NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Lower natural gas prices on horizon?

House Panel backs offshore gas drilling. Two areas off California's coast could be exploited quickly if the bill passes. Ninteen trillion cubic feet of gas is waiting off the California coast.
Among the bill's sponsors is Rep. John Doolittle, R-Roseville, who said that an increase in natural gas prices of as much as 70 percent after Hurricane Katrina will be heavily felt in California.

"We face a crisis in pricing that is coming right at us," Doolittle said.
Story in the Sac Bee.

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Peak Oil Update: No doom and gloom here

The World Petroleum Congress has concluded on a note of reassurance and optimism, with experts sending out the message that there were still plenty of oil and gas reserves and also that efforts were on to reduce emissions.

Full story here.

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Which commission?

Sally Price, is worried about "Traffic solutions?," September 30, 2005
The commission is not much better sometimes seeking small sanctions to make it look good but ultimately rubber stamping a big yes on every application that appears before them, while providing no concrete long term traffic solutions, budgets, or schedules.
Not sure which commission Ms Price is talking about, but the Nevada County Transportation Commission oversees a regional transportation plan, which has budgets and schedules. The NCTC developed with the cities and county a regional mitigation fee ot insure new development pays its fair share. Unfortunately most of the funding comes from the State which has short funded the County for four years, paying off the overspending by the legislature. NCTC Commissioner Tim Brady, encouraged the cities and the county to develop short term low cost solution almost a year ago. Long for for CCAT got into the act. It is unfortunate that city and county government bureaucrats moves so slow. We on the Commission continue to push for faster action on critical projects.

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

State of Fear vs Senate Committee

Michael Crichton made some very intelligent testimony at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing yesterday, pointing out why audits and replication of climate studies are essential to effective policy making. He makes reference to the hockey stick in the UN IPCC Report, and the inability of Canadian scientists to replicate the study, and other climate studies claiming unprecedented global warming.

Perhaps more interesting to us here in California was Senator Boxer proving she does not understand science or climate change. At one point she claims hurricanes are caused by global warming, though leading scientist say it is not so.

Here is a link to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearings video and audio. You will need some RealPlayer software, which is free to download from the Committee web site. Go to minute 41:20 to hear Michael Crichton, 31:00 for Boxer’s embarrassment.

To read comments on the testimonies go to Climate Audit.

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What is going on, still no online Union (See updates)

Its 10:00 and the online Union has not been posted. In the paper version, the editorial board takes a dim view of team building in Grass Valley. It is time for a party!

UPDATE: 10:22, the editorial is up here, still looking for the other letters.

SECOND UPDATE: Kady Guyton, the Union web editor, has some comments on her blog

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Mr. Blair and the reality of globalisation.....

Professor Philip Stott, EnviroSpin, has Tony Blair’s comments on globalization.

Please note, that Mr. Blair recently adopted Presidents Bush position on Kyoto, that it is too damaging to the economy with only limited impact on the environment. Yet, California’s Democratic legislators are determined to team up with other state legislatures to implement Kyoto restrictions at the State level. California would be wise to follow Mr. Blair’s lead on Kyoto, and his council on globalization.
"I hear people say we have to stop and debate globalization. You might as well debate whether autumn should follow summer. They're not debating it in China and India. They are seizing its possibilities, in a way that will transform their lives and ours. Yes, both nations still have millions living in poverty. But they are on the move. Or look at Vietnam or Thailand. Then wait for the South Americans, and in time, with our help, the Africans.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I stand by my orginal post on GV team building

Becky Trout writes about Grass Valley City Council, Team-building talk turns testy, September 28, 2005
Previously buried bitterness burst into the open at Tuesday's Grass Valley City Council meeting during a discussion about team building.
Back in May I commented on this issue, and I stand by my original comments.

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How we spend our days online

From Poynter Online, Our Complex Media Day

"The introduction of the computer into the workplace also has created a whole class of multi-taskers," he said. "We thought young people would be better at multitasking, but computers have forced older workers to do more than one thing at a time to survive in the workplace."

Here are the overall amounts of media minutes spent per user per day according to the 5,000 hours of observations recorded by the project researchers:

Television: 240.9 minutes
Any computer use: 135.8 minutes
All Internet: 93.4 minutes
Radio: 80.0 minutes
Music [includes MP3 players]: 65.1 minutes
Phone, includes cell: 42.2 minutes
All print media: 32.8 minutes
All video [VCR and DVD]: 32.6 minutes
Newspapers: 12.2 minutes
Game console: 11.6 minutes

The number of hours spent online vice the number of minutes spent with the newspaper, does not look good for the future of newspapers. Many newspapers across the country are reducing staffs, as readers are using electronic media for their news and entertainment.

When blogging, it is often in front of the TV watching the news. Sometimes with the TV sound down, listening to music on Interent radio, all the while doing online research, writing or blogging. We often use two digital video recorders to time shift our satellite TV viewing, and use our XM radios when on the road to follow the news or listen to music without commercial interruption.

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Nothing new at The Union this morning

It is quarter to eight, and the online version of The Union has not been posted. The dog is bugging me for his walk. We will check back later today to see if something is worth commenting on.

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Nothing unususal about current climate warmth

From CO2 Climate Science, 28 Septermber 2005

Air temperatures at Armagh Observatory, Northern Ireland, from 1796-2002. International Journal of Climatology 25: 1055-1079.

What was done
. . . Butler et al. standardized three temperature series from Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland to obtain a nearly continuous record of temperature at this location since 1796.

What was learned
. . . On longer time scales, multi-decadal oscillations are noted in the many-year warm and cold periods scattered throughout the record, including a relatively cool interval prior to 1820 followed by a warmer period that peaked about 1830 and lasted until nearly 1870. Thereafter, a second cool interval ensued, followed by another warm peak between 1940 and 1960, while yet another cool period held sway from 1960 to 1980. The record then ends with a final warm period over its last decade; but this period is not in any way extraordinary, as the authors say that "in spite of the current warmer conditions, annual mean temperatures still remain within the range seen in the previous two centuries."

What it means
In contrast to the highly publicized climate-alarmist claim that the past two decades have experienced unprecedented warmth due to CO2-induced global warming, the Armagh record indicates that "we are not yet beyond the range of normal variability," to quote its developers. . .

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Where is the second level analysis?

The current Union survey points to a problem in Nevada County, the inability of some citizens to think long term, to do second level analysis of a problem. They lack the ability to look beyond the current traffic congestion to longer term solutions.

Here are the interim survey results from: “Which traffic problems should Grass Valley focus on?”

The Brunswick Basin. 34.82% (125)
The Doresy Drive on/off ramps 24.79% (89)
The Idaho-Maryland exits. 22.56% (81)
None, they should focus on sidewalks and footpaths 8.64% (31)
None, they should add more public transportation. 9.19% (33)

As one poster noted, building the Dorsey Drive Interchange will reduce the pressure on the Brunswick Drive over crossing and interchange. This is second level thinking, looking beyond the immediate problem to longer term solutions. This was lost on those wanting the Brunswick Basin congestion fixed.

