Archive for September, 2009

Up For Air

September 30, 2009

Hello. All is now cooling down in the world of hawks in Minnesota but it sounds like the world of Global Warming  is heating up. Pun intended. Any news out there?

I am reading Tim Flannery’s “The Weather Makers”. What is interesting to me is that it was written in 2005 and Flannery, a Mammologist, and real thorough writer, is on target!!

the point is that Flannery wrote his book a year before this blog was even started, amongst many other things.

Matt

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Hawks

September 22, 2009

I am taking a break from global climate change. Haw!Guffaw! Hee. Hee.Hee! Such a kneeslapper.

Ok. Ok. I am trying.

Dulluth, Minnesota is a neat place. As long as the winds are blowing SE on lake Superior there are not thousands of hawks, but the diversity is awesome and I do mean awesome.

The Hawk Ridge t-shirts and hats are great but I have to get a Bob Dylan Way sign (They are here). I am such a good “Baby boomer.”

Matt

Salazar Launches DOI Climate Change Response Strategy

September 14, 2009

Salazar, Sect. of Interior, has hit a good tone on this debate. I am impressed with him. Please read. 

Matt

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today launched the Department of the Interior’s first-ever coordinated strategy to address current and future impacts of climate change on America ’s land, water, ocean, fish, wildlife, and cultural resources. 

 “Across the country, Americans are experiencing first-hand the impacts of climate change, from growing pressure on water supplies to more intense droughts and fires to rampant bark beetle infestations,” said Salazar.  “Because Interior manages one-fifth of our nation’s landmass and 1.7 billion acres on the Outer Continental Shelf, it is imperative that we tackle these impacts of a failed and outdated energy policy.  This secretarial order is another milestone in our continuing effort to change how Interior does business to respond to the energy and climate challenges of our time.”

 The secretarial order signed today at Interior’s command center establishes a framework through which Interior bureaus will coordinate climate change science and resource management strategies.  Under the framework:

 -A new Climate Change Response Council, led by the Secretary, Deputy Secretary and Counselor, will coordinate DOI’s response to the impacts of climate change within and among the Interior bureaus and will work to improve the sharing and communication of climate change impact science, including through www.data.gov

 -Eight DOI regional Climate Change Response Centers, serving Alaska, the Northeast, the Southeast, the Southwest, the Midwest, the West, Northwest, and Pacific regions – will synthesize existing climate change impact data and management strategies, help resource managers put them into action on the ground, and engage the public through education initiatives; and

 —A network of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives will engage DOI and federal agencies, local and state partners, and the public to craft practical, landscape-level strategies for managing climate change impacts within the eight regions.  The cooperatives will focus on impacts such as the effects of climate change on wildlife migration patterns, wildfire risk, drought, or invasive species that typically extend beyond the borders of any single National Wildlife Refuge, BLM unit, or National Park. 

 “The unprecedented scope of climate change impacts requires Interior bureaus and agencies to work together, and with other federal, state, tribal and local governments, and private landowner partners, to develop landscape-level strategies for understanding and responding to climate change impacts,” said Salazar.

 In addition to coordinating DOI’s response to the impacts of climate change, the Climate Change Response Council will oversee the DOI Carbon Storage Project, through which the Department of the Interior is developing methodologies for both geological (i.e., underground) and biological (e.g., forests and rangelands) carbon storage, and the DOI Carbon Footprint Project, through which DOI will develop a unified greenhouse gas emission reduction program, including setting a baseline and reduction goal for the Department’s greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. 

 Today’s Secretarial Order builds on Secretarial Order No. 3285, issued on March 11, 2009, which prioritized development of renewable energy on public lands and offshore waters in order to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil and to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. 

Interior plays a lead role in helping the nation address the impacts of climate change.   

Through the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Reclamation,  Minerals Management Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior oversees one-fifth of the nation’s landmass and 1.7 billion acres on the Outer Continental Shelf, supplies drinking water to more than 31 million people and irrigation water to 140,000 farmers, manages iconic wildlife species from the Arctic to the Everglades, holds trust responsibilities on behalf of the federal government for over 500 tribal nations, and is home to the nation’s top scientists and natural and cultural resource managers.

I Am Getting To the Bird Migration

September 12, 2009

The wind is blowing lightly around here and it is beautiful out. I have had some of my best hawkwatching days in this kind of weather. My son and I are headed to Minnesota to hawkwatch (I am, he is driving). We will be back in Montana after October 1 when he has a band engagement. I am like a “kid in a candy store” and really look forward to getting my mind off of climate change and the apparent demise of 3 species in the next 20 years that I am reminded of almost every day, and I do see it coming without a doubt. It is so, so sad. Hawkwatching along the  northern shore of  Lake Superior “is just what the doctor ordered” (not cliche day) for me. The nice weather for migration around here helps me think that I am doing the right thing, taking a break from global climate change, or at least the politics and subject of it.

