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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:55 pm 
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Mikwut is fond of disparaging my quips upthread, but the fact still remains that he cannot come up with an even slightly plausible reason why the vast majority of the world's climate scientists should be regarded as more unreliable than the hugely wealthy and powerful fossil fuel industry who have such an enormous vested interest in denying the reality of AGW, even if true.

In addition, his claim that third world countries can only afford to improve their economic success by relying heavily on fossil fuels is seriously outdated and oblivious to the most recent developments:

Developing countries lead in clean energy.
Quote:
The West may have begun the clean energy revolution, but developing countries are no longer playing catch-up – in fact, they are now leading the way

Renewable energy used to be deemed unaffordable for developing countries. Wind and solar were rich country luxuries, while third world economies could only be expected to grow on a diet of dirty fossil fuels. As recently as June 2014, Bill Gates blogged: “Poor countries… can’t afford today’s expensive clean energy solutions and we can’t expect them to wait for the technology to get cheaper.”

However, the past two years have seen this received wisdom turned on its head. Latest figures from the United Nations Environment Programme and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) show that in 2015 total clean energy investment in developing countries actually surpassed that of developed countries for the first time at $156 billion compared with $130 billion.

Taking the lead

The biggest renewable investors included Chile ($3.5 billion, up 157 per cent) South Africa ($4.5 billion, up 329 per cent) and Morocco ($2 billion, up from almost zero in 2014). India saw investments rise 22 per cent to $10.2 billion while China, now the world’s biggest investor in renewable technology, spent $102.9 billion on renewables (36 per cent of the world total).

If you consider investments relative to annual GDP, the top five investors globally were actually Mauritania, Honduras, Uruguay, Morocco and Jamaica. Meanwhile, Costa Rica is remarkably close to becoming the first developing country to have 100 per cent renewable electricity.

Renewable energy used to be deemed unaffordable for developing countries. Wind and solar were rich country luxuries, while third world economies could only be expected to grow on a diet of dirty fossil fuels. As recently as June 2014, Bill Gates blogged: “Poor countries… can’t afford today’s expensive clean energy solutions and we can’t expect them to wait for the technology to get cheaper.”

However, the past two years have seen this received wisdom turned on its head. Latest figures from the United Nations Environment Programme and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) show that in 2015 total clean energy investment in developing countries actually surpassed that of developed countries for the first time at $156 billion compared with $130 billion.

Taking the lead

The biggest renewable investors included Chile ($3.5 billion, up 157 per cent) South Africa ($4.5 billion, up 329 per cent) and Morocco ($2 billion, up from almost zero in 2014). India saw investments rise 22 per cent to $10.2 billion while China, now the world’s biggest investor in renewable technology, spent $102.9 billion on renewables (36 per cent of the world total).

If you consider investments relative to annual GDP, the top five investors globally were actually Mauritania, Honduras, Uruguay, Morocco and Jamaica. Meanwhile, Costa Rica is remarkably close to becoming the first developing country to have 100 per cent renewable electricity.

“Wind and solar power are now being adopted in many developing countries as a natural and substantial part of the generation mix,” says Michael Liebreich, chairman of the advisory board at BNEF. “They can be produced more cheaply than often high wholesale power prices; they reduce a country’s exposure to expected future fossil fuel prices and, above all, they can be built very quickly.”

While Europe is looking to more expensive offshore wind options to appease not-in-my-back-yard voters, many developing countries are happy with cheaper on-shore and solar options. This in turn means the companies selling those technologies are increasingly looking towards emerging markets. Total renewable investment in Europe actually slipped 21 per cent to $48.8 billion in 2015 and today’s growth market is in the global south.

Kirsty Hamilton, an expert in renewable energy investment at Chatham House, outlines the mix of factors at play, including cost-reductions, strong government policies and investors actively looking for opportunities. The big European projects, such as Germany’s Energiewende, may have driven the growth in renewable energy technology, says Ms Hamilton, but recent political flip-flopping has seen investors “head to the least risky countries”.

Developing countries can now afford renewable energy and the major energy corporations can’t afford to miss out on these growth markets


It may be true that increasing nuclear power capacity is, at least initially, an essential part of the mix of strategies to successfully replace our dependence on fossil fuels, but I am not entirely convinced that this is necessarily true.

