Recent comments

  • Op-Ed| The National Park Service Could Learn A Few Things From Its African Colleagues   1 week 1 day ago

    But if the resources that make the park a park are not conserved, then where are we?

    Ethiopia

  • Op-Ed| The National Park Service Could Learn A Few Things From Its African Colleagues   1 week 1 day ago

    I've been to an African National Park. I'm not a "rich elite snob." Complete nonsense.

  • Op-Ed| The National Park Service Could Learn A Few Things From Its African Colleagues   1 week 1 day ago

    But if the resources that make the park a park are not conserved, then where are we?

  • Op-Ed| The National Park Service Could Learn A Few Things From Its African Colleagues   1 week 1 day ago

    Horses are one of the most native American animals along with the whitetail deer and pronghorn. Horses were here for millions of years and absent only briefly after the last major glacier. Elk, bison, and wolves are non native invasive species that migrated here from Asia after the last major glacier. So lets kick out species according to native senority and the amount of crap the spread and kick out bison. http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/education/wild-horses-as-a-returned-native-species/140-wild-horses-as-native-north-american-wildlife

  • Op-Ed| The National Park Service Could Learn A Few Things From Its African Colleagues   1 week 1 day ago

    Some of the comparisons are a bit of apples to oranges. So, the Serengeti does not allow private hiking, mountain biking and I guess horse riding...

    Between the hippos, cheetahs, elephants, lions and other dangerous species, that makes sense! Plus the fact that the park is actually bigger than the state of Connecticut. Is the proposal to limit Yellowstone to a few well heeled tourists that will travel through the park on dirt roads in jeeps driven by guides?

    I get the writer wants to emphasize conservation over recreation, whatever that really means, but the comparisons used to support that opinion don't really work here.

    Or maybe, we can start by kicking out horses since they're non native to this country and they crap everywhere?

  • Op-Ed| The National Park Service Could Learn A Few Things From Its African Colleagues   1 week 1 day ago

    Agreed Whipperin. We don't need the Serengeti zoo that only rich foreigners with their high priced guides can visit.

  • Op-Ed| The National Park Service Could Learn A Few Things From Its African Colleagues   1 week 1 day ago

    Keep that conservation over private recreation stuff in Africa for the rich elites that can afford to go there.. The United States National Parks are for the enjoyment of the American people, so let's make the Parks more recreation friendly not less. Who cares about a National Resource that cannot be used and enjoyed by the Common People? The super rich elite want to be the only ones to get to enjoy their conservation project Parks. Who goes to those African Parks? Rich elites snobs. If I can't recreate in the Park then knowing that it is being conserved means nothing to me. The Park might as well be on the Moon.

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   1 week 1 day ago

    NCDC has no thermometers in most of Africa, and nearly half of the rest of the land surface, so they fabricate fake land temperatures based on sea surface temperatures more than 1,000 km away

    NCDCAfricaFaking

    Global Temperature and Precipitation Maps | Temperature, Precipitation, and Drought | National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)

    To show how fraudulent this practice is, let’s look at the US where they do have surface data. The Atlantic was warm, while the US and Canada were very cold last year. You can not extrapolate temperatures across land/ocean boundaries.

    ScreenHunter_6267 Jan. 21 06.19

    What they are doing is equivalent to measuring Death Valley temperature, based on the temperature of the cold water offshore in the Pacific.

    But it gets worse – after making up these completely fake temperatures across vast swaths of the planet, they report a global temperature record of 0.02 degrees. This is scientific malfeasance – pure and simple.

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   1 week 1 day ago

    Rail systems can pay for themselves if modern, efficient, comfortable.

    Can you identify one such system?

