22 Jun 2008, 1:50pm
Latest Fire News
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California fights 400 fires, bakes in heat wave

By Dan Whitcomb, Jun 22, 2008, 11:00 AM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Firefighters worked to contain some 400 wildfires burning across Northern California on Sunday as the state baked under a fourth day of an early summer heat wave that has strained the power grid and left residents wilted.

One structure was destroyed and 150 homes were evacuated near Fairfield, 40 miles southwest of Sacramento, in the path of the worst of the fires, which blackened more than 3,500 acres in wine-producing Napa County.

“The weather is, of course, very hot and dry here, and this fire quickly rolled up into some extremely steep terrain and became inaccessible. We’re having trouble establishing control lines,” said Battalion Chief David Shew of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

He said the blaze was about 10 percent contained as of Sunday morning and that crews were hoping for a break as triple-digit temperatures began to ease and cooler off-shore breezes returned.

Most of the hundreds of fires scattered across Northern California were started by dry lightning strikes during thunder storms that moved across the state on Friday.

“Those evil clouds are wreaking havoc across the state,” Mike Jarvis, deputy director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said of the dry lightning. “There’s no moisture in them and when they hit it’s not like they put themselves out.”

In a 24-hour period beginning on Friday, some 5,000 to 6,000 dry lightning strikes were recorded across the region, leaving crews scrambling to keep up with spot fires. … [more]

21 Jun 2008, 11:11pm
Latest Fire News
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Who “sent” Obama?

by Steve Diamond (lawyer, law professor, and political scientist on the faculty of Santa Clara University School of Law in Santa Clara, California) [here]

In Chicago politics a key question has always been, who “sent” you?  The classic phrase is “We don’t want nobody that nobody sent”  - from an anecdote of Abner Mikva’s, the former White House Counsel (Pres. Clinton) and now retired federal judge.  (And someone I campaigned for while in high school when he ran, unsuccessfully, for Congress in the early 70s.)  As a young student, Mikva wanted to help out the his local Democratic Party machine on the south side of Chicago.  In 1948, he walked into the local committeeman’s office to volunteer for Adlai Stevenson and Paul Douglas and was immediately asked: “Who sent you?”  Mikva replied, “nobody sent me.”  And the retort came back from the cigar chomping pol: “Well, we don’t want nobody that nobody sent.”

So it is reasonable to ask, who “sent” Barack Obama?  In other words, how can his meteoric rise to political prominence be explained?  And, of course, in an answer to that question might lie a better understanding of his essential world view.  When I started looking at this question a few weeks ago I quickly grew more concerned about the kinds of people that seem to have been very important in Obama’s ascendancy in Chicago area politics.  It is the connection of some of these people to authoritarian politics that has me particularly concerned.  And a key concern of this blog has been the rise of authoritarian tendencies in the global labor movement.

The people linked to Senator Obama grew to political maturity in the extreme wings of the late 60s student and antiwar movements.  They adopted some of the worst forms of sectarian and authoritarian politics.  They helped undermine the emergence of a healthy relationship between students and others in American society who were becoming interested in alternative views of social, political and economic organization. In fact, at the time, some far more constructive activists had a hard time comprehending groups like the Weather Underground.  Their tactics were so damaging that some on the left thought that government or right wing elements helped create them.  There is some evidence, in fact, that that was true (for example, the Cointelpro effort of the federal government.)

Today, however, many of these individuals continue to hold political views that hardened in that period.  Many of them have joined up with other wings of the late 60s and 70s movements, in particular the pro-China maoists elements of that era and are now playing a role in the labor movement and elsewhere.  And yet this question of Obama’s links to people from this milieu has not been thoroughly explored by any of the many thousands of journalists, bloggers and political operatives looking so closely at Obama. … [more]

21 Jun 2008, 7:08pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Sink or swim: Lake Las Vegas must sell land to stay afloat

By Buck Wargo, In Business Las Vegas, 11/16/2007

The developer of Lake Las Vegas in Henderson is in default on a $560 million loan and has until the end of the year to find buyers for its remaining undeveloped land or the development could face foreclosure, a Lake Las Vegas official said.

