Politics

Trouble with squirrels in Los Angeles – a feminist, posthumanist view

I suspect than most readers missed a new study of squirrels in Los Angeles that was recently published in Gender, Place & Culture, A Journal of Feminist Geography. I was alerted to this paper by an article in American Thinker: “’Liberal studies’ professor writes that squirrels are victims of ‘racist’ media bias.” (Link) I was able to download and read the whole paper, but I now find that it is behind a paywall. You can, however, read the abstract (link).

The paper contains a smidgen of science, but it is basically a politically-correct rant about gender equality. The paper is filled with the vernacular of leftist academia and is actually quite amusing because of the academia-speak.

Paper title: When ‘Angelino’ squirrels don’t eat nuts: a feminist posthumanist politics of consumption across southern California

Author: Teresa Lloro-Bidart, liberal Studies department, california State Polytechnic university, Pomona, Pomona, Ca, USA

The Abstract:

Eastern fox squirrels (Sciurus niger), reddish-brown tree squirrels native to the eastern and southeastern United States, were introduced to and now thrive in suburban/urban California. As a result, many residents in the greater Los Angeles region are grappling with living amongst tree squirrels, particularly because the state’s native western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus) is less tolerant of human beings and, as a result, has historically been absent from most sections of the greater Los Angeles area. ‘Easties,’ as they are colloquially referred to in the popular press, are willing to feed on trash and have an ‘appetite for everything.’ Given that the shift in tree squirrel demographics is a relatively recent phenomenon, this case presents a unique opportunity to question and re-theorize the ontological given of ‘otherness’ that manifests, in part, through a politics whereby animal food choices ‘[come] to stand in for both compliance and resistance to the dominant forces in [human] culture’. I, therefore, juxtapose feminist posthumanist theories and feminist food studies scholarship to demonstrate how eastern fox squirrels are subjected to gendered, racialized, and speciesist thinking in the popular news media as a result of their feeding/eating practices, their unique and unfixed spatial arrangements in the greater Los Angeles region, and the western, modernist human frame through which humans interpret these actions. I conclude by drawing out the implications of this research for the fields of animal geography and feminist geography.

Prior to reading this paper, I had not heard of “feminist geography.” Wikipedia defines it thusly:

“The geography of women focuses upon description of the effects on gender inequality. Its theoretical influences focus on welfare geography and liberal feminism. Geographically, feminist geographers emphasize on constraints of distance and spatial separation. As Seager et al. argues, gender is only the narrow-minded approach when understanding the oppression of women throughout the decades of colonial history. In such, understanding the geography of women would mean taking a critical approach in questioning the dimensions of age, class, ethnicity, orientation and other socio-economic factors.”

Wikipedia goes on the say:

Socialist feminist geography seeks to explain inequality and the relationship between capitalism and patriarchy. It uses Marxism and Socialist feminism to explain the interdependence of geography, gender relations and economic development under capitalism. Socialist feminist geography revolved around the questions of how to reduce gender inequality based on patriarchy and capitalism. It has theoretical influences on Marxism, socialist feminism.” (link)

One more example of the point of view and jargon in the paper (edited):

Feminist posthumanist performativity and intersectionality

Feminist scholars first systematically began to consider ‘the animal question’ in the late 1970s with the development of ecofeminism. Although this early work was criticized as essentialist for its treatment of the category of ‘woman’ as a white, western, heterosexual subject and because some theorists worried it celebrated the association of women with caring tasks (e.g. caring for animals or the environment) to the detriment of establishing women as political actors, ecofeminism nevertheless made important contributions to feminist theory, particularly regarding human-animal relationships. Ecofeminists were the frst to theorize animal oppression through intersectional lenses, arguing that the same social systems and structures that oppress women also oppress animals.

Such is the State of the Union today. “May you live in interesting times.”

Note: I support the idea of feminism and gender equally. I do not support jargon-laden papers such as this one, no matter what the field of study is.

