Bizarre: Farm workers threatened at gunpoint for ‘causing global warming’ by harvesting crops.

Every time I think I’ve seen the craziest thing yet about global warming mania…along comes something else. From the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific blog, comes this bizarre story from Thailand that shows what lengths a government will go to to slap a global warming fine on farmers.

Since being charged with global warming, villagers have begun working on farms farther from the reserve, harvesting cassava. The man in red was one of the thirteen villagers who was charged along with Ms. Kwanla.

Humans cutting down forest land to farm is nothing new. However, charging rural farmers for causing global warming is. A controversial formula is quantifying the damage villagers have to pay for their small scale farming. Now, the villagers are taking a stand against what they know is wrong.

PHETCHABUN – Early one Thursday morning, a gun was pointed at Ms. Kwanla Saikhumtung, a 34-year-old mother, because she was farming.

The man who pointed the gun was one of ten armed officers from Phu Pha Daeng, the local wildlife sanctuary in Lomsak district. After observing the villagers for three days, the officers finally informed Ms. Kwanla and twelve fellow villagers from Huay Kontha that they were trespassing on wildlife sanctuary land. They demanded that the villagers come to the police station to talk with them.

They refused. The villager that hired them paid taxes on the plot, leading the villagers to believe they had a right to work the land, and they worried about finishing their work.

The officers quickly became annoyed. One threatened to shoot any villager that resisted the officers’ orders.

“Are you really going to shoot? I’m here to harvest the corn, and you want to shoot us?” Ms. Kwanla shouted.  She then bravely grabbed the barrel of the gun, pressed it to her chest, and said, “If you’re going to shoot, shoot.”

The officer lowered his gun. That night, the officers marched the reluctant villagers through the community and drove them to the police station.

This incident was the beginning of a seven-year-long legal battle, pitting Ms. Kwanla against the Thai government. She and the other twelve villagers — the youngest only sixteen at the time — were first charged with trespassing.

The real shock, however, came when they were slapped with a 470,000 baht fine for contributing to global warming under the charge of causing environmental damage.

As the landowner was paying taxes on the plot of land in question, he had the right to grow crops on it. Since Ms. Kwanla and the other villagers had been hired to harvest his corn, it had seemed that they were not breaking the law by being there. However, unknown to the landholder, his plot overlapped with the wildlife sanctuary land.

The Royal Forestry Department (RFD) fined the villagers for cutting down trees and farming, drawing from the 1992 National Environmental Quality Act which forbids “destruction, loss, or damage to natural resources owned by the State.” Their fine was determined according to a formula used to calculate environmental damage. The formula measures the increase in temperature caused by cutting down trees. Any increase in the land temperature shows ‘global warming’. In essence, cutting down trees to farm corn leads to global warming.

The Huay Kontha villagers have a running joke, “Because we pick the corn, the world gets hotter.”

The charges that Ms. Kwanla and the other villagers face shed light on an emerging trend in Thailand. Land dispute issues are becoming increasingly common. According to Pramote Pholpinyo, coordinator of the Northeast Land Reform Network (LRN), there are currently 35-40 “global warming” cases against villagers in Thailand, with charges amounting to almost 33 million baht.

Full story at the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific blog

===========================================

h/t to WUWT reader “brokenyogi

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78 thoughts on “Bizarre: Farm workers threatened at gunpoint for ‘causing global warming’ by harvesting crops.

  1. As is the case in the U.S., the insatiable appetite of the bureaucracy for fines and taxes is the only way the nonproductive enforcers of ‘laws’ now how to feed and justify their existence.

  2. If their fines are commensurate with the “global warming” damage they’ve caused, the villagers should owe about 0.01 US dollars…collectively. Perhaps the balance of the 33 million baht (about a million US dollars) is enforcement overhead.

  3. “You have the right to remain unsustainable. Any carbon dioxide you emit may be taken down and used against you.”

  4. ken Methven says:
    June 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm
    So how much of a fine do I get if I….. exhale?

    That is death penalty for sure (also if you do not… :-)).

  5. The hired workers get charged. The guy who hired them? He is most likely too rich to be charged with anything. And the corrupt official who accepted a bribe to issue a bogus title to land overlapping a reserve – he won’t get charged either. But they will throw the book REALLY HARD at the poor villagers to try to compensate for these embarrassing omissions.

    Typical.

  6. (sigh) Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad. Look around you.

    The only question that remains is, do they have it in for all of us, or just the networks of petty fascists who are actively demolishing everything the human race needs to survive?