A group headed by investment banker Credit Suisse has, for now, waived any default obligations, after Lake Las Vegas, the lake resort community developed by Transcontinental Corp., did not meet its debt obligation on a sales volume quota by Sept. 30, said David Cox, the chief financial officer of Lake Las Vegas.

The group of lenders has loaned Lake Las Vegas additional money to cover its operational expenses and is considering loaning even more funds to cover any shortfalls, Cox said.

Transcontinental’s cash crunch is direct fallout from the ongoing housing slump.

The latest financial woes center on buyers of the third phase of Lake Las Vegas dropping their plans to acquire land as expected, Cox said. Lake Las Vegas, although it took sizable deposits, was counting on $100 million in option payments from builders that fell through, he said.

“We had some option payments that came due, and they were not met,” Cox said. “Those guys are doing their best to find funding sources, but they are in turmoil right now. Sales have dried up (in the industry).” … [more]

21 Jun 2008, 6:07pm
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Poll shows Support for Wolves, ALSO that wolf management and are ranching are OK

posted at Wolf Crossing [here]

Commissioned by organizations such as the Re-Wildling Institute, Arizona Zoological Society, New Mexico Audubon Council, and the Southwest Environmental Center and conducted by Research & Polling, Inc., one of the Southwest’s largest full-service market research and public opinion research companies, a recent poll seeking support for Mexican wolves among Arizona and New Mexico voters had some interesting results.

Most telling is the fact that the vast majority of those polled in both states had little to no knowlege of the Mexican wolf recovery program. Therefore it isn’t surprising that most support wolf recovery, 69% in NM and 77% in Arizona.

What is surprising is the strong support for both wolf control and livestock grazing not fully reported in the mainstream media but prevalent throughout the poll results.

More than two-thirds (68%) of those polled in NM had little to no knowledge of the Mexican wolf recovery program [here]. In Arizona 51% to 52% had little to no knowledge of the Mexican wolf program [here].

Not reported in the major media outlets was the fact that those polled supported ranching on federally administered land and felt livestock grazing was good for the environment.

On livestock grazing

49% of New Mexico participants believed livestock grazing is good for the environment, while 26% had no opinion.

51% Arizona participants believed livestock grazing is good for the environment, while 28% had no opinion.

Spending taxpayer dollars on wolves and ranching.

79% New Mexico participants want taxpayer dollars to go towards helping ranchers who have experienced wolf conflicts to reduce them. 11% specified that they wanted taxpayer dollars to go to removing and even killing wolves that cause conflict with livestock.

71% Arizona participants want taxpayer dollars to go towards helping ranchers who have experienced wolf conflicts to reduce them. 11% specified that they wanted taxpayer dollars to go towards removing and even killing wolves that caused with livestock.

On wolf control

In New Mexico, 33% of participants want to see wolves that kill 3 or more livestock killed or removed. 25% were neutral on the matter (this means they didn’t oppose wolves being killed or removed this was not reported in the mainstream media). Only 36% oppose killing and removing wolves that kill livestock.

In Arizona, 28% of participants want to see wolves that kill 3 or more livestock killed or removed. 24% were neutral on the matter (this means they didn’t oppose wolves being killed or removed this was not reported in the mainstream media). Only 44% oppose killing and removing wolves that kill livestock.

This poll was interpreted to show mass support for wolf recovery and could certainly be interpreted that way if one ignores all other results, yet it also shows widespread support for ranchers and ranching in AZ and NM.

It clearly shows that the majority of people identify with ranchers on loss of personal property and their ability to sustain their livelihoods through livestock grazing and if necessary, through wolf control. The poll could very well be interpreted to show that wolf control to support ranchers is more important to the participants than removal of grazing to support wolves.

What this poll also says is that even with the anti-ranching agenda set forth by those commissioning the polls, the whole range of poll results indicated that the participants generally had positive attitudes about ranching and livestock grazing.

The vast majority of those polled admitted little to no knowledge of the issue, therefore the uneducated public opinion on Mexican wolves and wolf reintroduction is positive. Despite mass media campaigns by wolf advocates who have been educating the public on wolf management that may or may not be scientifically based for years, the public still supports livestock grazing on federally administered lands, and possibly even over wolf recovery even though they also support the idea of wolves on the same landscape. What would happen with a little pro-active education on the real wolf story from a ranching perspective?

