July-August 2010 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club


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July-August 2010 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club

  1. 1. A BI-MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF THE KERN-KAWEAH CHAPTER OF SIERRA CLUB JULY/AUGUST, 2010The RoadrunnerHOUSING PROJECTS MUST REQUIRE EMISSION REDUCTION Activist questions city’s wi"ingness to enforce energy reduction goals in Stockdale Ranch project The Sierra Club’s ideal new These are GHG emission whatsoever. Instead of massivehousing project would include reductions that the City of reductions, we get none.massive reductions in global Bakersfield is assuming for Castle Why would we be so cynical aswarming emissions. The ideal & Cooke’s new Stockdale Ranch to think the developer would notproject would achieve these project, nearly 3600 residences actually achieve these goalsgoals: and 940,000 square feet of without a requirement to do so? • reduce project greenhouse gas commercial building on 565 acres Maybe we should trust the(GHG) emissions by 70 percent of farmland to the west of developer to spend an extra $4from “business-as-usual” and by Bakersfield. million for solar photovoltaics58 percent from the State of Wow! We should be jumping when he doesn’t have to do so.California’s very difficult to attain for joy! This project is the most Maybe we should trust the2020 goal. progressive one in all of developer to do “Zero Net • benefit greatly by a 72 percent California! In Bakersfield? Energy,” an unrequired goal thatreduction in GHG emissions from Could this be too good to be true? the California Building Industrythe agricultural and industrial But it’s a little too early for a Association estimates would costsectors. celebration. While the at least $50,000 per house. • include energy efficiency consultant’s analysis includes all Perhaps we’ve caught our caseprograms to reduce project energy these reductions, not a single one of cynicism from the consultant’susage by 70 percent. of them is actually required. cynical misuse of the EIR process • include an 800-kilowatt solar Such massive reductions could to let the developer off the hook.photovoltaic system at a cost of at only result from stringent project- We’d love to see these massiveleast $4 million of the developer’s specific mitigation measures reductions in energy usage anddollars. directed expressly at GHG GHG emissions. • satisfy the “Zero Net Energy” reductions. We’ll believe it when we see thegoal of the California Public The Stockdale Ranch project City’s enforceable requirementUtilities Commission, resulting in has not a single such requirement. actually occur.no net purchases from the Not only is it too good to beelectricity or gas grid for true, but these paper assumptions —Gordon Nippresidences built after 2020. let the developer off the hook for Kern Kaweah Vice-Chair What an incredible project! any global warming mitigationCould it be possible?Club invited to participate in Muir’s March to restore Hetch Hetchy Va"ey Robert Hanna, the great-great-grandson of the 1, and all levels of backpackers are encouraged naturalist and conservationist, John Muir, invites to participate. Sierra Club members to join him on Muirs “John Muir marched many miles over many March across Yosemite from August 1-7. years to build support for protecting and conserving Americas national parks. Please join “Muirs March to restore the Hetch Hetchy me on Muirs March as we continue down that Valley is a wonderful way to experience Yosemite trail and work to restore his beloved Hetch National Park and make a difference,” Hanna Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park.” said. A professional guide will lead hikers on one For more information contact: of three spectacular routes. The trip is free for murirsmarch@hetchhetchy.org or phone each person who raises at least $1913 by August 415.956.0401.
