US Landed Gentry demand Medieval Climate Tithes

lake windermere fern forest

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

What could be better than owning a large woodland estate, and making a steady income from harvesting timber? Harvesting an additional tithe of taxpayer’s money, of course.

According to the Huffington Post;

America’s Family Forests: Our Climate Change Solution

Last weekend, 195 nations reached a landmark agreement that will commit the world to limiting its greenhouse gas emissions. Throughout the two weeks of negotiations, we saw significant discussion about how investing in forests can be a low cost climate solution. Unfortunately, these discussions often focused on international forests, and assumed that U.S. forests’ ability to sequester carbon will remain the same without any special action.

That’s why today, the American Forest Foundation and The Trust for Public Land, co-chairs of the Forest Climate Working Group, a coalition of landowners, conservation organizations, forestry advocates, forest products companies and scientists delivered a letter to President Obama calling for increased recognition of the critical role American that forests must play in meeting our greenhouse gas reduction targets agreed to in Paris.

If we can continue to create incentives that encourage planting trees, managing existing forests, and increasing the demand for wood products, we can ensure we continue to have the necessary carbon sink needed to combat climate change.

We must keep our forests healthy if we are going to meet our emission reduction goals, and America’s forest owners are ready to be part of the climate solution.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-martin/americas-family-forests-o_b_8842240.html

Those selfless forest plantation owners are prepared to do their bit – to increase production, to help solve the climate “crisis”, if taxpayers provide “incentives” to help them maintain their plantations, and help them market and sell their products.

Just what America needs – more welfare payments for the already wealthy.

Update – my apology to land owners who are decent, hard working people who have never demanded a government handout, if you felt this post targeted you. That was not the intention.

The reference to “landed gentry” was intended as a critique of those members of the named organisations, who seem to expect the state and taxpayers to provide them with special consideration, because they own a bit of forest. I compared this demand, to the arrogant entitlements of the landed gentry of medieval times, receiving state enforced tithes from the peasants.

149 thoughts on “US Landed Gentry demand Medieval Climate Tithes

  1. Brilliant idea given that over 1/3 of privately owned U.S. woodlands are owned by corporations, and will this also involve investment tax credits?
    By the way, will all this allow me to fully deduct the cost of moving a 36 foot maple that my wife has decided is too close to a large oak?

    • John from the far west
      I’ve got a chainsaw — moving a little Maple tree should not be a problem.

      • John I have several chainsaws, they’re not an option. My wife likes that tree, very much. She also has a free pistol expert rating, she could easily be a master, but only shoots about 10 or 12 times a year. She prefers smaller caliber, but as she always says “it’s the placement, not the size that matters.”

      • Easy solution:
        Plant a new Maple where the wife wants it, harvest the old maple, turn it into Maple furniture effectively capturing the carbon, then apply for the appropriate tax credit

      • Then you could cut several rounds from the stump that could be used for target practice who knows, she could make Master yet

      • @Mark
        …John I have several chainsaws, they’re not an option. My wife likes that tree, very much. She also has a free pistol expert rating, she could easily be a master, but only shoots about 10 or 12 times a year….
        Er… if your wife shoots at the tree, but always hits it 6″ off centre to the left, moving the tree 6″ to the left sounds like a very expensive way to solve the problem….

    • For those that are not forest owners but think that trees are rather a good idea, they may like to subscribe to Cool Earth;
      Their objective? “COOL EARTH IS THE CHARITY THAT WORKS ALONGSIDE INDIGENOUS VILLAGES TO HALT RAINFOREST DESTRUCTION.
      We put local people back in control, giving them the resources they need to keep their forest intact. And by saving at-risk rainforest, we form shields for millions of acres of neighbouring forest.”
      https://www.coolearth.org/
      Over the years, people such as me have bought an acre or two in various tropical countries and thus help to preserve the rain forest.
      tonyb

    • Maple trees often run a large tap root, straight down.
      Cutting the tap root impairs the tree’s health. To balance it out requires cutting a lot of the top back too.
      Take a number of cuttings from the tree and root them. The rootings will happily grow wherever you plant them.

  2. “Just what America needs – more welfare payments for the already wealthy.”
    Exactly !!! – doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what the entire scam is all about.