Tucson’s March for Science – a plea for continued climate funding

The several “Marches for Science” (held April 22) around the country are not really about science, but about fear that President Trump’s proposed cuts to the EPA and other agencies for climate research will make federal grants disappear. It’s about the money, not the climate.

A front page story in the Arizona Daily Star ( 4-14-17) was about Tucson’s “March for Science.” (Link) They called off the march itself, because they could not afford the price “to barricade North Stone Avenue, hire off-duty police and medics, and take out insurance.” Instead, they settled for a rally on Saturday.

The article featured University of Arizona professor Scott Saleska who is concerned that cuts to the EPA budget will jeopardize his research funding. The article quotes part of a letter which Saleska and other professors sent to EPA head Scott Pruitt.

Here is the money quote: “In fact, we know with an exceptionally high degree of confidence that most of the climate warming over at least the last six decades has been caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities.”

I emailed Dr. Saleska (on April 14) asking this question: “What specific physical evidence supports the contention that CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels is the principal cause of recent warming? Note: computer simulations are not physical evidence. Consensus is not physical evidence.”

Dr. Saleska replied on Thursday, April 20. Rather than citing specific evidence, he deflected the question: “My apologies for the slow reply. Busy week. But you raise an interesting question. What kind of evidence are you looking for? That is, what evidence would, in your mind, support the contention if it were observed?”

My response: “I think physical evidence supporting your contention does not exist because the hypothesis is wrong. So again, what physical evidence do you have in support?”

I have posed that same question to four other UofA “climate science” professors during public meetings. None could cite any supporting physical evidence. Strange that they all have an “exceptionally high degree of confidence” but can cite no physical evidence.

Once upon a time, science was based on empirical evidence rather than politics.

Most of the climate models make the assumption that CO2 is the main driver of global temperature. That assumption, however, causes model output to diverge widely from observations, showing that the assumption is wrong:

 

On the national “March for Science” website (link) is this statement: “We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.”[emphasis added] Where is the evidence for the policy on global warming?

In my opinion, climate science has turned into political science and many professors fear that “draining the swamp” will kill their cash cow.

See some real physical evidence:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

The University of Arizona Guide for Snowflakes

If you plan to visit the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson, you perhaps should read a new 20-page pamphlet produced by Jesús Treviño, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence, so that you will be politically correct at all times. The pamphlet is entitled: “Diversity and Inclusiveness in the Classroom.” (Link) This is just one of the things Dr. Treviño does to earn his reported salary of $214,000 per year. (Source)

The pamphlet is introduced with this paragraph:

“With the increase in diversity at institutions of higher education, campus communities are now commonly comprised of individuals from many backgrounds and with diverse experiences as well as multiple and intersecting identities. In addition, many campus constituents have social identities that historically have been under-represented (e.g. Black/African Americans, Latinx/Chicanx/Hispanic [sic], Asian American/Pacific Islanders, Natives Americans, LBTQIA+ folks, international students and employees, people with diverse religious affiliations, veterans, non-traditional students, women, first-generation college students, and people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds). The University of Arizona does not differ from other institutions when it comes to diversity. Considering race and ethnicity alone, currently the UA has over 40% students of color. The multiplicity of the groups mentioned above form a valuable part of our student body.”

This pamphlet was produced for both students and faculty who may occasionally find themselves outside of “safe spaces” and be subjected to or commit a “microaggression.”

Major topics include:

Understanding Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

Tools/Exercises for Preparing Students To Interact in the Classroom

Guidelines for Classroom Discussions

Dialogue vs. Debate

Microaggressions in the Classroom

Among the sage advice given by this document is this: “Oops/ouch: If a student feels hurt or offended by another student’s comment, the hurt student can say ‘ouch.’ In acknowledgement, the student who made the hurtful comment says ‘oops.’ If necessary, there can be further dialogue about this exchange.”

By the way, the document defines “microaggressions” as: “the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.” Welcome to the real world.

