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Importunate Tom

Interstate Cuteness

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Interstate Cuteness
 

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According to a Supreme Court brief filed today, Utah prairie dogs "produce nothing of importance except the annoyance of the surrounding population," and "they make terrible pets." The brief, which urges the Court to hear a constitutional challenge to a federal regulation protecting the rodents, concedes that they are "adorable little critters" but notes that "the protection of cuteness is not a congressional power" granted by the Constitution.

...

Although Utah prairie dogs have no commercial value and live only in the southwestern part of that state, the 10th Circuit reasoned that the power to protect them is a crucial part of a broader regulatory scheme. A similar argument was the basis for Gonzales v. Raich, the 2005 case in which the Supreme Court upheld the federal power to criminalize production and possession of homegrown medical marijuana. But unlike marijuana, Cato et al. note, Utah prairie dogs are not a fungible commodity, and their status has nothing to do with that of other animals protected by the Endangered Species Act. Contrary to what the appeals court implies, the brief says, it is obviously not true that "removal of the prairie dog from federal jurisdiction will render the government impotent to bar trafficking in eagle feathers."

 

More on point are various lower court decisions about critters such as California's hapless toad, bugs that live in caves in Texas, smelt in Alabama IIRC, and others.

They all affect interstate commerce, though Justice Roberts didn't think killing a Cali toad did at the time.

He did say that the regulation could be upheld on other grounds. A curious statement at the time. Now it's more clear what he meant: if Congress said they were regulating interstate commerce by protecting the cute prairie dog, what they really MEANT was that they were taxing them. Or something.

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18 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Interstate Cuteness
 

More on point are various lower court decisions about critters such as California's hapless toad, bugs that live in caves in Texas, smelt in Alabama IIRC, and others.

They all affect interstate commerce, though Justice Roberts didn't think killing a Cali toad did at the time.

He did say that the regulation could be upheld on other grounds. A curious statement at the time. Now it's more clear what he meant: if Congress said they were regulating interstate commerce by protecting the cute prairie dog, what they really MEANT was that they were taxing them. Or something.

walk away from the bong tom.

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This seems to be the root cause:

"The 10th Circuit also suggested that Congress can justify its own power grabs by citing their economic impact."

Protecting endangered species because of their 'economic value' seems to be a weak foundation.  If there are very few of something, their impact can't be that large and their only value really comes from scarcity.  Lots of things are scares but NOT valuable so then it becomes totally arbitrary - which makes for dumb law.

I'd think that a 'public good' argument would be a much stronger intellectual foundation, maybe something leveraging the national monuments approach instead.

 

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21 minutes ago, cmilliken said:

I'd think that a 'public good' argument would be a much stronger intellectual foundation, maybe something leveraging the national monuments approach instead.

I agree that it would be a stronger intellectual foundation, just not a stronger constitutional one. The general welfare clause is followed by specifics for a reason.

The authority to create national monuments on federally owned lands is not much constitutional help either. It was kind of funny that the study that found the prairie dogs "threatened" only counted those on govt land, basically assuming that private landowners would ewadicate their wascawy pwesences.

But the authority over those on private land can really only come from the commerce power. Unless/until Roberts finds it in the taxing power.

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Tommy Gun just wants to be able to use them for target practice.

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

Tommy Gun just wants to be able to use them for target practice.

You say that like that's a bad thing.

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12 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Tommy Gun just wants to be able to use them for target practice.

The only interstate commerce I know about related to prairie dogs would be the snipers that farmers hire, who might cross state lines or at least use tools that affect interstate commerce.

I'm not good enough to shoot for hire.

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On 10/31/2017 at 4:08 AM, Uncooperative Tom said:

Interstate Cuteness
 

More on point are various lower court decisions about critters such as California's hapless toad, bugs that live in caves in Texas, smelt in Alabama IIRC, and others.

They all affect interstate commerce, though Justice Roberts didn't think killing a Cali toad did at the time.

He did say that the regulation could be upheld on other grounds. A curious statement at the time. Now it's more clear what he meant: if Congress said they were regulating interstate commerce by protecting the cute prairie dog, what they really MEANT was that they were taxing them. Or something.

Normy, could you be a little less cryptic with your position on this? I read through your post three times and I still have no idea of your actual opinion as to why you started this thread, other than to snark about the government.

The Utah Prairie Dog may be cute, but it's also threatened. It's a distinct species in an already fragile ecosystem,  and there are only about 10,000 of them left, down from over 100,000 less than a hundred years ago. They are food for all kinds of already-threatened species like black footed ferret, certain eagles and certain hawks. They aerate the soil and game species like pronghorn, deer and bison prefer to graze in areas opened up by prairie dogs. They clearly have a productive place in the world, regardless that some people like to "pink mist" them. And while I do get your apparent complaint to interstate commerce, the rights of the government to protect species across state lines has been established.

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20 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

You say that like that's a bad thing.

It's a bad thing for the Utah Prairie Dog. Why kill off a threatened keystone species just because someone gets a hard-on when they obliterate a harmless animal with a rifle?

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12 minutes ago, mikewof said:

And while I do get your apparent complaint to interstate commerce, the rights of the government to protect species across state lines has been established.

