Home > environment, Trinidad California > EPIC Forum on Green Diamond industrial logging

EPIC Forum on Green Diamond industrial logging

Green Diamond Resource Company clearcut and logging road near Little River and Maple Creek.

The Environmental Protection Information Center will hold a public forum at 6pm on July 13 at Trinidad Town Hall, 409 Trinity Street in Trinidad.

“EPIC wants to hear your vision for a better future on forests and lands in the region and wishes to engage with the community and neighbors of industrial logging giants to develop a new and more ecologically centered forestry for the future,” reads a press release.

Download the flyer.  More information here.

  1. Scott
    July 11, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Why not just implement the same rules Santa Cruz has? No more clear cuts. It’s gonna happen sooner or later…

  2. anon
    July 11, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Truth be told, EPIC just wants their office staff to be allowed to plant marijuana in the harvested areas

  3. Walt
    July 12, 2011 at 6:07 am

    Sorta wonder why Green Diamond hasn’t done that already. Gotta be more lucrative than logging, even factoring in goons and guns.

  4. Decline To State
    July 12, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Sticker on the bulletin board beside my computer, “Retrain Loggers As Hemp Farmers.” It makes perfect sense.

  5. Bolithio
    July 12, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Third world counties are much better places to offset our pollution. Infact, if we extract our resources from those places, we get much more for our money. Indigenous people and their environments be damned. As long as I get to maintain my elite California lifestyle, I could care less about other people or places.

  6. annon
    July 12, 2011 at 7:23 am

    clearcutting is way too efficient. every week, get on your hands and knees, with cuticle sissors, and cut every other blade of grass. get rid of all those polluting lawn mowers and give people with way too much time on their hands something to do.

  7. Farmer
    July 12, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Wow, Bolithio. You’re arguing this on a whole new level (sort of). You’re saying that if we stop clear-cutting it’s going to result in more resource extraction in third world countries? Talk about a Fallacy. And please, read the article.

  8. Anonymous
    July 12, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Small clearcuts cause let soil erosion than selective harvest.

  9. July 12, 2011 at 10:26 am

    That pot bust must have taken more out of EPIC’s coffers than they’re letting on – the well must be running dry, time to chump up some new charges, and hope for a big payoff, a nice chunk of go-away money – extortionists that they are.

  10. July 12, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Right, because EPIC never mentioned Green Diamond until today. Rose is so in touch.

  11. tra
    July 12, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Not to mention that we’ve seen no evidence that any money from that pot grow in Fieldbrook went into EPIC’s “coffers.”

    But of course guilty-until-proven-innocent is Rose’s approach to those she perceives as political enemies. Thankfully, her candidates for District Attorney keep losing over and over again, because most of us still prefer that quaint old idea of innocent-until-proven-guilty.

  12. Percy
    July 12, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Ever watch the show about heli logging on the cable channels. Selective heli logging of mature trees in Canada, right next to a stream bed. No erosion and no logging roads. We don’t have to log like the drama queens on axe men. Logging responsibly here is not the cause for the environmentally degrading logging done in third world countries, Bolithio. They clear cut for the same reason we clear cut here, greed and stupidity!

  13. Bolithio
    July 12, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Which article Farmer? EPICs articles are chalk full of fallacy and spin. If I read the above, the first thing that strikes me is how EPIC wants to engage everyone but Green Diamond – whose very policy they want to change! They dont really want to have a discussion based in anything other than emotion – becuase that is hands down the surest way to drum up support (money).

    ———————————–

    “…a new and more ecologically centered forestry for the future”

    Ok arm-chair foresters, what does this mean to you?

  14. Plain Jane
    July 12, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Well said, Percy!

  15. Bolithio
    July 12, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Your right Percy. Logging responsibility here is not the cause for third world extraction. Its our demand and consumption of wood that causes it. My point, its foolish to assume this appetite goes away by not logging here. The fact that our resources are harvest “responsibility” is the incentive to do it here. And if we are lucky and dont loose out to the cheaper cost of operations elsewhere, perhaps our way will influence others.

  16. Plain Jane
    July 12, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Hemp (not pot) could replace the wood used for paper and it grows back instantly on a forest timescale.

  17. tra
    July 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Of course that would involve very large-scale hemp plantations, which would have large ecological impacts as well.

    I certainly wouldn’t favor replanting logged-over lands with hemp, as this would reduce forest habitat even more than commercial logging does.

