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


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warming temps and oceans are causing the release of methane, due to [natural occurrences combined with] human activity.
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20135
Quoting goosegirl1:


Release of methane from the sea floor and from permafrost is grim news for the global climate Link

Don't miss the fact that warming temps and oceans are causing the release of methane, due to human activity.



yeah, I know, everything is caused by human activity. at some point its going to be discovered that our combined brain synapses attract asteroids to collide with earth.
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20135
Quoting cyclonebuster:


Even 10,000 meters of water...


wow! the atmosphere affects things 6.2 miles under water. that's incredible.
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20135
Quoting MisterPerfect:


I read an old article from BBC news (circa 2009) about the discovery of methane leaking from arctic sea beds off Norway. In the areas where the leaks were happening, some 250 plumes, the temperature of the water rose 1C during that time. Methane gas is of course a green house gas.

I'm guessing this methane seepage is not restricted to one area of the globe, and is purely a natural occurrence. But, it is a factor in oceanic warming and greenhouse gas distribution.

Methane seeps from Arctic sea-bed

There are other instances I found of rising sea floor temperatures. My main question is: could increased seismic activity over the last 100 years have a role in overall rise in global temperatures? If so, these seismic factors could play a role in climate change.

I'm not ruling out humanity's contributions, I'm just parlaying the fact that even if humans weren't around, the earth has a trend to warm the environment. On the other hand, ways to cool the environment too.



Release of methane from the sea floor and from permafrost is grim news for the global climate Link

Don't miss the fact that warming temps and oceans are causing the release of methane, due to human activity.

Member Since: December 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1224
Quoting MisterPerfect:


even at 400 meters under water?


Even 10,000 meters of water...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20393
Quoting cyclonebuster:


It could be that rising sea levels due to fossil fuel GHG's trapped in or atmosphere is causing more head pressure on underwater geothermal vents thus causing them to ooze out more magma which in turn heats the deep ocean more. However, scientists and NOAA attribute the surface warming of the oceans is due to fossil fuel GHG's that are trapped in our atmosphere. I think it is combination of both. Root cause is trapped fossil fuel GHG's in our atmosphere.


even at 400 meters under water?
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20135
Quoting MisterPerfect:


I read an old article from BBC news (circa 2009) about the discovery of methane leaking from arctic sea beds off Norway. In the areas where the leaks were happening, some 250 plumes, the temperature of the water rose 1C during that time. Methane gas is of course a green house gas.

I'm guessing this methane seepage is not restricted to one area of the globe, and is purely a natural occurrence. But, it is a factor in oceanic warming and greenhouse gas distribution.

Methane seeps from Arctic sea-bed

There are other instances I found of rising sea floor temperatures. My main question is could increased seismic activity over the last 100 years have a role in overall rise in global temperatures. If so, these seismic factors could play a role in climate change.

I'm not ruling out humanity's contributions, I'm just parlaying the fact that even if humans weren't around, the earth has a trend to warm the environment. On the other hand, ways to cool the environment too.

Quoting MisterPerfect:


I read an old article from BBC news (circa 2009) about the discovery of methane leaking from arctic sea beds off Norway. In the areas where the leaks were happening, some 250 plumes, the temperature of the water rose 1C during that time. Methane gas is of course a green house gas.

I'm guessing this methane seepage is not restricted to one area of the globe, and is purely a natural occurrence. But, it is a factor in oceanic warming and greenhouse gas distribution.

Methane seeps from Arctic sea-bed

There are other instances I found of rising sea floor temperatures. My main question is could increased seismic activity over the last 100 years have a role in overall rise in global temperatures. If so, these seismic factors could play a role in climate change.

I'm not ruling out humanity's contributions, I'm just parlaying the fact that even if humans weren't around, the earth has a trend to warm the environment. On the other hand, ways to cool the environment too.




It could be that rising sea levels due to fossil fuel GHG's trapped in or atmosphere is causing more head pressure on underwater geothermal vents thus causing them to ooze out more magma which in turn heats the deep ocean more. However, scientists and NOAA attribute the surface warming of the oceans is due to fossil fuel GHG's that are trapped in our atmosphere. I think it is combination of both. Root cause is trapped fossil fuel GHG's in our atmosphere.

