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1 hour ago, Nicky said:

In other words, there's nothing to worry about.

Some interesting stuff I didn't know in your post - good one.

Either way we are both agreed 'In other words, there's nothing to worry about.'.  If anything bad eventuates, and that is very debatable, there is zero doubt we can rectify it without the alarmist  carry on you hear from some.   Real scientists are much more cautious.

Thanks

Bill

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16 hours ago, Richard Lyons said:

I'm scared of being wrong but I don't suggest turning the planet into an ash tray even if I don't believe in AGW.

Don't worry about it - even if the alarmists are correct, and that is highly debatable, we can figure out how to solve it.   Technology is progressing at an ever increasing rate.   As Issac Asimov said - you don't abandon technology misapplied, you fix it up.   When cavemen started fires in caves to keep warm they didn't stop because the smoke was unbearable - they invented the chimney.  There is no reason to believe this is any different.

Thanks

Bill

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On 6/20/2018 at 2:13 PM, William Hobba said:

See the following: 

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/cow-emissions-more-damaging-to-planet-than-co2-from-cars-427843.html

That gives 18% but recently it has been upgraded to 11% more than previously thought:

https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/09/weve-grossly-underestimated-how-much-cow-farts-are-contributing-to-global-warming/

This gives about 20%.

The reason it seems implausible is its mostly methane which is a much worse global warming gas than CO2.

Those articles don't claim that methane from cow flatulence amounts to 20% of greenhouse emissions. They claim that the overall effects of raising livestock cause 20% of emissions. Methane from flatulence is only a small part of that 20%.

All the other practices that lead to greenhouse emissions are very much avoidable (flatulence is avoidable too, there are cows that don't fart as much, but it's not worth the effort, because it's not as big a deal as popular myths paint it to be).

Not only that, but livestock farming can have a net positive effect (assuming "positive" means less greenhouse gases). Take "deforestation" for instance, which is one of the things they're harping on: sure, you can't really graze livestock in a forest (except pigs, they love it). But guess what these partisan, alarmist reports always leave out: grass sequesters more carbon than forests. So deforestation, as long as it's done for the purpose of creating a healthy pasture, prevents global warming.

We don't need virgin forests to prevent global warming. On the contrary, replacing them with grassland would create far more vibrant ecosystems across Asia and North America.

 

Note: I don't really know much about jungle ecology, and what effect deforestation has there...but rain forests only cover a small fraction of Earth, anyway...everywhere else, deforestation doesn't have to be a bad thing. It's only a bad thing when the forest is replaced with a heavily fertilized, frequently tilled monoculture that depletes the soil of all other biology, and essentially treats land as a chemistry lab that's supposed to be kept as sterile as possible. That, obviously, is worse than anything else you can do to soil, including leaving it as a relatively infertile forest.

And, because in most climates forests are the result of the disappearance of large herbivore herds (which are the greatest "deforestors" on Earth), most forests are unnatural and therefor infertile. There's a reason why a lot of Africa is grassland: they didn't kill all their herbivores. The natural state of most land on Earth is grassland, grazed by even more herbivores than these 1.5 billion cattle the environmentalist movement is upset about. It's just that the grazing is supposed to be cyclical and regenerative, not constant and destructive, like it is now. If you keep it cyclical, you can actually graze more, so even "over-grazing" is a misleading term. That's what makes grasses different than any other plant: it's not supposed to be protected, it's supposed to be absolutely obliterated from time to time. You can (and should) graze/trample a pasture barren every few months (or at least once a year, but you can do it 3-4 times a year no problem, as long as you let it grow to seed once in a while), because a few weeks after the destruction there's an explosion of life both above and below the surface, where the herbivore herd passed through, that couldn't have happened any other way.

Edited by Nicky

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9 hours ago, Nicky said:

Those articles don't claim that methane from cow flatulence amounts to 20% of greenhouse emissions. They claim that the overall effects of raising livestock cause 20% of emissions. Methane from flatulence is only a small part of that 20%

Well it says:

Livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.

