Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Dan Plumley: EPA Cuts, Deregulation Imperil the Adirondack Park

EPA and Trump BudgetThe current crisis of anti-environmental leadership at the federal level under the Trump Administration has potentially far reaching implications here at home for New York’s Adirondack Park. Taken as a whole, these threats to New York State and the Adirondack Park could degrade or imperil natural resource integrity and environmental sustainability over the long-term.

Threats include:

o proposed draconian cuts to the budget and professional staffing of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and elimination of climate research under various agencies;

o proposed weakening or elimination of regulations facing coal burning, “tall stack” polluting industries and degraded water quality protections.

While U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn’t often make environmental headlines in the Adirondacks, the EPA contributes several million dollars in federal grant moneys for environmental causes across the region. From the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) to the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) to the work of the New York State Department of Environment Conservation (NYS DEC), EPA grant funding has proven of critically importance to the region for decades. Moreover, EPA staff in New York and Boston are heavily involved in environmental monitoring for air and water pollution regionally. This monitoring is also threatened by the Trump administration.

Recently, New York State’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman expressed serious concerns about potentially “disastrous impacts” from President Trump’s proposed 31% budget cuts to the EPA. Mr. Schneiderman stated that proposed cuts to climate change programs “will have an overall detrimental effect on New York State air, water, and overall health, safety, and welfare.”

The Adirondack Park is a unique ecological transition zone between northern deciduous hardwood forests in the south and boreal forest ecosystems to the north which are experiencing negative impacts from climate change today and will continue to into the future. Climate change has serious implications for Adirondack boreal forests, low-elevation boreal wetlands and high elevation Alpine tundra, boreal wildlife such as native brook trout and a dozen declining endemic bird species, as well as large megafauna like moose. Eliminating research funding threatens ongoing knowledge and data that are documenting how these species are responding to climate change in the Adirondacks.

Schneiderman went on to describe the threat of the proposed 45% cut in grants to States from the EPA that help develop and implement water, air, waste, pesticide and toxic substance control and monitoring programs. While many of these program funds are utilized in larger cities downstate and in western New York, the Adirondack Park stands to lose critical funding as well. The Trump Administration is proposing a 50% reduction in the EPA’s Office of Research and Development as well as the total elimination of funding for the Clean Power Plan, climate change programs and research totaling $100 million. Much of this research is critically needed to detect trends and monitor change in the Adirondack Park.

In addition, Trump’s EPA budget is proposing a 30% reduction in Superfund site cleanup funding. While these sites may be uncommon in the Adirondacks, polluted industrial sites may exist in the Adirondacks that could qualify for Superfund clean-up costs. Absent critical federal funding levels, such polluted sites will only languish.

A 30% decrease in EPA’s enforcement and compliance budget may also threaten the quality of enforcement and compliance for a vast array of pollution sources that could eventually impact the Park. Judith Enck, our former EPA Regional Administrator, recognized how dangerous these budget cuts and deep reductions of in staffing could be. In particular, she noted these cuts will weaken EPA enforcement officers who patrol and protect Catskill reservoirs and who help ensure that parasitic and harmful bacteria such as Cryptosporidium are not in drinking water supplies to millions downstate.

Joel Kupferman, Director of the NY Environmental Law and Justice Project, has noted recently in online magazines that after the EPA cutbacks at this level “our air will be even worse.” This seriously implicates challenges to protecting clean air and water resources in the Adirondacks. Reducing or eliminating air research, enforcement monitoring and compliance of polluting industry in the Midwest could result in increased acid rain precursor pollution from coal-fired power utilities deposited downwind onto sensitive Adirondack aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. NYS DEC’s Air and Water programs rely on cooperative projects and funding with the EPA to monitor air quality associated with the federal Acid Rain Program (ARP) and to maintain standards of clean air quality associated with the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR).

As a participant in the 1990 Federal acid rain advisory committee, I am particularly concerned over the potential loss of EPA staff associated with enforcement and compliance of clean air and clean water regulations. Our past success in the implementation of the Acid Rain Provisions (Title IV) of the 1990 Clean Air Act depends on strong federal enforcement and compliance monitoring. Polluting power plants in the Midwest whose tall stacks send acid rain causing sulfur and nitrogen oxides to the Adirondack Park are required to maintain Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems (CEMS) to monitor stack pollution directly at their source. This data is evaluated by the EPA and cap and trade allowances are assigned according to provisions in the law that enable acid rain permit trading that has been shown effective in making the law a true environmental and economic success.

Studies performed by the EPA in 2014 showed that current sulfur dioxide pollution was emitted at 3.2 million tons per year, a 69% decrease below 2005 levels. Nitrogen oxides 1.7 million tons annually emitted amounted to a 44% decrease below 2005 levels. These demonstrate dramatic levels of success due to the combined Acid Rain provisions of the 1990 Clean Air Act (Title IV) and the Clean Air Interstate Rule. Significant reductions in EPA staffing, compliance monitoring and enforcement will threaten the achievements of the current Federal Acid Rain Control Program. This could significantly impact Adirondack lakes, ponds, rivers and streams and many aquatic organisms which are especially sensitive to acid rain.

Wet sulfate deposition (causing acidity impacts) has been reduced by as much as 69% percent over the same period due to these critical laws and regulatory programs. The acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) of Adirondack lakes in the western Adirondacks has improved, consistent with a reduction of these precursor emissions. After 27 years of successful acid rain control, it would be the height of folly to have that progress reversed.

In discussions with NYS DEC officials, I learned of their concerns over the budget cuts proposed at EPA, including the aforementioned cuts to air monitoring of stationary sources as well as the monitoring of mobile sources – cars buses and trucks. Both stationary and mobile sources have downwind impacts that negatively affect ecosystems sensitive to acid and mercury pollution in the Adirondacks. One DEC official that collaborates with federal EPA programs stated that should these cuts be realized “we will clearly see increases in acid precursor emissions that will impact the Adirondack Park.”

NYS DEC officials are also concerned that EPA budget cuts may eliminate the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) altogether. This collaborative program between New York State, Vermont and the province of Québec in Canada has provided many millions of dollars over many years for significant programs to clean up and sustain the sensitive ecosystems of historic Lake Champlain, along with their attendant recreational and economic values.

Also concerning, President Trump recently signed an executive order rolling back the EPA’s Clean Car Standards. This could eventually impact the Adirondacks and other sensitive ecosystem regions due to higher pollution levels coming from automobiles with the weaker emissions standards adding to increased nitrogen oxide emissions from mobile sources – contributing to both smog and nitrogen-oxide based acid rain.

