18 Mar 2009, 5:38pm
Latest Climate News
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Eight Dems oppose quick debate on global warming bill

By Andrew Taylor, AP, Macon.com, Mar. 16, 2009 [here]

WASHINGTON — Eight Senate Democrats are opposing speedy action on President Barack Obama’s bill to combat global warming, complicating prospects for the legislation and creating problems for their party’s leaders.

The eight Democrats disapprove of using the annual budget debate to pass Obama’s “cap and trade” bill to fight greenhouse gas emissions, a measure that divides lawmakers, environmentalists and businesses. The lawmakers’ opposition makes it more difficult for Democratic leaders to move the bill without a threat of a Republican filibuster.

The budget debate is the only way to circumvent Senate rules that allow a unified GOP to stop a bill through filibusters.

“Enactment of a cap-and-trade regime is likely to influence nearly every feature of the U.S. economy,” wrote the Democratic senators, mostly moderates. They were joined by 25 Republicans. “Legislation so far-reaching should be fully vetted and given appropriate time for debate.”

It takes 60 votes to overcome a filibuster in the Senate, but Democrats and allied independents currently control 58 seats.

Under a cap and trade system, the government would auction off permits to emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. The auctions would raise almost $650 billion over the next decade, with the cost passed on to consumers as higher energy prices.

The cap and trade proposal is highly controversial, especially in heavily industrialized states and regions where people get their electricity from coal-fired power plants. Obama’s promise to use most of the revenue to award $400 tax credits to most workers hasn’t quelled the controversy since the increases in utility bills could easily exceed the amount of the tax cut.

The Democrats who signed the letter, addressed to the chairman and top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, were: Robert Byrd, W.Va.; Blanche Lincoln, Ark.; Mary Landrieu, La.; Carl Levin, Mich.; Evan Bayh, Ind.; Ben Nelson, Neb.; Bob Casey Jr., Pa.; and Mark Pryor, Ark.

The 25 Republicans were led by Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska. … [more]

18 Mar 2009, 10:04am
Latest Wildlife News
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How Elite Environmentalists Impoverish Blue-Collar Americans

Joel Kotkin, Forbes.com, 03.17.09 [here]

Welcome to the new politics of scarcity.

The great Central Valley of California has never been an easy place. Dry and almost uninhabitable by nature, the state’s engineering marvels brought water down from the north and the high Sierra, turning semi-desert into some of the richest farmland in the world.

Yet today, amid drought conditions, large parcels of the valley-particularly on its west side-are returning to desert; and in the process, an entire economy based on large-scale, high-tech agriculture is being brought to its knees. You can see this reality in the increasingly impoverished rural towns scattered along this region, places like Mendota and Avenal, Coalinga and Lost Hills.

Overall, the water-related farming cutbacks could affect up to 300,000 acres and could cost up to 80,000 jobs.

However, the depression conditions in the great valley reflect more than a mere water shortage. They are the direct result of conscious actions by environmental activists to usher in a new era of scarcity. … [more]

17 Mar 2009, 11:59pm
Latest Fire News
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Lawsuits against helicopter maker, others, in deadly firefighter crash grow to five

by Stuart Tomlinson, The Oregonian, March 16, 2009 [here]

The family of a firefighter killed in a fiery helicopter crash last summer today filed a wrongful death, negligence and product liability lawsuit against an Oregon-based helicopter company and three other companies.

The suit seeks $12.5 million for the estate 19-year-old Edrik Gomez.

Gomez died a month before his junior year at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, where he had a double major in political science and communication.

The Aug. 5 crash is considered the deadliest air tragedy of working firefighters in U.S. history, killing nine men, including seven contract firefighters with Grayback Forestry of Merlin.

In addition to Carson Helicopters Inc. of Grants Pass, the suit names the maker of the S-61 helicopter, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., and its parent company, United Technologies Corp.; the maker of the engine, General Electric; and a maintenance firm, Columbia Helicopters of Aurora.

