Tim’s Picks

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Mapping Project Tracks Logging for Biomass Energy | Biomass Monitor

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Once completed, the McNeil Biomass Forest Mapping Project will map logging for both the McNeil station and the 25-megawatt Ryegate Biomass Incinerator (in Ryegate, Vermont) over a ten year period from 2002-2012 to depict the actual forest footprint of industrial scale biomass energy. The finished project will include dozens of photo galleries showing on-the-ground impacts of biomass energy logging projects.

Tavis Smiley, Cornel West on the 2012 Election and Why Calling Obama "Progressive" Ignores His Record , Amy Goodman, Democracy Now

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As the most expensive presidential election in U.S. history comes to an end, broadcaster Tavis Smiley and professor, activist Dr. Cornel West join us to discuss President Obama’s re-election and their hopes for a national political agenda in and outside of the White House during Obama’s second term. At a time when one in six Americans is poor, the price tag for combined spending by federal candidates — along with their parties and outside groups like super PACs — totaled more than $6 billion. Together, West and Smiley have written the new book, “The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto.”

Feds reject calls to limit logging in Aspen project | SacBee

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Follow the Money to Understand the corruption and stupidity of the Federal land management agencies, BLM, USFS, Minerals, BIA, all of them. All the extractive industry corporate interests, including the dishonest and destructive strip-mine logging industry (with the largest footprint), gives enough money to buy politicians and to own them.

Debt standoff makes Forest Service fight all fires? | McClatchy

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Most scientists and fire managers agree that fire is a healthy and necessary part of the forest, and that fighting these blazes serves only to build up fuels and boost the size and frequency of fires that do turn catastrophic. Federal agencies still put out 97 to 99 percent of all fires that start.

Hubbard’s memo, which became public only this month, raised fears among agency critics of a backward shift to a policy where federal agencies attack every wildfire, many deep in the woods, increasing the cost of suppression.

Spotted owls need more forest cover, not less. Roy Keene, Oregonian

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We aren’t losing an indicator species like the spotted owl because the federal forests aren’t being logged enough. We are losing the owl — along with other vital publicly owned forest resources such as cold, clean water and salmon — because the vast intermingled corporate forest is being logged too much and too heavily.

Profits on Carbon Credits Drive Output of a Harmful Gas, NYTimes

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But where the United Nations envisioned environmental reform, some manufacturers of gases used in air-conditioning and refrigeration saw a lucrative business opportunity.

They quickly figured out that they could earn one carbon credit by eliminating one ton of carbon dioxide, but could earn more than 11,000 credits by simply destroying a ton of an obscure waste gas normally released in the manufacturing of a widely used coolant gas. That is because that byproduct has a huge global warming effect. The credits could be sold on international markets, earning tens of millions of dollars a year.

In Mexico, Reclaiming the Forests and the Right to Feel Safe, NYTimes

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On the morning of April 15, 2011, using rocks and fireworks, a group of women attacked a busload of AK-47-armed illegal loggers as they drove through Cheran, residents said. The loggers, who local residents say are protected by one of Mexico’s most powerful criminal organizations and given a virtual free pass by the country’s authorities, had terrorized the community at will for years.

Opinion: More logging won't cure forestry trade's ills | Vancouver, BC Sun

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The B.C. Liberal government stirred up controversy recently by proposing to remove scenic forest protections in the Harrison, Chehalis and Stave Lakes regions near Vancouver. Their “quick-fix” attempt to provide more timber for logging fails to recognize that the coastal forest industry’s 20-year decline has fundamentally been driven by their own resource depletion policies.

80% of wood biomass burners violate air pollution standards, WSJ

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BLUE LAKE, Calif. — Malodorous brown smoke from a power plant enveloped this logging town on April 29, 2010, and several hundred residents fled until it passed.
Six months later, the plant got $5.4 million from a federal program to promote environmentally preferable alternatives to fossil fuel.

The plant, Blue Lake Power LLC, burns biomass, which is organic material that can range from construction debris and wood chips to cornstalks and animal waste. It is among biomass plants nationwide that together have received at least $700 million in federal and state green-energy subsidies since 2009, a calculation by The Wall Street Journal shows.

