Like canaries in a coal mine

By Sandi Sox • Guest Columnist

I have been haunted this week by words Kathryn Stripling Byer wrote in a piece about changes around her home near Cullowhee. “We are losing our homes,” she wrote. 

Denuding paradise to erect strip malls and apartment complexes is certainly heartrending, especially when ugliness slouches ever closer while you watch from your front yard. 

Climate change is in our children’s hands

Last Friday, as I watched the U.S. women’s soccer team defeat France at the Parc des Princes stadium, I kept thinking how hot everyone looked. I enjoyed watching the game, but couldn’t help noticing the profuse sweating from players and spectators. 

The Naturalist's Corner: At last

Those radical environmentalists and their aiding and abetting scientists are finally called out. 

After the deadliest wildfire in history — the Camp Fire in California, which killed at least 85 people — our climate-denier-in-chief’s Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, after declaring that this was not the time for finger pointing went on to tell Brietbart News, “I will lay this on the foot of those environmental radicals that have prevented us from managing the forests for years. And you know what? This is on them.”

Franklin discusses climate change resolution

The town of Franklin is considering how to become more environmentally friendly after being presented with a climate solutions resolution from The Canary Coalition.

Comprehending climate: Smokies seeks to understand impacts of shifts in seasonal patterns

According to the National Phenology Network, Punxsutawny Phil had it all wrong when he emerged from his hole this month to declare six more weeks of winter — across the Southeastern U.S, the NPN’s data shows, spring 2017 is arriving three weeks earlier than the 1981-2010 average. 

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is looking for volunteers to help gather the data that will bring such generalizations down to a more local level. Phenology — the ways that plants and animals respond to seasonal changes — has been the subject of increasing interest as discussions about climate change have heated up, and the park is now four years into a volunteer program to collect data for the larger NPN project.

Putting the squeeze on trout: Study says that acid and warming waters could make life harder for trout

out frFrom habitat destruction to competition with non-native trout, Southern Appalachian brook trout have met their share of challenges over the past century. A new study illuminates another issue that trout — and not just brookies — might have to contend with in the years ahead.

Actually, a pair of issues — acidity and warming water temperatures. Neither of these are newly identified problems, but the study looks at their combined effect. The verdict?

Jackson passes climate change resolution

jacksonThe Jackson County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution last week that’s likely the first of its kind for the far western counties — a resolution declaring the reality of global climate change and Jackson County’s commitment to leading by example when it comes to energy conservation.

Southern mountains a peninsula of northern climes

back thenGeographically speaking, where are the Great Smoky Mountains in regard to the other mountain ranges in the southern Appalachians. Where is the line between the southern and the northern Appalachians? In other words, where are we?

See no warming, hear no warming, speak no warming

Two ostriches with their heads buried in the sand were having a conversation. The first ostrich said, chuckling, “Man can you believe it — all those wild stories about the earth heating up and the oceans rising?”

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