Author Topic: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5  (Read 17747 times)

Glenstache

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #400 on: November 09, 2018, 09:25:57 AM »
Different people just draw different lines for where "living my life" stops and wastefulness begins.  Are you still breathing?

But the carbon footprint of your breathing is based on your diet. Over an annual basis it is theoretically possible to have that end up at neutral (even if not practical in modern society). Where to draw the line indeed.


norabird

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #401 on: November 09, 2018, 09:30:54 AM »
Interesting that travel by cargo ship is so much better emissions wise! The time and higher cost make it pretty prohibitive for regular use, unfortunately (I would love to do it sometime).

gaja

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #402 on: November 09, 2018, 10:10:25 AM »
"Obviously the ship burns fuel, but unlike airlines or cruise ships they steam with or without passengers, so I think it's fair to say that the effective carbon cost of your voyage is zero. Your ~250lbs of person and luggage is a speck of dust on these behemoths that can weigh 40,000 tons or more fully loaded."

....

As @Ducknald Don wrote, you pay to ride, meaning you pay for your share of the fuel.

What's great about physics and math is that they can do what nature does. They can tell the difference between zero and non-zero, which is not a matter of opinion.

Okay, so let's calculate what your share of the emissions are.

A 747 plane emits ~500 grams of carbon dioxide per ton of cargo per kilometer. A cargo ship ~55 grams (source).

So a person who weighs 250 lbs carrying all of their luggage who takes a cargo ship from San Francisco to Beijing will emit 55 * (250/2205 lbs/metric ton) * 9500 km = 59 kg of carbon dioxide. The same person, flying the same distance would result in carbon dioxide emissions of 538 kg so a total reduction in emissions from choosing the ship of 89%.

If I could get people to cut their carbon budgets by 89% I'd be pretty darn happy and don't consider it to conflict with my personal values. Obviously different people will have different values and ethics though.

In addition: electric planes are at a test stage yet, and although it might soon be possible to replace 7-seat planes that go up tp 60 minutes, long distance planes will take a longer time. Ships, on the other hand, can become carbon neutral tomorrow, by replacing* the engines with LNG/battery hybrid engines, running them on electricity close to shore, and biomethane on longer distances. Even if you choose the economic viable solution and use fossil methane, we are talking about a 25 % reduction in CO2-e, and near elimination of other types of pollution (sulphur, NOx, etc). We are trying to get a paradigm shift here, not only small changes. And to move things in the right direction, we have to not only divest from the wrong solutions, but support the right ones. Electric cars have a substantial carbon footprint from the production of batteries and electricity. But by moving the emission source from thousands of cars, to a few power plants, mines and factories, we make it much more likely that we will be able to solve the problem. Even if the solutions ends up being CCS.

About LNG in shipping: https://www.dnvgl.com/article/uptake-of-lng-as-a-fuel-for-shipping-104195


*Experiments have shown that you can replace engines on existing ships, rather than building brand new ones. This also has a carbon benefit.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #403 on: December 03, 2018, 05:49:55 PM »
I spoke before of how ideally any carbon tax would increment each year to keep encouraging changes, and that any revenue must go into alternatives, or people get pissed off. What's happening now in France is a good example of this.

They have fuel taxes which go up each year, but the middle class feels they're not getting anything for them, and are rioting. The middle class are historically the class which complains the most no matter what, and they're the swinging voters in most democracies. So their response here helps explain why we're not seeing more effective action on climate change.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-03/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-protests-in-france/10576834

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #404 on: December 04, 2018, 07:13:25 AM »
Ships, on the other hand, can become carbon neutral tomorrow, by replacing* the engines with LNG/battery hybrid engines, running them on electricity close to shore, and biomethane on longer distances. Even if you choose the economic viable solution and use fossil methane, we are talking about a 25 % reduction in CO2-e, and near elimination of other types of pollution (sulphur, NOx, etc). We are trying to get a paradigm shift here, not only small changes. And to move things in the right direction, we have to not only divest from the wrong solutions, but support the right ones. Electric cars have a substantial carbon footprint from the production of batteries and electricity. But by moving the emission source from thousands of cars, to a few power plants, mines and factories, we make it much more likely that we will be able to solve the problem. Even if the solutions ends up being CCS.

We can also buy less stuff, reducing the number of ships. I have a feeling most of their cargo ends up in landfills after barely being used. I think the Story of Stuff video gives some statistics on it: https://youtu.be/9GorqroigqM

RetiredAt63

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #405 on: December 12, 2018, 09:12:21 AM »
Just saw this article:
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-best-technology-for-fighting-climate-change-isnt-a-technology/

It was particularly interesting given that I live in an agricultural area where woodlots are being cut down to provide more fields for corn and soy.  We are also having more permanent pastures (also carbon sequesters) plowed for crops.

This past year I planted 2 catalpa trees, 1 pear tree, 3 hazelnut bushes and a black currant bush.  I have more baby trees and bushes in pots ready for next spring.    In previous years I have planted 7 evergreens (pine and spruce trees), 6 maples, 2 cherries, and about 80 cedars (hedge).   I can really see the difference these plantings have made, my microclimate is more temperate, the birds are more numerous and in greater diversity, the fireflies are back.

