Wow! Nice piece!
To those saying there are no clear demands...just read the thousands of signs people are carrying, there are a number of clear demands. But as stated above, the clearest and most important demand is that we need to overturn the Citizens United ruling. Money is not free speech, and corporations are not actually citizens with protected rights, a corporation is an abstract inanimate construct. A human being goes to the voting both a corporation does not (at least not yet). It is not a democracy when corporations get more of a voice than citizens. Only Human beings should be able to lobby congress. As we learned from the hundreds of thousands of people dead from tobacco, lobbyists do effect policy, until a decade ago people were still saying it is unclear if tobacco causes cancer, because of the lobbyists, now they are saying it is unclear if climate change is caused by humans despite 99% of scientists agreeing. Corporations should not be able to lobby our congress, only voters should. It is not a democracy if only the voices of those with the most money are heard.
My one criticism for Mr. Crowther is that you are continuing to perpetuate the stereotype that the only people out there are liberal college kids. Nothing could be more inaccurate. Perhaps that is the demographic of Occupy Chapel Hill but from other Occupy marches I have participated in There are as many over-40 people marching as under-30. There is the granny brigade, made up of over-70 grandmothers who are worried about the future of their grandchildren, and then there is the famous 84 year old Dorli Rainey who was peppersprayed in the face. I am meeting a lot of 40 t0 50-something families who are marching with children because their pensions have been gambled away by citibank while all along city bank was betting against the investments they were selling to clients or their houses have been foreclosed on because of predatory lending practices.
As to the insinuation that we are all far left liberals this is just plainly inaccurate. We are a non-political movement. We are a pro-democracy movement, yes it may sound like an oxymoron to be pro-democracy but not politically affiliated but I assure you that is the case. We are all inclusive of any political affiliation because we believe that in a true democracy all voices should be heard left and right..and center...not drowned out by corporate money. For the most part the people I meet are not far left, they are mostly moderate independents who are fed up with either side. As one ex-republican told me. "I am here not because I left the republican party, but because the party left me." so there are some from the right as well who are fed up with the republicans inability to compromise and get legislation passed that will help the average american. Corporate greed is not a left vs. right issue. Conservatives want to have their voices heard just as much as liberals. Don't forget, the most money in politics is spent courting independents, so as soon as politicians realize occupy is mostly independents they will be trying to get in on that.
As evidence by the occupy facebook page whose supporters are up to about 350,000 and continuing to grow a few thousand every day, this movement is just beginning, get involved now, old, young, left, right, this is about having all voices heard and listening to each other, not falling prey to divisive political labeling. I am learning that I have much more in common with most Americans than the politicians want me to believe. Come out to an Occupy General assembly near you and share your opinions all constructive voices will be listened to no matter what your political affiliation or age or other demographic label, experience what a real democracy feels like.
You can defend TLC all you want but until they are transparent no one will know the truth.
The argument is not about weather or not "managed" forests is the right way to go, it is about weather or not the organization is transparent about their intentions of how they use donors money. Not offering information to your donors makes the organization look like it is trying to hide something. TLC please come forward or this is seriously going to hurt your fundraising efforts if you aren't completely transparent.
Quite alarming! you are only recieving $2000 an acre for logged trees? it would be so much simpler to keep the trees and have a fund raiser that would bring in a lot more than $2000. I will no longer give my money to tlc until this issue is more tansparent I was under the impression that my donations went to preserve land forever. There are federally endangered species in White Pines Nature Preserve. Seriously? $2000 is all you got for an acre of land with federally endangerd plants on it? Go find another job, you are not good at the one thing this organization does..preserve land forever. A preserve is a preserve...not a tree farm. Not very smart people running the show. There are plenty of other organizations to give your money to that aren't wolves in sheeps clothing. No single tree should be cut, that was the contract you entered into when you took people's donations under the guise of "preserving" these unique ecosystems forever. There is so much other land for harvesting trees that are not in such unique ecosystems. Do not donate another penny until the leadership changes.
I love that suboxone is on this list! You can't get high on suboxone (literally)....it is prescribed for people addicted to opiates it makes it so you can't get high even if you shoot up heroine, hence you can't do other illegal drugs even if you want to, it is talked about as the first real treatment for heroine addiction, sounds like someone got their suboxone taken and is now probably back on heroine...good job cops! How about a little drug education for these idiot cops, next they'll be confiscating old ladies lipator. This list does not show you an accurate cross section of what types of drugs people use it only reflects the types of people who get themselves in a position to have their drugs seized by cops. Interesting to see that the people who get their drugs taken most are the stoners...haha. c'mon guys pay attention, wake up, look around you make sure there are no cops around before you light up, don't get cocky just because you are in the woods and its legal in cali.
I wish they would just leave non-violent people alone to smoke a joint and watch a concert. this has gotten out of control. I don't even smoke pot but this is not how I want my tax dollars being spent. I have never met a stoner who has negatively impacted my life, usually I find them kind and easy to get along with. How about worrying about 10% unemployment and the epidemic of poverty in the county rather than hunting down a little bag of weed from some highschool kid. What a silly campaign finding pot at a concert, its like shooting fish in a barrel, good way to scoop up some extra cash in tiny fines (no jail time since marijuana was decriminalized in north carolina, you just get a ticket) so it is obviously not to keep these "dangerous" people off the streets, it is just about scooping up some extra cash as always, which could never cover the cost of the actually having so many police out at the festival. not to mention the negative vibe that will start to turn away the very people who travel to silk hope twice a year to inject their money into that economy. Not too smart those cops.