    Read Bob Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians (pdf) and despair. (And if your politics are ‘right wing’, please read it at least as far as where he explains that his use of the phrase ‘right wing authoritarianism’ is not a derogatory reference to your beliefs, but refers to the mindset of the legions of the bewitched who believe that anything in uniform has a ‘right’ to do whatever it wants and therefore don’t fight it but instead support it. The Soviet Union was run by his ‘right wing authoritarians’.) It’s not comfortable reading.

  7. ken Methven said:
    So how much of a fine do I get if I….. exhale?
    ====================================
    … depends. For CO2 whatever your local bureaucrats have set …
    for methane, possibly 100 or 1000 times more! (despite the concentration
    of CH4 being parts per BILLION, it’s “greenhouse properties” are supposed
    to be really really scary!) :-)

  8. I despair at the stupidity, I hope soon to retire and move to Thailand from OZ. I have a family in middle Thailand. On a recent trip I was sight seeing with my family and some of my young daughters friends. They pointed out a huge development of solar panels and I most likely showed some disdain and one of my daughters friends in perfect english said “a waste of money”

    The previous trip this site was under twenty foot of water in the annual floods, I can only imagine it is a boondoggle. I was so hoping Thailand would be immune from this crap.

  9. The fact that this dispute has been going on for 7 years indicates that this is one of Thailand’s typical scenarios, almost certainly involving unscrupulous landowners, corrupt local officials, and peasants trying to make a living who inevitably become the unwilling pawns in the game.

    The ‘global warming’ aspect is just a convenient weapon to use in the battle.

    And in one sense, these particular villagers are lucky — many people in similar situations have been shot out of hand. Life here is cheap in the extreme.

    http://www.asiahumanrights.com/?events=an-environmentalist-who-campaigned-against-coal-factories-was-shot-dead

  10. The farmers stop harvesting crops—and planting them—except for personal “sustainable” food. It won’t be long before the cities collapse from the food riots …

  11. Our laws make criminals of us all. A semi humorous article in our Sunday Telegraph by an MP Catherine Cusak listed fines accumulated on a hypothetical trip to the local Mall, none serious or dangerous, i.e. adjusting drivers side rear view mirror by hand, encroaching on the nearside white line, failing to signal at correct distance etc. which totalled $A9000 dollars ($US9006).

    I despair at the way civilization is headed, are there no sensible people left in power ?.

  12. My first impression is that there is a ‘spin’ being put on this story to make it seem far mroe extreme than it really is and paint the Thai authorities as being unreasonable when all they are doing is trying to protect their nature reserves.

    The story seems to indicate the farmland was illegally cut out of protected forests and whatever silly ‘warming’ reason they might tack on the end, given how much of the tropical forests have been destroyed and what that has meant for wildlife I don’t think it is unreasonable for the authorities to try and punish those who continue to encrouch on a fast shrinking resource.

  13. I recommend reading the source article as there is (the sublime) common sense:-
    “Meanwhile, Ms. Kwanla continues her life as an agricultural laborer, now harvesting cassava and onions. She says that she has to fight back on principle. “I want to show them that I am not wrong. If we accept the charges, that is saying I am wrong.””
    and (the ridiculous) scientific nonsense:-
    “The global warming fines that the villagers must pay are calculated using a formula created in the 1994 by Dr. Pongsak Wittawatchutikul, a National Parks Department specialist. With this formula, a thermometer is used to measure the temperature of soil in degraded land and soil in forest land. The difference in the temperatures is calculated. Then an estimate is made about the amount of energy it would take to cool down the hotter deforested area using an air conditioner. This calculation, along with an approximation of the number of trees cut down and the amount of soil loss, determines the fine.”

  14. Forever (in human terms), the rich have used land title to extract a few extra drops of sweat blood and cash from the poor…. in that society, the various authorities will all benefit by under table payments as the ‘legal’ process goes through its stages, whereas in ‘more advanced’ (choke) western societies the authorities are content with their fat pay packet and fine just go directly to a caring government which is only concerned for the wellbeing of the populace (sarcasm warning).

    It has always been thus. Only now they find they have a handy new lever to pull, and a whole stash of useful new charges to lay. Some of those in positions of power may even feel a little bit righteous about it, while the remainder are just pleased the wheels of justice (or let’s say the wheels of ‘process’) continue to turn, aided by that essential lubricant, cash.

  15. “sophocles says:
    June 30, 2012 at 12:30 am”

    Indeed. Alarmists don’t know the difference between MILLION and BILLION and go on to quote methane is “22 times” more potent a GHG. I even was in debate with an Aussie carbon tax supporter who claimed CH4 had, and I quote, “Interesting. CH4 has 4 carbons.”, the scientific illiteracy in Aus is very scary.