    • 1 – Most of the forests in Canada are not privately owned, they are on crown land (ie. owned by the government).
      2 – According to maps shown on WUWT lately, most of the Canadian Shield is a net CO2 source. I have no idea why.

      • According to maps shown on WUWT lately, most of the Canadian Shield is a net CO2 source.

        Ten thousands years ago the Canadian Shield had been scrubbed down to the bedrock by glaciation. The soil, forests, and peat bogs that have emerged since then have been significant carbon sinks, and this process is ongoing,
        Perhaps the maps are due to recent large forest fires.

      • No “crown land” controlled by the crown! The government can’t do a thing with it without the crown’s consent. If the government wishes to do something else they are just a wishin’

      • Commie Bob – Boreal forests are generally considered “net” CO2 emitters. See previous posts or just search “boreal forests CO2 emissions” and you’ll find lots to references. Look at the annual CO2 graphic posted a while back from the OCO2 satellite showing the very slightly higher concentration of CO2 over Alaska and north western Canada. Nothing is as simple as it first appears.
        Oh, see comments below on Canada being denied credit for forests in the Kyoto agreement.

    • “Incentives to … increase the demand for wood” is code language for protectionist measures against Canadian lumber or subsidies to compete against Canadian lumber in the Chinese market. It’s a trade war that’s been raging ever since countervailing measures were removed by NAFTA. The whole carbon sink thing in this case is just an excuse for more corporate welfare.
      I *am* a landowner and I have many acres of mixed hardwood. They’re doing a pretty good job of sinking carbon just by being left alone and not getting any government assistance or market interference at all.

      • “I *am* a landowner and I have many acres of mixed hardwood. They’re doing a pretty good job of sinking carbon just by being left alone and not getting any government assistance or market interference at all.”
        But I’m sure that if you paid the trees more they would work harder and absorb even more CO2.

  3. The scams that just roll off the minds of people are truly amazing. The big problem is that the warmunists don’t want trees planted. They want energy restricted drastically. It has little to do with CO2 any more (if it ever did) and is all about keeping any energy source, other than THEIR incompetent definition of renewable, offline.

  4. Somebody will have to compensate for all the wood being felled and turned into pellets for Europe’s pellet burning power stations like DRAX. Put an export tax on wood pellets and pass the money towards new plantations to compensate for the CO2 loss. HaHa.

  5. ..I am a lower class Canadian who once was a High Middle Class Canadian ( before an unfortunate accident bankrupted me) , that is terrified of any thought of Global Cooling !!

  6. Similarly, as part of their excuse to do nothing and thumb their nose at the anti-CO2 brigade, Russia said they intend to let their forests do CO2 reductions for them.
    You have to admire Vlamidir Putin sometimes.

    • For the record, I don’t think Vladimir Putin is a nice guy, and I wouldn’t want to live in a country run by him.

  7. Watching a TV program about global furniture stores it appears that 99.9% of the timber comes from Russia, from public land , which the local map describes as a “Nature Reserve” ( some hundreds of square kilometers ) Europe’s 2 biggest stores ( named on the program ) use tens of thousands of metric tonnes of this timber a year, a worker in a furniture factory in the area, when asked said she had worked for this factory for 6 years and got $168 a month for 10 hours a day 6 days a week, Putins Russia !

      • I was just admiring your willingness to stay ignorant. Not only that, but to then proclaim that willingness to the world.
        I am in awe of your willingness to sacrifice your brain for the betterment of the rest of us.

      • MarkW on December 22, 2015 at 9:41 am
        – – – – – – – –
        MarkW,
        I don’t read crap by yellow journalists with articles that have titles like “US Landed Gentry” in tabloid newspapers. Having liked most of Eric Worrell’s articles on WUWT, I expected better of Eric Worrell.
        John

      • Wow, your indignation at titles that don’t measure up to your vaunted standards has me in awe of your moral strength.
        Be good, and never dirty your mind with an article that might offend you. Keep your mind pure of all such outrages.

    • I’m sorry if sarcasm offends you. However, commenting that you declined to read such a brief article due to the title says more about yourself than the article itself.