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   1 week 1 day ago

    Alfred Runte, I am basically in agreement, but there are some difficult issues to hurdle. Here in California, support for high speed rail and public transit systems poll well as long as it does not go through their neighborhood, the more well heeled the area, the more the contentious discussion on the routes. As EC points out, his/her neighborhood wants to keep it that way. Rail systems can pay for themselves if modern, efficient, comfortable. Amtrack is anything but that. On the issue of renewables, I also am inclined to agree with you, roof top solar is an excellent example. Progress is being made, but much still needs to be done. I also think placing all the renewables on some of our remaining wide open spaces is an issue, but you are right, much politics is averted, the energy companies are looking for the best bang for the buck, no NIMBY's to contend with, and in some of the urban areas, open space is already at a premium .

    David Brower once stated "we are choking ourselves to death on automobiles, we need to invest in public transportation". Change is always difficult to accomplish, dealing with the issue of population growth and all that is needed to support it is a formidable task. Thank you MC13 for your post on how we gather temperature data. It was very informative.

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   1 week 1 day ago

    As of 1975, there was nearly unanimous consensus among experts that the first half of the 20th century was exceptionally warm, and that temperatures had plummeted after 1940. In fact, by the late 1960s, temperatures were colder than they were in 1900.

    The National Academy of Sciences published this graph, showing that the late 1960’s were cooler than the turn of the 20th century.

    ScreenHunter_600 Jun. 21 17.05

    From 1900 to 1950, there was dramatic retreat of ice in the Northern Hemisphere

    POLAR ICE THAW INCREASING GLACIERS SAID TO BE MELTING

    CLEVELAND, Feb. 16 (A.A.P.) Dr. William S. Carlson, an Arctic expert, said to-night that the Polar icecaps were melting at an astonishing and unexplained rate and were threatening to swamp seaports by raising the ocean levels.

    The glaciers of Norway and Alaska are only half the size they were 50 years ago. The temperature around Spitsbergen has so modified that the sailing time has lengthened from three to eight months of the year,” he said. ‘

    18 Feb 1952 – POLAR ICE THAW INCREASING GLACIERS SAID TO [?] M…

    The Courier-Mail Monday 6 May 1940

    Professor Ahlmann was speaking on the collated results of his expedition to north-east Greenland, and he stated that the glaciers there showed clear signs of a change towards a warmer climate. As had been observed in other parts of the Arctic, especially in Spitzbergen, the melting had increased rapidly. By far the largest number of local glaciers in northeast Greenland had receded very greatly during recent decades, and it would not be exaggerating to say that these glaciers were nearing a catastrophe.

    06 May 1940 – Greenland’s Climate Becoming Milder

    But by 1970, the Arctic was rapidly freezing, with scientists reporting a large increase in ice. The CIA reported a 10-15% increase in ice and snow. there can be little doubt that the early 1970’s were much colder than earlier in the century – when glaciers were rapidly melting.

    PaintImage10991 (1)

    CIA Report 1974

    And scientists reported there was no end in sight to Northern Hemipshere cooling

    ScreenHunter_291 May. 08 11.50ScreenHunter_292 May. 08 11.50

    ScreenHunter_284 May. 08 11.45

    ScreenHunter_290 May. 08 11.46

    International Team of Specialists Finds No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend in Northern Hemisphere – View Article – NYTimes.com

    The 1940 spike in temperatures doesn’t fit the current global warming narrative, so government funded climate scientists decided to get rid of it.

    From: Tom Wigley <wigley@ucar.edu>To: Phil Jones <p.jones@uea.ac.uk>Subject: 1940sDate: Sun, 27 Sep 2009 23:25:38 -0600Cc: Ben Santer <santer1@llnl.gov>

    It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with “why the blip”.

    di2.nu/foia/1254108338.txt

    And they did exactly that. The Hockey Team removed almost all of the 1940s blip, and the post 1940 cooling.

    ScreenHunter_598 Jun. 21 15.49

    GISS data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/ZonAnn.Ts+dSST.txt

    1975 NAS understandingcli00un…

    They accomplished this by massively cooling the period from 1901 to 1960. The graph below shows haw Northern Hemisphere temperatures have been rewritten since the 1975 National Academy of Sciences report. The Hockey Team knocked more than 0.4ºC off 1920 temperatures, relative to the late 1960’s.