This same process can also force out more Methane..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20393
Quoting SouthernIllinois:

Very interesting. I'd be curious to read that myself. Do you happen to have a link to that research or study. I'd love to have a gander.


I read an old article from BBC news (circa 2009) about the discovery of methane leaking from arctic sea beds off Norway. In the areas where the leaks were happening, some 250 plumes, the temperature of the water rose 1C during that time. Methane gas is of course a green house gas.

I'm guessing this methane seepage is not restricted to one area of the globe, and is purely a natural occurrence. But, it is a factor in oceanic warming and greenhouse gas distribution.

Methane seeps from Arctic sea-bed

There are other instances I found of rising sea floor temperatures. My main question is: could increased seismic activity over the last 100 years have a role in overall rise in global temperatures? If so, these seismic factors could play a role in climate change.

I'm not ruling out humanity's contributions, I'm just parlaying the fact that even if humans weren't around, the earth has a trend to warm the environment. On the other hand, ways to cool the environment too.

Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20135
Quoting MisterPerfect:
I've also read that ocean water temperatures near the sea floor are rising year to year. Given the fact that heat rises, could the engine within the earth be the main factor for ocean temperatures to rise? And with a rise in global ocean temperature, wouldn't that have an affect on climate in general (ice melt, extreme weather events, etc.)?


It could be that rising sea levels due to fossil fuel GHG's trapped in or atmosphere is causing more head pressure on underwater geothermal vents thus causing them to ooze out more magma which in turn heats the deep ocean more. However, scientists and NOAA attribute the surface warming of the oceans is due to fossil fuel GHG's that are trapped in our atmosphere. I think it is combination of both. Root cause is trapped fossil fuel GHG's in our atmosphere.
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20393
Quoting MisterPerfect:
I've also read that ocean water temperatures near the sea floor are rising year to year. Given the fact that heat rises, could the engine within the earth be the main factor for ocean temperatures to rise? And with a rise in global ocean temperature, wouldn't that have an affect on climate in general (ice melt, extreme weather events, etc.)?


Heat energy doesn't "rise", per se. It would be more accurate to say that less-dense material is more buoyant, and hotter liquids, gases, and plastic solids are generally less-dense and more buoyant.

If the additional heat in the deep oceans were the result of changes in sea floor temperature, we'd know. That would require massive amounts of change in heat-flow in shallow levels of the sea floor to transfer the necessary amount of thermal energy from lithosphere to the oceans. Again, to accomplish that in a short period of time would require sudden shifts in rates of processes that could not go unnoticed in this era of satellites and altimetry. There's no evidence that suggests that the temperature of the deep oceans is being effected by tectonic processes.
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Quoting MisterPerfect:


no, i meant doled out. excuse my poor spelling ;)


No problem. And again- yes, hypocrisy in any group needs to be addressed,especially when the stakes are high. But make sure you are qualified to spot a hypocrite :)
Member Since: December 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1224
I appreciate any and all responses to my questions...that's what the transfer of information is all about. Thank you!
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20135
Quoting MisterPerfect:
I've also read that ocean water temperatures near the sea floor are rising year to year. Given the fact that heat rises, could the engine within the earth be the main factor for ocean temperatures to rise? And with a rise in global ocean temperature, wouldn't that have an affect on climate in general (ice melt, extreme weather events, etc.)?


Make sure you read my last link, the answer is there. I'm not the geologist in the group, however, I had better bow out for schistkicker :)
Member Since: December 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1224
Quoting goosegirl1:


Do you mean "culled out" as in removing weak individuals from a group? In that sense, abosolutely. There is no more room for dishonesty.


no, i meant doled out. excuse my poor spelling ;)
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20135
Quoting MisterPerfect:
wait, so its better to have hypocrisy being dulled out by both sides of the aisle?


