The global cooling global warming climate change debate in this country has become so hysterical and full of “sky-is-falling” proclamations that it’s starting to sound like an argument over whether or not there is a god. I’m waiting for the day when Holy Crusaders of the Tree Huggers Brigade begin an inquisition of people who tend not to recycle. If you walk into any book store you will see for the most part that for every book claiming “climate change” is destroying the planet you will equal or more saying there’s not enough evidence to support it. Pagan saint Al Gore’s movie about the global warming and wrath it will bring us had so many inaccuracies in it that the whole movement had to change it’s name again from global warming to climate change just somebody with half a brain might still take them seriously.

I think most intelligent people will agree that yes, climate does change over long periods of time. I think most people will agree that man’s footprint on the planet can be a part of the vast differences in climate throughout the world. What I’m saying is that we still don’t have all the facts but some, for political reasons, are always so quick to blame man for the nearest climate crisis and demand we go back to Stone Age.

The latest example is a study stating that Western forests dying at an increasing rate.

Trees in old growth forests across the West are dying at a small, but increasing rate that scientists conclude is probably caused by longer and hotter summers from a changing climate.

While not noticeable to someone walking through the forests, the death rate is doubling every 17 to 29 years, according to a 52-year study published in the Friday edition of the journal Science. The trend was apparent in trees of all ages, species, and locations.

So here’s a problem that should unify us. The trees are dying. Despite 52 years of data the author says it’s probably climate change. Let me ask you a question; if you, God forbid, ever contracted a serious ailment and had to stay in a hospital while they ran tests for say, a month, and at the end of that month the doctor said to you, “It’s probably a brain tumor, we don’t know despite all of our tests but lets just cut open your noodle just in case,” would you be satisfied with that conclusion. I’m guessing you wouldn’t so I don’t know why folks would be satisfied with, “it’s probably climate change.” I wouldn’t be jumping up and down about this except that this is the sort of thing that lobbying groups use to pressure congress into making laws that are inevitably bad for us all.

And just so we’re clear, buried at the bottom of the article is this little gem, “Barbara Bond, a professor of forest physiology at Oregon State who was not involved in the study, said it would be wrong to definitively conclude that the rising tree mortality was caused by warmer temperatures.”

Here’s a rational proposal to save the trees without demanding that I live with bears in a cave. Instead of having national forests which are not cared for by our government due to underfunding and therefore tend to have all sorts of problems (wildfires, overgrowth, widespread death, etc) why not sell them back to various logging groups? History shows us that when logging groups controlled the forests they acting as good sheppards clearing away the small trees that act as fuel for wild fires as well as clearing away dead trees while planting new ones at exponential rates. Economics shows us that when one has a stake in a piece of land, that landowner will care for said piece of land and make it prosperous. Now if you think that’s a bunch of malarkey, check out this piece regarding the death of trees due to beetles.

The pine beetle epidemic chewing through forests in Wyoming and Colorado could endanger roads, power lines and other infrastructure as millions of acres of trees fall to the ground, a top U.S. Forest Service official said.

Rocky Mountain Regional Forester Rick Cables told Wyoming lawmakers Thursday that the threat of falling trees demands that forest managers work to clear trees away from key pieces of infrastructure before it’s too late. The fallen trees also provide fuel for forest fires and complicate access for firefighting, he said.

Now here was their proposal to deal with the problem:

Forest managers said Thursday that they see logging and forest fires as key tools for managing Wyoming’s existing forests and helping grow healthier forests when new trees sprout in areas devastated by beetles.

Crapser said a viable sawmill industry is critical because the mills create a market for the trees removed from forests, including those killed by beetles. The Wyoming sawmill industry has been struggling in recent years. Mills have closed in Cody and Sheridan, although Intermountain Resources plans to reopen a mill in Saratoga this year.

Nancy Fishering, of Intermountain Resources, said beetle-killed lodgepole pines are most valuable for wood products if they’re harvested from three to five years after the tree dies, but can remain useful for up to 10 years.

Sound familiar?

Whatever the reasons are for wide swaths of dying trees throughout the west, it could “probably” be fixed if we gave stakeholders, such as the logging industry, and opportunity to fix it rather than running willy nilly to congress for more government intervention.

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