Thursday, October 29, 2009

Walden Students Trying to Destroy World's Forests

There is a great commentary in the Wall Street Journal today that should be of interest to Walden students but probably won't ever be brought to their attention by their teachers. It is entitled Sins of Emission and I will paraphrase the commentary.

A new peer reviewed study published in Science takes a look at the way that "carbon emmissions from biofuels are measured in climate-change programs world-wide" and has found a "critical accounting error."

"The cap-and-trade programs run by the United Nations and European Union - and maybe soon the U.S. - treat biofuels as carbon neutral" ... because, "Since plants absorb and store carbon that is already in the atmosphere, burning them would create no new emissions, whereas fossil fuels release CO2 that has been buried for millions of years."

The "critical accounting error" occurs because these programs do not account for changes in land use. So, for example, if mature forests are cleared to make way for biofuel farms, the carbon that otherwise would have accumulated in the forests ought to be counted on the balance sheet. It isn't. So if Malaysia burns down a rainforest to produce biodiesel to be used in Germany, "Malaysia doesn't count the land use emissions and Germany doesn't count the tail-pipe emissions."

The politically created accounting errors create incentives that might, according to the study, "displace 59% of the world's natural forest cover" by the year 2050. "The reason: When bioenergy from any biomass is counted as carbon neutral, economics favor large-scale land conversion for bioenergy regardless of the actual net emissions." ... "In other words, not only is cap and trade self-defeating on its own terms but it also risks creating a genuine ecological disaster."

Be careful what you wish for kids!

You can read the Wall Street Journal commentary here.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Denis, you must need some more attention. It is an obvious trend in your postings; not many people comment, you say something criticizing Walden. This post is obviously only here to get comments; why do you think Walden students support biofuels or are not taught about the negative aspects of them? At least when you have posts about Walden at other times, it is actually about something real, even though you twist it. Seeing all that blather on the Racine Post has made you jealous. Don't deny it.

Anonymous said...

Its a little sad and pathetic about a 50-some year old adult male trying to pick verbal fights with teenagers.

Anonymous said...

amen

Denis Navratil said...

OK anon 5:55, I will admit that I like tweaking Walden students and that it is arguably a tad immature. I also enjoy a good argument and I find that Walden students are at times up to the challenge. But the main reason I like to tweak Walden students is because my experiences with many of them are that they are supremely self assured about their environmental viewpoints and that that self assurance is not warranted. Now that is not to say that they aren't bright kids, but unfortunatley for some it borders on arrogance that really does need to be challenged - for their own good. And finally, it seems that for some of these students, their environmental activism resembles a religious cult insofar as they are entirely unwilling to consider alternative points of view such as the one presented by the Science and the Wall Street Journal.

Denis Navratil said...

Oh, I almost forgot. Anon 555, 615, and 624, what do you have to say about the evidence presented by Science and the WSJ? Or would you rather just attack the messenger?

Anonymous said...

We aren't denying "the science of the Wall Streeet Journal," Denis. Nobody ever was. Not Walden, not anyone commenting on here. You are making up enemies for your ridiculous debates.

Isn't it interesting that only "other" people are arrogant and have unwarranted supreme self-assurance? Think about how other people think of YOU. It might get scary.

Denis Navratil said...

Anon 8:28, if you agree with Science and the WSJ assessment, why don't you join me in challenging the students that believe otherwise? Please explain.

And I would like to point out that I am not supremely confident on extraordinarily complex phenomenon such as the factors which contribute to the world's climate. But where I am supremely confident is that I think it is wise to question those scientists, students, washed up politicians etc...who would have you believe that they have it all figured out and that the debate is over etc... I would suggest that there is a huge difference between what it is that I am supremely confident in (namely questioning those who claim to be certain about the causes of exceedingingly complex phenomena)and what the global warming, now climate change adherents, are supremely confident in. And finally, I am neither scared or particularly interested in how people think of me.

Anonymous said...

For the third time, Denis: THE STUDENTS DON'T BELIEVE OTHERWISE. Like I already said, you are making up opponents for your "debates."

And since you are so dedicated to the pursuits of science, why do you selectively believe what Science Magazine tells you? Let me ask another question that has to do with Science: What does the magazine say, in general, about the existence of manmade Climate Change?

LMAO said...

"A tad immature"? You flatter yourself. "My experiences with many"...insert wild generalization not supported by facts but smug arrogance.

