OPEN THREAD – feel free to talk about whatever you please

I’ve got some time to spend with digital climate models and will only pay brief attention here for a few days.

No matter how provocative the trolls might be please play nicely. I’m afraid those who don’t will find themselves arbitrarily dropped into the troll cage without warning or recourse as I swoop by. New commenters will find delays clearing their initial posts for the same reason of sporadic attention as I emerge but briefly from the realms of PlayStation® Climatology™.

Have fun & do try not to break any furniture ;)

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25 responses to “OPEN THREAD – feel free to talk about whatever you please

  1. [DIVERTIBLE*] Solar flares trigger earthquakes
    Jain, R., Physical Research Laboratory.
    EACH of the 682 >4.0 earthquakes under study was preceded by a solar flare of B to X class by 10-100 hrs.
    adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AGUSMIN33A..03J.

    Explosive volcanic eruptions triggered by [rising now but DIVERTIBLE*] cosmic rays
    Toshikazu Ebisuzaki, Hiroko Miyahara, Ryuho Kataoka, Tatsuhiko Sato, Yasuhiro Ishimine
    sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1342937X10001966.
    *
    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?37yp537u1v3q0r3

  2. We Certainly Can Do Better
    It’s time to judge forest policy by its result, not by its intent

    by Rob DeHarpport
    May 16, 2012

    Failed Federal policies implemented by unelected agencies such as the United States Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) policies over the last 30 to 40 years reminds me of a quote from renown economist the late Milton Friedman (1912-2006) who said, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”

    More specifically, the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) enacted by President Clinton in 1994 may have had good intentions, but it has failed catastrophically.

    According to USFS records documented by USFS Historian Gerald W. Williams in his book entitled The U.S. Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest – A History, the volume of timber harvested, measured in thousands of board feet (bf) on USFS lands has declined from a peak harvest in 1973 of 5,791,353 bf to 1,126,867 bf in 1994 to 419,381 bf in 2007. Harvest levels dropped by two-thirds in 1994 and are merely 7 percent today of the peak harvest level of 1973.

    Pacific Northwest forests in the Spotted Owl zone grow anywhere from 500 to 1,000 board feet per acre per year. The NWFP encompasses an area of 23 million acres. Growth on those acres has been at least 16,000,000 bf per year. Over the last 18 years annual harvest has been only 3 percent of growth.

    The build-up of biomass in Northwest forests has led to catastrophic fires burning millions of acres. Spotted Owl population numbers have crashed by 60 percent or more. The NWFP has failed to save owls, and instead has caused the incineration of their habitat.

    The Pacific Northwest is the premier timber growing region in the world. Yet, today America is importing 40% of our softwoods from Canada.

    Does this make any sense? We have a prolonged record of high unemployment of historical proportions in America and especially in Oregon, Washington, and Northern California. Poverty in rural areas of the Northwest continues to fester.

    Over 25 percent of rural Oregon families are on food stamps. In Oakridge, Oregon, 80 percent of our K-12 students now qualify for free lunches based on family income. Our local schools now enroll just over 500 students, down from a high of nearly 1,200 thirty years ago.

    At least 44 businesses from the Oakridge/Westfir area have closed their doors since the late 1970s. Peter Pope of the shuttered Oakridge Pope and Talbot Mill said, “The Spotted Owl issue destroyed any chance to keep the Oakridge mill going.” Pope explained that failed effort to save the species was the “death blow” to Oakridge.

    These failed policies continue today. President Clinton promised that, “We must never forget the human element and local economies.” Guess what? Rural timber towns and their residents have been forgotten.

    Meanwhile the USFS and BLM are doubling down on the Spotted Owl Recovery Plan, placing even more acreage off-limits to any timber harvests. This despite the fact that owl numbers have continued to rapidly decline, even with virtually no timber being harvested from NW National Forests for 18 years.

    Only a Washington bureaucrat could come up with such a failed plan. Or is it merely a piece of the United Nations’ Agenda 21 plan to redistribute America’s wealth to foreign countries and force humans from rural areas? Agenda 21 was adopted by the U.N. in 1992 but never ratified by Congress. It seems, however, to be coming to fruition through the NWFP and the policies of various federal agencies.

