10 Feb 2010, 6:12pm
Climate and Weather
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George Taylor on Climate Change

Taylor speaks about warming

by Alex Paul, Albany Democrat-Herald, February 9, 2010 [here]

Like a fluctuating stock market, climate change is cyclical and should be looked at over the long-term, not just a few decades at a time, George Taylor president of Applied Climate Services, said this morning at the ninth annual Ag Appreciation Breakfast sponsored by the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce.

Taylor was state climatologist for 19 years before resigning after clashing with Gov. Ted Kulongoski about climate change issues.

“I believe in data. I trust data,” Taylor said at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. “There are those who believe climate change can be predicted through modeling. I don’t.”

Taylor said environmental extremists like former vice-president Al Gore use specific time periods to try to convince the public that humans play a major role in climate change. Taylor believes human activities have a minor role in global warming.

“Alarmists are cherry picking,” Taylor said. “They pick their starting and ending dates to help make their point.”

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Palin likens global warming studies to ’snake oil’

Note: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke at the Sierra-Cascade Logging Conference in Redding, CA yesterday. The following is the AP report.

Palin likens global warming studies to ’snake oil’

By JUDY LIN, San Jose Mercury News, 02/08/2010 [here]

REDDING, Calif.—Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called studies supporting global climate change a “bunch of snake oil science” Monday during a rare appearance in California, a state that has been at the forefront of environmental regulations.

Palin spoke before a logging conference in Redding, a town of 90,000 about 160 miles north of the state capital. The media were barred from the event, but The Associated Press bought a $74 ticket to attend.

Palin said California’s heavy regulatory environment makes it difficult for businesses to succeed, a point that is shared by many business leaders in the state.

She criticized what she said were heavy-handed environmental laws. As Alaska governor, for example, she said she sued the federal government to overturn the listing of polar bears as a threatened species.

As Alaska North Slope wells dry up, the state is examining offshore drilling for oil and natural gas reserves. Protections for polar bears under the Endangered Species Act could thwart those explorations, according to Palin and her successor, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, who has picked up the cause.

Palin told the audience that filled the 2,000-seat Redding Convention Center that she disagreed with the science the government used to support the listing.

“We knew the bottom line … was ultimately to shut down a lot of our development,” she said during her 40-minute speech, which was followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session.

“And it didn’t make any sense because it was based on these global warming studies that now we’re seeing (is) a bunch of snake oil science.”

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9 Feb 2010, 8:41am
Saving Forests
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The Benefits of Forest Restoration

Note: This essay, with references, is now available for downloading as W.I.S.E. White Paper 2010-2 [here]

By Mike Dubrasich

Restoration forestry aims to recover our nation’s forest heritage while also restoring the productive and harmonious relationship between people and forests that existed in historic forests. Restoration forestry is a vision for the future rooted in respect for the past. — Dr. Thomas M. Bonnicksen, Protecting Communities and Saving Forests–Solving the Wildfire Crisis Through Restoration Forestry.

FOREST restoration means active management to bring back historical cultural landscapes, historical forest development pathways, and traditional ecological stewardship to achieve historical resiliency to fire and insects and to preclude and prevent a-historical catastrophic fires that decimate and destroy myriad resource values.

Forest restoration is beneficial to man and nature in numerous ways. The following describes these benefits in general.

1. Heritage and history

To restore means to return to a former or original state. In the case of forests, restoration requires knowledge of and respect for forest history as a starting point. Forest restoration looks to pre-Contact forest conditions as a guideline.

Many (if not most) North American forests were at one time (prior to ~120 years ago) open and park-like, with widely spaced, large, old trees. Forests were conditioned to be that way by frequent, non-stand-replacing, anthropogenic fires. Historical human features included village sites; sacred and ceremonial sites; hunting, gathering, agricultural and proto-agricultural fields; extensive trail networks; prairies and savannas; and other features induced and maintained by ancient human tending through the use of traditional ecological knowledge.

Forest restoration, properly researched, designed, and implemented, restores, protects, and perpetuates many of the heritage features of forested landscapes.