Some useless trivia: My  trip, through circumstances, has been delayed by a day…and so has my erraticness!!!!!

Matt

Erratic Again

September 10, 2009

I will be gone for a month during that time this blog will be erratic.

Matt

Waxmen Markey Benifits Far Outweigh the Costs

September 9, 2009

 

Commen sense…now there is something that seems novel in this debate!!!!!

Matt

by Keith Johnson

WSJ Environmental Capital

9.8.09

 So much of the wailing and gnashing of teeth around the climate bill in Congress revolves around the costs of curbing greenhouse-gas emissions. What about the benefits?

 That is, seemingly everybody—the Environmental Protection Agency, the Congressional Budget Office, the Energy Information Administration, not to mention private-sector lobbies—has tried to tally how much it will cost to nudge America toward cleaner energy and fewer greenhouse-gas emissions. None have sought to figure out what kind of benefits the bill could bring.

 That got some folks thinking. “Climate change is arguably one of the most complex issues to face Congress in recent memory, and yet Congress is essentially conducting its deliberations after having reviewed barely half the data,” says a new brief out from NYU Law School’s Institute for Policy Integrity, an outfit basically created to bring cost-benefit analysis back to the environmental arena.

 The upshot? As flawed as it may be, the Waxman-Markey climate bill makes economic sense, offering benefits worth at least twice as much as it costs, if not more.

 “From almost any perspective and under almost any assumption, H.R. 2454 is a good investment for the United States to make in our own economic future and in the future of the planet,” the paper concludes. But what’s the math look like?

 The authors set out to see how much a ton of carbon is worth—not what it trades for on carbon exchanges, but how much a ton of carbon not emitted to the atmosphere is worth society in terms of avoiding climate change.

 Turns out, even though the U.S. government does not have a hard and fast figure, it has a rough idea—around $19 a ton. (There is a huge array of estimates for the “social cost of carbon”; those so inclined will have fun on pages 21-30 here.)

 So, given that the Waxman-Markey bill would curb emissions over the next 40 years, it’s a pretty simple job to tally up the potential benefits: about $1.5 trillion on the middle-of-the-road estimate. The benefits could be as low as $382 billion or as high as $5.2 trillion, depending on how you fiddle with the numbers.

 Since Waxman-Markey is meant to cost about $660 billion, that means the bill provides $2.27 in benefits for every dollar spent, the brief concludes. That doesn’t include extra benefits—cleaner air from a cleaned-up power sector, for instance. And it suggests that even tougher greenhouse-gas targets in the Senate version of the bill would make an even more compelling economic argument.

 Now, there are some important caveats. That “cost of carbon” is a global cost; the U.S. doesn’t face quite the same risk from climate change as, say, Bangladesh. Which means all the “benefits” cited in the paper are similarly global, even if the costs are not: “A large portion of benefits might not be felt directly or immediately within U.S. borders,” the paper notes, suggesting that U.S. voters think of it as a “highly effective, highly leveraged form of foreign aid.”

 Of course, the Senate still faces attacks from the right and the left when it comes to the climate bill. Will a move to tally not just the costs but the potential benefits of the bill make the Senate’s job any easier?

Cap and Trade Accolades By the Same Folks Who Want The Death Of Good Things

September 8, 2009
This is how they think in Washington. “Bass ackwards”
Matt
CLIMATE: Letters on cap and trade pour into Senate (09/08/2009)
Darren Samuelsohn, E&E senior reporter

The Senate climate bill may be in limbo, but that has not stopped an onslaught of opinions about what the legislation should look like.

Letters, ad campaigns and even a few threats are piled up for lawmakers on the global warming issue as they return to Washington from their monthlong summer break.

Pushing for quick action, a group of 32 former senators, Cabinet officials and other U.S. leaders released a statement today linking global warming to national security and urging President Obama and Congress to produce a “clear, comprehensive, realistic and broadly bipartisan plan to address our role in the climate change crisis.”

The group includes former Sens. Howard Baker (R-Tenn.), Warren Rudman (R-N.H.), Slade Gorton (R-Wash.), John Danforth (R-Mo.), Gary Hart (D-Colo.), Nancy Kassebaum Baker (R-Kan.), Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), John Warner (R-Va.) and Tim Wirth (D-Colo.), as well as former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Defense Secretary William Perry and Thomas Kean and Christie Todd Whitman, both former New Jersey governors.

