Wuerthner II: Forest thinning is snake oil

Some more fuel for the fire on the merits of backcountry fuel reduction.

Missoulian op-ed last week:

“The idea that you can preclude large wildfires through forest-wide thinning is snake oil, very expensive snake oil. And not only does the taxpayer pay for ineffective fire protection, but we degrade our forest ecosystems in the process.”

41 Comments

  1. What are you saving it for, the next catastrophic fire to destroy the old growth, watersheds, steralize soil, destroy wildlife habitat, and fry the critters? Hey! That’s a great plan if you don’t really care about our forests and if you believe mother nature does? What a joke!!.

    • Hi Larry: I will have to dig around and see if I can find any of our original comments on the Bitterroot National Forest’s Trapper Bunkhouse timber sale. I did a field tour of the timber sale during the NEPA process with the Forest Service, members of Friends of the Bitterroot and Stewart Brandborg.

      Here’s a quick snip about the project, which I wrote in my 2009 U.S. Senate testimony against Sen. Jon Tester’s mandated logging bill. You’ll note that 1) the Trapper Bunkhouse project was not appealed or litigated; and 2) The USFS originally couldn’t sell the timber sale because of “bleak’ market conditions.

      One such project already through the NEPA process is the Trapper Bunkhouse Land Stewardship Project on the Darby Ranger District of the BNF. The project, which wasn’t appealed or litigated, authorizes logging, thinning and fuel reduction work on nearly 5,000 acres of the BNF. The FEIS for this project was issued in April 2008.

      Almost a year later I wrote the Darby District Ranger to inquire about the status of this project.

      On March 19, 2009 I got this response: “As it stands we may not get any bidders since a majority of the timber is not tractor ground and market conditions are bleak.”

      Hearing nothing for a few more months, I again wrote in July 2009 and got this response from the District Ranger, “Markets have not improved, in fact have gotten worse so sales in the Bitterroot are not very appealing at this time. We had a pre-bid trip for prospective bidders and did not generate much optimism. There was much interest but current market conditions were prohibitive for them being able to make successful bids.”

  2. Nice looking thinning job, a well managed forest. Good habitat, watershed protection, not fire proof but sure a lot more resistant to fire and better able to manage a fire in the thinned area if one does get started. Plus this project made a few jobs. My vision is to have as much of our national forests thinned and treated as possible. I want to protect the old growth etc. etc. etc. And with regard to the 23 million acres of roadless area, every journey starts with a first step. I know Matt would prefer to see it left to nature to burn, destroy and kill. Nature is not a very good manager. In fact, I think nature is pretty cruel. Have you ever seen how wolves eat the spleen and liver out of young calf elk while they are still alive and kicking. Pretty darn cruel. I cannot think of one example of where nature actually shows mercy. Maybe Matt can. I could use some examples. With regard to looking in the mirror, I feel pretty darn good about fighting for healthy forests, saving communities from catastrophic fire, protecting wildlife and watersheds. I can face those who have lost their homes and say that I am doing everything I can to try to protect them and others from catastrophic fire. While I can give some credit for promoting defensible spaces, apparently it is not enough. I want to stop or at least lessen the possibility of catastrophic fire. Can you say the same?

    • What the derp?Ok. Let’s take this belch of specious casuistry apart one piece at a time, shall we?

      Robin says:
      “My vision is to have as much of our national forests thinned and treated as possible. I want to protect the old growth etc. etc. etc. And with regard to the 23 million acres of roadless area, every journey starts with a first step.”
      Yes Robin, it’s nice to have visions, when they’re not entirely of the hallucinatory variety. However, I think that’s the variety you’re suffering from. Agreeing with you that “every journey begins with a first step,” it would seem the logical first step would be to ACTUALLY FUND the agency in whose hands the health of the forest is placed. But no, your ilk isn’t to keen on funding anything that doesn’t benefit the State. Which poses a bit of a catch-22, doesn’t it? You decry letting the timber burn, and yet, you would place the responsibility to fight those fires in the hands of the State — which is wholly incapable of marshaling the resources to fight them. Which in turn, would send the States running back to the federal government for a FEMA bailout every time a major fire got ripping. Conclusion? Your means don’t logically meet your ends.