      • benofhouston on December 22, 2015 at 9:41 am
        – – – – – – –
        benofhouston,
        As I said to MarkW above,

        John Whitman on December 22, 2015 at 11:43 am

        MarkW on December 22, 2015 at 9:41 am

        MarkW,
        I don’t read crap by yellow journalists with articles that have titles like “US Landed Gentry” in tabloid newspapers. Having liked most of Eric Worrell’s articles on WUWT, I expected better of Eric Worrell.
        John

        John

      • PiperPaul on December 22, 2015 at 9:55 am
        Maybe there were too many words. You know, like TL;DR.

        PiperPaul,
        Yes, the “too many words” were Eric Worrell’s “US Landed Gentry”.
        John

      • Goldrider on December 22, 2015 at 9:51 am
        These days they can try to make a “class war” out of anything.

        Goldrider,
        I agree with you. So I was disappointed that Eric Worrell reverted to European-like class warfare gobbledeegook? E.g his “US Landed Gentry”.
        John

      • Eric Worrall on December 22, 2015 at 2:12 pm
        John, I’ve added an apology and explanation to the post. My intended target was rent seekers, not land owners.

        Eric Worrall,
        I have nothing but good will toward those who have spent their money on achieving a dream of owning unimproved land for the sheer pleasure of it. I did for a while. It gives one a deep tranquility that has no equal. It is great for kids and families.
        The issue of the parasitic practice of government perks to citizens willing to support its agendas is endemic is every single tiny facet of America’s culture. It is economically stupid in every tiny facet it touches.
        John

      • parasitic practice of government
        ================
        when governments start paying farmers not to plant crops, it isn’t long before everyone wants into the same business.
        CO2 is simply “not planting crops” writ large. My company announces plans to build a huge billion ton a second CO2 factory, then the government gives me a $30/ton credit to not build the factory, which I promptly sell on the market and pocket a huge swag of government money for doing absolute nothing all day.
        Pretty soon the whole country will be onboard with the idea of getting paid for doing nothing.

    • John, I appreciate that, to be grammatically accurate, the heading should have read “We Landed Gentry …” but boycotting an entire article because of a solecism like that is going a little far, don’t you think?

  8. “a landmark agreement that will commit ”
    How can a voluntary agreement with no enforcement mechanism, commit anyone to anything?

    • John Whitman,
      You may not like inferences of class warfare via terms like “landed gentry”, but be assured that class warfare is being waged against you. Think Ted Turner, Prince Charles… it’s a long list.

      • Alan Robertson on December 22, 2015 at 4:35 pm
        John,
        I mostly agree with your sentiment, but there are two sides to every story.

        – – – – – – – –
        Alan Robertson,
        Based on your many comments over the years, I am not surprised you agree with my sentiment.
        Indeed, two or three or even more sides to every story. The story needs sorting out in the most objective way possible. : ) There is a hell of a lot of work to do to sort it out. But, it is also great fun, I love it.
        Hope you and yours have a happy holiday season.
        John

      • Barbara on December 22, 2015 at 5:52 pm
        John Whitman,
        Would “green gentry” suit you better?

        Barbara,
        I still haven’t read the “US Landed Gentry demand Medieval Climate Tithes” article by Eric Warroll.
        But, as to what “suits” me, this comment by TonyL suits me,

        TonyL on December 22, 2015 at 10:26 am
        I am with John Whitman, above.
        “US Landed Gentry” makes less than no sense in America. We don’t do royalty here, and we don’t do a “Gentry” class here either, landed or otherwise.
        A “large woodland estate” would be any rural or semi-rural homeowner with a few acres to a few hundred. A lot of these people are already farmers, or live on what used to be farmland. Gentry indeed.

        Hope you and yours have a happy holiday season.
        John

  9. As a landowner, I have planted over 5000 trees and have also restored part as a wilderness habitat. I have never asked for, nor received a penny of compensation. I consider it a responsibility and obligation for the privileged of farming. It certainly wasn’t done for the purpose of climate control.
    Those that live and take from the land, are attached to the land, and are the best custodians of the land. Another reason why family farming is the best use of land and environment. Rent seeking will only result in further corruption and despoil. GK

  10. It doesn’t actually say financial incentives. Maybe we can just invent a new medal for those private woodland owners who do the best for global warming? Cheer them on? Have the President commend them publicly form their public spirit? You know, feel-good stuff. Let them show us the hope for the future through a change in their forestry practices.