  2. 2. THE ROADRUNNER JULY/AUGUST, 2010SEA TURTLES: Numbers dwindling especially in poor nations The lecture presented by Bakersfield College professor sadness for theInez Devlin-Kelly, “The Ecology of Sea Turtles: Requiem sea turtles,or Hope,” was, as professor Devlin-Kelly stated, intended anger at thoseto “reflect where we are with sea turtles.” In the end, I was who kill theseleft wondering even more so than at the start of the lecture creatures forwhether there really is requiem or hope for our planet’s sea their use as de-turtles. coration, and The statistics about the global population of sea turtles yes, sympathypresented at the beginning of the lecture on May 1 at the El for thoseCamino restaurant were astonishing. Even more who are tooastonishing was data about the individual sea turtle species poor to get other © 2008 John Whitethemselves, such as the fact that “for every 1000 eggs of food and mustLoggerhead species of sea turtles, only one lives to become kill the sea turtles in order to survive.an adult.” This was what really amplified, for me, the dire The roles that pollution, global warming, and naturalsituation of the world’s sea turtles. Nonetheless, the real predation play in the diminishing population of sea turtlesshocker was why all of this was happening. are seen in other animal populations as well. For this Many people around the world are aware of the reason, I was not too emotionally affected by thediminishing global population of sea turtles. However, presentation. But what really did strike me was what drivesmany do not know the causes. Predation of sea turtles by humans to prey on the sea turtles.animals was something that I knew had always existed, but From what I gained from the presentation, the problem isit was predation by humans that really gave me mixed poverty. The question of whether there is requiem or hopeemotions. According to professor Devlin-Kelly, human for the sea turtles really lies within the question of whetherpredation consists of stealing sea turtles eggs, which there is requiem or hope for those in poverty. And with theprevents the new generation of sea turtles from even condition of poverty in our own country as bad as it is, Igetting out into the wild; killing and eating the sea turtles have very little hope for the condition of poverty in otherfor their meat, whether as a delicacy or as part of culture; parts of the world, and subsequently, for our planet’s seaand killing the sea turtles for their shell as a mere turtles.decoration. This part of the lecture had me feeling —Navpreet Gill/Bakersfield College StudentLecture attracts people who care about environment I’ve never given much thought to turtles. Honestly, my At the edge of extinction, all that lies between turtles andknowledge consisted of a basic visual, rudimentary extinguishment are a group of people who believe thattaxonomy (they are reptiles, right?), and a thread about animals have intrinsic worth and that wholesale destructionthem being rather clever (think the turtle who bested the is a recipe for disaster.hare). Beyond that, I was treading on murky—or rather, in On my way home after the lecture, I was struck by thelight of current events, oil-spilled/laced—water. But with honesty and credibility of the Sierra Club members’ dismayextra credit as bait, I made my way to a Sierra Club at the fate of the sea turtles. I say honesty because they hadmeeting one early (for a college student) Saturday chosen to get up early that Saturday and go to a meetingmorning. With any luck, I would get a grade-boosting dose about turtles. You see, talk is cheap. Paying your yearlyof extra credit. Beyond that, I had little expectations. dues and reading the monthly Sierra Club newsletter is not The lecture was pretty straight-forward: turtle diversity, as cheap as talk; but it not the same as spending a couple ofthe turtle life-cycle, their declining fortunes. But what hours listening and learning, as those in attendance did.struck me that morning was not the lecture or the subject so They had given themselves credibility, I thought as Imuch as the audience; or rather, half the audience. They neared home, simply by showing up. And thus theirwere a somewhat older bunch. They seemed serious from consternation did not seem fake.the beginning, and showed an intensity that increased as I wished I had thought to ask them why they had gottenthe lecture darkened with tales of lost breeding grounds involved. What was it