Bill Wallace: Letter is clueless

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Steve Mendell, in his March 13 letter, proves himself to be particularly clueless about what sustainability means, and how the consequences of not operating under a model of sustainable economic development negatively affects us all. Mr. Mendell started out by taking issue with what I thought was a sound commentary about our city’s sustainability policies written by Sarah Jones, the executive director of the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council. Then his letter flew off into some Ayn Rand-Fox News fantasy world in which all of us are saved by what purports to be free market capitalism.

Free markets aren’t free if they are ignoring or obfuscating the externalities, the effects of overuse of critical resources and degradation of the environment. Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s talk more about environmental degradation, specifically directed at your global warming hysteria clap-trap.

The mechanisms and the effects of global climate change have been studied and assessed by the best and most credible scientific and engineering organizations in the world. Their shared conclusion is that climate change is happening, it is predominantly human caused, and if not halted, will have devastating effects on society in the next 40 to 50 years. These organizations include the U.S. National Academies, the institution set up by Congress to advise the nation on scientific and technical matters of national importance. Now you can cherry-pick the data all you want, but I know for a fact that industries and governments both here and abroad understand that the climate is changing, believe that it’s human caused and are actively preparing for a warmer world along with a much harsher set of environmental operating conditions.

As Sarah pointed out, Steamboat Springs seems to be decidedly unprepared for a changing climate. For me, one particularly glaring example is the effort to develop additional buildings and infrastructure assets along Yampa Street in the name of economic vitality. This effort appears to be predicated on the illusion that Steamboat Springs and the Yampa River have somehow gotten divine dispensation from the devastating flooding, property damage and loss of life that occurred last summer in Colorado towns like Manitou Springs, Glen Haven, Drake, Estes Park and more. Good luck with that.

Bill Wallace

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Thomss Steele 7 months, 2 weeks ago

"Their shared conclusion is that climate change is happening, it is predominantly human caused, and if not halted, will have devastating effects on society in the next 40 to 50 years." That's crap and you know it. Global Warming... On sorry whats the new buzz word? Oh yes climate change... Is happening and has happened for millions of years. It will happen with or without human interaction. Stop spreading false information about the effects of human involvement. There are studies and reports that welcome the warming of our planet as we are in a 10,000 year period of cooling. As a warm blooded mammal I say bring it on. Go find another cause ( aids, drought in Africa, wind farms, abortion etc...) to give you a false sense of worth and raise loads of money for. We are all getting just a little bored with this one.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Great chart on the amount of ice coverage on the Great Lakes this winter. Climate change - you bet. Man made global warming - not so much. hey Scott - looks like we need more cowbell, er more CO2 http://www.powerlineblog.com/admin/ed-assets/2014/03/Great-Lakes-Frozen-copy.jpg

Conserve where we can because we just don't know, but there is no reason to punish the middle and less than middle class with higher energy prices based on the dogma of the man made global warming will destroy the planet crowd.

Bill, you are correct in saying that some day we will experience higher temperatures. It's called climate change. Why gosh back in the Triassic and Jurasic Eras the average temps were quite a bit higher. As I don't believe man was much of a factor back then - no SUVs or coal burning power plants to the best of my knowledge, those darn dinosaurs must have really been putting out the methane gas

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I still take issue with his belief that our free market system will protect our natural resources from ever being depleted or exhausted. History and stubborn facts prove this to be a delusional opinion at best. But I do have to agree with Bill's take on his real agenda and mis-direct from the subject of sustainability to global climate change. Thanks for the chuckle from your comment; "Then his letter flew off into some Ayn Rand-Fox News fantasy world in which all of us are saved by what purports to be free market capitalism." Spot on Bill!

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Let's start with this http://www.bbc.com/news/business-16391040 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018162156.htm

Just how do your propose our free market economy address the overpopulation of the planet, let me guess perhaps another world war or maybe a man made plague? We have been there and it hasn't made a difference. Get ready to rumble!

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Karl Koehler 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Niel, not that it will make any difference, but in your first link above, the the table showing fossil fuel reserves remaining, at least with with respect to coal, is utter nonsense. And so then by extension, from my perspective anyway, is the statement, "... just burning current reserves of fossil fuels using existing technologies would create enough carbon dioxide "to boil the planet several times over". Your argument is not advanced by referencing this sort of drivel.

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Let's see proof to the contrary Karl. Bring in the drivel!

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Karl Koehler 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Really Neil you can and should do this yourself but if you insist...

Google "world coal reserves"

I chose the 2nd link because it had what looked like an easy to understand pie chart:

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=2930

Clicked on it to see "The United States leads the world with over 260 billion short tons of recoverable coal reserves—28% of total global reserves and 50% more than Russia, which possesses the world's second largest reserves. Despite significant U.S. coal production since the industrial revolution, recoverable domestic coal reserves at current mining levels would last 222 years."

I think your reference said something like 890 million tons left estimated to last 118 years but I'm not going to go and check again because, well, just because. I'll leave it to you to contemplate all the different ways the BBC article information on coal reserves was incorrect. Maybe the next time you see an article in the BBC you'll be a little less inclined to take it at face value.