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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:43 am 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
The price of generating wind and solar is competitive with nuclear, but there is a huge amount of infrastructure to be needed before we can stop using oil,


I think we might be talking past each other on this point. What I was saying is that the technology to largely decarbonize our electrical grid already exists and is economically feasible to switch over to. We could theoretically have a new-deal style government program that subsidizes this transformation without too much of an economic shock (i.e. not sending us into an economic depression). What we lack is the political will to make it happen. This seems like a relatively good deal given the projected costs of global warming looming on the horizon.

I think this differs from other aspects of what decarbonization looks like. By contrast, it's still not really clear how we are going to decarbonize agriculture and and maintain sufficient output to feed people without there being a major economic shock or people unrealistically going along with significantly changing their eating behavior.


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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:56 am 
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EAllusion wrote:
By contrast, it's still not really clear how we are going to decarbonize agriculture and and maintain sufficient output to feed people without there being a major economic shock or people unrealistically going along with significantly changing their eating behavior.


Unless action is taken to cut carbon emissions and stop global heating, a country like the US will in eventually find:

(a) Its agricultural output, far from being 'maintained' starts to fall as areas now productive for (e.g.) grain production cease to be so with rising temperatures.

(b) People end up "significantly changing their eating behavior" simply because they can no longer obtain sufficient quantities of the foods they prefer to eat.

Maybe things will seem clearer then?

But nah, no need for hard choices, because Jesus will have returned by then, or else the present generation of politicians will be either be dead or enjoying cushioned retirements in habitable countries. Then we'll see what that Greta kid and her cohorts can do when they have to face up to the real world ...

[One thing they may feel like doing by then is to pass laws and launch prosecutions against the old guys who did nothing when there was still a chance to avoid disaster. Don't forget the 'we will never forgive you" bit in her speech.]

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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:10 am 
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Chap wrote:

(a) Its agricultural output, far from being 'maintained' starts to fall as areas now productive for (e.g.) grain production cease to be so with rising temperatures.

(b) People end up "significantly changing their eating behavior" simply because they can no longer obtain sufficient quantities of the foods they prefer to eat.

Maybe things will seem clearer then?



Agriculture is heavily dependent on carbon emission producing methods in several ways. Some of these are transformable with present day technology with significant, but manageable steps. For example, going to electrical farm equipment over fossil-fuel based options then generating that electricity in a carbon neutral manner.

Some of these are not nearly as easy to transform without there being a substantial cost that will have huge impact on GDP in the short term. For example, going to fertilizers that don't involve major carbon footprints or drastically reducing fertilizer input to almost nothing.

And some of these are related to the types of things people eat. While there is technology to make animal gases and manure less carbon emitting than it is now, the technology does not exist to decarbonize it in an economically feasible way. Remember, we have to stop emitting carbon into the atmosphere at this point - not simply slow the pace at which we are adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

So given what you are saying? Maybe. But I seriously doubt you'll be able to make the US go quasi-vegetarian in present day circumstances. People probably will need a cost shock to modify their behavior.

In the meantime, the realistic goal is to cut into the carbon emissions produced by agriculture and try to create as much carbon sink offset as you can.


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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:31 am 
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Biodiesel for farmers.
A growing number of farmers are making their own biodiesel to run their farm equipment. Not only to they save a lot of money by doing so, the biodiesel burns better in their engines and reduces wear and tear on them, because of its lubricating properties. Burning biodiesel doesn't emit sulfur into the air, which is a serious pollutant, and they don't cause a net increase to atmospheric CO2 because they only return to the atmosphere carbon taken from the atmosphere in the first place by the growing plants from which the biofuel is extracted.

Quote:
One of the many benefits of biodiesel is that it can be made from a long list of oil vegetable or animal oils. The list of seed crops that convert beautifully into ASTM-D6751 grade biodiesel includes sunflower, safflower, canola, camelina, mustard seed, peanut, olive, soybean, rapeseed, jatropha, sesame, palm, cottonseed, coconut, etc. and the list continues to grow. We've selected a few interesting crops to call out below, but there are many others. (See links on biodiesel made from animal tallows below).

As a result, we are seeing a growing number of farmers take the plunge and choose to make their own fuel. All a farmer needs is a BioPro™ and a seed crusher, and he can reduce his fuel operation bills significantly. We have yet to meet a farmer who isn't making their own fuel with a BioPro for less than the cost of regular diesel.

Harvest the oil seed crop, crush the seeds, collect the oil, process the oil in a BioPro™, sell the remaining high-protein bran as cattle feed, and save money!

