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Messages - Bruce Steele

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1
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 16, 2019, 03:29:57 AM »
Terry, If you wanted to buy a brand new F-250 diesel 4wd truck it would set you back about $80,000.
If you wanted instead a 6.5 K solar system on your roof, a couple power walls, and a fairly nice used
Tesla S 2014 with a ~240 mile range , the whole package would be less than the cost of that new Ford truck.
 The solar system would pay itself back in less than ten years. The power wall probably never would but it would address the intermittency issues and I guess the Tesla is just a way to test the option of living off grid , self sufficient on food and close to zero fossils fuels for transport.
 I see those shiny Ford trucks every day , lots of them. They're everywhere. And how many people might think that Tesla is a luxury, and anyone with solar , a wall, and a Tesla as some kind of elitist.
They wouldn't think for a minute the guy in the big Ford truck was.
 If your _$ 20,000 solar array pays itself back in ten years , you only have about $50,000 into your home energy and transport. Maybe retirement isn't big on my list but if my expenses decrease as I get closer then I am at least headed in the right direction.
 PG&E will emerge from bankruptcy , there will be more fires, and eventually we will change the law that holds the utility company's liable even if there is no malpractice. Trees fall on power lines, power poles fall over . You can't take all the risk out of running power through the grid. People are going to need to accept either the risk of overhead power delivery or pay for buried lines. Suing the power company every time there is a fire started by a utilitiy line is not a sustainable option.
 I am guessing people will figure this out but then I'm buying a power wall because I think it's going to take them awhile . I am also guessing the rebates are going to run out.
 If I had to make a prediction it would be that electric rates here in Calif. are going to get very expensive very soon.
 I do hope Mr. Musk made his power walls resistant to power surges . His rockets land themselves.

 






2
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 14, 2019, 03:36:46 PM »
PG&E , Pacific Gas & Electric a company that services over 16 million Calif. utilities customers files for bankruptcy . 
 Will the state be left on the hook for decommissioning DiabloCanyon Nuclear plant ? Who will be footing the bill for trimming tens of thousands of trees ? How long will our power grid hold ? Lots of issues and the stock dropped by half today.
 I got my deposit in for two power walls on Friday. I predict they will get very popular and the rebate tiers will fill quickly after which the state rebates will disappear although the federal tax rebate will still be there.
 PG&E did file for bankruptcy once before over the Enron debacle and made it through but I wouldn't bet on it this time. 

3
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 13, 2019, 10:29:48 PM »
A flat kWH rate used to be available in Calif. , for me it was about 20 cents per kWh . As of 2019 that option is no longer available and peak rates 2pm to 8pm are now 46 cents per kWh depending on which rate plan you opt for.  The power walls are timed so that they send stored power back onto the grid during those hours. You don't have much choice about when your power wall feeds the grid because the rebates are only applicable if it feeds back it's stored energy and some minimum amounts during those peak rate hours.
 There is now a low rate available at very late night hours of 12 cents so if you can time your use to those hours and utilize a power wall at peak hrs. you still can maintain average kWh rates at something less than 20 cents per kWh. The power wall also needs to be hooked up to a solar system that you already own or purchase to receive the rebates.
 This is a rate plan , with options for SCE

https://www.sce.com/residential/rates/Time-Of-Use-Residential-Rate-Plans#collapse-accordion-15840-5

I don't think most rate payers are aware of the new changes so the power companies will make a bit of a windfall during peak hrs. until people catch on. I used an SCE rate plan because the one available for PG&E was too opaque to understand.
 The power wall contractor I contacted for installation quotes only installed about 100 power walls last year and they service three affluent counties.



4
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 11, 2019, 06:07:09 PM »
It is important to realize that Calif. hydroelectric power can fluctuate with snowpack/ water variability .For example hydro delivered ~ 49 terra watts in 2005-2006 after a good rain year and only produced ~ 15 terra watts in the 2014-2015 water season.  Yes wind/solar have increased their production but much of those gains will be offset by the loss of nuclear. So just a back of napkin calculation would mean we need to triple wind/solar to just stay even with current statewide electric use if we again saw a bad hydro year like 2015. So unless we can cut back ~ 35 terra watts of use during bad rain seasons wind/solar need a lot of extra capacity to maintain base load.
 News today is that Trump is considering cutting $2.5 billion in Army Corp of Engineers water projects for Calif. and another $2.5 billion from Puerto Rico. These cuts would obviate  any chance that Calif. could improve it's Hydro capacity.

https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-california-wall-funding-20190111-story.html

I would think it is time for Calif. to leave the U.S. 

5
Consequences / Re: California weather extremes and climate
« on: January 10, 2019, 05:00:47 AM »
We are suppose to get over 7 inches of rain here in Southern Calif. over the ten days with long term forecasts looking wet. I am happy but those people near the burn scars in Malibu may take a bit of a beating. Our reservior is finally going to be filling . Maybe we can break this drought even if the El Niño
has stalled out.

