Senate Pushes Massive Forest Holocaust Act

In the very first act of the 2009 Congress the US Senate pushed through a catastrophic incineration bill that guarantees megafire holocausts across Oregon the West.

While the national economy collapses, the US Senate fiddled and earmarked 200,000 acres in Oregon and 2 million acres in eight other states for wholesale destruction by raging wildfire. It is important to note that those fires will not stop at the newly designated holocaust boundaries, either.

The Oregonian reported today [here]

WASHINGTON — Crashing through a barrier that blocked popular wilderness bills for more than a year, the Senate on Sunday voted overwhelmingly in favor of legislation that would permanently protect more than 200,000 acres of threatened “natural treasures” near Mount Hood and other Oregon locations, as well as 2 million acres in eight other states.

The 66-12 vote on a rare weekend session cleared the way for final passage later this week of a sprawling public lands bill that extends formal wilderness status and protection to federal land across a wide swath of the country in addition to expanding national parks.

Though many senators grumbled about a Sunday session, the vote was a happy milestone for Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who has been pushing the Oregon elements for more than a year only to be blocked by objections from a single Republican lawmaker.

With Sunday’s vote, those objections have been overcome and the path to additional protection for land and streams in Oregon has largely been cleared.

Protection? Guaranteed destruction is more like it. Last summer alone catastrophic fires incinerated old-growth forests, habitat, and heritage in the Boulder Creek Wilderness, Sky Lakes Wilderness, South Sierra Wilderness, Jarbidge Wilderness, and Ventana Wilderness. The damages beyond the Wilderness boundaries from smoke, fire, and watershed destruction were severe and will be long-lasting.

Other designated wilderness areas subject to catastrophic fires since designation include Alpine Lakes, Bandelier, Black Canyon, Bob Marshall, Bull of the Woods, Frank Church-River of No Return, Golden Trout, Gospel Hump, Hells Canyon, Lake Chelan-Sawtooth, Manzano Mountain, Marble Mountains, Mount Adams, Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington, Okefenokee, Rogue Umpqua Divide, Saddle Mountain, Selway-Bitterroot, Siskiyou, Tatoosh, Yolla-Bolly, San Rafael, Dick Smith, Three Sisters, Kalmiopsis, Matilija, and many others.

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11 Jan 2009, 3:41pm
Saving Forests
by admin
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Cultural Legacies in Western Landscapes

As promised [here], we have posted (in the W.I.S.E. Colloquium: History of Western Landscapes) a recent report by Michael J. Heckenberger and co-workers entitled The legacy of cultural landscapes in the Brazilian Amazon: implications for biodiversity [here].

Heckenberger’s research indicates that Amazonia is not a primordial wilderness but instead has been home to sophisticated civilizations for thousands of years. Those “polities” have significantly altered the Amazonian environment and added to (not detracted from) the biodiversity found there.

Research from the southern margins of closed tropical forest, in the headwaters of the Xingu River, are highlighted as an example of constructed nature in the Amazon. In all cases, human influences dramatically altered the distribution, frequency and configurations of biological communities and ecological settings. …

The idea that any sustained human presence, even indigenous peoples with simple tools, is destructive or even invasive of biodiversity, is not only questionable in many cases but also backwards, since it was cultural forces, in significant part, that were responsible for patterns of biodiversity in the first place.

The implications are that dehumanizing the Amazon would be destructive to exactly the ecological diversity that popular Western culture is so enamored with. And equally tragic is the discounting and elimination of the native cultures that shaped the landscape in the first place.

That Amazonian landscapes are richly historical and constructed makes them no less natural or interesting, or tainted in terms of biodiversity. Many aspects of indigenous and folk resource management provide ready-made alternatives to imported and far more destructive development strategies and technologies. As Laurance et al. (2001, p. 439) suggest: ‘Rather than rampant exploitation, an alternative and far superior model for Amazonian development is one in which agricultural land is used intensively rather than extensively and ‘high-value’ agroforestry is valued and perennial crops are favoured over fire-maintained cattle pastures and slash-and-burn farming plots.’ Indeed, this is precisely what it seems some indigenous groups were doing. Indigenous practices limit deforestation and lasting partnerships between indigenous and rural peoples in the region will maintain standing forests and potentially even restore tropical forest degradation (Lamb et al. 2005; Nepstad et al. 2005). …

Heckerberger’s conclusions, like Susanna Hecht’s [here], are that native cultures and their sustainable agricultural practices are essential elements in protection and conservation of Amazonia, from a socio-political perspective as well as an ecological one. Our landscapes do not benefit from dehumanization, which is an exploitation (of environment and people) just as much as wholesale deforestation by axe or fire.

