The Fire Island Breach

An op-ed in the New York Times last week really hit home my thoughts on the post-Sandy recovery projects in the New York area especially in regards to the situation on Fire Island, a place that I hold dear.  The plan in place now pumps millions of tons of sand and places it in locations along the beaches of Fire Island.  

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/22/opinion/a-beach-project-built-on-sand.html?smid=pl-share

The piece correctly argues that this project is a massively expensive waste of money, time and sand.  As the author says, “Natural reformation of the sand dunes will take longer, but nature is already repairing the island. Free of charge.” 

This is in line with my long-standing opinion that the shifting of Fire Island is not a problem that needs to be fixed, rather it’s how we build on these ever-shifting barrier beaches that needs to be fixed. 

The government however seems determined to spend millions of dollars in the effort to actively alter the environment so they can appear to be proactive.  This is unfortunate for the environment and for taxpayers.

The author of the Times piece is Robert Young, director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University (located in the heart of Appalachia).  Their website has a lot of great information and descriptions of projects and research about shorelines on the East Coast.

http://psds.wcu.edu/projects-research/

 

 

A Chart of Stellar Systems

I don’t see how this won’t stir your imagination.  NASA’s  Kepler mission has been searching for planets outside of the Solar System and gathering data on the amount of planets, their size, their orbits around their stars and their composition.

One has to wonder what is happening on these planets.  Are they as desolate as Venus or Mercury or is there life there?

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/science/space/keplers-tally-of-planets.html?ref=space

Sometimes, I wonder what’s happening right now in some city that I’ve visited or some place I’ve read about.  It’s so much crazier to think that right now at this instant, there’s something happening on another planet.  Whether it’s just storms or floods of toxic rivers that is happening at this very moment somewhere real.