Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An amusing wail from a Greenie

If only that nasty technology hadn't saved us from starvation! Email below from the misanthropic Peter Salonius [], Research Scientist, Natural Resources Canada

The human footprint reduction that has been called for by Rees, Wackernagel and others has to do with many other excess demands on the global ecosystem besides our carbon containing gas emissions. I have posited in an essay on THEOILDRUM that the overshoot of carrying capacity began as soon as humans began cultivation agriculture because of its associated soil damage. Rees has agreed that the overshoot of carrying capacity ocurred long before the 20th century, but he suggests that he did not want to frighten people with the enormity of our excesses.

The recently published book 'Sustainability or Collapse: An Integrated History and Future of People on Earth', edited by Robert Costanza and several others, deals with the history of past empires and civilizations as they collapsed because of mounting population pressure on such resources as water supplies and soil productive capacity.

"Neither Malthus nor the "new Malthusians" could have foreseen what the substitution of temporary supplies of non renewable geological energy (fossil and nuclear) for sunlight energy, starting in the mid 1800s, would do to non sustainably raise agricultural productivity by:

1. freeing up land formerly used to feed draft animals (horses, oxen etc.) for the production of food for humans,

2. facilitating the mining, long distance transport and manufacture (ammonia by the Haber-Bosch process from natural gas) of fertilizers to replace those soil nutrients lost by cultivation agriculture,

3. allowing the temporarily increased agricultural productivity that resulted from the development of new crop varieties produced by the Green Revolution - that are dependent on irrigation from depleting fossil water supplies, heavy use of fertilizers, and pesticides - all of which are dependent on fossil fuel resources that are now becoming rapidly depleted."

I have maintained, in a 'somewhat well referenced article' posted on THE OILDRUM, October 20, 2008, that economic and population growth, facilitated by the shift from hunter gathering to farming, have been responsible for the environmental destruction that has been escalating for the last 10,000 years. I think you will agree that IF my thesis, which is the culmination of my ~ 42 year investigation into the relationship between humans and their supporting ecosystems, is correct -- then the 'population bomb'/that continues to make natural resource management problematic/exploded a long, long time ago, see 'Agriculture: Unsustainable Resource Depletion Began 10,000 Years Ago'

My 'guesstimate' for sustainable human numbers in the 100s of millions, if true, suggests that the present global population has so far overshot the carrying capacity of its supporting ecosystems that most analyses of the relationship of excessive human numbers to SPECIFIC ASPECTS of environmental damage are simply indulgent academic exercises.

There are more people on the planet (and have been for millennia) than it can sustainably support. Many of us have concluded that even TWO CHILD FAMILIES -- that would only slowly stabilize the human population -- are not an adequate response to this problem; we require the adoption of NO or ONE CHILD PER FAMILY behaviour to orchestrate the Rapid Population DECLINE that is necessary now.


Today's ClimateWire has a story about the debate over the costs of cap and trade:

"From the halls of Congress to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, experts and politicians are hoisting conflicting numbers describing the cost of a cap on greenhouse gases, with amounts from $3,100 to $324 to zero being touted as the annual hit on households. As Congress returns this week, it will find a cloud of numerical discrepancies hovering over climate change legislation."

This is a great example of the consequences of how issues are framed in political debate. If the framing is "costs" of cap and trade legislation, the Republicans will win the political debate, regardless of whose numbers turn out to be right. Of course, the reality is that cap and trade can be designed in any way you'd like with high or low (or zero) costs. But remember that the theoretical basis of cap and trade is that energy prices will increase, so low or zero cost increases will have low or zero effect on emisisons.

The political point is that if the debate hinges on costs, Republicans have the upper hand because if Democrats respond with claims of low or zero costs, and if this turns out to be untrue, then such claims will become a political liability. But if the claims of low costs turn out to be true, they will gut the policy from the standpoint of emissions reductions, and thus become a political liability.

Bottom line: Democrats cannot win the cap and trade debate if the issue is framed as costs to American households.


Earth Day, Then and Now

by John Andrews

“The trouble with the eco-crusader is that his false guilt and his false fears feed endlessly upon each other.” With Earth Day coming up on Wednesday, I remembered this line from an old presidential speech. Can you guess who said it? “From the emotional remorse that we have sinned terribly against nature,” it continues, “there is but a short step to the emotional dread that nature will visit terrible retribution upon us. The eco-crusader becomes, as a result, deaf to reason and science, blind to perspective and priorities, incapable of effective action.”