  11. The Paris Agreement presents an enormous business opportunity – one guaranteed by the government. Think Solyndra.

  12. Well yeeeesssssssss, it seems simple enough.
    Own a few trees and get rich.
    Actually no. Lets think on.
    It is the same as every other scheme where a group/ any group of peeps are seen to be getting ‘Free Money’
    To be eligible for this ‘free money’ there will be rules to be followed, work to be done, equipment bought and people to be paid for doing said work.
    These people will be entirely aware of how much free money is going, when it is being paid and to whom it is being paid. They will ramp up their prices accordingly, and why not?
    The folks owning the trees will find themselves subject to vast amounts of red-tape and bureacracy for ultimately little reward. They simply become conduits for the money and get to see very little of it themselves while carrying the can if anything goes wrong. And in such schemes, the number of possible things that can go wrong increase every year as the scheme establishes itself.
    My being a farmer within the EU and obviously on the receiving end of vast Government largesse, I see how it works. I receive many glossy booklets/handouts every year detailing how to behave, how to ‘cross comply’, records to keep, how long to keep etc etc anf you bet, the word ‘penalty’ apears at least once on EVERY single page of those glossy booklets.
    One perfect example of where the money goes: UK vs New Zealand – subsidy vs no subsidy.
    Admittedly 10 years ago but, 5 litres of Roundup used to cost me £50
    The same size pack of the same stuff made by the same company (we know who they are) cost £5 in NZ.
    Also, how could NZ farmers grow lambs, pack them, freeze them and ship them 12,000 miles then sell them more cheaply than I could, growing them in a field 12 miles from the shop where they were for sale, side by side on the same shelf?
    How, I was getting The Big fat Subsidy and they weren’t. How did that work?
    So dont believe subsidy is just money for nothing, it is ultimately all about control. If you, as primary revceiver of said ‘free money’, fall foul of any of the myriad rules that come with this money, you are bankrupted, jailed, or as many farmers worldwide find themselves doing, playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun.
    These guys asking for the handouts are in fact turkeys voting for christmas/thanksgiving – delete as appropriate. Either that or making a pact with the devil.

    • Breakfast in the Br. Virgin Is., and Barbados, one notices that the butter is from NZ. Is there nowhere closer? EU regulations, explains the waitress. A fellow explains that Barbados produces the highest quality sugar in the world (proudly). He then explains how the entire sugar crop is consigned and sent to Europe, and the island must then import an inferior product from Guatemala for local use. No inefficiencies there.
      This is what the bureaucrats would do to your energy supplies.

      • I used to buy NZ butter in UK in the 1960s. Weird? but then the butter is the best!! The deep yellow comes from cows spending a lot of time outside. The sun manufactures Vitamins A and D on the cows skin. Watch them licking their skin a lot when out in the sun. In Europe and N. America, dairy spends most of its time in the barn – white butter! I had a farm in eastern Ontario in the 70s growing organic veg, lambs, pigs, chickens/eggs, ducks, geese, rabbits a holstein cow and a horse. Our butter was decidedly yellow in a dairy region where the product was decidedly white.

    • In 1973, New Zealand lost her primary market, overnight, when Britain was taken in to the Common Market by Heath. That move was voted on AFTER the event. That move brought with it all the EU red tape and regulation. EU directives instructing farmers to grow certain crops, ignoring crop rotation needs of the land. So we ended up with milk lakes, butter, beef, lamb and crop mountains that were literally thrown away. That was a big hit for NZ and I believe, if memory serves, farmers started to receive large subsidies to make their product more attractive to the rest of the EU and world. NZ produce/food/meats etc are some of the best grown/farmed available today and are exported globally.

  13. Let’s see now, years ago greenies wanted everything to go digital and avoid cutting down trees. Now they want to pay people for using wood. They assume that wood being used will not end up in an incinerator, producing CO2. Is this their plan? I suppose simply building another nuclear plant that could acheive everything this tree program could ever acheive would be too complicated.