For those of us with yards, planting trees is something we can do.  For those of us who can't do our own planting, we can encourage our municipalities and higher level governments  to do more planting and to protect existing trees, whether they be urban trees, local woodlands or large forests.

Malaysia41

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #406 on: December 22, 2018, 02:24:56 AM »
Just saw this article:
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-best-technology-for-fighting-climate-change-isnt-a-technology/

It was particularly interesting given that I live in an agricultural area where woodlots are being cut down to provide more fields for corn and soy.  We are also having more permanent pastures (also carbon sequesters) plowed for crops.

This past year I planted 2 catalpa trees, 1 pear tree, 3 hazelnut bushes and a black currant bush.  I have more baby trees and bushes in pots ready for next spring.    In previous years I have planted 7 evergreens (pine and spruce trees), 6 maples, 2 cherries, and about 80 cedars (hedge).   I can really see the difference these plantings have made, my microclimate is more temperate, the birds are more numerous and in greater diversity, the fireflies are back.

For those of us with yards, planting trees is something we can do.  For those of us who can't do our own planting, we can encourage our municipalities and higher level governments  to do more planting and to protect existing trees, whether they be urban trees, local woodlands or large forests.

Thank you for planting trees @RetiredAt63 . More of this please!

From that article:

Quote
Yet the international focus on fossil fuels has overshadowed the most powerful and cost-efficient carbon-capture technology the world has yet seen: forests. Recent scientific research confirms that forests and other “natural climate solutions” are absolutely essential in mitigating climate change, thanks to their carbon sequestering and storage capabilities. In fact, natural climate solutions can help us achieve 37 percent of our climate target, even though they currently receive only 2.5 percent of public climate financing.

YES. It's a carbon Cycle. Yes we must cut emissions from fossil fuels and animal agriculture. But we also need to sink the carbon that's already been generated, and is still being emitted - even with reductions in emissions.

Reducing animal agriculture - especially of ruminants - is a solution that addresses the entire carbon cycle. If you don't need to cut down trees in order to grow soybean to feed to cattle to feed to humans, you get to keep the trees and sequester carbon. The following study says that by re-wilding / re-foresting 41% of the land currently being used for grass and pasturelands, we could create the carbon sink we need to save our collective ass. (we still need to severely reduce fossil fuel burning too of course)

from https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm15/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/67429 :

Quote
We calculate the carbon sequestration potential of grasslands and pasturelands that can be reverted to native forests as 265 GtC on 1.96E+7 km2 of land area, just 41% of the total area of such lands on Earth. The grasslands and pasturelands are assumed to revert back to native forests which existed prior to any human intervention and these include tropical, temperate and boreal forests. The results are validated with above ground regrowth measurements. Since this carbon sequestration potential is greater than the 240 GtC of that has been added to the atmosphere since the industrial era began, it shows that such global lifestyle transitions have tremendous potential to mitigate and even reverse climate change.

In other words, stop eating animals - esp cattle. In place of them, plant trees, and we good. The more I study the issue, the more I understand that animal agriculture is at least if not twice the perpetrator as fossil fuels.  Between failing to account for deforestation, and using a CH4:CO2 ratio that severely underestimates methane's warming potential, we are not taking seriously enough the impact of animal ag. Sure, everyone knows to eat less beef and dairy. But did you know in terms of emissions, 1 dairy cow = 1 automobile? (this is my own calculation by the way, I can post details if you like).  Take into account the corresponding deforestation to grow the feed for that dairy cow, and 1 dairy cow == 2 automobiles.

Anyway, this is the stuff I'm studying right now for my lobby campaign to end animal ag subsidies. Here's a recent article on my campaign if you are interested.

https://newsgrowl.com/laura-reese-lobbyists4good-interview/

RetiredAt63

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #407 on: December 22, 2018, 06:30:07 AM »
Re livestock and methane, the issue is not the cattle as such, it is what they are being fed - rich diets that are not taking advantage of their rumens.  Instead they are being fed corn and soybeans that increase their methane production.   Grass-fed cattle produce much less methane, and high-density managed grazing means way more carbon sequestration in the soil.  There is a lot of research on this right now in both the US and Canada, and there are lots of academic web presentations.  Grasslands in cool climate s normally have anything from 2 to 5 times as much root as shoot biomass, the more extreme ratio is in harsher climates.  That is a lot of carbon.  It also means the soil is less vulnerable to erosion.  Every time a pasture or hayfield is plowed, all that carbon is exposed to the air and the rate of decomposition goes up - and of course that means soil carbon is now atmospheric carbon.

Of course the breeds of cattle that do well on an ecologically viable management program are not the same cattle that do well on CAFO, and management programs have to change drastically, so there is a lot of resistance to changing over.

I see it locally, our dairy cattle are grazing but not in an intensive management system, so the pasture is not improved as much as it could be.  Our picturesque scenes of some beef cattle and some horses in a great big field mean that the pasture is not being managed well.

sixwings

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #408 on: December 22, 2018, 10:19:38 AM »
cultured meat solves almost all of these problems. The land that was used to raise cattle can then be returned to forests.

We're going to start seeing cultured meat on store shelves in a few years and I hope it's not too long before it is way cheaper than regular meat and the farmers and be put to work growing and maintaining healthy forests.