That’s telling’em, Mr. President. Or it would have been, if Richard Nixon hadn’t let staffers talk him out of giving the Eco-Crusader speech in September 1971.

Fired up by attacks on the “disaster lobby” by Look magazine publisher Thomas Shepard, and uneasy about his own role in establishing the Environmental Protection Agency after the first Earth Day in 1970, Nixon directed me and other speechwriters to produce a warning against ecological extremism that he could deliver as a major address. Our draft died on his desk amid concerns about political backlash. I kept the file as a historical curiosity – the presidential bombshell that wasn’t. Today, four decades into the age of true-believing green religion, Nixon’s undelivered speech reads prophetically.

So does Shepard’s diagnosis that the environmental doomsayers “are basically opposed to the free enterprise system and will do anything to bolster their case for additional government controls.” So does the denunciation by Prof. Peter Drucker, another source we consulted at the time, of the green fallacy “that one can somehow deprive human action of risk.” The battle lines have changed little in 38 years.

I wish now that President Nixon, a gambler in foreign policy, had risked this piece of domestic truth-telling. One politically incorrect speech from the White House couldn’t have halted the tides of earth-worshipping guilt and fear that still engulf us. But it would have been a start. With braver leadership, sooner, America’s voices for environmental common sense might have been less outnumbered today.

Two of those lonely voices were in my state of Colorado last week. Terry Anderson, head of the Montana-based Property & Environment Research Center, and Christopher Horner, a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington DC, brought a coolly factual message to deflate some of the new-energy hype and carbon-phobia that Gov. Bill Ritter trades on and President Obama wants to emulate.

Anderson literally wrote the book on free-market environmentalism – a 1991 volume by that title. He told the Independence Institute about PERC’s research on such inconvenient truths as the wildly oversold benefits of green jobs and the grim toll that cap-and-trade legislation to mitigate CO2 will take on our standard of living.

Horner’s current book is “Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed.” He told the Centennial Institute, where I work, that a recessionary economy and ten straight years of global cooling make this the worst time for a burdensome new carbon tax that “would not detectably impact climate anyway.”

If the eco-crusaders were serious about cleaner energy, says Horner, they would support nuclear power. They aren’t, so they don’t. And again, we find the battle lines unchanged; the nuclear debate also pervades my 1971 White House file. No, their aim is control, as Thomas Shepard warned. “For a new enemy to unite us, the threat of global warming fits the bill,” gloated the anti-growth Club of Rome in 1991.

Cheerleading mainstream journalists have decided the likes of Horner and Anderson “are not news,” as one bluntly told me – so Coloradans heard little about their visit to Denver. Gov. Ritter letting eco-crusading foundations pay his climate czar’s salary has stirred no media curiosity either. We're supposed to belief a staffer beholden to ideologues at the Hewlett and Energy foundations gives the Guv objective advice? What sheep we are.



When the first Earth Day took place in 1970, American environmentalists had good reason to feel guilty. The nation's affluence and advanced technology seemed so obviously bad for the planet that they were featured in a famous equation developed by the ecologist Paul Ehrlich and the physicist John P. Holdren, who is now President Obama's science adviser. Their equation was I=PAT, which means that environmental impact is equal to population multiplied by affluence multiplied by technology. Protecting the planet seemed to require fewer people, less wealth and simpler technology - the same sort of social transformation and energy revolution that will be advocated at many Earth Day rallies on Wednesday.

But among researchers who analyze environmental data, a lot has changed since the 1970s. With the benefit of their hindsight and improved equations, I'll make a couple of predictions:

1. There will be no green revolution in energy or anything else. No leader or law or treaty will radically change the energy sources for people and industries in the United States or other countries. No recession or depression will make a lasting change in consumers' passions to use energy, make money and buy new technology - and that, believe it or not, is good news, because...

2. The richer everyone gets, the greener the planet will be in the long run.

I realize this second prediction seems hard to believe when you consider the carbon being dumped into the atmosphere today by Americans, and the projections for increasing emissions from India and China as they get richer.

Those projections make it easy to assume that affluence and technology inflict more harm on the environment. But while pollution can increase when a country starts industrializing, as people get wealthier they can afford cleaner water and air. They start using sources of energy that are less carbon-intensive - and not just because they're worried about global warming. The process of "decarbonization" started long before Al Gore was born.