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Dan Shores 7 months, 2 weeks ago

While it cannot be proven that the activities of man are affecting global climate, the vast majority of the scientific community agrees that man's activities are indeed affecting global climate and weather patterns. These changes in climate and weather patterns have the potential to create disastrous meteorologic events and greatly impact our economic life as well as our health and safety. It makes no sense to ignore these warnings and continue to deny the scientific evidence. What is the upside of denying science? Why wouldn't we as a country want to focus intently and with great effort and a sense of urgency, on developing cleaner, sustainable sources of energy. Why not? Why not work to become energy independent and no longer rely on foreign carbon based fuel sources. Some say just drill more wells and do more fracking and produce more carbon based fuel even though they know that this will only increase the amount of pollution being spewed into the air we breathe and the water we drink. Some say,"oh we don't have the technology and moving toward renewable fuel will destroy jobs". So these same people are worried about leaving our grandchildren with crippling debt, but have no concern about leaving them with an environmental disaster. Coal mining jobs and natural gas jobs are not going to go away immediately. The children of those working in the energy industry could be encouraged to seek educational opportunities in the sustainable energy field as this should be the true growth market. The change over to sustainable fuels would be gradual and as many, or more, new jobs would be created than are lost due to phasing out old fashioned, dirty sources of energy. I can see absolutely no reason to continue to deny science. I can see absolutely no reason to continue to ramp up efforts to extract more carbon based fuels while spending little or no effort to develop clean, sustainable energy sources.

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Just what is your definition of a natural resource Steve, does it include plants and animal species? If not why not? If so, then how do you address the extinction of to name a few; West African Black Rhino, Pyrenean Ibex, Sea Mink, Tasmanian Tiger, Javan Tiger? All in just the last century and generally held to be pushed into extinction by humans not evolution.

What is to follow and approaching near extension, African Lion whose population has fallen 90% in the last 20 years, big ocean fish with only 10% of the population remaining from just 100 years ago? The list goes on and unlike you and your faith in the free market economy when it comes to consumption or impact on our natural world, I prefer to take a more realistic and yes cynical viewpoint in that we are a very selfish and short sighted species that is currently bent on self destruction not self preservation.

You have failed to address the population impact issue as it relates to sustaining our natural resources both renewable and non-renewable in any of your hyperbole/diatribe/cherry picked statistics. What say you to that?

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 months, 2 weeks ago

To follow up on above: www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/...

"It’s frightening but true: Our planet is now in the midst of its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals — the sixth wave of extinctions in the past half-billion years. We’re currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural “background” rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct every day [1]. It could be a scary future indeed, with as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species possibly heading toward extinction by mid-century [2].

Unlike past mass extinctions, caused by events like asteroid strikes, volcanic eruptions, and natural climate shifts, the current crisis is almost entirely caused by us — humans. In fact, 99 percent of currently threatened species are at risk from human activities, primarily those driving habitat loss, introduction of exotic species, and global warming [3]. Because the rate of change in our biosphere is increasing, and because every species’ extinction potentially leads to the extinction of others bound to that species in a complex ecological web, numbers of extinctions are likely to snowball in the coming decades as ecosystems unravel.

Species diversity ensures ecosystem resilience, giving ecological communities the scope they need to withstand stress. Thus while conservationists often justifiably focus their efforts on species-rich ecosystems like rainforests and coral reefs — which have a lot to lose — a comprehensive strategy for saving biodiversity must also include habitat types with fewer species, like grasslands, tundra, and polar seas — for which any loss could be irreversibly devastating. And while much concern over extinction focuses on globally lost species, most of biodiversity’s benefits take place at a local level, and conserving local populations is the only way to ensure genetic diversity critical for a species’ long-term survival."

Earths/Natures answer to all of these threats will be the eventual extinction of humans via man made or natural causes, either way we will deserve it for being such self centered, short sighted tenants not landlords. Just my very cynical opinion for what it's worth.

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I just did Steve! Are plants and animals on your list of natural resources? Enough said, I am ending this conversation as it is going no where and severely lacking in any concession from either of us. It does bring to mind the bumper sticker "Minds are like parachutes, they work best when open." Enjoy your journey!

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Fred Duckels 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Neil, Does the "science is settled" bit remind you of an open parachute? Of the 97% of settled science proponents how many of the run of the mill would be willing to cast doubt on the claim? Given the money involved I suspect the doubter would have to be brave indeed. Most of the doubters are older accomplished folks not in need of outside approval in order to survive.

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Dan Shores 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Steve, "because central planing never works" is not an answer. This is just your opinion and doesn't address the real concern that by continuing to spew carbon into the atmosphere, carbon that has been underground for millions of years, we are slowly but surely destroying our planet. To say that we shouldn't try to do something because we don't yet know how to do it is ridiculous. So your logic for continuing to rely on fossil fuels is what? Are you saying that because we don't know how to do anything else, it is a waste of time to try and find a cleaner renewable energy source and we shouldn't try because it is impossible to do so? Really? Why is this a partisan issue? I guess you could say that it is partisan because right wingers don't believe in science and therefore there is no threat to our environment and no reason to find alternative energy sources. Is that what you are saying? And I guess if you don't believe in science and believe that the earth is between 6,000 and 9,000 years old, as many on the right do, we aren't really burning fossil fuels because there are no fossils. And heck, what pollution, it's just a bunch of lefty scientist makin stuff up. Right Steve.

