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Bob Marshall: What Coastal Drilling Means For Sportsmen

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April 23, 2010

Bob Marshall: What Coastal Drilling Means For Sportsmen

By Bob Marshall

Editor's Note: Welcome to The Conservationist, a new blog on FieldandStream.com, where at least three times per week we'll be posting conservation news, analysis, and commentary from Conservation Columnist Bob Marshall, Contributing Editor Hal Herring, and Deputy Editor Jay Cassell.

So what does President Obama's decision to open once-protected areas of our coasts to energy drilling mean for fish, wildlife and sportsmen?

It could be terrible. It could be bad. Or it might not matter much at all.

The Terrible: If this derails the push for meaningful carbon reduction legislation, it will be a black mark on his presidency, and a disaster for fish and wildlife and sportsmen.

There is no greater threat to our outdoor pursuits than global warming, and the major cause of that problem is the accumulation of carbon in the atmosphere, primarily from fossil fuels. There are alternative fuels, but the only way to encourage development and use of those fuels is to place a penalty on the production of carbon. That's what cap and trade is all about.

Even the energy industry agrees the known untapped sources in these offshore areas can't make a serious dent in our needs. During the Bush Administration, the federal Energy Information Agency said the impact on prices would be “negligible”– and even that wouldn’t happen for 30 years. But the longer the nation believes we have a ready supply of cheap carbon-emitting fuels, the longer it will resist converting to cleaner technologies. No pain, no gain.

There is also fear this could lead us on a slippery slope. By opening these previously protected areas off the coasts, the administration will be faced with this question: If the energy emergency means those pristine oceans off the east coast must be sacrificed, why should the Rocky Mountain front be any different?

Throwing our petrol patriots a bone has never slated their thirst in the past.

The Bad: As a lifelong resident of coastal Louisiana, which supports 4,000 oil and gas platforms - the largest such concentration in the world - I think I can speak with some authority on the impacts of offshore drilling. 

The first thing to understand is that the most obvious risk is not the most serious.

While the nation this week has been gripped by photos of a rig that exploded,  likely killing at least 11 workers and now pumping untold gallons of crude into the Gulf, such disasters are the rare exception to the rule in offshore drilling. Certainly the risks are great in any such event; we'll have to wait to see how much damage this does to the coastal estuaries and beaches, if any. But if tightly regulated, constantly watched and slapped with crippling fines when it breaks the rules, the offshore energy industry can be safe and have very little impact on  fish and wildlife.

However, when allowed to bully a state, this industry can do horrendous damage, most of which takes place onshore. This includes a deep and lasting disruption to both natural and social infrastructure by the on-shore component of development such as transmission pipelines, canal dredging, refineries, and port facilities.

Since permitting was required in the 1970s, as much as 10,000 miles of pipelines were dredged for oil and gas work through our coastal marshes. No one has an accurate count of how many miles were dredged before that, but some experts think it was at least as many.

Louisiana's coastal estuaries - the largest and most productive in the lower 48, an ecosystem that 90 percent of all Gulf marine species depend on and that is important to 70 percent of the continent's migratory waterfowl -  has been reduced by 2,000 square miles in 70 years, and experts believe almost 40 percent of that loss can be attributed to oil and gas industry impacts.

Did that have to happen?

No. But efforts to force the energy industry to be more environmentally sensitive  were defeated under heavy industry lobbying.
 
There are much greener ways to develop offshore energy than what happened in Louisiana. But sportsmen in states now facing this challenge should be prepared to hear from the petro-patriots that all those environmental safeguards are just too expensive. Let them win that argument, and your fish and wildlife habitat and quality of life will suffer greatly.

Comments (86)

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Screw the bit about global warming. Was I the only one who saw on the news that the UN's Climate Panel was given a failing grade by an independent review? They admitted that they completely screwed up and that they did a worse job than the UK's climate panel that was roasted a few months ago. I'm all for conservation, but not the type that demands we believe that every potential threat, no matter how ridiculous, is endangering our "outdoor pursuits".

Give me a break. Stick to the facts and you'll be taken more seriously.

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from dmayer4741 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Just terrible and bad??? Nothing good can come of this??? C'mon guys, if you want to have a real debate, lets put all the fact on the table. Yesterday I read that game fish congregate around these drilling rigs...

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from Andrew Ferraro wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

How can F & S publish this crap! What would a gallon of gas or a hamburger cost if the leftists in the Obama administration and the the environmental movement get their carbon TAX?

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from tom warner wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

No point in responding to the first two comments. Folks will believe whatever makes them feel good. The Bush mob made denying science popular. I did think that in the sentence "heavy industry lobbying", the word"bribing"should have been substituted for"lobbying", since our elected representatives seem to respond best to that type of incentive. They surely seldom represent sportsmen. Self-serving, sold-out creeps.

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Ferraro and Warner,
I'm all for taking action...once you have proven, concretely, that global warming does indeed exist and is indeed a threat. The reason the US is the mess that it's in is because well-reasoned, thought out decisions were not made: people acted solely on emotions and hype. You can be a conservationist without believing in global warming.

The "environmentalists" were screaming about an Ice Age in the 70s. What happened to that, I ask you? People were screaming about Y2K 10 or so years ago. What happened to that, I ask you? Most of our "threats" don't even exist and the smartest course of action is to keep a cool head about them and only act upon solid, definite facts.

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from dmayer4741 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Well Tom if that is your attitude, your "carbon credits" are not more than a rationalization to make you feel good.

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from labrador12 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Where is the good? Where is the great? Did you run out of room in the piece? Too bad F&S didn't have a continuing series on some of the great recoveries we are experiencing here in North America. Maybe do a study on muskie, or bass or trout fishing in Oil City Pa. for example. Maybe show some pictures of Sudbury Ont circa 1970 and today. The US has at least 3 to 5 million barrels of oil that we could be producing a day, every day for decades. That's not enough, but it sure would help if Iran totally screws up the world's oil supply. See the NY Times article of this week about the 4% unemployment rate in N Dakota for a hint of what responsible oil production could mean to the economy of the country. Producing ethanol at a break even to net loss in terms of energy is not a real solution. Wind generation has its own price to pay in terms of avian species destruction. So does solar at this point in time. Sportsmen will rue the day that they don't have any discretionary income left because the government has taken it all. Paying bureaucrats $200,000 a year to watch porn and give us energy star rated gas powered alarm clocks (as the GAO reported recently) is as asinine as letting the oil industry ruin our environment. Its our responsibility as citizens to pay attention. Global warming, while not a scientifically proved problem, will be easier to deal with if the US is in a strong economic position rather than a weak one. I say, drill baby, drill, and do it in a responsible way.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Actually, solar is about as green as it gets. That's ultimately the test, IMO. It's not about whether you can have NO impact from energy generation. It's about what causes the least impact.

At this time, though, as I understand it, the biggest threats aren't from segoing oil rigs, but rather as Bob noted for Louisiana, land based changes including erosion caused by all the construction in sensitive areas.

That pales, perhaps, in comparison with the dredging of the Mississippi (which deposited alot of silt, in the old days, which helped preserve the delta area) and of course fertilizer agrirunoff.

Bob, I hope you'll take a chance to read about the proposed Rosemont Copper mine in Arizona. Canadian company using the General Mining Act to take American taxpayer land and send all the refining jobs and of course the valuable industrial metal to China, leaving the taxpayer with a big landscape boil and future Superfund Site to deal with. You might want to talk with some of the people at "Save the Scenic Santa Ritas" (which latter is the mtn range the mine plans to alter if their plan is approved by the Forest Service).

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from lshuk wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I'm sick and tired of reading the global warming crap in Field and Stream. Is there no common sense left? CO2 is PLANT FOOD!!!! For crying out loud!!! More plants is better for animals and humans alike. It is a trace gas which makes up less than 3% of the atmosphere. Man's contribution to atmospheric CO2 in negligible. CO2 is a lagging indicator of the earth's warming. It's not a cause. We get ALL of our energy from the sun. The sun goes through cycles which causes the earth to warm or cool. We are in a cooling phase on the earth right now due to the abnormally low activity of the sun. Look around! Besides, what's wrong with warm weather? We can grow more crops and feed more people. Flu season is in the winter isn't it? Cap and Trade is nothing more than a tax, using a made up threat as cover, so the govermnent can attempt to pay for the new programs it's shoved down our throats!
This whole thing is a scam of the highest proportion. The saddest part being our populace is so apathetic and ignorant, it has no idea. I have subscribed to Field and Stream for many years now. If I see one more unintelligent article on global warming I will tear up my subscriptions as I tear out my hair.

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

To clarify any possible confusion, I would love to see a Conservation blog on here. I just want something a little more balanced, that's all.

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from labrador12 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I'm with Mike Deihl on reforming the mining act of 1872. I'm for mining but not for using the same technology as 100+ years ago only with bigger shovels and trucks. Those guys need to look outside of the box in terms of new and improved technology. Of course, since I am not intimately involved with the issue, I could be completely wrong because I'm reacting to media reports, and they are almost always 180 degrees wrong. I'm sure the mining act can be improved, I'm not sure of the media descriptions of the actual issues.

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from tom warner wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

In response to a couple of the above comments on climate change, I must say that I have somewhat reluctantly become a believer through various personal observations. I have lived for 76 years and much of that time has been spent in the outdoors. During my life I have observed many very dramatic movements of birds, plants and animals north, among other powerful indications of warming. I have no wish (or space) to engage in any arguments and hope that I am mistaken and the doubters are right. So far as scientific evidence goes, I have to say that I have known quite a few members of the scientific community during my life and have learned respect for them. Most of these people have no particular agenda and simply go by the evidence, and if proven wrong, then so be it. That's what science is. It strikes me that much of the public has not made many convincing arguments to prove them wrong and that much of the rhetoric is purposely inflammatory and hateful. I personally know a number of hunting and fishing buddies who still do not believe there is such a thing as acid rain, despite totally overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Nothing will convince them otherwise. Denial still seems to be one of the most reliable human responses to unpleasant events. History has proven it time after time. I realize that my opinion is completely worthless in the big scheme of things, but I wish that more of us could be more open minded and ditch all the shouting and finger pointing. It's bad for us. Please don't bother to respond to this, since I know you won't open your minds.

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Aw, heck, I'll respond to the don't-bother-to-respond-to-this post anyway. Just to make one point, I swear.

In your first post, Tom, you stated "Folks will believe whatever makes them feel good", effectively saying that all opposing points of view are based solely on selfish and/or apathetic motives. How is that being "open-minded"? Dismissing as worthless the arguments of everyone else is about as narrow-minded as you can get.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Tom is spot on. If you think CO2 forcing *can't* cause global warming or that humans *can't* put enough of into the atmopsphere your position admits of only two possibilities:

1. You know NOTHING about the subject.
2. You're so biased that you reject the science in favor of nonsense.

Open Minded doesn't equate with "All dissenting opinions are equally valid" and it sure doesn't equate with "you must tolerate willful ignorance."