You just wipe that smirk off those self-assured students Mr. MiddleAgedMan and let us all know when you graduate to becoming a gossipy middle school girl.

Anonymous said...

Apparently kids these days aren't down with the concepts of irony, sarcasm - and humor. . .

I was uaware that there was a "Science Magazine" - there is a journal named "Science", arguably 9along with "Nature") the top scientific journal in the world. I would enjoy hearing about publications in Science that anyone on this blog has read.

Denis Navratil said...

When did the Walden students appoint an anonymous spokesperson? Really anon, if Walden students agree with the assessment by Science and the commentary by WSJ, then why were they demonstrating for a UN treaty that would result in massive deforrestation? For the third time, answer that question anon.

Anonymous said...

So stil wondering why a 50+ year old man wishes to...as Dennis put sit..."tweak" a bunch of teenagers?

John Christensen, Walden Student said...

Picking a fight for the hell of it, Denis? That's mature. Why don't you pick on someone else, I'm sure there are some preschoolers somewhere who want to say gravity is real and you'll tell them they're moronic because you found some website from God knows where that explains Newton never existed and that it was a hoax made by Al Gore and that they can't prove there's such a thing. And then you'll tell them there's no Santa Clause because you are unusually mean without comprehensible reason. I bet seeing little kids cry makes you feel like a big man. And why does everything in Racine have to revolve around the bloody Waxxies? Let's blame them for everything, that'll solve all the world's problems. God forbid they give Racine citizens jobs so they can feed their families. They're only a problem because you make them one.

And, our "Environmental activism resembling a religious cult." What's that about? The only class that we learn anything close to Global Climate Change is in the Ecology class and we read from the books that parents voted on. And we learn both sides, we just choose which side seems more sensible to us. The entire Walden population doesn't believe in Global Climate change. The Green School committee does and we've only ever done positive things. We bought solar panels and installed them on our roof which only saves energy (God forbid), we made an outdoor classroom and a rain garden meant for educational use (God forbid we learn something in school that doesn't have to do with Waxxies and the damn poverty level), and we had a rally, which only the rest of the world also participated in. You can put up whatever websites you want that claim whatever you want. I could make a blog that explains that the world was actually flat and that there was no Civil War and Obama is actually an Alien come to destroy America, but, what would be the point? Only bored 50+ year old men argue for the sake of arguing. Why don't you go help the poverty level and pick up some litter around town since everyone expects the youth to do so. You can deny Global Climate change all you want, as is your right, but calling out Walden is a little rude. We're not the only school that accepts the theory.

For a recap; your credibility is zero because you use the internet to back your information and for all you know the scientists that conducted your research could've been payed to make fake results. My credibility is zero because I haven't done any first hand experimenting and we really don't learn anything about Global Climate Change in class. I can babble on about the Industrial Revolution and it's affects on the Earth and as well as Greenhouse gases and the layers of the Earth, but that's about it. Contrary to believe, we don't really learn about Global Climate Change.

Oh, yeah, and you're just jealous that you never got a good education, so you pick on the ones who get the best. Pity pity pity.

Denis Navratil said...

John, you are really helping to make my point. A serious science publication and a reputable newspaper suggest that UN and European climate change policy - that you are rallying for - may well result in an ecological disaster. But your lengthy diatribe does not even touch on the issue, other than dismissing it as you would someone who thought the world was flat. And this is why you are comparable to a religious nut John - because you are afraid to face any evidence that might challenge your belief system. That might be a grand strategy to keep your ego intact, but will it help the environment you supposedly care about? John, if you really do care about the environment - presently your behavior suggests you care mostly about John feeling good about John's heroic environmental activism - you would consider the very best arguments that differ from yours. But instead you dismiss them in a very insulting manner. Sure, you can say I deserve it as it was I who set out to "tweak" Walden students. Yes, I did, primarily as a means to engage you folks and to poke a little fun. Get a sense of humour John. Lighten up a bit and let us have a discussion on the topic that I brought up. Give it a try. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Denis, you arrogant fool, for a most entertaining blog.

Judge Mental said...

When I saw the headline, I knew the fireworks would fly with that one.

