Woo Woo Wu

Another Oregon elected official makes national news. We can really pick ‘em.

Oregon Live: U.S. Rep. David Wu loses staffers, political team amid complaints of public behavior [here]

Willamette Week: Documents Show Congressman David Wu’s Staff “Threatened to Shut Down His Campaign” [here]

Oregon Live: Rep. David Wu’s staff confronted him over concerns about his mental health [here]

David Wu on the issues [here]

Trillions for biomass projects fruitless

Kyodo News, Japan Times, Feb. 15, 2011 [here]

None of the government’s 214 biomass promotion projects — with public funding coming to ¥6.55 trillion — over the past six years has produced effective results in the struggle against global warming, according to an official report released Tuesday.

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, which evaluates public works projects, urged the agriculture and five other ministries conducting biomass projects using sewage sludge, garbage and wood, to take corrective action.

The Administrative Evaluation Bureau found in a study of biomass projects through March 2009 that the cumulative budget totaled about ¥6.55 trillion.

The six ministries taking part in such projects, however, have yet to confirm the financial results for 92, or 44 percent, of the 214 projects, with one bureau official saying: “The figures tell everything. The ministries need to produce certain results because they are using taxpayers’ money.”

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry spent about ¥1.6 billion on a project to produce livestock feedstuff from unsold boxed lunches from convenience stores. The project was abandoned after its management firm collapsed, the report says. … [more]

Northern New Brunswick wind turbines frozen solid

by Greg Weston, Telegraph-Journal, February 15, 2023 [here]

FREDERICTON — A $200-million wind farm in northern New Brunswick is frozen solid, cutting off a potential supply of renewable energy for NB Power.

The 25-kilometre stretch of wind turbines, located 70 kilometres northwest of Bathurst, N.B. has been completely shutdown for several weeks due to heavy ice covering the blades.

GDF SUEZ Energy, the company that owns and operates the site, is working to return the windmills to working order, a spokeswoman says.

“We can’t control the weather,” Julie Vitek said in an interview from company headquarters in Houston, Texas. …

Wintery conditions also temporarily shutdown the site last winter, just months after its completion. Some or all of the turbines were offline for several days, with “particularly severe icing” blamed.

The accumulated ice alters the aerodynamics of the blades, rendering them ineffective as airfoils. The added weight further immobilizes the structures.

Vitek says workers are trying to find a way to prevent ice buildup from occurring again in the future. The shutdown has not had any effect on employment at the site, which provides 12 permanent jobs. …

Despite running into problems in consecutive winters, Morton says NB Power doesn’t have concerns about the reliability of the supply from the Caribou Mountain site. … [more]

Note: this article is not a spoof; it just appears to be one.

Tree octopus exposes Internet illiteracy

by mludwig, My San Antonio, 02/01/2024 [here]

Is this creature capable of exposing shocking internet illiteracy?

Donald Leu, a researcher from the University of Connecticut, conducted a U.S. Department of Education-funded study of internet literacy among so-called “digital natives,” fabricating the tree octopus to test students’ ability to evaluate information they find on the internet.

Researchers asked students to find out information about the endangered Pacific Northwest tree octopus. Students had no problem locating a Web site dedicated to the cause [here], “but insisted on the existence of the made-up story, even after researchers explained the information on the website was completely fabricated,” according to a press release.

(Author’s note: You gotta check out this Web site, you can actually buy posters and T-shirts through Cafe Press.)

Most students “simply have very little in the way of critical evaluation skills,” Leu said. “They may tell you they don’t believe everything they read on the Internet, but they do.” … [more]

EPA Administrator Claims Regulating Drinking Water Supply Prevents Kids from Getting Autism

By Penny Starr, CNS News, February 03, 2024 [here]

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson told a Senate panel that preventing children from being exposed to contaminated water could spare them from autism.

Jackson made the remark on Wednesday at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in response to questioning by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who asked if a recent executive order by President Barack Obama about regulations and the regulatory process means that the EPA can put any rules in place if “the benefits outweigh the costs.”

“I think the president’s far-reaching executive order makes clear that there are some things that are hard to price,” Jackson said at the hearing on U.S. drinking water and new regulations the EPA may put in place on contaminants.

“Our science may be good, but I don’t know how you price the ability to try to forestall a child who may not get autism if they’re not exposed to contaminated water,” Jackson said. … [more]

Note: Jackson is wrong on many counts but principally on the point that EPA’s science is “good” when in fact it is rubbish junk pseudoscience. Children do not get autism from drinking water. New EPA regs will not prevent a single case of autism. The EPA gone loony is a much bigger threat to children, and adults, than drinking water.