The new paradigm thinking is that humanity cannot and should not be divorced from the landscape. Wise stewardship, informed by history and environmental science, is that which incorporates traditional ecological knowledge and native and rural claims to land.

[A]s a hotspot in terms of genes, species and the overall ecosystem(s), as well as in terms of local, national and world heritage, issues of human agency, dynamic change in coupled human–environmental systems and human rights loom large in questions of conservation or sustainable development. In this regard, understanding indigenous systems of management, including those that are only or largely apparent archaeologically, may hold critical keys to future approaches to land use and land rights.

9 Jan 2009, 5:50pm
Saving Forests
by admin
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More destructive wildfires devastate our forests, climate

by Thomas Bonnicksen, Guest Comment, Capital Press, 1/8/2023 [here]

The impact of California’s wildfires on climate and forests is one of the most important issues of our time. This is a new era with a new federal administration, a new Congress, a new political and economic landscape and new opportunities.

The fact is that the wildfire crisis is becoming more serious each year.

Fires are getting bigger, more destructive and more expensive. In 2001, California wildfires burned half a million acres. Over 1 million acres burned in 2007 and again in 2008, the worst fire year in the state’s history. Next year could be even worse.

From 2001 to 2007, fires burned a total of more than 4 million acres and released an estimated 277 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere from combustion and the post-fire decay of dead trees. That is an average of 68 tons per acre.

These wildfires kill wildlife, pollute the air and water, and the greenhouse gases they emit are wiping out much of what is being achieved to reduce emissions from fossil fuels to battle global warming.
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9 Jan 2009, 4:12pm
Saving Forests
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Eden and El Dorado

Fifteen years ago (my how time flies) Dr. Susanna B. Hecht, Ph.D. of UCLA delivered the Horace Marden Albright Lecture in Conservation at the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources.

Her talk, Of Fates, Forests, and Futures: Myths, Epistemes, and Policy in Tropical Conservation, is now posted in the W.I.S.E. Colloquium: History of Western Landscapes [here].

The thesis of Hecht’s lecture is that landscapes, and in particular Amazonia, are often viewed through two (apparently) contradictory lenses. One view is that prior to European conquest western landscapes were edenic wildernesses, untouched and untrammeled by human hands.

Lost Eden traces its American origins to John Muir as well as the American Transcendentalist movements. But its roots are much deeper and easily trace back to the French descriptions of Brazil by de Lery in the 16th century, and to the widely known works of de La Condamine, Condorcet and Rousseau-to the enlightenment roots of European romanticism. In this view, nature is a wilderness, an object of religious or scientific contemplation, an area of spiritual renewal, a primal area, an Eden. Spared the noxious hand of modem man and the corrupt state, nature’s true glory, as well as man’s innate nobility, is revealed. …

The other view is that western landscapes are El Dorado’s, containing treasures of gold, oil, timber, and other commodities ripe for exploitation, for the good of the conquerors of course, and possibly the conquered too, according to compassionate liberals, but ripe nonetheless.

These two lenses are not necessarily diametrical opposites, but more importantly both deny the reality of human occupation by societies over thousands of years. The land is neither Eden nor El Dorado. It is and has long been home.

As he gazed upon the majesty of Yosemite, as an employee of the local logging company, Muir conceived of the mountain areas around him as an untrammeled wilderness. His lost Eden however beautiful and wild as he saw it, was a nature that in fact had been shaped and molded by human agency. He was contemplating the former territory of the Miwok Indians, whose population was the largest one north of the Aztec empire. The people who had fashioned this landscape had been devastated by the gold rush, been dispossessed by agricultural settlers and ravaged by disease. In their profound absence, he assumed that they had never been. What he took as a wilderness was to other eyes an agricultural landscape formed of trees and tubers which his own conception of agriculture, and his own conception of nature, could not comprehend. This area, so majestic in its beauty and its vegetation, had been both human artifact and habitat.

The latest findings by a raft of researchers explore the ancient human connections.