      Robin says:
      “I know Matt would prefer to see it left to nature to burn, destroy and kill.”
      Analysis: Logical fallacy –Strawman: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman.
      Enough said.

      Robin says:
      “Nature is not a very good manager. In fact, I think nature is pretty cruel. Have you ever seen how wolves eat the spleen and liver out of young calf elk while they are still alive and kicking. Pretty darn cruel. I cannot think of one example of where nature actually shows mercy.”
      Analysis: Willfully blind (and if not willfully blind then disturbingly ignorant) anthropomorphism on level unparalleled since William Jennings Bryan argued for the State of Tennessee in the Scopes Monkey Trial.

      Robin says:
      “With regard to looking in the mirror, I feel pretty darn good about fighting for healthy forests, saving communities from catastrophic fire, protecting wildlife and watersheds. I can face those who have lost their homes and say that I am doing everything I can to try to protect them and others from catastrophic fire. While I can give some credit for promoting defensible spaces, apparently it is not enough. I want to stop or at least lessen the possibility of catastrophic fire.”
      Analysis: Logical fallacy — Appeal to emotion https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/appeal-to-emotion.
      Additionally, you don’t even try to address the superior option to the defensible space argument. That is, responsible zoning laws and insurance regulations that prevent every Tom Dick and Harry from building their McMansions on the border of a potential maelstrom. But oh no, don’t do that. That would infringe on your god given right exploit your manifest destiny of dominion over square inch of planet. But I guess if we had sensible laws in place to prevent these wholly avoidable casualties you couldn’t employ your irrational “appeal to emotion” arguments, now could you? A pity that …

      Finally, Robin says:
      Ah, screw it. I’ll save the keystrokes. I think it’s pretty clear everything that Robin says is asinine.

  3. My only question is how bad does it have to get before you tree huggers will realize your hands off and let nature do her thing has failed. It worked before man intervined and spent four decades putting out fires. That accumulation of fuel has altered natures ability to provide low intensity fires that can be managed. I asked a simple request to provide some examples of how nature shows mercy, but no one can respond. Can anyone show me where nature attempts to preserve old growth? I do not understand the hypocracy in saying you are trying to save our forests, but you instead leave it to nature to manage. So now I pose two questions. Show me an example of how nature shows mercy and how nature protects old growth trees. And secondly, while there might have been over cut in the 80’s, what was wrong with the management between 1910 and 1970, when there was a good balance and the Forest Service receive enough money from harvest to do their job before burdensome regulations and lawsuits? Now rather than avoid the questions and becoming nasty, why don’t you at least try to answer them? Maybe in reflecting upon the questions, some lights will come on for you.

  4. How about the idea of thinning our forests to create jobs and resources for our country. I think most of us like wood and it’s many uses. Seems like a good place to get some, and help the forests at the same time. I guess in some parts of the country there are McMasions going up next to public forests, but mostly it’s just people who like living in the country and would like an opportunity to make a living.
    I was hoping that Wuerthner had some good ideas but I see it is all about a very narrow agenda.
    .
    .

