News Ticker

Oh no! Our morning coffee is in peril! … Litterbugs nabbed in Charlotte … Peat fire fouls North Carolina air … Blessed are the days …

Heat is good to brew coffee but not so much when tender coffee beans are growing

This item hits me close to home. If it comes to pass, it will really put a damper on my morning newspaper and caffeination regimen.

Coffee lovers take note: the New York Times reports global warming is causing damage to world coffee crops.

The Times cites the Climate Institute which forecasts global warming “will reduce the global area suitable for coffee by about 50 percent.” Coffee plants, it seems, require a precise combination of temperature and precipitation to allow beans to grow while keeping their taste profile.

But global warmth is something of a double whammy for coffee plants: more heat exacerbates the threat of diseases like coffee rust and pests such as the coffee berry borer.

Litterbugs caught in Charlotte … and how to report littering crimes

The State Bureau of Investigation has nabbed three men on littering charges according to an article in the Charlotte Observer.

One man faces felony charges for commercial littering while the other two were charged with misdemeanor littering. The story didn’t mention the amount of possible fines the three may pay if convicted.

If you see anyone littering on a commercial scale, call Mecklenburg County Government Solid Waste Land Use and Environmental Services at 980-314-3854. Report ordinary littering by calling 311.

Carbon released by North Carolina peat fires equivalent to emissions of 15 million cars

Four pocosin fires in the coastal areas of North Carolina between 2008 and 2011 released a combined 20 million metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere – the equivalent to gas emissions of 15 million cars, according to Nature Conservancy magazine.

Pocosins are domed peatlands which at one time were wetlands but were drained for agriculture and forestry uses. Peat – an accumulation of leaf litter and fallen trees built over the centuries – essentially dries out and becomes susceptible to fires. Thus peat stores incredible amounts of carbon – which is then released by fires.

Although peat covers only 3 percent of the Earth, peat bogs such as North Carolina’s 500,000 acres of drained pocosin hold twice as much carbon as all of the world’s forestlands combined.

The answer for North Carolina is to somehow re-wet the pocosin areas. The Nature Conservancy hopes to partner with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore 1,300 acres to wetlands. The restoration process is called sequestration, and if it works, private land owners could be invented to re-wet their peatlands that could be sold for carbon offset credits on California’s carbon market.

Blessed are the days …

… when there’s not much to pick up. I cherish those all-too-rare occurrences when I can actually walk the walk rather than grind to a halt every few steps to stuff yet more illicit matter into the trash bag.


Not much to fuss about here. Maybe a pound of trash. All in a days work.

Of course, my hopeful bubble is burst more often than not. Still, I’m inured enough to the process that I simply go about the task without a lot of bitching and whining. Okay, not as much bitching and whining as four or five years ago when on occasion I might go volcanic. Might.

On a totally separate note, my next post will be an op-ed column submitted to the Charlotte Observer to champion the cause of litter removal. The editor, Taylor Batten, told me he’d look at it – but the very next day was the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. From that point on, the Observer had far bigger news to attend to than my minor diatribe. 

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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