But all the ones I mentioned were within state lines. That's why I mentioned them.

So what's your opinion on the rights of the federal government to regulate species that are only found within one state under the ESA (or, as Justice Roberts may some day find, under the power to tax)?

I agree with your reasons why endangered species and their habitat are important. I just can't figure out a constitutional justification.

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40 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

But all the ones I mentioned were within state lines. That's why I mentioned them.

So what's your opinion on the rights of the federal government to regulate species that are only found within one state under the ESA (or, as Justice Roberts may some day find, under the power to tax)?

I agree with your reasons why endangered species and their habitat are important. I just can't figure out a constitutional justification.

I don't know of too many species that respect state boundaries, and are only eaten by, or eat animals that remain within state lines.

Can you give an example of such an animal so I can answer your question a little better?

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7 hours ago, mikewof said:

I don't know of too many species that respect state boundaries, and are only eaten by, or eat animals that remain within state lines.

Can you give an example of such an animal so I can answer your question a little better?

I mentioned a couple above:

More on point are various lower court decisions about critters such as California's hapless toad, bugs that live in caves in Texas, smelt in Alabama IIRC, and others.

I think that saying that a bird that crossed a state line and then ate one of the topic prairie dogs was affecting interstate commerce is a bit of a stretch. More than a bit. The bugs in the TX caves? Not so sure. If they're eating bat shit that could be related. Farmers in lots of states need those bats.

 

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13 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

I mentioned a couple above:

More on point are various lower court decisions about critters such as California's hapless toad, bugs that live in caves in Texas, smelt in Alabama IIRC, and others.

I think that saying that a bird that crossed a state line and then ate one of the topic prairie dogs was affecting interstate commerce is a bit of a stretch. More than a bit. The bugs in the TX caves? Not so sure. If they're eating bat shit that could be related. Farmers in lots of states need those bats.

 

Welcome to the interstate commerce clause.  We have the US government interpreting its own powers.  Is it any wonder how we got here?

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Jzk and Tommy breathlessly weighing in on the US constitution. PA has jumped the shark...

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5 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

I mentioned a couple above:

More on point are various lower court decisions about critters such as California's hapless toad, bugs that live in caves in Texas, smelt in Alabama IIRC, and others.

I think that saying that a bird that crossed a state line and then ate one of the topic prairie dogs was affecting interstate commerce is a bit of a stretch. More than a bit. The bugs in the TX caves? Not so sure. If they're eating bat shit that could be related. Farmers in lots of states need those bats.

Maybe the reality with any kind of animal is that it directly relates to fish and game or agriculture. I had to work with the State of Utah on a hydropower project, they're no joke. Utah Fish and Game requires direct payments to offset any presumed environmental effect that impacts their trout streams or hunting. They have their own subspecies of cutthroat, and they protect it by any means necessary because the continued health of that fish is a money magnet.

Tourism in Utah is supposedly worth about $4 billion a year to them, fishing is about $1.5 billion per year and hunting about $2 billion per year. Does the health of their ecosystem (or ecosystems in Alabama, Texas and California) qualify as interstate commerce? I'll wager that the Feds poking their noses in the name of Commerce is what some states want and what others don't. But Utah just got a lot of enforcement on the Fed's dime. Also, the Feds are the single biggest landowner in the country, our resources "investment" with them is subject to Commerce. I don't know if this is right or wrong, both arguments seem compelling, but in this case it's presumably helping a threatened species, so I like it. In the case where it's telling pot shop owners that they can't work with a bank, then I don't like it.

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3 hours ago, mikewof said:

Does the health of their ecosystem (or ecosystems in Alabama, Texas and California) qualify as interstate commerce? I'll wager that the Feds poking their noses in the name of Commerce is what some states want and what others don't. But Utah just got a lot of enforcement on the Fed's dime. Also, the Feds are the single biggest landowner in the country, our resources "investment" with them is subject to Commerce. I don't know if this is right or wrong, both arguments seem compelling, but in this case it's presumably helping a threatened species, so I like it. In the case where it's telling pot shop owners that they can't work with a bank, then I don't like it.

Yeah, I discussed this issue with quite a few conservatives when the Raich case was current. They liked the idea of regulating pot but fell silent when Raich was immediately applied to US v Stewart.

For me, whether I like it doesn't matter.

No, an ecosystem isn't interstate commerce. Yes, I share your opinion that endangered species need protection and I think that protection makes the most sense at the federal level. But "I like it" doesn't mean "it's interstate commerce."

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4 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Yeah, I discussed this issue with quite a few conservatives when the Raich case was current. They liked the idea of regulating pot but fell silent when Raich was immediately applied to US v Stewart.

For me, whether I like it doesn't matter.

No, an ecosystem isn't interstate commerce. Yes, I share your opinion that endangered species need protection and I think that protection makes the most sense at the federal level. But "I like it" doesn't mean "it's interstate commerce."

Tourism, angling and hunting are huge industries in some states, and they nearly all depend on the flow of animals, water or people across borders. If that can't be legislated by interstate commerce then States will lose a powerful tool to protect those resources.

In fact, it seems that this kind of action might be exactly what the framers had in mind with the Commerce Clause. If one state screws with a migratory feedstock or headwater in their own borders they can kill an entire industry the next state over.

