Kill Animals! Cut Trees! Protect Nature

When I tell people about my forest, they often praise me for protecting nature. Their enthusiasm cools when I explain that I am indeed protecting nature by killing some animals and cutting some trees. You just cannot rely on nature to take care of itself anymore. Preservation is not desirable everywhere if you want to protect nature.

Humans live in this world and have forever altered it. What if all humans disappeared tomorrow? What would nature "return" to? Where my trees grow, I think it would eventually be a fight between invasive paradise trees and kudzu vines. I don't know if the wild boar would move in and tear up all the roots, but I figure that we probably would soon get many of those introduced bugs that kill beech, oak and ash trees. Eventually some sort of new balance would result. Would the paradise tree/kudzu ecosystem be superior to the pine, oak, beech & poplar and sweet gum I maintain?

Humans are not leaving this world any time soon, so my scenario above is just imaginary. Managing the land is even more important in the world we really live in.

Humans must and will use resources taken from the earth. We can do that for a long time if we manage it right. A wise analysis indicates that some places should be preserved. We should not cut down all the redwoods, nor should we make the Grand Canyon into a gravel pit. But in order to be able to preserve some things, we need to use others.

My land is beautiful rolling green piedmont cut into three parts by clear running streams. It is jumping with wildlife. Beavers have built a little pond. I love my land and feel responsible for it, but I am under no illusions that THIS particular land needs to be preserved untouched. It is nothing special. For about two centuries the land was growing crops and tobacco, which depleted the soil. A little more than 100 years ago, the owner just let it go and soon loblolly pines covered the land. Those pines were harvested in the 1930s, replanted with better trees, harvested again in 1959, replanted with even better trees, harvested in 2003 and replanted with really superior trees which are now around twelve feet high. (We never cut about 30 acres of mixed hardwood near the streams to preserve water quality.)

This land has produced wood for thousands of houses and will produce wood for thousands more. Every stick of wood harvested from this land means we do not have to cut an old forest somewhere else. To make the trees grow faster, we apply biosolids (processed sewerage). This is where it goes when you flush the toilet. It has to go somewhere. You can dump it or bury it where it will be pollution or you can apply it to forest land where it will be fertilizer.

It would be immoral for me to take this land out of production, to preserve it. My higher duty is to conserve and protect it. Conservation is harder work than preservation.

Consider the animals that live on the land. There is no shortage of deer, beaver or wild turkeys. I am glad that the local hunters shoot and trap some of them. Each hunter kills several deer each season. They eat the meat and use the hides, and this pays the property taxes. They cannot seem to shoot enough deer or trap enough beaver to put a dent in their populations.

Using the current methods, I believe the land will continue to produce wood, wildlife, clean air and clear water almost forever. The land LOOKS unattractive for about three years after a clear cut, although the deer love it. After three years the mix of brush and Christmas tree like forest is once again beautiful.

So remember, if you want to preserve special places, you need to use some others and if you want to protect nature, you need to cut some trees, spread some sewerage and kill some animals.

Posted by Jack at October 17, 2006 11:05 PM
Comments
Comment #188700

You’re making a good point about the difference between conservation and preservation. Too many “conservationists” don’t understand the difference. Reckless extraction and exploitation of resources makes no sense, but neither does locking up all resources as if we lived in a park.

Posted by: Michael Smith at October 18, 2006 12:04 AM
Comment #188720

Jack,
Good post. It’s the right approach in mosat areas, I would think. I say most areas, because where I live, which is mostly woody again now after having been clearcut over time by early immigrant farmers, we have seen the devastation caused to the woods by the manmade imbalance between fauna and flora. Specifically the overpopulation of deer. You are very likely familiar with the consequences of too many deer, such as Lyme, Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis diseases. But more importantly, our woods are literally dying unless we can bring deer densities down from a current 60 to 100 per square mile to something more like 8 to 10. Deer have essentially no natural predators and have devastated the woods to the point where one can literally see through them from one end to the other. All lower tier animals, birds and plants are gone and no seedling trees. What’s there now will grow old and then fall over, woods gone. Unless of course, we thin the deer herds, which is what we finally started doing last year in an organized and well controlled manner, supported by most people and the DEP.
So if humans disappeared I tend to believe nature would reestablish its own fine balance , albeit different from the one the Pilgrims found. Clearcutting and replanting provides a useful and necessary variant in support of both nature and humans. Any remaining imbalances as a result of that? Any disease issues, fauna or flora? Interesting post jack.
Fred

Posted by: fred at October 18, 2006 6:10 AM
Comment #188726

The Earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it.

Posted by: mark at October 18, 2006 7:07 AM
Comment #188728

very good point. deer populations are greater today than in the 1800’s. It is called harvesting God’s bounty. when you cut the right trees, plant new growth, cut the under brush to prevent run away fires, harvest deer properly the population flourishes.

A given amount of land can only sustain a certain amount of life. If it is not harvested the over population causes over crowding, diease and starvation.

Since Hillary starting wearing that cross signifying her false sense of religion, she admitted lying about being named after Sir Edmund Hillary. Since she is on a roll someone should ask her how she did away with Vince Foster.

If Vince Foster had a gun he would be alive today!

Posted by: lm at October 18, 2006 7:57 AM
Comment #188735

lm,

The deer population is out of control becuase we humans have killed of all the predators that used these animals to survive. The wild cats, wolves were exterminated because they humans saw them as dangerous, but in reality, the deer population explosion that humans have caused is far more dangerous than the natural predators would have ever been.

This is the problem with humans society. We Kill off all the nature for our convenience. Sure its nice for now, but our grandchildern and their children will be living in a worsening world.

The deforestation that has been going on since the 19th century for human convenience is getting worse. Sure we plant more trees, and harvest them, and plant more, but worldwide, the deforestation is exploding, mostly in third world
countries, and there isn’t much we can do it about but educate those people.

At one time, humans could live in harmony with their environment. Then civilization and captialism created consumer commmunities that are using the world’s resources faster than they can be replenished. That isn’t opinion, it is fact. We are destroying the very environment that “God” gave us to sustain our lives (all lives on the planet, not just humans).

Yes, eventually nature will balance out, the humans will die out becuase we can not sustain our current rate of resource consumption for long. It might continue for the next hundred years or so, but the world will be living in a environment that much poorer than the ones we know now. Nature will balance itself be killing off the animals that our causing the destruction of it’s environment, much like a animal fights off a disease. Then the world will be ready to repair irself, to heal, and begin the next round of “intelligent” animals. Hopefully they’ll have more “intelligence” than to destroy the environment required to sustain their lives.

If you kill the environment, kill the predators, kill those you don’t agree with, for your convenience, then you are living opposite to the world “God” created for us.