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john bailey 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Steve, don't let ol Dan twist xit, he's good at that . what a freak....I'm surprised he's even conversing with you., being a closed minded liberal that only hangs with those of like mined individuals....

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Dan Kuechenmeister 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Steve, Good luck to you trying to change the minds of the "true believers". They have their dogma and have no interest in any info that may challenge their "facts". They would rather the energy prices rose as we tried to transition to government forced "clean energy" regardless of the impact on the economy. Take John Bailey's advice regards Dan S. It's like Hotel California with him. You can check in but you can never leave. I am all for robust discussion on this forum. In my opinion global warming is not "settled science" contrary to what the POTUS said in his SOTU message, nor is it a weapon of mass destruction as described by John Kerry - gee I wonder how much carbon energy he consumes per year. Private enterprise will figure it out if we just give them time but with the left it is all government all the time. If they bankrupt the middle class and less than middle class with higher energy price, higher health care costs, higher taxes they can offer them social services to buy their votes. We are on the path to running out of other people's money

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Dan Kuechenmeister 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Here is an interesting article on government involvement in "green" energy. Germany has tried it. Bill, Neil, Dan S. Please, please read this article. Government is not the answer. http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/03/14/germanys-green-energy-disaster-a-cautionary-tale-for-world-leaders/

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Dan Shores 7 months, 2 weeks ago

So let me make sure I understand you clearly Steve. You claim that you are a scientist trained in environmental science but you do not believe that burning fossil fuel creates air pollution. Is that what you are saying? Or are you saying that burning fossil fuel does in fact create air pollution but that air pollution and water pollution are not problems and this is nothing to be concerned about. You also choose to deny the findings of the majority of your fellow scientists. I'm trying to understand whether or not you believe that we have an issue with burning fossil fuels for energy, or are you just opposed to government solutions to the problem, assuming you believe there is a problem. Try visiting Los Angeles, or Beijing for that matter and tell us what all that brown orange stuff is in the air that makes it hard to breathe and gives you a sore throat. Dan K, once again if government isn't the answer as you claim. then what is the answer. It's the same with all of your arguments. You seem to pride yourself in identifying problems and proclaiming how inept the government is with pretty much everything, but can offer No solutions to anything. Just complaining. I don't see the value here.

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Karl Koehler 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Funny you should mention Beijing; a great example of the failure of central planning. LA, with a far less constrained though far from perfect free market system working, has far better air quality.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Dan S. I have provided a solution but it doesn't fit your government is the solution agenda. If you would read my posts you would know what I have suggested. I refuse to get dragged into your vortex of left wing rants. Hotel California.

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mark hartless 7 months, 2 weeks ago

When disciples of The Church of the Holy Environment make up their minds THEN something is "settled science".

I would respectfully remind Mr. Wallace that for most of human history the FACT that the Earth was flat, and that the Sun revolved around it was "settled science". In fact, pretty much every human being that had ever lived until a few centuries ago absolutely, positively KNEW that the Earth was flat... just like you guys KNOW it is warming and that said warming is human caused.

Seems to me the question is "What the heck are you gonne do about it? With China and India, et al putting on 5 or 6 coal fired power plants per month your hybrid car and windmill doesn't amount to a drop in you baptistry.

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John Fielding 7 months, 2 weeks ago

To the question posed regarding whether we ought to be pursuing alternatives to fossil fuel with some urgency, the answer is yes, and that we are doing so. The real question is whether the level of urgency assigned the task is appropriate.

To the discussion of catastrophic flooding, it is worth note that a major mechanism for topographical change in the western US is the (1000 year?) cloudburst in a steep drainage. While excavating for a fish hatchery renovation in the Uintas my geologists' curiosity was aroused and I had to stop work to examine the strata. From a drainage of less than 100 acres, debris flows had accumulated to a depth of more than the twenty feet I had dug into, in layers generally two to four feet deep, apparently since the retreat of the last glaciation.

Fascinating!

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John Fielding 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Another more local example I observed was on Apres Ski Way at Ski Trail Lane. There was a twelve or fifteen foot depth of homogeneous soil, apparently from a mudslide.

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Scott Wedel 7 months, 2 weeks ago

"I would respectfully remind Mr. Wallace that for most of human history the FACT that the Earth was flat, and that the Sun revolved around it was "settled science"."

Actually not. It was dogma and not "settled science".

The earliest known scientific measurement of Earth's diameter was Eratosthenes (died 195 BC) who calculated the diameter of the earth as about 25,000 miles. He used the difference in the angles of the sun between two cities lying north and south of each other. There is long history of similar calculations being made by other mathematicians in other cultures. Most seafaring or traveling society noticed North/South curvature. Likewise, observing that the only the tops of islands can be seen from distance suggests East/West curvature. Thus, varied cultures viewed the Earth as spherical.

Statements that the earth was flat were dogma and not based upon measurements.