So you are correct in concluding it does not state its cow flatulence  - BUT the title of the article is 'Cow 'emissions' more damaging to planet than CO2 from cars'   I will now be more exact - emissions go beyond flatulence - there is also belching, emissions from excreted poop and probably others as well. From the second article: 'It's hard to believe that belches, farts and poop from livestock could have any kind of global atmospheric effect, but it's an issue of scale, and the nature of methane itself.' and 'We typically think of farts as being the culprit, but belches are actually the primary source of cattle-produced methane, accounting for 95 per cent of the problematic greenhouse gas.'

So I apologize for not being exact and pointing out its 95% from belching rather than flatulence - my bad.

But really does that change the argument?

Deforestation, as I mentioned also accounts for about another 20% currently (some say as high as 41% which I do not believe - I think 20% seems to be about the consensus).   What that is the CO'2 emitted by destroying the forests itself.  You are correct in saying it's likely replaced by grassland that also will absorb CO'2 and emit oxygen.  So it may be self limiting.   I am no plant ecologist but I suspect the grass is not as good at it as the forest it replaces:

http://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/2009/12/which-plants-store-more-carbon-in-australia-forests-or-grasses/

Now I don't know how accurate the above is although it looks like a reputable source.   I have read where it puts more into the earth than forests - but the above suggests it doesn't compensate enough.   

As I said right at the beginning of my posts the earth is a complex system and models predicting the future do not have a good record.  I will now be more exact on that point.  Some models indeed have predicted approximately what we see now, and some climate change alarmists have used that for saying we are headed for doom.  But the consensus seems to be the following:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/did-global-warming-slow-down-in-the-2000s-or-not/

We are not seeing the increase in global warming predicted  after 2000.   Scientists are trying to understand why - but either way its not the doomsday scenario the alarmists like Gore predicted.

The interesting thing about Gore is not what the skeptics harp on -  the skeptics claim that the stated  97% of climate scientists believe in global warming is wrong - it is in fact correct.  Many of his statements are.   The thing about Gore is he DELIBERATELY lacks balance - he does not say what percentage of that 97% percent think we are heading for disaster - it varies widely form - nothing to worry about, to we have 150 years, to if its not fixed by 2030 we are doomed.

And yes every single emission issue is fixable - but at what cost?  Here in Aus the state of South Australia went for 50% renewable's and it now has the most expensive electricity in the world, and also one of the most unreliable.   The economic impact of which is now being felt as well as small little niceties those pushing for such didn't think about like the elderly dying from heat or cold because they can no longer afford air conditioning.   And even worse when it's pointed out the climate change zealots don't not just care - that would be bad enough - they even laugh about it.   It makes you shake your head and wonder at their perverted psychology.  

IMHO its become for many not something for reasoned discourse, but a religion not to be questioned.

Just to add balance to the distorted view of climate alarmists (by which I mean unbalanced) it's wise to look at what one of the true greats of science, Freeman Dyson has to say:

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/10/11/freeman_dyson_interview/

Obviously he is one of that group Gore doesn't want to talk about.

I always wonder where we would be if Dyson's good friend Feynman was still alive.   He could cut though this sort of rubbish like a hot knife through butter.   Look at the Challenger Disaster.  He didn't go around with the other members of the panel looking into it.   He went to  the JPL which I think is located near or in Caltech where he worked, and sorted it out with the scientists and engineers.  The panel got nowhere - he solved it.   The reason - the panel was political in it's basis - Feynman eschewed such - for him the science was the thing.   I think there is lessons to be learned from that for the climate debate.

 Thanks

Bill

 

 

 

Edited by William Hobba

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5 hours ago, William Hobba said:

   [Feynman] could cut though this sort of rubbish like a hot knife through butter. 

Yes, but it isn't clear if someone like him would make a difference to general public-opinion on the topic today. 

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True - but one can live in hope.   He certainly did in the Challenger disaster - but doing it again - that's a tough one.

Reading the interview with his good friend Dyson what was one of the comments made - what has Dyson done - you just want to cry.

