We love how Brent Curnow, one of the officers involved in the infamous elk killing on Mapleton Hill last January, got off with a bit of a slap on the wrist this week, thanks to a plea deal.
And it would have been more of a slap on the wrist if it hadn’t been for a certain 1,000-pound elk named Samson, which suffered a similar fate near Estes Park in the mid-1990s.
After a poacher killed the majestic Samson, locals who had grown to love the elk that regularly roamed around town were appalled that the penalty was only a few hundred dollars, so after a public outcry, in 1998 the state legislature approved higher fines for illegally killing trophy animals. The legislation, dubbed “Samson’s Law,” tacks on mandatory surcharges of between $4,000 and $25,000. (The biggest fine is reserved for bighorn sheep, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife.)
In the plea deal, Curnow is serving a year of probation and 60 days under house arrest, as well as completing 120 hours of community service. He got three felonies and a misdemeanor dropped and is serving a deferred sentence for a single felony charge. The four misdemeanors he pled guilty to carry a maximum fine of $1,000 each. The court did not assess those fines, according to District Attorney Stan Garnett.
But thanks to Samson, Curnow has to pay a $10,000 surcharge. Thanks, Samson. You did not die in vain.
What climate change?
The climate change deniers are still having trouble dealing with the truth, apparently.
We got this dandy press release from The Heartland Institute trumpeting a new report from something called the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).
Now, don’t be confused. This group is not the reputable Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC.
See what they did there? Theirs is “nongovernmental” instead of “intergovernmental.” So, no government involvement. Hence, credibility, right? Damn governments. Especially those pesky elected ones that have to be accountable to the voters.
Anyhoo, this report purports to provide “the scientific balance that is missing from the overly alarmists [sic] reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which are highly selective in their review of climate science and controversial with regard to their projections of future climate change.”
Whew! We’re sure glad we have you right-wing, non-scientists looking out for us. Remain calm, folks, there’s no need to reduce your carbon emissions — or, for you frackers out there, your methane emissions — the warming pattern we’ve been seeing is just a naturally occurring drop in the bucket, a mere 100 years compared to the millions of years of big-picture changes the Earth goes through of its own volition.
How pompous of us to think that humans have any effect on the climate!
Please accept our apologies, we’ll immediately stop recycling and riding our bikes instead of driving.
To make sure we give credit where credit is due, it wasn’t just the Heartland Institute producing this drivel. It was also such esteemed organizations as the Science and Environmental Policy Project and the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. Household names.
What’s that? You’ve never heard of them? Shocker.