Fri, 24 Dec 2004:

TIME magazine, as usual, gave the Man of the Year Award to the wrong

person!

Thanks for all you do.

Tue, 21 Dec 2004:

Subject: hunter-gatherers by 2100?

Hi Mike---

I think I've written to you before about how much I enjoy your posts and

how I've used particular URLs you recommend to explore further on my

own. Well, now _I_ have something to tell _you_ about. On the other

hand, you may already know about it, just not found the time/inclination

to start posting info on your mailing list. Anyway, read on....

Last Friday I was casually web-surfing when I came to a site

www.dieoff.org. I started reading it and following its links and growing

more disturbed and fascinated by the hour. I finished some 36 hours

later---not because I'd exhausted the topic, but I couldn't take any

more. I was scared by what I read, and as a result of reading all that

info my outlook on the present world is forever changed. The subject of

www.dieoff.org is what will happen to our world after we run out of

oil---several of the links refer to 'peak oil' and the 'post-hydrocarbon

age'. Now of course we all know that someday we will run out of fossil

fuels, but I don't think all of us have grasped exactly what that means,

and especially how soon it's going to happen. These websites tell the

reader exactly _what _ will happen, and the picture they paint is

terrifying. I have not experienced such a feeling of cold terror since

late 1999, with all the Y2K mania. Y2K turned out to be a bust, but this

scenario won't be. The science is too irrefutable. It can't be

dismissed.

Part of the feeling of terror is that the post-hydrocarbon scenario is

so pessimistic. The 'renewable energy sources' don't have the

concentrated power, these authors write, that we need. Solar and wind

are not 'sources', but 'carriers', of electricity, and electricity can't

send a plane to Europe, for example. Nothing will work like the power

from fossil fuels, and thus, with nothing to take their place, when they

run out, it really will be the end of the world.

The timetable most of the authors give is that the permanent decline

will begin around 2007--2010, and the fossil fuels will be gone by the end of the

century, by which time those still alive (who will not have been killed

off in the many coming wars over resources <of which perhaps the present

one is the first>, thus the title 'die-off) will have reverted pretty

much to a hunter-gatherer society. I'm in my 50s, so I will not see the

end (thank God!) but I will experience the beginning of the end, and

that knowledge has forever changed me. Now, whenever I see an ad for an

expensive car on TV, I feel sick. My cousin just had a baby. What will

that baby's life be like when he's my age?

I won't (can't) tell his mother.....

I've rambled on far too long, Mike. Why I felt I needed to write you is

that you do a good job ( and I know it's a labor of love <and anger>) of

getting the word out of what's really happening.

I don't know how big your mailing list is, but it's probably large. Please

consider starting to send out info from time to time (along with

political corruption and environmental degradation) about the

'post-hydrogen age'. People need to know about this!

What do you think?

Fri, 10 Dec 2004:

Subject: Re: Science Proves Mountain Biking Is More Harmful Than Hiking

What an interesting, thorough job; good to see you're out there.... Best for the holidays!

Tue, 30 Nov 2004:

I read through your site. Thank you for your great work.

Sun, 7 Nov 2004:

Subject: RE: Ecology Conference/Retreat, Feb 4-6, 2005, Scottsdale, Arizona

Well said, Mike.

-----Original Message-----

From: Mike Vandeman [mailto:mjvande@pacbell.net]

Subject: Ecology Conference/Retreat, Feb 4-6, 2005, Scottsdale, Arizona

 

FYI. It's nice to see the Catholic Church moving in this direction. I think

that environmentalism can most simply be defined as the extension of the

Golden Rule to include other species.

Mike

Tue, 19 Oct 2004:

Subject: Re: The Impacts of Mountain Biking on Wildlife and People -- AReview of the Literature

Great, Mike--so glad your paper was well received

Mon, 4 Oct 2004:

Subject: RE: High School Student (Apparently a Mountain Biker) Interview

Excellent!

Thanks.