Yet of 107 U.S. biomass plants that the Journal could confirm were operating at the start of this year, the Journal analysis shows that 85 have been cited by state or federal regulators for violating air-pollution or water-pollution standards at some time during the past five years, including minor infractions.

Saving 'Avatar Grove': the battle to preserve old-growth forests in British Columbia

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“If we have laws that recognize and protect Heritage Buildings that are 100 years old, why don’t we have laws that recognize and protect our 1,000 year old Heritage Trees?,” Watt told mongabay.com in a recent interview, nothing that, “Old-growth forests provide clean air and water for both people and salmon; they help mitigate climate change by storing twice the amount atmospheric carbon that second-growth plantations do; they are pillars of a multi-billion dollar tourism industry; and are important to many First Nations cultures. They’re what make BC, BC — a place of wild beauty with the finest remaining intact ancient temperate rainforests on Earth.”

Oregon Field Guide's "10 years after a forest fire" – forests heal themselves better without any help from man, nearly always influenced by money, OPB

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Bernard Bormann, with the Pacific Northwest Research station, had been studying the forests’ of the Siskiyou mountains for years. When the 500,000 acre Biscuit fire burned through his research plots, he first thought all was lost. But in the 10 years since the fire, he’s been able to compare life before and after fire to reveal an amazing amount of new information about how life returns to the forest after fire.

Would logging stop Utah's beetles and blazes? Salt Lake Tribune

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No – Logging causes the “problems”. It does not lessen them. forest stress, the loss of shade, leaves the forest hotter and drier, and more prone to insects, fire and disease. Of course in intact, unlogged forests insects, fire and disease have always played a constructive role, part of nature or God’s way. It’s what created our once great forests. ONLY logging and extraction have harmed or destroyed our forests from the Middle East to to the Pacific Northwest. Everything that eats away at the Commonwealth of Nature (and is stupid enough to call it income) is the greatest threat to the survival of life on Earth. Yes that includes us. What kind of People are we? The Termite People? What will we do about it? Little or nothing? Too little, too late? Will anyone stop them before they kill again? TGH

BILL MOYERS Interviews Matt Taibbi and Yves Smith: How the Wall Street Mafia Holds America — and the World — Hostage

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Rolling Stone editor Matt Taibbi and Yves Smith, creator of the finance and economics blog Naked Capitalism, join Bill to discuss the folly and corruption of both banks and government, and how that tag-team leaves deep wounds in our democracy. Taibbi’s latest piece is “The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafia.” Smith is the author of “ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism.”

Burning Trees to Make Electricity — What Are They Thinking? | Ellen Moyer

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The operative word is “they” instead of “we” because 81 percent of Americans think that other energy producing options should be explored first before biomass energy production is explored, according to a recent survey. But our public servants apparently think they know better than the public they are serving. Industry lobbyists have been hard at work selling the idea that biomass energy is clean, green, and renewable.

More logging and exports is not the solution to tax cuts for timber barons and now underfunded budgets, Hermach oped

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As a native Oregonian, I’ve witnessed and documented the failure of industrial forestry to be truthful or to sustain forest and human communities in Oregon for more than 50 years.

The timber industry already has logged more than 90 percent of Oregon’s native forests, both public and private. Most of the timber has been exported as logs, pseudo-processed “lumber,” chips, pulp and now even pellets. There never has been any real intention to sustain our forest or human communities — just finish logging our region and move on.

Not for Sale: Why We Can't Save the Planet By Putting a Price on Nature, Goldtooth

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The green economy is nothing more than capitalism of nature. The 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which is promoting a green economy, is the next step in the evolution of capitalism. The goal is to implement an alternative to global regimes cashing in on creation by privatizing, commodifying and selling off all forms of life – including air, water and genes, plants, traditional seeds, trees, biological and cultural diversity, ecosystems and even indigenous traditional knowledge.