Yes Mark, The earth belongs to “God”, however you define it. We humans think that we’re above that and can just take what ever we want. That isn’t intelligence, it is ignorance.

Posted by: mem beth at October 18, 2006 9:14 AM
Comment #188736

I don’t think anyone’s going to argue with you Jack. What Democrats have a problem with is Repbulicans saying that clearcutting is good for the environment period in every situation. It’s as ridiculous as conservationists who believe no one should interact with nature at all. On the whole though, the Democratic platform is better for the environment. Don’t forget that Cheney flat out said “conservation is unAmerican”.

Posted by: Max at October 18, 2006 9:17 AM
Comment #188740

Max said, “What Democrats have a problem with is Repbulicans saying that clearcutting is good for the environment period in every situation.”

You just made this up. Please provide one verifiable quote by a Republican who said this. Typical Democrat, I’d say…

Posted by: Doug at October 18, 2006 9:35 AM
Comment #188743

Mem Beth

We killed off the predators and we are not going to bring most of them back. I do not want cougars around where I live and I do not feel too kindly towards bears either. I would hope that if cougars wandered into my area, somebody would shoot them. They are dangerous. Wolves are okay in my book, but people with cattle, sheep, dogs or cats are less enthusiastic. Humans will be in the world. We have to live in that world. Lions and tigers and bears can live in it too, but not all over the place.

Re deforestation, you got my point. We can grow wood in the SE that will allow forests in other places to be preserved. A well managed tree farm produces not only wood, but also clean water, oxygen, wildlife and green space. Southern pine currently satisfies 58% of America’s wood needs.

Max

It is not necessarily a Dem/Republican issue. It may be more rural/urban or producer/consumer. In any case, activists often oppose reasonable use of the land. They want to impose rules on good forestry. They think that they care for my land more than I do. They want to have a “stake” in something they do not own, are not responsible to care for and something they will forget about as soon as the next cause rolls by.

As I said, they are not always (or even mostly) Dems. They are generally more affluent (at least their parents are) than many of the people they want to regulate. It tends to be rich people who want to move out into “nature” and then prevent anyone else using it. They want to protect their views and that means not letting me cut my trees.

Posted by: Jack at October 18, 2006 9:53 AM
Comment #188748

Jack, I wouldn’t drink from your “clear running” streams if you’re using sewage to fertilize it.

Posted by: gergle at October 18, 2006 10:25 AM
Comment #188750

Max,
I did a search of Cheney + “conservation in unamerican”. The return was 2 hits, both were left blogs. Neither attributed the qoute to the VP.

When I searched for Cheney +conservation, I received many possibilities. Most seemed to be similar to this Washington Post article: http://www.nci.org/01/07/17-wp-cheney_conservation.htm

You may not agree with the politics, but I don’t think we can simply “turn off the switch” and reduce energy demand by 5 or 10% overnight. It did not work in California. Their energy policy was conservation and nothing else. They built no new power plants from the mid 80’s to the late 90’s, while demand continued to rise. Result? Energy demand significantly higher than production, rising prices and rolling blackouts. Now, they are playing catch-up. They learned a valuable lesson…

We need a combination of increased energy production (preferrable cleaner electricity - nuclear, hydro and wind farms) to solve the short term demand while simultaneously developing more efficient products that use less energy to lower (or reduce the rate of growth of) future energy demands.

MB,
I was wondering how long it would take for someone to blame all of the ills of the world on the parasites known as humans. Funny thing is that I thought the liberals, with their anti-god agenda, were the ones who were actively placing humans above God. Now, we see that a liberal is actually playing the “god card” to accuse the rest of us un-enlightened heathens of “destroying what God gave us”.

“If you kill the environment, kill the predators, kill those you don’t agree with, for your convenience, then you are living opposite to the world “God” created for us.” The irony is so thick you can choke on it. Are you referring to the same “God” that your ilk are suing me in an attempt to keep me from invoking as I pledge my allegence to the country I love? The same “God” the left is constantly attempting to deny my right to speak of, pray to and celebrate?

The only being who really understands nature is god. Nature has been changing since before humans were around. What ended the last Ice Age?? Was it the Neanderthals using fire to cook their Wolly Mammoth steaks that caused that episode of “global warming”?? Seriously…if the “natural state” is a perfect, static harmony where Bambi’s mother is still alive, how do you explain the monumental changes that no one can deny occurred??

Can humans alter the environment? Yes. Can humans poison localized areas and cause those ecosystems to die? Yes. Can humans destroy the entire world? Can we kill all life on Earth? Absolutely not. Not even if we detonated all of the nukes, stragetically placed, at one time. Could we drastically change the environment - changing life as we know it? You bet we could.

Is the current fear of “climate change” or “global warming” warranted? I believe it is. Are humans influencing this event? I believe it is a strong possibility. Are we the sole cause of it? NO. I believe we can contribute to the effect, but we are not the sole cause of it. As such, since we did not start it, we cannot stop it.

Thinking that humans can, single handedly, cause or stop global climate changes is, IMHO, denying god and “deitizing” humans.

Posted by: Rich at October 18, 2006 10:45 AM
Comment #188751

BTW,
I know that some will attack my last post and put words in my mouth.

For the record, I believe that we can and should conserve energy, use cleaner types of energy, use renewable sources of energy and lessen our demand on fossil fuels.

I believe that we can and should make every effort to reduce pollution and emissions that may be harmful to our environment.

I believe that we can and should be responsible stewards of the Earth.

I do not, however, believe that the sky is falling and it is all our fault.

Posted by: Rich at October 18, 2006 10:52 AM
Comment #188752

Jack, killing animals and cutting trees simply creates a new homeostatic balance for the benefit of humans, not the environment. The environment is self correcting when imbalances occur. Humans with their penchant for greedy feel good consumption, more often than not, disregard balance, as evidenced by decimation of beaver and bison in America before environmental laws and protections were put in place. In fact, the decimation of beaver and bison in the U.S. is a perfect example of the results of total free enterprise whose only guiding principle is greed to the last profitable drop or member of the species available.

That is not to say, the humans cannot adopt a different paradigm and principle to marry to their greed such that the greed is checked and balanced by variables like long term benefit over short, sustainability of enterprise vs. boom - bust cycles. And that is precisely what the environmental movements have sought in large part, and why we have had many success stories at least in the short term.

The Hudson River, one of the most polluted water ways in America was cleaned up through regulation. Then, in came the Republicans, and the Hudson is dying again. The cost of keeping the Hudson clean is arguably less than trying to clean it up every 2 decades at great expense over 7 to 10 years.