What do you think?


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I am older than dirt

This came in my e-mail from a trusted friend. I found it interesting enough to share with you. Be honest, check what you know....


*_Older Than Dirt Quiz: Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told about-Ratings at the bottom._
*
_*1. Blackjack chewing gum*_
_*2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water*_
_*3. Candy cigarettes*_
_*4. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles*_
_*5. Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxe*s_
_*6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers*_
_*7. Party lines*_
_*8. Newsreels before the movie*_
_*9. P.F. Flyers*_
_*10. Butch wax*_
_*11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix (OLive-6933)*_
_*12. Peashooters*_
_*13. Howdy Doody*_
_*14. 45 RPM records*_
_*15. S&H Green Stamps*_
_*16 Hi-fi's*_
_*17 Metal ice trays with lever*_
_*18. Mimeograph paper*_
_*19 Blue flashbulb*_
_*20. Packard's*_
_*21. Roller skate keys*_
_*22. Cork popguns*_
_*23. Drive-ins*_
_*24. Studebakers*_
_*25. Washing machines with wringers; and washtubs for rinsing*_

_If you remembered 0-5 = You're still young
If you remembered 6-10 = You are getting older
If you remembered 11-15 = Don't tell your age,
If you remembered 16-25 = You're older than dirt!_


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Tip for Select Comfort Users

I have had allergy problems for years, especially when going to bed at night. Ten years ago we got a Select Comfort airbed, which really helped with a nagging back problem. We recommend the beds to our family and friends, may who bought them and were very happy with the results. Our number three daughter has a Select Comfort and similar allergy problems. She recently open the cover over the bladders and found the cavity covered in mold. We opened ours and found the bladders covered in mold, including the bolsters and part of the cover.

We called Select Comfort. They sent new parts, once we explained the problem, and we have reassembled the bed. If you have a Select Comfort, you may want to open the cover and check for mold.


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Monday, September 26, 2005

We caused the high gas prices

The Union Editorial Board, Our View: Gas tax waiver no solution, September 23, 2005
We're sorry. The federal government is, and has always been, a contributing factor to the rising costs of gasoline and a 30-day cease fire will do nothing to address the problem. Instead of focusing on short-term solutions, our congressman ought to be promoting conservation (through greater tax incentives, etc.) and demanding an investigation of the oil companies that are showing record profits amid consumer suffering.
We certainly agree, that short term solutions will not work. We need a long term strategy. If we need any investigations, it should be why the US refining capacity it at 98 percent of capacity. The free market only works, when there is excess supply to drive down prices. Yes, the government is at fault for allowing environmental wacko’s and NIMBY’s from delaying the building of new refineries. Yes, we are also at fault for allowing this to happen. We elected weak legislators who caved into the environmental community, accepting junk science to define non-existing problems.

It is happening now, in California we are allowing the State legislature to implement greenhouse gas regulations using junk science. This is going to cost car buyers $1,000 to $3,000 per vehicle, and each vehicle will be smaller and lighter than those on the road creating safety problems. Raising the price of transportation in California will drive more business to Nevada, Arizona, Idaho and Utah that do not allow junk science legislation.

Think about it, we are part of the problem. We are the government, we are the consumers. We are stock holders in the those evil oil companies. Those excess profits show up in our dividend statements. Sell your oil company stock and demand more refineries, demand that the government and environmental community stop constraining fuel production. Let the free market produce excess capacity, and gas prices will fall big time!

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Global Warming Update: Blair adopts Bush position

Blair falls into line with Bush view on global warming
By Geoffrey Lean and Christopher Silvester, The Independent
Published: 25 September 2005
Tony Blair has admitted that he is changing his views on combating global warming to mirror those of President Bush - and oppose negotiating international treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol.
Full story here.

It looks like economics is trumping junk science. Now if the Governor, would get his act together.

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

A Canadian point of view

This showed up in my e-mail and I wanted to share. My daughter boyfriend is from Canada, and we often have differing points of view on George Bush, and the United States' role in meeting the challenge of natural disasters. Here is another Canadian's point of view:
George Bush, the man David Warren. The Ottawa Citizen Sunday, September 11, 2005

There's plenty wrong with America, since you asked. I'm tempted to say that the only difference from Canada is that they have a few things right. That would be unfair, of course -- I am often pleased to discover things we still get right. But one of them would not be disaster preparation.

If something happened up here, on the scale of Katrina, we wouldn't even have the resources to arrive late. We would be waiting for the Americans to come save us, the same way the government in Louisiana just waved and pointed at Washington, D.C. The theory being that, when you're in real trouble, that's where the adults live.

And that isn't an exaggeration. Almost everything that has worked in the recovery operation along the U.S. Gulf Coast has been military and National Guard. Within a few days, under several commands, finally consolidated under the remarkable Lt.-Gen. Russell Honore, it was once again the U.S. military efficiently cobbling together a recovery operation on a scale beyond the capacity of any other earthly institution.

We hardly have a military up here. We have elected one feckless government after another that has cut corners until there is nothing substantial left. We don't have the ability even to transport and equip our few soldiers. Should disaster strike at home, on a big scale, we become a Third World country. At which point, our national smugness is of no avail.


From Democrats and the American Left -- the U.S. equivalent to the people who run Canada -- we are still hearing that the disaster in New Orleans showed that a heartless, white Republican America had abandoned its underclass.

This is garbage. The great majority of those not evacuated lived in assisted housing and receive food stamps, prescription medicine and government support through many other programs. Many have, all their lives, expected someone to lift them to safety, without input from themselves. And the demagogic mayor they elected left, quite literally, hundreds of transit and school buses that could have driven them out of town parked in rows, to be lost in the flood.

Yes, that was insensitive. But it is also the truth; and sooner or later we must acknowledge that welfare dependency creates exactly the sort of haplessness and social degeneration we saw on display, as the floodwaters rose. Many suffered terribly, and many died, and one's heart goes out. But already the survivors are being put up in new accommodations, and their various entitlements have been directed to new locations.

The scale of private charity has also been unprecedented. There are yet no statistics, but I'll wager the most generous state in the union will prove to have been arch-Republican Texas and that, nationally, contributions in cash and kind are coming disproportionately from people who vote Republican. For the world divides into "the mouths" and "the wallets."

The Bush-bashing, both down there and up here, has so far lost touch with reality, as to raise questions about the bashers' state of mind.


Consult any authoritative source on how government works in the United States and you will learn that the U.S. federal government's legal, constitutional, and institutional responsibility for first response to Katrina, as to any natural disaster, was zero.


Notwithstanding, President Bush took the prescient step of declaring a disaster, in order to begin deploying FEMA and other federal assets, two full days in advance of the storm fall. In the little time since, he has managed to co-ordinate an immense recovery operation -- the largest in human history -- without invoking martial powers. He has been sufficiently presidential to respond, not even once, to the extraordinarily mendacious and childish blame-throwing.


