2 Feb 2009, 11:45pm
Latest Climate News
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With Al Due Respect, We’re Doomed

By Dana Milbank, Washington Post, January 29, 2009 [here]

The lawmakers gazed in awe at the figure before them. The Goracle had seen the future, and he had come to tell them about it.

What the Goracle saw in the future was not good: temperature changes that “would bring a screeching halt to human civilization and threaten the fabric of life everywhere on the Earth — and this is within this century, if we don’t change.”

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry (D-Mass.), appealed to hear more of the Goracle’s premonitions. “Share with us, if you would, sort of the immediate vision that you see in this transformative process as we move to this new economy,” he beseeched.

“Geothermal energy,” the Goracle prophesied. “This has great potential; it is not very far off.”

Another lawmaker asked about the future of nuclear power. “I have grown skeptical about the degree to which it will expand,” the Goracle spoke.

A third asked the legislative future — and here the Goracle spoke in riddle. “The road to Copenhagen has three steps to it,” he said.

Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) begged the Goracle to look further into the future. “What does your modeling tell you about how long we’re going to be around as a species?” he inquired.

The Goracle chuckled. “I don’t claim the expertise to answer a question like that, Senator.”

It was a jarring reminder that the Goracle is, indeed, mortal. Once Al Gore was a mere vice president, but now he is a Nobel laureate and climate-change prophet. He repeats phrases such as “unified national smart grid” the way he once did “no controlling legal authority” — and the ridicule has been replaced by worship, even by his political foes. … [more, with video]

2 Feb 2009, 4:44pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Bison herd breaks loose

By LAUREN DONOVAN, Bismarck Tribune, Jan 31, 2009 [here]

SELFRIDGE - Bob Waliser watched a small group of bison run up the gravel road and pointed to a young thin cow whose backside was streaked in red.

“See the blood? If she has to run again, she probably won’t make it,” he said.

For weeks, Waliser and other Selfridge area landowners have been seeing renegade, possibly starving bison, crashing fences and running loose into their yards, hay yards and pastures.

At least 500 bison have moved north out of an 18-mile stretch of pasture that runs along Highway 6 between McLaughlin, S.D., and Selfridge.

The animals are part of a 6,000-head herd belonging to the vast Wilder Ranch that straddles the North Dakota and South Dakota state line, part of a corporation owned by Maurice Wilder of Clearwater, Fla.

According to the Environmental Working Group, Wilder was the country’s largest individual recipient of farm subsidies, receiving $3.2 million from 2003 to 2005, as owner of 200,000 agricultural acres. He also owns 10 office buildings in Tampa, Fla., 4,500 mobile home lots and 12,500 recreational vehicle lots. … [more]

30 Jan 2009, 4:50pm
Latest Climate News
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Al Gore’s Climate of Extremes

by Patrick J. Michaels, National Review Online, January 30, 2009 [here]

Ho-hum. On January 28, in the midst of a pelting sleet storm, Al Gore told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the end is nigh from global warming.

He told the Senate that “some scientists” predict up to 11 degrees of warming in the next 91 years (while failing to note that the last 12 have seen exactly none), and that this would “bring a screeching halt to human civilization and threaten the fiber of life everywhere on earth”. Hey folks, this is serious!

Besides having a remarkable knack for scheduling big speeches on remarkably cold or snowy days (it’s known as the “Gore Effect” in journalistic circles), Gore has been incredibly ineffective in bringing his message home.

According to the New York Times, Gore told the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco last November, “I feel, in a sense, I’ve failed badly. . . . [T]here is not anything anywhere close to an appropriate sense of urgency [about global warming]. This is an existential threat.”

And fail he has. The Pew Foundation recently asked Americans to choose which of 20 prominent issues is of most importance. They included the economy, crime, education, and, of course, global warming, which came in dead last. … [more]

Alaskans brace for Redoubt Volcano eruption

By DAN JOLING, Jan 30, 2009 [here]

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Hardware stores and auto parts shops scored a post-holiday run of business this week as Anchorage-area residents stocked up on protective eyewear and masks ahead of a possible eruption of Mount Redoubt.