21 Jun 2008, 1:13pm
Latest Wildlife News
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The Hairy Reed - Satire

By Julie Kay Smithson. Property Rights Research [here]

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) has received a petition to list the hairy reed as an artificial species under the Artificial Species Act of 2008 (ASA).

The petition was submitted by a representative of the Lake Las Vegas Deepwater Marina Authority and stated, in part, that the hairy reed is often “in over its head” when dealing with environmental issues. Baking in the Clark County summer sun is a possible habitat behavior that may be contraindicated by the species’ single recognizable specimen and its tendency to inhabit a seemingly contradictory habitat: The District of Columbia.

The hairy reed may be recognized by its propensity to sway in the wind, but also has certain characteristics reminiscent of predatory plants like the Venus flytrap, opening for fresh meat and then slamming shut. Such activity usually goes on behind closed doors, so is, at best, only suspect behavior.

Sightings of this species include press conferences, photo-ops, and political events, the latter being the most probable place to successfully spot the hairy reed, especially during election years.

Whether NDOW will seriously consider listing the hairy reed as an artificial species remains a mystery. The ASA mandates that a bovine excreta study (BES) be done to determine whether the hairy reed should be listed. Several universities have, however, applied for grant funding to monitor and track the hairy reed.

20 Jun 2008, 8:14pm
Latest Fire News
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Ranchers: Fire proves canyon no place for Army

By PETER ROPER, THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN, June 14, 2023

Ranchers opposed to the Army’s planned expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site say the wildfire that has blackened 42,000 acres of the training ground, plus private and state lands, is just a preview of the fire danger that would come from giving the Army more land and heavier weapons to use in the area northeast of Trinidad.

“If this fire had broken out on private land, we’d have gotten on it sooner and knocked it down,” said Lon Robertson, a Kim-area rancher and president of the Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition. “Landowners down here know they have to work together to fight fire and they keep a closer eye on their land than the Army does.”

Robertson said the Army’s plan to add another 414,000 acres to the training ground - plus have live artillery fire and other heavy weapons - will only increase the fire danger to surrounding landowners.

“They use heavier weapons in training up at Fort Carson and look how often they have to suppress wildfires up there,” he said. “We don’t need that added danger down here.”

In April, a wildfire that broke out during training maneuvers downrange at Fort Carson burned more than 14 square miles. A contract pilot, Gert Marias, of Fort Benton, Mont., was killed when his single-engine firefighting aircraft crashed in the blaze. A Fort Carson spokesman challenged the ranchers’ claim the Army is unprepared to fight fires at Pinon Canyon.

“We have firefighting personnel at Pinon Canyon and they began fighting the fire when lightning started it on Sunday,” said Doraine McNutt, senior public affairs officer. “They were able to put out a second fire that also was caused by lightning.”

A second group opposing the Army’s expansion plan issued a statement Friday saying the current wildfire is proof of the wildfire dangers of live-fire training at Pinon Canyon. … [more]

20 Jun 2008, 6:12pm
Latest Fire News
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Washington: Ecoterrorist Sentenced to Six Years

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, June 20, 2023 [here]

A California woman convicted in an ecoterrorism attack at the University of Washington has been sentenced to six years in prison and to pay $6 million in restitution. A Seattle television station, KIRO, reported that the woman, Briana Waters of Berkeley, had asked for mercy because she has a 3-year-old daughter. Prosecutors had recommended a 10-year sentence. Ms. Waters, 32, was sentenced in Federal District Court in Tacoma after being convicted of arson on March 6. She was a student at Evergreen State College in 2001 when she acted as a lookout as others set fire to the Center for Urban Horticulture. The Earth Liberation Front, a loosely organized radical environmental group that has been linked to acts of ecoterrorism in the Northwest, claimed responsibility because it believed, mistakenly, that a researcher was genetically modifying poplar trees. The blaze, which destroyed the plant research center, was one of at least 17 fires set from 1996 to 2001 by the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front. In all, more than a dozen people were arrested; four suspects remain at large.

17 Jun 2008, 11:32pm
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Rural Oregon economy focus of special congress

Illinois Valley News, June 18, 2023 [here]

Rural leaders from across Oregon met Friday, June 13 in Cascade Locks in Columbia River Gorge to plan a different kind of two-day rural conference.