The old wealth-is-bad IPAT theory may have made intuitive sense, but it didn't jibe with the data that has been analyzed since that first Earth Day. By the 1990s, researchers realized that graphs of environmental impact didn't produce a simple upward-sloping line as countries got richer. The line more often rose, flattened out and then reversed so that it sloped downward, forming the shape of a dome or an inverted U - what's called a Kuznets curve. (See for an example.)

In dozens of studies, researchers identified Kuznets curves for a variety of environmental problems. There are exceptions to the trend, especially in countries with inept governments and poor systems of property rights, but in general, richer is eventually greener. As incomes go up, people often focus first on cleaning up their drinking water, and then later on air pollutants like sulfur dioxide.

As their wealth grows, people consume more energy, but they move to more efficient and cleaner sources - from wood to coal and oil, and then to natural gas and nuclear power, progressively emitting less carbon per unit of energy. This global decarbonization trend has been proceeding at a remarkably steady rate since 1850, according to Jesse Ausubel of Rockefeller University and Paul Waggoner of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

"Once you have lots of high-rises filled with computers operating all the time, the energy delivered has to be very clean and compact," said Mr. Ausubel, the director of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller. "The long-term trend is toward natural gas and nuclear power, or conceivably solar power. If the energy system is left to its own devices, most of the carbon will be out of it by 2060 or 2070."

But what about all the carbon dioxide being spewed out today by Americans commuting to McMansions? Well, it's true that American suburbanites do emit more greenhouse gases than most other people in the world (although New Yorkers aren't much different from other affluent urbanites).

But the United States and other Western countries seem to be near the top of a Kuznets curve for carbon emissions and ready to start the happy downward slope. The amount of carbon emitted by the average American has remained fairly flat for the past couple of decades, and per capita carbon emissions have started declining in some countries, like France. Some researchers estimate that the turning point might come when a country's per capita income reaches $30,000, but it can vary widely, depending on what fuels are available. Meanwhile, more carbon is being taken out of the atmosphere by the expanding forests in America and other affluent countries.

Deforestation follows a Kuznets curve, too. In poor countries, forests are cleared to provide fuel and farmland, but as people gain wealth and better agricultural technology, the farm fields start reverting to forestland.
Of course, even if rich countries' greenhouse impact declines, there will still be an increase in carbon emissions from China, India and other countries ascending the Kuznets curve. While that prospect has environmentalists lobbying for global restrictions on greenhouse gases, some economists fear that a global treaty could ultimately hurt the atmosphere by slowing economic growth, thereby lengthening the time it takes for poor countries to reach the turning point on the curve.

But then, is there much reason to think that countries at different stages of the Kuznets curve could even agree to enforce tough restrictions? The Kyoto treaty didn't transform Europe's industries or consumers. While some American environmentalists hope that the combination of the economic crisis and a new president can start an era of energy austerity and green power, Mr. Ausubel says they're hoping against history.

Over the past century, he says, nothing has drastically altered the long-term trends in the way Americans produce or use energy - not the Great Depression, not the world wars, not the energy crisis of the 1970s or the grand programs to produce alternative energy. "Energy systems evolve with a particular logic, gradually, and they don't suddenly morph into something different," Mr. Ausubel says. That doesn't make for a rousing speech on Earth Day. But in the long run, a Kuznets curve is more reliable than a revolution.


Talking Climate Change with Anthony Watts

Anyone who regularly tunes into, the popular climate-science blog operated by Anthony Watts, will never make fun of TV weathermen again. Watts - who was a TV meteorologist for 25 years - provides a steady diet of smart, always interesting and sometimes deeply complex scientific information and opinion about global climate change. Watts is also the founder of, a project that for nearly two years has been quality-checking each of the 1,200-plus weather stations of the U. S. Historical Climate Network (USHCN) to see if they are set up and maintained properly. So far, Watts and his volunteers have checked about 820 of the weather stations, which have been in place for about 100 years and are the source for the country's official average annual temperature. Watts has found that temperature data from nearly 70 percent of the stations is of questionable accuracy because the stations do not adhere to the USHCN's own quality-control guidelines. I talked to Watts April 16 by phone from his office in Chico, Calif.

Q: Why do you do your blog WattsUpWithThat?

A: Well, it's just an extension of what my life has been up until the last few years. I was a broadcaster on television - a meteorologist - for 25 years. I look at the blog as really no different. I did a daily broadcast each day in television. A blog is really just a daily broadcast in a different form.