Monitoring earthquakes underneath the 10,200-foot Redoubt Volcano about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory warned that an eruption was imminent, sending experienced Alaskans shopping for protection against a dusty shower of volcanic ash that could descend on south-central Alaska. …

On Nov. 5, geologists noted changed emissions and minor melting near the Redoubt summit and raised the threat level from green to yellow. It jumped to orange - the stage just before eruption - on Sunday in response to a sharp increase in earthquake activity below the volcano. …

Redoubt blew on Dec. 15, 1989, and sent ash 150 miles away into the path of a KLM jet carrying 231 passengers. Its four engines flamed out.

As the crew tried to restart the engines, “smoke” and a strong odor of sulfur filled the cockpit and cabin, according to a USGS account. The jet dropped more than 2 miles, from 27,900 feet to 13,300 feet, before the crew was able to restart all engines and land the plane safely at Anchorage. … [more]

29 Jan 2009, 10:16pm
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Even the left now laughing at Global Warming

By DEROY MURDOCK, Scripps Howard News Service, 01/29/2009 [here]

So-called “global warming” has shrunk from problem to punch line. And now, Leftists are laughing, too. It’s hard not to chuckle at the idea of Earth boiling in a carbon cauldron when the news won’t cooperate:

- Nearly four inches of snow blanketed the United Arab Emirates’ Jebel Jais region for just the second time in recorded history on January 24. Citizens were speechless. The local dialect has no word for snowfall.

- Dutchmen on ice skates sped past windmills as canals in Holland froze in mid-January for the first time since 1997. Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop, who inhabits a renovated 17th Century windmill, stumbled on the ice and fractured his wrist.

- January saw northern Minnesota’s temperatures plunge to 38 below zero, forcing ski-resort closures. A Frazee, Minnesota dog-sled race was cancelled, due to excessive snow. Snow whitened Surf City, North Carolina’s beaches. Days ago, ice glazed Florida’s citrus groves.

As Earth faces global cooling, both troglodyte Right-wingers and lachrymose Left-wingers find Albert Gore’s simmering-planet hypothesis increasingly hilarious:

- “In terms of (global warming’s) capacity to cause the human species harm, I don’t think it makes it into the top 10,” Dr. Robert Giegengack, former chairman of University of Pennsylvania’s Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, told the Pennsylvania Gazette. Giegengack voted for Gore in 2000, and says he likely would again.

- Commentator Harold Ambler declared January 3 on HuffingtonPost.com that he voted for Barack Obama “for a thousand times a thousand reasons.” He added that Gore “owes the world an apology for his actions regarding global warming.” He called Gore’s assertion that “the science is in” on this issue “the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of mankind.”

- “Not only is it false that human activity has any significant effect on global warming or the weather in general, but for the record, global warming is over,” retired Navy meteorologist Dr. Martin Hertzberg wrote on carbon-sense.com. The physical chemist and self-described “scientist and life-long liberal Democrat” added: “The average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere has declined over the last 10 years. From the El Nino Year of 1998 until Jan. 2007, it dropped a quarter of a degree Celsius (0.45 degrees Fahrenheit). From Jan 2007 to the spring of 2008, it dropped a whopping three-quarters of a degree Celsius (1.35 degrees Fahrenheit). Those data further prove that the fear-mongering hysteria about human-caused global warming is completely unjustified and is totally counterproductive to our Nation’s essential needs and security.”

- “It is a tribute to the scientific ignorance of politicians and journalists that they keep regurgitating the nonsense about human-caused global warming,” veteran Left-wing commentator and Nation magazine columnist Alexander Cockburn wrote. “The greenhouse fear mongers rely on unverified, crudely oversimplified models to finger mankind’s sinful contribution — and carbon trafficking, just like the old indulgences, is powered by guilt, credulity, cynicism, and greed.” … [more]

26 Jan 2009, 10:15pm
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Stimulus Plan: Non-Existent Unemployed Climate Modelers Get $140 Million

by David Kreutzer, The Heritage Foundation, January 26th, 2009 [here]

President Barack Obama’s trillion dollar stimulus plan, has morphed into an appropriations bill devoid of debate. The process forgoes any pretense of targeting unemployed people and resources.

For instance, the bill reads “Provided further, That not less than $140,000,000 shall be available for climate data modeling.” This raises the question of how many unemployed climate modelers are out there pounding the pavement.