6
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: January 10, 2019, 04:49:51 AM »
A federal judge tells PG&E to cut down or trim all trees that might fall on power lines. PG&E has until Jan. 30th to respond.
https://www.npr.org/2019/01/09/683815660/federal-judge-proposes-restrictions-on-unsafe-pg-e-power-lines
Gavin Newsom , our new governor , is apparently making the PG&E problems a priority in his new administration. Seems to me that there is a conflict between the new green governors credentials and federal judges proposal to cut down tens of thousands of trees.   
 I am buying a tesla power wall because I think our PG&E power grid and intermittent power are inevitable.

7
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 09, 2019, 03:47:56 AM »
Terry, I too agree that closing down coal power plants is a good idea. California will be
shutting down it's last Nuclear plant that is about 45 miles upwind from me. We are cranking out commercial solar power and people are putting in tesla power walls along with their residential solar.
The power wall state rebate is about $3,400  and an additional $3,400 Federal tax rebate results in an installed power wall for about $8,000 in what otherwise would be a $15,000 bill.  All tax payers are shouldering the costs even though it is generally the wealthy that can afford electric cars, solar systems or power walls. Pacific gas and electric has lost about half of it,s stock value in the last couple months however and the reliability of our power grid is starting to look tenuous. Those of us who can afford renewables are ponying up and the state is moving forward with plans to get to a 100% renewable grid by 2045. If however the utility companies go broke there is something going wrong and that is before electric transport ramps up.
 O.K. Solar with a power wall takes away some of the demands for gas power to supply peak power during high demand hours and those of us who get the rebates are required to allow our power walls to cycle to receive the rebates. But those who don't have the money to afford the technology will undoubtably have to pay more for their electricity as we go forward and I believe that power will be less dependable as we move forward. Calif. generally has a mild climate and good solar and hydro resources so it makes sense that we should be taking the lead . Home heating demands are generally less so even with higher electric rates a household total energy cost isn't what it would be further east.
 I plan on forking over the money for a power wall so I will let you know what I think about the new toy as I get some experiance with it. Mostly I am doing it as some sort of insurance against potential brown outs because my annual electric costs are only about $400. Four years on solar and other than crawling up on the roof about once a month during dry season to wash them they are working perfectly.
 
 

 

8
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 08, 2019, 03:52:26 PM »
PG&E is threatening to declare bankruptcy over a potential  lawsuit regarding it's liability in starting the Camp fire. But there are a whole host of issues that may be involved.
Also remember that PG&E Diablo Nuclear Plant is scheduled for shutdown and decommissioning in 2024 . I have seen initial cost estimates at $1.7 billion for the two Diablo reactors but remember that SCG&E San Onofre Nuclear shutdown 2014 and the decommissioning estimates are over $10 billion with about $ 4 billion already paid by ratepayers in advance. So I would expect Diablo's  costs to rise substantially.
Also Calif. is still expanding commercial solar and there is already a large residential solar adoption rate . So for someone like me that already has solar and will see large rate increases to pay for “fire” risks plus decommissioning risks that the utilities will undoubtably add on to my rates that already have an annual meter fee that is about as high as my electric use bill there will be a strong temptation to just go totally off-grid. Those customers who want to go off-grid can collect a tax rebate for a tesla power wall or other battery options already on the market. So the utility companies are facing increased costs for Nuclear decommissioning, renewable mandates, potential customers pulling out of market, fire costs, endless lawsuits, and at some point maybe increased natural gas costs,
The poor( yes there are poor people ) who can’t put up solar or batteries and that live in apartments or trailers will somehow be asked to pay much higher bills and they will figure out how to use less. New construction in Calif. already will have a solar requirement starting soon . So if anyone thinks PG&E is bluffing they should pencil out the numbers first.
If the state is stratled with all these costs you gotta remember we just elected the most liberal governor we have ever had and he is very very green. So the state won’t back down on solar rebates, new construction solar mandates, or other efforts to choke off existing revenue streams from fishing, lumber, mining, or brown generating options like gas fired generating plants. Also a large coal generator in Arizona that used to send us electricity is shutting down.

9
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: January 06, 2019, 12:25:27 AM »
Thanks Sidd for putting the in work you do. If I might ask how big are the tractors used in a standard corn/ soybean ag operation?
 Also El Cid , I don't really know much about your efforts at regenerative agriculture . Please post some links to the hopeful signs you report taking place.
 Here in Calif. it is dairy lagoons and the resultant methane production that the regenerative standards  compare themselves against. Seems like a very low bar to compare yourself against. So cutting back on meat should be combined with some dairy reductions as well. I found a some nice info on Calif dairy. With graphics.
 https://civileats.com/2016/10/20/wrangling-the-climate-impact-of-california-dairy-methane/

10
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: January 05, 2019, 09:42:55 PM »
Thanks Steve, My concerns exactly. If I were merely a preper I woundn't worry about these issues but doing the things Cid is proposing or the things Sidd and I are trying to do require those systems to scale from local to national or global. Anyone who can link to sources that document farming regenerativly and claiming some ability to fill the vast number of grain silos apparent as you travel the US Midwest would be addressing world hunger issues. Boutique high end markets need not worry.
 I sit on a farm advisory board and there are monies being spent on carbon sequestration projects but I have read "The Marin Protocols " that they base their numbers upon and it just doesn't work to say this method is better than another method. The bottom line is can you sink carbon from sources (feedstocks )  you can produce on site ? If the carbon emissions of production exceed the carbon sinks delivered then you are blowing smoke up someone's ass . All  terrestrial carbon sinks  need to be continually fed or the carbon will oxidize and reenter the atmosphere.
 So call me doom and gloom if you please but don't tell me government programs designed to make people feel better are delivering re. Regenerative agriculture.
 There are billions of humans that require cheap food or they starve.