President Trump is also expected to recall a rule that would protect the public from mercury discharges. The elimination of this rule and the weakening of compliance monitoring for tall stack industry in the Midwest could results in higher levels of atmospheric mercury as well as mercury seepage from lake bottom soils that could further in endanger Adirondack water quality and wildlife.

The NYS Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is also not immune to the potential devastating impacts of President Trump’s deregulation policies and proposed budget cuts to EPA. The APA has utilized over $1 million of EPA grant funding to map many of the park’s regional wetland systems. The Executive Director of the APA, Terry Martino, hopes that EPA grant funding can continue to be available in order to extend wetland ecosystem monitoring in the face of both air pollution and climate change.

Finally, proposed cuts to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Interior Department (DOI), Forestry Service (USFS) may also impact State and private forestry grants that that have long benefited New York State projects in forest land conservation, sportsmanship conservation programs and the control of invasive species here in the Adirondack Park.

National wildlife conservation organizations have rightly expressed serious concerns that a weakened USFWS threatens protection for species like the grey wolf in the east, mountain lion, Bicknell’s thrush and a host of other endangered species under the auspices of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) which has long been derided by some in the U.S Congress despite its critical value and many success stories, such as the comeback of the American bald eagle.

APA and DEC officials have also recently described how they are unsure at best what the future will hold because they are being told different things from different arms of the Trump administration and his agencies. One State official called the new President’s administration of federal environmental agencies to be “unclear and immature.”

Recently, an annual work planning meeting between EPA officials and the DEC was postponed indefinitely by the EPA without explanation. Initially, the new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had promised the states that he would fight to maintain EPA’s grants in the 2018 budget. Ironically, the new Office of Management and Budget (OMB) went against Pruitt’s suggestion and came up with the 45% cut in EPA grants to state environmental programs.

The overriding sense from State officials whom I interviewed is that the states are soon to be left on their own – forced by the EPA cuts to abandon programs altogether or find new in-state funding mechanisms to keep these programs going. Federal clean air and clean water laws absolutely require a federal commitment to compliance, monitoring and enforcement. States on their own have little power to regulate, monitor or enforce such standards against upwind or upstream states.

The Adirondack Park is of course a Park known around the world, with truly national and international significance as a model of sustainable development and wild land protection. It is truly disturbing that President Trump’s anti-environmental policies and penchant for deregulation at any cost will imperil or degrade our own global treasure, the Adirondack Park.

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve is communicating our concern and opposition to these drastic cuts and loss of environmental progress in the Adirondack Park and North Country Region. We urge all who share our concerns to communicate with their U.S. Congressional representatives.


Dan Plumley

Dan Plumley is a Partner at Adirondack Wild with a North Country heritage dating back to the 1800’s and expertise in forestry, wildlife, cultural ecology and park management. Since the early 1980s Dan has shared the “Forever Wild” Adirondack experience with national and indigenous cultures globally, including Siberia, Russia, Mongolia and China.

He is the first recipient of the Howard Zahniser Adirondack Award for wilderness preservation, and lives with his family in Keene.




108 Responses

  1. Jim says:

    This is a gobblitygoop fear mongering “article”. As stated in the article there is little to no potential impact to the Adirondacks. It’s time that a president cleaned up the waste in these federal departments and slashed the useless workers.
    There is over 15,000 EPA employees, should be cut to less than 1,000.

    • Tanner says:

      You could not be more wrong. EPA regulations have made water, air and the environment much cleaner than in the 1970’s. There would be GREAT impact to the Adirondacks. The DEC relies on federal grant money for many programs. Slashing those funds would have serious, real life consequences here. How you are able to decide adequate staffing levels for a federal agency is, of course, a mystery, but it can be assumed it does not come from a detailed analysis. I know many federal and state workers who are very competent, work incredibly hard with limited resources, and are dedicated to their jobs. Sure, there are government workers who are slackers, but no more so than any segment of the population. As a people, we must RESIST the Trump administration at every level.

      • JohnL says:

        Whether or not the millions of State and Federal employees are hard workers or competent, or are dedicated is not the issue. There are simply TOO MANY OF THEM. The State and Federal bureaucracies are bloated with redundancies and must be trimmed. To say that cutting many of these will result in nobody caring about air or water quality and going back to the 70’s is just using scare tactics and has no merit whatsoever.

        • Larry Roth says:

          In 1970 the US population was 205 million. Today it’s 309 million. The job those government workers have to do hasn’t gotten smaller or easier.

        • Boreas says:

          The EPA cuts are IN ADDITION to rolling back recent and long-standing regulations that the Trump administration deems as unfriendly to business. That is what he is all about. The fact that this ‘jobs’ president wants to eliminate thousands of high-paying jobs in the EPA and across government is the second half of this draconian budget cut. If you don’t have regulations to enforce, you don’t need people to enforce them. By gutting this one agency he serves Dirty Industry and even gets the Tea Party on his side.

          • JohnL says:

            The Federal deficit is currently about 19 TRILLION DOLLARS. If you want to debate priorities, fine, but the bottom line is, everything needs to be looked at, prioritized, and adjusted accordingly. This deficit path is not sustainable.

            • Marc Wanner says:

              So why are we cutting taxes on the super-wealthy?

              • george says:

                what tax cut have the super wealthy gotten?

                • Larry Roth says:

                  That’s what Trump’s tax “reform” is all about. The Trumpcare “reform” that failed had one big feature – it would have been a big tax break for the wealthy that everyone else would have ended up paying for.

                  Anyone who votes for the GOP expecting they’ll ‘fix’ the deficit has not paid attention to the record. They always run up massive deficits between spending on their wars and their tax cuts. The last president to actually balance the budget was Bill Clinton – and you’ve seen what they did to him.

                  Deficits are the Boogey Man who only appears when Republicans want to block spending by Democrats. The rest of the time they promote myths like “Tax cuts create jobs,” “Tax cuts pay for themselves,” and “Tax cuts for the rich trickle down.”

                  • howard says:

                    And Bill Clinton balanced a budget because HE HAD A REPUBLICAN CONGRESS who gave him that balanced budget.
                    Seems to me the jackass we just had for the last 8 years ran up more deficit than all the previous Presidents combined. And I do believe he said that raising the debt ceiling was unpatriotic, but he did it constantly.
                    And as far as tax cuts, if you are wealthy & pay more in taxes of course your tax cut will be bigger than mine. Rich pay more to begin with. But then again you liberal demorcrap jackass just like to bitch about anything & everything. It’s a life style for you pigs!