One thinks of Kipling's poem "If," which I learned to recite as a lad, and mention now in the full knowledge that it drives postmodern leftoids and gliberals to apoplexy -- as anything that is good, beautiful, or true:

If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise .

Unlike his critics, Bush is a man, in the full sense presented by these verses. A fallible man, like all the rest, but a man.

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What the hell?

What is going on at the Union? Pat Butler, the editor, posts a teasers on his web log to an a Other Voices, by Grass Valley Mayor Tassone. Yet the online version does not appear on the Union Web site, nor any of the other letters to the editor. I post to the Editors Blog, chiding them for not posting the online version, and asking who is responsible for the web site on the week ends. No answer, my post just disappears. The web log comments would not let me log in as Russ, and I had to post anonymously, but I put my e-mail address in the post. No responded to the comment or to the e-mail. Maybe on Monday?

In the mean time Anna, at NCFocus, has some interesting comments on The Union Blog.

What is your experiences? Is the new blog an improvement? Who cares?

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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Old news and opinions at the Union

For unknown reasons, The Union online edition was not fully posted this morning. Only one or two articles, and one Other Voices. Will check back latter.

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Friday, September 23, 2005

More depleted uranium bunkum

Tom "Rio" Lambie, promotes the "Saturday's march takes aim at another war," September 23, 2005

Rio'a statement below is just a lot of bunkum. Why do anti-war left keep promoting this misinformation?
In reality, we are the ones using the weapons of mass destruction in the form of depleted uranium munitions on the unfortunate citizens of Iraq, on our own soldiers, and ultimately on people all over the world. We are the ones who feel somehow justified in telling every other nation on earth what to do.
Details here, here and here.

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For writers wanting swifter federal hurricane aid

This article at The American Thinker should help letter writers that do not understand the laws governing State/Federal relationship under the Posse Comitatus Act, and the Stafford Act.
Hurricane Katrina revealed the need for a much better ability to respond to the possible catastrophes - natural or man-made - which may hit our major cities. On Thursday, September 15, in the wake of Katrina, President Bush said:

“It is now clear that a challenge of this scale requires greater federal authority and a broader role for the armed forces – the institution of our government most capable of massive logistical operations on a moment’s notice.”

But you can’t do that, opined columnists and pundits. Any broader role for the armed forces would violate the Posse Comitatus Act. And then with the assuredness of a gambler with aces up a sleeve, they would cite that Act:

“Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.” (Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1385)

Simply put: a president is barred by law from deploying federal troops to the several states in a law enforcement role. That is why President Bush asked Governor Blanco of Louisiana to mobilize the Louisiana National Guard and formally ask for federal assistance, only to have her demur for 24 hours.
The phrase posse comitatus, translated from Medieval Latin, means “power or force of the county.” Derived from British Common Law, it refers to a body of men whom a sheriff can raise to help keep the peace.
If Blanco was screaming for help, she sure took her time. (Emphasis mine)

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Unsolicited medical advice

“Dramma, Drampa’s arm hurts. Dramma, why does Drampa’s arm hurt?”

At just three, my granddaughter is concerned about why my right arm is hurting. She is the spitting image of her mother, and gets concerned when some one is hurting, just like her mom at three.

Oh, my advice. Do not get your pneumococcal shot, the day before showing up for a baby sitting gig.
When you are watching three year olds, you need both arms.

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Busy Day

Ellen and I are watching our grandkids for the next few days. Blogging will depend on how much free time grandpa has. We will return to the regular schedule on Monday.



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Again feelings overcomes thinking

Joan Field thinks it is "Time to focus on basic needs of people," but lapses into an anti war screed, September 22, 2005
Our country is looking at a disaster that measures up to anything that weapons of mass destruction could have done.
She is talking about Katrina, not Rita which is smashing in to Texas. Which seems to be better prepared to handle the evacuation of citizens.
I have full confidence in the generosity of Americans and the Red Cross and Rescue Workers and volunteers who are speeding to help the people who need our help. The responsibility we feel to our fellow citizens was deepened by our shock at the 9/11 attacks by foreign terrorists. Now a natural disaster has dwarfed anything that has happened in this country to date. Why isn't our federal government able to respond with immediate food, water, medicine, medical personnel, law enforcement and National Guard troops, ships, boats, planes? With days of hurricane warnings of potentially massive force, wouldn't you think that local, state and federal agencies would do a "heads up" on supplies and emergency personnel available, just in case? Did Homeland Security look at the port cities of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi and provide training and emergency evacuation plans? Where did the federal emergency planning funds go?

Yes, Homeland Security sent money for planning and training to State Disaster Preparedness agencies. In may cases this money was spent on high tech toys, not on basic systems. In New Orleans case, the money sent for evacuation planning over a four year period, but it was spend on the Lake Pontchartrain causeway, not on evacuation planning. Now why was this redirection of funds the federal governments fault?

In Houston, it only took two days to convert a stadium in to a functioning city for survivors, because the state and city, had propositioned supplies. The Superdome, which was to be a shelter, did not have any propositioned supplies. The LA Home Land Security blocked the Red Cross from taking supplies to the Superdome, and that is blamed on FEMA? President Bush?

Governor Blanco had 75 percent of the LA National Guard she could call up, and support agreements with Texas for more troops. The Navy and Coast Guard had propositioned ships and were rescuing hundreds with in hours, but the need overwhelmed these forces. If New Orleans had been evacuated, maybe the the propositioned forces could have handled the situation. We will know once the after action report is prepared.

As I read this and other letters, I am amazed how many people let their anti-Bush, antiwar feelings get ahead of their rational thinking. We are a nation of laws, in some cases states rights laws constrain what the federal government can do, until asked. Yet, years of federal government handouts have created a nanny nation. Everything is the federal governments fault! If we want instant federal action, we need to change the states rights laws

Yes, FEMA was slower in responding than people would like, but slow relative to what? They responded faster than they had in other major hurricane disasters in the past, but not as fast as many would like.

As Rita comes ashore, lets see how Texas handles the problems that beset Louisana. Texans can carry guns, so looting will be much less. There is less corruption in Texas, and it is Republican. History will be the final arbitrator.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Incentives produce results

Western Nevada County has a Regional Transportation Mitigation program, which was crafted under the provisions of AB-1600 in 2000. AB-1600 requires new development pay for the demands it places on local infrastructure. You can find fee program details here, scroll to the heading “Regional Transportation Mitigation Fee” heading in the pdf document.

The Transportation Commission spent an hour or more today trying to find a fair increase to the mitigation fee program, as more demands are placed on the local transportation infrastructure. The basic problem is that fees for commercial development have risen so high in Zone 8 (Grass Valley), they are increasing the risk for commercial development. The aggregation of mitigation fees, permits, and construction costs make build commercial buildings a risky business decision. This could stifling economic growth in the County. According to Nevada County Contractor’s Association, “the new fee program is a business killer.”

The Commission agreed to approve the proposed increased fees, with an immediate review of the fees to find a more equitable distribution between, commercial business construction and private homes. While homes pay lower fees, based on traffic zones, they are major contributors to traffic congestion. As you can see in the reference document, the private home fees are less than one half of one percent of a homes cost. Commercial building are contributing about 5 percent about of the total building costs. This would rise to 10 percent, killing future business development.

