28 Apr 2010, 10:29am
Tramps and Thieves
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Fannie Mae owns patent on residential ‘cap and trade’ exchange

By Barbara Hollingsworth, Washington Examiner, April 20, 2010 [here]

When he wasn’t busy helping create a $127 billion mess for taxpayers to clean up, former Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Franklin Raines, two of his top underlings and select individuals in the “green” movement were inventing a patented system to trade residential carbon credits.

Patent No. 6904336 was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trade Office on Nov. 7, 2006 — the day after Democrats took control of Congress. Former Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., criticized the award at the time, pointing out that it had “nothing to do with Fannie Mae’s charter, nothing to do with making mortgages more affordable.”

It wasn’t about mortgages. It was about greenbacks. The patent, which Fannie Mae confirmed it still owns with Cantor Fitzgerald subsidiary CO2e.com, gives the mortgage giant a lock on the fledgling carbon trading market, thus also giving it a major financial stake in the success of cap-and-trade legislation.

Besides Raines, the other “inventors” are:

* Former Fannie Vice President and Deputy General Counsel G. Scott Lesmes, who provided legal advice on Fannie Mae’s debt and equity offerings;

* Former Fannie Vice President Robert Sahadi, who now runs GreenSpace Investment Financial Services out of his 5,002-square-foot Clarksburg home;

* 2008 Barack Obama fundraiser Kenneth Berlin, an environmental law partner at Skadden Arps;

* Michelle Desiderio, director of the National Green Building Certification program, which trains “green” monitors;

* Former Cantor Fitzgerald employee Elizabeth Arner Cavey, wife of Democratic donor Brian Cavey of the Stanton Park Group, which received $200,000 last year to lobby on climate change legislation; and

* Jane Bartels, widow of former CO2e.com CEO Carlton Bartels. Three weeks before Carlton Bartels was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks, he filed for another patent on the software used in 2003 to set up the Chicago Climate Exchange.

The patent, which covers both the “cap” and “trade” parts of Obama’s top domestic energy initiation, gives Fannie Mae proprietary control over an automated trading system that pools and sells credits for hard-to-quantify residential carbon reduction efforts (such as solar panels and high-efficiency appliances) to companies and utilities that don’t meet emission reduction targets. Depending on where the Environmental Protection Agency sets arbitrary CO2 standards, that could be every company in America.

The patent summary describes how carbon “and other pollutants yet to be determined” would be “combined into a single emissions pool” and traded — just as Fannie’s toxic portfolio of subprime mortgages were. … [more]

28 Apr 2010, 10:27am
Latest Climate News
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IPCC’s River Of Lies

Editorial, Investors.com, 04/27/2010 [here]

Global Warming: Another shoe has dropped from the IPCC centipede as scientists in Bangladesh say their country will not disappear below the waves. As usual, the U.N.’s climate charlatans forgot one tiny detail.

It keeps getting worse for the much-discredited Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which seems to have built its collapsing house of climate cards on sand or, more specifically, river sediment.

After fraudulent claims about Himalayan glaciers, African crop harvests and Amazon rain forests, plus a 2007 assessment report based on anecdotal evidence, student term papers and nonpeer-reviewed magazine articles, the panel’s doomsday forecast for Bangladesh has been exposed as its latest hoax.

According to the 2007 report, melting glaciers and polar ice would lead to rising sea levels and just a three-foot rise would flood 17% of the low-lying country of Bangladesh by 2050 and create 20 million refugees.

Now comes a study from the Dhaka-based Center for Environment and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) that says the IPCC forgot to factor in the 1 billion tons of sediment carried by Himalayan rivers such as the Ganges and the Brahmaputra into Bangladesh every year.

CEGIS director Maminul Haque Sarker told AFP that “studies on the effects of climate change in Bangladesh, including those quoted by the IPCC, did not consider the role of sediment in the growth and adjustment process of the country’s coast and rivers to the sea level rise.” Even if sea levels rose according to IPCC predictions, Sarker says, natural sediment deposits would cancel the effect of any rise.

Apocalyptic changes forecast by climate change alarmists, according to Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Morner, former head of the International Commission on Sea Level Change, are not in the cards. Despite fluctuations down as well as up, “the sea is not rising,” he says. “It hasn’t risen in 50 years.”

If there is any rise this century it will “not be more than 10 cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10 cm.” … [more]

27 Apr 2010, 10:39pm
Latest Climate News
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AGW Eco-Theology Absurdity

by Ronald D. Voisin, Climate Realists, April 27th 2010 [here]

Did you ever wonder where those clockwork CO2 spikes come from? After all, they accompany every interglacial.