  16. Patrick Davis says:

    June 30, 2012 at 2:38 am

    “sophocles says:
    June 30, 2012 at 12:30 am”

    Indeed. Alarmists don’t know the difference between MILLION and BILLION

    I must admit I have trouble with a billion. Over my lifetime it has changed from a million million to 100 million to a thousand million!

  17. “The real shock, however, came when they were slapped with a 470,000 baht fine for contributing to global warming under the charge of causing environmental damage.”

    That is about US$14,900.

    The GDP per capita in Thailand is US$4,108 a year, roughly one-tenth of what it is in the US. See: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=GDP+per+capita+Thailand+United+States

    That means that, in terms of purchasing power, the fine for the farm workers is the equivalent of about US$150,000.

    Perhaps it would be far more painless for them to be shot.

  18. Richard Tyndal: …on a fast shrinking resource.

    Land prohibited from being used by the people who need it is not a resource.

  19. the flooding in Thailand last year was alarming by any definition of the word, it’s a good idea that they are stopping the deforestation that has no doubt contributed to this massive problem

  20. Do the eco loons who promulgate the AGW alarmism scam ever look at these events and think – ‘oh dear, unintended consequences’.
    Or do they think ‘yesssss, there’s no limit to how we can control the population’.

  21. Richard Tyndall says:
    June 30, 2012 at 1:51 am
    ‘…given how much of the tropical forests have been destroyed and what that has meant for wildlife I don’t think it is unreasonable for the authorities to try and punish those who continue to encrouch on a fast shrinking resource.’

    Food is a somewhat valuable resource also.

  22. more liberal wackiness:

    Genghis Khan hailed as environmentalist for ‘scrubbing’ humanity’s carbon footprint: http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=255473#ixzz1DBJ8hyDG

    Scientists claim global warming destroyed Rome: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=252957

    Rome fell because of what?: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=255573

    Dinosaur flatulence may have led to global warming: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/dinosaur-flatulence-may-led-global-warming-154336900.html

  23. Read the comments at the site of the original article. Some people really do Not give a damn about the lives of the poor.

    (this may show more than once, as I am having connection troubles.)

  24. i agree with Richard Tyndall above. The reasoning “contributing to global warming” is pretty silly. The fact that local farmers are stopped cutting forests in nature reserves is a necessary act. That these policeman carry guns is given the amount of highly armed poachers around also nothing to be surprised about.

  25. Why would the government even sell the land if it was part of a wildlife sanctuary?

  26. “Kelvin Vaughan says:
    June 30, 2012 at 3:10 am”

    I disagree. A British BILLION was a MILLION MILLION however, the accepted international standard for BILLION is 1000 MILLION. No confusion there, for me at least.

    “Richard Tyndall says:
    June 30, 2012 at 1:51 am”

    Seriously, any relation?

  27. I am disturbed that the readers of this blog — normally reasonable thinkers — are somehow supporting these folks who are turning a nature preserve into farmland and mocking the government who is trying to stop them. Let’s read a little deeper, folks, and not be so Pavlovian whenever the word “global warming” appears.

  28. The landowner should have known that part of his land was a nature preserve. The poor farmer probably doesn’t know. Is the boundary well marked? Lot’s of unknowns in this story.

  29. ‘As the landowner was paying taxes on the plot of land in question, he had the right to grow crops on it’

    Sorry, madman2001, there seems to be a Disagreement as to who owns the land, don’t you think?

  30. The land existed and was owned

    A law was passed and some of the land became part of a nature reserve

    So was the owner compensated. Did the Land Office verify the boundaries. Was the owner informed. Reeks of arbitrary line drawing by incompetents yet again ( African national boundaries)

    The owner rents out the land to farmers. He gets rent, they get land to farm and feed themselves.

    Police then take guns to the farmers but not the and owner? Why ?

    Same pattern we see around the world. Money talks.Corruption pays. Lack of work, the Land Office, gets rewarded.

    The poor pay.

    Sad to see the anti farmer comments, nobody sees fit to explain to them or compensate them

  31. There is a danger that some of these third world-wildlife sanctuaries may become analogous to the Norman ‘royal forests.’ (Google ‘Norman Yoke’) Reigning monarchs should beware; Robin Hood has many descendents. They still consider Sherwood Forest their own….

  32. For those who are knowledgeable of local conditions, please hold your giggles:
    1. Why was the land registrar not fired for double registering land?
    2. Why was the tax collector not fired for collecting tax on tax exempt land?
    3. Why was the title company insurance policy not activated?
    4. Why were the surveyors performance bonds not revoked when they failed to identify the correct, non-overlapping boundaries?
    5. Why were the border postings on the edge of the preserve taken down?