Q: Who is your target audience?

A: I never really thought about a target audience. I took the same philosophy from broadcasting. I made it to reach as broad an audience as possible and the demographics that I get from it tell me I am doing that job successfully. I've got everything from people with high school educations to people that are Ph.Ds who are reading and commentating and sometimes even submitting articles.

Q: Sometimes it gets pretty deep - lots of scientific charts and data.

A: It does. But that is to be expected because of the broad audience we have. My job is to try to make everything understandable, even for people who are not in tune with some of the more technical details of climate.

Q: Have you become more politicized since you began blogging? Or are you primarily still a man of science?

A: Well, my main interest always has been the science. I am still of the belief that you should let the data tell you what the real story is. As far as the blog goes, the only thing I can say that I've become a little more critical of in terms of politics is that we have some people now who should be sticking to science, such as Jim Hansen (head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, going out and advocating things such as civil disobedience (at coal-fired power plants). That concerns me.

Q: What is your basic position on the question of global warming? Are you a believer? A skeptic? Somewhere in between?

A: I would call myself what some people describe as a "lukewarmer" in that the CO2 effect that people have done thousands of studies on is in fact real. However, it is not a crisis. The reason it is not a crisis is because most people do not understand the logarithmic nature of the CO2 response in our atmosphere.

Q: And that means?

A: It's like salting soup. If you have a bowl of soup in front of you and you put a little salt in it to salt it to taste, you say, "Well, maybe it needs just a tad more." So you add some more salt and you think, "Maybe not quite enough." Then you add some more, and all the sudden it's too salty. Now if you were to add additional salt to the soup, you could not determine that it was any more salty than it already was. And if you continue to add salt, you can't tell the difference.

CO2 is much like that in the way that our atmosphere responds to long-wave outgoing radiation, or trapping of heat. At some point when you get to a certain level, like a doubling of CO2, and then you add a second doubling of CO2, the response halves. It's logarithmic. Then it halves again and then halves again after that. So much of the effect that we would expect to see from CO2 -- because of this logarithmic response -- has already happened. In essence, our soup is already fairly well salted and additional salting is not to make a whole lot of difference.

Q: What is the most harmful "fact" - quote unquote - about global warming that everyone believes but which is probably not true or at least uncertain?

A: There is a belief out there that we will get into a runaway condition where at some point a tipping point would occur and that at that point there is no turning back and then the world would destroy itself. That is being pushed in the media a lot and it is flat wrong.

As we go back into history, into past millennia, we can see that our atmosphere has in fact had much more CO2 - up to 6,000 parts per million, compared to the 380 parts per million that we have now - and it has responded and it has settled. Earth didn't destroy itself. It didn't burn up and boil off the oceans. So the comparison that we see with runaway global warming and the turning of Earth into Venus, things of that nature, are probably the most dangerous and wrong ideas that are being pushed.

Q: Are your troubled or annoyed by the way global warming is being discussed or covered by the mainstream media?

A: I am. And mainly because it's getting a free pass for almost every problem that's brought up. There's a Web site in the UK called Number Watch ( that maintains a list of literally thousands of things in the media that are blamed on global warming. It's almost like "The Devil made me do it." The idea here is that, yeah, we have an issue and the issue is that there is some warming of the atmosphere.. That warming however is not catastrophic. It has occurred in the past and the Earth has survived. So the blaming of global warming as a catchall for every problem that we see in our environment is a disservice to science and to the people.

Q: My grandchildren ask me if the polar ice in the Northern Hemisphere is going to disappear?

A: I would say that the polar ice has disappeared in the past. Certainly there seems to be evidence of past climate situations where we may have had virtually no or none during the summertime. In the immediate future, however, I don't think we are going to see that. In fact, we're going through a rebound right now. If you look at the current Arctic ice extent from the Japanese agency which tracks the Arctic ice, you'll find that it is very near normal at this point and it is rebounding well from the last couple years. Antarctic ice is above normal. And the global total amount of sea ice is above normal. So it's not disappearing any time soon.

Q: What's the story with the Sun? It's been described as being asleep or in a state of "slumber" because it has had virtually no sun spots for a long time. What's going on?

A: Well, the Sun is driven by dynamic magnetic cycles. There are 11-year and 22-year cycles that have been identified and there are longer cycles that have been theorized. In every kind of a cycling endeavor there are always lulls and there are giant peaks. We've seen both in the past. We've seen lulls in the Maunder Minimum (1645 to 1715) and the Dalton Minimum (1790 to 1830), when virtually no sun spots appeared. Coincidentally, during those periods the weather and climate on Earth got colder.