This pamphlet is apparently for all students whose parents never taught them how to behave in civil society.

This article was originally published in the Arizona Daily Independent  and received many comments.

See also:

Free Speech and Tender Feelings

NOAA caught manipulating temperature data – again

Dr John Bates, a recently retired senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), alleges that a NOAA paper written before the historic climate conference in Paris in 2015 breached NOAA’s own rules and was based on misleading and unverified data. That, to many, looks like the paper was designed to stoke up hysteria over global warming in the run-up to the conference. (Source)

NOAA has often been accused of manipulating data for political purposes. See for instance, my ADI article: The past is getting cooler which reflects a curiosity of published government temperature records that show the 1930s getting cooler and cooler with each update of the record. The more recent scandal derives from NOAA’s attempt to erase the 18-year “pause” in global warming. Even though atmospheric carbon dioxide has been rising, global temperature has failed to respond as the climate models say it should. (See El Nino to El Nino – no warming of global temperature) This recent scandal was exposed by David Rose in an article in the British paper Daily Mail.

Global temperatures published by NOAA compared to global temperatures published by the British MET office shows that NOAA temperatures are consistently higher. In the graph below (source), the red line shows the current NOAA world temperature graph, which relies on the ‘adjusted’ and unreliable sea temperature data cited in the flawed ‘Pausebuster’ paper. The blue line is the UK Met Office’s independently tested and verified ‘HadCRUT4’ record, showing lower monthly readings and a shallower recent warming trend.

noaa-vs-met

David Rose notes: NOAA’s 2015 ‘Pausebuster’ paper was based on two new temperature sets of data – one containing measurements of temperatures at the planet’s surface on land, the other at the surface of the seas. Both datasets were flawed. This newspaper has learnt that NOAA has now decided that the sea dataset will have to be replaced and substantially revised just 18 months after it was issued, because it used unreliable methods which overstated the speed of warming. The revised data will show both lower temperatures and a slower rate in the recent warming trend. The land temperature dataset used by the study was afflicted by devastating bugs in its software that rendered its findings ‘unstable’.

To add to the confusion, NOAA also changed the computer programs it uses to compile temperature data, and guess what? The new program creates global warming where there had been none before. These changes are documented in a post by Rud Istvan.

“A 2011 paper announced that NOAA would be transitioning to updated and improved CONUS software around the end of 2013. The program used until the upgrade was called Drd964x. The upgrade was launched from late 2013 into 2014 in two tranches. Late in 2013 came the new graphical interfaces, which are an improvement. Then about February 2014 came the new data output, which includes revised station selection, homogenization, and gridding. The new version is called nClimDiv.” The graphs below show some of the results for temperatures from 1900 to 2010. Left shows old system results versus new system results on right.

maine

michigan

california

Another way NOAA influences the official temperature is by removal of thousands of weather station land thermometers from remote, high altitude, and/or non-urban locations since the 1970s. These are stations which do not show the warming trends predicted by models, as they are not affected by proximity to artificial or non-climatic heat sources (pavements, buildings, machinery, industry, etc.) like urban weather stations are. (Thermometers near urban heat sources can cause warming biases of between 0.1 and 0.4°C per decade.) This inflates the average temperature reported. Read more

Perhaps the Trump administration can get NOAA out of politics and back to science.

The “ Emoluments” Gambit

A liberal group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed suit alleging that President Donald Trump began violating the “emoluments clause” of the U.S. Constitution the moment he took office because the businesses that bear his name are surely receiving some money from foreign governments, even though he has relinquished management control and elected to donate foreign profits at Trump owned hotels to the U.S. Treasury. The group is also promoting the claim that this “violation” is grounds for impeachment.

The Emolument clause of the Constitution says: “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” (Article I, Section 9, Clause 8).

This allegation is without merit and is designed, in my opinion, as a gambit to stir up the leftists.