    ScreenHunter_599 Jun. 21 15.49

    By doing this they paved the way for Michael Mann’s hockey stick – which of course wouldn’t have worked if 1970 was colder than 1900.

    ScreenHunter_601 Jun. 21 17.39

    ScreenHunter_812 Dec. 25 09.12

    …That’s the News. And Now for San Juan’s Weather… – View Article – NYTimes.com

    But it wasn’t just the Northern Hemisphere, the Hockey team has also dramatically cooled the Southern Hemisphere’s past.

    ScreenHunter_515 Jun. 16 05.15

    Without all of this massive data tampering by the Hockey Team, the global warming story collapses.

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   1 week 1 day ago

    M13 - And since the vast majority of the "measuring stations" didn't exist (in their current state) a hundred or even fifty years ago, the comparisons are totally bogus. Its like comparing todays SAT scores to those from 50 years ago.

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   1 week 1 day ago

    Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who said, ‘We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we cannot have both.’

    Well I guess Ethiopia must be very democratic since it is very poor. I wonder why we are a rich nation and Ethiopia poor. Could it be our Constitution and Capitalist economy? Again I ask, should we live like Ethiopians?

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   1 week 1 day ago

    Oscar Wilde said, "A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing."

    Pretty well sums up greed, too.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2014/01/23/the-85-richest-people-i...

    That is an article well worth reading -- and thinking about.

    Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who said, ‘We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we cannot have both.’

    When wealth captures government policymaking, the rules bend to favor the rich, often to the detriment of everyone else.

    But the arrogant greed of some folks prevent them from any kind of thoughtful consideration of others.

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   1 week 1 day ago

    http://www.wired.com/2015/01/know-2014-hottest-year/

    How We Know 2014 Was the Hottest Year

    Technicians work on this NOAA weather buoy.

    Technicians work on a NOAA weather buoy. NOAA

    Sure, it’s the middle of winter, and you’re probably more worried about tomorrow’s wind chill than last summer’s heat. But 2014 was particularly warm, as you may have heard—1.24 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the global average for the last century and the hottest year in the history of looking at such stuff. Overall, temperatures have risen 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, and, 10 of the warmest years have come after 2002. It’s the sort of trend that should worry you if you hope to avoid rising seas, ferocious storms, droughts, mass extinctions, and other apocalyptic outcomes.

    But it also begs a question: Really? Which is to say, how do climate scientists know? What convinces them that they can measure, accurately, the temperature of an entire planet—especially when accurate temperature measurements are crucial for understanding and documenting climate change.

    The answer is, it’s not easy. Getting the right data requires a vast network of temperature sensors across all continents and oceans. “It’s a hodgepodge of different networks belonging to a bunch of different owners,” says Deke Arndt, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Here’s how the system works:

    Sensors on LandSome land-basd temperature sensors are housed in a Cotton Region Shelter, which shades the instrument.

    Some land-basd temperature sensors are housed in a Cotton Region Shelter, which shades the instrument. NOAA

    Weather stations, Antarctic research stations, government facilities like water treatment plants, and airports all take regular temperature readings—more than 6,000 land-based sensors, altogether.

    The exact types of sensors and the details of how they’re deployed depend on the individual networks that run them, but most rely on thermistor technology—just like the digital thermometer you stick under your tongue. Thermistors are devices whose electrical resistance depends on temperature; electrical current flows more easily when it’s either warmer or cooler, providing a direct measurement for temperature. Many are automated and record data constantly throughout the day, but others require a person to go out and read the measurements daily.

    A small fraction of the sensors are old-fashioned liquid and glass thermometers, in which heat causes alcohol or mercury to expand and rise up a calibrated temperature gauge. They may seem quaint, but that old-school tech is actually useful in helping researchers identify biases and better understand the data collected by newer, fancier technologies.

    Sensors at Sea

    On about 1,500 buoys—a couple-hundred fixed and the rest free-floating—thermistor-based sensors measure the surface temperature of the seas. Some of them sample as often as once every 10 minutes, transmitting data back home via satellite.

