In the forest health debate there must be a middle ground between cutting no big trees and cutting the relatively few remaining big trees without limit. Regulation is needed and should allow a profit to timber companies, but not a gouging profit. No one opposes thinning small trees, which make up the vast majority of forests. However, the George II administration has been so dishonest about the exploding deficits that there was not even 20% of the budgeted amount for thinning around Summerhaven. Can't we also agree about prioritizing community protection? If a 1 mile buffer isn't enough, then 2 or 3 miles. There is a wall of denial in the U.S. about mentioning global climate change, the primary long-term forest health issue. On the other hand, the European press, political leaders and public are more than willing to make connections: CO2AL & Oil --->>(leading to) Global Climate Change--->>Drought in the Southwest--- --->>unhealthy forests, including dying trees and enhanced fires," OR the connection between energy use/production and global climate change. Except for Talton and Pimentel, The Republic has been MIA on this issue, too.. Roland James Phoenix and Santa Rosa, Ca currently at 520.882-4136 P.S. Even straight talkin' Sen. John McCain wants it both ways-- expresses concern about global climate change and then votes against improving fuel efficiency. Again, in an annual exercise in futility, the Congress recently defeated proposals to increase fuel efficiency to 40 mpg by 2015 and to increase fuel efficiency for SUVs, vans and pickups to 27.5 mpg. As the U.S. 1)increases oil consumption and builds more coal plants; 2)considers drilling in environmentally pristine areas; 3) sees climate change effects in Alaska, British Columbia, Glacier Park, Arizona, coral islands and even dried-up rivers in drought-stricken Europe; 4) spends lives and billion$ in occupying oil-rich Iraq as global oil production approaches peak-- the Congress won't pass these measures this year. If not now, WHEN? Perhaps environmental groups should shift their emphasis to the states and support proposals such as implementing a "carrot and stick" sliding scale sales tax and annual vehicle license tax for new non-commercial vehicles based on fuel efficiency. About half the states, including Arizona, have the initiative process if the legislature fails to move. At least, this would enable discussion, which is minimal now. Blair did tell a good joke to Congress about a suffragist who advised a politician to run on a platform of "votes for women, chastity for men, and prohibition for all." Is challenging the American love affair with SUVs and gas guzzlers -- with higher efficiency standards or through higher gas taxes or higher vehicle taxes on gas guzzlers-- -- as unrealistic? Roland James ----- Original Message ----- From: Roland W James To: letters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 6:21 PM Subject: Az Gov Napolitano--Getting out the Vote---May/June 03 E Magazine As you reported in the May/June issue, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano was endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club and other environmental groups last fall. Unfortunately, Gov. Napolitano has praised a utility* (Salt River Project) as a leader in energy and water conservation (not true in comparison to other utilities) while it builds more coal plants . Her water resources appointee says that Arizona has plenty of water, as drought-stressed trees and wildlife in Arizona's forests die, as well as sheep and cattle of Native Americans and ranchers, in the 5th year of an increasingly severe drought. Her energy director has said that we should use more coal because there isn't such as thing as global climate change and because coal is plentiful. Other environmental leaders often don't have much reality or vision on global environmental problems, either. For example, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., hasn't mentioned global climate change in two major environmental speeches I've heard in the last three years (he sticks to local and national environmental issues), and he opposes windmills off Cape Cod. In "American Heat: Ethical Problems with the U.S. Response to Global Warming" Donald Brown writes that the U.S. has forfeited its past leadership by opposing action on a number of international environmental issues--including global warming. Brown confronts us especially with the reality of what we are doing to our poor neighbors around the world and to future generations. Roland James 1. If we really wants to save the earth and humanity, we've got to use economics ("it's the economy, stupid" for environmental issues, too) and the underutilized but powerful price/tax system. Touting Hybrid (Huffington) vs. Hummer (Schwarzenegger) vs. Edsal (Davis) in Ca recall, "ticketing" SUVs (the July/Aug Sierra magazine), or equating driving SUVs with support for terrorism might be "fun," but probably have negative effect; Ford's fleet's overall