Orleans.

History is repeating itself..."Ice Age" "The Meltdown" but it is not the sequel to a very successful DVD cartoon. This is for keeps. If we don't do what we can now, our children and grandchildren won't have a chance. Bob!


At 6:35 PM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

"Extreme anthropomorphism". That's what appeals to us when we watch or read things like "Ice Age", "Charlotte's Web", even "March of the Penquins". We love it. We see ourselves in "Sid the Sloth", "Manny, Ellie or Diego". We'd do the same thing...or try to. In the latest issue of the "Smithsonian" magazine there is an excellent article by Paul Theroux. (travel/novel fame)He has been raising geese in Hawaii and observing them. He is insulted by our "love" of "anthropomorphism" and criticizes even E.B White. "It is not Science!" Duh! It isn't supposed to be. He proposes that geese have unique "geese traits" that have helped them survive...we need the same now for our own kind. Bob!

At 7:56 AM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

In the news today, but happening back on Aug. 13, 2005, a 41 sq. mi. piece of Ayles Ice Shelf broke away from the coast of Ellesmere Island about 500 mi. south of the North Pole. It was discovered by satellite imaging. It was felt on earthquake monitors 155 mi. away. "We are crossing climate thresholds, and these may signal the onset of accelerated change ahead." Warwick Vincet of Laval University. The remaining ice shelves are 90% smaller than they were when discovered in 1906. They have gotten weaker and thinner as the temperature rises. More will be released in the Spring and be a hazard for shipping. Also in the news, our government is finally recognizing that the polar bear is endangered because of the lack of where to rest after swimming up to 60 miles...they just got tired of bobbing. Bob!


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