17 Apr 2009, 10:49pm
Climate and Weather Federal forest policy
by admin
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EPA Proposes Nutzoid CO2 Rule

The Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act [here] was signed by EPA Chief Administrator Lisa Jackson [here] today (April 17, 2023).

Jackson is fulfilling an Obama campaign promise: to severely impoverish the citizenry by crippling the economy of the U.S. via the criminalization of the emission of carbon dioxide.

The New CO2 Rule reads in part:

Today the Administrator is proposing to find that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere endanger the public health and welfare of current and future generations. Concentrations of greenhouse gases are at unprecedented levels compared to the recent and distant past. These high atmospheric levels are the unambiguous result of human emissions, and are very likely the cause of the observed increase in average temperatures and other climatic changes.

That’s complete bullsh*t. Carbon dioxide is the principle nutrient in photosynthesis and hence the building block of all life. It is not a pollutant. Current concentrations of atmospheric CO2 are NOT unprecedented — for the last 200 million years CO2 concentrations have been greater, as much as 15 to 25 times greater than they are today. The global temperature trend widely observed over the last ten years has been downward.

The EPA statement goes on:

The effects of climate change observed to date and projected to occur in the future – including but not limited to the increased likelihood of more frequent and intense heat waves, more wildfires, degraded air quality, more heavy downpours and flooding, increased drought, greater sea level rise, more intense storms, harm to water resources, harm to agriculture, and harm to wildlife and ecosystems – are effects on public health and welfare within the meaning of the Clean Air Act. In light of the likelihood that greenhouse gases cause these effects, and the magnitude of the effects that are occurring and are very likely to occur in the future, the Administrator proposes to find that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare within the meaning of Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act.

Again, utter tripe. There has been no observed climate change. Global temps are dropping. There is zero likelihood of “more frequent and intense heat waves.” Instead climatologists (including some from the IPCC) are predicting continued cooling for the next 30 years, based on oceanic perturbations such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

The EPA claims CO2-induced global warming has already caused more wildfires. Yet the actual data show that the U.S.has been on a downward trend, experiencing FEWER wildfires per year, since 1981! The facts directly refute the EPA’s contentions!

It is true that wildfire acreage has gone up, but that is because the US Forest Service has induced megafires through a hands-off Let It Burn fire policy, which has absolutely nothing to do with mythical global warming.

The EPA is not claiming increased fire acreage — their claim is increasing number of fires which is a complete counter-factual.

Megafires do emit megatons of CO2. The policy of the USFS is to promote megafires and hence mega emissions. Will the EPA therefore crack down the USFS Let It Burn policies?

Don’t hold your breath.

Or maybe you should. Thanks to this latest atrocity of pseudo-science by the Obama Administration, your very act of breathing is now a crime and will be taxed to the max.

Al’s Big Hoax has come home to roost, as predicted, in the most taxaholic, oppressive, and anti-American government in our 200+ year history.

Day-Lighting the True Costs of Fire

This week the Western Forestry Leadership Coalition [here] issued a new report: The True Cost of Wildfire in the Western U.S. [available here] (2.79 MB)

Their report “Explores beyond the costs of suppression to help describe the true costs to communities and the environment from large wildland fires.” From the Introduction:

The True Cost of Wildfire in the Western U.S.

Introduction

The millions of dollars spent to extinguish large wildfires are widely reported and used to underscore the severity of these events. Extinguishing a large wildfire, however, accounts for only a fraction of the total costs associated with a wildfire event. Residents in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) are generally seen as the most vulnerable to fire, but a fuller accounting of the costs of fire also reveals impacts to all Americans and gives a better picture of the losses incurred when our forests burn.

A full accounting considers long-term and complex costs, including impacts to watersheds, ecosystems, infrastructure, businesses, individuals, and the local and national economy. Specifically, these costs include property losses (insured and uninsured), post-fire impacts (such as flooding, erosion, and water quality), air quality damages, healthcare costs, injuries and fatalities, lost revenues (to residents evacuated by the fire, and to local businesses), infrastructure shutdowns (such as highways, airports, railroads), and a host of ecosystem service costs that may extend into the distant future.