that had sparked their concern forand litter-choked waters. the environment, all those years ago? Had they once been Across from me, several attendees winced with sympathy like me, concerned about the environment, but to beand frowned indignantly as the narrative of the sea turtles honest, not concerned enough to really do anything aboutturned tragic. And it was tragic. Turtles had been dying off it? What had changed them?for decades as humanity expanded into their nesting You know what, I think I might just have to go back andgrounds. They have been swept up as bycatch and have ask.strangled on plastic, the detritus of western lifestyles. Theyhave been hunted for food and pursued as a novelty item. —Jonathan Nelson/Bakersfield College Student
  3. 3. THE ROADRUNNER JULY/AUGUST, 2010 FROM THE CHAIR Participation in conservation activities is essential First, I want to express gratitude to all who have who may take an extended break for carefree summercontributed to the Annual March Appeal. With your recreation, our vigilant activists are monitoring such issuesfinancial help, we have collected well over $4,000, which as: global warming, farmland preservation, urban sprawl,will make a big difference in our Chapter conservation Sequoia Monument and other forest issues, hounding ofefforts. black bears, hydrogen energy, general plans, solar energy Second, are you interested in a visit to Sacramento to proposals, and feed-in tariff pricing, to name just a few.lobby key lawmakers on behalf of the Sierra Club? If so, How can you help?? Read the Roadrunner, and contact ancontact me, and I will give information about LOBBY activist to ask what you can do. For example, Gordon NippDAY this August 15 -16. The Chapter will subsidize part of welcomes members to give support of his comments at cityyour travel expenses, so this is a great opportunity to help and county hearings.and learn about current Sacramento issues. We wish you a beautiful summer. Get out there, take Third, we are still looking for someone to take on part of someone with you, and have a wild experience in thethe bookkeeping duties of the Chapter treasurer. This job natural world. Then give back by volunteering your timerequires skill with computers and finances. Contact either for the Chapter and the local environment!myself or Treasurer Lorraine Unger. Last, I want to acknowledge our Chapter activists, who —Georgette Theotigdeserve a heartfelt round of applause. Unlike the rest of us Kern-Kaweah Chapter Chair Club supports Kern River Parkway event The Kern River Parkway Festival in Celtic music trio Banshee in the Hart Park on May 22 offered a Kitchen, the Bakersfield High School chance to meet others who care about Jazz Singers, and the ever popular outdoor activities and the Mento Buru band. Food booths were environment. This free event was also a part of the day-long festival. present by the Kern River Parkway Chapter members supervising the Foundation and the Kern County Sierra Club booth included Judy parks and Recreation Department. Cavanaugh, Isabel Stierle, Arthur Event co-organizer Rich O’Neill Unger and Lorraine Unger. said that the “number one goal of the Co-organizer Bill Cooper also event is to get water year round in the expressed hope that the event would Kern River.” help to prevent the destruction of the Entertainment included the Garces WPA adobe buildings in Hart Park. High School steel drum band, the FESTIVAL FUN: Dorothy and Alan V okolek talk about Sierra Club work with Isabel Stierle (top lefft photo). Bakerfield Mayor Harvey Ha" is greeted by Arthur Unger and Inge Kaplan (lefft). Photos/ Ann Ga"on BEE BUSINESS: Traynor shares knowledge of bee industry With years of experience in the bee industry, Joe states. “Mites are attracted to the larvae of bees. It’s hardTraynor is one of the state’s leading bee experts. At the to kill the mites without doing harm to the bees,” Traynorrecent Buena Vista breakfast meeting at the Camino Real said.Restaurant on June 5, Traynor stressed reasons for One tool for aiding the survival of honeybees fordeclining bee populations. pollination is a specially designed nester that can be The biggest cause of bee problems in the Valley is the placed in home gardens (available at Knoxcellars.com).increase in almond production. The 1970s were an ideal About the size of an oatmeal container, the nester is atime for bees, said Traynor, but then cotton growers series of tubes with replaceable lines for gentle beepulled out much of their crop because of decreasing pollination.profits and replaced cotton with almonds. The massive Traynor’s book, Honey: The Gourmet Medicine (2002),increase in almond production in the 1980s and ‘90s includes information on the medicinal uses of honey. It isnecessitated the importation of bees. Now there are about available at Atlasbooks.com (or at 800.247.6553).1.4 million hives in California. Imported bees are more susceptible to viruses and mites —Marjorie Bellpartly because of stress from being trucked from other Roadrunner Editor