                    • Boreas says:

                      howard,
                      Perhaps if Republicans in congress during the Obama administration attempted to work across the aisle instead of blocking everything, the last administration would have had better budgets and other legislation. You can thank Republican leadership for that.
                      We have had a Republican congress for the last 2 years – where was the balanced budget? It isn’t cheap recovering from the wars and deficits ordered by Dubya’s administration.

                    • Howard says:

                      Since I cannot respond to the below comment from Boring Boreas I’ll do it here: Yes Republicians have controled COngress for the last 2 years of the previous administration, but when you have a minority party in charge of the White House, it doesn’t amtter what bill you pass, a democrap president will just veto it, and if you don’t have a enough Republician members In Congress to override a veto, you get nothing done. You bitch about the fact that Republicans didn’t try to work with democraps in trhe last administration, well, I don’t see ANY democraps trying to work with the current administration either.
                      AndI’ll repeat my previous comment because I guess your just too stupid to understand: If you are rich you already pay more in taxes than anyone else, IF EVERYONE gets a tax break of course a Rich persons will be bigger, they pay more to begin with.
                      Just remember boring boreas if it wasn’t for the amount of taxes the rich people are already paying poor slobs like you probably wouldn’t exist but then again talking about taxes it not what this thread is all about.

          • Paul says:

            The problem with any budget discussion is it focuses on the cuts or the increases. Under this plan the EPA would go from around 8 billion (8.2) in funding to about 5.5 billion (5.6) in funding. That isn’t “gutting” the agency. They are drastic cuts and ones that I think are a mistake but we should stop (on the left and the right and in the middle) describing things in drastic terms that are false.

            Hopefully this budget will be ignored by congress just like many others. They control the nations wallet not the president.

            • Boreas says:

              Paul,

              We are discussing 2 different things – budget cuts AND reversals of EPA legislation that Trump has put forth. You can have budget cuts without gutting existing regulations.

        • James Marco says:

          Jim, simply put, you are heralding the return of acid rain to the ADK’s. This alone makes the budget cuts bad. It is not under control, it is simply barley contained. Coal and hydrocarbon burning can NEVER be replaced in the future. Why burn it? There are so many more uses for hydrocarbons (mostly recoverable) that do not involve burning it. Alternative fuels, carbon sequestering, acid rain reduction/elimination, reusable plastics, and so on are what we need to live on this planet. Just a few reasons why the EPA is needed, not at it’s current levels, but to increase in regulations and R&D.

          • Paul says:

            This is not heralding the return of acid rain to the Adirondacks. Coal is pretty much dead nothing that Trump can do will bring it back.

            James, there were about 4000 new EPA regulations put in place under the last presidents watch. Just new ones. That sort of over zealous action is the reason that the electorate chose such an extreme guy in the other direction.

          • JohnL says:

            As President Reagan famously said in a debate…”there you go again”. James, you’re doing exactly what I said in my 1st post. You’re saying that because someone wants to cut funds (in this case the EPA), that means they want to return ALL THE WAY to dirty air, dirty water, etc.. That’s not true and I think you know that. You’re just using scare tactics because you and your compadres are simply not willing to compromise in any way. You want what you want and the rest of us be damned.

            • James Marco says:

              JohnL, No. I am not scaring anyone. My simplistic example goes back to:
              1) Increased Steel production with no regulations on smokestack emissions. EPA fines need to be INCREASED.
              2) EPA needs the authority to shutdown out of compliance plants and it needs to be ENFORCED.
              3) Decreased federal regulations on coal output needs to be reversed and greater efforts put into cleaning up the last century of mess. While not directly part of the ADK’s, steel production, air and water pollution IS.
              4) Solar power, Wind power, and Hydro power has far less effect on the environment that burning hydrocarbons. Once it is burned, it is gone until photosynthesis can rebuild the organics. Trees, Grasses, wetlands producing peat, etc are necessary to a health environment, not a “burn it now for dollars” attitude.

              There are a LOT more arguments for maintaining our ADK’s, and pushing for more wilderness worldwide, than simple carbon sequestering. Plastics can be recycled. Steel can be made with electrical furnaces. HiTech alloys can be made with electricity. But, even the ones I mention are not fully independent of environmental effects. They simply reduce the sulfur and co2 emissions preserving perhaps the most important of resources, fresh water. The expansion of the EPA is what is needed. Not the undoing of our environment for the sake of mega-corporations to make more money. This is not a scare tactic. This is scientific truth. If it takes two regulators to make sure they are both “honest”, then so be it…it is only money. Not food. Not water. Not a place to live. Not education. Not your health. Not your children. Not happiness. Just dollars.

        • Peter Klein says:

          Probably should cut tax paid workers at the federal and state level and in all departments and agencies.

          • Boreas says:

            Want to save some tax dollars? Start paring back career congressional pay and especially life-long Cadillac health plans and pensions. After that is done, then start picking on the little guy who actually accomplishes something he is paid to do.

    • Boreas says:

      “As stated in the article there is little to no potential impact to the Adirondacks.”

      What article are referring to?? Certainly not this one.

    • Todd Eastman says:

      You apparently have never worked with these dedicated public servants that are incredibly well versed in their fields and work at wages below their counterparts in the private firms.

      Back off the cool-aide you are pickled with and learn about how the work of government actually happens. These folks may be your tax-paying neighbors…

    • Kara says:

      Every time you fish and don’t get a fish filled with chemicals you can thank these programs. Anytime you visit a clear lake you can thank these programs. Lastly anytime you step out side to suck in air that won’t give you cancer you can thank these programs. Without regulations businesses will do the wrong thing they only care about the bottom line. Hopefully someday you’ll understand that the environment and your personal health and family’s health are linked.

    • Walter F Wouk says:

      If the Donald is really concerned about “waste” he should “slash” the Defense budget instead of boosting it by $54-Billion. The Pentagon cannot account for $6.5 Trillion.

  2. Boreasfisher says:

    Sir, how can you respond to clear and expert commentary on this issue from all the cited sources with such ill considered opinion. Facts do not matter? Unfortunately this is a sign of our times.

  3. Boreas says:

    It will be quite expensive for NE states to file suit against ‘tall stack’ polluters, but with the blatant disregard for the environment by the Trump administration, it will probably become quite common. Now that cause and effect has been studied both before and after regulation, anyone downwind will have a much better case. Instead of simple regulations, they can likely be shut down permanently with the advent of cheap natural gas and alternative energy. There are going to be a lot of happy lawyers. Trump is shooting himself in the foot.

