Get a Life, Sun Valley

by bear bait

Hold it!! The Castle Rock Fire [here] was fire in an iconic spot — Sun Valley. Hollywood on winter vacation. Aspen of Idaho. Captain Marvel, Carole King, Senator Heines Kerry, Ernest Hemingway’s aura, nouveau riche, European ski instructors warming starlet’s feet — the Union Pacific RR big wheels with their own ski resort… on “public” lands!

Yes, your land and my land, even though you and I can’t afford the tariff in Sun Valley. Much of that skiing is on USFS lands… now mostly burned. Those pockets of “interior fuels” not burned out by Hot Shots (so much for the mosaic of burn intensities and surviving vegetation) are now all that’s left of the iconic green forest above the iconic gilded valley.

Wow. A guy could go on and on. But, (and nothing counts before “but”), who gives a damn? This is what the rad-green Hollywood gilded public wants from public lands, and when it backfires and hits them in their own backyards and wallets, they expect some sort of remediation from the Feds???

Sorry. That train left the station with appeals of the Bush Forest Plan and the myriad court decisions invalidating any hopes that the USFS might mitigate fuel build-ups and reduce fuels. The last bus out of New Orleans didn’t have Sun Valley on it. You got what you deserved.

This is nothing more than whining about lost mountain climbers when there is no locator beacon on any of them. All the notice of impending silvicultural gloom and doom was made a long time ago. This was an accepted result. Accept it!!!!

No fuel reductions (which is cutting and removing trees until those remaining are spatially separated and can access more water and sunlight and grow strong) were desired. And please don’t spend a dime of the taxpayers’ money on bug sprays, sex attractants, whatever, just because some charismatic USFS landscape burned up in the rich folks’ playground. That was their preferred alternative.

You gets what you have coming. There are no time outs in conflagration. It is only after years of preparation and fuel reductions that you get to have a say after being burned over.

I have a very good friend whose entire private property of more than a thousand acres was totally burned over by a poorly timed and positioned burn-out by the USFS, and he didn’t even get an apology or even a go screw yourself. He logged his merch wood, planted known forage grass, the State furnished trees he planted with his money, and he rebuilt his fences because the Feds “ran out of money” to fence the common line.

Screw Sun Valley and all the swells, fops, n’eer-do-wells, trust puppies, banking thieves, and the rest who think Obama is going to solve their problems. Who are they kidding?

Let the bugs feast and live with it. It is the natural result and part of natural fire. Live with it!!! You were so informed, so smart when the trees were standing, about their future and yours. Now you got the preordained result and think you need more? Get a life!!!!

Another Post-Fire Cost-Plus-Loss Case

In the previous post we pointed out (again) that forest fires cause losses (damages) far in excess of suppression costs. Moreover, some of those losses continue to accrue long after the fires are out.

One of our favorite SOSF operatives sent us yet another example. The Sawtooth National Forest has proposed spraying a bark beetle repellent to save trees on Bald Mountain (site of the Sun Valley ski area) because a bark beetle infestation is expected following the 2007 Castle Rock Fire (48,000 acres) [here, here, here, here].

It won’t be cheap, and it may not be successful in preventing yet more damage to the forest. The repercussions from that fire, like so many others, just keep on coming.

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More On the Real Costs of Forest Fires

The Santa Barbara Independent reported last week that two “trail gnomes” were charged with starting the Jesusita Fire last Spring [here].

More than seven months after the Jesusita Fire scorched nearly 9,000 acres of the Santa Barbara front country — destroying 80 homes, damaging another 15, seriously injuring numerous firefighters, and costing $17 million in its wake — two men have been charged in connection with the start of the fire.

The SBI also reported that prosecutors will “seek restitution” from the suspects.

What prosecutors do intend to do, however, is seek restitution on behalf of the victims of the Jesusita Fire, a pricetag that’s floating in the millions of dollars, considering the injured firefighters and destroyed homes.

That price tag has not been fully calculated, but one thing is for sure, the costs and losses from the fire vastly exceed the suppression expenses (which were closer to $18.6 million, not $17 million [here]).

In other news, mudslides resulting from the Station Fire [here] are threatening roads and homes in Los Angeles [here]:

As many as 90 vehicles were stranded after rocks and mud flowed down the hillside amid heavy rains along a 12-mile stretch of Angeles Crest Highway north of Los Angeles in an area where a massive wildfire burned earlier this year, said county fire Capt. Frank Reynoso.