Johhny Davis (pictured at left) is doing it.
Johnny is a semi-retired farmer and owner of the ARCO feedlot in DeWitt, AR. He operates a BioPro™ 380 and SpringPro™ T76 drywash system. With this set up, he is capable of producing 100 gallons every 13 hours.
He is one of several farmers in the Arkansas Delta region that is working to convert camelina and other winter crops into ASTM-grade biodiesel


Click on the link for other case studies of farmers who produce their own biodiesel.

See also: School Teaches Farmers to Brew Own Biodiesel

and: Energy Independent Farm concept

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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:03 pm 
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Biofuels aren't truly carbon neutral. There's more that goes into the production of them than growing plants. That said, powering farm equipment is probably the least intractable problem to getting agriculture to a carbon neutral state.


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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:27 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
Res Ipsa wrote:
The price of generating wind and solar is competitive with nuclear, but there is a huge amount of infrastructure to be needed before we can stop using oil,


I think we might be talking past each other on this point. What I was saying is that the technology to largely decarbonize our electrical grid already exists and is economically feasible to switch over to. We could theoretically have a new-deal style government program that subsidizes this transformation without too much of an economic shock (i.e. not sending us into an economic depression). What we lack is the political will to make it happen. This seems like a relatively good deal given the projected costs of global warming looming on the horizon.

I think this differs from other aspects of what decarbonization looks like. By contrast, it's still not really clear how we are going to decarbonize agriculture and and maintain sufficient output to feed people without there being a major economic shock or people unrealistically going along with significantly changing their eating behavior.


Wouldn’t be the first time. :wink:

I see big plans by some utilities to modernize their grids. Edison in SoCal is spending billions over the next ten years. Right now, the Continental US has three independent AC grids, which run as isolated systems. There are some DC interties, but I don’t think they provide the inter connectivity that wind and solar will need. I saw a facility proposed in Texas to connect all three grids, but couldn’t tell if it had been started. Maybe it’s all technically possible, but I haven’t seen any large scale test of the tech involved in the grid upgrades. We’ve got lots of eggs, and I’m not comfortable tossing out the nuclear basket at this point.

I don’t see nuclear as a panacea or a significant long-term player. Just a bridge to decarbonizing that sector.

And I do agree with you that the agricultural sector will be very tough. We’ve known for lots of years that biofuels are not much better than fossil fuels when it comes to greenhouse gas production. They exist in the US simply as a farm subsidy. The big problem is cattle and cattle feed. Not sure how to tackle that.

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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:44 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
Biofuels aren't truly carbon neutral. There's more that goes into the production of them than growing plants. That said, powering farm equipment is probably the least intractable problem to getting agriculture to a carbon neutral state.

Nevertheless, the biofuel itself is carbon neutral. There is no carbon in biofuels that did not originally come from the atmosphere via photosynthesis.

Having said that, I still realize that carbon neutral farming involves more than just using biofuels for farm equipment.

What does ‘carbon neutral’ farming mean?

Quote:
You may have heard the term ‘carbon neutral’ in relation to farming practices that are better for the environment; but what does that mean exactly?

In a nutshell, it is a system that abandons traditional tilling (plowing) on farms and promotes the use of cover crops that help the soil absorb more water and store more carbon dioxide. This combination minimises the loss of fertile soil from wind and water erosion. Moreover, crops have the potential to store at least as much carbon as soil carbon instead of releasing it as greenhouse gas emissions.

Today, after the energy sector, agriculture is the world’s second-highest emitter of carbon dioxide. Key tools for a farmer such as fuel, fertiliser, manure and other inputs used to grow crops also release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHG) back into the atmosphere. Mike Lohuis is an agricultural environmental strategy expert at Monsanto, and is developing Monsanto’s strategy to address climate change by reducing a farmer’s use of these tools. “By turning crops from ‘net emitters’ into ‘net sequesters’ of carbon, carbon-neutral cropping can be an important tool for mitigating the amount of GHG emissions from agriculture,” said Lohuis.

Monsanto’s global target is to be carbon neutral in its own operations by 2021. The company is working with an external analytics company, ICF International, which has been commissioned by Monsanto to independently assess the GHG reduction potential of several crop-based strategies. This means accounting for emissions on the field as well as upstream emissions associated with inputs such as fertilisers.

Initial results by ICF show that near-term strategies could reduce cropland emissions by one third to half of current emission levels. The most effective strategies with the biggest potential for farmers are precision nutrient management, cover crops and reduced tillage. These strategies are already in use in some countries but so far have experienced limited adoption on farms in Europe. If fully deployed, they have the potential to help farmers become more efficient and therefore more sustainable. As carbon neutral farming practices gain traction, Monsanto’s seed production footprint and customers’ farms will produce food from existing farmland more efficiently and limit pressure on other ecosystems.