Historical botanical studies have also served to recast the debate. Denevan’s magisterial efforts on ridged field agriculture throughout Latin America provided the intellectual and philosophical guidance for deeply recasting the debates on population through the optic of production, and bringing into to resolute focus human impacts on tropical landscapes. These helped stimulate general analyses of regional vegetation patterns such as those of Balee, who deemed the region to be characterized by “cultural forests” and posits that roughly 12% of Amazonian forests are decidedly anthropogenic.

Thus large scale regional forest patterning reflects human intervention. Other studies have reviewed human impacts on succession in tropical zones, arguing that diversity patterns can in fact be enhanced by human modification. … Posey (1989, and others) have reported that the Kayapo regularly move plants from one watershed to another and plant along forest trails thus affecting the broader regional distribution of species and subspecies.

The rediscovery ancient human connections should color modern land use approaches, argues Hecht. Modern political ecology must take into account traditional human influences and learn from untold centuries of experience, not only regarding natural systems but with respect to and for socio-economic systems as well.

Human intervention has not always been “bad”, although modern interventions, such as massive deforestation and conversion to absentee-owned cattle ranches and/or set asides for dehumanized “wilderness” are not viable solution sets to either social or environmental problems.

Hecht offers few solutions. Her analysis is historically perceptive but not future advisory. She does wish for a political ecology that takes history into account. Beyond that the modern problems seem largely intractable. And indeed over the last fifteen years little of visionary consequence has occurred.

Her analysis is worthwhile nonetheless, and an enjoyable read if you like large vocabularies and even larger thinking. Susanna Hecht is one of our leading philosophers regarding land use and the human-nature connection. Her synthesis of anthropology, ecology, and social science is a model for cutting-edge approaches to contemporary environmental stewardship.

8 Jan 2009, 6:53pm
Saving Forests
by admin

Anthropogenic Forests Are Forests, and Vice Versa

This remarkable article appeared in the University of Chicago Magazine last fall. We post it in its entirety because it is so excellent. Hope we don’t get sued. If we do, we’ll take it down. So you better hurry up and read it just in case.

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

By Richard Mertens, Photography by Dan Dry, The University of Chicago Magazine, Sept-Oct 2008 [here]

Researchers argue that it’s time to see beyond the “myth of the pristine forest”—to gain a truer understanding of humankind’s interactions with the natural landscape.

Whoa! Controversy! Tempest in a teapot! Two kinds!

First, the University of Chicago has requested that I take down Merrtens’ article and substitute a teaser and a link. In a spirit of dis-acrimony, I have done so. But I must point out that the UofC is a giant institution with scads of money and we are a threadbare educational non-profit running on air. We are engaging in spreading education, much as UofC is, except we don’t have ads nor massive billion dollar endowments. Moreover, the UofC has posted Mertens’ piece in the public domain, across the ether, throughout cyberspace, which is much the same as nailing it to a telephone pole. But there you go…

We have, however, located original works by Drs. Susanna Hecht and Michael Heckenberger which ARE without a doubt in the public domain, and we will be posting those shortly, which is better anyway. Why rely on a journalist’s interpretation when we can read the direct word of these accomplished scientists?

Second, the very idea that human beings might have had profound influence on forests throughout history is controversial. Note the response comment (below) from an avowed “evangelical” atheist (someone who proselytizes atheism, and sees the world through the that gloss). The scientific facts are the facts, however, and anti-religious fervor has nothing to with the reality of history. But there you go again…

Global Warming Jackanapes

Hot off the wire: debunked and defrocked former Washington State Climatologist Philip Mote has been hired by Oregon Goober Ted Chokeandgagme to head a new political office of “climate change”. From the Capitol Press [here].

Climate expert hired for Oregon research institute

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Washington state climate scientist Philip Mote, who helped write major reports on global warming, will head an Oregon research institute focused on climate change.

Mote, Washington’s state climatologist, will lead the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute. The institute is at Oregon State University but is shared by the statewide university system.

Mote will be a professor in OSU’s College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences [COAS].

Mote has led research on climate changes in the Pacific Northwest and was a lead author of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which received a Nobel Prize.

The institute will support Oregon’s new Global Warming Commission, created by Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

The perceptive Rogue Pundit (the best eclectic blog in Oregon) reported this travesty [here]:

Scientific Integrity Not Required

January 06, 2024

Almost two years ago now, there was an embarrassing public battle at the University of Washington’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences over the snowpack reduction in the Northwest (previous blog here).  Supposedly, the snowpack had been cut in half since 1950.  However, a couple of professors got studying the data and found that was overstated.  First, they noted that using 1950 as the baseline was cherry picking, because the previous decade had been unusually snowy.  Going back to a more normal 1940, the reduction in snowpack today is 10-15 percent.  And, there has been little change in the snowpack over the last 30 years.

