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No. 500

A Milestone…Yea, Right…

This is my 500th blog posting since starting The Johnson Post in July 2009. It’s been fun and educational and has kept me, more or less, from incessant barking. 

Thanks for reading and here’s hoping you’ll indulge me a brief look back over my blogging shoulder.

What I’ve learned through 500 posts:

Number One is the power of this still wondrous Al Gore invention – the Internet. I know, I know, Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet; he just played the inventor in a presidential campaign. Seriously, the power and reach of the Internet – for good or bad, or both – really came hope to me when I posted a piece from Buenos Aires in 2010 where I attempted a somewhat tongue-in-cheek take on the never ending controversy between Argentina and Great Britain over the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic.

Early the next day my e-mail inbox was smoldering with a testy response from a fellow in not so jolly old England who took me squarely to task for suggesting that the windswept Malvinas, as the Argentines call the Falklands, are just not worth the trouble. To say that he thought I was misinformed would be a very nice way of putting it. How he found my musings I can only guess, but I certainly got his attention.

I’ve also learned that many readers are generous with praise and encouragement, elements that are as vital as oxygen to any writer. Everyone, I’ve also learned over and over, needs an editor. Mine have been kind and helpful – and necessary. Thanks.

Mostly I’ve learned that writing is necessary, fulfilling and affirming. Some people need to sing – not my niche – others need to run or read or listen to music. I need to write. If you have the itch to write, I highly recommend that you scratch. Your outlet need not be a blog, but might be a journal or long letters to friends and relatives. We need more letters and writers, so open that laptop.

I have many thanks to extend on crossing over this personal blogging milestone. To those who read these thoughts daily or take the time to catch up once in a while – a big thank you. One starts such an endeavor not knowing if anyone will notice much less care. To those who have stuck with The Post – thanks and thanks some more.

Thanks as well to friends who circulate the posts when they deem them worthy. The serial blogger Dave Oliveria at his Huckleberries Online blog has been particularly generous in helping enlarge my audience.

Thanks to my professional colleagues, as well, for both encouraging and tolerating my wandering into the blogging weeds. Some of them even read from the weeds, which is also nice. For this political, baseball, history, book and movie junkie, the chance to offer opinions and observations on all those subjects and actually have some loyal readers is, well, just a whole lot of fun.

Writing The Johnson Post has been fun – really fun. I feel like I’m just getting started. Thanks for reading.


Biomass and Climate Change

Cecil AndrusCece Andrus: Developing Region’s Biomass Will Take Time and Transparency

A couple of months ago, the former Idaho Governor and Interior Secretary offered his take on increasing utilization of biomass for energy.

The assessment came in a major speech to a conference of U.S. Forest Service managers in Boise. While not a pessimistic assessment of biomass as a greater source of energy, the speech was a typically Andrus-like accounting of opportunities and challenges.

Andrus was particularly pointed in warning the foresters that meeting policy objectives for the National Forests, including increased energy production and encouraging local economic development, while still protecting the environment, will require a lot of transparency and many trade-offs.

The former four-term governor also challenged the forest managers to be clear about whether and how they are managing the public’s land based on the reality of climate change.

You can find the full speech here. Here is a key section:

“We do not like making trade-offs and we do not like having to choose. For years the Forest Service has been caught in this struggle. We continue to debate what exactly the purposes of the national forests are, and how we approach an agreement around that question.

“One Idahoan would tell you the national forests exist to produce wood fiber. Another would tell you they exist to provide hunting and fishing opportunities. Another would tell you the forests help drive the economy of the state, particularly rural communities. This Idahoan would tell you that there is a measure of truth in each of those answers.

“So what you do, and what policy makers must do, is find the delicate balance that creates an equilibrium and gives the American public the opportunity to have it all; an increase of energy from biomass, a stronger economy and the hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation we so enjoy in Idaho and the West.”