Will There Be a Chance to Make a Second Impression?

Photo by Jose Fontano on Unsplash

Gina, Gina, Gina…didn’t your mother ever tell you that you never get a second chance to make a first impression? Certainly, mine told me, and I’d venture most have been offered such pearls — or something like them — at one time or another.

I’m confident my mother heard the phrase in an ad for a brand of men’s suits. The first of many times she told it to me was just before a meeting with my college’s scholarship committee, when she advised I shave my beard, cut my hair…

A public garden is an institution that maintains collections of plants for the purposes of public education and enjoyment, in addition to research, conservation, and higher learning.

— American Public Gardens Association

This is a story about the critical role of public gardens and the pandemic-induced recession’s impact on them — as seen through the experiences of the Green Ark Botanical Garden Foundation (Foundation or Ark) in Costa Rica.

First, a word or two about botanic gardens

· The world’s first botanical garden was created in 1545 in Padua. …

Photo by Andrea G on Unsplash

…a man, being just as hungry as thirsty and placed between food and drink, must necessarily remain where he is and starves to death.

Aristotle, On the Heavens, (c.350 BCE)

The nation has a decision to make. Is it ready to choose between fossil fuels and cleaner alternatives like solar and wind? Or will it continue to postpone the decision until the impact of Earth’s warming becomes so severe as to make it impossible to step back from the environmental brink?

It’s a question whose answer cannot be hedged, as it has been for decades.


A 14th-century philosopher, Jean…

Screengrab Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

On their way out of town for the Memorial Day recess Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and all but six Republican senators killed legislation[i] that would have established an independent investigative commission on the Jan-uary 6th insurrection. The attack on Congress was intended to stop the Senate from certifying Biden’s 2020 election victory. The commission provided for in HR 3233 would have been similar in composition and operation to the one appointed following the 9/11 terror attacks.

Republican resistance to the January 6th commission carries with it an ominous warning of what’s to come for US climate policy. …

Twitter/Capital Weather Gang@capitalweather

Under common law, uttering is when a person offers as genuine a forged instrument with the intent to defraud.

The new Republican line in Congress is they accept climate change as real and are on board with efforts to curb harmful emissions and combat Earth’s warming. I don’t mean to be rude, but it’s a lie.

I take no pleasure in saying congressional Republicans — for the most part — are guilty of uttering untruths. Moreover, I recognize that all Republicans are not climate deniers, just as all Democrats are not environmental defenders.

I want to be clear about where…

Lead image: Screengrab ABC TV

It may sound strange to suggest the fate of President Biden’s climate agenda will parallel that of Liz Cheney, Wyoming’s at-large Republican congressional representative, but hear me out.

Liz Cheney was first elected in 2017 and is currently the House Republican Conference Chair. The Chair is considered the Number 3 position in the House Republican pecking order. Only the Republican Whip, Steve Scalise (R-LA), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) outrank her — at least for the moment.

Cheney is a stand-up Republican conservative in the mold of John Boehner and Paul Ryan. Her father, Dick Cheney, was George…

Earthrise Courtesy of NASA

…in culture and politics today, the most prominent uses of “woke” are as a pejorative…

It’s Earth Day 2021, and I hope the world’s leaders will boldly go where none have gone before. I am optimistic.

Timed to coincide with Earth Day 2021, 300 businesses, including Nike, Coca-Cola, Lyft, Google, McDonald’s, and Walmart, are asking President Biden to adopt the ambitious and attainable target of cutting GHG emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030. Corporate Americans are not the only ones showing a willingness to go green.

This week, leaders of the United Mine Workers of America’s…

Mississippi state capitol Courtesy of Unsplash and Pieter van de Sande @planner1963

The environmental problems we face are deep-rooted and widespread. They can be solved only by a national effort embracing sound, coordinated planning and effective follow-through that reaches into every community in the land. Improving our surroundings is necessarily the business of us all.

- Richard Nixon

· Hyper-partisanship is not just Washington’s affliction. We remain a nation of red states and blue states.

· President Biden has put forward an aggressive plan with which to combat Earth’s warming. If the immediate past is prologue, there will be little permanence to anything his administration manages to accomplish absent Congressional action.


Photo by Mayer Maged on Unsplash

In an act reminiscent of Luther and the church door, Joe Manchin (D-WV) wrote in the Washington Post that he would not vote to change the Senate filibuster rule nor was he keen on using the budget reconciliation process as the vehicle for enacting President Biden’s $2.4 trillion infrastructure plan — much of which is about decarbonizing the economy.

Manchin, like Biden, is an old school politician — where back-in-the-day loyalties were more to the nation than the party. …

Photo by Alexandru Rotariu from Pexels

We have met the enemy, and they is us[i].

The headlines scream — Senate shatters record with the longest vote in history as Democrats negotiated the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. What they don’t tell you is who — beyond the usual cast of Republicans — the Democrats negotiated until the wee hours of the morning to bring the President’s pandemic relief bill to the Senate floor for a vote and passage along party lines.

Senate Republicans did what they could to stall a vote on the relief act. Ron Johnson (R-WI) went so far as to require the entirety…

Joel B. Stronberg

Stronberg is a senior executive and attorney with over 40 years of experience in federal and state energy, environmental and sustainability issues.

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