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Forced Responses: July 2021

Filed under: — group @ 2 July 2021

A new bi-monthly open thread for climate solutions discussions. Climate science threads go here.

434 Responses to “Forced Responses: July 2021”

  1. 1
    Russell says:

    A flagship journal reports an unprecedented breakthrough in carbon sequestration:

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2021/06/virtue-is-35000000000-ton-carbon-tax-on.html

  2. 2

    @533:

    you give a real world example of numerous reactors that were run to maximize weapons grade plutonium in Japan.

    You ignore that this has a number of prerequisites:

    1.  It requires that the reactors had been freshly refueled.  This may or may not be the case, as Japan requires that reactors be shut down annually for inspection rather than at normal (for the technology) refueling intervals.  (A year of operation is far too long for WGPu production.)  If the reactors were restarted with the fuel they had when they were shut down, this obviously did not happen.

    2.  It would further require that they be refueled AGAIN during the second shutdown.  This requires that the fuel, and the workers to do the refueling, be on-hand.

    The beehive of activity during refueling can be easily observed.  I have no way to know if anything of the sort happened, I just know that the Japanese are clever enough to do it if they wanted to.  Even if they did, it was a one-time thing.

    It seems we agree that weapons grade plutonium can be made in normal power reactors.

    If you have some very, very special circumstances which are present at no other place and time.

    Any other country attempting this would be cut off from fuel supplies by IAEA sanctions, as India was for decades.

  3. 3
    nigelj says:

    Mike @541 (last months FR page) posted some information: “Regenerative fields had 29% lower grain production but 78% higher profits over traditional corn production systems”. He said “I think the studies like the one cited above suggest that a farmer can commit to regenerative agriculture and increase their profits even though yields may fall.”

    This information proves my previous contention that regenerative agriculture would most likely have lower yields than industrial agriculture. Farmers may benefit from greater profitability, and become millionaires, but you clearly cannot feed the world adequately with low yield crops. And if yields are lower for the same level of demand from consumers, prices must eventually rise. Low income people cant afford expensive food. Where I live organic produce (which is similar to regenerative produce) is lower yield, profitable and very expensive . Low income people cant afford it.

    This is why I said it ‘may’ ultimately be necessary to combine regenerative agriculture (and organic agriculture)with some limited elements of industrial agriculture, or find some other novel solution. Got it now Mike?

  4. 4
    Mike says:

    at Nigel at 3: don’t worry so much. I think it is completely unlikely that all agriculture is going to switch from high chemical to regenerative and create the food shortages that you appear to be concerned about.

    Some farmers are likely to switch to regenerative and the studies indicate they will produce lower yields than they would if they used high chemical farming methods. The cost savings from the high chemical soil amendments will allow these farmers to make a higher profit than they would have made with the higher yields and associated chemical costs.

    Is there a danger that human beings on the planet might go hungry during the sixth great extinction event? Yes, I think that danger exists.

    I think that global hunger is generally associated with poverty more than shifts to regenerative agriculture. you can read more about that here:

    https://www.actionagainsthunger.org/world-hunger-facts-statistics

    Cheers

    Mike

  5. 5
    Mike says:

    at Nigel. “Farmers may benefit from greater profitability, and become millionaires, but you clearly cannot feed the world adequately with low yield crops.”

    This sentence just seems silly to me. Farmers operate on a very tight margin. Your concern about regenerative farmer millionaires seems preposterous to me. Farming has historically been a good occupation if you want to scrape by. The higher profit possible with regenerative agriculture is pretty unlikely to produce organic farmer millionaires, it might make the difference between a decent and stable standard of living and accumulating large debt loads that will force bankruptcy when there is a bad year and large scale monoculture crop failure.

    Similarly, we don’t know what it takes to feed the world. I don’t think it’s clear that we cannot feed the world with regenerative agricultural methods. We have reason to believe that yields will be lower with regenerative farming. Could that become the primary driver of global hunger? I think a reasonable person who was worried about food shortages should look at how many more humans could be fed if diets changed and meat was removed from most meals. If you want to address the possibility that our ways of putting food on our families (a George W. Bushism) are dangerous or inadequate, I think it makes sense to start with meat rather than to raise concern that regenerative farmers are going to become millionaires by engaging in practices that will increase global hunger.

    But, hey, who knows? Maybe you know some facts about greedy regenerative farmers that I have not come across.

    Cheers

    Mike

  6. 6
    Killian says:

    3 nigelKIA spews:
    2 Jul 2021 at 6:49 PM

    Mike @541 (last months FR page) posted some information: “Regenerative fields had 29% lower grain production but 78% higher profits over traditional corn production systems”. He said “I think the studies like the one cited above suggest that a farmer can commit to regenerative agriculture and increase their profits even though yields may fall.”

    This information proves my previous contention that regenerative agriculture would most likely have lower yields than industrial agriculture.

    I’m tired of your ignorance, bias and bullshit. Guess what? Corn monocultures ARE NOT REGENERATIVE FARMING, NO MATTER WHO THE FUCK CALLS IT THAT. No monoculture can be called regenerative. A regenerative field would be growing multiple crops in the same field, this having HIGHER productivity. As other posts have shown, you also do not count “yeild” as tonnage. You count it as carbon sequestered, SOC added, biological diversity (a diverse field will have a LOT more soil and above ground biota and far more diversity, thus FAR MORE PRODUCTIVITY), and, most of all, nutrient value.

    Chem ag reduces nutrient value by 40-60%. So a reduced “yield” of 30% actually represents 10-30% increase in food in a monoculture. When you have, eg, a three sisters filed, the yield, in every facet, is significantly higher.

    You are dangerously, intentionally full of bullshit.

  7. 7
    David B. Benson says:

    Natrium power
    https://natriumpower.com/
    Is a pool type sodium cooled fast nuclear reactor good enormous that the first demonstrator will be a production reactor in Wyoming.

    Nobody is concerned about proliferation.

  8. 8

    @545 Piotr says: “could you elaborate?”

    Yes I can elaborate:
    In soil science we further define soil organic carbon (SOC) into at least 2 major forms, Labile and stable fractions. There are also typically at least 4 horizons, but 3 mainly concern us.

