Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gila diversion pact signed in D.C.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced Monday afternoon that Secretary Sally Jewell signed the New Mexico Unit Agreement with the New Mexico Unit of the Central Arizona Project Entity, late in the day on the deadline date set forth by the Arizona Water Settlements Act. The executed agreement opens the door for a series of environmental reviews of a potential diversion of the Gila River. In a release, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science Jennifer Gimbel stressed that signing the agreement does not ensure a diversion, but greenlights the upcoming National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act and Historic Preservation Act review processes. These must be successfully completed before any final project could be approved. Those processes will not begin until the N.M. CAP Entity develops a 30 percent design of a proposed project. N.M. CAP Entity Chair Darr Shannon responded to the big news, saying simply, “The New Mexico CAP Entity will continue to move forward with diligence and integrity regarding the job we have before us.” Monday’s action comes after a lengthy period of negotiations between the N.M. CAP Entity — following their formation in August — and Interior regarding a list of supplemental terms required by Jewell, outlining the federal standards the project must meet and placing more responsibility on the CAP Entity. It also comes after the delivery of a petition signed by 5,400 opponents to a diversion, urging Jewell to not sign the agreement. Some of those opponents, while disappointed with the Interior secretary’s decision on Monday, were heartened by the importance placed on the upcoming environmental measures in the release...more

Global Warming Double Dipper Enriches Family With Tax Dollars

by Ethan Barton

A global warming crusader used a tax-exempt nonprofit to stuff his families’ pockets at the expense of taxpayers, according to a complaint filed with the Internal Revenue Service by two watchdog groups Tuesday.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute and Cause of Action filed a complaint asking the IRS to revoke the exempt status of the Institute of Global Environment and Society Inc. — a global warming advocate that has received over $60 million in federal grants.

The nonprofit’s founder and president is George Mason University Professor Jagadish Shukla, who was also the lead signatory of a Sept. 1 letter urging President Obama to investigate fossil fuel companies for deceiving “the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.”

The letter said the government should use the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act that is used to prosecute members of organized crime syndicates.

“It’s incredibly ironic that, while Dr. Shukla accuses global warming skeptics of deceiving the public, his own environmental organization has been pulling a fast one at taxpayer expense,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman. “His attempt to use RICO to silence public debate is groundless, and so is his organization’s tax-exempt status.”

Shukla was “double dipping” between his nonprofit and George Mason, according to the complaint.
“Evidence gleaned from public and IRS records tends to show that Dr. Shukla was compensated by George Mason University for time spent on IGES projects and vice-versa,” the complaint said. “It is not clear what work, if any, Dr. Shukla performs on behalf of IGES that is separate from his full-time work as a professor and director of the Climate Dynamics Program at George Mason University.”

For example, Shukla received $333,000 from IGES in 2014 for working 28 hours per week and was paid $314,000 by George Mason that same year. He earned $647,000 total in2014 between George Mason and IGES.

Meanwhile, IGES’ business manager and Shukla’s wife — Anastasia Shukla — received $166,000 in 2014, while his daughter, Sonia, is employed as their assistant at an undisclosed salary.

...Also, IGES received more than $3.8 million in government grants, which accounted for all of its contributions and all but nearly $14,000 of its total revenue, according to the complaint. That means Shukla and his family were actually paid mostly with tax dollars.

Hunting group encourages members to kill wolves, coyotes

Charlie Lasser has seen what wolves can do to cattle, and it's not pretty. "A wolf never kills one of my animals," said Lasser, a rancher near Chetwynd. "What it does, it hamstrings them, cuts the muscles in the back so they can't move their back end, and then it eats them alive. "They try to keep them alive as long as possible," he added. "They keep coming back and eating on it. They like good beef and they like fresh beef, they don't want that old rotten stuff." Faced with an uptick of predators in the South Peace, including wolves and coyotes, the Dawson Creek Sportsman's Club is encouraging its members to head into the bush and bag as many as legally allowed. The suggestion comes as the B.C. government plans to carry out its own cull of up to 160 wolves in the South Peace. In a recent newsletter, club president Andy Waddell told his members to "get out there and bag a few (predators) to help our moose, deer, and elk populations recover." "I'm hoping to (bag a few) myself," Waddell told the Alaska Highway News. Like hunters, ranchers are concerned about the issue. Large packs of wolves have been reported around the Groundbirch area, Waddell said, even taking down a full-grown Charolais bull in the community pasture—a $6,000 loss for that rancher, he said...more