IMO cultured meat is the most important technology happening right now wrt climate change.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 10:28:28 AM by sixwings »

maizeman

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #409 on: December 22, 2018, 10:32:12 AM »
cultured meat solves almost all of these problems. The land that was used to raise cattle can then be returned to forests.

Point of clarification: most of the land used for grazing cattle (at least in the USA) was never forests, but prairie grasslands that naturally produced forage anyway.

In a pre-human environment that forage was eaten by 20-30 million buffalo. Now it is eaten by some fraction of the 90 million cattle present in the USA today.

sixwings

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #410 on: December 22, 2018, 10:34:06 AM »
cultured meat solves almost all of these problems. The land that was used to raise cattle can then be returned to forests.

Point of clarification: most of the land used for grazing cattle (at least in the USA) was never forests, but prairie grasslands that naturally produced forage anyway.

In a pre-human environment that forage was eaten by 20-30 million buffalo. Now it is eaten by some fraction of the 90 million cattle present in the USA today.

South america is ripping through the amazon to create grazing space. Also the grasslands could be made into forests, we need more forests.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 01:07:23 PM by sixwings »

Malaysia41

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #411 on: December 22, 2018, 12:49:08 PM »
Re livestock and methane, the issue is not the cattle as such, it is what they are being fed - rich diets that are not taking advantage of their rumens.  Instead they are being fed corn and soybeans that increase their methane production.   Grass-fed cattle produce much less methane, and high-density managed grazing means way more carbon sequestration in the soil.  There is a lot of research on this right now in both the US and Canada, and there are lots of academic web presentations.  Grasslands in cool climate s normally have anything from 2 to 5 times as much root as shoot biomass, the more extreme ratio is in harsher climates.  That is a lot of carbon.  It also means the soil is less vulnerable to erosion.  Every time a pasture or hayfield is plowed, all that carbon is exposed to the air and the rate of decomposition goes up - and of course that means soil carbon is now atmospheric carbon.

Of course the breeds of cattle that do well on an ecologically viable management program are not the same cattle that do well on CAFO, and management programs have to change drastically, so there is a lot of resistance to changing over.

I see it locally, our dairy cattle are grazing but not in an intensive management system, so the pasture is not improved as much as it could be.  Our picturesque scenes of some beef cattle and some horses in a great big field mean that the pasture is not being managed well.

Would you mind pointing me to some of your favored presentations?

maizeman

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #412 on: December 22, 2018, 01:16:34 PM »
Also the grasslands could be made into forests, we need more forests.

I happen to like prairies.

But putting that aside if you try to turn the American short grass prairie into forest you're going to lose an awful lot of topsoil, use up a lot of water in some of the parts of the country where there's a real shortage of that, and, best case scenario, produce some forests that will look dead a significant part of the year and experience much more frequent and larger forest fires than parts of the world where a forest would naturally grow.

Edit: but to be clear I'm talking specifically about north america. The situation in Brazil is quite different, and driven in part by Europe exporting a lot of the consequences of their ag policy.

RetiredAt63

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #413 on: December 22, 2018, 01:41:53 PM »
OK, basic ecology.  To have forests you need a certain amount of precipitation during the growing season, and you need a long enough growing season.  If you have a short growing season you have conifers and things like larch.  Warmer you get more deciduous trees.  Here it is complicated by glacial history, northern areas not only have harsher seasons, their topsoil has all had to be made since the glaciers melted. 

The most eastern tall-grass prairies were artificially maintained by fire by the prairie tribes.  We see this in Manitoba where fire suppression has allowed forests to move west.  Short-grass and medium-grass prairies will never be forests, they never get enough water except in river basins, where you do see trees.  In many places there was a cycle of roughly 7 years where species dominance alternated between short-grass and medium-grass, and short-grass almsot desert,  depending on rain-fall.  The bad-lands of Alberta are technically a desert or near-desert, in terms of precipitation.

For large grazing animals, the difference (based on the presentations I have been watching, I will dig them out for you M41) is that the bison had wolves traveling with them so the herds stayed bunched up and kept moving.  This is the grazing pattern that they are trying to replicate.  Modern grazing management does not do this, it lets the animals scatter, so preferential plants get over-grazed and unpalatable species (like creosote bush) get left behind and eventually take over.

What Maizeman said - Western European agricultural practices worked OK (not great, but OK) in Eastern North America, not well at all further west.  I found reading Little House on the Prairie very educational, there was such a push to plant wheat, and so many crop failures, because it wasn't the Ukraine (the bread basket of Europe).

maizeman

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #414 on: December 22, 2018, 01:49:36 PM »
RetiredAt63, are you talking about things like mob grazing? I've been hearing about it off and on for about a decade. Haven't dug into the studies of effectiveness, but from a conceptual level it makes a lot of sense.

RetiredAt63

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #415 on: December 22, 2018, 02:31:06 PM »
Maizeman, M41, yes I am talking about things like mob grazing/high density grazing.  I am also talking about no-till agriculture (which uses roundup less and less, uses mowing and crushing more and more, i.e. mechanical.