Band of bothers

Researchers’ flipper bands can seriously dent penguin survival, and also skew the results of research.

by Daniel Cressey, NatureNews, 12 January 2024 [here]

Attaching bands to penguins’ flippers makes them easier for scientists to study, but may also up the birds’ death rates and lower their chances of reproducing.

A team studying king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) has rekindled this debate, which has been running for more than 30 years, and thrown up an additional concern. Not only do bands placed around the birds’ flippers make life more difficult for penguins, their effects also undermine the conclusions drawn from such studies.

Biologists have long feared that the tags, bands and transmitters they attach to animals could have a negative effect on their study subjects. The debate has been especially fraught where penguins are concerned because some studies have found problems with bands whereas others have found none.

Yvon Le Maho at the University of Strasbourg in France, an author of the current study, published in Nature, says that the time has come for ecologists to embrace new technologies and abandon flipper bands, “certainly as a precautionary principle”.

His group’s paper also highlights a wider issue: studies on penguins can and are being used to look at the effects of climate change on ecosystems. Le Maho and colleagues have previously used electronic tagging of king penguins to show that just 0.26 ºC of warming in sea-surface temperatures could trigger a 9% decline in adult survival2. If banding were used in such studies, its consequences on a population could cripple attempts to extrapolate a climate-linked trend from the data. … [more]

Note: possible subtitle: When Wildlife Biologists Are Toxic To The Animals They Study

A common phenomenon. In Hawaii the USGS-BRD wye-byes study endangered birds by climbing ladders to nests and removing the chicks to weigh and measure them. Then they put the chicks back in the nests. Interestingly, 100% of the chicks thusly man-handled die within a few hours. Must be global warming, eh?

Feds warned of suit over unnecessary ESA listing of VELB

The Elderberry Longhorn Beetle doesn’t belong on any ESA list

Pacific Legal Foundation Featured Case, January 10, 2024 [here]

Attorneys with Pacific Legal Foundation announced today that they have formally warned federal officials of a forthcoming lawsuit if the valley elderberry longhorn beetle (VELB) is not removed from the federal Endangered Species Act list.

In a letter mailed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), PLF attorneys point out that the federal government’s own study concluded that the VELB is no longer in need of ESA protection.

The letter, mailed on Friday, January 7, constitutes the “60 Day Notice” that prospective plaintiffs must provide before suing over unjustified ESA regulations. …

The VELB is found in California’s Central Valley, from southern Shasta County south to Kern County. “Critical habitat” designations include a zone in Sacramento between the Western Pacific railroad tracks and Commerce Circle, and areas along the south bank of the American River, including in the vicinity of Rancho Cordova’s River Bend Park. The case is Yolo County Farm Bureau v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Although the VELB has been listed as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act since 1980, in 2006 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service completed a mandatory five-year review as part of a settlement agreement in a case brought by PLF attorneys. The review found the VELB should be taken off the ESA list. However, no action ensued.

Victims of the VELB listing: landowners, businesses, farmers, and flood-control districts

“Job creation suffers because of the federal government’s failure to act on its own findings that the VELB should be delisted,” said PLF attorney Brandon M. Middleton.

A prime example is the predicament of Bob Slobe, whose historic North Sacramento Land Company owns property adjacent to American River Parkway and California Route 160 in Sacramento. The land is zoned for offices which he hopes to build, but the VELB listing has stymied any plans to develop his property. Slobe’s land is within the critical habitat zone for the VELB, so he can’t disturb any of the bushes where beetles live – without being forced to pay an unaffordable sum of money to buy and preserve habitat elsewhere.

“Slobe’s vacant parcel also has attracted large numbers of transients, who set up camps on the property, even though he is continuously working to clean up after the trespassers,” said Middleton. As the Sacramento Business Journal reported in a 2003 story, the property became a dumping ground for abandoned cars and bicycles, stolen copper wire, and dangerous waste, such as syringes.

Ironically, even the bushes where the beetles live have harmed by trespassers. “In the last year alone, bushes on our property have been burned twice,” Slobe recently pointed out.

VELB listing complicates flood protection

“The feds’ unjustified delay in dropping the VELB from the ESA protected list is eating into the budgets of reclamation districts that protect the people and service the economy in the Sacramento Valley,” said Middleton. “These districts have been forced to devote significant resources to VELB mitigation projects. So the unnecessary VELB regulations make it harder for these vital agencies to focus on flood control, drainage, and irrigation management.”

For instance, it cost approximately $1.2 million extra to repair a stretch of levy outside of Marysville, because Reclamation District 784 had to remove and replant elderberry bushes – the habitat of the VELB – before work could start. “It took approximately a year to get the permit” to proceed with levy improvements, said Steve Fordice, an official with the district.