Do you mean "culled out" as in removing weak individuals from a group? In that sense, abosolutely. There is no more room for dishonesty.
Member Since: December 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1224
thank you goosegirl
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20135
I've also read that ocean water temperatures near the sea floor are rising year to year. Given the fact that heat rises, could the engine within the earth be the main factor for ocean temperatures to rise? And with a rise in global ocean temperature, wouldn't that have an affect on climate in general (ice melt, extreme weather events, etc.)?
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20135
Quoting MisterPerfect:
I've read that some regions of the world, due to seismic activity, are experiencing ocean floor rises. I suppose ocean floor rises and falls as the years slip by, tectonic plates do "float" on the surface of molten earth.

Wouldn't this flow of rise and fall of the ocean floor cause sea surface temperatures to generally rise and fall accordingly? These changes in ocean depth affect heat transfer in ocean currents.

Could the global climate's extreme swings in nature be caused by tectonic factors? Are these factors ignored by climatologists?



Nope, not ingnored: Link

Link

Link
Member Since: December 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1224
Quoting schistkicker:


1) The mantle isn't molten. You don't hit a dominantly-liquid layer until the outer core.
2) Those rises and falls are imperceptibly slow, maxing out at cm yr-1. When they're rapid, it's due to a human-geologic timescale interface event, such as a megathrust earthquake. We notice those.
3) Subtle changes in the seafloor would, over time, have an impact on ocean volume, which could in the long term effect sea-level rise. The Cretaceous Interior Seaway, which was in what's now the Rocky Mountain area of the US, was likely the result of rapid seafloor spreading during the early stages of mid-Atlantic rifting - that elevated rifting rate led to crustal uplift via mantle upwelling, reducing the volume of the oceans. That's not something at play in our modern Earth.
4) To emphasize, the rates of tectonic processes is gradual and not impacting on the human-timescale that we observe in the year-to-year or decadal patterns we see in climate or ocean patterns today.


interesting. thank you.
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20135
wait, so its better to have hypocrisy being dulled out by both sides of the aisle?
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20135
Quoting MisterPerfect:
I've read that some regions of the world, due to seismic activity, are experiencing ocean floor rises. I suppose ocean floor rises and falls as the years slip by, tectonic plates do "float" on the surface of molten earth.

Wouldn't this flow of rise and fall of the ocean floor cause sea surface temperatures to generally rise and fall accordingly? These changes in ocean depth affect heat transfer in ocean currents.

Could the global climate's extreme swings in nature be caused by tectonic factors? Are these factors ignored by climatologists?



1) The mantle isn't molten. You don't hit a dominantly-liquid layer until the outer core.
2) Those rises and falls are imperceptibly slow, maxing out at cm yr-1. When they're rapid, it's due to a human-geologic timescale interface event, such as a megathrust earthquake. We notice those.
3) Subtle changes in the seafloor would, over time, have an impact on ocean volume, which could in the long term effect sea-level rise. The Cretaceous Interior Seaway, which was in what's now the Rocky Mountain area of the US, was likely the result of rapid seafloor spreading during the early stages of mid-Atlantic rifting - that elevated rifting rate led to crustal uplift via mantle upwelling, reducing the volume of the oceans. That's not something at play in our modern Earth.
4) To emphasize, the rates of tectonic processes is gradual and not impacting on the human-timescale that we observe in the year-to-year or decadal patterns we see in climate or ocean patterns today.
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Quoting SouthernIllinois:

Hypocrisy and greed exist on both ends of the political spectrum. Republican or Democrat. Big government or small government.
Certainly. And it may even be true that the hypocrisy pendulum swings from the left to the right and back again over time. But right now, that pendulum is very clearly pegged to one side of the aisle, and it has been for some time. Here's hoping it swings back toward the middle sometime soon, then stays there.
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Plants moderate climate warming

" As temperatures warm, plants release gases that help form clouds and cool the atmosphere, according to research from IIASA and the University of Helsinki.

The new study, published in Nature Geoscience, identified a negative feedback loop in which higher temperatures lead to an increase in concentrations of natural aerosols that have a cooling effect on the atmosphere.