  18. lostArt
    July 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    HEMP FOR PAPER

  19. Plain Jane
    July 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    The idea is for hemp to reduce the amount of forest that has to be cut. It wouldn’t have to be grown on timberland. At least one harvest a year on the same land year after year for paper and cloth can be done in a sustainable manner.

  20. Bolithio
    July 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    So convert forests to hemp plantations? Where else is all this instantly growing hemp going to grow? Replace food crops? Beyond the place and space for it – getting a hemp plant to substitute a 2×4 is going to require some substantial chemical engineering. What are the energy and pollution costs of that contrasted with conventional cut a board and use it?

    The feasibility of replacing centuries old wood with hemp fiber for a building materiel is completely unproven.

  21. Plain Jane
    July 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Re-read my posts and quote where I said hemp would replace all our wood needs or where I said it would replace forest on timberland? Hemp can be grown as an organic crop on agricultural land. It won’t replace lumber, of course, but it is an excellent fiber for paper and cloth and at a lower environmental cost than either wood or cotton.

  22. Plain Jane
    July 12, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    We could grow it, process it into paper and cloth and finished products. Humboldt Hemp has a nice ring to it.

  23. tra
    July 12, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    We could grow it, process it into paper and cloth and finished products. Humboldt Hemp has a nice ring to it.

    Maybe at some point in the future, P.J., (if/when the marijuana industry here really goes belly-up) but at this point I’d be willing to bet that hemp crops pollinating the county’s major cash crop — seedless marijuana — and turning it all into seedy buds would cost this county far more than the hemp crop could bring in.

    But in most of the country, where outdoor marijuana is not a major cash crop, hemp planting could certainly be viable. Replacing a good deal of the pesticide/fertilizer intensive cotton crop would certainly be boon to the environment.

    But as far as paper production goes, I do wonder where all the land for the hemp growing would come from. If not from forests, it would most likely be displacing other agricultural crops, as the supply of arable land is limited. Perhaps if Americans could continue to reduce our consumption of beef then some of the land that is used to grow corn for the feedlots could instead be used to grow hemp for fiber, and for the protein-rich seeds.

  24. Farmer
    July 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    I meant read the article I linked to about fallacious arguments (here). I think it would save us both some time.

  25. Plain Jane
    July 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    It would be great if it replaced King Corn, Tra. At least the cow feed portion of it.

  26. Bolithio
    July 12, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Ok, thanks for the refresher on fallacy. I still stand by my statements as non-fallacious. The more we dismantle the greenest, most sustainable forest industry in the world – the more we promote the other. Greed, corruption, and all other things human will always be here. But thats not what its all about – not even with green diamond. What I never hear the opposition to timber talk about is practical sustainability. Sustainability prefers the best, most efficient utilization of the resource. In the case of GD, they rely on scientific modeling that predicts and optimizes growth in forest stands. What other source would a company of that nature use? So the culmination of growth over time occurs around 50 years in redwood. Hence their strategy. Buffers surrounding CCs have been studied since for over half a century. The effects of vegetation removal, ground disturbance, and filtration capacity of buffers is well known, peer-reviewed science. What are foresters going to use to arrive at management decisions?

    EPIC consistently utilizes language that promotes fallacies, such as “moonscapes” or “deadzones” following logging, and never cites sources for their claims over enviornmental impacts. If you look at their case history, they always rely on technical elements of the bureaucratic process to show fault, as opposed to truly preventing some form of impact.

  27. Anonymous
    July 12, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    hemp is a great farm crop/// much different than high grade humboldt pot///

  28. Toohey
    July 13, 2011 at 7:32 am

    EPIC has no credibility. Any reasonable person examining their press releases, pamphlets etc… sees propaganda. EPIC emotionalizes every issue they take on and to do so drop annoying facts that get in their way. They use graphics to do their lying. They superimpose striking photos next to their crafted statements and let the gullible reader make the emotional jump.

  29. Ed
    July 13, 2011 at 8:01 am

    live long and prosper

  30. Ben
    July 13, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Green Diamond is a very responsible company. The public perception is that clear cutting causes more sedimentation than selective logging is not supported by the facts. This is an emotional argument rather than a scientific argument but we can only believe that EPIC has a political agenda.