2. Ecological functions including old-growth development

Our old-growth trees arose under much different conditions than today. The forest development pathways of pre-Contact eras were not punctuated by catastrophic stand-replacing fires but instead were the outcomes of frequent, seasonal, light-burning fires in open, park-like forests. Those fires were largely anthropogenic (human-set by the indigenous residents). Because the fires of historic eras were frequent and seasonal, they gently removed fuels without killing all the trees. The widely-spaced trees thus survived repeated burning and grew to very old ages.

As more and more forests have been investigated for actual age distribution, it has been discovered that “old-growth” forests, are not even-aged. Instead, many (if not most) older forests are distinctly multi-cohort. That is, forests often have two or more widely divergent age classes of trees. This fact tends to disprove the “stand replacement fire” theory, at least in regards to older forests. Their development pathways must have been different than that. It is now widely concluded that many (if not most) North American forests were at one time (120 to 500 years ago) open and park-like with widely spaced, large, old trees, and that forests were conditioned to be that way by frequent, anthropogenic fires. That is, the actual historical forest development pathways for many (if not most) of our forests involved frequent, light-burning fires, not stand-replacing fire.

Restoration forestry seeks to restore, maintain, and perpetuate historical forest development pathways that engender old-growth trees.

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Battling Over the Forest Restoration Meme

When does “forest restoration” mean “abandonment to catastrophic destruction”? Answer: in the “Green Budget 2011″ proposal.

A coalition of quangos (quasi-governmental non-governmental organizations) is playing games with words. They want the word “restoration” to mean the opposite of what it actually means, prompting a battle over the meme.

The “Green Budget 2011″ [here] was prepared by 34 “environmental” lobbying groups including perennial litigation-happy bullies such as Defenders Of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, and the World Wildlife Fund. Note that these same groups are the big pigs at the EAJA trough, raking in $billions from the government to sue the government in order to sabotage restoration programs [here].

The Green Budget 2011 defines “restoration” this way:

Restoration management should be viewed as a way to recover the natural processes, structure, composition and function of a healthy forest ecosystem; it is an intentional effort to restore land, air, and water degraded by human activities to a more natural state, enhancing our forests’ ability to adapt and be resilient to disturbances and change. This is a separate and distinct vision from traditional logging or hazardous fuels reduction; while these activities may have a place on national forests, the goals and objectives are not necessarily consistent with ecosystem restoration, and the terms should not be used interchangeably.

In other words, to the quangos “restoration” means No Touch, Let It Burn, Watch It Rot.

In actuality, real forest restoration means active management to bring back historical cultural landscapes, historical forest development pathways, and traditional ecological stewardship to achieve historical resiliency to fire and insects and to preclude and prevent a-historical catastrophic fires that decimate and destroy myriad resource values.

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President Jokes About ‘Snowmageddon’

This is priceless:

Epic Snowstorm Batters Mid-Atlantic Region

Fox News, February 06, 2010 [here]

WASHINGTON — Mid-Atlantic residents were buried Saturday from a likely record-setting blizzard the president jokingly called “Snowmageddon,” and those brave enough tried to clear a path through the wet, heavy mounds of thigh-high snow.

The snow was falling too quickly in the nation’s capital for crews to keep up, and officials begged residents to stay home and out of the way so that roads might be cleared in time for everyone to return to work Monday. The usually traffic-snarled roads were mostly barren, and Washington’s familiar sites and monuments were covered with nearly 2 feet of snow. …

The storm toppled trees and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of customers in Washington, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The situation was the same in West Virginia, where some 400 National Guard troops were helping with snow removal. …

First, there was a small fender bender on the White House south lawn. Then a tree branch, overcome with snow, cracked and fell on a motorcade vehicle with press inside when the president was coming back from a speech at the Democratic National Committee’s winter meeting in town.

Instead of a presidential limo, Obama rode in a black SUV covered with presidential seals.

Obama thanked Democrats for being “willing to brave a blizzard. Snowmageddon here in D.C.” …

Barack O. is from Hawaii via Indonesia. “Snowmageddon” is painful irony, because for years the Dems have been hysterical about Thermageddon, aka the Venus Effect, aka the boiling of the seas and end of all life due to runaway global warming as predicted by Al Gore, James Hansen, and various other nutjobs.