When presented with that question, last Friday, Pat Michaels, former president of the American Association of State Climatologists stated “I don’t know one unemployed modeler.”

Whether or not another $140,000,000 for climate data modeling is a good idea, it is hard to see an immediate, economy-stimulating impact from this item.

What’s the rush? Maybe they need to get all their modeling done before another cool year highlights how bad the models are.

26 Jan 2009, 2:05pm
Latest Fire News Latest Forest News
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Senators support logging as stimulus

by Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman, 01/26/09 [here]

Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch joined a bipartisan group of senators urging the stimulus package include $1.52 billion in funding to log and thin national forests to reduce the potential for huge fires.

The money, which would be spent over two years, would go to the $2.75 billion worth of hazardous fuel reduction projects identified by the Forest Service. Sen. Ron Wyden, the principal author of a letter calling for the spending, said it would create 50,000 jobs.

In additional to Wyden, Crapo and Risch, the letter was signed by Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley, Washington Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Montana Democratic Sens. Jon Tester and Max Baucus, Democrat Tim Johnson of South Dakota, and New Mexico Democrats Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

They said the projects will quickly create jobs and help rural communities. “The projects would also lead to significant cost savings in the long term as the reduction of the hazardous fuel loads and the restoration of forest health would help prevent uncharacteristic and costly wildfires.”

How costly?

Last year the Forest Service and Department of Interior agencies spent more than $1.85 billion on fire suppression. The senators hope that investing in fuels reduction and forest restoration, fire-suppression costs could be reduced by half in five years. That may be optimistic, but if the projects are done right that will make communities feel safer.

Then forest managers can make better fire decisions. That can be good for the budget and for the health of the forest ecosystems.

25 Jan 2009, 9:33pm
Latest Fire News
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Court rules in favor of logging project… too late

By EVE BYRON, Helena Independent Record, 01/22/09 [here]

Three environmental groups couldn’t quash a project on national forest lands meant to lessen the threat of wildfires near Clancy and Unionville southwest of Helena, but it appears that the tiny mountain pine beetle has made the Helena National Forest rethink its plan.

In a decision issued Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the Helena forest’s 2003 plan to undertake commercial thinning and other efforts to remove small trees and vegetation on about 1,500 acres. However, Helena District Ranger Duane Harp said the prescription is only good now for about 100 acres containing Douglas fir trees, since about 90 percent of the trees on the remaining 1,400 acres — mainly lodgepole pines — are now dead.

“We are obviously extremely pleased that the Ninth Circuit has found in our favor. But it’s bittersweet news because with the current beetle epidemic, the vast majority of the project area, which was proposed for timber harvest, is now dead,” Harp said. “You can’t use the prescription for green trees on dead trees.

“So I guess we’ve implemented the no-action alternative.” … [more]

18 Jan 2009, 10:37pm
Latest Climate News
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President ‘has four years to save Earth’

by Robin McKie, The Observer, 18 January 2009 [here]

Barack Obama has only four years to save the world. That is the stark assessment of Nasa scientist and leading climate expert Jim Hansen who last week warned only urgent action by the new president could halt the devastating climate change that now threatens Earth. Crucially, that action will have to be taken within Obama’s first administration, he added.

Soaring carbon emissions are already causing ice-cap melting and threaten to trigger global flooding, widespread species loss and major disruptions of weather patterns in the near future. “We cannot afford to put off change any longer,” said Hansen. “We have to get on a new path within this new administration. We have only four years left for Obama to set an example to the rest of the world. America must take the lead.”

Hansen said current carbon levels in the atmosphere were already too high to prevent runaway greenhouse warming. … [more]

17 Jan 2009, 11:04am
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Rescue of U.S. banks hints at nationalization

By Edmund L. Andrews, International Herald Tribune, January 16, 2009 [here]

WASHINGTON: Last fall, as Federal Reserve and Treasury Department officials rode to the rescue of one financial institution after another, they took great pains to avoid doing anything that smacked of nationalizing banks.

They may no longer have that luxury. With two of the nation’s largest banks buckling under yet another round of huge losses, the incoming administration of Barack Obama and the Federal Reserve are suddenly dealing with banks that are “too big to fail” and yet unable to function as the sinking economy erodes their capital.

Particularly in the case of Citigroup, the losses have become so large that they make it almost mathematically impossible for the government to inject enough capital without taking a majority stake or at least squeezing out existing shareholders.

