Tag Archives: Environment

Non-Fat Meat and no Dead Animals – Really!

Best selling Author, Paul Shapiro – “Clean Meat” (courtesy photo)

Best selling Author, Paul Shapiro – “Clean Meat” (courtesy photo)

Many of us have cut off the fat on meat.  I did as a kid.  Some of us go further, and cut out meat entirely.

It may be because it has fat you don’t like or because you dread to kill an animal to eat its meat.

You can’t ask an animal, for example, to contribute only, say, his leg because that’s all you want, begging the question whether we must waste the whole animal for some small part of the evening repast.

There is also a drain on our limited natural resources, on our eco-system, and, to choose a simple example, consider what it takes to make a single egg or a gallon of milk.

Paul Shapiro, the former head of the Humane Society of the United States, wrote it takes fifty gallons of water to make a single egg – “enough to fill your bathtub to the brim.”

As for our bovine bounty, Paul wrote, it takes “nine hundred gallons of water needed for every gallon of cow’s milk…”

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has famously said that the compromised purity and shrinking inventory of the world’s water supplies will be the oil crisis of this century.

In 1932, the famous WWII PM, Winston Churchill, predicted, “Fifty years hence, we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.”

Paul has now written a best seller, titled, “Clean Meat,” that describes a “suitable medium” to escape Churchill’s attack on his observed wasteful “absurdity.” Continue reading

How we treat our own

Coal miners crawl in mines no taller than a table top

Coal miners crawl in mines no taller than a table top

The standard of civilization is how we treat our own.

By that standard, we are increasingly uncivilized.

We can track our decline in our national disregard for human rights, in our xenophobia, the cry to build walls, our inclination to war, to betray nation states who have long been our allies, and our indifference to the plight of the living young, the disabled, the poor, the ill and the aged.

We stand ready to betray the trust to preserve and protect natural resources, historic monuments, and public lands.

We exploit hard working Americans struggling to make ends meet.

Let us choose one group of workers, hard done by the false political myths we tell, and repeat, who are at a focal point, in national discussions about energy, safety and health care.

On a recent public access TV show, I was asked, when promoting renewable energy sources including solar and wind, whether, “I cared about the miners I would put out of work – if we continued to push these renewable energy sources?”

The question is a little like asking, “How did our forebears feel when farriers were put out of work because more and more the model T replaced the thoroughbred horse?”

Nor is there any way we can close the door to renewables.

If anyone thinks renewables are a fad, then they’re a fad like the internet. Continue reading

The Fall Show

Vermont Maple Leaf

The orange gold of an autumn maple leaf by itself is something to behold, to watch anew with surprise and delight.

When a tree is fully clothed with these leaves seen in sunny stark contrast with spectral shifts of red and yellow leaves as well as lingering greens from other deciduous trees, this natural palette is so brilliant we can’t help ourselves, we seek it out, travel along tree-lined roads, sit on our back porches, looking and watching, to celebrate this recurring spectacle of nature. Continue reading


It is remarkable how often, after the fact, everybody knows what should have been done to avoid the latest national disaster.

You have to wonder if they really thought about the matter at all beforehand.

Consider how many Americans following the Boston Marathon bombing thought Chechens were from Czechoslovakia.

Petr Gandalovič, Ambassador to the United States from the Czech Republic, had to inform the “social media” that “the Czech Republic is a Central European country; Chechnya is a part of the Russian Federation.”

What we don’t know, we all need to know so that we can make informed policy decisions.

To make matters worse, our modern political “dialogue” consists principally of public disinformation focused on banal distractions and not what really matters.

We are a culture that poses with equanimity but that incites its citizens against immigrants, racial minorities, welfare mothers, feminists, gays and lesbians.

In the shadow of Earth Day, I’d like to underscore one of those issues that prompts a sadly anorexic dialogue about how we can safely breathe the air and drink the water.

Continue reading


"I am a corrupt politician," says the pig.

As the travesty in Purcellville grinds on, we turn back to the curious case of the Loudoun Environmental Council. This new nominally “environmental” group still seems to have nothing to do with protecting the environment, and everything to do with protecting certain corrupt politicians at the expense of the adult conversation our county needs to have about safeguarding our water quality.

