Author Topic: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5  (Read 14948 times)

GuitarStv

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #50 on: October 09, 2018, 08:17:34 AM »
My optimistic reaction is that I'll likely be dead/senile before the worst comes to pass, so at least it won't be my mess to clean up.  Sometimes I feel pessimistic though . . .   


:(


I personally have tried (and will continue to try) to limit my impact on the environment.  I don't fly for pleasure, don't drive much, have reduced the amount of meat I eat, try to source local foods when possible, recycle, compost, don't buy new stuff unless it's replacing old stuff, try to get things used rather than new.  I have a kid, but one is certainly enough.  I vote for people who seem to have long term plans to minimize the problem (or in lieu of that . . . at least  people who acknowledge that a problem exists).

That's about all I think I can do.

bacchi

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #51 on: October 09, 2018, 08:44:07 AM »
A good carbon calculator is helpful here.

JoshuaSpodek and Hirondelle are correct. It's not that difficult to get to a "sustainable" lifestyle, at least from the numbers I've seen. You can still have indoor plumbing but won't be living in 2400 square feet. Your driving miles will be very low and in an electric car powered by renewables. You won't be getting a new phone every other year. Etc. But you'll still be living in the 21st century.


Re: overpopulation. As others have noted, the problem isn't too many kids in Africa. Sure, they'll destroy the local ecosystem but their overall carbon footprint is insignificant. It's the developed world, and especially the US and Australia and (eventually) China, that's causing this.

When people talk about overpopulation, it's a recognition that 7B of us can't live like westerners do. Not ALL 7B of us can drive Teslas and have 4 bedrooms for 3 people because "play room." So what Johnez wrote earlier is applicable -- we need a sustainable world for the developing world to see and grow into. China and India's aspirations shouldn't be that everyone has a car, let alone an ICE car, but it is.

Meowkins

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2018, 09:22:05 AM »
@bacchi Destroying local ecosystems contributes to climate change and absolute population growth is still a problem. I don't think climate change is being viewed as an issue only solved with reduction of direct emissions. Regardless, I do agree that coming to a more sustainable lifestyle is key for everyone in the world.

I found the article written on why a prominent environmentalist refuses to talk about overpopulation, it's a good read. 

Also, I believe China is already the largest emitter of carbon, but I think just recently committed to drastically reducing coal in favor of clean energy out of necessity.

@Hirondelle I appreciate your post a lot. Can you show me the calculator you're using for the 1 earth stuff?
Also, re: money is power, yesterday when I was chatting with her about this issue, a friend of mine mentioned yesterday that carbon off-setting is a way to use the power of money to make travel friendlier for the earth. It's an imperfect solution, but it's something!

Hirondelle

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2018, 09:36:01 AM »
@Meowkins, yes carbon off-setting is a good one too! I've done that for my last flights. There's a thread about it in the Thrown down the Gaunlet section of the forums.

The calculator I've used is a Dutch one I found on https://babetteporcelijn.com/en/ but it seems to be only available in Dutch and French. There's several others if you just google "Carbon footprint calculator" on Google though - not sure which one is best! The WWF one is a bit more elaborate than the one I used.

norabird

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2018, 09:39:12 AM »
Thanks for starting the thread @Meowkins and those who commented with what they're doing. To blame overpopulation is absurd--it's about the carbon used by the developed world! I switched finally to renewables for my home energy provider but I fly a lot :( This is reminding me to do more offsets, to eat less meat and dairy, and also to finally switch my banking to Amalgamated, for whatever it's worth.

bacchi

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #55 on: October 09, 2018, 10:07:36 AM »
@bacchi Destroying local ecosystems contributes to climate change and absolute population growth is still a problem. I don't think climate change is being viewed as an issue only solved with reduction of direct emissions. Regardless, I do agree that coming to a more sustainable lifestyle is key for everyone in the world.

I found the article written on why a prominent environmentalist refuses to talk about overpopulation, it's a good read. 

Sure, it's still a problem but telling a hut-living, no electricity, villager that their burning wood for heat and cooking needs to be curtailed while we take videos of them with our phones and gopros and then upload the pics to a cloud data server is pretty ironic. "Hey, save the elephants because they're cool. Thanks. I have a plane to catch."

It's a good article but it supports what EricL is writing about on the other thread (about fear of discussing certain topics because of ostracism).

Anyway,

Quote from: vox
If your concern is the creation of new consumers and emitters, your gaze should be drawn to those who will consume and emit the most, i.e., the wealthy.

Agreed. If the developed world merely limits CO2 to a sustainable level as is, it does nothing for the massive poor in India.

"Sorry, we've met the global CO2 level this year. There's not even enough to make a solar panel for you but you're on the list."

We (that is, the wealthy) have to emit at a sustainable level so that, when a Chinese village gets electricity, it can be done without burning coal and adding more CO2. It's a simple fact that, as the worldwide population grows, that sustainable level per capita shrinks. It's also a fact that one America emits as much as 1.5 Danes or 3 Swedes or 10 Kenyans.

Quote
Also, I believe China is already the largest emitter of carbon, but I think just recently committed to drastically reducing coal in favor of clean energy out of necessity.

China is the largest emitter of carbon but not per capita. That's a tie between the US and Australia.


RetiredAt63

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #56 on: October 09, 2018, 10:11:46 AM »
I'm not sure cutting back on animal products will help.  What will help is the way animals are raised - stop CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations, i.e. feedlots).  And the way crops are raised.  Right now field crops (think corn, wheat, soybeans) are basically mining the soil.  There are areas where 6-10" of topsoil have been lost, and that topsoil was full of carbon.  Plowing puts air deeper in the soil and increases oxidation, which releases carbon and methane into the air.  Intensive field crops also destroy masses of wildlife, and the trend to bigger fields has intensified that loss.  Bigger fields also mean more use of insecticides, since beneficial insects (i.e insects that eat insect pests) lose habitat.

A shift to intensive grazing grass-fed beef (mob grazing, which actually increases soil carbon) and pastured pigs and poultry, less mono-culture of annuals and more poly-culture of perennials, would all go a long way to diminish the effects of contemporary agriculture.  Mob grazing mimics what happened with the bison, and happens with the big herds in Africa - plant material gets trampled into the ground and becomes humus, which is sequestered carbon.  Good rotational grazing also messes up parasite life cycles, which means a lot less de-worming (and a lot of livestock parasites have developed immunity to a lot of de-wormers).  Grain-fed cattle also have a more acidic rumen, produce more methane, and the combination of that with antibiotics in feed leads to E. coli from them that are more dangerous for us, since the newer E. coli strains are acid resistant (our stomach acidity protects us from a lot of pathogens).

This may make food more expensive, but food prices are abnormally low (especially in the US).  Basically the push for low food prices has driven farmers to exploit their resources instead of husbanding them. 

Re sustainable energy, the elephant in the room is concrete, which needs cement.  Cement production is a huge CO2 emitter.


ZPG was big in the 60's and 70's and then died.  It is not just how many children we have, it is the generation time.  You are all capable of doing the math.  Population growth in Ecology is usually done using females only, and so we look at how many daughters one female will produce.  If one woman has one son and one daughter, we look at her daughter - a generation time of 20 years means a lot more people down the road than a generation time of 30 years.  Which is why I have one child (turned out to be a daughter) and I had her late.  My family's generation time is >30 years.

Cache_Stash

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #57 on: October 09, 2018, 10:38:32 AM »
https://www.worldpopulationbalance.org/3_times_sustainable

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/population-and-sustainability/

Population is the problem, not mankind's contribution to carbon dioxide in the air.  The contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere would be self correcting with a properly sized population. 

My point about no one wants to talk about the population problem:  We're so engaged with the climate conversation there is no room  for conversation on the larger problem which created our contribution to a negative climate change (the size of the world's population).  We're already have about 6 Billion too many people.

Conservation would allow more people, but the standard of living will be much, much lower than that currently enjoyed by the typical American. 

Given the amount of world travel and its growth, I think the problem may self correct with a pandemic that reduces the size of the population without our help.   Every population of every species on the earth goes through periods where the population naturally crashes due to imbalances.  A great deal of the crashes are due to disease.   I think the earth will take care of the problem all by itself.  In my estimation, it is probably the only way to correct our negative impact on the environment.   The horse is out of the barn.

Here's the disconnect, you're arguing we have too many people based on the American "standard of living". I assume based on this that you don't believe the assertions made by JoshuaSpodek above?