So I disagree with you, I think that an ecosystem might be a far better example of something needing interstate commerce than a bunch of trucks on a loading dock. My state is one of only two states in the country that only supplies water, and doesn't receive water from any other state. We control an epic ability to destroy industries in downstream states, and probably would do so if agreements protected by Commerce weren't in effect.

And Normy, just up give an example of how deeply set is all this, have you ever wondered why the Colorado River comes from Grand Lake, past the Grand Mesa, through Grand Junction, and flows though the Grand Canyon?

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9 hours ago, mikewof said:

In fact, it seems that this kind of action might be exactly what the framers had in mind with the Commerce Clause. If one state screws with a migratory feedstock or headwater in their own borders they can kill an entire industry the next state over.

I think they mostly wanted to prevent tariff wars among the states and the ability of foreign powers to play one state against another. But some early uses of the commerce power involved navigation and irrigation. Water is definitely on the list of things people will fight about.

I just think the whole thing breaks down (or gives the federal government too much power) when it comes to some intrastate activities.

Justice Thomas summed up the problem pretty well in his dissent in the Raich case:

Quote

    One searches the Court’s opinion in vain for any hint of what aspect of American life is reserved to the States. Yet this Court knows that “ ‘[t]he Constitution created a Federal Government of limited powers.’ ” New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144, 155 (1992) (quoting Gregory v. Ashcroft, 501 U.S. 452, 457 (1991)). That is why today’s decision will add no measure of stability to our Commerce Clause jurisprudence: This Court is willing neither to enforce limits on federal power, nor to declare the Tenth Amendment a dead letter. If stability is possible, it is only by discarding the stand-alone substantial effects test and revisiting our definition of “Commerce among the several States.” Congress may regulate interstate commerce–not things that affect it, even when summed together, unless truly “necessary and proper” to regulating interstate commerce.

 

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20 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

I think they mostly wanted to prevent tariff wars among the states and the ability of foreign powers to play one state against another. But some early uses of the commerce power involved navigation and irrigation. Water is definitely on the list of things people will fight about.

I just think the whole thing breaks down (or gives the federal government too much power) when it comes to some intrastate activities.

Justice Thomas summed up the problem pretty well in his dissent in the Raich case:

 

And now the threat of a tariff war between states isn't much of an issue because of competition and tax, while the need to protect ecosystems with water and game stocks is more needed than ever.

So rather than wonder what the framers had in mind initially, why not look (and possibly marvel) at the adaptability of their 200-some year old system that can deftly handle and avoid conflicts between states with water and game?

Any yes, as Mark Twain wrote, "whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over." The interstate wars of water are epic, enough to actually change the name of the Grand River to the "Colorado River" lest all those thirty people downstream forget to whom they should be beholden if the State on top decides to renegotiate their agreements.

Did the Framers intend an ecosystem to be interstate commerce? Probably not, but then they didn't have massive tourism, hunting and angling industries. For better or worse, and deny as you might, the incentive for Commerce applied to ecosystems is here, and it seems to work. And for the extra power that the government now has in that ecosystem, they have apparently ceded a lot of control in interstate taxation, that's a problem that seems to take care of itself as part of an open market, now that transportation can bypass regressive taxation.

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Mike, that's not very different from the majority argument in the Raich case.

The argument boils down to: it's intrastate, but it's really NOT!

If that argument fails for you when it comes to cannabis, why not other things?

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On 11/2/2017 at 1:46 AM, mikewof said:

I don't know if this is right or wrong, both arguments seem compelling, but in this case it's presumably helping a threatened species, so I like it. In the case where it's telling pot shop owners that they can't work with a bank, then I don't like it.

I share your preferences.

The problem, as drug warriors who like guns learned when the Raich result was immediately applied to US v Stewart, is that it doesn't really matter whether they liked the one application of the commerce clause but not the other. They got both. We get both. Because courts apply precedents to other things. And because Favre was the best ever, of course.

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On 11/4/2017 at 2:40 AM, Uncooperative Tom said:

Mike, that's not very different from the majority argument in the Raich case.

The argument boils down to: it's intrastate, but it's really NOT!

If that argument fails for you when it comes to cannabis, why not other things?

Intrastate? Huh?

Ecosystems ARE an interstate resource. They effect and define billions of annual dollars in interstate trade. (They also define intrastate trade, but that's covered by the Tenth.)

As for pot shops, maybe we can go down that rabbit hole separately, and I'm happy to discuss.

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3 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

I share your preferences.

The problem, as drug warriors who like guns learned when the Raich result was immediately applied to US v Stewart, is that it doesn't really matter whether they liked the one application of the commerce clause but not the other. They got both. We get both. Because courts apply precedents to other things. And because Favre was the best ever, of course.

If getting both is the only option, I'll take environmental protection over legal weed any day of the week ... The former needs protection, the latter seems to be moving to legality by an unstoppable social force similar to the end of Prohibition.

Snail darters and desert tortoises need the Feds to protect them, cannabis doesn't.

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18 hours ago, mikewof said:

Intrastate? Huh?

Ecosystems ARE an interstate resource. They effect and define billions of annual dollars in interstate trade. (They also define intrastate trade, but that's covered by the Tenth.)

