The Consequences Of Meddling With Mother Nature

The Marine Mammal Protection Act was signed into law in 1972 and amended in 1994.

The act:

…protects all marine mammals, including cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), pinnipeds (seals and sea lions), sirenians (manatees and dugongs), sea otters, and polar bears within the waters of the United States.

The Act makes it illegal to “take” marine mammals without a permit. This means people may not harass, feed, hunt, capture, collect, or kill any marine mammal or part of a marine mammal. The Act also formalized the marine mammal health and stranding response program to improve the response of stranding and unusual mortality events. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration web site gives the complete text of the Act.

So what are the consequences of this act? FoxNews in Boston posted an article today about some of the results of the act.

The article reports:

Great white sharks are discovering what tourists have known for years: Cape Cod is a great place to spend the summer.

…The white shark population is probably significantly larger, because the scientists can’t possibly spot all of them, Skomal (Greg Skomal, a senior scientist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, and the state’s top shark expert) said.

Two of the more interesting findings are the increasing number of young sharks, and that they appear to be swimming farther afield.

“Last summer we saw greater numbers of smaller sharks, including juveniles, and that tells us that the population is rebuilding,” Skomal said.

Great whites, made famous in the 1975 movie “Jaws,” about a monstrous shark that terrorizes a fictional New England resort town, are coming to Cape Cod waters to feast on seals. Once hunted to near extinction, the now-protected seals are found in great numbers.

The seals used to be concentrated at the Monomoy Wildlife Refuge, off limits to humans, but as they have moved farther north, so have the sharks, Skomal said.

In 2013, WGBH reported that the increased seal population was impacting the fishermen in the area.

WGBH reported:

But the cuteness factor is lost on local fishermen like Nick Muto. He said he now has to compete with seals for fish, and it’s the seals who have a clear advantage.

“Fishermen feel we’re being blamed for a lot of the decline of the codfish population,” he said. “But in essence, in just the Cape Cod area alone, there’s 14,000 unregulated fishermen – being, the seal population.”  

Muto’s statistic may actually be a bit low. Current estimates place the number of seals around Cape Cod at more than 15,000 – almost triple the number from 1999. They gravitate to places like Monomoy because it’s isolated, and ideally suited to raising pups. The seals are here in big numbers. They’re here to stay. And these wily predators have gotten very good at competing with local fishermen for dwindling numbers of fish.

It’s obvious that the Marine Mammal Protection Act has had some unintended consequences. I am not a scientist and do not claim to have the answer to the negative impact protecting the seals has had on the fishermen and the impact the law has had on the shark population off Cape Cod. However, I think the law has to be reevaluated and the idea of limited killing of the seals explored. Otherwise, the beautiful beaches of Cape Cod will eventually become a safe habitat for great white sharks and an unsafe habitat for swimmers.

 

Eventually The Truth Comes Out

On Saturday (updated Sunday), The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about new evidence of misconduct by those who are attempting to sell the idea of global warming.

The article reports:

The Mail on Sunday today reveals astonishing evidence that the organisation that is the world’s leading source of climate data rushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.

A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.

…But the whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data.

It was never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process – which Dr Bates devised.

Another website, wattsupwiththat, posted the following chart:
The article at wattsupwiththat further reports:

NOAA not only failed, but it effectively mounted a cover-up when challenged over its data. After the paper was published, the US House of Representatives Science Committee launched an inquiry into its Pausebuster claims. NOAA refused to comply with subpoenas demanding internal emails from the committee chairman, the Texas Republican Lamar Smith, and falsely claimed that no one had raised concerns about the paper internally.

Last night Mr Smith thanked Dr Bates ‘for courageously stepping forward to tell the truth about NOAA’s senior officials playing fast and loose with the data in order to meet a politically predetermined conclusion’. He added: ‘The Karl study used flawed data, was rushed to publication in an effort to support the President’s climate change agenda, and ignored NOAA’s own standards for scientific study.’

Last night Mr Karl admitted the data had not been archived when the paper was published. Asked why he had not waited, he said: ‘John Bates is talking about a formal process that takes a long time.’ He denied he was rushing to get the paper out in time for Paris, saying: ‘There was no discussion about Paris.’

He also admitted that the final, approved and ‘operational’ edition of the GHCN land data would be ‘different’ from that used in the paper’.
I am not a scientist, but I recognize a scam when I see one.
On March 30, 2016, I posted the following (here):

Have doubts? Then listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:

“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

So what is the goal of environmental policy?