Citizens representing the Oregon coast, S.W. Oregon, north-central Oregon, N.E. Oregon and S.E. Oregon met together for the first time after months of communicating by phone and e-mail. They committed to presenting a thoroughly thought-out and developed Oregon Rural Congress in Cascade Locks on Aug. 21 and 22.

The goal of the Congress is to develop a new way of doing business and functioning in rural Oregon.

“Many of us in rural Oregon have realized that rural communities and interests from across the state must unite and work together,” said Union County Commissioner Colleen MacLeod. “The 2008 Session and Special Session told us that not to do so is no longer an option.”

This first Congress will address five fundamental areas of importance from the perspective of each of eight loosely designated regions of the state. Onno Husing, administrator of the Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association said, “We have to get beyond the one-size-fits-all mentality and respect our differences, or we will never solve the increasing problems rural Oregon has. We have to face facts and find ways to change old systems that no longer work.”

Steve Grasty, a Harney County judge, said, “Rural Oregon must be organized if we are to improve the social, economic and environmental challenges in our communities. These challenges have come forward from years of well intentioned but misguided decisions.”

The planning group discussed the structure of the two-day Congress and the creation of a report. “Unlike the ill-fated report of the Office of Rural Policy the planning group will see that the work of the Congress receives wide distribution,” it was stated.

A final planning meeting will be held in S.W. Oregon on July 24. The location will be announced.

16 Jun 2008, 11:02pm
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Timber industry: The last bastion of a healthy forest?

Photo and story by Alicia Knadler, Indian Valley Editor, Plumas County News, June 16, 2023 [here]

Photo: People who know the Wheeler and Moonlight fire areas can easily see that the catastrophic fires were either stopped or extremely reduced in their severity where the forest had been thinned according to treatments prescribed by the Quincy Library Group more than a decade ago.

It’s the timber industry that is the last bastion of a healthy forest, not the environmentalists or the Forest Service – this is what one hears from the residents and other people whose boots are on the ground out there amidst the devastation on the Plumas National Forest.

One such person is timber operator Randy Pew.

He has been sorely tested the past several years by the constant barrage of lawsuits that keep stopping work on the forest.

The most recent decision, made by San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Judge John T. Noonan, effectively shuts down the thinning needed to prevent more catastrophic fires, like the Wheeler and Moonlight wildfires of 2007.

The forests have become clogged with fuel for wildfires since the spotted owl icon brought logging almost to a screeching halt more than a decade ago.

And now, by the time loggers can get into a burned area to clean it up, it’s almost too late to get the job done safely, and it’s too late to harvest any real value out of the timber.

On the Storrie Fire, for example, timber operators finally got the go-ahead from the Forest Service in the third summer after the fire.

But workers had to quit toward the end of the summer, because the dead trees were falling apart by then and too dangerous to work under.

Will the same thing happen in the area of the Moonlight and Wheeler wildfire areas?

It seems so. … [more]

15 Jun 2008, 10:59pm
Latest Climate News
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More Signs Of The Sun Slowing Down

by Anthony Watts, Watt’s Up With That, June 15, 2023

In my post from yesterday, I highlighted a paragraph from a NASA press release which touched on one of the final findings of the soon to be ended Ulysses spacecraft mission to study the sun:

“Ulysses ends its career after revealing that the magnetic field emanating from the sun’s poles is much weaker than previously observed. This could mean the upcoming solar maximum period will be less intense than in recent history.”

A few months ago, I had plotted the Average Geomagnetic Planetary Index (Ap) which is a measure of the solar magnetic field strength but also daily index determined from running averages of eight Ap index values. Call it a common yardstick (or meterstick) for solar magnetic activity.

… [T]he Ap Index has continued along at the low level (slightly above zero) that was established during the drop in October 2005. As of June 2008, we now have 32 months of the Ap hovering around a value just slightly above zero, with occasional blips of noise. … [more]

14 Jun 2008, 12:02am
Latest Forest News
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ANWR Not the Frosty Paradise It’s Cracked Up To Be

By Jonah Goldberg, Townhall, 06/13/08

Sen. John McCain said this week he would not drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the same reason he “would not drill in the Grand Canyon … I believe this area should be kept pristine.”

