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Messages - Bruce Steele

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1
Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: June 11, 2019, 05:11:09 AM »
Tim, The choices we make as individuals does affect society at large just as society affects the individual.
 How we communicate our concern for the enviornment based on sound science is I believe far more convincing if it is mirrored in how we live our lives.
 
   

2
Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: June 11, 2019, 04:15:23 AM »
I think Wili is as close to the 2 ton goal as anyone else here on the forum . If we had a carbon count on contributors we might have a better guide to who is earnest and who is full of it. Talking science , even great climate science , is only entertainment otherwise.
 P.S. The swallows did return and are sitting eggs right now.

https://www.artvilla.com/man-in-the-sun-poem-by-charles-bukowski/

3
Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: June 11, 2019, 03:20:38 AM »
Re. Social dysfunction. Rather than taking each other at face value or looking for veiled motives it is first important to discuss goals. If we had agreed upon goals then we might judge solutions in their potential for progress.
 I don't think many people are willing to do what is necessary but then I assume we all agree that bringing CO2 levels back into the 350 ppm levels is a priority ( goal )
 We live in an age of excesses , we live beyond our means. Very very few privileged members of society are willing to accept less . We are going to live in our large homes, drive fast cars , fly , and live a life of excess till the system collapses. Yes I believe in collapse. If I saw anything in society that looked like frugality(  ... abstemiousness; asceticism, Spartanism, frugality, parsimony, economy, simple life, plain living, plainness, ... golden mean I Moderation 521 4 calmness, composure, lack of emotion, stoicism, keeping a stiff ...)  was currently considered a virtue I would have a different opinion .
Sorry Sidd and Tom for dragging this back OT . Hurricane season is rather dull right now .
 The goal of saving the planet is simply overridden by our vices, wishes and laziness. The goal requires something like a two ton CO2 emissions per annum limit for every human . The rest is just rationalizing or postponing the inevitable.

4
This list by ASLR on the Blue Ice thread #7 May 15 , 2016 includes fresh water flushing and the slowdown in the MOC. This results in less carbon sequestration into bottom or deep water.

- Resource extraction (oil, gas, coal, iron etc) will increase.
- Both wave action & Ekman Pump action will increase the bottom water temperatures in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, which will increase methane emissions from hydrate decomposition.
- Permafrost decomposition will accelerate; which will increase both CO2 and CH4 emissions.
- Boreal wildfires will increase (like in Fort McMurray only further north and worse).
- The atmospheric thermal gradient will decrease, which will decrease the constraints on the Jetstream, which will increase blocking events which will increase extreme weather events.
- Warming over Greenland will accelerate, which will increase ice mass loss & associated SLR.
- The specific humidity in the Arctic will increase, and as water vapor is a GHG, this will increase Arctic Amplification; which will decrease snow cover that will act as a positive feedback for more warming due to decreasing albedo.
- Shrub growth in the tundra will increase, which will also act as a positive feedback for more warming by decreasing albedo in the tundra.
- Pests will more further north, which will attack boreal forests and tundra shrub growth.
- Ground burrowing animals (like ground squirrels) will more north, which will accelerate permafrost degradation.
- Farmland will more northward, which will decrease albedo and will accelerate permafrost degradation.
- Plankton growth will accelerate in the Arctic; which will be smaller in size than the current average, which will sequester less carbon.
- The thermohaline  circulation (great oceanic conveyor) will both slow and will also convey more warm into the Barents/Kara Sea areas.

There are many other positive feedbacks (like Hansen et al (2016)'s ice-climate feedback), but I need to do my shopping.

Best,
ASLR

5
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: June 05, 2019, 12:47:35 AM »
C-CAN is a group my wife and I both participate in . It brings together scientists , managers, aquaculturists, and fishermen in an effort to address ocean acidification in the California Current.
 We pull together speakers for a  webinar series in an effort to disseminate information without burning fossil fuels to attend meetings. Check out our latest, "The enviornmental cost of dinner" by Ray Hilbourn
 
https://c-can.info/c-can-oar-15-may-2019/






6
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: May 30, 2019, 06:10:50 PM »
I think the fracking boom is hugely important to US interests but according to this piece only ten percent are profitable. Don't know if it includes the heavyweights like Exxon.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Only-10-Of-US-Shale-Drillers-Has-A-Positive-Cash-Flow.html

7
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: May 30, 2019, 04:36:28 PM »
But isn't a " national emergency " now utilized to empower the executive branch to ignor congress, weapons to the Saudi's or " the wall."  If Trump wins another term then maybe my prediction will happen on a timescale that we can all watch . Congress is currently backstopping the executive branch trade war with ~ 30 billion in additional agriculture subsidies, are the Dems even complaining ?
 Without the fracking boom the US would be in deep trouble and to some degree we are already supporting the boom with loans that are paid back with more loans. I firmly believe the federal government will guarantee these loans should a Chevron or Exxon  threaten bankruptcy . Too big to fail.

 

8
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: May 29, 2019, 08:22:49 PM »
Tom, In 2015 the US collected about 3.5 trillion in taxes and up through 2014 there was about 1.6 trillion loaned out to the fracking boom. If those loans go bad and the Federal government steps in to guarantee the bad debt by buying them the taxpayers will need to chip in potentially trillions of extra taxes or the government will need to seriously devalue the dollar. So I think food prices will already be on the rise before the government openly intervenes in the equity markets because lots of turmoil will precede such drastic actions.

9
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: May 29, 2019, 05:55:58 PM »
Steve, I suppose I have tendencies towards being a catastrophist . The reason we have an abundance of cheap food in the US is cheap Diesel and fossil fuels. The whole monitory easing and super low interest rate finance of the shale play era has kept the economy rolling for the last ten years. All that excess liquidity will come to an end at some point and if the shale play doesn't return profits or rates increase then the effort at borrowing from the future to fuel our economy will run into trouble . Without cheap fuel we won't have cheap food so I suppose the government will step in and buy the equities that support our oil infrastructure when too many shale companies start to go belly up. One more stopgap but direct government intervention in the equity market , nationalized oil, will be the last desperate step before collapse. That will be the end of cheap food and the point where my being a catastrophist comes in. Dealing with concerns about that ultimate downturn leads me to educate myself on how to live without fossil fuels. That is if the world won't deal with resilience then it is the individuals responsibility to do so.