But it’s all a joke, a rude joke, a joke on you and me, the American taxpayers, who are being asked to fork over $trillions and to gut the American economy in the name of preventing Thermageddon.

Ha ha, Mr. President. Très drôle. Now sack your worthless Constitution-bashing climate czars, including EPA drama queen Lisa Jackson and population bomber John Holdren. The joke (aka the biggest hoax in history) is over.

3 Feb 2010, 10:03am
Forestry education Saving Forests
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Defining, Identifying, and Protecting Old-Growth Trees

Note: This essay, with references, is now available for downloading as W.I.S.E. White Paper 2010-1 [here]

By Mike Dubrasich, Western Institute for Study of the Environment, Feb. 3, 2010

IN ORDER TO SOLVE our current forest crisis and protect our old-growth, it is useful to understand what old-growth trees are and how to identify them in the field.

At first blush this may seem to be a simple problem, but it is not, and much confusion and debate abounds over the issue. Old-growth trees are “old,” but how old does a tree have to be to qualify as “old-growth”? And what is the difference between an individual old-growth tree and an old-growth stand of trees? Why does it matter?

Some rather sophisticated understanding of forest development is required to get at the root of these questions.

Frequent Fire and Multicohortedness

As we have discussed at SOS Forests numerous times, so-called old growth stands are actually multicohort, meaning separate and distinct age classes of trees coexist in the same stand. Typically the older cohort consists of trees that arose in the frequent fire era, while the younger cohort of trees arose after the frequent fire era ended.

The frequent fire era is more properly termed the anthropogenic fire era — the last 6,000 to 12,000 years during which the indigenous residents managed landscapes with frequent, seasonal, deliberate burning.

That deliberate burning gave rise to an anthropogenic mosaic. The fires set by human beings may have sometimes been accidental, but by and large the fires were set intentionally to modify the vegetation for purposes of human survival. Carefully timed and located burning was used by the First Residents to develop and maintain berry patches, for instance. Some of those “patches” covered thousands or even tens of thousands of acres, so the word “patch” is an understatement in this case.

Deliberate burning also gave rise to oak and conifer savannas that covered millions of acres. Every year (or two or three) the inhabitants set the prairie grasses on fire. The fires were light-burning, but they killed most of the tree seedlings that might have been present.

Across the West, and in other regions of North and South America, trees readily establish themselves. But frequent anthropogenic fire favors grasses, not trees. Historically, only a very few seedlings survived the frequent fires. Perhaps one seedling per acre every 20 to 40 years survived the repeated burning and grew to a fire-resilient size. Over time, 5 to 25 large trees per acre comprised the oak and conifer savannas. Beneath the trees, grasses and other prairie plants dominated the “understory.”

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Cap-and-Trade Is Dead

In case you didn’t notice, cap-and-trade is dead. Al Gore’s scheme to create a new “carbon market” has bitten the dust. He and his partner in that crime, Goldman Sachs, the global investment banking and securities giant, may or may not realize it, but the canary is belly up.

Al and GS hoped to hamstring American industry (and the world) with an Enron-style market based on fiat “carbon derivatives” of no intrinsic value, bleeding coerced investors, utilities, and rate payers dry. But the MSM is now reporting what the rest of us have known for awhile — that dog won’t hunt.

Advocates of Climate Bill Scale Down Their Goals

By JOHN M. BRODER and CLIFFORD KRAUSS, NY Times, January 26, 2010 [here]

WASHINGTON — As they watch President Obama’s ambitious health care plan crumble, the advocates of a comprehensive bill to combat global warming are turning their sights to a more modest package of climate and energy measures that they believe has a better chance of clearing Congress this year.

Their preferred approach, a cap-and-trade system to curb emissions of climate-changing gases, already faced a difficult road in a bruised and divided Senate. Its prospects grew dimmer after the special election in Massachusetts last week was won by Scott Brown, a Republican who repudiated the federal cap-and-trade proposal in his campaign.

Republicans, industry executives and some Democrats have already written cap and trade’s obituary, at least for this year. And even some of the system’s most ardent supporters now say they must scale back their ambitions and focus on job-creating energy projects and energy efficiency measures if they are to have any hope of dealing with climate change in this Congress.

