Let's look at the great environmental accomplishment on the national level. The Obama Administration's EPA made it policy to cut 2005 level emissions by 32 percent by 2030. If you want to continue to deny it, I raise you half a million dead sockeye in the Columbia/Snake and a gigantic, unprecedented thing in the northeast Pacific Ocean they are calling a "Blob". Anywho, here is the beginning of the press release with a link to the whole shebang included below...
"WASHINGTON –President Obama announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s final Clean Power Plantoday, which will cut U.S. carbon pollution from the power sector by 870 million tons, or 32 percent below 2005 levels, in 2030. Power plants are the largest drivers of climate change in the United States, accounting for roughly one-third of all carbon pollution emissions, but there were no national limits on carbon pollution until today.
The Clean Power Plan accelerates the transition to a clean energy future, which is happening even faster than expected—which means carbon and air pollution are already decreasing, improving public health year by year. By 2030, the plan will cut carbon pollution from the power sector by nearly a third and additional reductions will come from pollutants that can create dangerous soot and smog, translating to significant health benefits for the American people. By 2030, emissions of sulfur dioxide from power plants will be 90 percent lower and emissions of nitrogen oxides will be 72 percent lower, compared to 2005 levels. Americans will avoid up to 90,000 asthma attacks and spend up to 300,000 more days in the office or the classroom, instead of sick at home. And up to 3,600 families will be spared the grief of losing a loved one too soon." Link to Clean Power Plan
I am actually sandwiching my personal favorite of the week, oh well, here we go. Federal District Judge B. Lynn Winmill taught the Idaho Legislature and Gov. Butch Otter a quick lesson in American Civics when he slapped down and made illegal Idaho's so-called Ag-Gag Law from 2014. I want to thank all those organizations that took that ill-conceived law to court. That law was an un-American as Sen. Joseph McCarthy's paranoid imagination. That law belonged in Stalin's U.S.S.R. and was a direct affront to the First Amendment and 14th Amendment, not to mention a few federal statutes.
I was shocked that there wasn't more uproar when that absolutely liberty-deprived law was passed and signed from the Idaho public, but then again, good Americans, right and left, have been conditioned to tune out over the past several years due to the absolute pathetic political rhetoric of our times. It is no surprise we no longer show outrage when the outrageous garner all the attention and sadly all the support. So, while my very American values were offended to their very American core with the passage of this absolutely sick ag-gag act by the Idaho good-ole-boys network, I guess I should have realized there wouldn't be enough outrage to pre-empt it given the deteriorated atmosphere where facts and truth sat on the sidelines next to the core values of America.
So, thank you Judge Winmill and those who brought the issue before you. I am now going to share with you Judge Winmill's decision. I want you to read it. Especially if you weren't paying attention to what the Idaho Legislature was attempting to do here in 2014. I want you to note the activities that were and are still going on at dairy farms in the gem state that your legislature felt compelled to protect and I also want you to note that they developed the strawman "terrorist" argument in describing the people who (rightfully so) brought these horrible acts to light. Those are the people who make the law in Idaho, if you vote, consider making a change to a legislator and executive who actually have some knowledge of American Civics and the Constitution of the United States of America and decency as any decent human being sees it. I want you to understand that no American ever died in a military conflict for the right for a dairy operation employee to drag a cow (hog tied) by tractor or for the right of dairy operation employees to hit cows with their fists because, you know, they thought it was fun and all of the other sick things that were brought to light by whistle blowers. But I promise you every American who did die in any armed conflict died for the right of someone to stand up and say that what was going in that dairy operation in Hansen, Idaho was demonstrably wrong, illegal and not something decent people do. I know the patriotic line somehow doesn't go down easy when it comes from a source considered liberal (No matter if that feeling has not a single shred of truth within it, I know it exists for some of you, however devoid of truth that opinion is), but if that is the case in your estimation, you need to check yourself and get a tutor in American history and civics and understand what the Idaho Legislature and the Governor did was wholly unpatriotic and unAmerican (so long as America still stands for liberty and justice in this world). Please read this document I share here because it will make you proud to be an American and proud of those checks and balances put in place to temper the rash, ill-conceived notions of whatever majority that raises its head against our republic's system based on liberty (and don't forget that I have two other great things to share that happened this week after you read this)...