10
The rest / Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« on: May 19, 2019, 07:19:38 AM »
I always wonder what the draw of industrialization was that delivered us here ? 
I have always been lucky to be around animals, I am friendly with them and for what it's worth they return affection . But there is the gnawing truth I have blood on my hands and I think sometimes it is the revulsion of that , our rather universal moral compass that abhors death that pushed us to accept machines over beasts of burden.
 With the machines there is death too, but it is harder to make the connection . The mining of the minerals, the coal and pollution of the water and the air . Whole ecosystems threatened but somehow a civilization doesn't feel it , not like a farmer taking a load of pigs to market feels it. I am not talking just for myself , most people feel bad taking animals to slaughter .
 We are conflicted  we hate death and pain but they follow us , whether we want to look or not ,and machines make ignoring so easy. So maybe being a little closer to the connection between man and his food and the moral quandary that requires is a good thing.  That you give other animals love and affection and a good life and understand very viscerally you owe them something every day you are around them. And that is something we gave up for our machines and it was a mistake.
 There are many who believe we can still make this thing work , I happen to believe we should walk it back a least to the point where we can feel some responsibility for our actions. That pit in the bottom of your stomach that tells you you still have a moral compass. That moral compass that tells you to be kind to animals . That compass can help in so many ways . And when a machine threatens too much, kill it.


   

11
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: May 15, 2019, 05:16:35 PM »
Uniquorn, I always thought the buoy temperature was an internal temperature for the buoy. Because there is a electric motor that runs the profiler up and down wouldn't there also be some small amount of heat that affects the buoy temperature readings along with insolation during daylight hours?

12
Walking the walk / Re: When was the last flight you took?
« on: April 18, 2019, 05:07:39 PM »
NevB, Thanks for the honesty. Flying because your job demands it is probably the largest driver of CO2 emissions for many members of this forum.
 When I was fishing for a living my boat used about 80 gallons a day or one ton of CO2 emissions.When I finally realized my jobs CO2 contribution was part of what was causing acidification it ruined all the fun of fishing. I changed to farming and cut back my emissions by 90% but still it is my job related CO2 that dominates my carbon budget. Although we can find ways to reduce CO2 in our personal lifestyle choices changing jobs is a very tough decision. Very very few people will change jobs if it means a reduced income . If your job is helping to kill the planet it becomes however a major dose of cognitive dissonance for the cognoscenti . 
 The whole challenge of achieving net zero in our personal lives involves lots of turmoil , achieving zero at work is more difficult and changing other people's fuel use is probably the most difficult of all.

13
The rest / Re: Climate on Reddit
« on: April 18, 2019, 05:10:52 AM »
Charles Bukowski, “the priest and the matador”
in the slow Mexican air I watched the bull die

and they cut off his ear, and his great head held

no more terror than a rock.



driving back the next day we stopped at the Mission

and watched the golden red and blue flowers pulling

like tigers in the wind.



set this to metric: the bull, and the fort of Christ:

the matador on his knees, the dead bull his baby;

and the priest staring from the window

like a caged bear.



you may argue in the market place and pull at your

doubts with silken strings: I will only tell you

this: I have lived in both their temples,

believing all and nothing—perhaps, now, they will

die in mine.

14
Walking the walk / Re: When was the last flight you took?
« on: April 18, 2019, 04:56:49 AM »
Wili, I think most people could get their carbon footprint down to reasonable levels if they too followed your no flying and keeping other travel to less than 10 miles. There are of course millions of people living within those constraints. What that lifestyle looks like deserves more attention than ICE verses EV . What does a less than two ton CO2 footprint look like?

I only remember taking one flight in the last ten years but I still travel far too many miles transporting livestock.
 There is a carbon cost to food but unless you grow your own there are food travel miles involved. The ideal is grow your own food and resist all travel beyond ~10 miles .  Some people would consider that a huge imposition on their personal freedom but for most people freedom is a vice and freely abused.

15
Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: April 16, 2019, 01:55:49 AM »
My biodiesel tractor sits around during cold weather and this year the bio left in the fuel lines gave me some trouble. I had to drain and flush fuels lines change filters and change out an old fuel lift pump. Yes you can get replacement parts for a fifty year old tractor but you gotta wait till the parts show up. I do most of my own trouble shooting and repairs so getting parts and the work done cost me time. My cover crop kept growing and it's now about five feet tall. With the tractor now fixed I have been pulling an old John Deere one bottom mold plow to turn in the cover crop. The five foot tall oats , peas, and fava tangle the plow and it's slow going covering about one foot per pass. The mold plow is a relatively benign soil tillage implement and is much better than using a rototiller on soil health. Also it's less mechanical and a very very maintenance free tool. As I seem to be retracing agriculture progress in reverse and  learning how to use a mold plow is one step closer to returning to using horses.
 I got enough done to put out several hundred potatoes and about 100 shallots saved from last years garden. I have a couple hundred cabbage starts in plug trays along with some Brussels sprouts and broccoli . My tomatoes and peppers are also ready to put into the ground but I am waiting in case we get a late frost. My largest effort will be two acres of oil seed pumpkins ( for the pigs )but I need to get the cover turned in first. I put the cover in last year mowed it and left it fallow so with this years cover incorporated I won't need fertilizers. Two years of cover crop and one year planting vegetables. Having three acres of garden allows me plenty of room to alternate what area I plant cover crop or food crops.
 So I am marching further into the past with each new year. I need to harness up my wife's Welch cob and start relearning how to farm with horses . I have driven her before and she's buggy trained but pulling farm implements is quite different , we make very messy furrows and not straight at all.
 I am each year more convinced I can feed a small group of people with ancient methods, heirloom seeds, heirloom livestock and minimal technology. I am also convinced the ocean and native wildlife are in decline. I hope all our technology crashes and burns before nature does. My water well pumps would fail at that point and my farm with them but maybe, just maybe some old geezers like me can provide some sort of bridge to the past that someone else might choose in order to walk this thing back.

 Also I miss Terry and I hope is is alright.

16
This thread is in part anecdotal stories, that and weird weather.  My stories came with forty years spent as a modern hunter gatherer. I either made good choices or I went broke but the full span of it left me with some good stories as a consolation  prize . I happen to believe stories have value as do long term biological datasets. But the data set without the story that follows it will often fall on deaf ears. A story is designed to transport the listener into another mans experiences. If a good story and a good long term dataset can be turned into a convincing message then the final product is likely more convincing than the data or the story standing alone.

