Rain Forest Myths
jcampbell90 at fcmail.com
Sun Oct 29 11:28:28 EST 2000
Just to keep things in perspective, by the addage "follow the money", have you recently looked up disclosure statements of so-called environmental groups? Most of the big names have assets in the billions. It's BIG BUSINESS to be an environmental advocate these days. So how do they get so big? By scare tactics, finding "researchers" willing to sell out for the big paychecks to keep anti-logging, anti-hunting, anti-recreation and like issues burning.
My question is why have those organizations accumulated so much financial asset and not used it to buy up all those precious rainforests? Rather, their appeals grow louder for more money, while offering even more propaganda.
A university researcher is no match on his own in the face of such well-funded organizations. It's more like me and my lawyer trying to battle Bill Gates and his lawyers over software propriety. Funding is difficult to obtain, required to hire a straff, specialized equipment, supplies, transportation, and all the other stuff educational institutes can't afford to supply.
Without it, you go nowhere. Researchers accepting sponsorships is not a case for declaring them biased. If that is your assertion anyway, then for all things to be equal I say any researcher funded by "environmental" organizations is likewise bogus, severely biased, unqualified.
Any researcher has his own emphasis. Some seek the truth at whatever cost. Others seek money at the cost of truth.
I don't know what your background in remote sensing might be. You should know that just a few years back that technology was wanting for detail, but that simply isn't the case now. It's fast becoming the primary tool for initial monitoring and evaluation, and the cost is falling fast. Satellite shots that once cost us hundreds now are under $20.
If you know anything about the field you so sharply criticize, you should know there are thousands of computerized models that permit detailed analysis of satellite views based on sample ground surveys. We can't measure the diameter of a stump yet, but enough data can be collected to arrive at very good conclusion within acceptable statistical confidence levels exceeding 95%. To exceed that requires very expensive ground survey crew projects that woulod supply very little additional data os any real usefulness. I wouldn't consider the count on a particular beetle to be economically feasible for the forest industry. If it is to be held to such minuta, then why don't we hold the auto industry accountable for the deposits of lead from wheel-weights and tire dust pollution along the many miles of highways? People are swallowing camels and choking on gnats, picking and choosing issues dearest to them without proper use of reason.
What I saw in replies to my post was emotional lashing out of desperation. It's a fairly common phenomena nowadays to see folks over-react and require every statement but their own to be "proven". The "data" supplied to prove their own beliefs is flawed by their own standards, being supplied by "researchers" funded by single interest groups intent of searching until they find some shred of truth to back up their claims and keep the donations coming in.
Return to simple reason and simple biology. Paleontology and archeology alone proves Stotts opinion. It isn't good science to base all you believe on what is now seen or heard. Stott is only one of many esteemed scientists looking objectively at some issues complicated by too much money. Follow the money. The more there is in the trail, the less I trust.
Jim Campbell, forester
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