I went back through my history, these are from August.  I am sure I missed some, little blips as I went by.  But once you get into them, they just keep leading you to new presentations, so a few are good enough to get people going.

http://greenpasturesfarm.net/blog.php?entryID=1227&cat=1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuwwfL2o9d4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uMPuF5oCPA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6xDfl_G8js
http://fieldcropnews.com/2014/07/cover-crops-following-cereals-and-late-summer-harvested-crops/



gaja

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #416 on: December 22, 2018, 04:26:43 PM »
I’m sure we all agree that burning rain forests to produce soy feed or graze cattle is a bad idea. But going from that, to “all cattle and sheep are bad”, is a giant leap. And it is also where the math and science gets complex.

There are many areas in the world where you can’t grow vegetables, but you can graze animals. If we want to feed diverse cultures, we need to let people have animals. Monocultures and “the one correct solution” has not worked well earlier. Removing the reindeer in the arctic won’t bring in any forest (just ask the town of Vadsø, where they have an annual unwrapping ceremony for their single town tree). In coastal areas of the North Sea, we could grow forests on the islands. But that would destroy centuries (maybe millennia) old ecosystem with several endemic species, that all depend on grazing animals. After going to all that trouble protecting the “kystlynghei”, I think we should look at other places to grow forests first. And then there are the grazing animals that thrive in forest habitat, such as sheep, old types of cows, and deer.

If we leave the extreme point of “all cattle must die”, and look at how we can improve the emissions from cattle (and sheep), the main points are;
-keep the cows happy, and don’t push them to produce too much.
-choose the right breeds for your area, and breed them for less emissions rather than more production
-optimise the feed for low emissions. Grass fed has some good results, but I have also recently been told that increased fat content in the feed has shown to lower emissions, and interestingly, adding seaweed looks very promising.
-make more than one product from each animal. Milk cows that later get slaughtered for meat have less emissions per food unit than cattle that only produce meat.
-collect what methane you can (from manure/urine) and make biogas. Biogas can replace fossil fuels in vehicles, or you can make electricity, or burn it for heat. The more the cattle graze freely, the less biogas you can produce

maizeman

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #417 on: December 22, 2018, 04:46:57 PM »
If we leave the extreme point of “all cattle must die”, and look at how we can improve the emissions from cattle (and sheep), the main points are;
-keep the cows happy, and don’t push them to produce too much.
-choose the right breeds for your area, and breed them for less emissions rather than more production
-optimise the feed for low emissions. Grass fed has some good results, but I have also recently been told that increased fat content in the feed has shown to lower emissions, and interestingly, adding seaweed looks very promising.
-make more than one product from each animal. Milk cows that later get slaughtered for meat have less emissions per food unit than cattle that only produce meat.
-collect what methane you can (from manure/urine) and make biogas. Biogas can replace fossil fuels in vehicles, or you can make electricity, or burn it for heat. The more the cattle graze freely, the less biogas you can produce

I agree with these points. On the first one I would only add that while pushing cows to produce too much is indeed bad, we are getting better at producing more meat and more milk per cow, and that does seem to be a good thing from the perspective of reducing the environmental impact of animal agriculture.

We actually only produce about the same amount of beef today as we did in 1975, but the number of cattle in the country has declined from 130M then to about 90M today, and total CO2/methane emissions from the US cattle industry have declined about 20% in the same time frame (so each cow produces a bit more impact than in the past, but not enough to cancel out the decrease in the total cow population).

RetiredAt63

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #418 on: December 22, 2018, 05:51:42 PM »
Gaja, yes.

Only about 6% of Quebec is agricultural land, and only 3-4% can grow crops.  The rest can grow hay and pasture, trees, and tundra.  Ontario is better because of the region from Toronto south-west to Niagara, but still most of it is not suitable for agriculture.

In my region bio-gas is as likely to be a product of swine production because of confinement housing (also capture from old landfills) and manure lagoons.  Pigs can live on pasture a good chunk of the year even here, but the breeds that do well on pasture do not do well in confinement, and the breeds that do well in confinement don't do well at all on pasture.  To get pigs on pasture will be a more radical shift than to get cattle on pasture/hay.  Someone in Vermont has totally pastured pigs, and Vermont has pretty tough winters.  But the breed is a heritage breed, the modern breeds just can't cope.  Again, our chickens won't go outside much in winter, but the layers don't have to be raised and housed in cages.  We have undergone such a radical shift in our meat production techniques, and most people have no idea.  Crops too.

Re cattle and fats, what people don't realize is that cows do not digest cellulose, although they eat a lot of it. The bacteria and protozoa in the rumen digest cellulose, and produce basically short-chain fatty acids.  What the cow's digestive stomach digests is dead bacteria and protozoa and the short-chain fatty acids.  So yes, they do digest some fats very nicely.  This requires an alkaline rumen.  When they are fed grains the rumen is not as active, the rumen shifts to being less alkaline, and not only do they produce more methane, but they also are more prone to have acid-resistant E. coli, which is where some of our E. coli outbreaks come from.   All ruminants do this magic of cellulose into meat, which is why they are such common domestic animals, in so many diverse climates.  They are much easier to feed than a horse.

gaja

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #419 on: December 22, 2018, 06:24:22 PM »
Interesting about the grain, thank you for explaining!

