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.

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Quoting SouthernIllinois:

If it's an old, moldy chestnut as you say, it shouldn't be that difficult to refute. Fire away!
I guess yonzabam was correct - it didn't take much for Scott and Nea to shoot it down!

We're ready for the next misleading or false statement - fire away!
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1450
Quoting ScottLincoln:

Clearly, that would be significant. The trends are climatic, the year-to-year variations are weather/noise on top of the trend. Comparing a day this year to a day last year has little value. But a long term trend that has dropped ice volume enough to allow weather events to completely melt all Arctic sea ice... that's a big deal.
Thanks Scott. The sentence that prompted my sarcastic response was:

"Uncovering trends exclusively within a year to year comparison cannot be regarded as significant."

The broadness of this statement encompasses full melt-out, so it would have to be qualified a bit more to be at all accurate.

You rephrased the point SouthernIllinois made to be logical and have a realistic meaning - and we can all learn from that. Nuance and specificity - even a bit - can clarify the intended meaning of an unfortunate posting of a vague generality that end up being not accurate for all situations.
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1450
Quoting CEastwood:
New paper shows that temperature drives CO2 -- not vice-versa:

Link
Oh, look, another denialist intentional misinterpretation of a paper. How quaint! How utterly unexpected!

Yawn...

The abstract clearly states that the researchers found that, while CO2 emissions are still increasing, that increase slowed a bit over the last decade in spite of a surge from Asia. The abstract goes on to state that CO2 emissions have nonetheless risen right down the centerline of the IPCC's projections. As Scott Lincoln correctly noted, there's nothing about temperatures; nothing about natural vs. anthropogenic CO2. Yet the antiscientific doofuses behind that blog somehow take that to mean that a) temperature drives CO2, and b) man is not the primary cause of rising CO2 levels.

And their obsequious minions eat it up, unburdened as they are by critical thinking skills. Go figure...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13531
Quoting Xulonn:
So if the arctic Ice melts out completely this year that is not significant? Or if the Arctic is ice free all summer in a few years, that is not significant?

My, my. Interesting interpretations of the term significant here on the WU official AGE/CC trolling and climate denial blog.

Clearly, that would be significant. The trends are climatic, the year-to-year variations are weather/noise on top of the trend. Comparing a day this year to a day last year has little value. But a long term trend that has dropped ice volume enough to allow weather events to completely melt all Arctic sea ice... that's a big deal.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3193
Quoting CEastwood:
New paper shows that temperature drives CO2 -- not vice-versa:

Link
Quoting SouthernIllinois:

Then if it's an old, moldy chestnut as you say, it shouldn't be that difficult to refute. Fire away!

The actual paper itself doesn't seem to make any conclusions similar to that. Sounds like blog science is at it again, making it's own conclusions differing from the conclusions of the actual scientists actually analyzing the data.

The abstract provides some good clues as to what the paper was really about and what conclusions they really reached:
Quoting Francey et al 2013:
International efforts to limit global warming and ocean acidification aim to slow the growth of atmospheric CO2, guided primarily by national and industry estimates of production and consumption of fossil fuels. Atmospheric verification of emissions is vital but present global inversion methods are inadequate for this purpose. We demonstrate a clear response in atmospheric CO2 coinciding with a sharp 2010 increase in Asian emissions but show persisting slowing mean CO2 growth from 2002/03. Growth and inter-hemispheric concentration difference during the onset and recovery of the Global Financial Crisis support a previous speculation that the reported 2000%u20132008 emissions surge is an artefact, most simply explained by a cumulative underestimation (~ 9%u2009Pg%u2009C) of 1994%u20132007 emissions; in this case, post-2000 emissions would track mid-range of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emission scenarios. An alternative explanation requires changes in the northern terrestrial land sink that offset anthropogenic emission changes. We suggest atmospheric methods to help resolve this ambiguity.