-----Original Message-----

From: Mike Vandeman [mailto:mjvande@pacbell.net]

Sent: Monday, October 04, 2004 4:51 PM

Subject: High School Student (Apparently a Mountain Biker) Interview

 

Kevin is writing a paper for school. I don't think he is going to be

happy

with my answers....

Kevin Dougherty <grnskink@yahoo.com> wrote:

Dr. Vandeman,

If you could answer these questions for me as soon as possible that

would be excellent. I will probably send you some follow-up questions

after you respond.

1. What is your name and title?

Mike Vandeman, Ph.D.

2. To which organizations concerning the issue of trail access do you belong?

None. Hikers (and bikers when they choose to hike) ALWAYS have access.

3. Tell me something about your background that has influenced your opinions about this issue.

Study of conservation biology and observation of mountain bikers, reading mountain bikers' emails and web postings, and study of research on the impacts of mountain biking.

4. How did you become involved in the issue of trail access?

In order to protect wildlife. It's obvious that allowing bikes on trails increases erosion, ruins trails, kills small animals and plants, drives wildlife out of their habitat, and drives other trail users out of the parks.

5. How long have you been involved with this issue?

Since 1994.

6. What are your feelings concerning the Park City Agreement in 1994?

It's worthless, because it doesn't protect wildlife, and mountain bikers don't hold up their end of the agreement.

7. Do you think the Park City Agreement was successful?

No, it was worthless.

8. Do you agree with the expansion of wilderness areas throughout the

country?

Yes. The Wildlands Proect estimates that 50% of the country needs to be

wilderness, to protect existing species.

9. What do you think is the largest risk to our world, how does the threat of mountain bicycling compare to this?

The largest risk is that humans thing they own the Earth and act accordingly. Mountain biking is one example of that. It teaches people that the rough treatment of nature is acceptable, when it's NOT.

10. The Sierra Club's motto is to explore, enjoy and protect the planet, is mountain biking not a method for exploration and enjoying the planet?

So is driving a bulldozer. That obviously doesn't make it acceptable. It is implied in the Sierra Club motto that we will use the LEAST HARMFUL means of exploring the planet, which is WALKING. It is also implied that if nature is destroyed in the process of "enjoying" it, that is unacceptable. It is also implied that is one person's means of enjoyment of nature interferes with other people's enjoyment of nature, it is unacceptable.

Thank you,

-Kevin Dougherty

Thu, 9 Sep 2004:

I agree: sections of the earth should be off limits to humans. Bottom line -- destruction of habitat is caused by greed. Enough already. Can't eat the fish, polluted! ATVs worse thing that ever came along. I OWN 20 ACRES AND AM CONSTANTLY FIGHTING TO KEEP ATVs ETC. OUT. HAVE A NICE DAY -- AM WITH YOU ALL THE WAY!

Wed, 8 Sep 2004:

Subject: RE: A Lesson from Florida: It's Time for Regime Change!

Right on brother!

I would just like to interject this comment: Thanks to Bush's policies

of dependence on fossil fuels and his rejection of the threat of global

warming, this is just the beginning. We will see hotter intolerable

temperatures in summer and even more massive and numerous hurricanes.

Thanks to humans environmental terrorism. Hell knows no fury like a

woman scorned, and Mother Nature, will be much swifter and less merciful

in her revenge than anything Mr. Bush could through at Iraq!

Tue, 13 Jul 2004:

Subject: Re: Science Proves Mountain Biking Is More Harmful Than Hiking

Hi Mike,

I must say that is some dang good reading!!!! I have so much to learn, and

I learned a lot just now. I have to agree wholeheartedly about mountain

bike riding. I must admit I have done it, and I have loved both aspects of

biking and nature combined. However, I have seen the damage done by bikes

on trails. Thanks for all the good info!!!

Sun, 11 Jul 2004:

Subject: Re: Science Proves Mountain Biking Is More Harmful Than Hiking

Excellent job, Mike. Thanks for the rigorous dedication. It's on our website without any change but some formatting nuance.