    1)The top O-horizon is typically almost 100% labile carbon. This horizon when it decays almost 100% recycles into the basic nutrients contained in the plant tissue and CO2 or methane. This process is called mineralization and almost none of this carbon residue is useful for mitigating AGW. It’s the short carbon cycle that is easily seen in the sawtooth seasonal patterns of the readings from Mauna Loa. On the other hand, it is very rich in nutrients, tends to grab and hold water like a sponge, and moderates extremes of temperature. So although not very useful at mitigating AGW, it is very useful for primary productivity of plants. Layman terms we often call this the mulch layer or the leaf litter layer. It is usually above 20% carbon and over 90%:10% labile:stable carbon ratio.

    2)The next horizon is called the A-horizon. This is often called “topsoil” by laymen. This layer contains dark decomposed organic matter, which is called “humus” or in other words humic polymers. Some of this humus will be labile like in the O-horizon, and some of these humic polymers will tightly bond to the mineral substrate and become stable into geological time. That stable fraction continues to grow under the right conditions. The labile fraction generally saturates after several years. Of course this is a very simplified explanation. If you want to take a deep dive into the subject and have a pretty good head on your shoulders for complexity, try this great science article explaining the relevance of the various forms of soil carbon with regards to AGW mitigation.

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenvs.2020.514701/full

    A-horizon (topsoil) BTW can be generally 3%-18% carbon (6%-10% is more common for healthy soils suitable for agricultural) and is generally found to have a labile:stable carbon ratio somewhere Roughly between ~30:70 and ~70:30, depending on many various factors.

    (Keep in mind though that many if not most “green revolution” tilled agricultural soils are now degraded to the point of being 1%-2% SOC! Much below 1% and they generally get abandoned as “farmed out”.)

    If you also want to take a deep dive into soil degradation, Here is a couple great articles on that as well. A little out of date. In most countries it’s even worse now. But it helps one understand the scale of the issue and the very bitter debate between our own “merchants of doubt” and agronomists/soil scientists:

    https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/soils/use/?cid=nrcs142p2_054028

    https://www.pnas.org/content/114/36/9575

    3)The next important horizon is the B-horizon. Laymen call this the subsoil. It generally has a much lower carbon content, but is usually rich in water soluble minerals leached down from above. That carbon found here is also much more stable, and very unlikely to re-enter the atmosphere any time soon (geological timeframes) unless disturbed. SOC ranges from 1%+ are common here.

    There are other soil horizons, but they are mostly outside the scope of AGW mitigation strategy.

    Please note that a large amount of the cropland worldwide has degraded so badly, in effect it is farming on subsoil rather than healthy topsoil.

    The next level of complexity:
    Mollic Epipedon) Certain soils, mostly formed under grasslands, build extremely deep and fertile high carbon A-horizons called mollisols. Here is the real opportunity for extremely high rates of carbon sequestration into deep geological timeframes. Historically these are you grade A+ agricultural soils found in places like the Midwest USA. There is another big deposit (they call it chernozems) starting in Ukraine and heading east to the Russian steppe. Another found in South America Pampas region. It’s not just the humic polymers bound to the substrate, but it also has a texture and pore space that really makes it ideal for plant growth and habitat for the soil microbiological food web. It’s this structure and biological content that make it special. Unfortunately it’s not so easy to take the “deep dive” here, because this is the area in soil science that has been overwhelmed with extremely exciting new discoveries in the last two decades! But I can tell you that it is the symbiotic nature of plants (especially C4 perennial grasses) and soil organisms (especially arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi AMF) that both create this mollic epipedon and benefit from it as well. I can also tell you that it was considered “impossible” for agriculture to create a mollic epipedon where it had not existed before, but several regenerative farmers are doing just that very thing, and rapidly too. Here is some info on Mollic Epipedon:

    https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-06668-4_5

    and here is some info about AMF

    https://schaechter.asmblog.org/schaechter/2013/08/mycorrhizal-fungi-the-worlds-biggest-drinking-straws-and-largest-unseen-communication-system.html

    https://www.ars.usda.gov/news-events/news/research-news/2008/glomalin-is-key-to-locking-up-soil-carbon/

    As for yields due to the Green Revolution, some due to more land being cleared, some due to refrigeration/drying/transportation increases, some due to improved genetics like hybrids, some due to mechanization, some due to misleading manipulation of statistics, etc… The important part to understand though is that certain things like genetics will improve yields per acre in regenerative organic even more so than it did in “green revolution” methods. You mentioned rice:

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/feb/16/india-rice-farmers-revolution

    Sorry if it is either too much or too little to answer your questions. I was heavily torn between explaining the complexity in too much detail as to become unreadable, or simplifying it too much and making it useless to you or any climate scientist reading this.

  9. 9

    @3:

    Mike @541 (last months FR page) posted some information: “Regenerative fields had 29% lower grain production but 78% higher profits over traditional corn production systems”….

    This information proves my previous contention that regenerative agriculture would most likely have lower yields than industrial agriculture. Farmers may benefit from greater profitability, and become millionaires, but you clearly cannot feed the world adequately with low yield crops.

    In the USA, at least, this could be offset by slashing the diversion of foodstuffs to “biofuels”.  The sales of genetically-modified seed tailored for yeast digestibility would suffer, but nothing of actual value would be lost.

    Our biofuels should come from things that are NOT food, especially things that get burned off to eliminate pests:  wheat and rice straw, corn stover, the remains of cotton plants, etc.  The easiest thing to make from them is methanol, which I believe should be a substantial and rapidly growing part of our fuel supply.

  10. 10

    E-P 2: Any other country attempting this would be cut off from fuel supplies by IAEA sanctions, as India was for decades.

    BPL: They managed to build a bomb anyway.

  11. 11
    Carbomontanus says:

    @ James Charles 183 and
    Steven Emmerson 199

    last mmonth:

    “fuungal decomposition responsible of 55 Gigatons
    and
    Human combustion of fossile fulels responsible for only ridiculous 10 gigatons..”

    If you can only put 2 + 2 together and discuss it critically, then this may make sense.

    First, there is more natural respiration and carbon sources in nature than just Fungi. What about animals and plants?

    Forgot them and their respiration?

    Because, there is not only mushroms in the natutral biosphere, worldwide.

    Then, if we look at the Keeling- curve in detail and examine its sawtooth- form, we see that annual maximum 4- 5 years ago becomes annual minimum today, and this has gone on for a while, and curves steadily upwards, faster and faster.

    This tells us of the fameous imbalance. 20-25% consequent imbalance and accelerating.