Day-lighting the true costs of fire highlights opportunities to use active management to curb escalating costs. Unhealthy forests can increase the risk of fire. Investing in active forest management is therefore valuable in the same way as investing in one’s own preventative health care. Upfront costs can be imposing, and while the benefits may seem uncertain, good health results in cost savings that benefit the individual, family, and society. This analogy helps to highlight the importance of fostering resilient ecosystems before fires occur, as a tool for reducing the costs associated with suppression and recovery as well as extending benefits to a far wider circle of individuals than might be initially expected.

The lead author is Dr. Lisa Dale at the University of Denver. The Western Forestry Leadership Coalition is a State and Federal government partnership. The members of the coalition include: the 23 State and Pacific Island Foresters of the West and the 7 western Regional Foresters, 3 western Research Station Directors, and Forest Products Lab Director of the USDA Forest Service.

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Trinity Fire Damage Tally

The following letter from the Trinity County Board of Supervisors to the Calif State Legislature lists some of the damage done by the egregious Let It Burn wildfires promulgated by the US Forest Service in Trinity Co. last summer:

From: Trinity County Board of Supervisors
Roger Jaegel, Supervisor District Three

April 14, 2023

To: The Honorable Sam Aanestad
State Capitol, Room 2054
Sacramento, CA  95814

Dear Senator Aanestad:

Last year Trinity County, California experienced the worst wildfire season on record.  From June 20 to near the end of August, 266,157 acres burned in three major complexes.  In the last decade over 500,000 acres have burned in Trinity County, more acres than were burned in recorded history.  We are committed to compiling the facts about these fires and completing an analysis that will hopefully help us prepare for the next dry lightning event.  We know statistically this type of storm tends to occur about once a decade.  Some of these facts are best estimates and we will continue to refine this data as time and resources to accomplish the field review and further validation become available.

Trinity County Wildfires of 2008

* The tragic deaths of 10 wildland firefighters
* 266,157 acres burned (about 97% on National Forests)
* Many of our businesses report losses of over 40%
* Suppression costs are over $150,000,000

Health and Safety

* Trinity County communities were under mandatory evacuation orders 15 times
* Over 1,400 homes were evacuated
* Unhealthy and extremely unhealthy air quality alerts were issues for many of our communities for weeks
* Federal standards for pm 2.5 levels were exceeded in many cases by a factor of 10 or greater
* Millions of dead trees and millions of tons of fuel will remain untreated to threaten our communities, resources, and our firefighters for decades to come

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

* Estimate of CO2 equivalents released from the fires equal 12,000,000 metric tons or 2,000,000 vehicle years
* This does not include carbon released from suppression, burned area rehabilitation, or restoration activities
* It also does not include the reduction in carbon sequestration from vegetation conversion

Wildlife and Fisheries

* 122 miles of coho salmon habitat within the fire perimeter
* 486 spotted owl sighting points within the fire perimeter
* 205,716 acres of spotted owl habitat within the fire perimeter

Sincerely,

ANTON R. JAEGEL
Supervisor District 3

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15 Apr 2009, 1:55pm
Forestry education Saving Forests
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Old-Growth Is an Aberration of Nature

Allow me to reiterate the key point in the previous post.

Old-growth is an aberration. Conifers produce viable seed beginning at age 20 (most species, at the latest). By age 50 many seed crops have been produced in all but the harshest environments. There is no biological (evolutionary) necessity for a conifer to grow to 600 years old. There may be some biological advantage to long-term occupancy of the site, but old trees (>50) are not required for that or for perpetuation of the species.

Nature abhors (does not favor) old trees. The older a tree gets, the more storms, fires, pests, rots, and competition it must surmount. Populations adapt to changing conditions via reproduction and the crossing of genetic lines. Long periods between generations are mal-adaptive, in the evolutionary sense.

