Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Neighborhood Watch

Remsen Belvedere, an internet construct is currently spoofing me on FaceBook.

I reported it to FaceBook of course. Creating fake accounts in order to harass people anonymously violates FaceBook Policy.

Reporting abuse is the best way for the larger internet community to self regulate. As our ability to communicate grows, so grows the size of our communities.

The internet and social media are a part of our neighborhood.  I see no reason to cede our neighborhood over to anonymous bullies.

Neighborhood watch is everyones responsibility. And I am very proud of the way the NH Forums community worked together to expose the sock puppet, Remsen Belvedere.

The question remains, who created it and what were their motives?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What does a Clear-Cut Forest Look Like?

Self described Student of the Forest and guest blogger at, Deane Rimerman, commented on one of my photo albums, Eradicated Area as seen from Claremont Avenue.

I don't know if he looked at the entire album or if he only looked at the cover. I find it hard to believe he could look at all the pictures I have of the eradication area and conclude it is a "traditional California clearcut..."

Here is his description, I assume he is only commenting on this single photo:

Looks like a traditional California clearcut... Most industrial timber lands in California look just as immature and structually impoverished as this stand of seedlings and saplings.

The foreground is eucalyptus wood chips piled 2 feet high.

I Googled traditional california clear-cut forest, and I must say, I saw no pictures that look like the riparian woodland on the south side of Claremont Avenue that I took photos of.

The traditional clear-cut looks more like this.

Traditional clear-cut coniferous forest

Deane then goes on to make unfounded claims regarding the carbon cycle, another topic of which he appears to lack understanding.
Of course it will be more than a century before an equivalent amount carbon is absorbed out of the atmosphere and locked up again on this site. 
I asked him if he had a reference that supports this notion, but he failed to respond to that request.

Two things I believe he is overlooking.
  1. The trees are not being removed from the site, therefore the carbon is still locked up at the site, and will be for centuries.
  2. The stunted trees beneath the canopy will pick up the slack once the nutrients and sunlight are no longer being hogged by the eucalyptus.
As far as I can tell, no one has done a quantitative analysis of the East Bay Hills eucalypti. The trees themselves store carbon for centuries, but since they outcompete all other native and non-native species for nutrients, the net carbon footprint could even be negative. Even if the Eradication Project is carbon positive, which I suspect it will be for the first 10-20 years, it is still negligible in the short term, and infinitesimal or even carbon negative a century from now.

Also at least a century before the previous vertical structural diversity that creates wildlife habitat is restored .
There is very little habitat created by the eucalyptus. Of all the trees targeted and removed so far, none have contained nests. The native canopy supports about 100 times the insect population of the eucalyptus canopy. Insects being a primary food source for birds... well here again, Deane is cherry-picking his facts to support his belief.

These last two sentences are a bit garbled. This appears to be a common symptom of the cognitive dissonance associated with trying to argue a false premise.
And since "facts" are so important to you, where are your "facts" that say that all the carbon off gassed via this clearcut is a benefits to the important need for carbon sequestration. 
The facts are, the Project's off gassed carbon will be insignificant, since the biomass will not be removed, but left to decompose on site. The carbon will be slowly released into the soil and atmosphere. Meanwhile the newly liberated native flora will increase their photosynthesis and carbon uptake.
Also where are your "facts" that say loss of whole stands of the world's biggest flowering trees are a benefit for at risk pollinator species?
Since eucalyptus are not native, removing them in favor of native flora is without question of benefit to the at risk native pollinators.

I have numerous Photo Albums full of pictures of a riparian woodland and young redwood forest.

Deane's only evidence is his claim to superior knowledge.

Well Deane, anecdotes and appeals to authority are not evidence.

If you have evidence that the following picture is a traditional California clearcut...

Claremont Canyon West of Grizzly Peak. Eradicated eucalypti and liberated forest/woodland.

not a traditional California native woodland, grassland, scrubland, and forest...

Please provide some, or stop harassing me with personal attacks (ad hominem fallacies) and specious arguments. (argumentum ad logicam)

Here are the other albums with more photos of the rich and diverse ecosystem, liberated from the oppressive eucalypti.

Sign post 24
Summit House Trail
Area 29 Restoration
Native Rain Forest
Native Rain Forest II

Monday, July 29, 2013

Who is Remsen Belvedere?

Being somewhat new to communicating on a forum via email, early on I overlooked information in the heading of the email by going straight to the text in the body. For example, I was having a public conversation with Remsen Belvedere when somehow the 'reply to' changed from the NH Forum and Remsen Belvedere, AKA Michele Drokolia, to just Remsen Belvdere.

I found the conversation to very informative. An excellent example of trollish behavior. So I published a transcript of the conversation on my blog. Remsen claimed that I had no right to publish what he characterized as private emails and made unspecified threats toward me.