For those of us who know Denis personally, we can attest to his wry sense of humor. No malice is ever intended when he tweaks the Walden kids. This is probably done to elicit as many Walden responses as possible – and hopefully get them thinking and reading about other viewpoints. With that said, the argument that Deni s makes is a valid one – biofuels are not as good for the environment as the greenpeace/sierra club crowd has led people to believe.
Walden graduated a couple great thinkers last year – Sam Braun & Michael Gibson . They both presented their ideas with facts and in rational tones. It’s time for the next generation of Walnuts to step forward – perhaps one of you can play devil’s advocate with your teachers and peers, and learn something new by looking at things from another perspective.

Anonymous said...

I don't know which posts you were reading, but Michael Gibson was an arrogant little snot who spewed the Gore (Al, not Vidal) world view while listening to, well, nothing.

Judge Mental said...

Anom 4:25 I'm not agreeing with the young Mr. Gibson's viewpoints, merely that I can't recall him ever making personal attacks on Denis. Haven't seen him post anything for quite some time.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't his viewpoints, it was his attitude - and yes, I recall him being quite insulting to Denis as well as others. You're right, I haven't seen him here in a while, off at Harvard or Columbia apparently.

Anonymous said...

Write a blog, snark at your community members, pick fights with kids and then cry because someone disrespected you.

Whatta big baby.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Ghost of Gibson is back.

Denis Navratil said...

Hmmm, lots of insults but no attempts to address the substantive challenge on environmental policy. C'mon Walden, I thought you were just named an excellent school. Or was that just a Wisconsin version of the Nobel Peace Prize?

Anonymous said...

They want to stand out there protesting, telling adults that they are being irresponsible if they don't listen, then if you say something to them "you're picking on kids". You have learned the concept of victimology well, Grasshopper. . .

Anonymous said...

"Me Denis! Denis Wants Attention! Waaah!"

Sorry, no time to argue about how biofuels are not the biggest concern with 350 or the rally. There are many ways to reach 350 parts per million of CO2.

I have theses to be written, James Joyce to be read, material to be studied, etc.

Anonymous said...

Hi Denis, I am a Walden student. I am in dire need of your help.

Every day I walk unwillingly to every class dreading every moment.

As I take a seat in one of the broken or crooked desks, one of our so-called "teachers" hands out another indoctrinating article about man-made global warming, left-wing environmental policy, or whatever other garbage they love to throw at us. It's awful. This happens during EVERY CLASS. Even cooking class! It's not even fair. During the winter months, I shiver due to our ancient windows and think to myself, "Global warming? I'm dying here!" I would do anything to go to that heavenly school, Prairie, where they can afford necessities, such as windows that work.

If you mention anything that is against the teachers' viewpoint, they shoot you down and send you to the Walden dungeon. They strap you down, gag you, and glue your eyelids open. Then, they force you to watch "An Inconvenient Truth" and "The Eleventh Hour" on loop until the end of the school day. They tell you to keep your mouth shut because no one will believe you, but I'm sick of this. I won't be silenced.

And you're absolutely right! Teachers refuse to tell us that the topic is still being debated. They don't want us to know about the other side. The side that believes and KNOWS that global warming is a terrible hoax. I feel solace knowing that there are freedom-fighters like you in this world of doomsayers and lefty radicals.

May Allah bless you Denis.

Anonymous said...

THE LIBERALS HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING ME EVER SINCE I WENT TO THAT TEA-PARTY RALLY. THIS IS NOT A JOKE. THEY WERE OUTSIDE MY HOUSE THIS MORNING, AND WHEN I LOOK IN THE MIRROR, I SEE THEM BEHIND ME!!!!!
THEY'RE AFTER YOU TOO, DENIS, I HEARD THEM TALKING ABOUT YOU IN THE RADIO THAT THEY IMPLANTED IN MY ARM WITH THE H1N1 VACCINE.
IF I AM KILLED, YOU KNOW WHO DID IT. SEND MY STORY AND THIS POST TO RUSH LIMBAUGH IF THEY GET ME, THEY WILL KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:28
Thank you for telling us about the injustices you face at that terrible place that they call a school. I am glad that someone has had the courage to expose that place for what it really is. I've suspected as much for years, but have never had enough solid proof to go on. Again, thank you, and know that your sacrifice will not go unnoticed.

Anonymous said...

When I applied to Walden, they made me sign a contract stating that I fully supported the use of biofuels!

Michael Gibson said...

I'm back. I have been away for a while because I have been busy at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse.

I have yet to read the article from "Science", but I did read the commentary from WSJ and got the gist of the ideas reviewed in the article. I thought it actually brought up a very interesting point, one which I had not previously thought about.