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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:31 pm 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
And I do agree with you that the agricultural sector will be very tough. We’ve known for lots of years that biofuels are not much better than fossil fuels when it comes to greenhouse gas production.

I fear you are missing the point here. Certainly burning biofuels produces as much greenhouse gas as burning an equivalent amount of fossil fuels. The reason that doesn't matter is that just burning the biofuels cannot possibly do anything more than just barely replace the carbon removed from the atmosphere by the growing plants from which the biofuel is extracted. In fact, it is less than that because some of the carbon these plants remove from the atmosphere remains in the soil in the root systems left behind when the plants are harvested, and is tilled back into the soil when preparing for the next crop to be planted. Thus, not all the carbon removed from the atmosphere is returned to it, especially when one realizes that after the biofuel is extracted, some of that carbon is still in the residue left behind that can be used for animal feed, compost and other purposes. When all this is considered, it is not much of a stretch to suggest that using biofuels may even be carbon negative! Is it?

A bigger problem, as you obviously realize, is the methane produced by the livestock that is being raised for food (the CO2 they produce doesn't matter for the reason already given above). I admit that this is a more intractable problem that will probably be hard to address until American food choices change significantly (which they probably will, when the cost of meat inevitably rises to the point that few people can still afford it.)

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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:39 am 
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Don’t think I missed anything. When you look at life cycle emissions, Biofuels still put out too much CO2. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environ ... _biodiesel And if new crop land has to be added to grow the fuel crop, it can get worse than fossil fuels.

It’s not just the methane for cattle. If you look at the life cycle CO2 emissions, they are huge as well.

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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:13 am 
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I see and understand your points, RI, and thanks for the informative links to which you referred me. Obviously there are imprudent ways to produce and use biofuels, including biodiesel fuel. Certainly destroying forests acquiring land to produce biodiesel is irresponsible and counterproductive, but surely in the links I showed of farmers who produced, stored and used biodiesel on their own farms, on land they already owned, where transportation of their own fuel was not a significant factor, there is a likely, net benefit. I still think that biofuels, wisely used and applied can be a significant part of the solution--especially the potential of the third and fourth generation biofuels discussed in one of the links referred to in the link you provided. And what do you think of the info in this link about carbon neutral farming?

As for the CO2 emissions of cattle, you must be talking about more than just the CO2 they exhale, because every bit of the CO2 they ever exhaled necessarily came from the plants they ate, which necessarily got it all from the atmosphere in the first place, and thus could not possibly have resulted in any net increase in atmospheric CO2. So what are you talking about here? The fuel costs of transporting the cattle, their feed, processing, slaughtering and the distribution of their finished products to markets, I guess, all of which could be powered by green energy sources, once we establish a green energy economy.

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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:57 am 
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Gunnar wrote:
As for the CO2 emissions of cattle, you must be talking about more than just the CO2 they exhale, because every bit of the CO2 they ever exhaled necessarily came from the plants they ate, which necessarily got it all from the atmosphere in the first place, and thus could not possibly have resulted in any net increase in atmospheric CO2. So what are you talking about here? The fuel costs of transporting the cattle, their feed, processing, slaughtering and the distribution of their finished products to markets, I guess, all of which could be powered by green energy sources, once we establish a green energy economy.


From the University of Oxford - "They found large differences in environmental impact between producers of the same product." - and high impact beef (intensive cattle raising) was right at the top.

New estimates of the environmental cost of food

Quote:
Research published in the journal Science highlights the environmental impacts of thousands of food producers and their products, demonstrating the need for new technology to monitor agriculture, and the need for environmental labels on food products.

Researchers at Oxford University and the Swiss agricultural research institute, Agroscope, have created the most comprehensive database yet on the environmental impacts of nearly 40,000 farms, and 1,600 processors, packaging types, and retailers. This allows them to assess how different production practices and geographies lead to different environmental impacts for 40 major foods.

They found large differences in environmental impact between producers of the same product. High-impact beef producers create 105kg of CO2 equivalents and use 370m2 of land per 100 grams of protein, a huge 12 and 50 times greater than low-impact beef producers. Low-impact beans, peas, and other plant-based proteins can create just 0.3kg of CO2 equivalents (including all processing, packaging, and transport), and use just 1m2 of land per 100 grams of protein.

Aquaculture, assumed to have relatively low emissions, can emit more methane, and create more greenhouse gases than cows. One pint of beer can create 3 times more emissions and use 4 times more land than another. This variation in impacts is observed across all five indicators they assess, including water use, eutrophication, and acidification.