The period that we are currently in now is what appears to be the beginning of an extended solar cycle that may now be as long as 12 1/2 years, compared to the normal 11. The current state of the Sun appears to be a similar kind of situation being set up to what it was right before the Dalton Minimum. So the possibility exists that we may find ourselves in a period of cooler weather in the next 20 to 30 years.

The missing link, however, between solar activity and Earth's climate is "What is the amplification factor?" The total solar irradiance, or TSI, has shown to be very small and when you look at the amount of watts per meter that is delivered to the Earth's surface, the amount of change in total solar irradiance doesn't appear to be enough to cause such differences in the climate of the Earth.

However, what people are looking for now is an amplification factor - sort of a climatic transistor, if you will. A transistor takes very small signals and amplifies them so they are audible - which is why radios work. The theory has been bandied about that the same kind of process occurs in Earth's climate. A very small change in signal related to solar activity - and we don't know which signal yet; it could be total solar irradiance, it could be ultraviolent; it could be magnetic; it could be cosmic rays; there are number of things that are being looked at -- gets amplified in Earth's natural processes and changes. That's what needs to be identified before a complete causal relationship is established between changes on the Sun's solar cycle and changes in Earth's climate.

Q: When we know the immense size of the Sun and power of the Sun and relative tininess of Earth, doesn't the Sun just scream out as being the chief culprit of climate change on Earth?

A: On the surface -- on a simple analysis -- one would think that. But again, the missing link is, what is the true causal relationship between changes in the Sun's solar cycle and Earth climate. Where's the amplification factor? Because just the change in the amount of sunlight that occurs doesn't appear to be enough to account for the observed changes in the past. So we are looking for that link.

However, I would say that the Sun really is the Big Kahuna of all the climate on earth. We would not have any climate. We would not have any weather. We would not have any ocean currents. We would not have life. We would have nothing if it were not for the Sun. So the Sun is this central point from which everything on Earth springs. We should not ignore that fact.

Q: Is a period of global cooling coming? And if so, what would you point to as evidence of that?

A: Well, there is a post on my blog today (April 16) about the computer models (of future global average temperatures) starting to diverge from the climate reality. This is something that is really kind of unexpected. The models continue to go up in (global temperature) but the climate reality and the current (global temperature) measurement starts to go down. They are diverging and have been diverging since 2006. There are a number of things that have aligned that make me think that perhaps we are in for a cooling period. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation, for example, has shifted from its warm regime to its cold regime last year. NASA JPL certified this. The last time it switched -- in 1978 -- it switched from a cool regime to a warm regime. We've been riding that warm period all the way since then.

Q: Is there a quick way to explain what the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is?

A: It has a larger influence that either El Nina or El Nino. It is a broad swath of water that extends from the Equator up into Alaska that changes the character of the surface temperatures of the Pacific over that broad swath of water. It was discovered by looking into changes in fishery stock by the University of Washington. The fishing stocks were changing and they had no explanation for it. They starting looking for it and they discovered it was linked to the food supply. And the food supply - krill and phytoplankton and all that sort of stuff - was linked to the changes in the temperature of the water. So they discovered this pattern. So it's a broad, wholesale change in the structure of the surface temperature of the Pacific.

Q: That has obvious influences over the whole climate for years afterwards.

A: Particularly the United States, because the weather flows from west to east. And particularly California. California had a fairly cool climate prior to 1978. And during the warmer period from 1978 to last year, agriculture boomed in California. Grapes began to be grown in places they haven't been grown before. The wine industry expanded. Agricultural expanded. And it expanded under a warmer climatic regime. Now that warmer climatic regime is in danger of shrinking again. So we may find growing seasons and growing places reduced back to areas that they were historically at in 1978.

Q: What is the most important, irrefutable truth about the climate of Earth that you wish every schoolchild and every elected official in Washington understood?

A: That the climate has always changed. It has never been static. In the past it has seen extremes hotter and colder than what we experience today. So change is normal.

Q: Since you are a meteorologist, I'll put you on the spot. Ten years from now what will we be talking about, global warming or global cooling?

A: I believe it will be global cooling, based on the fact that there are several things aligning - like the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the solar patterns and so forth -- to make it appear that we might be in for a period of global cooling. However, I am also prepared to say that I may be completely wrong.


