Jun 15

This is definitely an inconvenient truth for the organic, buy local, farmer’s market crowd.

Scientific American reports on a new study from Standford University:

Modern high-yield farming lowered the amount of greenhouse gases pumped into the Earth’s atmosphere toward the end of the 20th Century by a massive amount, according to a surprising study from researchers at Stanford University.

Technological advances in agriculture helped reduce greenhouse gas output by reducing the need to convert forests to farmland, the study said. Such conversion involves burning of trees and other naturally occurring carbon repositories, which increases emissions of carbon, methane and nitrous oxide.

If not for yield improvement techniques, which have dramatically helped corporate farms produce more crops with less land, authors of the study said an additional 13 billion tons of CO2 would have been loosed into the atmosphere per year.

“Our results dispel the notion that modern intensive agriculture is inherently worse for the environment than a more ‘old-fashioned’ way of doing things,” said Jennifer Burney, lead author of a paper on high-yield farming to be published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Overall, the study estimated that new farming methods averted emitting as much as the equivalent of 590 billion metric tons of CO2. That translates into as much as a third of the world’s total greenhouse gas output since 1850, a date often cited as the start of the Industrial Revolution in the West.

The production and use of fertilizer has led to significant greenhouse gas emissions, Burney said, but that increase pales in comparison with what might have been had more forests and grasslands been shifted to agricultural uses.

“Every time forest or shrub land is cleared for farming, the carbon that was tied up in the biomass is released and rapidly makes its way into the atmosphere,” said Burney, who is a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford.

Not that I really think it’s necessary to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, but if we are going to do that the organic, buy local, farmer’s market model often pushed by those same folks going to see Al Gore’s slide show isn’t the correct path to take.

2 people like this post.

Possibly Related Posts:

Tagged with:
Feb 17

Domino Effect: Utah, then Texas, and now Virginia challenging EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations

By Editor CO2, EPA, GHGs, Texas, Utah, Virginia Comments Off on Domino Effect: Utah, then Texas, and now Virginia challenging EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations

The wrongly maligned CO2 molecule appears to be headed toward getting it’s well-deserved good reputation back.  Earlier this month Utah made headlines when a legislative panel approved a resolution urging the EPA halt it’s regulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs).  Yesterday Texas followed suit – lawsuit that is.  And just today it’s reported that Virginia is joining in on this apparent Domino Effect:

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli turned up the heat on global warming yesterday.On behalf of the state, Cuccinelli filed a petition asking the federal Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its December finding that global warming poses a threat to people.

Cuccinelli also filed a petition with the federal appeals court in Washington seeking a court review of the EPA finding.

Gov. Bob McDonnell supported the moves.

“The attorney general is acting in the best interests of the citizens of Virginia,” McDonnell said in a statement.

“The current federal position could have a negative impact on job creation and economic development in the commonwealth and should be reconsidered.”

Who’ll be next? How about Massachusetts?

Hat tip: Climate Depot

4 people like this post.

Possibly Related Posts:

Feb 05

A Utah legislative committee panel has OK’d a resolution that urges the EPA to halt it’s regulations aimed at GHG’s, including CO2, and cited cataclysmic impacts to the economy according to Deseret News:

“We are responsible to look at the big picture,” said Rep. Kerry Gibson, R-Ogden, sponsor of the measure. “The economy is as important as the environment.”

Fueled by concerns over devastating impacts to Utah’s farmers, ranchers, mining industry, businesses and consumers, HJR12 is intended to send a message to the federal government that the regulation of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas is fraught with economic impracticalities and based on unproven global warming theory.

“Sometimes when we don’t have all the answers, we need to have the courage to do nothing,” said Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, arguing forcefully on behalf of the resolution. Making reference to the medical profession’s Hippocratic oath, Noel said, “As policymakers, we should first do no harm.”

The resolution itself is a wonder to behold as it lists in a very concise form every single argument the most vehement skeptic could make against regulating CO2 to supposedly solve man-made global warming, as follows:

Continue reading »

18 people like this post.

Possibly Related Posts:

Tagged with:
Jan 21

Obviously, this is fall-out from yesterday’s stunning Massachusetts special election.  Not only is government-run health care dead, but cap and trade and the EPA’s regulation of CO2 are also on their death beds.

ABC reports:

Three Democratic senators are joining an effort to block the Obama administration from taking steps to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming.

Democrats Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas have signed onto a resolution introduced Thursday by Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. The measure, which must pass Congress and be signed by the President, would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing regulations to control greenhouse gases.

Nelson, Lincoln and Landrieu seem to be attempting to save their political careers judging from this move.

Hat tip: @gl0bal_warming

9 people like this post.

Possibly Related Posts:

Tagged with:
Jan 13

From The Akron Beacon Journal:

If Joseph Ortiz, the Kent State University geology professor who wrote the Dec. 7 letter ”Climate change is beyond denial,” really believes that it is time for a serious discussion regarding climate change, maybe he could start by framing the debate more honestly.

He states that ”the climate-change denier’s logic goes like this: There is evidence of natural climate change; therefore, humans can’t be the cause of the climate change seen in the last 200 years.”