'Two things that look the same in the shops can have extremely different impacts on the planet. We currently don’t know this when we make choices about what to eat. Further, this variability isn’t fully reflected in strategies and policy aimed at reducing the impacts of farmers,' says Joseph Poore from the Department of Zoology and the School of Geography and Environment.

'Agriculture is characterised by millions of diverse producers. This diversity creates the variation in environmental impact. It also makes finding solutions to these environmental issues challenging. An approach to reduce environmental impacts or enhance productivity that is effective for one producer can be ineffective or create trade-offs for another. This is a sector where we require many different solutions delivered to many millions of different producers.'

For producers, the researchers present evidence in favour of using new technology. This technology often works on mobile devices, taking information on inputs, outputs, climate, and soil, to quantify environmental impacts. The technology then provides recommendations on how to reduce these impacts and increase productivity.

However, producers have limits on how far they can reduce their impacts. Specifically, the researchers found that the variability in the food system fails to translate into animal products with lower impacts than vegetable equivalents. For example, a low-impact litre of cow’s milk uses almost two times as much land and creates almost double the emissions as an average litre of soymilk.

Animal product free diets, therefore, deliver greater environmental benefits than purchasing sustainable meat or dairy.

Further, without major changes in technology that disproportionately target animal products, the researchers show that animal product free diets are likely to deliver greater environmental benefits than changing production practices both today and in the future.

Specifically, plant-based diets reduce food’s emissions by up to 73% depending where you live. This reduction is not just in greenhouse gas emissions, but also acidifying and eutrophying emissions which degrade terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Freshwater withdrawals also fall by a quarter. Perhaps most staggeringly, we would require ~3.1 billion hectares (76%) less farmland. 'This would take pressure off the world’s tropical forests and release land back to nature,' says Joseph Poore.

The researchers show that we can take advantage of variable environmental impacts to access a second scenario. Reducing consumption of animal products by 50% by avoiding the highest-impact producers achieves 73% of the plant-based diet’s GHG emission reduction for example. Further, lowering consumption of discretionary products (oils, alcohol, sugar, and stimulants) by 20% by avoiding high-impact producers reduces the greenhouse gas emissions of these products by 43%.

This creates a multiplier effect, where small behavioural changes have large consequences for the environment. However, this scenario requires communicating producer (not just product) environmental impacts to consumers. This could be through environmental labels in combination with taxes and subsidies.

'We need to find ways to slightly change the conditions so it’s better for producers and consumers to act in favour of the environment,' says Joseph Poore. 'Environmental labels and financial incentives would support more sustainable consumption, while creating a positive loop: Farmers would need to monitor their impacts, encouraging better decision making; and communicate their impacts to suppliers, encouraging better sourcing.'





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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:14 am 
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Thanks, Chap. I realize that though there are ways to reduce the environmental impact of animal based foods, there is no question in my mind that no matter what reasonable assumptions one makes, plant based foods will have a small fraction of the environmental impact of animal based food products such as dairy and meat products.

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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:50 am 
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Gunnar wrote:
Thanks, Chap. I realize that though there are ways to reduce the environmental impact of animal based foods, there is no question in my mind that no matter what reasonable assumptions one makes, plant based foods will have a small fraction of the environmental impact of animal based food products such as dairy and meat products.


Things are beginning to change in response to the growing realisation that the human race simply does not have a future as a large-scale regular consumer of, in particular, the meat of ruminant animals (beef and lamb).

It is reported that a major world university in the UK has recently agreed to stop serving beef and lamb in its canteens, as part of the sustainable food policy it has pursued for the last few years. There are no signs of outbreaks of cow-eater or sheep-eater protests - presumably because the people who eat in those canteens tend to be people who are familiar with the relevant science.

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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:48 pm 
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Hi Gunnar,

I had a little time today.

Quote:
Mikwut is fond of disparaging my quips upthread, but the fact still remains that he cannot come up with an even slightly plausible reason why the vast majority of the world's climate scientists should be regarded as more unreliable than the hugely wealthy and powerful fossil fuel industry who have such an enormous vested interest in denying the reality of AGW, even if true.


I don't know why you are even asking me this question unless you don't read what I post and just assume I am deniar you can just repeat your same polar talking points to.

