19 Dec 2007, 3:03pm
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Merry Christmas from SOS Forests

Merry Christmas from SOS Forests. Best wishes to you and yours.

Due to the exigencies of the Season, and general Goodwill, we are going to rest SOS Forests and Wildlife and People, the two W.I.S.E. Commentary subsites, and work on the W.I.S.E. Colloquia over the Holidays.

Then we will hit the New Year running. We have high hopes for 2008. We are going to effect some changes, and maybe even save some forests. That’s the Plan, anyway.

Keep the comments coming; I’m merely refraining from adding new Commentary posts for a little bit. Look for more great references to continue to be posted in the W.I.S.E. Colloquia and Library.

May all your Christmases be bright, including this one.

17 Dec 2007, 2:35am
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Colloquia Coming Along

You may or may not have noticed (in all the hubbub) but some very interesting titles are starting to show up in the Colloquia. Slowly but Shirley we are installing the best, latest, most advanced, coolest scientific research in a variety of environmental sciences. Many books and articles you may not have read before, or even know about, have been listed already. The full text is available on many.

And we have a pile to go. A month from now it will be quite something. But don’t wait until then or else today’s titles might getting buried in the archives and elude you.

You might want to make it a habit to check the front page (click HOME on the navigation bar) for the latest and most recent titles. I don’t plan on announcing them all here.

Except that once in awhile I might. For instance, I just did the first review ever of Stephen J. Pyne’s brand new book, Awful Splendor: A Fire History of Canada. So that’s pretty cool.

Lots of other goodies in the Colloquia now, and many, many more to come. It feels like a Christmas catalog for the forest-obsessed. And as time goes by, we hope even more so.

12 Dec 2007, 1:54pm
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Canadian Fire Week

This week at W.I.S.E. we are featuring some of the most advanced and cutting edge science and thought in the field of fire ecology. The setting is Canada, but the implications touch every country on every continent.

While all that we are posting this week might seem mundane and esoteric to the uninitiated, to us it is the most exciting thing we have ever done, blogwise. And we are proud as peacocks about it. Keep your eyes (monitor screen) on the Forest and Fire Sciences Colloquium. Pure gold will be posted there this week.

We hope you enjoy the posts, papers, and books reviewed as much as we do.

12 Dec 2007, 11:07am
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Sizing Up the Problem

The issues facing rural America are national in scope. It is not just megafires in Idaho, wolves in New Mexico, or elk in Yellowstone. Megafires are happening in every state in the West (and last spring in Georgia as well). Wolves, bears, and lions are attacking livestock and people across the country. Populations of elk, deer, and other large herbivores are crashing everywhere. And everywhere government agencies large and small are laying waste to the landscape, lifeways, the economy, and the culture.

A kind of madness has infected America. Our institutions of higher learning have devolved into political conspiracy making and science has been abandoned. Open inquiry has been quashed in favor of political correctness, adherence to a brand of politics that cannot withstand open scrutiny or debate. Our elected leaders cower in silence or pay obeisance to superstition and eco-hysteria. We live in fear of the next disaster to be perpetrated upon us by our own government.

Perhaps madness is the wrong word. A better word might be fatheadedness, the deliberate dumbing down of individuals, whether through TV, public schools, the Mass Media, or simple personal choice.

Examples abound. After devastating fires in San Diego in 2003, absolutely nothing was done to alleviate the hazard. Then this year the fires returned. In the aftermath of the 2007 fires, nothing will again be done. And megafires will return again, soon, as a consequence. Millions of people are at risk, yet their own democratic governments are hamstrung and can only spout excuses and place blame on the victims.

more »

7 Dec 2007, 3:16pm
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Sorry, But W.I.S.E Has News

In our first manifestation (SOSF original version) we were limited by the single site structure. Now we have multiple subsites and plenty of room to post the daily news-of-the-day about forests, fire, and wildlife.

We do that [here].

We feel we must post this apologia though. The news-of-the-day is consistently horrible. That is not our fault, but posting it is. Sorry. We think it might be useful, and perhaps it is, but it is not fun.

3 Dec 2007, 3:01pm
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The W.I.S.E. Forum

W.I.S.E. is underway. Our intention is to build, over the next few months, the premier online library for forest, fire, and the environmental sciences, with emphasis on the New Paradigm.

The knowledge uncovered, displayed, and explained will be presented to the World At Large for the instruction of Mankind and for the benefit of all creatures and landscapes of this Our Shared Planet.

That’s all very good and promising, but our new schema is much more insidious and revolutionary than just that. The Deep Strategy involves multi-party communication.

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29 Nov 2007, 5:31pm
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Hello There

Here we are. This is it: the new, improved SOS Forests.

How do you like it? Roomy, isn’t it? Before we were rowing a dinghy; now we paddle our mighty canoe in a flotilla. Not quite an armada, but definitely a flotilla.

Take look around. If you get lost, click “SOS Forests” in the left menu. That will bring you back here. Go ahead. We’ll wait.

Hum, hum, hum. See, we are still here.

We did multiply, however. Now there are eight Colloquia subsites, two Commentary subsites, one news subsite, a library, and a forum. Stunning as this might be, yet even more expansions are planned or already in the works.

col·lo·qui·um (k-lkw-m)
n. pl. col·lo·qui·ums or col·lo·qui·a (-kw-)
1. An informal meeting for the exchange of views.
2. An academic seminar on a broad field of study, usually led by a different lecturer at each meeting.

[Latin, conversation, from colloqu, to talk together: com-, com- + loqu, to speak; see tolkw- in Indo-European roots.] From the Free Dictionary [here]

A colloquium is like a symposium, except that symposia are generally short duration, one to five days, whereas colloquia last longer, usually for a semester or two. In our case, our Colloquia will last indefinitely, as long as the Internet exists and maybe even longer.

Each Colloquium contains reviews of books and papers pertaining to Topics within. We shall endeavor to post only the best, most advanced, paradigm shifting, environmental science, and provide reviews that explain, interpret, and make the science accessible to lay readers.

We are still in the formative stages. In this first month or two, most titles will be drawn from the old SOS Forests archives. This will be a useful review to long-time readers, and a fast-paced introduction for new readers. Gradually more and more new titles will enter the mix, and eventually dominate as the old archive becomes fully looted. New Topics and new Colloquia will appear when they are needed.

All the titles from the Colloquia will be listed in the Library with links to the reviews (and/or to the full text of the science articles, when we can provide them).

In addition, we have two Commentary subsites, this one and Wildlife and People. Our intention is to split our incisive invective into two general spheres, animal and vegetable. We’ll see how that goes. It could be we need more than just two to handle the load.

And we now have a news clipping subsite, a grab bag of other mass media reports that pertain in one way or another to our interests. There are too many of these for our personal comments on each, but readers are invited to inject their own comments, especially on the Forest, Fire, and Wildlife News subsite.

And your comments are desired here, too. SOS Forests has been blessed with the best comments of any blog we know about. No media outlet can match the quality, intelligence, insight, and artfulness of the forest aficionados who have contributed to the old SOSF, and who are most certainly expected to contribute to this one, too.

And we are starting something brand new, the W.I.S.E. Forum. The Forum is a key piece of the overall strategy. We’ll discuss that in the next new SOS Forests post, right here, which is where we are going to be doing it for the next while.

Hope you enjoy the show, watching W.I.S.E. develop, and maybe even becoming a part of this grand experiment. In any case, we are, as always, grateful for your visits.

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