Take care, and good luck in others' syndicating your piece and getting the word out about the despoilers of the land. I hope someone can pay you!

Mon, 28 Jun 2004:

Subject: Good for YOU!

Hi-

I read your post on the backpacking discussing group page. I agree with

you! We need wild areas-just for wildlife! Keep up the good work!

Sun, 13 Jun 2004:

Mike Vandeman wrote:

"It was shot from a mountain bike. It shows EXACTLY what a waste of time mountain biking is. The riders pass through some beautiful country, but obviously too fast to SEE or EXPERIENCE any of it! That's like treating dancing as if it were just a means of getting from one side of a room to the other. How sad!"

Mike, well said. Just last weekend I hiked a 10 mile loop trail in the Bowman Lakes Basin, just north of I-80. Most of the trail was either swampy, snowy root-y or major-ly rocky (plus a little bit of fine flat-ish forest path that did not need churning).

I met a group of 4 bikers - and remarked that they could not have seen any of the glorious and varied scenery - surely their eyes were on the ground the entire time!!! What *is* the point???

And, with 100s of miles of logging roads to ride - what *is* the point?

Keep up the good work. Your message is important.

Sun, 13 Jun 2004:

Subject: Re: Environmental Mathematics SIGMAA

Hello Michael,

A Web Site for Env Math SIG is (and has been!) under construction. Perhaps we'll have something by July.

Our EM SIG program for the MAA August meeting in Providence.

 

I like very much what you write and the attitude it reflects. Psychology and (Pure) Math are thoroughly humanistic

fields. With my current outlook, am not sure how I ended up staying in it until (and beyond!) retirement. Starting

with Zen, it soon was apparent that it was the Taoist component that attracted me. I refer to myself by the made-up

word Naturist (because there is nothing in the bloated English vocabulary that works). You certainly sound like one,

Your effort to educate Hersh made good reading. However, he's a hopeless humanist, and I'd be surprised to hear

that you got a reply to your letter.

Your suggested marriage of Mathematics and Conservation Biology makes plenty of sense. Keep your hopes

modest on how much effect it will have, tho', The very successful marriage of Mathematics and Population Biology

was consummated some time ago, but who's paying much attention to it . . . ? Not the Sierra Club. (I'm a member --

and even Program Chair -- of the branch, mainly because it's about the only game in town. I only took

the position after they agreed that I could emphasize wildlife in the programs. The national office's human concept

of "population control" is so bad that it's funny. They might be at the level of Planned Parenthood.)

As for "I am working on creating wildlife habitat that is off-limits to humans ("pure habitat"). Want to help? (I spent the

previous 8 years fighting auto dependence and road construction.)", it sounds great. Down in Florida, so-called

Growth, Development and Progress have run amuck. Transecting wildlife paths is an almost sacred way of life.

Am not sure how we can help each other because this seems to be a challenge that exists mainly at the County or

State. (BTW, I wrote a skit about a generic DOT and its urges to build across wetlands. We presented it twice

at MAA meetings and it went over pretty well.)

Let me tell you what we're up against down here. The boating industry, backed by saltwater fisherman, want to

weaken the current wimpy Manatee-protection boat speeds. Take in this supposedly serious argument from the

boating industry's lobbyist, Bonnie Basham: "She accused supporters [of strict speed limits] of using the animal

to slow the pace of growth in Florida." [We need an excuse to argue against the continuing destruction of Old

Florida . . . ?!] She went on, " . . . boating should be allowed even if some manatees are harmed -- just the same

as cars are allowed on the road even though some people are killed in accidents."(!) That's the kind of thing that

passes for an analog down here. Since we accept the risk that some people end up killing people on roads, it's

OK for some people to end up killing manatees on the water. Just added a third "B" to her name.

FL is about as nutty as CA but w/o a corresponding substrate of environmental awareness.

Fri, 28 May 2004:

Subject: Re: "A Trail of Rage", 5/25/2004 Washington Post

Good letter. Thanks for all of your efforts.