“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

I hate to be cynical about this, but it seems as if the expression ‘follow the money’ applies here. One of the power blocs in the United Nations is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Despite the fact that many of the 57 nations in this group are very wealthy due to oil money, many of the people in these countries live in extreme poverty. The OIC looks at the prosperity of western countries and wants their money. They already get a lot of our money because they have oil, but greed is greed. Redistribution of wealth will leave wealthy democracies poorer and enrich dictatorships that are currently poor.

A few years ago, I posted an article about the relationship between property rights and poverty. The article was based on a Townhall.com article by John Stossel. The article included the following:

“”To get an address, somebody’s got to recognize that that’s where you live. That means … you’ve a got mailing address. … When you make a deal with someone, you can be identified. But until property is defined by law, people can’t … specialize and create wealth. The day they get title (is) the day that the businesses in their homes, the sewing machines, the cotton gins, the car repair shop finally gets recognized. They can start expanding.”

“That’s the road to prosperity. But first they need to be recognized by someone in local authority who says, “This is yours.” They need the rule of law. But many places in the developing world barely have law. So enterprising people take a risk. They work a deal with the guy on the first floor, and they build their house on the second floor.”

This is the concept the global warming alarmists want to eliminate. We need to make sure that they are not successful.

The Pseudo-Science Of Global Warming

Global temperatures are measured by surface stations. You can learn more about these surface stations here. But the picture below illustrates the problem with relying on the surface stations for exact information:

SurfaceStationsI post this pictures to illustrate the points made in an article recently posted at Investor’s Business Daily. The headline of the story reads, “June Hottest Month On Record? It’s Just One More Overheated Claim.”

The article states:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last week that “above-average temperatures spanned the nation from coast to coast, and 17 states across the West, Great Plains and parts of the Southeast experienced temperatures much above average.”

Well, OK. But what about those places where June was cooler than usual, or was at least nowhere near a record warm month. Real Climate Science points out a few spots where it didn’t get so hot in June and asks “where was this record heat located?”

…Real Climate Science also points out that, “averaged over the whole country, only 3.2% of June days were over 100 F, compared to 11% during June 1933.” Only 17.4% of weather stations reached 100 degrees this June “compared to 57.6% during June 1933.”

One of the points that has to be taken from this is the foolishness of trying to determine an average temperature for a country, let alone an entire planet.

The article cites statements by Bjarne Andresen, a professor at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, who explains that because of the complexity of the climate of the earth, “the concept of a global temperature is thermodynamically as well as mathematically impossible to establish.”

As I have previously stated, the global warming hoax is simply designed to take money away from working people and give it to people who would like to increase their own money and power. This was very evident when the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) announced on Oct. 21, 2010, that it would be ending carbon trading. The CCX went out of business because Congress failed to pass cap and trade legislation. A lot of the leading Democrats in Congress were heavily invested in the CCX and lost large amounts of money when it went out of business. This was clearly a situation where Congress had a major conflict of interest. (See story here). On a global scale, one of the goals of the global climate alarmists is to force industrialized countries to pay a carbon tax to less developed countries. Oddly enough, most of the money paid would go to dictatorships where the people live in poverty and the leaders live in luxury. Clearly, global warming is a scam. Conservation and working toward a cleaner environment is not a scam–it is a worthwhile goal. However, we need to be informed and make sure we are supporting a worthwhile goal rather than a scam.

The article concludes:

NOAA would have more credibility if it simply reported that summer had arrived in the Northern Hemisphere in June and reminded Americans, particularly those in regions where June was cooler than usual, that, yes, summer is hot.

As I have previously stated, the best place on the internet for good information on climate change is wattsupwiththat.

 

The Truth On Climate Change Is Slowly Coming Out

Global warming is the latest gimmick by some establishment politicians (on both sides of the aisle) to gain more control over the way Americans live. Somehow all of the suggested solutions will cripple healthy economies, limit personal freedom in America, and give money to dictators in banana republics. The major polluters–China and India–remain unaffected by any suggested solutions. Those of us who are skeptical have been called everything from morons to the modern day flat earth society. Again I would like to mention that the best scientific website on climate is wattsupwiththat. Meanwhile, some of the scientists forced to skew their results to promote the idea of global warming are beginning to speak out.

A website called JoNova has posted an article about the skewing of science to support the political theory of global warming.

The article states:

David Dilley, NOAA Meteorologist, tells how for 15 years work on man-made climate change was pushed while work on natural cycles was actively suppressed. Grants connecting climate change to a man-made crisis were advertised, while the word went around to heads of departments that even mentioning natural cycles would threaten the flow of government funds. Speeches about natural cycles were mysteriously canceled at the last minute with bizarre excuses.

But jobs are on the line, so only retired workers can really speak, and no one can name names.