    There is 1/5 to 1/4 excess CO2 each year, that matches quite well with James Charles` given numbers “fungi 55 Gigaton and Human fossile fueling 10 Gigaton per year!”

    So what is the problem and the dispute?

    A major problem and dispute in our days seems rather to be that some people seem not able and aquainted or even willing to put Data and numbers and information together on comprehensible and computable form.

  12. 12
    Richard the Weaver says:

    Nigel: but you clearly cannot feed the world adequately with low yield crops.

    RtW: it’s not clear to me.

    My tomatoes are starting to come in. I think I’ll hand out little bags of cherry tomatoes to riders when I Lyft.

    It’s amazing how many people will be able to snack from a concentrated dry land raised bed garden with water storage. My water pit is full. I used a utility pump and a hose to water yesterday. Next I’ll build an irrigation array out of old 3/4″ pvc pipe so I can ditch the hose.

    Or they could have me stop at a convenience store so they can grab a beef stick.

    There’s plenty of land and water to feed folks food. But if one’s goal is profit, addicting people to semi-toxic sortafood works best. The above-mentioned beef stick took how many times more resources to produce than the cherry tomatoes?

    Where’s that Nanny State when ya need her? :-)

  13. 13
    Richard the Weaver says:

    My garden is about 10’x30′ and to the north of a 6′ chain link fence. Next to the fence is a narrow 2’deep raised bed. This enables climbing stuff, like cukes.

    Next is the path. And then a 5′ wide 2′ deep raised bed.

    The rainwater collection system is 3 tarps held on the ground by bags of compost from Omaha’s composting system ($1.25/ cubic foot bag in lots of 100). A fourth tarp covers a 5’x16′ boat trailer that someone turned into a work trailer with plywood sides. I cleaned it out and am using it for storage while feeding its runoff to the water pit.

    One of the indigenous plants in my field is a highly invasive vine with purplish white flowers. It will take root in the compost and cover the tarps, protecting them while hiding the tarps behind flowers.

    The collected water flows into a 5’x8’x3′ deep pit with a pond liner. A Foamular foam board floats on the water and a tarp covers the pit to eliminate evaporation and UV damage to the pit’s pond liner.

    I’ll water every third day unless there’s been rain. The water pit is pretty big, but I’m still a tad nervous about running out of water. Eh, I carried water up until yesterday and I can do it again.

  14. 14
    Richard the Weaver says:

    Michael Sweet,

    Accusing someone of dishonesty is serious. I think you are using parsing instead of conversing with regard to plutonium bombs from civilian nukes.

    EP provided a sound bite that didn’t include any caveats. Now, everyone of better-than-average intelligence and education knows that caveats always exist, so those with good intentions ask for clarification.

    Note that EP responded as if you had acted reasonably, giving logic that described why such a scheme would be doomed to discovery (like election fraud) and, if not discovered, unlikely to produce a functioning nuke. He showed why no nefarious state would try to thread that needle.

    Well done, EP.

    But MS, you just kept harping about how election fraud is possible.

    Whatever, dude. And black widow spiders could crawl into every GOPper’s bed tonight and bite him on the ****.

    Not-gonna-happen hypotheticals that rely on suicidal decisions by tiny ‘nefarious’ foes are eyeroll inducing. Small actors avoid biting bigger actors because even if the little guy delivers a mortal blow to the big guy’s ego he’s still getting smushed.

  15. 15
    michael Sweet says:

    Engineer poet:

    The quote you are supporting was from DBBenson at 401 in the last forced response thread. It was :

    “But for all readers, a power reactor cannot be used to make weapons plutonium.” my emphasis.

    You now claim that weapons plutonium can be made in any power reactor but international observers would catch them. Do you think the dictators of North Korea, Iraq and other countries that want to become nuclear powers care if they are observed obtaining plutonium?

    Your continued support of a deliberately false statement only makes you look like a compulsive liar. Why should I believe anything you say when you continue to support a claim that you have admitted is false?

    Dbbenson: You need to retract your deliberately false statement that power reactors cannot be used to make weapons grade plutonium. Your supporter, Engineer Poet, has conceded that power reactors can produce weapons grade plutonium with minor adjustments to the running cycle, as I pointed out at post 424 long ago.

    Why do nuclear supporters waste everyone else’s time by arguing forever about claims that they know are false? To me, this shows that their arguments against renewable energy are not made in good faith.

  16. 16
    Richard the Weaver says:

    Mike:“Regenerative fields had 29% lower grain production but 78% higher profits over traditional corn production systems”… …“I think the studies like the one cited above suggest that a farmer can commit to regenerative agriculture and increase their profits even though yields may fall.”

    RtW: That points towards a better definition for ‘yield’. Yep, in any given year a region would maximize bushels by going industrial, but real yield includes the expected change in yield for future years. Much of a regenerative system’s ‘yield’ is in soil building. If ya only count this year’s bushels you’ll degrade next year’s and every subsequent year.

    Yuck, eh?

    Oh yeah, and your field will be spewing carbon instead of sequestering it.

  17. 17
    Reality Check says:

    #3

    To me the pertinent issue would be how well do food production modes and methodologies cope under the changed soil and climate conditions circa 2030, 2040, 2050 and beyond.

    iow whatever the studied yields were recently and in the past may not be (likely will not be) repeatable in the future. But I’ll leave that for the trained experts to work out.

  18. 18
    Reality Check says:

    Interesting long read summary of 60 years of mistakes and excuses and white-anting.

    60 years of climate change warnings: the signs that were missed (and ignored)

    This is an edited extract from Our Biggest Experiment: An Epic History of the Climate Crisis by Alice Bell,
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/jul/05/sixty-years-of-climate-change-warnings-the-signs-that-were-missed-and-ignored

    At least we’re consistent as a species?

    extract ….
    We are now living our ancestors’ nightmares, and it didn’t have to be this way. If we are looking to apportion blame, it is those who deliberately peddled doubt that should be first in line. But it is also worth looking at the cultures of scientific work that have developed over centuries, some of which could do with an update. The doubt-mongers manipulated positive forces in science – such as scepticism – for their own ends, but they also made use of other resources, exacerbating generational divides, exploiting the scientific community’s tendency to avoid drama, and steering notions about who were legitimate political partners (eg governments) and who were not (activists).