Likewise, it was belief, not measurements, that put the Earth in the center of the universe. Though, early astronomers of many cultures realized their calculations were much easier with the Earth and other planets revolving around the Sun. They'd calculate the positions of the planets for a particular day as if they revolved around the sun and then calculate where the planets were in relation to the Earth in order to know what planets would be where in that night's sky. They had no way of performing an experiment to determine whether the Sun or the Earth was the center of the universe. It wasn't until Galileo observed the moons of Jupiter that there was data to show the dogma of Earth being the center was false because it was clear that Jupiter was the center of the orbits of it's moons.

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Scott Wedel 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Science is rarely "reversed" because science is based upon facts of observation.

That the expansion of the universe is accelerating didn't "reverse" previous science. It wasn't until recently that observations of the rate of acceleration became accurate enough to determine that the rate of acceleration wasn't constant. Previously, there wasn't enough accuracy to know if the rate was constant.

Sure, mathematical models get overturned all the time, but that is because they are easy to create and they are created to match current data. A mathematical model typically implies what will be found if different things are measured and so inspires further experiments. Such as the mathematics of the Higgs field implied the existence of the Higgs Boson and the Standard Theory implied a particular mass.

The so-called hockey stick has been verified. I note that a leading, widely referenced critic of Hockey Stick graphs citing poor statistical analysis, Dr Robert A Muller then led a term to properly statistically analyze historical surface temps and concluded in 2011 that the hockey stick graphs were accurate and "Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate.".

Obviously not, because most opposed to the idea of global warming are not critical of the scientific methods, but of the scientific results. If the scientific methods were their main issue then papers such as Dr Muller's would be convincing.

But just because someone mentions global warming does not make it accurate, Bill Wallace lacks facts to claim that global warming will cause flooding along Yampa St. The Yampa River reaches peak flow due to snow melting, not intense thundershowers like the other cities he mentioned.

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Bill Wallace 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey, Scott. Explain your line of reasoning to the people and officials of New York City, who once thought that their infrastructure designs were sufficient to handle any storm event. Hurricane Sandy changed all that. Now the City and the state are revising their entire infrastructure, having recognized that historical storm data can no longer predict the future. The public and officials in the towns I referenced in my letter probably thought too that their buildings and infrastructure were just fine. I guess those of us who live here should all cross our fingers that record thunderstorms, perhaps during snow melt season, never hit us. Water does flow down hill (I trust we aren't going to argue that point.) and we sure have lots of hills around here, including a really big one. Gee, I wonder where that water will go.

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Scott Wedel 7 months, 2 weeks ago

NYC area was long recognized as vulnerable to that sort of storm surge.

Likewise, Front Range cities have a history of flooding after major thunderstorms.

Looks lots of local areas are more vulnerable to flooding the the Yamap St promenade section and you presented no facts, just fears of that section seeing flooding.

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mark hartless 7 months, 2 weeks ago

"Actually not. It was dogma and not "settled science"."

Not exactly, Einstein Is was actually dogma masquerading as science, Just like much of the current "global warming" clap-trap is dogma NOW.

Environmentalism is a religion with infallible dogma taught by it's disciples. It has all the tennets of traditional protestant religions.

Earth before industrialization was "Eden". Industrialization was "The Fall". Pollution is "sin". Sustainability is "salvation". And a world without fossil fuels and with very few of us humans is "Heaven".

Until one sees this movement for what it is, you will never really understand it's power over otherwise rational minds.

Men (individuals) may sacrafice whatever they wish upon whatever alter they belive appeases their personal "gods".

However, as a whole, mankind, including most of these hypocrits, WILL continue to burn fossil fuels, ride coal-powered ski-lifts, ski on boards made in coal-powered factories, drive cars burning fossil fuels, ride bikes made with metals mined out of "mother earth" and tell themselves they are better than everybody else...

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John Weibel 7 months, 2 weeks ago

So as the debate about global warming rages on. If it is CO2 that is causing "climate change" then what solutions seem to make the most sense to alleviate the problem?

The best solution I see is to halt the federal governments intervention into farm policies which have led to an ag sector that uses about 30% of the energy in the US. It also creates dead zones in our waterways because of fertilizer runoff.

Without those subsidies, one might see a return of local food systems. Those would employ more people, probably a high level need given that technology is replacing jobs very rapidly. Bill Gates talks about how most are not ready for the future economy that will eliminate jobs. (http://www.businessinsider.com/bill-gates-bots-are-taking-away-jobs-2014-3?fb_action_ids=10203461807166315&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B638377309544909%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.recommends%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D)

With multifaceted agricultural operations, you will also see the topsoil being rebuilt. That is atmospheric carbon being captured with water (hydrogen) from rain or irrigation to form hydrocarbons in the soil. http://soilcarboncoalition.org many more just the first I pulled up today.

So while all of you banter back and forth on why the other side is wrong. There is a common sense approach that both sides would appreciate as it creates jobs, sequesters carbon and removes some government intervention from the system.

The system has been set up to divide and conquer, yet so many times if one simply sets back and examines the whole a common sense solution can be created. Unfortunately the Corporations that build tractors, fertilizers, pesticides and seed have no desire to see a sustainable system built, as that would cut into their revenue. Please lets not talk about profit as even non-profits need to profit so they can pay expenses, like wages and pensions that government workers get.