Here is an article on seaweed. Some species might reduce methane emissions from cows with over 50%, and increase milk production; https://e360.yale.edu/features/how-eating-seaweed-can-help-cows-to-belch-less-methane

Feeding cattle and sheep seaweed is old knowledge along the coast. Often, the animals would graze along the beach by their own choice, but it was also common to collect and dry seaweed for winter feed. It gives a very good flavor to mutton, if you get hold of Orkney sheep, they have kept some of it.

The best part of seaweed, is that growing it will reduce other types of pollution in the sea. I have seen suggestions to mandate growing seaweed around fish farms, to reduce the amount of nutrients they add to the water.

RetiredAt63

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #420 on: December 22, 2018, 07:05:54 PM »
Feeding cattle and sheep seaweed is old knowledge along the coast. Often, the animals would graze along the beach by their own choice, but it was also common to collect and dry seaweed for winter feed. It gives a very good flavor to mutton, if you get hold of Orkney sheep, they have kept some of it.

The best part of seaweed, is that growing it will reduce other types of pollution in the sea. I have seen suggestions to mandate growing seaweed around fish farms, to reduce the amount of nutrients they add to the water.

I think Canadian Maritime farmers used to do that - now all is intensive.   There is research on Atlantic Salmon Farming in the Bay of Fundy that has multiples layers of production - salmon, mussels, seaweed - so that the water coming out is chemically the same as the water going in, no added nutrients released from the fish being fed, all the waste nutrients are taken up by the mussels and then the seaweed.  And at this point all commercial Atlantic salmon from Atlantic Canada is farmed, there are so few salmon that the only wild-caught ones are from sport fishing which is strictly controlled.

That was interesting seaweed research - and partly Canadian too!  Wouldn't it be serendipitous if the Asparagopsis grew well as the final nutrient pickup species in Salmon farming - that would be  such a win-win situation.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 07:13:51 PM by RetiredAt63 »

Malaysia41

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #421 on: December 28, 2018, 07:08:05 AM »

A powerful talk ends in anemic clapping. 23 minutes long. Watch the whole thing. He touches on terrestrial biomass of livestock vs humans vs wild.

https://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop21/events/2015-12-11-19-30-abibimman-foundation?fbclid=IwAR3MHTVwMfCGknme_yecIECiKA9Pdga3-5TtyBACKs_MEZuko4IDlHRsFCA

Take for a given what many of you have argued - that much prairie land cannot be made into forest. (Yes - I get it). Doesn't mean animal agriculture isn't an outsized problem and drastically reducing our consumption of animal products needs to be a top priority (along with with ending our dependence on fossil fuels for energy).

Even as I acknowledge some prairie can't be made into forest, also please acknowledge that much prairie land once was forest, and if we stop using that land for animal ag, and revert it back to forest, we will dramatically improve our predicament.

We're still totally fucked. I know that. But what am I gonna do instead of fight for change? Binge watch Bored To Death and down a bottle of Valpolicella Superiore? (Eh, maybe I'll do both).

So what do you think of that talk?

maizeman

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #422 on: December 28, 2018, 07:47:32 AM »
Even as I acknowledge some prairie can't be made into forest, also please acknowledge that much prairie land once was forest, and if we stop using that land for animal ag, and revert it back to forest, we will dramatically improve our predicament.

I'm afraid I still disagree with this. At least in north america, most of the forest land which has been converted into supporting animal agriculture has never been turned into prairie, it is some of the eastern edge of the corn belt, where forests were cut down to make fields for corn and soybeans which are in turn fed to animals, either as a supplement to grazing on grasslands or a complete alternative in high density feed lots. In fact, bringing a lot of the tallgrass prairies into agricultural production has allowed a lot of the native forests of North America to regrow. If you travel through New England you've find lots of old farm houses and stone walls around old fields that are covered with new growth forests. Once agriculture became established in the great plains farming that thin and rocky soil was no longer viable and forests that were cleared in the 1600s and 1700s began to regrow in the 1800s and 1900s as new england farm families gave up the family farms and either moved west or moved to the cities.

Look, if your argument is that we're currently producing dramatically more animal protein than is possible only from sustainable grazing on grasslands, and as a result, excess demand for meat is creating a lot of damage to our planet, I certainly do agree with that.

But I don't understand the apparent argument that grasslands (prairies) are bad, while forests are good. Both are natural ecosystems, both sequester carbon, both support diverse groups of plants and animals. And in environments which might sustain either either a grassland or a forest ecosystem, prairies appear to be better and longer term sequesters of carbon than forests.*

*Here's a popular press article https://phys.org/news/2018-07-grasslands-reliable-carbon-trees.html and the original scientific paper behind the findings in that article http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aacb39/meta

RetiredAt63

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #423 on: December 28, 2018, 08:33:45 AM »
I live in an area that was forest (mostly) until Europeans came.  It is good soil for crops because it used to be the bottom of the Champlain Sea.  Areas like this are now mostly growing corn and soy, and the rest is pasture and hay-fields for dairy (and a bit of beef, and sheep, and alpacas).  This is the area that has land use issues.  The corn and soy are not needed for pastured meat, they are needed for CAFO.  Pasture and hay build soil and sequester carbon, crops don't.  There is a push for no tillage and green manures but it is not strong yet.  Plus this area is quite capable of growing its own wheat, it grew lots of it before wheat production moved west.  Red Fife was developed in Peterborough from an unknown seed source.