The suit was filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, and joins a growing list of lawsuits filed by the victim’s families, including the estates of Matthew Hammer, 23, of Grants Pass and Bryan Rich, 29, of Medford; Scott Charlson, a 25-year-old Southern Oregon University student from Phoenix, Oregon; and 30-year-old Shawn Blazer of Medford. … [more]

17 Mar 2009, 11:58pm
Latest Climate News
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Lawmakers thwart Gregoire’s cap-and-trade plan on climate

Gov. Chris Gregoire’s attempt to push Washington to the forefront of climate-change regulation appears mortally wounded in the state Legislature by fears it could hurt the economy.

By Warren Cornwall, Seattle Times, March 16, 2009 [here]

Gov. Chris Gregoire’s attempt to push Washington to the forefront of climate-change regulation appears dead — mortally wounded in the state Legislature by fears it could hurt the economy and be vulnerable to rip-offs.

Both the state House and Senate have balked at adopting the so-called “cap-and-trade” system that would have forced industries to cut greenhouse-gas emissions to fall below a cap or buy extra permits in something resembling a stock market.

While a climate-change bill passed in the Senate and is headed for the House, it bears little resemblance to the comprehensive legislation Gregoire unveiled at a January news conference.

Gone is the mandatory program regulating pollution from big factories, electric utilities and fuel such as gasoline. In its place, state agencies are supposed to come back to the 2011 Legislature with a menu of approaches for regulating greenhouse gases.

“I think it’s safe to say that we will not be implementing, this year, a cap-and-trade program,” said Rep. Dave Upthegrove, D-Des Moines, the legislation’s prime sponsor in the House. “I couldn’t even get the trading part out of my own committee.” … [more]

16 Mar 2009, 5:43pm
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Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper goes bye-bye

By Phuong Le , Forbes.com, March 16, 2009 [here]

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which has chronicled the news of the city since logs slid down its steep streets to the harbor and miners caroused in its bars before heading north to Alaska’s gold fields, will print its final edition Tuesday.

Seattle becomes the second major city to lose a newspaper this year, following Denver, as many U.S. dailies face uncertain futures, battered by quickly declining ad revenue in the age of the Internet and a teetering economy.

Hearst Corp., which owns the 146-year-old P-I, said Monday that it failed to find a buyer for the newspaper, which it put up for a 60-day sale in January after years of losing money.

The P-I’s roots date to 1863, when Seattle was still a frontier town. It will now shift to another frontier for newspapers: entirely to the Web.

“Tonight will be the final run, so let’s do it right,” publisher Roger Oglesby told the newsroom. The P-I’s closure leaves Seattle with one major newspaper, the Seattle Times.

The Rocky Mountain News in Denver closed earlier this month after its owner, E.W. Scripps Co. (nyse: SSP - news - people ), couldn’t find a buyer. In Arizona, Gannett Co. (nyse: GCI - news - people )’s Tucson Citizen is set to close Saturday, leaving one newspaper in that city.

And last month Hearst said it would close or sell the San Francisco Chronicle if the newspaper couldn’t slash expenses in coming weeks.

16 Mar 2009, 5:35pm
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Pelosi: Suspend Monopoly Laws to Save Dead Tree Rag

Pelosi writes to Justice on saving newspapers

Seattle PI Bites the Dust

by Zachary Coile, SF Chronicle, March 16, 2009 [here]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, worried about the fate of The Chronicle and other financially struggling newspapers, urged the Justice Department today to consider giving Bay Area papers more leeway to merge or consolidate business operations to stay afloat.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, released by Pelosi’s office, the San Francisco Democrat asked the department to weigh the public benefit of saving The Chronicle and other papers from closure against the agency’s anti-trust mission to guard against anti-competitive behavior.

“We must ensure that our policies enable our news organizations to survive and to engage in the news gathering and analysis that the American people expect,” Pelosi wrote.

The speaker said the issue of newspapers’ survival and anti-trust law will be the subject of a hearing soon before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy, chaired by her close ally, Rep. Howard Berman, D-Los Angeles.

Pelosi’s spokesman, Brendan Daly, said the speaker was moved by the recent announcement by the Hearst Corp., the parent company of The Chronicle, that it would be forced to sell or close the paper if it could not achieve critical cost-savings quickly. Hearst has said the paper lost $50 million last year and that this year’s losses will likely be worse.