Note: see Soils, CO2, and Global Warming [here]

A helpful hint: 99.5% comes from natural sources.

In the above referenced web-article, these scientists have bumped their estimated current microbial contribution to atmospheric CO2 from 85 to 98 petagrams. Our anthropogenic contribution is less than a tenth of that at ~6 to 7 petagrams. The total of all natural emissions is estimated at some 2,000 to 2,200 petagrams. Now in this article they seem to suggest that our 6 to 7 petagram (<0.5%) contribution has unfortunately and deleteriously triggered this microbial increase of 13 petagrams (from 85 to 98). In fact, most all studies regarding soil respiration engage the very same broken blame-game.

However, if we humans were never here at all, the consequently expanded microbial contribution can be roughly estimated to become 127 petagrams. Microbes would have geometrically filled our void for an increase of ~42 petagrams. And expanded proliferations of insects and mammalia would have contributed to a yet much larger delta. So what would these Theologians suggest this far greater contribution would have “unfortunately and deleteriously triggered?”

Well, regarding any prior interglacial, they would have to say this greater level would have triggered yet more proliferation of life. What an irony it is that our under-contribution of Vitamin C(O2) to this interglacial is what has negatively impacted the current levels of bio-diversity. However, for this interglacial, their theological position is that we sinners are here, and even though our presence has likely lowered the total level of atmospheric Vitamin C(O2), the Earth-Carbon-Cycle now contains a poisonous 0.5% contribution from us that must be stopped! … [more]

27 Apr 2010, 10:28pm
Latest Forest News
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Rehberg reminds USFS: Only Congress can create wilderness

by Jed Link, Clark Fork Chronicle, April 27 2010 [here]

Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) is opposing a move to have wilderness study areas managed as de facto wilderness through bypassing current law that gives authority to designate wilderness areas to Congress.

“It seems some in the House have forgotten why they are in Congress,” said Rehberg, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “The Wilderness Act clearly requires Congress to designate new wilderness, yet some are trying to bypass the law, the will of the American people, and the checks and balances of the Constitution to reward their special interest group friends.”

Rehberg joined a large group of House Members including Doc Hastings (WA) and Rob Bishop (UT) in sending a letter to U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell opposing the request. The letter is a direct response to an effort within the House Committee on Natural Resources to have the Forest Service issue new guidelines to manage Recommended Wilderness Areas as de facto Wilderness Areas. The move would place severe limitations on public access, restrict job-creating and energy-producing activities, and decrease the ability to respond to fires and emergencies.

Citing the Wilderness Act, the group wrote, “The law is crystal clear that the power to designate wilderness rests squarely and solely with the Congress. It is a baseless, twisted reading of the law to suggest that Congress intended to allow an agency to administratively declare an area as recommended for wilderness designation and then to manage that area exactly as if Congress had taken action to make such a designation.”

“This is a rather blatant attempt to bypass laws and the public process and pursue an extremist agenda without any regard for what the American people want,” said Rehberg.

The full text of the letter appears as follows:
more »

27 Apr 2010, 10:24pm
Latest Forest News
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Forestry trend is putting Oregonians out of work

by Mickey Bellman, Salem Statesman Journal, April 26, 2010 [here]

Another logger is out of work today. Actually, it is Jamie the loader operator, Rex the hook tender, Don the chaser, Jerry the truck driver and a half dozen other men, all with names and families. Last week they were taxpaying citizens; this week they will begin collecting unemployment checks and food stamps.

To the greenies, this is good news. Fewer trees will be harvested, and that’s what the zealots have wanted all these long decades. They have protested and litigated forest plans and timber sales for every real, theoretical and whimsical reason they could conjure up. Please don’t ever complain about the price of toilet paper, lumber or new houses in the future.

More sympathetic readers may sadly wag their heads and talk about how those loggers should have seen it coming. The company should have bought new equipment to embrace forest health and bio-energy. Nice theory, except the new equipment costs hundreds of thousands of dollars with no guarantee there will be any work for it.

Banks won’t loan money to distressed homeowners, let alone to loggers who are viewed with disdain.

After 27 years of impeccable credit and financial solvency, the bank suddenly canceled the credit line and bank accounts of this logging company because it was deemed a “bad risk.” How’s that for stimulation? … [more]

27 Apr 2010, 10:22pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Judge Molloy Sets Court Date For Wolf Delisting Lawsuit

by Tom Remington, Black Bear Blog, April 27, 2010 [here]

Federal court judge, Donald Molloy, has set June 15, 2010 as the date in which he will hear arguments from both sides in the gray wolf lawsuit initiated by EarthJustice, et. al. Last year the laundry list of environmental groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking an emergency injunction to stop the removal of the gray wolf from federal protection. An emergency injunction would have put a halt to wolf hunts scheduled to take place in Idaho and Montana. That injunction was not granted and the wolf hunts ensued.