As for pot shops, maybe we can go down that rabbit hole separately, and I'm happy to discuss.

I agree with you about ecosystems but that toad is found only in California.

You're making the same mistake drug warriors made in 2005. Let's treat that gun issue separately. Let's not discuss that now. That won't affect us.

Yeah. Right up until the SCOTUS sent US v Stewart back to the 9th with a note pinned to it saying "See Raich."

Then all of a sudden the issues WERE related. And, as I said, the drug warriors fell silent.

Don't be the drug warriors. Realize the greatness of Favre and grok the fact that precedents in one case affect others.

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The Dusky Gopher Frog might find itself before the Supreme Court

mississippi-gopher-frog.jpg

That's one hunchback frog with a head that even Jay Leno would mock as giant. Not all that cute.

It's an issue because there's a part of Louisiana that is uninhabitable by this species (and, unsurprisingly, the frogs are not found there.) So that area has been designated as critical habitat for this species.
 

Quote

 

In simplest terms, Markle Interests LLC v. FWS (aka Weyerhaeuser v FWS) asks the Court to decide whether land must, in fact, be habitable, if not actually inhabited, by an endangered species. It also implicates broader questions about the scope of federal regulatory authority over private land. Regulation of endangered species habitat may (or may not) be justified as a "necessary and proper" to the regulation of commerce among the states, but it's hard to see how such authority can reach land that has no clear or direct connection to such species (a point made by the Cato Institute in a separate amicus brief).

While this case is not a proper vehicle to consider the constitutional limits on endangered species regulation, such concerns could influence how the Court perceives the case. Just as the Supreme Court interpreted the scope of federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act narrowly in SWANCC and Rapanos so as to avoid confronting difficult constitutional questions about the scope of federal authority, the Court could adopt such a narrowed construction here. Yet to do so, it would first have to accept cert in this case.

 

Imagine being a land owner in Louisiana and being told that use of your land must be restricted because there's a frog in Mississippi that can't possibly live on your land.

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It's the kind of thing that can lead to regulatory fatigue

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/27/business/picking-apples-on-a-farm-with-5000-rules-watch-out-for-the-ladders.html?_r=1

Has anyone else actually watched professionals pick a fruit tree? On orange trees, they throw a ladder at a tree and literally run up and down it, picking with both hands as they go, firing fruit into a bag worn around the waist at high speed. It's pretty amazing and takes practice. Yes, they have to get the angle of the ladder right so that they can run up and down it without touching it with their hands. Because their hands are busy.

Running up and down ladders without actually holding on is the stuff of safety bureaucrat nightmares. Or, it's a way to make a living.

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18 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

It's the kind of thing that can lead to regulatory fatigue

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/27/business/picking-apples-on-a-farm-with-5000-rules-watch-out-for-the-ladders.html?_r=1

Has anyone else actually watched professionals pick a fruit tree? On orange trees, they throw a ladder at a tree and literally run up and down it, picking with both hands as they go, firing fruit into a bag worn around the waist at high speed. It's pretty amazing and takes practice. Yes, they have to get the angle of the ladder right so that they can run up and down it without touching it with their hands. Because their hands are busy.

Running up and down ladders without actually holding on is the stuff of safety bureaucrat nightmares. Or, it's a way to make a living.

Watched it?  I've done it, one summer, in college... 

And I had the same thought, when reading that article the other day  -  that bit about holding the sides rather than rungs  -  WTF?  IRL, your hands are busy picking fruit.  You only touch the ladder when re-setting it.

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On 10/31/2017 at 11:58 AM, cmilliken said:

This seems to be the root cause:

"The 10th Circuit also suggested that Congress can justify its own power grabs by citing their economic impact."

Protecting endangered species because of their 'economic value' seems to be a weak foundation.  If there are very few of something, their impact can't be that large and their only value really comes from scarcity.  Lots of things are scares but NOT valuable so then it becomes totally arbitrary - which makes for dumb law.

I'd think that a 'public good' argument would be a much stronger intellectual foundation, maybe something leveraging the national monuments approach instead.

 

Every proposal requires a cost benifit analysis. 100 million to save the california condor ?  300 million to save the Monk seal ? Perhaps its better to invest public money into water manegment or other environmental issues.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2176276/its-time-choose-which-animals-we-let-go-extinct

 

 

 

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On 11/1/2017 at 9:26 AM, mikewof said:

Normy, could you be a little less cryptic with your position on this? I read through your post three times and I still have no idea of your actual opinion as to why you started this thread, other than to snark about the government.

The Utah Prairie Dog may be cute, but it's also threatened. It's a distinct species in an already fragile ecosystem,  and there are only about 10,000 of them left, down from over 100,000 less than a hundred years ago. They are food for all kinds of already-threatened species like black footed ferret, certain eagles and certain hawks. They aerate the soil and game species like pronghorn, deer and bison prefer to graze in areas opened up by prairie dogs. They clearly have a productive place in the world, regardless that some people like to "pink mist" them. And while I do get your apparent complaint to interstate commerce, the rights of the government to protect species across state lines has been established.

When you get so many factors entered into a problem it doesn't lend itself to clear thinking. You know clear thinking don't you......yes/no black/white your-mom/whore and those easier to evaluate questions. 