    Road closures, fires let burn across vast tracts of old-growth spotted owl forests; record levels of biomass to fuel those catastrophic fires; introduction exotic species such as Wolves and Bull Trout; expansion of Grizzly Bear populations into rural residential lands; and thousands of new “endangered” species listed (to their doom). In reality RURAL AMERICANS ARE THE ENDANGERED SPECIES.

    Mega-fires threaten communities as well as endangered species and critical habitat. Not since the Great Idaho Fire of 1910 have we seen such huge conflagrations in the West. One example is rhe Biscuit Fire of 2002 that burned 499,965 acres in SW Oregon, a Let It Burn fire that incinerated over 75 nesting pairs of Spotted Owls.

    Fuel loads per acre in the Trinity NF in Northern California have increased from 5 to 30 times historical levels. For decades the people of Trinity County begged, pleaded with, and petitioned the USFS and Federal Government to thin out the underbrush, build fuel breaks, and help create a safe forest for our communities.

    Then in 2007 the USFS allowed fires to burn 650,000 acres in NorCal, including 266,000 acres in Trinity County.

    It is past time to allow local residents to sustainably manage our forests, to maintain important fish and wildlife habitat, to protect our watersheds, and to provide an economic engine in a time of 20 percent unemployment.

    There have been plenty of studies which show a sustainable forest provides true benefits for all, from decreased fire danger to improved wildlife habitat to additional economic and recreational opportunities for neighboring communities. Studies have shown the catastrophic results from wildfires in overloaded fuels.

    Robert H. Nelson wrote an extensive article for the Hoover Institute entitled Our Languishing Public Lands. He noted that total federal revenues from all sources in the National Forest System in 2010 were $953 million. Total USFS spending in 2010 was $6.1 billion. The ultimate net cost of National Forest management borne by American taxpayers in 2010 was around $5.1 billion, this on lands representing nearly 10 percent of the land area of the United States and containing valuable natural resources.

    These large deficits are being incurred at a time when worldwide demands for minerals, agricultural products, and other commodities has been soaring, driving up resource prices. Again, how does this make any sense to anyone? When will we begin to judge policies not by their intent, but by their results? Are humans and our econonmy not a factor in the equation? We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

    This is what Oregonians and other western States must deal with every day. How long does it take to realize Federal policies have failed? How long does it take for the general public in rural areas to realize the true intent of these policies?

    We want our lands back. It’s as simple as that. Please sign the Petition to De-Federalize Oregon Lands. http://www.giveusourlandback.org

