Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

More stupidity from the Center for Biological Diversity

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) today sued the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Colorado for allowing caving to take place at the annual convention of the National Speleological Society.

The CBD claims that human activity can spread white nose syndrome, the mysterious ailment that has been killing millions of bats across the eastern United States. To quote:

It is well documented that the fungus believed to cause white-nose syndrome, aptly named Geomyces destructans, can be spread on the clothes and gear of people visiting caves. Scientists strongly suspect that the disease is a recent import from Europe, likely transported by someone who visited a cave there and then came to North America.

To be blunt, this statement is an outright lie.

Though it has been shown that in rare cases humans can carry the fungus from point to point on their clothes and gear, it has not been shown that this activity is able to transmit white nose. Nor does anyone have any idea how the fungus was brought over from Europe. To claim humans did it is pure fabrication.

Finally and most important: the main vector for transmitting white nose continues to be bats. You could kill every human on earth, and the bats would still pass it along.

As I noted earlier, the CBD is not really interested in saving bats. If they were they wouldn’t be doing everything they can to antagonize the caving community, the one amateur community which has actually done the most to help researchers find out what white nose syndrome is. CBD’s real goal is to generate cash from their legal activities, which is then plowed back into their coffers to produce more courtsuits. This must stop. The law must be changed to discourage these suits. And people have got to stop contributing money to these bloodsuckers.

Readers! My Quick November Fund-Raiser for Behind the Black is now over
 

I cannot thank the numerous people who so generously donated or subscribed to Behind the Black during this fund drive. The response was remarkable, and reflected the steady growth and popularity of the work I have been doing here for the past ten-plus years.


Thank you again!


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7 comments

  • requiste

    they don’t sue to make money. that is a rumour that holds no validity and such statements expose you as an ignoramus.

  • John H

    @requisite – Please tell us what exactly their lawsuits DO, other than waste government and NGO resources that would be better served studying the REAL problem.

  • Requiste – This from an April 20, 2011 New York Times Article by Todd Woody on environmental groups creating a logjam of lawsuits under the Endangered Species Act, specifically the Center for Biological Diversity: “The nonprofit group, based in Tucson, has 20 lawyers on its staff in more than a dozen offices across the country. The center raised $7.5 million in 2009, according to its annual report, including $4.8 million from membership donations and $1.2 million in what it calls “legal returns” from cases.” Anyone interested in the facts can check CBD’s 900 tax return, just as they can for any non-profit organization.

  • That should be 990 tax return.

  • to me it seems like it is much much more likely the bats transfer the fungus themselves , a bat stowed away on a ship or plane and came to america , then bats moved from cave to cave spreading it , doesn’t seem likely that people could spread the fungus to very many caves

  • Dan

    Requiste–
    They do indeed receive “piecework” payments for their lawsuits; the more they file, the more lawyers they can employ, as the government pays their costs under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) and in the federal 9th circuit (San Francisco, where else?), they needn’t even be successful. Congress is currently considering legislation requiring transparency by the government in reporting fees paid to groups which in many cases engage in friendly lawsuits with government agencies who use outside groups like CBD to compel them to do things they could not otherwise do. “Sue us, we’ll take a dive, and then you and we will get what we want, and we’ll pay your fees.”

    The payment of their fees is de minimus; the damage such suits and settlements do to representative government and our economy are staggering.

  • GregS

    I agree. A bit of humor though, the ad generator for your site put an advertisement for lawyers below the anti-lawsuit post!

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