“Realistically, the cap-and-trade bills in the House and the Senate are going nowhere,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who is trying to fashion a bipartisan package of climate and energy measures. “They’re not business-friendly enough, and they don’t lead to meaningful energy independence.”

Mr. Graham said the public was demanding that any energy legislation from Washington focus on creating jobs, whether by drilling for offshore oil or building wind turbines.

“What is dead is some massive cap-and-trade system that regulates carbon in a fashion that drives up energy costs,” he said. …

Last December Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member, Committee on Environment and Public Works, announced at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen [here]:

I want to be sure the 191 countries understand this: again, an economy-wide cap-and-trade bill stands no chance of passing. …

Today the cost of cap-and-trade bills before the House and Senate bear striking resemblance to those of Kyoto. Take the Waxman-Markey bill, for example. A government study by the Energy Information Administration concluded that the Waxman-Markey bill destroys up to 2.3 million jobs in 2030 and destroys up to 800,000 manufacturing jobs in 2030 — and, I should note, those figures include new green jobs, so they are net job losses.

And in September, under pressure from a Freedom of Information Act request, the Obama Administration released a per-household cost estimate of the President’s cap-and-trade program. The cost per family was over $1,700 per year. Again, that would be the largest tax increase in history. …

When asked to prioritize a list of 20 public policy issues, respondents put climate change dead last. And the Senate has responded. At most there might be 25 votes in the Senate for a cap-and-trade bill, and they need 60.

My stated reason for attending Copenhagen was to make certain the 191 countries attending COP-15 would not be deceived into thinking the US would pass cap-and-trade legislation. That won’t happen. And for the sake of the American people, and the economic well-being of America, that’s a good thing.

Inhofe was correcto mundo. Cap-and-trade is deceased, has kicked the bucket, and is pushing up daisies.

Poor Al. The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.

31 Jan 2010, 12:43pm
by admin

A PoMo Deconstruction of AGW

Note: the following arrived by email from an unknown (pseudonymous) source. We have no idea what it means, but we like it.

SmutGate reveals the bare naked truth

by Anton LePip

The latest bimbo-esque mythopoetical eruption from the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) camp is the publication of a “romance novel” written by the UN’s climate change chief, Dr Rajendra Pachauri [here].

Return to Almora, published in Dr Pachauri’s native India earlier this month, tells the story of Sanjay Nath, an academic in his 60s reminiscing on his “spiritual journey” through India, Peru and the US.

On the way he encounters, among others, Shirley MacLaine, the actress, who appears as a character in the book. While relations between Sanjay and MacLaine remain platonic, he enjoys sex – a lot of sex – with a lot of women. …

The book, which makes reference to the Kama Sutra, starts promisingly enough as it tells the story of a climate expert with a lament for the denuded mountain slopes of Nainital, in northern India, where deforestation by the timber mafia and politicians has “endangered the fragile ecosystem”.

But talk of “denuding” is a clue of what is to come.

By page 16, Sanjay is ready for his first liaison with May in a hotel room in Nainital. “She then led him into the bedroom,” writes Dr Pachauri.

“She removed her gown, slipped off her nightie and slid under the quilt on his bed… Sanjay put his arms around her and kissed her, first with quick caresses and then the kisses becoming longer and more passionate.

“May slipped his clothes off one by one, removing her lips from his for no more than a second or two.

“Afterwards she held him close. ‘Sandy, I’ve learned something for the first time today. You are absolutely superb after meditation. Why don’t we make love every time immediately after you have meditated?’.”

The dialectic paradigm of smut narrative counterpoised to the apparently asexual neoscientific theory of human-caused global warming — leading to the postdialectic apocalyptic destruction of the planet (Thermogeddon) — suggests a textual neosemanticist union of post-rationality with subcultural capitalist sexuality.

In other words, AGW is Freudian, and not in a healthy way.

The rise of Clintonesque libertine-arianism in postmodern culture is now a pan-disciplinary worldwide phenomenon. We must, therefore, once again search for the meaning of meaning within the clash of premodern traditional structures and postmaterialist socialism.

