Tag: Nature

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When Rivkah (Rebecca) introduces herself to Avraham’s servant, the text contains a very strange artifact, which I highlight. And she said unto him: ‘I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore unto Nahor.’ And she said unto him: ‘We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.’ […]

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What Are Your Natural Cathedrals?

 

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On Saturday night I took the picture above, showing the eastern slope of the Teton Mountains towering over the Snake River in Jackson, Wyoming. I was on one of my regular cross-country jaunts from Nashville to Los Angeles. Sure, Wyoming isn’t generally on that route but, c’mon, look at the picture — you’re going to go out of your way for that.

I can’t quite put into words what I experience every time I stand at that spot. It’s something akin, I suppose, to what Maslow described as a “peak experience.” Jackson Hole is one of a handful of spots that I regard as natural cathedrals — places that are overawing in their aesthetic majesty.

Three Things Conservatives Believe

 

I take the following to be among the most important principles that inform and motivate conservatives. I am not giving an argument in hopes of persuading non-conservatives, just an explanation of some foundational principles.

I say “foundational” because a decent statement of conservatism might not actually contain any of them. These aren’t the principles that are conservatism, but principles that motivate conservatives. Sometimes one of them (especially one of the first two) is an unstated premise lurking behind a conservative argument that just doesn’t seem to reach non-conservatives.

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Catoctin Mountain in the springtime is green and cool and riotous with birdsong. When I’ve been there this time of year, I’ve felt almost as though I were swimming through trees. I wonder how it seems to the participants in the Gulf Cooperation Council summit? Too foreign for comfort, or a little slice of paradise? […]

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This is a kind of quatrain & a kind of poem Kipling seems to have enjoyed writing. Here’s John Derbyshire reading it, which should be enough to charm you. I’m not sure he invented it, but I find it hard to believe anyone did it better. See The Conundrum of The Workshops, New lamps for […]

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You might wonder where this phrase comes from–the law of the jungle–which we take to mean, lawlessness spelled out in a fine turn of phrase. Kipling thought otherwise, in fact he makes quite a lot in a book for kids about something serious. Jungle is another name for forest. It is the world in which […]

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At Nature’s Mercy

 
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Mt. Adams is the peak in the foreground, on the right. Taken by author, June 2009.

Over Presidents’ Day weekend, a hiker died in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, specifically, between Mts. Adams and Jefferson. Sadly, this is not very unusual. The Whites are within easy drive of Boston and extremely picturesque, which makes them attractive both to experienced and careful hikers as well as novices and idiots. That wouldn’t be so bad if the mountains didn’t have some of the worst and least-stable weather in the world. Compounding all this, Mt. Washington — the highest peak in New England and the site of the most extreme weather conditions — has a roadway that goes straight up to the summit, which furthers the perception that the Whites are no big deal (as does their relatively low elevation compared to peaks out West or in Europe.)* Every year, there are a few bodies.

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While we are discussing Big Brother hiding in the bushes with binoculars and the world’s most illegible measuring tape, I’d like to invite Ricochet members to share stories of civilians who did what they could for wildlife or a natural environment without any prodding from government. As many of you already know, I’m a beach […]

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Change: Climate and Otherwise

 

shutterstock_109199027“Change is a very most natural thing” — Steven Fromholz                                                                                 Recently, our president, leading what he claimed would be the most transparent administration in our history, went before an unquestioning press corps to call our attention to something (anything) more important than how four Americans were left helpless to die before a terrorist mob; or how it was covered up; or what a failure that “signature” health care bill is; or how 92 million Americans are not working; or exactly what we will all be paying when the final provisions of ObamaCare have kicked in; or that the entire world is considerably more dangerous after five years of a more “thoughtful” foreign policy on the part of the U.S. I know what a long, clumsy and run-on sentence that was. But the toughest English teacher I ever had is long dead and she was always the only one whose red marker I really feared. (I am told she passed peacefully at 96 grading essays and still believing that my spelling was the worse that she had ever seen — with the possible exception of my uncle, whom she also taught.) 

Our president was determined that we should take note of the politically crafted National Climate Assessment, which promises sure destruction if we do not act within the minute to arrest climate change. The report laid out predictions of dire, deadly, and immediate consequences. Yet, despite the scale of the supposed threat, our enlightened president has a solution — he can manipulate the earth, winds, and sky at whim if only he’s vested with enough tax dollars and authority to regulate individual behavior.

Almost every poll in recent months tells us that the American public not only does not consider “climate change” a pressing issue, but is also increasingly regarding it is a non-issue. Yet the left still treats it as one of the altars upon which our liberty should be sacrificed.