Tag Archives: Silviculture

The real worst and best cases of climate change

What do you want? The planet Venus? The current degraded Earth? Or a better world we know how to create?

What if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?
Joel Pett, Lexington Herald Leader, 18 March 2012, The cartoon seen ’round the world

Mostly I post about solar and wind power winning, which is what I think is happening. But sometimes it’s worth a reminder of what could happen if we do nothing about climate change, and I posted on my facebook page a story about that. Which actually didn’t go far enough to the real worst case. Nonetheless, that story has been attacked by numerous parties of all political and scientific and unscientific stripes for being too doom and gloom. Yet none of the attackers bothered to mention a best case beyond “the same world we have now”. I have news for you: the world we have now is an ecological catastrophe, and we can do a lot better. So here’s the real worst case, the current case, which is far from the best of all possible worlds, and the real best case, as I see it. Plus what we can do to head for the best case.

grinning fossilized skull

First, the story I posted: David Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine, 9 July 2017, The Uninhabitable Earth: Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think. Notice that word “could”, which a lot of his critics seem to have ignored. He didn’t say “will”, and he clearly labeled what he was presenting as worst case scenarios.

In case anybody thinks he was making any of that stuff up, Wallace-Wells has also linked to an annotated version with footnotes for every substantial assertion. The annotated version notes at the top: Continue reading

Sabal Trail destruction at Bell property, Mitchell Co., GA 2016-09-13

See for yourself what Jeb Bell was talking about to GPB, in these videos he sent of the destruction Sabal Trail is doing on his property. His father, James Bell, says it started immediately after a small protest Monday, and is plowing through gopher tortoise burrows, rare pitcher plants, large pine trees bulldozed and burned, and today within 300 yards of his house. James Bell the elder will be at the US 84 Withlacoochee River bridge 9AM this Saturday, September 17th 2016, to join the WWALS Watershed Coalition protest against Sabal Trail and the Dakota Access Pipeline, which are now owned by the same companies. That’s between Quitman and Valdosta, GA; see you there.

Sam Whitehead, GPB News, 15 September 2016, Sabal Trail Pipeline Plows Through Southwest Georgia, Local Opposition, Continue reading

Help fix land revaluation: come to Farm Bureau –Board of Equalization

Come to the Farm Bureau in two weeks to hear Tax Assessor staff present their updates and provide your input Contents for changes to the rural land revaluation, this time taking into account rivers, aquifer recharge zones, and uniformity. Maybe the Tax Assessors actually don’t want more flooding in Valdosta; both the City of Valdosta and GA-EDP have already shown interest in attending about that point.

At an appeal on my property valuation, the Board of Equalization stopped short of actually ordering the Tax Assessors to redo last year’s rural land revaluation, because staff volunteered Continue reading

Videos: Moody Family Housing doesn’t want to replace trees it cut down on Val-Del @ ZBOA 2015-08-04

They meet again today 2:30 PM.

Last month, ZBOA voted 5 to 1 to let Moody Family Housing have a reduction of 25% (half of the 50% they wanted) so as to include a requirement of native trees. Gretchen Quarterman made the motion, Paul Alvarado seconded, and Satrina Plyler (filling the unexpired term of Scott Orenstein) voted against.

See for more background.

Here’s a video playlist:


Videos: Moody Family Housing doesn’t want to replace trees it cut down on Val-Del
Regular Session, Valdosta-Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBOA),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 4 August 2015.

-jsq

Land is not just money: appeal tax valuations today

Appeal today if you think there’s more to land (or business) and woods and fields and streams than money, unlike the Tax Assessors, whose revaluation would drive development into agricultural areas of the county where it doesn’t belong, while avoiding populated areas such as the south side of Valdosta. We can expect pipeline companies and utilities from other states to think nothing of pillaging our lands for their profit. We shouldn’t expect that of our neighbors whom we elected Tax Asssessors. If you have affection for your land, your county, your neighborhood, today’s the deadline to appeal your valuation. And there will be an election later.

