Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I need a bailout!

Sorry you haven't heard from me in a while. Times are tough. Industries in Michigan are dying. Employees are shopping for coffins. I've been kinda busy.

Meanwhile, Wall Street yacht owners are getting a bailout. Awesome. And here's one parallel I can't help but mention: Folks from the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration (which was created by Dubya years ago) came up with a bailout plan for the Great Lakes in 2005. A $20 billion strategy to clean up toxic sediments, fix aging wastewater treatment plants, combat invasive species, etc.

The cost is now estimated at about $26 billion (thanks inflation). But Congress just hasn't had the money, despite a Brookings study that said the investment would create $50 billion in economic benefits (pdf ).

But as soon as some rich folks lose their ability to buy new $5,000 ties, it's Congress to the rescue. Yee f*ckin haw!

There, I feel better. Kind of like those new Rock Band 2 commercials with folks singing "Let There Be Rock." Aren't those cool? Like a cool dip in a clean lake. Maybe they'll make a video game that will allow folks on Lake Huron to experience such a thing.

- Green Mullet

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tremors and other hot search items

As promised, Kristina and my other loyal followers, today's post is about tapeworms. 

Mmm mmm. These are kind of like the creatures in "Tremors," but not as big. 

A while back, Michigan conservation officials announced that they'd found tapeworms living in walleye. The great sport fish of the Great Lakes. Yummy. They said not to worry. You can still eat the fish, just make sure they're well done. I guess if you catch a walleye with tapeworms inside, the worms will come out of the gills after you get the fish in the cooler. What a nice surprise when you get home. 

These tapeworms were native. Again, like Tremors, smaller and more cuddly, fuzzy. Now comes news from the Journal of Great Lakes Research that Asian tapeworms, invasive, deadly Asian tapeworms (do Asian carp come to mind?) have likely spread from the Detroit River (Thanks Kwame) to the rest of the Great Lakes. 

"Scientists believe that one major reason for its expansion throughout parts of North America is through movement of bait fish.

This tapeworm can cause weight loss and mortality in young fishes. It primarily infects minnows and carp, but it can also be found in a variety of other fishes including bass. It has also been found in endangered species. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is aware of its significance and lists the Asian fish tapeworm as a 'Pathogen of Regional Importance.'"

What can I say? I wish for the good ol' days of regular native tapeworms. We've got to stop the immigrants from getting in. Maybe a fence? 

- Green Mullet

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricane Ike continues

Not really. But that last Hurricane Ike post got me lots of hits. Like Ike on Tina. Crude, but clever.

The latest issue of the Journal of Great Lakes Research is out. You should be reading this (along with my blog, of course).

In the latest issue ... a tribute to The Animals. As in, "We Gotta Get Out of This Place."

That's animals as in cormorants, the ugly ducklings of the Great Lakes. As The Ramones sang, "Bird is the word."

I feel for the cormorants. They're native to the Great Lakes. But they have this bad habit of eating lots of fish and pushing out native birds from their nests and killing trees with their guano (poop). Everything I've read to this point has said the cormorants don't deserve their bad rap when it comes to depleting fisheries. The latest research says differently, at least when it comes to perch in Lake Huron:

"New research confirms that trends in cormorant numbers best explain the collapse of yellow perch in the Les Cheneaux Islands region of Lake Huron. Between 1980 and 2004 cormorants went from zero to over 5,500 nests (about 14,000 birds)."

See, I was right:

"Previous research there concluded that the birds had no appreciable effect on the perch population. This current study makes use of more recent information and clearly establishes that trends in cormorants most accounts for the collapse of the perch fishery."

I can already hear the calls going out. "Shoot more cormorants!"

Coming tomorrow (or when I get around to it): Tapeworms!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hurricane Ike: Climate change anyone?

Nice pics on the Hurricane Ike pool on Flickr.

Ike has whalloped Texas. Three dead. Four million without power. Fires. Floods. Bears.