2015 Brings Fewer Fires but More Damage to Ranchers in West

Wildfires have ravaged the drought-stricken Western U.S. this year, causing millions of dollars in damage and impacting the livelihoods of American ranchers. This past year of fires has been the second worst in a decade, ranking just behind the devastation of 2006 by just few thousand acres. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, fires from Jan. 1 to Oct. 30, 2015, have wiped out 9,407,571 acres of grazing land and forest. That’s equivalent to the landmass of New Hampshire and Connecticut combined and almost triple the damage seen in 2014 despite the fact that there actually have been fewer fires than normal in 2015. But the fires that have happened this year have been disastrous. The Soda Fire in southwest Idaho was one of the worst after it started on Aug. 10 when lightning struck. Nearly 280,000 acres, mainly Bureau of Land Management grazing land and some private property, was scorched black. An estimated 250 cattle were lost in the Soda Fire. These types of wildfires are becoming more commonplace, says Wyatt Prescott, executive vice president of the Idaho Cattlemen’s Association. These disasters also takes a toll on ranchers who have to find a way to feed their cattle immediately after the fire and impacts them for years to come. “Moving forward, ranchers will be chasing pasture all over the West trying to find enough to get them through until they get back on their range permits,” Prescott says. For public land grazers, that wait after a fire tends to be two years. During that time, the fuel load of brush undergrowth and grass makes the land just as susceptible another large fire. “From the cattle industry's perspective, it is just such a waste and shame that we see these catastrophic wildfires,” Prescott says. He adds that ranchers could utilize those resources by putting more cows on those at-risk lands...more

Cochise ranchers feel abandoned by D.C. on border issues

DOUGLAS – Border security is a hot topic on the presidential campaign trail, but Arizona ranchers who live near the border say they’ve been left out of the debate and forgotten by Washington lawmakers, who they say have done nothing about immigration reform. “In the federal government, there’s absolutely zero level of urgency,” said Ed Arshurst, a rancher in Cochise County. Arshurst’s ranch is 20 miles from the Arizona-Mexico border. A year ago he set up a camera system to capture images of the people who cut through his property. “See, this is dope,” Arshurst pointed to video images and photos of two men in camouflage clothing carrying large backpacks. “That traffic is no different, I’d say it has increased, although the government does not want people to know that,” Arshurst said. “You become numb to it, because there’s so much of it.” Cochise County shares 83 miles of border with Mexico. Although the number of undocumented workers crossing has declined, the region remains a major drug trafficking corridor. “We’ve had 51 trucks through our ranch in the last three and a half years, full of marijuana, full-size pickup, and hadn’t been caught,” said John Ladd, a rancher who is right on the border just west of Naco. “They’re cutting the steel wall down in the daytime, and driving three miles to the highway. Now you tell me that we have a secure border.” Ladd said he often sees smugglers or their lookouts on his ranch. Ranchers in Cochise County say they were promised more security five years ago after Robert Krentz was shot and killed on his ranch about 25 miles north of the border. “He called his brother on the phone, and he said there’s this illegal that looks like he’s sick, please call the Border Patrol,” said Susan Krentz, his wife. “That was the last time we heard of him. The next time we found him, he was already dead.” Robert Krentz’s murder remains unsolved. Border ranchers say they have had numerous meetings with lawmakers from Washington, including U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican who is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Sen. John McCain of Arizona. “But nothing has changed,” said Ladd...more