Raising the fee on private homes will make affordable, or work force, housing more expensive. Here we find an opportunity for incentives. We need more low cost housing, so the County and Cities could lower mitigation fees for affordable and workforce housing, while raising the fees for large single family residences to one or two percent of the total value. This will provide an incentive to builders to focus on lower cost housing.

We need to solve the growing traffic congestion problems created by new development, without killing economic development. Who should pay the most, the business that attract consumers, or the consumers who use the business services? I am interested in your thoughts.

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Peak Oil Update: Big time bloggers discover shale oil

We have been blogging on shale oil for months now. The big guns, Instapudit and Austin Bay are commenting on the oil industries interest in shale oil. All the posts may have been generated by the Rocky Mountain News article we highlighted below.

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Peak Oil Update: Seeking shale oil

From the Rocky Mountain News
Eight U.S. companies have filed applications with the federal government to lease land in Colorado for oil-shale development, a sign that oil producers again are ready to gamble some 23 years after the last boom went bust.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the arm of the Interior Department that manages federal lands, has received 10 drilling applications, including three from Shell and one each from Exxon Mobil and Chevron. The companies want to develop technologies to extract oil from shale on 160-acre federal tracts in Rio Blanco County in northwestern Colorado.
The price of oil is now high enough to make it profitable. In twenty years, the Middle East will be buying our oil.

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Union Letter writer comments

This morning, I posted my comments directly on the Union letter writers page, one example here. This is a great feature, that more pople should use to give letter writers some direct feedback. My only regret is the number of folks unwilling to give their names when commenting. If you have strong convictions, then stand behind them. Why be a coward and post anoymously?

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Monster Storm Update: It is a normal cycle

Heads up Union Letter writers:
The current cycle of heavy hurricanes blowing across the Atlantic Ocean probably will continue for another 10 to 20 years as a result of natural weather patterns not global warming, the head of the National Hurricane Center told the US Congress.

"We believe this heightened period of hurricane activity will continue ... as tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic is cyclical," Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, said at a congressional hearing.
Full Yahoo News article here.

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Mars glaciers melting at prodigious rate

From a Reuters story here.
Malin said images of Mars' southern polar cap showed that scarps formed there are retreating at "a prodigious rate" of about 10 feet per Mars year. Mars years are nearly twice as long as Earth years.

The images, documenting changes from 1999 to 2005, suggest the climate on Mars is presently warmer, and perhaps getting warmer still, than it was several decades or centuries ago just as the Earth experienced its own Ice Ages. Malin said scientists had no explanation yet as to why Mars might be warming.
How could it be that Mars is warming, no humans generating greenhouse gasses on Mars? Could Mars be recovering from it's own mini-ice age? Could it be the sun is warming the Earth and Mars? Hummmm.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

More business WiFi

A study shows that Wi-Fi services will bring in big bucks. Full story at CNet.
Worldwide revenue from wireless network services will more than triple over the next four years, according to a report released Tuesday by In-Stat.
If you would like to know which business in Western Nevada County have WiFi, go to the ERC Web site and click on the “SDL, Cable, Wireless and More” button. They have a list of business supporting WiFi access for customers, including the cities of Nevada City and Grass Valley.

I would like WiFi at my car dealer when I am having my car serviced, at the drug store while waiting for my perscription to be filled, heck anywhere I have to wait for service it would be nice. Where would you like your wireless access?

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Time for some climate research accountability

Dr. David Legates, an associate professor and director of the Center for Climatic Research at the University of Delaware, asks an important question in a National Post Op-Ed.

If greenhouse gas global warming advocates want a change in energy policy, should they be held as accountable as the energy business which they want to change?
Since the House energy committee is responsible for energy policy, it has every right to demand additional scrutiny for studies upon which energy policy is being made. Failing to disclose data or methods is not an acceptable option when energy policy is at stake. Moreover, since Mann was the author of the section of the IPCC that touted his own research before others had the opportunity to critically re-examine his work, serious questions must be raised about conflicts of interest within the IPCC and how it came to promote speculative findings that had not been independently evaluated and which since have been shown to be flawed.

The outrage expressed by the AGU, AMS and other scientific societies is hypocritical. Funding for climate science amounts to several billion dollars a year, but these groups strongly protest the accountability that goes with it. Both the AGU and AMS have adopted statements calling on the United States to change its energy policies in light of the climate-change issue. Yet while they insist that this research be the basis for policy decisions, they object to its scrutiny by policymakers.

In this instance, the House energy committee has uncovered a real problem in science — one that extends far beyond the climate-change issue. Scientists must demand that results and conclusions stand up to independent verification. Yet since the climate-change community has failed to impose such standards on itself, it cannot be surprised if legislators have opted to do the job for them.
Climate change research is worth several billions a year to Universities and researchers. If global warming is a natural long term cycle, then there is little we can do about it and atmospheric and greemhouse gas research will dry up. A different set of disciplines, will be funded as we seek ways to adapt to this new warmth. It is in the best interest of the atmospheric scientists to continue to promote greenhouse global warming. The question is what is best for America? It is time for some accountability, these billions on global warming research can be better spent on finding ways to adapt.

Full Op-Ed at Climate Audit here.

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New Economic Developer in town

Tomorrow is Charles “Chuck” Neeley’s first day as Western Nevada County’s new economic developer. He is replaced Larry Burkhardt, the former ERC President/CEO, who took a position in Colorado, after nine years of successful economic development in our area. Chuck is an Air Force Brigadier General, who retired 1 August 2005. Details on his successful career path can be found here. Not many navigators make star rank in an organization dominated by pilots. This could indicate he is one smart dude.

We wish Chuck the best in his new position. He faces two major challenges. He has to hone his economic development skills while learning about the complexity of our local politics. At the same time, he can bring a fresh view to local economic development without the political baggage of having been associated a specific local organization. Let's hope he can pick up and sustain the momentum generated by Larry in the first half of the year. He will need community support to get his own brand of economic development launched, so give him a hand if you can.

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Where do they get their misinformation?

Fredric a frequent poster to this blog raises a question:
Russ, you can post graph after graph as you may, but the fact is that we are laymen and very likely to miss vital facts. When scientists provide conclusions and reasoning, I don't go through all of the data and graphs again myself.
What do layman read? The reports published in the newspaper? On TV? Science magazines? What do the hysterical climate change folks read? I can assure you that most reporters do not read the whole report, or they intentionally leave out key material that does not fit their agenda.

Let me show you the problem with an example, give the latest report on hurricane strength report by Webster, which is creating headlines about increasing storm strenghts in the Atlantic Basin. Analysis is done by Roger Pielke at Climate Science:
Finally, the same analysis, as shown by Pat Michaels , when applied to an earlier time period (starting in 1945) than in the Webster et al. Science study, indicates that a high proportion of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes also occurred then.