https://www.marincarbonproject.org/science/papers

11
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: January 05, 2019, 08:09:17 PM »
I would like to stress the word "cheap" . Yes there are starting to be electric tractors available or available soon ... This only one I see that claims it will sell some this year is a 70 horsepower one that will run 5 hrs. between charges. I seriously doubt the five hour claim if deep plowing is involved. Remember tractors don't recharge as they go downhill like a truck would.
I also don't see cost quotes. Farmers would have serious issues with extra labor costs if they needed to go sit around and charge their tractors for an hour back at the barn every 3 to 5 hours of tractor use.
 So expensive tractors , battery packs that need replacing and extra labor costs all would erode the "cheap" part of our current food systems. There are also issues with ramping 70 horses into 300-500 horsepower and the big corn/ soybean rotations use Very big tractors. Sidd could much better address equipment scale issues as I am not farming where any "cheap" commodity crops are produced.
 If people were willing to increase their food costs to make small farmers more viable I think there are other viable technologies besides electrics but remember that Sidd uses between a quarter and a third of his soy crop to produce enough bio to fuel his farm equipment needs. So there would be less for feeding humans or animals. The soy cake left over after he presses out the oil isn't good for much else but feeding animals btw.
 We aren't addressing the commodity crop price support structure or the ability of governments to maintain them , degrading soil structure , water pumping costs, fertilizer costs or other parts of modern agriculture totally dependent on cheap fossil fuel but bottom line is to change any of these things we have to expect higher food costs.
 So I foolishly endeavor to swim upstream because I don't have faith in the modern agricultural system. I am happy however it is a subject of discussion. I personally would think it is more important than cars, cars , cars but I am an outlier.
https://www.futurefarming.com/Machinery/Articles/2018/1/This-is-the-Fendt-e100-Vario-electric-tractor-4419WP/

12
The rest / Re: Poetry
« on: January 05, 2019, 05:53:24 PM »
God put bugs on your windshield
So that you might notice when they
went missing
along with the dragonflies, the damsel flies, the May flies and hellgrammites
the swallows, the phoebe , the mountain bluebirds and meadowlarks
 I have seen ribs in my mirror although I don't have
a cough or other signs
And I have been wondering if with worms
as with so many other things
we are just a dead end host


 

13
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: January 05, 2019, 05:39:41 PM »
El Cid, you presume the fossil fuel bonanza that runs modern agriculture will magically keep on spitting out cheap fuel so that we can keep producing cheap food. If you are correct we fry the planet and if you are wrong we starve. Welcome to reality.

14
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: January 05, 2019, 07:00:27 AM »
Sebastian , GMO open field tests risk unknown unknowns so testing tobacco before you test corn might have a certain wisdom , no?  If we really screwed up tobacco no big loss. 
 Increasing the efficiency of plant growth has a bit of potential upsides if indeed the plant better utilizes CO2 . Worth some more work IMO even if GMO is scary stuff.

15
Policy and solutions / Re: Ships and boats
« on: January 03, 2019, 10:30:15 PM »
Terry, When I read "mine" I immediately thought of the kind that sinks ships. I don't know if an autonomous or remotely operated mobile device of this nature is already in existence but it may be the sort of military device that seems to be trending. I have never had any interest in war or even fighting but the farther we go from dealing with death at our own hands or waiting till you see the whites of their eyes the closer we get to the emotional disconnect that modern warfare allows. This does not end well. Satellites , spy drones, infrared , and all manner modern warfare takes us further and further from our responsibilities as humans for the death we are , in a free society? , responsible for.
 Even though your poem this morning got me started with a good laugh I have become very bummed as the day progresses. I consider myself lucky to have been physically connected to my work both swimming alone for over ten thousand hours of bottom time or farming and raising animals with both the calluses ,joys, heartaches attached.
 I have been the fisherman sitting in the negotiating chair as liberally motivated NGO's and government agencies shut down our fishing grounds as though all human intervention in nature was somehow evil. We obviously weren't compensated for closing a third of our fishing grounds . Even if there is money for returning prime bottom ground to weeds I wouldn't be a taker because I honestly believe with care, foresight , and commitment to adding organics while using little or no use of fossil fuels I can do a better job at restoring soil health and carbon.
 I gave up my cell phone a few years ago and I have been wondering if maybe the Internet is something I need to walk away from. Although I very much value the incredibly
 brilliant minds that daily post here the blind faith in progress, automation and mechanization that results in people without a purpose or people without pride in their human endeavors makes me wonder.....
Back on subject, at sea a deadhead is a log that has become waterlogged and floats vertically . It bobs as the swells pass and is invisible to radar because it only breaches the surface between the wave crests. The human eye can pick out these types of random hazards and that is why we man the helm even when the boat is on autopilot. We listen to the radio in case someone is in trouble , we slow down or change course to avoid the whales. We make the hard decisions when all hell breaks lose, and sometimes we just turn around because too many bad things start to Avalanche . Call that superstition.