  14. Now the greenies want sustainable forestry practices to control CO2 and fight CAGW. How nice.
    The same greenies go absolutely ballistic whenever anybody mentions logging. They are utterly unaware that the two are really one and the same. Worse, they cannot be educated because any mention of forest harvesting provokes such an overpowering emotional response that they cannot think coherently, much less engage in rational discourse. One might think that the poor greenie had been subjected to an extremely detailed and comprehensive program of “brainwashing” and mind control to elicit such a response.
    …Paved With Good Intentions:
    In my neck of the woods, environmentalists are largely urban creatures. This means Boston and the whole of urbanized eastern Massachusetts. The water supply for Boston and area cities (MWRA, google it) comes from the Quabbin Reservoir, a wonderful resource, and a truly pristine area. The water quality is pure and clean almost beyond belief.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quabbin_Reservoir
    As was standard practice when the watershed was established, vast acreage was planted with millions of pine trees. The plan was that as the forests matured, they would be harvested and replanted, so the reservation would provide forestry products and wildlife habitat as well as water. As I recall, the first harvests were scheduled for the late ’80s and ’90s. Well the urban greenies went wild and shut everything down with a well funded Lawfare campaign. In some areas, the forests have aged past their prime and are now beset by Pine Beatles. As a consequence, the forests are primed for destruction by fire. We are not talking about a ground level brush fire, either. What will happen is a forest floor to tree crown firestorm which will destroy everything. The heat will destroy and sterilize even the soil itself. The ash and fire debris combined with huge silt runoff ending up in the reservoir will utterly trash the water quality, possibly even for a hundred years or more. Not to mention the damage to the watershed itself.
    But We Meant Well:
    Several months after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 I visited recreational area at the southern end. To my surprise, the whole place had been closed off and secured against terrorist attack. Conversation with the State Police guarding the entrance revealed that they were from Eastern Mass. and previous to this assignment, has no idea that such a place existed. They further acknowledged that a terrorist attack would be an exercise in absurdity. Even the largest truck bomb imaginable would hardly scratch a structure such as Winsor Dam. All they really had to do was watch out for trucks, and visitors with nothing larger than a picnic basket were probably OK. But rules are rules.
    I found that the lack of awareness of the place demonstrated by the officers to be strictly the norm in eastern Mass. I very much doubt that any of the people who protested the operations of the Quabbin have ever visited the place, or know anything about it, other than in the abstract.

  15. The Holocene has ended we are 30 years into the Idiocene (alias the idiot scene). The Holocene abruptly ended with the appearance of “The Modern Climate Opium, cAGW”.

  16. I am with John Whitman, above.
    “US Landed Gentry” makes less than no sense in America. We don’t do royalty here, and we don’t do a “Gentry” class here either, landed or otherwise.
    A “large woodland estate” would be any rural or semi-rural homeowner with a few acres to a few hundred. A lot of these people are already farmers, or live on what used to be farmland. Gentry indeed.

  17. America will be denuded of its forests if fossil fuels are banned. Gotta keep warm somehow.
    That’s one way to solve the problem of what to do with all our trees.

    • @ H.R., 10.28 am : That is exactly what is happening in countries like Nepal and others in those regions from the Black Sea throughout the South side of the Himalayas, in all regions wood ( and dung of which there is less and less because a lack of energy prevents proper agriculture) is the main source of energy, One answer would be small propane stoves and heaters but nooo, that would be against the Green’s agenda. And @ John Whitham, I agree with your standpoint there are many times I read a headline and just pass on that and then go straight to comments and if there are reactions to the headline I may read the article just to see as to why how people reacted to it the way they did, nothing wrong with that at all it does save a lot of time!! .

