We Are What We Eat: What Can I Do? (5)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 3:38 AM GMT on April 30, 2013

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We Are What We Eat: What Can I Do? (5)

Revised: May 9, 2013

This is the continuation of a series in response to the question, “What can I do about climate change?” Links to the previous entries are listed at the end.

Last week I made a list of categories to classify the types of actions that we can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The second item on that list is food. But first, I want to start with some more sets of categories.

When we think of fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas come to forefront. We often think of coal as dirty and natural gas as clean, in terms of air quality, climate change and general environmental damage. All of these forms of fossil fuels emit carbon dioxide when they burn, and that carbon dioxide is for practical human time in either the atmosphere or ocean permanently. Therefore we can’t simply replace coal and oil with natural gas and declare that we will avoid global warming.

If we examine how we use energy, then those uses can be divided into three categories: power generation, transportation and direct use for heat. For the past few decades, coal has dominated power generation and petroleum has dominated transportation. All three contribute to direct use for heat. Recently in the U.S., natural gas has been replacing coal for power generation, but worldwide, coal is still the dominant fuel (natural gas and coal, TON, NPR). Oil dominates transportation.

Taking another cut through our energy use, we can categorize use as residential, commercial, industrial and for transportation. Industrial uses create products from raw materials: manufacturing, cement making, mining and agriculture. Commercial uses include shops, government buildings and where governments spend money. Residential and commercial uses include a large part of electricity, heating and cooling of buildings, and heating of water. An interesting point: next to the burning of fossil fuels, cement making is the largest nonagricultural source of carbon dioxide emissions. It’s on the order of 5 percent.

If we return to the question of “What Can I Do?,” then the items discussed in the previous entries on efficiency focus primarily on the better management of buildings (residential and commercial) as well as on +choices in transportation. In fact, an alternative way to categorize use is for buildings, transportation and industry. If one were to think about government regulation, then emissions from coal-fired power plants are relatively easy to target because there are not that many power plants and they don’t move around. Transportation is harder to regulate because there are, globally, billions of cars and trucks and they do move around. The different categories I have described demonstrate both the easy opportunity for regulation, power generation, and the challenges of climate policy – that there is no single thing to fix the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.

Now to food – If we were to make a special food and agriculture category, then agriculture is responsible for about the same amount of emissions as, say, transportation or heating. Now, however, we have to become more holistic about what we mean by emissions. For agriculture, we have carbon dioxide emissions, which come mostly from deforestation. Cutting and burning forests to make new rangeland for cattle make up about 10 percent of the total annual carbon dioxide emissions. There is some emission from the use of fossil fuels for tractors and irrigation, and about half of the agricultural carbon dioxide fossil fuel emissions come from the manufacture of fertilizer. There are also other land use and soil management decisions made in agriculture that affect carbon dioxide emissions.

Beyond carbon dioxide, agriculture is responsible for about a third of methane emissions and close to two-thirds of the nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. These are greenhouse gases that are more potent than carbon dioxide; they are in much lower concentrations in the atmosphere.

So, what we eat can make a difference. When I was in college in the 1970s, I was introduced to Frances Moore Lappe’s book, Diet for a Small Planet. What I remember from that book was that if you took all of the calories needed to grow a pound of beef and instead feed those grains to people, you could feed many more people than you could with a pound of beef. It was my first introduction to sustainability. It takes much land and energy to make the well-marbled porterhouses that my father fed me in one-pound servings. No matter how you count, livestock production, in particular, beef production, releases a lot of greenhouse gases.

There are many marketing appeals in food and food supply. These appeals are to make personal decisions that affect the world, and individual choices the public makes about food and food supply do affect the world. We have appeals to buy grass-fed beef, organic meat and produce, locally produced and sustainable agriculture. We are faced with issues of packaging, preprocessing, natural, raw and prepared. There are no easy algorithms. In February, an apple from Chile might take less energy in transportation than an apple from Virginia takes in cold storage. We demand fresh fruit, vegetables and meat all winter. We demand exotic spices, fine coffee, tea and chocolate. The global demand for meat and nonlocal food increases as the world’s wealth increases.