    In a functioning system there are multiple layers of protection that should have stopped this situation long before the police walked out into the fields and started pointing weapons. Thailand’s system broke down and failed its people long before that day when the police came.

  33. This is a very good blog which I read regularly and appreciate for its ability to balance the often alarmist agw agenda being pushed by the main stream media.

    However this post is an example of wuwt using the same sensationalist tactics which it so often critisizes

    Unecissary, à mistake and does much to damage the reputation of wuwt in my opinion

    [REPLY: The mast-head reads …and news, which this is. I would also like you to take a look at the site policy page. You have commented here as “Paul”, “Paul Sheraton”, “Airforce1″, “strawbale” and now “strawbale23″. Please pick one screen name and stick with it. -REP]

  34. Richard Tyndall says:
    June 30, 2012 at 1:51 am

    My first impression is that there is a ‘spin’ being put on this story to make it seem far mroe extreme than it really is and paint the Thai authorities as being unreasonable when all they are doing is trying to protect their nature reserves.

    The story seems to indicate the farmland was illegally cut out of protected forests and whatever silly ‘warming’ reason they might tack on the end, given how much of the tropical forests have been destroyed and what that has meant for wildlife I don’t think it is unreasonable for the authorities to try and punish those who continue to encrouch on a fast shrinking resource.
    ================================================================
    Richard, the “protection” of the forests were most likely retroactively applied. It’s a sick game which gets played. Through arm twisting and bribery and blackmail, some NGOs and some governmental entities convince underdeveloped nations to cordon off huge tracts of land as “wildlife refuges”. Often, the people inhabiting the land are simply displaced, or killed, if they move to slow. Here’s an example…..http://suyts.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/systematic-war-on-the-poor/

    These atrocities are brought to you by: Clean Development Mechanism, the Nature Conservancy and the African Wildlife Foundation, New Forest Company (via Kyoto protocol), Department for International Development, and many others.

  35. It’s like the Khmer Rouge all over again: All the original Cambodian mulberry trees, that the silk worms feed on, were cut down by the Khmer Rouge, which labelled them a “non-productive crop” and claimed that wearers of silk were proponents of a bourgeois, Westernised consumer base “festering” in Cambodian cities.

    These people have to be stopped. The insanity to prevent people from making a living the old hard way is beyond all reason. Green IS the new RED.

  36. Steve C says:
    June 30, 2012 at 12:14 am

    “Read Bob Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians”
    ” (And if your politics are ‘right wing’, please read it at least as far as where he explains that his use of the phrase ‘right wing authoritarianism’ is not a derogatory reference to your beliefs, but refers to the mindset of the legions of the bewitched who believe that anything in uniform has a ‘right’ to do whatever it wants and therefore don’t fight it but instead support it. The Soviet Union was run by his ‘right wing authoritarians’.) It’s not comfortable reading.”

    That is just marvelous, Steve C. So by retired Professor of Psychology Bob Altemeyer’s definition, any person “who has a high degree of willingness to submit to authorities he perceives as established and legitimate, who adheres to societal conventions and norms, and who is hostile and punitive in his attitudes towards people who don’t adhere to them.”

    cannot be a left-winger.
    In other words, Bob Altemeyer defines leftism as pure and innocent and the right wing as evil.

    Excuse me while I puke. BTW I got the definition from the leftist bible so don’t accuse me of distorting the NPOV.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_Wing_Authoritarianism

    Did he get some kind of George Orwell award for his redefinition of words?

  37. For mine, excessive and brutal force and over the top fines levied against the poor folk hired to harvest the crop, smacks of corruption. Now the best support of these victims, and they are the real victims, is to use the same blunt weapon of threat to right an obvious wrong. Thailand is very dependent on the tourist dollar and if enough tourists choose to boycott the country or merely threaten to do so, you will see some rapid reversals and a reversion to proper sensible justice. Maybe that is the only way to bring justice and commonsense to bear on those that seemingly allowed the situation to develop to a point where this money could be extorted.

  38. The US is filled with nature preserves (and shrinking budgets to keep them in good repair), soon to be added to by unkempt national forests (and shrinking budgets to keep them in good repair). And now they are working on a plan (after the first one met with near violence) to shut down many forest roads to all motor vehicles and prevent 4 wheelers onto this land.

    Along with this plan is the hidden fact that the government doesn’t have anough money to manage this land and sales of logging tracts are less than that of a dripping faucet. In addition, there are many in power who believe this land should be left untouched by humans. As a result, these public forests are a freaking MESS! The only thing they do now is put out nature’s vacume cleaners. No wonder the feds don’t want tax payers onto this land to see how the people’s land is not being taken care of.

