Carl Wernicke

Carl Wernicke is a native of Pensacola. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1975 with a degree in journalism. After 33 years as a reporter and editor, he retired from the Pensacola News Journal in April 2012; he spent the last 15 years at the PNJ as editor of the editorial page. He joined the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition on May 7, 2012 as Senior Writer and Communications Manager.

His hobbies include reading, gardening, hiking, enjoying the outdoors and wildlife around his home on Garcon Point and watching sports, especially the Florida Gators and New York Yankees. His wife, Patti, is a senior vice president at Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union.

Carl is a regular contributor to WUWF. His commentaries focus on life in and around the Pensacola area and range in subject matter from birding to downtown redevelopment and from preserving our natural heritage to life in local neighborhoods.

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Local News
4:03 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Carl Wernicke: Ice, Flooding, Sunshine, And Climate Change

Credit IHMC

Watching last week’s great flood from out of town was unsettling. We had been in Pittsburg for a nephew’s college graduation, and on that Tuesday night found ourselves on a plane circling Pensacola.

The pilot said heavy rain over the airport was delaying our arrival, but don’t worry, we have plenty of fuel. 20 minutes later he said there was still a nasty storm cell over the airport and he was waiting for it to move.

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Commentary
1:16 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Carl Wernicke: Human Efficiency & Natural Relaxation

Credit IHMC

One of the happiest research findings in my lifetime was the discovery that, contrary to popular belief, most animals in the wild spend more time relaxing than working. The vision of animals on a round-the-clock quest for food turned out to be wrong. And we learned that some animals seem as inclined as humans to engage in social interaction, including play.

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Nutrition
2:39 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Interview With Dr. Bruce Ames: Nutrition Via Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Dr. Bruce Ames
Credit IHMC

Food is so plentiful that getting enough to eat seems assured. But because of the low quality of the diets and food so many people consume, most of us are deficient in at least some critical vitamins and minerals. As a result, the body, faced with shortages of key nutrients, quietly sacrifices long-term health for short-term survival. The result is age-related diseases like cancer, heart disease, immune dysfunction and cognitive decline.

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Commentary
3:32 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Carl Wernicke: Small Spring Pleasures

Credit IHMC

I try to enjoy the small things in life. Because if you can only enjoy big things, or the expensive things, you spend a lot of time not having a good time. 

Unfortunately, losing the ability to be easily entertained is one of the downsides of growing up. As children we are easily amused; armed with little more than a good stick and my imagination, as a child I could play for hours. And, to be truthful, I still think a good stick found in the woods is a treasure, although most other children seem to have grown up and moved on.

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Commentary
3:53 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Carl Wernicke: Remembering Reubin Askew

Credit IHMC

We lost a good man with the death last week of Reubin Askew, Pensacola’s favorite son and maybe the greatest governor in Florida history.

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Commentary
3:29 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Carl Wernicke: Restorative Ecological Change Must Be Holistic

Credit IHMC

A valuable lesson I learned over years as a reporter in writing about the environment is that to see is not always to understand. Crystal clear water can be severely polluted, and verdant woods can be a tree farm that bears little comparison to a healthy, diverse forest.

To understand what’s really happening, you need research. And what such research reveals can be spectacular. Especially when you realize that because of nature’s amazing resiliency, great damage done to ecological systems can sometimes be undone through relatively simple steps.

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Commentary
3:48 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Carl Wernicke: What Helping Animals Says About Us

Credit IHMC

   Mahatma Gandhi is famously quoted as saying that, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” By that standard, the United States often falls short, especially if you judge us by the factory farms providing so much of our meat.

But good and evil are often neither black or white. As in most judgments, you need to exercise some, well, judgment.

In that light, some recent actions by the uber animal – us – have put us in a pretty good light. At least, it bodes well for the people involved.

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Commentary
4:17 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Carl Wernicke: Calling Tech Support...

Carl Wernicke
Credit IHMC

I have often stated my reservations about the growth of technology and where it’s taking us, while also understanding the benefits it can offer. And like most people I have come to an uneasy truce with it, from smart phones to pads to online shopping.

But it pays to remember that while the whizzes might be whizzier and the bangs bangier, technology remains a human product and subject to human weaknesses.

One of those weaknesses is that when technology fails, or you fail to operate it correctly, you are helpless. And that’s where tech support comes in.

Or not.

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Commentary
10:01 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Carl Wernicke: An Ice Storm To Remember

Carl Wernicke
Credit IHMC

  

 As a community, we tend to mark the passage of time through memorable events whose impacts are as powerful mentally as they are physically. Just as the memory of the great hurricanes of 1906, 1916 and 1926 imprinted itself on past generations of Pensacolians, many of us today will carry the marker of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 for the rest of our lives.

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Commentary
4:16 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Carl Wernicke: Seagrass Is The Key

Credit IHMC

Last week I talked about clean water as the foundation of the Northwest Florida economy and lifestyle. And about the importance of using money from fines to be imposed on BP for the 2010 oil spill to restore the health of Pensacola Bay. But it was more of an emotional appeal than anything else.

But last Sunday in the Pensacola News Journal, a local biologist made the scientific case. It is well worth reading, and can be found here.

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