And even if you don't, that's circular logic. We argue residents of the developed world should use less resources. You say we have too many people because we can't support that many using the resources that the average American uses. But again, the average American is using WAY too much.

If the world used resources at the rate of an average American, the world would have no resources in 18 months.  This has nothing to do with the average American resource use.  This has to do with too many people.  We would have to live at a level that most people in America would find unacceptable at the current level of population.

Cache_Stash

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #58 on: October 09, 2018, 10:41:06 AM »
https://www.worldpopulationbalance.org/3_times_sustainable

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/population-and-sustainability/

Population is the problem, not mankind's contribution to carbon dioxide in the air.  The contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere would be self correcting with a properly sized population. 

My point about no one wants to talk about the population problem:  We're so engaged with the climate conversation there is no room  for conversation on the larger problem which created our contribution to a negative climate change (the size of the world's population).  We're already have about 6 Billion too many people.

Conservation would allow more people, but the standard of living will be much, much lower than that currently enjoyed by the typical American. 

Given the amount of world travel and its growth, I think the problem may self correct with a pandemic that reduces the size of the population without our help.   Every population of every species on the earth goes through periods where the population naturally crashes due to imbalances.  A great deal of the crashes are due to disease.   I think the earth will take care of the problem all by itself.  In my estimation, it is probably the only way to correct our negative impact on the environment.   The horse is out of the barn.

Ok, how do we get to 1b people in time to avoid the worst effects of climate change?

Did I mention the horse is out of the barn?  Oh yeah, I did.

So when you say no one wants to talk about the real issue of overpopulation, what do you mean? It seems like a number of people have tried to engage on the topic but you don't actually want to talk about it.

When I say "No one" I'm referring to the world leaders.  Of course there are people that want to discuss it.  But, 99% of all threads on the internet are discussing Climate Change, which, if attributable to mankind, is a result of overpopulation.  Climate Change is a symptom of overpopulation (which is the root cause).
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 10:43:15 AM by Cache_Stash »

SisterX

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #59 on: October 09, 2018, 10:43:05 AM »
I'm not sure cutting back on animal products will help.  What will help is the way animals are raised - stop CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations, i.e. feedlots).  And the way crops are raised.  Right now field crops (think corn, wheat, soybeans) are basically mining the soil.  There are areas where 6-10" of topsoil have been lost, and that topsoil was full of carbon.  Plowing puts air deeper in the soil and increases oxidation, which releases carbon and methane into the air.  Intensive field crops also destroy masses of wildlife, and the trend to bigger fields has intensified that loss.  Bigger fields also mean more use of insecticides, since beneficial insects (i.e insects that eat insect pests) lose habitat.

A shift to intensive grazing grass-fed beef (mob grazing, which actually increases soil carbon) and pastured pigs and poultry, less mono-culture of annuals and more poly-culture of perennials, would all go a long way to diminish the effects of contemporary agriculture.  Mob grazing mimics what happened with the bison, and happens with the big herds in Africa - plant material gets trampled into the ground and becomes humus, which is sequestered carbon.  Good rotational grazing also messes up parasite life cycles, which means a lot less de-worming (and a lot of livestock parasites have developed immunity to a lot of de-wormers).  Grain-fed cattle also have a more acidic rumen, produce more methane, and the combination of that with antibiotics in feed leads to E. coli from them that are more dangerous for us, since the newer E. coli strains are acid resistant (our stomach acidity protects us from a lot of pathogens).

This may make food more expensive, but food prices are abnormally low (especially in the US).  Basically the push for low food prices has driven farmers to exploit their resources instead of husbanding them. 

So much this. I've seen any number of posts and blogs about people who were vegetarians but began working in sustainable farms, or started a homestead, or whatever, and realized that they couldn't do it and still be vegetarians/vegans. "There's a reason our image of a farm is a polyculture with many different animals." (I believe that was Sharon Astyk? A farmer and eco-advocate, among other things.) Animals do a lot around the farm that has now been replaced with fertilizers, insecticides, and gas-powered equipment. Oil is the only reason we can have monoculture farming.

I don't actually want to discourage anyone from becoming vegan. Do it, it's not going to hurt anything. If nothing else, I think many people could easily reduce their intake of meat. I don't think meat is unhealthy at all--but we raise unhealthy animals and, surprise! they're not super healthy for us to eat. Having a cow that's sick and half-dead when it gets to slaughter because it's been force fed grains rather than grass...it should be obvious that that's not the ticket to good health. So eat less, support better practices and farms/farmers when you do buy meat, eggs, and dairy.

A lot of people focus on meat as being the horrible part of agriculture because it's easy. But giant fields of nothing but corn and soy are terrible for the environment too. Monocultures in general are awful. I've done a lot of reading and research into farming practices and the issues surrounding farms. It's not an issue of meat vs. grains, it's that the entire system is so ridiculously stupid from start to finish. No, GMOs won't save us all from starvation. They have massive problems of their own, like built in genes so that you can't save seeds from them. In a world of climate change, when you can't rely on global systems anymore, how do you expect to get seeds?

Start gardening. Grow what food you can, because if nothing else those skills are going to be in high demand in a future world where people are starving to death.

And maybe don't eat fish, since not only is much of it laden with mercury but our oceans are, if possible, more fucked over than the land, and they're just as crucial to human survival. Plus, something like 40% of the plastic in the oceans is related to fishing. If you care about ocean cleanup, don't eat fish.

GuitarStv

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #60 on: October 09, 2018, 10:43:32 AM »
https://www.worldpopulationbalance.org/3_times_sustainable

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/population-and-sustainability/

Population is the problem, not mankind's contribution to carbon dioxide in the air.  The contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere would be self correcting with a properly sized population. 

My point about no one wants to talk about the population problem:  We're so engaged with the climate conversation there is no room  for conversation on the larger problem which created our contribution to a negative climate change (the size of the world's population).  We're already have about 6 Billion too many people.

Conservation would allow more people, but the standard of living will be much, much lower than that currently enjoyed by the typical American. 

Given the amount of world travel and its growth, I think the problem may self correct with a pandemic that reduces the size of the population without our help.   Every population of every species on the earth goes through periods where the population naturally crashes due to imbalances.  A great deal of the crashes are due to disease.   I think the earth will take care of the problem all by itself.  In my estimation, it is probably the only way to correct our negative impact on the environment.   The horse is out of the barn.

Here's the disconnect, you're arguing we have too many people based on the American "standard of living". I assume based on this that you don't believe the assertions made by JoshuaSpodek above?

And even if you don't, that's circular logic. We argue residents of the developed world should use less resources. You say we have too many people because we can't support that many using the resources that the average American uses. But again, the average American is using WAY too much.

If the world used resources at the rate of an average American, the world would have no resources in 18 months.  This has nothing to do with the average American resource use.  This has to do with too many people.  We would have to live at a level that most people in America would find unacceptable at the current level of population.

There are different ways to look at the data.

If people want to be as wasteful as they currently are in the US, then yes.  We will need to start executing people to survive.

If people want to conserve much more than they currently are, then yes.  We can survive just fine with what currently exists.

The best solution for the most people probably lies somewhere in the middle.

To say that the problem only has to do with too many people and has nothing to do with resource use is objectively wrong though.

daverobev

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #61 on: October 09, 2018, 10:44:06 AM »
China is the largest emitter of carbon but not per capita. That's a tie between the US and Australia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita - not quite.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions the whole EU produces 2/3 that of America. Getting the US, Canada, and Australia to EU levels per person would be wonderful...

bacchi

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #62 on: October 09, 2018, 10:49:31 AM »
China is the largest emitter of carbon but not per capita. That's a tie between the US and Australia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita - not quite.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions the whole EU produces 2/3 that of America. Getting the US, Canada, and Australia to EU levels per person would be wonderful...

My mistake. There are other countries that are much worse per capita than the US and AU.

Re: the EU, having sensible mass transit and housing size helps a lot. Plus having a government care more about the people instead of corporations.

Cache_Stash

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #63 on: October 09, 2018, 10:59:27 AM »
https://www.worldpopulationbalance.org/3_times_sustainable

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/population-and-sustainability/

Population is the problem, not mankind's contribution to carbon dioxide in the air.  The contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere would be self correcting with a properly sized population. 