So what rules of food selection matter? My personal evaluation is that reducing meat consumption is at the top of the list, and at the top of the meat list is beef. Pasture-raised might be better than feedlot, but life cycle studies show that beef is a relatively inefficient use of energy. Chicken is far more energy-efficient. Should we choose sustainable, local or organic meat and produce? From an emissions point of view, I hear sustainable advocated as best if there are actual standards and certification of sustainability--then local, then organic. I have made the controversial claim that since our current practice of organic, local and sustainable agriculture demands high payment for produce and meat, and since most of our generation of money requires high fossil fuel energy use, there is a hidden cost to the climate that comes from high-value crops.

It’s not easy, but what we eat does make a difference to the environment. We usually think of this difference in terms of pesticides, herbicides and erosion, but there is also a climate impact. And as is often the case, the connection is indirect, far in the future and difficult to know how to value.

r

Note: The source of much of the material in this entry is based on Livestock’s Long Shadow a 2006 publication of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. There has been much criticism of this report, especially in its calculation of the emissions of the transportation sector. The original authors did modify their specific statements about transportation. As noted in the next blog in this series, there is substantial controversy about the impact of agriculture. My evaluation is that the agriculture numbers in this report are as robust as any I know. My opinion would be that the agriculture emissions in this report are more likely an underestimate than an overestimate. As for comparisons to other sources of emissions, when fossil fuel emissions are broken down as described in this blog, the different sectors, residential, commercial, transportation and industrial, are all large and no single one is dominant. Therefore, the conclusion that agriculture is comparable to these sectors seems reasonable.


Previous Entries in the Series

Setting Up the Discussion Deciding to do something, definition of mitigation and adaptation, and a cost-benefit anchored framework for thinking about mitigation

Smoking, Marriage and Climate Behavioral changes and peer pressure

Organizing and Growing Individual Efforts A little detail on efficiency and thinking about how individuals can have more impact than just that of a single person

The Complete List Eight categories of things we can do to reduce greenhouse gases


Moderation of comments: I have been getting more and more complaints about what is going on in the comments. WU and I will be addressing this. To start, here is a modified version of Dr. Master’s Blog Contents Rules.

Rood's Rules of the Road

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Quoting overwash12:
Just because you put a label on someone(scientist) does not make it become truth because they say. We had this problem throughout history,examples: big bang theory,evolution theory,(dinosaurs and man not living in the same time period,.... get my drift?
No, I don't. For one thing, I'm talking about data and measurements, not "opinion". And then: what do the Big Bang theory and evolution have to do with ths discussion? Do you think men and dinosaurs lived at the same time? If so, on what basis?
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Quoting FLwolverine:
We've had this conversation before. You're the guy who doesn't think global warming is happening because you don't see it in your immediate environment, right? And that makes all the observations and data [added: by practicing scientists] nonsense? Not.
Just because you put a label on someone(scientist) does not make it become truth because they say. We had this problem throughout history,examples: big bang theory,evolution theory,(dinosaurs and man not living in the same time period,.... get my drift?
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343. auburn (Mod)
You guys carry on..and thanks for following the rules.
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.
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1393
Quoting overwash12:
NOT!
We've had this conversation before. You're the guy who doesn't think global warming is happening because you don't see it in your immediate environment, right? And that makes all the observations and data [added: by practicing scientists] nonsense? Not.
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Quoting overwash12:
You know,but my point is : nada is getting accomplished in the way of green energy on a grand scale! It's all about the money!

Nada? I would certainly like to see more but to say that nothing is getting accomplished is absurd:

"EIA projects electric power sector renewable energy consumption to increase by 3.4 percent in 2013. While hydropower declines by 4.0 percent, nonhydropower renewables grow by an average of 13.3 percent in 2013. In 2014, the growth in electric power sector renewables is projected to continue at a rate of 5.9 percent, as a 3.0-percent increase in hydropower is combined with a 9.3-percent increase in nonhydropower renewables.

EIA currently estimates that wind capacity will increase by 6 percent in 2013 and by 14 percent in 2014. However, electricity generation from wind is projected to increase by 16 percent in 2013, as capacity that came on line at the end of 2012 is available for the entire year in 2013. Wind-powered generation is projected to grow by 9 percent in 2014.