We can corroborate David Dilley’s remarks. Indeed, he is probably just one of many skeptics hidden in the ranks of NOAA.  Way back in 2007, David Evans got an email from a different insider within NOAA, around the time he started talking publicly about the missing hotspot. The insider said, remarkably: “As a Meteorologist working for [snip, name of division] it has been clear to me, as well as every single other scientist I know at NOAA, that man can not be the primary cause of global warming and that the predictions of “gloom and doom” due to rising temperatures is ridiculous”.

…Dilley was invited to speak about natural cycles (at the University of Maine), but just before the event mysterious “staff shortages” meant his speech was canceled. Oddly, a different speech suddenly appeared in it’s place.

Considering the cost of college tuition these days, shouldn’t students be allowed to hear both sides of an argument?

Satellite Data Versus Manipulated Data

On Friday The Daily Caller posted a story about global warming. It seems that the satellite temperature data tells a different story than the one we are hearing.

The article reports:

Since September 1994, University of Alabama in Huntsville’s satellite temperature data has shown no statistically significant global warming trend. For over 20 years there’s been no warming trend apparent in the satellite records and will soon be entering into year 22 with no warming trend apparent in satellite data — which examines the lowest few miles of the Earth’s atmosphere.

The article also includes the graph below:

SatelliteBasedTemperatureThe thing to consider here is how government grant money works. If you declare a crisis, it is easier to get a federal grant to study the crisis. Therefore, federal agencies and other entities looking for grant money have a vested interest in declaring a crisis–whether there actually is one or not.

The article explains that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently altered its temperature data in order to show that a hiatus in global warming is not really happening.

The article further reports:

“Newly corrected and updated global surface temperature data from NOAA’s [National Centers for Environmental Information] do not support the notion of a global warming ‘hiatus,’” wrote NOAA scientists in their study.

The study was highly criticized for inflating the temperature record since the late 1990s to show vastly more global warming than was shown in older data. The warming “hiatus” was eliminated and the warming trend over the period was more than doubled.

“There’s been so much criticism of NOAA’s alteration of the sea surface temperature that we are really just going to have to use the University of East Anglia data,” Pat Michaels, a climate scientist with the libertarian Cato Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“I don’t think that’s going to stand the test of time,” Michaels said of NOAA’s recent adjustments.

Get out the popcorn and stay tuned.

 

Don’t Let Science Get In The Way Of Your Agenda

The Church and science have been at odds in the past, but I really thought that times had changed. Well, I guess they haven’t. This article is based on two sources, one is an article posted at the Daily Caller today and the other was posted at the U.K. Independent today.

The article at the Daily Caller states that the data from the climate stations in the United States reveals that we have been in a ten-year cooling period. (There are people in the midwest and New England who would most definitely agree with that statement). NOAA has adjusted those numbers to make it appear that there has been no cooling period.

The article at the Daily Caller reports:

NOAA’s latest temperature update did not include USCRN (U.S. Surface Climate Observing Reference Networks) data. One reason for this may be that the USCRN stations only have about a decade of data on them, which could be considered too short of a time period to use them in their analysis.

It should also be noted that USCRN only covers the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska, but the rest of the world lacks these high quality weather stations that don’t require temperatures to go through ex post facto adjustments by NOAA.

Skeptics, however, argue that USCRN data could deflate future arguments of rapid warming made by NOAA and others.

“So, since this state of the art network requires no adjustment, we can most surely trust the data presented by it. Right?” Watts (Anthony Watts, a veteran meteorologist and publisher of the science blog Watts Up With That) asked.

“While we seldom if ever see the USCRN mentioned in NOAA’s monthly and annual ‘State of the Climate’ reports to the U.S. public, buried in the depths of the [National Climatic Data Center] website, one can get access to the data and have it plotted,” Watts added. “We now have 10 years, a decade, of good data from this network and we are able to plot it.”

The bottom line here is that if you don’t manipulate the data, the areas of earth where we can get accurate temperature measurements have been cooling for the past ten years.

The article at the U.K. Independent dealt with the content of an upcoming Papal speech detailing the dire threat of climate change. I am truly surprised that the Pope has waded into the middle of this discussion.

The article at the U.K. Independent states:

Pope Francis is also extremely concerned about the prospect of mass migration of animals, plants and humans as global warming means they cannot function in their traditional habitat.

He calls for a new global political authority tasked with tackling the reduction of pollution and the development of poor countries and regions.

Although he accepts that there may be some natural causes of global warming, the pope lays most of the blame for climate change squarely at the feet of mankind.

“Humanity is called to take note of the need for changes in lifestyle and changes in methods of production and consumption to combat this warming or at least the human causes that produce and accentuate it,” he wrote.