Fox News notes: “The plaintiffs claim President Donald Trump began violating the “emoluments clause” of the U.S. Constitution the moment he took office because the businesses that bear his name are surely receiving some money from foreign governments, even though he has relinquished management control and elected to donate foreign profits at Trump owned hotels to the U.S. Treasury. Forget that the revenue derives directly from his businesses, not his high office. The lawsuit is pure legal folly because the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that these kinds of circumstances do not violate the Constitutional emoluments prohibition. ..Ordinary business transactions are not emoluments. There must be a nexus between the payment and the office. An emolument arises when a pecuniary profit is derived from a discharge of the duties of the office.” (Hoyt v. United States, 51 U.S. 109)

Black’s Law Dictionary defines the term emolument as, “Any advantage, profit, or gain received as a result of one’s holding of office.” The original Webster’s Dictionary defines it as, “profit arising from office.” The Oxford English Dictionary offers a near identical definition. None of these interpretations apply to President Donald Trump nor the many businesses that pre-date his

presidency. Any payments to his Trump Organization do not arise from his holding the office he just assumed days ago. To the contrary, any realized profit emanates from his businesses, not his presidency.

LawNewz notes: “”The so-called emoluments clause has never been interpreted to apply to fair value exchanges that have absolutely nothing to do with an office holder. No one would have thought, when the Constitution was written, that paying your hotel bill was an emolument instead it would have been considered a value for value exchange… not a gift.. not a title, not an emolument…,even though Trump doesn’t have to– he is going to voluntarily donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotels to the United States Treasury.”

The threat of impeachment is hollow because at any time Congress could retroactively grant permission for Trump’s businesses to act as they always have. Also, to forward a bill of impeachment requires a majority vote in the House of Representatives. No likely.

Bill and Hillary get a pass from liberals on this question.

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and similar groups were unconcerned when Hillary was Secretary of State (2009-2013) and Bill Clinton was receiving millions of dollars as “speaking fees” and “donations” to the Clinton Foundation.

During Hillary Clinton’s four years at the State Department, her husband was paid $47.7 million in speaking fees. As critics have noted, most of his highest paid speeches were given abroad between 2009 and 2013. (Source)

According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch in an ongoing Freedom of Information Act case, State Department officials charged with reviewing Bill Clinton’s proposed speeches did not object to a single one. Some of the speeches were delivered in global hotspots like Saudi Arabia, and were paid for by entities with business or policy interests in the U.S. (Source)

During Hillary Clinton’s time at the State Department, Bill Clinton also gave four speeches in the United Arab Emirates, earning $1.1 million. For two speeches in Egypt, he earned $425,000.

UAE-linked entities also have donated at least $2.7 to $11.5 million to the Clinton Foundation, and Egyptian entities have donated at least $250,000 to $750,000. (Source)

In my opinion, these liberal lawyers are gaming the system for political gain.

For a brief history of the Emolument Clause, see this article from the Heritage Foundation.

Throwing money at schools still fails to improve education

In his inauguration speech Donald Trump claimed that we have “…an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.”

The statement contains hyperbole, but it is not far off the mark.

A January, 2017, report from the Department of Education assesses the result of throwing money at schools:

In response to the recession that began in 2007, the U.S. Congress passed, and President Barack Obama signed into law, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Pub. Law 111-5). At an estimated cost of $831 billion, this economic stimulus package sought to save and create jobs, provide temporary relief to those adversely affected by the recession, and invest in education, health, infrastructure, and renewable energy. States and school districts received $100 billion to secure teachers’ jobs and promote innovation in schools. This funding included $3 billion for School Improvement Grants (SIG), one of the Obama administration’s signature programs and one of the largest federal government investments in an education grant program. The SIG program awarded grants to states that agreed to implement one of four school intervention models—transformation, turnaround, restart, or closure—in their lowest-performing schools. Each of the models prescribed specific practices designed to improve student outcomes, including outcomes for high-need students such as English language learners (ELLs) (U.S. Department of Education 2010a).