    • I don’t wish to reply so much as praise waldomountainobserver for his interesting post. As a fellow resident of the Northwest, forest management issues have caught my attention for some time. This post hits on most of the major topics:
      – Much or most of forestry management (like most of science) is based on pseudo-science, (opinions of people who have studied other pseudo-scientists), driven by social management issues rather than forest management. One of their greatest scientific blunders of the last 100 years was the policy restricting clearing of undergrowth through burn-off. After a few hotter, dryer years, this led to disasterous mega-burns that cost both forestry resources and human lives and property. Most of you should remember the public reversal that took place about a decade ago. Score one for the pseudo-scientists. When it became so obvious that it couldn’t be denied they changed the “science”. But what should be remembered are the decades of unquestioned faux-science that led to this series of catastrophies.
      – The out-sourcing of the american timber industry remains a theory based on observation of the effects of environmentalism and matching that with the decades-long campaign to transfer wealth from the 1st to the 3rd world. Another demonstration of the scientific accumen of the Left came when the 3rd world took up the challenge and began harvesting their timber for export to the materials hungry United States and other 1st and 2nd World nations. While they whined about deforestation and made fictional propaganda movies about cancer-curing ants being wiped out to build condos in America, our forest land was growing to the highest estimated acreage in 200 years (per the US Dept of Forestry). The “coincidence” of American harvest restrictions and the growth of industries in 3rd world countries is not easy to dismiss as just coincidence. There is no “smoking gun” on this as in the case of DDT use bans, but having once been a thrall of the environmental Left I can anecdotally confirm that this was very much a part of what we were trying to do.
      – Much of the unConstitutional federal seizure of land occurred as the western states were transferred from federal territories to statehood. To achieve statehood, a territory must petition Congress and their own residents. Every state admitted decreases the power held by e’ xisting states, adding new votes that decrease the existing state’s influence and removing the resources of the territory from federal (Congressional) control and giving it over to the residents of the territory as rights of statehood. The deals made to buy support tended to include progressively larger percentages of the land as statehood moved west (you can still see this in current maps of federal land holdings, which in the west are often larger than smaller states). The actual “land-grabs” began under Teddy Roosevelt in his too often praised establishment of a National Parks System. In the administrations that followed his there were bitter court battles (mostly in the east) as private property was seized under “eminent domain” to serve the urgent need to preserve pretty places. But most of the land is not National Parks, most of it is federal reserve land or Indian Treaty Land.
      When I say this is “unConstitutional” it is because the Constitution lays out the grounds on which the federal government may lay claim to land. To build forts and ports for national defense is Constitutional. But there is no Constitutional mandate for the federal government to claim land that properly belongs to the people that live on it or to withhold it from the state and local governments of those people. Because it’s pretty or gives the federal government the power to charge leases and control use is not in the Constitution. That power was given later and gradually through unConstitutional conditions set in order to approve statehood and in decisions of a corrupted court system. It also has the same effect as an unevenly levied tax on those states and their residents, it is a seizure of land for use as an income source for the federal government and that violates the General Welfare Clause’s true meaning. So, the vast federal land-holdings are violations of the General Welfare Clause by seizing land disproportionately from the newer states for income production and the 9th and 10th Amendments, denyng the people and their local governments the right to control their own land and asserting a power over the states not delegated to the federal governnment.
      – waldomountainobserver really has done a better job than I of presenting the case to recognize federasl land hoarding as a bad policy. I hope I have contributed some small additional insight to it actually being a crime.
      – I am in my 60s and have been an advocate of preserving nature and a self-sustaining environment for about 45 years. The current lable, “Environmentalist”, does not apply to people who share those values. Like almost all labels the Left uses, this is an outright lie told to disarm the opposition by confusing the terminology. “Liberal” means the opposite of Liberalism as that term was understood for hundreds of years. “Democracy” means the rule of the privileged few through an all powerful state. “Progress” means a reversion to the state-bureaucratic system in efvfect underrt the “Nation-State” monarchies. “Civil Rights” means those rights which the state allows you to exercise, not rights inherent in your humanity. “Public ownership” means no one among “the public” gets to own the land. The state owns it, ostensibly on behalf of the public, but under the control of those willing to participate in the elite that controls that government … and on and on. Nature has been and will in the future be preserved only when it is in the interests of the people to do so. Leftwing socialist-environmentalists aren’t trying to defend the environment, they are trying to eliminate the competition for control over how and when it will be exploited. They want that power, not in the hands of the people through private ownership and business interest, but in the hands of the few who will make up the power-broking elite in the all powerful state they seek. Once they have that power, they will rape and denude the resources to preserve and increase their hold on power.

  3. Just when we were getting rid of the guilt of cholesterol since it isn’t making not making much difference for CVD http://petrossa.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/we-shall-prove-it-regardless-objectivity-fat-is-bad-cognitive-dissonance-strikes-again/ , and pharmaceutical companies losing out on the major cashcow statins, this terrifying news will send us back into their arms

    “New Research Points to Role of Cholesterol in Alzheimer’s”
    http://psychcentral.com/news/2012/06/01/new-research-points-to-role-of-cholesterol-in-alzheimers/39550.html

    Pretty please. I know you earned a whopping fortune on selling a pill that didn’t have a net positive effect whichever way you looked at it, but those days are over.

    No new scare. Enough is enough.