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A growing population of people squeezes out the habitat for other animals. To maintain a balance of the various species we need people to have more abortions. The government should take money from rich people and give it to women whenever they have an abortion. QED

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4 hours ago, frenchie said:

Watched it?  I've done it, one summer, in college... 

And I had the same thought, when reading that article the other day  -  that bit about holding the sides rather than rungs  -  WTF?  IRL, your hands are busy picking fruit.  You only touch the ladder when re-setting it.

Wow. That's hard work. In addition, the embarrassment when we dump our loads and a Mexican woman half my size has picked twice what I could would be a bit tough to take.

The part about inspecting the 300 acres for mouse droppings prior to picking caught my eye. It's 4:30 am. This is about when they start working. The requirement to scan 300 acres for mouse turds in the dark shows how out of touch regulators are with what actually happens on a farm.

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2 hours ago, slug zitski said:

Every proposal requires a cost benifit analysis. 100 million to save the california condor ?  300 million to save the Monk seal ? Perhaps its better to invest public money into water manegment or other environmental issues.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2176276/its-time-choose-which-animals-we-let-go-extinct

 

It's a good article and talks about the hard truths of ecology.  Thank you.

As far as redirecting public money, history says such efforts always result in redirect and reduce public money so I tend to find arguments about 'efficiency' quite disingenuous and are really just arguments about the role of government in general.  

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3 minutes ago, cmilliken said:

It's a good article and talks about the hard truths of ecology.  Thank you.

As far as redirecting public money, history says such efforts always result in redirect and reduce public money so I tend to find arguments about 'efficiency' quite disingenuous and are really just arguments about the role of government in general.  

Well...I would prefer to spend a few hundred million investigating  the loss of honey bees, polinators  .  They have a huge impact on our environment.

cost benefit...should be important when choosing how to spend public money 

this is the problem with the global warming  industry.  if thier influence is allowed  to grow this  one issue could consume all public environmental study  and  protection money 

 

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I'm planning a boat barn. Unfortunately, there might be a couple of cute critters in the way. The kind you're not supposed to move.

So I won't move them if I find any. I don't think I'll hire the pro's to do it either.

I could just extend my dogs' Invisible Fence around the area and let nature take its course...

LibGopher.jpg

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1 hour ago, slug zitski said:

Well...I would prefer to spend a few hundred million investigating  the loss of honey bees, polinators  .  They have a huge impact on our environment.

cost benefit...should be important when choosing how to spend public money 

this is the problem with the global warming  industry.  if thier influence is allowed  to grow this  one issue could consume all public environmental study  and  protection money 

 

 

The problem is that the books are cooked.  People just use the 'public money' to support their preconceived notions.  Since you mentioned bees:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/10/10/believe-it-or-not-the-bees-are-doing-just-fine/?utm_term=.9e628cc682df

"The thing is, all of this colony-splitting and queen-breeding takes time, money and effort. It means that the main effects of colony collapse disorder aren't being felt by the bees themselves, but by the people who breed and manage them. Beekeeping is a business, after all."

So studying "colony collapse" is really just another means of price support for an economic venture and not necessarily an 'ecology' problem at all.  The bees are fine.  Privatize profits, socialize losses, and all that.  That's why I find the discussions disingenuous once you bring 'cost assessment' into the equation.  Everyone has their own economic self interests at heart and really doesn't give to shakes about 'nature'.

To me, you either decide to set aside an area for 'nature' and let it do it's thing or you don't. Humans can't co-exist with any species - anywhere.  We dominate and control.  Other species just have to fit in or die out.  It's in our nature.

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4 hours ago, HardOnWind said:

A growing population of people squeezes out the habitat for other animals. To maintain a balance of the various species we need people to have more abortions. The government should take money from rich people and give it to women whenever they have an abortion. QED

Human overpopulation isn't apparently the problem, the global population rate has been trending downward since about 1985. 

The problem is human environmental destruction. We could do that with a global population of a seven hundred, as well as seven billion.

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11 minutes ago, mikewof said:

Human overpopulation isn't apparently the problem, the global population rate has been trending downward since about 1985. 

The problem is human environmental destruction. We could do that with a global population of a seven hundred, as well as seven billion.

Yes...but remember...half of the population has no water electricity, food.....

when will they  begin to consume ?

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21 minutes ago, cmilliken said:

 

The problem is that the books are cooked.  People just use the 'public money' to support their preconceived notions.  Since you mentioned bees:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/10/10/believe-it-or-not-the-bees-are-doing-just-fine/?utm_term=.9e628cc682df

"The thing is, all of this colony-splitting and queen-breeding takes time, money and effort. It means that the main effects of colony collapse disorder aren't being felt by the bees themselves, but by the people who breed and manage them. Beekeeping is a business, after all."

So studying "colony collapse" is really just another means of price support for an economic venture and not necessarily an 'ecology' problem at all.  The bees are fine.  Privatize profits, socialize losses, and all that.  That's why I find the discussions disingenuous once you bring 'cost assessment' into the equation.  Everyone has their own economic self interests at heart and really doesn't give to shakes about 'nature'.