I have stated my position that the earth is warming, Res agreed with what posted about that. I took it straight from the IPCC. My main issue is with the fear, alarm and exaggerations made because of the deeply political nature of the issue.
The IPCC itself has said, "There is low confidence in attribution of changes in tropical cyclone activity to human influence." It has said, "There is low confidence in attributing changes in drought over global
land areas since the mid-20th century to human influence", it has said, "there is low confidence in attributing the
causes of the observed loss of mass from the Antarctic ice sheet since 1993.", it has said, "There is low confidence in attribution of changes in tropical cyclone activity to human influence", it has said, "there is low confidence in detection and attribution of changes in drought over global land areas since the mid-20th century."Globally, there is low confidence in any long-term increases in tropical cyclone activity," https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads ... _FINAL.pdf

Yet we keep hearing every storm or drought is directly caused by global warming. This fear especially to our youth is irrational. It is speculative not empirical. Through policy and technology we will arrange our energy solutions accordingly. The end of the world is not nigh, we are actually better off than in any time in history.

mikwut

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"Why are you afraid, have you still no faith?" Mark 4:40


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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:14 pm 
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Gunnar wrote:
I see and understand your points, RI, and thanks for the informative links to which you referred me. Obviously there are imprudent ways to produce and use biofuels, including biodiesel fuel. Certainly destroying forests acquiring land to produce biodiesel is irresponsible and counterproductive, but surely in the links I showed of farmers who produced, stored and used biodiesel on their own farms, on land they already owned, where transportation of their own fuel was not a significant factor, there is a likely, net benefit. I still think that biofuels, wisely used and applied can be a significant part of the solution--especially the potential of the third and fourth generation biofuels discussed in one of the links referred to in the link you provided. And what do you think of the info in this link about carbon neutral farming?

As for the CO2 emissions of cattle, you must be talking about more than just the CO2 they exhale, because every bit of the CO2 they ever exhaled necessarily came from the plants they ate, which necessarily got it all from the atmosphere in the first place, and thus could not possibly have resulted in any net increase in atmospheric CO2. So what are you talking about here? The fuel costs of transporting the cattle, their feed, processing, slaughtering and the distribution of their finished products to markets, I guess, all of which could be powered by green energy sources, once we establish a green energy economy.


I agree, that under pretty restrictive conditions, one could arrange a scenario under which biofuels could be carbon neutral. But that requires all kinds of things to work exactly right — the kinds of things that generally don’t work exactly right in the real word. I’ve got no quarrel with a farmer making and using biodiesel to run his tractor (although, we should ask where the energy came from that he used to turn his corn into fuel). But that’s not an accurate picture of biofuel use in the US.

The US subsidizes biofuel production. As a direct result, 40% of the US corn crop is used to produce ethanol for use in Internal Combustion Engines. When we look at the total effects on CO2 emissions, we are worse off than if we’d never subsidized biofuels at all. From the standpoint of CO2 emissions, the best thing we could do is eliminate all subsidies for corn based ethanol and plant trees in the additional land that was put under agricultural production because of the subsidies.

One of the best paths we have to decarbonization is to convert our electricity generation from fossil fuels to renewable resources, while phasing out ICEs in favor of electric motors. In that context, I don’t think it makes much sense to spend time, effort, and dollars trying to create cleaner ICE fuels that would have the effect of slowing that transition down. In other words, why expend anything to support the the technology we need to phase out?

May there are uses for ICEs that will need to be around a long time. If that’s the case, and if we can produce fuel for those uses that results in lower CO2 emissions than petro gas or diesel, then I think we should pursue those. Proposed use of algae may avoid the CO2 emissions resulting from land use change may be viable, depending on the presence of other adverse effects. And it may make sense to work on developing and using biofuels as an intermediate step in decarbonizing transportation. But I don’t see biofuels as being part of a long-range, permanent solution to global warming.

As to the cows, yes. A life cycle analysis looks at all direct and indirect emissions. So, not just cow flatulence. About 35% of our corn production is for cattle feed. So, the CO2 produced in growing the feed corn also counts.

As far as carbon neutral agriculture, it requires a bunch of stuff to be done exactly right. And that is going to take making sure it is profitable to decarbonize food production and to recarbonize soil. Creating those kinds of incentives while avoiding incentives to counterproductive behavior is difficult.

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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:57 pm 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
As far as carbon neutral agriculture, it requires a bunch of stuff to be done exactly right. And that is going to take making sure it is profitable to decarbonize food production and to recarbonize soil. Creating those kinds of incentives while avoiding incentives to counterproductive behavior is difficult.


(a) What degree of unpleasant consequences of global heating would, in your view, have to be affecting (say) the US agricultural environment before most farmers themselves started to say 'Hell, it'll be difficult to go carbon neutral but we've just gotta do it'?