CO2 forcing *is* happening. That is an irrefutable fact. Human CO2 emissions are causing substantial carbon enrichment. That too is an irrefutable fact. The reasonable conclusion that best fits the evidence is that the human emitted CO2 is causing the forcing and therefore the global warming. It's a better case than most evidenciary proceedings you're likely to hear as a juror.

The only OPEN questions are "What are the adverse effects if any?" "What are the potential benefits if any?" and, finally "If the adverse effects are more severe than any benefits, what are the relative long term costs and marginal costs of doing NOTHING versus trying to mitigate it."

Naturally, if China and India declare themselves licensed to make up, in increased CO2 production, for any mitigating effects undertaken by the west, then you can't mitigate the problem. Then what you have to decide is how much you want to prepare for various degrees of effect.

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from Hank111 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I totally agree Mike.

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Mike,
Then what IS "open-minded"? I don't consider myself a particularly open-minded person, if I believe that I am right then I believe that I am right, period. If opposing facts are brought up then I'll consider them, but without evidence I will not be swayed.

That being said, I was just using Tom's argument against him when I made the point about open-mindedness.

As for your "irrefutable facts", I would be interested to hear what your sources are. Yes, there are some credible scientists who believe in global warming, and there are some who don't (at least, they don't believe that there is enough to cause a damaging effect.) I don't have an issue with this, I hope that the debate continues. What I DO have an issue with is F & S only representing one side of the debate: it is an "irrefutable fact", to borrow from Diehl, that there are many reputable scientists on both sides of the argument, and I feel that the author failed to accurately represent both sides (that is, if he attempted to represent both sides at all.)

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Oh, and that was an excellent point about China and India, Mike. Very well put.

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from jakenbake wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Not to pile on the criticism, but I'm pretty sure the Constitution doesn't guarantee a "right" to the outdoors... I do, however, like the idea of a conservation blog on the website. We all are going to need to pitch in since Lord knows the powers that be aren't going to take care of things...

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from tom warner wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Mike: Do you think the question of "adverse effects" is truly "open"? Among the numerous other predicted detrimental effects, ocean acidification is reported to be progressing far, far more rapidly than predicted. This would seem to me to be about as ominous as anything that I can think of. I also fear that we may already have reached the dreaded "tipping point" where any mitigation of effect is no longer possible. (if it actually ever was.) I am also pretty stumped regarding the possibility of many real benefits, although there might be some short term ones. What is your opinion?

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from tom warner wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

dukkillr: Sorry, maybe I am not as open minded as I like to think I am. It's only that I encounter so many people whose minds seem to be totally closed that I succumb to cynicism sometimes. It bothers me that so many of us seem to disrespect science these days, which I think is dangerous, given the almost unbelievable benefits science has conferred upon us. We tend to forget that when science tells us alarming things. Sure, science can be wrong, but in the long run, after much shouting and controversy, it almost always winds up getting it right. In regard to climate matters, I can only hope that it's wrong, but I fear it may not be. As I said,I see too much evidence with my own eyes. Anyway, we ALL need to talk and refrain from shouting. WE and our children are the stakeholders in this!

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from herrinchoker wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I rember sitting in a class being told by the professor that the scientific community truly believed that if, and when, the Polar Caps melted, the increased weight of the water on the oceans would cause an upthrust of the land masses, and cities like New York would be upwards of two hundred miles inland.
In the 1950s it was forecast that ocean acidification would have the world's seas barren of all life by the year 2000.
Remember the Time and Newsweek magazine covers showing the scientific conception of the doom coming with the new ice age??
Science can prove beyond all doubt that a bumble bee cannot fly because of it's weight to wing load ratio.
Science has also stated that Mars has experienced the same temperature variations as Earth, and their findings are based on sun spot activity, and that temperature variants can be tracked back in time, tied directly to the suns activity.
Is the Earth's climate changing, probably, has before, will again.
However, I will not base my beliefs on information that comes from an institution that has been exposed to be fraudulent, and has an agenda. I will not base my beliefs on information that has no published peer review, and I will not base my beliefs on somone's political agenda.
When flood control was established on the Mississippi the unentended consequence was the loss of the marshes.
Corps established the Achafalia, and Morganza spillways, to little gain.
Wind power? bigassbirdgrinders, not reliable, ethanol? makes a fair drink, solar? technology has been present for almost forty years, it will take a bank of panels about ten miles wide, from Boston to Seattle to provide the amount of power used by this country. Anyone care to volunteer negotiating the easements with the Fed, and the various state DEP's??
I have kicked around for a few years. Shot my first mallard Nov. of 47, and I have seen change-some good, some bad, and some still evaluating.
Climate change?? don't believe all the hype. Un-wad the undies and research climate here in the United States for the past 150 years-I believe you will find it interesting.
Herrinchoker

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from Bella wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Ducky, you want "fair and balanced" just like you gety it a Faux News I'll bet, which is to have your own view echoed and all other notions mocked or misrepresented.
Toms 70 plus years of simple observation tells him climate is changing for the warmer, just as my 50+ years of looking on tell me the same thing! Denial is not a river in Egypt.
We need to wean ourselves off Mother Pachamama's tit and stop sucking her juices away. Wind and Solar could more than meet our needs, a day will come when the crude petrolium will be far more valuable as a raw material for chemical synthesis and the folks of the future will wonder why we ever burned such valuable stuff!
I am agin more coastal drilling also 'cause my 50+ years have taught me that humans are incredible screw ups. The coastal biome is where human beings evolved, which is why seafood is preferred all over the world as the choicest human foods. Most humans live within 50 miles of a coast, most farmland is either the bottom of dried up oceans or a coastal plain. Coastal regions are not only the most essential for human life and civilization, they are also the most sensitive to disruption and are vulnerable to Tsunami, Hurricanes, algal blooms and too many other catastrophes to mention on one page. We need the seashore more than we need the oil under it and you cannot have your cake (and eat it too!).

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Bella,
All I'm asking for is both sides of the issue. Present the global warming side of things, present the anti-global warming side of things, and let the people decide. Is that too much to expect?

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from Madblood wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Excellent post, Bob. It amazes me how many of our fellow sportsmen remain uneducated about the issues that affect us. The Interior Department's Minerals Management Service estimates with 5% certainty that there are 10 billion barrels of oil and natural gas off the SE coast from Delaware to Florida. They are 95% certain that there are 2 billion barrels. The area off Virginia is estimated to contain 130 million barrels. We used over 7 billion barrels in 2008, which was almost 1/4 of the world's consumption. 2 billion barrels, 10 billion, either way it's a drop in the bucket. It's too small to have an impact on petroleum imports or prices, but it could certainly have an impact on our coastline.
And guys, what if climate change is all a big hoax? That makes it okay to keep pumping crap into the environment?

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from labrador12 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

No one has studied the east or west coast for hydrocarbons since 1970. The cars that we drive today are 98% cleaner driving down a freeway than a 1970s car sitting in the driveway with the engine off. Do you think that the improvements in technology in the last forty years might turn up some recoverable oil? I do. In the next four decades I expect some real advancement in energy. Today's renewables will look like what they are, horse and buggy technology that deliver more harm than good, and almost no bang for the buck. The, at least, three to five million barrels a day that we can get from our own resources will not be all the petroleum that we need but it will save our economy trillions of dollars, and get some money into the federal and state coffers without taxing sportsmen to death. Jobs from all educational levels and in dozens of industries will be created. Eagles and Ospreys will continue to ply the coasts with out fear of wind generators hacking them to pieces. We can't all make $200,000 a year watching porn in our government jobs in DC, somebody somewhere is actually going to have to produce something.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Replies to all and sundry. Sorry I don't have the time to respond to each by name.

Open minded means you really truly are interested enough in the data that if they disagree with what you believed going into it then you come up with a new conclusion, rather than invoking some conspiracy theory as an excuse to ignore the data.

What are the data? I know people directly involved in Paleoclimatology. The current warming trend has no precedent with respect to speed of onset. It *does* have precedents in the sense that in the past, we have had hotter climates. Generally, those climates were hotter because of different factors than are in play NOW. Factors such as continental drift (the continents were literally in different positions on the globe than they now occupy), long term cylical harmonics involving solar output variation and Milankovic cycles, or major volcanic eruptions. By "major" I mean eruptions that make historically known ones like Krakatoa or Pinatubo or Aetna or anything like that. An example of which would be the last eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera some 80Mya. Anywho, the CURRENT warming trend does NOT correlate with solar variation, milankovic cycles, or anything else except for atmospheric CO2 concentrations. And it correlates with that EXTREMELY well. Since CO2 is a known greenhouse gas, we basically have, in CSI parlance, the fingerprints, the gun, the ballistics test, the bullet and a body that is still breathing but showing signs of having been shot.

Ocean acidification is IMO the most immediate potentially catestrophic effect. I'll 'splain for all you doubters why it matters. Most of the atmospheric CO2 winds up mixed, by wave and wind action, into water. Mostly seawater in fact. When the oceans aren't too acidic, most of that CO2 gets taken up by CaCO3 forming organisms... corals, plankton, marine shell animals, etc. When these die, the CO2 is entombed in the ocean in carbonate deposits formed by the shells or bodies of the dead animals that sink to the bottom. Coral reefs are one example. But if the oceans get too acidic, these animals literally won't be able to keep their shells, because the acid will eat it away, keeping the CO2 in solution, and making the ocean yet more acidic. If the process doesn't self-regulate somehow, the implication is that the marine calcium carbonate fauna experience a mass extinction. If that happens, then WE ARE COMPLETELY SCREWED. Dead oceans. Social unrest. Major continent wide wars as people kill each other for the remaining fragile resources. Followed by something close to a mass extinction. Probably humans will live through it as a species. But at a generous estimate I'd say one in ten thousand people alive today would live through such a thing if the marine CaCO3 using organisms died off, for example, in the next ten years.

That might be mitigatable though. We might be able to use nuclear power to generate enough energy to extract the carbonic acid from seawater. That might make Obama's health care plan seem, by comparison, cheap. Doing nothing about CO2 emissions might lead to World Socialism faster than putting a stop to it up front.

What could be the beneifts? Longer growing seasons for some places is about the only major one I can imagine. But such effects would be local. Some places will undoubtedly get MORE rain just as others may get less rain. This is where climate interacts with meteorology and, sad to say, we're just not that good at meteorology yet.

That's my two bits. Hope it helps.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

"Not to pile on the criticism, but I'm pretty sure the Constitution doesn't guarantee a "right" to the outdoors.."

The 9th Amendment states in essence "Just because we listed the Constitutional Rights of citizens in the first eight amendments doesn't imply that these are their only rights."

Literal text: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

In my view American citizens DO have a right to the outdoors, specifically Public Land, collectively owned by us all through the auspices of the Federal government and for the use of all.