The Chronicle’s largest union, representing nearly 500 employees, ratified a contract Saturday that will clear the way for at least 150 job cuts while also eliminating certain rights and benefits.

Another Hearst paper, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, will cease publication Tuesday and become a web-only news outlet, Hearst said today.

16 Mar 2009, 5:25pm
Latest Climate News
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On Warming, a Cold Splash From Across the Pond

By Al Kamen, Washington Post, March 16, 2009 [here]

One of the foremost proponents of the view that global climate change is a myth, the Right Honorable Christopher Walter Monckton, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, was in town last week warning a House Ways and Means subcommittee that adopting a cap-and-trade system or another such tax plan to reduce pollution is unnecessary and would pretty much destroy the country.

And it was a great show as Monckton, who has been a newspaper reporter and an adviser to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, prefaced his remarks at a hearing on the impact of climate change on the poor by intoning: “I bring you warmest fraternal greetings from the Mother of Parliaments to the Congress of your great athletic democracy, and I pray that God’s blessings may rest upon your councils.” Athletic? What happened to the obesity epidemic?

Then, in a magnificent 428-word sentence, Monckton said that the leading proposals on reducing emissions of carbon dioxide — “a harmless and beneficial trace gas” — would “threaten” the lives of poor people, “gravely . . . diminish liberty,” maybe “render . . . unlawful the pursuit of happiness” and lead to “fiscal incontinence.” Yikes! There would be more poverty and higher birth rates, he said, and thus even more carbon dioxide as more people exhale.

more »

16 Mar 2009, 1:31pm
Latest Climate News
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UW-Milwaukee Study Could Realign Climate Change Theory

Scientists Claim Earth Is Undergoing Natural Climate Shift

WISN.com, March 15, 2009 [here]

MILWAUKEE — The bitter cold and record snowfalls from two wicked winters are causing people to ask if the global climate is truly changing.

The climate is known to be variable and, in recent years, more scientific thought and research has been focused on the global temperature and how humanity might be influencing it.

However, a new study by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee could turn the climate change world upside down.

Scientists at the university used a math application known as synchronized chaos and applied it to climate data taken over the past 100 years. …

This way we were able to explain all the fluctuations in the global temperature trend in the past century,” Tsonis said. “The research team has found the warming trend of the past 30 years has stopped and in fact global temperatures have leveled off since 2001.”

The most recent climate shift probably occurred at about the year 2000.

Now the question is how has warming slowed and how much influence does human activity have?

“But if we don’t understand what is natural, I don’t think we can say much about what the humans are doing. So our interest is to understand — first the natural variability of climate — and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,” Tsonis said.

Tsonis said he thinks the current trend of steady or even cooling earth temps may last a couple of decades or until the next climate shift occurs. … [more]

16 Mar 2009, 1:20pm
Latest Climate News
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Biochar: Is the hype justified?

By Roger Harrabin, Environment analyst, BBC News, 16 March 2009 [here]

Green guru James Lovelock claims that the only hope of mitigating catastrophic climate change is through biochar - biomass “cooked” by pyrolysis.

It produces gas for energy generation, and charcoal - a stable form of carbon.

The charcoal is then buried in the ground, making the process “carbon negative”.

Researchers say biochar can also improve farm productivity and cut demand for carbon-intensive fertilisers.

There’s a flurry of worldwide interest in the technology, but is the hype justified? … [more]

14 Mar 2009, 11:18pm
Latest Fire News Latest Forest News
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Prescribed burns benefit forest

By Kelly Cales, Winston-Salem Journal, March 15, 2009 [here]

Marty Bentley has seen the benefits of prescribed fires firsthand.

“It does so much for the wildlife and the forest environment,” said Bentley, the assistant fire management officer for the Cherokee National Forest, where about 20,000 acres of forest land are scheduled for prescribed burns this spring.

Prescribed burns reduce the amount of woody debris – or wildfire fuel – on forest floors.

“The slow creeping fire will go through and kill some of that [old] brush, so that it gives some lush green vegetation for the wildlife to feed on and also opens up some areas so that oak seedlings can take root and perpetuate the next set of oak trees,” Bentley said.

