Musings From the Corner of the Round Barn

Or, Man Oh Manatee!

by bear bait

More than 60 years ago there were a lot of barns in Western Oregon. A series of events since then have reduced the number of old barns to remaining few. We had some hellacious snow falls, such as Winter 1948-49, and those broke barn backs. Some notable wind storms, contributed, including the Columbus Day blow in 1962. And then the Christmas Flood of 1964. Big snow with rain on it, the last one was in 1969 if memory serves me, with 3 feet on the flat from YewGene to Po’tland, and deeper in the Coast Range.

At least twenty cow dairies lost their barns in those weather events, and the 1969 snowstorm was the final the impetus for the consolidation of all the cheese plants along the coast into the Tillamook and Bandon cheese brands. A lot of loggers no longer had to get up real early to milk some cows alongside their children and wives.

Among those barns were a few round ones, an idea of long ago efficiency and ease of moving livestock. They all had a scaffolded ramp up which the hired man or the oldest kid after school pushed a wheelbarrow of cow flop and bedding to its conical resting place away from the barn, the pile from which the tractor with the bucket on it would fill the “turd hearse” [manure spreader] with the composted remains of such pile early every summer. That was after someone drove the team or a tractor across the pastures “turd tipping” so grass could grow in more places. A tractor or a team would drag the turd hearse around the pasture, and the ground driven mechanism would hurl bits and pieces of cow manure, the specific gravity of which would eventually determine the place to which the material would fall to ground, or else down the tractor driver’s neck. Even the flies would have flies on them by early summer. I digress. On to the round barns.

My old Dane grandpa, never missing a chance to kick a Swede in the nether regions, metaphorically, pointed out a round barn to me on one of our trips to the beach to fish for flounder. He told me that a Swede hired man had run himself to death in that round barn right there. I asked how. Grandpa said he was trying to find a corner to pee in. It took me a minute, but I caught the joke and we had a belly laugh about a breathless Swede run to death because he couldn’t find a corner to pee in.

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Trophy Wilderness Is a Cruel Joke

Ken Salazar and Bob Abbey planted an eco-terrorist bomb last week. They are undertaking a massive crime by circumventing the US Constitution, the law, and rational stewardship of Federal lands [here]. Other observers are now weighing in:

Wilderness reinventory a cruel joke

By Sen. Steve Urquhart, the Deseret News, Dec. 31, 2010 [here]

“Wilderness” is a joke. Worse, it is a cruel joke to Utah’s education funding and to Utah’s rural economies. “Wilderness” is defined by Congress to mean 5,000 acres of roadless land and … well, the rest doesn’t matter. Although wilderness designation originally was intended for unique, pristine areas offering outstanding opportunities for solitude, it now merely means any 5,000-acre chunk of public land where roads can be ignored or red-lined. The quality of the land or the experience is irrelevant. It is strictly a numbers thing.

The continuous theme of Western public lands is excess. The only thing that changes is the trophy-of-the-day (e.g., land, bison, grazing, timber, and, now, wilderness for the Green Barons). In the West, enough is never enough.

Special interest groups first wanted 3 million acres of wilderness in Utah. Then, 5 million. Now, 9 million acres — which means every other acre in Utah that is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In a serious case of grade inflation, every other acre is now the best. Although Congress never changed the standards, protection of unique, pristine areas has morphed into capture of average areas. Why? The argument is that the land is imperiled by use. Imperiled when, without wilderness protection, the amount of wilderness is metastasizing? Hardly.

“Wilderness” is about politics. Sparsely populated areas in the West are Republican. Democratic administrations have nothing to lose in those areas by savaging the local economy. But, they do stand to gain urban votes by protecting the West from yahoos who, well, yahoos who have apparently grown wilderness 300 percent over the past 30 years. … [more]

What is wilderness? According to the law:

A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. An area of wilderness is further defined to mean in this Act an area of undeveloped federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which: (a) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprints of man’s work substantially unnoticed; (b) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; (c) has at least five thousand acres of land or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition; and (d) may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.

Note that “generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable” is a perceptive gloss. It has to do with appearances, not scientific fact. In order to identify an area as wilderness, one must first blind one’s eyes to the imprint that humanity has made over the last 10,000+ years.

Wilderness is a myth because humanity has left substantial imprint everywhere. In order to codify that myth, blindness is necessary. Science must be perverted. The facts must be thrown out the window. Rational inquiry must be squelched and rational findings of fact must be denied. People must be led down a path of increasing stupidity and superstition by “scientists” who are doing little more than alchemy.

The human beings who made substantial impacts on the environment must be dehumanized, ignored, and erased from history and from science. That revisionism is fundamentally racist at its core.