Pristine means unspoiled, virginal, in an original state.

One wonders how pristine the Grand Canyon can be if it has roughly 5 million visitors every year, rafting, hiking, picnicking and riding mules up one side and down the other. Campfires, RVs and motels that do not conjure the word “virginal” ring around large swaths of it.

This isn’t to say that the Grand Canyon isn’t a beautiful place; it inspires awe among those who visit it. ANWR (pronounced “AN-wahr) inspires awe almost entirely in those who haven’t been there. It is an environmental Brigadoon or Shangri-La, a fabled land almost no one will ever see. That is its appeal. People like the idea that there are still Edens “out there” even if they will never, ever see them.

Indeed, if Americans could visit the north coast of Alaska, as I have, as easily as they can visit the Grand Canyon, the oil would be flowing by now.

ANWR is roughly the size of South Carolina, and it is spectacular. However, the area where, according to Department of Interior estimates, some 5.7 billion to 16 billion barrels of recoverable oil reside is much smaller and not necessarily as awe-inspiring. It would amount to the size of Dulles airport.

Question for McCain: Has South Carolina been ruined because it has an airport?

Most of the images of the proposed drilling area that people see on the evening news are misleading precisely because they tend to show the glorious parts of ANWR, even though that’s not where the drilling would take place. Even when they position their cameras in the right location, producers tend to point them in the wrong direction. They point them south, toward the Brooks mountain range, rather than north, across the coastal plain where the drilling would be.

In summer, the coastal plain is mostly mosquito-plagued tundra and bogs. (The leathernecks at Prudhoe Bay joke that “life begins at 40″ - because at 40 degrees, clouds of mosquitoes and other pests take flight from the ocean of puddles). In the winter, it reaches 70 degrees below zero (not counting wind chill, which brings it to 120 below) and is in round-the-clock darkness. … [more]

13 Jun 2008, 9:39pm
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Flooded ethanol industry threatens US mandates

By Timothy Gardner, uk.reuters.com, Jun 13, 2023

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Floods in the Midwest that have pushed corn prices to record levels have wiped out profits for making U.S. ethanol and threaten to sink production of the fuel below government mandates.

“If it’s simply economically impossible to make ethanol. then (the government) may have to amend or suspend the Renewable Fuel Standard,” analyst Pavel Molchanov at Raymond James and Associates in Houston said by telephone.

The floods ravaging the corn crop across at least eight states, including Iowa and Illinois, at a time of growing global demand have put another roadblock before the U.S. biofuels policy. Hoping to wean the country off foreign oil, the Bush administration has boosted incentives and mandates for alternative fuels made from food crops. Many have blamed those steps for lifting food prices at a time of mounting hunger problems.

Corn prices for the new-crop July 2009 corn hit a record near $8 per bushel on Friday, while old-crop also hit a record above $7.

Molchanov estimated that average U.S. producers now lose 8 cents for every gallon of ethanol distilled, compared with a profit margin of 20 cents a gallon two weeks ago. Besides higher corn prices, margins also have been squeezed by two-year highs for natural gas, which fires most ethanol plants.

As much as 2 billion to 5 billion gallons of ethanol “could go offline in the next few months due to high corn prices,” a Citi Investment Research note said. U.S. ethanol production capacity is about 8.8 billion gallons per year from 154 distilleries.

“If the ethanol is not there, I don’t think the government expects blenders to blend as much,” said Ron Oster, an analyst at BroadPoint Capital in St. Louis. … [more]

13 Jun 2008, 12:31am
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Did thick brush, environmental concerns worsen Martin Fire?

By PAUL ROGERS - Santa Cruz Sentinel, 06/12/2023 [here]

State officials attempted to clear brush two years ago on the piece of land a where a fire now raging in Santa Cruz County began, but much of the work was delayed and ultimately not finished because of opposition from two local environmental groups.

The fire began in an area of sandstone outcroppings known as “Moon Rocks” on the 550-acre Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve, commanders for Cal Fire confirmed. The reserve, an ancient seabed famed for its rare plants and trees, has not had a significant fire since 1948. As a result, dead trees and brush were piled high.

