Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Friday, August 24, 2007

We must start conserving electricity NOW

I discovered this week on a forum of well-educated people, mostly liberals like me, that a great many people don't realize that a LOT of electricity used in this country is generated by burning coal. And today the Bush administration is set to allow companies with a profit motive to start taking ever more coal from the earth via mountaintop mining. This is destroying habitat for a badly declining species, the Cerulean Warbler, but an administration that thinks so little of preserving habitat for a treasured game species such as the Sage Grouse is hardly going to be worried about a third-of-an-ounce songbird that hardly anyone has ever heard about, despite its great beauty. Read today's New York Times article, Rule to Expand Mountaintop Coal Mining.

I discuss how energy is generated and the implications for birds in 101 Ways to Help Birds. It's been well-reviewed but other than a handful of people, hardly anyone mentions the book in any discussions of energy and water conservation, recycling, trying to eat lower on the food chain and selecting as many groceries grown close to home as possible, or other issues that are getting a lot of attention right now, even though all of them have implications for birds and so were covered, some in a lot of depth, in the book. It's available in public libraries and may be worth your time to check it out.