The putative “protectionism” of wilderness designation is patently false as well. Wilderness policy leads to catastrophic fire. Virtually every wilderness area in America has either burned catastrophically in the last 20 years or is primed to do so by dint of accumulated fuels and the stated intent of the Federal land management agencies.

Those fires destroy or seriously degrade every natural resource out there including but not limited to vegetation, wildlife, water, air, soil, recreation, and scenery. Wilderness designation is destruction, not protection. As with history, fundamental ecology must be perverted and/or denied for the protection myth to hold sway.

That is more than “politics”. Such blindness is religious at its core. It requires a fanaticism that shuts down common sense and acceptance of plain fact. The perpetrators are not priests, however. Their manipulations are cynical and self-serving. They do not themselves believe the myths that they herald. They disdain the intelligence of the citizenry and treat you like fools.

The extent to which they are successful in dumbing you down is your fault.

The situation we find ourselves in is very frustrating. Our political leaders are cynical manipulators whose goals are destructive of human intelligence, human rights, freedom, history, rationality, and science, as well as our environment. There does not seem to be any way to stop the onslaught.

Your thoughts on these matters are welcome. Please comment.

29 Dec 2010, 9:21pm
by admin
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Gadarene Swine

From the Gospel of Luke:

8:26 And they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is over against Galilee.

8:27 And when he was come forth upon the land, there met him a certain man out of the city, who had demons; and for a long time he had worn no clothes, and abode not in any house, but in the tombs.

8:28 And when he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the Most High God? I beseech thee, torment me not.

8:29 For he [Jesus] was commanding the unclean spirit to come out from the man. For oftentimes it had seized him: and he was kept under guard, and bound with chains and fetters; and breaking the bands asunder, he was driven of the demon into the deserts.

8:30 And Jesus asked him, What is thy name? And he said, Legion; for many demons were entered into him.

8:31 And they [the demons] entreated him [Jesus] that he would not command them to depart into the abyss [Hell].

8:32 Now there was there a herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they [the demons] entreated him [Jesus] that he would give them [the demons] leave to enter into them [the swine]. And he gave them leave.

8:33 And the demons came out from the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd rushed down the steep into the lake [the Sea of Galilee], and were drowned.

Gadarene swine are thus demon-possessed pigs that drown themselves. Sort of like lemmings with serious delusions. The term is sometimes applied to mass panic.

The Gadarene Swine Fallacy is a type of logical fallacy [here].

The GSF is the fallacy of supposing that because a group is in the right formation, it is necessarily on the right course; and conversely, of supposing that because an individual has strayed from the group and isn’t in formation, that he is off course. The individual may seem lost to the group but not off course to an ideal observer.

The group may be demon-possessed and rushing to commit group suicide. The individual who departs from the group may be the only sane one.

We offer these literary and philosophical references to those who need them. Just in case you were looking for a term to describe certain social movements. The terms “Luddite”, “enviro-loony”, “Global Warming Alarmist”, and “Congressperson” are overworked, and we have been guilty of that, and are fatigued of those terms.

“Gadarene swine” is a handy substitute. Now, if we happen to use it in the future, you will know what we’re talking about.

Death By Wilderness: Mr.Tamper’s Latest Crime

A special Christmas gift was stuffed down America’s chimneys last week by none other than Mr. Tamper (Sec DOI Ken Salazar). Let us parse the announcement:

Update: Salazar, Abbey Restore Protections for America’s Wild Lands

Dept. Interior Press Release, December 23, 2010 [here]

Washington, D.C. - A secretarial order issued today by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar restores balance and clarity to the management of public lands by establishing common-sense policy for the protection of backcountry areas where Americans recreate, find solitude, and enjoy the wild.

Secretarial Order 3310 directs the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), based on the input of the public and local communities through its existing land management planning process, to designate appropriate areas with wilderness characteristics under its jurisdiction as “Wild Lands” and to manage them to protect their wilderness values.

Mr. Tamper issued a “Secretarial Order”. I invite you to read the U.S. Constitution [here] to see if you can discover where “Secretarial Orders” are listed. They aren’t. What Mr. Tamper did is wholly unconstitutional. He has relegated powers to himself that do not exist in our foundational legal document.

Mr. Tamper did not “restore balance and clarity”; in fact just the opposite. He has circumvented every law that deals with Federal land management and inflicted bias and confusion.

There is zero common sense to his usurpation and tyranny. The Secretarial Order is senseless and destructive, as we shall explain.

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27 Dec 2010, 9:15pm
by admin
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Thank You for Your Generosity

We at W.I.S.E are deeply grateful for your generous donations that have helped to make our multi-site web institute the premier online library and source for cutting-edge science in forestry, fire, wildlife, and other environmental sciences.

