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Any environmental honeymoon with Trump is over … China coal use down: carbon dioxide emissions flat for three years … the owl and the crows

I’d hoped to give President-elect Trump the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the environment. Maybe, just maybe, he would return to his centrist Democratic roots.

But no. He’s already staffing his administration with zealots who believe, along with Trump, that man-caused global warming is a hoax.

Indeed, he’s put the fox in charge of the chicken coop: he’s named anti-climate change jerk Myron Ebell, a known “climate contrarian” according to the New York Times, in charge of the Environmental Protection Administration.

His stated goal: to dismantle environmental protections and regulations, continue disavowal of climate change, and pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord. It’s worth noting that the coal industry has underwritten an anti-global warming group Ebell is tied to, the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

I hope we put Ebell on the hot seat – and keep him there – since there’s a special place in hell for guys like him.

China’s cuts on coal have slowed carbon emissions

Emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide have been flat the last three years, according to  Swedish researchers in a news story by the Associated Press.

The primary reason is slowing coal use in China.

But the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo says it’s too early to say if this signals a peak/permanent trend in the fight against global warming or is nothing more than a temporary blip on the climate change radar.

Another bit of nature seen: a gang of crows attack a solitary owl

I’ve seen my share of the natural world on my regular neighborhood walks; plenty of deer, an owl trying to fly away with another bird in it’s talons, snakes (venomous and otherwise) slithering in front of me, and rats scampering from one storm drain to the next.

And now, I’ve witnessed an animal-on-animal attack.

With about 600 yards to go on Saturday’s morning jaunt, a group of crows was making a racket across Sharon View Road, and when I looked over to check out the noise, they were dive-bombing an owl perched atop a steel fence.

The six crows were unrelenting. As I stood and watched, the black birds repeatedly dove and pecked at the owl, which gamely tried to fly away with its enemies in hot pursuit.


Saturday’s bag of litter took a temporary back seat to my attempted, and abortive, rescue of an owl under siege by crows.

The owl was apparently injured; it could fly no further than the center of the road. The crows appeared to work in unison, landing around the owl as they continued their onslaught. Only when passing traffic arrived did they retreat.

I dropped my full bag of litter in an effort to chase off the avian bullies and rescue the owl. But the raptor would have none of it. It tried to escape me and the crows. But with its impaired wings it got only as far as the protection of nearby trees. There, it escaped my view.

I drove by later to see if the owl was still in the vicinity but it, and the attacking crows, were gone. Did the black villains accomplish their objective? I’ll never know.

My friend and bird rescue volunteer, Sherry, said it was ill advised for me to try a daylight rescue. It would have amounted to, she said, me “messing with nature.”

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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