9 Jul 2008, 6:10pm
Latest Climate News
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Doomed to a fatal delusion over climate change

by Andrew Bolt, July 09, 2008

PSYCHIATRISTS have detected the first case of “climate change delusion” - and they haven’t even yet got to Kevin Rudd and his global warming guru.

Writing in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Joshua Wolf and Robert Salo of our Royal Children’s Hospital say this delusion was a “previously unreported phenomenon”.

“A 17-year-old man was referred to the inpatient psychiatric unit at Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne with an eight-month history of depressed mood… He also… had visions of apocalyptic events.”

(So have Alarmist of the Year Tim Flannery, Profit of Doom Al Gore and Sir Richard Brazen, but I digress.)

“The patient had also developed the belief that, due to climate change, his own water consumption could lead within days to the deaths of millions of people through exhaustion of water supplies.”

But never mind the poor boy, who became too terrified even to drink. What’s scarier is that people in charge of our Government seem to suffer from this “climate change delusion”, too. … [more]

9 Jul 2008, 1:36pm
Latest Fire News
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Thousand flee fire: 50 homes burned

Protection burn likely contributes as Camp Fire rages into Concow area

By GREG WELTER, Chico Enterprise Record, 07/09/08 [here]

CONCOW — Fire officials said a procedure Monday night known as a “firing operation” may have hastened the march of the Camp Fire toward Concow, where several dozen structures were lost Tuesday.

Flames from the blaze also burned toward Paradise Tuesday, prompting an immediate threat evacuation for thousands of residents on the east side of town.

“We had to try something; the fire was going to get there anyway,” said Cal Fire-Butte County Capt. Scott McLean.

McLean explained a firing operation is like a backfire but is planned well ahead of time and done under the most favorable conditions as a way starve a wildfire of fuel.

Early on Monday night, he said weather in the fire area was conducive, and a wide bulldozer line had been cut down to bare earth south of the active edge of the Camp Fire.

Rim Road at the V-Line, both primarily logging roads, were shut down for the operation, which took place between 8 and 10 p.m.

McLean said things went as planned initially, but strong down-canyon winds from the northeast came up after midnight and appeared to carry embers from the fire far ahead of the planned burn.

He said humidity in the burn area suddenly plummeted from about 43 percent down to 21 percent.

“At that point, we were off to the races,” McLean said.

Concow was under an immediate threat evacuation order starting at 1:45 a.m. Tuesday. Some residents were reportedly leaving by 2 a.m.

By Tuesday evening approximately 50 structures were reported damaged or destroyed by fire in the Concow area.

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9 Jul 2008, 1:19am
Latest Fire News
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Bridger Fire fuels distrust of Army: questions linger weeks later

Bridger Fire fuels distrust of Army: Questions linger weeks later

By Peter Roper, Pueblo Chieftan, July 4, 2008 [here]

One sign of the distrust between the Army and the ranchers around the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site is that weeks after the Bridger Fire was extinguished, questions remain about how Fort Carson personnel managed the 48,500-acre fire that burned for two weeks on the training site and spread onto private lands.

“Did they throw all the resources at the fire that they could have? Nobody will know that because in the first days, the Army didn’t tell anybody what was going on,” said Lon Robertson, a Kim-area rancher and president of the Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition. “I know people first spotted smoke on the training site on (June 9).”

Robertson also is a firefighter with the Kim volunteer department and he said the rural fire departments at Hoehne, Branson, Springfield and elsewhere rely on each other for help when the summer wildfire season begins.

Robertson and many other ranchers around Pinon Canyon are opposed to the Army’s plan to expand the training area by another 414,000 acres.

Fort Carson officials acknowledge there was a smaller, lightning-caused wildfire on June 9 that their personnel extinguished. Army officials say the Bridger Fire, which eventually would spread to nearly 50,000 acres, began with a lightning strike on the afternoon of June 10, in rugged terrain in the northeastern area of the 238,000-acre maneuver site. “Both of these fires were caused by lightning,” a Fort Carson spokesman emphasized Thursday. “We have not conducted any controlled burns at the training area for some time.”
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9 Jul 2008, 1:17am
Latest Wildlife News
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Focus on elk as disease persists near Yellowstone

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal officials are considering a tentative proposal that calls for capturing or killing infected elk in Yellowstone National Park to eliminate a serious livestock disease carried by animals in the area.

Government agencies have killed more than 6,000 wild bison leaving Yellowstone over the last two decades in an attempt to contain brucellosis, which causes pregnant cattle to abort their young.

Cattle in parts of Wyoming and Montana where bison haven’t roamed for decades are being infected, and livestock officials in both states are now targeting elk as the cause.

“We’ve got way too many elk,” said John Scully, a rancher living in Montana’s Madison Valley. “Clearly with so many elk, the risk rises. We need to reduce their numbers.”