Nearly fifty book reviews and original articles have been added this year, including works by Stephen J. Pyne, William Woods, William Denevan, Charles E. Kay, Roger Underwood, Bob Zybach, Charles C. Mann, Ken Schlichte, M. Kat Anderson, Travis C. Cork, and many others.

Once again we tracked large fires at W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking and posted news clippings at W.I.S.E. Forest, Wildlife, and Climate News. We have three Commentary sub-sites now, SOS Forests, Wildlife and People, and News From the Salmon Front, and we posted many voices discussing responsible, scientific stewardship of forests and wildlife.

We are very appreciative to all those who have provided news tips and content for our subsites, including the authors of the books and papers reviewed in the Colloquia and the numerous guest authors of posts in the Commentary sub-sites.

Please join us [here] in a New Years resolution to ask your friends who have not donated to do their part.

Thank you very much for all your help. We couldn’t do it without you.

Best Wishes to You and Yours,

Mike Dubrasich, Exec Dir W.I.S.E.

The Western Institute for Study of the Environment is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational corporation and a collaboration of environmental scientists, resource professionals and practitioners, and the interested public.

Our mission is to further advancements in knowledge and environmental stewardship across a spectrum of related environmental disciplines and professions. We are ready, willing, and able to teach good stewardship and caring for the land.

W.I.S.E. provides a free, on-line set of post-graduate courses in environmental studies, currently fifty topics in eight Colloquia, each containing book and article reviews, original papers, and essays. In addition, we present three Commentary sub-sites, a news clipping sub-site, and a fire tracking sub-site. Reviews and original articles are archived in our Library.

27 Dec 2010, 8:49pm
Climate and Weather
by admin
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Should we be worried, very worried?

by Gordon J. Fulks

From near record high to near record low temperatures this November in the Pacific Northwest, from relatively warm ocean conditions and ‘dead zones’ to relatively cold ocean conditions and fabulous salmon runs off our Pacific Coast, from an unusually cold winter to an unusually hot summer in Russia, from near record low Arctic sea ice to near record high Antarctic sea ice, our climate displays wide variability.

But an army of psychologists, journalists, and even scientists make sure that the warm swings they deem alarming get the greatest attention. These propagandists know that the selling of Global Warming is all about perception not reality.

If the data will not support their storyline for another UN climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, an army of data manipulators stand ready. They rework averages to show continued warming during the last decade when honest assessments show flat or slightly declining temperatures. Some can be relied upon to say that 2010 was the warmest year “ever,” when honest scientists say that the El Nino this year was very similar to 1998. Also, the recent warm period was not as warm as the previous Medieval Warm Period, something Alarmists deny ever existed.

The simple truth is that there is nothing unusual going on today, let alone anything related to human carbon dioxide emissions. Climate variations are expected on a planet with vast oceans and atmosphere that are never in complete equilibrium. Climate variations are expected with a Sun that varies slightly in total solar irradiance, varies more in x-ray and ultraviolet output, and varies substantially in magnetic irregularities which modulate galactic cosmic rays. Climate variations are also expected in a solar system with large planets like Jupiter that alter the earth’s orbit and produce the huge climate variations called Ice Ages.

But how is someone who never studied science going to figure out who is telling the truth? Science is not what I say, just because I have a good education and long experience. It is all about honesty, logic, and evidence.

The simplest solution is to look out the window. The British Met Office used its new $50 million super computer to predict a mild winter in Britain, 3.4 F warmer than last year. So far, the reality is record breaking cold, heavy snow, and paralyzing ice!

But what if the New York Times (NYT), President Obama, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC), Yale University, and the Oregonian all say you should be worried, very worried?

Perhaps you should question their expertise. Thomas Freidman of the NYT frequently calls for action on climate change, but has no expertise and relies on a notorious propagandist. President Obama relies on scientists whom he funds to give him the answers he wants. The NAS is run to support government programs by an electrical engineer. He discovered that Global Warming is far more lucrative than electrical engineering. The UNIPCC is run by a railroad engineer who writes romance novels. Yale University promoters are really psychologists who want you to believe that they are climate experts when their real expertise is propaganda. The Oregonian relies on all the above. The interlocking relationships are highly incestuous, with vast conflicts of interest and/or little scientific expertise.