Conifers don’t need to grow to old ages. They do so only under special conditions. Throughout much of the pre-1800 Western U.S., the special conditions were frequent, seasonal, anthropogenic fire.

People established the conditions which gave rise to old-growth. Without the influence of people, there would be far fewer old-growth trees today.

If old-growth is worth saving and/or the desired future condition (those are widely held opinions), then stewardship by people is required to achieve that “aberrant” forest structure.

Without stewardship, specifically restoration forestry, old-growth cannot be protected or re-grown.

15 Apr 2009, 10:37am
Forestry education
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Brief Daylight in the Swamp

Dear Friends — I apologize for the dearth of posts over the last two weeks. I have been very busy travelling, farming, writing proposals, firing ceramics, bleeding taxes, and what have you. Yesterday I built a greenhouse, for instance, since the globe is not warming, at least not around here.

It will take another two weeks to drain this swamp of immediate chores, too. The output at SOS Forests will continue to be less than usual until May, although there are numerous issue we really need to cover, such as the “new” Federal fire policies (which are nothing new — the same old No Touch, Let It Burn, Watch It Rot — just rehashed bureaucratic bomfoggery). I promise and resolve to find more free minutes to freely point out the stark naked state of the Imperial Elite.

In the meantime, however, I did receive an interesting email from Ryan that is worth discussing. Ryan’s email was sent to the Old SOS Forests [here] which has been moribund for over a year since we moved the active nexus here to W.I.S.E.

That indicates to me that Ryan has not been paying attention, but no matter; his complaints are instructive. Ryan writes:

You guys don’t know anything.  Fire is normal in Ponderosa ecosystems.  The trees that die are meant to die and the forest will eventually thin out into a heavily wooded savanna.  The reason those trees are dying is that they are weak from overcrowding.  Let it do its work and in a couple hundred years you will see a much more healthy forest.  I am from Arizona and have studied this extensively.  I have read many papers and written my own for school projects.  Look up NAU’s Ecological Restoration website.  Go to a natural old growth Ponderosa forest and you will see.  I have seen many old growth trees with fire scars.  This system PRE-DATES any anthropogenic disturbance.  If you do the research you will see you are wrong.  By the way, there are also supposed to be standing dead and fallen logs, so if you don’t have your fair share you will now.

It is not enough to caste Ryan’s words aside as youthful folly, though they are that. The points he (she?) makes are typical uninformed mythology, and so are usefully disputed.

First, we agree that fire is a common phenomenon in ponderosa pine. But not all fires are the same, nor are all ponderosa pine forests identical. Fire A is not Fire B. The ancient pine forests of the Southwestern sky island plateaus are there because of frequent, regular, light-burning fires set by the indigenous residents over millennia. The modern catastrophic fires convert ancient ponderosa pine forests to something else, typically cheat grass and brush. So while some types of fire may be called “normal,” other types of fire are extremely debilitating to ponderosa pine ecosystems.

Second (and this is the most worthy part of Ryan’s email) the open, park-like ponderosa pine forests of the Southwest (that were so marveled at by early explorers) did not arise because fire “thinned out” small trees. That is a complete misconception of the forest development pathway. The frequent anthropogenic fires came first; the widely-spaced trees moved in afterward.

This is important. The burning came first — the open forest seeded into a frequent fire landscape that was mostly devoid of trees. It did not happen the other way around. Fire did not thin the forest — instead, scattered trees took root in a frequently charred landscape.

We know this because the wide growth rings near the pith (when the old trees were young) and other tree characteristics indicate that most (nearly all) old-growth trees were open-grown, not stand-grown. They were scattered pioneers that invaded treeless ground (or a savanna/woodland), not remnant stand-grown trees that survived a forest fire.

That is the development pathway that leads to open, park-like, uneven-aged, frequent fire forests. The frequent fire prairies precede the savannas, which in turn precede modern multicohort forests; The old trees became established in grasses — grasses don’t become established under trees.

Ryan says “Let [fire] do its work and in a couple hundred years you will see a much more healthy forest.”