Also last week, five Democratic state attorneys general wrote Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) requesting she write a bill that protects the federal government’s ability to force the cleanup or outright closure of aging coal-fired power plants.

The House-passed climate bill surrendered U.S. EPA’s ability to enforce climate change provisions in the Clean Air Act.

The state attorneys general — Jerry Brown of California, Terry Goddard of Arizona, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Joseph R. Biden III of Delaware and Anne Milgram of New Jersey — also pressed Boxer to preserve a state’s authority to set stronger standards than the federal government, as well as a citizen’s right to file an enforcement lawsuit.

From the far left, several environmental groups took a pre-emptive swing at Boxer’s efforts by launching the Climate SOS coalition in an effort to make the legislation stronger.

“Senators need to know that they have our support in opposing this bill in the likely event that it fails to take adequate measures to protect the climate,” said the group, which includes the Carbon Tax Center, Ecolaw Massachusetts, Rising Tide North America and Ruckus Society.

Climate SOS plans to lobby in states home to fence-sitting senators: Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It also said it would keep up the pressure in California, Massachusetts, Oregon, New York, Vermont and Washington.

The SOS Coalition also said it would stage “mass nonviolent civil disobedience, office occupations and protests” on Sept. 22 in San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and New York — including the district offices of Boxer and Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.).

As for opponents, they turned out in force over the summer break in an effort to build public support for killing the Democrat-led climate bill.

Last week, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) headlined a rally in Salt Lake City that questioned the economics of tackling global warming.

“Cost and benefit ought to be analyzed together,” said Herbert, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, during his opening remarks. “We hear a lot about the benefit side. We want to hear a little bit more about the cost side.”

And yesterday in Holden, W.Va., thousands attended a free Labor Day rally sponsored by the coal industry and other critics of the global warming bill.

“Today’s the day when the American worker takes back this country,” rock musician and conservative activist Ted Nugent told the crowd, according to the Charleston Gazette. “That’s what I think.”

Other speakers and performers at the event included Hank Williams Jr., FOX News political commentator Sean Hannity and Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

Boxer and Kerry now plan to release their draft climate bill later this month, and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) still wants to press for final passage before the end of the year. But Obama’s health care agenda now has top billing in Congress, and its fate is likely to determine how successful Democrats are on other issues.

Nice Labor Day Here

September 7, 2009

What a gorgeous day in Bozeman, Montana. I still love September days.

This morning while shuffling to my coffee spot in Bozeman I heard, and saw, migrating birds overhead. I really started to look around, but saw that it was so gorgeous out and got sidetracked with the day.

I miss Natalie’s (younger daughter) non stop “chirping.”..and my other daughter,  Nicole (older daughter) and her finger wagging at me and my bad diet. I would love to share this day with them. I have a 25 year old son here in Bozeman. I would share the day but he has already seen how beautiful it is, or he may be still asleep and missing the day and it’s beauty.

I got an earful from the local “bird God” and a wildlife photographer friend as I held up a wall and sipped good coffee. I will probably not put the tips I got to work. I would have 10 years ago.

 I will not let global climate change put a damper on an otherwise brilliant day for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I find that I can do this so easily.

Matt

Water and California

September 5, 2009

I just watched a report on network television. The jist of the report said that California agriculture is experiancing a water shortage that now pits an anchovie fish that is endangered against the mighty California agricultural machine. Many of the persons of California see their ravenous thirst for water as the primary reason California is experiancing a water shortage that will get worse as global warming gets worse. It is said that Californians are ready to mitigate their water use, even their governor sees this as key in our countries future. So what is the answer to that huge problem that will lead the way to mitigating dryness in other parts of the country…?you know the old saying: how California goes so goes the rest of the country. I say lets go!!!!!!!

Matt

California Wildfires

September 5, 2009

I do not mean to be opportunistic about the prospective human-caused sadness in Los Angelas, California but fires are sparking and Santa Anna winds are not even blowing yet. The catostrophic nature of the fires can be somewhat blamed on a building fuel load but the dryness they (Southern Californians) are experiancing is definitely an artifact of global warming caused by our bad carbon producing habits. In twenty years that part of California will be desert like, Baja-like with a huge load of dead snags and hurricanes hurtling towards  a coastline with rising sea levels and so on. Those folks will be crying for a Chevy Volt like technology that is way more affordable than the 40,000. GMC proposes for the Chevy Volt. Like the US Congress, car executives are way out of touch with what an average consumer will pay. 

 I hope I am wrong about my guesses on California dryness. A simular scenario will happen in Montana where wildfires can rule a fall!!!!

Matt