The pope is very critical of anybody who stands in the way of tackling the problem of global warming – whether they are merely indifferent or actively sceptical.

“The attitudes that stand in the way of a solution, even among believers, range from negation of the problem, to indifference, to convenient resignation or blind faith in technical solutions,” he wrote.

It is unfortunate that the Pope has chosen to further the myth of man-made global warming. The Bible commands man to be stewards of the environment–it requires that man be responsible in using the earth’s resources. There is nothing about man being able to influence climate. The push to end global warming is nothing more than a push toward one-world control of world finances and resources combined with an attempt to blackmail those countries that are prosperous.

If the Pope truly wants to combat global poverty (as countries become more prosperous, they generally become more environmentally conscious) and help fight world poverty, he needs to come out in favor of private property rights. There are two things that economically successful countries have in common–one is equality under the law and the other is private property rights (see rightwinggranny). The problem is not greed or materialism–it’s government control of what should be free markets. A free-market economy benefits the rich and the poor. That would be a Papal doctrine I could support. Unfortunately, those people who like to be in control are generally against giving away that much freedom.

It Is Time The Government Defunded This Agency–They Lie

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today about the scientific practices of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Evidently, when data does not illustrate what they want it to, they simply alter the data.

Now Mike Brakey, an engineering physicist and heat transfer specialist, has caught NOAA revising historic temperature data for Maine–as always, to make the past look cooler and the present warmer by comparison:

Over the last months I have discovered that between 2013 and 2015 some government bureaucrats have rewritten Maine climate history… (and New England’s and of the U.S.). This statement is not based on my opinion, but on facts drawn from NOAA 2013 climate data vs. NOAA 2015 climate data after they re-wrote it.

We need only compare the data. They cooked their own books.

The article includes a chart illustrating that fact. Please follow the link above the view the chart.

The article also includes the following graph:

Brakey_2

We are paying taxpayer money to be lied to in order to promote a political agenda. It is time to take their money away.

If You Don’t Like The Data–Change It!

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about the latest numbers released (make that changed) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) about temperatures in America’s corn belt last summer.

The article includes two charts–one of the actual temperature data and one of the data after NOAA ‘adjusted’ the numbers:

These are the charts:

Source: NCDC climate data presented by Roy Spencer on www.drroyspencer.com.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

The article reports:

Meteorologist Anthony Watts has also caught NOAA changing the temperature record. For two years, NOAA claimed that July 2012 was the hottest month on record — that is, until it quietly adjusted the data so that July 1936 was the hottest month on record.

“Two years ago during the scorching summer of 2012, July 1936 lost its place on the leaderboard and July 2012 became the hottest month on record in the United States,” Watts wrote. “Now, as if by magic, and according to NOAA’s own data, July 1936 is now the hottest month on record again. The past, present, and future all seems to be ‘adjustable’ in NOAA’s world.”

Generally speaking it is very easy to lie with statistics–you can make them say anything you want them to say. However, it is really easy to lie with statistics when you arbitrarily change the numbers. That seems to be what is going on with NOAA.

There Seems To Be Some Disagreement About This

When the world stopped getting warmer, global warming became climate change. Those saying that man was causing climate change did not seem to understand that the climate routinely changed before man invented the wheel. Scientists have found evidence of agriculture under the ice of Greenland. Under current conditions, that is unthinkable.

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today about the latest climate numbers on 2014.

This graph was part of the article:

This chart shows Northern Hemisphere temperature changes over the last 10,000 years, based on ice core data. Dr. Ball explains: “The red line, added to the original diagram, imposes the approximate 20th century temperatures (right side) against those of the last 10,000 years.”

clip_image0211

The article also contains a chart illustrating how the temperature numbers are ‘adjusted’ to make sure they achieve the desired results.

The article concludes:

So next time one of your liberal friends tells you that 2014 was the hottest year on record, and therefore we must turn what is left of our economy over to the Obama administration, you can tell him that actually, 2014 was one of the 3% coldest years of the last 10,000.

The real name for what some scientists are calling climate change is weather.

It’s All Done With Numbers

WattsUpWithThat.com reported on Sunday that the  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has changed its data and July 1936 is once again the hottest month on record in the United States.

The article states:

Two years ago during the scorching summer of 2012, July 1936 lost its place on the leaderboard and July 2012 became the hottest month on record in the United States. Now, as if by magic, and according to NOAA’s own data, July 1936 is now the hottest month on record again. The past, present, and future all seems to be “adjustable” in NOAA’s world.