Although SIG was first authorized in 2001, this evaluation focused on SIG awards granted in 2010, when roughly $3.5 billion in SIG awards were made to 50 states and the District of Columbia, $3 billion of which came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Basic finding from Department of Education study:

Overall, across all grades, we found that implementing any SIG-funded model had no significant impacts on math or reading test scores, high school graduation, or college enrollment. (Read 419-page report from the Department of Education )

Perhaps we should get back to basics.

See also:

State Educational Trends, spending versus results

Political Correctness is why trump won

People just got fed up with all the political correctness nonsense. Most of this nonsense is perpetrated by liberals who strive to avoid offending anyone but wind up offending many people.

Walter Williams: “Whether you are a liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, you should be disturbed and frightened for the future of our nation based on the response of so many of our young people to an election outcome. We should also be disturbed by college administrators and professors who sanction the coddling of our youth.”

Trump and College Chaos

by Walter E. Williams

If one needed more evidence of the steep decay in academia, Donald Trump’s victory provided it. Let’s begin by examining the responses to his win, not only among our wet-behind-the-ears college students, many of whom act like kindergarteners, but also among college professors and administrators.

The University of Michigan’s distressed students were provided with Play-Doh and coloring books, as they sought comfort and distraction. A University of Michigan professor postponed an exam after many students complained about their “serious stress” over the election results. Cornell University held a campuswide “cry-in,” with officials handing out tissues and hot chocolate. Read more

Here are some recent examples of political correctness excesses:

University of Wisconsin to Offer Class on ‘The Problem of Whiteness’

The University of Wisconsin-Madison will offer a spring semester class examining “the problem of whiteness” and “what it means to be #woke,” Campus Reform reports.

The course is being offered by the university’s African Cultural Studies department. According to an online description, students will be asked to examine “what it really means to be white,” and consider “how race is experienced by white people” in the United States and abroad.

“Critical Whiteness Studies aims to understand how whiteness is socially constructed and experienced in order to help dismantle white supremacy,” the description reads. “In this class, we will ask what an ethical white identity entails, what it means to be #woke, and consider the journal Race Traitor’s motto, ‘treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.’”

The course will satisfy the university’s “ethnic studies” requirement for graduation, and will be taught by an associate professor whose course load includes a class on “Global Hiphop and Social Justice.” (Source)

Texas university takes the ‘holiday’ out of parties in December

BY Todd Starnes

Don’t call your holiday party a holiday party.

That’s the recommendation from Texas Woman’s University – posting a series of tips on how to make December office parties ‘all-inclusive’ and ‘multicultural.’

Dr. Mark Kessler, a professor of multicultural women’s and gender studies recommends not decorating with Santa Claus, a red-nosed reindeer or evergreen trees. And whatever you do, don’t serve red & green sugar cookies shaped like Christmas trees. Read more

College Removes American Flag, Calls it “Symbol of Fear”

by Todd Starnes

A private college in Massachusetts has announced it will no longer fly Old Glory because it has become a “heated symbol” in the aftermath of the presidential election — in an “environment of escalating hate-based violence.”

“There were a range of views on campus, including people whose experience growing up have made the flag a symbol of fear, which was strengthened by the toxic language during the campaign, and people for whom the flag is the symbol of all that’s best throughout the country,” said Hampshire College president Jonathan Lash told WBZ.

The Hampshire College Board of Trustees initially agreed to fly the flag at half-staff on Veterans Day — but not necessarily to honor our veterans.

“This was meant as an expression of grief over the violent deaths being suffered in this country and globally, including many U.S. service members who have lost their lives,” Lash wrote in a Facebook post.

So Hampshire College basically insulted every member of the Armed Forces — men and women who sacrifice their lives for a bunch of ungrateful over-educated brats. Read more

Town renames Good Friday for the sake of “Cultural Sensitivity”

by Todd Starnes

Whenever you hear a liberal talking about cultural diversity and sensitivity it normally means something insensitive is about to happen to Christians.