Culling is a legitimate practice of land stewardship. But, let’s not pretend that nature doesn’t have its own culling mechanisms thereby justifying human’s profitable culling. Nature’s culling is inherently balance oriented. Human’s culling is not. Human’s culling is inherently profit motivated. Which in and of itself is not a bad thing. It becomes bad when human’s culling shoots man’s and nature’s balance in the foot. Like Hawaii’s ill fated attempts to import foreign species to solve a population problem for humans of an indigenous species. The africanized bee being another in S. or C. America.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 18, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #188763

Jack,

I’m beginning to see your problem. You have two personalities! Closet environmentalist with long term intent vs. Confessed “freemarket” money hog who can’t see past next quarter!
Must be difficult to reconcile; hopefully you won’t send dirty IM’s to treehugger a la Foley…(at least I think that’s funny)

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 18, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #188764

David,

While I generally agree with you on many things, I’m not sure I catch your point here.

While I love nature, I also love me. Nature is not eden, which your post seems to allude to. A Volcano is not self correcting nature. It’s a destructive natural event. Yes, it creates new land and fertile soils. So does dredging.

There is no reason for man to be stupid and pollute his own enviroment, destroying the ambience, beauty and poisioning himself for the greed of a few. Beyond that, if we don’t cultivate and harvest nature, what are we doing here?

Nature is amoral, not more moral. Mass starvation is not a better system of balance than a mass hunt. It’s just a different system.

Posted by: gergle at October 18, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #188767

An excellent post and good thread. A solid effort at deer management can produce real results. I provide free, but controlled, hunting on my farm and last year we harvested 40 deer. The positive impact on our efforts to restore native hardwood forests on old valley pastures is becoming visible. (Over 35,000 trees planted so far.) Even with predators that is necessary. We have a significant population of coyotes and sightings of bobcat on the farm. Despite that the coyotes are more damaging to the upland birds - mainly quail. (The nonnative pheasant seem to do better.) And now we are seeing a problem with the protection of raptors - so many that they are also hitting the quail real hard. We have far to many turkeys and not enough turkey hunters. It takes real work to conserve, and return and maintain the land to a balance. Some of the extremists on this issue seem to forget that even the native Americans burned the prairies and savannas and girdled large numbers of trees to maintain the environment the way they wanted it.

As for the concern about biosolids in the stream. I can’t speak to this specific application but we plant crops (corn and soybeans) using notill technology in our upland areas where the ground is not to steep or rocky. With proper buffers around streams and ponds we don’t see ANY impact from phosphate and nitrate fertilizers. And I know because I test. I am certain that with proper buffers and the riparian hardwood forest areas around the streams that they can be protected and the biosolids effectively used to fertilize the softwood stands.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 18, 2006 12:14 PM
Comment #188768

Nature’s culling is often ugly — but efficient and with purpose
and heaven forbid — it supports natural selection
The biggest and best males are not killed for the trophy of their antlers, the Largest and most ferocious Bears are not killed to provide a stuffed trophy somewhere. - so let’s not kid ourselves.
However — you do make valid points — we humans break it, and we need to try to fix it — unfortunately we are so ignorant — and not capable of seeing the entire system (it is a bit complicated — seeing as how EVERYTHING is INTERCONNECTED and we have a habit of dealing with things as tho they are isolated from each other)that often our “fixes” are as bad as the problem (or worse)

We fought forest fires — with good intent — only to find that was not the best way to go
We got rid of predators (not with good intent) and that has had tragic and damaging results on the prey population (in addition, wolves and coyotes were eliminated because they competed for coveted prey species — then we began getting overrun by pest species that WE did not want to compete for, but which were a large part of the food source for these “viscious predators”.

The one area I have a HUGE problem with is
Public Lands
Rancher get access to grazing rights on marginal (at best) Federal lands for bargain basement prices, and then INSIST the federal government remove any threat to their livestock!! at Taxpayer expense!! (further subsidy???)
And all of this is by conservative leaning folks who believe in “self-reliance” — ahhh yes the “rugged pioneer folk”
anti-government no less (usually)
anywho
TRUE proper way for that is
You want grazing rights at rock bottom prices??
Its called — take it in “as is” condition
it is cheap — but you are aware of the risks — and the reasons for it being cheap — there are predators that BELONG on the land (they were there first, eh?) — the Rancher CHOOSES to use the land for PROFIT (which is ok) — but
not at the EXPENSE of those who SUBSIST on the land.
anyway
This is a big topic
losts that could be brought up
but
Lets not paint a rosier, more altruistic or holier picture than it really is
“Civilized” Man, as a greedy son of species — and when left to his own greedy self-interest — normally totally fowls his own nest and then moves on to a new area
ahhh but with 300 mill her and 7Billion world wide — we’re sort of running out of “movin’ on” spaces
(as well as depleting the resources we need to survive — even the oceans are becoming deserts as far as fish stocks and other sources of protein)

Posted by: Russ at October 18, 2006 12:17 PM
Comment #188769

Rich,

Humans aren’t the problem, you missed my point. Humans lived for thousands of years in harmony with the environment, it can happen. It is the current consumer environment caused by civilization and capitalsim that is destroying the world faster than it can repair itself. Those are known facts, scientists don’t even try to argue that anymore, they are calculating how much longer until which reach the tipping point where it can’t be reversed.

You don’t want to blame yourself becuase that would mean to give up some of your endless selfish cravings. You want your definition of God to approve of you destroying the world, so that’s what you believe, even when the evidence is right in front you. Humans are so arrogant to place other animals and nature below themselves and think of them as chosen animals, and that is wrong, it is evil, we are now paying the price for that arrogance and greed.

BTW, I’m not liberal, or conservative. I think for myself. I use the intelligence that God gave me, and I don’t have blind faith in bad ideas.

Posted by: mem beth at October 18, 2006 12:17 PM
Comment #188770

Gergle

Biosolids. It is the digested form. All plants grow on shit. You do not apply biosolids every year anyway. It is a wonderful ecological tool that makes a waste product beneficial.

BTW - it is never a good idea to drink from any water source without checking it out. Even the most pristine streams high in the mountains can contain things like giardia. I had it once (not from my water). It is not something you want, although it does help shed those exta pounds. I bet you could sell it on E-Bay as weight loss medicine.

David

I don’t have a problem with helping the environment be more human friendly. The environment presumably doesn’t care. There are many activities that are sustainable and others that are not. Our job is to engage in sustainable activates.

I was unaware that the Hudson was dying again, but I cannot believe it is the fault of Republicans. Everything in the environment and the economy has lag times. There is almost nothing a politician could have done to make such a drastic change in the period of five or six years. Environmental regulations have remained on the books and have been tightened over the past six years re water quality. It is also true that plants and equipment designed for one set of regulations are not immediately replaced even when the regulation is loosened.

Do you have a specific re HOW the Republicans are killing the river?

