What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 17, 2012

The Trib Leaving Stuff Out. Again.

Yep - our friends on the Tribune-Review editorial board are leaving stuff out again.  Just enough to fill you, their loyal readers, with an incomplete understanding of the issue.  And as always, I suspect that's the point.

The issue at hand is in California:
Error-riddled “science” used as the bogus basis for ruining a Northern California organic oyster-farm business is beyond outrageous.

National Review Online details the struggles of Marin County‘s Lunny family, their Drakes Bay Oyster Co. and 30-plus employees against the National Park Service and Interior Department, which want the farm for a wilderness area.
Here is the NRO story.

The braintrust ends with this:
Contending they‘re being deprived of their property without due process, the Lunnys are taking their fight to court, where they deserve to prevail. If they don‘t, Goodman warns, a precedent favoring perversion of science for extreme environmentalism‘s sake — an Obama administration hallmark — could be set.
And this leads us to their biggest omission.  It all depends on the definition of "their property" because, you see, the land that the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. was on wasn't actually owned by the Lunnys.  And how do I know this?

From the third paragraph of the NRO piece:
On November 29, Ken Salazar, secretary of the interior, announced his decision not to renew Drakes Bay Oyster Co.’s lease on National Park Service land about 30 miles north of San Francisco.
Before reading about this, how easy was it to assume that the Obama guv'ment was looking to seize the Lunny's land on the basis of some faulty science?  Next question to be settled would be about the lease - how old is it, how long did the Lunnys know about it and so on.  Here's something that might help from the San Francisco Gate:
Kevin Lunny, a local rancher who bought the shellfish operation from Johnson Oyster Co. in 2004, said he was shocked when he got a call directly from Salazar on Thursday morning telling him that the 40-year occupancy agreement would not be renewed.
The lease (which you can read here) is 40 years old and they have to have known about it for 8 years.

If you read it, you'll find that the owner of the Johnson Oyster company sold the land, buildings, etc to the guv'ment in 1972 for $79,200 (about $436,000 today, adjusted for inflation) and retained "a reservation of use and occupancy for forty (40) years."  So the land, the buildings and so on weren't the Lunnys to begin with.

The Trib does mention the rider that Senator Diane Feinstein inserted into a 2009 appropriations bill.  Here's the text of that rider:
SEC. 124. Prior to the expiration on November 30, 2012 of the Drake’s Bay Oyster Company’s Reservation of Use and Occupancy and associated special use permit (‘‘existing authorization’’) within Drake’s Estero at Point Reyes National Seashore, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to issue a special use permit with the same terms and conditions as the existing authorization, except as provided herein, for a period of 10 years from November 30, 2012: Provided, That such extended authorization is subject to annual payments to the United States based on the fair market value of the use of the Federal property for the duration of such renewal. The Secretary shall take into consideration recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences Report pertaining to shellfish mariculture in Point Reyes National Seashore before modifying any terms and conditions of the extended authorization. Nothing in this section shall be construed to have any application to any location other than Point Reyes National Seashore; nor shall anything in this section be cited as precedent for management of any potential wilderness outside the Seashore. [Italics in original.]
Now about that science.  Did you know that there was a peer-review of the science used by the Department of the Interior's decision not to extend the 40 year lease?

Not if you only read the Trib's editorial.

Here's what they found:
Overall, the reviewers found the analyses to be appropriate, and that there is no fundamental flaw with the larger scientific underpinning of the DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Statement). The identified scientific misinterpretations, or lack of citation of appropriate literature are for the most part minor, and can be rectified if the NPS so wishes. This may also include making some additional adjustments to interpretation, and explicit acknowledgement of the lack of information on some key issues.
After reading all this, now go back and read the Trib's (heretofore incomplete) editorial.  How much was left out to make a point?

But all this is beside the point isn't it? Because this editorial was NOT ABOUT OYSTERS.

Now go back to the first and last sentences.  When the braintrust mentions "error riddled science" in the first and a "perversion of science for a for extreme environmentalism‘s sake — an Obama administration hallmark" in the last, what do you think they're talking about?

This was not about oysters.  It was about climate science.  To the braintrust, it's another example of science being misused to promote a political agenda.

And they're still wrong about that.

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