EIA expects a continuation of robust growth in the generation of solar energy, both from central-station and distributed capacity, although the total amount remains a small share of total U.S. generation. Central-station capacity, which until recently experienced little growth compared to distributed capacity, is projected to more than double between 2012 and 2014. Photovoltaics (PV) accounted for all central-station solar growth in 2012, but EIA expects that several large solar thermal generation projects will enter service in 2013 and 2014. However, PV is still expected to account for the majority of central-station and distributed capacity additions in 2013 and 2014."


Renewables and CO2 Emissions
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338. auburn (Mod)
This Blog is not the place for you to express your opinion of our elected officials or what they do in their free time..keep it on topic.
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Quoting TheDevilsAdvocate:

Who would that be?



Like playing golf is a physiological problem...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20387
Quoting TheDevilsAdvocate:

Who would that be?

You know,but my point is : nada is getting accomplished in the way of green energy on a grand scale! It's all about the money!
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Quoting cyclonebuster:


Especially those who talk to chairs....
Or those who play golf instead of doing what they were elected to do!
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Quoting ScottLincoln:

Doubtful. People who do drive-by trollings rarely understand, let alone fully read, the crap they link to.


Especially those who talk to chairs....
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20387
Quoting ScottLincoln:

Doubtful. People who do drive-by trollings rarely understand, let alone fully read, the crap they link to.
NO,maybe we observe the weather and don't get swayed by nonsense!
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Quoting overwash12:
Coldest spring in 25 years for me. I hope the summer is cool also!


Don't bet on it..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20387
Quoting FLwolverine:
Do you actually read the stuff you post?

Doubtful. People who do drive-by trollings rarely understand, let alone fully read, the crap they link to.
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Quoting MisterPerfect:
Arctic ice in a full meltdown and possibly gone within the next 2 years

Oh no!


NOT!
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Coldest spring in 25 years for me. I hope the summer is cool also!
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Arctic ice in a full meltdown and possibly gone within the next 2 years

Oh no!


Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20135
Quoting CEastwood:
What happened to all of the destructive weather predicted due to "climate change"? I saw someone posting the other day about how hurricanes are going to worsen because of AGW. Doesn't anyone on this site actually read statistics? We have the lowest incidence of hurricane landfall since the Civil War. Lately we've had a record low occurrence of tornadoes.

Link




Guess he hasn't been reading Masters' blog posts.
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Quoting CEastwood:
What happened to all of the destructive weather predicted due to "climate change"? I saw someone posting the other day about how hurricanes are going to worsen because of AGW. Doesn't anyone on this site actually read statistics? We have the lowest incidence of hurricane landfall since the Civil War. Lately we've had a record low occurrence of tornadoes.

Link

What is the basis for this statement (the bolded sentence)?
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Quoting CEastwood:
What happened to all of the destructive weather predicted due to "climate change"? I saw someone posting the other day about how hurricanes are going to worsen because of AGW. Doesn't anyone on this site actually read statistics? We have the lowest incidence of hurricane landfall since the Civil War. Lately we've had a record low occurrence of tornadoes.

Link

Do you actually read the stuff you post? Here are the last two paragraphs of the article:


Is the world warming? Yes. Is the warming largely due to human activity? Most likely, most scientists say. Will this warming have consequences for the planet and its residents? Without question. But we still have much work to do to fully understand those consequences. A big problem, of course, is that by the time we fully understand the consequences, it may be too late to act meaningfully.

In any case, overstating the severity of some consequences (i.e. linking the 2010-2011 tornado outbreak to climate change) only emboldens willful skeptics who would hold the very real uncertainty of some aspects of climate change science as a quarterstaff upon the credibility of its general conclusions.

Sheesh!
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Quoting CEastwood:
What happened to all of the destructive weather predicted due to "climate change"? I saw someone posting the other day about how hurricanes are going to worsen because of AGW. Doesn't anyone on this site actually read statistics? We have the lowest incidence of hurricane landfall since the Civil War. Lately we've had a record low occurrence of tornadoes.

Link




In what way do you think all this heat is going to manifest itself?




..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20387
What happened to all of the destructive weather predicted due to "climate change"? I saw someone posting the other day about how hurricanes are going to worsen because of AGW. Doesn't anyone on this site actually read statistics? We have the lowest incidence of hurricane landfall since the Civil War. Lately we've had a record low occurrence of tornadoes.