  5. PS for Eric. I hate to repeat myself, but once again, you blame those of us living in and near national forests for creating our own problem by living in the wrong spot and the tax payers shouldn’t be burdened with the cost to protect us from catastrophic fire. So where does the money come from to fight fires? Try LOGGING!! Secondly, and more importantly, while you suggest zoning laws and moving people from national forest areas, or preventing us from building near forests which might someday burn, (which fires by the way, are a man facilitated castrophic even in many cases), do you have any suggestions for the tax payer funded rebuilds of the repeated hurricane damage along the east coast? Lets rezone and move all those folks out too. And while you are at it. throw in those in tornado alley and those living in the flood zones in Florida, Lousiana, Alabama, Texas and New Mexico and along all those folks living along the major rivers in the U.S. that occassionally flood which are all naturally occuring events that we cannot control. Or, Eric, are you just singling out those of us living out out west near national forests to balance the national budget. There is a simple answer. It’s called LOGGING. It generates money to pay the bills to fight fires. It also lowers the cost of fighting fires in treated areas. It creates jobs to feed families and support our nation’s economy. It helps protect old growth. It helps protect watersheds and provide clean water for the urban communities. It helps protect habitat for wild life. Hum!! Here I go coming up with more asinine conclusions. They are asinine because they conflict with your anti-loging leave it to nature mentality. I am very anxious to hear your learned not so asinine response to the questions I pose. I will promise to do my best to be open minded to consider your suggestions. Hope you will do the same.

    • 1) I wasn’t blaming you. I was saying you were dumb for doing so. Regardless, another straw man argument, because I didn’t say “the tax payers shouldn’t be burdened with the cost to protect us from catastrophic fire.” What I’ve repeatedly said on this forum and others is that the USFS should not commit fire fighting resources to aid counties that allow unchecked growth into the WUI. If Counties enact sensible zoning laws and defensible space regulations, the the USFS does all it can to help. Simple. This is because the Counties get all the tax benefits, the rest of the tax payers in the country get the bill. If you want to live in the WUI, fine, pay for it. I don’t want to subsidize your luxury. Furthermore, this approach allows fire to get back to it’s natural role without having putting firefighters in harms way protecting structures that aren’t trained to deal with. If counties want to allow unchecked WUI expansion, fine. The Counties can foot the bill, not the Feds. So to answer your question, that’s where the money comes from, decreasing actual costs by allowing fires to burn naturally, while shifting the rest of burden where it belongs, to the County tax base that created the problem in the first place.

      2) And as to you second point — yes, I’m saying zone all those areas. However, again, you make an appeal to emotion rather than a rational argument. I didn’t say we should “move all those folks.” Apparently you don’t understand how zoning works. Here’s how it works. The zone is created for a certain use (for example, in a flood zone it is zoned for exactly that, flooding or maybe seasonal recreation. Not condos) and as people move on, new people aren’t allowed to continue the old use. So yeah, more hyperbole on your part and illogical appeals to emotion. And no, the “simple” answer is not always logging. But that seems to always be the answer for “simpletons.” Logging has it’s place. Yes, we should be able to extract value from the National Forest, but not when costs outweigh the benefits.

      And Robin, here is what’s simple. Argue logically without using all the logical fallacies that you invariably resort to, and you’ll be dealt with rationally, instead of being called asinine. Here, do some homework before you respond: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com

  6. Logging as a fundraiser – that’s my least favorite argument.
    Logging as a jobs program – a close second.
    National forests are supposed to be managed for ecological integrity.
    (Yes, it does bother me that my tax dollars are paying for beach replenishment to protect oceanfront homes.)

    • Jon, Yes “National forests are supposed to be managed for ecological integrity,” but they were established specifically to supply timber, water, and other resources. “Wise use,” you might say. Gifford Pinchot, in his 1907 booklet, The Use of The National Forests (which is online, thanks to the Forest History Society, at tinyurl.com/hf3e3eb), explained:

      Why National Forests Were First Made
      Congress took this action because the forests of the great mountain ranges in the West were being destroyed very rapidly by fire and reckless cutting. It was realized that unless something were done to protect them, the timber resources of the country and the many industries dependent upon the forest would be badly crippled. So the law aimed to save the timber for the use of the people, and to hold the mountain forests as great sponges to give out steady flows of water for use in the fertile valleys below.

      To the User of Timber
      But are the timber and wood locked up? Very far from it. The timber is there to be used, now and in the future.

      The Whole Result
      Taking it altogether, then, it will be seen that a National Forest does not act like a wall built around the public domain, which locks up its lands and resources and stops settlement and industry. What it really does is to take the public domain, with all its resources and most of its laws, and make sure that the best possible use is made of every bit of it. And more than this, it makes these vast mountain regions a great deal more valuable, and keeps them a great deal more valuable, simply by using them in a careful way, with a little thought about the future.