    We would be better off turning this land over to state control. Even better, county control. Counties and states are all about resources that stand the test of time. Regular logging and replanting would keep these forests productive and cleaned up. Private for-profit forest land owners keep their land in good condition. I’ve seen it. Private forest land on one side of the road, federal land on the other. The difference is astounding and disheartening.

  39. The formula measures the increase in temperature caused by cutting down trees. Any increase in the land temperature shows ‘global warming’. In essence, cutting down trees to farm corn leads to global warming.
    =========
    How long will it be before the Thai’s start fining people for converting farms to cities? Blacktop and concrete is a lot hotter than both forests and farmland.

    150 years ago we used 4% of the land surface in total for farming and cities. Today we use 40% of the land’s surface, 4% for cities alone. In other words the farm land 150 years ago has been converted to cities (our cities are built on old farm land) and a further 36% of the surface has been converted to farming.

    Most of this land use conversion has taken place after WWII. The exact same time that the IPCC says it cannot explain the increase in temperatures.

  40. This note is not about tropical deforestation, which may be a VERY serious issue. See Murry Salby’s video at time 10:38 – the major global CO2 sources are NOT in industrial areas – they are in equatorial areas where deforestation is rampant.

    This note is about economic oppression of citizens by governments and government employees.

    Even in my county Canada, which has better economic fundamentals than other developed countries (thanks to the much-maligned Athabasca oilsands), our society is stratifying into government employees, who can often retire at 55 with fat guaranteed pensions, and the rest of us, who will have to work until age 75 or longer to pay for our retirements (AND those of our long-retired government employees).

    Will our shrinking productive sector have to work until we die so that our non-productive sector can enjoy cushy 9-to-5 jobs and very-early retirements? Apparently, yes.

  41. Steve C says:
    June 30, 2012 at 12:14 am
    Read Bob Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians (pdf) and despair. (And if your politics are ‘right wing’, please read it at least as far as where he explains that his use of the phrase ‘right wing authoritarianism’ is not a derogatory reference to your beliefs, but refers to the mindset of the legions of the bewitched who believe that anything in uniform has a ‘right’ to do whatever it wants and therefore don’t fight it but instead support it.

    “Authoritarians are characterized by righteousness and black and white thinking – following leaders unquestioningly, viewing their enemies as absolutely wrong, sometimes even evil.”

    Sounds like a well-nigh perfect definition of the typical CAGW believer — and judging from the themes of Altemeyer’s various role-playing games, he would be the first one to sputter indignantly that the quote was “taken out of context”…

  42. I suspect this forest reserve is a carbon dump that is reserved for the EU market as a carbon offset. This was likely not explained to anyone very well, particularly the police officers who were simply told that the forest was to be left intact to fight global warming. The EU pays handsomely to offset CO2 discharge from power plants. It is a scam of course, but it allows Thailand to protect its jungles and forests and that is important.

  43. I spent half a year in Thailand in the ’60’s. The people are wonderful. Very friendly. But authoritarianism changes people, as this experiment shows. And there is no more vicious form of authoritarianism than what the left practices.

  44. When we breathe out we are expelling that danger gas – CO2! Shouldn’t people have permits for breathing? To combat global warming people should only be allowed to breathe a certain number of times per minute. Gradually, over the years, that limit should be reduced. I believe that pearl divers can hold their breath for several minutes. That should be the standard that we should all be compelled to meet after a few years’ practice.

  45. On my facebook page Brian H. responded with the following which is sorta interesting.

    “Kind of unfair because climate scientists agree that this is misuse of climate science and even the scientist who came up with the formula says the government shouldn’t be using it the way they have.

    “A National Parks Department report says the formula was created with the intention of “finding the value of ecosystems with the support of academic people from human rights committees.” Lawyers involved in the countersuit question the legitimacy of this formula, first used in court in 2004.

    Dr. Ponsgak’s formula has also faced criticism from the academic community. A climate change specialist and director of Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, Dr. Anont Sanitwong na Ayutthaya, argues, “Scientists agree that this doesn’t make any sense at all…it has nothing to do with global climate change.”

    Even Dr. Pongsak himself came out against the use of this formula to fine villagers. In an interview with the National Human Rights Commission, he recently said, “I accepted that some parts of the formula needed to be fixed, and I’ve tried to make it the most accurate and correct,” but due to the complexity of the government systems and procedures, he has not been able to make such adjustments.”

    http://sites.sas.upenn.edu/tlc/feeds/new-mandala

    Ok, that’s interesting but the point is that the Thai government is using the excuse of climate change, doesn’t matter that it’s an insane excuse. The point is that people are crazy with the utter nonsense of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming that they are abusing other people with it and with government power behind them that is a tyranny.