The suppression costs of the Station Fire approached $100 million, but the damages (which are on-going) have not been appraised as yet. The damages, which include hospitalizations from excessive smoke, exceed the suppression costs many-fold.

In other news, the City of San Francisco settled a lawsuit brought by the US Justice Dept. on behalf of the U.S. Forest Service for two small fires on the Stanislas NF in 1999 and 2004. The price tag: $7 million [here]:

The city of San Francisco has paid $7 million to settle federal claims for wildfire damage to a national forest allegedly caused by negligent maintenance of power line rights of way.

The 1999 Pilot fire and the 2004 Early fire burned 5,698 acres in the Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County.

The fires resulted from trees growing too close to the high-voltage power transmission lines of Hetch Hetchy Water and Power, owned by San Francisco, according to two civil lawsuits brought by the federal government against the city and its utilities agency.

What do these news items have in common? They all provide unimpeachable evidence that forest fires cause damages far in excess of suppression costs.

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12 Dec 2009, 3:40pm
Climate and Weather
by admin

Monckton’s Answer to an Environmental Campaigner

Note: This is just one of numerous excellent short essays by Lord Christopher Monckton for the Science and Public Policy Institute [here].

Answer to an Environmental Campaigner

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, SPPI Blog, December 11th, 2009 [here]

Dear campaigner,

You write that, since humankind is adversely affecting the environment in various ways, humankind must also be adversely affecting the climate. Of course, this does not follow. It is a particular instance of the fundamental logical fallacy of relevance commonly known as the non sequitur.

Other Aristotelian fallacies commonly deployed by those advancing the alarmist argument are the argumentum ad populum or headcount fallacy (”there’s a consensus, so the consensus must be true”); and the argumentum ad verecundiam or reputation fallacy (”the IPCC and various august national scientific societies say “global warming” is mostly our fault, and they have a good reputation, so they must be telling the truth”). Any Classically-trained mind would at once dismiss these and many similar illogicalities as unworthy to be used as foundations for any valid conclusion.

You also write, wrongly, that the onus is on those who deny the hypothesis of anthropogenic “global warming” to prove the hypothesis wrong. To explain why your notion is incorrect, it is necessary to outline the scientific method as first enunciated by Abu Ali Ibn Al-Hassan Ibn Al-Hussain Ibn Al-Haytham in 11th-century Iraq, and as codified in its current form by Popper in a landmark paper of 1934.

The seeker after truth, says Al-Haytham, does not place his trust in any consensus, however broad or however venerable: instead, he subjects what he has learned of it to his hard-won scientific knowledge, and he scrutinizes, measures, and verifies whether it is true. The road to the truth, said Al-Haytham, is long and hard, but that is the road we must follow.

Popper presented the scientific method as an iterative algorithm for discerning the truth in that great majority of cases where complete, formal demonstration by mathematical methods is not available.

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We Have the Whole World in Our Hands

by Dr. Ed Berry,

It snowed in Sacramento this morning at elevations of a few hundred feet above sea level. Five inches of snow fell in Auburn at about 800 feet ASL. Meanwhile, it has been too cold to snow in Kalispell where the high today was 10 F. When I went out my front door, the birds, which always fly away, stayed perched on my fence and looked at me as if to say, “It’s too cold to fly.”

We are headed for -15 F. I filled the propane tank last month. This is the kind of weather where you must think survival. Prepare for the unexpected. Always have a plan to stay warm no matter what happens. Just like when you go sailing, always be prepared to capsize.

Meanwhile, Obama, Gore, the EPA, and eco-activists around the world say America must sign the Copenhagen Treaty to save the planet from overheating. I have news for them. First, their claimed climate change problem does not exist. Second, a treaty cannot save the planet, it can only take away our freedom. Third, it’s getting colder, not warmer.

They tell us the last decade was the warmest in the last century. They lie. How they lie has been exposed in the eco-activists emails and computer code. Simply put, they “adjust” the real data in a secret manner to get temperatures that fit their agenda. It’s called in their words, “hide the decline.” Then they shred the real data so outside scientists cannot check it.

At the same time they tell us they don’t know why the temperatures declined since 2001 when their computer models predicted it would get warmer. They say it was “supposed” to get warmer because their computer models said it would. So they claim the data is wrong!