It’s really anybody’s guess as to what Judge Molloy will rule. Science is not followed, precedence is cherry picked and perhaps we would not be having another lawsuit at this level had the USFWS gotten its act together and appealed the first ruling when Judge Molloy blocked the fed’s attempt at delisting.

In short, Molloy will do pretty much as he darn well pleases, as has been the case in past wolf court cases. The courts have shown American citizens that federal promises mean nothing; that actions such as this one to introduce wolves into the Northern Rocky Mountains resembles nothing remotely similar to the plans and promises laid out by the USFWS. … [more]

27 Apr 2010, 10:20pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Researchers Find Rare Giant Worm Doesn’t Live Up to Its Billing

By JIM ROBBINS, April 27, 2010, NY Times [here]

HELENA, Mont.— Once feared extinct, the giant Palouse earthworm, reputed to grow up to three feet long and smell like lilies, has been found alive.

It turns out though, experts say, the worm is not a giant, nor does it have a lilylike scent.

Researchers thought the translucent worm with the pink head, last seen in the 1980s, might be extinct because its habitat, the Palouse prairie region of Idaho and Washington, is almost gone. On March 27, however, Karl Umiker, a University of Idaho research support scientist, working with Shan Xu, a graduate student from Chengdu, China, discovered two giant Palouse earthworms, a juvenile and an adult, on a small patch of native prairie near Moscow, Idaho.

As it turns out, the worms are bigger than night crawlers but not giant. The two specimens, the adult of which had to be killed and dissected to determine it was indeed a giant Palouse earthworm, were about seven inches long when they came from the ground.

“But when we stretched it out and relaxed it, the adult earthworm got bigger,” said Jodi Johnson-Maynard an associate professor of soil and water management and Mr. Umiker’s supervisor. “It’s between nine and 10 inches.”

She admits that’s a far cry from earlier claims of three-foot worms. “We tried to track that story down,” Ms. Johnson-Maynard said, and discovered that many years ago there was one giant specimen. “Apparently some boy was swinging it in the air like a rope and it stretched.” … [more]

27 Apr 2010, 10:19pm
Latest Wildlife News
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DNR seeks to lift protections on gray wolves

By Lee Bergquist, Journal Sentinel, April 27, 2010 [here]

As the wolf population continues to grow, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday it is once again asking federal authorities to remove the gray wolf from a list of federal endangered species.

The agency said it has asked the U.S. Department of Interior for permission to reclassify the status of the wolf so state authorities would have more flexibility to control a burgeoning wolf population.

Wolves have historically been a flash point of controversy, and in recent years the gray wolf has been the subject of a series of court fights that has changed its protective status several times.

If the request is approved, problem wolves could be killed.

The decision could take months, or more, and in the interim, the DNR on Monday asked authorities for more authority to use lethal controls on wolves that have killed livestock and other animals.

See also:

New DNR study hopes to settle debate surrounding deer predators [here]

Minnesotans Sue to Delist Wolves [here]

27 Apr 2010, 12:09am
Latest Forest News
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Republicans Oppose Forest Service Declaring Areas “Wilderness”

by Steve Thompson, RangeFire, April 19, 2010 [here]

Today, according to a press release from House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), he and National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Ranking Member Rob Bishop (R-Utah) along with 16 other members of Congress, sent a letter [here] to the chief of the U.S. Forest Service opposing the views expressed in a letter from House Democrats requesting that the Forest Service manage Recommended Wilderness Areas as de facto Wilderness Areas. This would be a gross misinterpretation of the law, circumvent Congressional authority and lock up tens of millions of acres of public land.

Citing Wilderness Act statute, the Republicans wrote, “The law is crystal clear that the power to designate wilderness rests squarely and solely with the Congress. It is a baseless, twisted reading of the law to suggest that Congress intended to allow an agency to administratively declare an area as recommended for wilderness designation and then to manage that area exactly as if Congress had taken action to make such a designation.”

The letter goes on to note that, “Designating an area as wilderness imposes the most restrictive land-use policies that can be taken. As you well know, it places severe limitations on public access to public lands, prohibits motorized and mechanized recreation, severely restricts job-creating and energy-producing activities, responsible timber management, and decreases capabilities to respond to fires and emergencies as roads, trails, structures and other facilities are banned.”