Seems like yet another learning opportunity for people to be skeptical of what they read from blog science sites; they should get their science from the actual science papers and scientists instead.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3193
Quoting SouthernIllinois:

Yes. Looking at averages is far more meaningful. We are alarmed by the 30 year trend since 1979 with the Arctic sea ice. Uncovering trends exclusively within a year to year comparison cannot be regarded as significant.
So if the arctic Ice melts out completely this year that is not significant? Or if the Arctic is ice free all summer in a few years, that is not significant?

My, my. Interesting interpretations of the term significant here on the WU official AGE/CC trolling and climate denial blog.
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1450
Quoting CEastwood:
New paper shows that temperature drives CO2 -- not vice-versa:

Link



interesting.......
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Global carbon dioxide levels set to pass 400ppm milestoneThe concentration of carbon in the atmosphere over the next few days is expected to hit record levels



"The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached 399.72 parts per million (ppm) and is likely to pass the symbolically important 400ppm level for the first time in the next few days.

"Readings at the US government's Earth Systems Research laboratory in Hawaii, are not expected to reach their 2013 peak until mid May, but were recorded at a daily average of 399.72ppm on 25 April. The weekly average stood at 398.5 on Monday.

Hourly readings above 400ppm have been recorded six times in the last week, and on occasion, at observatories in the high Arctic. But the Mauna Loa station, sited at 3,400m and far away from major pollution sources in the Pacific Ocean, has been monitoring levels for more than 50 years and is considered the gold standard.

"I wish it weren't true but it looks like the world is going to blow through the 400ppm level without losing a beat. At this pace we'll hit 450ppm within a few decades," said Ralph Keeling, a geologist with the Scripps Institution"
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3284
Quoting CEastwood:
New paper shows that temperature drives CO2 -- not vice-versa:

Link


You're gonna need better bait than that mouldy old chestnut.
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New paper shows that temperature drives CO2 -- not vice-versa:

Link
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Quoting etxwx:


(I edited your quote just to respond to this part.) Even though we have a lot of land, much of my garden is in containers. Containers are easier to care for and I can move them around to sun or shade as needed. It’s surprising how much a container will produce. We also grow all our greens, summer veggies like beans, squash, tomatoes, peppers and I often get enough to can or freeze. Because East Texas is a mild climate, I usually have something growing all year long, so we eat seasonally. Rather than "deprivation", eating seasonally is actually a treat…you look forward to fresh and tasty veggies, rather than the out of season, shop worn, tasteless stuff that’s in the grocery. And your diet naturally becomes varied. It wasn’t that long ago when it was normal for folks to have a small garden patch – even in the small city I grew up in. It's crazy that city ordinances and home owners' associations can prohibit gardening. I don’t want to turn this into a gardening post but I do want to recommend a good book on container gardening called “Bountiful Container” by McGee and Stuckey. Book review here. And if you can't garden, check out local farmers' markets, if available.

On packaging: What is surprising to me is how quickly we became a throw away, consumer society. I’m old, but I’m not that old. But way back then, things weren’t so over packaged, so we didn’t generate lots of trash. Amazingly, we survived without Styrofoam cups and plates. If you can find it, there is a two part BBC4 documentary production called “The Secret Life of Rubbish”. It’s a real eye opener. It’s only been since WW2 that we started down this crazy trash strewn path of throw away everything.



Riverdale developments predate HOAs and gardening is not prohibited. But active dogs and lots of trees preclude large scale backyard gardening. I do have a rental plot in Beltsville.

I grow corn from June to October, (no one picks corn before I do!!) tomatoes late June to October, potatoes (Memorial day to July and again in November from an August planting), lettuce (all year except January-March and July-Sept. Beans, squash, onions, broccoli, peas, cucumbers, squash, strawberries, melons, spinach (all winter) and brussels sprouts (all winter).
The problem with containers is that they need daily watering in summer
and we travel on family vacations.


I've often posted but will repeat that after thirty years of success, I can no longer grow pole lima beans here. Summer nights are too hot for good pod set and I wind up getting one picking from late August set flowers, just before late October or November frost.. Prior to 2010 picking was possible from late July on to frost. But the past three summers have been the three hottest of record. I do think this is still "weather" and we'll get back to more normal summers for awhile before the GW signal makes this kind of summer heat the new normal.