Our answer is simple: their models are wrong. This proves their hypothesis is wrong, which proves their whole claim of global warming and climate change is wrong. That is how science works. If a prediction is wrong then the hypothesis is wrong. At least that’s how science worked before political correctness took over.

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EPA CO2 Rule a Huge Move Toward Totalitarian Control

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a CO2 “endangerment finding” Monday, formally declaring that CO2 poses a threat to human health and welfare, a designation that sets the federal government on the path toward regulating CO2 emissions from power plants, factories, automobiles and other major and minor sources [here].

Today we received the following e-mail from an expert environmental scientist


The headlines in our paper today were as frightening for this country as anything I have seen in a long time. EPA has claimed control of the economy by usurping power over atmospheric composition as a health mattter. It would be funny if not so scary, but the EPA has a history of grabbing authority nowhere guaranteed by the constitution.

In 1979, Dow Chemical sued EPA for arbitrary and capricious action in canceling the registration of a herbicide that had a very good safety record. In court, Dow argued that all the environmental and toxicological data were favorable, hence the action was arbitrary. The judge agreed with Dow, and indicated that he would not have made the decision to cancel on the basis of the data, both pro and con.

But the judge went on to say that he did not have the power to overturn the decision by the Administrator of EPA, a presidential appointee not constrained by being a member of the Cabinet. So the decision has stood for 30 years. I was an expert witness in that case, saw all the data, and was appalled at the unbridled power grab altogether unsupported by evidence. And that was a far smaller issue than what goes on today.

I hate to think how EPA Admin Lisa Jackson’s and Czar Carol Browner’s decision to take authority for atmospheric composition because climate altering gases represent “a toxic hazard” also gives them unlimited power to assist our president in almost any direction he wants to jump. The kaleidoscope of directions he moves on will be extremely hard to check with such authority in the bag. I wonder if our general public recognizes this as a huge move toward totalitarian control.

This issue is so scary that I surmize that it makes the Climategate issue child’s play simply because the president and his lackeys cannot be challenged on the CO2 endangerment finding. Health is the perfect button to bring on a perfect storm. Really scary.

A public outcry is essential, and right now if closer examination of what Jackson and Browner did is what I think it is. It will take some careful analysis, but I hope to God someone who knows how to do this is as concerned as I am about what is happening. Time is short, Barack is in Copenhagen, and Browner has taken charge. Couldn’t be worse.


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Climate Follies: Chapter 54,873

The Climate Hoax folks are are firing all their guns at once and exploding into space. The Ether waves are jam-packed with egregiousness due to the high hat circus in Gropenhogging. Here are a few flips, flops, and flounderings from the Alarmist self-immolation spectacle.

First, NOAA was forced to admit the planet is cooling. They don’t know why, and they just hate it, but there’s no way to hide the facts any more:

North American 2008 Cooling Attributed to Natural Causes

Cool sea surface temperatures overrode warming

NOAA news release, December 4, 2009 [here]

Cooler North American temperatures in 2008 resulted from a strong natural effect, and the overall warming trend that has been observed since 1970 is likely to resume, according to university and NOAA scientists.

“Our work shows that there can be cold periods, but that does not mean the end of global warming. The recent coolness was caused by transitory natural factors that temporarily masked the human-caused signal,” said Judith Perlwitz, lead author of the study and a researcher with the Cooperative Institute for Research Environmental Sciences, and NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, both in Boulder, Colo. The paper will be published Dec. 8 in Geophysical Research Letters. [We have it, see here] …

The analysis included historical data and climate model simulations that were conducted in the U.S. and internationally. The science team discerned both natural and human-caused influences for 2008.

“North American temperatures would have been considerably colder in 2008 had there been no human-induced warming influence present,” Perlwitz said.

From the paper:

There is increasing public and decision maker demand to explain evolving climate conditions, and assess especially the role of human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. The 2008 North American surface temperatures diverged strongly from the warming trend of recent decades, with the lowest continental average temperatures since at least 1996.

In our diagnosis of 2008, the absence of North American warming was shown not to be evidence for an absence of anthropogenic forcing, but only that the impact of the latter was balanced by strong natural cooling. Considering the nature of both the 2008 NA temperature anomalies and the natural ocean variability that reflected a transitory interannual condition, we can expect that the 2008 coolness is unlikely to be part of a prolonged cooling trend in NA temperature in future years.