  18. Peta in Cumbria and John Whitman make good points. We are initially upset that big landowners and corporations seem to be getting “free money” here; but the details of the transactions are quite different than the appearance. First, people who work within government are happy to administer these “handouts” as it provides meaning to their employment and a sense of power. However, they do not like anyone to be seemingly making money off these subsidies so they mandate all sorts of unproductive record-keeping, and economic inflexibilities, the opportunity costs of which are sometimes worth more than the subsidies. I know about this after having been involved in U.S.D.A. grain programs at various times. Amazingly enough the farmers involved in these programs, because they do not understand opportunity costs very well, always thought they were getting “free money” and were thus in favor of the programs too. There is also no point in complaining about “corporate” forests or farms–they are corporations alright, but most are family corporations, and others are public corporations that many people do not even know they own through pensions.
    Second, there is wide disdain for the “wealthy”, but recall that most of these people pay taxes out of proportion to their share of income, take large risks, give large amounts of money to charity, and sit as volunteers on boards and commissions that make a lot of America function. Most of these people are not cronies, and many are reasonable enough and well educated enough to become allies. There is not much sense in putting them on the other side of the battle right from the git-go.
    Third, no doubt there are people who will become rich from subsidies by exploring the margins of these programs and exploiting program oversights of design. These people typically would be labelled “political cronies”. Political cronies often use their wealth against the rest of us. They are not always simple to identify, as I discussed above, but they are those who should bear the brunt of everyone’s ire. And the programs themselves should be scrutinized and then opposed if they make no sense. Let’s not paint everyone with a broad brush.

    • Kevin Kilty on December 22, 2015 at 11:08 am
      – – – – – – –
      Kevin Kilty,
      Circumspect review. Thanks.
      I would add a question to your review. Why would a person expect another person with more wealth than himself or herself think the wealthier person needs to apologize for being wealthier? That is a kind of intellectual sickness. It is a trap for fools set by fools.
      Hope you and yours have a happy holiday season.
      John

  19. It’s all part of the Climate Hustle. There’s dough available, and possibly more coming. Those without moral scruples are busy elbowing their way in, to grab their “share”.

  20. Eric,

    Just what America needs – more welfare payments for the already wealthy.

    I take it then that you’d fully support the US ending it’s $20-30 billion/year fossil fuel subsidy?

    • The IMF claim of a ” Fossil Fuel Subsidy ” is even more unbelievable than than the ” Hockey Stick ” rubbish .
      They added up things like the cost of the Gulf war , road accidents & the cost of sea defences against rising sea levels to arrive at their subsidy figure .
      So I guess you forgot the ” Sarc ” tag , as nobody could be stupid enough to believe in that .

      • Eric,
        Businesses may get some tax breaks, but much more money could be brought into federal coffers by just selling some of the land owned by the government:
        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fd/US_federal_land.svg/800px-US_federal_land.svg.png
        The gov’t owns a lot more land than corporations:
        http://www.state.sc.us/forest/fra3.jpg
        Really, there’s no need for gov’t ownership of those vast tracts of land; individuals and corporations take much better care of land than the government.

      • BS Brandon Gates, pure BS. That fossil fuel subsidy thing has been debunked numerous times. How is it that you don’t know that, or do you, but spout that nonsense anyway?

      • Smokey,
        Much of the land on the map isn’t government owned. It’s owned by various Indian tribes. Osage County in northeastern Oklahoma on the map, for instance, is private land, even though a hundred years ago it was the Osage reserve.

      • db,
        i mistrust that map, because it definitely has errors. I see one large area in my home state of Oklahoma that is colored red, (along state’s N border, NE) but is NOT US government owned. That is, Osage County, which happens to be owned by individual landowners and is also considered as the Osage Indian reservation, which you will see detailed on most published maps. The US gov’t. might own a parcel here or there, but any pretense they might have of ownership of the county is wrong.
        I have to say that John Whitman and others have a point about class warfare and most landowners, farmers and ranchers.

      • OK S,
        Sorry, I didn’t see your post (needed to refresh screen, I think.)
        Osage county is still the Osage reservation. The Osage Nation owns all mineral and subsurface rights to County land, and there are other considerations, as well.
        In an interesting climate/renewable energy fiasco that played out in recent years, a large “wind farm” was recently built in Osage County, which required large amounts of limestone for the concrete bases of the towers. Limestone mined in the County carries a small royalty fee/ton to the Osage Nation. The Wind purveyors did not pay and when sued by the Osage Nation, the judge ruled by saying (paraphrased) “it came out of the ground and they’re putting it right back in the ground, so I don’t see where they should pay”. Many locals suspect that the judge’s retirement fund was clandestinely increased. The wind company also made payments to area town councils for “beautification” and promised that at least one local school district would benefit from increased ad valorem taxes, but then promptly claimed ad valorem tax relief (no tax payments) as the project came online. It’s a dirty world.