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Quoting yoboi:



so your saying poverty can lead to prostitution.....the past 5 yrs the USA has reached an all time high with people living in poverty since the great depression......we need to blame the person in charge of the USA?????

No, I was providing at least one link to a peer reviewed article saying that poverty is linked to prostitution. As global warming produces poverty, global warming causes prostitution. 
If you are concerned with protecting women, you should fight global warming.




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32. auburn (Mod)
Packaging can mean alot also folks..LOL

In what has to be the worst case of wasteful packaging in the history of modern conveniece, a grocery store in Austria is actually selling pre-peeled bananas that have then been re-packaged in cellophane-covered foam trays. What’s even more maddening is that the supermarket chain’s slogan urges customers to use more common sense when shopping. “Paper, plastic, or ironic, sir?”



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Quoting NRAamy:
Paleolithic diet


From Wikipedia
, the free encyclopedia
[


That was a good follow up post with good info. Thanks.
I agree we'd be better off in many ways if we ate more natural, less processed foods. I try - am not absolutely strict about it - but it's a healthier, less resource wasting direction to go for sure.
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Quoting greentortuloni:


I hope it lasts. I don't see it sticking personally.


Monsanto tried to squash research by buying a major bee research company.

Action:
Quote
| Ignore User


Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1148



Almost sounds like the american streetcar scandal.
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Quoting greentortuloni:
Dr. Rood, here is an article you might find interesting:


Political ideology affects energy-efficiency attitudes and choices
Dena M. Grometa,1, Howard Kunreuthera, and Richard P. Larrick



Thanks ... r
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Quoting NRAamy:
Paleolithic diet


From Wikipedia
, the free encyclopedia



The Paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years which ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets. In common usage, such terms as "paleolithic diet" also refer to the actual ancestral human diet.[1][2]

Centered on commonly available modern foods, the "contemporary" Paleolithic diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.[1][3][4]

First popularized in the mid-1970s by gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin,[5][6] this nutritional concept has been promoted and adapted by a number of authors and researchers in several books and academic journals.[7] A common theme in evolutionary medicine,[8][9] Paleolithic nutrition is based on the premise that modern humans are genetically adapted to the diet of their Paleolithic ancestors and that human genetics have scarcely changed since the dawn of agriculture, and therefore that an ideal diet for human health and well-being is one that resembles this ancestral diet.[4][10]

Proponents of this diet argue that modern human populations subsisting on traditional diets allegedly similar to those of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers are largely free of diseases of affluence,[11][12] and that multiple studies of the Paleolithic diet in humans have shown improved health outcomes relative to other widely recommended diets.[13][14] Supporters also point to several potentially therapeutic nutritional characteristics of preagricultural diets.[

A collegue here has a similar diet, no cooked food, no meat and very little dairy. He lost a few pounds (he was already skinny) but he says he has never had so much energy or felt so good in his life.
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Quoting greentortuloni:


Seriously? For someone who prefers vermicelli linguini with white whine sauce, you do avoid google much. The first hit on google:

The Effects of Drought on the Condition of Women
Wilfred Tichagwa
Focus on Gender , Vol. 2, No. 1, Women and Emergencies (Feb., 1994), pp. 20-25
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. on behalf of Oxfam GB
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4030186



"Prostitution is increasing among women, particularly unmarried mothers, in an effort to earn income to support their family. Prostitution carries with it the ever- present danger of sexually-transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Other women face the danger of infection by promiscuous husbands and/or boyfriends."


Aside from the long list of peer reviewed articles, I have to ask what passes for common sense with you? Have you ever traveled in any third world country and seen the social divisions and effects of poverty? The consequences of global warming -> worsening poverty -> prostitution. 


There are many other effects but  you are probably insulated form the real world. There is an article in CNN about immigration trafficers selling space on boats that are then towed out to sea and abandoned. This is the sort of world that we live in. The environment (no pun intended) that allows these sorts of situations is what global warming will bring.