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from jamesti wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

really great blog. keep 'em coming. when a blog brings out this much passion and insight you know you did it right. great arguments by all. i don't think i could add anything more than what was said. regulate this VERY closely and hand out HEFTY fines for violations!

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from Robert Ewing wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

With all the rejected post and 504 gateway time-outs.
I've changed my view,screw the enviroment let them drill.

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from Robert Ewing wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

No ,I don't feel that way .But do you have to pay a premium to post more than a 100 words on enviromental issues?

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from hal herring wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Hey folks,

I'm trying to get some updated info on the Deep Horizon rig blowout off Venice, La. I saw where they abandoned the search for the 11 workers- and my prayers go out to their families and friends.

Looks like there is more trouble developing, with oil leaking and the weather halting cleanup efforts. Anybody in south Louisiana that can give us an update?

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from hal herring wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Thought I'd post what I found, thanks.

http://www.nola.com/business/index.ssf/2010/04/well_at_deepwater_horizon...

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Hey Bob, need to lighten up on the Al Gore Kool-Aid!

Global Warming?

Pure BS!

I bet Bob you believe DiHydrogen Monoxide needs to be banned too!

One more thing Bob, shouldn't you be more concerned about the Super Volcano brewing in Yellowstone Park!

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

O'ya, I forgot to mention we also be concerned about the Earth coming to an end December 21, 2012!

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from blackdawgz wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Of course, it is being acted out in the Gulf right now.

But it's not news to me.

Once while my brother was going to College in Texas, he borrowed my surfboard and went surfing at Galveston.

It came back covered with bits of heavy crude adhered thereunto.

One got on me and I had a tough time getting it off!

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from freeparking wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Ahem, There has been no statistically significant global warming in 15 years:

Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Aston...

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from freeparking wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I enjoy F/S, as it's usually a nice break from much of the politics of the day. Granted the environment is linked to hunting and fishing, but spare us the one sided unscientific partisan nonsense.
There has been a great deal written recently - mostly by the foreign press - about disturbing problems with the data that call into question the amount and cause of climate change. Why ignore the new information?

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from YooperJack wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Oil underground, be it in the desert or underwater is oil under pressure. As such, when we drill and pull oil out, we relieve that pressure. If don't drill in the oceans we'll have more oil spilling into the ocean from cracks that occur naturally from earthquakes, continental drift, etc. Besides, if we don't drill in the gulf, the Chinese will. I trust our people a lot more.

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from Robert Ewing wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Bob Marshall,
Welcome to Field & Stream,Looking forward to this blog.I wish you well in trying to enlighten us on enviromental issues, because that will be the "Total Outdoorsman Challenge"

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Have any idea how easy a terrorist can take out a oil platform!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Good grief, Charlie Brown!

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from Bella wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Amen WA Mthunter, good grief Charlie Brown.
I'd rather hang out with Linus (call me Sally Brown).
By the way Linus is like 53 now and teaches philosophy at an Ivy League college. He wears a lot of tweed.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

The five year running mean, which is the way that climate trends are tracked, indicates continued temperature increases throughout the last two decades, inclusive, obviously, of the last 15 years. See:

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

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from freeparking wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

NASA, as well as the CRU has a credibility problem when it comes to how they score their climate data:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/03/nasa-embroiled-in-climat...

We should believe it and support cap and trade?

Using NASA data to evaluate the CRU (The UK/UN's global warming 'scientists') is like asking Bill C. judge Tiger W.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

And there it is. "NASA lacks credibility." Like I said before, if you start fishing for excuses to ignore the facts, then you weren't open minded enough to care about the facts in the first place.

That sort of attitude reminds me of colleagues of the Whole Earth Vitamin Bar Conspiracy Theory set. They won't take medicine because it's produced by Big Pharma under the questionable auspices of the 'no good' Food and Drug Admin. But if you offer them a silk bag full of an unnamed plant tissue packaged as a "Holistic Herbal Remedy" and told them "It'll cure the common cold" they'll jump for it without hesitation.

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from freeparking wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Hey, No bigger fan of Big Pharma then me.

Are these colleagues NASA climate scientists?

NASA and the CRU caused their own credibility problems, and they could have been fixed by now with simple disclosure. Instead they can't or won't answer questions about data analysis and or even data collection methods.

But take their word for it. They shouldn't have to explain themselves when it's just cap and trade legislation.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

You've confused NASA with the guy in the UK. Separate sources of data. NASA's is all satellite imagery and detection. Also, you've confused what the Guardian or Telegraph or whatever's article said. The prof in the UK says he hasn't released the data because his office is sloppy.

My sources are at the Tree Ring Lab and at several depts of Geosciences throughout the US. Mostly experts in palynology, dendroclimatology, stratigraphic minerology, atmospheric science, etc.

Not one of 'em doubts the reality of modern anthropogenic global warming. Not one of 'em works for the IPCC, NASA, or some think tank in the UK. The atmospheric science guys probably sometimes work WITH NASA, because alot of what they do is space-based research focusing not only on earth but other solar system bodies with atmospheres.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

The point being that claims that NASA lacks credibility or good data are as meritless as your average snake oil advertisement from 130 years ago. And the people who are willing to buy into the "NASA lacks credibility" laughfest are doing the equivalent of buying an herbal supplement with no idea of the contents or the merits of the claims attached to it.

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from freeparking wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Even the IPCC had members who don't buy the whole AGW theory as sufficient justification to pass cap and trade.. See Dr. Anthony Lupo, Department Chair and Professor Atmospheric Science, University of Missouri.

Still, why the reluctance to ask for a better accounting of research methods?
I'm at least open to agreeing with their conclusions once they've had a good vetting.
The scientific peer review process has been discredited by the CRU mess. That's why the tree ring counters and co. ought to be understanding.
Once bitten by a snake oil salesman (money saving health care reform, or WMD, whatever your flavor), it's clear why voters should be somewhat reluctant to accept these claims at face value. It advances an agenda.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Yeah. But they are a tiny minority of the whole. As for "advances an agenda." That's just "Conspiracy Theory" dressed in formal attire.

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Has anyone been to ANWR in Alaska or flown over it?

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

It's not that NASA lacks credibility or good data, it's the politics behind it. Either they go along with Obama or they lose there contracts and get canned!

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from labrador12 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Don't forget that there is literally trillions of dollars to be made trading carbon futures if cap and trade goes through!! The heat island effect is corrupting all the data sets in existence. We need more data and we need less political interference in the process. Now is not the time to pass cap and trade.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

"It's not that NASA lacks credibility or good data, it's the politics behind it. Either they go along with Obama or they lose there contracts and get canned!"

That's more conspiracy theory. In rebuttal of your conspiracy theory I note the following: (1) Most of NASA's employees aren't political appointees. They don't serve at the pleasure of the President and can't be fired for politically inconvenient truths so so speak. (2) NASA and its forerunners have been gathering atmospheric data since the Truman admin. The idea that NASA just suddenly came up with a bunch of data because a guy elected 18 months ago has some idea is transparently meritless.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

"The heat island effect is corrupting all the data sets in existence."

That is not correct. Not even remotely factually correct. Heat Island Effect only affects NOAA maintained ground stations in urban areas. NASA's data is primarily from satellite imagery. The paleoclimatology data doesn't even USE weather stations (it's proxy data). The BOTANICAL data, which most don't like to talk about, indicates northward migration of temperate climate species. Also the proxy observational data reported by rural people not affected by heat Island from Maine to Alaska... earlier last-frosts, later first-frosts, etc.

Honestly, if you're going to preach at people about the vast climate change hoax conspiracy and criticise the data you ought at least to know wtf the data are.

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from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Anyone who has read history more than then from last 20 years has to be aware, that weather & temperature fluctuations a CYCLICAL by G-d! Cores of soil & ice both have been researched hundreds of times, and it has been proven that the climate has been MUCH Warmer and Cooler many times throughout history. Human activity had nothing at all to do with it. GARBAGE and waste material that is not disposed of properly do much more harm.

CO2 as 1 person said is PLANT Food, that is 7th Grade Science (Or it was when I was in the 7th Grade).

I will say no more on this, but some of you on both sides need to get a grip.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Type 1 logical fallacy: you once saw a green cat, therefore all cats are green.

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from labrador12 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Mike
You're a fan of Dr. Spencer's satellite data but you forgot to mention that he is not a believer in co2 causing warming? He is a big fan of natural causes of warming and believes clouds and h2o are natural regulators of temps. I believe he has a new book out this week in addition to his exhaustive writings in support of a natural explanation of the current situation. Explain how the last twelve years can have the most co2 ever injected into the atmosphere by humans, but, no significant warming in this over a decade period?

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

A decade is too short an interval to establish a countertrend. As you'd note if you looked at the links to the graphs. CO2 forcing drives the trend, but insolation, atmospheric particulates, and other factors affect whether any given year will be inordinately hot versus moderate.

One way that the last decade could be contrary to the trend is the increase in Chinese energy production. China burns, primarily, coal (and very sulferous coal at that) for electrical generation. It accounts for nearly ALL of China's increased CO2 production. Atmospheric particulates in the form of SO2 and soot have a known reflective effect.

Against all that there is the incontrivertible fact that the long term trend is heating, that it corrsponds perfectly in the long run with CO2 emissions (and with a high Beta, just so that we understand that both correlation and beta matter), and that no other known cause of climate change fits the data.

Indeed, if solar output varition and Milankovic cycles were driving this, we should have seen a cooling trend over the last 150 years.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

By the way. It's not Spencer's data. It's NASA's data. But if you read the data spencer posted, you'll see the global warming. Even he admits that it is happening. And his only argument against it appears to be that he doesn't feel that anyone else has looked hard enough for an alternative explanation.

In which he's full of beans. Solar output variation has been ruled out. Changing oceanic currents have been ruled out. Continental drift has been ruled out. The Milankovic cycle has been ruled out. Those four explanations cover pretty much every major climate change event that has occurred in the recent past (say, the last 50 million years or so).

Yeah, there are other things. We could have been hit by a 5 km wide meteor... as happened on several occasions... but you'd think we'd have noticed it before we all died from the blast. Or, say, we could have experienced a sudden O2 enrichment as these newfangled organisms called "plants" colonized the barren terrestrial landmasses... oh wait... that was the Cambrian period.

Some people will do anything to ignore evidence.

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from labrador12 wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

let's see. We have 120 years of semi accurate temperature data, but the last 12 years is too short a period to count. By my reckoning that's 10% of the total. I'm saying that we need more time to measure the data before we jump the shark. You are saying that the 110 years before the latest anomaly is the good data? Spencer was the man who set up the satellite data while he worked for NASA. He is still involved. I said Dr Spencer's data showed warming, but that he didn't believe in co2 forcing. That's your problem MIke. You're the guy who admires the data the man produced and abhors the thinking of one of the more prominent figures in the field.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Actually, we have about 1200 years of really accurate temperature data, 2200 years of pretty accurate historical proxy data, 16,000 years of semi-accurate data, and about 450 million years of relative proxy data.

