Posts Tagged ‘conservation’

Rivers of Communication

April 2, 2008

I live near the Chattahoochee River in Georgia. It originates as a spring in the North Georgia mountains and empties into the Gulf of Mexico in Apalachicola, Florida. I have always admired the natural beauty of the river. It offers a peaceful respite from the noisy commotion of daily life. My children know this better than most. They are rowers and have spent countless hours honing their crew skills through daily practice Tennessee River, Chattanoogawith the team. It was crew that led us to Chattanooga for weekend, a scrimmage with the Baylor School. The races were held on the Tennessee River. Looking up river at the boats with the backdrop of mountains covered by mist created an ethereal setting. I love rivers. My husband and I stayed in town for the night and we watched, Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk a 3D IMAX film. It was about river conservation ( a little preachy) but stunning scenery. Apparently climate change is only one of the many problems facing rivers. Dams are another significant problems contributing to global warming according to International Rivers, who protect the vitality of rivers and defend the people who rely on them around the world. Here is a quote from their website:

Dams as climate polluters

Scientific studies indicate that dams and reservoirs are globally significant sources of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and, in particular, methane. The latest estimate published in a peer-review journal is that dams and reservoirs are responsible for almost a quarter of all human-caused methane emissions. This 104 million tonnes of dam methane equals 4-5% of all human-caused warming.

An interesting statistic and that made me think. Atlanta is a booming area as is Los Vegas. Neither city is growing in proportion to water availability. The cities continue growing and increasing demand on a finite supply of water. Similar problems are occurring around the world. It’s like running up huge credit card debt without any way to pay repay it.

So why this sudden interest in rivers? Upon returning to Atlanta, my email contained a note from an old friend from my sophomore year at the American School of London. We’d lost touch for oh, I guess about 30 years! How amazing that the internet provides a river of information and we were able to reconnect. Dams to communication have been removed. As it happens Tim Kingston is actively involved in the International Rivers organization. He is an activist with a passion for rivers, water, the source of life!

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Six rows of separation!

January 23, 2008

I was very inspired by the welcoming address this evening. Discovery TV star, Jeff Corwin poured out heart and soul from the stage. He described the movement he became a naturalist at age six bonding with a small garter snake in his grandparents backyard outside Boston. Later when he was just beginning to create projects for Discovery, he bonded with a baby elephant in an elephant orphanage and he relived the feeling of connection he made spending the night with the baby elephant and years later experiencing a similar connection with his 2 year old daughter as he comforted her after a bad dream. He conveyed a deep abiding passion for ecology, and conservation in hopes of making the world a better place for all of our children. He was in constant motion across the stage, animated, humorous and serious but always sure of his purpose. I was touched by his ability to paint pictures with words and stories. My hat is off to Jeff. Reading the Lorax to my students will have an even deeper meaning for me after his story about a seemingly ordinary bird, the very last of it’s kind on earth. It brought home the plight of extinction and the need to pay attention to these critical signs and how they will impact the future.