To me, you either decide to set aside an area for 'nature' and let it do it's thing or you don't. Humans can't co-exist with any species - anywhere.  We dominate and control.  Other species just have to fit in or die out.  It's in our nature.

Hmm...something fishy.  It my region wild bees are underpressure from some unknown vector. The same with other pollinators and ecologically important insects  . It would be very worth while to understand this phenomenon in order to protect the food supply .

https://sciencealert.com/flying-insects-are-disappearing-at-alarming-rates-and-we-should-all-be-worried

as for wild , natural areas. As things change in the world, will you continue to hold aside resources for heritage reasons, while standing back and watching populations starve to death?

the goal is not to protect single ecosystems, its is to correctly manage  the entire ecosystem to benifit humanity 

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37 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

as for wild , natural areas. As things change in the world, will you continue to hold aside resources for heritage reasons, while standing back and watching populations starve to death?

Ultimately, that is the question, yes.

Do you set aside a part of the earth as a reserve for species 'not human' or not. Yes or no.  We can't cohabitate.  We've demonstrated over and over we can't manage it.

If the answer is yes, then you work with what you have to minimize human suffering with what you have.  If the answer is no, then you carpet the whole thing over and be done with it.  Everything else is just emotional diddling.

Humans have massively exploded by capitalizing on the 'natural world' because it's easy and cheep.  We cannot resist.  The only way to preserve anything is to not allow development.  It is that bimodal. 

At some point, we're going to have to deal with the 'finite resource' question.  If human life requires constant expansion, then at some point, we're going to have to deal with the death of humans anyway.  Do we want to deal with it now or make our kids do it later?  History says we kick it down the road.  It's always better to have it be someone else's problem.

Not like this is a new issue or anything:

ddU50.jpg.e205cfa478537ecb290f46491bc97182.jpg

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4 hours ago, HardOnWind said:

When you get so many factors entered into a problem it doesn't lend itself to clear thinking. You know clear thinking don't you......yes/no black/white your-mom/whore and those easier to evaluate questions. 

Mother Nature seems to handle the complexities pretty well, and regardless what you write, sometimes we can just accept that things are the way they are for a reason. If our Federal Government can protect interstate commerce with mandated compliance on telecommunications, roads and ports, then protection of an ecosystem that spans state lines should be a no-brainer.

I have a microsystem of that happening in my own neighborhood right now ...

Some neighbors moved to our 420-friendly state from Chicago and Florida, and decided that they didn't like a bunch of prairie dogs on the hill behind their house, they said in the neighborhood meeting that the animals were going to get into their yards. These people have zero experience with living on the Front Range, they leave their garbage cans out the night before pick-up. I warn them against that because of bears and raccoons (which then bring mountain lions) they ignore me. What the fuck do I know, I've only grown up around here and had both bears and mountain lions at our old house a few miles away. They ignore me on the garbage cans, they ignore me about leaving the prairie dogs the fuck alone.

I notice recently that the entire prairie dog colony on that hill is gone. One of the asshole neighbors pink misted the entire colony with an air gun, and probably poisoned some too.

Now rabbits have taken over that hill, multiplied like mad, they live in the abandoned prairie dog burrows. Except rabbits are complete dumbshits compared to prairie dogs, they have no social structure and are shit at defending themselves against predators. So the coyotes have now moved in to eat the rabbit infestation. Big, western coyotes, right up to 50 lbs., every bit as big as my coonhound.

One of those fucking coyotes wanders up to my fence next to my Jacuzzi while I'm in it, nasty looking fugger, red eyes, pointed noise, I wave my arms and peg it with a rock, it looks completely unperturbed, trots off in broad daylight. (You know you have a coyote problem when they wander around in daylight.)

I warn the neighbors, we have a coyote problem. It's like talking to a wall, either "hey man, it's just nature" or "why is that a problem?"

Surprise, surprise ... beloved pets start to disappear. Notes for missing cats and dogs are taped to the mailbox. They're not lost, Chicago and Florida folks, your beloved Shih-Tzu and your terrier and your cat have been ripped to ribbons by a family of coyotes. I can sometimes hear the pets crying out in agony at dusk and the coyotes yipping, it's a miserable sound.

The newcomers think the problem is complicated. The people who have been here for a good chunk of their lives know that it's a lot more simple; leave things the fuck alone, because the more you fuck with them, the more fucked up they get.

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1 hour ago, mikewof said:

Human overpopulation isn't apparently the problem, the global population rate has been trending downward since about 1985. 

The problem is human environmental destruction. We could do that with a global population of a seven hundred, as well as seven billion.

Population declining??? Not so much....

Population_Growth_by_World_Bank_continental_division.png512px-UN_DESA_continent_population_1950_to_2100.svg.png

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7 minutes ago, HardOnWind said:

Population declining??? Not so much....

Population_Growth_by_World_Bank_continental_division.png512px-UN_DESA_continent_population_1950_to_2100.svg.png

Reading Is Fundamental.

I wrote that the population rate reversed. That indicates a slowing of population growth. Eventually, that growth will invert, it's already happening in places like Japan and Russia.

Notice something odd in this chart around the 1985 mark? Why is that?

worldpopgrowrate1950-2050.jpg

What happens when that line hits zero? Ever heard of Zero Population Growth? That's what happens.

