Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thinking the Implications All the Way Through

The environmentalist left, personified by the Sierra Club and it's poster boy, Mark Udall, has adopted a strategy of allowing forest fires to burn, not only burn, but burn hot.

He and they don't want there to be forest roads which might be used to thin forests to prevent severe burn overs that put a crust on the soil. Crusted soil, like that in the Hayman burn area make it difficult to reforest the area. Estimates are that it will take 700 years before that area is fully restored.

Yes, Udall has sponsored a bill to thin near mountain communities. That is a half measure intended to protect him from criticism should there be the large scale property loss that would accompany a fire near one of those communities. He was careful to assure the environmentalist left that the thinning would be very limited.

Now, his allies at Colorado Confidential are reporting that forest fires release large amounts of mercury into the atmosphere:

"The mercury in the forest is not harming anything,. But when a fire releases it from the vegetation and the soils, it comes down again, precipitated in rain or snow, where it may end up in a body of water. There it gets converted in methyl mercury. That's what we're concerned about. The more fires we have, the more mercury will end up in the waterways," [ NCAR scientist Hans Friedli ] says."

This is one more argument for forest thinning. It demonstrates once again that the Sierra Club, Mark Udall, and the rest of the environmentalist left can't seem to think the policies they want to impose on the rest of us all of the way, or even part of the way through.

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