Your comments make you sound as if all this is a joke to you, scoring points on a blog in some corner of the web.
Action: Quote | Ignore User
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1147



so your saying poverty can lead to prostitution.....the past 5 yrs the USA has reached an all time high with people living in poverty since the great depression......we need to blame the person in charge of the USA?????
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Paleolithic diet


From Wikipedia
, the free encyclopedia



The Paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years which ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets. In common usage, such terms as "paleolithic diet" also refer to the actual ancestral human diet.[1][2]

Centered on commonly available modern foods, the "contemporary" Paleolithic diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.[1][3][4]

First popularized in the mid-1970s by gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin,[5][6] this nutritional concept has been promoted and adapted by a number of authors and researchers in several books and academic journals.[7] A common theme in evolutionary medicine,[8][9] Paleolithic nutrition is based on the premise that modern humans are genetically adapted to the diet of their Paleolithic ancestors and that human genetics have scarcely changed since the dawn of agriculture, and therefore that an ideal diet for human health and well-being is one that resembles this ancestral diet.[4][10]

Proponents of this diet argue that modern human populations subsisting on traditional diets allegedly similar to those of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers are largely free of diseases of affluence,[11][12] and that multiple studies of the Paleolithic diet in humans have shown improved health outcomes relative to other widely recommended diets.[13][14] Supporters also point to several potentially therapeutic nutritional characteristics of preagricultural diets.[
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Dr. Rood, here is an article you might find interesting:


Political ideology affects energy-ef%uFB01ciency attitudes and choices
Dena M. Grometa,1, Howard Kunreuthera, and Richard P. Larrickb

Abstract:

This research demonstrates how promoting the environment can negatively affect adoption of energy efficiency in the United States because of the political polarization surrounding environmental issues. Study 1 demonstrated that more politically conservative individuals were less in favor of investment in energy efficient technology than were those who were more politically liberal. This finding was driven primarily by the lessened psychological value that more conservative individuals placed on reducing carbon emissions. Study 2 showed that this difference has consequences: In a real-choice context, more conservative individuals were less likely to purchase a more expensive energy efficient light bulb when it was labeled with an environmental message than when it was unlabeled. These results highlight the importance of taking into account psychological value-based considerations in the individual adoption of energy efficient technology in the United States and beyond.


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Quoting RickyRood:
When scientific research finds the possibility of a damaging impact of environmental and health related consequences, there is always a denialist element. There are different reasons for that position, but perhaps the most stubborn are those who have money invested in the damaging agent. I think it is important to realize that this denialist element is always there - always. They obstruct by using tried and true methods of argument, for example, posing isolated counter examples and demanding extraordinary levels of truth. Once recognized as, essentially, a tactic to obstruct or derail changes, to protect their vested interests, then it is easier to think of strategies to find solutions, as opposed to convincing all to accept the science-based knowledge.
As Upton Sinclair so succinctly put it, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

Like many others here, I long ago gave up trying to teach the science behind climate change to those ideologically and steadfastly opposed to learning about it. Yes, I do devote some time to ridiculing them, while at others I work to counter their inane blather with evidence and fact. But that's because I don't feel that we as a society have yet reached the point where we can simply declare victory over denialism and move on as though the roadblocks they've thrown up in front of scientific and technological progress don't exist. Soon perhaps. But not just yet.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13531
Quoting georgevandenberghe:
If I had more land and sun I could grow a larger fraction of my own food. As it is I am about self sufficient in greens (lettuce, and spinach) most of the year and in most vegetables the summer third of the year. I'm working on ways to get continuous broccoli but will not be able to do this during the period July-Sept which is just too hot here. But getting more land in an urban area is itself energy intensive and facilitates sprawl. Cutting down suburban trees does more harm than can be countered by benefit from what I could grow with them gone.


