Recent comments

  • Visitation On Record Pace in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Interesting follow ups temper the news of surprisingly increased visitation in Yellowstone. The Cody Enterprise is reporting that spending is reported down, though visitation is up. Jackson Hole News and Guide notes a sudden drop in hotel reservations since the holiday weekend.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Would people believe that I used to work for an organization of global warming skeptics? The stories I could tell about the corruption within that very small outfit ...

    As for protests in dangerous places, that's really a decision for those driven by their conscience. And, if it costs the government money, who cares? Certainly, cost and inconvenience has to be part of what makes the tactic worthwhile to do. If people want the tactic to stop, then they have to take the cause seriously and evaluate the merits. What's important ultimately is the substance of the cause, not the tactic - people are way too hung up on tactics.

    In Bozeman, over the holiday weekend, we had kind of a farce. A group of libertarians and conservatives staged an independence day anti-tax protest at public expense, closing down Main Street for a couple hours. To my deep chagrin, a group sarcastically calling itself the Gay Loggers for Jesus, protested the way the city handled the permit for the conservative group and organized a protest where they actually raised money in order to pay for the public expense in closing down the street. I think it was an awful precedent; the streets aren't simply for cars ... they are also there for people to raise their voices. The cost of living in a supposedly free society should be on everyone alike. Instead of attacking the merits of the protest, they attacked the process of free public protest. The liberal group here was dead wrong. Likewise, the cost of protest on the monstrosity that's Mt. Rushmore should also be paid by the government. And, those who protest do so at their own risk. I would feel differently if the place of protest actually was worthwhile, but then again, it's not the tactic so much as the substance.

    I think the best response to a protest someone thinks is wrong is to organize a counter-protest. And, we as rational people should be able to look at the merits of the claim. That people are bringing up such things as the IPCC and having that discussion tells me that Greenpeace held a very successful protest. Banner drops are often ignored; they scored. Now, the real game is on, at least on this forum and probably many others.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I'm glad that there are skeptics questioning the science of global climate change: such challenges only makes the science more robust. No, the problem I have with much of today's environmental skepticism is that it's not a fair fight. Extremely well funded Conservative Think Tanks (CTTs)--who are largely filled with economists, not scientists (although there are exceptions)--are ultimately behind the environmental skepticism movement (see Jacques, P. et al. (2008), "The Organization of Denial: Conservative Think Tanks and Environmental Skepticism," Environmental Politics, 17, 349-385). From the Jacques study, 90% of environmental skeptic books published from 1972 - 2005 are directly affiliated with CTTs. My concern isn't because they are conservative: my concern is because CTTs have no "checks and balances" system like the vetting process academic peer review goes through, and therefore all sorts of misinformation can get published before anyone has a chance to set the record to be more aligned with what climatologists are actually observing (via the peer review process). That's a dangerous amount of power to give a minority of individuals, and the media's "point/counter-point" style hasn't helped public confusion concerning global climate change matters one bit.

    Further, it seems like your argument, Frank, is at heart an economic one, not a scientific one, as you state that the free market is a better way to "go about fighting this perceived threat." While I am no fan of increased government, I am neither convinced that free markets are the saviors to mankind. The CTTs' arguments are based largely in economics, in part for fear that free markets would somehow be curtailed by necessitative environmental policy. The goal of CTTs, therefore, is obfuscation: create doubt concerning climate change (i.e., present that scientists are equally divided (they are not), the earth isn't really warming (it is), and we aren't responsible for it (we're 90% likely responsible)) so that the average citizen has no earthly clue what to believe. But if there's doubt, environmental legislation won't happen, and free markets stay intact. So, hooray, we keep our Hummers while we destroy our planet.

    Oh, one more item: you assailed Kurt over needing to avoid ad populum arguments. I would caution you to be careful about your own bandwagoning sins, as you seem to be jumping in the environmental skepticism movement (which isn't a majority, thankfully) in spite of weighty, academic evidence to the contrary. Now, while I would hardly assume that you would be swayed by any of this, I would at least encourage you to know what and who is behind the movement you so vociferously support.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Again, I'm more than willing to watch my energy bills go up if it means the end of coal and all the grief it causes.

    How noble of you. How about all those who are struggling to make ends meet and can't afford higher energy bills? Hmm?

    And if coal companies are polluting private property, the courts are the proper place to seek compensation and to get an injunction against pollution.