  31. Plain Jane
    July 13, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Bolithio, aren’t the “technical elements of the bureaucratic process” designed to protect against negative environmental impact? If the regulations aren’t followed, how do you know harm hasn’t or won’t be done?

  32. Plain Jane
    July 13, 2011 at 8:49 am

    It seems counter intuitive to believe that water running over bare ground erodes less soil than water running over ground covered by vegetation and further that the eroded soil doesn’t end up in creeks and rivers. Can someone explain it?

  33. Dan
    July 13, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Ben says:
    July 13, 2011 at 8:16 am
    Green Diamond is a very responsible company.

    I am just guessing, but wasn’t GD the one that
    pulled-off that clearcut (photo) at the top of the story?
    What does irresponsible look like?

  34. tra
    July 13, 2011 at 9:46 am

    P.J.,

    One argument that I’ve heard before is that selective logging involves repeatedly entering the area to do a number of harvests, whereas the clear-cut does it all at once, and then the land is left alone for a longer period of time.

  35. Plain Jane
    July 13, 2011 at 10:16 am

    That doesn’t make sense unless you believe erosion only occurs while they are working on the land and disregard the years of bare hillsides exposed to the elements, Tra.

  36. Percy
    July 13, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Think heli logging tra, you don’t even enter the forest with erosion causing logging equipment or have to build continuously eroding roads to get the equipment in or logs out. No one is saying to replant clearcuts with hemp, but using hemp for news print, cardboard, and butt wipe would ease the pressure on cutting trees for that purpose and allow the loggers that use spotted owls for butt wipe to use tp again.

  37. tra
    July 13, 2011 at 11:00 am

    I think helicopter logging is pretty expensive, so I think they usually use that only when the area is hard to reach by road. And helicopter logging has allowed them to log areas that are quite inaccessible and steep that they couldn’t log previously. So my impression is that helicopter logging has been somewhat of a mixed blessing.

    I’d be interested to hear what some of our more knowledgeable commenters (like Bolithio and Farmer, for example) have to say about helicopter logging, when it’s appropriate and when it’s not..

  38. Ben
    July 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Helicopter logging is hugly expensive. Clear cuts are not pretty, as the photo shows, but most sedimentation comes from roads. The view of the clear cut looks like just bare dirt, but that is not the case. Because a clear cut is not visited again for about 40 years, there are fewer road issues. Techniques for redwood logging are different than for fir and other species. Logging should mimic what wildfires are like in that area. In inland areas where fire is frequent and lighter, logging should be selective, but in the redwood area fire is infrequent and devistating, as is clear cutting.

  39. Not A Native
    July 13, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Yeah Ben, natural fires in redwood forests are soo devastating. And they occur so frequently. No way could redwood forests ever have trees older than 50 years because of those pesky devastating fires. So its no different for the ecosystem if those forests are clearcut every 40 years, instead of fires gettin ’em. LMAO.

    Oh, and BTW, fires don’t take away the organic material comprising the tree trunks. But of course, the soils in redwood forests are inherently deep and highly fertile anyway. LMAO.

  40. Steak n Eggs
    July 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    A stand replacing fire occurred between Trinidad and Big Lagoon in the 1940s. The large burned snags along HWY 101 are from the fire. I don’t know whether the fire was natural or man made.

    NAN is right, these types of high intensity natural fires in the redwood belt were probably rare. If this was the case, the old growth forests would have never developed as they were and are today. The fire at Humboldt Redwoods State Park, west of Weott, smoldered all summer long in the old growth, but torched off the minute it moved into the adjacent privately-owned second and third growth timber.

    Our modern day forest management practices do not try to mimic nature, they simply maximize growth and harvest by regenerating stands when their growth culminates. Is this a bad thing?

  41. Ben
    July 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Green Diamond, I am sure, well knows how unpopular and ugly clear cutting is, but because it is a good practice for the areas they manage they continue to use this option.

  42. tra
    July 13, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    because it is a good practice for the areas they manage

    Or, perhaps simply because it is the most profitable, at least in the short-term.

  43. Ben
    July 13, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Green Diamond has is not a cut and run company, they were founded by buying logged over land to manage. I guess it is only reasonable for a company to try to make a profit and to stay in business.

