What is killing our reefs?

I happen to be one of those conservatives who believes global warming (or climate change, as it is now more accurately called), is real and caused in part by man. That said, global warming is also partly a natural phenomenon. Some experts suggest man’s contribution to the changes in climate are just 1 percent to 2 percent. Global warming skeptics suggest the impact is practically negligible and that efforts to slow it are unnecessary given the economic and regulatory burdens those efforts create.

Published in The Tampa Tribune, Sunday September 28, 2014 By Chris Ingram

Earlier this month, my wife Amy and I took a trip to St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, for a week of rest and relaxation. It was our fourth visit to St. John in the past 12 years.

St. John is unique, as it is mostly preserved thanks to the generosity of the Rockefeller family, which donated 5,000 acres to the U.S. government in 1956. Following subsequent purchases of land by the federal government, Virgin Islands National Park now covers 60 percent of the island.

St. John and the park are famous for its coral reefs and picturesque beaches — one of which is considered among the 10 best in the world. The park has miles of trails for hiking through mountainous tropical rainforest, and the reefs are favorites of snorkelers and scuba divers — though the latter is prohibited in most reefs within the park’s boundaries.

During our week in St. John, we visited a different beach or two each day, selecting those with the best snorkeling. September is the beginning of what is usually an active hurricane season in the Caribbean, so there are fewer tourists, many restaurants and tourist-related businesses are closed and the normally packed streets of Cruz Bay, the largest town in St. John, are nearly bare.

A colorful (and fast) Reef Squid swims the reefs of St. John.
A colorful (and fast) Reef Squid swims the reefs of St. John.

The trade-off of having to potentially dodge hurricanes is an acceptable one when you consider you can go to the most popular of St. John’s beaches, Trunk Bay in the park, and share it with no more than a half-dozen people on most any day there isn’t a cruise ship in port at nearby St. Thomas.

Although much of St. John will never be developed because of the national park, that doesn’t mean St. John’s ecosystem is being adequately preserved and protected — directly or indirectly.

The first time we went to St. John a dozen years ago, we snorkeled at Trunk Bay and were dazzled by the plethora of fish, sea turtles and vibrant colored corals just 75 or so yards off its sandy beaches. Every time we have been back since that first visit, we have noticed the corals are in decline, and the overall health of the reef appears worse.

Unfortunately, other reefs we snorkeled looked to be in similar deteriorating condition.

The obvious question is: What is the cause of the rapid deterioration of St. John’s coral reefs?

Some suggest that Continue reading “What is killing our reefs?”

Why are All the Leftist Politicians Who Hate the Rich…So Filthy Rich?

That’s right. Socialist Holland owns not one, not two, but three homes in Cannes on the French Riviera. Unbelievable.

In America let’s think of the biggest haters of the rich. Obama is now filthy rich. He has been since selling his autobiography after getting elected to the U.S. Senate, and buying a $2,000,000 Chicago home (with help from a convicted felon). Once Obama leaves the White House (hopefully soon), he’ll spend the rest of his life getting paid millions for books and $200,000 a pop for speeches to the business groups he hates so much.

By Wayne Allyn Root

Have you ever noticed how almost all the leftist politicians who hate and want to punish the rich with draconian tax increases…are filthy rich themselves? Confusing, isn’t it?

Actually, once you know the truth it’s really quite easy to understand.

Photo: Al Gore living large gets off a G2.

Take France’s new Socialist President Francois Holland. He never stops talking about his dislike and disgust for the rich. He is almost more obsessed with hate for the rich than Obama is. Yet it turns out Holland is…drumroll please…filthy rich himself.

That’s right. Socialist Holland owns not one, not two, but three homes in Cannes on the French Riviera. Unbelievable.

In America let’s think of the biggest haters of the rich. Obama is now filthy rich. He has been since Continue reading “Why are All the Leftist Politicians Who Hate the Rich…So Filthy Rich?”

5 things Newt would rather Florida voters forget

Just recently I made up my mind to vote for Mitt Romney for president. In assessing the rather weak field of GOP candidates, I believe Romney is the only one who has the experience, temperament, steady hand, and enough appeal to independents and swing voters to beat Barack Obama.