A tentative proposal, drafted by federal officials, sets a goal of eliminating the disease — not just controlling it in bison and in elk.

Livestock officials say infected elk herds around Yellowstone must be culled — an explosive proposition for a prized big game species that has thrived under the protection of a dedicated constituency of hunting groups. Nevertheless, pressure is mounting to kill or capture more of the animals.

Outfitters and hunters are digging in against the prospect of killing elk, concerned that too much culling could shrink herds. They contend wildlife managers should focus on vaccinating cattle or eradicating the disease in bison.

“I will fight that tooth and nail. As a sportsman, those wildlife are a public resource,” said Bill O’Connell of the Gallatin Wildlife Association. … [more]

7 Jul 2008, 7:03pm
Latest Climate News
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New Cars in California Must Display Global Warming Score

GreenBiz, July 7, 2008 [here]

OAKLAND, Calif. — California is making it mandatory for cars to be labeled with global warming scores, figures that take into account emissions from vehicle use and fuel production.

The law requiring the labels goes into effect at the start of next year for all 2009 model cars, though its expected the labels will be popping up on cars in the coming months.

The labeling law forces cars for sale to display a global warming score, on a scale of one to 10, which is based on how vehicles in the same model year compare to one another. The higher the score, the cleaner a car is. The score takes into account emissions related to production of fuel for each vehicle as well as the direct emissions from vehicles.

The score will be displayed next to the already-required smog score, which also rates cars one to 10 for how many smog-forming emissions they emit. For both scores, an average vehicle will have a score of five.

California is the first state of pass such as law, and a similar law will take effect in New York for 2010 model year vehicles. Global warming scores will be included on the state’s DriveClean website.

While this law is intended to help consumers take into account emissions while purchasing cars, a proposed law in the European Union would require E.U. public sector bodies put a price on emissions.

A law endorsed by the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety would make governments put a monetary cost on the emissions of vehicles they plan to purchase, and add that to expense calculations. The law would exclude certain types of vehicles, such as ambulances and fire trucks.

[The real meat in this article is the 100+ comments found beneath it. It seems the vast majority of readers think the new global warming score law is stupidest thing since the Dark Ages. Be sure to check out the comments, and enjoy the fact that you are not alone in thinking Al Gore is the Antichrist. - editor]

6 Jul 2008, 7:23pm
Latest Forest News
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Enviro Groups Sue Forest Service Over Gallatin Vegetation Treatment Project

MISSOULA (AP) [here] - Groups against logging planned in the Gallatin National Forest north of Livingston have sued the Forest Service, eight days after naming it in a lawsuit that challenged logging [correction -- fuel removal and treatment] planned southwest of Butte.

The case filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court by the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council says the Gallatin logging [correction -- fuel removal and treatment] would violate the forest’s overarching plan and its provisions for Yellowstone cutthroat trout, big game, old-growth trees and dead trees. The Smith Creek Timber Sale [correction -- Smith Creek Vegetation Treatment Project] would be on 692 acres in the Crazy Mountains, according to the suit. Sharon Hapner, a resident of the Smith Creek area, joined the two groups as a plaintiff.

Steve Kratville of the public affairs staff at the Forest Service regional office in Missoula said Wednesday the case had not been reviewed by the agency and it had no immediate comment.

On June 23, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council sued over plans for logging [correction -- fuel removal and treatment] in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest about 10 miles southwest of Butte.

Both cases were filed in Missoula.

The Gallatin NF Smith Creek Vegetation Treatment Project documents are [here].

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies is [here].

[Editorial note -- this story was run in the Missoulian. They got numerous facts wrong. Their bias against fire resiliency thinning shows. The editorial policy position of the Missoulian is pro-forest holocaust, despite the fact that they make their profits selling wood pulp from trees that have been logged. So strongly do they hate forests that the Missoulian as a matter of course fabricates lies and presents such as factual news, as they did in this article. We recommend that you consider the actual documents to which we have provided the links, and make your own mind up regarding the veracity and biases of the Missoulian. Then we strongly recommend you cancel your subscription, if you have one.]

6 Jul 2008, 6:39pm
Latest Forest News
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5 arrested in Rainbow Family clash with feds

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) [here] — About 400 members of the Rainbow Family threw rocks and sticks at 10 federal officers as they tried to arrest a member of the group, the U.S. Forest Service said Friday.

Five members of the group were arrested and one officer was slightly injured. A government vehicle was also damaged.

About 7,000 members of the Rainbow Family are camping this year on Forest Service land near Big Sandy. The Rainbow Family is a loose affiliation of eccentrics, young people and hippie types who choose a forest each year in which hold a weeklong national gathering.

Ten Forest Service officers were patrolling the main meadow of the Rainbow Family’s camping area Thursday night and apprehended one person described as being uncooperative, Rita Vollmer, spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service, said in a statement Friday.

“Officers began to leave the gathering site with the subject and were circled by more Rainbow participants that began to physically interfere,” Vollmer said.