No, that’s not scientifically correct. The fuels accumulate between infrequent “natural” fires to the extent that those fires are “stand replacing.” Nothing survives the intense heat of a fuel-laden severe fire. Dense thickets of young trees can arise — which are then fully roasted a few decades later.

Dense thickets of young trees are the “natural” condition of most conifers. Open, park-like forests with ancient trees are largely anthropogenic in origin.

That’s a tough concept to fully absorb, given the gloss of Clementsian ecological theory that has so clouded the field for the last 80 years. It boggles the ill-trained minds of Joe Sixpack’s kids, annealed as they are with modern public educations, to imagine that our forests have been subjected to intense human manipulation for thousands of years.

But they have. Our forests have been anthropo-sized. Many of them, anyway — the old-growth especially, which do not represent the “normal” condition of conifers.

The rest of Ryan’s note attempts to establish his credentials, but fails. That’s okay; we don’t expect everyone to understand the nuances of forest ecology. Heck, we know many professional forest ecologists with long pedigrees who still don’t get it.

Historical human influences on our landscapes were profound regardless of who knows about it. That is the essence of the new paradigm in forest ecology. The old paradigm held, as does Ryan, that Mother Nature alone creates old-growth forests. Sadly (for the Old Paradigmers), that just isn’t so.

Nowhere in nature are new open, park-like, old-growth forests being created. Look anywhere and you won’t see that happening. Wilderness areas, for instance, have been set aside to be subjected to fully “natural” influences, and many the fire has ripped through “wilderness” forests. Nowhere, not in a single instance, has any fire “thinned” the small trees and left the large ones.

The evidence in support of the old paradigm is sorely lacking. Since theories depend on evidence for validity, and the evidence is utterly missing, the old paradigm theories are perforce wrong.

Instead, all the evidence suggests that grasslands are invaded by trees and not the other way around, and that anthropogenic fire is required to establish and maintain open, park-like forests with ancient trees.

Thank you, Ryan, for this opportunity to educate you and others. I hope the lesson took root. Meanwhile, back to the Swamp of Chores.

Record of Decision for the Warm Fire Recovery Project

The Warm Fire of 2006 was a whoofoo, a wildland fire use fire, allowed to burn unimpeded in the Kaibab National Forest. From Back to the Rim [here]:

On the afternoon of June 8, 2006, a lightning storm swept across the Kaibab Plateau. One of the high voltage, sky/earth exchanges set a tree on fire south of Jacob Lake.

Kaibab National Forest fire crews could have responded immediately. The terrain is flat and roads crisscross the area. The Kaibab has, or used to have, one of the best firefighting teams in the Nation.

But that is not what happened. Instead, the leadership of the Kaibab N.F. chose to let the fire burn. They named it the Warm Fire, and designated it a Wildland Use Fire. …

the Kaibab N.F. violated a main stewardship fact that they were acutely aware of: they allowed, even encouraged, an accidental fire to burn in untreated acres…

The Warm Fire smoldered in duff and crept around for a few days. Everything looked fine, although no real-time analysis was done of the effectiveness of the fire at consuming old fuels, or not consuming green trees.

Then the wind picked up a little. The Warm Fire jumped Highway 67 on June 15. It jumped it again two days later and grew to 750 acres.

By daylight on the 18th, the Warm Fire had grown to over 3,000 acres. Then it doubled to over 6,000 acres on the 19th. Still, the Kaibab leadership kept the WFU designation, and Let It Burn.

By the 22nd Warm Fire had grown to over 10,000 acres. Still the WFU designation was clung to. The fire was not doing the intended fuels management job, but it was natural (read totally accidental) and it was “free” (that would change, and how).

Early in the morning of June 23, strong winds came rushing out of the west, pushed by a high pressure ridge that every weatherperson in the country knew about. The Warm Fire blew up, and overnight grew to 15,000 acres. Still, there was no change in WFU designation.

Finally on the 24th, the Kaibab N.F. was forced to face reality. They decided that the Warm Fire had done enough damage, and called in the Northern Arizona Type 2 Incident Management Team.