(I edited your quote just to respond to this part.) Even though we have a lot of land, much of my garden is in containers. Containers are easier to care for and I can move them around to sun or shade as needed. It’s surprising how much a container will produce. We also grow all our greens, summer veggies like beans, squash, tomatoes, peppers and I often get enough to can or freeze. Because East Texas is a mild climate, I usually have something growing all year long, so we eat seasonally. Rather than "deprivation", eating seasonally is actually a treat…you look forward to fresh and tasty veggies, rather than the out of season, shop worn, tasteless stuff that’s in the grocery. And your diet naturally becomes varied. It wasn’t that long ago when it was normal for folks to have a small garden patch – even in the small city I grew up in. It's crazy that city ordinances and home owners' associations can prohibit gardening. I don’t want to turn this into a gardening post but I do want to recommend a good book on container gardening called “Bountiful Container” by McGee and Stuckey. Book review here. And if you can't garden, check out local farmers' markets, if available.

On packaging: What is surprising to me is how quickly we became a throw away, consumer society. I’m old, but I’m not that old. But way back then, things weren’t so over packaged, so we didn’t generate lots of trash. Amazingly, we survived without Styrofoam cups and plates. If you can find it, there is a two part BBC4 documentary production called “The Secret Life of Rubbish”. It’s a real eye opener. It’s only been since WW2 that we started down this crazy trash strewn path of throw away everything.
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Quoting greentortuloni:

There is actually a strong parallel between how the bee situation was fought and global warming. All the science is rejected by the denialists, but in the end the evidence (the death of the bees) is so apparent that the governments change course.




When scientific research finds the possibility of a damaging impact of environmental and health related consequences, there is always a denialist element. There are different reasons for that position, but perhaps the most stubborn are those who have money invested in the damaging agent. I think it is important to realize that this denialist element is always there - always. They obstruct by using tried and true methods of argument, for example, posing isolated counter examples and demanding extraordinary levels of truth. Once recognized as, essentially, a tactic to obstruct or derail changes, to protect their vested interests, then it is easier to think of strategies to find solutions, as opposed to convincing all to accept the science-based knowledge.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:

I am not a big fan of comparing days myself. There likely isn't much significance in it starting to ramp up 4 days sooner or 4 days later or it being higher than this time last year or lower. But if the average becomes 4 days sooner, or if the average rate speeds up, that is far more meaningful.
Yeah, the image's caption was oddly worded. And I agree that day-to-day comparisons where ice is concerned aren't particularly valuable. But given the steep decline in area to-date--more than 1.5 million km2--and given that this year's same-day ice is so much lower than last year's on this date (414,000 km2, as noted before), and given the fact of those aforementioned five consecutive days with an ice loss of greater than 100,000 km2, I'd at least call that very interesting, and at least potentially meaningful.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13531

Quoting JohnLonergan:


Bee-harming pesticides banned in Europe
EU member states vote ushers in continent-wide suspension of neonicotinoid pesticides.





Europe will enforce the world's first continent-wide ban on widely used insecticides alleged to cause serious harm to bees, after a European commission vote on Monday.

The suspension is a landmark victory for millions of environmental campaigners, backed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), concerned about a dramatic decline in the bee population. The vote also represents a serious setback for the chemical producers who make billions each year from the products and also UK ministers, who voted against the ban. Both had argued the ban would harm food production.

Although the vote by the 27 EU member states on whether to suspend the insect nerve agents was supported by 15 nations, but did not reach the required majority under voting rules. The hung vote hands the final decision to the European commission, which will implement the ban.

Tonio Borg, health and consumer commissioner, said: "Our proposal is based on a number of risks to bee health identified by the EFSA, [so] the European commission will go ahead with its plan in coming weeks."

Friends of the Earth's head of campaigns, Andrew Pendleton, said: "This decision is a significant victory for common sense and our beleaguered bee populations. Restricting the use of these pesticides could be an historic milestone on the road to recovery for these crucial pollinators."



