Category Archives: Environment/Nature

So much for the fires: an ark with two animals of each kind just floated down my street…

This time last week Colorado was enduring epic wildfires and “Fire Danger: Extreme” seemed an understatement. We were seeing temps in excess of 100 degrees and one day the humidity dipped as low as three percent. So much for the “earth is burning” portion of the show. Now we’re three or four days into the great floods foretold in the Old Testament. Three weeks ago I posted a couple of pictures from movie night on the Elitch Theater lawn. Here’s one of them, to refresh your memory.

Here’s that same lawn a few minutes ago, after a few hours of positively biblical rain this morning. Read more

The 2012 Colorado wildfires were predicted; now, understanding why they’re happening

The national media and much of America is watching the Colorado wildfire drama in rapt, apocalyptic fascination. For those who are just now recognizing the scope of the disaster, S&R has been writing about this (and predicting it) for some time now. If you’d like to better understand the causes of the explosion of wildfires in the summer of 2012, here’s a quick set of links to  get you caught up.

Why is Colorado on fire? Climate effects aren’t always as obvious as the weather…

Colorado’s massive High Park fire has jumped the Poudre River and is beginning to menace Fort Collins in earnest. This is very bad news. Some experts fear the blaze won’t be contained before fall and if you live anywhere to the east of it you’re probably quite worried, and for good reason. You might well be concerned if you live south or west, too.

Back in March, Tom Yulsman of the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism warned us that this could happen. Read more

Nature publishes instructions on how to make a Frankenstein monster

My doctoral dissertation addressed what I called the “Frankenstein Complex.” So guess why this story bothers me.

Today, a scientific journal published a study that some people thought might never be made public at all.

The paper describes experiments that suggest just a few genetic changes could potentially make a bird flu virus capable of becoming contagious in humans, and causing a dangerous pandemic. Read more

S&R and the marketplace of ideas: yes, Dorothy, sometimes people disagree…in public, even!

Earlier this morning Chris offered up a post entitled “Why are environmentalists missing a mild-weather opportunity?” It raises a pragmatic point about how the climate “debate” plays out in the public sphere and is well worth a read. Go ahead – I’ll wait.

Predictably – and by “predictably,” I mean that last night I e-mailed our climate guru, Brian Angliss, and said “when Chris’s post lands, here’s what’s going to happen,” and it has played out as though I had scripted it; the denialists have jumped on the post in an attempt to cast Chris and the rest of the S&R staff as “hypocrites.” One prominent anti-science type wants you to believe that the message is “we know weather isn’t climate, but let’s lie to people anyway!”

Like I say, as predicted.

The truth is that Chris’s post is part of a larger context. Read more

Photography: Greg Thow’s Colorado (part 2 – Nature)

ArtSunday at Scholars & Rogues

Last week, in part one of our series on Denver photographer Greg Thow, we saw some fantastic shots of the 5280, one of America’s most beautiful cities. Of course, stunning nature photography is a prerequisite for shutterbugs living in Colorado, and while it was his urban photos that first caught my attention, Thow has an eye for the Centennial State’s trees, mountains and skies, as well. Read more

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