Among scientists, belief in Global Warming comes down to cold cash. Those who benefit most from government largesse (about $100 billion to date) are typically true believers, while independent scientists easily spot the scam. This creates a split based on age and experience. Young scientists like Juliane Fry of Reed College, who professed her belief in an Oregonian Op-Ed, are eager for fame, funding, and tenure, all of which are more likely if they support Global Warming. Older scientists like Richard Lindzen of MIT, perhaps the greatest meteorologist alive today, oppose climate hysteria. They built their fame on an approach now considered quaint: the Scientific Method.

Among Global Warming advocates there is occasional candor about their real goals. Christiana Figueres, the new executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said of the UN climate efforts: “This is the greatest societal and economic transformation that the world has ever seen.”

Global Warming is about politics not legitimate science. Ms. Figueres calls herself a “global climate change analyst.” Her formal education in climate science consists of Al Gore’s training program to promote “An Inconvenient Truth.” That should worry everyone!

Gordon J. Fulks, Ph.D. lives in Corbett. He holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago, Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research.

26 Dec 2010, 3:07pm
Federal forest policy Saving Forests
by admin

Slow Children At Play In Colorado

It’s tough enough to do forest restoration given the hurdles of a corrupt and clueless Congress, a nearly dismantled US Forest Service, and an army of hysterical dis-enviros.

But somehow, once in awhile, the USFS does something right. Today we salute the Boulder Ranger District of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests for stellar achievement in forest restoration.

The Boulder Ranger District covers 250,000 acres of the Front Range mountains in Boulder County and Gilpin Counties of Colorado. The Boulder RD forests are particularly at risk from catastrophic wildfire due to a-historical fuel accumulations and continuity of those fuels. Planning for the St Vrain Fuel Reduction Project [here] began in 2004, with goals of reducing fuels, opening up ponderosa pine stands to reduce crown-to-crown continuity, retaining and enhancing the old-growth pines, and restoring the meadows and open, park-like stands that are fire-resilient and historically appropriate.

Extensive public outreach was conducted, beginning in 2005. An Environmental Assessment was written and approved calling for treatment of 2,657 acres of mechanical and manual thinning. Treatment areas selected are close to the community of Allenspark [here].

After years of hand-holding with the local residents, the Boulder RD finally initiated the treatments last month.

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2011 Wish List For Congress

As the 111th Congress, the Worst Congress in History, waddles lamely into oblivion (but not before laying rotten egg after rotten egg), our thoughts turn hopefully toward the new 112th Congress scheduled to convene Jan. 5, 2011. ‘Tis the season of hope, after all.

To aid the new batch, we propose a list of tasks that will advance (rather than retard) America. Our suggestions are below. You are cordially invited to add your suggestions to the list.

1. Repeal or radically revise the Endangered Species Act

The ESA has failed to protect species; indeed it has failed to even define what a species is or adequately elucidate what “endangered” means. Under the aegis of the ESA whole regions of this country have been plunged into economic nightmares without any appreciable protection of anything. The ESA is a worthless boondoggle joke that does far more harm than good (in fact, a lot of harm and zero good).

Many of the species on the List are not endangered in any way, shape, or form, such as Gray Wolves, Grizzly Bears, and Polar Bears. Others have seen their populations plummet after listing. Still others do not even exist, but are imaginary species. The cost/benefit of the ESA has never been examined by Congress.

Please fix all that, 112th-ers, in open, public, transparent fashion.

2. Repeal or radically revise the National Environmental Policy Act

NEPA is another worthless boondoggle that does more harm than good.

3. Repeal the Equal Access to Justice Act

This misnomered law excludes equal access to justice by the people most affected. The EAJA has squandered $billions on monkey-wrenchers whose mission is to rob the Treasury while fomenting environmental and economic disasters.

4. Stop incinerating America’s priceless heritage forests

Here’s a thought: maybe our land management agencies should practice stewardship instead of catastrophic annihilation of our natural resources.

5. Fund forest restoration

$Trillions have been squandered on pork barrel boondoggles that are truly bridges to nowhere. It would be nice if the 112th Congress could invest a few $million in restoring our forests instead of $billions in burning them down. One first step: define forest restoration in an open, public, transparent fashion.

6. Restate through statute the USFS mission

The USFS has lost its bearings. Every new Chief brings in his or her own agenda that has no relationship to the statutory mission. Past Congresses have failed to direct the agency through law. Nobody is steering the ship. It has run aground on rocky reefs of nonsense. If Congress cannot or will not lead, then they should give all those acres back to the states for the states to manage.

7. Terminate the Global Warming Hoax

The globe is not warming, but if it were it would be a good thing. Federal agencies have run wild with pseudoscientific calamity-inducing programs based on a complete lie. Congress should quash all that immediately, starting with (but not limited to) the EPA and NOAA.

