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December 31, 2012


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Man bears great similarity to omnivorous red harvester ants. Living in domed cities and destroying everything around it. 1950 was a good year in a good town, Phoenix.

The similarity is that man is insignificant.

The arrogance that man thinks it can have an impact on the globe is laughable.

Tell me another fairytale.

Man trashes its own nests....cities.

The globe is just fine. Thank you very much.

The arrogance that man thinks it can have an impact on the globe is laughable...

The globe is just fine...

I'm going to assume that by "the globe," you're speaking of it in the most generic sense, and not taking into account the life-systems (including, but no limited to, mankind) on the globe... which is what most of us are thinking about when it comes to climate change...

OT (actually, is anything off-topic when it comes to this stuff?), Dmitry put up a link to a 1-hour podcast that deals with, basically, economies of scale and limits to growth of biological systems and, just past the halfway point, how this relates to city-systems in particular and socio-economic networks in general. What I found interesting in the latter was how technological innovations "reset" growth-limit clocks (and, in turn, limits to the increases in frequency of innovation that put a ceiling on the number of "resets"), and how redefinitions of "growth" (progress?) can alter the calculation (for example, shifting from simple economic models to socio-economic ones that recognizes quality-of-life factors.)

I recommend giving it a listen if you can sit through some physics-speak from Professor West. I promise that he's a bit clearer than I've managed to be in the preceding paragraph. :)

Geoffrey West on From Alpha to Omega

Since the GLOBE is OK
i am going to kick off the New Year with Quentin Tarantino and DJango.
Here's to 2013
Calvin Candie

Well Jon u were right. Obama never got off the bench let alone go for a three pointer. Any one making less than 200,000 got screwed.

Now that Hillary is out of the running, will Obama go for a third term.

What do all you wise guys on this blog see in your crystal balls?


These are not from my Crystal Balls, because I haven't seen them for a few years.


Point one: Kim Kardashian is reproducing, so mankind is one step closer to the same fate as the Dodo bird.

Point two: The deafening silence on this thread tells me that the globe is warning up. Mankind has maybe 1/10 of 1% to do with it.

You'all read "The storms of my Grandchildren" by the world's leading climatologist and you will see that it's all about the SUN, baby.

Point three: and this is the easy one. The Arizona Crudnals suck, always have always will.

Azreb, mankind may not have a "Technological Fix" for the Sun but that does not mean that the desire to procreate justifies rape of another human being or the planet.

Mr. Talton, thank you for all of the ways you use your voice to rouse attention on the issue of climate change. Thank-you

I read an L A Times review of ‘Storms of My Grandchildren’ and here is a bit of it:
"President Obama does not get it. He and his key advisors are subject to heavy pressures, and so far the approach has been, 'Let's compromise.'
Perhaps the most frightening part of "Storms of My Grandchildren" involves Hansen's take on the personalities and power trips that all too often get in the way of real movement. He is alarmed by the contrarians, such as MIT's Richard Lindzen, and annoyed by the bureaucrats, such as former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, who firmly requested that Hansen remove the word "danger" from discussions of global warming. He finds himself increasingly marginalized as positions on global warming and appropriate actions polarize.
What we need, he suggests, is a "linear phaseout of coal emissions by 2030 (emissions reduced to half by 2020)." But he has no faith that governments, driven by special interests, will manage that. "Quite the contrary," he argues, "they are pursuing policies to get every last drop of fossil fuel, including coal, by whatever means necessary, regardless of environmental damage."
The scientist catches himself, but it is too late: "Whoops. As an objective scientist I should delete such personal opinions, or at least flag them. But I am sixty-eight years old," he writes, drawing himself up on the page, "and I am fed up with the way things are working in Washington."”


"I read an LA Times review"

No, no, no.

Read the damn book.

Reading the review is cheating.

Reb, I haven't read Storms of My Grandchildren either, but I have to say that any abstracts I've read on the book, and on James Hansen's take on the climate issue in general, seem to contradict this sense of yours that he finds Man's contribution to be insignificant.