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Bill Wallace 7 months, 2 weeks ago

When he lived here, Henry Savage and I frequently went toe to toe in the Steamboat Pilot and Today on sustainability and climate change issues. And, like many in this comment thread, Henry, a former Exxon employee, every so often used what social scientists call the Scientific Certainty Argumentation Method. That method, which goes under the delightfully appropriate acronym S.C.A.M., is a tactic that plays on our sense of fairness. Here's how it works. Find some article, paper, piece of data or just some wild statement that supports your position and challenge those in opposition to refute it. Never mind whether it's true or not. It doesn't matter. What it does do is fuzz up the issue and delay any meaningful action. In the case of climate change, this is just what its opponents want. It is important to realize that scientific certainty on climate change will never be achieved, especially if we leave the test of "certainty" in the hands of the climate change deniers.

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 months, 2 weeks ago

My guess is most if not all of the usual posters here will not know what to do with such a proposal/position. Why? Because it is rational and free of political dogma. Thanks for sharing.

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John Weibel 7 months, 2 weeks ago

So Bill, as I pointed out above, what is the quickest method of extracting Carbon from the atmosphere? The actions that Climate fear mongers call for is halting society as it exists today. Some might think the world is overpopulated and think a culling needs to happen (war is the best method and we seem to be constantly at war).

Back to my point, storing Carbon in grasslands is far faster than in woody material as 2/3 of the organic matter is in the roots.

If you prefer taxing carbon, then I want a payment for the measured carbon I put in the soil compared to what would happen naturally. Then my farming for carbon will be more profitable then my farming for food. I put up 300 +/- tons of hay on without considerable energy consumption, except by the machines to bale the hay and the desire is to move away from that and migrate my cows to the browns park area for the winter as the deer and elk used to do in migrations. The deer mostly do the elk hang out here because of the feed available, via ranchers.

Back to the point, go talk with Kevin Fulton, Abe Collins, or a myriad of other people in the real world that are working with ultra high density grazing and sometimes utilizing a subsoil plow to aerate to build the topsoil far faster than would happen naturally.

Peace and maybe there is a way to act in a way that could be agreed upon by most citizens, thereby reducing expenses for our government making it more SUSTAINABLE, as the path we are on today is not.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 7 months, 2 weeks ago

So Mr. Wallace, Reading between your lines it appears you are saying that any body who disagrees with your choice of data is wrong. Is it possible that you are guilty of S.C.A.M. Also similar to Neil you have used the term "climate change deniers". I asked Neil for a definition but he jokingly refused. Maybe you could provide your definition. Reading the posts I am struggling to find many "deniers". I do find lots of links and comments that happen to disagree with your position.

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mark hartless 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I certainly do not deny that Earth's climate might indeed be changing. Nor do I believe that most people Bill lables as "deniers" really deny this.

However, I believe many religious environmentalists DELIBERATELY deny the next important fact in the discussion... namely that the climate has been changing for thousands (if not millions) of years; long before man had any influence WHATSOEVER over the environment.

This is "settled science" if ever there was any, yet they obfuscate around this FACT. Why??

It seems to me that THE one big reason they would quietly whistle past THAT garveyard is that they wish to prompt the general population into a pre-determined "remedy" for a phenomenon they want us to believe is new, is man-caused, and is man correctable.

THAT'S where they start to lose credibility and begin to look manipulative.

They believe what can not and has not been proven. They label those who do not as "deniers". They believe they alone have the answers. They want us to believe what they believe, support their beliefs with action and resources, act as they act, and to spread their gospel. THAT is what makes it a religion.

What most of them fail to understand is that us "non-believers" don't like feeling like we are being manipulated and that we actually believe many of THEM are being manipulated as well. Many of us see a larger scheme to basically convince us to forfiet more of our autonomy to an already overburdening authority/ government/ beauracracy.

Global Warming can be both real AND used by power-hungry leaders to manipulate the masses. In the words of President Obama's own Chief of Staff "never let a good crisis go to waste".

Finally, religious environmentalists fail to see that, frankly,many of us would just as soon suffocate from C02 than from the gubbamint they say it would take to "fix" it. After all... what's the difference???

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Brian Kotowski 7 months, 2 weeks ago

In case you missed it, it was 5 years ago in December that His Most Bloated Excellency, The Fleshy & Sanctimonious Al Gore predicted that entire north polar ice cap would disappear in five years. Credit where it's due: he was only off by about a million square miles. The Arctic ice cap has expanded by 50% since Jabba the Gore waddled through that Chicken Little fabrication. One wonders if that measures up to "clueless" in Mr. Wallace's world.

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Scott Wedel 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Do you even bother to read your links? From the BBC "ice expanded" article:

"It's estimated that there were around 20,000 cu km of Arctic sea ice each October in the early 1980s, and so today's minimum still ranks among the lowest of the past 30 years," he told BBC News.

And the Judith Curry article is not that there is 2% confidence in the models, but that only 2% of models account for the pause and most all of them predict increases in temps in the next 5 years.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Picking at nits now are you Scott. It looks to me like Brian is referencing Al Gore warnings of climate doom within 5 years, not since the 1980's. Best advice at his point is go joust at another windmill there Don Quixote. Out of curiosity what amount of carbon based energy do you think Al Gore consumes annually. I don't know for sure, but if I had to bet the over/under of Al Gore vs. all the poster's on this article I would bet the over. Now that may be the real "Inconvenient Truth".