000

Webster et al. do appear to recognize this issue. The Science article concludes with the statement (referring to the trend towards more frequent and intense hurricanes),

“This trend is not inconsistent with recent climate model simulations that a doubling of CO2 may increase the frequency of the most intense tropical cyclones, although the attribution of the 30-year trends to global warming would require a longer global data record and, especially, a deeper understanding of the role of hurricanes in the general circulation of the atmosphere and ocean, even in the present climate state”.
This qualification of their work was lost when the news media highlighted in their reports.
My highlights. Here we have Webster et al qualifying their work. Yet the headlines, and the stories, omit this key point: Webster's findings do not support the current models and a longer trend analysis is required for a deeper understanding to the problem. Did that come out in any of the newspaper articles? None that I could find.

So, if the “lets fix global warming now” advocates, our State Legislators, and Governor get their information from the newspapers, or web sites quoting the newspaper, without reading the full science report, or if commentors to this blog can not take the time taking to understand the graphs of real data, they cannot understand the whole global warming story. Is this on purpose or just lazyness?

Are we being fed misinformation by people who only grasp part of the story! Or, do they have an agenda for ignoring the qualifications at end of published scientific articles?

Science includes a lot of uncertainty, which is often ignored in the press and some blog readers.

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Monday, September 19, 2005

Global Warming Update: NASA Sats to collect cloud data

NASA’s CloudSat, will go up around 26 October 2005 to study clouds and their impact on our long term weather patterns, part of the Presidents Climate Change Review Program. Cloudsat will look at the internal structure of clouds, kind of a cat scan for clouds structures. The data will enable scientists to refine current climate change models. Clouds control how much energy flows in from the sun and out to into space through the atmosphere. They are the the doorway to climate change.

Scientist do not know enough about clouds to model this doorway for the climate models being used by the climate change alarmists hoging the news In two years scientist will have vital modeling data, for these models. Part of my climate change skepticism is based on the lack of real world cloud data in the current climate change models. How often do you see clouds? Only 15 percent of the earths air is clear of clouds, with 85 percent with some cloud cover. Would you trust a model that ignored 85 percent of the sky? Really?

CALIPSO will also be launched on the same mission, and will provide vital data on aerosols. Aerosols also reflect sun light and provide a host for water vapor to form rain drops and ice pellets. We know very little about these vital parts of the earths climate management systems. Where do the come from, how high do they go, and how many are in the air. Again scientists need more data to accurately model future climate change. Data that is currently not available to accurately model climate change. Again, current climate models do not have this vital aerosol data.

So, in the next two to three years we will have more accurate data on how the atmosphere modulates the earths energy cycle. A vital component to climate change predictions which have been missing in current predictions of global warming. Hummmm.

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Sheep at the roadside

The Union replace our open paper boxes with these boxes in the picture. They look like a herd of sheep at the roadside, bleating at the passing cars. What is the purpose of the doors, if they are always open?

”Mail-box-pictures"

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Peak Oil Update: DoD interested in coal

‘The new Kuwait’ Could W.Va. be sitting on the answer to the energy crisis?, September 18, 2005
Charlston Gazette, By Joe Morris Business Editor
A major fuel reserve in West Virginia is capable of gushing the equivalent of half the oil under the ground in Iraq, but no one is yet willing to build the refinery that will get the stuff tank-ready.

Read the full story here. The DoD is interested in developing this new source.

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Let's adapt

Mindy Oberne in "It's heating up," September 19, 2005
Please wake up to the fact that global warming is here. It may be too late already, but let's be smart and try to do what we can.
Yes, the world is getting warmer, but there is no conclusive proof that we can do anything about it. Some scientists claim it is CO2. Others claim it is the sun’s energy output. Others claim it is 2,000 years of agriculture which produce methane from animal flatulence and rotting plants as the cause. The notion that we can do anything about it, requires we know what to do. This is especially true when we get reports like the one below, that cherry picks the data to make a political point. Who are we to believe?

As the world warms, regardless of the cause, we need to prepare. We need to adapt as man has for millions of years, as the earth warmed and cooled multiple times. We are here today because our ancestors adapted. We can too.

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Global Warming Update: cherry picked data debunked

Global Warming and Hurricanes: Still No Connection
By Patrick Michaels, at Tech Central Station
A scientific team led by Peter Webster of the Georgia Institute of Technology today published findings in Science magazine. The team claimed to have found evidence in the historical record of both more tropical cyclones, such as Hurricane Katrina, but also a higher percentage of more intense ones.


This follows on the heels of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Kerry Emanual proclaiming in the Aug. 4 on-line edition of Nature magazine that he had found evidence that global warming in the last 30 years was producing more intense cyclones.

The conclusion many draw from papers such as these is that anthropogenic global warming from the burning of fossil fuels by humans is causing more lethal storms. A closer look, though, reveals not human actions but rather natural cycles are the primary cause.

Dr. Michaels presents the graphs of frquency and intensity starting in 1945, when the Hurricane Hunter program started, to the present. You can see that the current hurricane frequency and intensity are all part of a larger pattern. If you start in 1970, Webster gets an uptrend. Look at the whole record you get normal variation pattern. Hummm. This is real science?

Dr Michaels after presenting the charts for you to see, concludes:
While the impacts of the currently active hurricane period are being felt especially hard in the United States, there remains no scientific proof that human contributions to an enhanced greenhouse effect are the root cause.

Full report with the charts here.
UPDATE: Climate Science has additional data and confirmation for the above article here.

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Talk about a class less liar!

AFP reports:
Breaking with tradition under which US presidents mute criticisms of their successors, Clinton said the Bush administration had decided to invade Iraq "virtually alone and before UN inspections were completed, with no real urgency, no evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction."
Before writing letters to the editor, or posting comments to this blog check out these bits of truth at Power Line.

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Not sure why?

The Union failed to post the Tassone Other Voices discussing the Lamphere departure online. Pat Butler made reference to it in his editorial, but it is not online. Reading the dead tree version, the Mayor has it right. It is all about the responsibility of the planning commission position. Read the paper.

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Most of mold in Louisiana is between the ears

Maybe this is one of the reason things did not go well in New Orleans. It also supports my earlier post that corruption in New Orleans was a contributing cause to the devastation.

From the LA Times.
Senior officials in Louisiana's emergency planning agency already were awaiting trial over allegations stemming from a federal investigation into waste, mismanagement and missing funds when Hurricane Katrina struck. And federal auditors are still trying to track as much as $60 million in unaccounted for funds that were funneled to the state from the Federal Emergency Management Agency dating back to 1998.
Maybe New Orleans could have used this $60 million to get those emergency generators out of the basements of public buildings that were below sea level. Move hospital emergency generators to the roof in a city below sea level. Move the police emergency communication center out to the basement of a building prone to flooding. As an trusted friend said, "most of the mold in Louisiana is between the leaders ears.?