  44. Bolithio
    July 13, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Jane, yes the process is designed to protect. But pushing more paper around doesn’t generally effect on-the-ground practices. Most of the successful suits brought against projects rely on finding errors in the documents, not the actual operation. Further, if you look at the actual forest practice violations, most of them are “cheap” violations, such as not having a shovel in the fire box. Not to say that true violations never occur, its just cops ticket more out headlights than drunk drivers.

  45. Plain Jane
    July 13, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    You aren’t claiming that the successful suits were about not having a shovel in the fire box, are you, Bolithio? Deliberate errors using false information to get approval for a harvest plan with greater negative impact than would be approved is not on the same scale as lack of a shovel, as you undoubtedly know. Trying to confuse the reason for lawsuits with the reason for most citations which are unrelated to lawsuits doesn’t work.

  46. Bolithio
    July 13, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    CC vr selection vr sedimentation.

    There is more concern with overland flow following a CC than with selection logging. That’s why there is a special operating zone beyond the normal riparian buffer that is applied to streams within CC units. The filtration capacity of riparian buffers is well studied.

    As Ben said, roads are the real source of sedimentation, and the roads behave the same following CC or selection. A modern harvest should address any current road concern, along with treating any legacy sediment sites (from the truly damaging historic logging era). This function is how the State Water Board can claim they are implementing the Basin Plan through the THP process. If it wasn’t for modern logging, no legacy sed sites would be treated. In the last two decades, between GD, PALCO and the non-industrial folks (me!) millions of cubic tons of anthropogenic sediment sources have been treated.

    The concept of more disturbance in a selection system as opposed to CC is up for debate. I can argue either side.

    Not sure what to say about heli-logging, other than its loud and expensive. Yes there is less soil disturbance, but the soil disturbance during logging is often the key to successful regeneration.

  47. Bolithio
    July 13, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    No jane, but its systemic to the problem. Taking a project to court becuase the pacific fisher was not addressed in Section IV, even though it was addressed in Section III, which ultimately just requires more time and money spent on a project that wasn’t going to harm fishers anyways – isn’t helping anyone but lawyers.

    Deliberate errors using false information to get approval for a harvest plan with greater negative impact than would be approved…

    Im not familiar with that. Deliberate error? That sounds like fallacy.

  48. Plain Jane
    July 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    You must be new around here, Bolithio.

  49. Not A Native
    July 13, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Yeah, those lawsuits over the marbled murlett and spotted owl didn’t have any effect on the ground at all. Just lawyers shuffling papers while the ‘real people’ went about their business in the forest as usual. NOT

    Fact is, as a society we’ve agreed logging is destructive and as we learn more about just how destructive, we put more real restrictions on how and where it occurs. The future will be less and more careful(costly) logging. There will still be profits for efficient and market saavy harvesters, who aren’t trying to make a maximum quick buck or a personal retirement plan. In the meantime, better alternatives to most ‘cheap’ shortlived wood products are replacing wood. Ultimately wood prices will include its real cost to the environment. If you went to the Almquist wood fair last week you saw high value uses for wood, along with a few low value ones. IMO, geting ‘er done clearcuts in the forest to produce cheap redwood picnic tables and fence boards was both wasteful, costly, and stupid. In the near future, redwood dimensional lumber will also be a thing of the past.

  50. JJ
    July 14, 2011 at 7:16 am

    So what should we use to make picnic tables and fence posts out of? Not that I’m looking for redwood specifically, but I really do need a new picnic table and the fence will Ned to be replaced in a few years too. I would really like to hear of some alternatives.

  51. Bolithio
    July 14, 2011 at 7:24 am

    as a society we’ve agreed logging is destructive

    That is certainly true. But agreeing with something doesn’t make it correct. Society generally shuns homosexuality, other cultures, and clings to ancient religion.

    Then there is the scientific community. Here, we have agreed that past logging had certain effects on the environment. We have studied those effects and practices, and have applied the results to our practices on the ground. Its not a democracy. Its the scientific method.

    The only thing Ive read that describes modern logging (in CA) as ‘destructive’ is from the EPIC blogs, which never cite any study, reference, or basis for their claims.

  52. Anonymous
    July 14, 2011 at 7:50 am

    The event was quite good, thank you to all the people who came out last night!

  53. Not A Native
    July 14, 2011 at 7:58 am

    JJ, do an internet search for ‘picnic tables’ and you’ll see lots of alternatives to wood. And if you’re looking for a really inexpensive, durable, homemade solution using local materials, search for ‘cob’ (not corn cob),

  54. July 14, 2011 at 8:05 am

    The only thing Ive read that describes modern logging (in CA) as ‘destructive’ is from the EPIC blogs

    You obviously don’t read much.