Since it has recently come to light that Remsen Belvedere is not a real person... I have decided to publish the email exchange I had with the HCN sock puppet, after I had already published the transcript, beginning with my informing the puppet and providing a URL to the post.

My comments are in blue, (my favorite color) HCN sock puppet, Remsen Belvedere's in red.

I found this conversation to be informative, so I published a transcript on my blog.

I would like for you to ask me for permission

Too late for that.
Do you have any objections?

It's not too late to ask for permission, as I have neither granted it nor denied it. So again, I would like for you to ask me for permission.

That is like asking for cookie after I already ate it.
I have already published it.
I don't need your permission, but will consider any objections.

You are incorrect. You do need my permission. I will give you one more opportunity to ask me for my permission.

I don't believe I need your permission.
Show me the legal statute.

I'll do better than that. You do not have my permission to publish my emails.

I did not publish your emails. 

I published a transcript of our public conversation. 

I'm not here to provide you with a legal education. As I said, and as I am reiterating, you did not have permission to publish my emails and I reserve all rights to the contents of the emails that were sent.

You'll see why it matters.

Well good luck in your endeavors. 

Luck has nothing to do with it.

Online legal experts are a dime a dozen.

I'll believe you when I see an injunction.

Remember that your arrogance brought this on.

Now you are harassing me.

Nope, I'm responding to your taunt about getting an injunction. You'll soon find out how little you know.

It was not a taunt.
If you want me to take down the post...

I don't need an injunction. Stop violating my rights.

As we all now know. Remsen Belvedere is not a person. Remsen Belvedere is a sock puppet for the Hills Conservation Network. No action has been taken, because a sock puppet cannot seek an injunction. His threats were lies. 

The only person whose rights were being violated here were mine. Some anonymous person or persons have been harassing me on the North Hills Forum and via email for the last five weeks.

The HCN has infiltrated the North Hills Community and are tightly controlling the eucalyptus narrative on the NH Forum. Remsen Belvedere is just one example. 

I have some other interesting emails from the early days from Amanda Davenport that I will publish transcripts of in future posts.

She appears to be real person, not just a tool of the HCN. Although, as I will demonstrate in my next post, she carries their water.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Eucalyptus Globulus Exacerbates Drought Conditions.

Stunted native trees, deprived of light and water by the eucalyptus.

Our friend on the North Hills Forum, who goes by a pseudonym  Remsen Belvedere, because he doesn't want to associate his real name with his troll persona, challenged my conclusions that:

  1.  If a tree does not regulate it's stomata to slow water loss through transpiration during drought, it will dissipate more moisture into the atmosphere than trees that do close their stomata during droughts. 
  2. If the same tree, also has a predominately lateral root system extending out 100 feet from the trunk, one that is also very efficient at extracting moisture from the soil, even under high soil moisture tensions, the result will be less moisture in the soil, especially during the dry the season, within 100 feet of each mature tree.
So here is the comment by our anonymous friend. Let's dissect it. Light red is Remsen Belvedere, light blue is

Actually, you provided a source, but it in no ways backs up your conclusion.
My source does support my conclusion, as anyone with a capacity for critical thought can attest.
Read what your source says and then read what you concluded. In your mind the source may support your bizarre conclusion, but there is no actual link there.
This is called psychological projection, where he is projecting his own behavior onto me.
Your source stated that studies show that eucs are able to find water in drought conditions and thus are able to survive where other trees aren't able to survive. That's all your source stated.
Clearly, that is not all my source states:
They do not economize in the use of water but have wide-ranging root systems and an ability to extract water from the soil at even higher soil moisture tensions than most mesophytic plants. Transpiration rates remain high even when water supply from the soil is dwindling. 
My source also states:
Phytotoxins exuded through the pores on the leaf surfaces are transported by condensation, fog drip, and rain creating a ring around the base of an individual tree with a relative paucity of herbs. It was also proposed by Dr. Leisner, of the Department of Environmental Horticulture at the University of California, Davis, that another reason for the absence of other plant life beneath the trees might be the strong competition for water exerted by the trees, which outcompete other plants (Brown 1983). 
And then there is this description of the root system:
The root system of E. globulus consists mostly of strong lateral roots. An abundant supply of moisture is demanded. Since the roots grow quickly toward water, E. globulus should never be planted near wells, cisterns, water pipes, irrigation ditches, sandy or gravelly soils. Large roots have been discovered at a depth of 45 feet below the surface, and surface roots frequently spread over 100 feet away from the trunk (Sellers 1910). 
Obviously, my source states much more than his cognitively challenged mind comprehends.
You, however, jumped to the conclusion that since the eucs are able to find water, they must necessarily be depriving all other trees of water. Your source in no way stated that. You claim that it's logical to assume that, but that is exactly my's an assumption, not a fact.
As  we can all see from the snippets, my conclusions are clearly shared by the published biology and supported by the facts.
And it's a bizarre assumption. Just because one tree can find water to survive doesn't mean that it is preventing all other trees from finding water. This is why I asked for your source, and you have admitted that you're just assuming that it's the case. Unless you show a study where it was shown that eucs water use in a drought actually deprives other trees of water and causes them to die, your assumption remains nothing more than unsupported and illogical speculation.
Why is it illogical to agree with what is clearly stated?
Eucalyptus globulus out-competes native vegetation for space, light and nutrients.
Water being one of the nutrients that eucalyptus deprive the natives of.
Let me remind everyone of what you claimed: "[Eucs]  exacerbate drought
conditions, making the local forests drier and more fire prone by their
mere presence."
Yes, I did make that claim. And the facts clearly bear out that conclusion.
All your source said is that eucs are able to find water in a drought where other trees have already died. In other words, your source says that eucs are able to survive droughts better than other trees, but in no way is that source saying that eucs "exacerbate" drought and, in fact, the source says that where other trees die from drought, eucs can survive, and that logically means that the forest with eucs in it is less prone to fire, not more prone.
My source said nothing about finding water where other trees have died. In fact, it states that eucalypti outcompete, IE kill the other trees by sucking up all the moisture, until everything wilts. Then, because of their nature:
Eucalypts develop an abundance of hard tissue called sclerenchyma which gives them the ability to endure severe wilting without lasting damage (Pryor 1976). 
They suck the moisture from the soil, worsening drought conditions for nearby flora. When everything including the eucalypti wilt, the eucalypti survive and are the first to come back after the drought is over. Meanwhile, much of the rest of the forest is dead.