  4. 4. THE ROADRUNNER JULY/AUGUST, 2010KERN KAWEAH ROUNDUPPLEASE READ CAREFULLY IF YOU PLAN TO PARTICIPATE IN SIERRA CLUB HIKES:Everyone is welcome, Sierra Club members and non-members, to join in any of the outdoor activities. Requirements: Youmust be in condition for the type of hike, equipped appropriately for the activity and prepared to sign a Sierra Club releasefor liability. You must be willing to follow the leader’s directions. Be sure to bring any personal medicines you might need.Customary appropriate equipment includes good hiking shoes, plenty of water, snack, sunglasses, suntan lotion, and layeredclothing. The following might be helpful but definitely is not required: compass, whistle, matches or lighter, and a good firstaid kit. Long paints are recommended. Unprepared for the prospective hike? It will be a no-go for you. Participation mustbe leader approved. Please let the leader know ahead of time that you are intending to participate. Check individual grouplistings for the desired means of communication.Since unexpected change of plans may be necessary, it is recommended that YOU contact the hike leader the night before tobe assured that the hike is still going to happen.New California legislation designed to protect the consumer requires us to publish this notice: CST 2087755-40. Registration as a seller oftravel does not constitute approval by the State of California. This legislation is designed to protect the user of outdoor activities thatrequire cash payments of more than $50 for participation.BUENA VISTA GROUPMore info? Call Donnel Lester at 661.831.6784 or e-mail donnelc3bvg@earthlink.net or Isabel at661.246.6195.Tuesday conditioning hikes of 4 or 5 miles are at 7 p.m. at the corner of Highways 178 and 184. Contact Gordon(gnipp@bak.rr.com) or Larry (661.873.8107) for more information.Saturday, June 19—Highway Clean up. Adopt-A-Highway cleanup at 9 a.m. Meet at Old River Road and Hwy 119 (TaftHwy). Park at the Monte Carlo lot. We will bring equipment. Bring a hat, good hiking shoe/boots, and water to drink.Inclement weather cancels this event. Call to confirm your attendance: 661.246.6195. (Adopt-A-Highway cleanup on hiatusstarting in July. We will start up the program again in September when the weather is less extreme.)To honor the 4th of July weekend, we will not have a brunch and speaker scheduled for the first Saturday of July.Tuesday, July 13—Picnic in Hart Memorial Park. Bring a salad ordessert to share with six people. Also bring along your used batteriesto be recycled. Hamburgers/hot dogs supplied for grilling with condi-ments. Directions: enter Hart Park on the west on Alfred Harrell Hwy,turn left at Mirror Drive, right onto River Drive, continue east untilSection 8/Trash barrel 2 on the right. From the east enter the Park onRiver Drive. Continue past the maintenance building and peacocks toSection 8/Trash barrel 2 on your left. Call leader Lorraine Unger fordetails 661.323.5569.Saturday, August 7—Brunch with Debbie Kroeger. Kroegerwill discuss California native plants with a focus on chapparal.Camino Real Restaurant, 3500 Truxtun Avenue at the corner of Truxtunand Westwind, just west of Oak St. Optional brunch is served for $7.60/person + tip. Info: 661.246.6195. CLEANING UP: V olunteers for a recent clean- up for the Adopt-a-Highway program are JeffBVG Recycles—Bring your household batteries to our meetings, Hathorn, Judy Cavanaugh, Donnel Lester,and we’ll recycle them for you. Adeline Ramirez and Tony Parson. Photo/IsabelAlso, visit our Facebook page at: Stierle http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sierra-Club-Buena-Vista-Group/359839178824?v=wall&ref=mf