Pachauri et al. and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, along with Al Gore, not for scientific achievement (the Peace Prize is not a science prize), but for proliferation of postmodern (sexual) angst regarding imaginary anthropogenic global disaster (the putative coming Ecopalypse).

Contextualisizing a Pynchonist “powerful communication” that includes narrativity as a whole, poststructural dematerialism is offered as a “solution” to neoscientific alarms about the quasi-moral depravity of civilization as we know it.

The wellspring of postmodern neoscience may be traced back to confabulations of the 1970’s, early intercourses between poststructuralist “free love” advocates such as Margaret Mead and population bombers such as Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren (currently the Advisor to President Barack Obama for Science and Technology).

Simply put, the Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s erupted into class warfare over sexual identity and sexual morays [I think he meant mores, as in virtues or values, not eels, but who knows? - Ed], and that tide engulfed scientific institutions as well. Coed-ophilia supplanted rational inquiry, filling the institutional [intellectual?] vacuum left by the poststructuralist dialectic. Traditional science atrophied, and neoscience arose as a substitute.

Joyceian concepts of the distinction between feminine and masculine gave way to neosemanticist theories of sexual multi-morphism. Yet precognitive biological urges remained, and flourished, and with the dissolution of rational inquiry became the defining characteristic, and thus the stasis, of neoscience and postmodern society.

Baudrillard uses the term “Sontagist camp” to denote the conflation of “scientist” with “artist,” thus deconstructing “observation” and science itself as a self-referential semiotic paradigm.

Millernarianism (Doomsday-ism) satisfied the new dialectic and its socialist subtext. Abundance was seen to marginalize the underprivileged. Therefore, an abundance of postmaterialist thought came to dominate. But that neocultural sublimation was flimsy cover for [neo]premodern sexual conquest and exploitation, a profoundly instinctive human practice that continued unabated, and indeed has proliferated.

The anti-populationists copulated as never before, in oxymoronic expression of preapocalyptic hedonism. Neoscience institutions have become breeding grounds in counterpositional dissonance to their deconstructivist thema and schemata.

So it should come as no surprise that sexuality has infiltrated and indeed supplanted rational inquiry, despite the overlying Marxist asexual supertext of the neoscientific elites.

SmutGate seen in this context is thus neither pre- nor post-emergent, but is instead foundational and interpolational to the neodialectic cultural narrative of meaning within the neoscientific AGW camp.

Summarizing the Defects in Wyden’s OEFROGPJA

I fear that I have been too florid in my analyses of Sen. Ron Wyden’s proposed “Oregon Eastside Forests Restoration, Old Growth Protection, and Jobs Act of 2009″ (OEFROGPJA). My excess verbiage has obscured the key defects. In this post I simplify and specify with minimal artisticality of prose.

Previous posts regarding Wyden’s bill (OEFROGPJA) are:

Wyden Proposes the End of Forest Stewardship in Eastern Oregon [here]

AFRC Sells Out [here]

The Principal Defects in Wyden’s Forest Bill [here]

Harris Sherman on Jon Tester’s Forest Bill (same problems in both bills) [here]

What’s wrong with the eastside forest compromise (by Jack Ward Thomas) [here]

From those I have extracted the main issues, and who made the particular point:

1. prescriptive language violates NEPA and NFMA (Harris Sherman) (Mike Dubrasich)

2. draws action and funding away from other projects (HS)

3. will NOT result in any increased harvest (HS) (MD) (Jack Ward Thomas)

4. creates unrealistic expectations on the part of communities and forest products stakeholders (HS)

5. provisions are duplicative of existing authorities, such as the Forest Landscape Restoration Act of 2009 (HS) (MD)

6. will not achieve undefined “comprehensive ecological restoration” (MD)

7. proposed management guidance by “plant association” scientifically untenable, unmappable, obtuse (MD)

8. statutory limits on the size of trees removed scientifically untenable, unworkable, will not achieve resiliency goals (MD)

9. proposed management guidance by “site potential tree heights” scientifically untenable, unmeasurable, obtuse (MD)