    Those buoys are distributed pretty evenly, which means they’re spread way out. Ships cover some of the gaps, with thermometers hanging off the hull or in the engine room, where they measure the incoming seawater used to cool the engine.

    Number Crunching

    Collecting the data isn’t enough, of course. Global sensor networks vary depending on location and what organization runs them—like, for example, NOAA’scooperative observer program, which runs thousands of sensors in North America. The network depends on volunteers who go out every day and read a nearby temperature sensor—one that they may keep in their own backyard. They then report the readings via phone or online. Again, the vast majority of sensors are electronic and thermistor-based, but roughly a quarter are still liquid-and-gas, says NOAA meteorologist Jim Zdrojewski, who helps run the effort. The program started in 1890, and its oldest sensor has been measuring temperatures continuously for 217 years. Now imagine dozens of similar networks, all collecting and sharing data. It’s a challenge.

    So algorithms at places like NOAA and NASA crunch through the numbers, figuring out how to take into account increased heat in urban areas and how the spacing between instruments might skew the measurements. The researchers calculate average monthly temperatures and compare them with the averages at every sensor location between 1951 and 1980. These differences, called anomalies, offer a better way to determine trends than simply comparing the temperatures themselves. For example, anomalies accurately track temperature patterns whether you’re looking at water on oceans or cool, mountain air. All in all, it’s not an easy process. But without reliable numbers, no one can tell what the magnitude of the problem is—much less how to fix it.

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   1 week 1 day ago

    So what? You want us to go live like Ethiopians?

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   1 week 1 day ago

    For whatever it might be worth, I was just on the treadmill at the gym where a TV set is installed to keep folks amused. There was a report that someone has determined that the United States is second only to China in the list of world polluters. I didn't see what organization made the claim, but the TV was tuned to FOX News.

    A quick look online turned up the following:

    Americans constitute 5% of the world's population but consume 24% of the world's energy.

    · On average, one American consumes as much energy as

    o 2 Japanese

    o 6 Mexicans

    o 13 Chinese

    o 31 Indians

    o 128 Bangladeshis

    o 307 Tanzanians

    o 370 Ethiopians

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   1 week 1 day ago

    why are we not taking the simplest ones first

    Becasue 1) it isn't the simplest one. It is a money pit. Everywhere passanger trains operate in the US it is only with huge subsidies paid by people that don't ride them. 2) It doesn't fit the American lifestyle.

    Yes I live in Breckenridge, a resort town in Colorado. Yes the road is crowded with traffic two days a week for 5-6 hours 6-8 months of the year. Some have proposed a train from Denver. Besides the untold billions it would cost and the total impossibility of it being run and maintained by user fees, the last think I want is for Breckenridge to become a Denver bedroom community. The traffic is a self governing force on our development. It is what keeps our magnificant open space.

  • Give A Welcome To Traveler's Recent Subscribers   1 week 1 day ago

    Thanks for reminding me to renew my subscription. It would be great if many of the other frequent posters on this site would contribute financially as well.

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   1 week 1 day ago

    Of course they are "different," but if the point is "solutions," why are we not taking the simplest ones first, i.e., the least destructive and invasive of what it means to be an American? I believe you live in Colorado. Why? Probably because it has magnificent open space. The next thing you know, the whole horizon will be filled with blinking red lights, and you will be asked to do "your part" to halt climate change.

    The Europeans have more "green" energy than we do, but they also believe in landscape. And so they think carefully where to put wind turbines, solar plants, and the like. We don't. Our current president wants them all over the desert--now two million acres just for solar panels. 40 million acres have been designated as "suitable" for those sites. And that's just the solar panels and not the wind farms.

    Is that what "preservationists" want for the desert--and the mountain ranges of the West? If not, we had better get a whole lot more like Europe in a hurry, because giving up on open space is the corporate solution we are being told we "need." I still believe there are less destructive solutions than turning the American West into an energy pit, fossil fuels or renewables.