26 Apr 2010, 10:06pm
Latest Climate News
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Senate Republicans Move to Bar NEPA Analysis of Climate Change Impacts

By NOELLE STRAUB, Greenwire, NY Times, April 20, 2010 [here]

Republican senators introduced legislation today that would block White House efforts to require federal agencies to consider climate change in environmental analyses of proposed projects.

The bill says the National Environmental Policy Act should not be used to document, predict or mitigate the climate effects of specific federal actions. Under the measure, NEPA reviews could not consider the greenhouse gas emissions of a proposed federal project nor climate change effects as related to the proposal’s design, environmental impacts, or mitigation or adaptation measures.

The measure comes after the White House in February issued draft guidance [here] that will require federal agencies to consider greenhouse gas emissions and climate change when carrying out NEPA reviews. The White House Council on Environmental Quality, or CEQ, is accepting public comment on the proposal through May 24.

The senators say assessing the climate change impacts of individual projects would provide no meaningful information for the public but instead would encourage more bureaucratic delays and litigation “designed to change NEPA into a global warming prevention statute.” They claim the guidance could block road construction, delay domestic energy production and hurt job creation, while their bill would ensure federal agencies won’t engage in “costly, and ultimately useless” reviews.

The bill was written by Environment and Public Works Committee ranking member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) along with Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and David Vitter (R-La.). Co-sponsors include Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Bob Bennett (R-Utah), and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.). … [more]

26 Apr 2010, 9:53pm
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More Global Warming Profiteering by Obama Energy Official

Ex-Gore associate and current Obama energy official Cathy Zoi is exploiting global warming for her own mega-gain.

by Christopher Horner, Pajamas Media, April 26, 2010 [here]

Surprising documents made available to this author reveal that Assistant Secretary of Energy Cathy Zoi has a huge financial stake in companies likely to profit from the Obama administration’s “green” policies.

Zoi, who left her position as CEO of the Alliance for Climate Protection — founded by Al Gore — to serve as assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, now manages billions in “green jobs” funding. But the disclosure documents show that Zoi not only is in a position to affect the fortunes of her previous employer, ex-Vice President Al Gore, but that she herself has large holdings in two firms that could directly profit from policies proposed by the Department of Energy.

Among Zoi’s holdings are shares in Serious Materials, Inc., the previously sleepy, now bustling, friend of the Obama White House whose public policy operation is headed by her husband. Between them, Zoi and her husband hold 120,000 shares in Serious Materials, as well as stock options. Reporter John Stossel has already explored what he sees as the “crony capitalism” implied by Zoi being so able to influence the fortunes of a company to which she is so closely associated.

In addition, the disclosure forms reflect that Zoi holds between $250,000 and $500,000 in “founders shares” in Landis+Gyr, a Swiss “smart meter” firm. She also still owns between $15,000 and $50,000 in ordinary shares. … [more]

26 Apr 2010, 6:53pm
Latest Wildlife News
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They’re here and they’ll keep coming

Wildlife Services talk focuses on wolves in the Big Horns

by Grant Smith, Buffalo Bulletin, April 21, 2010 [here]

Spurred by the devastating results of last summer when 113 sheep were killed by wolves in the Big Horn Mountains, Jim Pehringer with the USDA-Wildlife Services took the stage last Saturday night to make a plea to area ranchers.

“We want to hear from you,” Pehringer said. “You need to call us every time you see a wolf. We need your help to help you.”

Pehringer was on hand at a meeting scheduled by the Johnson County Animal Management Board to discuss the threat of wolves in the area and the proper steps toward identifying wolf kills and preventing livestock loss.

“Wolves are very transit and they never stop moving,” Pehringer said. “It doesn’t do a lot of good to argue whether they’re in the Big Horns or not. That argument’s been out there for 16 years. They’re here and they’ll keep coming. We have to focus on what to do with them.”

Pehringer, stationed in Cody, started his talk by highlighting his organization’s efforts in Park County.

“We have to go out and confirm that it was a loss to wolves, from there we get direction on what we can do,” Pehringer said. “In the last two years we’ve been able to go into areas with chronic killing and take out whole packs and it stopped the killing in that area.”

Throughout his talk, Pehringer continually stressed the importance of getting a confirmed kill in order for them to take action and curtail subsequent livestock losses.

“We have to prove it every time we do something,” Pehringer said. “That’s why it is important to know from you what wolves you’ve seen and what’s going on. We believe you but it doesn’t do any good unless we can confirm it.” … [more]

26 Apr 2010, 6:37pm
Latest Wildlife News
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New brucellosis “hot spots” found in Yellowstone area

By MATTHEW BROWN, AP, R&D Online, April 24, 2010 [here]

The animal disease brucellosis is emerging in new “hot spots” around Yellowstone National Park, according to new research that could complicate efforts to control transmissions of the disease to cattle.

