Conservative News & Commentary

Aug 21, 2011 — by: B. Franklin
Categories: Culture

Ideas are usually based on assumptions. Sometimes the best way to see whether an idea works or not is to dig deeper than the idea itself and test whether the assumptions are true or not.

For example, the KBRA’s dam removal proposition is based on the environmental and tribal assumption that dams along the Klamath river are the cause for lower fish populations during the 20th century. This argument assumes that had dams never been put along the Klamath river fish populations would have remained the same (higher than today). Moreover, the argument also assumes removing the dams now will return fish populations to a level reported before dams were built along the river.

On the other hand, there is an argument against dam removal which is based on the assumption that there are other, significant reasons for lower fish populations. These arguments assume that what happens while fish are in the ocean for four years matters just as much, and perhaps even more, than what happens during their journey along the river. This argument assumes making the river pristine as the wind drive snow won't matter much because the major issue isn't being addressed — what happens to the fish when at sea?

Neither of these assumptions are spoken about much. Instead action is the word of the day. We must do something now to save the fish. But really that is just silly-talk. If your house was burning down and the fire crew pulls into your drive way you don't want them to do just something. If that were the case, they might start watering your garden to protect it, or digging trenches around your house to prevent the fire from spreading. Worse yet would be if they poured gasoline on the fire thinking that might help. Perhaps some  fire "expert" has a theory that adding enough gas to the fire will cause a massive explosion that will temporarily remove oxygen from the area and starve the fire. No. You don't want the fire crew to do just something; you want them to do the right thing. That's why it is highly important that the fire crew fully understand your fire before moving into action. And this is exactly why much of a fire crew's down time is spend understanding the nature of fire and the different types of fires so they can make the right decision when called upon.

While that illustration may seem simple, it still applies to our river, fish and dams. We don't need our leaders to just do something now. We need them to really make sure they understand the problem — the real reason(s) for lower fish population. If they don't and just take action, some “expert” might drive us to throw gasoline on the fire and then we'll all be without.

4 Comments

  1. Royal Croc ~ Aug. 21, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    Very good analogy with the fire fighting illustration. With the 'salmon problem,' there really isn't an 'assumption' needed regarding relating the dams to declining fish numbers. There references alone should suffice (but more are available too) in place of making 'assumptions:' 1. Chapman, D.W. (1986). “Salmon and Steelhead Abundance in the Columbia River in the Nineteenth Century,” Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 115:662-670. 2. Gilbert, Charles H. and Barton W. Evermann (1895). A Report Upon Investigations in the Columbia River Basin, With Descriptions of Four New Species of Fish, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 3. McDonald, Marshall (1894). Report of the United States Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries on Investigations in the Columbia River Basin In Regard to the Salmon Fisheries, Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 4. Stone, Livingston (1878). The Salmon Fisheries of the Columbia River, United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, Part IV, Report of the Commissioner for 1875-1876, Appendix A, Inquiry into the Decrease of the Food-Fishes, Appendix B, Inland Fisheries, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. Marshall McDonald’s 1894 report, The Salmon Fisheries of the Columbia River Basin, (Reference #3) states that “the investigations made by Professor Evermann and the parties under his direction establish conclusively the fact that there has been a very great reduction in the number of salmon frequenting the head waters of the Columbia River and its tributaries. This decrease is more notable in the main river.” Reference #3 (dated 1894) also states that “they were abundant in the Columbia River at Kettle Falls as late as 1878. Since then there has been a great decrease. They have been scarce since 1882. Since 1890 there have been scarcely any at Kettle Falls.” In addition, this report (dated 1894) also states that “there is no reason to doubt- indeed the fact is beyond question- that the number of salmon now reaching the head waters of streams in the Columbia River Basin is insignificant in comparison with the number which some years ago annually visited and spawned in these waters. It is further apparent that this decrease is not to be attributed either to the contraction of the area accessible to them or to changed conditions in the waters which would deter the salmon from entering them.” The 1878 report (Reference #4) presents two (2) daily water temperatures for the Lower Columbia River at Clifton, Oregon; for the period from May 10, 1875; through August 14, 1875; with water temperatures exceeding 68 Degrees Fahrenheit (20 Degrees Celsius) being noted after July 17, 1875. Seems like both the "problems" of declining fish resources AND water temperatures being above 68 degrees F were around decades before the dams were in place.... No assumptions are needed what so ever about this; from my perspective..... #
  2. Finnious T. Fogbottom ~ Aug. 21, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

    The wacked base line Fraudulent, stupid or incomplete science isn’t the only home of fundamental misassumption undergirding the demented power structure which is holding the decent and productive and our related futures hostage. One of the strangest are the presumed and spoken rights and resultant recompense which some have been able to successfully glean arising one way or another from the wrongs done by the long dead to long dead relatives etc. In reality it is the grievous wrongs and even a few rights which caused the formation of the family trees from which we have all dropped. Regardless of how horrific and tragic one’s family history has been, without all of that none of our parents would have met and we would not have brought us into the world, imperfect as it is. So then, when the productive and decent are sued to cease and desist (directly or symbolically) aren’t the plaintiffs as such also in the same way suing themselves to cease to exist? Can’t have it both ways you know! Let’s let the dead sue the dead so we can get on with living before we all loose the ability to make a living and some other new master comes in and takes up residence it what we and our kind now call home. After all we do have to be careful in that respect as there is not one square inch of earth that hasn’t been fought over and killed for over and over and over and over again. So if we want our warped justice system to put an end to civilization as we know it all we have to do is to continue to allow them to adjudicate every conflict of the dead past until we too are the dead past. Just some junk food for thought in the ILLogical war against the KLamath. Or is that junk thought for, or, or. Oh well. Best regards, regardless, Finnious T. Fogbottom #
  3. kbirrigator ~ Aug. 30, 2011 @ 8:30 pm

    Ben has the right idea. These assumptions are never spoken out loud since they are so far fetched no one would really believe them if they are out in the open. But of course, I only assume this to be the case. #
  4. William Wilberforce ~ Sep. 16, 2011 @ 1:08 am

    Regulations are the sticks and incentives are the carrots that government uses to mold our society to its will. The problem today is that both have gone wildly beyond common sense and any semblance of economic reason. Both the stick and the carrot are inflating the costs of everything, chipping away at our freedoms, and destroying our ability to compete and innovate an a nation. Government at all levels seems blind to these fundamental economic facts. So much so, that they are accelerating and expanding draconian regulations and nanny state, government-will-think-for-you incentives. The root causes are a strikingly liberal academia and huge voting blocks of Americans that are largely insulated from economic conditions. #

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