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'Carbon Footprint' Fraud

[Let me make my position below a bit more forceful - - - Dump the Huxley College of the Environment. Get rid of it. Throw it out of Peninsula College. It is a cancer among us. We are in the process of voting (May 2008) on a school levy. All well and good. But, ask yourself, "why bother?" When the kids are sent on to college they will be indoctrinated with nonsense and corrupted. The propaganda generated will also corrupt the community, and we will have to deal with the poisoned minds. It should also be noted that Peninsula College's "Center for Excellence" published the Huxley study. Excellence? Give me a break! Whoever is in charge of the Center should also be booted.

The school levy emphasizes technology. Again, all well and good. However, perhaps some concentration on critical thinking and how to detect falsehoods would pay greater dividends both to the students and the community. People with technical ability and knowledge, without the ability to tell right from wrong let alone good from evil, are a threat to every free society. The Huxley report is an example of wrong, most likely evil too. If there were true intellectual freedom at Peninsula College, we would see and hear a challenge to the report. (It probably wouldn't even have been written). If there weren't so many poisoned minds, the community would be up in arms already. It would seem that we are in a sorry state if things are so far gone. Please wake up and speak out].

The October 2007 issue of National Geographic Magazine made me say, “Whoa!” I was surprised by the 13.5 percent carbon dioxide attributable to transportation. My earlier research caused me to believe it was much higher, around one half. The difference seems to be because so much is now blamed on land usage and forestland. Then I came across something locally that made me wonder if there is not some widespread goofiness being practiced in determining the “carbon footprint.”

A recent local study concluded the Olympic Peninsula’s state and private forests were vast sources of carbon dioxide, CO2. [Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader or equivalent]. “Carbon Budget Analysis for the Olympic Peninsula,” published by Peninsula College (Huxley College of the Environment).

Investigating, I found it hid a ridiculous assumption by reference - - - “It is modeled after a similar accounting scheme written for King County in 2003.” Had the assumption (scheme?) been stated, the report would have been laughed off the Peninsula. As things are, those responsible should be run off.

The assumption can be found on page 63 (not divulged) of [Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader or equivalent]. the King County report.

In referring to net changes in the biomass, “Growth means that additional CO2 is being converted to trees and vegetation, while decline means harvest or decay is removing carbon from the forest for a most likely fate of becoming CO2 again.” This is short and concise. The only purpose for not stating it is to deliberately deceive.

The harvest is treated as if it had completely decomposed in the year of cutting! It is all converted to CO2. Is this standard practice in footprint studies around the nation?

Unless the lumber from those trees was shipped to Southern California, the likely fate is that it might survive a hundred years before burning or decaying. Right now, there is probably some young mind at San Diego State University putting together a local carbon footprint that includes the carbon released from all the recently (Oct 2007) burned buildings made of Peninsula lumber. Don’t we have some double counting going on? I believe the California student has a better claim to that carbon.

Also, the Peninsula report is not consistent. In one instance, that of electricity, it allocates carbon to where the power is used, not generated. Adhering to this method, shouldn’t some CO2 from our trees be allocated to the areas that use the lumber? If not, then we don’t need to include any fuel burned here. The footprint falls on Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Mexico, Alaska, etc. because they are the source!

Whatever the Peninsula report is, it is not science. It appears to be propaganda. Someone at the college has abused us and perhaps the students involved and soiled the name of a possibly still valuable institution. An investigation and a correction are in order.

Some extra for the serious thinker and would-be scientist:

Be cautious with your choice of words. Are we concerned with the carbon footprint or the CO2 footprint? Language does matter. There is more carbon out there in the forests than there is CO2, which may make it easier to confuse the public.

The report contained extraneous analysis that obscured what their assumption accomplished. For example, some logging practices were singled out. One example is “slash burning.” What difference does it make if the whole change is treated the same? The carbon was already counted in the cutting. It may be just an attempt to make their work appear legitimate, or sneak in some padding.

Also, they are not the only ones to gloss over the fact that God did not put catalytic converters on fire and most burning does not result in CO2 directly. A real scientist will want to find out how that carbon monoxide fits in God’s plan (For one possible part of His plan, See "Much Less Float") and how it becomes dioxide (Do a websearch on the exact phrase "carbon monoxide cycle"). This should lead to a realization of how evil “global warming” is.

Which leads me to challenge the words, “…for a most likely fate of becoming CO2 again.” I believe a real scientist could make this stronger since all the carbon from the forest will definitely become CO2. The only caveat is eventually, and it applies even to the stuff that is first monoxide, and it applies to the sacred federally managed forests. They will be logged, rot, or burn some day. So, are they not part of the carbon footprint? Some might even burn next year before our state and private timber even gets to California to rebuild what was destroyed. What if they burn within the next one hundred years before some of our state and private lumber becomes CO2? Seems to me that the only sure way to prevent it is never allow anything to grow!

(I believe I just discovered why they hate green lawns)!

The “arbor day” group was just claiming on TV that our national forests are decaying and burning at a higher and alarming rate and hitting us up for contributions. What kind of management is lacking here? Our Peninsula College report really loses it when they claim that we need to change practices on private and state land so they will absorb more CO2 from more fires in national forests that will be allowed to burn out.

The CO2 from electrical generation belongs at the power plant for footprint purposes because that is where the CO2 is --- that is part of my agenda, and we won’t go into that here. But, I wonder whether actual data were used or some factor assumed for this. We do not have much electricity produced in Washington from the burning of fossil fuels.

Someone does not want you to think about a "CO2 Footprint." That would fall too close to the truth. A footprint falls on the ground. It is a local phenomenon. You are supposed to look up at the atmosphere when you think of CO2. I think I just made a good segway into my Introduction (next).

Copyright © 2008, 2009 Donald L. Beeman. All rights reserved.