Timber Industry: Public perception puts pressure on biomass, Pulp & Paper International

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What would become known as the Manomet Report officially turned the theory of biomass’ carbon neutrality on its head. The report concluded that cutting down native forests for biomass would not only significantly increase the amounts of carbon dioxide in the environment, but that using forest biomass for energy was more damaging to the environment than using coal or natural gas.

Omnes Enim Peccaverunt Et Egent Gloriam Dei (No Sidebar)

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Propterea sicut per unum hominem in hunc mundum peccatum intravit et per peccatum mors et ita in omnes homines mors pertransiit in quo omnes peccaverunt. Sic enim dilexit Deus mundum ut Filium suum unigenitum daret ut omnis qui credit in eum non pereat sed habeat vitam aeternam.

AWR Responds to Timber Industry Ads: No 'lawless logging' in Montana

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Do we really want to go back to these good old days of cut-and-run where there are no environmental laws? Montanans love our national forests, which belong to the American people, not to the career bureaucrats in the Forest Service or the CEOs and stockholders of timber corporations.

HR 4089 — Repealing the Wilderness Act, Koehler

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The folks at Wilderness Watch have put together a very detailed analysis of HR 4089 titled, “How the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012 (HR 4089) Would Effectively Repeal the Wilderness Act.” The analysis describes in detail how the incredibly destructive provisions of HR 4089 would effectively repeal the Wilderness Act of 1964. Make no mistake about it, if HR 4089 becomes law — and it has already passed the House with all but two Republicans and 20 percent of Democrats voting for it — Wilderness as envisioned in the Wilderness Act will cease to exist.

Earth Policy Release – Fukushima Meltdown Hastens Decline of Nuclear Power

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On May 5, 2012, Japan shut down its Tomari 3 nuclear reactor on the northern island of Hokkaido for inspection, marking the first time in over 40 years that the country had not a single nuclear power plant generating electricity. The March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown shattered public confidence in atomic energy, thus far making it politically impossible to restart any of the reactors taken offline. And the disaster’s legacy has spread far beyond Japan. Some European countries have decided to phase out their nuclear programs entirely. In other countries, nuclear plans are proceeding with caution. But with the world’s fleet of reactors aging, and with new plants suffering construction delays and cost increases, it is possible that world nuclear electricity generation has peaked and begun a long-term decline.

This Year's Timber Harvest Mostly From Forest's Remote Corners, ??? Arcata

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Any time the word “harvest” is used to describe the cutting down of trees that are over 50, 60 or a hundred years old is an indicator of the pro-logging bias of the the author. Forests that are tens of thousands of years old, and trees that are hundreds of years old are not a crop or even a renewable resource as never in the history of the human race has a native primeval forest ever been liquidated and then replaced or renewed with another forest of like kind or better. To think otherwise is just a product of industry’s indoctrination, propaganda and lies. Fiber farms and tree plantations will never become a forest. Shade and soil loss, extinctions are forever consequences. Dishonestly stripping the Earth of its forest cover for stuff and money is certainly not the act of an intelligent species concerned about future generations. However, it is an act of war. Where is the Natural Resource Capital Account? Where is the Depletion account? The Replacement Cost of Goods Sold account? The Honest and Fully-Costed Accounting and Economic analysis? What kind of people are we? TGH

It's not just salmon or owls, but forests and humans that are further endangered by all additional logging of our already overcut Commonwealth forests and watersheds

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Check out the lawsuit’s narrow legal arguments. It raises few if any of the fundamental and crucial underlying real reasons this logging is antithetical to forest management and stewardship. Why is that? Is this belated lawsuit just a face-saving smoke screen or is it serious? Logging damages, degrades, destroys and desecrates our Endangered Forests. – TGH

Good "Waste not, want not" community org effort, NYTimes

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At Amsterdam’s first Repair Cafe, an event originally held in a theater’s foyer, then in a rented room in a former hotel and now in a community center a couple of times a month, people can bring in whatever they want to have repaired, at no cost, by volunteers who just like to fix things.

Conceived of as a way to help people reduce waste, the Repair Cafe concept has taken off since its debut two and a half years ago. The Repair Cafe Foundation has raised about $525,000 through a grant from the Dutch government, support from foundations and small donations, all of which pay for staffing, marketing and even a Repair Cafe bus.