17
For me it's the anecdotal stories. I think I am probably one of the least ( formally )educated people on this forum but I have, like any other human, stories to tell. Watching as the ocean has changed over my lifetime as a commercial diver and fisherman gives me an opportunity to tell a unique story. I have watched as the abalone resources have , for the most part , collapsed. The starfish and the sea urchins also succumbing to disease brought on by the stress of increased ocean heat. My own guilt in knowing that the fuel I have used to pursue a fishing career has contributed to the death and mayhem now all around me.
 My transition to farming also comes with stories of decline. The 108 F heatwave that last year killed all the fledgling swallows in their nests and this years abandoned nesting  colony that had returned every one of the last twenty years till now. The disappearance of the Phoebes that also shared my farm with me for twenty years, the noticeable declines in insects. The loss of so many pines and oaks during our eight year drought. 
 The struggles against what appear to be irreversible changes. Tragic losses and what passes for my feeble attempts to forestall future horrors yet unseen. My stories, our stories , and the emotional context that might inspire others  to look a little deeper , fight a little harder,  and on occasion shed tears over our shared losses.   


18
Science / Re: Paleo modelling
« on: April 04, 2019, 06:03:53 PM »
Sidd, Models seem to reinforce my bias towards carbon cycle influences of the oceans dominating terrestrial carbon influences.
"There, we demonstrated that glacial lowering of atmospheric CO2 in the model is controlled by lowered sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and changes in ocean circulation, in particular enhancement of Antarctic bottom waters and decrease of deep ocean ventilation. Elevated carbonate weathering on exposed shelves and enhanced nutrient utilization in the Southern Ocean due to enhanced dust deposition also play important roles, especially toward glacial maxima (27). Reorganizations of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation during glacial terminations contribute substantially to deglacial CO2 rise. The terrestrial carbon cycle, which includes novel components such as permafrost carbon, peat, and carbon buried under ice sheets, plays a minor role in atmospheric CO2 dynamics on orbital time scales."

Thanks for the open access link

19
Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: April 02, 2019, 11:52:05 PM »
I don't think a discussion about the time Carbon spends in the various sinks is off topic.
Of the 25% to 30% that goes into the ocean carbon sink  only .2GT goes into the sediment sink where it can remain for millions of years. All the rest of the carbon that goes into the ocean will at some point return to the surface as DIC ( dissolved inorganic carbon ) where it can return to the atmosphere when gas partial pressure differences support ocean to atmosphere transfer.
 Terrestrial soil sinks vary in the amount of time they can sink carbon. Crop lands have lost much of their carbon because tillage and drying allow stored carbon to oxidize. Forests are better but even a hundred years isn't great . Peat formation and tundra offer long term sinks but how much of the terrestrial sink is taken up by peat each year is probably a small portion of the annual sink.
 A thorough understanding of the time Carbon spends in the various sinks is critical to any discussion of how me might engineer our way out of this mess. It is one of the reasons I have for doubting carbon farming plans that don't quantify the amount of time we can expect soil carbon to stay put. If trees are better at storing carbon in some locations but not others then replanting and protecting forests in some areas is more important than a plan to simply grow trees.
 

20
"countries manage to cut GHG emissions to the targets outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, winter temperatures in the Arctic will still be 3 to 5°C higher by 2050 and 5 to 9°C higher by 2080, relative to 1986–2005 levels. In fact, even if we stopped all emissions overnight, winter temperatures in the Arctic will still increase by 4 to 5°C compared to the late twentieth century."

Anthropocene commented #756 in the "Places becoming less livable" thread on the misquote in the Guardian re. Preindustrial when the UN paper says 3-5 C higher is relative to 1986-2005 levels.

https://gridarendal-website-live.s3.amazonaws.com/production/documents/:s_document/465/original/GlobalLinkages.pdf?1552478695



21
Bernard, El Cid was quoting numbers directly from the article he linked. Seems a bit much to expect people to convert the numbers in a printed article.
 I agree the one acre to feed a family is a much more dependable figure than the 200-500 sq ft for one person.  The article says it utilized fish meal to fertilize at about 119 lbs. per acre nitrogen . Quite a bit of fish meal from what would have been several hundred pounds of fresh fish.  Better to rotate planting more often if you have the space, and utilize cover crops , IMO.
 I think the crops chosen would yield plenty of food but I personally would add potatoes and cabbage if feeding people in adverse conditions was the motivating desire. Also the weed crops in the article include amaranthus and lambs quarters ,both good eating . Some acorn foraging would add some calories and food stored as insurance against crop failures.     

22
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: March 11, 2019, 05:28:04 PM »
The Calif. Sea Lion population is at carrying capacity and we should expect higher mortalities when and if an El Niño arrives here. Current anchovy surveys show a healthy stock with egg and larva analysis of about a million ton biomass. There are several threatened and endangered steelhead and salmon populations suffering from Calif. Sea Lion predation .
 


"Population: The U.S. population of California sea lions is currently estimated at up to 300,000 animals, all on the Pacific coast. From an estimated population of about 10,000 animals in the 1950s, U.S. California sea lion numbers have grown rapidly since the 1970s and the species is now at “carrying capacity”—near the highest level the environment can sustain—according to wildlife biologists. A population survey conducted in 2006 by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) documented 1,200 California sea lions and 1,000 Steller sea lions near the mouth of the Columbia River alone.
Diet: California sea lions feed on a variety of fish and shellfish, including salmon, steelhead, Pacific whiting, herring, mackerel, eulachon, lamprey, codfish, walleye Pollock, spiny dogfish and squid. In recent years, they have also been observed preying on Columbia River sturgeon. Studies of scat samples collected in coastal waters and the Columbia River estuary indicate that salmon comprise 10 to 30 percent of the animals’ diet. Additional studies have shown that the percentage of salmon and steelhead in sea lions’ diet increases as they move upriver. Each year since 2004, California sea lions have consumed 3,000 to 3,500 salmon and steelhead immediately below Bonneville Dam, according to an ongoing study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers."

23
Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Ocean salinity, temperature and waves
« on: February 27, 2019, 08:36:45 PM »
I continue to be amazed by the depth of the Pacific Warm Water layer as evidenced by itp 110. If compared with two completed itp missions itp 78 or itp 85 we can clearly see the difference with current Beaufort conditions. Does anyone have any idea how this extra heat and volume will dissipate ? 