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Fred Duckels 7 months, 2 weeks ago

The truth here is important but this global warming political tool along with the Endangered Species Act both serve to bring to fruition a life long wet dream for the left. What are the chances of this being a coincidence?

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Scott Wedel 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I think my statement and her quote mean the same thing. She and I are both saying that of the few models that have a 15 year hiatus that almost all of them predict the hiatus to last less than 20 years.


"The ‘hiatus’ [the pause in warming] will continue at least another decade"

Now that is really twisting her words. That is listed as one of the implications if a theory of "emphasizing natural internal variability" is true. She makes no claim that she has evidence of that being true. She notes that the IPCC view is that the next El Nino event will end the hiatus.

What her talk is actually doing is emphasizing that models are failing and that modified models considering more factors need to be developed.

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Harvey Lyon 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I've stopped whining about the liberal Democrat "save the environment....pay more taxes.....out-law all guns" policy. I did this under the old adage that one should never stand in the way of a foe when they are self distructing.

  • The price of ethanol is up 50% in the last 3 months and its clear that the ethanol requirement destroys more of the environment than it conserves. An "inconvient truth" to paraphrase Al Gore....LOL.
  • The price of any form of energy is up 60% in the last year.
  • They refuse to allow new power transmission lines from the places that produce the most solar and wind energy......LOL
  • Their leadership and managerial skills obviously reflect their glib tongued liberal arts education, long on "self professed morality" and short on science, engineering, facts and how to make things happen that truly work.
  • The liberal arts schools and universities that produced these folks are suffering big time in enrollment....grads can't get jobs....LOL

It was interesting today to see that Maryland stats and poles show many companies laying off folks and moving out of State. They're "tired of the increase in taxes" supporting things they truly don't care about.

Instead of roads and lines of commerce communication, National Defense, more plentiful and affordable power......they're bragging about more on welfare, medicaide, food stamps and early education (when the normal education isn't getting the job done...LOL)

I have to say......they got short changed in their education and President Obama has the worst set of "advisors" I've ever seen in my 56 years. Nice guy but a total naife.

Yeah.......sustainability is important to be sure......but its nice to have the experience and education that allows one to do more than just talk about it. "Leave No Trace" requires one to bring a baggie to pack it out. Seems the current democratic party line is "Opps....I forgot the baggie".....kindof like the "Shovel Ready" programs where no one remembered to bring the shovels.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 7 months, 2 weeks ago

"Nothing is more dangerous than a dogmatic worldview - nothing more constraining, more blinding to innovation, more destructive of openness to novelty." Stephen Jay Gould

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John Weibel 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Wow, just wow. It really is hard to have any dialogue in this world any longer. The PTB have done their job well and divided and conquered.

Too bad, though it probably does not matter any longer as it is the best democracy that money can buy. You go talk with the politicians and they say that is a good idea and hmm, yep we are taxing employers of employees to fund unemployment insurance. They ponder it think about the fact that the causes of unemployment are not taxed and then they just move on.

They wonder why so many are leaving rural America. I suggested at a USDA meeting outside of Denver, that opposed to giving payments to grow grain give kids who intern on farms a grant, in lieu of wages, to buy land to farm on in the future if they stay with it for 5 years. Guess the real reason they are worried about the loss of real rural population is lack of military personnel (https://www.facebook.com/Polyfacefarm/posts/10151509522441105).

My new favorite show is Farmed and Dangerous, with the quote "what people are eating is killing them as opposed to people starving, now that is progress".

Third world countries are banning the GMO products as well as the roundup, because of the disruption it causes to us people also. Seed sales people admit off the record that the old varieties grew more per acre than the new stuff. However, the new stuff gets royalties and as the Fentress' stated last fall the new variety of wheat can only be sold back to the originator of the seed. That right there is a tying contract and in violation of section 7 of the Clayton act, I believe, and should be gone after in a class action anti-trust suit, for any attorneys looking to take down a multinational. Some cell companies also violate the same clause in not allowing one to opt out of the data package with a smart phone, AT&T for me. I was going to persue both claims, but really am too tired to deal with all the legal BS that goes with it.

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John Weibel 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Australia is repealing its carbon tax, causing China to reconsider it.

Simply a tax source to fund the UN and push government further from the people. Really it needs to be moved as close to the people as possible.

http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/china-reconsiders-carbon-tax-citing-australias-planned-repeal-20140313-34nfp.html