A quick lesson:

"Beginning in 1995, there has been a big upswing in the number of Atlantic tropical storms. According to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, the years 1850 to 1990 saw an average of about 10 tropical storms, including about 5 hurricanes. Since 1995, the average has spiked, with the 1997-2006 average at about 14 tropical storms, including about 8 hurricanes. This increase correlates with the rise in ocean temperatures, which in turn is linked to global warming."

Looking forward to the weak rhetoric from the presidential candidates as to what the U.S. is going to do reduce carbon emissions.

- Green Mullet.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Everyone drives separately

"Carpoolers," one of the funniest (and most environmentally friendly) TV shows has been taken off the air. It starred Jerry O'Connell and was a fresh take on the absurdities of the office, with a little plug for conservation (carpooling). But the show ran for less than a year. The Bush administration, er ABC, pulled it off the air. The last show aired March 4, 2008.

Last night, I watched the debut of another O'Connell project, "Do Not Disturb." This one about a hotel where all the employees are screwing all the guests (Bush administration?) Not as funny, and everyone drives separately to work. Is it a coincidence that this new show is on the Fox Network (Bush administration)?

What kind of shows will Obama usher in? Or, shudder, McCain?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

NPR is full of it

They had a show recently on 1980s music, called "The 1980s: Were they really that bad?." I downloaded the podcast. I'm listening. I'm figuring they're going to give the 80s some props. But they made fun of 80s music. A bunch of 30 year olds making fun of 80s music? They ripped on Motley Crue. They referred to 80s metal as butt rock (before I turned off the show).

Go post on their blog and tell them they're full of it.

- Green Mullet

Friday, September 5, 2008


Are there any rock songs about laying an egg? Supposedly Tool has one called "The Eggs of Satan." Seems appropriate.

That's what McCain did last night. Laid an egg. Satanic snore. Thank God for those two or more protesters who shook things up at the beginning of the speech. That at least made it interesting. John McCain, you're a war hero, a great man. That's all. Not a great speaker.

Does it matter? Yup. A leader needs to be able to communicate, not just show the people he meets a box of medals. Was that cruel? Didn't mean it to be. I take nothing away from the man. He just doesn't do it for me. I now think his pick of Sarah Palin was a wise choice. At least she's got some fire.

Let me stand next to your fire.

Do those "Drill Baby Drill" signs make you nervous? Sounds like a porn movie, with the Earth as the star. I can't believe that with energy prices shooting up, the GOPs answer is to dig and suck more finite resources from the planet. Great guys. Wave your cowboy hats.

- Green Mullet.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Palin smokes

Hot momma, check it and see.
Those aren't the right lyrics, but me and my brother Randy used to enrage my brother Gary when we would sing the song that way.

Which brings me to last night's speech by Sarah Palin. Hot. OK, the speech was good, too. But is this lady too hot to be VP? I like a Meg Whitman better. Not as distracting. Yes, that sounds sexist, and it's meant to be. I'm not really serious. Palin looked great. She did a good job on her coming out party. She did the requisite amount of ripping on Barack and Biden. But I didn't like her (empty) message: Country First, forget about the last eight years, remember remember remember 911. Famly values, but gimme a break on my pregnant daughter. Wave your cowboy hats.

And since this is an enviro blog, let's take a look at the two VP contenders. An AP story posted by The Trib tears Palin up. Critics call her "the killa from Wasilla." She's fought against protections for polar bears and beluga whales and doesn't believe in anthropogenic global warming. (Note to Sarah: Earth is not flat, either).
She said last night that America (God Bless 'er, by the way) has plenty of oil. This from a woman who took on Big Oil in Alaska, so give her some credit (and then take it away after you read the next line):

"we Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas.

And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: we've got lots of both."

So much for alternative energy. Drill, baby drill!

Joe Biden's record on the environment looks better (but what about the terrorists?!) Just kidding. It looks better:

"During his 35 years representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate, Biden has earned a lifetime score of 83 percent from the League of Conservation Voters, only slightly lower than Obama’s lifetime score of 86 percent, but over a much longer term of service. Throughout his Senate career, Biden has voted fairly consistently with environmentalists and along party lines on energy and environmental issues, but the strong positions he has taken on many of those issues show a deep commitment to the environment."

- Green Mullet