March 2008 sets global land temperature for Earth

I am posting this news because the winter of 2007-8 has been colder than normal in the United States, and once again some people are confusing the weather with climate, and in an irritatingly parochial way confusing the United States with the world.

Low temperatures and heavy snow in the United States and Europe were more than offset by high temperatures in Asia. The area of snow coverage in North America and Europe was the most extensive on record. Nevertheless, warm temperatures in March in Europe led to rapid snow melt. In Europe snow coverage for March was the lowest on record — the change was extreme.

In the United States, “Only Rhode Island, New Mexico and Arizona were warmer than average, while near-average temperatures occurred in 39 other states. The monthly temperature for Alaska was the 17th warmest on record, with an average temperature 3.8°F above the 1971-2000 mean.”

Global Land Temperature Warmest On Record In March 2008. Science Daily.

Children increasingly disconnected from nature

Some of my very first and best memories (I must have been about 3 years old) are of the outdoors. By that I don’t mean the lawn or a favorite tree.

My grandfather located and developed mining properties . . . unsuccessfully when I was boy because he was in his mid-70s, but he recruited my father and uncles to help during the summer.

I recall that for day after day, they would climb up the mountain above Hyrum, Utah. I’d ride on my father’s back. Later they build a road and we’d go up in the truck to the Moon Mine prospect.

While they worked, I was left to sit on edge of the prospect surrounded by sagebrush with a view of Cache Valley, Utah spread below. There was the occasional rattlesnake, the mountain slope was a slightly steep, I might have been stung by a bee, perhaps there were scorpions. The situation would be regarded as incorrect by those who give advice on child rearing.

It was wonderful . . . glorious!!. The world was so new, green, and the valley with the Wellsvelle Mountains rising on the other side seemed endless. To me the world was welcome and so right. I have never stopped loving the outdoors.

While only a few children have an experience like that, my path was already partially set. I never stopped loving the outdoors.

Today few children are given a connection to the outdoors. Undue fear of hazards, dangerous people, and the enticements of video games, television, and the computer stand in the way.

As far as formal education, 8 years of George Bush’s misconceived “no child left behind” that ignores physical activity and outdoor education, has already ruined half of generation. This will have profound  negative effects for our future.

The article below worries about Montana’s outdoor recreation economy, but the problem is much deeper than that.

Numbers bode poorly for recreation tourism. By Daniel Person. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer

2,400 Yellowstone bison now dead

2,400 Yellowstone bison dead. By Cory Hatch, Jackson Hole News and Guide. Only 1,950 have been counted alive, and many just barely. This news comes out as a new severe winter storm descends on the area.