24
The rest / Re: Algorithms of Hate
« on: February 27, 2019, 02:54:29 AM »
What you don't know
May be more important
Than what you think you do

25
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 24, 2019, 06:24:22 AM »
Dear all, I cut my teeth on marine mammal politics and I represented fishermen. So if you have any imagination at all I was fighting an uphill battle and one of the best compliments I ever received was from an enviornmental activist . She said I was a " worthy opponent " . So to me it is important how my enemies view me as well as my friends. In politics eventually everyone seems like an enemy if you stick at it long enough. Our social skills are as important as our intellectual abilities as it turns out ,if we are expecting good results for the environment

 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190222125228.htm?fbclid=IwAR0U1YEs11U7TB4eeFiui08Jop8BxsFHo3GPFWv77vlVSkeR2bi9mbOEN0w


 

26
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 24, 2019, 03:43:58 AM »
Oren, I realize the numbers I chose were for a new Model S , that the solar array costs for a 10 k system are less than what they were ,and that the power walls will over time fall in cost.  I think however that even the less expensive EV car options and the solar array that makes the EV package renewable are not an option for billions and billions of the 7.7 currently living. Owning and
running a farm operation is outside most people's means here in the West and maybe I'm wrong but I would venture that there are still far more farmers living simple lives than EV owners that own their solar recharging systems.
 We as westerners don't seem to want to live as simple farmers anymore although we may romanticize the concept of a simple life. I am holding onto the past because it still offers an opt out in theory although without young adherents it will be mostly a lost art as time passes. If however we as society put all our eggs in the technology basket and it just never pans out I fear the population drop will be far deeper than it would have been if we hedged our bet with explorations of how we might use technology to supplement agrarian lifestyles rather than casting them into the waste bin of history.
   I think realistic monetary assessments of both agrarian renewable options as well as currently available urban or suburban EV / solar options can and should be fleshed out. Those two options should also include realistic potentials for how agrarian adherents might sink carbon and the costs thereof. We know we are in population and atmospheric CO2 overshoot so putting some value in sinking that carbon and getting paid to do so might help balance the scales and improve the chances of saving the farm and the few farmers left.
  Maybe I am not a good example for offering some hope to youth as I am admittedly rather dark .

IMO hard work is a bit of a salve for anger and if anything is true , farming is hard work. I really enjoy the very wise and kind people I have had the privilege to know here on Nevens blog. I am far better educated than I would have otherwise been without so many well informed commentators . I wish you all well.
 Archimid, life is beautiful and kindness a virtue . I wish I could talk about the wildlife I am so privileged to live with side by side. I have in my life enjoyed people and nature. I wish I could fix that which was broken, ease anger , offer hope . If we don't live by example we are not living up to our potential.

27
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 23, 2019, 10:01:35 PM »
Archimid , We boomers have ridden a one time economic boom that will never be repeated. Although I have been lucky and I have a farm I am not sure most people would settle for the 365 days a year I work or the $30 a day it pays after I write off about everything most people would consider the cost of living expenses like fuel , boots , fences , a solar array,animal feed etc.  I write it off because that's how the US tax code works. 
 If you could please put yourself in a young person shoes who around here needs to pay $1,200 to
$3,000 a month rent, or buy fuel for the commute ,a car and insurance or maybe pay for children. Even if they do make $33,000 a year in wages they are going to be broke, yes the top one percent of income earners are broke, can't save for a house down payment, and can't buy a solar system.
 Now if you think it's silly that I struggle to make my own biodiesel for my tractor or farm or try to maintain some connection to nature because I think those things will be necessary to others as this whole economic system implodes go ahead and think what you will. I will maintain my opinion that servicing the desires of the top .1 percent is a planet suicide pact. I try to avoid being accusatory or angry but when it all comes apart I hope I can somehow show a few people how to feed themselves and their families, probably won't save me.  My chances are likely no better than yours when the rage at the bottom finally bubbles up .
 
https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/050615/are-you-top-one-percent-world.asp

28
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 23, 2019, 09:29:30 PM »
Sidd, A 5k system or 5,000 watts. System can produce from 350 to 850 kWh per month or in the best of conditions about 25 kWh per day. The electric SUV study showed the best performing SUV used
25 kWh to go 75 miles.
 My 5k system has been running for several years now but it cost me more than $ 20,000. Maybe things have gotten cheaper but Calif. labor and regulations translates into higher costs. I am adding a few more panels this year so when I get the bill I will tell you the current prices.
 I was trying to compare renewable energy consumption of an average house to the solar system it required. Calif. isn't average in solar availability but an average US house consumes about 867 kWh per month. If you used your Tesla SUV you would need another 5k solar system added to service it's needs.
There aren't good examples of average commutes but here in Southern Calif. 75 miles is probably rather average.
 So you would need a 10k system for your house and one Tesla. You would need a house to mount your solar array and if you could afford all that you could probably afford the power walls so your car could charge at night. Around here the whole set-up would set you back about $1,150,000. 
 So even if you were in the worlds top 1% income and earned ~ $33,000 per year you would never ever get close to the set-up necessary to live a renewable lifestyle via the Tesla dream. This renewable lifestyle wouldn't include your food carbon footprint , your recreational carbon footprint, or your air travel footprint .
We are talking about the top .1 percent income earners when we are talking Tesla and a personal solar charging array.
 

29
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: February 23, 2019, 05:39:13 PM »
The test of the three SUV electric vehicles showed that even the best of the three used about 25 kWh to travel 120 kilometers ( 75 miles ). So if you devoted something like a daily production of a 5 kWh home solar array to charging your car it wouldn't even get you through a common daily  commute here Southern Calif.  That same solar array is capable of running my small farm for all it's electrical needs both for my home and my water wells. I can feed myself on the food I grow and if hard pressed wouldn't need to travel much at all.
 My point is we are trying to extend current BAU expectations for very large personal vehicles and at the same time ignoring rebuilding our lives in ways that make sense in justifying the purchase of a 5 kWh solar system which costs over $20,000 installed even with rebates. So the frustration exhibited by a number of posters here may be to a degree justified even though I believe it would be more effective if it was delivered constructively . So I am not going to name names but there are long term posters here that are doing damage to the resonable arguement that society should work towards a renewable future by supporting carmakers and technology that isn't anywhere near affordable to a vast swath of society. $ 90,000 cars, $ 40,000 solar arrays, $20,000 power wall arrays and million dollar houses are not answers to solving climate change problems, they will accelerate them. I don't accept an argument that the rich and their purchase of these extremely expensive alternative energy systems are building the technology that will lift the rest of us out of our fossil fuel dependencies. So anger will build and those elitist transportation options will eventually be sabotaged in retaliation. The fact that anger in society is building and has intruded onto our otherwise peaceful blog page should be somehow addressed. Zizek is young and angry, how do we address that anger ?   