The latest case in point: Bloomington, Indiana – the home of Indiana University and a nesting place for a gaggle of intolerant liberals.

Mayor John Hamilton recently announced that are renaming two paid holidays for city workers — in an effort to respect “differing cultures.”

Columbus Day will henceforth be known as “Fall Holiday” and Good Friday will be known as “Spring Holiday.” Read more

University of Texas issues 29-point checklist on offensive Halloween costumes

Even themes approved by school ‘can be carried out incorrectly’

by Brian Bensimon

Leave your cowboy boots and Hawaiian leis at home this Halloween unless you want to hear from University of Texas-Austin administrators.

Sorority and Fraternity Life, part of the Office of the Dean of Students, issued its updated “costume and theme resource guide” last week, instructing UT Greeks to avoid Halloween party costumes and themes that may “appropriate another culture or experience.” Read more

Univ. of Northern Colorado students forced to use ‘mandatory’ gender-neutral language

By Jillian Kay Melchior

More colleges around the country are launching “inclusive language” campaigns that encourage students to avoid everyday words and phrases that could possibly offend someone, somewhere—”hey guys,” “mankind” and “man-made” are just a few of the terms now frowned upon.

The University of Northern Colorado has also jumped on the “inclusive language” bandwagon. But at the Greeley, Colo., university, there’s an extra wrinkle: In at least five classes in the last year, the new, ultra-inclusive lexicon wasn’t optional—it was required. Read more

University of Florida offers counseling for students offended by Halloween costumes

By Brittany Loggins

The University of Florida wants students to know that counseling is available for students hoping to work past any offense taken from Halloween costumes.

“Some Halloween costumes reinforce stereotypes of particular races, genders, cultures, or religions. Regardless of intent, these costumes can perpetuate negative stereotypes, causing harm and offense to groups of people,” the school administration wrote in a blog post. “If you are troubled by an incident that does occur, please know that there are many resources available.” Read more

A Blizzard of Snowflakes

By Peter Skurkiss

Infantile skittishness on campus is not confined to just politically correct and so-called diversity issues, as bad as that is. As a recent Wall Street Journal article pointed out, college students are now literally flooding mental-health centers on campus year round for anything and everything. Read more

Duke University: Combating “Toxic Masculinity”

by David L. Hunter

Rather than classically educating the mind and developing the character, Duke University has officially joined the academic cult of politically correct social engineering.

The estimated cost to attend North Carolina’s Duke University this year is $70,092. For all those greenbacks—some $280,000 for a 4-year degree—any male offspring can look forward to being demonized for inherent “toxic masculinities” due to his gender. To that end The Men’s Project is creating a “safe space” so young men can, in essence, ‘make healthier choices while critiquing their own masculinity’—and fretting over their “male privilege”. Thus, by design, young men should feel deficient solely for the expression of their manliness? What complete hogwash!

College junior Dipro Bhowmik, of the 4-person student leadership team, informed the Duke Chronicle that the indoctrination concerns “questioning how you can be accountable to feminism, to the women in your life and to the larger community.” Excuse me, accountable to feminism? Read more

University of Michigan professors instructed to stick to ‘preferred pronouns’

By Jillian Kay Melchior

The University of Michigan yesterday unveiled a new webpage that allows students to choose their preferred pronouns, including “they” and “ze.”

Preferred pronouns will appear on class rosters, and if professors accidentally use the wrong pronoun, “you can acknowledge that you made a mistake and use the correct pronoun next time,” said the university’s provost and vice president for student life in a campus-wide email announcement. It also called using preferred pronouns “one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their identity and to cultivate an environment that respects all gender identities.” Read more

Follow up: Michigan student successfully changes preferred pronoun to ‘His Majesty’ on class roster. Read more

Study: Forest Fires in Sierra Nevada Driven by Past Land Use not Climate Change

Researchers from the University of Arizona and Penn State studied fire regimes in the Sierra Nevada Mountain of California for the period 1600 to 2015 and found that land use changes, not climate, were the principal controlling factors.