(b) Might it not, in fact, be less difficult over a medium time scale for US agriculture to start implementing the necessary measures now, rather than waiting until agriculture is actually staring large-scale damage in the face, and suffering major disruption before it has even begun trying to decarbonise?

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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:11 pm 
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It's best to quote from this report at length, don't you think?

https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads ... _FINAL.pdf

Quote:
Climate Extremes

There has been a strengthening of the evidence for human influ- ence on temperature extremes since the AR4 and IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) reports.
It is very likely that anthropogenic forcing has contributed to the observed changes in the frequency and intensity of daily temperature extremes on the global scale since the mid-20th century. Attribution of changes in temperature extremes to anthropogenic influence is robustly seen in independent analyses using different methods and different data sets. It is likely that human influence has substantially increased the prob- ability of occurrence of heatwaves in some locations. {10.6.1, 10.6.2, Table 10.1}

In land regions where observational coverage is sufficient for assessment, there is medium confidence that anthropogen- ic forcing has contributed to a global-scale intensification of heavy precipitation over the second half of the 20th century. There is low confidence in attributing changes in drought over global land areas since the mid-20th century to human influence owing to observational uncertainties and difficulties in distinguishing decad- al-scale variability in drought from long-term trends. {10.6.1, Table 10.1}

There is low confidence in attribution of changes in tropical cyclone activity to human influence owing to insufficient obser- vational evidence, lack of physical understanding of the links between anthropogenic drivers of climate and tropical cyclone activity and the low level of agreement between studies as to the relative importance of internal variability, and anthropo- genic and natural forcings. This assessment is consistent with that of SREX. {10.6.1, Table 10.1}

Atmospheric Circulation

It is likely that human influence has altered sea level pressure patterns globally.
Detectable anthropogenic influence on changes in sea level pressure patterns is found in several studies. Changes in atmospheric circulation are important for local climate change since they could lead to greater or smaller changes in climate in a particular region than elsewhere. There is medium confidence that stratospheric ozone depletion has contributed to the observed poleward shift of the southern Hadley Cell border during austral summer. There are large uncertainties in the magnitude of this poleward shift. It is likely that stratospheric ozone depletion has contributed to the positive trend in the Southern Annular Mode seen in austral summer since the mid- 20th century which corresponds to sea level pressure reductions over the high latitudes and an increase in the subtropics. There is medium confidence that GHGs have also played a role in these trends of the southern Hadley Cell border and the Southern Annular Mode in Austral summer. {10.3.3, Table 10.1}

A Millennia to Multi-Century Perspective

Taking a longer term perspective shows the substantial role played by anthropogenic and natural forcings in driving climate variability on hemispheric scales prior to the twentieth century.
It is very unlikely that NH temperature variations from 1400 to 1850 can be explained by internal variability alone. There is medium confi- dence that external forcing contributed to NH temperature variability from 850 to 1400 and that external forcing contributed to European temperature variations over the last five centuries. {10.7.2, 10.7.5, Table 10.1}

Climate System Properties

The extended record of observed climate change has allowed a better characterization of the basic properties of the climate system that have implications for future warming.
New evidence from 21st century observations and stronger evidence from a wider range of studies have strengthened the constraint on the transient climate response (TCR) which is estimated with high confidence to be likely between 1°C and 2.5°C and extremely unlikely to be greater than 3°C. The Transient Climate Response to Cumulative CO2 Emissions (TCRE) is estimated with high confidence to be likely between 0.8°C and 2.5°C per 1000 PgC for cumulative CO2 emissions less than about 2000 PgC until the time at which temperatures peak. Estimates of the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) based on multiple and partly independent lines of evidence from observed climate change indicate that there is high confidence that ECS is extremely unlikely to be less than 1°C and medium confidence that the ECS is likely to be between 1.5°C and 4.5°C and very unlikely greater than 6°C. These assessments are consistent with the overall assessment in Chapter 12, where the inclusion of additional lines of evidence increases confidence in the assessed likely range for ECS. {10.8.1, 10.8.2, 10.8.4, Box 12.2}

Combination of Evidence

Human influence has been detected in the major assessed com- ponents of the climate system. Taken together, the combined evidence increases the level of confidence in the attribution of observed climate change, and reduces the uncertainties associ- ated with assessment based on a single climate variable. From this combined evidence it is virtually certain that human influ- ence has warmed the global climate system.
Anthropogenic influ- ence has been identified in changes in temperature near the surface of the Earth, in the atmosphere and in the oceans, as well as changes in the cryosphere, the water cycle and some extremes. There is strong evidence that excludes solar forcing, volcanoes and internal variability as the strongest drivers of warming since 1950. {10.9.2, Table 10.1}

_________________
Zadok:
I did not have a faith crisis. I discovered that the Church was having a truth crisis.
Maksutov:
That's the problem with this supernatural stuff, it doesn't really solve anything. It's a placeholder for ignorance.