    • Alice Cheshire

      I thought it was brain insulin that caused Alzheimer’s. That’s why they made a third (or fourth or fifth) type of diabetes. I think this type is type 3. Dr. Oz talked about it so it must be so. Are we looking at “dueling researchers”?

      • In my mind we are looking at ‘jumping to conclusions 101′ which is why i took offense. The brain is practically entirely made of Cholesterol which would make it’s presence less then circumspect in any brain related disorder. Since the same kind of conclusion jumping caused millions of people to eat dangerous medication (statins) without being ill and without any proof it actually helped against anything the paper has a deserved place here imo.

  4. We’ll miss you, Ed. Let us know when you are back.

  5. Rob DeHarpport has first hand knowledge of the failed Northwest Forest Plan, he was born and raised in the formerly prosperous town of Oakridge, Oregon. He returned to his home town 12 years ago. He serves on the Oakridge, Oregon School Board of Directors, The City of Westfir as a City Councilor, board of directors of Give Us Our Land Back.org, President og Waldo Lake for Everyone and founded and leads the Middle Fork Forest Stewardship Council in Oakridge, Oregon.
    It’s time to judge forest policy by its result, not by its intent
    Rural Americans suffer while the Northwest Forest Plan fails to save owls

    Appeared in print: Register Guard Sunday, http://www.registerguard.com May 27, 2012, page G1
    http://ncfp.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/commentary-its-time-to-judge-forest-policy-by-its-result-not-by-its-intent-rural-americans-suffer-while-the-northwest-forest-plan-fails-to-save-owls/

  6. Still not ready for primetime..

    Fisker Recalls Additional Karmas

    The Fisker Karma has had a troubled beginning. Earlier the year the automaker issued a recall of their A123-made lithium-ion battery packs. Last year cars were recalled due to problems with the battery coolant container.

    Last month, a Fisker was involved in a spontaneous home garage fire in which the vehicle itself was implicated. This fire is still under review by the NHTSA and an official cause has not been determined.

    Following this news, however the company has just issued a new recall for an additional 19 vehicles which were built between Sept. 22, 2011 and Jan. 20, 2012.

    In the course of the investigation form the first recall, the company decided these additional cars should also be recalled, bringing the total number of recalls to 258 units.

    The reason for the recall is that battery coolant covers could conflict with clamps on the battery pack. This could theoretically cause of leak of coolant and thus a battery fire.

    Through the recall, owners can receive new high voltage battery packs. Concerned owners should call Fisker at 855-575-7577.

    The Karma is a fantastically designed luxury extended range electric vehicle that mates a high voltage 20 kwh battery pack with a 2.0 L turbo gasoline engine. It is capable of up to 50 miles of pure electric driving, and 300 miles of total range.

    Source (Wall Street Journal).

  7. Did anyone see “Gas, Naturally” in the July 2012 Car and Driver? It seems we are going to go to a hydrogen economy because we went from burning wood to burning coal to burning oil. Or something ….

  8. Eric Baumholer

    And you just *know* that the satellites will be used for space exploration …

    Two Powerful Spy Space ‘Scopes ‘Gifted’ to NASA – Discover – Jun 4, 2012 – http://news.discovery.com/space/two-powerful-spy-space-scopes-gifted-to-nasa-120604.html

  9. Press Release
    Solar Cells Linked to Greenhouse Gases Over 23,000 Times Worse than Carbon Dioxide According to New Book, Green Illusions

    PR Newswire

    BERKELEY, Calif., June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Solar cells do not offset greenhouse gases or curb fossil fuel use in the United States according to a new environmental book, Green Illusions (June 2012, University of Nebraska Press), written by University of California – Berkeley visiting scholar Ozzie Zehner. Green Illusions explains how the solar industry has grown to become one of the leading emitters of hexafluoroethane (C2F6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). These three potent greenhouse gases, used by solar cell fabricators, make carbon dioxide (CO2) seem harmless.