This result was apparently a surprise to the researchers since they set out to correlate climate with the fires.

“Initially, we did work to see if we could develop long-lead forecasts for fire in the area — six to 18 months in the future — using climate patterns such as El Niño,” said Alan H. Taylor, professor of geography, Penn State. “This would be a significant help because we could place resources in the west if forecasts indicated it would be dry and the southeast would be wet. However, the climate relationships with fire did not consistently track.”

“We were expecting to find climatic drivers,” said lead co-author Valerie Trouet, a UA associate professor of dendrochronology. “We didn’t find them.”

The researchers used tree ring data from 29 sites, historical documents, and 20th Century records of areas burned.

From the UofA press release:

For the years 1600 to 2015, the team found four periods, each lasting at least 55 years, where the frequency and extent of forest fires clearly differed from the time period before or after. The team found the fire regimes corresponded to different types of human occupation and use of the land: the pre-settlement period to the Spanish colonial period; the colonial period to the California Gold Rush; the Gold Rush to the Smokey Bear/fire suppression period; and the Smokey Bear/fire suppression era to present. Finding that fire activity and human land use are closely linked means people can affect the severity and frequency of future forest fires through managing the fuel buildup and other land management practices — even in the face of rising temperatures from climate change.

From the Penn State press release:

Early fires, because they were more frequent, with less fuel build-up, were “good” fires. They burned through the forest, consumed understory fuels and left the majority of trees unharmed. The Native American mosaic of burned and unburned areas prevented fires from continuously spreading.

From 1776 to 1865 the second fire regime, characterized by Spanish colonialism and the depopulation of Native Americans in the area, shows more land burned. European settlers brought diseases against which Native Americans had no immunity and the population suffered. The Spanish built a string of missions in California beginning in 1769 and relocated remaining Native Americans to the mission areas. In 1793, there was a ban on burning to preserve forage, disrupting the pre-colonial Native American burning practices. The incidence of fires became more sensitive to drought and the fire regime changed, creating the time when fires were largest and most closely coupled with climate.

The third fire period is from 1866 to 1903 and was initiated by the California gold rush, when thousands of people poured into the area. Settlement by large numbers of new immigrants began to break up the forest fuel and the creation of large herds of animals, especially sheep, removed large amounts of understory and changed the fire regime.

The fourth fire period began in 1904 and is linked to the federal government’s policy of fire suppression on government lands. The reason pre-colonial and Spanish colonial fire levels were so much higher than today is that the current fire regime is one of suppressions with an extremely low incidence of fires compared to the past. However, suppression over the last century has allowed fuel to build up on the forest floor and opened the door for “bad” fires that destroy the forest canopy and burn large areas of land.

(UofA press release, Penn State press release, paper abstract )

This finding contradicts an alarmist story printed in the Arizona Daily Star this past October (see third reference below).

 

See also:

Wildfires and Warming – Relationship not so clear
Claim: “Worsening Wildfires Linked to Temp Rise

Media hype about forest fires and global warming
Mega-fires in Southwest due to forest mismanagement

Will Trump rein in regulation?

Have we just witnessed a second American revolution; one that repudiates the policies of the political establishment of both Republicans and Democrats? We had a hint of this when Trump beat out establishment Republicans in the primary.

Trump will have much to deal with. In this article I will concentrate on the EPA, an agency whose regulations have trampled private property rights, and killed much inexpensive electricity generation.

What if, in his inaugural address, Trump were to issue an executive order that says something like “no federal agency shall regulate carbon dioxide emissions from burning of fossil fuels and all existing regulations to that effect are null and void?” Even the EPA admits that the possible effect on climate of its “Clean Power Plan” is prevention of just 0.03°C by the year 2100. That would be a great positive step in quelling the climate madness. It would also boost our economy. EPA regulations on particulate matter have no basis in science (see references below).