Or am I misunderstanding you?

On responsibility, his Wikipedia entry.

For Suzanne:

How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read

(There are a LOT of books out there. I, too, "cheat" a lot.)


Everything Hansen said is frustrating.

It’s frustrating!!

I hate being frustrated!

However, I will put the book on my list.:)

Petro, thanks – I loved the article; it brought a nice big smile to me.

In the process of trying to lay blame at Man's feet, he uncovers one natural phenomena after another that greatly outweighs man's impact.

Since the earth is so BIG, compared to us ants, he finds historic and repetitive natural occurring processes that are the real drivers of climate change.

I know some of us humans want to feel important in the whole scheme of things, but I'm afraid it just ain't so.

As an example from the book, one medium sized volcano will produce more green house gas than all the gas produced by man "since the invention of fire" by man.

And how about the recent plankton bloom which was so large that it scrubbed more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than man would ever be able to accomplish.

My argument is scale.

We think we're hot stuff, but by earth's scale, we amount to nothing more than a virus on a portion of the surface of Mother Earth.

Don't tell me you're a denier...

What is the definition of a "denier"?

There are a couple of truths which I believe and are undeniable: The earth is getting warmer, by leaps and bounds and as a result of this added warmth, the climate is changing.

What some of you may not know is that while many of you on this blog are still talking "global warming and climate change" in the theoritical sense, I have been living this change on a daily basis for the last decade. I'm in the high risk insurance business and we insure all the gulf coast, Atlantic coast and Hawaiian property business that all the big carriers are afraid to even get near.

As all the big carriers pull out of all the coasts, we're the ones left to handle the risk.

We have been adjusting and readjusting our models, deductibles, rates and forms for the past ten years. We used to do it annually. Now we do it every few months.

The new tornado alley now covers from Colorado to New England.

Weather events which used to occur every generation are occurring every year.

The reason I may be short with people who wish to discuss "climate change" is because they are mostly in the theory mode, while I live it every day.

Since it's my job to look into the future and prepare for the worst case scenario, I don't have much patience for the folks standing on the sideline spouting clever, political talking points.

Look what reality does, Hurricane Sandy, it turned a hardcore republican Gov. Christie into a blathering Sierra Club groupie.

The time for debate is over.

Adjust and prepare. Adjust and prepare. That's the game plan now.

A denier denies climate change we're seeing now is real, primarily human caused and getting worse faster than scientists feared.

In my short 15 years working as a biologist in the Southwest Arizona/New Mexico Borderlands, I have documented an incredible number of biological changes that have occurred that affect all organisms, including humans. Increased CO2 is driving an increase in woody shrub cover that is transforming grasslands into shrublands. The loss of grasslands affects cattle ranchers, grassland birds, reptiles, mammals, etc. As these grassland obligate species become more rare (ultimately becoming endangered), the effort needed to restore and recover them increases. This ends up costing us all money. Over the last decade temperature has been steadily rising, humidity lowering, and winds are stronger. This suite of effects creates a hotter, drier ecosystem that alters the fire regime. In short, there is a cascade of effects that occurs when an ecosystem changes faster than the ability of the organisms that inhabit it can adapt. From 2000 to 2010 ALL of the major Sky Island mountain ranges in southern Arizona (Catalina, Huachuca, Chiricahua, Animas, Rincon, and Pinaleno Mountains) have had major wildfires that resulted in what are referred to as "stand replacing" fires. This means that, for example, a pine forest burned so hot that all the trees died and the plant community converted to something else like a manzanita shrubland community. When tree ring records indicate that these type of fires occurred at 200-500 year intervals, but now are occurring at decadel frequencies, then we can expect outcomes that have likely never occurred before. If you have a house in the wildland/urban interface, expect a fire soon, then brace yourself for a landslide because the soil and plant communities weren't evolved for those stand replacing fires. It's actually far worse than it appears.

Interesting observations Mylo.