Re invasive species, that is why nature WILL not return as it was. If left alone, invasive species will displace native ones. You cannot put the toothpaste back in the tube. We do not disagree. I do disagree that nature is in balance. Over a long term, it looks like balance, but it is actually a long statistical process. Was nature balanced 15,000 years ago when that Hudson River valley was under a mile of ice or now when the water is flowing? On a local level, I have to watch those beavers very carefully. If I don’t interfere, they will chew up and destroy fantastic amounts of trees. A few beavers go a long way, but too many are trouble. I will probably be able to send you a nice beaver coat come spring.

Posted by: Jack at October 18, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #188773

And, Yes Rich, I know that I’m part of the problem. That’s the first step if we have any hope left to resolve this situation.

Posted by: mem beth at October 18, 2006 12:32 PM
Comment #188774

Jack, the PCB laden muck in the Hudson did occur over many years of Democrat and Republican rule. But, it is the Republican’s EPA which is blocking the mandate that G.E. clean it up.

That company, General Electric Company (GE), has spent millions of dollars trying to convince Congress and the public that the proposed cleanup of the Hudson River will actually make the PCB problem worse.

Their main reason for resisting the original EPA-sponsored cleanup proposal, projected to cost in excess of $500 million, is a “moral” argument, not a financial one, says GE spokesperson, lawyer, and former CEO Jack Welch. He insists the cleanup is not necessary because PCB deposits have settled into the muck at the bottom of the river, which Welch says means that “the river is cleaning itself.” Scientists, environmentalists, and a variety of non-profit organizations (with no ties to GE ) say otherwise.

The cost of the program was estimated at more than $500 million. But in October of 2005, EPA announced a Consent Decree, which would, if accepted, allow GE to limit their cleanup to the first two phases of the original 2002 dredging plan, which would only cover about 10% of the site.

Since then, two separate lawsuits have been filed to force the EPA to disclose documents pertaining to the discussions they have had with GE and the White House, regarding the proposed Hudson River cleanup. But so far, mum’s the word. For political reasons the EPA prefers to keep secret the information that explains their sudden reversal of policy regarding a comprehensive cleanup of the Hudson river.

Source: Here.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 18, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #188777

Jack, yes, 15,000 years ago it was a natural process for the glacier to override the Hudson Valley area.

The real issue is whether humans in their over-populated state are a natural phenomena? Careful, that which is wrought my man is by definition not natural, but, artificial. In small numbers, environments don’t react or respond to human presence. In huge numbers, nature has no choice but to react and respond to mankind’s omnipresence and degradation of the environment from its state prior to human presence in huge numbers.

The globe is reacting to mankind’s presence. Just as overpopulation by deer will result in natural culling mechanisms introduced by nature herself, there is absolutely no evidence that nature will not do the same in response to mankind’s overpopulation. Katrina is but one small anecdotal sample evidence. The Tsunami in Indonesia, another. Global warming is the huge unignorable one. Not that warming would not have occured without the human population, but, its severity may be increased and its duration prolonged by humankind’s presence and activities.

And that beg’s humankind’s ultimate philosophical question: should humankind be responsible for its effects upon the earth and minimize it, or simply interpret massive human casualties resulting from its activities as part of the natural evolution of the earth?

Hint: the latter argument only makes sense for non-sentient and non-deliberative species, which does not include humankind.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 18, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #188781

So many Daves

Dave 1

I think you have a paradigm problem. You assume free market means money hog. I like money. I have never met anyone who doesn’t. (The people who say they don’t are often the most greedy.) But for me it is a means to the ends I want to accomplish. My forest investment will pay off. I plan to make money on it. But I believe I could make other investments that would yield more money. Since I am not rich, I cannot invest in forest land w/o the option of making money, but making money is not the primary motivation.

I believe in free markets because I think they work best. To me a free market is NOT w/o regulation and it requires the rule of law, but regulations are minimal and performance based. I wrote some posts re a while back.

David Grossman

Right on. When you are actually responsible for land, you become more of a conservationist and less a preservationist.

David R

Whether or not the Republicans are blocking cleanup (which is a bad thing) they are not creating greater hazards. The cleanup would improve the river. Not cleaning it would leave it the same.

It might seem like a pedantic distinction, but it is not. We hear a lot of talk about how much worse things are getting. This just is not true. The U.S. environment is cleaner now than it was five years ago and it will be cleaner still five years from now.

BTW - GE may well be right. You could well create more pollution by messing with the muck. It looks like a case of were environmental purism has triumphed over environmental pragmatism. We may get a better result in theory and pay for it in practice.

Posted by: Jack at October 18, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #188783

David

I disagree that what is done by man is not natural. There is no practical difference if I stack up sticks to dam a stream or if the beaver does or if the hoof of a deer breaks the dam or if I do. What man (being intelligent) can do is make good or bad choices. None of those choices will be natural or unnatural. Just choices better or worse.

Posted by: Jack at October 18, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #188791

Jack, I’ve been involved in the construction of biosolids plants. I still wouldn’t drink from streams next to biosolid dumps.

Giardia isn’t in “clean” streams, but generally fecal contaminated streams. While it is everywhere, the most likely route of contamination is the oral-fecal ingestion route. (i.e. wash your hands). I found this link.

Posted by: gergle at October 18, 2006 2:31 PM
Comment #188795

Gergle,

Giardia can be found in the cleanest streams coming of glaciers in Glacier National Park. All it takes is the fecal matter of one marmot or beaver. Even in this sort of pristine environment I filter my water when backpacking. The only natural water I would drink would be directly from a protected spring. I have a spring on my farm that I hope to eventually build a spring house around so that I can drink directly from that source. Until then my well feeding off the same aquifer will do. I own a small soil and water testing lab. You would be surprised at just how easy it is to “contaminate” your drinking water. I would say that nearly 1/3 of the rural well water samples we test are coliform contaminated.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 18, 2006 2:43 PM
Comment #188796

Gergle

It is NOT a biosolids dump. Biosolids are applied to the soils at certain times in the life cycle. It is a perfectly good process and it makes a pollutant into a benefit.

I would take David Gossman’s advice and not drink from any stream. I also would not drink from the stream when the biosolids are being applied, or after the deer walked across or down from the beaver dam etc. The point is that the water is clean for most practical purposes. We have very particular standards (as we should) for drinking water.

Posted by: Jack at October 18, 2006 2:51 PM
Comment #188801

ALCON,

Good posts. I figured the title of this one would inevitably end up in some ridiculous partisan rancor.

Russ,

Good point about public lands used for ranching and the calls for elimination of predators. One thing that’s always confused me is why there isn’t any type of insurance for that sort of thing. It would seem that all ranchers are at risk of losing some cattle, and having a common insurance fund seems to me a far better idea than the decimation of natural predators.