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Dan Shores 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Wow this topic really brought the right wing nuts out of their caves. Must have touched a nerve. Of course living here in the Yampa Valley when you look out from your cave and see that the sky is clear and the water is pure you say, heck,,,,,, there's no pollution,,,,,, just a bunch of lefties trying to destroy free market capitalism. The air in Los Angeles is much better than Beijing so see how well the free markets work. Corporations will monitor themselves right? They wouldn't dream of dumping chemicals into rivers and streams or literally removing mountain tops in West Virginia and filling in valleys and flooding streams with toxic waste. Drill fracking wells to your hearts content. No need to worry about contaminating the aquifer that feeds your well. The free markets will take care of all that. And why do we need any government agencies? We don't need the FDA for instance. If corps. produce tainted food and people become sick and die then people will stop buying those products and the corp. that produced them will go out of business. Simple right? Central planning has never been able to allocate resources with a positive outcome right? How do you explain the greatest fighting force ever assembled in the history of the world, the U.S. Military? Should we privatize the military and how about our police and firefighters while we're at it. Then when you call in an emergency you could negotiate a fair market value for the police to respond or for the fireman to attend to your house fire. Will that be cash or check? Oh and we'll need your credit card number before we can come out. Just leave it up to the free markets to sort it all out? How about the FAA. Would you be OK getting on a plane and just hoping that the airline company will do the right thing and perform all the maintenance on schedule and retire the aircraft you are flying on when it reaches the end of it's recommended service life because they know that a disaster will be costly and result in a loss business. But on the other hand you really like government when it comes to telling a woman what her options are with regard to her reproductive rights, even in cases of rape or incest. You really like government involvement when it comes to deciding who you can have sex with or who you can marry. You also really like government when it comes to requiring special government issued ID's to prove you are who you are in order to vote, but you want absolutely no requirement to prove your identity when it comes to purchasing a deadly weapon. And don't forget, in your view we are a Christian nation and government should control our religious beliefs and enact public policy based on teachings from the Bible. I personally thank all that is good everyday that you all are in the minority and hopefully will stay that way for the foreseeable future. Differences of opinion are what makes the world go round, so keep it up. I love giving you all more rope. Thank you.

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mark hartless 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Dan says:

"Central planning has never been able to allocate resources with a positive outcome right?..."

If he knew history he'd know that is precisely the case.

He continues:

"... How do you explain the greatest fighting force ever assembled in the history of the world, the U.S. Military?"

Well, Dan, I'd explain it by saying that it hasn't won a war since 1954; about the same time that "pollitical correctness" and finger-in-the-wind government started rearing it's ugly head.

I'd further remind you that IT IS YOU LEFTISTS who complain incessantly about how it gobbles up an inordinate amount of our nation's budget and meddles in the affairs of the world excessively, spys on Americans, runs illegal "concentration camps" like Gitmo, etc. It is the left that bitches constantly about the "Military Inmdustrial Complex". (and I agree, by the way). It is you who bitch about all that stuff until a democrat is the Commander in Chief. Then, when it's "your guy" running those "concentration camps" and flying the Drones over other nation's soverign air space that same military suddenly becomes a source of great pride and an example of the ability of your beloved Central Government to accomplish great things.

Finally, Dan says:

"...you say, heck,,,,,, there's no pollution,,,,,," Just one problem with this statement... It's a lie. Nobody said there is "no pollution", Dan. Nobody said that but you, trying to put YOUR words in the mouths of your opponents because you obviously have no coherent argument for what they ACTUALLY said.

And since you agree that the Yampa Valley has clean air why not go to LA and help them clean up THEIR mess??

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john bailey 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Colyfornia won't take Dan back. what a twisted mind this lefty has. wonder why he left ? he was perfect for that state.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Steve, Here is interesting article re: shale oil reserves. http://dailyreckoning.com/oil-shale-reserves/ It is from a group that promotes investments so full disclosure, I am not promoting their site, just found the article interesting

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 months, 2 weeks ago

So Steve, how do you and your bunch of "free market solves all problems, no need form government" shills address the drought and impending water crisis in the western states? Here is another prime example of unbridled growth and development and their effects on our natural resources. You do believe water is a renewable natural resource correct, but not trumped by humans expanding need for consumption? Something has to give and in your utopic unrestrained free market system it certainly won't be humans. Very forward thinking indeed. In your own words "Enjoy your fantasy"!

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/us/wests-drought-and-growth-intensify-conflict-over-water-rights.html?ref=todayspaper

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Dan Kuechenmeister 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Speaking of sustainability which is where this whole dialogue originated from. Interesting article from Mother Jones on carbon based energy usage in the production of marijuana. http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/marijuana-pot-weed-statistics-climate-change

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 months, 2 weeks ago

So right Dan, best left to the Mexican drug cartels. The free market will get it under control no doubt. May the weed be with you!

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 months, 2 weeks ago

By the way Steve, now that we know you are also a proponent (shill) for fracking (Oil/Gas) any guess how much water is used and wasted on a single fracking well? In your free market system, money is far more important than food, health or any other basic human right! The irony here in support of all this tea party ideology is off the charts. Keep it coming!

http://theenergycollective.com/jessejenkins/205481/friday-energy-facts-how-much-water-does-fracking-shale-gas-consume

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Dan Kuechenmeister 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Sorry Neil I have no idea what your comment regards the link I posted regards carbon based energy and the production of marijuana was meant to accomplish. Were you being complimentary, demeaning, sarcastic, funny. Your comment seemed a bit incoherent.

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Steve my best guess would be in the range of 135 Billion Gallons annually. And yes unfortunately much of that toxic brew finds its way back into the aquifer, so I guess you are correct once again as it isn't "permanently removed from the planets hydrological cycle". Thanks for another thing to be thankful for. Keep the irony coming!