 

16
Policy and solutions / Re: Ships and boats
« on: January 03, 2019, 05:13:22 PM »
Thanks Terry, Had a good belly laugh over your poem . I just learned there is a program that would pay me $21,000
an acre to take my farmland totally out of production. So if they want ships without captains and farms without farming I am totally screwed. Since I am rather contrary the prospects are humorous. Not a fan of  killer drones either, or remotely operated mines . Maybe a suicide reimbursement could moderate population growth?  Who controls the levers on this madness ?and like some poor Pakistani
wedding recipient of our largess  who will receive retribution ? 

17
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 03, 2019, 03:15:03 AM »
Some Arizona residents don't seem to like autonomous cars. They have been attacking them.

 https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/tech/2018/12/11/waymo-self-driving-vehicles-face-harassment-road-rage-phoenix-area/2198220002/



Long live Ned Ludd

18
Sidd, No but they can't take me in for what I'm thinking.

19
Terry, No yucca harvest yet but thanks for the reminder. For sure yucca can take the drought. My water is riparian but where I am on the river it is fed by flows from an upland  aquifer. I think everyone knows S.Cal is impossibly dependent upon vast engineering projects to maintain population. I always did enjoy living on the edge although I think maybe white sharks aren't as scary as the prospect of my neighbors running out of water. Water flows to money so I won't fare to well competing with the other locals even if my wells do hold. Might need to think about sinking one the government doesn't know about.
 

20
El Niño is a reference to Christmas " the child " but Christmas is past and we are not doing well for water supplies. The El Niño is looking late if it arrives at all and I am having doubts. We are at ~60% of average rains so far and our main reserviors are shrinking still. The water managers are bickering and there is still lots of housing development and growth going on. Going into a ninth year of drought and really we should be starting to accept the new normal.
 Terry, I would much prefer no snow to no water at all. I do get well water and I will be fine for awhile still, no worries. The beaver and the steelhead are struggling and the Feds mandate some water releases for them but the grapes, tourists and housing developers are thirsty and in reality the steelhead are functionally extinct already. We are entering an era of triage, pick your winners and losers well but progress must push on.

21
The rest / Re: Poetry
« on: December 30, 2018, 08:46:42 AM »
               San Miguel

I don't find it easy
to write about a place
so perfect;
it's only an island
but the wind and man
haven't flawed her beauty

Sister to the Pacific
which holds her,
there parts the north wind,
and the sea churns in riches
we men have in our bones
such a place

In the distant past we few
who survived the ice
clung to the cold rocks
casting nets, casting spells
and waited an eternity
for the sun

There were other places,
holes in the ice
where the seals came,
but somehow
this seems where man had done well

The people
who over the years built
mountain of shells
about their sealskin tents,
finally witnessed the oceans rise
the weather warm,
and where once stood coastal villages
the sea regained

But for the stone mastery
of once great men
little remains
How is it
we honor the ancients
how do we reach our children
and when is the past the future

It's only an island



22
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 28, 2018, 05:43:32 PM »
ASLR has posted on ocean deoxygenation today from a different source. This thread is about extinction,not necessarily our own. We are already dealing with fish kills driven by anoxia in the Calif. Current ecosystem. There is a very long lag time between when we finally hit peak emissions and when the ocean systems begin to recover.


23
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 28, 2018, 01:59:41 PM »
Also as the oceans warm organisms use extra oxygen . Those animals that are currently living in areas with higher levels of dissolved oxygen are less able to adapt than those that currently are adapted to oxygen minimum zones .

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/362/6419/eaat1327

24
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 28, 2018, 07:58:53 AM »
Wili, A hotter ocean is less able to hold it's oxygen . Remember also that 50% of emissions go to the atmosphere , 25% into terrestrial sinks and the rest into the ocean. That ratio has been maintained even though atmospheric CO2 has increased from 280 ppm to ~410 ppm. Co2 fertilization allows extra biological production . In the ocean this production sinks to where it is bacterially reduced. This bacterial activity
( remineralization ) releases the CO2 at depth and consumes oxygen.   So the oxygen minimum areas are expanding.

25
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 28, 2018, 05:43:41 AM »
I don't know when we will ever look this in the eye and not be driven ,well , a bit crazy.
Curtis Deutsch is one of the brightest minds I have ever had the privilege to hear in person. There are other great minds , some of them are on the forum . The rest of us try to follow along. Following along can lead I suppose to glimpses at madness. With some luck not our own but that is in the eye of the beholder.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/global-warming-today-mirrors-conditions-during-earths-largest-extinction-event-uw-study/