    Scientists working on climate change have been put in an incredibly difficult position. They should have been given time, expert support and a decent budget to think about the multiple challenges and transformations that happen when you take a contentious bit of science out of the scientific community and put it in the public sphere. They should have been given that support from government, but they also needed the gatekeepers within the scientific community to help them, too. And yet, if anything, many of these scientists have been ridiculed by their colleagues for speaking to media or – perish the thought – showing emotion.

    As citizens of the 21st century, we have inherited an almighty mess, but we have also inherited a lot of tools that could help us and others survive. A star among these tools – sparkling alongside solar panels, heat pumps, policy systems and activist groups – is modern climate science.

    When climate fear starts to grip, it is worth remembering that we have knowledge that offers us a chance to act. We could, all too easily, be sitting around thinking: “The weather’s a bit weird today. Again.”

  19. 19

    @5:

    I think a reasonable person who was worried about food shortages should look at how many more humans could be fed if diets changed and meat was removed from most meals.

    Don’t be so sure.  There’s lots of land that can grow grass, but isn’t suitable for cultivation.  There are also lots of inedible crop by-products which ruminants can digest and turn into food, either meat or milk.

    Back almost 50 years ago I read a piece about an experiment in feeding cattle a mixture of reclaimed newsprint and urea (to provide fixed nitrogen).  It worked.

  20. 20

    @15:

    Your supporter, Engineer Poet, has conceded that power reactors can produce weapons grade plutonium with minor adjustments to the running cycle

    Try “major disruptions to the operating cycle, and heavy impacts on many plant systems.”

    There’s a reason that ALL reactors used for mass production of weapons-grade Pu were graphite-moderated and designed for refueling on-line.  That includes the Hanford N reactor and the Windscale reactor.  PWRs are unfit for that purpose; even the RBMK is graphite-moderated.

  21. 21
    Mike says:

    at RtW at 16 and 17: quite right. A narrow view of yield should be a concern with a study like the one I cited earlier. The narrow definition of yield shows a decrease in productivity and could create concern for global nutrition if a person hangs on the narrow view and doesn’t understand the larger and longer context.

    At EP: I agree with you on the question of biofuels as regards global nutrition. As to the meat question at 19, I generally disagree with you. There may be regenerative agricultural schemes that incorporate grazing animals (goats, sheep, etc) and chickens and make good use of these animals, but I think it is generally true that meat production as a staple of human diet (beef and pork) are generally a pretty bad idea and are net losers on calories available to our species. There is also the moral matter that arises for some of us who are squeamish about eating other sentient beings.

    links re meat:

    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/11/how-a-new-approach-to-meat-can-help-end-hunger/

    http://www.earthoria.com/global-hunger-the-more-meat-we-eat-the-fewer-people-we-can-feed.html

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8172108/

    I think the question of meat production as a significant part of the equation that drives global hunger is settled.

    Others who posted about the yield question and global hunger: yes, thanks. I got it now, I think.

    Cheers

    Mike

  22. 22
    Piotr says:

    Michael Sweet @15:[to DBBenson]: “ Your supporter, Engineer Poet, has conceded that power reactors can produce weapons grade plutonium with minor adjustments to the running cycle

    EP(20): Try “major disruptions to the operating cycle, and heavy impacts on many plant systems.”

    IRRELAVANT to the bold claim of your supportee, David B. Benson, this discussion is about. MSweet stated that explicitly in that part of (15) that was directed to you:

    The quote you are supporting was from DBBenson at 401 in the last forced response thread. It was: “But for all readers, a power reactor cannot be used to make weapons plutonium.”

    The ONLY way do DEFEND such a paternalistic ABSOLUTE claim (“cannot“) is to SHOW that a power reactor CANNOT be used to make weapons plutonium.

    Yours: “major disruptions to the operating cycle, and heavy impacts on many plant systems.” such a proof is not. But in the absence of your clear statement that discussed here claim by DBB is WRONG – it seems like an attempt
    to split the hair in a tangential exchange, thus DISTRACTING from the MASSIVE blunder by your protegee.

    MSweet tried to tell you in (15), but for some reason you haven’t answered that part of (15) directed specifically to you. So let me try. How about:

    Do you, Engineer “Fast Neutron” Poet, take this, David. B. “Actinide” Benson, to be … a full of himself ignoramus, when he paternalistically lectured … everybody:
    for all readers, a power reactor CANNOT be used to make weapons plutonium.” D.B. Benson [emphasis mine, P.]

    And that you agree with everybody in this thread who was trying to tell DBBenson that it was a LIE?

  23. 23
    Piotr says:

    Scott E Strough (8) “Yes I can elaborate”

    I didn’t mean elaboration on soil horizons (these I can find in a textbook), but meant answers to my specific questions about your original claim:

    you (540): “The more carbon in the soil in the form of humus both labile and especially stable, the greater the potential yields.

    me (545): “could you elaborate? To be more specific:
    If the plants USED the dead matter directly or indirectly for their growth, then the higher crops would come at the price of reduced C storage in the soil (which would be a problem in this group).
    Or do you mean some form of a biological catalysis in which the very presence of soil carbon in the soil helps the plant grow better without that soil carbon actually being used up? If the latter – what is the physiological or geochemical nature of such catalysis?”
    ==== end of quote ===================

    In your subsequent elaboration on soil horizons I don’t see explicit answers to these specific questions. So maybe let’s step back – your statement “The more carbon in the soil the greater the potential yields” implies that we can have higher yields AND higher C storage. But _if_ plants grow better because they USE dead org.C, then wouldn’t higher yields come at the price of LOWER C storage?

    Alternatively, if dead C wasn’t NOT used by plants, but was mere a catalyst for a better growth ( a catalyst accelerates a reaction, but is not being used up in it)
    – then how would such catalysis would work?

  24. 24

    #8, Scott S.–

    Thanks for your “elaboration.” I’ve got a file of related posts, links & info going back to 2017; this is a good addition/update.

    Appreciated!

  25. 25

    @22:

    And that you agree with everybody in this thread who was trying to tell DBBenson that it was a LIE?

    No, he was telling the truth as he knew it, and in the general case he’s correct.  He just hadn’t considered some outliers among the possibilities.  You’d have to have some pretty darn clever people to take ADVANTAGE of those outliers, and the opportunities wouldn’t amount to much in the way of weapons materials, but as a way to e.g. acquire the fissiles for a nuclear deterrent it seems within the realm of possibility.

    Further, it’s likely that not even Japan could get away with it twice.