My point about no one wants to talk about the population problem:  We're so engaged with the climate conversation there is no room  for conversation on the larger problem which created our contribution to a negative climate change (the size of the world's population).  We're already have about 6 Billion too many people.

Conservation would allow more people, but the standard of living will be much, much lower than that currently enjoyed by the typical American. 

Given the amount of world travel and its growth, I think the problem may self correct with a pandemic that reduces the size of the population without our help.   Every population of every species on the earth goes through periods where the population naturally crashes due to imbalances.  A great deal of the crashes are due to disease.   I think the earth will take care of the problem all by itself.  In my estimation, it is probably the only way to correct our negative impact on the environment.   The horse is out of the barn.

Here's the disconnect, you're arguing we have too many people based on the American "standard of living". I assume based on this that you don't believe the assertions made by JoshuaSpodek above?

And even if you don't, that's circular logic. We argue residents of the developed world should use less resources. You say we have too many people because we can't support that many using the resources that the average American uses. But again, the average American is using WAY too much.

If the world used resources at the rate of an average American, the world would have no resources in 18 months.  This has nothing to do with the average American resource use.  This has to do with too many people.  We would have to live at a level that most people in America would find unacceptable at the current level of population.

There are different ways to look at the data.

If people want to be as wasteful as they currently are in the US, then yes.  We will need to start executing people to survive.

If people want to conserve much more than they currently are, then yes.  We can survive just fine with what currently exists.

The best solution for the most people probably lies somewhere in the middle.

To say that the problem only has to do with too many people and has nothing to do with resource use is objectively wrong though.

I guess I wasn't clear.  What I'm saying is that you can address and implement conservation but it still isn't enough to pull us back from the ledge.  The article mentioned above about "Why I never talk about population" has some good ideas on how to at least start a discussion.

https://vasweb.com/Philippines%202010/Introducton.htm

This is the type of things where investment is needed.

GuitarStv

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #64 on: October 09, 2018, 11:32:15 AM »
https://www.worldpopulationbalance.org/3_times_sustainable

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/population-and-sustainability/

Population is the problem, not mankind's contribution to carbon dioxide in the air.  The contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere would be self correcting with a properly sized population. 

My point about no one wants to talk about the population problem:  We're so engaged with the climate conversation there is no room  for conversation on the larger problem which created our contribution to a negative climate change (the size of the world's population).  We're already have about 6 Billion too many people.

Conservation would allow more people, but the standard of living will be much, much lower than that currently enjoyed by the typical American. 

Given the amount of world travel and its growth, I think the problem may self correct with a pandemic that reduces the size of the population without our help.   Every population of every species on the earth goes through periods where the population naturally crashes due to imbalances.  A great deal of the crashes are due to disease.   I think the earth will take care of the problem all by itself.  In my estimation, it is probably the only way to correct our negative impact on the environment.   The horse is out of the barn.

Here's the disconnect, you're arguing we have too many people based on the American "standard of living". I assume based on this that you don't believe the assertions made by JoshuaSpodek above?

And even if you don't, that's circular logic. We argue residents of the developed world should use less resources. You say we have too many people because we can't support that many using the resources that the average American uses. But again, the average American is using WAY too much.

If the world used resources at the rate of an average American, the world would have no resources in 18 months.  This has nothing to do with the average American resource use.  This has to do with too many people.  We would have to live at a level that most people in America would find unacceptable at the current level of population.

There are different ways to look at the data.

If people want to be as wasteful as they currently are in the US, then yes.  We will need to start executing people to survive.

If people want to conserve much more than they currently are, then yes.  We can survive just fine with what currently exists.

The best solution for the most people probably lies somewhere in the middle.

To say that the problem only has to do with too many people and has nothing to do with resource use is objectively wrong though.

I guess I wasn't clear.  What I'm saying is that you can address and implement conservation but it still isn't enough to pull us back from the ledge.  The article mentioned above about "Why I never talk about population" has some good ideas on how to at least start a discussion.

https://vasweb.com/Philippines%202010/Introducton.htm

This is the type of things where investment is needed.

I agree that the type and amount of conservation required isn't very popular.  I don't believe that voluntary birth control will ever achieve numbers high enough to fix the problem either though.  If we're talking involuntary conservation vs involuntary birth control, I think the former is going to be an easier (although not popular) sell.  The beauty of climate change though, is that it's slow.  This gives us time to refuse to take action until it's far too late regardless of your preferred fix.

Meowkins

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #65 on: October 09, 2018, 12:50:30 PM »
@Cache_Stash What do you mean when you say "it's not enough to pull us back from the ledge"? You mean to a sustainable world population in general or specifically re: climate emissions?

daverobev

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #66 on: October 09, 2018, 01:29:16 PM »
China is the largest emitter of carbon but not per capita. That's a tie between the US and Australia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita - not quite.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions the whole EU produces 2/3 that of America. Getting the US, Canada, and Australia to EU levels per person would be wonderful...

My mistake. There are other countries that are much worse per capita than the US and AU.

Re: the EU, having sensible mass transit and housing size helps a lot. Plus having a government care more about the people instead of corporations.

Yup, at this point - after living in Canada for 8 years - I fucking LOVE the EU. I mean - it isn't perfect, far far far from it. I'm not in favour of a Federated States of Europe (and I'm immensely sad the UK is pulling out, partly because they - we - provided a solid counter to that). But generally speaking? Oh man. A balance of modernity, culture, and at least some credible motion towards sustainability. The world is so much better off moving towards an EU model than a US one...

Cache_Stash

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #67 on: October 09, 2018, 01:37:41 PM »
@Cache_Stash What do you mean when you say "it's not enough to pull us back from the ledge"? You mean to a sustainable world population in general or specifically re: climate emissions?
If you truly feel that the earth is warming at the rate the IPCC says it is (although all of the models have thus far been wrong), then yes, it's too late.  If you are talking about general resources of the world, then yes it is too late.  Unless we have a pandemic or some other disastrous population event, our environment cannot sustain the number of people we have in the world.  A small number of people trying their best isn't going to be good enough.  And when I'm saying "small" I'm saying like maybe 350 Million people like the size of the US. 


MasterStache

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #68 on: October 09, 2018, 02:01:06 PM »
https://www.worldpopulationbalance.org/3_times_sustainable

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/population-and-sustainability/

Population is the problem, not mankind's contribution to carbon dioxide in the air.  The contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere would be self correcting with a properly sized population. 

My point about no one wants to talk about the population problem:  We're so engaged with the climate conversation there is no room  for conversation on the larger problem which created our contribution to a negative climate change (the size of the world's population).  We're already have about 6 Billion too many people.

Conservation would allow more people, but the standard of living will be much, much lower than that currently enjoyed by the typical American. 

Given the amount of world travel and its growth, I think the problem may self correct with a pandemic that reduces the size of the population without our help.   Every population of every species on the earth goes through periods where the population naturally crashes due to imbalances.  A great deal of the crashes are due to disease.   I think the earth will take care of the problem all by itself.  In my estimation, it is probably the only way to correct our negative impact on the environment.   The horse is out of the barn.

Here's the disconnect, you're arguing we have too many people based on the American "standard of living". I assume based on this that you don't believe the assertions made by JoshuaSpodek above?

And even if you don't, that's circular logic. We argue residents of the developed world should use less resources. You say we have too many people because we can't support that many using the resources that the average American uses. But again, the average American is using WAY too much.

^This

The issue isn't overpopulation, but consumption habits. By changing our consumption habits one could reasonably argue we are not overpopulated. But at our current 1st world consumption rates, we are. You can't just kill off billions of people. But we can work on changing our consumption habits. Perhaps the reason why it isn't discussed as much as you would like is because the only reasonable humane solution is what is always discussed, consumption habits.

Cache_Stash

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #69 on: October 09, 2018, 02:04:37 PM »
https://www.worldpopulationbalance.org/3_times_sustainable

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/population-and-sustainability/

Population is the problem, not mankind's contribution to carbon dioxide in the air.  The contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere would be self correcting with a properly sized population. 

My point about no one wants to talk about the population problem:  We're so engaged with the climate conversation there is no room  for conversation on the larger problem which created our contribution to a negative climate change (the size of the world's population).  We're already have about 6 Billion too many people.

Conservation would allow more people, but the standard of living will be much, much lower than that currently enjoyed by the typical American. 

