Sunday, July 20, 2008

I'm Speechless

So don't ask me to give any speeches.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Spotted Owls? Really?

Matt Chancey's Radio Ad

This guy wants to be on Alabama's Public Service Commission, and he thinks he can get there by running an anti-environmental campaign. I hope he's wrong. I heard this radio ad earlier in the week, in which Matt Chancey says Alabama's energy policy "is being driven by bureaucrats who care more about spotted owls and treefrogs than people." Is that a fact? I wonder how many of his constituents are aware that there are no spotted owls within a couple of thousand miles of Alabama, and I'd sure like to know which Alabama treefrog species has ever hindered any kind of development or industry. His website implies the Alabama sturgeon is not a distinct species and therefore unworthy of protection. He knows his base, and boy, is he playing to them, calling folks like me "radical environmentalists" (apparently you can't be a regular environmentalist anymore) and "elite liberal extremists." We are the ones to blame for high fuel costs, he says. At least he and his wife aren't going for the women's vote.

Matt's opponent in the PSC race is Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, former chair of the Alabama Republican Party. I first met Twinkle when I was her graduate teaching assistant in a Principles of Ecology course at Auburn in the late 1980s. You don't forget a name like that--she assured me it was on her birth certificate--and when I bumped into her at a Republican event in Birmingham a few years ago, I reintroduced myself (I was there helping my friend Pat Byington man a booth for Republicans for Environmental Protection). Twinkle has gone on record saying unkind things about environmentalists, too, of course, but if you are thinking of voting Republican, given your choice between Chancey and Cavanaugh, I hope you'll consider going with the one who's at least taken a course in ecology and hopefully can still appreciate a treefrog or two.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cornhole, America’s game.

Well, have you joined the American Cornhole Association yet? Thanks to Cousin Kyle for putting me onto this.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Chaffseed (Schwalbea americana) was formerly found in 15 states but is now known from only six (AL, FL, GA, NC, SC, NJ). It is federally listed as endangered, and only occurs in areas that burn frequently. In Alabama, it was seen in southern Baldwin County in the 1960s and rediscovered in the northern part of the county more than 30 years later, only to seemingly disappear. Late last month it was discovered on private property in Bullock County in east-central Alabama. I won't say more than that, but I'm just happy I got to see it last week even though it was well past flower. Thanks to Eric Soehren for providing this picture from the site.