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A BI-MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF THE KERN-KAWEAH CHAPTER OF SIERRA CLUB JULY/AUGUST, 2010

The Roadrunner
HOUSING 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 massive
housing 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 as
warming emissions. The ideal & Cooke’s new Stockdale Ranch to think the developer would not
project would achieve these project, nearly 3600 residences actually achieve these goals
goals: 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 $4
from “business-as-usual” and by Bakersfield. million for solar photovoltaics
58 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 the
2020 goal. progressive one in all of developer to do “Zero Net
• benefit greatly by a 72 percent California! In Bakersfield? Energy,” an unrequired goal that
reduction in GHG emissions from Could this be too good to be true? the California Building Industry
the agricultural and industrial But it’s a little too early for a Association estimates would cost
sectors. celebration. While the at least $50,000 per house.
• include energy efficiency consultant’s analysis includes all Perhaps we’ve caught our case
programs to reduce project energy these reductions, not a single one of cynicism from the consultant’s
usage 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 massive
least $4 million of the developer’s specific mitigation measures reductions in energy usage and
dollars. directed expressly at GHG GHG emissions.
• satisfy the “Zero Net Energy” reductions. We’ll believe it when we see the
goal of the California Public The Stockdale Ranch project City’s enforceable requirement
Utilities Commission, resulting in has not a single such requirement. actually occur.
no net purchases from the Not only is it too good to be
electricity or gas grid for true, but these paper assumptions —Gordon Nipp
residences built after 2020. let the developer off the hook for Kern Kaweah Vice-Chair
What an incredible project! any global warming mitigation
Could 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 Muir's “John Muir marched many miles over many
March across Yosemite from August 1-7. years to build support for protecting and
conserving America's national parks. Please join
“Muir's March to restore the Hetch Hetchy me on Muir's 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.
THE ROADRUNNER
JULY/AUGUST, 2010

SEA TURTLES: Numbers dwindling especially in poor nations


The lecture presented by Bakersfield College professor sadness for the
Inez Devlin-Kelly, “The Ecology of Sea Turtles: Requiem sea turtles,
or Hope,” was, as professor Devlin-Kelly stated, intended anger at those
to “reflect where we are with sea turtles.” In the end, I was who kill these
left wondering even more so than at the start of the lecture creatures for
whether 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, sympathy
presented at the beginning of the lecture on May 1 at the El for those
Camino restaurant were astonishing. Even more who are too
astonishing was data about the individual sea turtle species poor to get other © 2008 John White
themselves, such as the fact that “for every 1000 eggs of food and must
Loggerhead 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 natural
situation of the world’s sea turtles. Nonetheless, the real predation play in the diminishing population of sea turtles
shocker 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 the
diminishing global population of sea turtles. However, presentation. But what really did strike me was what drives
many 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 is
it was predation by humans that really gave me mixed poverty. The question of whether there is requiem or hope
emotions. According to professor Devlin-Kelly, human for the sea turtles really lies within the question of whether
predation consists of stealing sea turtles eggs, which there is requiem or hope for those in poverty. And with the
prevents the new generation of sea turtles from even condition of poverty in our own country as bad as it is, I
getting out into the wild; killing and eating the sea turtles have very little hope for the condition of poverty in other
for their meat, whether as a delicacy or as part of culture; parts of the world, and subsequently, for our planet’s sea
and killing the sea turtles for their shell as a mere turtles.
decoration. This part of the lecture had me feeling —Navpreet Gill/Bakersfield College Student

Lecture 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 and
knowledge consisted of a basic visual, rudimentary extinguishment are a group of people who believe that
taxonomy (they are reptiles, right?), and a thread about animals have intrinsic worth and that wholesale destruction
them 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 the
light of current events, oil-spilled/laced—water. But with honesty and credibility of the Sierra Club members’ dismay
extra credit as bait, I made my way to a Sierra Club at the fate of the sea turtles. I say honesty because they had
meeting one early (for a college student) Saturday chosen to get up early that Saturday and go to a meeting
morning. With any luck, I would get a grade-boosting dose about turtles. You see, talk is cheap. Paying your yearly
of 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 of
the 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 I
much as the audience; or rather, half the audience. They neared home, simply by showing up. And thus their
were 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 gotten
the lecture darkened with tales of lost breeding grounds involved. What was it that had sparked their concern for
and 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 be
and frowned indignantly as the narrative of the sea turtles honest, not concerned enough to really do anything about
turned 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 and
grounds. They have been swept up as bycatch and have ask.
strangled on plastic, the detritus of western lifestyles. They
have been hunted for food and pursued as a novelty item. —Jonathan Nelson/Bakersfield College Student
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 summer
contributed to the Annual March Appeal. With your recreation, our vigilant activists are monitoring such issues
financial 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 of
efforts. 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 an
contact me, and I will give information about LOBBY activist to ask what you can do. For example, Gordon Nipp
DAY this August 15 -16. The Chapter will subsidize part of welcomes members to give support of his comments at city
your 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 the
the bookkeeping duties of the Chapter treasurer. This job natural world. Then give back by volunteering your time
requires 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 Theotig
deserve 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 Vokolek 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 hard
Traynor is one of the state’s leading bee experts. At the to kill the mites without doing harm to the bees,” Traynor
recent 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 for
declining 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 a
time for bees, said Traynor, but then cotton growers series of tubes with replaceable lines for gentle bee
pulled 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 is
necessitated 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 Bell
partly because of stress from being trucked from other Roadrunner Editor
THE ROADRUNNER
JULY/AUGUST, 2010