Link

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Emergency climate meeting at White House as Arctic melts away


It could be today, or it could have been yesterday. Details are sketchy on this somewhat hush-hush meeting that's been called at the White House about the record Arctic ice melt. Foreign news outlets have been reporting on the meeting, but this journalist has been hard pressed to find out the details of this meeting.

And it's probably for a good reason, what do you tell the populace of a country such as the United States: "Hey, guess what, the Arctic is going to be ice free in 2 years or less so we need to prepare for climate Armageddon?"

With CO2 levels at dangerous levels just within the past few days (400ppm) and the Arctic ice in a full meltdown and possibly gone within the next 2 years, it looks like the administration has decided to take a harder look at what's happening to our climate.

Link





...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20387
Solar Is Going To Change The World Much Faster Than Anyone Expects

http://au.businessinsider.com

Bloomberg shows a huge price drop in 2012 of nearly 50% in 2011, and 20%+ in 2012. Let’s use 18% as the yearly price drop as an estimate for the yearly price drop since 2010, and then plug this into the levelized cost of energy used in the Zwiebel paper. The current prices for PV solar are probably close to $.09. This is still higher than coal for existing plants, but much lower than in 2010.

But the more remarkable data point is that we can expect solar to be cheaper than existing (not new) coal is in just a few years. We can expect some solar to be cheaper than existing coal in 2016. That’s when the levelized cost of newly installed PV solar should be cheaper than using an existing coal plant. That’s not far away at all.

And then just a few years after that, PV solar could become much, much cheaper than coal. Imagine 10 years at 18% drops in price. Where would the price of PV Solar be then? It will be about 50% of the price of coal.

I hate to speculate, but imagine PV solar drops at 18% per year for 20 years? Solar will be about 1/10th the cost of coal.


(US $ = 1.00 / AU $ = 1.03)

# 272 - Is this what they're afraid of?
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Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use (2010)
National Academy of Sciences


Report Examines Hidden Health and Environmental Costs Of Energy Production and Consumption In U.S.



WASHINGTON -- A new report from the National Research Council examines and, when possible, estimates "hidden" costs of energy production and use -- such as the damage air pollution imposes on human health -- that are not reflected in market prices of coal, oil, other energy sources, or the electricity and gasoline produced from them. The report estimates dollar values for several major components of these costs. The damages the committee was able to quantify were an estimated $120 billion in the U.S. in 2005, a number that reflects primarily health damages from air pollution associated with electricity generation and motor vehicle transportation. The figure does not include damages from climate change, harm to ecosystems, effects of some air pollutants such as mercury, and risks to national security, which the report examines but does not monetize.



Requested by Congress, the report assesses what economists call external effects caused by various energy sources over their entire life cycle -- for example, not only the pollution generated when gasoline is used to run a car but also the pollution created by extracting and refining oil and transporting fuel to gas stations. Because these effects are not reflected in energy prices, government, businesses and consumers may not realize the full impact of their choices. When such market failures occur, a case can be made for government interventions -- such as regulations, taxes or tradable permits -- to address these external costs, the report says.



The committee that wrote the report focused on monetizing the damage of major air pollutants -- sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ozone, and particulate matter – on human health, grain crops and timber yields, buildings, and recreation. When possible, it estimated both what the damages were in 2005 (the latest year for which data were available) and what they are likely to be in 2030, assuming current policies continue and new policies already slated for implementation are put in place.



The committee also separately derived a range of values for damages from climate change; the wide range of possibilities for these damages made it impossible to develop precise estimates of cost. However, all model results available to the committee indicate that climate-related damages caused by each ton of CO2 emissions will be far worse in 2030 than now; even if the total amount of annual emissions remains steady, the damages caused by each ton would increase 50 percent to 80 percent.

Damages From Electricity Generation



Coal accounts for about half the electricity produced in the U.S. In 2005 the total annual external damages from sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter created by burning coal at 406 coal-fired power plants, which produce 95 percent of the nation's coal-generated electricity, were about $62 billion; these nonclimate damages average about 3.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour (kwh) of energy produced. A relatively small number of plants -- 10 percent of the total number -- accounted for 43 percent of the damages. By 2030, nonclimate damages are estimated to fall to 1.7 cents per kwh.



Coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of greenhouse gases in the U.S., emitting on average about a ton of CO2 per megawatt-hour of electricity produced, the report says. Climate-related monetary damages range from 0.1 cents to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, based on previous modeling studies.



Burning natural gas generated far less damage than coal, both overall and per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated. A sample of 498 natural gas fueled plants, which accounted for 71 percent of gas-generated electricity, produced $740 million in total nonclimate damages in 2005, an average of 0.16 cents per kwh. As with coal, there was a vast difference among plants; half the plants account for only 4 percent of the total nonclimate damages from air pollution, while 10 percent produce 65 percent of the damages. By 2030, nonclimate damages are estimated to fall to 0.11 cents per kwh. Estimated climate damages from natural gas were half that of coal, ranging from 0.05 cents to 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.



The life-cycle damages of wind power, which produces just over 1 percent of U.S. electricity but has large growth potential, are small compared with those from coal and natural gas. So are the damages associated with normal operation of the nation's 104 nuclear reactors, which provide almost 20 percent of the country’s electricity. But the life cycle of nuclear power does pose some risks; if uranium mining activities contaminate ground or surface water, for example, people could potentially be exposed to radon or other radionuclides; this risk is borne mostly by other nations, the report says, because the U.S. mines only 5 percent of the world’s uranium. The potential risks from a proposed long-term facility for storing high-level radioactive waste need further evaluation before they can be quantified. Life-cycle CO2 emissions from nuclear, wind, biomass, and solar power appear to be negligible when compared with fossil fuels.

Damages From Heating



The production of heat for buildings or industrial processes accounts for about 30 percent of American energy demand. Most of this heat energy comes from natural gas or, to a lesser extent, the use of electricity; the total damages from burning natural gas for heat were about $1.4 billion in 2005. The median damages in residential and commercial buildings were about 11 cents per thousand cubic feet, and the proportional harm did not vary much across regions. Damages from heat in 2030 are likely to be about the same, assuming the effects of additional sources to meet demand are offset by lower-emitting sources.


Damages From Motor Vehicles and Fuels


Transportation, which today relies almost exclusively on oil, accounts for nearly 30 percent of U.S. energy demand. In 2005 motor vehicles produced $56 billion in health and other nonclimate-related damages, says the report. The committee evaluated damages for a variety of types of vehicles and fuels over their full life cycles, from extracting and transporting the fuel to manufacturing and operating the vehicle. In most cases, operating the vehicle accounted for less than one-third of the quantifiable nonclimate damages, the report found.



Damages per vehicle mile traveled were remarkably similar among various combinations of fuels and technologies -- the range was 1.2 cents to about 1.7 cents per mile traveled -- and it is important to be cautious in interpreting small differences, the report says. Nonclimate-related damages for corn grain ethanol were similar to or slightly worse than gasoline, because of the energy needed to produce the corn and convert it to fuel. In contrast, ethanol made from herbaceous plants or corn stover -- which are not yet commercially available -- had lower damages than most other options.



Electric vehicles and grid-dependent (plug-in) hybrid vehicles showed somewhat higher nonclimate damages than many other technologies for both 2005 and 2030. Operating these vehicles produces few or no emissions, but producing the electricity to power them currently relies heavily on fossil fuels; also, energy used in creating the battery and electric motor adds up to 20 percent to the manufacturing part of life-cycle damages.



Most vehicle and fuel combinations had similar levels of greenhouse gas emissions in 2005. There are not substantial changes estimated for those emissions in 2030; while population and income growth are expected to drive up the damages caused by each ton of emissions, implementation of new fuel efficiency standards of 35.5 miles per gallon will lower emissions and damages for every vehicle mile traveled. Achieving significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 will likely also require breakthrough technologies, such as cost-effective carbon capture and storage or conversion of advanced biofuels, the report says.



Both for 2005 and 2030, vehicles using gasoline made from oil extracted from tar sands and those using diesel derived from the Fischer-Tropsch process -- which converts coal, methane, or biomass to liquid fuel -- had the highest life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions. Vehicles using ethanol made from corn stover or herbaceous feedstock such as switchgrass had some of the lowest greenhouse gas emissions, as did those powered by compressed natural gas.



