Convenient Untruths

Al Gore has obviously done a great deal to increase concern and interest in reducing the change in climate. While the polls show a large majority are now basically on his side, much of the pro and con derives from other political positions rather than any real scientific analysis before opinions of the average person are formed.

Recently an article was written that made sense to me saying that Republicans disbelieve Gore because he is the “un-Bush,” turning out to accurate in almost every case where Bush was not, from global warming to the outcome of invading Iraq.

Fewer and fewer scientists questions that climate change is largely human caused, but “the skeptics,” who have much more than just a cottage industry in sowing confusion on the issue, seize on just about anything to advance their defense of business as usual. Most recently, it has been a court case in the United Kingdom.

Real Climate looks at the court case, but more about the accuracy of the points in “An Inconvenient Truth.” Convenient Untruths. By Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann.

Tim Lambert in his Deltoid blog is one of the few who seems to have actually read the court case. An ‘error’ is not the same thing as an error.

Wyoming hunters kill 4 grizzly bears . . . all related to elk hunting

Here is a shocker from the Casper Star Tribune today.

Wyoming hunters kill four [or more] grizzlies. By Whitney Royster. Casper Star-Tribune environmental reporter.

The grizzly no longer has federal protection in Wyoming (delisted). Wyoming’s penalties are lighter (on paper), but the high federal penalties were almost never levied. The outcome of this, assuming it was not self defense, will tell us a lot about how delisting is going to affect the greater Yellowstone grizzly bear . . . a slap on the hand and likely 20 grizzlies will be killed next year.

Huge number of mining claims being staked around national parks and wilderness areas of the West

The antiquated 1872 mining act is not just a rip off of the taxpayer, but with rising mineral prices, it is a great threat to our most scenic areas because that law says mining always comes first, and thousands of claims are being staked.

Here is an article from the LA Times, and you can find many similar ones on-line.

Mining claims near wilderness areas in state [California] seen as threat. Wilderness areas in the state could be affected by pollution, public land analyst says. By Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer.

More than 21,300 mining claims have been staked within 10 miles of California’s national parks and monuments and federal wilderness and roadless areas, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Land Management records released Monday.

As Logging Fades, Rich Carve Up Open Land in West

As Logging Fades, Rich Carve Up Open Land in West. New York Times. By Kirk Johnson.

This is something that needs to be slowed or stopped if possible.

Hardly any existing residents seem to like this trend, but hardly anyone suggests anything effective in stopping it.

Repealing regulations protecting the environment from logging and grazing won’t stop it because it clearly hasn’t stopped where it has been tried. You just get rural sprawl mixed with livestock and logging abuse.

Today, the land is worth more as a residence than for grazing or timbering when the county provides services.

So, the key to minimizing this is to zone the county and not provide services to properties not zoned for residential occupation.

1. This does not violate the owner’s property rights because a private property owner has no right to reach into your wallet and extract tax-supported service unless the county permits it. Your money is private property too.

2. Some rural counties are so foolish they that give agricultural exemptions if the owner of a rural palace lets them run a few cattle or sheep on their 50 or so acres . . . talk about redistribution of wealth from the average person to the better off! Clearly people need to think about who they election to county commission.

3. The fire fighting agencies need to draw the line on protecting these places from wildfire. Now before Bob Caesar or someone so situated who has had a rural residence for many years writes about it being unfair, we need to obviously grandfather places like his. This is a policy for future construction, not for past.

4. Private insurance needs to segregate these residences and make them pay full cost rather than once again spreading the cost to people who have built where so many tax dollars need not be consumed. In order words, no private wealth redistribution to these places either.

5. Private communities should be discouraged by local ordinance as a violation of the US and various state constitutions. Traditional access where it is not harmful to the environment needs to be enforced by the county (not abandoned). I am not thinking, however, that ATV trails going straight up the mountain or through a marsh should be kept open. Here private closure can actually be of great benefit.

6. I believe in private property rights. If the person still wants to build on his or her remote property after it is clear no services will be provided from the local, state, or federal government taxes, then that’s their right. Everyone with property has property rights, but money is just as much private property as land.

7. Finally, because many of the rich newcomers are conservation-minded, It might be possible to enlist them to stopping more of what they did. Some people will say it’s not fair to lock the door behind you. I say it is fair because it is strongly in the interest of the public and the conservation of land and water, it is more than fair.