Sunday, October 28, 2007

Turkey Vulture Festval

Hawk On The Wire

Yeah, I live in the kind of place that has a Turkey Vulture Festival.... and it's cool. The Turkey Vultures pass through here every year on their way South, and they celebrate the event down at the Kern River Preserve. It's about the mellowest place you can imagine, run by great people who really care about nature.

I usually play country music around here, or tradtional folk songs, but today I came down to play my own songs for a couple of hours, with a few Woody Guthrie songs thrown in. It was a nice crowd and a beautiful day. There were craft booths, and information booths from the local environmental organizations. My friends from Sequoia Forestkeeper were there and Bob, from Izzy Solar demonstrating his passive solar heaters. There was a live falcon, a screech owl, some desert tortoises, and then there was those rattlesnake guys....

After my raggedy set, the real musicians showed up-- our favorite local band, Out Of The Blue played some great Bluegrass and Americana. It was a fine afternoon in the Kern River Valley. The Turkey Vultures showed up, as advertised, and a great time was had by all. If you missed it, make sure you check it out next year...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

None dare call it genocide

Today the US Congress is arguing with the Whitehouse over whether the slaughter of Armenians in Turkey 80 years ago was genocide or not. I have not heard them discuss any resolutions about the genocide of Native Americans, and I don't see them trying to stop the destruction of Appalachia and the American citizens who live there right now by coal companies who are blowing the tops off their mountains, destroying communities and ecosystems and poisoning an entire area of our country for all time.
Our country gets 50% of it's electricity from burning coal. Burning that coal produces 40% our country's CO2 emissions. It's time to phase that out, right? Then how come there are another 129 coal burners in the works right now? In what kind of Kafkaesque world does that make sense, when we are hearing about melting ice caps and mass extinction of endangered species due to Global Warming every day?
Why, in a country that purports itself to be a Democracy, and has laws protecting it's environment and the rights of it's citizens, are we engaging in a systematic destruction of the environment of an entire region of our country and the lives of the citizens who live there?
This is a rural sector of our country, where the population is poor, the votes are small, and the corporations that profit from it's destruction are from out of state, make gigantic political contributions, and leave when their deed is done. They play people against each other and tell them that the "environmentalists" want to take their jobs away. But when the coal has been burned up to power the wide screen TVs and stainless steel fridges of the city dwellers, their jobs will still be gone, along with their farms, their fields, their livestock, the wildlife, and the future of their children, if not their children's lives.
This is not the best way to "power the grid." It's not sustainable. It's not moral, and it's not right. Some of our presidential candidates, who are US Senators, have said they will stop this if elected to the Whiehouse. Tell them, "If you want our vote for president, then show us what you are doing to stop it now..."
The Government Sanctioned Blasting of Appalachia