    • Larry Roth says:

      Trump may be shooting himself in the foot, but it’s not healthy to be around someone with bad aim like that.

  4. Tim-Brunswick says:

    Seems like the Media still can’t get over the fact that their predictions of Hillary’s “win” in the Presidential race were dismally off-base so every opportunity to take a shot at Trump is welcomed and over-dramatized.

    We had enough of “Politicians” and now we’ve got a “Businessman” and he’s trimming the fat…..boo.. hoo… hoo… hoo.

    • Boreas says:

      Give it a break Tim and open your eyes. Just because he’s your guy doesn’t mean he is good for you or anyone else. Remember – Hitler was elected too.

      • Thomas Paine says:

        Doesn’t mean he is good for you either. Wow a Hitler comparison!

        Open your eyes. The Adirondacks is supposed to represent freedom. Sounds like you enjoy the yoke of federalism….

        Move to a city if you want the government to run your life. Eliminate the EPA and eliminate the Waters of the US power grab.

        Let’s see if they let this comment stay. Appears they did not like my tax funded question about Adirondack Wild and deleted my post.

        • Larry Roth says:

          Another clueless person who doesn’t realize his Adirondack freedom is the product of government regulations

          • Thomas Paine says:

            Wow. Nice personal attack.

            The Adirondack Park is based on state constitutional amendments.

            Not a regulation created by bureaucrats. That is the issue with the EPA they try to govern via regulation not law.

            Thanks for the laugh Larry.

  5. NEVTON DUNN says:

    It is so important that people with environmental expertise take a stand against this anti science Trump administration. Thank you

  6. Tommy Paine says:

    Just curious, how much money does Adirondack Wild receive from federal, state, or local government agencies? How much money does it receive from NGO’s that receive money from the federal, state or local government agencies?

    Or is it 100% financed by private donations. I ask because if public money is received would Adirondack Wild give up that money towards the EPA budget?

    How do the readers on here feel about the proposed EPA cuts also eliminating the Waters of the US power grab. Under this push by the EPA almost every body of water would fall under their control.

    Pond on private land, too bad subject to EPA regulations…

    The cuts eliminate this power grab.

    Bureaucracy is a scourge, cut the bureaucrats.

    • JohnL says:

      We must remember that the decisions made in these agencies have great power over our economy, our jobs and our PEOPLE. Also remember that these are unelected officials and therefore not beholden to anyone directly. I agree (to a point) with you Tommy. They certainly have the potential to be a scourge and must be watched much more closely than they are now.

    • Dan Plumley says:

      Tommy: Adirondack Wild is a non-profit that receives zero federal or state funding, but is entirely funded through member-donors across the Adirondacks and statewide. You can see our work at our website: http://www.adirondackwild.org. Our clean air and clean water laws and regulations developed over decades since at least 1970 under the Nixon Administration. To be successful – as they largely have been – they require federal funding and oversight for monitoring, compliance and enforcement which state’s could not well fund, or enforce across state lines. The budget and staffing cuts my article outlined as proposed by the Trump Administration will negatively impact New York State and the Adirondacks and Catskills most certainly. In that case, the “power grab” you rail about will be in the hands of the corporations and industrial polluters destroying our wild nature, our waters, our wildlife for their singular gain. Citizens that care truly about the health of our Adirondack ecosystems – and public health for that matter – need to urge their Congressional Representatives to stand against the very dangerous deregulation and EPA budget cuts proposed by the Trump Administration.

      • Paul says:

        Dan, Why don’t you go after local and federal grant money for some of the work that you do? There must be some funds for that kind of work.

        I see that you did have a small amount of grant funds (about 16K) in 2012, but it doesn’t say the source of the grant in your annual report. Maybe a foundation of some type? Also you have not posted an annual report (at least on your website) for the last 4 years.

  7. As a fisheries biologist, I have to admit I am shocked at some of the comments here. While our economy relies on business – it also relies on the environmental regulations to ensure businesses do not do irreparable harm to the environment. We all need clean water and air to survive. Our disregard for this historically, culminating in the environmental damages recognized in 1960s and 1970s, led to the formation of the EPA; we finally have some success stories for our efforts. While there are still fish advisories in NY because of mercury, DDT, and PCBs, the fact that we have bald eagles and loons in the Adirondacks again is a testament to the success of regulations – I never saw these birds as a child in the Adirondacks. When our president says he wants to create jobs – he is being very selective and not looking out for all the citizens in this country. What about recreational businesses? Or tourism? Or any business that relies on our clean lakes, rivers and forests to bring people here? Is it right to allow their livelihood to be squandered by favoring an anything goes attitude for other businesses? I will continue to fight for the environment and the funds needed to continue monitoring and research in the Adirondacks to preserve this incredible place for generations to come.

    • Paul says:

      I assume that is why the administration still wants to give the EPA the 70% (5.6 billion) in their budget draft. They should give them back the 30% this isn’t very much money considering. Probably get it in the end. But there will be lots of hooting and hollering until then.

      I was kind of surprised – liberals have gone even more bananas then the conservatives did when Obama was elected. And many media outlets are standing there with a stick whacking the hornets nest every day! On the left and the right.

  8. CommunityGuy says:

    Stop feeding the Trolls, People.

    We witnessed the effects of Acid Rain with dead ponds and whole mountainsides of dead trees. We also know conclusively that Mercury harms children and the environment. These clowns claiming that only cutting agencies matters… Why argue with stupid?

    It was a good article. Pointed out direct effects on us, our communities and our children. This issue resembles the health care proposal we got from trumpland. It would harm us and everyone around us. Fools hysterically claiming that “We have to repeal!” doesn’t change reality. Many of them want to re-argue evolution. And they snicker over global warming. This is Politically Correct Science. Like from the Soviet Union.

    Oppose stupid! Oppose destructive! Make the world better! These agencies are far from perfect. We need to improve them. Arguing about is it good or bad to burn more coal…? It’s only the Party of Stupid making that argument.

    Organize and throw the fools out. Start with Stefanic.

    • JohnL says:

      …. there you go again!

    • Boreas says:

      “Organize and throw the fools out.”

      Amen! Many are working on it. Trump woke up a lot of sleeping liberals. More every day!

      • JohnL says:

        Boreas. You’re kidding…right? Liberals never sleep. They’re always looking for ways to control things. That’s their goal in life. And actually, for a change, this time Hillary woke up a lot of sleeping conservatives. In the famous words of our 44th President…..”Elections matter”.

        • Boreas says:

          When I am kidding, you will know it.

          • JohnL says:

            Struck a nerve, did I?

