Busy year, but Cons Blog lives on in our minds. Perhaps a triumphant return next year.
Sub-headline: as usual, it blows up in their face. News is coming out that the Office of Management and Budget blocked NOAA from releasing its worst case scenario estimates for the oil spill. Seriously? OMB? A spokesman said “”The issue was the modeling, the science and the assumptions they were using to come up with their analysis.” Right… so you hire a world-renowned (and officially recognized genius) scientist to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and then some economist in the budget office tells her organization they aren’t doing the modeling right?
This one’s for all of us who never thought we’d live long enough to one day hear Oprah Winfrey describe a kimono dragon hunting a water buffalo.
from New York Magazine :
Nature is prospering in New York. Yes, the otters, minks, bears, and mountain lions have long since disappeared. But nature as a whole—the ecosystem that is the harbor—never went away. In fact—and this may seem implausible—nature is in many ways more plentiful in New York City than it is in the surrounding suburbs and rural counties. New York is again a capital of nature; we are an ecological hot spot.
[Edit: and a Brashares lab member, Laura Prugh, interviewed by the Science Times about Coyotes today. /TB]
I like all my metaphors for bureaucracy to be in the language of game hunting.
No naming names, but I just read a paper that used Wikipedia as a reference.
The Millenium Ecosystem Assessment (2000) predicted that the carbon market, then worth about $300 million annually, would be worth approximately $10 – $44 billion in 2010. By 2008, it was worth $126 billion.
In the mid- to late-90s, there were a slew of papers (e.g. Costanza et al. 1997; Pimentel et al. 1997) estimating the economic value of global biodiversity. Estimates ranged from about $16 to $54 trillion. At that time, world GDP was about $30 trillion. So, a question: has human economic output finally exceeded natural economic production? When? Did anyone even notice that it happened?
p.s. A mountain lion was shot and killed near Chez Panisse earlier this week [thanks Clare].
In case you hadn’t noticed, consblog has been on hiatus due to field work outside of the deathly grip of the internet. See you in the fall.