Official surveys

Michael Gochfeld gochfeld at
Wed Sep 27 07:26:22 EDT 2000

To add a comment to D Webster's remark on "official surveys" and 
spurious baselines.

Some anti-environmentalists in U.S. Congress (ca 1995) tried to prevent 
the USFWS and USGS wildlife people from using ANY data collected by 
amateurs or volunteers. I don't know whether that extended to any data 
collected by scientists outside the agency. 

This would, for example, preclude the use of bird banding data. 
Unfortunately I can't say whether they had ANY success in constraining 
the agencies in this regard. Maybe someone else on the list knows.

With regard to baselines.  I find it ludicrous that a government agency 
can recommend that toxic emissions be reduced to 50% of the 1995 value 
(knowing that the amount of reduction has already been achieved). 

Yet thazt seems to be the standard approach, backdate the baseline to 
make things look good and avoid having to make any further unpleasant 

Mike Gochfeld 

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