The EPA itself could be phased out and replaced by the environmental agencies of each state.

The EPA’s “Waters of the United States” rule (WOTUS, see here and here) impacts private property rights because the rule has become so invasive that it regulates every puddle and rill that may occur on or pass through a property.

In addition to the above:

The U.S. should withdrawal from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, from the Paris climate agreement and from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC). These agencies and agreements suck money and provide no benefit. In the thousands of pages from reports by the IPCC, they have never produced any physical evidence that carbon dioxide emissions play a significant role in controlling global temperature.

The U.S. should also terminate all federal government subsidies for climate change research and for “renewable” energy. Let the solar and wind turbine companies test the demand for their product on the free market without any artificial markets produced by mandates and subsidies.

Endangered species listings based on projected climate change should be rescinded. In fact, the Endangered Species act should be amended or replaced with something that is more science-based and provides a positive incentive for conservation.

I hope Trump can “drain the swamp” and make the government serve the people once again.

 

See also:

EPA Clean Power Plan is Junk Science

EPA’s own human experiments debunk health claims

EPA claims on dangers of particulate matter are false

EPA Clean Power Plan is Junk Science

Replace the Environmental Protection Agency

EPA targets wrong cause of haze in Grand Canyon

The Flaws in the Endangered Species Act

 

 

Federal land grabs hurt economy and trample property rights

Using the Antiquity Act, the Endangered Species Act, and by executive moratoria, President Obama has now seized more land by executive order than any U.S. President in history.

Arizona has a Federally-imposed 20-year moratorium on new mining claims near the Grand Canyon, an area rich in uranium. The rationale is that such mining could contaminate the Colorado River. However a study by the Arizona Geological Survey shows this worry to be far-fetched. (see ADI story).

Obama’s Interior Department is proposing to withdraw up to 10 million acres of sage grouse habitat from new mining operations in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. This action is being proposed in spite of the fact that DOI recently announced that listing of the greater sage grouse as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is not warranted and DOI’s finding that mining is not a major threat to the bird or its habitat.

The National Mining Association says “This over-reaching and unprecedented action would seriously damage the United States economy and mineral security, while harming the very species it purports to protect.” “DOI maintains that the withdrawal is necessary to prevent a listing of the sage grouse. However, most of the reports prepared for the listing determination do not identify mining activities as a significant threat and instead point to wildfires and invasive species as the greatest threats.” NMA also notes that “Already half of the nation’s hardrock mineral estate is either off-limits or under restrictions for mineral development.” (Source) NMA has released a video explaining how these withdrawals negatively impact our nation, industries, and citizens.

This past August, Obama greatly expanded the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in Hawaii to 582,578 square miles. This area will be off-limits to scientific investigation, petroleum exploration, and commercial fishing. (Source)

Also in August, Obama created the “Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument,” placing 87,563 acres of Maine’s woods under federal control. This designation did not sit well with the local people. (Source) Obama also set aside two million acres in Utah as the “Big Ears National Monument.”

In July, 2015, Obama claimed more than 1 million acres in California, Texas and Nevada to designate as national monuments. The Washington Times opined: “With the move, Mr. Obama has established or expanded 19 national monuments, taking 260 million acres of land and placing it under control of the federal government. Critics say the administration simply wants to expand government control across the country.” (Source)

On Nov. 1, 2016, members of the House Committee on Natural Resources sent a letter to the White House expressing concerns that national monument designations in California and Oregon will exacerbate water shortages and increase threats of catastrophic wildfire. (Read letter)

Do you want such policy to continue? Or, should we wisely use our own natural resources to become less dependent on foreign sources?

 

See also:

Trump Weighs In On Western States Land Grab Battle – ADI article

Open federal land to energy exploration and development to boost economy – Wryheat

Free the Land from the Feds