            • Charlie S says:

              It’s always a partisan thing isn’t it JohnL? I’m glad Hillary isn’t in but if you think a billionaire is going to be the panacea for our woes…. Have you looked up the word liberal in the dictionary lately? It’s not the devil you’re making it out to be.

            • Boreas says:

              Not really. There is a price to pay for being a bull in a china shop. I suspect the GOP will be paying the bill for decades. As you say, elections matter.

  9. Paul says:

    Now the EPA’s jurisdiction over wetlands issues is delegated to the APA in the Adirondacks is that correct? I ask since when I was doing one APA permitted project on my property it was visited by several people from the EPA to check for compliance (we were). There is probably some redundancy that we could get rid of. For that visit (very small project just adding some fill to an old road for a few hundred yards) they had two people from the EPA. Why two people doing the same job – basically just taking a look? Very nice guys. The APA had it well covered.

    • Boreas says:

      Paul,
      EPA giving the wetland water quality job to the APA? That doesn’t give me a warm & fuzzy feeling since they are just appointed officials and have no say outside of the Blue Line. That is the strong point of federal regulation and enforcement.

      • Paul says:

        In this particular case the APA folks that I worked with (none appointed, a wetlands biologist and a permit admin) knew their stuff and they know the areas in the Adirondacks that they are working. They both were actually also both have been living in the Adirondacks for most of their lives. I have no idea what the backgrounds of the EPA “visitors” was? Like I said they were nice.

        The EPA folks were not even close in knowledge as far as I could tell. Have you worked with either agency? What are you basing your not warm and fuzzy feeling on?

        • Boreas says:

          Paul,

          My concern is the fact that the APA has no federal power to regulate pollution sources from other states. They may have a great knowledge of the Adirondack Park, but if acid rain, mercury, and other toxins start increasing again because of regulation rollbacks proclaimed by the Trump administration, what power will the APA have to mitigate it?

          • Paul says:

            My comments were specifically about regulations regarding wetlands in the Adirondacks. I think that you will find that the APA regulations go well beyond what the federal regulations require. This is an area where you could find some cost savings within the EPA w/o having and impact on the environment. There are probably lots of other examples around the country. Let’s face it we are going to have to deal with cuts that is the hand that was dealt when the voters made a choice in November. I suggest that rather than protest we figure out ways to make things work.

            The big question here is climate change. This is an issue that we have been nibbling around the edges on for years. These short term fixes like emission standards are a band aid. The worlds population is growing we can’t stop that. Even if you make these cuts in a few decades you are going to be having the same debate and same problem. Nuclear power is one viable quick solution to a long term problem. The technology already exists. There is risk but I don’t want to stand around debating this any longer. We should also consider more effort on climate engineering. We need to get rid of some of what we already have in the atmosphere:

            https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/04/business/economy/geoengineering-climate-change.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

            Forget about Trump and this fake budget.

    • Todd Eastman says:

      Trump has instituted the lengthy process of changing the EPA’s wetland authority. As this rule has been on the books since 2015, it must go through the full public process and another rule must replace it, and then the new rule must survive the predictable court challenges.

      No, the EPA is not out of the wetland game in the foreseeable future…

  10. Todd Eastman says:

    Don’t forget about the shared federal authority regarding wetlands. The EPA and the Army Corps both regulate wetlands. The Corps usually plays the more significant role when it comes to permitting.

  11. Charlie S says:

    “There is over 15,000 EPA employees, should be cut to less than 1,000.”

    A typo or a hint of iq level?

  12. Charlie S says:

    JohnL says: “The State and Federal bureaucracies are bloated with redundancies and must be trimmed.”

    So what do you think of the proposal to increase military spending by $54 billion JohnL? Or how about those billions for that wall along the Mexican border to keep those terrorist Mexicans out of this shameful country of ours? Let us gut what agencies there are that protect our precious ‘at risk’ environment but support war and racism hey?

    • JohnL says:

      Charlie, I wondered when you’d get up fro your nap. Shameful country Charlie?? Shameful country? I fought for this country Charlie, so I must be shameful too, huh? You should be ashamed of yourself.

      • Charlie S says:

        I’m not proud if that’s what you mean John. Too often I feel ashamed to be a part of this society. And I’m not leaving thank you. Fought for what? For who? Next you’re going to be telling me you fought for ‘our freedoms’ right?

        • JohnL says:

          Don’t want you to leave Charlie. You often help to make my point with your drivel. I am curious to know, however, which other country in the world you would be prouder of. And yes, we did serve to give YOU your freedoms whether you like it or not. You’re welcome.

  13. Paul says:

    As far as the military goes.. As an example the US Navy is actually quite small right now. Especially if you look at our current population and compare it to what we had in the past. There are about 350,000 active military in the navy. That seems pretty small to me. We have 245 ships (that’s everything). That’s bloated? I think its like what we had back in 1920. In 1945 we had 1200 ships including 27 aircraft carriers now we have what 8? The us population in 1945 was less than half of what it is now.

    How big was the EPA in 1945? Zilch.

    This guys has different priorities. But there is logic behind the numbers.

    • Boreas says:

      Paul,

      You can’t just look at numbers. You have to look at the capabilities of the assets we have and the type of threats we face. An aircraft carrier’s capability today vs a WWII era carrier? Barely comparable. When was the last time we had a serious engagement with another navy? Would we be any safer with 10 more carriers? They certainly play a critical role in our defense strategy, but the more you have, the more it costs to keep them manned and running.

      • Paul says:

        Absolutely, it’s expensive.

        “When was the last time we had a serious engagement with another navy?”

        You are helping me make my point. There is a good reason for that.

        Yes, we would be safer with 10 more carriers but given the threat level that isn’t necessary but we probably do need a few more that is all that is on the table.

        Russia is certainly a very serious threat again. After what happened in Syria the other day a UN backed “no fly” zone over Syria is probably a good idea. Russia will veto that but if it could be made to happen a US fighter jet may have to shoot down a Russian jet. Talk about serious engagement.

        • John Warren John Warren says:

          The Russians have a single aircraft carrier, we have 19, more than the entire rest of the world combined. There are two more being built now, at about $9 Billion a piece. A carrier task force costs about $6 million a DAY to operate.