David Grossman and Jack,

Great posts based on experience in actually practicing land management. Also, good point about some of the people most interested in preservation being the rich who want to hog the view. I don’t believe that anybody who doesn’t live on land and work it themselves can ever understand it or be connected to it in the same manner.

Mem Beth,

I hope you recovered from your case of giardia, though I wish I did not have the intelligence to figure out how it might cause you to lose weight, not the most pleasant visual.

gergle,

Mark your calendar, I think I agree with every single word you said. Excellent post! Now I just need to go and get saved, I’m certain that agreeing with you means the rapture is upon us and I need to get saved.

David Remer,

Up until a few decades ago, I would say that we simply interpret massive human casualties. Our advances in science and communications means that we now have a duty to not be passive observers but to make clear choices with the environment in mind. We do need to recognize that we have an impact and that as population grows so to will the impact. The Earth itself will survive any folly we can inflict, we might not.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 18, 2006 2:56 PM
Comment #188806

Jack said “To me a free market is NOT w/o regulation and it requires the rule of law but regulations are minimal and performance based. “

Sorry bud, but the “minimal and performance based” arguments I’ve seen you make are about removing legislative protections without any significant regards to public good. It always seems to be about the profit. Of course, that’s just my impression.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 18, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #188811

1LT said, “The Earth itself will survive any folly we can inflict, we might not.”

but that’s what I’m saying, we are destroying the environment required for our life……. but yet you disagree?

So why aren’t all the animals contracting giardia, only humans. Because of our lifestyle has destroyed our immunity to this affliction. I wonder why?

Posted by: mem beth at October 18, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #188813

Mem Beth -
“Humans lived for thousands of years in harmony with the environment…”

And died very young, had little that they could count on to eat, often went hungry, often fought other nearby tribes for the scant resources available, and often had to move to find resouces.

I wouldn’t want to go back to that, even if there were only 100M people on the earth.

Posted by: Don at October 18, 2006 4:03 PM
Comment #188816

The Hudson River, one of the most polluted water ways in America was cleaned up through regulation. Then, in came the Republicans, and the Hudson is dying again. The cost of keeping the Hudson clean is arguably less than trying to clean it up every 2 decades at great expense over 7 to 10 years.

David,

You may have a point if you are just talking about the part of the Hudson near the City, but not the river as a whole.

I live on the Hudson river. It’s never been what anyone would call “clean.”

It’s much better than it used to be, because of the natural flow of water, but there are still tons of PCB’s and other dangerous substances in the sediment. Eating fish from the river is only slightly less dangerious than it used to be.

You seem to be implying that the river started to go downhill again when Pataki took office, which is, to put it politely, idiotic. Pataki could have done more, but he certainly didn’t make the situation worse.

As for the future, there is little point in arguing about current plans now, since we’ll most likely have a Democratic governor in a few months. But the river is not currently “dying” as you said, and it certainly hasn’t been getting worse over the past few years.

Posted by: TheTraveler at October 18, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #188819

Don,

—“Humans lived for thousands of years in harmony with the environment…”

And died very young, had little that they could count on to eat, often went hungry, often fought other nearby tribes for the scant resources available, and often had to move to find resouces.

I wouldn’t want to go back to that, even if there were only 100M people on the earth. ——
—————————————-

You point out how arrogant and selfish humanity has become with this planet, just for our comfort. The humans brains evolved into our greatest survival tool, but it is out of synch with the evolution of the planet, and one way or another, nature and God (one and the same), will balance things out.

Now I will get screamed at by the “Bible” people, but hep we can keep the discussion rational and not bring emotion into science.

Posted by: mem beth at October 18, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #188822

Mem Beth,

In addition to Don’s comments let me add that we have raised the level of technology to the point where the “survival of the fitest” that humans were once subject to does not apply. We may yet develop the medical and genetic engineering technology that will allow us to modify our own biological systems so that giardia and a host of plagues that used to kill millions of human beings will not need to be controlled just with good hygeine. In the meantime if you feel strongly that you should be able to live the life of a human 10,000 years ago - feel free. I doubt you would survive more than a few days.

The simple fact is that it is technology that is allowing humans to increase in number and at the same time decrease our impact. That has been the trend for 100 years or more. I hope it continues to the point where we can leave the planet and survive for the long term - beyond the next planet ecosystem killer impact - a noteably “natural” phenomena! Do a risk analysis on getting killed by a planetary impact or eating peanut butter and compare them both with what you seem to be most concerned about. It might shift your priorities in life.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 18, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #188829

MB

Animals are healthy because they do not live long and when they get sick they die. As others pointed out, we could have that life if we chose.

Re science and nature, science has no opinion about whether people are arrogant or whether they deserve to rule the world. Those are values issues, much related to religion. Science can just tell you how to do it and measure results.

Posted by: Jack at October 18, 2006 5:26 PM
Comment #188831

It’s so big of you to admit that you, in addition to all of the other humans, are part of the problem.

What I was trying to determine is WHAT IS YOUR SOLUTION to the problem? You seem to wring your hands, moan about the sky falling and so on, but don’t offer what you are doing to help fix the problem.

If capitalism is the problem, please explain why the USSR had more pollution and less conservation and/or preservation than the US did.

As for the assertion that I am not thinking for myself, I thought most of my comments were unique (I think the Neanderthal thing was quite funny).

As I stated before, I think we can and should be as conscious of the environment as we can. We definately have a big impact on the local environment, which, in turn, has some effect on the global ecosystem. However, there are larger forces at work that humans could ever dream of.

You state the humans are arrogant about the destruction of the environment and placing themselves above nature and other animals.

Is it arrogant of the tiger to run down and kill a zebra and eat it? Is it civilization or capitalism that drives the tiger?

I, on the other hand, think it’s pretty arrogant to think that humans are the sole cause, and, thus, the only solution to the climate/environment paranoia. You seem to be the one who is placing humans above nature and other animals by blaming only human activity and ignoring the forces of nature.

Posted by: Rich at October 18, 2006 5:38 PM
Comment #188834

Jack, I didn’t mean to imply that it was a “dump”. Only that you are dumping biosolids waste on the land. I personally just have a crepy feel about using human waste for fertilizer. It’s probably fine. I hated working in the plant.

David Gossman, I agree it’s smart to purify and filter natural water. Most wells are contaminated on Farms that have livestock. In Kentucky most farmers graze their cattle on the hills, grow their crops and build their houses in the valleys. Of course the cowpies trickle down through the aquafirs into the wells. Not to mention the old out houses and septic systems. My point was that giardia is largely transmitted through human contact and water contaminated by humans, not pristine water. It’s not that common in remote areas, and its not that serious for most people, as discussed in the link, I provided.

Sanitation is one of the biggest leaps in healthcare that has ever occurred.