This is as absurd as stating that the climate-change zealot’s logic goes like this: There is evidence that human activity has increased carbon dioxide levels in the past 200 years; therefore, humans must be causing the climate to change. It is a cheap debating tactic to state an opposing view in a weak and unconvincing manner, and then denounce that position as a ”badly flawed conclusion.”

I am an environmental geologist, and I am skeptical of the climate-change hysteria because of the daunting magnitude of variables that influence the impact of chemicals when they are released to our environment. Many of these variables are poorly understood, many others have probably not yet been identified, and the complexity of the interactions on a scale as large as the global climate is almost certainly beyond our current levels of scientific understanding.

It is simply not logical that controlling a single (and miniscule, by volume) variable such as atmospheric carbon dioxide will allow us to bend the entire global climate to our will.

I am also skeptical because models used to predict environmental impact, while useful tools, are prone to calibration problems, manipulation and can produce results with little or no semblance to real-world outcomes.

Finally, I am skeptical because climate change is, contrary to the assertion by Ortiz, a political question at the bottom line.

The proposed solutions currently in search of a global warming problem involve enormous (and likely unachievable) alterations to world economies, drastic changes in lifestyles that most people will simply not accept and a redistribution of wealth that would make the most devout communist giddy.

By all means, Ortiz, continue your good research. We need your contribution to our overall understanding of the climate. But please forgo statements such as the evidence of human-induced climate change is beyond denying — it is not.

Determining when evidence is sufficient and if debate should begin or end on a topic of such universal importance is not the purview of you, Al Gore or the Beacon Journal editorial board.
Jim C. Smith

15 people like this post.

Possibly Related Posts:

Tagged with:
Dec 11

The Oregonian reports on a tragedy that struck in Southeast Portland on Wednesday:

Firefighters responded to an apparent carbon monoxide poisoning in Southeast Portland late Wednesday that left a man dead and a woman severely injured.

Investigators think the incident was caused by carbon monoxide leaking from a natural gas heater that was not properly ventilated.

Although it went unreported in the web edition of this story, my dead tree edition included the sobering irony:

According to neighbors, the [victims] were friendly but private, and concerned for the environment: [the male victim] had recently announced he would give up his vehicles in an effort to reduce his carbon footprint.

This tragedy illustrates the absurdity of where this world is headed with its demonization and regulation of molecules.   The environmental alarmists have waged a mostly successful campaign to smear the good reputation of carbon dioxide (CO2), a harmless trace gas which is essential for life to exist on earth, and convinced many well-meaning citizens (such as the above victim) that it is mandatory to reduce their emissions of CO2 lest we unleash an imagined climatic apocalypse.  As a result, last week the EPA designated CO2 as a “pollutant”.

Meantime, there’s another molecule with one less oxygen atom, carbon monoxide (CO), that is indeed deadly to humans, in fact it’s “the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in North America.”

Which begs the question: If we are going to spend our tax dollars protecting citizens from deadly molecules wouldn’t it be smarter to spend more money on providing carbon monoxide alarms than spending that same money on subsidizing alternative energy in the name of limiting emissions of another molecule that is plant food?

My condolences and prayers are with the family of the victim, and his wife.

6 people like this post.

Possibly Related Posts:

Tagged with:
Dec 09

Noel Sheppard notes a smorgasbord of lies that Al Gore serves up to CNN’s Kiran Chetry and John Roberts (without objection), and one delicious irony:

Al Gore warned CNN viewers Wednesday about imminent planetary doom at the hands of his favorite bogeyman global warming just seconds before Kiran Chetry reported the “monster storm paralyzing travel in more than a dozen states” with “winter still two weeks away.”

But let’s stick to the lies, and let Sheppard point out the biggest whopper of all:

CHETRY: And that goes along with what David in Arizona asked you. He wants to know, please tell us what percentage of carbon dioxide is caused by human activity relative to other sources of carbon dioxide.

GORE: Well, the majority of it is caused by human activity, and a cutting-edge study now quantifies the different causes of global warming. About 43 percent or almost half is from CO2. Twenty-seven percent, a little more than a quarter, is from methane. Then there is black carbon, also referred to as soot, which in some areas of the world is a very, very pronounced cause. And then you have the nitrous oxides and carbon monoxide and so forth. But the largest single source is manmade CO2.

The majority of CO2 in the atmosphere is manmade? Nonsense. In October 2000, the Department of Energy estimated that about 3 percent of the CO2 in the atmosphere was caused by man. After all, it is believed that the overwhelming majority of tropospheric CO2 existed before the year 1750 (288 parts per million). In 2000, total tropospheric CO2 was 368 ppm. The increase was comprised of 68.5 ppm by natural causes, and only 11.9 ppm from man’s activities, or about 3 percent. As CO2 levels are currently at 385 ppm, saying the majority of atmospheric CO2 is manmade is nonsense. Unfortunately, Chetry and Roberts let Gore get away with this falsehood as well. Nice interview job, huh?

Let’s review. Gore said, “the majority of it is caused by human activity”.  To clear up any possible confusion let’s define “majority”:

A majority, also known as a simple majority in the U.S., is a subset of a group that is more than half of the entire group. This should not be confused with a plurality, which is a subset having the largest number of parts.

8 people like this post.

Possibly Related Posts:

preload preload preload