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

China ‘cloning factory’ to produce cattle, racehorses and pets

The world’s biggest animal “cloning factory” is due to open in China, producing one million calves a year, sniffer dogs and even genetic copies of the family pet. The £21 million “commercial” facility will edge the controversial science “closer to mainstream acceptance”, Chinese media said, following the development of a technique which began when Dolly the sheep became the first cloned mammal when she was born in Scotland in 1996. The centre may cause alarm in Europe, where the cloning of animals for farming was banned in September due to animal welfare considerations. But Xu Xiaochun, chairman of Chinese biotechnology company BoyaLife that is backing the facility, dismissed such concerns. “Let me ask one question. Was this ban based on scientific rationale or ethical rationale or political agenda?” Mr Xu told The Telegraph. “Legislation is always behind science. But in the area of cloning, I think we are going the wrong way and starting to kill the technology.” Interest in agricultural biotechnology has been rapidly increasing in China, where farmers are struggling to provide enough beef for the country’s growing middle classes. Prices of the meat are said to have tripled from 2000 to 2013. Mr Xu said his new facility will clone racehorses and a handful of dogs for people with “emotional ties” to their pets, but its main focus was producing cattle. The factory, which will include a 15,000 square metre laboratory, an animal centre, a gene bank and an exhibition hall, is currently being built in the port city of Tianjin, near Beijing, and is due to open in the first half of next year.

Second Wolf Incident Lends Credit To Wolf Attack Account

By Dean Weingarten

Wolf attacks are extremely rare, less common than mountain lion or bear attacks in North America.   It is not hard to understand skepticism about a hunter’s account of a wolf attack where he used a .380 pistol to successfully defend himself, in central Wisconsin.   The pistol used was a Walther PK.The Department of Natural Resources investigated.  They believed the account, but did not list it as a wolf attack, because there was no injury to the defending human.
The first wolf came in from the right, mouth open, fangs ready to rip into Nellesen’s leg. A swift kick from the man’s boot landed square on the wolf’s face and deflected the bite.
“That first wolf missed my leg by 8-10 inches,” he said.
The other two wolves weren’t far behind. As the next wolf leapt toward Nellessen, the man jumped back and was able to fire a single round into the animal. Nellessen was unsure of the lethality of the hit, but two wolves immediately retreated for the bush at the sound of the gunshot and the third limped away “like a gut-shot deer,” said Nellessen.
Another account from the same area lends credibility to Nellesen’s story.  A father and son were in the area for a youth deer hunt on October 10th, a little more than two weeks after the first incident.
That incident involved a father and son who had one wolf pass by them at about 10 feet and a following wolf come to within 5 feet before a shot was fired into the air, according to DNR Chief Warden Todd Schaller.
Both incidents occurred in the Colburn Wildlife Management Area,  which is located in Adams County, about 75 miles due north of Madison, Wisconsin.
Nellessen says this about the classification of his incident as “not an attack”:
“You do not have to be harmed to be attacked,” Nellessen said. “They can label it whatever they want to label it. I thought I was going to die and I had to defend myself. That first wolf’s teeth just missed my thigh. “I let the authorities know what happened. I took them to where it happened. I could have walked away and not said anything, but what if something would have happened to someone else? I had to report it.
WI: Second Wolf Incident Lends Credit To Wolf Attack Accountt
WI: Second Wolf Incident Lends Credit To Wolf Attack Account
The Department of Natural Resources temporarily closed two of the parking lots  for the management area.  Traps were set for wolves, but none were caught.  The DNR thought the incident serious enough that they had decided that any wolves caught would be euthanized.

Wolf attacks were common in Europe, with wolf attacks woven into legend and history.  Few wolf attacks have been documented in North America; there are no written records before the introduction of European civilization; certainly North American Indian legend considers wolves dangerous; but there are not “documented” attacks, as newspapers were non-existent.  Bernal Diaz, in “The Conquest of Mexico” mentions “wolves” as among the predators that were fed human flesh by the Aztecs; but that is not an attack, as such.

Most likely, attacks occurred, but simply were not recorded. With the arrival of Europeans, wolves were shot on sight, and quickly driven from areas that had established the rule of law.

c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Obamacare calorie rules brewing trouble for craft beer makers


Obamacare regulations could be brewing up trouble for small breweries wanting to grow.