Posted by: gergle at October 18, 2006 5:54 PM
Comment #188843

Excellent rebuttals, all

Rich, Sorry, I don’t have a planet to test my theories on, but I know when I see destruction of the planet before my very eyes. The first step in resolving these issues is identifying them. We don’t have the same survival defense as a Tiger. We have our intelligence and ingenuinity to help us survive. It has served humanity quite well, the advances are outstanding. But if we never had those advances, how would you know what your missing? What are we missing now, could we be stronger, could we live longer, or have we destroyed the answers for those questions already It is quite possible to live healthy without the planetary sacrifices we are making now, the planet’s health. Here it’s philosophical and I can learn as much from you from your debate as you can from me challenging what you think you know.

Humans are arrogant when they take more than they need to survive. Yes me too, it is built into how my intelligence has evolved. Other animals take only what they need, why have we evolved to require luxury? At least I can stand up and say that I know the problem, now lets work on solutions to get us off our human addiction to greedy endless “needs”.

I know this is getting way off topic now. I liked Jack’s post, but I want people to think of how they use the land and animals. There are places to protect, and places to harvest resources, but they must be used wisely.

Posted by: mem beth at October 18, 2006 6:31 PM
Comment #188848

Jack -

Speaking of using the environment wisely, have you looked into mini wind generators? Some are made to sit on top of a barn or factory.

Posted by: Don at October 18, 2006 7:04 PM
Comment #188856

MB

It appears that you have bought into the whole noble savage myth.

The Myth and Reality of Bison in America

Posted by: Keith at October 18, 2006 8:27 PM
Comment #188858

The Traveler, and what happens when the river floods and stirs up the sediment? What happens when a ship scrapes bottom out of the lane? What happens when the New Madris fault shakes again?

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 18, 2006 8:34 PM
Comment #188859

Max -

Your language needs some work.

Also, the U.S. has had over 40 years to work on environmental issues. I remember reading about concerns about the environment in the 1960’s. Both Dems and Reps have succeeded and failed in cleaning up pollution, greenhouse gases, and the like. Most of the U.S. environmental pollutants have been reduced over those years.

The real problem has been that so much JUNK science has been thrown around over those years that when something significant is discovered about how we are affecting the environment it is hidden amid a pile of false (and sometimes harmful) theories. And there are still some serious disagreements among serious scientists over global warming. In fact, most serious scientists do not credit man alone for the potential disaster; they include termites, cows, forest fires, vulcanos, etc. A particularly active century of vulcanic activity could just as easily spin the world into another ice age.

There’s plenty to worry about, and most of it is out of the control of either political party.

Posted by: Don at October 18, 2006 8:36 PM
Comment #188860

Watchblog Editor -

Since you removed Max’s comments, please remove my response to them.

Thanks.

Posted by: Don at October 18, 2006 8:40 PM
Comment #188862

Gergle

Not dump. Apply.

You have to put the crap somewhere. It provides nutrients. It is part of the environmental cycle. In less enlightened times, we used burn it or to dump it into rivers or lakes. If properly processed, the harmful germs are killed.

Don

The wind doesn’t blow that fast where I am. I hope to someday build a house complete with solar, geothermal etc. I believe it is possible to build a house that is self sufficient in energy, but it takes a lot of capital investment, planning and good site selection, but I do not believe that such homes can be mass produced.

Keith

Re noble savage, you are right. Savages tended to be more environmental friendly because of simple technologies and low population densities. If all of us 300 million Americans used the environment like the Native Americans, we would destroy most of it within months. Of course, soon after that most of us would starve to death and eventually we would be down to the population densities their primative technologies could support.

But I do know we can use that noble savage crap. I guy I know burns his forest every couple of years. It can be good forestry practice, but it makes a lot of people mad. He tell them that he is following the example of the wise Native Americans. That scares off the PC crowd.

Posted by: Jack at October 18, 2006 8:56 PM
Comment #188863

The Traveler, and what happens when the river floods and stirs up the sediment? What happens when a ship scrapes bottom out of the lane? What happens when the New Madris fault shakes again?

What about it? All I’m saying is that “in came the Republicans, and the Hudson is dying again” is wrong.

The Hudson river cleanup (or lack thereof) really isn’t an R vs. D issue.
Technically, it’s an “environmentalists who think one way vs. environmentalists who think another way” issue.

If you’re looking for a “to dredge or not to dredge” argument, I’m really not interested.

Posted by: TheTraveler at October 18, 2006 9:11 PM
Comment #188873

I decided long ago that I couldn’t slam hunters as long as I continue to enjoy good steaks and juicy hamburgers.

I’m more sanguine about mass producing zero-energy homes. In general we are talking about the (1) combination of the best energy efficient practices and technologies and the (2) use of solar and thermal for power. In some places, solar power won’t produce all the electricity needed; other sources, such as geothermal or wind, could also be used. At any rate, the key issue is requiring power companies to purchase locally produced energy pumped back into the grid.

Many think we are posed for a breakthrough in solar panel technology in terms inexpensive production and ease of use.

At any rate, locally produced power is the wave of the future and, I predict, will be far more significant than, say, nuclear power.

Posted by: Trent at October 18, 2006 10:02 PM
Comment #188874

Not “dump” but “apply”?
Is that the same as Not “civil war” but “insurgency”?
It is what it is no matter what you want to call it. You’re putting human crap to use. The debate is whether it’s “good” use or not. Personally, I like recycling. After all, they drink filtered pee in the space station.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 18, 2006 10:03 PM
Comment #188881

Dump is a very different and loaded term. Dump implies that you are just getting rid of something.

Organic “waste” like this is valuable. You are right that it is the ultimate in recycling.

BTW - a civil war and an insugency are different concepts. Forget about Iraq for a while. Let’s use our own history. An insurgency might be a group of malcontents. Shays Rebellion or the whiskey rebellion are insurgencies. We only had one real Civil War.

Posted by: Jack at October 18, 2006 10:20 PM
Comment #188886

gergle,

Actually, having run a lab that does hundreds of water tests each month in cattle country in eastern Iowa, cattle is not usually the problem with rural wells. It is more often cracked well heads with birds or mice, or contaminated water softeners and contaminated aerators on faucets. I have yet to see a situation where bacteria was infiltrating through the soil to aquifers.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 18, 2006 11:01 PM
Comment #188890

gergle,

And just one added note - I don’t really care for cows - either the animal in the field - way to many flys, or the meat - I prefer and eat venison - much better for you. So, if there was any excuse to blame the cows for bad water I would be on it. The real problem with cows we see in our area is that they are pastured in the valleys - we do the ooposite here - crops on top and cows in the valleys. In those valleys they make a mess our of otherwise beautiful spring fed streams. The CRP riparian program is helping to make a lot of progress in that regard.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 18, 2006 11:10 PM
Comment #188893

Russ said:

“Civilized” Man, as a greedy son of species — and when left to his own greedy self-interest — normally totally fowls his own nest and then moves on to a new area
ahhh but with 300 mill her and 7Billion world wide — we’re sort of running out of “movin’ on” spaces
(as well as depleting the resources we need to survive — even the oceans are becoming deserts as far as fish stocks and other sources of protein)


Could you give your definition of “greed”, and while you are at it please show your proof of the oceans turning into deserts. Which resources that we ‘need’ to survive are we depleting? We are not running out of “movin on” space either. Check your facts before making ridiculous claims, or at least try and prove them. Could you give an example of ‘totally fowling his nest and then moving on’ as well.

