Friday, October 4, 2019

Evanston: too much; save birds

Having bad parents has benefits.  One learns to be self-reliant and to distrust authority figures, which as history too amply demonstrates is appropriate.  That I am not fond of or impressed by politicians in general and less fond of many in particular has probably been deduced by regular readers.  Usually I try to ignore their folly, to use Barbara Tuchman’s word, which she also calls wooden headedness, and live my life, but now they have gone too far.  This has become personal.

You may have seen that in retaliation for an EU ruling in favor of Airbus the US government in its wisdom is imposing 25% tariffs on various EU goods including coffee, some cheeses, certain tools and aircraft, pork products, butter and yogurt, and single-malt Irish and Scotch whiskies.

That Scotland is part of the UK and due to exit the EU, however reluctantly, at the end of this month does not seem to have occurred to the best and brightest who run what could charitably be called the government.

You may also have read recently that in the last fifty years, the bird population of Canada and the United States has decreased by three billion birds or 29%.  The two primary reasons are loss of habitat and use of pesticides.  In other words, us.

I have two bird identification apps.  One from the Audubon Society; the other from Cornell University.  Cornell sends me a newsletter once a month and the most recent gave several ways in which we can help birds.  One way I had not thought of is to buy shade grown coffee.  Birds live in the trees and bushes that shade such coffee and more than earn their residence by eating insects that harm coffee plants.  

I had not known of shade versus sun grown coffee.  Cornell provides a link to a Smithsonian site that lists brands of shade grown coffee.  In the US, the only national one I recognize is Peet’s.  We often buy Peet’s and will endeavor to do so regularly in the future.