“It’s like the whole reserve was full of gasoline,” said Angela Petersen, vegetation management program coordinator for the forestry department’s San Mateo-Santa Cruz region.

The Moon Rocks area is well-known among locals as a hangout for teenagers, college students and star-gazers. Neighbors have complained for years about loud parties, illegal bonfires and litter.

In 2003, Petersen worked with biologists from the California Department of Fish and Game, which owns the reserve, to draw up a plan to thin the reserve using chain saws and controlled burns. They won an $80,000 federal grant to fund the work.

For three years, however, the Bonny Doon community was split. Some local residents welcomed the work. Others slowed the effort, Petersen said, by requesting numerous studies and monitoring.

“They said we didn’t have enough information to know how our activities were going to affect the listed and sensitive plants,” Petersen said. “They said by doing anything we could open up the area to invasive species.”

Two environmental groups, the California Native Plant Society’s Santa Cruz chapter and the Sandhills Alliance for Natural Diversity, raised the most objections.
more »

10 Jun 2008, 10:25pm
Latest Climate News
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Coldest June in History

by Susan Gilmore, Seattle Times

Think it’s cold? You have good reason.

Seattle just experienced the coldest first week of June, according to climate records dating to 1891, said Cliff Mass, University of Washington metrologist. Both 1999 and 2008 share the record, with 1917 falling in second place, he said. “Just wait until tomorrow,” he said, when temperatures are going to be even colder.

A heavy snow warning has been issued for the Washington Cascades and Olympics as a storm from the Gulf of Alaska plows into the state tonight.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service said up to a foot of snow may fall in the mountains as low as 3,000 feet, which means Snoqualmie Pass may get a dusting. …

While it won’t snow in the Puget Sound area, records for the lowest high temperature may be broken today and Tuesday. Forecasters said the high temperature today should be 57 degrees, 1 degree below the record set last year. On Tuesday, under windy and rainy skies, the temperature should only get to 54 degrees, 2 degrees below the record set in 1972. … [more]

10 Jun 2008, 2:02am
Latest Forest News
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Planetary Bio-Production Increases Due to CO2

by Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, June 07, 2023

Planet Earth is on a roll! GPP is way up. NPP is way up. To the surprise of those who have been bearish on the planet, the data shows global production has been steadily climbing to record levels, ones not seen since these measurements began.

GPP is Gross Primary Production, a measure of the daily output of the global biosphere — the amount of new plant matter on land. NPP is Net Primary Production, an annual tally of the globe’s production. Biomass is booming. The planet is the greenest it’s been in decades, perhaps in centuries.

Until the 1980s, ecologists had no way to systematically track growth in plant matter in every corner of the Earth — the best they could do was analyze small plots of one-tenth of a hectare or less. The notion of continuously tracking global production to discover the true state of the globe’s biota was not even considered.

Then, in the 1980s, ecologists realized that satellites could track production, and enlisted NASA to collect the data. For the first time, ecologists did not need to rely on rough estimates or anecdotal evidence of the health of the ecology: They could objectively measure the land’s output and soon did — on a daily basis and down to the last kilometre.

The results surprised Steven Running of the University of Montana and Ramakrishna Nemani of NASA, scientists involved in analyzing the NASA data. They found that over a period of almost two decades, the Earth as a whole became more bountiful by a whopping 6.2%. About 25% of the Earth’s vegetated landmass — almost 110 million square kilometres — enjoyed significant increases and only 7% showed significant declines. When the satellite data zooms in, it finds that each square metre of land, on average, now produces almost 500 grams of greenery per year.

Why the increase? Their 2004 study, and other more recent ones, point to the warming of the planet and the presence of CO2, a gas indispensable to plant life. CO2 is nature’s fertilizer, bathing the biota with its life-giving nutrients. Plants take the carbon from CO2 to bulk themselves up — carbon is the building block of life — and release the oxygen, which along with the plants, then sustain animal life. As summarized in a report last month, released along with a petition signed by 32,000 U. S. scientists who vouched for the benefits of CO2: “Higher CO2 enables plants to grow faster and larger and to live in drier climates. Plants provide food for animals, which are thereby also enhanced. The extent and diversity of plant and animal life have both increased substantially during the past half-century.” … [more]

 
  
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