  46. @DirkH – Hang on. D’you mean you don’t believe that the Soviet Union was run by people with “a high degree of willingness to submit to authorities (they) perceived as established and legitimate, who adhered to societal conventions and norms, and who were hostile and punitive in their attitudes towards people who didn’t adhere to them”? Or d’you mean that the Soviets weren’t “left wingers”?

    Altemeyer’s whole point is that it is the authoritarianism, the blind, unquestioning deference to the established authorities at the time, that is the problem – not at all the person’s perceived position on the political spectrum. As Altemeyer explains. As I pointed out that you need to read as far as. Nowhere in his book does it say that an authoritarian “cannot be a left winger”, indeed the mention of the Soviet Union was his, not mine.

    Bill Tuttle seems to appreciate the point, and I’ve pointed out more than once that authoritarianism is not the sole preserve of either end of the political spectrum. A spectrum which is really about no more than how you think the rights and responsibilities of the individual and of society should be balanced, and which suffers from an awful lot of distortion in the claims made (usually made up, IME) by both “sides”.

    So, sorry if I spoiled your morning coffee, Dirk, (assuming you’re across the pond from me here in the UK) but I did specifically say to read him far enough in to establish that it’s not about the politics, ‘cos I could see this coming. Winston Churchill (hardly a raving Commie!) is quoted as having said “To say ‘my country, right or wrong’ is like saying ‘My mother, drunk or sober'”. He knew to question authority – and that’s exactly what Altemeyer’s ‘high-RWA’ subjects lack.

    FWIW, I agree that he could have tried for a less contentious name, but there it is.

  47. “If you’re going to shoot, shoot.”
    Gods have mercy. For farming.
    Come on, Peter Gleick. Come on Michael Mann. Heck, how about you Dana1980whatever? Any of you – stand up and explain this atrocity to me. Any of you climate scientists or wannabe’s that have ever subscribed to the idea that YOU KNOW BETTER than everybody else, and because you alone understand the truth, you should dictate policy. THIS IS WHAT COMES OF IT.
    I honestly don’t know anymore if this is news to you guys. I hope so, because I don’t really believe in evil, even now. If it’s not news, WAKE UP.

  48. My Thai wife and I own 4 acres of former forest land in Petchabun province – now cleared of trees. We will plant fruit and nut trees on it. I expect the police to come round to see us offering crates of cold beer for our efforts.
    Or am I being overly optimistic?

  49. “The man who pointed the gun was one of ten armed officers from Phu Pha Daeng, the local wildlife sanctuary in Lomsak district. After observing the villagers for three days, the officers finally informed Ms. Kwanla and twelve fellow villagers from Huay Kontha that they were trespassing on wildlife sanctuary land.”
    ——————————————————————————————————

    What a misleading headline. THEY WERE TRESPASSING ON WILDLIFE SANCTUARY LAND! Wildlife sanctuaries are created to give wildlife at least a tiny bit of land for them to live on as we massively wipe out the rest of their habitat. I realize saving wildlife goes against the grain of conservatives, but come on. This is a great site to counter liberal AGW alarmism. Don’t soil it with misleading headlines. Leave that kind of thing to liberals.

  50. >Steve C says:
    June 30, 2012 at 11:32 am
    <

    Actually, "left wing" "right wing" is misleading. The political spectrum is a circle, go far enough "left" or "right" and you end up in the same place: tyranny.

  51. Patrick Davis

    “Seriously, any relation?”

    Lots of relations. :-) More seriously, if you are talking about the Tyndall Institute at UAE then it is named after my great, great, (great?) uncle John Tyndall. I followed in his footsteps (although at the time I didn’t know it) and became a geologist. I cringe every time I see the way his name and work has been misused by the AGW fanatics.

  52. I was discussing this important global issue over at my small discussion place. I got this reply from a true watermelon. going under the name of “Diggerbanks”

    Quote

    More cherry-picked evidence, sentimental, and loaded prose from Big Oil, and Big Oil’s representative, Alan Watts, and Alan Watts’ forum representative Grey Lensman.

    Neither of these parties know the truth of the situation, they just have an agenda.

    Watts up with that? It’s biased to an ugly big-corporation agenda, that’s watt!

    Unquote

    Note the total lack of empathy with the farmers and the aggressive/abusive tone, seems to be their signature.

  53. meanwhile people in Cambodia and Thailand that are trying to prevent the last remaining remnants of forest from being milled are being shot and killed in record numbers

  54. Madman2001 says: June 30, 2012 at 6:03 am

    I am disturbed that the readers of this blog — normally reasonable thinkers — are somehow supporting these folks who are turning a nature preserve into farmland and mocking the government who is trying to stop them. Let’s read a little deeper, folks, and not be so Pavlovian whenever the word “global warming” appears.