26
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 27, 2018, 04:31:01 AM »
Vox, Thanks for the link to the seed source. Also appreciate all of Sidd's experience with farming and oil crops. Wish there was somewhere that would serve as a primer to others interested in small scale bio production and could offer up working examples. Because I approach farming from a micro scale that uses very little equipment I doubt I have much to offer most farmers but I probably could educate someone like a gardener ramping up to feed dozens. Sidd uses oil seed crops and oil presses for bio feedstock to power equipment .I let lard hogs ( they are different than meat hogs ) do what they do best ,eat and get fat. So my bio feedstock is self propelled and biologically motivated to replicate.
 Anyway extinction and all the damage currently taking place should inspire more ideas about how we can individually and collectively move forward. Counterintuitively  it has a tendency to cause people to bury their heads which is just one more tragedy . I have younger relatives who refuse to read up on the subjects that are everyday discussed here on the ASIF. They make it clear they would prefer to Not hear. For me problems are challenges looking for solutions but for others they are threats to their preferred lifestyles. This is where I am conflicted . Yes reality is profoundly sad but that is no reason to give in . I am not a wreaking ball however . I hope to make a farm that works to both feed and educate
people not yet ready to walk back their expectations . If there were multiple examples of others farmers and their working farms I think it might find an audience. Sidd and his efforts are one example , I am another. There must be many others but I couldn't point anyone to a place where our separate but similar experiences and farms can be showcased. A serious media effort isn't my forte but I suppose I need to up my game. Someone needs to search out good examples... for the living things passing.
 



 

27
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 24, 2018, 05:29:35 PM »
WTI broke bellow $45 today so Buddy gets to collect on his bet that oil would drop bellow $45 before it rose above $90.

28
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 21, 2018, 07:54:08 PM »
SH, I find different agricultural emissions numbers ranging from 9% to 17% for the US. I think we are energy hogs with agriculture contributing less here than other parts of the world only because we fly, and drive and live in big houses with big appliances .
 From the EPA ,agriculture contributes 9% with cattle contributing one third of the total . Even if total agriculture is more like 20% I would think the one third from cattle is probably a fair assessment . I keep saying I agree that reducing meat consumption is a good idea but it is far from enough.
 I have sincere doubts about livestock utilizing 93% of arable land however. Maybe part of the discrepancy of emission figures has to do with assigning an emissions number for the farming emissions from livestock feed production.
 My biggest disagreement is with your premise that meat is low hanging fruit.  No hamburgers, no milkshakes, and abject poverty for vast swaths of middle America.  I think food prices would be a potential disincentive that far exceeds volunteerism . Subsidies cause distortions in food choices and they are intended to do so. Keeping the public fat and happy may be a contributing factor. Again I am proposing a radical shift and telling farmers they need to forego 20 billion in subsidies is radical. Keeping those middle American republican votes requires the subsidies to be maintained and Trump threw an additional 5 billion to farmers yesterday to compensate for his trade war damage. At the same time he is shutting down the government to get a similar 5 billion dollar wall number. So democrats are willing to cooperate on ag subsidies ,not on a wall.
 None of this addresses the damage that subsidized commodity dumping has on artisanal farmers in the third world . Like I said earlier it sucks for vegetable operators also.
Dump the fuel and energy subsidies
Dump the agriculture subsidies
Wait for the chaos that follows to crash the GDP and resulting in meaningful reductions in emissions.

Yes I realize the fact that I can feed myself probably affects my suggestions but more people need to take up the challenge of feeding themselves. That to me is the real low hanging fruit but it is probably necessary to load the scales in people's decision matrix. Pain and hunger are big motivators..


https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions#agriculture

29
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 21, 2018, 06:12:40 PM »
Wili, I have seen large battery /electric tractors in the R and D phase . I haven't seen prices attached or hours of use between charging. I imagine a big assed power cable might work also something like overhead power for electric trains.
 I use a very small wheel hoe cultivator that is battery /electric and love it. Quiet and nimble for getting close to young plants or drip tape. Scale is a very real issue however. Tillage takes lots of power that my little tool can't deliver.
I think "trajectory" is going the wrong way re. a return to land movement. One downside to legal Cannibus is that it is syphoning young talent away from food production but the wine industry does the same thing. We have been losing farmers with talent as they retire due to age. We have not been adding young farmers at even a replacement rate so there are less farm stands and local ag ( food )production than 20 years ago, at least locally.
 My buddy farming Cannibus is harvesting two crops a year of 1,000 lbs. per crop. His profit is over a million and that is after the state takes it's $300,000 tax cut. It is no wonder young farmers are tempted to change focus. Beats my wages which are much closer to minimum wage.Property taxes are 1% here so that one Cannibus operation is paying the same taxes as 30 million dollar mansions. I think the money is good enough to hire full time security guards and you can see them sitting in their cars at the gates for the larger operations . Just Santa Barbara county alone has over 400 acres in Cannibus hoop house production. There is a small backlash from vintners or the otherwise rich residents but the tax monies involved have government siding with the new industry. Getting high enough or drunk enough to ignor our collective environmental concerns may be the new trend.  In the words of Cyndi Lauper " money changes everything." The lack of money changes everything too and I am sure the Mexican drug cartels are trying to figure their way into new "legal" opportunities. If trump wanted to pay for his wall he should have cut a deal to nationally legalize weed and tax it  to the hilt. Anyway I live at the center of the new Cannibus trade operations here in California .
 During fall harvest season the smell of skunk weed is so strong I can't smell the pigs on my own farm. 
There is a thirty acre operation about a mile away upwind.