8. Repeal or radically revise the Wilderness Act

Wilderness is a pernicious and racist myth, ala Hitlerism. The proponents are deluded, which is a nice way of saying it. Wilderness designation leads directly to environmental catastrophe, holocaust, and extirpation of species. It is the opposite of “protection”; wilderness is live sacrifice to gods that do not exist.

9. Terminate the “Roadless Rule”

See #8 above. The Roadless Rule is illegal. Congress writes the laws; they should not have so much trouble obeying them.


I can think of a great many more instructions to the 112th Congress, but I want to give you the chance to chime in. Please use the leave-a-comment app to expand this wish list. If we don’t tell our elected representatives what we want, they won’t do the right things but will continue to do all the wrong things.

22 Dec 2010, 11:56am
Useless and Stupid
by admin
1 comment

Wind, Solar, Ethanol Net Energy Balance Negative

Note: It takes more BTU’s of natural gas, petroleum and/or coal to manufacture so-called “renewable” energy than the BTU’s produced by windmills, solar cells, or ethanol farms. The equation is negative. It requires more fossil fuel to produce a BTU of “renewable” energy than if the fossil fuel was burned directly in power plants or cars. Renewables do not save oil; they waste oil. Ironic, isn’t it? — Editor

by Gordon Fulks

While it is easy to predict that our electric bills will rapidly double with the current push for large amounts of renewable energy to replace the tried and true power sources we presently use, the real issue is what are we getting for our money?

First of all, how can we be certain that the present course we are on will double our bills? That’s easy. “Renewable” sources have a wholesale cost per kilowatt-hour that is many times that of conventional sources like hydro, coal, natural gas, or nuclear. If only a tiny fraction of our generating capability comes from these “renewable” sources, then the effects on the ratepayer will be the relatively minimal increases so far. But as soon as legislators force power companies to expand from one or two percent to ten or twenty percent coming from extremely costly sources, watch out. Electric bills have to increase greatly or the power companies will go broke. Legislators can hide some of the pain by shifting a fraction of the burden to taxpayers, but the public will quickly figure out that taxpayers and ratepayers are the same individuals - us! In other words, the crazy mandates for extremely expensive power will take a huge toll on our society and destroy our once substantial competitive advantage of cheap power here in the Northwest.

But let’s ask for a moment if we are getting something for all the money we are spending. One of Bill Bradbury’s aides admitted to me that Global Warming might be a hoax, but argued that we are justified in continuing with it because of all the wonderful changes it is forcing in our society. Presumably, windmills, solar cells, and ethanol were high on her list of wonderful accomplishments. But all of these are energy and economic disasters for us.

Here’s why:

All energy takes some energy to produce. Let me call this ‘overhead.’ It takes energy to drill an oil or natural gas well, additional energy to pump or truck what comes out of the ground to a refinery, still more energy to refine the crude into useful products and transport it to market. But the whole process produces a vast amount of net energy, as well as a vast amount of high quality energy. That means we get somewhere with such an undertaking, because our overhead is relatively low.

But as even Al Gore has discovered, we get nowhere with ethanol made from corn. It requires about as much high quality energy to produce as we ever get out of the inferior product. You might as well just burn the natural gas and diesel fuel directly and shutdown the elaborate process that is today converting these into ethanol. That would also help reduce our food prices, which have risen dramatically as a consequence of the diversion of a significant fraction of our corn crop to fuel production. That has had devastating consequences in the Third World which has long depended on our U.S. agricultural surpluses. The UN World Food Program estimates that a billion people now go hungry thanks to our very misguided ethanol “experiment”.

Solar cells are a similar boondoggle, but [perhaps] without the horrendous social consequences. It takes about as much electrical energy to manufacture silicon solar cells as will ever be returned by them over their typical twenty year lifespan. In some applications, the use of high quality energy (electricity) to make more high quality energy is justified, if the solar electricity is extremely valuable. Satellite applications are a good example. But if solar cells merely replace grid power, then they cannot be considered high quality power, because they do not produce electricity when the Sun is not shining. That gets us into the issue of back-up power which is necessary for all intermittent sources. Hydro and natural gas generating plants work well for back-up, if they have excess capacity. But if new natural gas plants need to be built just to back up solar, then it is very difficult to justify the expense. We would be considerably better off building only the natural gas plant and foregoing the solar.

Windmills are perhaps the worst boondoggle of all because they require much more high quality energy to manufacture, install, maintain, and back up than they will ever produce. And in fact the electricity they produce is far inferior to that from a conventional power plant because it is so erratic. With solar, we can at least depend on the Sun shining most days in appropriate locations. The same cannot be said for wind. The erratic nature of wind places a huge strain on the electric grid, if we expect our power to continue 24/7. Continually bringing huge natural gas or nuclear generators up to speed and then shutting them down just to accommodate the wind shortens their life considerably. The same argument can be made for the large generators used in huge windmills. Substantial environmental problems [bird chopping, extreme ugliness, opportunity costs of other land uses foregone] with windmills also suggest that they are a problem not a solution.