Greenie secrecy endangering lives

Must protect birds. People don't matter. If people know where there are dangerous flocks of birds that endanger airliners, they might want somebody to shoot those birds and that would never do. That the birds mostly concerned (Canada Geese) are present in pest proportions doesn't matter!

A survivor of the jetliner that ditched in the Hudson River after hitting birds and most other public commenters opposed a government proposal to make secret its data on when and where such bird strikes occur.

Public comments about the Federal Aviation Administration's secrecy proposal ran 5-to-1 against it as the comment period closed Monday. One major group, which some had expected to support the rule, declined to take a position.

The primary trade group for U.S. airports, the Airports Council International-North America, told the FAA that its member airports were split on the issue so it "cannot take a position either supporting or opposing" the secrecy. But it urged the agency "to provide explanatory information to assist the public and media to use the data responsibly" if it decides against imposing secrecy.

Donald C. Jones, of Jacksonville, Fla., who was fished from the Hudson Jan. 15 along with the other 154 people aboard US Airways flight 1549, told the FAA he was "surprised and alarmed" to read its proposal. "This issue needs to be addressed openly, not swept under the rug," Jones said. Six private pilots and an air traffic controller also were among 35 people who objected in writing to the FAA's plan.

The Airline Pilots Association, which represents more than 52,000 professional airline pilots, the city of Portland, Ore., which operates three airports, and helicopter-maker Sikorsky Aircraft were among seven commenters who favored the secrecy.

After the Jan. 15 ditching, The Associated Press requested access to the FAA's bird strike database, which contains more than 100,000 reports of strikes that have been voluntarily submitted since 1990.

While still processing the AP Freedom of Information Act request, the FAA on March 19 quietly published its proposal in the Federal Register and provided 30 days for public comment.

The agency expressed concern that, if the data were released, some airlines and airports would reduce voluntary reporting of bird strikes for fear that the public and news media would misconstrue raw data and "cast unfounded aspersions on the submitter." "Drawing comparisons between airports is difficult because of the unevenness of reporting" from airport to airport and the difference in local bird populations they have to deal with, the FAA said.

But Jones, director of an association of endocrinologists, was among several commenters who suggested the remedy for uneven reporting was to make the reports mandatory, not secret. "Why isn't reporting of strikes by commercial airlines, private aviation and airports mandatory?" Jones asked the FAA. "How can the FAA ignore the recommendations of the National Transportation Safety Board that reporting strikes be mandatory?" The safety board made that recommendation to the FAA 10 years ago, noting that the database grossly understates the number of strikes.

The FAA says strikes increased from 1,759 in 1990 to 7,666 in 2007.

Opposing the FAA plan, Paul Eschenfelder, president of the aviation consultant Avion Corp. in Spring, Texas, wrote that in 2004 and 2007 a government-industry working group, which was rewriting the FAA's engine design standards for withstanding bird strikes, "agreed that the FAA wildlife database was unusable due to its incompleteness" and paid Boeing Co. "to develop a cogent database that all agreed was superior."

The pilots union, the city of Portland, Sikorsky and even the airports council expressed fear the public might misinterpret the data. "This data is complex and nuanced, and could be easily misunderstood or misinterpreted if disclosed in raw form to the public," wrote Nick Atwell, aviation wildlife manager for the Port of Portland.

Members of the public, however, bridled at that idea. Robert M. McCauley, a Denison, Texas, attorney with a private pilot's certificate, objected to the FAA's "obvious concept that you have been `anointed' to protect the public from itself." McCauley said he was "just as anxious to know the location of high volume bird strike areas as I am of geographical areas that exhibit regular hazardous weather tendencies, each of which may well impact my decisions in planning flights and ultimately, my life."

Roger Maloof, of New Hampshire, who described himself as a mechanical engineer from MIT, wrote that "if we the people know of inadequately protected airports, then we can petition for corrections. Keeping the data secret only protects dangerous airports and endangers the general public. ... This is like hiding which roads are more dangerous in winter to protect the interests of the businesses on those roads."



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John A said...

Peter Salonius is a bit off, the ecological problems started about 1.6 billion years ago. When that nasty infection called "life" sprang up and started sequestering natural resources, notably water and carbon but including iron, copper, and many other resources.
= = = = =

Beetle said...

With reference to earlier articles, I too have been pondering how to melt ice at -40.