  5. 5. THE ROADRUNNER JULY/AUGUST, 2010CONDOR GROUPMore info? Mary Ann Lockhart (661.242.0432). Hikes? Dale Chitwood (661.242.1076) Saturday, June 26— Wildflower Hike. Destinations to be determined by blooming site. Call for information as the day approaches. Prepare to meet at 8 a.m. at the Pine Mountain Clubhouse parking lot. Call 661.242.0432 for more information. Saturday, July 24—Traditional Peak-to-Peak Hike. This hike attracts old friends and new eager beavers to take to the mountains to walk the approximately six to seven miles from Mt. Pinos to Cerro Noroeste. The trail between the two almost 9000-foot peaks has its ups and downs, which guarantee grand views to all points of the compass as well as a wide variety of flowring wonders. Meet at 8 a.m. at the Pine Mountain Clubhouse parking lot. This hike is strenuous. Reservations are a must. To make Photo/Isabel a reservation, call 661.242.0432. Stierle Saturday, August 7—Evening Picnic. There will be a evening picnic on the top of Cerro Noroeste.Aside from the usual exceptional potluck feast, there will be stories of all kinds: true adventures on the mountains to talltales. The climax will be viewing the sunset from the mountains peak. 5 p.m. is supper time. Call 661.242.0432 for moredirections, etc.Sunday Strolls. These will continue through August...We leave the Pine Mountain Clubhouse at 8 a.m. each Sundaymorning to visit interesting spots close to the community, all within a five minute drive at the longest. You do NOT need tomake a reservation for these walks...just show up on time to stretch your legs, breathe the fresh air and be ready for surprisesthat we cant anticipate. Birds, flowers, geology...even ants plus ... can be topics of chit chat along the way. Children arewelcome as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Call 661.242.0432 for more information.KAWEAH GROUPMore info? Call Pam Clark (559.784.4643) or Diane Jetter (559.781.8897).OWENS PEAK GROUPMore info? Chair Dennis Burge (760.375.7967) or e-mail dennis93555@yahoo.com. Jim Nichols,hikes (760.375.8161) or e-mail jnichols@ridgecrest.ca.us.Saturday, July 10—Sardine Canyon and Rex Montis Mine. This is just north of Kearsarge Peak, 10,700 ft, 3600 ft gain,13.2 mi RT). Sardine Canyon is the historically interesting route to the location of the Rex Montis mining area, on the Nflanks of Kearsarge Peak. We will learn the history of mining in this area and see first hand what the winters and the snowavalanches can do to mans efforts to strike it rich. This area was burnt over in July, two years ago. Well check out therecovery. Strenuous hike due to hiking distance and elevation gain. Meet on Saturday at 7 a.m at the Ridgecrest Cinemaparking lot. Call Dennis Burge at 760.375.7967 or Jim Nichols at 760.375.8161 for more info.Saturday, August 14—The Hunchback. This is the high point of the Coyote Flat plateau, SW of Bishop, 12188 ft elev,1500 ft gain, 5.5 mi RT) The wildflowers will be flourishing on the way up Coyote Ridge to the highpoint of the CoyoteFlat complex. The route in will require some high clearance, easy, 4WD touring. This accessible, amazingly spectacularhighland overlooks Bishop Creek from the east, and Owens Valley from the west, with the Palisades rising to the south.This will be a moderate hike due to distance, elevation gained, and high altitude. Meet on Saturday at 7 a.m. at theRidgecrest Cinema parking lot. Call Dennis Burge at 760.375.7967 or Jim Nichols at 760.375.8161 for more info. FOR PDF VERSION OF NEWSLETTER E-mail Lorraine Unger at lorraineunger@att.net and ask to be taken off the hard copy list. Log on to http://kernkaweah.sierraclub.org/email.html and join the KERN-NEWS email list.
  6. 6. THE ROADRUNNER JULY/AUGUST, 2010MINERAL KINGPlease visit mineralking.sierraclub.org for more info. Also find Mineral King Group on Facebook!Tuesday Evening Conditioning Walks. During April, May and June we will be doing conditioning walks in Visalia at 6:30p.m. Call Joanne or David at 733.2078 for details.Saturday, July 17—Weaver Lake Hike. We will hike seven miles round trip to Weaver Lake. This is a moderate hike ona rocky trail and good hiking boots are a must. For more information, call Joanne or David at 733.2078.Saturday, July 24 —Mosquito Lakes-Mineral King Hike. This strenuous, eight-mile round trip hike leads to the fiveMosquito Lakes, located between the 9000-10,000 ft. elevation level. There will be roughly 2000 feet of elevation gain, andthere will be some cross-country hiking after we pass the first lake. For more information contact Dave Keller at559.688.4813 or coachk24@aol.com.Find the Mineral King Group on Facebook! Sierra Club Mineral King Group has a new Facebook page! Visit our pagefor up-to-date information