  26. 26
    Paul Dietz says:

    To what extent can methane removal from the atmosphere be accelerated? Methane will react with chlorine radicals; can we inject many megatons of Cl2 over the oceans without too much getting to the stratosphere or causing too much damage to the biosphere?

    [Response: There is no way in h*ll that this makes any sense when compared to simply stopping methane emission into the atmosphere in the first place – which actually saves money. It’s a waste of time discussing it. – gavin]

  27. 27
    David B. Benson says:

    Piotr @22 — As already pointed out, the one attempt to use a power reactor to make weapons plutonium resulted in a fissle of a non-bomb.

  28. 28
    Killian says:

    26 Paul Dietz says:
    5 Jul 2021 at 5:53 PM

    To what extent can methane removal from the atmosphere be accelerated? Methane will react with chlorine radicals; can we inject many megatons of Cl2 over the oceans without too much getting to the stratosphere or causing too much damage to the biosphere?

    [Response: There is no way in h*ll that this makes any sense when compared to simply stopping methane emission into the atmosphere in the first place – which actually saves money. It’s a waste of time discussing it. – gavin]

    Agreeing with Gavin here. (That doesn’t happen too often!) When one can choose to just stop, weird-ass tech is a massive mistake. The same applies to all aspects of this Perfect Storm of (Ever More Likely)Potential Extinction.

  29. 29
    Piotr says:

    RtW(16): “That points towards a better definition for ‘yield’. Yep, in any given year a region would maximize bushels by going industrial, but real yield includes the expected change in yield for future years

    We have discussed the yield in a very specific context – will there be enough food to feed the existing population, if over the next 2-3 decades we moved to the simplicity, i.e. dropped the yields 30% below today’s level. You can’t feed people today with promises about the food production in the future.

    Particularly, if you don’t know how to calculate these “real yields” – you don’t even know whether they would make up for the current 30% drop.

  30. 30
    Killian says:

    8 Scott E Strough says:
    3 Jul 2021 at 12:02 AM

    I can also tell you that it was considered “impossible” for agriculture to create a mollic epipedon where it had not existed before, but several regenerative farmers are doing just that very thing, and rapidly too.

    The important part to understand though is that certain things like genetics will improve yields per acre in regenerative organic even more so than it did in “green revolution” methods.

    These can’t be true because nigelKIA.

    ;-/

    As for building deep soils, there are just too many obvious proofs this is bullshit and we never needed any scientists to say so. Glad they finally are because, well, nigelKIA’s ilk can’t believe honest people doing good work.

    Terra Preta.

    Done. But there are others.

    Whether scientists want to accept it or not. Again, obvious. Grow a plant with a deep root structure, build deep soil quality. Simple, obvious, and long known.

  31. 31
    Killian says:

    8 Scott E Strough says:
    3 Jul 2021 at 12:02 AM

    Great overview. Thanks.

    When we add things like bio-char, heavy mulching, compost, etc., it should be obvious to any who take ten seconds to understand how powerful soils can be.

    Have you read BURN yet?

  32. 32
    Killian says:

    9 Engineer-Poet says:
    3 Jul 2021 at 6:06 AM

    In the USA, at least, this could be offset by slashing the diversion of foodstuffs to “biofuels”. The sales of genetically-modified seed tailored for yeast digestibility would suffer, but nothing of actual value would be lost.

    Our biofuels should come from things that are NOT food,

    An extremely rare event: Reading *and* agreeing with a comment from E-P. And this is just one more reason food production simply isn’t an issue WRT regenerative farming. Even if nigelKIA’s idiotic refusal to accept reality represented the truth, given that we WASTE 30% of food, WASTE food as energy feedstock, WASTE food as animal feed and can feed up to 12 billion, but are expecting to peak at 9 to 10 billion, this simply isn’t an issue. There is a HUGE margin for error.

    Regenerative is dangerous? NigelKIA’s self-inflicted, intransigent, bullshit ignorance is the danger.

  33. 33
    nigelj says:

    Mike @4,

    Mike: “I think it is completely unlikely that all agriculture is going to switch from high chemical to regenerative and create the food shortages that you appear to be concerned about.”

    Nigelj: There could still be food shortages. Replace for example half of industrial farms with regenerative farms of lower yields, and total global crop yields fall. But I’m optimistic clever solutions will be found to help mitigate regenerative agriculture yield and productivity issues. I just get annoyed with exaggerated claims about what new farming systems can already achieve. Hype in all things annoys me like an itch. Show me citations (which you did with that peer reviewed study)

    Mike: “I think that global hunger is generally associated with poverty more than shifts to regenerative agriculture. you can read more about that here:”

    Nigel j: Yes, many things contribute to global hunger, but that doesn’t mean issues with regenerative agriculture can be ignored just because they may be the lesser factor. By analogy small countries shouldn’t ignore their emissions just because they contribute less than large countries. I’m sure you would agree.

    ———————————————–

    Mike @5

    nigelj: “Farmers may benefit from greater profitability, and become millionaires, but you clearly cannot feed the world adequately with low yield crops.”

    Mike: “This sentence just seems silly to me. Farmers operate on a very tight margin. Your concern about regenerative farmer millionaires seems preposterous to me.”

    Nigelj: My understanding is America has quite a few millionaire farmers already. You are American right? I double checked:

    https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-economy/farm-household-well-being/income-and-wealth-in-context/

    “Farm operator households have more wealth than the average U.S. household because significant capital assets, like farmland and equipment, are generally necessary to operate a successful farm business. In 2019, the average U.S. farm household had $1,042,855 in wealth”

    Nigelj: If regenerative farming is very profitable why would it be any different? But that’s ok anyway its good that it would be profitable. My main point was about yields and productivity.

    Mike: “I think a reasonable person who was worried about food shortages should look at how many more humans could be fed if diets changed and meat was removed from most meals.”

    Yes, if diets changed this would help mitigate lower yields but we aren’t certain how much. And its a big “if” such things will change. And remember population is also growing, and land is a finite resource so yields and productivity will remain critical issues.

  34. 34
    nigelj says:

    Killian @6,

    K: “I’m tired of your ignorance, bias and bullshit. Guess what? Corn monocultures ARE NOT REGENERATIVE FARMING.”

    Nigelj: Don’t shoot the messenger. I didn’t write the peer reviewed study saying they were. It appears people have different ideas of what regenerative agriculture is.