Beginning next year, restaurant chains with more than 20 locations nationwide will be subject to new rules requiring calorie information on all menus. Restaurants will have to measure menu items made in-house, but when it comes to products such as beer — which are manufactured elsewhere and distributed to chains — the data must be shipped with the product.

Brewers are facing the prospect of spending potentially thousands to determine calorie counts for every variety of beer produced. Unless they spend the money to provide the information, breweries may never get their products into chain restaurants, like Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebee’s.

As is often the case with regulations, smaller breweries stand to lose the most.

“A regional craft brewer or a major brewery can spread the cost over a much larger volume of sales and it’s not so unreasonable for them,” said Paul Gatza, a former brewer who now heads the Boulder, Colorado, based Brewers’ Association, an industry group.

“Smaller guys that are just trying to sell a keg or two here or there, they have a decision to make on whether it is worth the additional cost to try to get their beers into chain restaurants,” Gatza told Watchdog.

The Food and Drug Administration is in the process of finalizing menu labeling rules that were part of the Affordable Care Act. Intended to make Americans more aware of their dietary choices, the rules are subject to controversy on several fronts, and the FDA announced in September that implementation of the new rules would be pushed back one full year, until December 2016, as the feds try to work out the kinks.

It's time to Bear Down

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Thankfully living the good life

 by Julie Carter

Pumpkins have lost their toothy grins and are now joined by turkeys, pilgrims holding platters of food and cornucopias spilling over with vegetable bounty.

If there is any doubt which season is headed your way, the commercialism of it will quickly bring it back to your recollection. No sooner did the garden supplies take the back row at the big box stores than the red and green sparkles of Christmas were front and center. It was August.

November has a way of sparking within us the need to remember the things that inspire us to be thankful. As a child in school, we were assigned to write “Why I am thankful” lists. Today, social media is flooded with those same lists from young and old alike, often in a daily missive for every day of the month.

Much of what I am thankful for in my life now comes from what those that came before me endured in hardships that I only heard about but haven’t personally endured.

We in this current world take our comforts so much for granted. We can't control the weather outside so we create climate-controlled environments inside and live there. As a civilization, we have invented enough forms of electronic entertainment to keep us mindlessly busy 24/7 and never notice what Mother Nature is doing outside. We have a gadget that will tell us if we need to know.

Each generation has a generation before it that lived a very different life with completely different challenges. My kids never knew what black and white TV looked like while I remember when the first one showed up at my grandparents' house. My grandparents remembered when radio was pretty exciting stuff second only to actually having the electricity to use it.

I could outline "hard times" lived by each generation in my family back to the immigration from the "old country." But today I'll just say I'm thankful for their tough mind sets and willingness to make do. Their survival allowed for my generation to be born.

My grandmother wrote about when she was only 18 and had just married my grandfather.

It was in 1930. They lived in a one-room cabin near a freshwater spring in the mountains of Southern Colorado. He worked at a sawmill too far away to travel daily so he left on Monday mornings not to return until Saturday night. They had a dog, a milk cow and very little food. 

She related that they survived on venison and not much else. She made cottage cheese from the cow's milk and my grandfather trapped for coyote, fox and bobcat to sell the furs to supplement a very meager income. 

During their first spring together, the thoughts of green vegetables from her carefully tended garden excited her so. Then in the first week in July, there came a hard freeze and her rows of vegetable plants turned black. She fell to the ground and cried but not for long. She simply started over. That fall she was blessed with a bountiful harvest in spite of the very late start.

My grandmother wrote, "They were years of very hard times, but the memories are sweet and precious. We raised our kids on beans, love and poached venison. Looking back I see just how little material things mattered. Survival and family were what life was all about. Sixty years later, it still is."

Imagine an 18-year-old of today living with so few resources. Survival meant food and shelter, not the latest fashion in belly-button revealing clothes or owning the newest version of the coolest phone.
I’m fairly certain my grandchildren will find no sacrifice in my living today. There isn’t any.