Fully implementing federal rules on diesel fuel emissions, which require vehicles beginning in the model year 2007 to use low-sulfur diesel, is expected to substantially decrease nonclimate damages from diesel by 2030 -- an indication of how regulatory actions can significantly affect energy-related damages, the committee said. Major initiatives to further lower other emissions, improve energy efficiency, or shift to a cleaner mix of energy sources could reduce other damages as well, such as substantially lowering the damages attributable to electric vehicles.



The report was sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies. They are independent, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under an 1863 congressional charter. Committee members, who serve pro bono as volunteers, are chosen by the Academies for each study based on their expertise and experience and must satisfy the Academies's conflict-of-interest standards. The resulting consensus reports undergo external peer review before completion. For more information, visit http://national-academies.org/studycommitteeproces s.pdf. A committee roster follows.





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The Reality of Climate Change: 10 Myths Busted

LiveScience.com

Myth #10 Climate has changed before

Myth #9 It's cold outside!

Myth #8 Climate is cooling

Myth #7 The sun is to blame

Myth #6 Not everyone agrees

Myth #5 Carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant

Myth #4 Climate scientists are conspiring to push "global warming"

Myth #3 Don't worry, it's not that bad

Myth #2 Antarctica is gaining ice

Myth #1 Climate models are unreliable
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Greenhouse Gas to Reach 3-Million-Year High

LiveScience.com


What 400 ppm means

In the 1,000 years that occurred before the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, atmospheric carbon dioxide held steady at around 270 to 280 parts per million.

Scientists believe that the most recent period to reach 400 ppm was the Pliocene Epoch, between 5 million and 3 million years ago, according to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which keeps track of the Keeling Curve.

Back then, it was a different world. Global average temperatures during the period were between 5.4 and 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 4 degrees Celsius) higher than today, and sea level was as much as 131 feet (40 meters) higher in some places. Even the least-affected regions saw sea levels 16 feet (5 meters) higher than today's.

A major difference between then and now, though, is the speed at which carbon dioxide is rising today. Typically, in the last 40 to 50 years, the Keeling Curve shows increases of 2 to 2.5 ppm a year, Mann said. In the 1950s and 1960s, carbon dioxide increased by less than 1 ppm each year, according to Scripps.

"We're on course for more than 450 ppm in a matter of decades if we don't get our fossil fuel emissions under control quite soon," Mann said.
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From Dr. Roods writing:
It’s not easy, but what we eat does make a difference to the environment. We usually think of this difference in terms of pesticides, herbicides and erosion, but there is a climate impact. And as is often the case, the connection is indirect, far in the future, and difficult to give value.

The following is a very good example of what he spoke of in the part I cut and pasted above (bold). I also see (was doing Googling sort of research not in the following two articles on the lead thing) that before the lead was being widely used, the auto and oil company's were busy doing there best to maintain profits in the face of scientist saying "this is a bad idea".

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/le ad-crime-link-gasolineLink

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2013/01/03/ how-lead-caused-americas-violent-crime-epidemic/Link
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Quoting allahgore:


I guess you are right, there might be a few places on earth the wind blows all the time.


Or the water flows.........
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20387
I am mostly tired of the clutter and not here much any more. In the spirit of hypocrisy and the human condition, I figured I would put this up (some more clutter). I see beef is evil, and more people is always good.

"Live simply so others may simply live"

At what point is simply, simple enough?

I bolded a few bits.

http://www.garretthardinsociety.org/index.html

CARRYING CAPACITY
(To Paul Sears)

A man said to the universe;
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
a sense of obligation."
-- Stephen Crane, 1899


So spoke the poet, at century's end;
And in those dour days when schools displayed the world,
"Warts and all," to their reluctant learners,
These lines thrust through the layers of wishfulness,
Forming the minds that later found them to be true.

All that is past, now.
Original sin, then mere personal ego,
Open to the shafts of consciousness,
Now flourishes as an ego of the tribe
Whose battle cry (which none dare question) is
"Justice!" -- But hear the poet's shade:

A tribe said to the universe,

"Sir, We exist!"
"So I see," said the universe,
"But your multitude creates in me
No feeling of obligation.

"Need creates right, you say? Your need, your right?

Have you forgot we're married?
Humanity and universe -- Holy, indissoluble pair!
Nothing you can do escapes my vigilant response.