That revision didn’t sit well with one of their compatriots-Philip Mote, whose career had been propelled in part by his claims of a dramatic decrease in the snowpack here in the Northwest.  The Department chair had to mediate the squabble and do some damage control.  He published a revised number regarding the snowpack reduction…30 percent since 1945.  Yet Mote not only kept on citing a higher number, but tried to suppress the dissenting views of his colleagues-none of whom can be called skeptics of climate change.  Yikes.

Guess where the discredited Philip Mote has gotten a new job?

Washington state climate scientist Philip Mote, who helped write major reports on global warming, will head an Oregon research institute focused on climate change. …

The institute will support Oregon’s new Global Warming Commission, created by Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

In Obama and Biden’s Plan for Science and Innovation, their lead bullet is:

Restoring integrity to U.S. science policy to ensure that decisions that can be informed by science are made on the basis of the strongest possible evidence.

OSU and the Governor obviously aren’t on board with that goal

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4 Jan 2009, 3:21pm
Saving Forests
by admin

No, we don’t need more fires

Guest Viewpoint by Bob Zybach, Eugene Register Guard, Jan 4, 2024 [here]

I disagree with the majority of statements and conclusions made by George Wuerthner in his Dec. 26 guest viewpoint on the topic of wildfire ecology.

Wuerthner is a nature photographer, trail guide and science journalist whose opinions on federal resource management policies are widely disseminated through books, blogs, letters and articles. To my knowledge, he has received no advanced degrees in a scientific discipline, conducted no formal scientific research, or ever written a peer-reviewed journal article.

This is important, because Wuerthner presumes to lecture his readers on the intricacies of ecological science, and to present his personal opinions as if they were generally accepted facts. For example, after noting a commonly known phenomenon (“remember, the sun does appear to go around the Earth”), he states: “Contrary to common opinion, large blazes are not driven primarily by fuels, but by climatic conditions.” These statements are not analogous. One is a fact, the other an opinion.

Contrary to Wuerthner’s assertions, my own research — and the research of hundreds of other scientists — demonstrates that wildfires are not a direct function of climate at all (think of a hot, arid desert, for example), but rather are functions of fuel, topography and seasonal weather (not climate!) conditions. Fire, first and foremost, needs fuel.

That’s a fact, not an opinion.

Wuerthner attempts to discredit an earlier Register-Guard guest viewpoint by Kathy Lynn of the University of Oregon, which reasonably called for fuel management actions to reduce the frequency and severity of wildfire. Wuerthner claimed Lynn’s statements were “full of flawed assumptions and consequently flawed solutions.”

Wuerthner presents no data to support his contentions. More telling are the personal values mixed in with his “science.” Even if wildfires were just as common in the past as today, does that mean they are good today? Malaria and cholera used to be more common in the past. Should their occurrence be returned to previous levels? And why is “increased biodiversity” implied to be such a good thing, and what does it have to do with wildfire? Think of the massive increase in “biodiversity” in Eugene during the past 150 years, for example, with the introduction of thousands of new species of weeds, domestic plants and animals — and all without wildfire! Is that somehow good for the environment?

Additional thoughts from Wuerthner: “If anything, we probably need more wildfire, not less. With global warming we will probably get it, as vegetative communities adapt to new climatic realities,” and: “Another surprising finding is that mechanical fuels treatment, commonly known as logging and thinning, typically has little effect on the spread of wildfires.”

If you believe Wuerthner’s claim that wildfires are “driven primarily by climatic conditions,” and if you accept global warming as a fact and believe such changes will be conducive to more wildfires, and if you think that plants live in “communities,” then perhaps he has a valid point. But suppose all this conjecture turns out to be true: So what? More wildfires? Didn’t he also say “we probably need more” (for whatever reason) anyway? Wuerthner’s arguments, much like his analogy of the sun, appear to go around in circles, with no real logic to them.

Oregonians old enough to remember the “six-year jinx” of Tillamook fires (1933-51), or who have closely observed the burning patterns of the 2003 B&B Complex, understand the fallacy of his statements. We do not “probably need more wildfire” (for lots of good reasons) — and logging and thinning, not “surprisingly,” often do have an observable and beneficial effect on the severity and spread of wildfires.