Given the amount of world travel and its growth, I think the problem may self correct with a pandemic that reduces the size of the population without our help.   Every population of every species on the earth goes through periods where the population naturally crashes due to imbalances.  A great deal of the crashes are due to disease.   I think the earth will take care of the problem all by itself.  In my estimation, it is probably the only way to correct our negative impact on the environment.   The horse is out of the barn.

Here's the disconnect, you're arguing we have too many people based on the American "standard of living". I assume based on this that you don't believe the assertions made by JoshuaSpodek above?

And even if you don't, that's circular logic. We argue residents of the developed world should use less resources. You say we have too many people because we can't support that many using the resources that the average American uses. But again, the average American is using WAY too much.

^This

The issue isn't overpopulation, but consumption habits. By changing our consumption habits one could reasonably argue we are not overpopulated. But at our current 1st world consumption rates, we are. You can't just kill off billions of people. But we can work on changing our consumption habits. Perhaps the reason why it isn't discussed as much as you would like is because the only reasonable humane solution is what is always discussed, consumption habits.

And if you read my follow up to the post above by Dabnasty, I noted that consumption habits isn't enough.  We already have too many people.

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #70 on: October 09, 2018, 02:08:39 PM »
I'm not sure cutting back on animal products will help.  What will help is the way animals are raised - stop CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations, i.e. feedlots).  And the way crops are raised.  Right now field crops (think corn, wheat, soybeans) are basically mining the soil.  There are areas where 6-10" of topsoil have been lost, and that topsoil was full of carbon.  Plowing puts air deeper in the soil and increases oxidation, which releases carbon and methane into the air.  Intensive field crops also destroy masses of wildlife, and the trend to bigger fields has intensified that loss.  Bigger fields also mean more use of insecticides, since beneficial insects (i.e insects that eat insect pests) lose habitat.

A shift to intensive grazing grass-fed beef (mob grazing, which actually increases soil carbon) and pastured pigs and poultry, less mono-culture of annuals and more poly-culture of perennials, would all go a long way to diminish the effects of contemporary agriculture.  Mob grazing mimics what happened with the bison, and happens with the big herds in Africa - plant material gets trampled into the ground and becomes humus, which is sequestered carbon.  Good rotational grazing also messes up parasite life cycles, which means a lot less de-worming (and a lot of livestock parasites have developed immunity to a lot of de-wormers).  Grain-fed cattle also have a more acidic rumen, produce more methane, and the combination of that with antibiotics in feed leads to E. coli from them that are more dangerous for us, since the newer E. coli strains are acid resistant (our stomach acidity protects us from a lot of pathogens).

This may make food more expensive, but food prices are abnormally low (especially in the US).  Basically the push for low food prices has driven farmers to exploit their resources instead of husbanding them. 

So much this. I've seen any number of posts and blogs about people who were vegetarians but began working in sustainable farms, or started a homestead, or whatever, and realized that they couldn't do it and still be vegetarians/vegans. "There's a reason our image of a farm is a polyculture with many different animals." (I believe that was Sharon Astyk? A farmer and eco-advocate, among other things.) Animals do a lot around the farm that has now been replaced with fertilizers, insecticides, and gas-powered equipment. Oil is the only reason we can have monoculture farming.

I don't actually want to discourage anyone from becoming vegan. Do it, it's not going to hurt anything. If nothing else, I think many people could easily reduce their intake of meat. I don't think meat is unhealthy at all--but we raise unhealthy animals and, surprise! they're not super healthy for us to eat. Having a cow that's sick and half-dead when it gets to slaughter because it's been force fed grains rather than grass...it should be obvious that that's not the ticket to good health. So eat less, support better practices and farms/farmers when you do buy meat, eggs, and dairy.

A lot of people focus on meat as being the horrible part of agriculture because it's easy. But giant fields of nothing but corn and soy are terrible for the environment too. Monocultures in general are awful. I've done a lot of reading and research into farming practices and the issues surrounding farms. It's not an issue of meat vs. grains, it's that the entire system is so ridiculously stupid from start to finish. No, GMOs won't save us all from starvation. They have massive problems of their own, like built in genes so that you can't save seeds from them. In a world of climate change, when you can't rely on global systems anymore, how do you expect to get seeds?

Start gardening. Grow what food you can, because if nothing else those skills are going to be in high demand in a future world where people are starving to death.

And maybe don't eat fish, since not only is much of it laden with mercury but our oceans are, if possible, more fucked over than the land, and they're just as crucial to human survival. Plus, something like 40% of the plastic in the oceans is related to fishing. If you care about ocean cleanup, don't eat fish.

Ermm. Gonna disagree massively here. Bat calling @Malaysia41 as she'll for sure have more and better argumentation than me and a more extensive collection of scientific information to back it up. But let me start with some basics:

First, I agree with you that the whole world going vegan is not going to work. Or actually it probably would, but I do agree that there's lots of land areas that aren't suitable to grow crops while they're perfectly fine for grazing and such. I also agree that monocultures aren't great and that a mix of different crops and a handful of animals might work best. But that's pretty far from what we're at now, so lets have a look at some data.

The crops you guys are mentioning (corn and soy) are mostly produced for animal food. 70% of all soy produced in the USA is used for animal feed. For corn, this percentage is at 36%. Apparently, worldwide, 55% of crops are used for human consumption and a whopping 36% as animal feed. Now, using that logic one might realize that the current numbers of farm animals are not sustainable as they apparently take up 36% of calories from all the foods we are growing (in monocultures)! Wouldn't it be way easier and result in way more variety in crops if we heavily reduce our animal consumption to levels where we don't need such an insane amount of crops just to feed our animals and have a meager 12%-3% (chicken vs beef) of the original calories left? I'm not sure what level of animal protein consumption would be sustainable, but for now the easiest for me seems to cut out all/most beef/pork/cheese as they are the worst environmental wise (and seemingly also health wise).

Regarding health; it's generally accepted that processed meat consumption (mostly red meat) is one of the main risk factors for colon cancer. After lung cancer and smoking, it is the strongest association found in cancer research (I don't have a source readily available for this number, but it was in a uni lecture I've had and it just stuck with me as I'd been taught meat was part of a healthy diet my whole life. A stronger risk factor might've been found by now, but the fact that it was a strong one is still standing).

Meowkins

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #71 on: October 09, 2018, 02:54:36 PM »
@Cache_Stash What do you mean when you say "it's not enough to pull us back from the ledge"? You mean to a sustainable world population in general or specifically re: climate emissions?
If you truly feel that the earth is warming at the rate the IPCC says it is (although all of the models have thus far been wrong), then yes, it's too late.  If you are talking about general resources of the world, then yes it is too late. 

Thanks for clarification. What are you basing those opinions on?

Meowkins

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #72 on: October 09, 2018, 02:58:25 PM »
@Hirondelle Health really isn't much of a concern to me atm so no comment there, but different ways of using herd animals have been cited in the books that I've read as a great way to restore soil for carbon capture, as @RetiredAt63 mentioned. I don't think this has to be a vegan/vegetarian vs. non-vegan/vegetarian discussion, because lower meat and dariy consumption period is still a great environmental step.

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #73 on: October 09, 2018, 03:07:02 PM »
https://www.worldpopulationbalance.org/3_times_sustainable

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/population-and-sustainability/

Population is the problem, not mankind's contribution to carbon dioxide in the air.  The contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere would be self correcting with a properly sized population. 

My point about no one wants to talk about the population problem:  We're so engaged with the climate conversation there is no room  for conversation on the larger problem which created our contribution to a negative climate change (the size of the world's population).  We're already have about 6 Billion too many people.

Conservation would allow more people, but the standard of living will be much, much lower than that currently enjoyed by the typical American. 

Given the amount of world travel and its growth, I think the problem may self correct with a pandemic that reduces the size of the population without our help.   Every population of every species on the earth goes through periods where the population naturally crashes due to imbalances.  A great deal of the crashes are due to disease.   I think the earth will take care of the problem all by itself.  In my estimation, it is probably the only way to correct our negative impact on the environment.   The horse is out of the barn.

Here's the disconnect, you're arguing we have too many people based on the American "standard of living". I assume based on this that you don't believe the assertions made by JoshuaSpodek above?

And even if you don't, that's circular logic. We argue residents of the developed world should use less resources. You say we have too many people because we can't support that many using the resources that the average American uses. But again, the average American is using WAY too much.

