Friday Eco-Fact: The Unique Red Skinned Madrone Tree

For people that have hiked in west Texas they have undoubtedly spotted trees this tree with red skin:

Picture of the Texas Madrone Tree

I was quite surprised when I first saw this tree because I have never seen a tree with such red skin before.  It kind of reminded me of a red skinned version of an Australian snow gum tree.  After some research I found out that this tree is called a Madrone Tree with the scientific name of “arbutus xalapensis”.  I have only seen this tree grow in West Texas and have never seen it in New Mexico though it supposedly grows in some areas there.  The tree is supposedly found in some isolated pockets of the Texas Hill Country as well.  The range of this tree also extends down into the Chihuahua Desert areas of Mexico as well.

Picture of the Texas Madrone Tree

Much like the previously mentioned Australian snow gum tree the madrone also sheds it skin.  The tree needs to shed its old skin to grow.  As the skin drys to peel off its turns slowly from a creme to a yellowish color, than a brilliantly red color, and finally a chocolate color before falling off.  As the skin peels offs it reveals a new layer of creme colored skin.  The madrone blossoms in the spring with white flowers before revealing reddish berries in the spring that are a popular meal for local wildlife and long ago a source of vitamin C for the nomadic Mescalero Apache Indians that once frequented this area.

Picture of the Texas Madrone Tree

The Texas Forest Service’s records state that the largest madrone tree in Texas is 45-feet high with a 70-inch girth and 30-foot crown. This tree was discovered in the Chisos Mountains of West Texas.  As big as this tree is the majority of the madrone trees reach a maximum height of 15-25 feet.  The best place to view these trees is to take a hike in Texas’ Guadalupe National Park where Madrone Trees can be found growing all around the park.

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Should the US Extract Oil from Sticky Tar In Utah?

There is definitely some trade offs in this plan to extract oil from the oil sands in Utah, but I think the ability to stop importing foreign oil is definitely worth those trade offs:

Beneath the lush, green hills of eastern Utah’s Uinta Basin, where elk, bear and bison outnumber people, the soil is saturated with a sticky tar that may soon provide a new domestic source of petroleum for the United States. It would be a first-of-its kind project in the country that some fear could be a slippery slope toward widespread wilderness destruction.

With crude prices surging beyond $100 a barrel, and politicians preaching the need to reduce America’s reliance on foreign supplies, companies are now looking for more local sources. One Canadian firm says it’s found it in the tar sands of Utah’s Book Cliffs.

Alberta-based Earth Energy Resources Inc. aims to start with a roughly 62-acre mine here to produce bitumen, a tar-like form of petroleum, from oil-soaked sands. For decades, other Utah operators have used oil sands as a poor-man’s asphalt, and Canada has been wringing oil from the ground for years, but nobody has yet tried to produce petroleum from U.S. soil on such a scale.

And it could be just the beginning. The company has over 7,800 acres of Utah state land under lease, with plans to acquire more, and estimates its current holdings contain more than 250 million barrels of recoverable oil.  [Associated Press]

You can read more at the link, but I always thought we should create a North American energy independence plan between the US, Canada, and Mexico to where pipelines and all available oil resources are tapped just so we can stop dealing with all the petrol-dictators of the world.

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Eco-loons Use Iceland Volcano to Hype Global Warming Claims

Just another example of how the eco-loons have no shame in exploiting any tragedy to advance their global warming dogma:

A thaw of Iceland’s ice caps in coming decades caused by climate change may trigger more volcanic eruptions by removing a vast weight and freeing magma from deep below ground, scientists said on Friday.

They said there was no sign that the current eruption from below the Eyjafjallajokull glacier that has paralysed flights over northern Europe was linked to global warming. The glacier is too small and light to affect local geology.

“Our work suggests that eventually there will be either somewhat larger eruptions or more frequent eruptions in Iceland in coming decades,” said Freysteinn Sigmundsson, a vulcanologist at the University of Iceland.

