Conservation 2.0 – regulations alone won’t fix a broken earth

I spent some quality time this week in the wonderful city of Cincinnati, home of the great WKRP radio, with a lot of tremendous folks discussing how we as a society can make meaningful progress toward protecting the environment and restoring our nation’s rivers, streams and estuaries.  This was a great week for Conservation 2.0 as Joe Whitworth of The Freshwater Trust likes to call it.   Continue reading

The Fewell’s Meet Flipper (sort of)

During the sub-arctic March weather we experienced here in DC, Sheara and I had the good fortune to escape to Orlando with our girls for spring break and experienced a wonderful opportunity m032813_00_9901to interact with dolphin at Sea World’s Discovery Cove.  A splendid place for all to spend a day (none of those dreaded Disney lines – only incredible interactions with sea life, such as dolphin, sharks, otters, rays and beautiful tropical birds).  A special shout out to Jess who was our dolphin trainer for the day, and introduced us to Astra (pictured here), Diego, Tyler, Hutch and other amazing dolphin.  Jess was awesome and gave us a magical behind the scenes tour of this one-of-a-kind theme park. Continue reading

Free-market Environmentalism – Creating Sustainable Incentives

Great article today by Brad Plumer of WaPo regarding my friend, Jonathan Adler, arguing why conservatives can also be environmentalists.  Adler is a strong proponent of using private property rights to create the right incentives for promoting efficient and cost-effective imagesCA9LY8G3conservation – taking a more libertarian approach as I discussed previously here.   Adler has written extensively on free-market environmentalism.   On climate change, something which many conservatives respond to about as well as swallowing a hair ball, Adler is fully consistent in his argument. Continue reading

Just Give Me The Fracking Truth!

Similar to climate change, the issue of hydraulic fracturing is now deeply mired in the quagmire of national politics and caught up in environmental hysteria.  Josh Fox’s movie Gasland created a huge sensation – decrying the imagesCA5ZJD2Henvironmental evils of fracking, including exploding water faucets seen here, and calling for a national moratorium on fracking.  Hollywood too has entered the fray, with Matt Damon’s Promised Land movie, adding fuel (no pun intended) to the political fire.  So, here we go again – what and who is the public to believe regarding the risks and dangers of fracking.  Is Hollywood sensationalizing the issue just to sell more tickets?! Continue reading

God’s Transforming Power

It may strike some as pollyannish, but I truly believe that with God’s help one person can change the world.  While we have many big hairy environmental problems yet to tackle, FileItem-79699-wtw_docthese pale in comparison to the enormous problem of inadequate water and sanitary services for the world’s poor and children.  One of my favorites, Doc Hendley, Founder of Wine to Water and life-saving humanitarian extraordinaire, continues on his journey to provide water to 1.1 billion people, one child, one woman, one man, one community, one well at a time.  And he is indeed changing the world.  While a former CNN Hero, he’s a hero to the many millions for whom he’s risked his life to provide life saving water. Continue reading

Platoons for Conservation and the Healing Power of Water

Attended an awesomely moving tribute last evening to our Nation’s imagesCA3U5AMLveterans. This marks the third year that Trout Unlimited has held an annual dinner, A Salute to Service, in honor of our Nation’s wounded warriors.  These courageous men and women have returned home after fighting for our freedoms and bear not only the physical scars of war, but often the deep psychological and emotional wounds that can have such profound  impacts on these veterans and their families.   Continue reading

Why legalize weed – just drink the water?!

A recent WSJ article highlights an increasingly important issue with which society is slowly grappling, drugs in our water.  The story talks about the mellowing effect of anti-anseaweedxiety drugs turning our rivers into a modern-day Woodstock for pisces, an undersea counter-culture seeking escape from the pressures of a world filled with big scary predators.  Come to find out, however, some fish are so mellow, they apparently aren’t too concerned about getting eaten.  Big problem if you’re not a predator. Continue reading

Save a Fish – Paint a Storm Drain


Polluted stormwater runoff remains a pernicious and difficult-to-solve environmental challenge of our time.  This is a storm drain marker that we use in my neighborhood to inform the residents of the environmental impacts of dumping pollutants and stuff (e.g., vegetable and engine oil, grease, dog poop, etc.) down a storm drain.  Continue reading

The Bureaucratization of Environmentalism – can we survive good intentions?

[Update: This post has spawned a fair bit of discussion and represents many things that are wrong with the current way in which we as a society approach environmental problems.  This quaint little bridge is an apt metaphor for the fork in the road, which will always present choices, some of which are better and more correct than others.  Which path we pick is often influenced by competing factors.  A path that is selected solely for monetary reasons, disregarding all other sensibilities, will invariably be the wrong path chosen.  An aspirational goal for government ought to focus on eliminating those barriers – or helping build the bridge – to our picking the more correct path.]


Sarah Palin has her bridge to nowhere story. This is my story of the bridge to somewhere – a 24 foot 11 inch bridge that spans a beautiful little perennial creek that bisects my neighborhood into Rockville and North Potomac.  And a bridge whose history made me madder than hell – and still to this day makes me shake my head in amazement. Continue reading

Calling all Good Samaritans

We all know the parable told by Jesus regarding the sojourner who was robbed, pillaged, and left to die along his journey to Jericho.  While some passed him by – because they did not bother to care or care to be bothered – a Samaritan who came upon him, took pity on him, bandaged his wounds, and took him to an inn to take care of him.  The next day the Samaritan gave the inn keeper two silver coins and said “look after him . . . and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.”  Jesus asked, “which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers.”  The expert in the law replied “The one who had mercy on him.”  Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Awesome story – whether factual or not – and one that I strive to live up to in my life.  So you ask, what does this have to do with environmental stewardship?   Continue reading