"Dam my rivers and I'll salt your crops;
Cut my trees and I'll flood your plains.
Kill 'pests' and, by God, you'll get a silent spring!
Go ahead -- save every last baby's life!
I'll starve the lot of them later.

When they can savor to the full
The exquisite justice of truth's retribution.
Wrench from my earth those exponential powers
No wobbling Willie should e'er be trusted with:
Do this, and a million masks of envy shall create
A hell of blackmail and tribal wars
From which civilization will never recover.

"Don't speak to me of shortage. My world is vast
And has more than enough -- for no more than enough.
There is a shortage of nothing, save will and wisdom;
But there is a longage of people.


"Hubris -- that was the Greeks' word for what ails you.
Pride fueled the pyres of tragedy
Which died (some say) with Shakespeare.
O, incredible delusion! That potency should have no limits!
`We believe no evil 'til the evil`s done' --
Witness the deserts' march across the earth,
Spawned and nourished by men who whine, 'Abnormal weather.'
Nearly as absurd as crying, 'Abnormal universe!' . . .
But I suppose you'll be saying that, next."

Ravish capacity: reap consequences.
Man claims the first a duty and calls what follows Tragedy.
Insult -- Backlash. Not even the universe can break
This primal link. Who, then, has the power
To put an end to tragedy? Only those who recognize
Hubris in themselves.


Copyright: Garrett Hardin, 1975.
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This force is 24/7/365..



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Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20387
Quoting allahgore:


Is any alt energy 24-7-365?


Now that you mention it yes....But only one...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20387
Quoting JohnLonergan:
The Incredible Shrinking Cost of Solar Energy Drives Mega-Projects around the World

Rob Wile uses a graph to point out the obvious, the dramatic fall in the cost of solar power generation. In many countries– Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal — and in parts of the US such as the Southwest, solar is at grid parity. That means it is as inexpensive to build a solar plant as a gas or coal one. The pace of technological innovation in the solar field has also accelerated, so that costs have started falling precipitously and efficiency is rapidly increasing. By 2015, solar panels should have fallen to 42 cents per kilowatt. Reneweconomy.com says that the best Chinese solar panels fell in cost by 50% between 2009 and 2012. That incredible achievement is what has driven so many solar companies bankrupt– if you have the older technology, your panels are suddenly expensive and you can’t compete. It is like no one wants a 4 year old computer. Conservatives shed no tears when better computers drive slower ones out of the market, but point to solar companies’ shake-out as somehow bad or unnatural. No wonder US solar installations jumped 76% in 2012. The reductions in cost over the next two years are expected to continue, at a slowing but still impressive 30% rate:


Construction has begun on the world’s largest solar plant. MidAmerican Solar and SunPower Corp. are building a 579 megawatt installation, the Antelope Valley Solar Project, in Kern and Los Angeles counties in California. That is half a gigawatt, just enormous. It will provide electricity to 400,000 homes in the state (roughly 2 million people?), and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 775,000 tons a year. The US emits 5 billion metric tons a year of C02, second only to China, and forms a big part of the world’s carbon problem all by itself. We just need 645 more of the Antelope Valley projects.

Important new research also shows that hybrid plants that have both solar panels and wind turbines dramatically increase efficiency and help with integration into the electrical grid. Earlier concerns that the turbines would cast shadows and so detract from the efficiency of the solar panels appear to have been overblown. Because in most places in the US there is more sun in the summer and more wind in the winter, a combined plant keeps the electricity feeding into the grid at a more constant rate all year round, which is more desirable than big spikes and fall-offs.


I like it but it is not 24/7/365 because the sun doesn't shine at night or when it is cloudy or when it is raining...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20387
The Incredible Shrinking Cost of Solar Energy Drives Mega-Projects around the World

Rob Wile uses a graph to point out the obvious, the dramatic fall in the cost of solar power generation. In many countries– Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal — and in parts of the US such as the Southwest, solar is at grid parity. That means it is as inexpensive to build a solar plant as a gas or coal one. The pace of technological innovation in the solar field has also accelerated, so that costs have started falling precipitously and efficiency is rapidly increasing. By 2015, solar panels should have fallen to 42 cents per kilowatt. Reneweconomy.com says that the best Chinese solar panels fell in cost by 50% between 2009 and 2012. That incredible achievement is what has driven so many solar companies bankrupt– if you have the older technology, your panels are suddenly expensive and you can’t compete. It is like no one wants a 4 year old computer. Conservatives shed no tears when better computers drive slower ones out of the market, but point to solar companies’ shake-out as somehow bad or unnatural. No wonder US solar installations jumped 76% in 2012. The reductions in cost over the next two years are expected to continue, at a slowing but still impressive 30% rate:


Construction has begun on the world’s largest solar plant. MidAmerican Solar and SunPower Corp. are building a 579 megawatt installation, the Antelope Valley Solar Project, in Kern and Los Angeles counties in California. That is half a gigawatt, just enormous. It will provide electricity to 400,000 homes in the state (roughly 2 million people?), and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 775,000 tons a year. The US emits 5 billion metric tons a year of C02, second only to China, and forms a big part of the world’s carbon problem all by itself. We just need 645 more of the Antelope Valley projects.

Important new research also shows that hybrid plants that have both solar panels and wind turbines dramatically increase efficiency and help with integration into the electrical grid. Earlier concerns that the turbines would cast shadows and so detract from the efficiency of the solar panels appear to have been overblown. Because in most places in the US there is more sun in the summer and more wind in the winter, a combined plant keeps the electricity feeding into the grid at a more constant rate all year round, which is more desirable than big spikes and fall-offs.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3110
I also think a lot of the information gathered by Grover could be transferable to a Europa mission in the near future..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20387
You can learn a lot from a rover...


NASA rover prototype set to explore Greenland ice sheet


NASA's newest scientific rover is set for testing May 3 through June 8 in the highest part of Greenland.

The robot known as GROVER, which stands for both Greenland Rover and Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research, will roam the frigid landscape collecting measurements to help scientists better understand changes in the massive ice sheet.

This autonomous, solar-powered robot carries a ground-penetrating radar to study how snow accumulates, adding layer upon layer to the ice sheet over time.

Greenland's surface layer vaulted into the news in summer 2012 when higher than normal temperatures caused surface melting across about 97 percent of the ice sheet. Scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., expect GROVER to detect the layer of the ice sheet that formed in the aftermath of that extreme melt event.

Research with polar rovers costs less than aircraft or satellites, the usual platforms.




A prototype of GROVER, minus its solar panels, was tested in January 2012 at a ski resort in Idaho. The laptop in the picture is for testing purposes only and is not mounted on the final prototype. Credit: Gabriel Trisca, Boise State University
"Robots like GROVER will give us a new tool for glaciology studies," said Lora Koenig, a glaciologist at Goddard and science advisor on the project.

GROVER will be joined on the ice sheet in June by another robot, named Cool Robot, developed at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., with funding from the National Science Foundation. This rover can tow a variety of instrument packages to conduct glaciological and atmospheric sampling studies.

GROVER was developed in 2010 and 2011 by teams of students participating in summer engineering boot camps at Goddard. The students were interested in building a rover and approached Koenig about whether a rover could aid her studies of snow accumulation on ice sheets. This information typically is gathered by radars carried on snowmobiles and airplanes. Koenig suggested putting a radar on a rover for this work.

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Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20387
Quoting SouthernIllinois:

Not if you raise you own cattle it isn't.
I think you're trying to say that you prefer the second choice! Won't work for feeding the world's population, but good on you for raising your own.

(p.s. Lived a bit north of you in Effingham for a year during 4th grade way back in 1951. My dad took me to see a hog butchered at a small facility that year - said if I eat meat, I should know where it comes from and how animals become meat.)
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1393
Quoting Xulonn:
Fatty, slimy steak from hormone infused, antibiotic laden, corn-fed factory-raised beef, or delicious grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic-free beef?


Mammoth don't have that..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20387
Quoting NavarreMark:
I eat steak.
Fatty, slimy steak from hormone infused, antibiotic laden, corn-fed factory-raised beef, or delicious grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic-free beef?
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1393
delete duplicate
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1393
Quoting NavarreMark:
I eat steak.


I eat Mammoth. Raw...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20387
I eat steak.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey perhaps we can adapt and evolve back to what we once were 4 million years ago when Co2 levels were a little lower than what they are now.... What you think is that a viable solution?

Australopithecus






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Yea that's the ticket let's just adapt...


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Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20387

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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.