“Global warming melts ice and this can influence magmatic systems,” he told Reuters. The end of the Ice Age 10,000 years ago coincided with a surge in volcanic activity in Iceland, apparently because huge ice caps thinned and the land rose.

“We believe the reduction of ice has not been important in triggering this latest eruption,” he said of Eyjafjallajokull. “The eruption is happening under a relatively small ice cap.”  [Reuters]

So even though the erupting volcano has nothing to do with global warming this guy is still more than happy to exploit it to blame future volcanic eruptions on global warming and the sympathetic media gives these people a platform to push this nonsense.   When these people aren’t taking advantage of the Haiti earthquake tragedy to push their global warming nonsense about earthquakes being caused by global warming; or taking advantage of multiple tragic hurricanes that had nothing to do with global warming, they are now blaming erupting volcanoes on global warming as well. 

And to think these tragedy exploiters have the nerve to want to try me in an international court for “crimes against peace“.

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Global Warming Crazed Parents Wound Baby, Murder One Child

As I have always said many of these global warming loons are mad, but not even I thought they would get this crazy:

A seven-month-old baby girl survived three days alone with a bullet in her chest beside the bodies of her parents and toddler brother.

Argentines Francisco Lotero, 56, and Miriam Coletti, 23, shot their children before killing themselves after making an apparent suicide pact over fears about global warming.

Their son Francisco, two, died instantly after being hit in the back.

But their unnamed daughter cheated death after the bullet from her dad’s handgun missed her vital organs.

Paramedics rushed her to hospital covered in blood when police alerted by worried neighbours discovered the massacre three days later.

The youngster is recovering in hospital in the town of Goya in the northern Argentine province of Corrientes, where doctors say she is out of danger.

Her parents said they feared the effects of global warming in a suicide note discovered by police.  [Daily Mail]

This case is tragic and hopefully this little girl will have a full recovery.

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Trash Island Discovered North of the Caribbean

This is just disgusting:

SCIENTISTS have discovered a giant rubbish tip made up of plastic bottles, bottletops and toothbrushes floating in the Atlantic Ocean.

The discarded plastic, which lies north of the Caribbean, is known to harm seabirds and marine life.

Sea Education Association’s Dr Karen Lavender Law said that the problem in the Atlantic had been “largely ignored”.

Researchers said the dump has 200,000 pieces of debris per square kilometre but it was impossible to measure the exact size of the patch as much of it floats beneath the surface.

“That’s a maximum that is comparable with the ‘great Pacific garbage patch’,” Dr Lavender Law said.

The great Pacific patch lies between Hawaii and California.  []

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Government Weatherization Program Costs Tax Payers Big Bucks

Here is another example of going green means taking the green out of your pocket:

Who could forget the $5 billion in Obama administration stimulus money that was going to rapidly create nearly 90,000 green jobs across the country in these tough economic times and make so many thousands of homes all snuggy and warm and energy-efficient these very snowy days?

Well, a new report due out this morning will show the $5-billion program is so riddled with drafts that so far it’s weatherized only about 9,000 homes.

Based on the initial Obama-Biden program promise that it would create 87,000 new jobs its first year, that would be about 10 jobs for each home weatherized so far. Makes for pretty crowded doorways.

ABC News reports that the General Accountability Office will declare today that the Energy Department has fallen woefully behind — about 98.5% behind — the 593,000 homes it initially predicted would be weatherized in the Recovery Act’s very first, very chilly year.  [LA Times]

Read the rest at the link, but according to the LA Times report the cost to weatherize these houses is $57,362 per home.  It seems like it would have been better just to give home owners this money to pay down their mortgage, it probably would have been less wasteful than this program.  Anyway at least the government has not killed anyone with this program yet unlike in Australia:

Environment Minister Peter Garrett will axe the Rudd Government?s disastrous home insulation program – and replace it with another scheme entirely.

Mr Garrett will make the announcement at 1.45pm today, in Sydney.

The $2.5 billion scheme, which has been in place since last year, has led to four deaths, countless injuries and around 100 house fires.