…This constant change from year to year of what is or is not the hottest month on record for the USA is not only unprofessional and embarrassing for NOAA, it’s bullshit of the highest order. It can easily be solved by NOAA stopping the unsupportable practice of adjusting temperatures of the past so that the present looks different in context with the adjusted past and stop making data for weather stations that have long since closed.

NOAA has been accused by others of “fabricating” data, and while that is a strong word that I don’t like to use, it looks to be more and more accurate.

That said, I don’t believe this is case where somebody purposely has their hand on a control knob for temperature data, I think all of this is nothing more than artifacts of a convoluted methodology and typical bureaucratic blundering. As I’ve always said, never attribute malice to what can be explained by simple incompetence.

We already showed yesterday that NOAA can’t get their output data files correct, and we are waiting on a statement and a possible correction for that. But I think the problem is even larger than that, and will require an investigation from an unbiased outside source to get to the root of the problem.

The article includes multiple graphs and charts showing why the data NOAA was using was erroneous. Unfortunately, climate change has become political rather than scientific. It is now a weapon to be part of the political arsenal. Hopefully at some point we can get back to science.

As 2013 Draws To A Close

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today that included the following graph:

screenhunter_437-dec-19-17-16

The graph is from a website called Real Science. The article at Real Science states that 2013 will go down as one of the coldest years in history since 1895. The graph shows the average temperatures recorded at all NOAA USHCN stations from 1895 to the present.

The article at Real Science mentions the following:

NOAA will reporting something very different, because they subtract up to 1.7 degrees from older temperatures. Essentially all reported US warming is due to a hockey stick of temperature adjustments, which makes the past appear to be much colder than what the thermometers measured at the time. (They of course do not mention this in their press releases.)

I don’t know if the earth is warming or cooling. What I do know is that man is not important enough in the grand scheme of things to significantly impact the earth’s climate. Those who are shrieking that we are all going to die unless we give money to dictators in underdeveloped countries are really not primarily concerned about the planet. They have other priorities. I would like to  mention that most of the civilized countries in the world  have taken steps to curb pollution of all kinds. The idea of penalizing countries for being civilized is someone’s very bad idea for redistributing wealth worldwide. The way to prosper poorer countries is to give them freedom and property rights, but somehow that never gets mentioned by the global warming crowd.

 

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Destroying The American Economy One Industry At A Time

This article was written by a friend of mine who works in the fishing industry in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The article was published in South Coast Today on February 28.

By MEGHAN LAPP
Meghan Lapp lives in Dartmouth.

February 28, 2013 12:00 AM

In recent weeks, with utter destruction facing the New England groundfish fleet, newly appointed NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard, whom it was hoped by many would be a responsive voice of reason in the midst of governmental and scientific uncertainty and chaos, has instead used it to further demean and dismantle this nation’s hardworking families. At a time of crisis such as this, the leadership role he possesses could be used to avert disaster and preserve our community. But what we have seen is not only an indifference to the stark reality for fishing families but also to the federal fisheries law designed to protect them.

Regarding a talk at New Bedford’s Ocean Explorium a week or so ago, designed to discuss the state of challenges facing Northeast fisheries and fishermen, Mr. Bullard “jokingly told the Standard-Times” he hoped to face a bunch of third-graders rather than fishing families. Why? Does he think it is a joke that we have lost hundreds of boats in the last three years due to mismanagement by his agency? Does he think it’s a joke that fishermen and their families are losing their businesses? Does he think it’s a joke that they are losing their homes? Does he think it’s a joke that they are losing their retirement and life savings? Does he think it’s a joke that there have been documented cases of suicide attempts, divorces, and families and relationships collapsing because of the pressure of these regulations? Is it a joke to him that there have been documented cases of suicide attempts, divorces, and families and relationships collapsing because of the pressure of these regulations? Is it a joke to him that fishermen in New Bedford are still eligible for state unemployment while working full time on groundfish boats due to the fact that their paychecks are now so low? Is this a joke to him? It isn’t to the hundreds and thousands of people he is supposed to be representing in management.

In response to the newest cuts, which signal the end for New Bedford’s groundfishing fleet — which will essentially allow each boat to work for only a couple or few days next year — Mr. Bullard stated, “A plant shuts down. A person who’s worked there for 30 years all of a sudden goes to the factory door and it’s closed. You learn a new trade and you adapt.” I am dumbstruck by the indifference of this statement to our fishermen. Basically, it is “too bad.” But too bad for Mr. Bullard and his agency that the federal law protects fishermen and fishing communities in a way that factories do not. Maybe he has forgotten that.