Interesting story about that.   One of his most famous contributions was showing Feynman diagrams and Schwinger's approach to QED were equivalent.  Its famously known Dyson never got a PhD - he doesn't believe in that system.   Of course with his published accomplishments he could apply for and easily get the higher award of DSc, but never bothered.   Anyway while lecturing on his findings, Feynman, who being a friend of Dyson, already knew it, sat at the back of the lecture hall cracking up everyone near him with jokes.   At the end of it he said - Your'e in Doc.  It is suspected by some he would also have loved never to have had a PhD because he would have got a great kick in saying - I don't have a PhD and even I  know that.   That's just how he was - his basic view of what he thought was rubbish was I am just a kid from Far Rockaway that has seen through your city slicker ways.  It grated on people like Gell-Mann after a while - part of it was creating these stories about himself like making a big deal of having to wear a tie at the Caltech restaurant despite wearing a tie to work  most days - he thought it utter pomposity - but its just who he was.

Thanks

Bill

Edited by William Hobba

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3 minutes ago, William Hobba said:

True - but one can live in hope.   He certainly did in the Challenger disaster - but doing it again - that's a tough one..

My assumptions are:

  • that the counter-arguments to to most dire predictions are all out there, and
  • that these key arguments have been made, not just by groups with a mission against the AGW voices, but by scholars who are credible and who are generally respected in traditional academia

If so, a Feyman would bring additional credibility, but probably no new counter-argument.

Do you think the case he would bring has not been figured out? Or that it has not been made effectively? Or that it has not been made by someone with his credibility?

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53 minutes ago, softwareNerd said:

Do you think the case he would bring has not been figured out? Or that it has not been made effectively? Or that it has not been made by someone with his credibility?

No - eg Dyson has his credibility of course.  So does Gell-Mann,  but he has a different view.   He says correctly the trend has a component that is random, cyclical caused by things like sunspot activity, and the actual warming caused by the emissions.   It exasperates him people do not get this.  He didn't say so but you get the impression until people understand this, and scientists know better how much each will contribute, why are we arguing it? But he does think the emissions will eventually predominate - but when - your guess is as good as mine - and the effect - Dyson thinks it could be good.   I could have his view wrong - but that seems to be his gist.   Another view in the myriad that is promulgated.   Contrast it to what Dyson says.  Interesting inst it.  

Feynman had great credibility with the public for being a no nonsense type guy as well as an extremely good explainer of complex subjects.   But he was so good people thought they understood it perfectly well when they attended a lecture of his but after couldn't, for some reason remember exactly what he said.  In some ways he was somewhat of a paradox.

Thanks

Bill

 

Edited by William Hobba

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16 hours ago, William Hobba said:

Well it says:

Livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.

So you are correct in concluding it does not state its cow flatulence  - BUT the title of the article is 'Cow 'emissions' more damaging to planet than CO2 from cars'   I will now be more exact - emissions go beyond flatulence - there is also belching, emissions from excreted poop and probably others as well. From the second article: 'It's hard to believe that belches, farts and poop from livestock could have any kind of global atmospheric effect, but it's an issue of scale, and the nature of methane itself.' and 'We typically think of farts as being the culprit, but belches are actually the primary source of cattle-produced methane, accounting for 95 per cent of the problematic greenhouse gas.'

So I apologize for not being exact and pointing out its 95% from belching rather than flatulence - my bad.

I wasn't being pedantic, and differentiating between belching and farting. You can call all of it flatulence, it's fine. The article doesn't claim that gases farted out and belched out by cows add up to 20%. It claims that the livestock industry, with everything they do, is responsible for 20% of global warming. They include things like the destruction of sea ecosystems due to fertilizer runoff, desertification, etc., etc. Cow flatulence, belching, and whatever else cows do is a tiny portion of that.

 

Quote

  I am no plant ecologist but I suspect the grass is not as good at it as the forest it replaces

http://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/2009/12/which-plants-store-more-carbon-in-australia-forests-or-grasses/

 

I'm beginning to suspect that you don't read the posts you're responding to... or the articles you're linking to.

What I said above, in a nutshell, is this: pasture that is managed according to regenerative principles sequesters more carbon in the soil than a typical temperate climate forest (like the ones in Europe, most of North America, and most of Asia).