    At any rate, the coal issue is a red herring which shows your inability to substantively respond. You've replied with an appeal to emotion and made another straw man by implying I think people from the South are uneducated. Any disparaging comments made about your education (or lack thereof) were directed solely at you, and were not intended to disparage the hardworking, Tenth-Amendment-defenders of the South, many of whom would be devastated by cap and trade taxation and higher energy prices.

    So many fallacies. Gosh, kid, keep crackin' the books. Don't forget to read Rothbard.

  • Social Networking Site Pushes Petition for a "Maine North Woods" National Park   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Frank -- you're forgetting that Thoreau wasn't around when strip malls and clear-cutting were ELIMINATING the lands that he held so sacred. I'd like to see him let Walden Pond be bulldozed instead of protected.....

    It's not for a king -- it's for the entire nation to enjoy when it's protected.

    And you want to talk wild? It's not "wild" when it's being CUT DOWN.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Actually, Frank, last time I looked, I attend the University of Tennessee, an institution that includes five campuses across the state, over 44,000 students, and manages this little thing known as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, home to the National Institute of Computational Sciences, the world's 6th fastest supercomputer, the largest farm-based alternative fuels research program in America, and the world's largest neutronic science research facility - hardly a community college. I could be wrong, though, considering that it's run by the big bad government...

    Perhaps you should take a trip down here to the land of the uneducated Southern rubes to enlighten yourself and see what it's like to have your house totally demolished a few days before Christmas by toxic sludge. Better yet, save your money and read any of the 390+ stories written in the Knoxville newspaper about the ash spill.

    Again, I'm more than willing to watch my energy bills go up and government play a bigger part in my life if it means the end of coal and all the grief it causes.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I can envision old Ed Abbey and Hayduke applauding Greenpeace for a job well done. Here I quote: The voice of protest, of warning, of appeal is never more needed than the clamor of fife and drum, echoed by the press and too often by the pulpit, is bidding all men fall in and keep step and obey in silence the tyrannous word of command. Then, more than ever, is the duty of the good citizens not to be SILENT.
    True Patriotism (1898)

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Go somewhere else and hug a whale. Leave Mt. Rushmore alone.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Would You Like to See Added to the National Park System?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    With the depopulation of North Dakota, and the potential population declines with the dropping Ogalala aquifer, a central North American Grassland free range area that reintroduced the possibility of Bison migrations would be an awesome thing to behold. I have no idea how it would be managed, but imagine if the pre-European grassland ecosystem could be reestablished.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I am glad to have started such a robust discussion of global warming. It is good to see that everyone has not drunk the Kool-Aid.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    As a South Dakota born citizen, Mount Rushmore is a fitting monument to make a declaration that immediate change and action is needed to prevent global climate catastrophe. The point of the action is clear: What monument will we leave for future generations?

  • Survey Says National Park Service Is Far from the Best Government Agency to Work For   5 years 23 weeks ago

    My interview mentioned above is for a LE position. Do you guys think that a full time LE position is worth persuing? Or am I going to end up working for another gov agency with nepotism? How many hours does a LE ranger normally work? I'm getting out of a career where I make around 70k but work 60 hours a week. To me the trade off between a life and money just isn't worth it.

    Any thoughts?

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Kurt, I'm a skeptic, which means I haven't decided. To me, the science is highly questionable and even more questionable is the political massaging going on from the left, the government, and the media. I admit that it's possible humans arewarming the planet, but there is a mountain of evidence to the contrary. But for a moment, let's assume that humans are warming the planet; then what? Is government the answer? History has shown otherwise. There are far better ways to go about fighting this perceived threat than coercive government measures, a tax on production, and the possibility of increased political and corporate corruption and collusion in carbon trading. Better ways include letting the free market allocate resources toward climate change technology and flipping the switch and individuals divorcing themselves from carbon creation. However, the liberal urban elite feel guilty about the high standard of living they enjoy, but instead of giving it up (who can blame them?), they demand action, mainly in the form of coercive government control and taxes which disproportionately harm the poor and middle class. If "you" should happen to fall into that demographic, try not to take it personally. This comment, however, is directed at you: Certainly as a journalist you learned to avoid logical fallacies such as argumentum ad populum, an appeal to the majority. The majority of people on the planet once believed the Earth was the center of the universe. Just because a majority believes something, that don't make it so.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Greenpeace is well known for staging the wild & wacky. I live near D.C. and they routinely show up at protests, usually costumed as the critter of the hour. Their favorite activities include the usual march and chant, street theatre, blocking Metro stations at rush hour, bizarre stunts, and burning effigies. It's all very entertaining but often seems shallow and shrill. There's so much hullabaloo the true message gets lost. And what we need now is clarity. The IPCC report spells it all out very well without all the extra noise.