And I don't have any problems. Spencer no more invented climatology than you or I invented the moon rocket. Beyond that, you seem not to understand that science in general doesn't operate according to "Proof by authoritarianism." Even if Spencer had the first word on satellite data, that doesn't give his point of view a special privilege. Science doesn't work that way. Only faith-based reasoning works that way, and often even faith-based reasoning does not work that way.

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from labrador12 wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

I agree totally. We have had warming with co2. We have had warming without co2. We have had cooling with co2 and without co2. That is all in the record. You have a very good grasp of the HansonGorean theory. Unfortunately, that theory isn't proven by the data that is currently available. It is suggestive of the science but not remotely conclusive. Something else is involved and it behoves humans to get a better grip on the answer before we flush our economies down the toilet prematurely. The next few decades will be very interesting. We have a great deal to learn and hopefully will be able to benefit from it.

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Have we really had Global Warming because of C02 or was it solar activity? That they will not discus and for good reason, it will debunk and destroy there scam, FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!

Interesting to know they didn't say one thing about the Volcano in Iceland causing any effects by spewing billions of tons of gas and dust into the atmosphere! Anyone watch the movie 2012? With all the volcano activity they had, one year later they were able to go out and breath the outside air. What happened to all those gases!! People will believe anything from a movie and the date 01/01/2000 the earth was suppose to come to an end and once more in May 5, 2002 and here we go again with the according to the ancient Mayan Calendar, the 2012 planetary alignment on December 21 will usher in doomsday?

As for offshore drilling, I'm surprised they didn't have a way to shut off the source on the ocean bottom and I'm still not convinced it was an accident!

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

To my western state public land hunting confreres. You may be interested in knowing that the Forest Service is setting up new Planning Rules (this is a decadal thing). Here's your chance to speak up for protection of good hunting ground. The USFS says:

"The Forest Service is beginning an open, collaborative process to create and implement a modern planning rule to address current and future needs of the 155 national forests and 20 grasslands in the National Forest System. At the national level, a number of collaborative activities have been scheduled including a National Science Forum, three National Roundtables, and tribal outreach. These meetings are designed to engage, educate, encourage meaningful dialogue, and gain useful input from interested stakeholders. Information regarding these meetings, the planning rule process, and the Notice of Intent can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/planningrule."

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Like I said. If you're invoking conspiracy theory, the facts didn't matter to you in the first place. Nope, it's not solar forcing. That's been looked at and found not to fit. Right now the ONLY reasonable explanation is CO2. How science works: you go with the best model you have at the time. If someone comes up with some magic new Force that accounts for climate change, that will be interesting and change the whole model. That has not happened though.

If you think CO2 forcing is a hoax, you probably also believe aliens landed in Roswell, the Earth is flat, and Gravity is a myth invented by scientists to cover up the fact that they're trying to keep your feet on the ground (all part of the Great Illuminati Conspiracy, no doubt).

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

"As for offshore drilling, I'm surprised they didn't have a way to shut off the source on the ocean bottom"

They did. The device failed.

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Of course the scientists are trying to keep our feet on the ground because of the Great Illuminati Conspiracy! I thought that was an established fact...

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

+1 for you duk. Someone didn't appreciate your sense of humour... ;)

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Thanks, Mike. Love your use of satire, btw.

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from M1jhartman wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

C'mon Marshall, you cannot be serious. Global warming? It's called weather people, get over it. This entire global warming scheme is nothing more than a plan to make people like Al Gore richER! He flies around in his PRIVATE JET saving the polar bears! Give me a break! How much sense does that make? Bob Marshall, you are a dunce! Reading words like that that make me wonder who is sitting behind the type writers in New York. I couldn't even read the rest of the article considering the fact that ol' Bobby lost my respect in the first paragrah. Drill, my truck is thristy and my wallet is thin.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

I hear you'll be able to fill yout tank if you just park your truck near a beach in Lousiana, moron.

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from M1jhartman wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Mike, that would be hard to do considering I do not live in LA. Why is it so hard for people like you to believe that the earth changes temperature. You do realize that the first people on this continent walked across the Pacific on a sheet of ice. Maybe it was all the methane gas from the those 60 million bison that melted the ice. Mike, you are a pathetic idiot. Maybe if you spent less time brown nosing Field and Stream editors on their blogs some of that wool on your body would thin and you wouldn't mind the warmer weather, sheep. Bahahahahhh.

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from M1jhartman wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Ok everyone, time to stop driving combustion engine vehicles. Bob Marshall and Mike Diel can lead the way. Ofcourse, Mike doesn't need a vehicle to sit on the internet all day. Or if that doesn't work we can keep pumping millions of dollars into nations like Venezuela and Iran. I'm going to go do a burnout in my Mustang in honor of this green bean, hippie blog.

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from sgaredneck wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

M1jhartman,
I would bet that you will need a fleet of Mustangs driven by 16 year-olds doing burnouts 24/7 to equal Al Gore's carbon footprint.

I think we do have impact on our planet, but I also think we overstate our knowledge about how much we directly change things. Talking loudly about how best to save the planet while burning Jet A like there's no tomorrow is disingenuous beyond the pale. Likewise, not being good stewards of what the Good Lord has given us is disingenuous too.

We do need to do a better job of things. I'm pretty sure all the trees and vegetation on my property outweigh my carbon footprint. However, I can't see for the life of me though if I have extra 'carbon credits' to sell that makes it OK for someone else to be able to pollute more.

Isn't that saying that being wealthy makes making pollution OK as long as you can pay for it? The whole 'carbon credit' logic is flawed IMO. Just more BS some politician thought up. We are all equal. Having more money just makes you more equal.....

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

"Why is it so hard for people like you to believe that the earth changes temperature."

Your problem is a lack of reading ability. Everyone knows that the climate has varied. If you'd read anything I'd written here, or if you actually knew anything about climate change, climatology, paleoclimatology, or the evolutionary history of the planet, you'd know why your argument is specious.

But you don't. The plain fact is that you don't have the first f**king idea what you're talking about.

Which is why no one will miss you when you let the screen door whack you on your way out of this blog.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

sgaredneck, absolutely. The critical things we OUGHT to be debating are what we should do about CO2 forcing, if anything, and what are the relatives costs of doing nothing versus trying to fix any problems that may arise.

I have a feeling that if conservatives would apply their heads to the problem they could come up with something eminently more sensible than "cap n trade." I can think of a few... replacing our electrical transmission infrastructure... which is basically a serially updated design from the 1910s. More use of solar power and nukes. I hear all the Liberals in Hyannisport lost a battle today -- ocean located wind generators will go in as needed. THAT sort of thinking advances America's interests far more than the head-in-the-sand approach.

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from M1jhartman wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Mike-I never once said we don't need to look into alternate fuels. I just have the ability to look at the fact that there are more than 300,000,000 people in this country and the overwheling majority of us use petroleum extensively in our daily lives. It doesn't matter if it comes in the form of gasoline or that plastic keyboard your sheep hooves are typing on. We have millions of Americans without jobs. Most of our oil comes from countries that we would be better off not dealing with. To top off our problems we have sheep such as yourself who would rather put themselves in Al Gore's pocket. Obviously I can read because I am typing this. That would be a common sense observation that apparently you do not have. When I read, I prefer to read historical books, and believe it or not there is a long line of politicians leading their sheep, (such as yourself) astray. I said it once and I'll say it again. Baaahaaaahaa

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from M1jhartman wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

sgaredneck-Please don't put me in the same boat as Gore. I was simply using a little humor,(the mustang comment) even though it may not have been funny, to illustrate my emmoitions. I never once made millions of dollars championing the plight of the polar bears while riding in a jet, or amustang for that matter.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

How in the world did so many liberals get involved in hunting and fishing?! Man, it is like the fatcat CEO, liberal bankers supporting Obama, banking regulation!
The alternative to not drilling is more coal mining maybe?..or more tankers coming to port supporting foreign oil and terrorism?
Incredible! No energy policy other than wind and solar that can't meet 15% of our needs, and even then the left has shutdown wind farms because a wind turbine killed some birds!!
The bottomline is a shrinking real economy, and a bigger fed govt that has declining revenues to protect the environment, and fish, and game, along with the poor and the middle class..they pay a dear price.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

M1jhartman, you're an idiot. Also, you seem to have a very strong fetish for sheep. Something wrong with you in the head, I suspect, that has you thinking about them so much. None of us want to hear the details though, fool, so keep it to yourself.

You have, however, raised some new (for you) issues. Possibly you're used to knowing you're the dumbest guy in the room, so rest assured most of us have already recognized the relationship between our trade deficit, use of extraterritorial oil, and job creation.

But with the specific discussion of the gulf incident, anyone who DOESN'T have their head up their brown spot (which category, of course, likely does not include yourself) also has to consider the jobs destroyed when things like the righ blowout go wrong.

"When I read, I prefer to read historical books, and believe it or not there is a long line of ..."

It shows. You don't know diddly about the energy sector or about climatology. Most people know enough to sit down and have a nice hot cup of STFU rather than embarress themselves, carrying on about topics of which they know nothing. But you're proud to charge ahead on ground where only fools tread.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

MI If you are an idiot, you are a commonsense idiot. California has an oil spill off their coast that comes out of the sea bottom naturally...they could be drilling and reaping huge royalties, and creating high paying jobs that would create tax revenue they desperately need. From the air you can see the black slick that has been going on for a long, long time.
Instead, they chose to go further into liberal spending debt driving jobs out of the state, and are in worse financial shape than Greece for GAWD'S SAKE!!!! And again, fish and wildlife, along with the poor and the Middle Class pay a dear price.

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from Bella wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Recent events have highlighted my earlier comments, I say again we need the shoreline more than we need the oil under it (whether that coast is in ANWR or off NOLA). Now as literally thousands of people watch their livelyhoods vanish under a stinking wave of crude oil I say again, leave the undersea oil where it is. Unfortunately for the Gulf Coast it is likely now too late. Fishers, both Pro and Am are going to see the sea life die en mass. Property worth Thousands of millions of dollars is being coated with crude oil and destroyed. Kiss all that tourist income goodbye, nobody is going to want to eat the black shrimp or lay on the oilslicked beaches. The dead things will wash up by the ton, I heard of a pod of Gray Whales spotted in the slick from the air. Add to this the "dead zone" and an image of ecological horror arises. Will Best Petroleum be able to fix it? Unlikely, they failed with the blowout prevention thing, when the CG starts talking about igniting the slick, you know it is very very bad. Anybody remember the burning oil wells from Gulf One? What is down wind of the slick- Florida. Florida gets black rain, if they burn the slick....
What we need is sustainable carbon free energy sources, we have the tech, what is standing in the way is the entrenched interests who feel the marketshare they stand to loose to sustainable sources and their profit margin is more important than the health of the biome. This Horror may at least help folks get their priorities in order. Who is more important? A Multinational oil corporation or millions of Gulf Coast Citizens? I know who I'd sacrifice in a New York Minute, and I don't even like the South! Corporations are not people, but if they were, BP is guilty of mass ecocide.