Biofuels, such as ethanol, are derived from plants like wheat, corn, and other starchy or sugary plants. These plants, of course, draw carbon out of the atmosphere as they grow. The energy produced by these plants (whether it be for food or electricity) can not be harvested until the plant has matured, and thus gathered carbon. If there is deforestation in order to grow plants for these purposes, there will not be a carbon surplus created from carbon that was there and can no longer be absorbed because new plants will be put in place that will absorb the carbon. Now I understand that a mature forest can probably absorb more carbon than a corn plantation, but we can harness useful energy from corn, not a forest.

Now a note to my former classmates:
I am disappointed that none of you offered an argument directed towards what Denis has claimed here. Stop the personal attacks and instead use facts and logic to support your ideas. It will not only make you appear more intelligent, but it will also be more effective in shutting Denis up. (Just joking Denis, I actually don't want to see you shut up. I think the new generation of Green School kids needs you so they can practice their debating skills.)

Anonymous said...

And who are you, person posing as Michael Gibson?

Anonymous said...

Ahahahaha. Nice try, "Michael Gibson." Sorry, impersonation won't work here.

"(Just joking Denis, I actually don't want to see you shut up. I think the new generation of Green School kids needs you so they can practice their debating skills.)" gave you away.

Denis, honey, we need you. Without you, we are nothing.

Michael Gibson said...

You really think I would spend the time to hack into a Google blog account? That is laughable. I am, in fact, Michael Gibson. Its too bad you're only known as Anonymous. I guess its a fitting name for someone so dense.

Anonymous said...

Wait, what? Your post confuses me.

"You really think I would spend the time to hack into a Google blog account?"

Who is "I" referring to? Since you're Michael Gibson, why would you need to hack your own Google blog account in the first place? I'm sure this is an honest mistake or I'm just too dense to see through your extravagant lyricism. Please clear this up for me.

(I'm sorry, IT'S a pet peeve of mine. IT'S hard to take you seriously without the usage of proper grammar.)

http://englishplus.com/grammar/00000227.htm

Anonymous said...

There is only one reason why I doubted that it was really you. The Michael Gibson that I knew didn't talk like a stuck-up tool. I stand corrected.

Denis Navratil said...

Thanks MG for your comments. Walden students could learn something from you. And learn they must, as the only offerings they have had here have been personal attacks - the lowest form of argument.

Michael Gibson said...

Ok, Anonymous, have fun picking apart my typos and minor grammar errors while dodging the entire point of this post. You know it's not that hard to get an account on here. You might want to think about getting one so we can tell you apart from the who-knows-how-many other Anonymous replying on here.

Anonymous said...

What you don't understand is that that is the point of my post. The point of my post is to avoid the point of the post which is not the point of the post, you see? You guys are just so unreasonable! I try to make a serious conversation, and you say I'm making personal attacks! I'm bewildered. Dumbfounded. I refuse to continue posting on this blog. I have to start packing for Disneyland, my wife's yelling at me, the kids are crying, the laundry machine is broken, the guys want to have a Packer game party this weekend, and the boss says I'm slacking. What's next? People on the internet telling me I'm the lowest form of a person.

"That is laughable. I am, in fact, the Mighty Michael Gibson. Here to save the day!"

http://i742.photobucket.com/albums/xx65/rpost12345/PhotoFunia-16ab570.jpg

Anonymous said...

You let us know when you actually pick up a copy of Science and read a single page of it Mikey boy -

Michael Gibson said...

You have way too much spare time.

Anonymous said...

Denis-
If personal attacks are the weakest form of argument, where does that leave straw man arguments?

Anonymous said...

Get a life.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

John said...

Found this blog by accident. It caught my attention for whatever reason. The problem I noticed is that Denis and Anon are debating two different subjects. Denis is trying to debate "Walden students backing biofuels in order to be "green" vs. the effects of using biofuels not being "green"". Anon is debating "Denis is an ***hole vs. Denis is a ******bag". I don't know Denis, and I don't know Anon, but I do feel that since Dennis started the debate, his debate holds precedent. Anon, you have the freedom to post what you want on the blog, but you are not dealing with the issue Dennis brings up. If he is a jag off, so what. If he is immature, so what. He brought up a point and is looking for a counter point. Call him names if you want but provide a counterpoint that relates to this subject.

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