    Hexafluoroethane has a global warming potential that is 12,000 times higher than CO2, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is 100 percent manufactured by humans, and survives 10,000 years once released into the atmosphere. Nitrogen trifluoride is 17,000 times more virulent than CO2, and SF6, the most treacherous greenhouse gas, is over 23,000 times more threatening.

    H/T Climate Depot
    http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/738098

  10. We petition the Obama administration to:
    Require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research.
    https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/!/petition/require-free-access-over-internet-scientific-journal-articles-arising-taxpayer-funded-research/wDX82FLQ

    If implemented does this make debunking the government frauds easier?

    • Eric Baumholer

      It would make the frauds easier to spot. Debunking them in a conclusive way is another matter altogether.

      • About what I thought. With the AGWists it is a matter of you can not reason them out of a position that they never used reason to get to.

    • Alice Cheshire

      It is unlikely it would make a difference. After all, the only people we are allowed to listen to about climate change are those who publish many articles in professional journals. Just because you read the article certainly does not mean you, the poor uneducated individual reading on the internet, can possibly understand the article. Plus, researchers are still going to feel intimidated by funding and political forces. I can’t see how this will make a lot of difference. Plus, there are websites with journal articles that are free. They are usually not current, but you can read them without having to pay.

  11. Following Ed’s link to “Carbon Tax is Here to Stay,” I saw a link in SMH to a report on the Geneva Auto Show.
    http://news.drive.com.au/geneva-2012

    Mixed in with all the hype of electrics, hybrids, and even fuel cell vehicles is this gem:

    http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/electric-cars-wont-reach-sales-mandates-mercedes-20120308-1ule2.html

    The press is pumping up alternative motive methods,
    but the public isn’t buying it. The press yacks on. Is the news media is the only business that doesn’t listen to it’s customers?

  12. Eric Baumholer

    Halliburton executive drinks fracing fluid at conference
    World Oil Online
    March 26, 2012
    http://www.worldoil.com/Halliburton_executive_drinks_fracing_fluid_at_conference.html

    “I thought if this stuff was so benign, why wouldn’t the CEO drink it himself? That frankly was my first thought,” said Environmental Defense Fund’s Mark Brownstein, who saw the demonstration.

    • Alice Cheshire

      Fracking fluid is a fascinating thing. Even if had nothing but water, the environmentalists would have fit we used water to reach fossil fuels. I read where CO2 may work as a tracking “fluid”–and I am sure that even though this puts CO2 far underground, it will be opposed. Many of the chemicals in tracking fluid are found naturally. However, if you want a new well, just threaten to call the EPA and your governor will make sure you get a new water source. You don’t even need a legitimate investigation.

  13. Re: Burning the forest floor–My great grandfather complained to my grandmother that the Indians were too lazy to put their backs to an axe. He said they would rather burn the underbrush on occasion to keep it clear. Of course, they had been here longer than he had and understood the maintenance of the woodlands.

  14. Jerry, I doubt that proper forest maintenance was the reason the Indians burned the underbrush. More likely, it made it easier to hunt game. Having cruised timber in both cleared and overgrown woodlands, I’d take the cleared of underbrush woodlands anyday…

  15. Tester Leads Senate in Blocking U.N. Arms Treaty

    (GunAuction.com) — Standing up for Second Amendment rights, Senator Jon Tester of Montana today successfully blocked government funding from being used to advance the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. Tester’s bipartisan amendment, which unanimously passed the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, prevents spending to advocate for or agree to any treaty provision that would that would restrict Americans’ gun rights.

    “Firearms possession is guaranteed by the Second Amendment and cannot be surrendered to an international treaty,” said Tester, chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and a lifelong champion of gun rights. “As a staunch defender of the U.S. Constitution, I won’t let any treaty impede our Constitutional rights and infringe on our way of life.”

    Tester first laid out his opposition to the treaty last July, saying “I want the Obama Administration to understand loud and clear that no foreign treaty will dictate America’s gun rights, or the privacy of the firearms and ammo we own.”

    http://www.gunauction.com/news/article/20120603-Tester-Montana-Senate-Blocking-UN-Arms-Treaty-funding.cfm

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