The federal law governing our fisheries, The Magnuson-Stevens Act, states in Section 301(a)(8) that, “Conservation and management measures [which the newest cuts purport to be] shall “¦ take into account the importance of fishery resources to fishing communities by utilizing economic and social data “¦ in order to (A) provide for the sustained participation of such communities and (B) to the extent practicable, minimize adverse economic impacts on such communities.” The federal law demands that economic impacts be minimized on our fishing families, and make sure that they can continue to participate in the fishery. No factory I know of has such overt federal legal protection. Mr. Bullard and his agency seem to forget and disregard this part of the law — the law, not a suggestion — that binds their actions. To cut groundfish quotas by such draconian levels, based on science that continues to be debated as to accuracy and reliability, without any provision for the socio-economic impact and continued fishing opportunities for fishing families is, quite frankly, illegal.

Section 303(a)(9) of the same law states that “any” fishery management plan must “include a fishery impact statement for the plan or amendment … which shall assess, specify, and analyze the likely effects, including the cumulative … economic, and social impacts, of the conservation and management measures on, and possible mitigation measures for (A) participants in the fisheries and fishing communities affected by the plan or amendment.” I have seen no such statement, analysis, or mitigation measures put forward by Mr. Bullard or his agency. But they still plan to essentially annihilate the groundfish fleet by their so-called “conservation” measures. To ignore one side of the law while pretending to adhere to another side of the same law is just not good enough. It is not good enough for our fishing families. It is not good enough for the Port of New Bedford.

What is good enough is an emergency action, also provided by the law, to address the brink of disaster. Section 305(c)(1) gives the Secretary of Commerce the ability to issue emergency regulations and interim measures to address an emergency in the fishery. This is an emergency. If Mr. Bullard used his position, based on the above considerations, to request such emergency measures, perhaps fishing families could have a chance to survive the coming fishing year. And perhaps he would be more respected.

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Under The Radar In The New England Fishing Industry

My friend who is working to save the fishing industry in New England sent me the following email:

As a member of the commercial fishing industry, I can say with personal experience and knowledge that the effect that Obama administration policies have had on the nations fishing industry have been overwhelmingly destructive. Not that the fishing industry hasn’t had its struggles over the past 10-15 years, but the most recent developments have been the most drastic. Upon his election, the President nominated Dr. Jane Lubchenco, a publicly outspoken opponent to all kinds of commercial fishing, to head the nation’s top fishing agency, NOAA (the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration). Prior Vice Chairwoman of the Environmental Defense Fund, an NGO which during that time advocated- at a national investor’s conference- financial gain to be obtained through certain types of fishing regulations, she made these types of regulations, which cause massive loss of fishing jobs and boats, the national policy of NOAA. She pushed them through in New England, despite vehement resistance from the majority of the fleet, including an ongoing lawsuit. These policies have caused people to lose their homes, boats, lifetime livelihoods, and in some cases their families. Despite calls from a bipartisan group of various Congressmen and Senators, the President refuses to remove Dr. Lubchenco from her post. While NOAA Administrator, her agency has undergone two IG investigations, during which NOAA officials were found to have lied to the IG and destroyed 80% of the documents of the NOAA department being investigated. Still to this day, no NOAA personnel have been reprimanded or fired. This has led to Senator Brown’s repeated question- what does it take to get fired at NOAA? Under this administration, apparently nothing.

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Something For Massachusetts Voters To Think About In November

This video was sent to me with a note from a friend who is working to save the fishing industry in New England. The video is from YouTube.

These are the comments included with the video:

 

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Massachusetts Fishermen Are Still Fighting For Their Livelihood

SouthCoastToday posted an article on May 30th about a recent meeting in New Bedford by the New England Fishery Management Council. During the meeting seafood auction king Richie Canastra read a letter written by Captain Mark Phillips of the F/V Illusion who could not be there because he was out fishing.

The letter showed that the fishermen who are out working their trade every day understand more about the ecology and techniques of fishing than the bureaucrats at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

The article points out:

The shiny new federal research vessel Bigelow lies at the center of this argument. For example, fishermen who really know how to fish are consistently pointing out that the too-big Bigelow is using the wrong net, a one-size-fits-all compromise arrangement that isn’t designed to target yellowtail.

Government scientists, say the fishermen, deploy the wrong net the wrong way and then trawl too fast, with the yellowtail making their escape. The conclusion is drawn that the yellowtail aren’t down there to start with. So we cut quota.

The letter from Captain Phillips explains how the information the Bigelow collects on the yellowtail is not accurate due to the lack of actual fishing knowledge on the part of the people on the boat. The thing to remember here is that the fishermen are not attempting to over-fish–if they over-fish, they put themselves out of business. In my experience, hunters and fishermen, both professional and amateur, understand more about the ecology of wildlife than the people who want to regulate it. Education has value, but hands-on experience is needed when making decisions that impact people’s ability to make money.