Posted by: M99 at October 18, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #188897

There’s a balancing act between conservation and total destruction of an area. There’s also a balancing act between conservation and what the environmentalist want.
Conservation is the wise use and management of resources that preserves not only the resource but the area also.
Nature has and will always balance itself. If the population of a species starts to get to big nature will correct this. But it will also be more brutal than man. Nature will usually starve the species while man will use measures like hunting, or sometimes relocation to correct the imbalance.
As far as dangerous species go the fewer the better. True they do prey on other animals and help keep the population under control. But I don’t want lions, coyotes, wolves, or bears running loose in the same woods my grand kids are in. It’s bad enough they have to watch for moccansins and rattlers.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 19, 2006 12:02 AM
Comment #188921

Well, not being a hydrologist, I’m not certain, but when I see cowpies covering steep hills and streams in valleys as well as wells laid out within 50 feet of those streams and old out houses ..in rocky slate and coal filled hills, I kinda think it isn’t the well heads but shallow aquifers and run off contamination. Most of those farmers don’t know much about depth of penetration, built their wells years before there were laws regarding well design, continue to dump raw sewage from their sinks into the creeks,and some have septic overflows that dump into streams as well. Most of them do fine with the water, except for the heavy sulphur smell. In fact, my ancestors built a stone housed cystern from a deep artesian spring back in the civil war time frame that still exists there.

My grandparents were tobacco farmers in Eastern Kentucky is the reason I know about this. In some of the areas the local cooperatives have run treated water lines into the valleys. The locals are grateful for the better tasting and non staining water.

Posted by: gergle at October 19, 2006 2:49 AM
Comment #188931

mem beth,

I don’t think I disagree with you per say. I think we need to balance environmental needs with our own needs. In the same way that its stupid to do things with no regard to the environment, so the lunatic fringe of the environmental movement loses credibility when they attempt to treat the whole world as if there aren’t any humans with real needs.

One great example of this is the case of Getty, whose first name I forget. He received a bone marrow transplant from a baboon in an attempt to help him overcome AIDS. To do this, the baboon had to be killed. I remember very well PETA and the rest of those kooks coming out and protesting the death of the baboon. This is the type of wacko environmentalism/animal rights nonsense I’m talking about. Far too often, they make the most noise, get the most attention, and come off looking like idiots to the average American. They discredit the environmental movement.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 19, 2006 5:02 AM
Comment #188958

Jack —

I wonder how many of the so-called preservationists who condemn you have ever planted a tree outside their backyard. Preservation is taught to our children in school by those who couldn’t tell a beaver from an otter, a wild turkey from a buzzard, or even a redwood from a bristlecone pine.

Keep up the good work. We need more like you to preserve our PLANET!

Posted by: Swampfox at October 19, 2006 10:10 AM
Comment #188960

jack,

Insurgency: insurrection against an existing government, usually one’s own, by a group not recognized as having the status of a belligerent.
Civil War: a war between political factions or regions within the same country.
The only difference is “status of a belligerent” In Bush-speak; “Are they a soldier or combatant? I want to torture them…”

As for “dump”, yup negative connotations.

David/Gergle; I recently learned that a local football team all contracted e. coli. from a dog who took a dump on a sprinkler head without a proper backflow device.

LT,
Yup, PETA is an extremist organization. What’s for your view of the Westboro Baptist Church?

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 19, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #189010

Dave1,

I’ve expressed my opinion about the Westboro Baptist Church several times (not on this thread), but you must have missed it. I feel I should caveat my opinion of the Westboro Baptist Church by pointing out that I am a Soldier and that flavors my thoughts on them. That being said, they are a bunch of assholes and if they ever pull their shit around the funeral of one of my brothers or sisters in arms, I’ll shoot every single one of them in the head and if I ever see the outside of a jail cell after that, I’ll piss on their graves. Hope that was clear.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 19, 2006 2:33 PM
Comment #189021

Sorry LT, I didn’t mean to even remotely imply that you were a supporter (if that’s what you felt). It was a bad idea to even compare them to PETA in that I forgot about that particular element of their insanity. I was thinking about how some groups are giving a movement a bad image. Crystal clear BTW on the response.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 19, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #189076

I firmly believe that it is the right of every American to protest any government action to their hearts content.

I also firmly believe it is the right of every American to want to kick the living shit out of Westboro Baptist Church activists who engage in the more dispicable acts of protest at funerals of soldiers. And cold hard practical truth be told: it is only illegal if you get caught.

So for the record 1LT B: I didn’t see a thing.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #189162

Dave1,

No offense taken and your point is valid. To often nowadays a few extremists can discredit an entire movement. Some elements of PETA and the Westboro Psychotics Club are two good examples.

Kevin 23,

I like the way you think, thanks for the support.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 20, 2006 3:58 AM
Comment #189166

Kevin 23,

One more interesting thing about the right to counter-protest. I was reading about the Westboro lunatics club on Wikipedia, and it said that a woman actually ran over a few of them with her truck and was acquitted on temporary insanity.

This makes me wonder about the possibility of jury nullification. If you’re not familiar, this says that even if a jury concludes that a person is guilty, they can still find a person innocent if they all believe the law is unjust. Personally, I’d stand before any jury in Pennsylvania (my home state) and dare them to convict me for something like shooting those idiots. Freedom of speech is one thing, but when you ask enough times to get your ass kicked, its usually the guy with the biggest boot that does it.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 20, 2006 5:36 AM
Comment #189178

Dave1,

I got to thinking a little bit more about what I wrote to you about extremists ruining things. This is defintely the case. For example, with regards to PETA, I generally agree with some of their positions. For example, I do think we should have more humane slaughterhouses and I don’t like animal testing for cosmetics. I think they go overboard when they start on their vegan kick, for example saying we should get rid of leather. Stupid move. No matter how much they agitate, I for one will never give up beef. I’m willing to bet there’s quite a few out there like me on that score. Since we aren’t going to all convert to Hinduism anytime soon, I see no problem with using cowhide for leather rather than throwing it away. Just one example.

