Archive for July, 2008
When I first learned about the Nature Conservancy many years ago I was excited that there was an environmental organization that aligned with my vision of conservation through free market capitalism. Essentially, if you want to protect land from development you buy it. If you own it you can do with it as you see fit.
However, the Nature Conservancy has increasingly been falling in line with the global warming alarmists. Today I have discontinued my monetary support for them and am looking for a new organization that I can give to without being subject to the “nature good, humans bad” metallity. Your suggestions for such organizations are appreciated.
Below you can read the text of an e-mail I sent to the Nature Conservancy.
Hello, After many years of monetary support for the Nature Conservancy, my wife and I have decided to direct our money elsewhere. I am concerned about the organization’s increasing focus on human carbon emissions as a significant effect on climate change. Today I received an e-mail from the Nature Conservancy announcing that I can now “offset my carbon footprint” through the Nature Conservancy. This solidified my decision to identify another organization that aligns with our vision to conserve the environment without being distracted by the hysterics of rabid environmentalism.
As a scientist myself, I find it hard to believe that your scientists truly believe humans are a significant effect on climate. Instead, I think you are using the current carbon footprint hysteria to cash in. I understand the temptation to follow the frenzy to gain funds to do good conservation work, but the ends do not justify the means.
I totally support the objective to protect wild lands through private property ownership and stewardship, but can no longer sit by while the Nature Conservancy crafts policy based on flawed science and political expediency. Please remove me from your donor, e-mail and other communication lists.
All of us get the email from our airline frequent flyer programs offering miles for buying a product from a partner company. Well I received one with an offer to join one of the wine clubs offered by Vinesse. They offer 6 different clubs, each with a different focus. When I read the offer and saw all those frequent flyer miles I began to think of how hard Stacy and I have worked all these years and boy could we use a treat. We are adults now and instead of ice cream as a treat we want wine! I did not step lightly into the wine club world, I dove headfirst and joined Vinesse’s most exclusive club, the Elevant Society. As the website describes it, this club offers:
The club featuring the most exclusive, highest quality wines, and you receive your choice of two or four bottles of pure bliss delivered to your door.Â The Elevant Society is a connoisseurâ€™s service that provides super-premium wines from around the world, but with a slight leaning toward America’s best, and toward the reds rather than the whites. These wines may be cellared, but they are mature upon arrival, ready for immediate enjoyment. Such quality wines, of course, carry a higher price, and membership in the Elevant Society is not for everyone.
Stacy and I love big bold reds, and this is exactly what Elevant offered. We did exercise some restraint and only ordered the two bottle per month package. This package cost us $84.93 per month including shipping and we were glad to do it to get some “exclusive” red wines.
I waited expectantly for the first shipment to arrive. I couldn’t wait to see what the wine experts at Vinesse had selected for us. Finally, the bottles arrive and I open the box expectantly. I take a look at the two bottles and for some unknown reason think the wines don’t have an “exclusive” look about them. The two bottles were; 2003 X Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005 Luna Benegas Mendoza, Argentina Cabernet Sauvignon. After a little googling I realize that I can buy these wines from online merchants for $15 and $10 respectively. Today, one year after this experience, the wines are still availableÂ for $22 and $10 respectively.
This discovery angered me right away. I had paid $84.93 for $25 worth of wine. This is a horrible deal in anyone’s book. I know I need to pay shipping in the club but $60 of shipping and handling is outrageous. I called and emailed Vinesse immediately and expressed my disappointment. I will say that Vinesse was very polite, responsive, and cooperative in our discussions. They did not have a satisfactory reason for why they send “average” quality wines for an “exclusive” quality wine club. They would not refund my money but offered to send replacement wines. I asked them to only send one bottle and that would be the end of our short lived relationship. They sent a bottle of 2002 Amicitia Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon which sells for $28 today.
After this experience, I realized I would be better off randomly buying two bottles a month for $85 at a local wine retailer. I would recommend you be skeptical of wine clubs in general but Vinesse wine club in particular.