There was some public pressure to do this, since Highway 67 had been shut down and 750 visitors and employees were trapped at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, with a raging inferno on one side and precipitous cliffs on the other.

By the time the NAZ IMT got set up on June 26, the Warm Fire had grown to 30,000 acres. By the next day it was near 60,000 acres, the doubling due mainly to the perimeter and backing fires set by the NAZ IMT.

The NAZ IMT is made up of real pros with real experience and abundant ground and air resources. They contained, controlled, and mostly extinguished the Warm Fire by July 4th. The final acreage toll was 58,640 acres …

The Warm Fire was a deliberate accident. The fire could have been extinguished when small but instead was Let Burn with devastating consequences.

Now, two-and-a-half years later, the Kaibab NF has completed an Environmental Impact Statement in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act that describes the possible impacts to the environment from rehabilitation (recovery) of the most severely burned acres. The Record of Decision for the Warm Fire Recovery Project is [here]. More information, including the Final EIS, is available [here].

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5 Apr 2009, 9:07am
Uncategorized
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On the Road

I am traveling for the next few days, which makes it difficult to compose new posts. So I wish to draw your attention to some interesting new additions to our Colloquia.

At History of Western Landscapes [here] The jam post and plain wire fence by Roger Underwood describes the evolution of the Australian outback landscape wrought by thousands of miles of pioneer fences:

Fences are so much a part of the rural landscape, that they largely go un-noticed. Nor is their history appreciated, or the way in which the development of fencing and the use of timber posts is interconnected with social, ecological and economic history. In reflecting on these issues, it is necessary to go back to the earliest days of settlement.

Also at History of Western Landscapes Impacts Of Earthquake Tsunamis On Oregon Coastal Populations by retired Oregon State Archaeologist Leland Glisen discusses the empirical evidence of ancient tsunamis on pre-Columbian sites along the Oregon Coast.

At Forest and Fire Sciences [here] Roger Underwood, David Packham, and Phil Cheney analyze the import of alleged global warming to Australian forest management in Bushfires, Prescribed Burning, and Global Warming. This paper is brimming with common sense, which makes it unique and controversial.

Also at Forest and Fire Sciences Dr. Gerald Pollack, Professor of Molecular Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at UW, essays the alarming lack of innovation in the sciences and traces the problem to risk-averse, inbred grant funding in Revitalizing Science in a Risk-Averse Culture: Reflections on the Syndrome and Prescriptions for Its Cure. Those who challenge Establishment paradigms are excluded from grant funding, and science in general is stultified because of that.

Please enjoy. We’ll be back grinding away from the Director’s Desk at W.I.S.E. World Headquarters before you know it. Meanwhile, drive defensively and don’t tailgate.

Walden to Forest Service: Never have we needed your leadership more

The following press release from Rep. Greg Walden was issued today. Another Walden press release entitled Walden Asks President Obama for Help Putting Oregonians Back to Work in the Woods was issued March 30, 2023 [here].

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following up on a request made at the White House to President Obama on Monday to help put Oregonians back to work in the woods, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) asked U.S. Forest Service Chief Gail Kimbell yesterday to develop a set of emergency measures to speed forest management action, consequently improving the health of our forests and economies in rural forested communities.

“Never have we needed your leadership more,” Walden wrote in a letter he handed personally to Chief Kimbell yesterday in a meeting on Capitol Hill. “Because the Forest Service is such a pervasive land owner in my district, your management action or inaction in these troubled economic times may make or break countless communities in rural forested Oregon.”

In the letter, Walden details the high unemployment in the Second District he represents — in many areas in the high teens and even over 20 percent in Crook and Harney counties — and the dire state of the health of the national forests. The Winema-Fremont National Forests, for example, is the location of a massive 200,000-acre bug kill that is ripe for catastrophic fire if action is not taken — locals call the 316-square mile area “the red zone.” The Malheur National Forest has a 28-year backlog of forest management work. And growth rates in eastern Oregon’s national forests are nearly ten-times the current harvest rates; nearly 50 percent of “harvest” in these national forests are post, poles, and firewood.