  55. July 14, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I can tell you I ahve never heard the term “constructive logging.”

  56. Anonymous
    July 14, 2011 at 8:38 am

    JJ, try those synthetic (PVC) rails and decks, fences, from decking companies. They are fire safe and maintenance free.

  57. Not A Native
    July 14, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Bolithio invents his own terms to twist meanings and co-opt ideas he’s prejudiced against.

    Like ‘practical sustainability'(at 7:47) which, as he uses it, is just a weasel word that includes the word ‘sustainability’ to disguise that its really the opposite of sustainabilty.

  58. Bolithio
    July 14, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Yet no one seems able to provide anything other fallacy and straw men to argue against me, especially NaN, as usual. I prepare sustained-yield management plans for non-industrial landowners for a living – yet Im prejudiced against the idea of sustainability? Hardly. Pretty useless to be “sustainable” on paper if it doesn’t end up being “practical” in the real world. But you don’t have much real-world experience in natural resources, do you Nan?

  59. Plain Jane
    July 14, 2011 at 10:20 am

    You accused me of using a fallacy but didn’t support it, Bolithio. The cases which EPIC has filed against the timber industry, and won, weren’t based on paper shuffling errors but on fraudulent timber harvest proposals using deliberately inaccurate data, old photos, fraudulent wildlife counts and even documents approved by CDF which didn’t exist.

    Since you seem to be incapable of doing any research and are apparently too new to the area to remember the news about them, here is a link to the EPIC v timber industry cases:

    http://www.wildcalifornia.org/case-history/case-documentation/

  60. Percy
    July 14, 2011 at 11:14 am

    One thing to remember is that the regulations that are in place now were not produced by the logging industry or accepted willingly by them. They have been forced to change their practices every step of the way. And science can be bad or good depending on who pays for it. If it were up to the axe men, we would still be bull dozing roads everywhere and using stream beds as skidder trails. The changes that have come are because of dedicated people and groups like Epic that have stood up against corporate greed (Maxxam) or jippo loggers working for smaller land owners that could care less about salmon habitat or anything but the bottom line. We as a society have demanded that logging practices were changed after seeing what devastation was wrought when they were unregulated. Of course if the right gets in again with their corporate personhood and deregulatory mindset, all bets are off. They’re idea of regulation is to invite a bunch of timber industry lobbyists to write the regs or get rid of them altogether. The parks that hold the remaining old growth would be awfully tempting, and you wouldn’t have to raise taxes on the rich. Remember “you’ve seen one redwood, you’ve seen em’ all?”

  61. tra
    July 14, 2011 at 11:16 am

    8:38,

    Synthetic materials, including polyvinylchloride (PVC) have their own environmental costs in terms of the ecological disruption and pollution caused by petrochemical extraction, refining, and manufacturing, and of course the eventual disposal of the non-biodegradable product.

    There are numerous serious pollution problems with PVC in particular, including the production of dioxin — one of the most persistent and most harmful synthetic chemicals ever created by man — in the manufacturing process, and also an time that PVC is burned (such as PVC packaging in a solid waste incinerator or a house fire in a house that has PVC building materials).

    According to the Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) “risk of dioxin emissions puts PVC consistently among the worst materials for human health impacts.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyvinyl_chloride

    A burning house that has a PVC deck with a PVC picnic table on it, vinly siding, gutters, fascia, and other PVC components is going to be a highly toxic inferno. So much for “fire-safe.”

  62. Anonymous
    July 14, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I love my Trex deck. No more petroleum products painted on the wood every year. Just a spray off with water. Staining decks and the runoff from that can’t be very green either.

  63. tra
    July 14, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I didn’t mean to imply that wood (and wood preservatives) have no ecological cost, just that PVC is not ecologically benign either. Neither is metal or concrete, by the way. All of these building materials have some significant ecological costs, and it’s quite hard to decide which of these products are worse for the environment overall, or even to know which criteria to use. One organization that has put a good deal of effort into trying to find those answers is the U.S. Green Building Council, and they don’t sound to bullish on PVC. I’m inclined to agree with them.