Now, what happens when it goes below zero?

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4 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Wow. That's hard work. In addition, the embarrassment when we dump our loads and a Mexican woman half my size has picked twice what I could would be a bit tough to take.

The part about inspecting the 300 acres for mouse droppings prior to picking caught my eye. It's 4:30 am. This is about when they start working. The requirement to scan 300 acres for mouse turds in the dark shows how out of touch regulators are with what actually happens on a farm.

The mouse/deer turds bit was pretty fucking weird.  What happens when someone explains to these office drones that mice can climb trees?  Or that bats are also rodents, and also take dumps?  Not to mention, there's bird shit that gets on the fruit... (avian flu!  OMG!! cue exploding heads...) 

More than thinking about absurd regulations, the article made me think about our "hunting vs grocery store meat" threads, and ponder just how alienated people have become from where food comes from. 

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1 hour ago, slug zitski said:

Yes...but remember...half of the population has no water electricity, food.....

when will they  begin to consume ?

That's a good point, it's concerning. But what we've seen so far is that power and food production become more efficient every year. In fact, one year before the global population rate started moving downward, was the first year that global food production outpaced population, and it's been doing that ever since.

Wind and solar power is cheaper than ever too. Water? That's harder, unlike power, there is not a limitless sea of electrons. But the price of desal has plummeted, it's now down near 40 certs per thousand liters. 

Now, what to do about all that salt that is extracted from the seawater? THAT'S a worry.

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19 minutes ago, HardOnWind said:

Well if then why did you conclude that human population growth wasn't a factor in the extinctions then MW?

We extinct other creatures because it's in our nature to do that. When Paleo-Americans came to North America some 20,000 years ago, their population density was miniscule compared to now. And yet, they managed to run vast populations of animals right into extinction, like the North American Cheetah, the Mammoth, the sabertooth cat, giant armadillos the size of a VW Beetle.

We extinct animals because we're good at that, and as evidenced from assholes who pink mist prairie dogs, we take a macabre satisfaction from doing it. We're threatened by animals that are no actual threat to us, and it gives us pleasure to kill, and to reorganize nature in a way that it can no longer sustain itself.

We can solve these problems with a global population of 8 billion, or we can kill the planet with a global population of 8 million. We need to identify the problems and our own deficiencies, so that the planet we leave for a grandchildren isn't a smoking husk of carbonized shit.

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1 hour ago, mikewof said:

We extinct other creatures because it's in our nature to do that. When Paleo-Americans came to North America some 20,000 years ago, their population density was miniscule compared to now. And yet, they managed to run vast populations of animals right into extinction, like the North American Cheetah, the Mammoth, the sabertooth cat, giant armadillos the size of a VW Beetle.

We extinct animals because we're good at that, and as evidenced from assholes who pink mist prairie dogs, we take a macabre satisfaction from doing it. We're threatened by animals that are no actual threat to us, and it gives us pleasure to kill, and to reorganize nature in a way that it can no longer sustain itself.

We can solve these problems with a global population of 8 billion, or we can kill the planet with a global population of 8 million. We need to identify the problems and our own deficiencies, so that the planet we leave for a grandchildren isn't a smoking husk of carbonized shit.

All true but we also cause inadvertent extinctions just by shitting in the water. The more people there are the worse it is.

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1 hour ago, HardOnWind said:

All true but we also cause inadvertent extinctions just by shitting in the water. The more people there are the worse it is.

Yeah, I guess all things equal, that's true.

But one unregulated industry run by a few hundred dudes can and does extinct species faster than half-a-billion regular people shitting in the water.

The Moa, Dodo and Haast's Eagle were extincted by what, a few hundred guys total? The entire legal Pacific fishing industry probably kills fewer endangered sharks in the whole year than poachers kill in just a couple of weeks. 

If we convince ourselves that overpopulation is the problem, then these species will go extinct. If we identify the actual cause of the extinctions, and damage to the air, soil and water, then we have a chance.

For example, salt brine from desal is currently unregulated, but from what I can tell, it's a major threat to reefs. Yeah, it's just concentrated seawater, but it doesn't diffuse too well, and marine organisms are usually more sensitive to salt concentrations than temperature changes.

 

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On 11/1/2017 at 10:22 AM, mikewof said:

I don't know of too many species that respect state boundaries, and are only eaten by, or eat animals that remain within state lines.

Can you give an example of such an animal so I can answer your question a little better?

New Yorkers

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6 hours ago, frenchie said:

The mouse/deer turds bit was pretty fucking weird.  What happens when someone explains to these office drones that mice can climb trees?  Or that bats are also rodents, and also take dumps?  Not to mention, there's bird shit that gets on the fruit... (avian flu!  OMG!! cue exploding heads...) 

More than thinking about absurd regulations, the article made me think about our "hunting vs grocery store meat" threads, and ponder just how alienated people have become from where food comes from. 

Yes, farming is a shockingly messy business and people just don't want to hear, "Here, have an apple! Only a tiny amount of shit in this load!"

 

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On 1/7/2018 at 5:36 AM, dogballs Tom said:

The Dusky Gopher Frog might find itself before the Supreme Court

mississippi-gopher-frog.jpg

That's one hunchback frog with a head that even Jay Leno would mock as giant. Not all that cute.