efficiency is down in 2003 from 2002 as more people buy big SUVs, for example. Norway, with a comparable standard of living and whose glut of oil from the North Sea peaked in 2002 (Richard Heinberg, "The Party's Over--Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies"-- --U.S.oil production peaked in 1970--independent and retired petroleum geologists say global oil production will peak 2008 give or take a few years), uses 40% the per capita energy of the U.S. because of $5+/gallon tax on gasoline and other policies. Perhaps a significant gas tax or carbon tax can only be implemented at the federal level, but neither is likely with the current Petrol Men in charge. However, states could implement a "carrot and stick" sliding scale sales tax and annual vehicle license tax for new non-commercial vehicles based on fuel efficiency--let's say, 2% sales tax and $20 per year for the most efficient vehicles, 14% sales tax and $1000 per year for the least efficient vehicles, and a sliding scale between the extremes. This could be designed to be revenue positive or revenue neutral, including taking into account lower gas tax revenues as overall efficiency increases. The standards could also encourage alternative fuels and be adjusted as buying habits change and as efficiency of newer vehicles improves. *2.. Arizona utilities Salt River Project and Tucson Electric are building more coal plants even though CO2 has increased from 280 ppm to 370 ppm in the industrial era (the last "1/40 th of a second" if 4 billion years of earth's existence is compacted into the "6 days of Genesis" metaphor) and could double or ? ... [David Brower said that there are "people who think what we've been doing for that last 1/40th of a second can go on indefinitely. They are considered normal, but they are stark raving mad."] ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------- 3. . At the Nobel Prize Centennial in 2001, 100 Nobel Laureates issued a brief but dire warning of the "profound dangers" facing the world, predicting that our security depends on environmental and social reform. They especially warned of the devastating impacts of global climate change on those living close to the equator. (Africa and Central America have had severe droughts in the last decade. Perhaps severe drought is now reaching into the American Southwest.) THE STATEMENT: "The most profound danger to world peace in the coming years will stem not from the irrational acts of states or individuals but from the legitimate demands of the world's dispossessed. Of these poor and disenfranchised, the majority live a marginal existence in equatorial climates. Global warming, not of their making but originating with the wealthy few, will affect their ecologies most. Their situation will be desperate and manifestly unjust..and cannot await the beneficence of the rich. . It is time to turn our backs on the unilateral search for security, in which we seek to shelter behind walls. Instead, we must persist in the quest for united action to counter both global warming and a weaponized world. These twin goals will constitute vital components of stability as we move toward the wider degree of social justice that alone gives hope of peace. ......we must learn to think in a new way. As never before, the future of each depends on the good of all." 4. *(no mention in Gov. Napolitano's message below of global climate change leading to drought as factor in these fires-- or of the 1000s of trees dying from bark beetles attacking drought-stressed trees. Arizona leaders are not out of snyc with Washington on this. A recent New York Times investigation reported that the George II White House deleted sections from the Environmental Protection Agency report on the risks of global climate change, including "the permanent disappearance of Rocky Mountain meadows.") -----Original Message----- From: Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano [mailto:janetnews@xxxxxxx] Sent: Friday, July 18, 2003 8:24 PM To: Undisclosed-Recipient:; Subject: MESSAGE OF THE WEEK FROM GOVERNOR JANET NAPOLITANO THE JANET E-INFORMATION NETWORK ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dear Friends, The fire outbreaks around our state have kept us very busy for the past few weeks. On Tuesday, I declared a state of emergency in Navajo, Gila and Apache counties, in response to the Kinishba fire that continues to burn on White Mountain Apache land. That day I visited the evacuees of White River, flew over the fire and received a briefing from fire managers. Though the fire is not yet under control, we are working hand-in-hand with the firefighters and residents of the White Mountain communities to ensure their safety throughout this process. .... You are subscribed to AZ-LEADER. To post to this mailing list, simply send email to az-leader@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx To unsubscribe, send email to az-leader-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'unsubscribe' in the Subject field.