I hope it lasts. I don't see it sticking personally.
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Quoting greentortuloni:

.
It is also interesting to note, as Skyepony noted also in a comment on her blog, that the pesticides used often cause far more damage than help. The EU just banned a few pesticides because of the harm they do to bees - although that is being fought by the pesticide companies on the grounds of technicalities (go figure: win the right to pollute based on procedural errors!)



Bee-harming pesticides banned in Europe
EU member states vote ushers in continent-wide suspension of neonicotinoid pesticides.





Europe will enforce the world's first continent-wide ban on widely used insecticides alleged to cause serious harm to bees, after a European commission vote on Monday.

The suspension is a landmark victory for millions of environmental campaigners, backed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), concerned about a dramatic decline in the bee population. The vote also represents a serious setback for the chemical producers who make billions each year from the products and also UK ministers, who voted against the ban. Both had argued the ban would harm food production.

Although the vote by the 27 EU member states on whether to suspend the insect nerve agents was supported by 15 nations, but did not reach the required majority under voting rules. The hung vote hands the final decision to the European commission, which will implement the ban.

Tonio Borg, health and consumer commissioner, said: "Our proposal is based on a number of risks to bee health identified by the EFSA, [so] the European commission will go ahead with its plan in coming weeks."

Friends of the Earth's head of campaigns, Andrew Pendleton, said: "This decision is a significant victory for common sense and our beleaguered bee populations. Restricting the use of these pesticides could be an historic milestone on the road to recovery for these crucial pollinators."


Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3284
Quoting JohnLonergan:
Arctic sea ice in steep descend more than four days earlier than in 2012




OK, the spelling is bad, but the chart is interesting.

I am not a big fan of comparing days myself. There likely isn't much significance in it starting to ramp up 4 days sooner or 4 days later or it being higher than this time last year or lower. But if the average becomes 4 days sooner, or if the average rate speeds up, that is far more meaningful.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3193

Quoting georgevandenberghe:
If I had more land and sun I could grow a larger fraction of my own food. As it is I am about self sufficient in greens (lettuce, and spinach) most of the year and in most vegetables the summer third of the year. I'm working on ways to get continuous broccoli but will not be able to do this during the period July-Sept which is just too hot here. But getting more land in an urban area is itself energy intensive and facilitates sprawl. Cutting down suburban trees does more harm than can be countered by benefit from what I could grow with them gone. My community, Riverdale MD, instead is packed together, and walkable with good mass transit. My house is old and leaks heat like a sieve through the thin lath walls but just insulating the attic cut my heat bill 40%. Unfortunately with active teens who don't drive I seem to spend half my life in the car shuttling them to activities.. Electric cars aren't yet cost effective but with leasing it's getting close and one of my cars is 20 years old so maybe...
Riverdale! Ever go the 'vous back in the day?
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Quoting NRAamy:
So, no one cares about Rood' s New topic?
I do care about it. 
I also read Diet for a Small Planet when I was younger and it influenced me greatly. In fact the very passage quoted by Dr. Rood stayed in my head as well. That book convinced me  to become vegitarian ( along with a few other factors e.g. living with surfer dude vegitarians who knew how to cook good vegitarian meals and gave me as much leftovers as i wanted.)
I thought the comment about local produce being higher in cost forcing more fuel use by requiring more production very interesting. I think there is truth and falsity in that claim (without having read the link). Our local coop store sells a lot of local produce at competitive prices. The reason is that if the farmers sell their produce via the industrialized route, they are paid much less. Thus, anything they can sell directly, locally, can be much cheaper and still give them a profit. It isn't all organic (some is) but the system works.
The organic side happens to work locally here because of a variety of factors including small farms that produce crops as supplimental income, tourism and the very high consciousness of ecology around here. Many crops are sold as being organic anyway.
It is also interesting to note, as Skyepony noted also in a comment on her blog, that the pesticides used often cause far more damage than help. The EU just banned a few pesticides because of the harm they do to bees - although that is being fought by the pesticide companies on the grounds of technicalities (go figure: win the right to pollute based on procedural errors!)