10. proposed management guidance by “heterogeneity” scientifically untenable, unmeasurable, obtuse (MD)

11. will not limit or preclude obstructionist lawsuits (which have already been threatened by eco-litigious groups) (MD) (JWT)

12. delays and implementation failures will lead to more and larger destructive (severe, high intensity) wildfires (MD)

13. does not protect (increases risks to) heritage, utility, resiliency, sustainability, public health and safety, private property, and other human values (MD)

14. does not protect (increases risks to) vegetation, habitat, wildlife, water, air, soils, and other ecological values (MD)

15. “local forests” managed under separate laws and overseen by advisory panels financed with federal dollars and staffed with federal employees supplant current legally prescribed planning and management processes (JWT)

16. no guarantee of long-term funding (JWT)

17. does not address systemic problems with USFS mission, existing conflicting laws (JWT)

Hope that helps.

30 Jan 2010, 12:35am
Politics and politicians
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Land Swapping Bill Proposed by Wyden and Merkley

Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have proposed a new “wilderness” bill for Eastern Oregon that is not quite what it appears to be. The same old enviro propaganda team is tooting their horns, but there is more to the story than meets the eye.

The deal is really a land swap more than anything else, not in the government’s favor, either. But that’s okay. The land to be designated wilderness does not qualify, and that’s a little more problematical. The proposed “protection” is not protection, and it will generate environmental destruction, but given Ron Wyden’s track record in that regard, it is less onerous than his terrible proposed OEFROGPJA bill [here, here].

The story as reported in the MSM:

Wyden, Merkley propose 16,000 acres of eastern Oregon wilderness

By Matthew Preusch, The Oregonian, January 28, 2010, [here]

Oregon’s two senators today proposed adding about 16,000 acres to the system of federally protected wilderness areas.

A land swap between private landholders and the federal Bureau of Land Management would create two new wilderness areas near the John Day River, Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said.

One of the landowners involved in the potential swap is the Christian youth organization Young Life, whose Washington Family Ranch camp near the town of Antelope occupies the former home of the followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.

Click [here] to see a map of the proposed wilderness area.

“Oregonians have a deep connection to their land,” Wyden said. “This legislation will strengthen that relationship by creating two wilderness areas that will preserve these natural treasures for generations to come and will serve as a hopeful postscript to the saga of the Rajneeshee colony.”

The map is incomplete. It does not show the Big Muddy Ranch where the loony Rajneeshees lived for a couple of years some 25 years ago in temporary bliss, sucking on nitrous oxide and planning their salad bar poisoning forays into The Dalles. I don’t know that the Rajneeshees need or deserve a postscript. Wyden sounds a little tipsy on that point.

The Big Muddy Ranch is now the site of the Washington Family Ranch, near the confluence of Currant Creek and Muddy Creek. Nor does the map show Antelope, which is just off the map to the west on Hwy 218. But that’s okay.

The map does show the checkerboard BLM ownership that will be traded. It is a good thing to privatize those isolated parcels and block up the Fed ownership.

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AGW, the SEC, and the Decline and Fall of Civilization

As predicted [here], on January 27th the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an “interpretive guidance” on climate change. The new rule requires corporations to disclose “business or legal developments relating to the issue of “climate change” [here]. The SEC explained:

… [A] company must consider whether potential legislation — whether that legislation concerns climate change or new licensing requirements — is likely to occur. If so, then under our traditional framework the company must then evaluate the impact it would have on the company’s liquidity, capital resources, or results of operations, and disclose to shareholders when that potential impact will be material. Similarly, a company must disclose the significant risks that it faces, whether those risks are due to increased competition or severe weather. These principles of materiality form the bedrock of our disclosure framework.

This new knife cuts in a variety of ways. One implication is that companies must disclose to shareholders how Cap-and-Trade legislation might impact their bottom lines. Dr. Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project, applauds this aspect [here].

Corporate CEOs who have been actively lobbying for cap-and-trade climate legislation may soon find themselves in an embarrassing position thanks to a new Securities and Exchange Commission regulation, says Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project.

The SEC voted January 27 to provide public companies with interpretive guidance that encourages corporations to disclose the possible business and legal impact of climate change to shareholders. Full disclosure will require companies to assess and describe how cap-and-trade legislation can harm company earnings.