See the McKenzie with Tim

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More logging on the McKenzie River in Oregon? Come see for yourself the true state of things in the forest.

Sign up for the Native Forest Council’s
See the McKenzie Giveaway

More industry propaganda and BS: "Our too-thirsty forests" | Miami Herald

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The conclusions of this industry-biased article are bogus. Forests attract water and then store it up both in the trees themselves and in the ground for release during the hotter drier months. Logging forests leaves them, hotter, drier and more flammable not the opposite as this proven to be dishonest industry claims.

The New Wall Street Racket Looting Your City, One Block at a Time

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Here is how the “infrastructure trust” works: the city pays for upgrades to its roads, rail or schools with dollars pooled by Emanuel’s friends from the banking and investment world. Meanwhile, the city retains “ownership” of the infrastructure, though this comes at the cost of having to ensure a revenue stream for the fund. Emanuel’s favorite example is his $225 million pet project to green-retrofit some of the city’s older buildings. The savings on energy usage stemming from the renovations are then extracted and used to pay off investors. Of course, the city could also sell municipal bonds to raise necessary funds, and then use the savings in energy costs to pay the loan back at a much lower cost to taxpayers. But then Emanuel’s friends (and campaign donors) would not be the richer for it.

Ten years after: the Biscuit fire revisited, Medford, OR

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Research by Dan Donato of OSU established that where burned forests were left alone (rather than logged) conifer recovery was robust and fire hazard has decreased. Further studies have confirmed natural conifer recovery is exceeding expectations and that leaves from sprouting hardwoods are building soils while dead snags are contributing nutrients to the next forest. Despite the many heartaches associated with Biscuit, the rebirth of these resilient forests is an inspiring and fitting new chapter that will continue to unfold throughout the coming decades.

Joseph Stiglitz: The 99 Percent Wakes Up

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Inequality isn’t only plaguing America — the Arab Spring flowered because international capitalism is broken. In From Cairo to Wall Street: Voices from the Global Spring, edited by Anya Schiffrin and Eamon Kircher-Allen, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz says the world is finally rising up and demanding a democracy where people, not dollars, matter — the best government that money can buy just isn’t good enough.

Dishonest Black Hills logging will proceed despite protests

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Increasing the dishonest & destructive logging in the Black Hills NF “to kill bugs”. However, Insects, fire and disease are part of nature. They keep our Commonwealth of forests healthy and alive. They did so until the white man came and began liquidating them, using them up because they were there. Nature’s insect, fire and disease don’t destroy forests. Man, chainsaws and greed destroy forests. Man, scientists, even foresters have never grown a forest, let alone a “like kind or better” forest. They don’t know how. They never have and they never will.

Designed to Fail: Why Regulatory Agencies Don't Work

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Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We have been “reforming” regulatory agencies over and over again, and over and over again they have failed. Yet, as a result of the recent catastrophic failures of regulatory agencies, politicians and pundits are talking about the same old “Regulatory Reform” again. “Fill the regulatory agencies with honest people who won’t cave in to special interests.” “Give them more money, more authority and more people.” But my experience has shown that by concentrating all legislative, executive and judiciary authority in one regulatory agency just makes it easier for it to be corrupted by the industries it regulates.

Now Off Case, Judge Redden Weighs In on Dams, NYTimes

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A federal judge who spent a decade presiding over one of the most contentious environmental court fights in the Northwest — the fate of endangered salmon in the Columbia River Basin and four hydroelectric dams that interrupt their migration — has said in a recorded interview that the dams should be removed to help the fish.

Defending the Indefensible. Enormous McKenzie River forest watershed logging plans are a practical response to area's changes (????). What Abominable Dishonesty and BS from the Forest Service! Eugene Register Guard

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Three of big timber’s highest ranking lapdogs, now retired National Forest Supervisors, all of whom diligently stripped the Willamette & other NFs of all the trees they could even if they broke the law to do it, with their editorial this morning once again obediently stand up for more logging of our already extremely overcut and hammered McKenzie River forest and watershed.