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from Charlie Nichols wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

I have witnessed, even this year, many bad winters. I have noted winter deer and turkey kills from extreme snow drifts and ice storms. I have viewed winter deer and turkey kills, along with cold water fishery iceouts that have killed rainbow and brook trout. I have yet to witness deer and turkey kills from summer heat. If this global warming nonsense has one iota of truth it is that CO2 is on the rise. Plants, all plants, use CO2. Can more plants, bigger plants, healthier plants be bad for wildlife and wildlife managers? As for acidic rain....all rain is toward acidic in nature. There has never been a neutral based or alkaline rain here in Appalachia in the decades I have been doing coldwater stream studies. Never. This past winter has been extremely hard on wildlife in the Appalachian Mountains.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

bella,
We have the tech to make carbon clean!! ..even coal is far, far cleaner than it ever has been...even cleaner than EPA standards of a few years ago.
Without cheap, carbon energy, and the entire package, our economy crumbles, and along with it the environment! Free market capitalism, and the private sector foot the bill. How much do you think socialist Spain, or Portugal, or Greece especially is putting into protecting the environment? ..crappin in the streets is the direction they are headed, and so are we without a good supply of natural, resource energy that we have lots of. Alternative energies can't supply but a fraction of our needs, and won't for a long, long time.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 48 weeks ago

"Alternative energies can't supply but a fraction of our needs, and won't for a long, long time."

Actually, they could supply about half in relatively short order. All that is wanting is the will to start building the generators. We could, if we wanted to, eliminate the use of fossil fuels for any purpose other than transportation fuel and industrial chemicals.

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from labrador12 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Where is the good? Where is the great? Did you run out of room in the piece? Too bad F&S didn't have a continuing series on some of the great recoveries we are experiencing here in North America. Maybe do a study on muskie, or bass or trout fishing in Oil City Pa. for example. Maybe show some pictures of Sudbury Ont circa 1970 and today. The US has at least 3 to 5 million barrels of oil that we could be producing a day, every day for decades. That's not enough, but it sure would help if Iran totally screws up the world's oil supply. See the NY Times article of this week about the 4% unemployment rate in N Dakota for a hint of what responsible oil production could mean to the economy of the country. Producing ethanol at a break even to net loss in terms of energy is not a real solution. Wind generation has its own price to pay in terms of avian species destruction. So does solar at this point in time. Sportsmen will rue the day that they don't have any discretionary income left because the government has taken it all. Paying bureaucrats $200,000 a year to watch porn and give us energy star rated gas powered alarm clocks (as the GAO reported recently) is as asinine as letting the oil industry ruin our environment. Its our responsibility as citizens to pay attention. Global warming, while not a scientifically proved problem, will be easier to deal with if the US is in a strong economic position rather than a weak one. I say, drill baby, drill, and do it in a responsible way.

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from dmayer4741 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Well Tom if that is your attitude, your "carbon credits" are not more than a rationalization to make you feel good.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Tom is spot on. If you think CO2 forcing *can't* cause global warming or that humans *can't* put enough of into the atmopsphere your position admits of only two possibilities:

1. You know NOTHING about the subject.
2. You're so biased that you reject the science in favor of nonsense.

Open Minded doesn't equate with "All dissenting opinions are equally valid" and it sure doesn't equate with "you must tolerate willful ignorance."

CO2 forcing *is* happening. That is an irrefutable fact. Human CO2 emissions are causing substantial carbon enrichment. That too is an irrefutable fact. The reasonable conclusion that best fits the evidence is that the human emitted CO2 is causing the forcing and therefore the global warming. It's a better case than most evidenciary proceedings you're likely to hear as a juror.

The only OPEN questions are "What are the adverse effects if any?" "What are the potential benefits if any?" and, finally "If the adverse effects are more severe than any benefits, what are the relative long term costs and marginal costs of doing NOTHING versus trying to mitigate it."

Naturally, if China and India declare themselves licensed to make up, in increased CO2 production, for any mitigating effects undertaken by the west, then you can't mitigate the problem. Then what you have to decide is how much you want to prepare for various degrees of effect.

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from labrador12 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I'm with Mike Deihl on reforming the mining act of 1872. I'm for mining but not for using the same technology as 100+ years ago only with bigger shovels and trucks. Those guys need to look outside of the box in terms of new and improved technology. Of course, since I am not intimately involved with the issue, I could be completely wrong because I'm reacting to media reports, and they are almost always 180 degrees wrong. I'm sure the mining act can be improved, I'm not sure of the media descriptions of the actual issues.

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from tom warner wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

In response to a couple of the above comments on climate change, I must say that I have somewhat reluctantly become a believer through various personal observations. I have lived for 76 years and much of that time has been spent in the outdoors. During my life I have observed many very dramatic movements of birds, plants and animals north, among other powerful indications of warming. I have no wish (or space) to engage in any arguments and hope that I am mistaken and the doubters are right. So far as scientific evidence goes, I have to say that I have known quite a few members of the scientific community during my life and have learned respect for them. Most of these people have no particular agenda and simply go by the evidence, and if proven wrong, then so be it. That's what science is. It strikes me that much of the public has not made many convincing arguments to prove them wrong and that much of the rhetoric is purposely inflammatory and hateful. I personally know a number of hunting and fishing buddies who still do not believe there is such a thing as acid rain, despite totally overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Nothing will convince them otherwise. Denial still seems to be one of the most reliable human responses to unpleasant events. History has proven it time after time. I realize that my opinion is completely worthless in the big scheme of things, but I wish that more of us could be more open minded and ditch all the shouting and finger pointing. It's bad for us. Please don't bother to respond to this, since I know you won't open your minds.

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from Bella wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Ducky, you want "fair and balanced" just like you gety it a Faux News I'll bet, which is to have your own view echoed and all other notions mocked or misrepresented.
Toms 70 plus years of simple observation tells him climate is changing for the warmer, just as my 50+ years of looking on tell me the same thing! Denial is not a river in Egypt.
We need to wean ourselves off Mother Pachamama's tit and stop sucking her juices away. Wind and Solar could more than meet our needs, a day will come when the crude petrolium will be far more valuable as a raw material for chemical synthesis and the folks of the future will wonder why we ever burned such valuable stuff!
I am agin more coastal drilling also 'cause my 50+ years have taught me that humans are incredible screw ups. The coastal biome is where human beings evolved, which is why seafood is preferred all over the world as the choicest human foods. Most humans live within 50 miles of a coast, most farmland is either the bottom of dried up oceans or a coastal plain. Coastal regions are not only the most essential for human life and civilization, they are also the most sensitive to disruption and are vulnerable to Tsunami, Hurricanes, algal blooms and too many other catastrophes to mention on one page. We need the seashore more than we need the oil under it and you cannot have your cake (and eat it too!).

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from dmayer4741 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Just terrible and bad??? Nothing good can come of this??? C'mon guys, if you want to have a real debate, lets put all the fact on the table. Yesterday I read that game fish congregate around these drilling rigs...

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

"Not to pile on the criticism, but I'm pretty sure the Constitution doesn't guarantee a "right" to the outdoors.."

The 9th Amendment states in essence "Just because we listed the Constitutional Rights of citizens in the first eight amendments doesn't imply that these are their only rights."

Literal text: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

In my view American citizens DO have a right to the outdoors, specifically Public Land, collectively owned by us all through the auspices of the Federal government and for the use of all.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Actually, solar is about as green as it gets. That's ultimately the test, IMO. It's not about whether you can have NO impact from energy generation. It's about what causes the least impact.

At this time, though, as I understand it, the biggest threats aren't from segoing oil rigs, but rather as Bob noted for Louisiana, land based changes including erosion caused by all the construction in sensitive areas.

That pales, perhaps, in comparison with the dredging of the Mississippi (which deposited alot of silt, in the old days, which helped preserve the delta area) and of course fertilizer agrirunoff.

Bob, I hope you'll take a chance to read about the proposed Rosemont Copper mine in Arizona. Canadian company using the General Mining Act to take American taxpayer land and send all the refining jobs and of course the valuable industrial metal to China, leaving the taxpayer with a big landscape boil and future Superfund Site to deal with. You might want to talk with some of the people at "Save the Scenic Santa Ritas" (which latter is the mtn range the mine plans to alter if their plan is approved by the Forest Service).

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Aw, heck, I'll respond to the don't-bother-to-respond-to-this post anyway. Just to make one point, I swear.

In your first post, Tom, you stated "Folks will believe whatever makes them feel good", effectively saying that all opposing points of view are based solely on selfish and/or apathetic motives. How is that being "open-minded"? Dismissing as worthless the arguments of everyone else is about as narrow-minded as you can get.

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from Robert Ewing wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Bob Marshall,
Welcome to Field & Stream,Looking forward to this blog.I wish you well in trying to enlighten us on enviromental issues, because that will be the "Total Outdoorsman Challenge"

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Ferraro and Warner,
I'm all for taking action...once you have proven, concretely, that global warming does indeed exist and is indeed a threat. The reason the US is the mess that it's in is because well-reasoned, thought out decisions were not made: people acted solely on emotions and hype. You can be a conservationist without believing in global warming.

The "environmentalists" were screaming about an Ice Age in the 70s. What happened to that, I ask you? People were screaming about Y2K 10 or so years ago. What happened to that, I ask you? Most of our "threats" don't even exist and the smartest course of action is to keep a cool head about them and only act upon solid, definite facts.

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

To clarify any possible confusion, I would love to see a Conservation blog on here. I just want something a little more balanced, that's all.

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from labrador12 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

No one has studied the east or west coast for hydrocarbons since 1970. The cars that we drive today are 98% cleaner driving down a freeway than a 1970s car sitting in the driveway with the engine off. Do you think that the improvements in technology in the last forty years might turn up some recoverable oil? I do. In the next four decades I expect some real advancement in energy. Today's renewables will look like what they are, horse and buggy technology that deliver more harm than good, and almost no bang for the buck. The, at least, three to five million barrels a day that we can get from our own resources will not be all the petroleum that we need but it will save our economy trillions of dollars, and get some money into the federal and state coffers without taxing sportsmen to death. Jobs from all educational levels and in dozens of industries will be created. Eagles and Ospreys will continue to ply the coasts with out fear of wind generators hacking them to pieces. We can't all make $200,000 a year watching porn in our government jobs in DC, somebody somewhere is actually going to have to produce something.

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from blackdawgz wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Of course, it is being acted out in the Gulf right now.

But it's not news to me.

Once while my brother was going to College in Texas, he borrowed my surfboard and went surfing at Galveston.

It came back covered with bits of heavy crude adhered thereunto.

One got on me and I had a tough time getting it off!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Good grief, Charlie Brown!