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Dan, if I need to explain my comments it's no wonder you likely find the Colbert Report so supportive of your tea party ideology. Satire isn't for everyone I guess, but it is still worth watching.

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/433749/march-13-2014/bears---balls---ganjapreneurs

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Dan Kuechenmeister 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Neil, O great one. O seer for the ages, o mind reader par excellence. Just what is my ideology? You can spew at me all day long, makes no never mind to me. I do have to admit it has been interesting watching you joust with Steve Mendell. Your Left leaning talking points - his links to scientific information . Wash, rinse, repeat. Speaking of your "jousting" with Steve. We had a little fun with a Caddyshack reference the other day. Here is one from A Knight's Tale (get the jousting reference, clever, yes) - great music in it by the way so if you haven't seen it check it out. Any way here is the quote from the movie. "You have been weighed. You have been measured. You have been found wanting."

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh my heart is broken Steve. Your self worth is seriously inflated if not delusional.

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks Dan, I would keep that to myself if you were me!

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mark hartless 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Neil Says

"...how do you and your bunch of "free market solves all problems, no need form government" shills address the drought and impending water crisis in the western states?"

I would say just think how much more serious that situation would be if we had never built the Hoover Dam and Glen Canyon Dam; and how ridiculous it would be to do what many religious environmentalist's have suggested... namely blowing them up.

I would also say that if the 20 million illegal aliens that were here with the democratic party's blessing were NOT here it might not be quite as thirsty out here.

Then Neil goes on to say:

"...In your free market system, money is far more important than food,"

To that I would reply: It is the religious environmentalists who insisted on ethanol. Do you know how much fresh water is pumped out of our aquifers every day to water corn that is grown for ehtanol, Neil???

Steve M. is correct that markets use price to place actual value on all things. Accordingly, when water gets scarce enough, desalination plants will provide enough fresh water to turn California green again. The ocean is full of water, Neil. All we gotta do is stick our straw in that milkshake and...

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mark hartless 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Sure there is a market price for water, Steve.

I bought 2 shares in a small ditch last year. You can buy and sell water rights all over the west. Bottled water at the store has a price. Municipalities charge "market rates" for domestic water all over the nation and the world.

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John Fielding 7 months, 2 weeks ago

When I worked as a water plant operator in the Grand County gas fields the problem was too much water, more than could be disposed of in fracking. All the water used there was "production water", meaning it came up with the gas and oil from deep strata where it had been for millions of years. We had the equipment to clean it up to a theoretically potable condition, but there was no demand, so we simply cleaned it to a less toxic condition so we cold safely handle it (and recover all the salable hydrocarbons) then re-injected it into much the same strata it came from, sometimes pushing out a little more product in the process.

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John Fielding 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Much of the water used in fracking also comes back up after the pressure is relieved, we call this "flowback" water and it is handled in much the same manner as production water. The main difference is that flowback is much cleaner than production water, does not have to go through a series of settling and cleaning procedures. This is because it was already cleaned before its re-use in fracking. The water that naturally exists in gas and oil fields is highly toxic, and is handled as carefully as the equally toxic hydrocarbons it was formed with. The only really safe and sane thing to do with it at present is to return it to whence it came.

If the demand is great enough, the filtering equipment is so good that it will support life again, I have seen the algae growing in it when it has sat for a while. Considering how deadly it once was that is pretty impressive. I still would be reluctant to drink it though.

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mark hartless 7 months, 2 weeks ago

The point, Steve, is that when water gets scarce enough desalination plants will be viable. And that IS a free market principle.

It is ironic that peoplke like Neil claim to be alarmed by scarcity of water and it's consequent price hikes when it it religious environmentalists that actually are seeking to make other commodity prices "necessarily skyrocket" by creating scarcity where none really exists.

They want fossil fuel prices higher so windmills and solar seem more reasonably priced by comparison, but when you bring up desalination plants it doesn't register the same.

The ocean has a lot of water in it, so environmentalists will have a hard time convincing many people there is a water shortage... until they find a way to ban desalination, which I've no doubt is on their "to do" list.

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John Fielding 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Steve, there is a point that reasonable people will agree on regarding the definition of "toxic". Ordinary water and air will not meet that criteria even if it is possible to ingest then in sufficient quantity to be lethal. The product of a fossil fuels well, that can kill by inhalation or cause violent illness by exposure clearly will, (even though in rare cases it can be benign, such as some very sweet Pennsylvania oils that were actually bottled and sold as medicine).

Why in the world would you bother making that point? Much of what you have written before that seemed intelligent, even perhaps insightful. You diminish your credibility; even though what you said was factual it was inane.

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John Fielding 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I think you have just proved that you are in fact clueless as the writer suggested.

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John Fielding 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I repeat your statements are factually correct but inane. You are clueless as to how to have a reasonable discussion, where commonly accepted notions of such things as water is nontoxic and volatile hydrocarbons are will not be challenged.

If you want to stick strictly to the scientific standard of relative toxicity, probably expressed in scientific notation as ten to the nth power, then have that conversation with others who speak that language. Here you are in the world of commonly accepted definitions of common English words.

Again I assert, you diminish your own credibility, got all the facts right but no common sense.

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Kevin Nerney 7 months, 1 week ago

John I had the same thought from another thread.

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