Auros (auros) wrote,

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An Inconvenient Truth, and, a truth that's inconvenient for Steve Westly.

An Inconvenient Truth is very much worth seeing. It does a good job of making the threats that a lot of us know intellectually are out there into something visual and visceral. Incidentally, I recently picked up a VHS copy of After the Warming, the 1991 production created as a documentary from 2041, describing how globabl warming had affected the world. Considering the stuff that's happened in the last couple of years, it's starting to look pretty prophetic -- IIRC, Burke had cities starting to get devastated in the mid '00s. Just like real life. In the first, historical/retrospective episode, he also cited some of the same incidents that Gore discusses, such as the collapse of the Atlantic Conveyor after the Canadian ice shelf melted in the interior and then got dumped into the ocean all at once when the ice dams broke, and the rapid changes that caused in climate (in that particular case, turning Europe from something like the present temperate climate, to Alaska-like deep-freeze, in under a decade). Gore adds something new though: the collapse of Larsen B, which, after having been stable for ten thousand years, broke up and fell into the ocean in less than three months. Gore explains the mechanism by which this is believed to have happened, and shows some disturbing evidence that this same process may already be underway in Greenland -- which has as much ice on it as the mass that killed the Conveyor last time.

In other news...

From: Thomas Yocom
Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 3:00 PM
To: [various papers and interest groups, and Angelides and Westly campaign staff]
Subject: False claims about wetlands damage

As a former EPA wetlands scientist, I was involved in the enforcement case that has been cited in attack ads by the Westly campaign. One of the claims made in these ads is that Mr. Angelides paved over "thousands of acres of wetlands." That claim is without merit. Whereas I do not know the number of acres that Mr. Angelides may have been involved in developing, only a small fraction included wetlands. Typically, wetlands make up less than 5% of the landscape.

That a newspaper may have incorrectly reported that Mr. Angelides destroyed thousands of acres of wetlands is no excuse for the Westly campaign to not check the facts before attacking Mr. Angelides with someone else's false information.

It is true that the EPA initiated an enforcement action in the Riverwest development case in the late 1980's, and it is true that Mr. Angelides was one of the Riverwest representatives with whom EPA met in resolving this case. To my knowledge, Mr. Angelides was not fined, and the Riverwest development implemented mitigative measures to offset the wetland areas that had been filled without a permit.

There simply are not "thousands of acres of wetlands" remaining in California that could be filled by any individual. To continue to report this is disingenuous, at best.

I am neither a supporter of Mr. Angelides or Mr. Westly. I simply do not like misinformation being used to attack anyone. I am sending a copy of this message to both campaigns.

Thank you.

Thomas G. Yocom
Former EPA National Wetlands Expert

Dr Yocom has a fairly impressive Googlable history. In addition to his work at EPA, he has collaborated on papers about water issues at the USGS and NOAA.


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