All lead to conditions ripe for catastrophic wildfire that destroy the forests that once provided the sustainable economic lifeblood for rural Oregon communities.

“Something needs to change,” Walden said in the letter. “People in Oregon are resilient, have learned to adapt, but at this point are just holding on. I urge you to develop a set of emergency measures before fire season begins which will direct and empower your forest supervisors to take quick forest management action, consequently improving the health of the forests and economies of our rural forested communities.”

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Bushfires, Prescribed Burning, and Global Warming

The following essay was written a year ago, before the devastating and fatal fires that swept through Victoria, AU, last February. The issue discussed, the relationship between “global warming” and forest fires, remains a primary concern in Australia and the U.S.

Roger Underwood is a former General Manager of the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) in Western Australia, a regional and district manager, a research manager and bushfire specialist. Roger currently directs a consultancy practice with a focus on bushfire management and is Chairman of The Bushfire Front Inc.. He lives in Perth, Western Australia.

David Packham is Senior Research Fellow, School of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University, Victoria.

Phil Cheney is Honorary Research Fellow, CSIRO, Canberra, ACT

*****

Bushfires, Prescribed Burning and Global Warming

Bushfire Front Inc. Occasional Paper No 1, April 2008 [here]

by Roger Underwood, David Packham, and Phil Cheney

This is not a paper about climate change or the contentious aspects of the climate debate. Our interest is bushfire management. This is an activity into which the debate about climate change, in particular “global warming”, has intruded, with potentially damaging consequences.

Australia’s recent ratification of the Kyoto Treaty has been welcomed by people concerned about the spectre of global warming. However, the ratification was a political and symbolic action, and will have no immediate impact on the volume of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, and therefore will not influence any possible relationship between CO2 emissions and global temperatures.

However, the ratification could have an impact on Australian forests.  Spurious arguments about the role of fire contributing to carbon dioxide emissions could be used to persuade governments and management agencies to cease or very much reduce prescribed burning under mild conditions.

Decades of research and experience has demonstrated that fuel reduction by prescribed burning under mild conditions is the only proven, practical method to enable safe and efficient control of high-intensity forest fires.

Two myths have emerged about climate change and bushfire management and are beginning to circulate in the media and to be adopted as fact by some scientists:

1. Because of global warming, Australia will be increasingly subject to uncontrollable holocaust-like “megafires”.

2. Fuel reduction by prescribed burning must cease because it releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thus exacerbating global warming and the occurrence of megafires.

Both statements are incorrect. However they represent the sort of plausible-sounding assertions which, if repeated often enough, can take on a life of their own and lead eventually to damaging policy change.

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2 Apr 2009, 12:36am
Uncategorized
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New Photo Page: Sierra Nevada Post-Fire

SOS Forests has added another photo page, this one to display post-fire pictures of burned Sierra Nevada forests [here].

If you have any post-fire Sierra Nevada photos you would like to share, please send them to admin AT westinstenv.org. Thank you.

1 Apr 2009, 1:12am
Climate and Weather
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CO2, Negative Feedback, and the Earth’s Radiation Budget

Carbon dioxide does not cause runaway global warming because excess heat radiates into outer space, according to an “accidental discovery” by climate scientists.

Measurements taken by the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) [here] indicate that the Earth’s atmosphere can only contain so much heat energy. When the temperature “balance point” is exceeded, the heat escapes. Carbon dioxide, a trace gas in concentrations of parts per million, cannot contain the energy that global warming alarmists speculate will warm the planet.

This finding was explained by Dr. Richard Lindzen, PhD., Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science at MIT, in an essay addendum to his address made at the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change and posted at Watts Up With That [here]. (Watts Up With That was rated the“Best Science Blog” of 2008 [here]).