on outings, social events, and our conservation efforts in Tulare and Kings Counties. California/Nevada Regional Conservation Committee Desert Committee OutingsFor questions about, or to sign up for a particular outing, please contact the leader listed in the write-up.For questions about Desert Committee outings in general, or to receive the outings list by e-mail, pleasecontact Kate Allen at kj.allen@wildblue.net or 661.944.4056.Saturday-Sunday, July 10-11--Gorge Scramble Level 3-American River Canyon. Beautiful area on the Middle Fork, which was notaffected by 2001 Starr Fire. Many great pools for swimming. First day is a long one, overnight at Three Cedars campsite. Water will becold due to releases from French Meadow Reservoir; bring a spring wet-suit. Bring overnight gear in pack for flotation. For more details,see description at: http://www.motherlode.sierraclub.org/deltaSierra/GSPAGES/gspage10.htm (Trip #10.)Leader, Paul Plathe, 209.476.1498. Motherlode Chapter Gorge Scrambling SectionSaturday-Monday, July 24-26—Guzzler Cleanup in Mt Grafton Wilderness. Join us as we carry out the pieces of an old, unneededguzzler from this wilderness area about an hour’s drive south of Ely, just off U.S. 93. The guzzler will have been cut into manageable sizepieces. To make the toting downhill easier, bring a frame backpack to strap guzzler pieces to. We will work with John R. Miller from theEly BLM. Participants should be in good shape for working at altitude. Central commissary (optional) $15. High clearancerecommended. Contact leader Vicky Hoover. 415.977.5527, vicky.hoover@sierraclub.org. CNRCC Wilderness CommitteeSaturday-Sunday, August 21-22—Bristlecone Pines. Come with us to the beautiful White Mountains to camp, hike and just relax. OnSaturday, we’ll hike the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest on a moderate five-mile interpretive trail, followed by a picnic lunch and a shortoptional hike to a nearby old mining cabin. Back at camp, we’ll enjoy Happy Hour, a potluck feast and a campfire. Sunday pack up andhead home. Group size strictly limited. Send $8 per person (Sierra Club), 2 large SASE, H&W phones, email, rideshare info to Reserv/Leader: Lygeia Gerard, P.O. Box 294726, Phelan, CA 92329, 760 868-2179. CNRCC Desert CommitteeSaturday-Sunday, August 28-29—Gorge Scramble Level 3-Feather River Canyon. Devil Canyon on the river’s middle fork receivesbig flows that scour the granite walls to a light gray finish. Cook your dinner on an open fire. 1800 feet of elevation gain on hike out.Bring a good quality air mattress and overnight gear packed for floatation. Experienced gorge scramblers only. This strenuous outingrequires excellent swimming skills. For more information on this activity go to: http://www.motherlode.sierraclub.org/deltaSierra/GSPAGES/gspage0.htm. Leader; Paul Plathe; 209.476.1498. Motherlode Chapter Gorge Scrambling Section Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 4-5—Tamarisk Bash in Surprise Canyon. This is a traditional end of summer outing as we help remove invasive tamarisk from Surprise Canyon north of Ridgecrest, CA. It is warm weather, but the year-round stream will let us soak and cool as the spirit moves us. We will work Saturday with Marty Dickes, our coordinator from the BLM. Sunday is reserved for a hike to cooler elevations above the desert. Enjoy carcamping, a potluck dinner Saturday, and campfire stories. Contact leader Craig Deutsche, craig.deutsche@gmail.com, 310.477.6670. CNRCC Desert CommitteeFriday-Sunday, Sept. 24-26—Service and Hiking In the Carrizo Plain. This is an opportunity to visit and to assist an outstanding andrelatively unknown national monument. There will be an optional and scenic hike high in the Caliente Mountains on Friday. Others mayjoin us for National Public Lands Day on Saturday when we will participate with other volunteers restoring one of the historic homesteadsin the center of the Plain. On Sunday, we will tour a number of the historic, prehistoric, and geologic sites in the Monument. Leader CraigDeutsche, craig.deutsche@gmail.com, 310-477-6670. CNRCC Desert Committee