      • Eric,

        No. If American Fossil Fuel businesses are receiving preferential tax treatment, I would be in favour of extending the tax cuts to everyone else as well.

        Thank you. Preferential tax treatment is the American Way, and I think likely to stay that way barring massive changes in campaign finance at the Federal level. We’ll make good on our COP21 commitments before that happens, alas.
        I’m not opposed in principle to public support to critical industries like timber or energy, but how Washington decides what’s critical and what isn’t is … how shall I say this … a bit to prone to being influenced by industries who probably don’t need as much help as the politicians they’ve bought and paid for say they do.
        In The Real World,

        The IMF claim of a ” Fossil Fuel Subsidy ” is even more unbelievable than than the ” Hockey Stick ” rubbish .

        My source was Forbes, not the IMF: http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellynch/2015/12/02/energy-subsidies-2-real-numbers/
        One report described credible estimates for U.S. subsidies as being $10-52 billion annually, and gave their own number as $37 billion, of which $21 billion was for exploration and production (for the whole fossil fuel industry).
        The “one report” is from http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidies/ which is an activist site, not what I’d normally consider a credible secondary source, but it’s heavily referenced and … well Forbes calls it credible. I did do a little more digging and came up with this CBO report …
        http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/03-06-FuelsandEnergy_Brief.pdf
        … which puts the total tax preferences in 2011 at $20 bn, the vast majority being renewables. I can’t say I’m terribly upset by this finding.
        Alan Robertson,

        BS Brandon Gates, pure BS. That fossil fuel subsidy thing has been debunked numerous times.

        It’s pretty clear to me that the fossil fuel industry gets subsidies in the US. As with all such things gummint related, the multi-billion dollar question is “how much”.

      • So what if it’s from Forbes?
        Regardless, why do you think allowing a company to depreciate it’s assets is a subsidy? That’s where the biggest chunk of that so called subsidy comes from?

    • Hey as long as you’re paying for it no problem. We can always grow more. Might even work out a trade agreement involving Scotch. For every acre cut the forage for deer, grouse (ruffed, not your kind) and turkeys improves. I’m sitting smack dab in the middle of one of the largest forest on the eastern half of the country and it does play holy hob with the area’s ground level ozone.

  21. umm but doesn’t this “tree harvesting” fly in the face of the push years ago to “save the trees” that required stopping the us of plastic bags and other various wood products?? Also involved a spotted owl if I remember correctly. Make me wonder how many years before using wood would be evil again and the need to bring on the evil plastic bag would begin.. again… rinse repeat ad infinatum!
    Cheers,
    Joe

    • Joe C. :
      Saving some of the very last old-growth Redwood forests in California (and on Earth, because they don’t grow in most other places), habitat of the spotted owl and where trees averaged around 2,000 years old, from clear cutting, is/was a different can o’ worms than just “saving trees” in general.
      Many of the relatively sane forest management practices of today (like replanting and not clear cutting entire forests) were made in response to the devastation, including destruction of many salmon spawning streams that , back then, was commonplace after large corporations and a few could-care-less landowners were finished with “their” land.
      Infamous US Interior Secretary James Watt (R) ,appointed and later “asked” to resign by Reagan, and notorious for mixing his own brand of religion with official government policy, was at his heyday then (and later slapped with multiple felony charges related to his HUD dealings).
      Of course there have always been responsible forest harvesters too .

  22. “Update – my apology to land owners who are decent, hard working people who have never demanded a government handout, if you felt this post targeted you. That was not the intention.” Oh political correctness and the fear of causing offense!

      • Your spin in the situation seems pretty accurate. I do think that there will be a plea for forest subsidies “to save the planet”, and likely from larger forest product corporations.
        Even though I’ve planted some trees on property I owned over my lifetime, your article seemed somewhat tongue-in-cheek (or plain old sarcastic) in tone, and I certainly didn’t take it personally ,but apparently others missed this.
        Frankly, I enjoy the spicy articles like yours here at WUWT, but I guess some others only like the bland stuff.

    • Your thinking that your thinking might have caused offense, is proof of the offense.
      Just gotta change your thinking, …..we’ll get right on it.
      What did you used to think you owned ?