The article concludes:

At the meeting last week, one person after another targeted the design of the net as a real culprit in stock assessments for yellowtail. Tellingly, no one in a position of authority, including the government scientist, uttered a word of rebuttal. They were silently confirming that what the fishermen were saying is true.

At this point there is no excuse for not having fishermen on the Bigelow as observers, the way government observers ride the fishing boats. We could also send out fishing boats to shadow Bigelow to compare results. We could even hire some of these fishing pros to do the survey work.

It makes perfect sense. It also could hurt somebody’s feelings, I’m afraid.

It’s time to bring sanity to fishing quotas.

 

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Abuse Of Small Businessmen

This is a press release from Senator Scott Brown’s website:

Washington, DC – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) filed a Freedom of Information Act request for an Inspector General report on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) illicit purchase and use of a $300,000 luxury fishing boat. The request was granted, and today Senator Brown spoke from the Senate floor to reveal the numerous abuses detailed in the previously unknown findings of the Inspector General. Click here to read the report.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

I rise today to inform you and the public of some highly disturbing information that I’ve just learned about a broken agency within our federal government – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

We all know that Washington doesn’t spend our money wisely. But sometimes it is worth highlighting examples of the corruption and waste.

Yesterday morning, I contacted the Commerce Department Inspector General to request a copy of their report on NOAA’s purchase of a $300,000 luxury boat.

It would be bad enough if they had purchased this boat with taxpayer dollars.

But they didn’t. They paid for it with money that should belong to our struggling fishermen.  They paid for it out of the fines that fishermen pay into the pot when they mistakenly catch the wrong kind of fish. Those dollars are supposed to stay in fishing communities to help the fishermen.

Here’s the boat. For a government vessel, that’s pretty flashy. Take a look inside. That’s a fully-appointed bar, the latest in on-board entertainment systems, and leather furniture complete with the ice chest and tackle rack.

Furthermore, the fines that fishermen have been paying are putting fishermen out of business. The stories will break your heart.

So let me again describe the situation: NOAA levied totally unreasonable fines against our fishermen. Then they used that money to buy themselves a luxury boat. So what else did the IG investigation find? Mr. President, here are the disturbing headlines. 

According to the IG, NOAA had no reasonable official use for this boat.  Let’s start there.  They didn’t need it. Period. They had some story about needing an “undercover vessel” to sneak up on whale watching vessels.  Imagine that – armed federal agents sneaking up on school groups and tourists trying to learn about nature. The IG found this to be as ridiculous. NOAA officials wanted this useless luxury boat, then they invented a reason to buy it with fishermen’s hard-earned dollars.

So why did NOAA go to such lengths to “manipulate” and “violate” the government purchasing rules to get this boat?  NOAA already has many boats and more cars than it has agents, so why add this to the inventory?  Well, Mr. President, they apparently didn’t need it for official purposes. We know that because the IG says that it was never – I repeat, never – used for official business.

The sad truth is that it was a fishermen-funded party boat for bureaucrats, Mr. President.  That’s right, while fishermen in Gloucester and New Bedford are struggling to put off foreclosure or mourning the loss of their livelihood because of NOAA’s overzealous enforcement, the NOAA office was living the good life on their dime.

NOAA officials used the boat for the following: trips to dockside restaurants; hamburger and hotdog BBQs and alcohol-fueled parties and with family and friends; and “pleasure cruises” at high rates of speed, with beer consumed on-board.

Even though federal rules ban non-employees from being on vessels, a NOAA supervisor even told a subordinate that his wife was welcome to “kick back and watch TV” on the boat.

They filed expense reports and reimbursed themselves for these trips.

What excuse did NOAA employees give for this behavior?  They needed to do all these things to maintain the recreational appearance of this “undercover” boat that was never even used for the “undercover” work that it was supposedly purchased for. 

Mr. President, let’s be honest.  A booze cruise is a booze cruise.

One NOAA officer decided to take his family on a weekend trip to a posh resort.  He took the undercover NOAA party boat to get there, but he was untrained in how to operate it and blew out a $30,000 engine. Rather than turn back and write the taxpayers a check, he simply abandoned it and took a marked NOAA law enforcement boat the rest of the way to their resort.  Nothing could get between this NOAA employee and a good time. When asked about that incident, the NOAA employee lied to the IG and said there was no family on board. That was just one of many instances of NOAA employees deliberately misleading the IG.

Another NOAA officer used the undercover NOAA boat to take his wife to lunch in Seattle. On this trip, the boat engines stalled in a shipping lane because the boat ran out of fuel due to another operator error. The guy didn’t know how to switch the tanks. So they were stuck drifting in a dangerous shipping lane. The officer and his wife apparently found the situation comical.  Well I don’t think that the fishermen in New Bedford are laughing. 