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from Bella wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Amen WA Mthunter, good grief Charlie Brown.
I'd rather hang out with Linus (call me Sally Brown).
By the way Linus is like 53 now and teaches philosophy at an Ivy League college. He wears a lot of tweed.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

The five year running mean, which is the way that climate trends are tracked, indicates continued temperature increases throughout the last two decades, inclusive, obviously, of the last 15 years. See:

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

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from freeparking wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Hey, No bigger fan of Big Pharma then me.

Are these colleagues NASA climate scientists?

NASA and the CRU caused their own credibility problems, and they could have been fixed by now with simple disclosure. Instead they can't or won't answer questions about data analysis and or even data collection methods.

But take their word for it. They shouldn't have to explain themselves when it's just cap and trade legislation.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

sgaredneck, absolutely. The critical things we OUGHT to be debating are what we should do about CO2 forcing, if anything, and what are the relatives costs of doing nothing versus trying to fix any problems that may arise.

I have a feeling that if conservatives would apply their heads to the problem they could come up with something eminently more sensible than "cap n trade." I can think of a few... replacing our electrical transmission infrastructure... which is basically a serially updated design from the 1910s. More use of solar power and nukes. I hear all the Liberals in Hyannisport lost a battle today -- ocean located wind generators will go in as needed. THAT sort of thinking advances America's interests far more than the head-in-the-sand approach.

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from Bella wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Recent events have highlighted my earlier comments, I say again we need the shoreline more than we need the oil under it (whether that coast is in ANWR or off NOLA). Now as literally thousands of people watch their livelyhoods vanish under a stinking wave of crude oil I say again, leave the undersea oil where it is. Unfortunately for the Gulf Coast it is likely now too late. Fishers, both Pro and Am are going to see the sea life die en mass. Property worth Thousands of millions of dollars is being coated with crude oil and destroyed. Kiss all that tourist income goodbye, nobody is going to want to eat the black shrimp or lay on the oilslicked beaches. The dead things will wash up by the ton, I heard of a pod of Gray Whales spotted in the slick from the air. Add to this the "dead zone" and an image of ecological horror arises. Will Best Petroleum be able to fix it? Unlikely, they failed with the blowout prevention thing, when the CG starts talking about igniting the slick, you know it is very very bad. Anybody remember the burning oil wells from Gulf One? What is down wind of the slick- Florida. Florida gets black rain, if they burn the slick....
What we need is sustainable carbon free energy sources, we have the tech, what is standing in the way is the entrenched interests who feel the marketshare they stand to loose to sustainable sources and their profit margin is more important than the health of the biome. This Horror may at least help folks get their priorities in order. Who is more important? A Multinational oil corporation or millions of Gulf Coast Citizens? I know who I'd sacrifice in a New York Minute, and I don't even like the South! Corporations are not people, but if they were, BP is guilty of mass ecocide.

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from Andrew Ferraro wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

How can F & S publish this crap! What would a gallon of gas or a hamburger cost if the leftists in the Obama administration and the the environmental movement get their carbon TAX?

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Oh, and that was an excellent point about China and India, Mike. Very well put.

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from jakenbake wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Not to pile on the criticism, but I'm pretty sure the Constitution doesn't guarantee a "right" to the outdoors... I do, however, like the idea of a conservation blog on the website. We all are going to need to pitch in since Lord knows the powers that be aren't going to take care of things...

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from tom warner wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Mike: Do you think the question of "adverse effects" is truly "open"? Among the numerous other predicted detrimental effects, ocean acidification is reported to be progressing far, far more rapidly than predicted. This would seem to me to be about as ominous as anything that I can think of. I also fear that we may already have reached the dreaded "tipping point" where any mitigation of effect is no longer possible. (if it actually ever was.) I am also pretty stumped regarding the possibility of many real benefits, although there might be some short term ones. What is your opinion?

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from Madblood wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Excellent post, Bob. It amazes me how many of our fellow sportsmen remain uneducated about the issues that affect us. The Interior Department's Minerals Management Service estimates with 5% certainty that there are 10 billion barrels of oil and natural gas off the SE coast from Delaware to Florida. They are 95% certain that there are 2 billion barrels. The area off Virginia is estimated to contain 130 million barrels. We used over 7 billion barrels in 2008, which was almost 1/4 of the world's consumption. 2 billion barrels, 10 billion, either way it's a drop in the bucket. It's too small to have an impact on petroleum imports or prices, but it could certainly have an impact on our coastline.
And guys, what if climate change is all a big hoax? That makes it okay to keep pumping crap into the environment?

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Replies to all and sundry. Sorry I don't have the time to respond to each by name.

Open minded means you really truly are interested enough in the data that if they disagree with what you believed going into it then you come up with a new conclusion, rather than invoking some conspiracy theory as an excuse to ignore the data.

What are the data? I know people directly involved in Paleoclimatology. The current warming trend has no precedent with respect to speed of onset. It *does* have precedents in the sense that in the past, we have had hotter climates. Generally, those climates were hotter because of different factors than are in play NOW. Factors such as continental drift (the continents were literally in different positions on the globe than they now occupy), long term cylical harmonics involving solar output variation and Milankovic cycles, or major volcanic eruptions. By "major" I mean eruptions that make historically known ones like Krakatoa or Pinatubo or Aetna or anything like that. An example of which would be the last eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera some 80Mya. Anywho, the CURRENT warming trend does NOT correlate with solar variation, milankovic cycles, or anything else except for atmospheric CO2 concentrations. And it correlates with that EXTREMELY well. Since CO2 is a known greenhouse gas, we basically have, in CSI parlance, the fingerprints, the gun, the ballistics test, the bullet and a body that is still breathing but showing signs of having been shot.

Ocean acidification is IMO the most immediate potentially catestrophic effect. I'll 'splain for all you doubters why it matters. Most of the atmospheric CO2 winds up mixed, by wave and wind action, into water. Mostly seawater in fact. When the oceans aren't too acidic, most of that CO2 gets taken up by CaCO3 forming organisms... corals, plankton, marine shell animals, etc. When these die, the CO2 is entombed in the ocean in carbonate deposits formed by the shells or bodies of the dead animals that sink to the bottom. Coral reefs are one example. But if the oceans get too acidic, these animals literally won't be able to keep their shells, because the acid will eat it away, keeping the CO2 in solution, and making the ocean yet more acidic. If the process doesn't self-regulate somehow, the implication is that the marine calcium carbonate fauna experience a mass extinction. If that happens, then WE ARE COMPLETELY SCREWED. Dead oceans. Social unrest. Major continent wide wars as people kill each other for the remaining fragile resources. Followed by something close to a mass extinction. Probably humans will live through it as a species. But at a generous estimate I'd say one in ten thousand people alive today would live through such a thing if the marine CaCO3 using organisms died off, for example, in the next ten years.

That might be mitigatable though. We might be able to use nuclear power to generate enough energy to extract the carbonic acid from seawater. That might make Obama's health care plan seem, by comparison, cheap. Doing nothing about CO2 emissions might lead to World Socialism faster than putting a stop to it up front.

What could be the beneifts? Longer growing seasons for some places is about the only major one I can imagine. But such effects would be local. Some places will undoubtedly get MORE rain just as others may get less rain. This is where climate interacts with meteorology and, sad to say, we're just not that good at meteorology yet.

That's my two bits. Hope it helps.

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from jamesti wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

really great blog. keep 'em coming. when a blog brings out this much passion and insight you know you did it right. great arguments by all. i don't think i could add anything more than what was said. regulate this VERY closely and hand out HEFTY fines for violations!

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from hal herring wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Hey folks,

I'm trying to get some updated info on the Deep Horizon rig blowout off Venice, La. I saw where they abandoned the search for the 11 workers- and my prayers go out to their families and friends.

Looks like there is more trouble developing, with oil leaking and the weather halting cleanup efforts. Anybody in south Louisiana that can give us an update?

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from hal herring wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Thought I'd post what I found, thanks.

http://www.nola.com/business/index.ssf/2010/04/well_at_deepwater_horizon...

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from freeparking wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Ahem, There has been no statistically significant global warming in 15 years:

Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Aston...

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from freeparking wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I enjoy F/S, as it's usually a nice break from much of the politics of the day. Granted the environment is linked to hunting and fishing, but spare us the one sided unscientific partisan nonsense.
There has been a great deal written recently - mostly by the foreign press - about disturbing problems with the data that call into question the amount and cause of climate change. Why ignore the new information?

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from YooperJack wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Oil underground, be it in the desert or underwater is oil under pressure. As such, when we drill and pull oil out, we relieve that pressure. If don't drill in the oceans we'll have more oil spilling into the ocean from cracks that occur naturally from earthquakes, continental drift, etc. Besides, if we don't drill in the gulf, the Chinese will. I trust our people a lot more.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

And there it is. "NASA lacks credibility." Like I said before, if you start fishing for excuses to ignore the facts, then you weren't open minded enough to care about the facts in the first place.

That sort of attitude reminds me of colleagues of the Whole Earth Vitamin Bar Conspiracy Theory set. They won't take medicine because it's produced by Big Pharma under the questionable auspices of the 'no good' Food and Drug Admin. But if you offer them a silk bag full of an unnamed plant tissue packaged as a "Holistic Herbal Remedy" and told them "It'll cure the common cold" they'll jump for it without hesitation.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

The point being that claims that NASA lacks credibility or good data are as meritless as your average snake oil advertisement from 130 years ago. And the people who are willing to buy into the "NASA lacks credibility" laughfest are doing the equivalent of buying an herbal supplement with no idea of the contents or the merits of the claims attached to it.

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from labrador12 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Don't forget that there is literally trillions of dollars to be made trading carbon futures if cap and trade goes through!! The heat island effect is corrupting all the data sets in existence. We need more data and we need less political interference in the process. Now is not the time to pass cap and trade.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

"It's not that NASA lacks credibility or good data, it's the politics behind it. Either they go along with Obama or they lose there contracts and get canned!"

That's more conspiracy theory. In rebuttal of your conspiracy theory I note the following: (1) Most of NASA's employees aren't political appointees. They don't serve at the pleasure of the President and can't be fired for politically inconvenient truths so so speak. (2) NASA and its forerunners have been gathering atmospheric data since the Truman admin. The idea that NASA just suddenly came up with a bunch of data because a guy elected 18 months ago has some idea is transparently meritless.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

"The heat island effect is corrupting all the data sets in existence."

That is not correct. Not even remotely factually correct. Heat Island Effect only affects NOAA maintained ground stations in urban areas. NASA's data is primarily from satellite imagery. The paleoclimatology data doesn't even USE weather stations (it's proxy data). The BOTANICAL data, which most don't like to talk about, indicates northward migration of temperate climate species. Also the proxy observational data reported by rural people not affected by heat Island from Maine to Alaska... earlier last-frosts, later first-frosts, etc.