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If I had more land and sun I could grow a larger fraction of my own food. As it is I am about self sufficient in greens (lettuce, and spinach) most of the year and in most vegetables the summer third of the year. I'm working on ways to get continuous broccoli but will not be able to do this during the period July-Sept which is just too hot here. But getting more land in an urban area is itself energy intensive and facilitates sprawl. Cutting down suburban trees does more harm than can be countered by benefit from what I could grow with them gone. My community, Riverdale MD, instead is packed together, and walkable with good mass transit. My house is old and leaks heat like a sieve through the thin lath walls but just insulating the attic cut my heat bill 40%. Unfortunately with active teens who don't drive I seem to spend half my life in the car shuttling them to activities.. Electric cars aren't yet cost effective but with leasing it's getting close and one of my cars is 20 years old so maybe...
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So, no one cares about Rood' s New topic?
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Quoting NRAamy:
The topic is food.......


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The topic is food.......
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Quoting SouthernIllinois:

4 full days. How many hours? How many seconds?
4 x 24 hours = 96 hours.

4 x 86,400 seconds = 345,600

Glad I could help you with that.

Now, Arctic sea ice area is, as of yesterday, 414,000 square kilometers lower than it was on the same day last year. That's an area about the size of California--an not insubstantial amount.

But something of perhaps greater interest: area has dropped by more than 100,000 square kilometers each of the past five days. That is the first time such a stretch has happened in the month of April. In fact, it's never even happened in May. And in fact, it's never happened outside the peak melting months of June and July.

Silly denialist talk about an impending ice age aside, the North Pole is evolving rapidly. And as this year's bizarre weather has hinted at, we can expect a lot of craziness over the next few decades...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13531
Then we should all go back to the Paleolithic Diet.....Hunter/gatherers...no growing grains...no manmade global warming back then.....
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Arctic sea ice in steep descend more than four days earlier than in 2012




OK, the spelling is bad, but the chart is interesting.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3284
**And as is often the case, the connection is indirect, far in the future, and difficult to give value.**

Very true, unfortunately, and very much in keeping with the American Way of instant gratification.

As for the conversation about the risks to women, one need only look to other documented times of upheaval in human history:Link

Link

Link

There are many more examples, but I think I made my point. One has only to research "forced prostitution during economic hardship". So if you agree that IF climate change occurs, economic hardship might result- then yes, some women might be forced into prostitution.
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Quoting allahgore:



Can you support this with anything peer reviewed? Is there a graph? Is it like a hockey stick? or is this a slow process?


Seriously? For someone who prefers vermicelli linguini with white whine sauce, you do avoid google much. The first hit on google:

The Effects of Drought on the Condition of Women
Wilfred Tichagwa
Focus on Gender , Vol. 2, No. 1, Women and Emergencies (Feb., 1994), pp. 20-25
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. on behalf of Oxfam GB
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4030186

"Prostitution is increasing among women, particularly unmarried mothers, in an effort to earn income to support their family. Prostitution carries with it the ever- present danger of sexually-transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Other women face the danger of infection by promiscuous husbands and/or boyfriends."

Aside from the long list of peer reviewed articles, I have to ask what passes for common sense with you? Have you ever traveled in any third world country and seen the social divisions and effects of poverty? The consequences of global warming -> worsening poverty -> prostitution. 

There are many other effects but  you are probably insulated form the real world. There is an article in CNN about immigration trafficers selling space on boats that are then towed out to sea and abandoned. This is the sort of world that we live in. The environment (no pun intended) that allows these sorts of situations is what global warming will bring.

Your comments make you sound as if all this is a joke to you, scoring points on a blog in some corner of the web.
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Good post Dr. Rood. Thank you.
If I may add, when shopping for food please do consider the packaging. A lot of resources go into throw away packaging. All that material and energy used just to be thrown away - and then we have to find a way to deal with the resulting trash. Better to buy in loose bulk if available and reuse/recycle bags whenever possible. I couldn’t believe it when I started seeing potatoes in the stores that were individually wrapped in plastic – that’s just crazy. We have to be smarter than that.
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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.