Our "hard times" are so truly relative to the times we live in. Her life gave me a solid perspective on mine. That is what I wish for the generation after me to understand.

Thankfully living and thankfully blessed, Julie can be reached for comment at

WAR!! and a warm horse

A warm horse
Life in our line of sight
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            Yesterday morning started at 4:45 in pitch darkness.
            My horses conversed with me as usual. Bailey, always the most vocal, nickered softly and repeatedly. Pop stretched and relieved himself in a favored spot. Dotsie met me at the fence and walked with me to the barn with its expanded metal gates. She stood there in the way until I forked her hay onto the cement slab.
            Pop and then Bailey got theirs as the alpha horse presence dictates. Everybody knows the routine and everything is the same if I follow the routine. There was no squealing by one of the mares. I don’t like that.
            I was saddled, loaded, and nearing exit 116 at 6:30. It was still pretty dark and the lights were on when I hit the county road heading to the headquarters. I unloaded one horse at the cattle guard separating our Coldiron and Burris Pastures. It was Pop and I called to him to back out of the trailer. I let him make his customary inspection of the surroundings before I pulled the cinch and swapped his halter for a bridle.
My grandfather never even owned a halter.
            At the same time, Leonard was starting riders from four locations as we prepared to sweep the Burris Pasture. Our task was to wean calves and make one more pass through the herd branding missed, late calves. This ranch’s entire herd was supposed to be within the boundary fences of the pasture as called for in our rotation strategy. At just over 13 sections, we would have the Burris Pasture gathered in four hours.
For the moment … it was just the horse and me.
            The Gather
            The Burris Pasture gather is always good.
            It is cut by two larger ridgelines from a midpoint to the eastern boundary, but it is mostly easy country. If the ridges were not there, you wouldn’t even have to shoe a horse, but they are.
            Pop and I always take the southeastern corner of the pasture because of how the road enters the ranch and it is the most obvious and necessary sweep from that perspective. We worked our way up through the creosote that covers the south facing ridge. He knows the routine as well as I do. Seldom do we pick up cattle off the low ridgeline but we have to make the ride to the corner to make sure nothing is there. With multiple riders, we will drop riders off on increments and they will start their sweeps north toward what we call the Hepo Trough. With a single rider the same thing is done but sweeps are big zigzags and back tracks that take more time.
            Pop was fresh and he responded to my heels. I will stay completely out of his mouth when he is tuned in. I expected he would become less attentive as he got warmer and other riders and cattle caught his attention.
            As I rode, many things were obvious. The feed remained good and our plan to turn the cattle back out after the day’s work in the same pasture for several more weeks appeared to be workable. We picked up the first pairs at the crest of the swell. They started easily and did what all cattle do when they are started. They headed toward the nearest water. I stayed with them long enough to make sure the laggers were moving. I returned several times in the next 10 minutes to push on two pairs and a heifer that would drop their heads and return to grazing in my departure. Their herd mates could be seen trailing north on their own and without pressure.
            Every swell produced cattle as we picked our way east. The big end of the older cows always started with nothing more than a whistle or a voice queue from a distance. Some younger cattle interested in our arrival required direct pressure in the form of the horse and me to move them off.
            Repeatedly, we watched those cattle run pitching toward the increasing drive numbers headed north to meet yet more cattle at water… running not from us as much as running because of the cool morning and energy … another indicator that our standing feed and program were working.