Background: Solar radiation reaches the Earth in the form of visible light. The atmosphere is transparent to visible light which strikes the Earth’s surface (land and ocean) and is re-radiated upwards in the form of longer-wave (infrared) energy. Water vapor in the atmosphere is not transparent to long-wave (infrared) radiation and instead absorbs some of it. CO2 can also absorb long-wave radiation, although CO2 is present only in trace amounts. The water vapor is thus warmed, and provides a blanket that protects the Earth’s surface from rapid cooling at night.

That is a simple description of the so-called “greenhouse effect” which maintains moderate temperatures on the planet, although there is no glass ceiling on the Earth’s atmosphere.

Global warming alarmists have claimed that increases in the trace gas CO2 will cause runaway global warming, based on outputs from mathematical climate models running in super-computers. Their contention is that a doubling of CO2 concentration will raise global temperatures from 3 to 5 degrees Centigrade.

However, sensors aboard the ERB satellite (released into orbit by astronaut Sally Ride from the Space Shuttle) observed energy emissions from the upper atmosphere that were 7 times the expected (model) values during the warm years of 1989 to 2000.

That is evidence that the atmosphere cannot contain excess heat. The re-radiation of heat into outer space is termed a “negative feedback” that mitigates climate change. The new calculations indicate that a doubling of CO2 concentration will increase global temperatures by only 0.3 degrees C, an effect so small as to be swamped by normal climate variation (and thus be undetectable, more or less).

Our atmospheric blanket is self-regulating. It contains as much heat as it can contain, and any excess is lost in space. From Dr. Lindzen’s essay:

The Bottom Line

The earth’s climate (in contrast to the climate in current climate GCMs) is dominated by a strong net negative feedback. Climate sensitivity is on the order of 0.3°C, and such warming as may arise from increasing greenhouse gases will be indistinguishable from the fluctuations in climate that occur naturally from processes internal to the climate system itself. …

Alarming climate predictions depend critically on the fact that models have large positive feedbacks. The crucial question is whether nature actually behaves this way? The answer, as we have just seen, is unambiguously no.

Chief climate alarmist (adviser to Al Gore) James Hansen claims that positive feedback from CO2 will cause runaway global warming and the “Venus Syndrome” where all the earth’s oceans boil away, leaving a dry, dead planet [here].

However, in past geological epochs the atmosphere has had concentrations of CO2 that were 10 to 15 times current levels, and the oceans did not boil away (obviously). The positive feedback theory promoted by Hansen has now been shown to be false (as if that were necessary) by satellite data. Ironically, Hansen is a NASA employee, the same NASA responsible for the ERB satellite!

The empirical data constitute strong evidence that global warming theories are false, and that increased CO2 emissions will have no effect on global climate, or at least an effect so small as to be undetectable.

The current hysteria to limit CO2 emissions is based on a false premise, demonstrably false, and proved to be false by the latest and best science.

30 Mar 2009, 11:31pm
Uncategorized
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The Economic Crisis Is Bigger Than You Think

This blog, and indeed this Institute, is primarily concerned with environmental issues. But the ongoing decline and fall of the American (indeed world) economy will have enormous repercussions for our forests, watersheds, and landscapes.

Those repercussions will not be limited to incineration of vast tracts of the public and private domain. They will not be limited to the $trillions in new taxes that are being “justified” by the global warming hoax.

Much more is at stake in the economic crisis. It could be that this republic will dissolve into tyranny and extreme poverty. Indeed, that train may have already left the station.

If you care, and if you can stomach the most dire of economic news, the two articles linked below are worth your while to read.

We will return to our primary topics of interest in the next and future posts. But we will remain mindful that protecting, maintaining, and perpetuating forests, watersheds, and landscapes will become much more difficult in the years ahead, as if that wasn’t a most difficult quest already. We live in interesting times.

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30 Mar 2009, 4:08pm
Climate and Weather
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More than 100 Scientists Rebuke Obama as ‘Simply Incorrect’ on Global Warming

from ICECAP, Mar 30, 2023 [here]

Note: Many of the scientists are current and former UN IPCC reviewers and some have reversed their views on man-made warming and are now skeptical. Also note Nobel Laureate for Physics Dr. Ivar Giaever signed. Giaever endorsed Obama for President in an October 29, 2023 letter.

