Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Climate Change and the Clean Air Act

I would guess that there are people in these United States who know little or nothing about the Clean Air Act.  It was the subject of a Note (meaning an 80 page article with footnotes!) I wrote when I was in law school  35 years ago.  The original Clean Air Act set standards for particulates and other contaminates in cities and areas where the air was clearly harming humans, crops, and more.  The amendment I wrote about required that the smog could not be spread out into pristine areas, such as National Parks, as a way of keeping the air clean in places where it hadn't been.

A short while ago, just on the cusp of the Summer Solstice, the conservative Supreme Court stated by a narrow margin that climate change can be controlled by the Environmental Protection Agency via the Clean Air Act.  This is really huge. Just five years ago, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia were two of the four justices that dissented on the same issue.  Now they have completely changed their position.

The scientists, by and large, now agree that climate change is a reality, and that we need to take action to moderate the change.  Whether we like it or not, it is now a fact on this lovely planet.  So . . . buy an electric car (I really would love to buy a Tesla!) or a hybrid, turn off the lights when you leave a room, buy CFL bulbs, use the cleanest energy you can manage, and conserve, conserve, conserve!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bowser the cat

Bowser the cat came to me from a couple who were getting more and more allergic to cat hair.  Bowser does have a thick, beautiful coat of hair.  He was terrified when he came to me.  The first thing he did was to crawl into the cupboard under the bathroom sink.  Of course I let him stay there as long as he chose.  After a few days he spent most of the time out of the cupboard.  It has taken a while, but he trusts me implicitly these days.

He came to me at 12 years old with declawed front paws.  The people who Bowser lived with before me told me he had "escaped" from the house and was gone for 6 months.  He had been about 18 pounds when he left and came back at 12 pounds.  I don't know how he stayed alive for all that time, or how he found his way home.

Bowser and I lived in a small apartment for several years.  He once got out into the hallway, but was totally frightened by a fierce female cat in the apartment next door.  After that he did not even attempt to go out of my apartment.

But for the past year, we have lived in a house with a large yard and a fenced in patio.  Bowser desperately wanted to go out beyond the fence, and he did escape several times.  Then, more recently, he came home with a bite that turned into and abscess before I even realized he'd been bitten.  The vet bill was more than I wanted to pay, but . . . the Bowser was worth it. The vet said he was a real gentleman, and everyone there liked him.  I'd say he one of the sweetest cats I've known.

Now Bowser still wants to go out of the fenced patio, but I am not willing for him to get hurt again.  For one thing, I would be sad if he hurts, and I don't have money for vet bills either.  Of course Bowser doesn't have any concept of  money.

Perhaps the most important thing is that Bowser and I are bonded to each other.  It took a long time, but he realized that he is safe with me and my Dad.  He trusts me implicitly.  And I love him dearly.  As with most family pets, there will be a time when Bowser dies.  Actually, fairly soon because he is about 16 years old.  For now, I just love him.