30
Consequences / Re: Black snow falling -Russia
« on: February 18, 2019, 10:52:39 AM »
Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall
Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin'
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin'
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall
And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin'
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world
Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin'
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall
Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony
I met a white man who walked a black dog
I met a young woman whose body was burning
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow
I met one man who was wounded in love
I met another man who was wounded with hatred
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall
Oh, what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what'll you do now, my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin'
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
Where the executioner's face is always well-hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin'
But I'll know my song well before I start singin'
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall
Songwriters: Bob Dylan

31
Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Ocean salinity, temperature and waves
« on: February 18, 2019, 10:35:49 AM »
Yes the temp /salinity contours are not working right now on itp 107 but sometimes the profilers come back. The gyre is certainly cranking compared to last year however. Thanks for all the work uniquorn !

32
Policy and solutions / Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« on: February 18, 2019, 03:51:00 AM »
Archimid, Maybe your response is the very definition of BAU until they take my cold dead hands off it.
No people and the rest of living creatures on the planet can't wait for technology to deliver rich people's  large  single driver transportation preferences before they begrudgingly change their lifestyles.
No people can't put off food preference changes, their 6,000 sq.ft. housing preferences heated by fossil fuels, their plane flying habits, their annual vacations to exotic locales, the electric demands of their comunication addictions. BAU by definition.
 If you don't believe we could currently feed everyone on the planet with beans, grains, pulses, rice and vegetables and some fish , chickens and small amounts of pork while at the same time vastly reducing our carbon footprint you'd be wrong.
 If you don't think we could transition to buses for transport within ten years you'd be wrong. If we just banned air transport of food and all but emergency transport of people the planet and society would still get through. If people just changed their housing expectations or shut off all but 600 sq. ft. to heating or air conditioning most people would still survive.
 Problem is people aren't willing to do what is necessary to save this planet. There are billions of people however that already live lives very similar to the restraints I have grossly outlined above. I am quite certain however you aren't one of them. It is your expectations and mine that will cost those other humans untold pain and hunger as climate change proceeds apace and you want to complain about the inevitable war or deprivations instant change would precipitate?  I am sure those other humans would have choice words for you and me but they simply don't have a voice.
 I would take the leap tomorrow , I would take the chance we could muddle through . I'd do it for the other living things on the planet, I'd do it for the suffering we are willing to inflict on others, I'd do it for the future generations we are throwing under the bus. If it meant a couple million rich fucks passed away uncomfortable I'd be fine with that too. Now I probably have the NSA on my ass , thanks !





33
Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: February 17, 2019, 09:24:34 PM »
Sublime, El Niño and ocean kelvin waves push warm , lower pCO2 waters from the western tropical Pacific to the east where they temporarily suppress Eastern  Equatorial Pacific upwelling. So the high pCO2 waters from upwelled waters are not in contact with the atmosphere and you might expect Mauna Loa rates of increase would slow if local ocean conditions were the primary driver. Instead El Niño tends to result in increased rates of atmospheric CO2 although the changes are somewhat a delayed reaction.
 So it is ostensibly drought and reduced uptake by terrestrial sources that are the cause of what we observe and that explains why the atmospheric CO2 increases are a delayed reaction. If we are looking for answers about current conditions we should probably be looking to drought conditions in Australia,South America, and elsewhere in the tropics over the last six months or so. On the other hand drought and potentially other feedback mechanisms are combined contributors.
 I used to be able to access TAO buoys for oceanic pCO2 levels at buoys stretched across the Equatorial Pacific but I can't seem to figure out how to do it anymore. If someone out there can access that data it might help us better understand what is happening right now.   
 I don't think SST is as important as ocean surface pCO2 levels  Surface waters at pCO2 of 410 -600 are going to move ocean CO2 into the atmosphere ( Henry's law ) no matter what the temperature is and ocean surface waters with 280-400 are going to absorb atmospheric CO2. Biological processes and the carbonate pump will help move surface water pCO2 to depth providing a mechanism to create a differential between surface waters and the atmosphere where their pCO2 levels are close to equal but I don't think temperature can overcome large differences. Yes cold water absorbs and holds CO2 better than warm water  but I believe it affects rates of exchange more than absolute levels.
 I can't address CO levels , no idea.
Welcome to the forum !

34
Policy and solutions / Re: BAU until they peel my cold dead hands from it
« on: February 17, 2019, 06:10:54 PM »
The Sunflower star die-off and heat related disease were posted on the Holocene extinction thread Jan. 29 and Jan. 30 posts # 238 & 239.  This is my world and I have been watching for several decades as things degrade. We had a very similar starfish die-in the 82-83 El Niño and the 97-98 event. The starfish did recover but as the oceans continue to warm they will eventually hit thresholds that remove them from the nearshore ecosystem and their losses will cascade in sad and damaging ways. Heat, rapid ecological transitions, disease ,death, and truncated ecosystems.
 There are terrestrial parallels , insects, birds, reptiles , amphibians, either directly threatened by heat resulting in stress and disease or affected by the loss of their primary food supplies because heat changed when insects bloomed and when the migrations of nesting birds arrived at their nesting sites to late.
 This is my world , the oceans, riparian farmland animals that I have known for my entire life .Vanishing before my eyes. I raise farm animals and I deal with them when they are sick. We don't have the knowledge , ability or skill sets to Doctor our wild environs. Most people are so damn removed from nature they never even see what is happening . They have no empathy for those things they haven't lived with, they feel no pain. The vanishing insect populations are a good example. Even those few people who happen to notice that the bug splats on their windshields have disappeared couldn't really give a crap. Dulled by their fancy machines, the glowing computer screens, their myopic politics, or just their stupidity. Nature will repay us for our vanity , heat and changes in hydrological cycles will deliver old vicious opportunistic scourges upon us too as our synthetic monitory utopia transforms into hell on earth.   
 Technology is death my friends because is removes us as active participants in our living world. Those who survive will know again the stars at night, will know again the terrible tolls of childbirth and childhood disease but the planet will again have a chance at healing from a species emotionally unprepared to deal with their strange sad attempts at taking the reins of gods.
 I am angry too Zizek , no swearing, no personal attacks . Rage against  the machine !  Sadly I am guilty too in my comforts , we all are . It defines tragic but your generation Zizek has been captured more than mine by this computer screen , know that too.