I would hope that our State Senators and Representatives would take the time to learn something about the generation of electricity, because they are forcing changes that even by their standards are a disaster. I say “by their standards” because they are claiming carbon dioxide, energy independence, and environmental dividends that simply do not exist.

With high costs and no demonstrable benefits, we need to abandon this bandwagon in favor of real solutions for our energy needs.

Gordon J. Fulks, PhD
Corbett, Oregon USA

21 Dec 2010, 11:49am
Forestry education Useless and Stupid
by admin

Ecobabble Reaches New Heights

Or lows, depending on your point of view

When is fragmentation just a mosaic? That nonsensical question is pertinent to the 2010 Draft Revised Revised Revised Revised Recovery Plan for the Northern Spotted Owl, which uses both terms depending on the mood of the authors.

Fragmentation is bad, very bad. Mosaics are good, very good. The fact that neither is defined and thus cannot be measured is handy, because for all intents and purposes they are the same thing.

But not to worry. The USFWS plans to model all that blarney sometime in the unforeseeable future. When they get a round tuit.

When they do, the USFWS modelers might find the following ecobabble useful, if “useful” means achieving total obfuscation without any connection to the real world.

Haydon, D. T. and E. R. Pianka. 1999. Metapopulation theory, landscape models, and species diversity. EcoScience 6: 316-328.

Abstract. We construct a model that describes the interaction of multiple metapopulation processes with measures of landscape patch diversity, fragmentary grain, and patch availability. Landscape models corresponding to Voronoi tessellations formulated around two-dimensional point processes are suggested as alternatives to conventional neutral landscape models. A method for creating the configuration of suitable habitat composed of multiple types of patches in randomized landscapes is suggested that utilizes perimeter polynomials associated with classical percolation theory. The landscape models are used to examine the influence of patch diversity, landscape grain, and total habitat availability on two measures of species performance that can be predicted from conventional metapopulation theory: the expected fraction of patches occupied by a species in the landscape (conditional prevalence), and the probability that a species will be represented in the landscape (representation). Results suggest that even when considering mutually non-interactive multiple metapopulation processes, the influence of landscape structure on species prevalence and representation depends in a complicated way on a combination of both species parameters and landscape parameters. Significantly, effects of changes in landscape structure on the distribution of a species cannot be anticipated from its pre-disturbance distribution. Our theory predicts that regional species diversity is maximized at intermediate levels of patch type diversity and fragmentation.

Keywords: Landscape models, multi-species metapopulations, habitat mosaics, Voronoi tessellations

Voronoi tessellations? From Wiki [here]


Let S be a set of points in Euclidean space with all limit points contained in S. For almost every point x in the Euclidean space, there is one point of S closest to x. The word “almost” is used to indicate exceptions where a point x may be equally close to two or more points of S.

If S contains only two points, a and b, then the set of all points equidistant from a and b is a hyperplane—an affine subspace of codimension 1. That hyperplane is the boundary between the set of all points closer to a than to b, and the set of all points closer to b than to a. It is the perpendicular bisector of the line segment from a to b.

In general, the set of all points closer to a point c of S than to any other point of S is the interior of a (in some cases unbounded) convex polytope called the Dirichlet domain or Voronoi cell for c. The set of such polytopes tessellates the whole space, and is the Voronoi tessellation corresponding to the set S. If the dimension of the space is only 2, then it is easy to draw pictures of Voronoi tessellations, and in that case they are sometimes called Voronoi diagrams.

Hang that on your Christmas tree.

Thanks and a tip of the hardhat to SOSF stalwart Alphonzo…

The Wind Power Fraud and Ripoff

If you live here, it’s not that much fun watching Oregon (California’s mini-me) commit economic suicide. This state’s “investment” in “green” energy is one more nail in the coffin.

Germany, Spain, and Denmark have conducted studies which show a loss of 2 to 4 jobs in the private sector for every green job created. For instance:

Gabriel Calzada Álvarez, Raquel Merino Jara, Juan Ramón Rallo Julián, José Ignacio García Bielsa (2009) Study of the effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources. Universidad Rey Juan Carlos [here].

Selected excerpts:

Europe’s current policy and strategy for supporting the so-called “green jobs” or renewable energy dates back to 1997, and has become one of the principal justifications for U.S. “green jobs” proposals. Yet an examination of Europe’s experience reveals these policies to be terribly economically counterproductive.