And the new ground rules laid down by Obama’s top economic advisers for the second half of the $700 billion bailout fund, as explained in a letter submitted to Congress on Thursday, call for the government to play an increasing role in the major activities of the banks, from the dividends they pay to shareholders to the amount they can pay executives.

“We are down a path that this country has not seen since Andrew Jackson shut down the Second National Bank of the United States,” said Gerard Cassidy, a banking analyst at RBC Capital Markets. “We are going to go back to a time when the government controlled the banking system.”

The approximately $138 billion aid package on Thursday for Bank of America — including injections of capital and absorbed losses — as well as a $300 billion package in November for Citigroup both represented displays of financial gymnastics aimed at providing capital without appearing to take commanding equity stakes.

Treasury and Fed officials accomplished that trick by structuring the deals like insurance programs for big bundles of the banks’ most toxic assets.

Instead of investing tens of billions of taxpayer dollars in exchange for preferred shares in the banks, which has been the Treasury Department’s approach so far with its capital infusions, the government essentially liberated the banks from some of their most threatening assets.

The trouble with the new approach, analysts say, is that it is likely to conceal the amount of risk that taxpayers are taking on. If the government-guaranteed securities turn out to be worthless, the cost of the insurance would be much higher than if the Treasury Department had simply bailed out the banks with cash in the first place.

Christopher Whalen, a managing partner at Institutional Risk Analytics, said the approach also covers up the underlying reality that the government is already essentially the majority shareholder in Citigroup.

“There’s nobody else out there to invest in them,” Whalen said. “We already own them.” … [more]

15 Jan 2009, 1:53pm
Latest Climate News
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Hillary: “Climate change threatens our very existence”

Global warming alarmist loonyism at the Senate confirmation hearing for incoming Sec State Hillary Clinton:

Breitbart-TV video [here]


Wicked: Coldest Temps In Over A Decade

First Day With A Low Colder Than -10 In Chicago Since 1999 [here]

CHICAGO (CBS) — The typical exercise of bundling up for winter won’t cut it on Thursday.

It’s time to break out the long underwear and the electric gloves, for what is expected to go down as the coldest day in more than a decade.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning until noon Friday. The forecast high for Thursday is expected to linger in the negative range at -2, dropping to -15 overnight. Strong northwest winds are producing wind chill factors of -25 to -40. … [more]

14 Jan 2009, 6:15pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Fish and Wildlife Service to delist gray wolves


By ROB CHANEY of the Missoulian, January 14 2009 [here]

Montana’s gray wolf may be off the federal threatened and endangered species list next month.

“We believe this is a major success story for conservation,” deputy secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett said Wednesday in a teleconference from Washington, D.C. “We’ve laid the groundwork for recovery to continue far into the future.”

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials decided to delist most of the wolf populations in the continental United States, including those in Montana, Idaho, Utah and the Great Lakes states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. However, they stopped short of including Wyoming’s wolf population, citing that state’s inadequate wolf management plan.

The change should be published in the Federal Register next week, Scarlett said. It will formally take effect 30 days after publication.

Delisting means wolf management will become a job for state and tribal wildlife agencies instead of the federal Fish and Wildlife Service. There are about 1,500 wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains. That includes about 390 in Montana and 788 in Idaho. Wyoming has about 340 wolves.

Federal gray wolf recovery coordinator Ed Bangs said the FWS would continue to work with Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to study and manage wolf populations. In addition, the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management would continue their respective wildlife management efforts. And Montana agencies would be able to tap between $700,000 and $800,000 in remaining federal wolf management budgets for their local efforts, Bangs said.

FWS officials acknowledged incoming Obama administration appointees could reverse the delisting decision if they wished. But they said the science backs up their stand that now is the right time.

“The bottom line is wolves are fully recovered, and they should be delisted,” Bangs said. “It’s the right time and the right thing to do.”

13 Jan 2009, 1:27pm
Latest Climate News
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Shocking cold wave drops temps to 40 below zero

By AMY FORLITI, Breitbart.com, Jan 13 2009 [here]

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Temperatures crashed to Arctic levels Tuesday as a severe cold wave rolled across the upper Midwest on the heels of yet another snowstorm, closing schools and making most people think twice before going outside. Thermometers read single digits early in the day as far south as Kansas and Missouri, where some areas warmed only into the teens by midday.