  23. Amusing. Where I grew up in Southern Ohio if you didn’t brush hog (mow) your so called pasture there would soon be a heavy crop of black locust (a tree) and blackberry canes. It was the standard protocol to do this every couple of years or there just wouldn’t be any grass for your cows. I am descendent of dry ridge farmers. Cows, did I say cows, well nobody keeps cattle very much there any more. The trees are back now and the black locust are followed on by hickory and white oaks. While there may be a few with some money, not many of my neighbors could be considered Landed Gentry, ha. But now, how exciting that you can make money by sitting back and doing jackchit. Ah, the wonders of a meddling government.

  24. Now I know true hikers will laugh when I tell them I hiked out 6 miles, before the blisters became more than just a sore.
    Then went another 3 miles, cus that lighthouse on the south shore of lake superior was doable.
    There are all kinds of things that run thru your mind when limping home with blisters, mostly bears, wolves and cougars (no not that kind).
    It was a learning experience to say the least.

  25. Actually, those forest owners should be paying a rental for the Co2 their trees are absorbing, and using. That CO2 belongs to the people as a whole, it’s not free for them to steal.

  26. Eric:
    I think you jumped to a conclusion regarding what this group is requesting. I did not read anywhere that they are demanding cash for keeping forests. I think rather this is just another case of an interest group tying what they want to do anyway to the latest policy fad.
    In 1969 one night on the Tonight show with Johnny Carson he pulled out a bunch of newspaper ads for products associating them with the Apollo moon landing, no matter how tenuous; some were hysterical. The only one I can remember now had a picture of a US Navy ship and the banner:

    Apollo tracking ships use Sealy Matresses

    Hucksterism: it’s not just for products.

  27. Actually, I predict that a study will be published soon that claims marijuana sequesters more C02 per acre than wheat, corn or soy. The obvious solution to meeting the our NDC from COP21 is to shift farm acreage from corn to pot. Of course this will create a surplus of marijuana product so government regulation will be required to accelerate its market acceptance. Fortunately Bob Dylan foresaw exactly this situation years ago:

    … everybody must get stoned

  28. I have a friend who farms and ranches some 83,000 acres, of which he owns 67,000 and leases the rest. He started with a quarter section (160 acres) which he purchased with his small savings and a bank loan. If his first crop had failed, he would have been wiped out. Despite his obvious success, he is just as much at risk each year as he was when he started. I know some number of ranchers/farmers and while they may differ in approach, or success, they all have many irons in the fire and constantly experiment and innovate, always trying to learn and improve their operation… I could go on… my friend is also one of my heroes.

  29. Eric,
    1. Tithes were paid to the Church, not landowners who had chivalrous duties.
    2. Rules concerning forests date back to late Saxon times and helped frame laws which led to the Magna Carta which gave peoples rights and responsibilities. The Charter of Liberties of 1100 re-introduced The Laws of Edward the Confessor which contained laws on forests.
    3. People could take branches less than 4 inches in diameter, anything wider was considered timber and for use of the land owner. Pigs are good for clearing bracken and other undergrowth.
    4. People could let their pigs forage in forests. Pigs love acorns and it gives the meat a rich flavour and are poisonous to horses.
    5. People could trap rabbits but not hunt game and collect mushrooms.
    6. Charcoal burning was common in forests, often produced from coppiced ash( hence the name).
    The USA may not have an official aristocracy but there are families who have lived off the dividends from family trusts since the end of the 19C. In fact, a British land owner who manages the estate and has to deal with gypsies, civil servants, contractors, clients and employees plus has served in the Armed Forces, has probably worked with a wider range of contacts than most people. As a friend who owns a farm which has been in the family for 250 years ” I do not want to do anything which ruins my family’s reputation.” When one goes into a Church reads the inscriptions of landowner and labourer in the war memorials one can see the bond between people from various classes l
    The major problem is from people who have made money in business, have no connection to the area and buy land without accepting the obligations and responsibilities which go with it , such as allowing local access. Large land owners such as the Forestry Commission and increasingly the charities such as the National Trust tend to have a cavalier attitude to their obligations and others rights.
    I expect many modern day forest owners would not like a return to medieval laws as it would enable people rights of access and rights to undertake money making activities on the land.

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