About 400 Rainbows surrounded the officers trying to leave, she said.

“The mob began to advance, throwing sticks and rocks at the officers,” Vollmer said.

Mary Cernicek, spokeswoman for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, said Friday that more officers arrived to help. Officers fired “pepper balls” — similar to paint balls but containing a pepper solution — to control the crowd, she said.

State troopers have also arrested two people this week on felony drug charges for allegedly possessing 96 hits of LSD, said Sgt. Stephen Townsend of the Wyoming Highway Patrol.

The Rainbows and federal officers have clashed repeatedly in years past, and the Forest Service in 1998 established a national response team to deal with the group. Officials have complained that the gathering can ruin forests, with the group saying members clean up and reseed afterward.

3 Jul 2008, 10:48am
Latest Fire News
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Firefighter Killed In Private Medical Helicopter Collision

by Bill Gabbert, Wildfire Today, July 1, 2008 [here]

Two medical helicopters collided on Sunday while trying to land at the same hospital, killing six, with one of them being a wildland firefighter that had been working on a fire in Grand Canyon National Park.

From the National Park Service Morning Report:

Firefighter Michael MacDonald was tragically killed in a private medical helicopter collision while being transported from the Grand Canyon to a northern Arizona hospital for a medical condition not directly related to firefighting on Sunday, June 29th. Six people, including MacDonald, were killed in the collision of two medical helicopters near Flagstaff Medical Center.

MacDonald, 26, was a member of the Chief Mountain Hot Shots, an elite Bureau of Indian Affairs-funded Native American firefighting crew based on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Browning, Montana. The crew was assigned to the Walla Valley Fire on the North Rim. The Chief Mountain Hot Shot crew will be released from the incident today to travel home.

From the Associated Press:

Two medical helicopters collided Sunday about a half-mile from a northern Arizona hospital, killing six people and critically injuring a nurse, a federal official said. Two emergency workers on the ground were injured after the crash.One of the helicopters was operated by Air Methods out of Englewood, Colo., and the other was from Classic Helicopters of Woods Cross, Utah. Both aircraft were Bell 407 models, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration.

After the collision, the helicopters crashed in a wooded area east of Flagstaff Medical Center and started a 10-acre brush fire. An explosion on one of the aircraft after the crash injured two emergency workers who arrived with a ground ambulance company. They suffered minor burns, but their injuries were not life-threatening, authorities said.

“Crazy chaos, just lots of twisted metal wrapped up around people,” Capt. Mark Johnson, a spokesman for the Flagstaff Fire Department, said near the crash site.

Three people on the Air Methods aircraft, including the patient, died. On the Classic helicopter, the pilot, paramedic and patient all died. A flight nurse on the Classic helicopter was in critical condition at Flagstaff Medical Center.

“It’s just a very unfortunate tragedy,” said Matt Stein, a program director and lead pilot with Classic Helicopters subsidiary Classic Lifeguard Aeromedical Services in Page, Ariz.

Stein said his company’s crew was landing at Flagstaff Medical Center carrying a patient with a medical emergency from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.

“We’ve been in business 20 years, and these are the first fatalities we’ve experienced,” Stein said. “They were all heroes. They were out doing a great service for their communities.”

Stein said the pilot for Classic was experienced with more than 10,000 hours of flight time. He added that it’s rare for two medical helicopters to attempt to land at a hospital at the same time.

1 Jul 2008, 7:30pm
Latest Climate News
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Okanagan cherry crop will take $36 million hit

By Judie Steeves - Kelowna Capital News - June 26, 2008

It’s estimated April’s record-breaking cold has caused $36 million in losses to this year’s cherry crop in the Okanagan Valley.

Adjusting agrologist Trevais Mellum, who works out of the agriculture ministry’s Kelowna office, says he’s looked at what’s on the trees from the south of the valley to the north, and he expects growers will only pick about a quarter of their normal production.

The worst damage is in the Central Okanagan, where most of the large cherry orchards are located, so that’s where the biggest economic hit will be felt, Mellum says.

Because many cherry growers pack fruit in the orchard, rather than shipping it to a central packing plant, it’s difficult to estimate the value of the total crop.

But Mellum estimates a normal crop in the valley is worth $50 million on the retail market.

Cherry growers are finding more damage was done than had been initially thought, although it’s patchy and varies by variety, so final figures could be different once the crop is in the box.

But East Kelowna grower Christine Dendy admits, “it’s going to be a tough year.”

Dendy figures she has about 35 per cent of her crop left, after the cold damaged the blossoms, the remaining ones weren’t properly pollinated and there was a heavy drop in early June. … [more]

  • For the benefit of the interested general public, W.I.S.E. herein presents news clippings from other media outlets. Please be advised: a posting here does not necessarily constitute or imply W.I.S.E. agreement with or endorsement of any of the content or sources.
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