And I almost forgot that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (through pressure in the courts) has said this week that it will not be trapping or hunting or killing wolves in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, like they were doing in previous years, essentially for some individual hunting outfitters. The lawsuit made the cease plans to do it last winter and again this winter. Here, read this from the Western Watersheds Project...
For the second winter in a row, Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) has informed the U.S. Forest Service that it "does not intend to conduct any wolf control actions in the Frank Church Wilderness during the winter of 2015-2016 based on present circumstances."
IDFG abandoned it's plan to kill wolves in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in the winter of 2014-2015 also. This came in response to the lawsuit brought last winter by Earthjustice and attorney Tim Preso on behalf of Western Watersheds Project, WWP Board member Ralph Maughan,Defenders of Wildlife, Wilderness Watch and the Center for Biological Diversity.
Last year, in a sworn statement to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, theIDFG said that the agency would not conduct any control activities for wolves before November 1, 2015. The Forest Service provided a statement vowing to notify plaintiffs of any plans by August 5, 2015. This means that the integrity of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness won't be violated by state's hunting and trapping of these top predators in the coming year.
The hired killing of wolves is inconsistent with the letter and spirit of the Wilderness Act, and WWP and our allies will continue to pressure the National Forest Service to permanently stop facilitating IDFG's slaughtering scheme on protected public lands.
This decision does not preclude government killing of wolves in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in subsequent years but you can be assured that Western Watersheds Project will remain vigilant of such activities in the years to come.
Thank you Tim and Earthjustice for continuing to win for the wolves!"
I am not against hunting wolves. Personally, I do not see a need in hunting wolves. Their population is not out of control in Idaho or frankly elsewhere and I don't think they are really a necessary or desirable food source, but even with those personal opinions, I am not against hunters hunting wolves if they hunt them for those two reasons alone. I am against state sanctioned trapping of wolves or state sanctioned helicopter gunships hunting wolves or state sanctioned hunters hunting wolves for depredations on public land. I'm quite clear and consistent in this view and I can't fathom the hatred from where these ultimately illegal policies have been born. Eventually, you've got to get over your losses in life and accept the reality that you are given wolf-haters (government haters).
This practice of the state hiring trappers to go into the wilderness and kill the wolves was one of many oversteps by the government of Idaho and is in direct violation of the Wilderness Act. Look, if the state of Idaho wants to manage wolves, then they've got to adopt a better policy than this silly notion that they have to get down to the minimum requirements of wolf numbers to keep from relisting in order to successfully manage wolves. They must adopt something that can get a buy in from a broader audience of people.
Otherwise they can expect to be in court and losing in court. If states want to be taken seriously that they indeed can manage these species better than the federal government, then they have do a far more professional job than how Idaho has approached this with the governor promising to get the first tag and then coming up with every possible way they could kill off the wolves, rather than a sound management approach. They could repopulate the Fish and Game Commission with officials who actually have a balanced approach and who actually accept the notion of biodiversity, rather than what they have now, which are in some cases people who when asked can't give a reason for keeping wolves in the state. Their job is to preside over the management of the fish and wildlife in the state collectively owned by all of the state's citizens and they come at that job with the singular approach of appeasing one constituency and one alone. That's not governance that works.
Wolves are nowhere near overpopulated in Idaho, nor are they near extinction in Idaho, but the state's policies toward them would have put them on the brink of extinction in a short amount of time. They are more threatened today by the wanton reckless policies Idaho has adopted toward them than anything else. You want to hunt them, that's fine by me. But hunting is not an act of hatred, it is a way to feed your family and a way to practice conservation of a species by controlling the population. Beyond those two definitions for hunting, the act loses its support. Trophy hunting is unethical (taking a trophy while practicing population control and/or feeding your family is a gray area). Killing because you hate something is unethical.
Indeed it has been a great week and we must celebrate these great victories and move on to challenges of our future, such as, getting four lower Snake River dams breached to save our wild salmonids in the Snake River Basin.
As always, thank you for reading, comment if you like. I don't bite.