The case is Yolo County Farm Bureau v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The 60-day notice may be found at PLF’s website. … [more]

Thanks for the news tip to Julie Kay Smithson, Property Rights Research [here, here]

97% Cooked Stats

by Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, January 3, 2024 [here]

The ‘scientific consensus’ about global warming turns out to have a lot more to do with manipulating the numbers

How do we know there’s a scientific consensus on climate change? Pundits and the press tell us so. And how do the pundits and the press know? Until recently, they typically pointed to the number 2,500 — that’s the number of scientists associated with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Those 2,500, the pundits and the press believed, had endorsed the IPCC position.

To their embarrassment, most of the pundits and press discovered they were mistaken — those 2,500 scientists hadn’t endorsed the IPCC’s conclusions, they had merely reviewed some part or other of the IPCC’s mammoth studies. To add to their embarrassment, many of those reviewers from within the IPCC establishment actually disagreed with the IPCC’s conclusions, sometimes vehemently.

The upshot? The punditry looked for and found an alternative number to tout: “97% of the world’s climate scientists” accept the consensus, articles in the Washington Post, the U.K.’s Guardian, CNN and other news outlets now claim, along with some two million postings in the blogosphere.

This number will prove a new embarrassment to the pundits and press who use it. The number stems from a 2008 master’s thesis by student Maggie Kendall Zimmerman at the University of Illinois, under the guidance of Peter Doran, an associate professor of Earth and environmental sciences. The two researchers obtained their results by conducting a survey of 10,257 Earth scientists. The survey results must have deeply disappointed the researchers — in the end, they chose to highlight the views of a subgroup of just 77 scientists, 75 of whom thought humans contributed to climate change. The ratio 75/77 produces the 97% figure that pundits now tout. … [more, including a link to the funky "study"]

Department of Homeland Security goes off the deep end

Janet Incompetano plans to battle “climate change” in addition to terrorists

Watts Up With That, December 20, 2023 [here]

Not content to keep to the terrorism prevention mission for which they were founded, DHS’s Janet Napolitano now plans to battle a religious war of “climatic jihad”. … [T]he last time Washington DC took on weather in February 2010 (but not climate), the capital was shut down of course [here]. Now that’s “environmental justice”. Look for pat downs at airports soon for those carrying concealed carbonated beverages. …

See also:

Napolitano Says DHS to Begin Battling Climate Change as Homeland Security Issue

By J. Brady Howell, CNS News, December 17, 2023 [here]

At an all-day White House conference on “environmental justice,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that her department is creating a new task force to battle the effects of climate change on domestic security operations.

Speaking at the first White House Forum on Environmental Justice on Thursday, Napolitano discussed the initial findings of the department’s recently created “Climate Change and Adaptation Task Force.”

Napolitano explained that the task force was charged with “identifying and assessing the impact that climate change could have on the missions and operations of the Department of Homeland Security.” …

Lame Duck Dems Screw Small Farmers, Ban Farmers Markets

Before they are kicked to the curb next January, radical anti-American Dems plan to impose fees and regulations on small farms and market gardens, effectively eliminating small farms, local commercial food production, and farmers markets. The Bill is S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act [here].

On Nov. 18th the US Senate voted to halt all debate and consider the Bill as is. The Motion to Proceed passed with 51 Dem aye votes but only 4 GOP aye votes. Six Dems and 27 GOPs voted no [here].

Q&A on S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act [here]

Q: I am hearing this bill could threaten the existence of farmers markets as we know them, and furthermore threaten pure organic foods. Thoughts?

A: Of course this is a threat to small farmers - a fee or costly series of procedures that are pocket change for a multi-million-dollar industrial food company could break the budget of a small farmer. It will not end industrial “organics”, but don’t kid yourself and think that the genuine family farmers are going to keep growing food for you if it squeezes them beyond the breaking point.

A: As the co-founder of a farmers market and co-coordinator for 14 years through 2008, I know for certain that farmers markets are endangered. The new section 418 Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls applies a HACCP-like plan requirement to all businesses required to register under the 2002 Bioterrorism Act.

A: Yes it will negatively impact our farm. Especially when you consider that I am being treated no differently that a larger processor (where most the problems lie) and that foreign food sources are not impacted by this legislation in the same manner.

Q: I have a small green house and about an acre of ground. I grow most all plants from seed. I sell the plants for customers to transplant to their own gardens. I also plant my own acre of ground and sell tomatos,peppers, and other produce to friends family and customers. And quite often bring produce to a farmers market. Will this bill affect me?

A: If the secretary so deems you to be defined as a small business affected by certain sections, yes. The wording is not specific but is general so that the person who occupies the post at the time the law is enacted will have the legal authority to make a definitive determination.