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Thoughts on community volunteer firings

Terry Lamphier discusses his firing in an "Other Voices: A few comments on ‘yesterday’s news’," September 17, 2005

After my firing, I was very tempted to take the low road and, using the city’s own documents regarding procedures and Code of Conduct, systematically take apart the City Council and the planning commission chair’s behavior, process, arguments and conclusions resulting in my firing. I will simply leave it at that:

a) it would be easy to do and:

b) the Council took the best action that they could — allowing me my “day in court” would have been even more damaging to them than the action they took of denying me due process and;

c) these people know what they did (look at additional information about the situation at The Union’s Web site or simply look at the Council tape and observe the body language of the Council members who voted me off). They will have to live with it — and my conscience is clear.

I have had many disagreements, in this blog and in a string of Other Voices, over the years with Terry and his antigrowth agenda. He often got his facts twisted, or ignored the facts on how over time people act, vice how he would like them to act. This is especially true in regards to public transportation, dependence on bike trails by a seniors, and the need for auto parking to service the thousands living in the county. He seemed to be more of an obstacle than an working team member. We do not need a commissioner with an agenda, other than a commitment to serve the people of Grass Valley.

However, I know how Terry feels having once been fired in the 1990 from the Transportation Commission on trumped up conflict interest charges by Supervisors. We both served at the pleasure of the board. A simple letter thanking us for our services, and the board would like a new replacement would have done the job. But, boards and councils seem to need public justification for their action. So the kabuki dance they go through for public consumption, before dismissing community volunteers. I vowed to come back, so can Terry.

I look forward to Terry’s future Other Voices, so the public can see the thinking of no-growthers in the community. It is unfortunate nogrowth resistance is more about what they do not want in the community, vice a vision for the kind of community we would like to build over the next twenty years. We truly need a grand vision beyond the General Plan, a vision we can build to, rather than a binder of restraining rules.

I agree with Terry on one thing. Get involved!

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Friday, September 16, 2005

Thoughts about the war on terror for letter writers

Some useful comments for the anti-war crowd in the Union Letters to the Editor by Thomas Barnett, author of the Pentagons New Map and Blueprint For Action. He is enjoying super access at the Pentagon and the Washington Think Tanks. You too should pay attention!

From Tom’s weblog:
I know, I know. We're "losing" the Global War On Terror. We've "lost" Iraq. We've "lost" Afghanistan.

Except it's the Middle East that's in the turmoil of civil strife and political change.

Except we have been quite successful in nation-building in both Shiite Iraq and Kurdistan (two out of three is not only not bad, it's awfully good).

Except we're likely to be pulling troops out of both Iraq (as Iraqi forces continue to step up) and Afghanistan (NATO back-fill-still to be negotiated but looking okay) over the course of next year.

Rest assured this will all be described by some as "defeat," "failure," "retreat," and so on. [Make note letter writers, I will be watching]

Except Saddam is gone.

Except the Taliban won't be coming back to power.

Except women are experiencing unprecedented freedom in Afghanistan.

Except Pakistan is moving toward peace and economic integration with India.

Except Saudi Arabia has a new king promising reform after the first local elections in seven decades.

Except Syria's army is out of Lebanon.

Except Israel is out of Gaza and getting out of the West Bank.

Except Egypt's new PM is radically reforming their economy.

Except Turkey is learning to live with Kurdistan.

Except the Iraqi Shiites have deferred from civil war with the Sunnis-for now.

Except moderate regimes in the region have never been more stable.

Except oil flows without interruption (which is good, given the constant demand pressure from rising Asia).

Except foreign direct investment into the region has roughly doubled from its pre-Iraq war levels.

Except Al Qaeda has managed no direct attacks against the homeland, being restricted to the geographic reach pattern of Middle East terrorists from the 1970s and 1980s (blow up stuff at home, reach into Europe).

Rest assured, this will all be judged by many as meaningless "incidentals." [Make note letter writers, I will be watching]

Rest assured, we are told terrorist acts are up globally (Except that's primarily a function of counting all insurgency acts in Iraq as terrorism. Which is it? A war (when we're "losing")? An insurgency (when we're "playing on their terms")? Just terrorism (when Al Qaeda is described as "growing")? Whichever one makes you feel worst.)

All of America's wars have sucked in the present tense. Go back and read the accounts on any of them.

Also go back and read how our opponents in each fought more vociferously as time went on.

That was then, this is now.

History can be a funny thing, though.

Harry Truman was one pathetic loser in his time: totally a product of a corrupt political machine, failed businessman, squeaking by in his only election, managed only a "tie" in his one war, sacked America's "best" general, belittled from all sides for his lack of style and vision and intellect, got America trapped in a long Cold War with an obviously "superior" foe, certainly one of our weakest presidents . . .

That was then, this is now.

Two big issues remain in the Middle East, of course: Sunni Iraq with its insurgency (part Baathist, part Al Qaeda/foreign fighters), and our obsession with Iran's quest for the bomb.
They are intimately connected. Iran is a spoiling factor in Iraq. Remove that spoil, weaken the insurgency, keep the ball rolling on the Big Bang.

We have got to get more imaginative on Iran.

I know, I know. I should give up on Bush. I should spend every blog from here to 20 January 2009 lambasting the man for every failing. I've voted Democrat my entire life and I'm proud of that.

But I just can't give up on the man, nor our military, nor our government, nor the next three years. They all matter too much. [Make note letter writers]

Never gave up when working with Bush the Elder's crowd. Not with Clinton's people through all eight years-even during the impeachment trials and tribulations. Won't do so now with George. [Make note letter writers]

It all simply matters too much.

And when it stops mattering that much, I will quite writing, because I will quite being useful.


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Lack of honest Katrina reportng

Victor Davis Hanson has some thought on the role of the press in presenting a negative image of Katrina, and the lack of honest reporting.
Was it too much to ask reporters to look to history to judge this recovery against other past disasters here and abroad? Could they have strived for accuracy instead of ratings — and at least made sure that the images from their cameras did not refute their own predetermined scripts?
Full op-ed here.

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What did go right at Katrina?

Katrina, What Went Right
By Lou Dolinar, September 15, 2005
With body recovery teams in New Orleans finding far fewer than the expected 10,000 to 25,000 dead, despite the flooding of 80 percent of the city, it is time to ask: What went right?
Largely invisible to the media's radar, a broad-based rescue effort by federal, state and local first responders pulled 25,000 to 50,000 people from harm's way in floodwaters in the city. Ironically, FEMA's role, for good or ill, was essentially non-existent, as was the Governor's and the Mayor's. An ad-hoc distributed network responded on its own. Big Government didn't work. Odds and ends of little government did.

Full story at Real Clear Politics here.

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More leadership needed

Sue Minick, wants answers about the "Debacle after Katrina," September 16, 2005
What is going on? This is America. Tell me why our government and our leader, Bush, did not help the people from the Katrina and flood disaster for days after it happened. These people did not have any food or medical supply for days.
Our government response was bound up in laws designed to protect states rights. The Governor has to ask for federal help, which she did not do until days after New Orleans flooded. That law needs to be changed, if the citizens want instant federal rescue action. Red Cross food and water was waiting with in hours of the hurricane passing. The LA emergency response organizations, unfortunately called LA Homeland Security, would not let the Red Cross and the Salvation Army enter the city and service those in the Superdome.