    K: “A regenerative field would be growing multiple crops in the same field, this having HIGHER productivity. ”

    Nigelj: How much higher? Please provide some sort of objective study prefereably a citation. Remember you are limited by nutrients in the soil and area. And how practical would it be to try to grow wheat or rice mixed in with other crops?

    K: “Chem ag reduces nutrient value by 40-60%.”

    Nigelj: Big claims. Peer reviewed citations please.

    K: “You are dangerously, intentionally full of bullshit.”

    Nigelj: Anyone else see the huge irony in this statement?

    ——————————————-

    Richard the Weaver @12

    Nigel: “but you clearly cannot feed the world adequately with low yield crops.”

    RtW: “it’s not clear to me.”

    Nigelj: “Let me rephrase: “but you clearly cannot feed the world adequately with low yield crops, left unsaid but obvious was ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL.”

    Yes your idea sounds nice, but this sort of thing at commercial scale looks like it adds complexity and costs. Wise old saying: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

  35. 35
    Killian says:

    Re 21 Mike:

    You said, I think the question of meat production as a significant part of the equation that drives global hunger is settled.

    Let me fix that for you: I think the question of absolutely stupid, totally fucked up, absolutely unsustainable, soil- and planet-destroying meat production as a significant part of the equation that drives global hunger is settled.

    To which I reply, duh! This is why everyone is against it that has half a brain cell functioning.

    You linked the below. Let me fix that for you, too:

    Abstract

    The topic of vegetarian nutrition can be approached from several angles, perhaps one of the most important being the impact that absolutely stupid, totally fucked up, absolutely unsustainable, soil- and planet-destroying meat production is having on the under-developed world, where ancient rain forests are being cleared to provide land for cattle grazing. Debt-burdened countries are turning over agricultural land to raise cattle and grains for feeding the cattle. These practices have resulted in less available land for the production of food, global warming because of the practices used for deforestation, exhaustion of the world’s water supply, and other adverse effects on the health of the world. The consumption of meat for food is taking a toll on the consumer and the health of the world’s poorest people. It is also contributing to an expanding need for foreign aid and growing world hunger.

    And may I point out the work of Via Campesina to empower “peasants” and claim land for their simple living is the single best answer to this.

    And you said, There may be regenerative agricultural schemes that incorporate grazing animals (goats, sheep, etc) and chickens and make good use of these animals, but I think it is generally true that meat production as a staple of human diet (beef and pork) are generally a pretty bad idea and are net losers on calories available to our species.

    Again, you are wrong. Regenerative systems do not have any of the negatives of industrial meat consumption. There are very simple facts that make vegan beliefs just stupid. Note I did not say vegan behaviors, but beliefs – the crap vegans try to guilt others with while deeply ensconced in their own denial and ignorance.

    Please, feel free to tell all the cultures *dependent* on animal proteins to go suicide themselves, eh? The Coast Salish, for example: “For thousands of years, long before colonization, Coast Salish people have depended on salmon as a staple food source as well as sources for wealth and trade. Salmon is deeply embedded in their culture, identity, and existence as First Nations people of Canada.” – Wiki

    You also said, There is also the moral matter that arises for some of us who are squeamish about eating other sentient beings.

    No, this is not “an issue,” it’s *your* issue. it is a private preference with no valid applicability at the policy level, just as your sexuality and religious beliefs should be private, so too, should your food preferences. Why should anyone else be pushed to eat like you because of your issues? Policy should be set on universalities. If you want to do vegan, do so. Telling others (you call it a moral issue) they should or must is a violation of their human rights, is immoral and unethical. You would, in doing so, condemn entire cultures/societies. Activist veganism is genocidal. You should not raise this issue as a “human” or “climate change” issue, but only locally WRT securing your food supply for yourself.

    Then there’s the FACT much of humanity would eventually die off due to B12 deficiency without the *unsustainable* production of industrial B12, and that current small production would have to be ramped up massively for a vegan world. This is the very definition of a Pyrrhic victory: Destroy the planet to save it.
    Or, perhaps human rights, cultural identity, cultural norms, etc., of others are of no concern to you…?

  36. 36
    Piotr says:

    DB Benson (401) “ Piotr @395 — Reading about the NuScale module will help relieve your current state of ignorance. But for all readers, a power reactor cannot be used to make weapons plutonium.

    Piotr(479,481,502,524):
    A new generation of nuclear power facilities that China is developing could produce large amounts of plutonium that could be used to make nuclear weapons, Navy Admiral Charles Richard, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command ​warned lawmakers this week.

    In view of the above, I asked DBBenson’s defender, E. Poet: ​”[Do] you agree with everybody in this thread who was trying to tell DBBenson that it was a LIE?

    E. Poet:25) “No, he was telling the truth as he knew it, c

    Well, this will certainly make the future discussions on RC so much more …civilized. I can already see refined discussions where people … avoid words that may hurt other people, say:

    To Piotr — reading about arithmetics will help relieve your current state of ignorance. But for all readers, an expression “3x” CANNOT be “>2”

    – Piotr: “ That’s an arrogant lie. For x=1, 3x > 2.

    – “ No, he didn’t lie, he was telling … the truth as he knew it. And in general sense, he’s correct”

    And wasn’t it YOU, who have just accused others of using “ weasel words“? (c) (E-P 533)

    Well, my dear Poet – the above suggests that weasels, nor Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, have nothing on you.

  37. 37
    Piotr says:

    David B. Benson (27) “As already pointed out, the one attempt to use a power reactor to make weapons plutonium resulted in a fissle of a non-bomb

    ABSOLUTE claim: “cannot” – implies physical/technological IMPOSSIBILITY. PARTICULARLY, when it is wrapped in the condescending lecturing of others:

    DB Benson (401) “ Piotr @395 — Reading about the NuScale module will help relieve your current state of ignorance. But for all readers, a power reactor cannot be used to make weapons plutonium.

    To falsify an ABSOLUTE claim it is enough to show even a theoretical possibility. Hence one of the counterexamples:

    Piotr(479,481,502,524)
    Reuters: “A new generation of nuclear power facilities that China is developing could produce large amounts of plutonium that could be used to make nuclear weapons, Navy Admiral Charles Richard, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command ​warned lawmakers this week.

