I started off 2012 by reading five great books about New Mexico’s environment–and then getting to interview and wander about with some of those authors and photographers. It was a great way to start off the year, and I hope you’ll read that essay online at the Santa Fe Reporter.
Now my question to you is: What are your favorite books about New Mexico’s landscapes and environmental issues? Drop a note in the comments section and let me know. (Include your favorite field guides, too, please.)
I have a ton of favorites, and I’d love to add mine to yours and create a comprehensive online list.
And the first person to contribute to the list–and to email your mailing address to email@example.com–will receive my extra copy of VB Price’s book, The Orphaned Land.
By they way, those five books I write about in “No Page Unturned” include:
The Orphaned Land: NM’s Environment Since the Manhattan Project, by VB Price
A Great Aridness, by William deBuys
Reining in the Rio Grande , by Fred Phillips, Mary Black, and G. Emlen Hall
The Rio Grande: An Eagle’s View (Photographs by Adriel Heisey)
Eco-Tracking: On the Trail of Habitat Change, by Dan Shaw
…and here’s a picture of those two mouse-hunting coyotes I mention in the essay:
Within the first three days of the new year, I was lucky enough to spend time in the Sandias, on the West Mesa, and then along the Rio Grande as it flows through Albuquerque.
It was a good way to start the year, not only because hitting the sands (and scrambling around on granite or basalt) is preferable to being cooped up inside with the computer, but because I’ve cleared the slate on some old projects and am currently compiling a “to do” list of stories to research and write in 2012.
Climate change and water are big issues, obviously, as are oil and gas development and hydraulic fracturing. And right now, I’m particularly interested in adaptation. The world looks different–ecologically and economically–than it did even a few decades ago. I want to explore where we’re headed in the future–and New Mexico is a great place to do that.
Send your story tips and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org–and here’s to an interesting and productive 2012!
This promises to be really interesting. Be sure and check it out on Sunday in Albuquerque:
New Mexico Chapter
Perspectives on Climate Change
3 pm, Sunday, October 16, 2011
Jewish Community Center
5520 Wyoming Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
“Current views in Congress on the threats of global warming”
Senator Jeff Bingaman (by video)
“The scientific evidence that growing carbon dioxide levels and global warming are largely of human origin”
Professor David Gutzler
The University of New Mexico
“Potential consequences of global warming, from inconvenient weather to global catastrophe”
Dr. Mark Boslough
Sandia National Laboratories
“Obstacles standing in the way of addressing global warming- a business community perspective”
Mr. Jeff Sterba
Chairman, PNM Resources
Q & A
Mr. John Fleck, moderator
Science writer, The Albuquerque Journal
Free and Open to the Public
Co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Central New Mexico and the UNM Chapter of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
Supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the Department of State.
Amazing things are happening right now.
And this is one of them:
If you read the current issue of the Santa Fe Reporter, you’ll find an essay I wrote about climate change in the Southwest. It’s called The New Normal, and I have to admit that it was a really hard story to write.
I became an environmental journalist for a couple of reasons. The most important one is that I’m happiest when hanging around outside (and I didn’t realize, honestly, how much time I would inevitably spend inside at the computer.) But it also seemed like a productive way to pay my respects to the places I love. Places that have offered me refuge and inspiration, and places that are just beautiful and exciting. More than nine years ago, when I wrote my first news story, I never imagined that the landscapes I loved would be altered so irrevocably and so quickly.
Writing about climate change is hard enough when you’re tackling the science of it (and that’s something the Albuquerque Journal’s John Fleck does really, really well). But I figured it was time for me to also talk with people about how they feel about climate change–and to admit how I feel about it and how I feel not only about the future, but what’s happening right now at this very moment. It’s my hope that people will start feeling some responsibility, too. We made this mess. So let’s start admitting that and doing something about it.
I also want to point out a mistake I made (I misspelled “Chiricahua”) and make a clarification: 1,242 square miles of NM burned in FY 2011 (that is, July 2010 to July 2011). That does not include Las Conchas acreage since that fire is still active.
At any rate, if that essay piqued your interest, here are some additional resources you might appreciate:
State of New Mexico Climate Change Advisory Group (with links to New Mexico’s Climate Change Action Plan)
State of the Climate 2010 report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Academies Press publications related to climate change (PDF’s are free to download)
To learn more about New Mexico Environmental Department’s Climate Masters Program—which has yet to schedule classes for the remainder of 2011— visit: http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb/NewMexicoClimateMasters/
Link to Climate Masters Program handbook: http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb/NewMexicoClimateMasters/documents/CMhandbook_FINAL_Jan_2011.pdf