“Fully disclosing the business risk of cap-and-trade will embarrass many CEOs who are lobbying for emissions regulations. Shareholders will discover that these CEOs are pursuing legislation that will negatively impact their company,” said Borelli. …

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28 Jan 2010, 4:59pm
Forestry education
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Giants of Forest Research

This book review has been sitting in my to-do pile for more than two years. I apologize — other matters have captured my attention. Recent changes at the OSU College of Forestry and other forestry schools and research institutions have made its importance more immediate.

Silvicultural research and the evolution of forest practices in the Douglas-fir region by Robert O.Curtis, Dean S. DeBell, Richard E. Miller, Michael Newton, J. Bradley St. Clair, and William I. Stein. 2007. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-696, 172 pp. is a wonderful history of forest research in the Pacific Northwest.

Silvicultural Research… is now in our Library and excerpted in the W.I.S.E. Colloquium: Forest and Fire Sciences [here]. The full text may be downloaded [here].

All the giants of forestry research in the PNW are mentioned, and brief biographies given. They include

* Thornton T. Munger, the first Director of the Pacific Northwest Forest Experiment Station (1924–38),

* Julius V. Hofmann, who was instrumental in establishing the Wind River Experiment Station,

* Leo A. Isaac, who did fundamental stand improvement research at Wind River and the new Pacific Northwest Experiment Station,

* Richard E. McArdle and Walter H. Meyer, who did seminal work in growth and yield,

* Stanley P. Gessel, who studied tree nutrition, soils, and nutrient processes,

* George R. Staebler, who basically founded Douglas-fir tree farming and later became Director of Forestry Research for the Weyerhauser Co.,

and many other forest science pioneers. Silvicultural Research… itself was written by some of our greatest forest scientists who “stood on the shoulders” of the founding giants.

Silvicultural Research… is much more than biographies, however. It is a history of the research, including seed and regeneration studies, reforestation, stand management, genetics and tree improvement, growth and yield, mensuration, and other aspects of silviculture. Although the emphasis is on the early work, later studies in sustained yield, multiple use, ecosystem management, sustainable forestry, carbon cycling, and riparian silviculture are also discussed.

Silvicultural Research… is a delightful and informative read for foresters, but it is also an excellent summary of the foundations of forest science in the Pacific Northwest accessible to non-foresters.

Some concluding excerpts:

Forest management practices have been and are continually evolving. Formal forestry research has been an important factor in the process, but it is only one of the factors involved. Progress in applied silviculture comes from the interaction of research results, observation and experience of managers and silviculturists, changes in harvesting and manufacturing technology, and a continually changing economic and social environment. …

It should be apparent that silviculture and silvicultural research have a much longer history than most people — both the general public and natural resource specialists in other fields — realize. There is a great amount of existing information available for those with the time, inclination, and expertise to seek it out. …

One has only to read the media coverage of various forestry issues to realize that much of the public and the media that shape public opinion have little understanding of the long history of Northwestern forestry, the nature of forests, possible management options, or the existence of a large body of research-based information. Unfortunately, much of the existing information is only available in specialized publications that are not ordinarily seen by workers in other fields, and that are often both inaccessible and unintelligible to the general public. There is a great need for synthesis of existing information and its presentation in forms understandable by nonspecialists and by people in other natural resource-related disciplines.

We hope that this publication will contribute toward that end.

27 Jan 2010, 1:25pm
Federal forest policy
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Commenting on the New USFS Planning Rule

Last December the US Forest Service announced their intention to create a new Planning Rule [here]. The Planning Rule guides the creation, amending, and revision of National Forest Land and Resource Management Plans (LMRP’s) under the National Forest Management Act (NFMA).

The USFS cannot write forest plans as the mandated under NFMA without an overarching Planning Rule. The old Planning Rule(s) have been enjoined by the courts, and so a process has been instituted to create a new one.

The USFS set up a website to assist people in providing comments and feedback to the USFS [here]. They explain:

The USDA Forest Service has issued a notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for a new planning rule. This is the first step toward a new planning rule. The next step will be for people to provide the Forest Service feedback to help develop the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and proposed planning rule.