It is clear that FEMA was slow to respond, too much paper work put in place, layer after layer over the years. Volunteers cannot server until full trained. That means doctors have to have first aid training course. Fire fighters and policemen must have sensitivity training, to insure woman and gays are treated equally. Yes, it sounds stupid when people are dying and need help, but bureaucrats are trained to follow the rules. It is job protection. We see it locally in County and City government.

The President has taken responsibility for the slow FEMA response, now it is time for LA Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin, to step up take responsibility for leaving thousands in the city when bus and plans inplace to remove poor citizens. They need to explain why one third of New Orleans police force abandoned their posts, why a city below sea level allowed hospitals to put emergency generators in the basement, why the police emergency communication center was in the city hall basement? Why were cell tower emergency generators sited below sea level. Why did levee boards spend money on casinos, airports and fiber optics, and not on strengthening the levees. There is a lot of responsibility to go around.

The President described his plan for resuscitation and recovery of New Orleans, and we will a pay the bill for the lack of leadership at all levels of government. We need to take a serious look at local responders to see if we have some foolish rules pushed by well meaning liberals that would delay actions to save lives.

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

The PoliPundit Asks

Was “Global Warming” a Problem Back in 1893? Answer is here.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Tut Review

We had a good day at the LA County Museum of the Arts, with Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs. It was an excellent well thought out display, highly recommended if you are interested in Egyptian history. The display is at the LACMA until November 15th. Details here.

We stayed at the Santa Clarita Hampton Inn, then drove into LA in the morning. Santa Clarita is an interesting town along I-5 about 45 minutes from Wilshire Blvd. The town serves about 150,000 folks with a well developed modern downtown. Magic Mountain is on the edge of town, generating tourist revenue, so you will find typical fast food, plus some unique places. We had some great beer at BJs, a brewpub and restaurant in downtown.

We drive home tomorrow to relieve Hoover’s dog nanny and get back to work. No blogging until we get home. Overall, the Tut exhibit was well worth the drive to LA.

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New Orleans spent levee funding to create jobs

Blog scoops NBC on New Orleans Levee Board spending here. Airport, fountain, casino and fiber-optics, but none can hold back water.

(Thanks to Instapundit for links)

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Global Warming Update: Canadian river flow declines 10% in four-decades

Global warming climate models predict an increase flow in northern rivers. Global Warming advocates now claim a 100 year of global warming, with a significant increase in the last 50 years. Then tell me why is it that scientists cannot find the increased flow in northern rivers?
The results of this study [Déry, S.J. and Wood, E.F. 2005. “Decreasing river discharge in northern Canada.” Geophysical Research Letters] indicate there is nothing unusual about the four-decade trends in northern Canada river discharge rates, which is exactly the point: there is nothing in these trends that would suggest a fingerprint of global warming. If anything, the results of this study argue against the worrisome climate-alarmist notion, for state-of-the-art climate models predict global warming will enhance river discharge rates due to an enhanced hydrologic cycle. The trends observed here, however, are just the opposite; and it is clear that they are merely the products of natural variations in various natural phenomena.
Full report here in CO2 Science.

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"Service Unavailable"

I was planning to do some blogging on Union Letters to the Edior this evening, but the service is down. I can read the Front Page, but not the Letters.

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King Tut Calls

We are in LA for the King Tut exhibit. Blogging will be light until this evening.

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Liberal Democrats should answer the questions

Frederic Christie, raises "Race questions," September 14, 2005
But the writer ignored a vital bit of what the anti-racist left has been saying. It is not simply Bush's tepid response that invites criticism, though he should recognize that as long as he continues to offer reasoning such as "state's rights" for why his administration cut levee money and has been slow in offering aid, he will appear to many blacks as quite racist. It is the general racist system, which has denied blacks equal opportunity and kept them consistently impoverished and thus vulnerable to disasters.
As I have posted below, the liberal Democratic Clinton administration, the first “Black President,” cut the levee funds, claiming it was a state responsibility to protect it’s citizens from floods.

Has it occurred to anyone that the State and City of New Orleans have had liberal Democratic leadership for several generations. Why are black members of New Orleans still poor, under the leadership of these liberal leaders. Could it be the citizens lack initiative, due to the welfare society promoted by their democrat leaders.

Why are all the racist complaints coming from New Orleans, and not Mississippi and Alabama?

Could it be the failed levees are result of local leadership, that squandered the levee money they did get, buying casinos, pleasure boats, and airplanes?

Lets take a longer look at these failures. Lets get to the root of the problem. Lets get off the blame game.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Nevada County Topics is a new forum by superwimp

Hello,

My real name is John LeLange and I’m the one who will be moderating this forum. I live in Grass Valley. The reason I set up this forum is because when I first moved here KNCO had programming which enabled the community to express their views. Now, except for swap shop, and master gardeners, that opportunity no longer exists. Expressing your views in the opinion column of the Union is limited to once a month. There used to be an ncforum where we sent email comments to each other but that has disappeared. I therefore felt this webpage was needed and since the good folks at invisionfree did all the programming, I decided to start it.
Check it out here. Or, click on the link to the left.

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More local hate for the Bush family

Tom Finnerty shows his hate for President Bush in "Barbara steps over line," September 13,
Barbara Bush, after viewing thousands of refugees from New Orleans crowded for shelter in the Astrodome:

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this - this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."

She really said that. She really chuckled. I heard the audio recording.
Really? I listened to the audio and cannot hear any chuckle. Could it all be in Mr Finnity's imagination?

First the comment was extracted from a lengthier exchange in which Mrs. Bush expressed compassion for the Katrina refugees she had encountered. But, that did not stop Mr. Finnity from taking this quote out of context, and did others who want to damage the President. Second, this appears to be coordinated smear campaign, you can find Mr Finnerty’s words, or similar, on 1,269 web sites this morning.

You can down load the mp3 audio here. You tell me if you hear a chuckle? Is Mr. Finnerty just a Bush hater dupe?

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Monday, September 12, 2005

Insight from American Thinker by Christopher Chantrill

Why spent billions on equiping First Responders, when they lack effective leadership, it is a waste of money.
There is no doubt that the Bush administration made a big blunder in its planning for hurricane Katrina. It had planned for hurricane relief in which FEMA assisted the state and local governments in getting help where it was most needed, based on the assumption that local resources could hang on until 72 to 96 hours after the disaster. That is why ever since 9/11 state and local governments have been showered with federal funding as First Responders.

Where the feds failed was in planning for another contingency, one that, in hindsight, any fool should have thought of. They should have planned for dealing with dysfunctional state and local governments that had utterly failed to prepare or to execute their disaster recovery plans, or both, but like dysfunctional families were world champs in the blame game.

But how would the feds know when a local government was dysfunctional? Here is a clue. When the local officials yell: Send everything, communicating that they haven’t a clue, you switch to Plan B. When they yell: The President doesn’t care about black/poor people, it is already too late.

Full article here.