As a victim of the Rodeo-Chediski fire, a few observations of my own.

With the removal of the forest, the new normal is horrendous winds. I no longer fly the Arizona and American flag. I fly the appropriate hurricane warning maritime flags.

In the past ten years, thousands of acres have zero recovery growth. I guess Mother Natures' time table is a bit slower than man's.

It would appear that the one - two - three punch of drought then fire then drought is a real knockout combination.

And of course the true culprit in the current state of our wilderness is the U.S. Forest Service. Their mismanagement of our forests set the stage for our forest's inability to withstand the drought and the fires.

I find it infuriating that long time forest service big shots retire then go on the lecture circuit and say " hey, don't do as we've done for the past 100 years,we should have done it this way." Really? Now that you safely have your pension, NOW you decide to speak the truth. Thanks for your service, assholes.

Dear Reb, regardless of the impact size of man
i find it irresponsible to not error on the side of conservation and frugality. that said, i continue to downsize.

regarding the forest. i think we should have never tried to manage it. prior to 1100 the Americas were in good shape with small sustainable populations of many organisms including man.

I think that your view of the Forest Service is a little harsh. I don't think that it was any newly minted GS-4 forest tech in 1954 had ambitions to hit the lecture circuit...

One thing that I will level against the Forest Service is that it has promoted a fire culture, a Firefighting Industrial Complex to use a popular catch phrase. Legions of FS employees, both seasonal and permanent, rely on the annual fire effort to make their livelihoods. Fires cost a fortune, and when one happens workers log on for fire pay, hazardous duty pay, overtime, helicopter pay, the t-shirt for the fire, etc. It's a very expensive model for the way to perform business that happens every year.

It is true that management of the forests has been sub-par, but this is easily seen in hindsight after a 100 year experiment of fire suppression. The problems began with world views on how ecological systems function, mainly with Frederic Clements in the early part of the 20th Century and his assertion that a "climax community" develops. Because of this hypothesis, the scientific community at the time assumed that an old growth pine forest is the ultimate fate of a mountain environment, so let's preserve it at all costs. Although there is some validity to portions of this hypothesis, it ignored the fact that disturbance is an integral component of maintaining those communities and that a mosaic of dynamic successional phases exists within the supposed climax community. All bets are off now, however, because not only is there more drought and heat, there is more variability in the weather. A year with triple the average of annual precipitation often sets the stage for disaster when following year brings an historic drought. The erratic and variable nature of our rapidly changing weather of the last decade or so is not discussed nearly enough. Increased variability wreaks havoc on both ecological and economic systems (there are many similarities between the two). The goal of the Forest Service, BLM, schools of forestry and range management, and the Fed and Treasury Department for that matter, are to smooth out the inherent variable nature of systems, that left un-managed, tend towards spiky, unpredictable systems.

Mylo , not since i left Iowa 62 years ago have i known a Mylo or Milo. your last entry above is accurate on the profit motives of late. I have these same concerns about police, fire and prisons. The rest of your entry lists mans attempts to play god. What would the planet do with out fire fighters? I am opposed (and Azreb is a friend of mine) to saving human structures built in forests, gullies, ravines, within a mile of coast lines, tornado zones and so on. Both the American Indians i was married too advised me they never set up a teepee in a river bed.

Mylo if U havent already might i suggest you try, "Killing The Hidden Waters" by Charles Bowden. Pub in 1976.
He was a buddy of Edward Abbeys. and a friend if mine.

Thanks, Cal. I live in Tucson and am a big fan of Charles Bowden. Our zoning is completely screwed up. I lived in Hawaii for about 5 years and I learned that the Hawaiians (precolonial) built a little bit uphill in order to avoid tsunamis. Beachfront property was an absurd proposition! The Western North America experiment is pretty new. Even the oldest ranching families of about 100+ years are pretty green in the whole scheme of things.

Mylo i will be in tucson the 12th to bury a old cop buddy
would be happy to pay for coffee.

Thanks for the offer, Cal, but I'll be in California that week.

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