^This

The issue isn't overpopulation, but consumption habits. By changing our consumption habits one could reasonably argue we are not overpopulated. But at our current 1st world consumption rates, we are. You can't just kill off billions of people. But we can work on changing our consumption habits. Perhaps the reason why it isn't discussed as much as you would like is because the only reasonable humane solution is what is always discussed, consumption habits.

And if you read my follow up to the post above by Dabnasty, I noted that consumption habits isn't enough.  We already have too many people.

I did read your post. Perhaps you should read my again, specifically the bolded part.

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160311-how-many-people-can-our-planet-really-support

Fresh Bread

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #74 on: October 09, 2018, 03:40:35 PM »
@Cache_Stash

Both your links pasted above state that the appropriate measures to deal with climate change are a combination of reducing fertility rates (by empowering women) and by curbing emissions.

There are many organisations working to lift women out of poverty in the developing world and enable them to limit their family size. I hear that in the US there are issues around access to birth control but groups are working on that.

So... Population and birth rates are very much being considered and are definitely being worked on in a humane way.

Slaughtering 6 out of 7 people or allowing them to succumb to disease. I don't see that as a workable solution, mate.

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #75 on: October 09, 2018, 05:33:19 PM »
Ermm. Gonna disagree massively here. Bat calling @Malaysia41 as she'll for sure have more and better argumentation than me and a more extensive collection of scientific information to back it up. But let me start with some basics:

First, I agree with you that the whole world going vegan is not going to work. Or actually it probably would, but I do agree that there's lots of land areas that aren't suitable to grow crops while they're perfectly fine for grazing and such. I also agree that monocultures aren't great and that a mix of different crops and a handful of animals might work best. But that's pretty far from what we're at now, so lets have a look at some data.

The crops you guys are mentioning (corn and soy) are mostly produced for animal food. 70% of all soy produced in the USA is used for animal feed. For corn, this percentage is at 36%. Apparently, worldwide, 55% of crops are used for human consumption and a whopping 36% as animal feed. Now, using that logic one might realize that the current numbers of farm animals are not sustainable as they apparently take up 36% of calories from all the foods we are growing (in monocultures)! Wouldn't it be way easier and result in way more variety in crops if we heavily reduce our animal consumption to levels where we don't need such an insane amount of crops just to feed our animals and have a meager 12%-3% (chicken vs beef) of the original calories left? I'm not sure what level of animal protein consumption would be sustainable, but for now the easiest for me seems to cut out all/most beef/pork/cheese as they are the worst environmental wise (and seemingly also health wise).

Regarding health; it's generally accepted that processed meat consumption (mostly red meat) is one of the main risk factors for colon cancer. After lung cancer and smoking, it is the strongest association found in cancer research (I don't have a source readily available for this number, but it was in a uni lecture I've had and it just stuck with me as I'd been taught meat was part of a healthy diet my whole life. A stronger risk factor might've been found by now, but the fact that it was a strong one is still standing).

You're still arguing this as if it's a given we will continue with CAFO style farming. I'm saying we need to scrap that system entirely, thus removing the grains from the diets of most animals (apparently chickens do need some unless they're 100% foragers, and even then a little winter supplementation is nice) so that all those grains are no longer being grown merely to be fed to animals. We could return the grasslands of the midwest to...wait for it...grasslands. With herd animals on them and all the bugs, mammals, and birds that are supposed to be there. Sequestering carbon and building up the soil again that we've recklessly destroyed.

FWIW, I do limit my beef/pork/dairy. I was entirely beef and pork free for over a decade until I combined lives with my spouse. Now I eat a little bit, and he eats far less than he would if I wasn't in the picture, and he's come more to my side of things than I've gone to his. I'm working on cutting our chicken consumption in half, by simply adding less meat to meals and cutting it up smaller so it still seems like as much. I don't disagree that eating less meat is a great thing, and even eating no meat if that's your choice. But making it a black and white choice between veganism and horrible conventional agriculture is a false dichotomy. There's another route, one that works very well if taken along with moderation.

simonsez

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #76 on: October 09, 2018, 05:38:57 PM »
@Cache_Stash

Both your links pasted above state that the appropriate measures to deal with climate change are a combination of reducing fertility rates (by empowering women) and by curbing emissions.

There are many organisations working to lift women out of poverty in the developing world and enable them to limit their family size. I hear that in the US there are issues around access to birth control but groups are working on that.

So... Population and birth rates are very much being considered and are definitely being worked on in a humane way.

Slaughtering 6 out of 7 people or allowing them to succumb to disease. I don't see that as a workable solution, mate.
Yes, the education and rights of women are the major input to the population side.  Want to reduce fertility in developing areas?  Teach young girls how to read, let them advance through secondary and tertiary schooling, have a career, vote, drive, own property, have equal say in family planning matters, and then see if they have fewer kids compared to the version of themselves in a rural hut where more children = more help in the fields.

Also, related: clean water/sanitation contribute to lower fertility by generally being a prerequisite.  So if an area has illiterate women AND no clean water, start with the clean water first.  Harder for someone to naturally want to have only 0, 1, or 2 children if the U5 mortality rate is 50% (~historical rate up until ~early 20th century in "developed" countries) regardless of their education and rights.

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #77 on: October 09, 2018, 05:50:33 PM »
@Cache_Stash What do you mean when you say "it's not enough to pull us back from the ledge"? You mean to a sustainable world population in general or specifically re: climate emissions?
If you truly feel that the earth is warming at the rate the IPCC says it is (although all of the models have thus far been wrong), then yes, it's too late.  If you are talking about general resources of the world, then yes it is too late.  Unless we have a pandemic or some other disastrous population event, our environment cannot sustain the number of people we have in the world.  A small number of people trying their best isn't going to be good enough.  And when I'm saying "small" I'm saying like maybe 350 Million people like the size of the US.

Yikes missed this little gem. Yeah it's rather tough to predict volcanic eruptions and other natural forcings yet despite this, surface temperature projections were pretty darn good.

https://www.skepticalscience.com/how-well-have-models-predicted-gw.html

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #78 on: October 09, 2018, 05:54:02 PM »
Ermm. Gonna disagree massively here. Bat calling @Malaysia41 as she'll for sure have more and better argumentation than me and a more extensive collection of scientific information to back it up. But let me start with some basics:

First, I agree with you that the whole world going vegan is not going to work. Or actually it probably would, but I do agree that there's lots of land areas that aren't suitable to grow crops while they're perfectly fine for grazing and such. I also agree that monocultures aren't great and that a mix of different crops and a handful of animals might work best. But that's pretty far from what we're at now, so lets have a look at some data.

The crops you guys are mentioning (corn and soy) are mostly produced for animal food. 70% of all soy produced in the USA is used for animal feed. For corn, this percentage is at 36%. Apparently, worldwide, 55% of crops are used for human consumption and a whopping 36% as animal feed. Now, using that logic one might realize that the current numbers of farm animals are not sustainable as they apparently take up 36% of calories from all the foods we are growing (in monocultures)! Wouldn't it be way easier and result in way more variety in crops if we heavily reduce our animal consumption to levels where we don't need such an insane amount of crops just to feed our animals and have a meager 12%-3% (chicken vs beef) of the original calories left? I'm not sure what level of animal protein consumption would be sustainable, but for now the easiest for me seems to cut out all/most beef/pork/cheese as they are the worst environmental wise (and seemingly also health wise).

Regarding health; it's generally accepted that processed meat consumption (mostly red meat) is one of the main risk factors for colon cancer. After lung cancer and smoking, it is the strongest association found in cancer research (I don't have a source readily available for this number, but it was in a uni lecture I've had and it just stuck with me as I'd been taught meat was part of a healthy diet my whole life. A stronger risk factor might've been found by now, but the fact that it was a strong one is still standing).

You're still arguing this as if it's a given we will continue with CAFO style farming. I'm saying we need to scrap that system entirely, thus removing the grains from the diets of most animals (apparently chickens do need some unless they're 100% foragers, and even then a little winter supplementation is nice) so that all those grains are no longer being grown merely to be fed to animals. We could return the grasslands of the midwest to...wait for it...grasslands. With herd animals on them and all the bugs, mammals, and birds that are supposed to be there. Sequestering carbon and building up the soil again that we've recklessly destroyed.