30
Policy and solutions / Re: Space colonization
« on: December 21, 2018, 05:06:37 PM »
ArcticMelt, Again your proposed volcanic induced 100-200 degrees Celsius is pure conjecture . Yes former extinction events may have been triggered by volcanism , the Siberian traps and the Permian event but the CO2 release was ostensibly due to vast coal seams that overplayed the area of volcanism. 

31
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 21, 2018, 03:37:35 PM »
Kassy , I would like to repeat my point. Yes we can feed the world but it takes enormous amounts of energy to do so. BAU. If we are going to try to get to zero emissions then we have to figure out how to produce food without burning fossil fuels. Just that simple. So we get to choose between feeding 8-10 billion people and cooking the planet. Any ideas on how you propose to cure the dilemma ?

32
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 21, 2018, 07:14:21 AM »
Sorry Sidd but I am very primitive in my technique. I harvest wild red stem pigweed aka. Amaranthus.
Plants in a field don't ripen evenly and easily scatter so wild amaranth lends itself to hand harvest.With some good thick gloves I go out with a big paper bag, put it over the ripe plant, push the plant and bag horizontal then beat the hell out of it. Pour the seeds and chaf into a container and repeat on next plant. Dry the chaf and seed.
I winnow with a bowl on windy days. It is the easiest seed to winnow because the chaf is very light.
The biggest problem is grinding amaranth. The seed is very small and surprisingly hard. I use a small electric coffee grinder but I already went through my first one cause it wasn't really meant to crank on amaranth for minute or two.
Ground Red stem pigweed seed makes a beautiful purple gravy that goes well with baked potatoes .

Rather far afield .

33
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 21, 2018, 06:10:13 AM »
Wili, Thanks . Not sure I deserve it . I have to get more info up as the annual start to my food challenge approaches . I got about three acres worked with the pig bio tractor this summer. There is a nice cover crop growing on it right now.  We have had a little rain and it's nice with everything green.
Squirreled away potatoes , dried corn, acorns, amaranth, dried summer squash, spelt and winter squash. I will put in a winter garden soon with what's left from last years compost pile. Really the only thing different from fifty years ago is the bio and the solar power. Otherwise very retro.
 Cannibus legalization has presented itself as a temptation . I think I will resist the money temptation but there is crazy big money going down around here. On good information over a million per acre in profit. I always thought that pot was for fun and any time it was for something else trouble was near.
Anyway I have my task ahead of me and getting rich isn't necessary to prove what I am trying to prove. What I am doing would easily scale to village scale food production. Cities are just such an incredible food challenge. Although I can't quite rap my brain around feeding the cities I still think feeding millions of small towns is a viable tragectory.
 Sorry if I get all dark sometimes. There is still a lot we can do for our part. I am sure planting my garden is part of what I need . I need to know one man can produce 20,000 lbs. food without fossil emissions . I need to know what I am doing will scale. On those fronts things are rosy . You'd think it would temper my dark inclinations but one day in LA traffic and reality sinks in.
 
 

34
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 21, 2018, 03:00:26 AM »
 "This is a solvable problem."  I have lived off of the food I produced without fossil fuel . So at least at an extremely individual level yes it can be done .  Feeding those 20 million souls that live a hundred miles south of here without CO2 emissions or fossil fuel use is Not even close to possible . Nobody even talks about the difficulty of the task. Everybody here knows we need to get to zero carbon, correct ? We don't currently have the technology to feed the current population without emissions and the future declines in agricultural production from climate change will only exacerbate our dilemma .
 So this is where I say our humanity is screwing with the goal. The goal is to get to zero or insure a damn big extinction event. We have no idea how to feed ourselves without BAU and BAU is death. So saying you are more worried about how many people any system can support , or worried how we can feed 8 or 10 billion souls is totally getting the wagon in front of the horse. How do you feed ANY of us with zero carbon emissions ? You gotta have some idea how to feed yourself and several other people first, a small village next, and then maybe a city or two. Claiming this is possible without any way to maintain modern agriculture is just wrong.  Well it's wrong when nobody is trying anyhow. I doubt is is possible at the scale  necessary  but that doesn't stop me from working at it at least on one small farm.
I haven't really even had any interest in how I can farm without  fossil fuel . Strange the future we see coming and the disconnect with current preparations. Faith , religion, or optimism just don't get us where we need to go. Better start getting scared cause reality is going to be vicious.

35
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 20, 2018, 10:10:44 PM »
US annual farm subsidies are about $20 billion a year and a lot of the commodities produced support cheap meat.
US annual fossil fuel subsidies are about $20 billion a year and agriculture is benefited by that largess.

I don't know how other parts of the world subsidizes their commodity producers but I am sure they do.
Eliminating those subsidies would have many knockdown effects but reduced meat consumption would surely be one of them. 
Carbon emissions would go down. That is the goal IMO. It would include painful downsides, all options will.
This thread has been moved to a place like other politics have been moved. I think it affords some leniency. I would prefer that talk about extinction ( ours or others ) to be pursued with solutions in mind. Maybe my ideas are harsh but it is a brutal subject. Think of how many other species are going extinct as a direct affect of subsidized agriculture.
 I spent several years trying to make a living growing vegetables. Everything about commodities and fuel subsidies make that near impossible on small acreage. There is a reason most CSA ( community supported agriculture )operations fail but competing with subsidized corporate agriculture is large among them.
 