    • No, fundraising is what eco-corporations do. Logging and mills create wood products. It could be very easy to manage our public lands for both timber production and ecological integrity.

  7. Gifford Pinchot is not the law. But he was right in foreseeing that establishing a system of national forests would give future citizens the opportunity to determine, for their time, by law and regulation, what is “the best possible use of every bit of it.” Today that is ecological integrity.

    • True, but the The Multiple Use – Sustained Yield Act of 1960 is law.

      “‘Sustained yield of the several products and services’ means the achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high level annual or regular periodic output of the various renewable resources of the national forests without impairment of the productivity of the land. “

      • Should we reform the Sustained Yield Act of 1960 Steve? I mean, if the Endangered Species Act (1973) and National Environmental Policy Act (1970) are “out-dated” and in need of ‘reform” (according to the anti-environmental members of Congress and many folks in the timber industry) that must mean the 1960 Sustain Yield Act is really ancient.

        • No, I think the MUSYA is fine as-is, and is refreshingly brief. Here’s the full text of the law. Of course, interpretation of terms such as “high level” and “that will best meet the needs of the American people” is necessarily open to interpretation. My opinion is that the output of timber is not close to a high level, the amount and quality of water is generally high but could be higher, and the the amount of wilderness is at a high level (we have enough). Also in my opinion, the act directs the agency to manage the national forests, the lack of management in large areas (for a number of reasons that we have been debating at length in this blog) has led to “impairment of the productivity of the land.”

          10. MULTIPLE-USE SUSTAINED-YIELD ACT OF 1960

          (Public Law 86–517; Approved June 12, 1960)

          AN ACT To authorize and direct that the national forests be managed under principles
          of multiple use and to produce a sustained yield of products and services,
          and for other purposes

          Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
          United States of America in Congress assembled, That ø16 U.S.C.
          528¿ it is the policy of the Congress that the national forests are
          established and shall be administered for outdoor recreation, range,
          timber, watershed, and wildlife and fish purposes. The purposes of
          this Act are declared to be supplemental to, but not in derogation
          of, the purposes for which the national forests were established as
          set forth in the Act of June 4, 1897 (16 U.S.C. 475). Nothing herein
          shall be construed as affecting the jurisdiction or responsibilities of
          the several States with respect to wildlife and fish on the national
          forests. Nothing herein shall be construed so as to affect the use
          of administration of the mineral resources of national forest lands
          or to affect the use or administration of Federal lands not within
          national forests.

          SEC. 2. ø16 U.S.C. 529¿ The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized
          and directed to develop and administer the renewable surface
          resources of the national forests for multiple use and sustained
          yield of the several products and services obtained therefrom. In
          the administration of the national forests due consideration shall
          be given to the relative values of the various resources in particular
          areas. The establishment and maintenance of areas of wilderness
          are consistent with the purposes and provisions of this Act.

          SEC. 3. ø16 U.S.C. 530¿ In the effectuation of this Act the Secretary
          of Agriculture is authorized to cooperate with interested
          State and local governmental agencies and others in the development
          and management of the national forests.
          SEC. 4. ø16 U.S.C. 531¿ As used in this Act, the following
          terms shall have the following meanings:

          (a) ‘‘Multiple use’’ means: The management of all the various
          renewable surface resources of the national forests so that they are
          utilized in the combination that will best meet the needs of the
          American people; making the most judicious use of the land for
          some or all of these resources or related services over areas large
          enough to provide sufficient latitude for periodic adjustments in
          use to conform to changing needs and conditions; that some land
          will be used for less than all of the resources; and harmonious and
          coordinated management of the various resources, each with the
          other, without impairment of the productivity of the land, with consideration
          being given to the relative values of the various resources,
          and not necessarily the combination of uses that will give
          the greatest dollar return or the greatest unit output.