"This is uneven-aged management aimed at replicating the 'natural process' ."
NoNymbs, for over 400 million years trees have been able to actually manage themselves. A natural forest left alone will become an uneven-aged forest very quickly as ice storms cull out some and fires cull out others while pine beetles cull out others in fact its impossible for a forest over 50-60 years old to have trees of all the same age. It is our enormous egos that make us think we can manage forests like this better than they can manage themselves. I never said I wanted all the trees to look the same, it has nothing to do with aesthetics, and assuming that residents are somehow being dishonest is quite disrespectful, these people live here because they have a great love of the natural world not because they feel they can control the world around them, quite the contrary, one lives in the country because it reminds us we have no control of the inevitable ebb and flow of the natural world of which we are a part of. By living in this surrounding we learn to submit to the natural order of things including life and death.
The comments made only go to further show what is truly important for people like yourself, that is Control and Ego and recognition from your peers over your perceived mastery over the natural world. As evidenced by your comment that you "were responsible establishing more longleaf pine trees than myself" the true colors of the human condition emerge, why is it always a pissing contest? I don't care what you have or haven't done in your life because when all is said and done we will die and the forests will continue on, it just would be nice in my lifetime to witness a forest left to its own It is really an amazing experience to walk in a forest left to its natural state, that is truly natural state not some logging company's idea of mimicking a natural forest by clear cutting, how is that natural? Not sure how anyone who is interested in this topic can argue that selling off all the trees in a forest and using chemicals that have been proven toxic to humans (especially so close to an important watershed as the cane creek) is somehow mimicking nature. It is absurd.
Dr. Mike, beautiful words!... you sound like someone who has great perspective of our place in this universe. Perhaps a reading of the Tao Te Ching is in order at the next public forum. ;)
We seriously need to learn to live without putting up so much resistance to the natural course of things the world around us is constantly seeking equilibrium and balance on its own, though we may have good intentions we tend to further set back that natural harmonizing process when we foolishly interfere with this naturally occurring balancing process. Some how hundreds of species managed to find balance in these forests until we added one more species homo sapien. What is so different about humans is that we have unchecked egos and desires and assume we can intellectualize our way out of a situation. Let nature be. it has proven to be self balancing for many millions of years without any help from "smart" humans.
"Loblolly and Longleaf pine trees did exist in NC for hundreds of years through regular forest destruction and regeneration"
I'm sorry NoNimbys but that is just not true. That is the sole reason only 3% of the original longleaf pine distribution exists to this day what you call the need to cull "over-mature" trees is another word for continued deforestation of these precious ecosystems. There are plenty of historical distribution maps and a number of organizations who are working very hard to figure out a way to hang on to the remaining Longleaf stands. One such organization is Americas Longleaf Initiative http://www.americaslongleaf.org/ here you can see the historic distribution. While many see them as just boring stands of pine trees that need to be "managed". Ecologists realize that long leaf pine stands are only second to rainforests in the diversity of wildlife which they harbor. They are home to at least 29 threatened and endangered species that we know of. At one time there were 90 million acres of this type of forest across the southeast while today there is only 3.4 million acres in broken up tracts making it impossible for animals to have the range they really need. As for the suggestion that somehow cutting these forest down will help with the southern pine beetle infestation is akin to suggesting we all kill ourselves in order to avoid an outbreak of the flu. The truth is that the little we know about the cause of southern pine beetle infestations points to continuing outdated forest management styles as a big factor, the other big factor seems to be soil moisture content which is for the most part out of our control. We really know very little hard science about these infestations so to suggest the destruction of a forest as a solution is just unfounded science and is really based on hoping to harvest sellable lumber before some of it gets infested with pine beetles. -Leaving only the weaker younger new growth to defend itself against against the next generation of infestation. older trees do much better at defending themselves form naturally occurring situations like fire and infestations.
"Leave it to the experts and you will see the results and can hold them accountable, and thank them."
Sorry but water experts and for profit logging companies are not the folks who should be making decisions that have to do with the management of our states precious ecosystems, we should be turning to the real experts, they are the unbiased not for profit sector of scientists who deal in ecology, biology, microbiology, etc etc etc.
"Overmature forests" Ha ha...I love this silly logging term. We are a nation with the equivilant of only forests full of teenagers. North Carolina has only a very tiny area of old growth forest left deep in the smoky mountains and a stand of ancient cypress in swamps on the coast (two tiny places that were only left untouched because it would cost more to remove the trees than they would be worth, it's always about profit).
Forests don't need to be "managed" when they become "mature" quite to the contrary that is when forests begin to return to their natural state and begin to once again support the vastly diverse ecosystems that only this latitude and terrain can sustain. We have a uniquely mild climate and terrain able to sustain plant and animal species from as far as northern canada to as south as Florida. North Carolina forests are unique in that we hold the record for the state with the most plant/animal diversity. Those numbers are slowly dropping however. Just at the point when our forests rebound from hundreds of years of destruction we are once again going to start the cycle of destruction. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we become the first county in the state to have a 100+ year plan for restoring some of our old-growth forests. Why do you live in this area? it is the natural beauty that keeps many here...we do need to grow that is inevitable as more people move to NC for its beauty, so lets keep rural areas rural and focus on growing our city centers, making them more appealing with better public transportation and urban planning initiatives...that is the only sustainable model.
And why would a company who's sole job is to provide clean drinking water be so interested in using known containments to poison others drinking water even if the risk is small why even take the risk?
The only way to prevent this type of thing from happening is to support organizations like the Triangle Land Conservancy who purchases important land for the purpose of long term preservation.
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