Hahahahahahaha!!!! So it’s “natural cooling” that has swamped Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW)? Just natural variability, something never considered before in their junk models. But not to worry; it’ll be getting warmer soon, according the uncorrected junk models. They have never been right in their predictions yet, but that doesn’t stop them from trying.

Not today, however, as the temps around Oregon are setting new LOW records. It’s 12F here in the Willamette Valley this morning. Brisk.

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7 Dec 2009, 1:32pm
Forestry education
by admin

A Brief History of the Post-Cretaceous Forests of SW Oregon, Part II

Part II. The Forests of the Anthropocene


A discussion of fire ecology in Southwest Oregon that recently came to my attention contained another statement that troubled me:

A natural fire regime is a general classification of the role fire would play across a landscape in the absence of modern human mechanical intervention, but including the influence of aboriginal burning (Agee 1993, Brown 1995).

Why do USFS ecologists conflate natural fire with anthropogenic fire when the differences are enormous?

Historically speaking, in SW Oregon over the last 12,000 years or so, the incidence of anthropogenic fire has been thousands of times more prevalent than natural (lightning) fire. Furthermore, lighting fires are random in time and space whereas human-set fires are deliberate actions (planned, timed, executed) by intelligent people with intent (informed by successful experience) to alter the landscape.

As a consequence, anthropogenic fire has had a much more profound and dominant effect on SW Oregon during the Anthropocene than lightning fire. Human fires have shaped the vegetation for millennia. The “natural fire regime” touted by USFS ecologists is a pernicious myth, or more simply, crappy science.

What’s the Anthropocene? It’s a cute name bestowed on the latter stages of the Holocene by the Nobel Prize winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen, who considers the influence of humans on the environment in recent centuries so significant as to constitute a new geological era [here].

But human influences on the environment have been significant for more than a few centuries. For thousands of years, indeed the entire Holocene/Anthropocene (and much longer), people have been impacting the planet by setting fires. Anthropogenic fire regimes have dominated while “natural” fire regimes all but disappeared thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of years ago.

To grasp the enormity of this concept, we must first examine the onset of the Holocene/Anthropocene in greater detail.

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Up Yours Gordon Brown

I don’t know. Maybe the screed I’m about to write is going to end up being inappropriate, unnecessary, and even childish. I have been insulted by none other than the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Gordon Brown. My feelings have been hurt, and my first inclination is to lash back.

No, you’re the moron here, Gordon.

But what’s the use? I would only debase myself down to Gordon Brown’s level if I was to do that.

Perhaps, instead, maybe we can make this into a teaching moment.

The insult in question is Gordon Brown’s comment on December 4th last, reported in the UK Guardian [here]

“With only days to go before Copenhagen we mustn’t be distracted by the behind-the-times, anti-science, flat-earth climate sceptics,” Brown told the Guardian. “We know the science. We know what we must do. We must now act and close the 5bn-tonne gap. That will seal the deal.”

I am not enamored of being called an anti-science flat-earther. I am pro good science and believe the Earth to be more or less spherical.

Gordon let fly an aspersion frequently used by Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Alarmists (CAGWA’s). Their argument is that anyone who dares to challenge their orthodoxy is ignorant beyond measure.

But we’re not. Actually, we’re smarter than the CAGWA’s — better educated, more knowledgable, more experienced, and more expert in matters of science, including climatology, than politicians like Gordon Brown and Al Gore.

The flat-earther insult is a desperation tactic on the part of those who are losing a debate they never wanted in the first place — because they knew all along that their hoax was a hoax and would melt under analytical scrutiny. We now know what has been long suspected: the CAGWA hoaxers mangled the data to support their theories because the real data show their theories to be crap [here].

The way they mangled the data is telling. After cherry picking a handful of tree ring density measurements from Asia as “proxies” for past global temperatures, they then junked that data from 1960 on because it didn’t fit the temperature readings from their handful of Urban Heat Island affected land-based stations. The “spliced” data eliminated the well-documented Medieval Warm Period and showed a hockey-stick-shaped uptick in temperatures in the late 20th Century.

