Like the first chorus of peepers and the flowering forsythia, the return of Hudson rivermen to work the annual shad run was a biological event that signaled the season. No longer.
Senator John Barrasso, climate denier, winner of an 8% rating from the League of Conservation Voters, and chair of the Senate Environment Committee is pleased America is being saved from the “regulatory rampage” of the Obama years. His Wyoming constituents have a new “spring in their step.”
President Trump is preternaturally unwilling to spare any administration member the exit door. Of the original appointees left, Pruitt and Zinke may prove to be the last of those who have the president’s easily exhaustible loyalty.
Many took bows when Governor Andrew Cuomo decided the Indian Point nuclear plants should be closed. The late Irene Dickinson would not have taken credit if she were able. But her legacy gave courage and inspiration to defeat seven other Hudson Valley nukes and, ultimately, bring down Indian Point.
It is customary to mark anniversaries in years divisible by 5. EarthDesk makes an exception to celebrate the 28th anniversary of the Pale Blue Dot, and the late Carl Sagan’s timeless reminder that “in our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves . . . Earth is where we make our stand.”
I was once asked to write a letter to the Children of 2100, for a time capsule. I thought long about human achievements that could endure a century’s passing. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and the first manned landing on the moon stood out as symbols of the age.
EarthDesk will be offline during the semester break. If you need some reading material, search EarthDesk using the term “homeless.” During the holiday season, remember the less fortunate in the human and natural environment who need your help. See you in January.
Maurice Hinchey changed forever the environmental stakes in New York State. He pursued corporations, organized crime and the United States Army with equal and unprecedented vigor, and was a tireless legislative advocate for the Hudson River.
There is no comprehensive plan for repair and replacement of America’s water infrastructure — the more than one million miles of pipe that deliver the nation’s drinking water and 1.3 million miles of pipe that take away domestic wastes