Thermokarst Pond. UAF photo courtesy of Katey Walter Anthony Found in the Arctic and cold mountain regions,

More Bad News on Climate Change


While much of climate science is pretty firmly established, whatever Donald Trump may think, climatologists are still puzzling out some of the details. And some of those details are turning out to be very important. Feedback is one such critical detail. Feedback occurs when outputs of a system are routed back as inputs as part of…

Water meadows in the headwaters of the North Fork of the Payette, August 2018

The Forests Will Return


It’s hard to be outdoors in the Western United States right now. It seems as if we have been in a cloud of wildfire smoke for months. Your eyes water and the back of your throat burns. Your clothes smell like a a drowned campfire. And thousands of fires have reduced too much of Western…

Mile Market 73 Fire from Brownlee Road, Central Idaho

Is This the New Normal?


There are at least five active wildfires in Valley County, Idaho alone. One of those fires, the Mile Marker 73 Fire, sent WC and Mrs. WC on a gnarly detour along a ridge above the North Fork of the Payette River and Highway 55, our intended route. The detour was along a logging road with…

It’s All About the Carbon


Fossil fuels are all variations on carbon. Coal, crude oil, natural gas: when burned, they generate carbon dioxide, CO2, a greenhouse gas. So which states among the 50 generate the most CO2? It depends on how you measure it. If we focus just on energy-related CO2 emissions, Texas is the worst in absolute terms. By…