  7. 7. THE ROADRUNNER JULY/AUGUST, 2010MIDGEBUZZINGS A recent case of animal cruelty was publicized in the local paper, with a photograph of the canine victimhogtied and abandoned in a vacant field. There was an outpouring of public anger and insistence uponprosecution and a jail term for the person identified as the perpetrator. Immediately afterwards, the DistrictAttorney was reported to have commented with some disdain that people react more sympathetically to to theabuse of animals than they do to the miseries of mistreated human beings. Certainly this is an argument worthy of thought and debate. It is probably true that constant exposure to mediareports of worldwide human injustice and misery may tend to blunt sensitivity and that a story of this kind canevoke a more immediate response to the abuse of a being experiencing pain and suffering. But I think it isreasonable to believe that had there been a photograph and story about a small child hogtied and left to die, therewould have been a far greater and more widespread outcry from the public. In fact, a local report of the hideousabuse of a four-year-old boy by his drug-sated father was, indeed, met with much more public incredulity andfury. Furthermore, concern for the welfare of that child is ongoing. Though I know of no specific research that verifies the notion, it is a common theory that people capable of thedeliberate mistreatment of animals may be dangerous to human beings. Cruelty in any of its forms is a kind ofviolence, be it ever so subtle. What it suggests is pleasure derived from the administering of pain. Most of us arecapable of regretting our own unkindness and of resolving not to repeat it. But the absence of that capacity forretrospection may be an indication of social danger. If there have been studies of this sort, I would like to beinformed of them. I think they would be germane to the question of prosecution for animal abuse, and possiblyvaluable to the welfare of all helpless creatures and to humanity in general. What such thinking suggests to me is the question of empathy, its definition and its extent, which I believe tobe more comprehensive than that of sympathy, though the dictionary does not necessarily agree with me. In mypersonal lexicon, sympathy means the understanding and the sharing of the feelings of another being; butempathy goes beyond that to the extent that one experiencing it actually ceases to be himself and becomes theother, or at least seems to do so. That concept moves the discussion to the possible oneness of all created thingsand the question of equal justice for all species. You can understand why I don’t carry this idea to a pulpit, noram I doing so here. I have a healthy fear of the possibility of torches and pitchforks at my door. But I do believein the sacredness of all created life, without exception. One of my favorite stories is from the narration of a man who recalled sitting at a table with the greathumanitarian, Albert Schweitzer, outside his hospital in Africa. The man saw an ant on the tabletop and absent-mindedly crushed it. Schweitzer looked at him in utter incomprehension of the act and asked sorrowfully, “Whydid you do that?” Why, indeed! Speaking of ants, E.O. Wilson, an expert on the subject, has said the following: If human beings were todisappear suddenly, the earth would heal itself rapidly and completely. If ants were to vanish, it would becomebarren in no time. Thus I plead my case. —Ann WilliamsExecutive Committee of the Kern-Kaweah ChapterChair: Georgette Theotig (Tehachapi), 661.822.4371. Vice-chair: Gordon Nipp (Bksf), 661.872.2432. Secretary:Ara Marderosian (Kernville), 760.378.4574. Treasurer: Lorraine Unger (Bksf), 661.323.5569. Donnel Lester(Bksf), 661.831.6784. Richard Garcia (Min King), 559.624.0199. Ann Williams (Bksf), 661.324.1055. ArthurUnger (Bksf), 661.323.5569. Peter Clum (Min King), 559.561.4661. Chapter ExCom Meetings: All Sierra Clubmembers are always welcome to attend these meetings. Call 661.822.4371 to confirm all meeting dates as wellas location and time.STAYING INFORMED: JOIN OUR KERN-NEWS & KERN FORUM E-MAIL LISTS at: http://kernkaweah.sierraclub.org Submit articles (your own or others) to The Roadrunner atsierraroadrunner@gmail.com. The Roadrunner is printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper.
  8. 8. THE ROADRUNNER JULY/AUGUST, 2010 The Roadrunner Non-Profit Org. 2815 La Cresta Dr. U.S. POSTAGE Bakersfield, CA 93305-1718 PAID Permit No. 498 Bakersfield, CA POSTSCRIPT— Check out the following website by local resident Matt Molina: Surfbakersfield.com.  Matt is giving us free advertising for Sierra Club. Also see the following: http://www.surfbakersfield.com/happenings.html  on the happenings section, scroll to the bottom and you will see Sierra Club and the info and links that Matt has provided.