Under the new scheme consumers will have to pay for insulation work and get the Government rebate through Medicare offices.  (…………..)

An industry source told The Age that consistent reports of dodgy installers, including allegations of sexual misconduct on behalf of one installer raised on Radio 3AW this morning, tipped the troubled scheme over the edge.  [Tim Blair]

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Scientist Admits To Fraudulent Himalayan Glacier Melting Claim

Wow the scientific fraud that continues to be uncovered in regards to the global warming issue is really incredible, here is the latest:

The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: ‘It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.

‘It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.’  [DailyMail]

You can read more about this scandal at Watts Up With That?

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Is It Time To Eat Your Dog Before Getting Rid of Your SUV?

Maybe the alarmists can use this to explain the Miedeval Warm Period, civilizations back then just owned a lot of dogs!

 A man walks his dog in the snow in the East Village on December 19 in New York City.

Man’s best friend could be one of the environment’s worst enemies, according to a new study which says the carbon pawprint of a pet dog is more than double that of a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle.

But the revelation in the book “Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living” by New Zealanders Robert and Brenda Vale has angered pet owners who feel they are being singled out as troublemakers.

The Vales, specialists in sustainable living at Victoria University of Wellington, analysed popular brands of pet food and calculated that a medium-sized dog eats around 164 kilos (360 pounds) of meat and 95 kilos of cereal a year.

Combine the land required to generate its food and a “medium” sized dog has an annual footprint of 0.84 hectares (2.07 acres) — around twice the 0.41 hectares required by a 4×4 driving 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) a year, including energy to build the car.

To confirm the results, the New Scientist magazine asked John Barrett at the Stockholm Environment Institute in York, Britain, to calculate eco-pawprints based on his own data. The results were essentially the same.

“Owning a dog really is quite an extravagance, mainly because of the carbon footprint of meat,” Barrett said.

Other animals aren’t much better for the environment, the Vales say.  [AFP]

Judging by the above picture the American East Coast could use a little global warming right now.   However, the big story is the natural evolution of the eco-faith.  Now we can add animal sacrifice to their list of rituals.  I wonder if the high priest Al Gore will conduct the first sacrificial rights for the eco-faithful?

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“Carbon Cops” Slated for Australia If Emissions Trading Scheme Passes

Here is an example of what you can expect to see in America if Cap & Trade passes, Carbon Cops!:


18 December 2009

Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor, today announced significant administrative reforms to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) as part of the government’s response to the Federal Audit of Police Capabilities…

The major areas of reform include:

a new funding structure providing flexibility to meet existing and emerging priorities including: counter-terrorism; serious and organised crime, including e-security crime; border protection; overseas deployments and peace keeping; criminal law enforcement in business regulation; and support to the enforcement of the anticipated Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.  [Andrew Bolt]

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Rise In New Zealand Temperatures Proven to Be Man Made, By Scientists Manipulating Data

In the wake of the ClimateGate scandal that exposed how climate data was being manipulated, comes news that the climate data from New Zealand has been manipulated as well.  Here is the graph the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research has been putting out in defense of global warming in New Zealand:

However, a group called the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition went and conducted their own audit of the raw temperature data from each of the stations that this graph was made from and this is what they got:

Big difference in graphs huh?  So how did the New Zealand government get such a slanted graph?  Well they intentionally changed the data to give the stations cooler temperatures in earlier years and warmer temperatures in later years to get a more slanted graph.  Make sure to read the whole report because it is amazing how blatant this fraud is. These findings don’t surprise me at all because when I went hiked around New Zealand’s Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers I found out that these glaciers had retreated drastically in prior decades long before any SUV’s and are now again growing in size.

So who is the man behind this fraud?  His name is Jim Salinger, a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who started work on the series when he was with the University of East Anglia, which is the same university at the heart of the ClimateGate scandal.  So now we know where he learned his data manipulating tricks from.

You can read more from Anthony Watts on Salinger’s excuse for manipulating the data and his refusal to release his methods.

I am just wondering what other East Anglia scientists are out there around the globe manipulating climate data like Salinger?

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