FWIW, I do limit my beef/pork/dairy. I was entirely beef and pork free for over a decade until I combined lives with my spouse. Now I eat a little bit, and he eats far less than he would if I wasn't in the picture, and he's come more to my side of things than I've gone to his. I'm working on cutting our chicken consumption in half, by simply adding less meat to meals and cutting it up smaller so it still seems like as much. I don't disagree that eating less meat is a great thing, and even eating no meat if that's your choice. But making it a black and white choice between veganism and horrible conventional agriculture is a false dichotomy. There's another route, one that works very well if taken along with moderation.

SisterX, you got to this before I did.  ;-)  If we went to mob grazing and ditched feedlots, that corn and soy and so on would not be used for animal feed.  Wild birds eat seeds, so it is normal for chickens to eat a bit of grain - but they will also eat insects, and really any meat if it is in a size they can handle.  I have read stories of old farmers who as boys had to find small animals (squirrels, etc.) to feed the chickens in winter when no insects were available.  Lots of animals we think of as herbivores are not, mice and squirrels will happily eat animals.  It is just they are often eating invertebrates, so people don't think of them as omnivores.

Plus some countries have a lot more arable land than others.  There is a reason most Canadians live close to the southern border, it is where the farm land is (also longer growing season, warmer, all the obvious).  Years ago someone pointed out that there are 6 categories of agricultural soil (at least in Quebec);  types 1-3 can be plowed, 4-6 can not.  Too steep, too rocky, too shallow, too erosion-prone.    They are still perfectly fine for grazing and haying.  Then there is soil that cannot grow a crop but can still grow trees. Plus ruminants can take plant material that is indigestible for us and turn it into high quality food (protein and fat).  Neat trick.

Meat and cancer - was a not very good study, self-reported intake, and did not separate raw meat (cooked before eating, of course) from highly processed meats (hot dogs, etc.).* Meat is a highly digestible source of protein, red meats are a major source of iron.  They do not need to be eaten in huge quantities, serving sizes in restaurants are ridiculous (and serving sizes at American restaurants are even more ridiculous).

*A lot of nutrition "science" has been done by people with agendas, ignoring basic biology.  Cholesterol was demonized for decades, but if you cut way back on your dietary cholesterol your liver will just make more to make up the difference between what was eaten and what is needed.  Cholesterol is essential, it is the fatty component of cell membranes, including the glial cells that support neurons.  I can't help but wonder what we are doing to our children, cutting down their fat (especially animal fat and cholesterol) intake.

maizeman

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #79 on: October 09, 2018, 06:07:44 PM »
And the way crops are raised.  Right now field crops (think corn, wheat, soybeans) are basically mining the soil.  There are areas where 6-10" of topsoil have been lost, and that topsoil was full of carbon.  Plowing puts air deeper in the soil and increases oxidation, which releases carbon and methane into the air.  Intensive field crops also destroy masses of wildlife, and the trend to bigger fields has intensified that loss.  Bigger fields also mean more use of insecticides, since beneficial insects (i.e insects that eat insect pests) lose habitat.

No till practices (essentially you don't ever plow your fields) have changed a lot of this when it comes to row crop production. At this point a lot of farmland in the US devoted to corn and soybeans is adding rather than losing topsoil and increasing soil organic matter content (essentially stored carbon in the soil).

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #80 on: October 09, 2018, 06:25:50 PM »
Since @Hirondelle called me over - here's a couple sources I found useful.

https://www.elementascience.org/articles/10.12952/journal.elementa.000116/

"Carrying capacity of U.S. agricultural land: Ten diet scenarios"

Given that some land is not suitable for crops, and looking at land in the US, the 100% vegan diet does not come out as the diet that would sustain the most humans across the US. Mainly because it is limited to, well, cropland. If you read the abstract, you should also look at the data. Heavy meat diets do terribly.  Also this is strictly limited to land area. I don't recall them factoring in carbon emissions. So, given that CH4 emissions from cows are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, I would think that'd make the omni and dairy veg diets worse than what's portrayed here.

Quote
Using a biophysical simulation model we calculated human carrying capacity under ten diet scenarios. The scenarios included two reference diets based on actual consumption and eight “Healthy Diet” scenarios that complied with nutritional recommendations but varied in the level of meat content. We considered the U.S. agricultural land base and accounted for losses, processing conversions, livestock feed needs, suitability of land for crops or grazing, and land productivity. Annual per capita land requirements ranged from 0.13 to 1.08 ha person-1 year-1 across the ten diet scenarios. Carrying capacity varied from 402 to 807 million persons; 1.3 to 2.6 times the 2010 U.S. population. Carrying capacity was generally higher for scenarios with less meat and highest for the lacto-vegetarian diet. However, the carrying capacity of the vegan diet was lower than two of the healthy omnivore diet scenarios. Sensitivity analysis showed that carrying capacity estimates were highly influenced by starting assumptions about the proportion of cropland available for cultivated cropping. Population level dietary change can contribute substantially to meeting future food needs, though ongoing agricultural research and sustainable management practices are still needed to assure sufficient production levels.

Here's a useful graph that shows the raw land needed for each diet.



and as you increase the % cropland available, vegan crosses over to the winner at 92%. Their assumption, IIRC, is that crop land can't be used every year, so some is left fallow.


I'll post the other references later. They address the carbon emissions. But I find this land use study to be a useful way of getting my head around how the diets compare in terms of , uh, land use. :)

It's way past my bedtime. I still need to answer about the book Overshoot too. Tomorrow.
edit : sorry for all the janky edits - did I say it was past my bedtime?

« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 06:39:37 PM by Malaysia41 »

Meowkins

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #81 on: October 09, 2018, 07:03:34 PM »
The study is really interesting thanks for sharing! It occurs to me that they are estimating yield based on current agricultural practice, yeah? So it may be that this study doesn't necessarily contradict anything that SisX and Retiredat63 are saying about newer practices for livestock raising, for example. Additionally, there is increasing data that practices such as rotational grazing increase yield, so I wonder how that plays in.

The author also seemed pretty cautious about making any final assumptions about the best dietary changes because more data is needed.

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #82 on: October 09, 2018, 08:06:50 PM »
While I mentioned in an earlier post I'm generally quite pessimistic, there is hope for technologies.

For instance lab grown meat could be a huge game changer. If meat can be grown in a lab and we cheaper than conventially farmed meat and can be done relatively soon that could be a total gamechanger and allow us to really make a dent in climate change. Without the need to raise beef there would be a huge reduction in ghg from that but also millions of acres of now empty land and farmers that need something to do. They could go to growing crops and some of the land could be reforested by the farmers. This increase in crops and trees would suck carbon out of the air. Tech like this could be a game changer and could limit climate change to less than 2 degrees.

But the political will to allow lab meat to destroy a large portion of the agricultural economy is probably not there and it would probably somehow not be allowed on store shelves.

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #83 on: October 09, 2018, 08:16:53 PM »
I really like the drawdown project. I think it's hugely multidisciplinary and rigorous. I'm still finishing the book, though!

Here's a really cool graph that summarizes some ways to reduce greenhouse gases:



Source

Fresh Bread

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #84 on: October 09, 2018, 08:53:23 PM »
I really like the drawdown project. I think it's hugely multidisciplinary and rigorous. I'm still finishing the book, though!

Here's a really cool graph that summarizes some ways to reduce greenhouse gases:



Source

That's interesting that refrigeration methods are number 1! I had no idea! I will put this on my reading list and it's also good timing as I will need to buy a new fridge soon.

Hirondelle

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #85 on: October 10, 2018, 12:17:47 AM »
That's a very interesting graph indeed @Meowkins.

Thanks M41 for chiming in and adding some more plant vs. meat-based diet data. SisX and Retiredat63; you are right that I did not say that your idea of agriculture was impossible. However, I'm not sure how sustainable that model would be at 7+ billion people. As far as I'm aware of most permacultures deliver way less caloric value on a same area so it would require lots of land. Totally possible in many not so populated areas, but I wonder how it would work for densely populated areas. I'd love to see some data/studies on this model though, so if you could show me some I'll have a look (no time to do any searches). I also think the transition to such a model will take some time though, so cutting meat consumption now is in my opinion still the better solution. The amounts of meat we eat in the west are just too much - if we'd all cut in half a model like you proposed would IMO also be much easier to set up and sustain. However, as I said I don't have numbers on this so I might just need to dig deeper!

Re health and red/processed meats. I agree that lots of nutrition science is just hard to perform and/or poorly performed, however the processed meat and cancer link is pretty obvious. Actually the Dutch Nutritional Center recently reduced the amount of meat they recommend in the diet due to the "strong scientific evidence" for there being a connection between processed/red meats and colon cancer. These folks are usually suuuuper slow and reserved with changing their recommendations + the farmers lobby is pretty damn strong so that they've changed this was huge news.