    Greenpeace could have gotten a good photo op at Mt. Rushmore and gotten their point across without risking life and limb. I'd be interested to know how they managed to bypass security; it seems someone did his homework. I hope we can all agree that what they did was colossally stupid and reckless in the extreme.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Once again the enviornmentalist have shown how far out of touch they are. They scream and whine file frivolous lawsuit because the bleeding heart liberals have set up so they can do it at no cost to them. They are destroying the world with their stupidity. If they as I am were conservationists and wanted to use our natural resources in a proper way we would all be better off.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Jim, I agree that people should have the right to voice their opinions, but shouldn't that be done in a place that they are responsible for? Why do they, or anyone who does something similar, think it is ok to use public dollars, public places, or other places that I happen to pay for? I am a conservative and think everyone should choose their places carefully for their protests. If they would have fallen, they would have sued the US for their injuries. Fair? I think not.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Frank, are you still a school teacher? Where's your analytical, open-minded approach?

    As for the AP story, how could a 2007 report be reported on by the AP in 1997? Furthermore, the language I offered you came from the latest IPCC website and is not interpreted by anyone else but rather from the horse's mouth, as it were, so it's not been filtered or massaged.

    As for your link about IPCC admitting they could be wrong, my reading of that site you linked to seems to indicate you're taking things a tad out of context to forward your position. Rather, the author of that post -- Roy W. Spencer -- makes that inference, which you repeat. Again, massaging the message. Frankly, I don't think you could find any scientist who would guarantee something 100 percent, unless it's that they'll die some day, and then they would make that posthumously via a close relative.

    More specifically to the 90% likelihood that humans are driving climate change, here's a tidbit from www.realclimate.org (granted, from February 2007):

    The conclusion that large-scale recent warmth likely exceeds the range seen in past centuries has been extended from the past 1000 years in the TAR (Third Assessment Report), to the past 1300 years in the current (ie. 4th assessement) report, and the confidence in this conclusion has been upped from “likely” in the TAR to “very likely” in the current report for the past half millennium. This is just one of the many independent lines of evidence now pointing towards a clear anthropogenic influence on climate, but given all of the others, the paleoclimate reconstructions are now even less the central pillar of evidence for the human influence on climate than they have been incorrectly portrayed to be.

    Finally, first you imply that I'm a hypocrite, and now imply that I'm a fundamentalist. Or, to cover your bases, you're using the editorial "you," and not directing it directly at me. But I digress. I think the science is well-founded that humans are driving climate change; right now we're mainly quibbling over the percentages.

    As I noted in an earlier comment, If you believe that tens of thousands of scientists are colluding in a massive conspiracy, nothing anyone can say is likely to dissuade you.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    God bless these brave Greenpeace folks.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    "Frank, please tell me that I'm confused..."

    You're confused. Try to find a class on Austrian economics at your community college to help enlighten you. Or better yet, save the money and read Rothbard.

    Kurt, a 2007 UN (IPCC) report in 1997 showed, according to the Associated Press, that "[w]orld sea levels will keep rising for more than 1,000 years even if governments manage to slow a projected surge in temperatures this century blamed on greenhouse gases...". I misspoke and retract "global warming" and insert "some of global warming's predicted effects".

    The methods you quote from the UN all require heavy-handed central planning, coercion, and is largely one big pipe dream (we are technologically many decades away from replacing fossil fuels). This is feel-good, non-scientific, greenwashed mumbo jumbo.

    And finally, IPCC admits that they could be wrong about humans causing global warming. If you are unwilling to admit that humans are not causing global warming, then you are a fundamentalist. And fundamentalists of any stripe pose a significant danger to liberty.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Would You Like to See Added to the National Park System?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    My comment relates to the wilderness areas associated with many national parks. I love backpacking in these wilderness areas. In the last few decades however, the wilderness areas have been invaded by packtrain operators. Packtrains carry 20 to 40 persons into the wilderness. These people know little about living in the wilderness, therefore they are messy and do not take care of their food. As a result, the wilderness areas have become overpopulated with scavenging bears.