Meanwhile, your article compares rain forests and massive eucalyptus forests to semi-arid grassland it specifically says is "little grazed" (and, not mentioned in the article, they regularly burn down, which ensures that all the above ground carbon is released right back into the atmosphere).

P.S. Regenerative farming isn't about replacing forest with grassland, so I hope I didn't give that impression. Plant diversity is a fundamental principle of regenerative farming, so regenerative ranchers do often grow trees, not just grass, on their pastures (that's called a silvopasture...sometimes it makes economic sense, sometimes it doesn't...when it doesn't, grassland by itself also acts as a net carbon sink, so it should be fine from an "environmentalist" perspective).

Edited by Nicky

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8 hours ago, Nicky said:

The article doesn't claim that gases farted out and belched out by cows add up to 20%.

As I quoted: 'We typically think of farts as being the culprit, but belches are actually the primary source of cattle-produced methane, accounting for 95 per cent of the problematic greenhouse gas.

So Belching does account for 95% of the emissions.   And the second link showed the original amount of 18% in the first link was now thought to be lower than the real amount by 11% giving the 20%.

You said: 'What I said above, in a nutshell, is this: pasture that is managed according to regenerative principles sequesters more carbon in the soil than a typical temperate climate forest (like the ones in Europe, most of North America, and most of Asia).'

The link I gave seemed to cast some doubt on that here in Aus:

'The NSW Department of Primary Industry has compared soil organic carbon under perennial pasture in high rainfall areas in the mid-north coast of NSW to native hardwood forests within a 100km radius.  They found that for the high-rainfall areas studied, there was no significant difference between soil organic carbon in the pastures and native forests at 20 centimetres depth, with an average storage of 72.9 tonnes per hectare in the pasture versus 76.5 tonnes per hectare in the native forest site'

Of course you are free to argue otherwise - but I do not get how this does not, at least, need further clarification on your part to support your claim.  You have done that - pointing out you said properly manged pasture - and that's fine - I don't know if its true or not as I am not knowledgeable in the area but will accept it until I come across evidence to the contrary.

As to the rest of the stuff - of course I read what links I post. Although I am prone to go off on tangents such as my comments on Feynman and Dyson.   Guilty as charged on that one.

I suspect however we are on different wavelengths in how we engage in discourse.  All that you needed to say was something like - interesting Bill - but I was referring to properly manged pasture where the situation is different.  I engage in a lot of scientific discussion over on Physics Forums and I find your approach somewhat different to what I am used to.

So please bear with me and I will try to get a feel for the style on this forum and post more in line with that.

Thanks

Bill 

 

Edited by William Hobba

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3 hours ago, William Hobba said:

As to the rest of the stuff - of course I read what links I post.

And yet, you insist that cows belching produces 20% of all greenhouse gases on Earth.

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2 hours ago, Nicky said:

And yet, you insist that cows belching produces 20% of all greenhouse gases on Earth.

As said plainly and clearly in the links I gave.   Here is the exact logic.  The links I posted says - and I quote - ' but belches are actually the primary source of cattle-produced methane, accounting for 95 per cent of the problematic greenhouse gas'.  The first article said the total is 18%, but the second said it has been upgraded by 11%.  This gives (.18 x 1.11) X .95 - about 19% - so if you want to argue 1% I will give you that.   Your arguments about managed grasslands etc are beyond my competence - I accept them as true but do not really know.   However I am very confident in my math, and the calculation required so simple, there is no other conclusion. 

If you are still not convinced there is nothing more I can say - sometimes in a discussion each side retreats to their own position and further talk about it useless.  I think it has reached that here.   I will leave it to those reading it to judge.

Thanks

Bill

 

Edited by William Hobba

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8 hours ago, William Hobba said:

If you are still not convinced there is nothing more I can say - sometimes in a discussion each side retreats to their own position and further talk about it useless.

Meh. I'm still hoping I can get you to do two things:

1. consider how ridiculous the proposition that "20% of all greenhouse emissions on Earth come from cows belching and farting" is.