Don’t bet on Newt if beating Obama is the goal

By Chris Ingram

Just recently I made up my mind to vote for Mitt Romney for president. In assessing the rather weak field of GOP candidates, I believe Romney is the only one who has the experience, temperament, steady hand, and enough appeal to independents and swing voters to beat Barack Obama.

Newt Gingrich’s potential jackpot victory in Florida on Tuesday will only come at the behest of conservative Republican voters who don’t like Romney. Gingrich is betting they will leave their conscience at the door and forget about all the things they claim they value (morality, smaller government, no amnesty for illegals), roll the dice and vote for him. It’s an election strategy most Vegas odds-makers called a long-shot just weeks ago.

Newt Gingrich with Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson (left). Adelson and his wife have contributed over $10 million to a Super PAC benefitting Gingrich.

But Newt’s silver tongue, intellect, and remarkable recollection of history have served him well.

He’s wagering voters’ memories aren’t as remarkable as his own.

Gingrich would rather voters forget about Continue reading “5 things Newt would rather Florida voters forget”

Not McCain’s night

If you were looking for political theater at last night’s presidential “debate,” you were sorely disappointed. And if you were a McCain supporter looking for the maverick to land a knock-out punch as I was, it was a double-dose of disappointment.

Style matters and McCain doesn’t have it

By Chris Ingram

If you were looking for political theater at last night’s presidential “debate,” you were sorely disappointed. And if you were a McCain supporter looking for the maverick to land a knock-out punch as I was, it was a double-dose of disappointment.

Simply put, McCain left his “A” game at the office. In failing to land the needed body-blow, Obama gets the win. And while Obama’s was a technical win, he did not perform poorly – particularly when it came to his communications style compared to McCain’s.

And therein, lays the reason McCain continues to struggle. Obama knows how to communicate and John McCain doesn’t. The subtle nuances of these two candidates’ very different communication styles don’t mean much individually, but collectively they make the maverick appear unpleasant and Obama more like the guy you’d like to sit down and have a beer with. Unfortunately in American politics, that’s what matters. It is why Bill Clinton beat George Bush in 1992 and it is why George W. Bush beat Al Gore in 2000 (with Katherine Harris’ help of course — as my Democrat friends like to remind me). Continue reading “Not McCain’s night”

The McCain speech you’ll never hear

Political Science 101 textbooks should start out with Chapter 1 reading:

You cannot expect to win a political campaign at any level if you actually tell voters what needs to be done. You will lose. Voters don’t like to be told anything other than what you are going to do for them as individuals. People are selfish. No one cares about the collective good.<!–

If candidates spoke the truth they wouldn’t get elected.

By Chris Ingram

It is a sad but true state of American politics, but modern political campaigns tell us little about the beliefs of candidates. In fact, the lack of candor about problems and real solutions has only gotten worse. In today’s 24 hour news cycle which focuses more on sensationalism, gossip, celebrity, and “infotainment” why are we surprised that the media spends days covering whether or not Barack Obama called Sarah Palin a pig  while spending nary a column inch or 30 second blurb about the looming Social Security crisis or the cause of our crumbling economy?

Political Science 101 textbooks should start out with Chapter 1 reading: You cannot expect to win a political campaign at any level if you actually tell voters what needs to be done. You will lose. Voters don’t like to be told anything other than what you are going to do for them as individuals. People are selfish. No one cares about the collective good. Continue reading “The McCain speech you’ll never hear”

Three Hotheads

By now most folks who keep up with such things have heard that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced to an astonished world that she’s “trying to save the planet.” Hardly a modest mission, even for the self-styled most powerful woman on earth.<!–

Can any one of these people save the planet?

By Larry Thornberry

With Captain Kirk, Fancy Nancy Pelosi, and John McCain trying to save it, what chance has the planet got?

By now most folks who keep up with such things have heard that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced to an astonished world that she’s “trying to save the planet.” Hardly a modest mission, even for the self-styled most powerful woman on earth. Continue reading “Three Hotheads”