    I would like all pack and riding animals banned from wilderness areas. This would greatly reduce the human impact on these wilderness areas.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    >>the IPCC determined it is likely that nothing we do now can stop or even slow future warming.<<

    Frank, got a source for that? Here's what I found on the IPCC site:

    Renewable energy resources can play a key role in meeting the growing energy demand while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As shown in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, in association with energy-efficiency measures, they can make a substantial contribution to climate change mitigation as early as 2030.The Special Report on “Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation” aims to provide a better understanding and broader information on the mitigation potential of renewable energy sources: technological feasibility, economic potential and market status, economic and environmental costs&benefits, impacts on energy security, co-benefits in achieving sustainable development, opportunities and synergies, options and constraints for integration into the energy supply systems and in the societies. It will also assess resources by region and impacts of climate change on these resources.

    That certainly sounds like it's highly likely we can turn things around....if we have the desire;-)

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    The global warming cult almost rivals the geocentric views held by the holy [Catholic] Church during the Dark Ages. Galileo was punished. Are global warming skeptics next?

    Frank, please tell me that I'm confused when I interpret this to mean that you're suggesting that those who disagree with the IPCC will be subjected to the sort of horrors that my church perpetrated during the Middle Ages or that you're comparing those with your belief to Galileo. I'm hoping this is hyperbole on your part...

    And I would pose another question: Ignore the idea of human-caused climate change, and the predictions of global doom, then ask yourself: Should we be blowing up the Appalachian mountains in search of cheap coal, a fuel that is cited as a cause of climate change? Can we afford to? Is the stopping of mountaintop removal mining, something that I know all too well, having lived my life among it (the Kingston/TVA ash spill last December was less than a half-hour drive from home), not worth our time and attention?

    If cap and trade, and the resulting decrease in carbon-belching, mountain-destroying, filthy coal plants, stops Big Coal from running roughshod over Appalachia, then more power to President Obama. I'll pay through the nose for the safety of my friends and neighbors rather than watch our land blown up and our homes swept away by toxic sludge again.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Doctrines indeed. The global warming cult almost rivals the geocentric views held by the holy Church during the Dark Ages. Galileo was punished. Are global warming skeptics next?

    Since Kurt is "fairly comfortable with the IPCC's conclusions", logically, he must denounce the cap and trade bill because the IPCC determined it is likely that nothing we do now can stop or even slow future warming.

    Cap and trade is a production tax, one we can ill afford.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Would You Like to See Added to the National Park System?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    An Ancient Forest National Park is proposed for Northern California and Southern Oregon to biologically join together wilderness areas, roadless areas, a national recreation area and wild and scenic rivers into one cohesive land management unit for the protection of ancient forest plants, animals and fish. The proposal is to set aside a solid block of land approximately 2.5 million acres from the Rogue River in Oregon to the Trinity River in California. It will forever allow the free migration of species from the coast and Redwood National Park to semi arid inland canyons. The park would include already established wilderness areas and already designated critical wildlife areas along with unprotected roadless areas. Very few of the acres included are private land and most of it is very steep and uninhabited. The area proposed as Ancient Forest National Park is vast, but for the survival of species in this era of climate change and major fires, it needs to be. There has to be room for the constant change in habitat types that comes with what is truly wild. The Kalmiopsis area was burned almost in its entirety in one summer season and much of the Trinity Alps forests burned in two summer events, and the Marble Mountain Wilderness was half burned the summer of 2008 along with the Ukonom Creek and Dillon Creek Roadless areas. There is no time to waste because climate change is happening right now and animals and plants and fish in this ancient forest are stressed. In fact, outside of the park proposal, much of what was here when white-man came to the West is now gone for good. The Ancient Forest National Park would include the most rugged and scenic remnant of what was a coast to coast wilderness not long ago. The reason this area has survived in tact is because people have fought and fought again for its preservation. A major part of the landscape proposed as Ancient Forest National Park has been set aside in a piecemeal fashion with no thought given to species migration.

    It's time to join all those pieces together now.

    Please visit http://www.ancientforestnationalpark.org/

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 24 weeks ago

    And by the way, has anyone actually "proved" that there is man made global warming besides the guy that invented the internet?

    I'd say that most readers of this site would view a global warming "non-believer" as a sort of modern day Philistine. Man-made (oh, I mean non-gender specific "human created") climate change is just one of the many new quasi-religious doctrines of the post-modern era that sit at the right hand of the politically correct Gods, along with worship of the nation-state and the infallibility of mob ruled democracy. The mere questioning of these doctrines is an invitation to ridicule and worse.