    Like Europe, I would start with trains and the belief that every landscape matters. The national parks need breathing room, too. When I see a blinking red light, I would prefer it be on a fire truck. Yes, call me an old-fashioned preservationist. I still believe in limits and Aldo Leopold's admonition to know right from wrong. I would be delighted to say that in Davos, but I see that Al Gore stole my seat on the plane.

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   1 week 1 day ago

    If the car disappeared from the world today, Europe would get by. We would be lost.

    You might have noticed the geography and economics of Europe are somewhat different than the US.

  • Desert Lands In Three California Parks Being Protected Through Partnership Efforts   1 week 1 day ago

    d-2, Jim, thank you. I am just getting educated to these partnerships, I participated in a trail dedication in the San Francisco Bay area recently, where I learned much about the East Bay Regional Parks District and the amazing coalitions/patnerships they have forged. One vision of the parks district was to lay out 500 miles of trail encircling the Bay Area. At the recent dedication ceremony, the trail segment just completed (an old highway), has brought the total milage completed to over 350. A very positive accomplishment for the partners involved.

  • Desert Lands In Three California Parks Being Protected Through Partnership Efforts   1 week 1 day ago

    I saw another example of such partnerships at work about 20 years ago at Colonial National Historical Park, which includes the Colonial Parkway.That scenic road runs for 23 miles and connects Yorktown Battlefield and Jamestown Island. Thanks to a wooded buffer along most of the route, almost all of the drive is in fact "scenic," despite the proximity to a growing urban area.

    In one location the boundary was closer to the road than elsewhere and a developer bought the land adjacent to the parkway and started work on a large subdivision; some of the houses would be very close to the Parkway. The developer was willing to sell a strip along the parkway at a reasonable price to the NPS, but there was no money available the close the deal on his timetable. A non-profit, I believe it was the Conservation Fund, made the purchase and held it until the NPS could (1) get a minor boundary change bill through Congress and then (2) get the money via LWCF to purchase the property from the partner.

    End result was a win for the park and for visitors who continue to enjoy the drive - and a much nicer view than the back of a row of houses.

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   1 week 1 day ago

    At least when those 1,700 private jets landed in Switzerland, the country was full of passenger trains--25,000 PER DAY, and practically all of them electrified. Germany has 100,000 intercity passenger trains per day, again, most of them electrified. If the car disappeared from the world today, Europe would get by. We would be lost.

    On climate change, Europe walks the talk. Same for the preservation of landscape. They know that good railroads help preserve the countryside. We are still punching highways through, then wondering why there is global warming. Seriously, does asphalt absorb CO2?

    Europe has deep cultural problems, but not with that. Thanks, EC. That headline sure made the point.

  • Desert Lands In Three California Parks Being Protected Through Partnership Efforts   1 week 1 day ago

    Just an excellent story. Thank you Jim Burnett. This shows the more typical achievements of park partnerships.

    I am among the many reading this site who have seen or participated in many of the repeated efforts to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Act. Something that has never happened wih the LWCF in my experience. We can live in hope, especially when we realize federal leased lands are often damaged with no hope of complete restoration, and thus setting land aside for preservation is only fair.

    But the pendulum has swung the other way as well, as at the beginning of the Reagan Administration when, under Secretary of the Interior James Watt, the Interior Dept tried to block or stiffle the timely sort of land buying by a partner, when Watt's people tried to deny paying any more than the actual land costs. But it costs money to assess and purchase and maintain such lands before transfer to the Park Service; lets assume about 10% of the total. So you can eliminate the ability of land trusts to do business if they cannot be compensated for their administrative and technical costs.

    Another valuable use of LWCF is to protect nationally important land, oten essential to parks or preservation, buy NON-federal agencies. This year, in the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, the Congress and the Administration agreed on the amount for LWCF and agreed to provide about half the LWCF money on this so-called "state-side" need, the other half going to the National Park Service.