The other side is vulnerable to this as well. I freely admit to joining the NRA in 2000 as I felt that Al Gore would be no good for gun rights. I still stand by this, but I do sometimes get exasperated by some NRA stuff as it seems to go well outside the bounds of reason.

The sad thing is that these extremists usually get the most airtime and tend to polarize people around them and their tactics rather than the issues at hand. Unfortunately, with the current political climate, the extremists on both sides are out more than ever, and the sensible people lose out in the end.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 20, 2006 6:59 AM
Comment #189196

LT,

Agreed, it sounds like we’d both rather discuss the actual issue than the foolish rhetoric people so often fall into. (Guilty as charged). It also sounds like we’re both centrist/realists, and we’re just coming at the middle from different directions…

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 20, 2006 9:10 AM
Comment #189259

1LT B-

“I like the way you think, thanks for the support”

As you know I am always talking about informal controls being paramount to anything written in a law book. Although the effects were terrible, it worked extremely well in the south even with the formal Jim Crow laws being struck down left and right. Simple relevent fact here is that sometimes there is a commonly accepted exception to a rule. And in those cases, I am more than willing to “see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.” Why? Because I would honeslty feel really good about it.

“This makes me wonder about the possibility of jury nullification. If you’re not familiar, this says that even if a jury concludes that a person is guilty, they can still find a person innocent if they all believe the law is unjust.”

Juries do not decide matters of law. Only matters of fact. So quite simply, jury nullification is just 12 people saying “screw this law, lets find the guy not guilty in protest even though they are guilty.” It happens quite frequently. I’ve won cases, and I was later told that it was simply because they had a personal dislike for my adversary.

Justice is still dependent on the will of people to be just for as long as people using their brains is a part of the process.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 12:43 PM
Comment #189292

Kevin,

i thought “jury nullification” was when the judge overturned a juries descision, such as when they feel a conviction was not supported by the facts of the case. A judge can’t overturn a “not guilty”. Having been on way too many juries, I’ve seen the problems you’re talking about.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 20, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #189293

not ‘they’ , ‘(s)he’

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 20, 2006 2:27 PM
Comment #189328

Dave1-

google it

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #189372

Kevin,

Poorly phrased on my part, I wasn’t doubting, I was wondering what was what I described called? When the judge unilaterally overturns the jury…
(and I promise to use better syntax in the future, it’s Friday afterall)

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 20, 2006 8:13 PM
Comment #189380

A court can set aside a verdict if they know something improper has occured like jury tampering or something like that. States differ on their rules, but I have never heard of any judge being able to set aside a jury’s finding of fact absent some showing of serious misconduct.

An appeals court can overturn a decision if the jury was given bad instructions, or if it was clear they had no necessary guidance on the law, discrimination in jury selection, etc. Usually prosecutor can just try the case again and do it right.

So I guess the answer to your question is that it depends on your definition of “judge unilaterally overturns the jury”. Which, I know, is not all that helpful.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #189397

dave1

jury nullification is exactly what the OJ jury did. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary , they acquited him because they felt OJ was being attacked by the system.

Posted by: Keith at October 20, 2006 11:04 PM
Comment #189454

kevin,

We had the “Killer Nanny” case here in Boston a few years ago where the judge set aside a murder verdict because he felt the evidence did not support it.
Interestingly enough, I was called as a juror to Zobels court within a year after that. When they asked for causes to be excused I explained that I couldn’t feel comfortable with that judge based on the nanny case. He seemed really pissed off but he put me back in the pool.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 21, 2006 12:45 PM
Comment #189651

Seems like the predators are coming back at least in my Neck of the woods in the finger lakes area of upstate new york . Black bears and bobcats and coyotes. some of my elder members of the family say they never saw a bear or coyote or bobcat 70 years ago. they must have come up from Pennsylvania 50 miles to the south in the last 25 years. and our deer population is higher than it was 150 years ago. a 500 lb bear will take down a 200lb male buck in a heartbeat and so will a pack of coyotes and a bobcat will kill the smaller deer. we have seen many fresh kills on our land in the last 20 years. and there is some feral ex pet wolves up there, the trees are more vast in the area. Many of the small farms cashed it in the last 40 years and the trees are taking over much of the old pasture land.and the finger lakes are clean again .

Posted by: Rodney Brown at October 23, 2006 12:49 AM
Comment #189707

David Gossman, you only have to look at Chino california to see that catttle and cows have and do Ruin the groundwater. for over 50 Years a population of up to 125,000 cows in over 65 dairy farms jammbed packed in a 100 sq mile Area very much did ruin the groundwater. There is no pasture land. when the cows were not being milked they were packed on a 5 acre plot of land as many as 5000 cows! per farm and in the barns when they were milked three times a day they would spend almost half of there lives .when they went to the bathroom the feces would go in a trough and it would flow through pipes. they then would use high pressure water hoses to help push this muck through and when it would clog no problem they then would empty 50 lb bags of caustic soda to open them up to drain on there 5 acre plots you could see 1 acre ponds, and that was not water in them it was there urine and feces and caustic soda.the rest of the solids they would pile up in giant hills on there 5 acre plots. the Pi$$ ponds would leech in the groundwater. and when the rains came the flooding would flow to the Santa Ana River and flow down to orange county and then the ocean. it took almost 20 years of fighting the system to bring a end to this.the farmers were a powerful group and had much money but lost, they were supposed to install mini treatment plants on there land to treat the waste. it never came to be the farmers sold most of there land and made millions and left. now houses occupy the area. the groundwater was so bad they had to install over 20 wells to pump the groundwater up to treat it, then they drain it in the river and it flows to orange county and collects in huge ponds and percolates back in the sandy soil,then it again is pumped back up to be treated again and used for drinking water for orange county.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at October 23, 2006 3:32 PM
Comment #190263

Rodney-

Interesting stuff. I just remember that I hated driving through Chino, Mira Loma and Norco when I was a kid because of the smell. When I learned that they were building residential neighborhoods like crazy out there, I just shook my head. I wouldn’t want to live there. Especially now that I know there are lingering issues.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 25, 2006 5:50 PM
Comment #196904

I am not completely sure which I believe is correct, but I do Know that tin the rainforest of South America, in the great basin it is occuring. My class is having a discussion about the cutting down. I am sure that it is a necessary process, but as long as the trees arent wasted and thrown out. Also, if the trees are replaced, you technecally aren’t harming the environment.

Posted by: No Name at November 29, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #243738

I have a simple goal in life that is to Kill as many trees as I possibly can, so when I go in the grocery store and they ask paper or plastic,”I aways say paper, no I sorry will you double bag it please”

Tom N.

Posted by: Tom N at January 24, 2008 5:29 PM
Comment #366908

this is very good.

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Posted by: xiangjiaomeimei at June 26, 2014 5:24 AM
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