Grasses and to a lesser extent forbs have millenia of selection to growth with large grazers.  Cattle on prairie have replaced one large grazer (bison) with another closely related one (cattle).  The issues arising from the replacement are management (no concentrated grazing), but the actual grazing pattern of a steer or a bison are similar, they have the same mouth (teeth and tongue) interaction with the plant.  Their hooves will do the same job of trampling vegetation into soil where it can become humus. 

Seriously, if we dig deeper, the issue is that agriculture is treated as an industry, when it is not at all like manufacturing.  It is all based on soil and weather and organisms interacting, not on molding a piece of steel into a part.  So industry standards and requirements are imposed inappropriately.  The idea of efficiency rules - so we ends up with all sorts of inefficient and destructive processes because they are seen as "efficient".  CAFO is efficient.  It is also massively inhumane to the animals, it is massively destructive to the ecosystems producing the feed and the ecosystems having to deal with huge amounts of manure that they are not capable of absorbing.

This is why I can applaud M41's efforts but think that her energy would be put to much better use fighting big agriculture.  It is not just the CAFO, it is all the restrictions on small slaughterhouses so where can you get locally-raised and butchered meat?  It is the restrictions on direct farm sales.  It is the PVP and patented seeds, so farmers have great difficulty saving their own seeds - and that is expanding, to the detriments of small farmers and gardeners in areas that have not yet been sucked into industrial agriculture.  It is power in the hands of a few giant corporations - organic and biological farmers here have incredible difficulty finding commercial amounts of corn or soy seed that have not been treated with neonics.

Re seeds, the OSSI web site has some interesting thoughts on germ plasm and the rights of the commons.   https://osseeds.org/

Um, I may be retired, but I guess the teacher in me still likes to talk biology/ecology.    ;-)

wenchsenior

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #424 on: December 28, 2018, 08:48:45 AM »
Even as I acknowledge some prairie can't be made into forest, also please acknowledge that much prairie land once was forest, and if we stop using that land for animal ag, and revert it back to forest, we will dramatically improve our predicament.

I'm afraid I still disagree with this. At least in north america, most of the forest land which has been converted into supporting animal agriculture has never been turned into prairie, it is some of the eastern edge of the corn belt, where forests were cut down to make fields for corn and soybeans which are in turn fed to animals, either as a supplement to grazing on grasslands or a complete alternative in high density feed lots. In fact, bringing a lot of the tallgrass prairies into agricultural production has allowed a lot of the native forests of North America to regrow. If you travel through New England you've find lots of old farm houses and stone walls around old fields that are covered with new growth forests. Once agriculture became established in the great plains farming that thin and rocky soil was no longer viable and forests that were cleared in the 1600s and 1700s began to regrow in the 1800s and 1900s as new england farm families gave up the family farms and either moved west or moved to the cities.

Look, if your argument is that we're currently producing dramatically more animal protein than is possible only from sustainable grazing on grasslands, and as a result, excess demand for meat is creating a lot of damage to our planet, I certainly do agree with that.

But I don't understand the apparent argument that grasslands (prairies) are bad, while forests are good. Both are natural ecosystems, both sequester carbon, both support diverse groups of plants and animals. And in environments which might sustain either either a grassland or a forest ecosystem, prairies appear to be better and longer term sequesters of carbon than forests.*

*Here's a popular press article https://phys.org/news/2018-07-grasslands-reliable-carbon-trees.html and the original scientific paper behind the findings in that article http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aacb39/meta

100% agree.  There is some reforestation that could hypothetically be done in the United States, but the entire central United States and south-central Canada is properly a grassland (or in some areas sage-brush high desert) ecosystem, which hypothetically should  be supporting entire communities of native species.  The goal should be restoring more of that, not fucking with it by trying to make trees grow where they can't.

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #425 on: December 28, 2018, 10:26:14 AM »

A powerful talk ends in anemic clapping. 23 minutes long. Watch the whole thing. He touches on terrestrial biomass of livestock vs humans vs wild.

https://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop21/events/2015-12-11-19-30-abibimman-foundation?fbclid=IwAR3MHTVwMfCGknme_yecIECiKA9Pdga3-5TtyBACKs_MEZuko4IDlHRsFCA

So what do you think of that talk?

The first ten and last five minutes were just weird, and the broad generalizations (no, biomass from wood is not only for poor people) and tendencies towards religious sermons were annoying. The start itself was enough to make me want to turn it off. Meat production is a “forbidden topic” the same way there is a war on Christmas, ie in the heads of the believers.

But there were six minutes in the middle with a carbon flow chart that were interesting. For me the flow chart doesn’t show that the world should go vegan. Instead it illustrates the pressing need for a circular economy, reduction of waste, and overall reduction of meat consumption. In addition, it felt like he completely ignores the sea? We have to address the enormous soy consumption in salmon production.

We are not doomed. But it is a complex problem with complex solutions. In fact, I think one of the main reasons we are in this mess in the first place, is that we have fallen for the temptation to implement too many simple “solve it all” solutions. Like oil, cars, industrial agriculture, antibiotics; all of these are really good ideas in moderation. But when you start adding antibiotics to animal feed, you mess up the system. Traveling is good, mass tourism is bad. Etc.

