Monday, February 11, 2013

Nature Isn't Natural Any More

Sandhill Cranes and Plastic Baggie

I was out with my camera and the 40-150mm R II mounted, and came across these three sandhill cranes rummaging in the shallows for something to eat. Temperatures have been in the upper 70s to  low 80s since the last week of January, and it's the dry season here in Florida, so that water level has dropped several feet in the artificial overflow flood pond that's next to my office building. The plastic baggie behind the cranes was one of several that were on the shore, along with other trash. This was taken at lunch after hearing and reading a trio of uplifting stores.
  1. NPR has a story about how the Marine Stewardship Council, or MSC, had essentially greenwashed the fact that Canada's long-line swordfish boats pull tens of thousands of blue sharks up out of the water along with the swordfish. The Canadian fishers let them go, the only problem being that 35% of the sharks caught eventually die right on the hook or days after release. The findings suggested that Canadian swordfish boats accidentally kill almost two sharks for every swordfish they catch. Scientists and environmentalists were dumbfounded in early 2012 when the MSC system decided that Canada's swordfish industry can use the label "Certified Sustainable Seafood." "That is absolutely the kind of fishery that should not be certified," says Leape of Pew Environment Group. "That fishery is outrageous."
  2. Meanwhile, back in the lower 48, according to Wired, the "Pentagon Downgrades Specs for Its Premier Stealth Jet — Again." The F-35, like the F-22 Raptor before it, is turning into the most expensive flying machine, and the most expensive weapons system this country has every produced. Critical dates have slide continuously to the right and the price has continually escalated, while features have been downgraded or dropped. This little gem leaped out at me from the article: "Despite the F-35 growing heavier, slower and more sluggish by the Pentagon’s own admission, Lockheed insists its product is still the second most maneuverable warplane in existence. Company test pilot Billy Flynn told Flight‘s Dave Majumdar that the JSF accelerates better and flies at higher angles than every other fighter except the Lockheed-made F-22."
  3. And speaking of the F-22, the $376million/copy stealth fighter, the one that tends to kill its pilots, wired writes on the same day that the "Pentagon Watchdog Slams Air Force for Blaming Stealth Jet Failure on Pilot." The Air Force has been trying to pin the blame of Capt. Jeffrey Haney's F-22 crash on Capt. Jeffrey Haney, especially when the evidence seems to point to the contrary. Or at least that's what the Defense Department Inspector General believes after reviewing the Air Force's Accident Investigation Board (AIB) report as well as the evidence from the crash and rejecting the conclusion of the AIB. The best quote from the article: "The Pentagon inspector general’s report is a powerful blow in Haney’s defense against an Air Force eager to protect the tattered fragments of the F-22′s once-stellar reputation."
All of this with the F-22 and F-35 in an environment of apocalyptic sequestration.

So. In a land of urban sprawl, it's real hard to make the beautiful photo's with all of our trash everywhere. I think I'm going to document all the trashy beauty I live in, more than ever before.


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