Man, introverted man, having crossed
In passage and but a little with the nature of things this latter
century
Has begot giants; but being taken up
Like a maniac with self-love and inward conflicts cannot manage
his hybrids.
Being used to deal with edgeless dreams,
Now he's bred knives on nature turns them also inward: they
have thirsty points though.
His mind forebodes his own destruction;
Actaeon who saw the goddess naked among leaves and his hounds
tore him.
A little knowledge, a pebble from the shingle,
A drop from the oceans: who would have dreamed this infinitely
little too much?
Robinson Jeffers

35
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: February 17, 2019, 06:07:27 PM »
The Sunflower star die-off and heat related disease were posted on the Holocene extinction thread Jan. 29 and Jan. 30 posts # 238 & 239.  This is my world and I have been watching for several decades as things degrade. We had a very similar starfish die-in the 82-83 El Niño and the 97-98 event. The starfish did recover but as the oceans continue to warm they will eventually hit thresholds that remove them from the nearshore ecosystem and their losses will cascade in sad and damaging ways. Heat, rapid ecological transitions, disease ,death, and truncated ecosystems.
 There are terrestrial parallels , insects, birds, reptiles , amphibians, either directly threatened by heat resulting in stress and disease or affected by the loss of their primary food supplies because heat change when insects bloomed and when migrations and nesting of birds arrived at their nesting sites.
 This is my world , the oceans, riparian farmland animals that I have known for my entire life .Vanishing before my eyes. I raise farm animals and I deal with them when they are sick. We don't have the knowledge , ability or skill sets to Doctor our wild environs. Most people are so damn removed from nature they never even see what is happening . They have no empathy for those things they haven't lived with, they feel no pain. The vanishing insect populations are a good example. Even those few people who happen to notice that the bug splats on their windshields have disappeared couldn't really give a crap. Dulled by their fancy machines, the glowing computer screens, their myopic politics, or just their stupidity. Nature will repay us for our vanity , heat and changes in hydrological cycles will deliver old vicious opportunistic scourges upon us too as our synthetic monitory utopia transforms into hell on earth.   
 Technology is death my friends because is removes us as active participants in our living world. Those who survive with know again the stars at night, will know again the terrible tolls of childbirth and childhood disease but the planet will again have a chance at healing from a species emotionally unprepared to deal with their strange sad attempts at taking the reins of gods.
 I am angry too Zizek , no swearing, no personal attacks . Rage against  the machine !  Sadly I am guilty too in my comforts , we all are . It defines tragic but your generation Zizek has been captured more than mine by this computer screen , know that too.

36
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: February 16, 2019, 10:31:01 AM »
Oren, I see five or six Teslas a day here in Southern Calif. when I hit the freeways. They are beautiful , sexy and so tempting. I am sure they will be as common as Volkswagens Beatles once were ,very soon.
A typical commute can easily exceed 60 miles one way around here so in a five year period a typical commuter will exceed the 135,000 miles the Solon article bases its study upon. That is rather typical but some people commute further.
 I can spend weeks sometimes never leaving the farm but there are literally tens of millions of commuters living within 150 miles . Maybe I should leave but I never will. I hope someone might learn something from my rather extreme attempts at simplicity but honestly there are no solutions here anymore. I too consider myself rather pragmatic but I suppose I am just nuts like everyone else around here.
 Neven, please don't take Zizek out. We can handle a few angry voices around here. Zizek, I don't know how to make you smile but think of my position, an old man with a thousand pounds of acorns in the drying shed and lots of very fat happy pigs on a farm inside a swirling mass of humans. I hope you find that humorous , I do.

37
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: February 16, 2019, 05:50:49 AM »
My power wall supplier says it will be months or maybe even a year until they can deliver, ostensibly due to a battery shortage. Not that I am going to change my mind but it would be interesting to know how well Sonnen can be programmed to deal with Time Of Use electricity plans mandated for all Calif utilities within the next year. That is one of the primary benefits of a power wall system and app.

38
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: February 16, 2019, 05:33:18 AM »
This thread gets kinda crazy sometimes. I am getting some power walls before I get an electric car. They can store about 27 kW of electricity and even if my solar array cranks on a clear day it may have trouble loading the 27 kW -2.7 kW of emergency power on an average day. That is the two walls will only hold 24.3 kW of power they can send into a electric car per day so 85 kW - 24.3 or 60.7 kW would need to come off the grid . If there were some extra solar power available it would need to go to the house/farm. The point is even with over 6 kW in solar panels a substantial portion of the energy needed to charge a 85 kW car is going to come off the grid. Depending on the renewable share of your utility supply some of your energy will be fossil fuel derived.
 In spite of the above points by the time a Tesla gets to 135,000 it will have produced half of the CO2 emissions of a similar sized ICE car according to a salon article. This includes the embodied carbon in manufacture even though the Teslas embodied manufacture costs start about 15% higher than an ICE.
 

https://www.salon.com/2017/05/14/sorry-tesla-owners-but-your-electric-car/

Batteries for the power wall and any Tesla battery replacements , not uncommon at 135,000 miles, would decrease the one half CO2 to something less. Maybe something that means a Tesla only saves ~ one third an ICE cars footprint.
My point is this is a reasonable result but maybe not as good a result as some people seem to believe.
On the other hand these numbers are based on substantial amounts of driving that seems far more than anything really justified for someone really concerned with reducing their carbon footprint.
 I am not sure these results justify the emotional bent on either side of this debate . Teslas glory or failure may be dependent on factors other than it's enviornmental impacts unless technological improvements in batteries can improve some of these numbers. I think there are battery improvements in the pipeline but it will take some time before these numbers change much.