KERN KAWEAH ROUNDUP


PLEASE 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: You
must be in condition for the type of hike, equipped appropriately for the activity and prepared to sign a Sierra Club release
for 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 layered
clothing. The following might be helpful but definitely is not required: compass, whistle, matches or lighter, and a good first
aid kit. Long paints are recommended. Unprepared for the prospective hike? It will be a no-go for you. Participation must
be leader approved. Please let the leader know ahead of time that you are intending to participate. Check individual group
listings 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 to
be 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 of
travel does not constitute approval by the State of California. This legislation is designed to protect the user of outdoor activities that
require cash payments of more than $50 for participation.

BUENA VISTA GROUP


More info? Call Donnel Lester at 661.831.6784 or e-mail donnelc3bvg@earthlink.net or Isabel at
661.246.6195.
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 (Taft
Hwy). 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 hiatus
starting 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 or


dessert to share with six people. Also bring along your used batteries
to 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 until
Section 8/Trash barrel 2 on the right. From the east enter the Park on
River Drive. Continue past the maintenance building and peacocks to
Section 8/Trash barrel 2 on your left. Call leader Lorraine Unger for
details 661.323.5569.

Saturday, August 7—Brunch with Debbie Kroeger. Kroeger


will discuss California native plants with a focus on chapparal.
Camino Real Restaurant, 3500 Truxtun Avenue at the corner of Truxtun
and Westwind, just west of Oak St. Optional brunch is served for
$7.60/person + tip. Info: 661.246.6195. CLEANING UP: Volunteers for a recent clean-
up for the Adopt-a-Highway program are Jeff
BVG 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/Isabel
Also, visit our Facebook page at: Stierle
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sierra-Club-Buena-Vista-Group/359839178824?v=wall&ref=mf
THE ROADRUNNER
JULY/AUGUST, 2010

CONDOR GROUP
More 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 tall
tales. The climax will be viewing the sunset from the mountain's peak. 5 p.m. is supper time. Call 661.242.0432 for more
directions, etc.

Sunday Strolls. These will continue through August...We leave the Pine Mountain Clubhouse at 8 a.m. each Sunday
morning to visit interesting spots close to the community, all within a five minute drive at the longest. You do NOT need to
make a reservation for these walks...just show up on time to stretch your legs, breathe the fresh air and be ready for surprises
that we can't anticipate. Birds, flowers, geology...even ants plus ... can be topics of chit chat along the way. Children are
welcome as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Call 661.242.0432 for more information.

KAWEAH GROUP
More info? Call Pam Clark (559.784.4643) or Diane Jetter (559.781.8897).

OWENS PEAK GROUP


More 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 N
flanks of Kearsarge Peak. We will learn the history of mining in this area and see first hand what the winters and the snow
avalanches can do to man's efforts to strike it rich. This area was burnt over in July, two years ago. We'll check out the
recovery. Strenuous hike due to hiking distance and elevation gain. Meet on Saturday at 7 a.m at the Ridgecrest Cinema
parking 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 Coyote
Flat complex. The route in will require some high clearance, easy, 4WD touring. This accessible, amazingly spectacular
highland 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 the
Ridgecrest 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.
THE ROADRUNNER
JULY/AUGUST, 2010

MINERAL KING
Please 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 6:30
p.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 on
a 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 five
Mosquito Lakes, located between the 9000-10,000 ft. elevation level. There will be roughly 2000 feet of elevation gain, and
there will be some cross-country hiking after we pass the first lake. For more information contact Dave Keller at
559.688.4813 or coachk24@aol.com.

Find the Mineral King Group on Facebook! Sierra Club Mineral King Group has a new Facebook page! Visit our page
for up-to-date information on outings, social events, and our conservation efforts in Tulare and Kings Counties.