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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:59 pm 
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Chap,

Have I said the world is not warming where that would have been necessary?

mikwut

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-Michael Polanyi

"Why are you afraid, have you still no faith?" Mark 4:40


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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:14 pm 
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Chap wrote:
Res Ipsa wrote:
As far as carbon neutral agriculture, it requires a bunch of stuff to be done exactly right. And that is going to take making sure it is profitable to decarbonize food production and to recarbonize soil. Creating those kinds of incentives while avoiding incentives to counterproductive behavior is difficult.


(a) What degree of unpleasant consequences of global heating would, in your view, have to be affecting (say) the US agricultural environment before most farmers themselves started to say 'Hell, it'll be difficult to go carbon neutral but we've just gotta do it'?


Geez, I don’t know. Have you met us Americans?

Some individual farmers have and some more will do so over time. But I’m not optimistic that any significant section of the economy will voluntarily incur significant cost or effort absent a significant effect on the bottom line. The farmer whose growing season was wiped out because he couldn’t plant this year has more incentive to adjust his farming practices to emit less CO2. A similar farmer who didn’t experience that flooding has less.

Profit is, IMO, a much more powerful incentive. Show a farmer how no till farming with cover crops wii increase his profits, and change will happen.

Quote:
(b) Might it not, in fact, be less difficult over a medium time scale for US agriculture to start implementing the necessary measures now, rather than waiting until agriculture is actually staring large-scale damage in the face, and suffering major disruption before it has even begun trying to decarbonise?


Yes. To the extent we can provide financial incentives to encourage climate friendly practices, we should do that. Right now, our farming subsidies work against decarbonizing. I think a good thing to do right now would be to reconstruct our farm subsidies, including federal crop insurance, to increase incentives to decarbonize..

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― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, 1951


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 Post subject: Re: The ldsfaqs / Climate Change MEGATHREAD
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:56 pm 
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It is simply not true that we hear that global warming directly causes every storm.

Mikwut quotes from the AR5. It was published in 2014. The part he quoted from was completed in 2013, and, IIRC, the deadline for submitting papers to be considered for that section was in 2012. So, the science reported in the AR 5 was state of the art seven years ago. One of the major areas of study since the AR 5 has been attribution of extreme events. As described in Nature last year, attribution studies have come a long ways. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05849-9 I’m assuming lots of papers on attribution will be submitted for the AR 6. The final report will be published in 2022, with the WG 1 report, which is the part of the report that discusses attribution, to be completed in spring 2021. Anyone interested in the subject can hit google scholar and see what’s new.

Taking the position that we shouldn’t do anything until climate change manifests itself in disastrous impacts completely ignores the nature and magnitude of the threat. We don’t have a climate control knob that will let us easily change the CO2 level. There is a tremendous inertia in our present economic system toward continuing and burning fossil fuels. We can’t just stop burning fossil fuels on a dime and then quickly suck the CO2 out again. When we get to the point of human civilization becoming carbon neutral, we’re stuck with that climate for something like a thousand years. It’s only been about 150 since the industrial revolution.

The Titanic was 100% fine until it struck the iceberg, and even then it didn’t sink immediately. Saying “things are better today than ever” is not inconsistent with “if we don’t make some changes, tomorrow will suck.”

There’s an old story about a guy who was trapped at home by rising floodwaters. He prayed, asking God to save him from drowning. A friend called on his cellphone, asking if he needed help. He said “no, I have faith that God will save me..” The
Cajun Navy came by in a flatboat and asked him if he needed to be rescued. He replied, “no, I have faith that God will save me. After he had to get on to the roof of his house, a guy came down on a rope from a helicopter and offered rescue. The man waved him away. “I have faith that God will save me.”

The man drowned. When he met God in heaven, he asked God why he hadn’t saved him. God sighed: “I sent a friend, a boat, and a helicopter. What were you waiting for?”

To have faith that science and technology will somehow save us in the future, while science is telling us the magnitude of the problem and solutions we can implement starting today, is naïve in the extreme.

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― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, 1951


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