This study is important for several reasons. First is that the Spanish experience is considered a leading example to be followed by many policy advocates and politicians. This study marks the very first time a critical analysis of the actual performance and impact has been made. Most important, it demonstrates that the Spanish/EU-style “green jobs” agenda now being promoted in the U.S. in fact destroys jobs, detailing this in terms of jobs destroyed per job created and the net destruction per installed MW. …

Optimistically treating European Commission partially funded data1, we find that for every renewable energy job that the State manages to finance, Spain’s experience cited by President Obama as a model reveals with high confidence, by two different methods, that the U.S. should expect a loss of at least 2.2 jobs on average, or about 9 jobs lost for every 4 created, to which we have to add those jobs that non-subsidized investments with the same resources would have created. …

[W]hile it is not possible to directly translate Spain’s experience with exactitude to claim that the U.S. would lose at least 6.6 million to 11 million jobs, as a direct consequence were it to actually create 3 to 5 million “green jobs” as promised (in addition to the jobs lost due to the opportunity cost of private capital employed in renewable energy), the study clearly reveals the tendency that the U.S. should expect such an outcome. …

Spain’s economic collapse has been mentioned in the Main Stream Media. What has not been fully revealed is that windmills and other “green” energy development are the cause. Oregon is well down the same slippery slope.

more »

18 Dec 2010, 9:38pm
Useless and Stupid
by admin
1 comment

Pacific Power Steals Christmas

Pacific Power, in pure Grinch fashion, is planning to raise electricity rates 14.5% on January 1st.

Rates set to jump for Pacific Power, PGE customers in January

By Ted Sickinger, The Oregonian, December 17, 2010 [here]

Come New Year’s, better strip the lights off the house and the Christmas tree ASAP.

Customers of Pacific Power will see their electric rates spike 14.5 percent in January. The increase comes in a one-two punch: an 8.4 percent general rate increase state utility regulators approved Friday, and a 6.1 percent increase for increased power costs they are expected to approve Dec. 28. Both take effect Jan. 1.

Meanwhile, customers of the state’s largest electric utility, Portland General Electric Co., will see a lesser, but still significant, rate increase of about 3.9 percent. A few mandatory cost adjustments in the works will bump that overall increase to 4.2 percent, effective Jan. 1.

The biggest factor driving the increases: renewable power.

Oregon’s public policy choices during the past few years are coming home to roost in rates, a trend that will continue and likely be exacerbated in coming years by environmental edicts dealing with global warming and haze reduction. … [more]

The Global Warming wolves are coming to your door, in fact right into your home. The Greatest Scientific Hoax In History is now a monumental scam. The poorest of the poor will pay, or else huddle in the cold and dark.

This at a time when Oregon’s economy is in a deep pit. We have led the nation in home foreclosures, bankruptcies, unemployment, and hunger for years (note that today in many OR counties over a quarter of the population is on food stamps).

Pacific Power ratepayers are already paying for absurd dam removals, ugly and useless wind farms, over-the-dam water spills, government buy-up of private farms, phony fish “enhancement”, and all manner of crooked, corrupt, and worthless projects that are little more than highway robbery.

I suggest that mass Teach-Ins at the Oregon Public Utility Commission meetings are necessary. See their schedule [here].

The PUC Commissioners need some personal educating, too. They are listed [here] (note that they are all Portland machine Democrats, closely aligned with child-rapist Neil Goldschmidt):

PacificCorp, which “operates” Pacific Power, needs some feedback as well. Their execs are listed [here].

So does their parent company, MidAmerican Energy Holding Co. Their Chairman, David Sokol, is a CAGW alarmist crook ringleader. See [here].

MEHC is a Berkshire Hathaway company [here]. That’s Warren Buffett. I suggest that an ugly, public boycott of all his companies, such as GEICO Insurance, would be appropriate.

And that’s just for starters. The OR Legislature needs to feel the heat, too. And the Bonneville Power Administration.

The Global Warming Hoax has always been about ripping people off. It is founded on junk science and the boundless greed of kleptocrats and other grubby thieves. The time has come to put an end to this despicable charade.