Honestly, if you're going to preach at people about the vast climate change hoax conspiracy and criticise the data you ought at least to know wtf the data are.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Type 1 logical fallacy: you once saw a green cat, therefore all cats are green.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

A decade is too short an interval to establish a countertrend. As you'd note if you looked at the links to the graphs. CO2 forcing drives the trend, but insolation, atmospheric particulates, and other factors affect whether any given year will be inordinately hot versus moderate.

One way that the last decade could be contrary to the trend is the increase in Chinese energy production. China burns, primarily, coal (and very sulferous coal at that) for electrical generation. It accounts for nearly ALL of China's increased CO2 production. Atmospheric particulates in the form of SO2 and soot have a known reflective effect.

Against all that there is the incontrivertible fact that the long term trend is heating, that it corrsponds perfectly in the long run with CO2 emissions (and with a high Beta, just so that we understand that both correlation and beta matter), and that no other known cause of climate change fits the data.

Indeed, if solar output varition and Milankovic cycles were driving this, we should have seen a cooling trend over the last 150 years.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

By the way. It's not Spencer's data. It's NASA's data. But if you read the data spencer posted, you'll see the global warming. Even he admits that it is happening. And his only argument against it appears to be that he doesn't feel that anyone else has looked hard enough for an alternative explanation.

In which he's full of beans. Solar output variation has been ruled out. Changing oceanic currents have been ruled out. Continental drift has been ruled out. The Milankovic cycle has been ruled out. Those four explanations cover pretty much every major climate change event that has occurred in the recent past (say, the last 50 million years or so).

Yeah, there are other things. We could have been hit by a 5 km wide meteor... as happened on several occasions... but you'd think we'd have noticed it before we all died from the blast. Or, say, we could have experienced a sudden O2 enrichment as these newfangled organisms called "plants" colonized the barren terrestrial landmasses... oh wait... that was the Cambrian period.

Some people will do anything to ignore evidence.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Actually, we have about 1200 years of really accurate temperature data, 2200 years of pretty accurate historical proxy data, 16,000 years of semi-accurate data, and about 450 million years of relative proxy data.

And I don't have any problems. Spencer no more invented climatology than you or I invented the moon rocket. Beyond that, you seem not to understand that science in general doesn't operate according to "Proof by authoritarianism." Even if Spencer had the first word on satellite data, that doesn't give his point of view a special privilege. Science doesn't work that way. Only faith-based reasoning works that way, and often even faith-based reasoning does not work that way.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Like I said. If you're invoking conspiracy theory, the facts didn't matter to you in the first place. Nope, it's not solar forcing. That's been looked at and found not to fit. Right now the ONLY reasonable explanation is CO2. How science works: you go with the best model you have at the time. If someone comes up with some magic new Force that accounts for climate change, that will be interesting and change the whole model. That has not happened though.

If you think CO2 forcing is a hoax, you probably also believe aliens landed in Roswell, the Earth is flat, and Gravity is a myth invented by scientists to cover up the fact that they're trying to keep your feet on the ground (all part of the Great Illuminati Conspiracy, no doubt).

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

"As for offshore drilling, I'm surprised they didn't have a way to shut off the source on the ocean bottom"

They did. The device failed.

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Of course the scientists are trying to keep our feet on the ground because of the Great Illuminati Conspiracy! I thought that was an established fact...

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Thanks, Mike. Love your use of satire, btw.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

I hear you'll be able to fill yout tank if you just park your truck near a beach in Lousiana, moron.

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from sgaredneck wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

M1jhartman,
I would bet that you will need a fleet of Mustangs driven by 16 year-olds doing burnouts 24/7 to equal Al Gore's carbon footprint.

I think we do have impact on our planet, but I also think we overstate our knowledge about how much we directly change things. Talking loudly about how best to save the planet while burning Jet A like there's no tomorrow is disingenuous beyond the pale. Likewise, not being good stewards of what the Good Lord has given us is disingenuous too.

We do need to do a better job of things. I'm pretty sure all the trees and vegetation on my property outweigh my carbon footprint. However, I can't see for the life of me though if I have extra 'carbon credits' to sell that makes it OK for someone else to be able to pollute more.

Isn't that saying that being wealthy makes making pollution OK as long as you can pay for it? The whole 'carbon credit' logic is flawed IMO. Just more BS some politician thought up. We are all equal. Having more money just makes you more equal.....

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

"Why is it so hard for people like you to believe that the earth changes temperature."

Your problem is a lack of reading ability. Everyone knows that the climate has varied. If you'd read anything I'd written here, or if you actually knew anything about climate change, climatology, paleoclimatology, or the evolutionary history of the planet, you'd know why your argument is specious.

But you don't. The plain fact is that you don't have the first f**king idea what you're talking about.

Which is why no one will miss you when you let the screen door whack you on your way out of this blog.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

M1jhartman, you're an idiot. Also, you seem to have a very strong fetish for sheep. Something wrong with you in the head, I suspect, that has you thinking about them so much. None of us want to hear the details though, fool, so keep it to yourself.

You have, however, raised some new (for you) issues. Possibly you're used to knowing you're the dumbest guy in the room, so rest assured most of us have already recognized the relationship between our trade deficit, use of extraterritorial oil, and job creation.

But with the specific discussion of the gulf incident, anyone who DOESN'T have their head up their brown spot (which category, of course, likely does not include yourself) also has to consider the jobs destroyed when things like the righ blowout go wrong.

"When I read, I prefer to read historical books, and believe it or not there is a long line of ..."

It shows. You don't know diddly about the energy sector or about climatology. Most people know enough to sit down and have a nice hot cup of STFU rather than embarress themselves, carrying on about topics of which they know nothing. But you're proud to charge ahead on ground where only fools tread.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 48 weeks ago

"Alternative energies can't supply but a fraction of our needs, and won't for a long, long time."

Actually, they could supply about half in relatively short order. All that is wanting is the will to start building the generators. We could, if we wanted to, eliminate the use of fossil fuels for any purpose other than transportation fuel and industrial chemicals.

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from lshuk wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I'm sick and tired of reading the global warming crap in Field and Stream. Is there no common sense left? CO2 is PLANT FOOD!!!! For crying out loud!!! More plants is better for animals and humans alike. It is a trace gas which makes up less than 3% of the atmosphere. Man's contribution to atmospheric CO2 in negligible. CO2 is a lagging indicator of the earth's warming. It's not a cause. We get ALL of our energy from the sun. The sun goes through cycles which causes the earth to warm or cool. We are in a cooling phase on the earth right now due to the abnormally low activity of the sun. Look around! Besides, what's wrong with warm weather? We can grow more crops and feed more people. Flu season is in the winter isn't it? Cap and Trade is nothing more than a tax, using a made up threat as cover, so the govermnent can attempt to pay for the new programs it's shoved down our throats!
This whole thing is a scam of the highest proportion. The saddest part being our populace is so apathetic and ignorant, it has no idea. I have subscribed to Field and Stream for many years now. If I see one more unintelligent article on global warming I will tear up my subscriptions as I tear out my hair.

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from Hank111 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I totally agree Mike.

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Mike,
Then what IS "open-minded"? I don't consider myself a particularly open-minded person, if I believe that I am right then I believe that I am right, period. If opposing facts are brought up then I'll consider them, but without evidence I will not be swayed.

That being said, I was just using Tom's argument against him when I made the point about open-mindedness.

As for your "irrefutable facts", I would be interested to hear what your sources are. Yes, there are some credible scientists who believe in global warming, and there are some who don't (at least, they don't believe that there is enough to cause a damaging effect.) I don't have an issue with this, I hope that the debate continues. What I DO have an issue with is F & S only representing one side of the debate: it is an "irrefutable fact", to borrow from Diehl, that there are many reputable scientists on both sides of the argument, and I feel that the author failed to accurately represent both sides (that is, if he attempted to represent both sides at all.)

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from tom warner wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

dukkillr: Sorry, maybe I am not as open minded as I like to think I am. It's only that I encounter so many people whose minds seem to be totally closed that I succumb to cynicism sometimes. It bothers me that so many of us seem to disrespect science these days, which I think is dangerous, given the almost unbelievable benefits science has conferred upon us. We tend to forget that when science tells us alarming things. Sure, science can be wrong, but in the long run, after much shouting and controversy, it almost always winds up getting it right. In regard to climate matters, I can only hope that it's wrong, but I fear it may not be. As I said,I see too much evidence with my own eyes. Anyway, we ALL need to talk and refrain from shouting. WE and our children are the stakeholders in this!

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Bella,
All I'm asking for is both sides of the issue. Present the global warming side of things, present the anti-global warming side of things, and let the people decide. Is that too much to expect?

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from Robert Ewing wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

With all the rejected post and 504 gateway time-outs.
I've changed my view,screw the enviroment let them drill.

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from Robert Ewing wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

No ,I don't feel that way .But do you have to pay a premium to post more than a 100 words on enviromental issues?

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

O'ya, I forgot to mention we also be concerned about the Earth coming to an end December 21, 2012!

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from freeparking wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

NASA, as well as the CRU has a credibility problem when it comes to how they score their climate data:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/03/nasa-embroiled-in-climat...

We should believe it and support cap and trade?

Using NASA data to evaluate the CRU (The UK/UN's global warming 'scientists') is like asking Bill C. judge Tiger W.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

You've confused NASA with the guy in the UK. Separate sources of data. NASA's is all satellite imagery and detection. Also, you've confused what the Guardian or Telegraph or whatever's article said. The prof in the UK says he hasn't released the data because his office is sloppy.

My sources are at the Tree Ring Lab and at several depts of Geosciences throughout the US. Mostly experts in palynology, dendroclimatology, stratigraphic minerology, atmospheric science, etc.

Not one of 'em doubts the reality of modern anthropogenic global warming. Not one of 'em works for the IPCC, NASA, or some think tank in the UK. The atmospheric science guys probably sometimes work WITH NASA, because alot of what they do is space-based research focusing not only on earth but other solar system bodies with atmospheres.

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from freeparking wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Even the IPCC had members who don't buy the whole AGW theory as sufficient justification to pass cap and trade.. See Dr. Anthony Lupo, Department Chair and Professor Atmospheric Science, University of Missouri.

Still, why the reluctance to ask for a better accounting of research methods?
I'm at least open to agreeing with their conclusions once they've had a good vetting.
The scientific peer review process has been discredited by the CRU mess. That's why the tree ring counters and co. ought to be understanding.
Once bitten by a snake oil salesman (money saving health care reform, or WMD, whatever your flavor), it's clear why voters should be somewhat reluctant to accept these claims at face value. It advances an agenda.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Yeah. But they are a tiny minority of the whole. As for "advances an agenda." That's just "Conspiracy Theory" dressed in formal attire.

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Has anyone been to ANWR in Alaska or flown over it?

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

It's not that NASA lacks credibility or good data, it's the politics behind it. Either they go along with Obama or they lose there contracts and get canned!