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #426 on: December 28, 2018, 02:39:31 PM »
In other words, stop eating animals

The problem is people won't do this which makes this whole debate meaningless. I am skeptical about the whole climate change industry. The data and projected disasters are far from clear cut verified facts. There is too much posturing with too little understanding of the topic. Our understanding is extremely poor. Lastly the things that we could do to fix the potential problem people aren't willing to do.

I think people on hear should read the book Sapiens. I've only just started but one thing is clear and that is that humans (us) remake the planet to suit us and we've always done this. We are ecological disasters on the whole to other species.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2018, 02:48:10 PM by steveo »

daverobev

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #427 on: December 28, 2018, 05:36:33 PM »
In other words, stop eating animals

The problem is people won't do this which makes this whole debate meaningless. I am skeptical about the whole climate change industry. The data and projected disasters are far from clear cut verified facts. There is too much posturing with too little understanding of the topic. Our understanding is extremely poor. Lastly the things that we could do to fix the potential problem people aren't willing to do.

I think people on hear should read the book Sapiens. I've only just started but one thing is clear and that is that humans (us) remake the planet to suit us and we've always done this. We are ecological disasters on the whole to other species.

It is very easy to effect change, if you have the political will, though. A gradual carbon tax - on all forms of carbon emission - and the revenue to be put into carbon capturing.

So, a higher price on beef. If you want to eat it, no problem - you'll just pay to plant trees or whatever in exchange.

RetiredAt63

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #428 on: December 28, 2018, 05:55:54 PM »
In other words, stop eating animals

The problem is people won't do this which makes this whole debate meaningless. I am skeptical about the whole climate change industry. The data and projected disasters are far from clear cut verified facts. There is too much posturing with too little understanding of the topic. Our understanding is extremely poor. Lastly the things that we could do to fix the potential problem people aren't willing to do.

I think people on hear should read the book Sapiens. I've only just started but one thing is clear and that is that humans (us) remake the planet to suit us and we've always done this. We are ecological disasters on the whole to other species.

It is very easy to effect change, if you have the political will, though. A gradual carbon tax - on all forms of carbon emission - and the revenue to be put into carbon capturing.

So, a higher price on beef. If you want to eat it, no problem - you'll just pay to plant trees or whatever in exchange.

Will a higher carbon tax affect CAFO and make more ecologically sane practices preferable?  Or will it just get passed on as another cost?

sixwings

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #429 on: December 28, 2018, 06:11:52 PM »
In other words, stop eating animals

The problem is people won't do this which makes this whole debate meaningless. I am skeptical about the whole climate change industry. The data and projected disasters are far from clear cut verified facts. There is too much posturing with too little understanding of the topic. Our understanding is extremely poor. Lastly the things that we could do to fix the potential problem people aren't willing to do.

I think people on hear should read the book Sapiens. I've only just started but one thing is clear and that is that humans (us) remake the planet to suit us and we've always done this. We are ecological disasters on the whole to other species.

Cultured meat is the solution here, if people won't stop eating it, produce it differently.

Cultured meat:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultured_meat

It is IMO the #1 priority for stopping climate change. 7 billion meat eaters are not going to become vegan in 20 years, but we can change where the meat they eat comes from in that time period.

daverobev

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #430 on: December 28, 2018, 06:15:14 PM »
In other words, stop eating animals

The problem is people won't do this which makes this whole debate meaningless. I am skeptical about the whole climate change industry. The data and projected disasters are far from clear cut verified facts. There is too much posturing with too little understanding of the topic. Our understanding is extremely poor. Lastly the things that we could do to fix the potential problem people aren't willing to do.

I think people on hear should read the book Sapiens. I've only just started but one thing is clear and that is that humans (us) remake the planet to suit us and we've always done this. We are ecological disasters on the whole to other species.

It is very easy to effect change, if you have the political will, though. A gradual carbon tax - on all forms of carbon emission - and the revenue to be put into carbon capturing.

So, a higher price on beef. If you want to eat it, no problem - you'll just pay to plant trees or whatever in exchange.

Will a higher carbon tax affect CAFO and make more ecologically sane practices preferable?  Or will it just get passed on as another cost?

Well, the basic premise is to internalise costs, right? So that every producer pays for the currently-free things they consume in their production. So if CAFO can be made lower carbon, 'great' - from that one perspective.

The biggest point I think is to actually use the tax raised to close they cycle, to capture that carbon - to get it as close to neutral as possible, and better than neutral if not.

Strong, independent department dealing with how the carbon tax money is spent - funding reforestation, technological solutions (solar powered fuel-from-air?), just basically greasing wheels - making things that are currently 'unaffordable' because of capitalism and the lack of a price on environmental destruction, have a level playing field once all costs are factored in.

steveo

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #431 on: December 28, 2018, 11:02:13 PM »
In other words, stop eating animals

The problem is people won't do this which makes this whole debate meaningless. I am skeptical about the whole climate change industry. The data and projected disasters are far from clear cut verified facts. There is too much posturing with too little understanding of the topic. Our understanding is extremely poor. Lastly the things that we could do to fix the potential problem people aren't willing to do.