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Mark Steyn gets it

Looking for a Canadian perspective on Katrina being Bush's fault, click here.

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Peak Oil Update: In situ shale conversion

We have discussed shale oil production in the US in response to Peak Oil letters to the editor several times. Several people sent e-mails claiming the environmental damage was too high for shale oil. Shell oil has developed an on site extraction method, that does not require mining the shale. I found this article in the Rocky Mountain News several weeks ago, but lost the URL, so I do not have a link. [See link below]
Shell's method, which it calls "in situ conversion," is simplicity itself in concept but exquisitely ingenious in execution. Terry O'Connor, a vice president for external and regulatory affairs at Shell Exploration and Production, explained how it's done (and they have done it, in several test projects):

Drill shafts into the oil-bearing rock. Drop heaters down the shaft. Cook the rock until the hydrocarbons boil off, the lightest and most desirable first. Collect them.

Please note, you don't have to go looking for oil fields when you're brewing your own. On one small test plot about 20 feet by 35 feet, on land Shell owns, they started heating the rock in early 2004. "Product" - about one-third natural gas, two-thirds light crude - began to appear in September 2004. They turned the heaters off about a month ago, after harvesting about 1,500 barrels of oil.

While we were trying to do the math, O'Connor told us the answers. Upwards of a million barrels an acre, a billion barrels a square mile. And the oil shale formation in the Green River Basin, most of which is in Colorado, covers more than a thousand square miles - the largest fossil fuel deposits in the world.
Wow! We have enough oil for 200-300 years of consumption. More than enough time to develop alternatives.

UPDATE: Here is the the missing link.

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Global Warming Update: Facts damage cult standing

PHIL BECK writing in the Tasmanian, Cult of global warming hit, September 11, 2005

A PROMINENT marine scientist is angry that global warming is being presented as fact.

Prof Bob Carter, of the James Cook University in Queensland, who studies climate change over millions of years rather than decades, yesterday said there was no evidence that the small rise in temperature that occurred between 1970 and 2001 was unusual or dangerous.
"I question why global warming has become a religion and is presented as a fervent belief," Prof Carter said.

"It is relentlessly pushed by people who want to stir up alarm and who say there is consensus on the issue.

"There is no scientific consensus yet as we are not even close to achieving a general theory of climate change.
Read the full story here. Some highlights from studying seabed sediment cores:
- Planetary temperatures were several degrees warmer five million years ago than they are today.

- A gradual decline in temperature has occurred since, accompanied by increasingly large, cyclic, glacial and interglacial episodes that repeat every 40,000 or 100,000 years.

- Compared with the ancient climate record, modern temperatures are neither particularly high nor particularly fast-changing.
(Hat Tip to junkscience.com)

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Conventional wisdom is wrong in Katrina responce

Check out his Op-Ed in the Pittsburgh, PA Post-Gazette

Jack Kelly: No shame [Jack Kelly is Post-Gazette and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio security writer]
The federal response to Katrina was not as portrayed
Sunday, September 11, 2005
It is settled wisdom among journalists that the federal response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina was unconscionably slow.

"Mr. Bush's performance last week will rank as one of the worst ever during a dire national emergency," wrote New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in a somewhat more strident expression of the conventional wisdom.

But the conventional wisdom is the opposite of the truth.
You can get the truth by clicking here.

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Blame Game Update: I just cannot give up the hunt

This came via e-mail from a trusted family friend:
This is a article from a reporter in Merritt Is, FL, who's been
researching what went on before the storm hit!

I think that New Orlean's Major - Ray Nagin's pomp and posturing is
going to bite him hard in the near future as the lies and distortions of his interviews with the press are coming to light.

On Friday night before the storm hit Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane
Center took the unprecedented action of calling Mayor Nagin and LA Gov.
Blanco personally to plead with them to begin MANDATORY evacuation of New Orleans and was told: "they'd take it under consideration". This was after the NOAA buoy 240 miles south had recorded 68' waves before it was destroyed.

President Bush spent the Friday afternoon and evening prior to the storm
in meetings with his advisors and administrators drafting all of the paperwork required for a state to request federal assistance (and not be in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act or having to enact the Insurgency Act). Just before midnight
Friday evening the President called Governor Blanco and pleaded with her to
sign the request papers so the federal government and the military could
legally begin mobilization and call up. The President was told that the
Gov's staff and New Orleans Mayor didn't think it necessary for the federal government to be involved yet.

After the President's final call to the governor she held meetings with
her staff to discuss the political ramifications of bringing federal forces. It was
decided that if they allowed federal assistance it would make it look as if
they had failed so it was agreed upon that the feds would not be invited in.

Saturday before the storm hit the President again called Blanco and Nagin
requesting they please sign the papers requesting federal assistance, that
they declare the state an emergency area, and begin mandatory evacuation.
After a personal plea from the President Nagin agreed to order an
evacuation, but it would not be a full mandatory evacuation, and the
governor still refused to sign the papers requesting and authorizing federal
action. In frustration the President declared the area a national disaster
area before the state of Louisiana did so he could legally begin some
advanced preparations. Reports have it that the President's legal
advisers were looking into the ramifications of using the insurgency act to bypass the Constitutional requirement that a state request federal aid before the
federal government can move into state with troops - but that had not been
done since 1906 and the Constitutionality of it was called into question to
use before the disaster.

Throw in that over half the federal aid of the past decade to NO for levee
construction, maintenance, and repair was diverted to fund a marina and
support the gambling ships. Toss in the investigation that will look into
why the emergency preparedness plan submitted to the federal government for
funding and published on the city's website was never implemented and in
fact may have been bogus for the purpose of gaining additional federal
funding as we now learn that the organizations identified in the plan were
never contacted or coordinating into any planning - though the document
implies that they were.

The suffering people of NO need to be asking some hard questions as do we
all, but they better start with why Gov. Blanco refused to even sign the
multi-state mutual aid pack activation documents until Wednesday which
further delayed the legal deployment of National Guard from adjoining
states. Or maybe ask why Mayor Nagin keeps harping that the President
should have commandeered 500 Greyhound busses to help him when according to his own emergency plan and documents Nagin claimed to have over 500 busses at his disposal to use between the local school busses and the city transportation
busses - but he never raised a finger to prepare them or activate them.

This is a sad time for all of us to see that a major city has all but been
destroyed and thousands of people have died with hundreds of thousands more
suffering, but it's certainly not a time for people to be pointing fingers
and trying to find a bigger dog to blame for local corruption and
incompetence. Pray to God for the survivors that they can start their lives
anew as fast as possible and we learn from all the mistakes to avoid them in
the future.

Note the MSM has taken Nagin at his word. They will deny the egg on their faces, when all this blows up during the forthcoming investigations.

UPDATE: More examples of MSM failures here.

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Junk Journalism on display

An often asked question. Why do citizens no longer trust the main stream press? Why has journalism fallen lower and lower into an abyss of distortion and omission in the last few years. Read this analysis of Newsweeks coverage of Katrina and you will get a perfect example of why I have not read Newsweek since Kerry ran for President.

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