Search Google

Current Issue \\ This Week's Features \\ Calendar \\ Music Calendar
Classifieds \\ Movie Times \\ Movie Reviews \\ Play Reviews \\ Archives \\ Advertising

Volume 15, Issue 31 ~ August 2- August 8, 2007

Way Downstream

In Greenland, Maryland Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin saw global warming at work. Traveling with 10 other senators from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and two scientists, Maryland’s senatorial team saw glaciers and fjords of Disco Bay by helicopter and boat.

“The ice melt is accelerating at an alarming rate,” said Cardin in a phone conference with reporters. “Greenland holds 10 percent of the world’s ice. There would be a 22-foot rise in sea level if it all melted.”

To control global warming, Cardin said, the U.S. needs first to freeze carbon emissions, then reduce those levels. Several such bills are pending in Congress …

Maryland has enlisted 75 scientists, environmentalists, energy industry experts, public planners, business people and citizens to fight climate change. The mission of the Commission on Climate Change is to go beyond documenting the causes to developing an action plan for curbing our carbon and greenhouse gas emissions:

In 97 percent of drought-stricken Maryland, fields of desiccated corn lean on yellow stalks, grass crunches like burnt toast, wetlands dry to hardtack. The summer of 2007 has been so dry that Gov. Martin O’Malley is doing a political rain dance. He’s asked the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to declare disaster in all Maryland counties impacted by the severe dry weather and excessive heat. Funding for farmers would follow.

“We estimate that farmers in Maryland have lost between 30 and 60 percent of their crops,” said O’Malley.

Until financial irrigation flows from D.C., the Maryland Department of Agriculture is offering free testing of grain for the presence of aflatoxins and other drought-associated toxins poisonous to livestock. For more information:

Throughout Maryland, Lyme disease — which Bay Weekly columnist Bill Burton is fighting — is making strides. Confirmed cases of Lyme rose 39 percent from 2004 to 2005, from, 891 in 2004 to 1,235 in 2005. Metro counties have reported as high as a five-fold increase. Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene attributes the increase to awareness of the bulls-eye bite mark and other flu-like symptoms: headaches, fever, chills, tiredness, rash, muscle/joint aches or pain. Learn more at and

In the Gulf of Mexico, the dead zone of oxygen-depleted water was measured last week at the third biggest ever mapped: 7,900 square miles, the size of New Jersey. Scientists warn that it will grow even bigger with the ethanol boom as corn fertilizers pour off of Midwestern farm fields into the Mississippi River and flow south toward Louisiana …

Our Creature Feature comes from Texas, which appears to be in need of turtle legislation like Maryland’s new law protecting our terrapins. That’s because hundreds of thousands of Texas turtles are ending up in China, where people regard them as a delicacy with magical health benefits.

Export records show that 267,000 wild turtles were exported from Dallas to Hong Kong in three years, Reuters reported. In some parts of Texas like the Rio Grande River, turtles have disappeared. That is upsetting to people like Chris Jones, an environmental lawyer who wants the Texas Legislature to impose protections. “They are taking them so fast the scientists can’t study them,” Jones said.

Current Issue \\ Archives \\ Subscriptions \\ Clasified Advertising \\ Display Advertising
Distribution Spots \\ Behind Bay Weekly \\ Contact Us \\ Submit Letters to Editor \\ Submit Your Events

© COPYRIGHT 2007 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.