          • Richard says:

            I guess you have no idea what constitutes a aircraft carrier, since you think we have 19. We have 10 active aircraft carriers, 2 under development & 1 in the planning stage. Do we have enough, in my opinion no. I don’t have the size military I do today because I’m worring about today’s problem, I have the size military today, because I’m worring about tomorrows probelm, or the problem 5 – 10 years from now. Is our military too small; you bet.
            And if you wonder about my qualifications 20+ in the military

            • John Warren John Warren says:

              You are misstating the facts. We actually have 20 aircraft carriers (including the Kitty Hawk in reserve), three more under construction, one on order, and another 16 planned. Only three countries have carriers with truly multi-role aircraft, including of course, the U.S.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aircraft_carriers_in_service

              9 are LHDs, but if you want to ignore those and count only conventional fleet carriers, then we have 11, plus three in construction or on order, and another 7 planned. The rest of the world has 6 fleet carriers.

              Conservatives always think we need a bigger military – they have never once been satisfied no matter the level of our military dominance – so there’s no surprise you hold the same view.

              John Warren
              U.S. Naval Submarine Service Veteran

              • Richard says:

                Being that you are proving to be a complete idiot here: Currently active US Air craft Carriers: USS Nimitz, USS Dwight D Eisenhower, USS Carl Vinson, USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Abraham Lincoln, USS George Washington, USS John C. Stennis, USS Harry S Truman, USS Ronald Reagan, USS George H W Bush. Currently under development: USS Gerold R Ford & USS John F Kennedy. In planning stages: USS Enterprise.
                Thats 10 ACTUAL aircraft carriers in ACTIVE SERVICE, 2 under development & 1 in planning!
                Now part of you liam counting might also include The older USS John F Kennedy but it was decommissioned in Mar 2007, the USS America was decommissioned in Aug 1996, the USS Constellation was decommissioned in Aug 2003. I can keep going but your too stupid to understand what actualy constitutes a ACTIVE US CARRIER FORCE.
                Now if you’re also trying to count Amphibious assault ships as aircraft carriers, just stop while you are ahead. Again you’re tooooo stupid to understand the difference between a aircraft carrier & a amphibious assault ship.
                But if you think you know it all, please name the current 20 US Aircraft Carriers we have in ACTIVE SERVICE?

                I’ll put my 20+ years of military Service up against you pee brain anyday

                • Boreas says:

                  My point is again, why do we need more than we have? Simply so we can interfere in more countries simultaneously?? Do you think we will ever have a naval battle again before someone gets an itchy nuke finger and ruins the planet?

                  If we drop out of NATO and other treaties as Trump is suggesting, we shouldn’t need as much of a force since we won’t have to protect the entire world. If you want more floating bases, then close land bases. This is all just feeding the industrial military complex. Haliburton comes to mind…

                  • Dave says:

                    Just love a pissing contest over the number of Aircraft Carriers we actually have in Active Service, Planned or under development. Hate to burst your already swollen head there John, but if you go look at the official US Navy website: we have a requirement for 11 aircraft carriers, but currently only have 10 in active service; 2 more are under development & 1 is in the planning stage. Anything beyond that cannot be considered as a planned for, under development or active aircraft carrier. I believe the USS Enterprise was the last US carrier retired & is in the process of being defueled, so even though it is a visible aircraft carrier, it carries no value as a active or deployable carrier.
                    I would of assumed you as a supposed former Navy person would be able to count Aircraft carriers & know the difference between a aircraft carrier & a amhibious assault ship.

                  • Paul says:

                    Here is why I think we need more. It is fairly complicated when you are deploying a carrier group? If you want to have coverage in just two regions, for each region you need as a minimum:

                    One carrier there, another is returning home, one is in training for the next deployment, and one is in maintenance. So that is 4 carriers for each spot or a total of 8 for 2 places and that is if everything goes perfectly. So you should probably have a minimum of 9 just to cover two regions. Plus there are lots of necessary support ships in each group. So what we have would basically cover just two different deployments. If you need one in the Middle East and one in South East Asia that is basically all you have.

                    This is not interfering. This is protecting the US. I don’t want to stand down and wait for them to do something here. This is making sure that these bad actors can’t do whatever they want and get us in a war that we don’t want to be in. If you stand down and let these bad actors do whatever they wish that is when you will see the kind of thing that prevents someone from getting that itchy finger and “ruining” the planet as you say.

                    • Boreas says:

                      Paul,

                      I understand your point. My point is, if we want to have 10 times as many ships as anyone else, we shouldn’t be whining about budgets and debt. You can’t have a balanced budget while dramatically increasing military spending and handing out tax cuts – unless you are willing to throw the middle class and poor under a bus to do it.

                      The military we have now is getting chewed up from multiple deployments because of lack of soldiers. Anyone pushing for a bigger military saying anything about a draft? Nope. Anyone making any of these requests for larger forces even of military service age? Nope. They really don’t care about the men & women that have to man those ships and the infantry watching their friends die daily for a decade in a non-declared war. They just want to feed the machine – as long as someone else continues to pay the price in blood, mental health, and money. That’s why I don’t feel the entire world should be our military theater.

                • John Warren John Warren says:

                  Richard,

                  Knock off the name-calling and act like an adult or I will ban you from this forum.

                  Every one of the ships on the list I provided is an aircraft carrier – all warships with full-length flight decks, hangars and facilities for arming, deploying, and recovering fixed and non-fixed wing aircraft – including the LHDs, on which F-35s are being tested.

                  You can play semantics if you want, but you can not and will not continue to personally insult commenters here.

                  John Warren
                  Editor

                  • Richard says:

                    if the shoe fits wear it, I guess if you want to believe wikipedia, more than the US Navy website, that tells me a lot about your character, but then again ban me if you want, but YOUR STILL WRONG!

                    • Dave says:

                      Not to burst your already limited bubble here John, But F-15s were test on possible carrier use back in the early 1970’s. There is NO testing currently on going today! Go back & look at the US Navy website for the definition of a aircrafct carrier & you’ll see we have 10. The other things you refer to are amphibious assault ships, they are not classified as aircraft carriers.
                      We can going pissing about this all day. If you want to ban someone else for calling you out, so be it, but your still wrong & the others on here have pointed it out.

  14. Charlie S says:

    “The current crisis of anti-environmental leadership at the federal level under the Trump Administration has potentially far reaching implications….”

    Even before Trump we were facing a crisis so complex as to be incomprehensible by even those with more than an inkling of smarts in them. To think of all those who are just plain old empty-headed on these matters! The “Put America first” crowd, aka the ” hooray for me and…everybody else” crowd. They’re all for pollution and the oppression of people and against all that is good.The thoughtlessness, the apathy and the denial of responsibility in what seemingly is in so many people is depressing.