    I don’t think it is all so simple, Madman.

    We westerners, having harvested our forests centuries ago, are demanding that developing countries with fast growing populations (all wanting to prosper, or at least eat) do NOT develop their land?

    We don’t do this at the point of a gun, but we fund green organizations which are cashed up and have nothing else to do except lobby governments and preach to societies (and of course, maintain their own pay packets and existence). Then, on top of that we apply the pressure of international organizations such as the UN, etc.

    AND it is seems very likely some of the motivation (and finance) behind this comes from economic interests which will benefit by these countries not being able to grow their own food, export mineral reserves, or provide competition in other markets.

    To be completely fair, should not we replant our forests first? Claim back that farmland, those cities, and plant trees.

    (cue to trot out “lost biodiversity”: Quick heads up – newly established forests do become biodiverse quickly enough themselves, and surely we have the technology to transplant, and nurture that process.
    And. do we REALLY think it fair that we demand the establishment of ‘living museums’ just in case there is something there we might need one day?)

    Now, this little rant is not meant to put forward the above as a viable policy, only to point out the unreasonable and hypocritical approach now being pursued by ‘green ideology’.

  55. Michael Wassil says:
    July 1, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Actually, “left wing” “right wing” is misleading. The political spectrum is a circle, go far enough “left” or “right” and you end up in the same place: tyranny.

    ________

    Yes, but..

    After about year 1920, the leftists killed the greatest number of humans – Hitler (50 million, mostly Europeans in WW2), Stalin (50 million, mostly Russians and other citizens of the Soviet Union, in internal purges) and chubby little leftist hero Mao (80 million Chinese, many killed during the idiocy of the Great Leap Backwards). Doctrinaire leftists are particularly dangerous because they are typically undereducated, ignorant and stubbornly dogmatic – convinced they are correct even when they are obviously wrong – the global warming (CAGW) fiasco is a fine example of their dogmatic idiocy.

    Pre-1920, the right-wingers get the prize for killing the most humans – perhaps the reason is obvious – the left held no power pre-1920. But let’s look further at the carnage of WW1. Men charging over open ground against machine guns and modern artillery, cut down by their millions, and the same generals time after time made the same tactical blunders, apparently unable to understand that putting a man in front of each bullet was not a good use of resources. This stalemate and slaughter lasted for years.

    For example, in over 4 years the French and British lost 150,000 of their own men in failed attempts to take Vimy Ridge. In contrast, the Canadians took Vimy Ridge in 4 days in 1917 with a loss of 3600 men. Canadian General Sir Arthur Currie was not a professional soldier – prior to the war, he was a schoolteacher and later a businessman.

    In the 19th Century there were the Napoleonic Wars that killed many millions when the global population was much smaller, and similar slaughter occurred on other continents.

    War in those days was typically fought over territory, and seems to have been a welcome distraction for the ruling classes – a blood sport that sacrificed not pitbulls, but young men in their millions.

    Today dogmatism by the left and right seem to be increasingly entrenched in the Western world. I personally prefer a more pragmatic approach, based on careful analysis of the facts – what works and what does not?

    I am involved in the debate about global warming, because the premise that mankind is causing catastrophic global warming is NOT supported by the facts, and a trillion dollars has been squandered on this fiction. This does NOT make me right-wing.

    I am also involved in helping the homeless in my city. This does NOT make me left-wing. It simply reflects a good use of resources to effect a beneficial result for all members of our society.

    In both cases, common sense suggests that one should examine the FACTS and make rational decisions that are both humanitarian and economically sensible.

    With respect, I’m tired of debates about right and left – I’d like to see more rational debates about right and wrong.

  56. Well, yeah, the “junior jackboot” mentality likes to In less than free societies they self-select psychologically into military and police.

    Of course in NA people like David Suzuki would like to see people jailed, though they target politicians not poor peasants.

  57. Call this what you want, but I am convinced that global warming fraud and envirowhacko fraud are auspices of the UN Agenda 21 politics, which are global in scope. Most are correct here in their assertions that the goal is by government proclaimed authority to limitlessly tax and regulate peoples lives globally to a centralized control mechanism orchestrated through the UN. This is a very popular idea to those on the delivering end of tyranny, communism, socialisim and Marxism. It is also a popular and desirable notion to those on the receiving end of aquiring power and wealth through the mechanisms of regulation and taxation. These people are often refered to as collectivists, who take other peoples wealth and freedoms through the self proclaimed importance of their own ideas and claims and without regard to whether any are truthful or useful to a society or culture. Unfortunately, this has extended itself into the important institutions we call academia that are using these frauds of enviromentalism ( [global warming which is now “cliamte change”] and ocean acidification ) to take others wealth through taxation and lend the false credibility to the governments that it is necessary to do so which leads to the generation of limitless regulation. That leads then, to more taxation, it is an endless vicious circle that is a one way ticket to tyranny.