36
Policy and solutions / Re: Space colonization
« on: December 20, 2018, 08:13:55 PM »
Aerosol spaying or space mirrors won't fix ocean acidification either. My guess is we will probably try to use both and continue to burn fossil fuels all the while.

37
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 20, 2018, 07:58:00 PM »
SH, Do you think 97% of the Salinas valley is used for livestock? The Calif. Central Valley ? No
Nevada deserts , well yes but it won't produce much anything else. Ditto a large portion of the Southwest .
 I agree we need to cut back on meat consumption , we could do it by charging people for the true costs of their bad habits. You don't have any idea about how to get people to make any change.
People aren't going to quit drinking milk in the U.S. Forget it. They might change their food habits if they are forced to pay more for the meat and milk they consume.
 You keep dropping claims without sources. Religious conviction isn't much of an arguement .
I could live without cars or planes or ff heating in my house. I could live without computers or phones.
I am getting ready even if the day never comes. I have doubts about living without meat or eggs if I had to live off what I could produce. How close are you to living without all the above, how close are your children or grandchildren to living off the grid ? I assume you are well off and comfortable. 
 There has to be a bridge between the past where we lived without fossil fuels and the future where they are gone. I don't believe technology will be of much use . The earth is going to be a brutish, hot and unpredictable. Wishful thinking ain't getting us out of paying the piper.
 

38
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 20, 2018, 05:40:50 PM »
Nearly 20% of anthropogenic emissions are due to meat production.

I'd love to see the several credible sources with the data this 20% is based upon - and over what time frames it's applying to.

Every source of emissions as well as every cause of land use that results in compromised carbon sinks needs changing. There is plenty of evidence that on a global scale transformation of forests into pasture results in reduced terrestrial carbon sink capacity. Farming rice results in increased methane sources .
Cement production , transportation, electric production , every source needs radical transformation.
Re. Meat consumption, I would suggest price is what controls most people's meat consumption rate.
Governments subsidies for commodities like corn , soybeans, and other crops largely fed to livestock ,as well as fossil fuel subsidies ,results in cheap meat, cheap grains, overpopulation and overconsumption.
Vegetables are Not subsidized and compete against government manipulated markets. I suggest we end all government manipulation of energy and food production. Meat prices will spike, people will eat less of it. Food prices should reflect the true costs of production and transport costs. 
 SH would argue that some people will starve. I would argue that too many people is too many people.
I said radical change and yes if they can't feed themselves there will be less people. We will have to accept plenty of misery and death as a result of our greed and lack of self control over over human reproduction. This is the rub, we want to maintain our "humanity" even if it means killing the planet.
If we could ask all the species we are driving into extinction about whether they believe humans concept of humanity is a failed and false rationalization for our actions what do you think they'd say.
 Lurk, I imagine SH has you blocked so he can see your post and answer your query . Vegetarians get kinda righteous and although a lot less meat consumption is undoubtably a good thing it is but a small portion of how we collectively need to change .   

39
Policy and solutions / Re: Space colonization
« on: December 20, 2018, 03:50:00 AM »
Seems like discussing ghosts or ancient aliens. There are plenty of shows on TV that pose as science dealing with similar issues . Talking about space colonies is about as useful. Junk and intended to distract.

40
Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 16, 2018, 09:00:30 PM »
Zizek, I can sit here on my couch and write about foraging, or farming and suggest difficulty and hard labor as at least a minimum for our just desserts. Hard work, every day till you run out of energy. You will get old like me someday. We want many things but almost universal is some desire for ease, comfort, warmth . Ultimately we burned the oil for an easy life. Change that desire for ease( a free lunch ) and you can save the rest of the life on this planet. Simple. At least I talked myself into going outside for awhile.

42
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: December 12, 2018, 07:47:51 PM »
Domoic Acid produced by a diatom has repeatedly shut down parts of the Dungeness Crab season for the last several years. Yes we expect the diatom population to increase in toxicity as acidification advances but quantifying the amount of that increase isn't possible yet IMO . Also the boats we use to catch crab burn substantial amounts of fossil fuel so when fishermen start talking about going back to sail I will take their climate change lawsuits as a legitimate concern for the enviornment.


43
Owen, I was wondering when the forum was going to help explain a European revolt . It arises out of desperation does it not?  That the rich are moving forward and the masses are not?  I am amazed that riots aren't crushed as they would be over here.
 Will not poverty , homelessness, hopelessness lead to similar results everywhere? The problem is growing here in very obvious ways, tent camps along the train tracks , and the freeways . It isn't even getting cleaned up any more here in one of the best economies and vast wealth of Santa Barbara.
Problems that have been obvious in the more poverty ridden areas like Fresno are matastizing.
Although I haven't been to France I think there is still some form of a safety net that doesn't exist over here any more, if it ever did but the people at the bottom don't believe a petition to government is an option . They aren't going to revolt . When will we accept walking past the downtrodden ? Every day.
 I don't post much on my efforts at zero fossil fuel energy , farming or basic minimalism . I realize it is
maybe more of a hobby that affluence affords than an honest path millions might follow. To bad about that because until we can accept less and learn to enjoy the experiance we will supply plenty of blood for the batons. But if you are rioting for living more like the rich then blood will flow.
 The arrow of progress is a stupid idea but a difficult social construct to disassemble . When the French learn how to add acorns to their diets I will know the game is changing.
 