Wed, 19 May 2004:

Subject: Re: What Is Homo Sapiens' Place in Nature, from an Objective (Biocentric) Point of View

Thanks. I enjoyed and appreciated you comments.

Fri, 14 May 2004:

Subject: Re: The Effects of Mountain Biking on Wildlife and People

I am 100% behind your position. Thank you. I will forward this to all I know.

Mon, 10 May 2004:

Subject: Re: Mountain Biking at Night -- 24-Hour Threat to Wildlife

You are quite right Mike... It is a shame that these people can't be happy with what they have. They always want more and always and someone else's (or nature's) expense.

Where I live the greenways are supposed to be closed at dark, specifically so the wildlife can have some time to themselves. I have been known to hide at the beginning of the greenway and when someone comes out of it asking them just what the heck they think they are doing.

"Are you a cop or just a wannabe?" some ask. "Naw," then holding my cell phone up, "I can call them up and get them to come on over and enlighten you to the law and the fact that you are trespassing."

A lot of times they are kinda spooked about it, but I am just giving them back some of what they are dishing out.

Thanks for your educational notes regarding these people who proclaim to love nature so much but who are really destroying it with their greed.

Fri, 23 Apr 2004:

Mike,

Enjoyed your web site, and I am interested in your work on roads.

Sun, 18 Apr 2004:

Subject: Re: The Myth of the Sustainable Lifestyle

Very interesting -- a new way, for me, to look at sustainability -- I've sent it on to friends. Thanks!!

Fri, 02 Apr 2004:

Subject: OH MOUNTAIN BIKERS!

Funny stuff! Do the mountain bikers realize how silly they are looking day by day?? This past weekend saw two "experienced" mountain bikers in full body armor still get somewhat seriously injured. One was a young woman with a serious chest injury due to meeting up with a tree stump---OUCH!! I happened to pass by the three ambulances, a fire truck and a rescue vehicle out for that one, while heading out on a Sunday outing. The other had a suspected spinal trauma, but he got lucky.

About a year ago, a dental student in his final year got a horrible injury to his brachial nerve in his arm, due to blindsiding a tree, and it had to be amputated. Tsk! Tsk! The wetland group meeting last night was hopeful. With regards to Mountain View Park, "it ain't over until the Fat Lady sings". You made my day with this poem. Thanks.

Fri, 02 Apr 2004:

Subject: Re: Newly Discovered Walt Whitman Poem: "Mountain Bikers! O

Mountain Bikers!"

FAbulous!!! I love it...

Fri, 26 Mar 2004:

Subject: Re: Another Addition to My "Required Reading for the Entire Planet"

Right on, Mike!! I was a panel speaker on campus a couple weeks ago, and said that one way to get a quick pulse on the state of literacy in America would be to find out how many have read Hubbert's Peak or one of the three other books on the same topic --- The Party's Over, Out of Gas, or The End of Oil.

All four are by qualified authors. All have come out in just the past couple years. With four good books on the market, all that's lacking are readers.

Tue, 23 Mar 2004:

Subject: Re: Donnybrook over Mountain Biking in Vancouver, BC

Keep up the good work Mike. Hopefully we can get rid of the bush regime in the next election. We can only hope.

 

Sat, 6 Mar 2004:

Subject: Re: Immigration
Mike,

I think that some of that is well written and is quite

significant.

 

Sat, 6 Mar 2004:

Subject: Re: Frequently Asked Questions about Mountain Biking
Mike,
This is a really great piece. I'm going to use this on my site and on the website. Thanks.

Fri, 5 Mar 2004:

Subject: Re: Frequently Asked Questions about Mountain Biking
SIMPLY ELOQUENT !!

Mon, 1 Mar 2004:

Subject: Re: A Good Thought about Mountain Biking
Love it - my sentiment exactly!

[a supporter]:
"My personal opinion is that if ain't paved, keep your goddamn bicycles off of it."

 

Mon, 1 Mar 2004:

Subject: Re: A Good Thought about Mountain Biking
AMEN !!!