Q: Please clarify: will this bill prevent small farmers from selling produce without govenment regulation?

A: Yes.

Q: What is the constitutional basis for the federal government to monitor and control small farms that are not shipping product across state lines?

A: There is no constitutional provision that allows the federal government to monitor and control small farms that are engaged in local, intrastate commerce.

A million strong and bull trout are endangered, seriously?

Roger Phillips, Idaho Statesman, September 09, 2023 [here]


… Idaho’s bull trout are more plentiful than people realize, and it’s debatable whether they should even be listed under the Endangered Species Act. …

According to a population estimate published by Idaho Fish and Game biologists in 2008 in the American Fisheries Society journal, “within 262 local populations designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service within seven Idaho recovery units, the number of 70-millimeter total length and larger bull trout was estimated at 1.13 million.” …

[I]t’s been 12 years since bull trout were listed under the Endangered Species Act, and there’s still no final federal recovery plan, so there’s no chance of delisting them.

Under a best-case scenario, it will probably be at least two or three years before the feds could even start the delisting process and remove bull trout from ESA protection.

The irony here is that it’s going to take longer to get a recovery plan for bull trout than it was for Idaho to recover them, whether or not they were actually “threatened” in the first place.

Czar She Blows

U.S. names Asian carp czar

Chicago Breaking News, September 8, 2023 [here]

The White House has tapped a former leader of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana Wildlife Federation as the Asian carp czar to oversee the federal response to keeping the invasive species out of the Great Lakes.

On a conference call today with Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and other congressional leaders, President Obama’s Council on Environmental Quality announced the selection of John Goss to lead the near $80 million, multi-pronged federal attack against Asian carp.

“This is a serious challenge, a serious threat,” Durbin said. “When it comes to the Asian carp threat, we are not in denial. We are not in a go-slow mode. We are in a full attack, full-speed ahead mode. We want to stop this carp from advancing.” …

The challenge for Goss, who was director of the Indiana DNR under two governors and served for four years as the executive director of the Indiana National Wildlife Federation, will be to make sure millions in federal money is spent efficiently, to oversee several on-going studies — including one looking into the possibility of permanently shutting down the Chicago waterway system linking Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River-and to bring together Great Lakes states currently locked in a courtroom battle over the response to the Asian carp threat. … [more]

Nota bene: this article is about the carp czar, not the crap czar. The crap czar is someone else.

Nota bene duo: Czar, czar, everywhere a czar. Blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you heed the czar.

You can’t walk down the street these days without tripping over a czar. They’re thick as fleas on a dog.

I want to be the czar czar, the czar that oversees all the other czars. I could be Czar Czar Binks or Czar Czar Gabor. Czar vil be no escapes from my czarishness.

Security guard pays $1,735 for killing black bear

Great Falls Tribune, September 2, 2023 [here]

A security guard at the ultra-exclusive Yellowstone Club has paid $1,735 in restitution and fines for illegally killing a black bear while trying to haze the animal away from a paintball course.

The Montana Standard reports Shane Barstad paid $1,000 in restitution and a $735 fine in Justice Court in Madison County this week.

Justice of the Peace Mary Ann O’Malley says Barstad paid the penalties for the misdemeanor citation for killing a large animal out of season.

Barstad told state Fish, Wildlife & Parks officers that he killed the bear on Aug. 11 when he accidentally used a live round instead of a rubber bullet while trying to haze the bear. … [more]

Note: if the bear had attacked a paintballer, would the judge have fined the bear?

Chicago Climate Exchange drops 50%, new record low

by Anthony Watts, Watts Up With That, August 31, 2023 [here]

The only lower price than today’s closing price on a ton of carbon is ZERO

Perhaps reacting to the news yesterday about the IPCC getting taken to the woodshed [here], the growing number of stories in the MSM about the IPCC failure, and the recent layoffs at CCX [here], carbon trading has once again been devalued by the market. …

The CCX [Chicago Climate Exchange] end of day table really says it all, 50% off, from a dime to a nickel [per ton] in a day. …

Charcoal briquettes and coal have more value than a ton of CCX carbon instruments these days. [By the way, the spot price for Central Appalachia 12,500 Btu, 1.2 SO2 coal this week was $69.50 per ton. Compare that 5 cents per ton for fiat "market" carbon futures.]

Unless CCX starts making adjustments in single cents, the next downward adjustment is zero. The latest CCX advisory says they will be closed for labor day, and will reopen for trading September 7th. One wonders.

See also: The $10 Trillion Climate Fraud [here]

ICE buying Climate Exchange for over $600 million [here]

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