    “With a fast breeder reactor, you now have a very large source of weapons grade plutonium available to you, that will change the upper bounds of what China could choose to do if they wanted to, in terms of further expansion of their nuclear capabilities”

    “There is no evidence that China intends to divert its potential plutonium stockpile to weapons use, but concern has grown as Beijing is expected to at least double its number of nuclear warheads over the next decade from the low 200s.”
    ===

    Apparently, U.S. Strategic Command did not have the benefit of being lectured by our DBB:

    Piotr @395 — Reading about the NuScale module will help relieve your current state of ignorance. But for all readers, a power reactor cannot be used to make weapons plutonium.” – David B. Benson

    Ever heard Matthew 7:5 about imagining a straw in the eye of the other, and missing a nuclear rod in your own?

  38. 38

    @26:

    [Response: There is no way in h*ll that this makes any sense when compared to simply stopping methane emission into the atmosphere in the first place – which actually saves money. It’s a waste of time discussing it. – gavin]

    You’ve got THAT right, Gavin.  And thank you.

  39. 39
    Richard the Weaver says:

    BPL: They managed to build a bomb anyway.

    RtW: Yep. ‘Good’ thing research reactors exist. Per a Google search, “The plutonium for India’s nuclear arsenal is obtained from the 100 MWt research reactor, Dhruva, which began operations in 1988. [4] Another 40 MWt CIRUS reactor produced about 4 to 7 kg of weapons-grade plutonium annually until it was decommissioned in 2010”

  40. 40
    Richard the Weaver says:

    Mike: but I think it is generally true that meat production as a staple of human diet (beef and pork) are generally a pretty bad idea and are net losers on calories available to our species.

    RtW: Sure. Meat is a treat, a flavoring, and a way to consume waste products, utilize the marginal land, and control pests.

    Some folks react to ‘We’re doing it both way too much and wrong’ with, “Let’s not do it at all”. I prefer to fix the problem. Perhaps tax the heck out of food grown to feed livestock? Water is an issue, too.

    The torturing of livestock ought to be banned. Another Nanny State issue because personal choices in real time don’t generally align with desires about stuff so far away…

    Yep, I’d rather that livestock be ethically raised. But yep, back when I ate significant quantities of land animal I’d grab the tortured meat instead of paying double or triple for the sinless steak.

    So, if expensive but responsible was the only choice a shopper had then people’s diets would start skewing away from meat.

    It isn’t ‘meat’. It’s the bargain basement prices of industrial agriculture.

  41. 41
    Richard the Weaver says:

    Piotr,

    Healthy soils make for happy roots. Such soils hold lots of water so roots don’t go through flood and drought cycles as badly. They hold onto air so roots have access to oxygen. They are soft so roots (and water!) can penetrate easily. They host lots of fungi and bacteria, making for a ‘diverse family’. Ongoing research is diving into how each member of the family communicates and supports other members.

    Killian spoke about having perennials in the same field as annuals. Without that, there’s no communication and interaction to speak of.

    Plants are ‘people’, too. Yep, prison will provide ya with all the chemicals needed to survive. So what? Why grow crops in a ‘plant prison’? Remember, you are what you eat.

  42. 42
    Carbomontanus says:

    Pjotr 23

    You are asking for, and discussing things that were cleared up fully (exept for the Nitrogen question), by Justus von Liebig 180 years ago .

    Namely The principle of plant nutricion solely by elementary and simple chemical molecules rather of “mineral”or “anorganic” kind, examples H2O CO2 NO3– SO4– Ca++ K+ Mg++ H3PO4,…

    ….and the Humus rather as a catalyst ” The plate upon which their dinner is served”, later explained as an ion- exchanger dependent on pH.

    There is your “Katalyst”

    This principle was eagerly fought in Liebigs days, but is largely accepted ever since.

    There are fameous exeptions, that you also can convince yourself of. Potatoes thrive especially well in fresh dung and urine, but allways mixed up with topsoil and humus. Other crops do not like that at all. So I guess that some plants preferre to take up Ammonium directly, instead of waiting for its bacterial oxidation into nitric acid and reaction further with clay and limestone.

    In any case, if you use NPK mineral fertillizer, then avoid the best youn can remooving “the weeds” as you can when using “manure”. Let it dry on the topsoil where it grew. And allways remember to add some crushed dolomite equivalent to your NPK fertillizer, depending on your type of soil. Ca++ and Mg++ and SO4– is also what they really like..

    Our experience is that common piss and especially chicken-dung plus sea-muzzles and crab-shells make wonders above that of NPK + Dolomite + Rubbish.. See that the soil- microfauna trives well in any case.

    Liebig, the inventor of mineral fertillizers, did say the same.

  43. 43
    Richard the Weaver says:

    EP: I read a piece about an experiment in feeding cattle a mixture of reclaimed newsprint and urea (to provide fixed nitrogen). It worked.

    RtW: so cows are termites, too? Which begs the question: how much methane was generated per T-bone?

  44. 44
    Scott E Strough says:

    @23 Piotr,

    I gave an answer elaborating both labile soil organic matter (used up in a process called mineralization and returning CO2 to the atmosphere) and Stable Soil Organic Carbon, which provides habitat (mollic epipedon) for the soil food web and plants and does not return to the atmosphere as CO2.

    Why specifically? Because the mollic epipedon has the ideal growing conditions, pore spaces that hold both air and water like a sponge, as well as nutrient storage, habitat for beneficial symbiotic organisms like AMF and others, etc…..

    I am not sure what you are missing here other than the inability to understand soil complexity. That’s ok though, because this is new stuff in general, despite the “text book” defining of soil horizons. We did that well over 100 years ago. The complexity is a far more involved study. You are not the only one not quite getting it. We all are striving to understand it better. If it was easy and simple, we would have figured that out 100 years ago too!

    Take that deeper dive into the links though (and the links from those links too). It should start making sense once you start seeing it as a whole complex system, rather than individual parts.

    But one simple tiny part you seem to be asking is if the labile carbon fraction can be used directly by plants? The answer is yes, plant roots can and do absorb certain organic compounds. Since they would then use these compounds, that would mean those types of organic compounds they use would be classified as labile, not stable. So “used up” as you say, but more properly described as recycled. However, this in no way depletes soil organic carbon, because plants send far more organic compounds into the soil as root exudates and decaying plant material than they absorb. Don’t forget plants are a net gain in all respects due to photosynthesis. Any organic compounds they take up for improved growth ultimately returns in even greater amounts from decay and symbiotic relationships while still growing. Assuming of course a healthy functioning soil food web.