The ice and snow that glazed pavement was blamed for numerous traffic accidents from Minnesota to Indiana, where police said a truck overturned and spilled 43,000 pounds of cheese, closing a busy highway ramp during the night in the Gary area.

Still, some Minnesotans took it as just another winter day, even in the state’s extreme northwest corner where thermometers bottomed out at 38 degrees below zero at the town of Hallock and the National Weather Service said the wind chill was a shocking 58 below. …

The weather service warned that exposed flesh can freeze in 10 minutes when the wind chill is 40 degrees below zero or colder. … [more]

12 Jan 2009, 1:04pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Ranchers: government discriminates against cattle

by the Longview Daily News, January 11, 2009 [here]

DAYVILLE, Ore. — To protect fish, the U.S. government discriminates against cows but lets elk and wild horses do whatever they want even if the wild beasts do at least as much damage to sensitive streams.

Or so say Dayville cattle ranchers Loren and Piper Stout.

Last year, after a lawsuit from environmental groups, a court ordered the two and others to remove their cattle from U.S. Forest Service land along Murderers Creek and its tributaries until the suit is resolved.

The creeks are home to middle Columbia River steeled protected by the Endangered Species Act.

Now the Stouts say they will sue the Forest Service, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and other agencies under the federal act.

Those agencies are allowing wild horse and elk populations to swell, their notice says, and those beasts trample the creek bank, too. … [more]

11 Jan 2009, 10:54pm
Latest Forest News
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Senate Leaders to Kick Off New Congress with an Earmark-Laden Omnibus Lands Bill

Office of Sen. Tom Coburn, January 7, 2009 [here]

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today regarding a decision by Senate leaders to make a $10 billion omnibus lands package the first order of business in the 111th Congress. More than 100 organizations ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the National Wildlife Refuge Association have expressed their opposition to this package due to its wasteful earmarks, anti-conservation provisions and anti-domestic energy production provisions. In addition, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service has released a report calling the package “controversial.”

“The decision by Senate leaders to kick off the new Congress with an earmark-laden omnibus lands bill makes a mockery of voters’ hopes for change. This package represents some of the worst aspects of congressional incompetence and parochialism. Congress should spend the next few weeks holding hearings on an economic stimulus package and identifying areas of the budget to cut to pay for that proposal. Instead, the Senate is set to resume business as usual,” Dr. Coburn said.

Egregious provisions in the omnibus lands package include the following:

• A provision that takes about 8.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 300 million barrels of oil out of production in Wyoming, according to the Bureau of Land Management. The energy resources walled off by this bill would nearly match the annual production levels of our two largest natural gas production states – Alaska and Texas.

• $3 million for a “road to nowhere” through a wildlife refuge in Alaska.

• $1 billion for a water project designed to save 500 salmon in California. At this price, each salmon would be worth far more than its weight in gold.

• $3.5 million to help celebrate the 450th birthday of St. Augustine Florida, in 2015.

• $4 million to protect livestock from wolves that Congress helped reintroduce into the wild.

• $250,000 to help bureaucrats decide how to designate Alexander Hamilton’s boyhood home.

• $5 million on botanical gardens in Hawaii and Florida.

“The American people have a right to know how we plan to spend their money. I would welcome the opportunity to spend several days discussing the contents of this legislation on the Senate floor. However, the millions of Americans who are worried about their jobs and their homes are hardly eager for Congress to build roads to nowhere, spend $1 billion to rescue 500 salmon, and help a city in Florida plan a party six years in advance. Congress has a nine percent approval rating precisely because it continues to show little understanding of the priorities that matter to working families,” Dr. Coburn said.

“If the Senate wants to debate lands legislation once we’ve helped stabilize the economy we should begin by better managing the land we already oversee. We have a $9 billion maintenance back log within the national park service because Congress prefers to create new pet projects rather than responsibly oversee the parks we’ve already created. Moreover, we are not suffering from a lack of wilderness areas in the United States. According to the Census Bureau, we have 106 million acres of developed land and 107 million acres of wilderness land. What we are suffering from, however, is a lack of common sense in Washington,” Dr. Coburn said.

  • 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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