2. As a result, re-read the articles you posted, to find the disclaimer they buried deep within, where it's explained that the click-bait, simplistic headline is in fact misleading, and they added together a bunch of other emissions that have nothing to do with cows belching or farting, to come up with that estimate of 20%. Had they stuck with just cows belching and farting, it would be a far smaller number, no one would care, no one would click on the article, and then the writer would have to get a real job, that produces some actual value.

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20 hours ago, William Hobba said:

You have done that - pointing out you said properly manged pasture - and that's fine - I don't know if its true or not as I am not knowledgeable in the area but will accept it until I come across evidence to the contrary.

I appreciate that, but it's really not what I'm after. I promise. Regenerative farming is an extremely important, and, on top of that, extremely interesting and exciting subject (for anyone, not just farmers...I'm not a farmer, and I'm as entertained by a good video on regenerative farming as I am by a new episode of Westworld).

So please find out for yourself. If you want a starting point that doesn't involve tedious "study" and "research", there's a Vimeo channel with professionally done, interesting vids about both the research that goes into it, and the people actually doing it. Here's a vid mostly about the research:

 And a few about the people doing it:

https://vimeo.com/80518559

https://vimeo.com/170413226

https://vimeo.com/201215707

[Note: the  research I mentioned above was funded by Shell...I don't have an issue with that, but potential conflicts of interest should always be disclosed, so I'm disclosing it]

Alternatively, here's an amateur channel, from an actual farmer, who built a beautiful and extremely profitable (for its size...a two owner + 2-3 employee farm that generates an executive level income for the two owners) farm in Sweden. He adds content every week, so it's a lot. But it's great content, especially lately:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3111rvadtBPUY9JJBqdmzg

 

Edited by Nicky

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Here's a video of Allan Savory, an ecologist who conducted research on a massive scale in Africa and around the world, making an extraordinary claim: if we were to farm live-stock on half the world's grasslands using the regenerative methods I (briefly) described above, that would store enough carbon in the soil to return the Earth's climate to pre-industrial conditions...and feed the world in the process. He also notes that this is the ONLY known way to stop or reverse global warming.

He also posits that environmentalist policies that "protect" land from grazing have accelerated global warming caused by desertification (a phenomenon that's been happening for 10,000 years), over the past 100 years...and provides evidence for both claims:

 

 

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On 7/25/2018 at 6:11 AM, Doug Morris said:

What effect has government had on regenerative farming?

Well, as usual, it's impossible to measure the impact of government actions that restrict economic activity, because we don't know how much could have been done in a free economy.

The worst kind of government action is the kind that bars the grazing of domesticated animals on "natural reserves". Obviously, this wasn't done with the intention to build deserts, or to hinder regenerative farming. Like Savory points out in the video, traditional grazing, which has been going on for thousands of years, IS causing desertification (and with it, climate change). And restricting grazing wasn't meant to accelerate desertification ... but that's exactly what's happening ... because the government acted on immature science, that incorrectly assumed that getting cows off the grass would help the grass grow (and never bothered testing the notion, to see just how wrong it is).

Turns out that while over-grazing was killing grasslands very slowly, establishing these idealistic, "pristine" natural reserves is killing them fast. It's killing them fast in the natural reserves (where the ecosystem has been robbed of crucial animal impact, without which grassland is turning into desert or woodland...and woodland then burns down, taking with it life...including human life, and releasing carbon into the atmosphere), and it's killing it faster outside the reserves too. This second effect was obvious and easy to predict even without any testing: if you take away massive amounts of available pasture, the rest is going to be over-grazed even more, and destroyed faster...obviously.

I would argue that, without this government interference, and many others (subsidies that prop up farms that refuse to change, costly regulations that create a barrier of entry for innovative newcomers), private actors would have a much easier time switching to practices that don't just stop, but reverse desertification through the correct management of both farm ranges and (privately owned) natural reserves. But it's impossible to know how fast the transition to this whole new approach to both food production and the protection of nature would be without all the hindrances by governments. We would only know that if we gave it a shot.

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