The case was heard Monday.

http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/weyerhaeuser-company-v-united-states-fish-wildlife-service/

 

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Article on the Dusky Toad case.
 

Quote

 

Only about 150 dusky gopher frogs survive in the wild, and all of them are in southern Mississippi. That didn't stop the Fish and Wildlife Service from designating about 1,500 acres of private property in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, as critical habitat for the species in 2012. The designated acreage lies within the frog's historical range, but it's now part of dense commercial timber plantation that is nothing like the open-canopied habitat the amphibian needs.

The yearslong legal dispute over the frog demonstrates how the Endangered Species Act has failed wildlife and private property owners alike. The statute may have been written with good intentions, but it often punishes landowners in ways that have nothing to do with recovering species. The act makes enemies out of the private landowners who provide the majority of habitat for imperiled species.

 

Related to the bolded bit...

On 1/8/2018 at 6:19 AM, dogballs Tom said:

I'm planning a boat barn. Unfortunately, there might be a couple of cute critters in the way. The kind you're not supposed to move.

So I won't move them if I find any. I don't think I'll hire the pro's to do it either.

I could just extend my dogs' Invisible Fence around the area and let nature take its course...

LibGopher.jpg

My Boatport is complete now. A gopher tortoise like the one my dog is carrying lived where it stands for many years. Unrelated to any activities of mine, that turtle moved just far enough away for regulatory approval and now lives behind the back corner of the Boatport. Quite a lucky break, huh?

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9 hours ago, dogballs Tom said:

. Unrelated to any activities of mine, that turtle moved just far enough away for regulatory approval and now lives behind the back corner of the Boatport. Quite a lucky break, huh?

giphyGOQFUHIE.gif.001a45995999e2f953880a40e2d15dab.gif

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the best part about you dogballs is you claim to know what "environmentally conscious" is.

yer just a polluting, rape and pillage the environment, good ole boy. which is fine, if you call yourself that, instead of pretending you know anything about "environmentally conscious" or that you give a fuck about it outside of your little bit of florida squalor.

assholes move endangered species and post brag pictures about it on the internet.

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9 hours ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

assholes move endangered species and post brag pictures about it on the internet.

I didn't move it.

Had it needed moving, my neighbor has the required license and would have done it. But they abandon their holes and make a new one now and then and I got lucky.

The turtle is also lucky our environmental laws are not too strict and moving the turtles (with a license) is allowed. I've known for a long time I wanted a structure there. That turtle would have been dead years ago if I thought it would prevent my building. Shoot, shovel, and shut up is a real response to environmental laws, even if it's not my response.

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SCOTUS Rules 8-0 That Dusky Gopher Frogs Aren't That Cute

Quote

Writing in the manner of a schoolmarm whose patience has been sorely tried by a slow pupil, Roberts said: “According to the ordinary understanding of how adjectives work, ‘critical habitat’ must also be ‘habitat.’ Adjectives modify nouns — they pick out a subset of a category that possesses a certain quality.” The 1,544-acre habitat that the FWS says is essential to preserving the species would be, in its unimproved condition, lethal to the species. So, the case has been sent back to a lower court, which is directed to think long and hard about the meaning of “habitat,” and to reconsider its peculiar theory that there is no “habitability requirement” when designating a “critical habitat.”

Or maybe that "habitable" and "lethal" are kind of mutually exclusive.

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On 1/8/2018 at 9:49 AM, frenchie said:

More than thinking about absurd regulations, the article made me think about our "hunting vs grocery store meat" threads, and ponder just how alienated people have become from where food comes from. 

Romaine seems to be grown in shit ponds, or something.

I think I'll start growing my own.

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On 12/3/2018 at 6:55 AM, dogballs Tom said:

Romaine seems to be grown in shit ponds, or something.

I think I'll start growing my own.

And beef, or maybe I can mail order it from austin?

And now Duncan Hines cake mix?

Chocolate and bacon remain safe things to eat for the moment, but that's about it.

Tough Year For Food Safety
 

Quote

 

Nearly eight years ago, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law. The food safety law has been heralded as the most important food law in 80 years. It was intended to prevent, among other things, contaminated lettuce from showing up at our grocery stores.

While the law contained several provisions—such as one that pertains to the safety of pet food—two key provisions of the law were intended to improve food safety practices of domestic farmers and food producers. FSMA's produce rule, which covers lettuce and other crops, governs irrigation, fertilization, livestock and wild animals, worker hygiene, and facilities.

"For farmers, the law requires the FDA, the federal agency in charge of enforcing the law, to 'establish science-based minimum standards for the safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables,'" I describe in my recent book, Biting the Hands that Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable.

"For other food producers—from makers of fresh pasta sauce to Greek yogurt—the law orders the FDA to require food manufacturers to have in place a written plan for preventing transmission of pathogens that could cause foodborne illness."

Predictably, the recent nationwide food recalls have led some to call for even stricter food-safety regulations.

 

The bolded part sounds perfectly reasonable.

Then you get to the pre-dawn inspection of hundreds of acres of fruit trees that have various climbing and flying animals shitting on them nearly 24 hours a day. To make sure no animals have shit on them.

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