There was already much discussion here and here regarding the nature of this group. As before, my concern is not the merits of the proposed Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance but rather the dishonest exploitation of the issue for political gain.

Responding to my criticism of LEC as an astroturf group set up to influence the 2011 election, commenters – of the sort frequent visitor Barbara Munsey refers to as “sockpuppets” – were dispatched to do damage control. A very enthusiastic one told us this:

..and the LCRC was at a meeting, so it was almost all non LCRC folks! Ha, that is the best of all… the rally conflicted with an LCRC meeting on redistricting and candidates presentations! The LCRC was not even there!

And did you hear Eugene, he was shocked as he looked at the crowd.. he said “Who are you all? I don’t know any of you?”..

Meh. Take a look at the pictures and see if you think that could possibly be true. Continue reading


Photo by Blue Ridge Leader

What a delightful time for some bipartisan solidarity. I have to applaud the crew at Too Conservative for shining a light on the obscenity now going on in Purcellville.

Last week, the Town started tearing out 250-300 year old oak trees to make more parking spaces for their new Town Hall (currently under renovation).

The building being renovated is expected to cost the town over $7 million (compared to an estimated $4.5 million for a new building). This structure was purchased from the Purcellville Baptist Church, which has constructed their own new building. According to many Purcellville folks (including deposed LCRC district chair Ben Belrose) it’s not only structurally in bad condition, but architecturally inappropriate for use as the Town Hall, hence the exorbitant price tag.

Then, on Monday morning the publisher of the Blue Ridge Leader got a call that the historic barn on the Cole Farm was being demolished. Continue reading

Well done

I am taking a page from Supervisor Miller’s blog, and finding something nice to say about Mr. Delgaudio: He is good at what he does, which is orchestrating political stunts and getting people to act contrary to their own interests.

Published in the Blue Ridge Leader on March 10, 2011.

Dear Editor,

Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio and the so-called Loudoun “Environmental” Council really turned out the troops on March 1. Let’s see who they were, and what they have in common:

Residents of Raspberry Falls were there. Their homes were built over porous limestone, and their wells are contaminated. Their signs read “Halt building permits until we have a water solution.” Mr. Delgaudio aggressively opposed the limestone overlay district that would have prevented this catastrophic development over limestone.
Continue reading


Suppose that you wanted certain policies enacted in Loudoun, policies that would enrich you at the expense of other residents and the long-term health of the county. Further, suppose that if you were honest about this goal, those who would do your bidding would never stand a chance of being elected. The quickest, easiest route to what you want would be to find an issue that you can use to generate fear and anger. Fear and anger will motivate otherwise busy or uninterested people to go vote for your candidate, whereas the ordinary business of actual governance – analyzing evidence and debating different solutions to problems – usually will not. It may be lazy, and it may be disingenuous, but it does work – and if serving your own interests is the goal, that’s all that matters.

The issue could be almost anything; it’s what you do to exploit it that counts. In this particular case, the issue is an attempt by local government to address the problem of deteriorating stream quality, and therefore the quality and cost of our domestic water. Continue reading

“Be the Difference!”

Found in my inbox this morning:

A politics fairy left a flyer under our pillow last night. No way to tell if it’s authentic, but it purports to be the remarks of this person:

Of this organization:

Who may or may not be this person:

Of this organization:

A group whose commitment to Loudoun County goes back all of eight months, according to the State Corporation Commission:

(Bets now being taken on how long they exist after November.)

The flyer says her remarks at a meeting on February 4, 2011, included these immortal words:

Action Teams of incorrigible virtues? Wonder if their team-mates will look like this:

Hard to see it, but the sign on this incorrigible Republican virtue says, “I am a corrupt politician,” and was worn in a display of (what the flyer calls) “fact-based discourse” opposing the passage of a clean-water ordinance for Loudoun County that marched through the board of supervisors’ meeting room in the middle of Tuesday’s business session.

Nothing informs a fact-based discourse like a pig-suit, eh?

The flyer closes with a few words of an unknown philosopher:

And this call to join their army:

A little “difference” from this crowd would be a welcome thing. They can start with some of their own advice and admit to some obvious facts. Here’s a start, with grammar to match their standards:

But that would be taking an easy shot, and after all the material they’ve supplied already, let’s not be hogs…