Wednesday, October 17, 2007

About Wolves and the Environment

I think it is important to get news from many sources. One that I use locally is the Morning News editorial blog. I felt that this excerpt from Mike Hashimoto's blog was important enough to post here. There is no question that much of the factual evidence presented in Al Gore's film was distorted or exaggerated for effect. There are those within the Church of Global Warming that believe the ends justify the means. But wait a minute, this is the same group pushing us to agree to the Kyoto Accord, an agreement that would seriously limit growth and innovation in developed nations. All major studies show that some of the worst case scenarios for pollution and serious ecological problems are Third World nations. And yet this agreement would allow regions such as China, India, Eastern Europe, South America and Africa to use or misuse their resources with little oversight. How, exactly does this help the environment, which is the cause that allegedly is pushed? I do think that people need to be prudent with resources. Recycling, conservation and developing new technology absolutely makes sense. But where are those new methods going to come from if we hamper advancements in the name of political efforts based on spurious science? This isn't about the earth, this is about moving wealth out of the Western nations and into Third World nations.

And please, spare me the whole episode about ethanol. Ethanol was and is a bust. The energy used to make it from corn and the decrease in fuel efficiency with its addition makes ethanol's use a wash at best. And if you follow the money, you will see that what it has become is a farm subsidy bill. Grains for feed have gone up and the meat and dairy products have risen as well. Just another brilliant plan from the same folks that want to bring you national health care. Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

"Daniel B. Botkin is president of the Center for the Study of the Environment and professor emeritus in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has written Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the Twenty-First Century, among other works....

He wrote a piece in today's Wall Street Journal that I wish we'd read before we rush out and crown Al Gore emperor of the environment.

'You might think I must be one of those know-nothing naysayers who believes global warming is a liberal plot. On the contrary, I am a biologist and ecologist who has worked on global warming, and been concerned about its effects, since 1968. I've developed the computer model of forest growth that has been used widely to forecast possible effects of global warming on life -- I've used the model for that purpose myself, and to forecast likely effects on specific endangered species.

I'm not a naysayer. I'm a scientist who believes in the scientific method and in what facts tell us. I have worked for 40 years to try to improve our environment and improve human life as well. I believe we can do this only from a basis in reality, and that is not what I see happening now. Instead, like fashions that took hold in the past and are eloquently analyzed in the classic 19th century book "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds," the popular imagination today appears to have been captured by beliefs that have little scientific basis.

Some colleagues who share some of my doubts argue that the only way to get our society to change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe, and that therefore it is all right and even necessary for scientists to exaggerate. They tell me that my belief in open and honest assessment is naïve. "Wolves deceive their prey, don't they?" one said to me recently. Therefore, biologically, he said, we are justified in exaggerating to get society to change."

At this point I think it's important to remember what happened to the Boy Who Cried Wolf in the original unDisneyfied version....
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