"Plants, by reacting to changes in temperature, also moderate these changes," says IIASA and University of Helsinki researcher Pauli Paasonen, who led the study.

Scientists had known that some aerosols – particles that float in the atmosphere – cool the climate as they reflect sunlight and form cloud droplets, which reflect sunlight efficiently. Aerosol particles come from many sources, including human emissions. But the effect of so-called biogenic aerosol – particulate matter that originates from plants – had been less well understood. Plants release gases that, after atmospheric oxidation, tend to stick to aerosol particles, growing them into the larger-sized particles that reflect sunlight and also serve as the basis for cloud droplets. The new study showed that as temperatures warm and plants consequently release more of these gases, the concentrations of particles active in cloud formation increase.
[...]

The effect of enhanced plant gas emissions on climate is small on a global scale – only countering approximately 1 percent of climate warming, the study suggested. "This does not save us from climate warming," says Paasonen. However, he says, "Aerosol effects on climate are one of the main uncertainties in climate models. Understanding this mechanism could help us reduce those uncertainties and make the models better."

The study also showed that the effect was much larger on a regional scale, counteracting possibly up to 30% of warming in more rural, forested areas where anthropogenic emissions of aerosols were much lower in comparison to the natural aerosols. That means that especially in places like Finland, Siberia, and Canada this feedback loop may reduce warming substantially."
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3149
I've read that some regions of the world, due to seismic activity, are experiencing ocean floor rises. I suppose ocean floor rises and falls as the years slip by, tectonic plates do "float" on the surface of molten earth.

Wouldn't this flow of rise and fall of the ocean floor cause sea surface temperatures to generally rise and fall accordingly? These changes in ocean depth affect heat transfer in ocean currents.

Could the global climate's extreme swings in nature be caused by tectonic factors? Are these factors ignored by climatologists?

Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20135
Quoting Naga5000:


Here's a Nasa article from 2012 you might find interesting. Link It discusses the change in sea ice due to changing winds, influenced by warming, and also reinforces that while sea ice may be increasing there, the land ice is decreasing.


cool. thank you. this article gives me a different perspective.
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20135
Quoting bappit:
Plot spoilers!!!!

Whoa, my spoilers were nothing like yours.


Well, I thought as it is a documentary, I didn't even think of plots.
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Plot spoilers!!!!

Whoa, my spoilers were nothing like yours.
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Quoting sullivanweather:


Suicides by Indian Farmers is a shockingly common occurrence. There's great insight into this suicide epidemic detailed in a documentary, "Bitter Seeds." You should really check it out.


Wow. Monsanto sucks.

From a google search:

"Bitter Seeds exposes the havoc Monsanto has wreaked on rural farming communities in India, and serves as a fierce rebuttal to the claim that genetically modified seeds can save the developing world.

The film follows a plucky 18-year-old girl named Manjusha, whose father was one of the quarter-million farmers who have committed suicide in India in the last 16 years. As Grist and others have reported, the motivations for these suicides follow a familiar pattern: Farmers become trapped in a cycle of debt trying to make a living growing Monsanto’s genetically engineered Bt cotton. They always live close to the edge, but one season’s ruined crop can dash hopes of ever paying back their loans, much less enabling their families to get ahead. Manjusha’s father, like many other suicide victims, killed himself by drinking the pesticide he spreads on his crops."
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Quoting spathy:

Well DUH!

But my question was...
...
I dont know the answer.

It depends on the well duh. (welder, get it?)
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Quoting greentortuloni:
the headline video on cnn (http://edition.cnn.com/, international edition, I can't link to the video directly) is about a farmer in India that commited suicide becasue of the drought.

"The worst drought in 40 years leaves parts of western India without water for two years, driving away jobs and stoking desperation -- such as a farmer who hanged himself as debts mounted and the rain refused to fall."