44
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 25, 2018, 03:57:50 AM »
Well it was Thanksgiving , We had a grand meal ,apple pie , the lard crust was close to perfect. It's Calif. and we still have the last of the seasons tomatoes on the porch. No I believe the Pacific will continue to moderate temperatures , at least locally . Yes it is likely continue to dry ... the squeeze of the vise, but I also believe we will on occasion get Big El Niño floods. Perched here on the edge of the continent , as far as we could push west. 
 I think some times of England where I spent a few years of my youth. I think England has changed more , but it has been sixty years from my last visit.




45
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 23, 2018, 08:45:56 PM »
 Forget California :(
The climate vice may squeeze but I wouldn't write us off. As with acidification , adapt, adapt.
Almost anyone could survive a forest fire with a good sealed root cellar and a full scuba bottle.
 I really believe individual adaptation is far more useful than political activism. Nature , the mother of invention, and all that.
 

46
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 14, 2018, 09:13:04 PM »
Terry , I thought the tone of the warning was alarmist but we do use plastic septic tanks and you are told when they put them in to not drive on them.

47
Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Ocean 'acidifying rapidly'
« on: November 13, 2018, 05:57:31 PM »
Feel the Burn, There is plenty of info out there on what happens if we burn all the proven reserves or burn all the proven reserves and add in unconventional hydrocarbon. Caldeira and Wickett 2003 or other Caldeira work. Here is some reading for you.
http://shadow.eas.gatech.edu/~kcobb/ocean_acid/Caldeira%20and%20Wickett%202005.pdf

If you start to look at potential carbon releases from peat burning, tundra carbon releases as it warms, permafrost carbon stores, Arctic lakes, Antarctic carbon stores, Amazon burning,etc. you might begin to worry about how the ocean fares as earth responds to our recklessness.
 We are already seeing biological impacts from a .1 pH surface ocean shift. That in combination with ocean heat absorption will destroy most of the earth coral reef systems. I don't know if I can explain this to people willing to listen let alone the vast majority of humans who view the ocean and it's processes as a total mystery. I am no mental giant, I just wanted to understand better how the ocean works. Now I am better informed and very sad . Too bad for me.
 Maybe you think as I do we will not burn all the carbon stores because we will never be able to economically get it all out. The buried carbon stores I mentioned above will continue emitting  for a very long time after civilization crashes however. Quantifying the amount of carbon in those sources and what the temperature triggers are that will release them is still guesswork. When we find out the answers I am certain some people will continue to prefer ignorance.
 

48
The rest / Re: Political theatre, good for ratings, otherwise useless
« on: November 13, 2018, 06:53:28 AM »
ASLR, You were always way out in front, carefully out there. I will miss your insights.

49
Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: November 10, 2018, 06:38:05 PM »
I was born in Southern Calif. and have lived here most of my life. In the fall we get Santa Ana wind conditions and we usually get fires. Southern Calif.  has not escaped drought conditions for eight years although Northern Calif. did get out of drought conditions for a couple years. S. Cal chaparel is a very fire prone habitat and building houses there is an invitation to disaster. We will however build there and as long as insurance pays for our risk taking we won't change.
 I don't know how long this drought will last. The return of the ridiculously resistant ridge is in my opinion a better indicator of climate change than the rather predictable fires. If the drought drags on long enough our S.Cal. reserviors will go dry and finding water to control the fires will dictate when we lose the ability to live in the hills.
 For ten thousand years the native Americans that lived here burned the chaparel in the spring when the ground was wet enough to limit the risk of fires getting out of control. The grasses that came after the fires supported deer, rabbits and game that provided food for the Indians. Mechanically cutting down the chaparel and composting it would be a better option than waiting for it to burn . It is of course the mega rich who occupy the Malibu hills. If they lose their mansions they kinda deserve it for ignoring the obvious, for being the gross carbon emitters they are and for sniveling about their views being damaged by brush removal or controlled burns. That some poor schmuck from Compton has to pay taxes to help the rich people in Malibu, Thousand Oaks, Montecieto or Santa Barbara just ain't right but fleecing the masses is as chronic as the climate denial that permeates our society.

 

50
Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: November 09, 2018, 08:49:10 PM »
Biogeosciences open access 
https://www.biogeosciences.net/15/6649/2018/

A mesocosm study that shows DMS reductions of 28% at atmospheric CO2 1000ppm compared to
400ppm .

"Over a period of 5 weeks, P. tricornuntum outcompeted T. weissflogii and E. huxleyi, comprising more than 99% of the final biomass. During the logarithmic growth phase (phase I), mean DMS concentration in high pCO2 mesocosms (1000µatm) was 28% lower than that in low pCO2 mesocosms (400µatm)"

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