  15. Charlie S says:

    “As far as the military goes.. ”

    I’m not a military kinda guy Paul and if you really look you’ll see that our priorities are backwards! I like the thought of birds and bees and wind rattling leaves on trees…. not bombs raining down on people. You’ve heard the adage “If it takes 20 years to get into the woods it will take 20 years to get back out.” It seems like we’re never going to get out of the hole we keep digging Paul but you know what? It always seems to get deeper when a Tory takes the reigns. Just look at all the damage done, which we’re still paying dearly for, after the last Tory was in control. To give you an example of how we learn nothing from history….. we spent $10 billion in less than five months in Vietnam. So far we have spent over $820 billion in Iraq and it’s still costing us taxpayers by the hour yet you don’t hear about this it’s way on the back-burner.How much do you think we’ll spend on our next campaign if Trump turns out to be the war-monger he’s coming off to be?

    You’ve heard the adage “If you hang around the barber shop long enough you’ll eventually get a haircut.” This increased military spending that Trump proposes! What order of priorities do we really have Paul?

    • Paul says:

      I would not conflate a increase in military spend to “bombs raining down on people”.

      But that is what everybody does these days. 6 billion for the EPA rather than 8 billion means its all over – the environment is ruined. No more fish no more birds no more bees.

      A similar percentage increase in the military and its WW3.

      • Charlie S says:

        “I would not conflate an increase in military spending to “bombs raining down on people.”

        You didn’t get the gist of the adage “If you hang around the barber shop long enough eventually you’ll get a haircut” did you Paul? If we increase military spending most likely they’ll be another war. If we got rid of all of our nukes we wouldn’t ever have to worry about blowing ourselves up into oblivion. We have more nukes than anyone else in the world and Trump wants to increase them. And we have the nerve to say that North Korea has no right to have nukes. Why? And why do you think he wants them in the first place? What will it ever take to clear the fog in some peoples minds is beyond me.

  16. Charlie S says:

    Margaret H. Murphy says: “While our economy relies on business – it also relies on the environmental regulations to ensure businesses do not do irreparable harm to the environment.”

    Thank you Margaret for your clear-headed insight. Some people just don’t know any better and some will never ‘get it.’ Regulations are not the evil the republicans try to have their disciples believe. They are necessary and this sweeping war against them is foolish at best.

    • Paul says:

      More hyperbole. What “sweeping war against them”? This looks like an MSNBC news headline. If you wanted a sweeping war you would actually gut the program not just cut it 30%. There needs to be some level of regulation nobody disputes that. Why do you think even the Trump budget spends almost 6 billion on the EPA?

      • Charlie S says:

        Do you realize what 30% is Paul? It’s not just a measly number like you come off as it to be. Do some research and you will see how devastating this cut will be! But you’ll try to justify it because it’s just hard to separate yourself from party lines hey Paul?

        • Paul says:

          Go back and more carefully read my comments then shoot from the hip. Not trying to justify anything if you look more closely at my comments you will see that on numerous occasions I think that the cuts are a bad idea. You can’t seem to understand the difference between an explanation and and opinion. The hyperbole that is being shot around here is just wrong and does nothing to foster a rational discussion.

          I guess you missed this comment that I made above:

          “They are drastic cuts and ones that I think are a mistake”

          That is a much more realistic description. Sweeping and gutting do not leave 70% of the budget intact and most of the regulations and employees in place.

          • Charlie S says:

            Maybe I did miss something Paul and if I did my apologies but when I said ‘sweeping war’ that is what I see from eyes that are different than yours and truly I feel I did not exaggerate when I said what I said.

  17. Charlie S says:

    JohnL says: “Liberals never sleep.”

    Nope…they’re up in the late hours putting their creative minds to work, producing much of that wonderful artwork that we see hanging on our walls. Much of that diverse collection of wonderful music that has come out over the years…. liberals up until the wee hours of the morning creating it in some small space with an open mic and an open mind. Much of that wonderful soul food, the great literature produced in this country….crafted by a liberal who was up while the moon and stars shone bright in the skies above!

    • Bill Ott says:

      Charlie S. your stuff is really getting old.

      • Charlie S says:

        “Charlie S. your stuff is really getting old.”

        Which most likely has something to do with your combustible nature more than it has something to do with me Bill.

    • JohnL says:

      I play a musical instrument, Charlie, quite well I might add. OMG……I’m a liberal!!!!
      You’re right Bill, he gets old real quick.

      • Boreas says:

        JohnL,

        Charlie has his opinions, you have yours. Charlie’s opinions are often based on frustration. Yours are based on agitation. If you don’t like Charlie’s or my comments, simply ignore them. I know it can be difficult to act like an adult, but you should try it sometime.

      • Charlie S says:

        I wouldn’t be so silly as to say ‘all’ of the wonderful good in music and art and literature was put forth by a liberal JohnL. I said ‘much’ of. Quite much I might add. I know better to set myself up for a defense by a reactionary such as yourself but you wish for me to put up a defense anyway by twisting my words around. Let us face it JohnL when it comes to intellectual depth and insight and all of those good things that get the ball rolling in a generally forward, harmonious, peaceful, inclusive direction….liberal is,as a matter of course,attached to it. I wouldn’t expect anybody with primitive thinking to understand or even grasp this truism.

        • Paul says:

          These are silly comments. Until about 1960 just about everyone in the US and probably everyone in the world would fall under what we now call a “conservative”. Including most musicians and artists and writers. When all that writing and composing and painting and sculpting was going on there was no EPA that we are discussing here. Heck many of them were creating all these great works under a regime that would make the Trump administration look like the most progressive out there!

  18. Jesse B says:

    As a early career public health scientist, the cuts to the EPA (and other scientific agencies) are absolutely devastating. Without EPA collected and managed data on air pollution, I cannot do my research on how air pollution impacts asthma attacks, school absences, COPD, cardiovascular and respiratory disease. I recently published work looking at the effects of drought on human health, an assessment that relied on data from the EPA, plus NOAA and USGS. These are real health effects that impact people in every county of this country. Eliminating the collection/distribution of this data (which is proposed) will have major and long-lasting impacts on scientific research.

    The most distressing part is a focus not just on policy (which, like it or not, is their right as the executive branch), but actually restricting research. All Americans should want policy and law to be based upon the best information possible. You wouldn’t buy a new home without looking into property values, school districts, or utility costs. Yet the critical scientific data needed to make decisions on environmental or public health laws is under attack.

    Right now any person can go to the EPA website and look up the air quality at the monitor closest to their home. They can also look up industrial toxic releases for their neighborhood. But if you go the website for the China or India EPA equivalent, it’s not the case. The data is classified. Or censured. Or simply not collected. Those citizens have no ability to determine what environmental harms exist at their homes. Fortunately, we live in America where the EPA is required to collect this data and make it accessible to all people. However, this is now under legitimate threat. Regardless of your political affiliation, if these cuts are allowed to go through, all of us will have something to lose.