          (b) ‘‘Sustained yield of the several products and services’’
          means the achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high level
          annual or regular periodic output of the various renewable resources
          of the national forests without impairment of the productivity
          of the land.

          SEC. 5. ø16 U.S.C. 528 note¿ This Act may be cited as the
          ‘‘Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960’’.

  8. Eric. I took your advise and went to your referenced web site. How about doing the same for me. Look up ad hominem. That is what simple minds do when they can’t answer or are threatened by the questions or discussion. Consequently, they try to intimidate others with their ad hominem attacks. I’m not threatened. It is laughable and learned people know the difference.

    • You know that Eric Anderson has a Master Degree in Science from the University of Idaho, right Robin? But, of course, they pass those things out like candy during a parade, right?

    • Respect is earned. You don’t see me ad hominem attacking Steve W., or Mac, or Matthew, or really anyone else on this site, many of whom I certainly don’t agree with on some points. Why? Because they argue in good faith. When you start doing that, I’ll give you the same respect. Until then …

  9. Congratulations to Eric for his two degrees. Yah, I have THREE degrees from the University but I do not hang my shingle out or boast about them. I have some respect for the “shingle”. But I have also learned over the years, there is a lot more to enlightenment than “da book lernun”. I gave up kissing the college graduation ring a long time ago. I guess because my undergraduate degree is (JUST) in the Social Sciences, and my Masters and Specialist Degrees in Administration, I don’t count or deserve to have a respected opinion. Ironically, it appears to me (AS JUST A SOCIAL SCIENTIST OFCOURSE) that much of these discussions DO revolve around social aspects with significantly less discussion on the true science. My degrees should at least afford me the opportunity to weigh in on the idea of zoning laws, and public input and all the social impacts associated with forest management. If you think about it there is are a lot of social issues involved. I was unaware presenting credentials was a requirement to be heard on this blog. Maybe I should feel somewhat honored that I am the one Eric sent to “https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com” for a homework assignment and I am the only one that he resorts to ad hominem attacks. My degree in the social sciences affords me the opportunity to delve into these issues from a different perspective. And yes, I am not ashamed to weigh the emotional factors. Losing ones home, cattle, horses, and possessions to fire is emotional whether or not you want to consider it. Their feelings deserve consideration even if it beneath the status of a “Master’s Degree” to recognize it. Thankfully, all opinions, including those who have not been blessed with the wisdom of the world and do not have a college degree in science, do have the right to express their differing opinions even they are contrary to those of the “Ivory Tower”. So I repeat, if you can’t stand the heat of the questions, go ahead and attack the position. The learned people know the difference.

  10. For further clarification for Eric and Matthew, my undergrad degree, from the U. of I,is in Social Science and is a composite major consisting of studies in Political Science, Economics, Sociology, and Geography. I would argue, in good faith of course, that most of the previous comments kinda touch on at least three of these domains. And I would further argue that my comments and questions are based (in good faith of course) on the political, social and economical issues attending forest fire and forest management. So would it be asking too much for Eric to share his “good faith” arguing guidelines with me so I can work harder to achieve a status to have a legitimate opinion to share and pose questions to a “Master’s Degree in Science from the University of Idaho. “

  11. My undergrad is in psychology. Not that that matters for the purpose of commenting on this blog. But it is awfully useful for identifying passive aggression.
    Passive agression = bad faith = buh bye …

