Where do I begin? I’m a 63 64
65 66 year old retired postal employee that became interested in birding in the 70’s. I have put many vehicle miles into both my employment and birding efforts. While working at the Chico, CA Post Office I did a 80 mile round trip just getting to work and back home. Never thought anything about it.
Then I started learning about climate change. I might have Al Gore to thank for that. I thought that climate change was something that was going to happen after I was dead. But if you explore beyond the local and national news, where it is almost never mentioned, you will discover that it’s happening faster then anyone thought. Ocean levels are rising, weather is getting more violent, species are dying, and we just go about our normal way of life. With our government in gridlock, not much is being done on a national level. For many of our leaders climate change doesn’t exist, it’s a hoax. But many local and state governments are starting to take action along with many countries. Many industries are also taking notice (insurance companies for example).
I’m now living in a senior community in Little River, California, located in beautiful Mendocino county. I’ve read many books on Global Warming. Two of the latest, Hot–Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth by Mark Hertsgaard and, The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding have been eye opening. But an article called, The Green Big Day, Less Driving, More Birding, in the July 2012 issue of Birding really got me thinking about how I bird. Many birders drive many miles chasing the bird of the day to add to their lists. Big years, big months, big days, county, state and national, all involve a massive use of fossil fuels. In a recent communication with Audubon I learned that the 112th Christmas Bird Count used 583,164 car miles in North America. That’s enough miles to take you to the moon and back and then some and that’s just miles used birding in the count circle.
This Blog is about my great experiment. How many species of birds can I find in Mendocino County while reducing my carbon footprint by mostly using my feet, my bike, and the Mendocino Transit Authority (MTA)? Hope you can join me.
Please excuse the starting posts as I learn my way around the blogging experience.
This is an update. I’ve finished my year with 250 birds seen and with over 2929 carbon producing truck miles saved. In my blog I have written about the politics of climate change, the state of our oceans (from warming to acidification from starfish turning to goo to an oyster farmer leaving the State of Washington for Hawaii because he couldn’t grow his oysters in Washington’s acidic waters), my experiences riding the MTA (with a five part series on the psychology of bus riding), just about every report that has come out on climate change, drought and wild fires, and Miami is doomed posts (along with the Marshall Islands). And don’t forget about the biking articles. I loved the Sperm Bike post. But most of all I’ve written about the birds. I will continue my birding by reducing my carbon footprint and hope others will do the same.
This is an update. As of August 21, 2015 this blog went dark. By that I mean there will be no further articles. I will try to keep some of the posts updated if possible. That will include things like Just Butterflies. This blog lasted longer then I expected and probably longer then the average blog. I’m extremely happy with my last post, an apology to a shorebird. It’s symbolizes an apology to all the shorebirds I’ve disturbed over the many years of surveying them along the coast and on a broader level an apology for us humans fucking up their world.
I have started a new blog titled Just Birds. It will feature just pictures of Mendocino birds that I have taken over the years I’ve lived in Mendocino. I’m still working on the format for the blog. Take a look if you’re interested. No pressure.
As all bloggers know when you write long (BUT well researched***) articles that nobody reads you start getting harassed by the National Bloggers Association for taking up too much space on the Internet. I couldn’t take it any longer. I want to say thanks to any of my followers that stuck with me. I mostly enjoyed the experience and hope you did too.
***An example of a very long but well researched article would be, What’s it all About Jonathan Franzen? I spent probably a week or more writing it and was highly pleased with it when it was published. I still feel that it’s one of my best articles. In researching the stats for my blog I found that nobody had ever read it. If you have gotten this far into this blog, do me a favor and read it. It’s what this blog was all about.