The links I provided yesterday were just a quick google search as it was late (hence I called over M41) but there's plenty of data out there.

@sixwings interesting that you mention lab grown meat. I'm very interested in the technological developments behind it, but I honestly wonder what problem it will solve. We already eat plenty of meat for nutritional value (rather too much) and too my knowledge lab meat still takes a lot of energy to grow (more than just crops - but please correct me if I'm wrong!). Beyond that, if people are already scared af about GMOs I wonder how willing they will be to adopt this.. The only actual problem that lab grown meat would solve here is that it would allow us to NOT cut our consumption but using less land/animals for the production of meat.

MasterStache

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #86 on: October 10, 2018, 05:15:12 AM »
I really like the drawdown project. I think it's hugely multidisciplinary and rigorous. I'm still finishing the book, though!

Here's a really cool graph that summarizes some ways to reduce greenhouse gases:



Source

Thanks for the book recommendation. I am going to check that out.

RetiredAt63

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #87 on: October 10, 2018, 06:16:38 AM »
We are a numbers group here on the forums, right?

So when we mention recommendations that we cut down on meat, what are the start and end values?   And we have to get back to CAFO, agriculture is supported by cheap oil and subsidies, so our food prices are not good indicators of true cost of production.  Just like polluting industries have lower product prices, because society as a whole bears the cost of remediation, not the companies doing the polluting.  If food prices reflected true costs, grains and CAFO meats would be much more expensive, and more ecologically sound methods would be competitively priced.  After all, if my cost as a producer is 10 units, and yours is 7 because I am paying costs that you are not because you are subsidized, my product is bound to be more expensive because of your external support.  And this is why I just paid more for farmed antibiotic-free salmon at the grocery store than I would have paid for regular farmed salmon.  Antibiotic use in meat production has a social cost, the pathogens develop antibiotic resistance.  But cheaper meat.

In Ecology as a discipline, you can start anywhere and end up everywhere, because everything is interconnected.  Same with these discussion, good agricultural production and energy use and social implications are all tied together.

Grain - I just read a fascinating book, Against the Grain (James C. Scott) that posits that grains were important in the development of early states (think Mesopotamia, Egypt, etc.) because they are storable and portable and easily taxed and confiscated.  They are not better nutritionally than other starches such as potatoes/sweet potatoes/cassava/etc.  Plus of course one wonders at our choices, farmers used to fatten hogs on corn, and pigs and people are surprisingly similar metabolically, so what are we doing to ourselves with all the grains, including corn, that we eat?

Malaysia41

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #88 on: October 10, 2018, 08:00:08 AM »
oh man, regarding farmed salmon....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYYf8cLUV5E

Norway!?!? e tu?

RetiredAt63

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #89 on: October 10, 2018, 08:11:33 AM »
oh man, regarding farmed salmon....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYYf8cLUV5E

Norway!?!? e tu?

Hmm, Norway and Chile for Atlantic salmon at Canadian Costco?  When we have farmed Atlantic salmon in the Maritimes?  And people are trying out trophic level salmon farming?  There is no wild Canadian Atlantic Salmon, the stocks are too low, there is only private sport fishing.

I wonder where my local grocery stores get their salmon from?

Cache_Stash

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #90 on: October 10, 2018, 09:03:58 AM »
@Cache_Stash

Both your links pasted above state that the appropriate measures to deal with climate change are a combination of reducing fertility rates (by empowering women) and by curbing emissions.

There are many organisations working to lift women out of poverty in the developing world and enable them to limit their family size. I hear that in the US there are issues around access to birth control but groups are working on that.

So... Population and birth rates are very much being considered and are definitely being worked on in a humane way.

Slaughtering 6 out of 7 people or allowing them to succumb to disease. I don't see that as a workable solution, mate.


“Allowing” or “slaughtering”. I never said either.  I’m just saying that that may be the only thing that saves mankind.  Earth initiated not mankind initiated.  We may have no choice.

Cache_Stash

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #91 on: October 10, 2018, 09:07:01 AM »
@Cache_Stash

Both your links pasted above state that the appropriate measures to deal with climate change are a combination of reducing fertility rates (by empowering women) and by curbing emissions.

There are many organisations working to lift women out of poverty in the developing world and enable them to limit their family size. I hear that in the US there are issues around access to birth control but groups are working on that.

So... Population and birth rates are very much being considered and are definitely being worked on in a humane way.

Slaughtering 6 out of 7 people or allowing them to succumb to disease. I don't see that as a workable solution, mate.
Yes, the education and rights of women are the major input to the population side.  Want to reduce fertility in developing areas?  Teach young girls how to read, let them advance through secondary and tertiary schooling, have a career, vote, drive, own property, have equal say in family planning matters, and then see if they have fewer kids compared to the version of themselves in a rural hut where more children = more help in the fields.

Also, related: clean water/sanitation contribute to lower fertility by generally being a prerequisite.  So if an area has illiterate women AND no clean water, start with the clean water first.  Harder for someone to naturally want to have only 0, 1, or 2 children if the U5 mortality rate is 50% (~historical rate up until ~early 20th century in "developed" countries) regardless of their education and rights.

Spot on as I see it.

SisterX

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #92 on: October 10, 2018, 09:59:47 AM »
Meowkins, I also love the Drawdown project! It's been fun to go to their website and check out everything.

Regarding farming, I think that for the general population reducing meat intake is a far better goal, much more achievable, than straight up veganism.

@Hirondelle - I also think that if we're concerned about land use then we need to get more people interested in cities interested in growing food. I don't think it's possible to feed 7+ billion people, especially not without destroying the planet in the process, without utilizing much of the "waste" space that's currently lawn.

From what I've seen, when done properly permaculture can produce more on a small plot of land than conventional ag. Especially when you consider that it doesn't really need outside inputs, they're highly productive.

Then there's all the wasted space in places like orchards, currently. Why do we not have chickens and turkeys roaming apple orchards? Excellent pest control and also a secondary product for the farmers. Why do we not have more space in cities for people to garden and even do small-scale animal husbandry for things like chickens? We allocate so much freaking public space for goddamn cars yet we can't be bothered to let people grow healthy food? Can you imagine how neighborhoods would change if, instead of parking spaces for everyone, we had public garden spaces for everyone?

As I said, the whole system is just stupid. We've got the knowledge to do better, to grow more with less, and we just. don't. Because the current system is making a few people very wealthy, and there are ag subsidies to keep the status quo just as it is. Freaking yay.

Cache_Stash

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #93 on: October 10, 2018, 10:51:29 AM »
@Cache_Stash What do you mean when you say "it's not enough to pull us back from the ledge"? You mean to a sustainable world population in general or specifically re: climate emissions?
If you truly feel that the earth is warming at the rate the IPCC says it is (although all of the models have thus far been wrong), then yes, it's too late.  If you are talking about general resources of the world, then yes it is too late. 

Thanks for clarification. What are you basing those opinions on?

Here is a good read on the problem.  In studies I’ve read, I’ve seen as low as 50million people is sustainable to as high as 10billion.  Most of which varied upon standard of living assumptions.  I just think without having a pandemic event or some other natural cause of population decline, we’re past the tipping point.  Very few people would be willing to give up a modern life as we know it.  Too many sacrifices involved.

https://www.ecowatch.com/is-the-current-rate-of-population-growth-sustainable-1881621412.html

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #94 on: October 10, 2018, 10:51:33 AM »
oh man, regarding farmed salmon....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYYf8cLUV5E

Norway!?!? e tu?

Great video - very interesting look at fish farming. The takeaway is that some fish farms are okay but some are not. And farmed salmon is really bad for you. I took some notes:

Fish demand is exploding. Farmed fish is cheaper than wild fish. Most people cannot afford wild fish. 40% of fish sold in France is farmed.

10 years ago, nobody heard of Panga, but now it is one of the most popular fish in France, served in schools, restaurants and catering halls. It comes from Vietnam and is exported to 30+ countries.

The journalist visited a Panga farm in Vietnam and everything was okay. The fish are fed several tons of fat/protein pellets twice a day. An army of laborers work 10 hour shifts turning the fish into fillets (10 seconds per fillet). That job gets you 150 Euros per month. Of note, the fillets are frozen so they add polyphosphates to the fish to help them freeze and retain water, but there was no mention of ill effects from polyphosphates.