The Cherokee covers 650,000 acres of forest land in East Tennessee, along the North Carolina border. A significant portion of the prescribed burn for the forest is planned for this month, although there is no exact schedule due to unpredictable weather.

As long as conditions are conducive, Bentley said, the forest’s prescribed burns will run into the end of April.

Terry McDonald, Cherokee National Forest public affairs officer, said many people have misconceptions about prescribed fires.

“There is an image that all fire is bad,” McDonald said. “Some don’t understand that unlike a wildfire, a prescribed fire is heavily controlled.”

Before national forest lands are burned on purpose, a documented prescription outline is written by Forest Service specialists. … [more]

14 Mar 2009, 11:15pm
Latest Forest News
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War On Drugs In Our Forests

by Fred Hoot, Liberal Fair, March 3rd, 2009 [here, here, here]

I have discussed the Obama administration using the Mexican Drug Cartels “superior fire power” over the Mexican police as an excuse to curtail our second amendment rights. What I did not cover was how the drug gangs are hurting America and have been for many years, and it does not involve rocket propelled grenades and fully-automatic AK-47’s.

Drug gangs have been slowly taking over vast areas of National and State Parks right here in California. They have even moved onto remote, forested areas of private ranches and the “open areas” protected by the environmentalists. Besides threatening the safety of hikers, hunters and others that use the land, they are destroying the environment.

I know a person in the California Fish and Wildlife Department and he has horror stories that are readily verifiable. There are a lot of methamphetamine labs in them thar hills. What used to be relegated to a few American motorcycle gangs working in the desert is now run by ruthless gangs from South America and Mexico in addition to the drug cartels.

Meth production takes a toll on the environment as the lab operators just leave the poisonous byproducts when they abandon the lab. Lots of vegetation is destroyed along with small protected rodents, snakes and nematodes. Ground water is poisoned. …

Note: Parts 1, 2, and 3 linked above

13 Mar 2009, 10:07pm
Latest Climate News
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Assisted Economic Suicide

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY, March 12, 2009 [here]

Climate Change: Sen. John Kerry warns that deferring cap-and-trade in a recession is a “mutual suicide pact.” In an effort to keep the glaciers from melting, he proposes putting the American economy in the deep freeze.

“You don’t enter a mutual suicide pact because the economy is having a hard time right now,” the failed presidential hopeful and noted climatologist said Wednesday. “Climate change is not governed by a recession.”

But trying to prevent a bogus apocalypse can drive one into a depression.

Kerry ignores the growing body of evidence presented by reputable scientists and including satellite observations, not computer models, that the earth has been cooling demonstrably since 1998 due to declining solar activity and other natural factors.

He also ignores the warnings of cap-and-trade’s economic consequences.

The winter of 2008-09 has seen record cold temperatures and snowfalls around the globe, with snow reported in such unlikely places as Las Vegas and Malibu, Calif.

As Al Gore might say (with apologies to Groucho Marx), who are you going to believe, me or your own lying eyes?

“The sun has gone quiet with fewer and fewer sun spots, and the global temperatures have gone into decline,” notes Weather Channel founder and meteorologist John Coleman. “Earth has cooled for almost 10 straight years. So, I ask Al Gore: Where’s the global warming?” … [more]

12 Mar 2009, 7:12pm
Latest Climate News
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Cap and Trade Primer: Eight reasons why cap and trade harms the economy and reduces jobs

Institute for Energy Research, March 12, 2009 [here]

The most popular way to regulate carbon dioxide emissions is through a cap and trade program. President Obama and many policymakers support some form of this regulatory policy. Cap and trade aims to cap emissions of carbon dioxide at a politically-determined level and then have the users and producers of oil, coal, and natural gas buy, sell, and trade their allowance to emit a given amount of carbon dioxide. Cap and trade will increase the price of oil, coal, and natural gas in an effort to force users to switch to other, less reliable, more expensive forms of energy.

These proposals are very, very costly and economically damaging. If enacted, last year’s flagship cap and trade proposal, the Lieberman-Warner bill, would increase the cost of gasoline by anywhere from 60 percent to 144 percent and increase the cost of electricity by 77 to 129 percent.