  19. Charlie S says:

    “the critical scientific data needed to make decisions on environmental or public health laws is under attack……………Regardless of your political affiliation, if these cuts are allowed to go through, all of us will have something to lose.”

    But of course Jesse. According to your political affiliation on these matters….it don’t matter! The proud! “If you don’t like it leave the country.” I hadn’t heard those words for over eight years up until the past few months.How strange!

    The screams are getting louder
    death falls all around us,
    the flag wavers are more prouder
    where is that magic bus?

  20. Charlie S says:

    JohnL says: ” we did serve to give YOU your freedoms whether you like it or not…”

    Five-thousand Americans were killed fighting an illegal war over in Iraq not too long ago JohnL….a war based on lies I might add. So you want me to believe that those five-thousand brothers and sisters of ours were over there fighting for my freedoms?

    You say I talk drivel and yet you write the above. I feel sorry for people with minds like yours. I feel sorry for our progeny thanks to people with minds like yours and I don’t feel good saying that!

  21. Charlie S says:

    Good night to you to JohnL.

  22. Charlie S says:

    Boreas says: “Anyone pushing for a bigger military saying anything about a draft?”

    I’m all for a draft! Maybe if mom’s and dad’s and some of these true grit so-called patriots knew that their child, or they, might possibly get blown to bits or gassed or inflicted by whatever our forms of torture are in wars…maybe they’ll have second thoughts about waving flags and supporting yet another senseless war!

    • Boreas says:

      Charlie,

      I have always felt this is an often overlooked piece of the military puzzle. In both world wars the US dragged their feet before becoming actively involved. Part of this was because we had a small military as we were more isolationist then. Yet, we survived.

      Now that we are the self-appointed watchdogs of the world, we feel we must have a world-wide military to act in many theaters simultaneously. Only so much military materiel can be purchased on the back of taxpayers. More importantly, only so much of a human price can be paid by a volunteer military. We don’t currently have the funds to pay for our wars AND the human price the soldiers and their families pay to replace their limbs and offer mental services necessary because of numerous trips through the meat grinder. As a taxpayer, I say enough is enough. I would say achieving BY FAR the largest and most expensive military in the world would be the the place to at least show a little restraint on increasing the size of the military.

      We always seem to think more advanced technology will put an end to infantry death and dismemberment, but it hasn’t happened yet. It may have reduced death, but survivors of dismemberment are common. The only military funding increases I support are for veterans support and their families.

      If the Hawks in congress want to pad their pockets with ever-increasing military spending, they need to put their careers on the line and call for a draft that puts everyone’s children and families at risk – including theirs.

  23. Paul says:

    I think that we should have two years of compulsory military service. I would use the Finnish or the Israeli model. Men and women. As far as it stopping them from waving flags? I think you will see the opposite these countries have very strong nationalist tendencies.

    • Todd Eastman says:

      This is a fine point, but your logic supporting it is shoddy…

      … are we to believe “nationalist tendencies” are a positive attribute?

  24. Charlie S says:

    Paul says: “Until about 1960 just about everyone in the US and probably everyone in the world would fall under what we now call a “conservative….”

    Whatever you say Paul! And when you imply that most musicians and artist and writers were conservative surely you mean only those musicians and artists and writers that float your boat which must be small in number because it just doesn’t make sense as conservative and creativity do not go hand in hand. Unless your name is Ted Nugent and you consider head banging noise creative.

    Look up the definition of conservative Paul! Webster can’t be wrong could he? Or how about Roget who defines conservative thus – resistance to change, unprogressive, backwardness, against the new and untried, oppose change, do nothing, changeless, at a standstill……

    Creative to me means always evolving Paul, productive, genuine, imaginative, original…. You’d have to be stepped aside from your limited view of things to come to this realization. And when I say ‘you’ I imply anyone along your lines of thinking. I don’t say that to be mean spirited it just is what it is I’m not picking on you it is an awareness. I mean look at what you get in conservative Christian music….”Jesus loves thee, he died for your sins….” over and over totally boring stuff no imagination whatsoever. Brainwashing ought to be against the law.

    Surely you’re a good man Paul but also you come off as way limited in your views….which is the norm for this society so don’t take it personally. And speaking of conservative, the immediate thing which comes to my mind …. “Isis.” I’m glad you’re out there Paul I really am. You educate me.

  25. Charlie S says:

    “strong nationalist tendencies.”

    Aka flag-wavers, super patriots, chauvinists…. In this country we call them conservatives.

  26. Paul says:

    Strong nationalist tendencies is maybe what you might call a flag waver. But they are folks that basically feel a strong pride for their countries. In these two cases Israel and Finland they are small countries that have big neighbors who hate them. In the case of Israel _- all of the middle east and for Finland – Russia. In this country I would call them proud of their nation and what it has accomplished despite the odds.

    You, of course, would insult them.

  27. James Marco says:

    The most important issue facing the entire world is climate change. I agree that it needs more study, especially when predictions of world wide temperature increases and ocean rises effect every person. Not real critical today, or tomorrow. But, a real national and global strategy needs to be adopted and enforced. Otherwise, our planet of 7 billion will become the planet of the next generation of nonmankind.

    To accomplish this we cannot afford NOT to pay for EPA, APA, increases. We cannot afford to let rational arguments devolve into personal attacks, as this one has become. If you believe in flight for a simple example, then you believe in technology. And the engineering, and money, that makes it all work. Money means little when governments can print more as needed. Farmers make money from the land. They do not print it. This is natural inflation. Consuming food that you have to pay for, simply reduces the value of money. A very simplistic example. We can easily afford to fund: R&D into climate change. Regulate what we know about, and, reduce our impact on the planet. It is not optional, it is necessary.

  28. Charlie S says:

    “The most important issue facing the entire world is climate change.”

    It ‘is’ important James and yet the people in charge of this country are outright, in- your-face denying that global warming is taking shape. It’s all about the bottom line with them and you can bet that things are only going to get worse before they get better but this is what a good chunk of Americans wanted so we get what we deserve. It’s too bad ignorance is so rampant!

  29. Charlie S says:

    ” I would call them proud of their nation..”

    I’m not here to pick on you Paul but tell me what you are so proud about? There are many things not to be proud about and proud to me seems like just a word and all the people who seem to be proud also seem to have a large air of arrogance about them. Proud! That word gives me the cold shivers!

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