    I guess it’s easy enough living in a timber-harvesting region to perceive the ecological damage done by logging, yet not give a whole lot of thought to the ecological damage done by some of the synthetic alternatives. And by the same token the folks living in “Cancer Alley” down in Louisiana, surrounded by refineries and chemical plants and all the air and water pollution those industries cause, well, they may not give a lot of thought to erosion or habitat disruption that can be caused by logging.

    However, as NAN pointed out, there are some “green” building materials, like cob, that probably really do cause a good deal less in the way of harmful impacts than many of the alternatives. I just don’t think PVC really fits into that category.

  64. Anonymous
    July 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I would be interested to know the facts. Will check out the Green Building Council.

  65. tra
    July 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    The real key to sustainability, of course, is slowing, and eventiually halting (or even somewhat reversing) population growth. Unfortunately, on the societal level, that’s probably toughest nut to crack.

    On the individual level, it’s pretty easy, though: Don’t have lots and lots of children. If you already have a couple of kids, get a vasectomy or get your tubes tied, or consistently use some other method of reliable birth control, These are actions that people can take that are fairly simple, fairly inexpensive, and will have a very direct, very profound impact on the ecological footprint that they leave behind.

    In the Big Picture and over the Long Term, there’s really no such thing as “sustainable growth” on a planet with limited space, limited resources, and a limited capacity for the ecosystem to absorb pollution. Finding ways to reduce our per-capita use of resources and per-capita production of pollution can certainly buy us some time, and I’m all for that.

    But in the long run, unless you think we’ll find some other planet, within traveling distance, one that is as suitable for sustaining human life as the one we evolved on, and that this will happen before we reach our limits here in a catastrophic way (all of which is exceedingly unlikely) we’ll still have to come to terms with the ecological limits of our biosphere, and at the end of the day that’s going to mean recognizing that we cannot continue endlessly increase our population.

  66. Plain Jane
    July 14, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Well said, Tra.

  67. Ben
    July 14, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    A democratic society such as ours can not limit population growth because on the very difficult government decisions necessary to meet that goal, even China has had difficulty doing that.
    We currently live on 1% of the land in Humboldt County, even if the population increased to use 2% of the land, I do not think that this is catastrophic.

  68. Percy
    July 15, 2011 at 8:46 am

    The amount of land we occupy, although important when you consider subdividing farmland or taking timber producing land out of production or filling in and subdividing wetland, is not the crux of the problem. It is the resource issue. How do we allocate dwindling resources as the population grows. Do we use “might makes right” and take what we need from those that can’t or won’t defend it? Do we use up everything we can in our lifetime and say ”tough shit and sucks to be you” to future generations? Do we use science and logic to decide or do we use religious dogma and anticipate the rapture? Do we keep on competing for who goes out with the most toys? Which ever way we go, nature will push back until we come into a balance, and that can go as far as a planet that cannot sustain our species.

  69. tra
    July 15, 2011 at 9:14 am

    P.J. — Thanks.

    Ben — I’m not in favor of some kind of mandatory population control, I think raising awareness about the reality of ecological limits, and making contraception widely available and affordable is the path to take. No guarantee that enough people will come to their senses in time, but we should try.

    Percy — Good points.

  70. Plain Jane
    July 15, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I read the other day that Alaska is now selling water to India. What do you suppose that costs per gallon?

  71. Farmer
    July 15, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Helicopter logging is not so great. It’s largely been used to gain access to previously inaccessible forest. Costs a lot of money so it’s mainly used for very large trees.

    The way Bolithio talks about logging, you’d think even-aged management is the only option. Take a trip to Santa Cruz buddy (where clear-cutting is banned the timber industry is still alive).

    So you say culmination of a redwood trees growth occurs at 50 years… maybe some of our problems won’t be too hard to reconcile. Ever visited Prairie Creek?

    I know that on a graph the 50 year stage looks like some kind of growth peak. That’s part of the problem, you’re trying to harvest at the statistical peak of growth to maximize short term volume outputs. You have every opportunity to learn about more advanced forestry practices. For starters, read Tree Talk, More Tree Talk, and Maximizing Forest Productivity (forgot authors).

    “Timber” is not an exclusive community that you are part of, it’s a building material that others are quite capable of producing without clear-cutting. We are all responsible for the planet and how we use what we have here.

  72. Observer
    July 15, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    You all need to know Chem Trails that the governments are spraying into our atmostphere… LOOK IT UP, TAKE A STAND!