 

39
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 16, 2019, 12:49:07 AM »
Martin, Maybe this version won't address your weight concerns either . That copper extension cord must weigh a bit and cost a pretty penny. It is probably more practical if you want to get rid of the last few farmers and a couple tons of lithium ion batteries proves untenable ? Practical might be a ripe choice of words however.

https://blog.carbontv.com/2018/12/19/video-john-deere-unveils-autonomous-electric-tractor-with-a-really-long-extension-cord/

40
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 15, 2019, 10:25:15 PM »
Here is link to a Brussels Blog post ( Geoff ) on embodied carbon for solar electric lifestyles and efficient housing. It doesn't cover energy costs for food production or transport , airplane travel,
consumer demands , entertainment or communications.

http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/the-carbon-cost-of-achieving-low-carbon-lifestyles/

Maybe Geoff could help with updates and some of the missing pieces. I will stand my ground that we need to radically change lifestyle expectations and the addition of billions of Chinese and Indians wanting to join the consumer parade
/ paradise paradigm makes the numbers even more daunting. We are seeing thousands of Chinese on vacation here in the Santa Ynez Valley , Southern Calif. I know those numbers aren't in low carbon lifestyle calculations and plenty of new ICE cars and trucks make things even worse.

 

41
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 15, 2019, 05:21:43 PM »
Lurk, I went back a dredged up an old thread I started back in 2014 dealing with EROI and farming.
The lesson I learned was that it isn't enough to just calculate fuel use but that the embedded costs of metals and batteries need to be considered. When Tesla automobile proponents quote Tesla figures on carbon reductions from driving a Tesla they don't include carbon costs for the manufacture of the component parts. Everything from soil carbon improvements to car manufacture needs to include all input costs. Most everything however ends up being an energy comparison between bad and worse. A Tesla compared to a old Impala or a dairy manure lagoon compared with composted urban waste spread on a field. Yes better but not Zero.
Zero is just some fantasy the IPCC put in their reports to drive us crazy I guess because nobody and I mean nobody has any idea how to get there. I think the carbon sequestration of prairie farmland that is mentioned in the video you linked is maybe as good as anything currently out there for sinking carbon but when the soil has been improved from a 2% carbon to 10-12 % the soil carbon won't continue to represent a place to sink our emissions.
 Now if you lived in a straw bale 600 sq. ft. house ,rode a bike , heated with wood you both grew , split and burned for heat as well as farmed renewably you could get your numbers seriously down to where
you might be able to sink most or all of your carbon emissions back into the soil . I don't live that way so excuse me if I sound self righteous . It is a serious flaw to get righteous when I too live in a glass house but rationalizing some electrified convertion of current lifestyles isn't going to get us moving back to simpler lifestyles anywhere near fast enough.

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,786.0.html

If a group of people were willing to live simple lives I am quite confident I could feed them without fossil fuels with an old tractor and some pigs. When is it these sorts of communities will develop ?
If we got paid for sinking carbon we might even be able to pay for the property taxes and keep a community solar system running.

42
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 14, 2019, 05:37:46 PM »
Lurk, Hang in there, I enjoy your posts. If I ever get to the complete system of renewable energy, renewable food production , transportation and home heating I would welcome a critical analysis of my efforts.
 I have focused on food first as I believe it is of critical import and largely neglected. Anyone attempting renewables to power their food production requirements will quickly realize they need to change their expectations . We are so dependent upon the food transportation network and enormous numbers of food miles currently built into our diets. Bananas, citrus, tropical fruit on menus thousands of miles separate from their points of production. Even greens and salads available in the Northern parts of the US where we recently saw -35 F.  Renewable and local will require a change in these expectations. Diets should be built around local availability IMO but you don't need to worry about this problem if you don't actually try producing your own renewable energy.
 Renewables are also locally constrained and some currently occupied regions may in fact not support any renewables options that can maintain anything similar to current lifestyle expectations or population densities. Wind works in some areas, solar or hydro in others. Wood as a heat source is in reality not an option in many areas lest we cut down every tree and bush in a vain attempt to heat our ( overly large )homes. 
 Transportation seems to be everyone primary interest because it is critical to maintaining the infrastructure that obviates my first two points. I may be contrary but I believe local should be our primary consideration because any honest assessment of the renewable energy required to maintain the transportation infrastructure will not work in decadal  timeframes . Yes very rich societies that have fossil fuel resources to build out electric trucking and large personal EV vehicles ( Teslas ) may seem at first sustainable but those options will fail as the fossil fuels to create them begin to fail. Self supporting renewable infrastructure requires serious efforts at walking back our expectations of luxury and anyone who try's to put a total support structure together will quickly realize this point. We need to figure out how to live on less energy inputs rather than create an imitation of how we currently live. Yes electric vehicles are part of a renewable future but those vehicles will be small, light and not expected to travel very far.
 Home heating / cooling is also feasible as we move forward but local resources should drive local architecture .
 Lastly we need to figure out how to sink some of the excess carbon we have already emitted which leads me back to food and farming. Farming with renewables and locally sourced energy and biomass needs seems to be a full circle solution but also a very labor intensive one. It requires major changes in current lifestyle expectations. It also can be adapted to further steps down the energy escalator we have become conditioned to expect, the elevators will not always go up. If or when solar, wind, and batteries go through their replacement cycles farming can still go on even if that means we transition back to beasts of burden.
If we put all of our efforts at high expectation transportation networks and fail to maintain our food and farming past/ future the bottleneck will narrow.

43
Policy and solutions / Re: US Green New Deal
« on: February 13, 2019, 05:29:39 AM »
rboyd, I couldn't agree more. The changes you propose would make a real impact on our collective chances of survival , people and many other life forms. I wish the GND set some priorities regarding food production , energy production and equity in that order of importance. The problem is changing our food production would result in increased food costs. Switching to renewables would also ,with current technology ,result in increased prices and although I know addressing equity is necessary I assume the powers that be would gleefully send us all down the river in retribution for taking away their toys and trinkets.
 After a quick scan of the GND i am mostly disappointed . Politics seems to be the primary driver and although making promises to the disadvantaged might appeal to some people I am less than impressed with how their proposal will pan out with the electoral college ,the 2020 presidency ,or Senate control. I have a bad record on predicting election results however.
 After some thought I would like to try to better explain my concept of governance and equity/ fairness.
If our primary goals are preserving access to food and (renewable)energy I believe it needs to be done in a way people think is fair. So you set your goals and try to achieve them in ways all people feel they have as fair a chance as anyone else. Too much of our current system provides unfair advantage to the rich . It is tearing us apart.
 