Few challenges facing America and the world are more urgent than combating climate change. The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear. — President-Elect Barack Obama, November 19, 2023

With all due respect Mr. President, that is not true.

We, the undersigned scientists, maintain that the case for alarm regarding climate change is grossly overstated. Surface temperature changes over the past century have been episodic and modest and there has been no net global warming for over a decade now.

After controlling for population growth and property values, there has been no increase in damages from severe weather-related events.

The computer models forecasting rapid temperature change abjectly fail to explain recent climate behavior.

Mr. President, your characterization of the scientific facts regarding climate change and the degree of certainty informing the scientific debate is simply incorrect.

Signed by over 100 scientists (see list [here]).

29 Mar 2009, 4:42pm
Uncategorized
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The Mortgage BYOB Program II

Note: this post is a reprise of a post from last October. Now, almost six months later, Tim Geithner, Sec Treas of the new Obama Administration, is promulgating a plan to sell my mortgage for six cents on the dollar to the same Wall Street fatcats who wrecked the economy in the first place. So it is with some irony and emotion that I reiterate my offer to purchase my own mortgage for ten cents on the dollar. I also want the same Gooberment guarantees that Timbo is extending to the fatcats.

*****

America rejoice! I have hit upon the SOLUTION to all our financial problems!

Introducing: the Mortgage Buy Your Own Back Program!!!!

Mortgagees of America Unite! We can save the economy of the Nation and indeed the Entire World!

The problem, as explained by the Pundits of Wall Street, is that homeowners with mortgages have ruined the credit market. Our mortgages aren’t worth the paper they are written on. The poor, innocent investment banks of New York City and the above-reproach, integrity-managed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been snookered into buying our bundled mortgages, never suspecting that they are worthless. And now those beneficent and pure institutions are belly-up because they hold that trash paper.

But instead of the US Treasury purchasing that junk, I hereby offer to buy back my own mortgage for ten cents on the dollar!

That’s right, America. Don’t get snookered again. Don’t spend good money chasing bad. You don’t have to buy my worthless mortgage; I will do it myself. And instead of Uncle Sam, NYC, Freddie, and Fannie getting NOTHING AT ALL, I magnanimously offer the grand sum of TEN CENTS ON THE DOLLAR for my own mortgage.

It’s a heavy sacrifice on my part, but as a good and patriotic American I am willing to bear that burden. Furthermore, I call upon all good and patriotic mortgagees of America to join me in SAVING THE ECONOMY FROM TOTAL COLLAPSE.

Please join me in this worthiest of causes. Help to RESCUE AMERICA!!!

Call your Congressperson right now. Tell him, her, or it that you too are willing to give ten cents on the dollar for your otherwise worthless mortgage and thereby lift America out of this terrible crisis and avert a Great Depression! They should, indeed MUST, sign on the Mortgage BYOB Program and enact the enabling legislation TODAY, before it’s too late.

Happy days are here again!!!!

29 Mar 2009, 2:08pm
Forestry education
by admin
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Reconstructing Fire Histories in Australia

One line of evidence that confirms historical anthropogenic fire is fire scars on trees. Fire histories are reconstructed by examining stumps and increment cores, and counting the annual rings back to the obvious fire scar years.

But what if trees do not have annual rings? Such is the case in Australia where many trees grow all year round (no annual rings). There are also other trees that are either completely consumed by fires or else exhibit no scarring. Fortunately, there is one type of tree, the grasstree (Xanthorrhoea spp) that flowers only after a fire.

How can that be useful?  David Ward and Gerard Van Didden found that grasstrees produce a different concentration of certain chemicals when they flower, and that those chemicals are stored in tree tissues.

Their report, Reconstructing the Fire History of the Jarrah Forest of south-western Australia, is now posted in the W.I.S.E. Colloquium: Forest and Fire Sciences [here].

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