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from labrador12 wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Mike
You're a fan of Dr. Spencer's satellite data but you forgot to mention that he is not a believer in co2 causing warming? He is a big fan of natural causes of warming and believes clouds and h2o are natural regulators of temps. I believe he has a new book out this week in addition to his exhaustive writings in support of a natural explanation of the current situation. Explain how the last twelve years can have the most co2 ever injected into the atmosphere by humans, but, no significant warming in this over a decade period?

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from labrador12 wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

let's see. We have 120 years of semi accurate temperature data, but the last 12 years is too short a period to count. By my reckoning that's 10% of the total. I'm saying that we need more time to measure the data before we jump the shark. You are saying that the 110 years before the latest anomaly is the good data? Spencer was the man who set up the satellite data while he worked for NASA. He is still involved. I said Dr Spencer's data showed warming, but that he didn't believe in co2 forcing. That's your problem MIke. You're the guy who admires the data the man produced and abhors the thinking of one of the more prominent figures in the field.

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from labrador12 wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

I agree totally. We have had warming with co2. We have had warming without co2. We have had cooling with co2 and without co2. That is all in the record. You have a very good grasp of the HansonGorean theory. Unfortunately, that theory isn't proven by the data that is currently available. It is suggestive of the science but not remotely conclusive. Something else is involved and it behoves humans to get a better grip on the answer before we flush our economies down the toilet prematurely. The next few decades will be very interesting. We have a great deal to learn and hopefully will be able to benefit from it.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

To my western state public land hunting confreres. You may be interested in knowing that the Forest Service is setting up new Planning Rules (this is a decadal thing). Here's your chance to speak up for protection of good hunting ground. The USFS says:

"The Forest Service is beginning an open, collaborative process to create and implement a modern planning rule to address current and future needs of the 155 national forests and 20 grasslands in the National Forest System. At the national level, a number of collaborative activities have been scheduled including a National Science Forum, three National Roundtables, and tribal outreach. These meetings are designed to engage, educate, encourage meaningful dialogue, and gain useful input from interested stakeholders. Information regarding these meetings, the planning rule process, and the Notice of Intent can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/planningrule."

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

+1 for you duk. Someone didn't appreciate your sense of humour... ;)

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Hey Bob, need to lighten up on the Al Gore Kool-Aid!

Global Warming?

Pure BS!

I bet Bob you believe DiHydrogen Monoxide needs to be banned too!

One more thing Bob, shouldn't you be more concerned about the Super Volcano brewing in Yellowstone Park!

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Have any idea how easy a terrorist can take out a oil platform!

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Have we really had Global Warming because of C02 or was it solar activity? That they will not discus and for good reason, it will debunk and destroy there scam, FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!

Interesting to know they didn't say one thing about the Volcano in Iceland causing any effects by spewing billions of tons of gas and dust into the atmosphere! Anyone watch the movie 2012? With all the volcano activity they had, one year later they were able to go out and breath the outside air. What happened to all those gases!! People will believe anything from a movie and the date 01/01/2000 the earth was suppose to come to an end and once more in May 5, 2002 and here we go again with the according to the ancient Mayan Calendar, the 2012 planetary alignment on December 21 will usher in doomsday?

As for offshore drilling, I'm surprised they didn't have a way to shut off the source on the ocean bottom and I'm still not convinced it was an accident!

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from herrinchoker wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

I rember sitting in a class being told by the professor that the scientific community truly believed that if, and when, the Polar Caps melted, the increased weight of the water on the oceans would cause an upthrust of the land masses, and cities like New York would be upwards of two hundred miles inland.
In the 1950s it was forecast that ocean acidification would have the world's seas barren of all life by the year 2000.
Remember the Time and Newsweek magazine covers showing the scientific conception of the doom coming with the new ice age??
Science can prove beyond all doubt that a bumble bee cannot fly because of it's weight to wing load ratio.
Science has also stated that Mars has experienced the same temperature variations as Earth, and their findings are based on sun spot activity, and that temperature variants can be tracked back in time, tied directly to the suns activity.
Is the Earth's climate changing, probably, has before, will again.
However, I will not base my beliefs on information that comes from an institution that has been exposed to be fraudulent, and has an agenda. I will not base my beliefs on information that has no published peer review, and I will not base my beliefs on somone's political agenda.
When flood control was established on the Mississippi the unentended consequence was the loss of the marshes.
Corps established the Achafalia, and Morganza spillways, to little gain.
Wind power? bigassbirdgrinders, not reliable, ethanol? makes a fair drink, solar? technology has been present for almost forty years, it will take a bank of panels about ten miles wide, from Boston to Seattle to provide the amount of power used by this country. Anyone care to volunteer negotiating the easements with the Fed, and the various state DEP's??
I have kicked around for a few years. Shot my first mallard Nov. of 47, and I have seen change-some good, some bad, and some still evaluating.
Climate change?? don't believe all the hype. Un-wad the undies and research climate here in the United States for the past 150 years-I believe you will find it interesting.
Herrinchoker

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from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Anyone who has read history more than then from last 20 years has to be aware, that weather & temperature fluctuations a CYCLICAL by G-d! Cores of soil & ice both have been researched hundreds of times, and it has been proven that the climate has been MUCH Warmer and Cooler many times throughout history. Human activity had nothing at all to do with it. GARBAGE and waste material that is not disposed of properly do much more harm.

CO2 as 1 person said is PLANT Food, that is 7th Grade Science (Or it was when I was in the 7th Grade).

I will say no more on this, but some of you on both sides need to get a grip.

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from M1jhartman wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Ok everyone, time to stop driving combustion engine vehicles. Bob Marshall and Mike Diel can lead the way. Ofcourse, Mike doesn't need a vehicle to sit on the internet all day. Or if that doesn't work we can keep pumping millions of dollars into nations like Venezuela and Iran. I'm going to go do a burnout in my Mustang in honor of this green bean, hippie blog.

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from M1jhartman wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Mike-I never once said we don't need to look into alternate fuels. I just have the ability to look at the fact that there are more than 300,000,000 people in this country and the overwheling majority of us use petroleum extensively in our daily lives. It doesn't matter if it comes in the form of gasoline or that plastic keyboard your sheep hooves are typing on. We have millions of Americans without jobs. Most of our oil comes from countries that we would be better off not dealing with. To top off our problems we have sheep such as yourself who would rather put themselves in Al Gore's pocket. Obviously I can read because I am typing this. That would be a common sense observation that apparently you do not have. When I read, I prefer to read historical books, and believe it or not there is a long line of politicians leading their sheep, (such as yourself) astray. I said it once and I'll say it again. Baaahaaaahaa

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from M1jhartman wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

sgaredneck-Please don't put me in the same boat as Gore. I was simply using a little humor,(the mustang comment) even though it may not have been funny, to illustrate my emmoitions. I never once made millions of dollars championing the plight of the polar bears while riding in a jet, or amustang for that matter.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

How in the world did so many liberals get involved in hunting and fishing?! Man, it is like the fatcat CEO, liberal bankers supporting Obama, banking regulation!
The alternative to not drilling is more coal mining maybe?..or more tankers coming to port supporting foreign oil and terrorism?
Incredible! No energy policy other than wind and solar that can't meet 15% of our needs, and even then the left has shutdown wind farms because a wind turbine killed some birds!!
The bottomline is a shrinking real economy, and a bigger fed govt that has declining revenues to protect the environment, and fish, and game, along with the poor and the middle class..they pay a dear price.

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from Charlie Nichols wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

I have witnessed, even this year, many bad winters. I have noted winter deer and turkey kills from extreme snow drifts and ice storms. I have viewed winter deer and turkey kills, along with cold water fishery iceouts that have killed rainbow and brook trout. I have yet to witness deer and turkey kills from summer heat. If this global warming nonsense has one iota of truth it is that CO2 is on the rise. Plants, all plants, use CO2. Can more plants, bigger plants, healthier plants be bad for wildlife and wildlife managers? As for acidic rain....all rain is toward acidic in nature. There has never been a neutral based or alkaline rain here in Appalachia in the decades I have been doing coldwater stream studies. Never. This past winter has been extremely hard on wildlife in the Appalachian Mountains.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

bella,
We have the tech to make carbon clean!! ..even coal is far, far cleaner than it ever has been...even cleaner than EPA standards of a few years ago.
Without cheap, carbon energy, and the entire package, our economy crumbles, and along with it the environment! Free market capitalism, and the private sector foot the bill. How much do you think socialist Spain, or Portugal, or Greece especially is putting into protecting the environment? ..crappin in the streets is the direction they are headed, and so are we without a good supply of natural, resource energy that we have lots of. Alternative energies can't supply but a fraction of our needs, and won't for a long, long time.

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from tom warner wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

No point in responding to the first two comments. Folks will believe whatever makes them feel good. The Bush mob made denying science popular. I did think that in the sentence "heavy industry lobbying", the word"bribing"should have been substituted for"lobbying", since our elected representatives seem to respond best to that type of incentive. They surely seldom represent sportsmen. Self-serving, sold-out creeps.

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from M1jhartman wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

C'mon Marshall, you cannot be serious. Global warming? It's called weather people, get over it. This entire global warming scheme is nothing more than a plan to make people like Al Gore richER! He flies around in his PRIVATE JET saving the polar bears! Give me a break! How much sense does that make? Bob Marshall, you are a dunce! Reading words like that that make me wonder who is sitting behind the type writers in New York. I couldn't even read the rest of the article considering the fact that ol' Bobby lost my respect in the first paragrah. Drill, my truck is thristy and my wallet is thin.

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from M1jhartman wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Mike, that would be hard to do considering I do not live in LA. Why is it so hard for people like you to believe that the earth changes temperature. You do realize that the first people on this continent walked across the Pacific on a sheet of ice. Maybe it was all the methane gas from the those 60 million bison that melted the ice. Mike, you are a pathetic idiot. Maybe if you spent less time brown nosing Field and Stream editors on their blogs some of that wool on your body would thin and you wouldn't mind the warmer weather, sheep. Bahahahahhh.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

MI If you are an idiot, you are a commonsense idiot. California has an oil spill off their coast that comes out of the sea bottom naturally...they could be drilling and reaping huge royalties, and creating high paying jobs that would create tax revenue they desperately need. From the air you can see the black slick that has been going on for a long, long time.
Instead, they chose to go further into liberal spending debt driving jobs out of the state, and are in worse financial shape than Greece for GAWD'S SAKE!!!! And again, fish and wildlife, along with the poor and the Middle Class pay a dear price.

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

Screw the bit about global warming. Was I the only one who saw on the news that the UN's Climate Panel was given a failing grade by an independent review? They admitted that they completely screwed up and that they did a worse job than the UK's climate panel that was roasted a few months ago. I'm all for conservation, but not the type that demands we believe that every potential threat, no matter how ridiculous, is endangering our "outdoor pursuits".

Give me a break. Stick to the facts and you'll be taken more seriously.

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