  73. Cristina Bauss
    July 15, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I remember reading some time back that there had been a public panic of sorts in Italy because the country had reached zero population growth – which, heaven knows, is a catastrophe in the Catholic world. But I remember thinking, what better way to maintain that incredible culture, and what little is left of wildlands in that country, than to have a stable population?

  74. tra
    July 15, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Cristina,

    Constant population growth and constant economic growth serves the same purpose as having lots of new “investors” in a Ponzi Scheme (aka pyramid scheme) — it allows those at the top to siphon off lots of wealth, while enabling them to continue paying something to those in the middle of the pyramid. As long as you have an endlessly increasing number of new investors, the Ponzi scheme continues to “work.”

    Same with an economic system that has massive inequality in the distribution of wealth — as long as there is constant economic “growth” (which population growth contributes mightily to), then those at the top of the income hierarchy can skim a lot, while those a bit farther down can still do fairly O.K., keeping them relatively docile and preventing them from engaging in too much questioning of the skimming at the top.

  75. Ben
    July 16, 2011 at 7:30 am

    So Tra, your fix for the problem you state? The “fix” for Russia failed and they are now perscribing to the solution you see as the problem. Do you advocate mandated repoductive privilidges? Government mandated equalization of wealth and assets is described by a word starting with C.

  76. Plain Jane
    July 16, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Progressive taxation to prevent massive wealth inequality is hardly communist, Ben, and has been in practice in this country (and virtually every other country) since taxation began. Even our founders put tariffs (the federal govts. major source of revenue) only on imports which the poor couldn’t afford to buy. Neither is preventing massive wealth inequality equalization of wealth. Is your inability to see colors other than black and white genetic or acquired?

  77. Ben
    July 16, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Tra made the point that our system is not working, which is progressive taxation, and promoted something beyond that. My vision is quite clear PJ and in many colors.

  78. Plain Jane
    July 16, 2011 at 8:04 am

    That’s because it isn’t progressive ENOUGH, Ben. That was Tra’s point.

  79. Plain Jane
    July 16, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Can we at least agree on a few facts, Ben?
    1. Wealth is concentrating at the top at an increasing rate.
    2. Income and opportunities for income are decreasing for the majority.
    3. Tax rates are at their lowest in modern history (with the exception of Reagan’s experiment which he admitted was a mistake).

  80. Ben
    July 16, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I think where we probably have the largest fundamental disagreement is that government taxation if the best tool to give opportunity to those who wish to improve their lot in life. If you stiffle investment with high taxation, then those who hold property (money, etc.) will shelter it and not change investments which gives opportunity for economic growth.

  81. Plain Jane
    July 16, 2011 at 8:33 am

    So how do you explain the loss of jobs, declining govt. revenues, declining incomes for the majority and increasing incomes for a tiny minority with the lowest tax rates in modern history, Ben? Why didn’t very high taxes stifle opportunity in the past, or in other countries with higher taxes and better social programs than we have?

  82. tra
    July 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    One argument we often hear is that higher levels of taxation, and in particular progressive taxation (taxing the wealthy at higher rates) is bound to innovation. But various rankings of the world’s most innovative countries don’t seem to back that up. In one of the most recent indexes of innovation by various nation-states, Switzerland ranks #1, followed by Sweden.

    http://business.ezinemark.com/most-innovative-countries-2011-by-insead-7736dc40c89d.html

    By the way, the U.S. comes out pretty well in that list, ranking as number 7 (and as high as number 1 in previous years). And lest you be concerned that the sponsor of that index, a French business school, was cooking the books to benefit their home country, its worth noting that France doesn’t even make the top ten.

    There are dozens of these lists of most innovative economies, with various different kinds of criteria, and as you might expect, the outcomes do vary in terms of the exact ranking. But one thing they pretty much all have in common is that a number of high-taxation European countries, such as Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Finland, are consistently ranked at or very near top of the list.

  83. tra
    July 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Sorry ’bout that –the first sentence should read:

    “One argument we often hear is that higher levels of taxation, and in particular progressive taxation (taxing the wealthy at higher rates) is bound to stifle innovation.”

  84. Ben
    July 16, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Probably if we were not spending BILLOINS in Afganistan and Iraq, not to forget Libia, we would be in much better shape.

  85. tra
    July 16, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I have no argument with that!

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