Eucalypti also take advantage of fire to eliminate competition from other flora. They supply enormous amounts of ground fuel while sucking the moisture out of the ground and dissipating it into the atmosphere, creating favorable conditions for wildfires. Eucalypti are able to survive fires. They are the first species to resprout after a fire, and given their other allelopathic characteristics, they have the enormous advantage over the native flora.
Again, until you find a source that says that the eucs actually deprive other trees of water in a drought your conclusion is as illogical and unfounded as most other things you say.
Here again he is projecting his own cognitive dysfunctions onto me. it is obvious that if eucalyptus outcompete other trees for water, and don't economize, they will deprive other trees of water during drought conditions. 

Eucalyptus are like the rich people with million dollar, water intensive landscapes, who refuse to economize during drought. They don't turn off the faucet until the last drop is used up.

The roots extend 100 feet from the base of the trunk.

With the eucalypti gone, the natives would take over, keeping the whole forest moister and less fire prone.

Stunted natives that would quickly fill the open spaces left after eradication.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

More Evidence of HCN bias.

I posted the following comment on the HCN website a few weeks ago.
The post; Forests Respond to Climate Change, was about how some tree species respond to higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations, by closing their leaf stomata.

Stomata size and density is used as a proxy for historic CO2 levels. Incidentally, Eucalyptus Globulus does not slow it's transpiration during drought.

Most eucalypts grow in localities where there is marked water shortage for substantial parts of the year. Therefore, they are adapted to seasonal drought stress associated with dry summers. Eucalypts develop an abundance of hard tissue called sclerenchyma which gives them the ability to endure severe wilting without lasting damage (Pryor 1976). They do not economize in the use of water but have wide-ranging root systems and an ability to extract water from the soil at even higher soil moisture tensions than most mesophytic plants. Transpiration rates remain high even when water supply from the soil is dwindling. It is only when severe permanent wilting occurs that there is stomatal closure which inhibits water loss (and, of course, also prevents gas exchange and photosynthesis) and enables the plant to survive a critical water balance situation for some time (Pryor 1976).

There were no published comments at the time that I left the one above. Today there is only one comment published. My above comment was censored by the moderator.

Why would the fact that Eucalyptus Globulus exacerbates drought conditions, and therefore catastrophic fire conditions, be censored on the HCN's blog?

They claim to want an honest discussion of the issue.

Are they lying when they represent themselves as objective?

The question was asked by the author;
Which species are becoming more efficient in their water use?
I offered an example of one species, Eucalyptus Globulus, that was not becoming more efficient in it's water use. But the moderator refused to publish it.

They claim to want an open and honest discussion and a democratic process. But they censor any comment that does not conform to their strictly controlled narrative.

The censoring of my comment is more evidence that the Hills Conservation Network is only interested in it's own narrow-minded agenda, and is severely lacking in credibility!

The truth is; Eucalyptus Globulus is often planted specifically to drain swampland. Not only does Eucalyptus Globulus excrete phytotoxins that inhibit germination and deplete the soil of carbon with it's calcium rich leaves, it also dries out the soil faster than native trees, outcompeting the native flora and exacerbating drought conditions.