[a supporter]:
"My personal opinion is that if ain't paved, keep your goddamn bicycles off of it."

 

Tue, 17 Feb 2004:

Subject: Words of encouragement
I just read some of your letters on your sight, just want to say more power to you!! Keep up the good work!! We need more people like you fighting for the survival of the planet!

 

Wed, 21 Jan 2004:

Subject: Whiting Ranch
Dear Mr. Vandeman,

In regards to the recent Whiting Ranch mountain lion attacks, I also believe that human free reserves should be set up for the animals. I want to write to officials regarding this issue but I do not who to write to (i.e. the most influential person(s)). If it is possible, could you send me the names and addresses of the officials who could make human free habitats a possibility?

 

Wed, 14 Jan 2004:

Subject: Re: Mountain Lion Killing of Mountain Biker
I saw your editorial in the SF Chronicle. I'm glad you got some publicity on this.

 

Tue, 13 Jan 2004:

Subject: RE: Mountain Lion Killing of Mountain Biker
I agree.

 

Tue, 13 Jan 2004:

Subject: Re: Mountain Lion Killing of Mountain Biker
Hi Mike:

I fully agree. Fortunately, the SF Chronicle printed a good first-page article about the consequences of habitat loss upon a large predator, such as a puma, which requires a relatively large home range and a substantial prey base.

As I remember, the area where the incident occurred is small for a cougar and severely confined. The pumas, and other wildlife, are forced to adapt to circumstances unknown in their evolutionary history. I think that it is remarkable that attacks upon people have been so few. The Chronicle listed the known attacks by mountain lions in California, and their frequency increased in the 1990's. Some might attribute that to protection, but we need to emphasize that the human population of California increased greatly during that period, and that population greatly increased its recreational activities in "wild" areas. The outdoor recreation industry has exploded, and hiking, camping, and (regrettably) mountain biking is becoming increasingly popular. Moreover, we are squeezing wildlife to shrinking habitat areas.

I agree with you that the incident presents a strong case for human-free habitat.

 

Tue, 13 Jan 2004:

Subject: RE: Mountain Lion Killing of Mountain Biker
HI MIKE,

HOPE THAT YOU ARE DOING WELL AND THAT 2004 WILL BE A YEAR OF CHANGE THAT
WILL BENEFIT US ALL AS WE TRY TO MAKE THE PUBLIC AWARE ABOUT ENVIRONMENT \ RESTORATION AND BIODIVERSITY PRESERVATION.

I AGREE WITH YOU THAT MOUNTAIN BIKES SHOULD REMAIN OUT OF WILDLIFE HABITAT AND THE INCIDENT CAME TO A SAD END WITH THE PUMA.

DUE TO HUMAN INTRUSION AND TAKING OVER HABITAT, THE RECENT FIRES OF
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MAY HAVE TRIGGERED THE PUMA TO LOOK FOR ANOTHER
"FOOD" SOURCE AND CAME FROM ANOTHER AREA. AN UNKNOWN NUMBER OF FIRE
WILDLIFE DEATHS IS UNACCOUNTED FOR.

WHENEVER WE GO INTO WILDLANDS, WE MUST TUNE TO THE ENVIRONMENT AROUND US. BICYCLISTS ONLY REMAIN FOCUS ON THE "ROAD" AHEAD AND ARE UNAWARE THAT

THERE IS SO MUCH MORE IN THE SURROUNDINGS.

WE STILL NEED TO REMAIN VIGILANT IN CASE THERE IS A BACKLASH TO THIS
INCIDENT AND THE STATE PROPOSES PUMA HUNTING IN THE FUTURE.

IN DEFENSE OF WILDLIFE AND A RESTORED ENVIRONMENT.

 

Tue, 13 Jan 2004:

Subject: Re: Mountain Lion Killing of Mountain Biker
I agree - not that it will do any good. People have no damn sense and insist they are the only worthwhile species on the planet - look what they even do to the things they eat!!!