The NOI will begin the scoping period under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and a 60 day public comment period. The Forest Service will use the submitted comments to decide what to analyze in the environmental impact statement. Comments on the scope of analysis for the DEIS must be received by February 16, 2010.

How to Submit Comments:

Comments may be sent via e-mail to fspr@contentanalysisgroup.com

Written comments concerning this notice should be addressed to:

Forest Service Planning NOI

C/O Bear West Company

172 E 500 S, Bountiful, UT 84010

or via facsimile to (801) 397-1605.

All comments, including names and addresses, when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments [here].

The matter is complex and esoteric. Useful comments should be based on a familiarity with NFMA, since that is the (principal) applicable law. The USFS has provided some references to study [here].

In addition, the USFS provided some guidance in their Federal Register Notice of Intent posting [here]. Darrel Kenops, Executive Director of the National Association of Forest Service Retirees (NAFSR), has reviewed and summarized the key questions that the USFS is asking the public to comment on. Mr. Kenop’s summary [here] is excellent, and is very helpful.

Comments are due by Feb 16th. Please use the following (posted in full) from Mr. Kenops and NAFSR to assist in making your comments pertinent and germane to the exercise.

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Reps Walden and Barton Question New SEC Rules on Climate Change

Tomorrow (Jan 27, 2010) the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to issue a new rule requiring corporations to explain how they are “alleviating global warming.”

Representatives Joe Barton and Greg Walden of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce have sent the SEC a letter requesting answers to seven key questions regarding the action [here].

The SEC plans to issue an “interpretive release” that has the effect of force of law with no hearings, taking no testimony, and without statutory authority to exercise jurisdiction over global warming “abatement.”

The SEC failed (with disastrous consequences for the entire world) to rein in investment banks and their credit default swaps that undermined the financial sector worldwide in 2008. The SEC failed to respond to repeated warnings about the Madoff Ponzi scheme, resulting in $65 billion in losses to investors.

Now the SEC has turned their defective attentions to the global warming hoax, not with the intention to protect investors from the fraud, but just the opposite — to force corporations to further the hoax.

As a result of the SEC’s ill-considered action tomorrow, corporations will be subject to civil lawsuits and criminal penalties if they do NOT participate in the greatest hoax in history.

Barton and Walden seek to forestall the SEC from become fraud merchants, the very thing the SEC was created to protect us from!

Let us hope that SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro and the rest of the SEC Commissioners take heed of Congressional displeasure and reject the new rule. If not, the SEC should be swept clean and responsible individuals installed in their place.

See also: Vested interests scary as any climate change scare by Annie Hales, Irish News [here]. A quote:

The transfer of carbon credits has the potential to devastate western economies.

26 Jan 2010, 9:29pm
Climate and Weather
by admin
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The D’Aleo-Watts Report on Surface Station Records

The most important climate realist report written to date is now posted on the Internet.

SURFACE TEMPERATURE RECORDS: POLICY DRIVEN DECEPTION? by Joseph D’Aleo and Anthony Watts, Science and Public Policy Institute Original Paper, January 26, 2010 is available for downloading [here or here] (6.2MB)

The report is a blockbuster. It is bigger than Climategate and bigger than the recent revelations that the IPCC is corrupt. The authors reveal that the temperature record from U.S. surface stations is unreliable and that NOAA and NASA have conspired to manipulate global temperature records to give the impression that temperatures in the 20th century rose faster than they really did.

The AGW (anthropogenic global warming) scare is kaput. From this point forward Al Gore’s hoax, carbon credit markets, and other climate alarmist responses to a non-existent problem will wither and die.

There has been no significant global warming over the last century — at least not enough to be measurable beyond statistical noise. Atmospheric carbon dioxide does not appear to be a significant driver of global temperatures, much less “climate change”.

The burden of proof of purported CO2-driven climate change is on the alarmist community, and they have failed to make the case despite perpetrating extensive corruption and fraud in the effort. This report seals that coffin.

This is an historic day, a victory for rational inquiry and the scientific method, and a huge relief to an unecessarily frightened public around the world.

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