Feeding grounds where food is left for elk as well as herds of bison inside the park have long been considered the main sources of brucellosis, which causes pregnant animals to abort their young.

But Paul Cross with the U.S. Geological Survey said a third source is now emerging: Blood tests indicate large elk herds living far from the feeding grounds have brucellosis exposure rates ranging from 10 percent to 30 percent.

That means containing the park’s bison and getting rid of the feeding grounds might not be enough to stop brucellosis transmissions to cattle in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

The Yellowstone region has an estimated 100,000 elk and is the nation’s last reservoir for the disease. Over the last decade, cattle infections have appeared in all three states bordering the park.

“It’s no longer appropriate to say bison and the supplemental feed grounds are the only sources of contamination,” Cross said.

Cross was the lead author of a USGS study published online Friday by the Public Library of Science.

Co-authored by researchers from Wyoming Game and Fish, Montana State University and USGS, the study was based on more than 6,000 blood tests collected from Wyoming elk between 1991 and 2009.

Since the testing began, Cross said disease rates increased dramatically in two “hot spots” — north of Dubois, Wyo. and northwest of Cody, Wyo. Both of those areas are far from the state’s 23 artificial feeding grounds.

The study comes on the heels of another USGS report in March that found brucellosis rates on the rise across the region. Prevalence rates increased from between 0 percent and 7 percent in 1991-1992, to between 8 percent and 20 percent in 2006-2007. … [more]

26 Apr 2010, 2:12pm
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Three wolf packs in SW Montana to be eliminated

By Nick Gevock, Montana Standard, April 25, 2010 [here]

BUTTE — Federal trappers killed four wolves this month from an area of the Big Hole Valley that has repeatedly seen attacks on livestock.

The four wolves come on the heels of five others that have been lethally removed over the past three months from the Miner Lakes and Bender packs, as well as any wolves remaining from the Battlefield pack that was taken out last year, said Carolyn Sime, wolf program coordinator for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. …

Sime added the control actions are ongoing, but trappers have been unable to locate and kill all the wolves.

Since the beginning of the year nine cows or calves have been killed by wolves in the Big Hole. The attacks have been especially concentrated in the west side of the valley.

State officials authorized the removal of the Miner Lakes pack, which had grown large and been estimated to contain around 15 wolves. And last year the Battlefield pack that lived west of Wisdom was authorized for elimination after repeated attacks.

Trappers killed all but one of the pack and the lone survivor was believed to have joined the Miner Lakes pack. But attacks on livestock continued west of Wisdom.

The issue boiled over last fall when rancher Fred Hirschy, who has lost cattle to wolves repeatedly, closed off part of his ranch to public hunting.

Sime said the continued attacks highlight the challenges of managing wolves in the Big Hole Valley. The Bender pack quickly moved into the area where the Battlefield pack had roamed after it was removed. …

She said a higher quota is justified because even with a record number of wolves killed through control actions and an additional 72 taken by hunters, the wolf population continued to grow. … [more]

26 Apr 2010, 1:08pm
Latest Wildlife News
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On Earth Day, Did You Thank a Hunter?

by Humberto Fontova, Townhall, April 23, 2010 [here]

In 1970, a Senator from Wisconsin named Gaylord Nelson raised his voice and called on every American to take action on behalf of the environment,” reads President Obama’s Earth Day proclamation. “In the four decades since, millions of Americans have heeded that call and joined together to protect the planet we share.”

Well, I’ve got news for our President. Millions of Americans who had never heard of Gaylord Nelson “took action on behalf of the environment,” decades before the good Senator “raised his voice.” More newsworthy still, most of these belonged to those insufferable rustics who “cling to guns and bibles.” To wit:

The Pittman-Robertson Act (1937) imposed an excise tax of 10 per cent on all hunting gear. Then the Dingell-Johnson act (1950) did the same for fishing gear. The Wallop-Breaux amendment (1984) extended the tax to the fuel for boats. All of this lucre goes to “protect the environment” in the form of buying and maintaining National Wildlife Refuges, along with state programs for buying and maintaining various forms of wildlife habitat.

For the last couple of decades hunters and fishermen have contributed over $1.5 billion per year towards Senator Gaylord Nelson’s lofty goal. To date, hunters and fishermen have shelled out over $20 billion “on behalf of the environment.” A study by the National Shooting Sports Foundation found that for every taxpayer dollar invested in wildlife conservation, hunters and fishermen contribute nine. … [more]

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