They used this crabbed together junk time series as input to computer models. Garbage in, garbage out. The models that fit the pre-selected phony hockey stick temperatures also predict that the Earth is going to boil like Venus. Technically speaking, the magnitude of the the CO2 positive feedback coefficient (fudge factor) required to fit the fake uptick drove the models to predict Thermageddon in 100 years.

Gordon Brown calls that “science” and disparages anyone who dares to question it as “flat-earthers”.

People like Gordon Brown have been duped, or possibly they are sleazy graft merchants who want in on the carbon credit action.

Carbon credits are flim-flam nothings on paper that are now being bought and sold like real stocks in Europe. It’s a completely phony market, but it exists because (bankrupt) governments like Great Britain created it. It’s an ENRON-style market, a Ponsi scheme, where everybody in the world pays in and a handful of connected power elites pocket the cash.

All the Cap-and-Trade scams will not change the Earth’s temperature one scintilla. Neither will all the carbon taxes, economic shutdowns, windmills, solar panels, and nuclear power plants put together.

It turns out the Earth is not going to boil like Venus — that’s a hoax, a fraud, humbug. Instead the Earth is slowly undergoing neo-glaciation as the next Ice Age stadial builds. There has been no run-up in temperatures — the best unbiased scientific estimates are that the Earth has warmed between 0.3 and 0.6 degrees C since 1860. And the best unbiased scientific predictions are that we are in for cooling over the next 25 years due to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. By 2035 the Earth will be as cold or colder than in 1860, the tail-end of the Little Ice Age.

That’s a full 3 degrees C cooler than the Earth was 9,000 years ago during the Climatic Optimum of the Holocene. With minor fluctuations, it has been all downhill since then. The Earth is following the same Ice Age script and schedule that it has for the last 1.8 million years.

All the global warming alarmism is based on phony science. There is no global warming happening now — just the opposite. And it’s too bad there isn’t, because WARMER IS BETTER. The monster under the bed that Gordon Brown wants you to be afraid of isn’t there, and if it was, it would be a good thing!

So up yours, Gordon. You are the Dark Ages superstition-monger, or should I say con artist, in the room — but the jig is up now. Your misleadership has been a tragedy for the entire world. Hopefully the citizens of GB will throw you out on your arse as soon as possible. Meanwhile, we have some similar CAGWA hoax political types to sweep out on this side of the pond.

1 Dec 2009, 2:39pm
Forestry education
by admin

A Brief History of the Post-Cretaceous Forests of SW Oregon, Part I

Part I. Before the Holocene


A discussion of fire ecology in Southwest Oregon which recently came to my attention contained the following statement:

These forest ecosystems have been evolving for tens of thousands of years, thus their species composition, structure, and ecological processes are essentially a product of their ongoing evolutionary and physical environments (Agee 1991, Waring 1969).

Technically speaking, from a paleobotany perspective, that statement is counter-factual.

The forest ecosystems of SW Oregon are new to the area. The oldest “native” tree species have been in residence no more than 12,500 years or so, and some less than half that.

The species composition is new; different species mixes occurred in earlier interglacials.

What’s an interglacial? To explain that we first have to explain the Ice Ages. But maybe we should back up even farther to start.

Transitions in the Tertiary

The Tertiary Era consists of the Paleocene (65-54.8 mya), the Eocene (54.8-33.7 mya), the Oligocene, (33.7-23.8 mya), the Miocene, (23.8-5.4 mya), and the Pliocene (5.4-1.8 mya) Epochs.

Global temperatures reached their highest post-Cretaceous levels at about the Paleocene-Eocene transition, and they have been falling ever since. Global temperatures were perhaps 25 to 30 degrees F higher than now. Atmospheric carbon dioxide was perhaps 5-10 times denser than now, and oxygen concentrations a third more than current levels. Earth was a greenhouse bursting with life.

But then the temperatures started to fall. Hypotheses for the temp decline are many-fold. Pangea was fractured and the landmasses were drifting apart. With less bumping and grinding of continents, volcanic activity waned. Consequently CO2 levels dropped. Antarctica drifted toward the South Pole, and ice began to build up, lowering global sea levels.

The falling temperatures in the Eocene were accompanied by annual dry spells, which we know as seasons. Seasonality favored pre-adapted deciduous trees from the paleo-boreo-tropics [here]. Mega thermal (heat tolerant) plant species moved toward the equator, and micro thermal (cold tolerant) species proliferated in the northern Hemisphere.

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