I think people on hear should read the book Sapiens. I've only just started but one thing is clear and that is that humans (us) remake the planet to suit us and we've always done this. We are ecological disasters on the whole to other species.

It is very easy to effect change, if you have the political will, though. A gradual carbon tax - on all forms of carbon emission - and the revenue to be put into carbon capturing.

So, a higher price on beef. If you want to eat it, no problem - you'll just pay to plant trees or whatever in exchange.

Will a higher carbon tax affect CAFO and make more ecologically sane practices preferable?  Or will it just get passed on as another cost?

Well, the basic premise is to internalise costs, right? So that every producer pays for the currently-free things they consume in their production. So if CAFO can be made lower carbon, 'great' - from that one perspective.

The biggest point I think is to actually use the tax raised to close they cycle, to capture that carbon - to get it as close to neutral as possible, and better than neutral if not.

Strong, independent department dealing with how the carbon tax money is spent - funding reforestation, technological solutions (solar powered fuel-from-air?), just basically greasing wheels - making things that are currently 'unaffordable' because of capitalism and the lack of a price on environmental destruction, have a level playing field once all costs are factored in.

It sounds good in theory doesn't it. I like the idea as well. It's the way capitalism should work - i.e. the cost of a good or service should reflect the total cost of the product including the environmental cost. I have no confidence in pricing a carbon tax accurately though or in governments using the money wisely.

daverobev

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #432 on: December 29, 2018, 09:49:07 AM »
Yup. I really feel like... with the Brexit mess, with the British political parties just flailing and failing, it should be possible to start a cold, clear headed, results-driven party.

Spend research money and whatnot where it has the most impact. In fact, spend ALL money where it has the most impact (understanding, of course, that this is not an easy thing). Try and use the scientific process, try and separate lobbying/money and state just like church and state were separated.

We have to get better at this, because we're just going nowhere at the moment. Two steps forward, four or five back.

steveo

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #433 on: December 29, 2018, 03:29:24 PM »
Yup. I really feel like... with the Brexit mess, with the British political parties just flailing and failing, it should be possible to start a cold, clear headed, results-driven party.

Spend research money and whatnot where it has the most impact. In fact, spend ALL money where it has the most impact (understanding, of course, that this is not an easy thing). Try and use the scientific process, try and separate lobbying/money and state just like church and state were separated.

We have to get better at this, because we're just going nowhere at the moment. Two steps forward, four or five back.

We are human beings and we simply don't think rationally like this as a group. It would be so much better if I was in charge of the whole world.


daverobev

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #435 on: December 30, 2018, 06:49:39 AM »
Well, there’s a sobering read:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/29/opinion/climate-change-global-warming-history.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion&action=click&contentCollection=opinion&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

Happy New Year everyone.

It's mind blowing, how a few companies are allowing us to do this to ourselves.

The old question: are humans, collectively, more intelligent than bacteria on an agar plate (multiplication to limits -> population crash). Answer: doesn't fucking look like it.

Oh god, so so depressing.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #436 on: December 31, 2018, 01:57:36 AM »
Cultured meat is the solution here, if people won't stop eating it, produce it differently.

Cultured meat:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultured_meat
It's grown in foetal bovine serum. That is, they must get a cow pregnant, abort its foetus, extract its blood, and use that to grow the cultured meat in - in a tank kept warm by electricity, etc.


It's much simpler and creates less impact on the environment just to let the calf go to term and then grow it up for a year and then eat that.


Now, if they can make synthetic serum, great. But in the meantime it's just hype to get money for startups that'll go nowhere. I guess it'll be like fusion power - "20-30 years away" for the last 60 years.

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #437 on: December 31, 2018, 02:19:18 AM »
The old question: are humans, collectively, more intelligent than bacteria on an agar plate (multiplication to limits -> population crash). Answer: doesn't fucking look like it.

Oh god, so so depressing.


I've been thinking lemmings, with the only question being: are we still on the way to the cliff or are we already over the edge and just haven't hit the bottom yet?

Kyle Schuant

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #438 on: December 31, 2018, 04:01:08 AM »
Assuming other human beings behave like amoebas, while you yourself are above all that, is ordinary old hubris, which is what gives us violent tyrannies.

It also grossly insults the efforts of the people who worked and fought and sacrificed and suffered and died to bring us democracy, free speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, ended slavery and segregation, decriminalised homosexuality, invented and distributed sanitation and vaccines that have saved hundreds of millions of lives, enfranchised women, and so on.

Don't do that.

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #439 on: December 31, 2018, 04:16:23 AM »
Assuming other human beings behave like amoebas, while you yourself are above all that, is ordinary old hubris, which is what gives us violent tyrannies.

It also grossly insults the efforts of the people who worked and fought and sacrificed and suffered and died to bring us democracy, free speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, ended slavery and segregation, decriminalised homosexuality, invented and distributed sanitation and vaccines that have saved hundreds of millions of lives, enfranchised women, and so on.

Don't do that.

Well I'm certainly including myself as one of the unwashed masses (hence "we") and daverobev didn't say anything I can see that exempts himself from our collective of dunces.