Again – the money that belonged to fishermen was paying for all this.

To this day, Mr. President, no one has been held accountable. Let me repeat. No one has been disciplined, fired, or even reprimanded for anything having to do with this boat. As you’ve seen here today, NOAA has a culture of corruption that has created a chasm of distrust between the agency and the fishing industry. 

Here is a list of all the problems I have encountered with NOAA since coming to the Senate: abusive treatment of fishermen, resulting in decimation of the fleet; investigations motivated by money; improper fines, leading to foreclosure and bankruptcy; “shredding parties” destroying 75%-80% of OLE documents; lying to Inspector General investigators; discouraging cooperation with the Inspector General; misleading Members of Congress; $300,000 party boat purchased with fishermen’s fines; $12,000 in party boat expenses paid with fishermen’s fines; $30,000 engine destroyed by NOAA employee on weekend vacation while using “undercover” NOAA craft.

This is simply unacceptable. This needs to change, and accountability starts at the top. NOAA’s leadership needs to change.

I am calling once more for President Obama to fire NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco.

If not now, when? If not for this, then for what?

Our fishermen and the American taxpayers deserve better from their Federal Government.

Scott Brown is my Senator. I don’t always agree with his votes, but I have to admit that he is living up to his pledge of going to Washington to represent the common man. He is absolutely right on this issue. I will be working to re-elect him in 2012 because I believe he truly represents the common man and the American taxpayer.

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Hope For New England Fishermen

This small shrimp trawler uses outriggers, wit...

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During the Obama administration, there has been an attack on the commercial fishing industry in New England. I have posted on this before (rightwinggranny August 27, 2010). Now the fishermen have two allies in the Senate who are preparing to help their cause.

Senators Scott Brown and Kelly Ayotte introduced S. 1678 on Tuesday. The bill would amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to permit eligible fishermen to approve certain limited access privilege programs.

An article at The Republic states it more clearly:

Under the bill, New England’s program would be terminated if more than 15 percent of participating fishermen lost their jobs in the first year. The new system finished its first year in May, but it’s not yet known if the 15 percent threshold was reached.

The bill also requires a two-thirds vote by fishermen before any future fishery management systems are approved.

This does not restore the businesses of the fishermen who have been put out of business by over regulation, but it is a first step in limiting the power of the federal government to choose winners and losers in the fishing industry.

These are quotes from Senator Ayotte’s website about the need for the legislation:

Catch share programs are driving New Hampshire’s fishermen out of business.  Five months after federal catch shares were implemented in New England, 55 out of the initial 500 boats in the fishery controlled 61 percent of the revenue, and 253 of the boats were sitting at the dock, unable to fish without quota,” said Senator Ayotte, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fishers, and Coast Guard.  “This legislation would help level the playing field for independent small fishermen by scrapping unreasonable federal mandates that are killing jobs while giving local fishing communities more control during the program establishment process.”

Senator Brown said: “It is clear that the hastily implemented system of catch-share management in New England has led to fewer fishing jobs and a consolidated fishing fleet.  As more and more jobs disappear from Massachusetts ports, Congressional action is needed to save the fishing industry from overzealous federal regulation.  This bill sends a clear message to NOAA that the broken relationship between the agency and fishermen needs to be fixed and we need to work together to save fishing jobs and ensure a robust and vibrant industry in Massachusetts.”

Both of these Senators are to be congratulated for their efforts on the part of New England fishermen.

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NOAA And The New England Fishing Industry

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been having a negative impact on the fishing industry for a while. A website entitled Saving Seafood reported yesterday that New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang and Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk have filed notice of their intent to appeal United States District Court Judge Rya Zobel’s recent ruling on Amendment 16.

Amendment 16 sets up a quota system that ignored the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s requirement for a referendum before a quote system can be imposed.

The article further reports:

The appeal is not the only avenue the mayors are pursuing to seek redress and compensation for fishermen hurt by NOAA. They are also supporting bills filed by their representatives in Congress, Massachusetts Senators Kerry and Brown and Congressman Frank, that ask for an investigation of rulemaking by the Commerce Department Inspector General. They are also supporting a Government Accountability Office inquiry now underway that was requested by Senator Brown.

The recent actions of NOAA have resulted in many fishing families losing their family businesses. I understand the need to control commercial fishing, but it has to be done with consideration of the people involved in the occupation. This is one area where I find myself in agreement with Senators Kerry and Brown and Congressman Frank. They are working on something that needs to be done.

 

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