The Equinox will mark our 12th wedding anniversary, so Viv and I are taking a long weekend in the Adirondacks to celebrate and leaving our children (for the first time) at home with their Gramma. In the interest of having many more such anniversaries, I am taking a few days leave from blogging until we return. A few observations, then, about where readings might go in the meantime:
Yesterday my inveterate blogging cousin Tigerhawk witnessed the 2,000,000th unique viewer viewer of his eponymous blog. What is even more extraordinary, TH's first million happened on July 30th, 2006, marking an incredible growth in readership. Our politics are often quite different but I find myself reading Tigerhawk more than any other political blog (more often than most other blogs, period) because the community of readers and commenters that it sustains provides a wider tent than other conservative blogs. Some snark, to be sure, but then, you can get that here, too. What I appreciate most is the ability to speak with and learn from people with very different outlooks on what are often "defining" issues, but also to find areas where those on the left or right can nonetheless see each other beyond the labels, as well as sometimes eye to eye. Well done, TH!
Some great carnivals came through town recently that deserve a mention. The 4th edition of Beautiful Africa is a rich stew of posts and well worth sampling. Check out South African Hannes Coetzee playing slide guitar with a spoon! Military History Carnival #6 is at Armchair General Magazine this month, where you can read about Katherine Prescott Wormeley and her experience working with the Sanitary Commission caring for wounded Union soldiers during the American Civil War.
The Katoomba Group's Ecosystem Marketplace featured Lars Smith of the blog Conservation Finance and his innovative proposal to benefit local communities that rely on tourism but whose natural resources suffer impacts from too many tourists through a system of tradable park quotas.
"This system would put daily visitor entry permits into a trading market, with each conservation area's visitor carrying capacity limiting the number of permits sold. As demand for a limited number of permits in a popular conservation area swells, prices rise, generating more money from permit fees for those who still choose to come, while encouraging visitors turned off by the price to explore more remote areas with less expensive permits. Revenues from the trading scheme could then boost biodiversity conservation in each participating area.
In developing countries, these protected-area tradable quotas (known as PATVIQs, for Protected Area Tradable Visiting Quotas) could be used to increase revenue for under-funded parks, and mitigate pressure on overcrowded ones. By requiring biodiversity tallies from member parks, more money could also be channeled to protected species. Last but not least, Smith hopes that along with raising money for conservation, the proposal could also involve local communities, who are too often the losers when it comes to protecting natural areas."
Mountain top removal and valley fill coal extraction operations are a national disgrace. Bloggers like Fred First of Fragments From Floyd are exposing the damage it does to watersheds and communities. Fred makes it easy for your voices to be heard. Here was my post on the subject back in April.
Finally, the incredibly talented and personable Jennifer Forman Orth of the Invasive Species Weblog is in the job market. Anyone who needs someone with her skills and abilities would be lucky to have her on board, and if you happen to be located in the Greater Boston area, all the better.
All the best, then, until next Tuesday when, refreshed and revitalized, we shall return to regular programming here at Walking the Berkshires.