As Wendell Berry said,

Whatever has happened in what economists call “the economy,” it is generally true that the land economy has been discounted or ignored.

Are the Tax Assessors boomers? Are you a sticker? Wendell Berry explains: Continue reading

Monday August 10th deadline to appeal tax valuations –VLCoC

Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce members just got a message from Bruce Allred, Government Affairs Council Chairman, saying:

MONDAY IS DEADLINE TO APPEAL PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENTS!

You can look up your property on the Tax Assessors’ website: www.qpublic.net/ga/lowndes.

See also the LAKE Videos: Rural revaluation meeting at Farm Bureau 2015-08-04.

That Chamber message includes this useful information: Continue reading

Videos: Rural revaluation meeting at Farm Bureau 2015-08-04

See for yourself the Tax Assessor response to local landowners, in these LAKE videos of last night’s meeting at Farm Bureau. Do you think there’s a problem? If so, what do you think we should do to fix it?

The attendees appointed Gretchen to take notes. Here are her notes, followed by the videos.

Accessibility is not about access, it’s about geographic location…. That was done by one of our appraisers on staff. —Chief Appraiser Silas Hrobar

Rural and commercial land owners got surprises in the mail in July when they received the updated assessments of their properties. Lowndes County Assessors engaged a contractor last year to help with the reassessments of approximately 10,000 properties. Rural properties were categorized as small (under 20 acres) and large (over 20 acres) but complaints were the same, inconsistent and confusing application of criteria.

On Tuesday evening, Farm Bureau hosted Continue reading

Moody Family Housing doesn’t want to replace trees it cut down on Val-Del @ ZBOA 2015-08-04

2:30 PM today, should developers not have to follow code and put back trees on the unnecessary and environmentally hazardous Moody Family Housing on Val-Del Road? You wouldn’t know who this was by a pretty name like Azalea Commons, or an acronym like ACC Group III Housing, and only the board packet mentions Balfour Beatty, but it’s the same Moody Family Housing in an aquifer recharge zone that already had a sinkhole as admitted by a K Street lawyer to the Lowndes County Commission and told to them and to the Air Force by VSU professors that the Air Force proceeded to ignore in its environmental assessment and the Lowndes County Commission rezoned anyway. Staff recommend 20% “relief” from planting trees. How about the county get some relief from unnecessary sprawl?

They did provide a table of the trees they want to cut down.

Here’s the agenda, which is not on the City of Valdosta website, appearing here courtesy of Continue reading

Rural revaluation meeting at Farm Bureau 2015-08-04

Are Bill Gates and subdivisions really more important than agriculture or rivers or public transportation? Come to Farm Bureau tomorrow evening and find out what’s going on with the rural land revaluation. facebook event.

When: 7PM, Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Where: 3296 Greystone Way, Valdosta, GA, (229) 242-7876

By: Farm Bureau board member Buddy Coleman called this meeting.

What: Compare the Comprehensive Plan to this revaluation here (PDF).

Sprawl: sprawling residential growth is a certain ticket to fiscal ruin (Or at least big tax increases). PDF of the report by UGA Prof. Jeffrey H. Dorfman Lowndes County paid for in 2007, The Local Government Fiscal Impacts of Land Use in Lowndes County.

Who: At least some of the Lowndes County Tax Assessors Continue reading

Rural tax revaluation: Bill Gates and subdivisions more important than agriculture and public transportation?

Does this rural land revaluation map resemble the Comprehensive Plan Future Development map? Tax Assessors: Rural Land Accessibility Codes Why not? And why were rivers and public transportation not considered either by the Lowndes County Tax Assessors while tracts with road frontage were considered the “highest market area” and land purchases by Bill Gates were considered “benchmark sales” instrumental in pricing large tracts?

This rural land revaluation is yet another vehicle to drive development straight north into the agricultural areas of the county, not even stopping at the Withlacoochee River.

That way lies sprawl, which as Dr. Jeffrey H. Dorfman of UGA has said, “is a certain ticket to fiscal ruin* * Or at least big tax increases.”

The City of Valdosta better watch out! Much of this Continue reading