California/Nevada Regional Conservation Committee


Desert Committee Outings

For 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, please
contact 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 not
affected by 2001 Starr Fire. Many great pools for swimming. First day is a long one, overnight at Three Cedars campsite. Water will be
cold 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 Section

Saturday-Monday, July 24-26—Guzzler Cleanup in Mt Grafton Wilderness. Join us as we carry out the pieces of an old, unneeded
guzzler 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 size
pieces. To make the toting downhill easier, bring a frame backpack to strap guzzler pieces to. We will work with John R. Miller from the
Ely BLM. Participants should be in good shape for working at altitude. Central commissary (optional) $15. High clearance
recommended. Contact leader Vicky Hoover. 415.977.5527, vicky.hoover@sierraclub.org. CNRCC Wilderness Committee

Saturday-Sunday, August 21-22—Bristlecone Pines. Come with us to the beautiful White Mountains to camp, hike and just relax. On
Saturday, we’ll hike the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest on a moderate five-mile interpretive trail, followed by a picnic lunch and a short
optional hike to a nearby old mining cabin. Back at camp, we’ll enjoy Happy Hour, a potluck feast and a campfire. Sunday pack up and
head 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 Committee

Saturday-Sunday, August 28-29—Gorge Scramble Level 3-Feather River Canyon. Devil Canyon on the river’s middle fork receives
big 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 outing
requires 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
Committee

Friday-Sunday, Sept. 24-26—Service and Hiking In the Carrizo Plain. This is an opportunity to visit and to assist an outstanding and
relatively unknown national monument. There will be an optional and scenic hike high in the Caliente Mountains on Friday. Others may
join us for National Public Lands Day on Saturday when we will participate with other volunteers restoring one of the historic homesteads
in the center of the Plain. On Sunday, we will tour a number of the historic, prehistoric, and geologic sites in the Monument. Leader Craig
Deutsche, craig.deutsche@gmail.com, 310-477-6670. CNRCC Desert Committee
THE ROADRUNNER
JULY/AUGUST, 2010

MIDGEBUZZINGS
A recent case of animal cruelty was publicized in the local paper, with a photograph of the canine victim
hogtied and abandoned in a vacant field. There was an outpouring of public anger and insistence upon
prosecution and a jail term for the person identified as the perpetrator. Immediately afterwards, the District
Attorney was reported to have commented with some disdain that people react more sympathetically to to the
abuse 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 media
reports of worldwide human injustice and misery may tend to blunt sensitivity and that a story of this kind can
evoke a more immediate response to the abuse of a being experiencing pain and suffering. But I think it is
reasonable to believe that had there been a photograph and story about a small child hogtied and left to die, there
would have been a far greater and more widespread outcry from the public. In fact, a local report of the hideous
abuse of a four-year-old boy by his drug-sated father was, indeed, met with much more public incredulity and
fury. 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 the
deliberate mistreatment of animals may be dangerous to human beings. Cruelty in any of its forms is a kind of
violence, be it ever so subtle. What it suggests is pleasure derived from the administering of pain. Most of us are
capable of regretting our own unkindness and of resolving not to repeat it. But the absence of that capacity for
retrospection may be an indication of social danger. If there have been studies of this sort, I would like to be
informed of them. I think they would be germane to the question of prosecution for animal abuse, and possibly
valuable 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 to
be more comprehensive than that of sympathy, though the dictionary does not necessarily agree with me. In my
personal lexicon, sympathy means the understanding and the sharing of the feelings of another being; but
empathy goes beyond that to the extent that one experiencing it actually ceases to be himself and becomes the
other, or at least seems to do so. That concept moves the discussion to the possible oneness of all created things
and the question of equal justice for all species. You can understand why I don’t carry this idea to a pulpit, nor
am I doing so here. I have a healthy fear of the possibility of torches and pitchforks at my door. But I do believe
in 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 great
humanitarian, 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, “Why
did you do that?” Why, indeed!
Speaking of ants, E.O. Wilson, an expert on the subject, has said the following: If human beings were to
disappear suddenly, the earth would heal itself rapidly and completely. If ants were to vanish, it would become
barren in no time. Thus I plead my case.

—Ann Williams

Executive Committee of the Kern-Kaweah Chapter


Chair: 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. Arthur
Unger (Bksf), 661.323.5569. Peter Clum (Min King), 559.561.4661. Chapter ExCom Meetings: All Sierra Club
members are always welcome to attend these meetings. Call 661.822.4371 to confirm all meeting dates as well
as location and time.

STAYING INFORMED: JOIN OUR KERN-NEWS & KERN FORUM E-MAIL LISTS
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THE ROADRUNNER
JULY/AUGUST, 2010

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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.