Suicides by Indian Farmers is a shockingly common occurrence. There's great insight into this suicide epidemic detailed in a documentary, "Bitter Seeds." You should really check it out.
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Quoting greentortuloni:
Gore is a Dem, by the way, as you know, as the rest of the world knows by his struggles to protect the environment.
Correct. Not to mention the fact that Gore hasn't held public office for more than 12 years, a fact that may have been overlooked by those too busy studying logic and grammar at Stanford to have noticed.
Quoting greentortuloni:
Suddenly big government is ok when other people have the power.
Hypocrisy is, indeed, their hallmark. That's why, for instance, they despise everything the EPA stands for--yet if ExxonMobil announced plans to plop a pumpjack into their backyard, they'd be demanding that organization's intervention.
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Gore is a Dem, by the way, as you know, as the rest of the world knows by his struggles to protect the environment.
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Interesting, if lightweight, article on google glasses. It is written by a conservative. I happen to agree with the article in the ecological sense that privacy is like the rest of the environment that we take for granted and needs protecting. But the phrase that made it interesting for me is this one:

Maybe the market can take care of this problem. But the likely pervasiveness of this type of technology convinces me that government must play a regulatory role.

In other words, technology outside the hands of the government requires government intervention. Suddenly big government is ok when other people have the power.
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the headline video on cnn (http://edition.cnn.com/, international edition, I can't link to the video directly) is about a farmer in India that commited suicide becasue of the drought.

"The worst drought in 40 years leaves parts of western India without water for two years, driving away jobs and stoking desperation -- such as a farmer who hanged himself as debts mounted and the rain refused to fall."
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Quoting allahgore:



Trust me, quotes like that does not help with your agenda!

Do you believe that Global Warming increases prostitution?
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Why do conservatives like to waste energy?

Grist.org

Back in 2011, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) declared war on energy-efficient lightbulbs, calling “sustainability” the gateway into a dystopic, Big Brother-patrolled liberal hellscape.

When the lights went off during Beyoncé’s halftime set at the last Superbowl, conservative commentators from the Drudge Report to Michelle Malkin pointed blame (erroneously) at new power-saving measures at New Orleans’ Superdome.

And one recent study found that giving Republican households feedback on their power use actually encourages them to use more energy.

A study out Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examined attitudes about energy efficiency in liberals and conservatives, and found that promoting energy-efficient products and services on the basis of their environmental benefits actually turned conservatives off from picking them. The researchers first quizzed participants on how much they value various benefits of energy efficiency, including reducing carbon emissions, reducing foreign oil dependence, and reducing how much consumers pay for energy; cutting emissions appealed to conservatives the least.

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Quoting spathy:



Floods can be bad news for septic tanks.
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Quoting CEastwood:


Someone explain to me the exact benefits of electric vehicles. They are charged with electricity produced by allegedly horrible coal-fired power plants. Sure, the cars produce no emissions, but what will happen if everyone has an electric car plugged in every night? Won't that increase nocturnal emissions? Pun intended. Logic doesn't apply when it comes to gaia worship.



Electric motors are far more efficient than piston engines so even though electricity is more expensive per joule, it cost less to move a car X distance electrically. The current cost ratio is about 3X although if I owned an electric car I would worry about this changing. Gasoline prices have gone up by a factor of four in my adult life while electricity prices have gone up by about a factor of 1.2.


The other issue is that prime time for charging is night while peak electricity demand is during the day. So some of the capacity used at night is what would otherwise be "excess".
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Re:95 Are you glad to be paying tax dollars for such fine information from NOAA about how you are helping to warm our planet? You should write NOAA a letter and tell them how happy you are and what you are going to do to change your habits.
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20393
Quoting CEastwood:


Arithmetic? NOAA arithmetic. Wouldn't thousands of record low temperatures be considered extreme? It's funny how "climatologists" always have an answer when manipulating statistics.


Where's the record cold you mention?





..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20393
Quoting CEastwood:


Arithmetic? NOAA arithmetic. Wouldn't thousands of record low temperatures be considered extreme? It's funny how "climatologists" always have an answer when manipulating statistics.


Dude the ratio is like 10 warm to 1 cold these days...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20393
Quoting cyclonebuster:



That's correct...


Arithmetic? NOAA arithmetic. Wouldn't thousands of record low temperatures be considered extreme? It's funny how "climatologists" always have an answer when manipulating statistics.
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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.

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