  45. 45

    @3 Nigel,

    “This information proves my previous contention that regenerative agriculture would most likely have lower yields than industrial agriculture.”

    Don’t forget the old 1/2 empty 1/2 full perception issue. On another climate site I posted a link showing a long term study of a farm and how for 3 decades carbon content sequestered in the soil had steadily increased by around 10 tonnes CO2e/ha/yr, (yields showed steady consistent increases too over that same timeframe, as well as biodiversity increases, wildlife returning etc.)

    I think you might even have seen the thread, because you post there too. They took an abandoned farm and brought it back to life to the benefit of food production for us humans, and the benefit of the environment too! Yet because the yields were still 50%, there was the false claim that regenerative ag somehow would decrease the food supply? Really? Taking a degraded piece of land, and returning it to productivity decreases food supply? Isn’t the glass 1/2 full (and increasing at a steady rate) where it had been empty before? Rather than 1/2 empty?

    Regenerative ag increases food supply. Don’t be fooled by agriculture’s own merchants of doubt. If we instead did the same sort of long term study, it would confirm that good land also will gradually improve too! Yields always go up once soil health is restored on average using regenerative ag. Many regenerative farmers have proven it like Gabe Brown, Joel Salatin, and many others. Any that for whatever reason don’t, depends on other factors, like the farmer prefers growing a lower yielding heirloom/heritage instead. This is food by the way. Taste does matter. I grow many high yielding crops, but I also purposely grow some lower yielding varieties, because markets demand things like a better tasting tomato! There is no shortage of crap tasting tomatoes. So why grow twice as many, but no one wants them? These outside factors like quality are very real. Don’t take that to mean that poor soil, with chemical fertilizers and other inputs somehow out yields healthy naturally fertile soils. It simply is not true.

    If anything all the abandoned “farmed out” land caused by destructive agricultural practices should be included on the “green revolution’s” yield/acre stats! Just because it went down all the way to zero and cant be profitably farmed any longer, doesn’t mean it magically should be removed from yield stats! 0 is a yield! And it is time people realize uncleared new land can no longer be considered almost unlimited!

  46. 46
    michael Sweet says:

    EP@25:

    Nuclear power plants are refueled every 1.5-2 years. Carbon Brief today reports that climate change issues have caused unplanned shutdowns at nuclear plants to increase to 1.5 times per year world wide. Additional unplanned shutdowns are caused by radiation leaks, electrical problems, fires and other problems in the plant. Adding them all together, a plant that has a 50 year working life would shutdown over 100 times.

    At 530 in the last forced responses thread you stated that shutting down a nuclear plant would “(b) means heavy thermal cycling of the plant itself which risks problems like fatigue cracking.” If a single planned shutdown to produce weapons grade plutonium causes problems like fatigue cracking, how can a plant possibly be cycled over 100 times and still be safe to run!!! Another contradiction from nuclear supporters.

    Nuclear power is not economic. New designs are not yet approved and will not be commercially available until 2035 at least. Their designers have been promising cheap nuclear power for my entire life without delivering any. Renewable energy is the cheapest ever built on Earth.

  47. 47
    Piotr says:

    Yet another point on DBB(27): “ Piotr @22 — As already pointed out, the one attempt to use a power reactor to make weapons plutonium resulted in a fissle of a non-bomb.”
    where “the one attempt” implies that in the entire history of the nuclear power, THERE WAS ONLY ONE attempt to make plutonium AND that it was a failure.

    Whau, if that were true – the British would have to have the balls of steel, for they would have pulled a “Dirty Harry” on the rest of the world! – they nuclear deterrent would be … duds – missiles without much … weapon plutonium in them, since David B. Benson stated, in no uncertain terms, that:
    the one attempt to use a power reactor to make weapons plutonium resulted in a fissle of a non-bomb“. Bravo, Brits, for your hutzpah!

    Either that or ….somebody played a cruel, cruel, joke on our poor David, since a quick search on the Google finds e.g.: http://fissilematerials.org/countries/united_kingdom.html

    ” The main production site for UK military plutonium was the Sellafield complex, which hosted a total of six production reactors: the two Windscale Piles and the four Calder Hall reactors, and all reprocessing operations. The United Kingdom operated four additional dual-use reactors at Chapelcross. The first discharges of spent fuel from five nominally civilian Magnox reactors was also put towards the military stockpile. The Calder Hall reactors were used to produce military plutonium until 1989. The Chapelcross reactors were used to produce plutonium until 1964 and tritium thereafter. Both sets of reactors were dual-purpose, that is, they also produced electric power. [end of quote]

    the one attempt to use a power reactor to make weapons plutonium resulted in a fissle of a non-bomb“, eh????

    Whoever told you THAT, is not your FRIEND, David! Friends do not let friends lose all their credibility, when they condescendingly lecture opponents ASSUMING that what their “friend” told them was true.

  48. 48
    David B. Benson says:

    I will try anew: no single purpose nuclear power reactor has ever been used to produce weapons plutonium. Some dual-purpose reactors have, noticeably the N reactor at Hanford.

  49. 49

    @46:

    Nuclear power plants are refueled every 1.5-2 years. Carbon Brief today reports that climate change issues have caused unplanned shutdowns at nuclear plants to increase to 1.5 times per year world wide. Additional unplanned shutdowns are caused by radiation leaks, electrical problems, fires and other problems in the plant. Adding them all together, a plant that has a 50 year working life would shutdown over 100 times.

    Shutting down for a 1-month refueling after 2 months (max) of operation would mean at least 200 cycles over 50 years.

    As I’ve told you time and time again, reactors for weapons-materials production are designed to be refueled on-line.  They do not cycle.

    Renewable energy is the cheapest ever built on Earth.

    Only if you don’t count externalized costs, such as the cost of intermittency and the unavoidable carbon emissions associated with “balancing”.  The only truly cheap “renewable” is hydro, and the methane emissions from submerged vegetation are another externalized cost we haven’t accounted for either.

  50. 50
    Richard the Weaver says:

    Killian: can feed up to 12 billion, but are expecting to peak at 9 to 10 billion, this simply isn’t an issue. There is a HUGE margin for error.

    RtW: diversity of goals degrades your conclusion. If enough GOPpers with enough cash choose to “roll coal” wtf can all the liberal goody two shoes do about it?

    Your “margin of error” is somewhat less than the power wielded by way richer folks’ “minimal acceptable level of lib owning”.

    Go ahead. Pound sand while they roll coal.

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