18 Dec 2010, 10:47am
by admin
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More New Colloquia Posts

New Colloquia papers are always announced on the W.I.S.E. Home Page [here] and listed in our Library [here]. But some SOSF readers never visit the home page, so for you folks (you know who you are) here are the latest titles:

The Anthropogenic Greenhouse Era Began Thousands of Years Ago by William F. Ruddiman in Paleobotany and Paleoclimatology

Empirical Evidence for a Celestial Origin of the Climate Oscillations and Its Implications by Nicola Scafetta in Paleobotany and Paleoclimatology

Changes in Snowfall in the Southern Sierra Nevada of California Since 1916 by John R. Christy and Justin J. Hnilo in Paleobotany and Paleoclimatology

Large Variations in Southern Hemisphere Biomass Burning During the Last 650 Years by Z. Wang, J. Chappellaz, K. Park, and J. E. Mak in Paleobotany and Paleoclimatology

Traditional and local ecological knowledge about forest biodiversity in the Pacific Northwest by Susan Charnley, A. Paige Fischer, and Eric T. Jones in Forest and Fire Sciences

Bundle Up For the Next Ten Million Years

The following science report came through the digital grapevine today:

Mummified forest offers glimpse of a warmer Arctic

Melting glaciers on Ellesmere Island reveal branches and trunks from millions of years ago, when the North was a temperate zone

By Randy Boswell, Postmedia News, Montreal Gazette, December 17, 2010 [here]

A research team probing a melting glacier near Canada’s northernmost point of land has discovered a “mummified” forest that’s at least two million years old, with “perfectly preserved” tree trunks, branches and leaves from a time when the Arctic was transforming from a temperate environment into the ecological ice box it’s been for millennia.

The present-day thaw at the north end of Ellesmere Island — another sign of the widespread warming now taking hold of Canada’s polar frontier — has served up intact spruce and birch trees believed to have been buried in a landslide during the Neogene period of Earth history between two million and eight million years ago.

The U.S. scientists studying the ancient forest, who say the liberation of the long-frozen relics will offer a unique window on a lost world, are also warning that pent-up carbon released from such sites across the Arctic could worsen the modern-day climate change being driven by human activity. … [more]

Reality check: The paleo boreotemperate forest (with boreotropical elements) was extant for ~100 million years, or as long as modern “trees” have been in existence. In fact, paleobotanists have to go back ~250 million years to the Permian-Triassic boundary to find conditions similar to today — it has only been for the last 2 million years that the Earth has been locked in a similar deep freeze.

Despite 250 million years of warmth, the seas did not boil away into outer space, life on Earth did not come to a screeching halt, the continents were not submerged, there were no searing deserts, and the atmosphere did not burst into flame.

That’s right, sports fans. Despite all the hysterical Thermageddon sky-is-burning raging paranoia trumpeted by mega-crooks and their bug-eyed dimwit followers, it turns out that a warmer Earth was a more abundant, diverse, life-giving planet. For hundreds of millions of years.

The scientists who made the discovery noted above found nothing that hasn’t been thoroughly investigated already. See: Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic History of North American Vegetation by Alan Graham (1999) Oxford Univ. Press.

But they did feel compelled to issue a WARNING. Hold on to your pants, the Earth might get warm again someday.

Probably not for 10 million years, though, which is time it is estimated that it will take for Antarctica to tectonically drift away from the South Pole. You see, the presence of a continent on a pole is what causes Snowball Earth.

All this is well-known to the researchers above, but they have to toe the party line, no matter how glaringly unscientific that party line might be, in order to keep their jobs as government-funded scientists.

Government-funding of science is killing science. Humanity gets stupider every day because politicians, the most knuckle-dragging throwbacks of our species, hold the purse strings of science.

Any gummit-funded science-schmuck who wants a steady paycheck has to totally bend, subvert, and/or deny his/her scientific findings until they match the Lunacy of the Overseers.

But so what? Who needs science anyway? Better to huddle, starving, in the cold and dark than to free the mind, explore Creation, and otherwise advance knowledge. Remain stupid, serve your masters, and keep your eyes, ears, and mouth shut. Reality bites. Be delusional. It is your feudal duty as a serf.

Porkers Thwarted, For Now

The Omnibus Pork Bill [here], a parting gift from the lame ducks, has been shot down by duck hunters outside the Beltway.

Death of a Spending Bill

By JOHN FUND, Online WSJ, Dec 17, 2010 [here]

Why did Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid beat an embarrassing retreat and yank the $1.1 trillion earmark-filled omnibus spending bill off the Senate floor last night?

The decision came despite the alliance that Senate Democrats had formed with old-bull Republicans, such as retiring Utah Senator Robert Bennett, to provide enough votes to overcome the 60-vote threshold to cut off debate. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, feeling the heat from tea party groups, put pressure on his GOP caucus to hold together and block the omnibus. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina threatened to force a reading of the 1,924 page bill, a chore that would have consumed 50 hours of Senate floor time. … [more]

Exposing the crooks had to have helped. We don’t want all the credit, unless you want to give it to us, in which case we accept with appropriate and characteristic humility.

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