Our nation’s heritage forests are going up in predictable and preventable flames, creating an ugly, dangerous environment full of dead plants and animals, and contributing to air pollution, stream sedimentation, and ruined rural economies.

Something needs to be done to correct these problems. Kathy Lynn offers helpful suggestions based in science; George Wuerthner offers personal opinions.

Bob Zybach is a forest scientist with a doctorate from Oregon State University. Zybach has been program manager for the Oregon Websites and Watersheds Project (www since 1996.

4 Jan 2009, 11:22am
Climate and Weather
by admin
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Brass Monkey Wedder

by bear bait or someone like him

Not wedder to somting,  bot wedder like in snow and cold. So the forecast high for Fairbanks today is -28F, and the low -40F…

Nobody goes out in weather below -20. Trappers go to bed and try to keep a fire going in very small spaces, and watch their breath make icicles on the ceiling.

The brass monkey never sees that kind of cold. The brass monkey was the casting on a man o’ war that was the base for piled cannon balls at the gun port. When it got really, really cold at sea, and sea water from rough seas ran over the piled cannon balls, it would form ice on the brass casting and in time displaced the cannon balls, allowing them to roll about on the gun deck doing damage. So when it was cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, it was frozen salt water and loose cannon balls on the gun deck. Cold, hard work, that  cannon ball recovery on the gun deck of a man o’ war in the 18th and 19th centuries…

But never as cold as it is in Fairbanks or the Arctic interior today. The frozen sea is no place for a ship of war, or any ship for that matter. You can get mighty hungry on an icebound boat. Bad for crew morale. Captains tended to avoid that kind of thing, and sailed south when the sea ice started to form. So it was much warmer, actually, than Fairbanks today when the brass monkey made ice and forced the balls onto the rolling deck in a big sea.

Ol’ algore is going to have to explain this weather anomaly that we have this year. Record snow fall in December, not only for Portland but for North Dakota, too. Ayup. Most total snow in NoDak in recorded history. Frozen buffalo weather. Huddle up and hope weather.  Appreciation for a chubby wife weather. Appreciation for a chubby husband weather. Probably a baby boom in September. Brrrrrrrr.

One of the things I have seen is that alder stands took a big hit in many areas. The young and old alder stands all look like a giant mower went through and lowered their total tree heights. The 20- to 40-year-old doug fir and hemlock stands are missing tops on many trees, too. It is snow break weather we’re having. That rotten spot inside the soft wood logs indicated by the jog in the tree, where it looks like someone offset the top 30 feet from the bottom 70 feet. Snow break. Take two feet above it and 4 feet below it when cruising. It will be rotten and cull.

I have been looking at our local 5 day deal, and it could get dicey again. I expect more of this kind of weather. It’s a pattern that’s set in, not a once-in-a-lifetime thing. The Pacific Ocean has cooled way down off the coast here. Not moderating the cold like it use to. Loverly…

There’s plenty of sea ice on the continental shelf… where the white bears live. That is an indication that things are well and normal in the Arctic. It might shut up the doomsayers for a while. Maybe. In the jargon of the late Emily Littella of Saturday Night Live fame so long ago, “If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.”

I am just glad we had some cooler weather to slow the melt and lessen flooding. That was the weather miracle so far this year, and well appreciated by me. The Corps are letting water out of the Willamette Project dams as fast as they can, and the Willamette is still right at flood stage. It will be up all winter at this rate. Before flood control dams, the rivers would go over the banks for a couple of days and then go way down. The force of the flood would spread water far and wide, but it was only an inconvenience for a while. Only in town, where developers are allowed to build in flood plains, is there ever a problem. On the farms the houses are built above the highest ever recorded flood stage, and the people sat in their houses-become-islands and watched the lake form for a couple of days, and then went about their business when the waters quickly receded. Today the river rarely gets that high, but due to dam releases it takes weeks to recede. If at all. High water at almost a flood all winter.