  12. Eric, That explains a lot. Over the course of my career I have had numerous psychologists work for me. Some very good, some idiots. As far as me being passive agressive, I don’t know how you can suggest I “avoid direct confrontation” (one of the definitions of being passive agressive.) or that I pout, procrastinate or misplace important information. I am very direct with you. And for you to suggest I am avoiding direct confrontation with you? What do I have to do to make it a direct confrontation???? I ask you to repond to simple direct questions that are beneath your dignity. Maybe we have two different definitions of passive aggressive. I have also dealt with intellectual bullies. I am not sure if there is a definition in the dictionary, but lets put it together. “Intellectual” speaks for itself. Bully “the use of superior strenth or influence to intimidate someone or force them to do what one wants.” Sorry, while your intellectual bullying may intimidate others, I am not smart enough to be intimidated. So it appears to me from my lower station in life, that when you are confronted with questions that make you uncomfortable or cannot answer, you resort to (1)ad hominem attacks, and (2), intelectual bullying. I am impressed with your ability to try different tools to win your favor. What’s next in your little bag of tricks? I would really like to get back to the discussion on natures skill at managing our forests and wildlife. But whatever, I’m up to a good sidebar as well.

  13. Robin says: “I would really like to get back to the discussion on natures skill at managing our forests and wildlife.”

    Apparently, you would not. I responded to this up the thread when I said:
    “Here’s a better question, did you look up the meaning of anthropormorphism? That’s why nobody has responded. It’s like you’re asking, “How heavy is white”?

    So, did you look up the meaning? Did you respond to the merits of my comment? No, you didn’t, because my assertion was axiomatic. Instead, you pivoted to your passive aggressive pity party, which you continue to employ. This is an example of your inability to engage comments in good faith. You lost Robin, yet you obstinately continue to try and save face. This is why people demean you. When people like you don’t understand the rules of a very simple game, it’s just simple human nature for others to sensor them through mockery. Shame is adaptive. If they still don’t get it, people just stop playing with them.

    I’ve been more patient with your B.S. than most, but I grow bored. Either respond to the merits of my previous assertion or go troll someone else.

  14. Eric, I do get your ” anthropormorphism” point. I guess I was just trying cut through all the crap and get to the basis of some of your and other’s argument? I am just trying to get to a simple answer to my question so here I go again. Maybe I am wrong and if so I apologize. But I get the impression you and others are opposed to logging in wilderness and roadless areas. If I am wrong, I apologize to you. If I am correct in this assumption, then doesn’t failing to log defaults to doing nothing and ulitimately leaving it to nature? So if it defaults to “nature” you are in fact allowing “nature” to determine the course of events in those areas. So I guess to make it a little more clear for you to understand, my question is, If man does not intervene and protect the old growth, watersheds, wildlife habitat in the wilderness and roadless areas, what happens to them? And again in my sophomoric mentality I believe if old growth, wildlife, watershed, habitat, etc. are left to the “nature” to decide their outcome. Opps, there I go again, giving “nature” a god like characteristic”. Dang I guess I just can’t help myself. So in simple terms and in good faith, I am just trying to figure out how you propose addressing the health of the forests in the wilderness and roadless areas and in the rest of the forests for that matter and I will leave out any reference to nature so as to not offend you. And this DOES get directly back to the point of the original discussion, “logging and snake oil. Thanks for you patience with me and your response.

    • ” I get the impression you and others are opposed to logging in wilderness and roadless areas.”
      I can only speak for myself, but yes, I am. I am not, however, opposed to using logging to extract value from our public lands where it is clear that the benefits exceed the costs. Clearly, logging in Wilderness and roadless areas is not only illegal, but the cost to extract the resource far outweighs any benefit, and which in reality results in “timber community subsidy.”

      “So if it defaults to “nature” you are in fact allowing “nature” to determine the course of events in those areas.” — Exactly. In general, the ecology of the Western U.S. is fire adapted. Humans are incapable of replicating mechanisms for “managing” a fire adapted ecology better than the mechanisms that have evolved over eons. We don’t log because we want to “manage” nature better than nature can manage itself. We log to extract value, and some rationalize this fact by claiming that such management is replicating the mechanisms that nature would employ. I don’t subscribe to this view. Rather, I subscribe to the view that there are trade-offs to human intervention for value. Extracting value burdens the naturally evolved mechanisms, but we can minimize these burdens. When successfully minimized, I believe the benefits can exceeds the costs of disrupting the naturally adapted ecology.