  58. > Chuck Wiese says:
    July 1, 2012 at 11:03 am
    <

    I think there's a lot of evidence that suggests you're correct. With the fall of the Soviet Union the "collectivists" transferred their eggs to the radical environmental basket. They failed to collectivize the world for "our own good"; so now they try to do it for "the salvation of the world" instead.

  59. Since I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in that burg I’d like to share my observations.

    The Thai govt. and main stream Thai society had bought in to the AGW and Green Goodness lock, stock, and barrel. A massive green indoctrination campaign is in progress, spurred on by the usual NGOs and UN agencies. People are to be ostracized for ‘wasting energy’ and ‘demand side management’ is the new status quo.

    There is plenty money to be skimmed and the scammers are hard at it.

    Bio-Diesel from palm oil had caused cooking oil shortage with regularity.
    The cost savings from B5/10/15 was never realized but the industry kept lobbying the govt. to keep the program going so they can maintain profitability.
    The govt. finally concede (again) and dropped their Bio-Diesel mandate (again) earlier this year.

    The Ethanol industry had caused sugar shortage, or at least inflated the price of sugar (and food prices), for the past few years. The govt. continues to penalize non-ethanol user with upwards of 47% tax at the pump and effectively doubling the refinery cost on regular gas while subsidizing E85 so the pump price is LESS than refinery cost. But I have yet to run in to an actual E85 user…

    The country is short on conventional fuel sources. They’ve got a few gas well in the Gulf of Thailand, a smidgeon of crude oil, a few small lignite mines, and already too many hydro dams.
    The NGOs had seen to it that the country will not be building a Nuclear reactor anytime soon and the population can just pay to import energy.

    All the usual opportunists had jumped in on the govt. renewable energy programs and setting up solar/wind farm to reap the juicy feed-in subsidy, they gets something like $0.12/KWH on top of the prevailing KWH price. That’s $0.12/KWH subsidy in the country where minimum wage is $10 a day and the electric bill for a typical 2000ft2 house often runs over $150/mo.
    The irony is that Thailand isn’t all that suitable for solar and the best area for solar farm is also the best area for farming, and they are pretty short on farm land as it is.

    Plant a tree, gets carbon credit. They’ve planted thousands of junk trees around the airport to offset the air-traffic carbon footprint. The company who got the contract to plant those trees at the minimum of 10x the market price is very happy, and so is the officials who got the kickbacks.
    The feel good tree planting campaign had been going on for as far as I can remember.

    Meanwhile, illegal logging and encroachment of primary forest for commercial agricultural use is also going on hot and heavy.
    A prime example is the Corn Hills of Nan.
    Decades ago, the govt. had declared that any land with more than 20 degree grade is considered ‘protected forest’ and can not be used for farming or habitation.
    Up in the NE province of Nan, thousands of square miles of primary forerst with clearly over 20 degree slope had been razed to farm corn to supply the feed and Ethanol industry.
    The govt. have done nothing to mitigate this problem and when the corn price dropped the farmers would shut down the roads and demand compensations from the govt….
    That, along with the compensations for the seasonal flash flood and mudslide since there is no more vegetation to hold up the soil and soak up the monsoon.

    Same problem all over the country, with different cash crop but sometime the same financier.

    Yup, it’s a real mess over there.

  60. I find myself in agreement with all the following commentators. I think they make an important point that the left wing/right wing debate in this context is fruitless.

    Allan MacRae says: July 1, 2012 at 9:18 am

    With respect, I’m tired of debates about right and left – I’d like to see more rational debates about right and wrong.

    Michael Wassil says: July 1, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Actually, “left wing” “right wing” is misleading. The political spectrum is a circle, go far enough “left” or “right” and you end up in the same place: tyranny.

    Chuck Wiese says: July 1, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Most are correct here in their assertions that the goal is by government proclaimed authority to limitlessly tax and regulate peoples lives globally to a centralized control mechanism orchestrated through the UN.

  61. Here’s a few dumb questions:

    Who gets fined for the forest fires that happen in the western US every year? Those fires emit enough CO2 to make the top 200 list of NATIONS annual CO2 emissions. Just saying……..

    PS, rumor has it that blacktop and concrete hold heat far longer than grass. Why does the national weather service have their measuring stations located at airports?

    Here’s a sure fire way to control global warming: just hold your breath for 10 minutes. Problem solved.

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