            When we neared the eastern fence, we had to peak one more time into a little drainage that follows the fence line back to the far southeastern corner. Without fail there were three cows and two replacement heifers. Pop reluctantly responded to drop back off the ridgeline to pick them up. We framed them by coming off the ridgeline to their west and using the eastern fence as our line of drive. Everything went as planned except for one of the heifers that tried to run under us against the fence. We got her headed and turned, but I could now smell and feel a warm horse under me.
He would get yet warmer as we hustled back to the ridgeline to again shape that little bunch of cows before they scattered. The first of them, though, were already topping the ridgeline further north along the fence on Mayci Point rather than turning west under the point with the main drive. Pop and I would have to cover both sides of the point.
            We dropped under the point to make sure everything was moving before we returned in a high trot to start the climb on the backside. I let him stop and blow as he wanted as we worked higher. At the top, I stepped off to give him a good blow. He stretched and relieved himself with a low groan. I checked the cinch and then tried to assess how the greater gather was developing. I could see riders on Weldon Point, several points on the Lazy E ridgeline, and in Apache Flats between our Cuidado and New Joy drinkers. A big throng of cattle had gathered at Hepo and more were flowing in. To the west I could see dust but no cattle yet from that vantage point. Cattle were flowing toward New Joy Tank from three directions.
            Leonard had riders coming from all directions.
            Over the next two hours the gather would develop into two big drives. The cattle from the south end of the pasture were thrown together at Hepo and more cattle were added at the Halfway Drinker. The cattle from the north end of the pasture were started in mass from the New Joy Tank and trailed under the point and west along a remnant of the old Butterfield Trail. More cattle flowed into that drive from the drainages on the south side of Weldon Point.
            Leonard and I hooked up on the drive from HEPO. We discussed the sort that would start when we hit the pens at the headquarters.
            By the time we closed the gates in the big dry lot at the headquarters, a thousand head of individual animals were milling and bawling. Cows were calling calves, calves were screaming for mamas, and the age old practice of sorting soon started. After a quick drink, Leonard and I swapped horses and started the sort. Two of his grandkids were called to join us in the big alley to keep cattle moving under us. Matt Matsler controlled the flow of fresh cattle to us and everything progressed at a steady pace. We then broke for lunch.
            After lunch, Jack and Brenda Moore and Mike Lucero started the branding crew as the sort continued. By late afternoon, we were finished, the weaned calves were fed, and the rest of the herd was turned out. Another ranch day was done, and I headed for home with tired equine partners. Bailey nickered at me when I fed her, and Pop stretched.
            Life was normal, or … was it?
            Was my grandfather’s day on December 7, 1941 any different than the day of our gather yesterday? I would surmise the proceedings in his line of sight that day were normal. The change started with the radio coverage when he got home and continued with headlines in his newspaper the following week. Otherwise, his surroundings were dominated by Hereford cattle while ours were cross bred red Angus. If he was at a headquarters he would have broke for “dinner” while we broke for “lunch”. The corrals in his day would have had no livestock transportation parked around them. Ours was surrounded by horse trailers and pickup trucks. He would have had an oak fire going for the branding crew and he would have roped. We had a silent iron with its electric cord run across the ground becoming a nuisance from time to time. He would have grimaced at our calf table. We both rode the same saddle, though, when we made the cut. When we sort, I always saddle one horse with his saddle in honor of his memory.
            Indeed, it would have been another normal ranch day, but that would change. In his case, his oldest son went off to Europe to fly the race horse of medium bombers, the B-26, in the air war. I don’t have that son, but I am worried sick about my country just as he was in 1941.
            He and I had/have the privilege of viewing a normal ranch setting regardless of the consequences elsewhere. From this point forward, however, the rest of my world, just like his on that fateful day, won’t have the same normalcy.
            God Bless this nation and this world … I am afraid both will need it.

            Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “If you don’t think chaos is upon us … I will gladly fill the role of the fool.”

Forcing Green Politics on Pension Funds

‘Nonsense’: Top Scientists Demolish Alarmism Behind UN Climate Summit

by Michael Bastasch

A panel of prominent scientists debunked one of the most popular global warming arguments ahead of a major United Nations climate summit to take place in Paris later this month.
The scientists slammed policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as “nonsense,” and they criticized politicians and activists for claiming the world was on the path for catastrophic global warming.

“The most important thing to keep in mind is — when you ask ‘is it warming, is it cooling’, etc.  — is that we are talking about something tiny (temperature changes) and that is the crucial point,” Dr. Richard Lindzen, a veteran climate scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“We are speaking of small changes 0.25 Celcius would be about 51% of the recent warming and that strongly suggests a low and inconsequential climate sensitivity — meaning no problem at all,” said Lindzen, who is also a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute.

President Barack Obama and his activist allies are calling for U.N. delegates to sign onto a global treaty to reduce CO2 emissions. Obama has been heavily pushing for this treaty for the past year or so, even lobbying the Chinese government to sign onto an agreement.

“Policies to slow CO2 emissions are really based on nonsense,” Dr. Will Happer, a physicist at Princeton University, said during the panel Thursday hosted by the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation.

“They are all based on computer models that do not work. We are being led down a false path,” Happer argued.

Scientists and environmentalists have added urgency to the U.N. climate summit by arguing 2015 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record based on surface temperature readings. Scientists warned this month Earth has warmed 1 degree Celsius since the late 1800s.

...“We are dealing with pure political propaganda that has nothing to do with science,” Dr. Patrick Moore, an ecologist and the co-founder of Greenpeace, said of attempts to fight global warming during Thursday’s panel.

“We know for absolute certain that carbon dioxide is the stuff of life, the foundation for life on earth,” Moore said. “CO2 has provided the basis of life for at least 3.5 billion years.”


Now scientists from MIT, Princeton, etc. are starting to speak up. Either the distortions are so bad they feel compelled to defend their profession, or we are getting near the end of the Obama administration and they are no longer afraid to voice the opinion.

‘Please, we need help!’ Report describes deadly Twisp firefight

Strong, shifting winds that dramatically fanned a wildfire near Twisp in Okanogan County in August pushed walls of flames and smoke onto a team of firefighters, catching them off-guard and forcing them to retreat blindly down a winding dirt road to their deaths, according to a joint state and federal report released Friday. With “the road completely obscured by smoke,” the four U.S. Forest Service firefighters fleeing in Engine No. 642 — one of several crews battling the blaze — raced down Woods Canyon Road as flames exploded around them. “They kept driving downhill, but they had zero visibility, and the engine went off the road,” the report said. “The engine came to a stop, and the surviving firefighter got out and was immediately engulfed in flames. He went through the flames and made his way to the road.” The report, offers the most detailed account to date about the circumstances surrounding the deadly blaze that killed U.S. Forest Service firefighters Richard Wheeler, Andrew Zajac and Tom Zbyszewski on Aug. 19. The fire also critically burned Daniel Lyon Jr., who staggered away from the wrecked engine to safety.  The report — authored by a team of employees from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the National Park Service — offers a narrative of the fire’s circumstances as part of a larger, ongoing review that seeks to assess the tragedy for safety improvements...more

Gila diversion faces deadline in D.C.

In the twilight wait for the U.S. secretary of the Interior’s decision on whether to sign the New Mexico Unit Agreement which would move forward a controversial diversion of the Gila River, thousands have signed their names to a petition circulated by environmental groups asking her to withhold her approval. Secretary Sally Jewell has a deadline of Monday to sign the document, lest it be rendered void under a timeline set by federal legislation. The deadline was included in the Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004, which paved the way for the partially funded, potential diversion project in the first place, allowing southwest New Mexico to take up to 14,000 acre-feet of water from the Gila and its tributaries. Cost estimates for the project have run between $400 million and $1 billion, although members of the controlling agency — the New Mexico Unit of the Central Arizona Project Entity — have said they would never approve such an expensive project. The New Mexico Unit Agreement has been the source of extensive diplomacy between the New Mexico CAP Entity, the Interstate Stream Commission and the Department of Interior through the Bureau of Reclamation. Most negotiations focused on a list of supplemental terms insisted on by Jewell. The agreement, like all documents relating to the diversion before it, has been hotly contested all the way by a group of environmentalists, locals and sportsmen. Some 54,000 of these opponents had signed a petition as of Tuesday urging Jewell not to sign the N.M. Unit Agreement...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1525

Our gospel tune today is Run On by Cody Shuler & Pine Mountain Railroad from their 2008 CD Pickin', Praisin' And Singin'