The journalist visited another Panga farm in Vietnam and there were concerns. The owner of the farm was operating at a loss - expenses exceeded revenues. This farm had diseased fish, so they give the fish antibiotics. But the fish resist the antibiotics over time so they have to increase the dose. Additionally, several water areas of Vietnam where they have fish farms are heavily polluted. Rice farmers spray pesticides on the rice, which run off into the fish farms.

Next was a trip to Norway. Researchers in Norway learned that there are 15 meters of waste and pollution under the fish farms and the fish swim in this water. They add pesticides to the water - the same stuff they used to kill people in WWI. Salmon get sea lice - thus the need for pesticides. Some of the fish in Norway is genetically damaged and needs eight generations to clear. French scientists analyzed farmed Norwegian salmon and declared it the "most toxic food in the world" - 5x worse that ground beef. They fed farmed salmon to rats and the rats developed obesity and diabetes.

The worst aspect of farmed salmon is the salmon feed. Salmon feed = ground up fish. Many of the fish that are too polluted for humans become fish pellets for salmon to eat. The pellets also contain ethoxyquin, a substance used in agriculture but heavily regulated. However, it isn't regulated in fish feed even though researchers discovered it is dangerous and crosses the blood/brain barrier. Researchers who made noise about fish and ethoxyquin were forced out.

The last segment showed what happens to the fish when the fillets are removed. The skins get used in cosmetics and the rest becomes fish pulp that is used in pet food and processed foods. There is a mislabeling epidemic where pulp contains a variety of fish but is labeled as the more expensive, popular fish.

Some good news - I did some poking around and it looks like they don't use ethoxyquin in fish feed anymore pending a review:

http://academy.pittmanseafoods.com/en/2017/09/what-the-ethoxyquin-suspension-means/

Still, based on this video, farmed fish may be something we should aim to reduce in our diets.

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #95 on: October 10, 2018, 11:15:47 AM »
I think it would help if there were more essays like this one.
https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/410748-conservatives-shouldnt-be-afraid-to-talk-about-climate-change

There needs to be a pathway for conservatives to join the conversation on a political level. Right now that is not the case, even though many conservatives care deeply about the environment. As it stands, the GOP (and to a lesser extent the Democratic Party) are heavily influenced by big business who will push to externalize their environmental costs to keep their shareholders happy (just ask Exxon). Providing an avenue for conservative voters to have a safe path to pushing for environmental action at the government level (as discussed in the essay) would help... it certainly wouldn't be worse than the status quo.

Meowkins

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #96 on: October 10, 2018, 03:08:03 PM »
@Malaysia41 Wow thanks for that youtube doc. I am casting it as I type this and sent it to my husband and best friend! Also thanks for the summary, @Yankuba.

@Glenstache Article looks super interesting, reading it after this.

here's a cool article that I saw on OZY:

Lower costs, policy changes and a growing recognition of the market potential of low-income communities are bringing solar power to poverty-stricken homes.
https://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/solar-finds-its-place-in-the-sun-among-americas-poor/88695

maizeman

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #97 on: October 10, 2018, 03:21:54 PM »
From what I've seen, when done properly permaculture can produce more on a small plot of land than conventional ag. Especially when you consider that it doesn't really need outside inputs, they're highly productive.

Then there's all the wasted space in places like orchards, currently. Why do we not have chickens and turkeys roaming apple orchards? Excellent pest control and also a secondary product for the farmers. Why do we not have more space in cities for people to garden and even do small-scale animal husbandry for things like chickens? We allocate so much freaking public space for goddamn cars yet we can't be bothered to let people grow healthy food? Can you imagine how neighborhoods would change if, instead of parking spaces for everyone, we had public garden spaces for everyone?

As I said, the whole system is just stupid. We've got the knowledge to do better, to grow more with less, and we just. don't. Because the current system is making a few people very wealthy, and there are ag subsidies to keep the status quo just as it is. Freaking yay.

So I'd actually agree with you that with more intensive methods of farming (like permaculture) you can get more food per acre than current production methods employed in the USA. However, the reason we've adopted somewhat less productive methods of agriculture (which still produce vastly more food per acre than people imagined possible during the 1960s) is that in North America agriculture is relatively less constrained by the availability/cost of arable land, and relatively more constrained by the availability/cost of human labor to work on farms and produce food. As a result, North American agriculture is only middle of the road in terms of productivity per acre (well behind "developed NE Asia" <-- read Japan and Korea), but has the absolutely highest productivity per agricultural worker.



An orchard with turkeys roaming around may well produce more food per acre per year than an orchard without turkeys, but is also going to require hiring significantly more turkey wranglers, which is very hard for farmers to do in most parts of the country.

Now as yields decrease as the climate changes, and food prices start to creep up, you may indeed see a shift  towards higher land efficiency lower labor efficiency methods of farming in the USA. That's not something I'd celebrate. I've spent enough time working in farm fields to last me for the rest of my life. And from my experience working with others, it usually takes somewhere between one week and two months of working from sunrise to sunset, often in 100 degree heat, for most people to feel they've had enough of highly labor intensive agriculture to last themselves a lifetime.

TL;DR I agree yields in the US/Canada could be higher with other farming practices, but I think the reasons we don't see those practices today has little to do with a conspiracy of people profiting from the current system, and a lot to do with economic trade offs and the current prices for food, land, and human labor in our part of the world.

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #98 on: October 10, 2018, 05:29:49 PM »
Farmers are stingy bastards.  If there is a way to consistently get more profit out of their land, they'll be all over it.  Higher food prices will be necessary to drive some of the higher utilization ideas though to make them economically viable.

SisterX

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Re: IPCC Climate Report on 1.5
« Reply #99 on: October 10, 2018, 05:55:52 PM »
From what I've seen, when done properly permaculture can produce more on a small plot of land than conventional ag. Especially when you consider that it doesn't really need outside inputs, they're highly productive.

Then there's all the wasted space in places like orchards, currently. Why do we not have chickens and turkeys roaming apple orchards? Excellent pest control and also a secondary product for the farmers. Why do we not have more space in cities for people to garden and even do small-scale animal husbandry for things like chickens? We allocate so much freaking public space for goddamn cars yet we can't be bothered to let people grow healthy food? Can you imagine how neighborhoods would change if, instead of parking spaces for everyone, we had public garden spaces for everyone?

As I said, the whole system is just stupid. We've got the knowledge to do better, to grow more with less, and we just. don't. Because the current system is making a few people very wealthy, and there are ag subsidies to keep the status quo just as it is. Freaking yay.

So I'd actually agree with you that with more intensive methods of farming (like permaculture) you can get more food per acre than current production methods employed in the USA. However, the reason we've adopted somewhat less productive methods of agriculture (which still produce vastly more food per acre than people imagined possible during the 1960s) is that in North America agriculture is relatively less constrained by the availability/cost of arable land, and relatively more constrained by the availability/cost of human labor to work on farms and produce food. As a result, North American agriculture is only middle of the road in terms of productivity per acre (well behind "developed NE Asia" <-- read Japan and Korea), but has the absolutely highest productivity per agricultural worker.



An orchard with turkeys roaming around may well produce more food per acre per year than an orchard without turkeys, but is also going to require hiring significantly more turkey wranglers, which is very hard for farmers to do in most parts of the country.

Now as yields decrease as the climate changes, and food prices start to creep up, you may indeed see a shift  towards higher land efficiency lower labor efficiency methods of farming in the USA. That's not something I'd celebrate. I've spent enough time working in farm fields to last me for the rest of my life. And from my experience working with others, it usually takes somewhere between one week and two months of working from sunrise to sunset, often in 100 degree heat, for most people to feel they've had enough of highly labor intensive agriculture to last themselves a lifetime.

TL;DR I agree yields in the US/Canada could be higher with other farming practices, but I think the reasons we don't see those practices today has little to do with a conspiracy of people profiting from the current system, and a lot to do with economic trade offs and the current prices for food, land, and human labor in our part of the world.

Now you're assuming that we should be keeping our food prices as artificially low as they currently are. I disagree with that premise. I don't think we should have ag subsidies any more than we should have subsidies for fossil fuel companies.

Yet here we are, spending 12 billion dollars extra on buying ag products that won't be sold to China because of the tariffs President Blowhard instituted. #winning #fiscalresponsibility #freemarket!