Ayup. The big chill is back. You kiddies haven’t experienced it but we old timers remember. Gather ’round while I tell you sprouts about the Freeze of ‘79, when you could drive a Chevy across the Columbia. We had an eclipse that winter, a total eclipse of the sun, and I was there on the Path of Totality. It was 10 below on Macintosh Hill when the Sun disappeared behind the Moon… — bear bait

AGW Alarmist Wacko Reveals Marxist Agenda

James Hansen of NASA took time out from his busy schedule of shouting, “The seas are going to boil! The seas are going to boil!” [here] to write a letter to incoming dimbulb B. Obama. The substance of the chief wacko’s missive: hammer the US with carbon taxes as a “wealth redistribution” scheme.

NASA’s Hansen to Obama: Use Global Warming to Redistribute Wealth

By Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters, January 1, 2024 [here]

Climate realists around the world have contended for years that the real goal of alarmists such as Nobel Laureate Al Gore and his followers is to use the fear of man-made global warming to redistribute wealth.

On Monday, one of Gore’s leading scientific resources, Goddard Institute for Space Studies chief James Hansen, sent a letter to Barack and Michelle Obama specifically urging the president-elect to enact a tax on carbon emissions that would take money from higher-income Americans and distribute the proceeds to the less fortunate.

Dear Michelle and Barack,

…A rising carbon price is essential to “decarbonize” the economy, i.e., to move the nation toward the era beyond fossil fuels. The most effective way to achieve this is a carbon tax (on oil, gas, and coal) at the well-head or port of entry. The tax will then appropriately affect all products and activities that use fossil fuels. The public’s near-term, mid-term, and long-term lifestyle choices will be affected by knowledge that the carbon tax rate will be rising.

The public will support the tax if it is returned to them, equal shares on a per capita basis (half shares for children up to a maximum of two child-shares per family), deposited monthly in bank accounts. No large bureaucracy is needed. A person reducing his carbon footprint more than average makes money. A person with large cars and a big house will pay a tax much higher than the dividend. Not one cent goes to Washington. No lobbyists will be supported. Unlike cap-and-trade, no millionaires would be made at the expense of the public. …

James and Anniek Hansen
United States of America

Let’s all drink Hansen’s Kool Aid! Tax the bejeebers out of carbon and divvy the proceeds equally (half shares to the kiddies). No bureaucracy needed!

Or else the seas will boil!!!!!

We don’t know what Jimmy has been smoking but he ought to share it with the hippies.

One saving grace in this letter: Hansen was careful to inform B.O. that Pennsylvania is in the USA. That saved B.O. the embarrassment of admitting ignorance on the subject. Yep, B.O., PA is one of our 57 states. You might want to bone up on this stuff, seeing as you are going to be POTUS and all that.

Some other choice quotes from Hansen’s letter:

[W]e must reduce greenhouse gases below present amounts to preserve nature and humanity

Coal plants are factories of death.

Burning all the fossil fuels will destroy the planet we know, Creation

Barack’s leadership is essential to explain to the world what is needed.

The End Is Near. The seas are going to boil! James Hansen’s solution: tax to the max and then hand out the money in shares to everybody, not just to Wall Street sharks and corporate bigwigs. Then we can all burn the cash to keep warm, since the power will be shut off.

Meanwhile, in other news, record winter cold seizes the Northern Hemisphere…

By the way, if a colder climate is so desirable, why do all those tens of millions of people choose to live in California and Florida while Alaska is mostly open space? Could it be that most folks secretly (and not so secretly) think that Warmer Is Better?!?!

1 Jan 2009, 10:07am
by admin
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Signing off 2008; Welcoming 2009

A poem from Julie:

Signing off 2008; Welcoming 2009

It’s time to put it to bed, lay it to rest.

Another year we have spent doing our best.

Countless hours we have logged, far from the woods,

That foresters might better harvest the goods.

Seeds we have planted, so knowledge might sprout,

With no farm ground or livestock or tractors about.

Let’s put 2008 to bed and lay it to rest

We’ve a new year in which to give our best!

2009 dawns; we stand at the ready,

Still on a course that’s sure and steady.

History won’t likely record our names

But it’s never been about glory or fame.

Our mark will be left on the trail of time

Etched like a beacon: Clear, sharp and fine,

Like the founding fathers, viewed only from ahead

Others will step up one day to stand in our stead

So, let’s put 2008 to bed; let’s lay it to rest

We’ve a whole new year — Let’s give it our best!

Property rights researcher Julie Kay Smithson hopes that each of you will accord 2008 the memories earned and lessons learned, but focus now on what lies ahead and continuing to learn how to protect, defend and enhance your property rights! Please visit

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