Up to four million Americans would lose their jobs under the program, which amounts to a $4,022 to $6,752 loss in disposable income per household. In return, we could have expected a 63 percent emissions cut. President Obama’s budget proposes to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 83 percent. If successful, it’s reasonable to conclude it would lead to even greater economic hardship than envisioned under Lieberman-Warner.

Other problems inherent in cap and trade exist, and they are manifold. What follows is a brief explanation of some of the most glaring … [more]

12 Mar 2009, 6:43pm
Latest Forest News
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Weyerhaeuser to close 5 iLevel service centers

Associated Press, Forbes.com, 03.11.09, [here]

Timber and wood-products company Weyerhaeuser Co. is permanently closing five iLevel veneer and engineered wood-service centers located in Albuquerque, N.M.; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; and Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada.

The company also said Tuesday it will indefinitely shutter mills in Evergreen, Ala., and Dodson and Simsboro, La., and its TimberStrand mill in Chavies, Ky. The moves will affect about 480 employees across the nine locations.

“Demand for wood products continues to decline due to a slowdown in the housing market, and virtually all of our operating facilities are experiencing reduced operations,” said Tom Gideon, executive vice president of the company’s forest-products segment. “As a result of these challenging market conditions, the four manufacturing mills will close for an indefinite period of time to balance supply with our demand.”

Weyerhaeuser (nyse: WY - news - people ), which is based in Federal Way, Wash., said it will continue to operate its 26 other building-materials-distribution sites. These service centers sell products including lumber, plywood, oriented strand board, exterior siding, insulation and other specialty building products to dealers and home-improvement retailers.

Weyerhaeuser, which makes pulp and wood panels from trees it grows on more than 6 million acres, said it will supply customers with products from its other iLevel facilities.

Last month, the company said its fourth-quarter loss ballooned to more than $1 billion as the rapidly deteriorating U.S. housing market forced it to book a massive charge and write-down other assets. It has also said it plans to cut capital spending this year as it predicts homebuilding losses will rise and pulp results will be weaker, with lower prices and higher maintenance costs.

12 Mar 2009, 12:22am
Latest Climate News
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Heartland Meeting of Climate “Realists” a Huge Success

By Joseph D’Aleo, ICECAP, March 11, 2009 [here]

Over 800 scientists and economists from 24 countries were in attendance this week at the Second Annual ICCC in New York City organized by the Heartland and with 60 co-sponsoring organizations including Icecap. They heard talks by 80 scientists from 14 countries. The presentations of the keynote speakers which included Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic and the European Union, Dr. Richard Lindzen, Astronaut Harrison Schmidt, former Hansen boss Dr. John Theon, Former Governor Dr. John Sununu, Dr. Arthur Robinson, Dr. Bob Carter, Lord Monckton, and Dr. Willie Soon will soon be all available on the Heartland ICCC 2009 web site. The others were all videotaped and will be made available over upcoming weeks. Sections from the talks will be combined into other videos that tell the real climate story and distributed to decision makers and schools and groups that care about the truth or wish to hear both sides of the story.

One of the major outputs was Anthony Watt’s report on the surface station project. He documented the results of the siting survey of the US climate network. He and his team of volunteers are now 75% through the climate network and only 11% of the stations meet the government’s own published standards. He had a wonderful publication that will be widely distributed to decision makers.

The success of the conference was proof positive that we have won the battle of the science despite the media’s and alarmist blog proclamations and resistance to even acknowledge we exist.

To counter us and try and feed the hungry media and keep the world in a state of alarm, there has been a flurry of recent bogus papers that should never have passed peer review by Solomon and Steig/Mann.

Meanwhile grant toting scientists are meeting in Copenhagen to scare monger and present more total nonsense to try and save their movement and keep the gravy train of money flowing. See in this ICCC paper by Astronaut Harrison Schmitt how the alarmists intentionally attempt to mislead.

Despite the desperation on the part of the alarmist community, the irony is that the public is coming around to our side in droves even as the media tries to promote the alarmist drivel and ignore us and the rapidly increasing body of peer review science that has been debunked the greenhouse warming theory while proclaiming we “climate realists” are in disarray and in decline. … [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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