      Now, 90% of the comments on this blog involve the ongoing debate regarding the science of what the acceptable cost/benefit ratio is, and how to integrate that scientific debate into rational policy. I don’t anyone beside you arguing that we need to go logging every square inch of our National Forests in order to keep it healthy. Maybe I overstate your argument. If so, please define your terms.

      ” I am just trying to figure out how you propose addressing the health of the forests in the wilderness and roadless areas and in the rest of the forests for that matter.”
      See explanation above.

  15. Eric, here I go again. Your focus on anthropomorphism sparked my interest comparing anthropomorphism and personification. They appear to be very similar. The interesting thing I found in my research, however, is that it appears you may have taken a very narrow view of the definition and value of anthropomorphism. Anyone typing in “is anthropomorphism good or bad” on a google search will find numerous recent research articles and references to the advantages and use of anthropomorphism and that the use of it is an innate characteristic of humans. Most objections to the use of anthropomorphism appear to be focused on the concern that people might tend to think animals mirror the same cognitive skills as humans. However, researchers agree that some dogs do feel emotions. Therefore, they concluded that anthropomorphism, in this case, is not necessarily a bad thing. Lots of good references there to the good and bad use of anthropomorphism. In this case it appears there are at least some postings regarding anthropomorphism on the internet that legitimize my questions to you in the first place. My questions were not an attempt to give nature the ability to reason or feel emotion, but rather to qualify your position as to whether or not you felt old growth, wildlife, habitat, watershed were in greater peril if the forests were left untreated. With regard to my trying to save face, that is laughable. I could care less if people think my comments are asinine. I have never propounded myself to be very smart. I just have an opinion and I think I have as much right to challenge your comments and expect a legitimate response as anyone else. I just don’t believe in ad hominem attacks and I stand up to intellectual bullies even if I am at a disadvantage.

  16. Robin says: “My questions were not an attempt to give nature the ability to reason or feel emotion, but rather to qualify your position as to whether or not you felt old growth, wildlife, habitat, watershed were in greater peril if the forests were left untreated.”

    Nice try. Back in reality land, you actually brought the subject up to try and attack Matthew through the logical fallacy of appeal to emotion. Here — read your own words:

    “I know Matt would prefer to see it left to nature to burn, destroy and kill. Nature is not a very good manager. In fact, I think nature is pretty cruel. Have you ever seen how wolves eat the spleen and liver out of young calf elk while they are still alive and kicking. Pretty darn cruel. I cannot think of one example of where nature actually shows mercy. Maybe Matt can.”

    “The bullshit piled up so fast you needed wings to stay above it.”
    –Captain Willard, Apocalypse Now

  17. Geeze Eric, I must have stuck a nerve. You get really nasty when someone challenges your august authority, or doesn’t play by your rules. Once again you resort to ad hominem attacks and intellectural bullying. You talk about me piling the bullshit. First you say I am passive agressive. Holy Crap! What do I have to do to be flat agressive. Have you forgotten what passive agressive means? There is absolutely nothing passive about my discussions with you. I pointed out how you have misused your favorite anthropormorphism issue to chastize me. And instead you used the issue as a method of extinction or avoidance so as to not have to respond to my qyestions. Only after about five attempts did you finally respond after I challenged you on your anthropormorphism complaint. Do a little research on the webj. Just type in “Is the use of anthropormorphism good or bad and see what comes up. Two classic examples of your effort at intellectual bullying that I happened to call bullshit on. And lastly, please show me in the rule book where the use of figurative speech (specifically personification) and or the discussion of emtion or feels are prohibited on this site. Or is it just your rule and one of your ways to bully those who don’t kiss your ring.. If politics, sociology, and economics are not allowed to be part of the discussion on this site, I will sign off. But I need to hear from a higher authority than you. Furthermore, no one has ever said you have to respond to any of my posts. But if you do, then I have the right to respond any way I want to, within limits of course. But to prohibit the use of figurative language is a little much. You “more learned” people should be able to identify the difference and respond accordingly. What more could you expect from a “non science” trained dummy like me.

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