 
 

44
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: February 12, 2019, 02:19:21 PM »
I am not sure the power wall is a topic on the Tesla glory / failure page but I think it should be so here is a status update on my power wall project. I have received a confirmation notice that my order has made it through the first part of the approval process. This sets my tier level for the rebates here in the PG&E area of Calif.  My installer says there may be a bit of a waiting period but from my reading of all things Tesla waiting is to be expected. Installer says it may be several months due to power wall availability.
 We did have a power outage with a storm that dropped trees and sheared off a power pole in town last week. I fired up a generator and ran some extension cords for the freezers. No big deal but it  would be if I wasn't home. Vacations aren't really an option so I am usually around anyhow. If I happened to be away it would be a mad race to get home , something I would prefer to insure agains't. The storm last week also shut down the 101 freeway so even getting home in time might get problematic in some cases. Maybe I am rationalizing but I still think the power wall project makes sense for my farm.

 

45
Policy and solutions / Re: US Green New Deal
« on: February 12, 2019, 02:18:17 AM »
For me " Green Deal " should consider agriculture. Any ideas from AOC ? It is BTW how Cuba got through the crunch.

46
Walking the walk / Re: How to resuscitate a dead field
« on: February 12, 2019, 02:04:57 AM »
Native prairie sinks carbon but it was always dependent upon grazing pressure from bison or other species prior to 15,000 years ago to really preform well as a functioning ecosystem. Take away the ruminants , mastodon etc. and I don't believe it would sink carbon as effectively and likely would switch to scrub, or forest or something else. Forests also sink carbon but support a whole different set of animals and in my opinion less animal biomass and less carrying capacity for humans.  So too a healthy farm that can support healthy soils are dependent upon animals or they transform into something closer to the food forests that biodynamics promotes with the same reduction in human food potential.
The current agricultural norms support huge human carrying  capacity at the expense of most other living species and the carbon retention capacity of the soil.
 I have tried to be a vegetable farmer and honestly even with annual cover crops the soil was in decline. Composting from farm sourced feedstocks is very very difficult and energy intensive. It works at a garden scale but scaling it up to acreage isn't really feasible and I can't think of a single example of anyone doing so. Every farm I know uses either fossil fuel fertilizer or purchased organic fertilizer and neither option is energy inefficient.
 Animals offer an alternative and for my farm they help improve the soil and provide a better wage.
Idealists would prefer another option without offering any working examples. Our challenge as farmers is how to run a farm with minimal fossil fuels, sink carbon, maintain native plants and animals , and make some kind of monetary gains( or just stay even ). Vegetable farming is none of the above.
 As an aside I really like animals and for the most part they like me. Humans are a different breed, so hard to satisfy, so hard to please, so demanding, and so out of touch with nature.

47
Policy and solutions / Re: Biodiesel farm production
« on: February 06, 2019, 11:22:55 AM »
Sidd, I haven't gotten around to putting my leftover glycerin through a still but I can get by with 25-30 gallons of biodiesel for a years worth of tractor time in one batch. I use a reactor called an Appleseed bio reactor that I put together with a hot water heater plumbed with a recirculating pump, an inline thermometer and a view sight. It vents out the top but I will retrofit with a condenser as per your recommendation. I render lard in a pot , ladle it into a jerry can and carry it to the reactor at temp so I don't utilize the water heaters electric heating element.
 I don't need to do any of this except I am interested in zero carbon. I think I can produce methanol from wood gas and if I was hard pressed I could also make lye . It is all kinda mad scientist .
 We can burn wood piles on prescribed burn days but the fire marshal needs to inspect your pile first.
I prefer to chip and compost. Any smoke on days that aren't burn days can result in neighbors calling the fire department and with the fire conditions around here most of the year those concerns are more than warranted.
 I do have a farm insurance policy for my pigs. If one were to get out of the fence and get hit by a car and cause an accident I would get sued . The insurance carrier was worried about food safety issues with pigs and vegetables but they never outright stated as much. My farm is worth a lot of money so no I can't live without insurance either. The farm is the only thing I have worth anything other than a wife who puts up with me.
 The point of my last missive was the regulations to run a biodiesel plant, to collect grease , to run a still, or around here to make bio char far exceed the value of the 25-30 gallons of fuel I need to keep the garden plowed and sink some carbon. There are reasons nobody is zero carbon .
 If you get very small it isn't necessary to put in many road miles , you can feed yourself, sink carbon, and live a resonablely comfortable life. If you go full Amish and live somewhere where it rains you can use animal power but like everything else that option is limited by the growing conditions of where you live.
 Permits, taxes and insurance however require money and therein lies the rub. The system itself makes living small and zero carbon virtually impossible . If however those of us with the knowledge, skill sets,
physical strength , time , money and perseverance to pull together and document what is necessary to live a zero carbon life who will ?
 Risk doesn't scare me away, I am getting old and my body will eventually wear out. No point in getting into the weeds on personal health issues but eventually they get us all. By the way I meant hemp not Cannibus but they are the same thing except for the permits required and the THC content. Six plants with THC are legal around here, no permits, no questions so I guess going small is an option at least with weed.

 

48
Abrupt, Any slowdown on the MOC would also reduce the ocean carbon sink. The North Atlantic down welling area sends vast amounts of organic matter and carbonates into the deep ocean where they remain until upwelling brings DIC ( dissolved inorganic carbon ) back into atmospheric contact , a cycle lasting hundreds of years to more than a thousand years .A slowdown with down welling in the Southern end of the MOC and would also result in a reduction in the ocean carbon sink.




49
Walking the walk / Re: Terra Preta / Biochar - Theory and Practice
« on: February 05, 2019, 11:51:37 PM »
dbarce, I render lard , convert it to biodiesel , and run my tractors on my homemade fuel.
Technically not totally fossil fuel free yet because I buy barley for the pigs and there is embedded fossil fuel in the purchased feed. I am confident however that I could feed the pigs without purchased food if I only kept a few pigs rather than trying to make a living as a pig farmer. Making money is always a trick without fossil fuel consumption.
 Any carbon I might be able to sink on my farm from feedstocks for compost and cover crops I produce without fossil fuel should be potentially negative carbon. Bio char should contribute to long term soil carbon content furthering potential negative carbon goals.
A question for you dbarce, do you know any examples of anyone sinking more carbon than they consume ?
 

50
Jai, Just the opinion of a farmer, the terrestrial carbon sink is dependent upon plants and trees to go through an annual growth cycle. With adequate soil moisture plants grow roots and contribute to soil humus buildup. With drying conditions there is less organic matter and carbon sequestration so the terrestrial carbon sink goes into decline and the carbon in the soil oxidizes and goes back into the atmospheric carbon sink , increasing ECS. Also forest health declines , there is more insect damage and more fires.

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