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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.

421 Responses to “Forced Responses: July 2021”

  1. 51
    Piotr says:

    David B. Benson (48) “I will try anew: no single purpose nuclear power reactor has ever been used to produce weapons plutonium.

    So just for the record, when you were calling others ignorant, when you lectured everybody on this group:
    for all readers, a power reactor cannot be used to make weapons plutonium
    and: “As already pointed out, the one attempt to use a power reactor to make weapons plutonium resulted in a fissle of a non-bomb.

    you were … lying through your teeth? Or rather “telling the truth as you knew it“? (the Doubles-Speak translation courtesy of our Nuclear Poet).

    After this was shown to be a lie, and after your futile attempts to cling to it (by lying that it was tried ONLY ONCE and failed – see the quote at the top),
    you have narrowed the original universal claim … to the point of … irrelevancy:

    no single purpose nuclear power reactor has ever been used to produce weapons plutoniumlain”

    which says nothing, if the actual “purpose” is not locked in by the laws of physics, but decided by the buyer. In fact a lot of the nuclear proliferation happened under the guise of a “single [benign] purpose” (“power generation” or “research”).

  2. 52
    nigelj says:

    Scott E Strough @45

    Thanks for the info. Just for the sake of clarity I think the world SHOULD change over to regenerative farming. Yes as you point out it has multiple benefits. My complaint is some of the claims made about it look exaggerated, and not backed by proper studies, and this just really annoys me. I want to see proper citations.

    And it does look like it would have lower yields at least for some crops, so we might need to deal with that in clever ways as per my previous comments. We might even have to keep some selected elements of industrial agriculture. I’m not a purist. Compromise is sometimes the best solution. This is relevant from a couple of days ago:

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/125675312/nadia-lim-we-need-to-eat-quality-meat-to-ensure-a-sustainable-future

    You posted: “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….?”

    You appear to be arguing regenerative agriculture increases the food supply of the planet as a whole, or at least equals total yields of industrial agriculture, because it brings abandoned land back into useful production. Maybe. You would have to show that enough unused land can be bought back into useful enough production and at sensible enough costs, such that this offsets inherently lower yields of regenerative agriculture. Do the maths.

  3. 53

    Scott Strough, #85–

    There is no shortage of crap tasting tomatoes.

    Print it in bold, triple underline it, and make it a flashing GIF meme! Nor, while we’re at it, is there any shortage of crap tasting peaches, radishes, carrots, and more.

    Increasingly, we’re taking advantage of our location out here in rural South Carolina to eschew the crappy ones by going directly to the farms and market gardens. I can’t be sure how the math of the life cycle carbon works out, but there’s a lot to be said for supporting local enterprise, and our taste buds are much happier. I wouldn’t wonder if the nutrition is much superior, too.

    We’re not good gardeners, but do manage to grow our own fresh herbs–another win for the taste buds. And we compost everything (including all the junk mail) so that when the time comes to make garden beds we’ll have some decent soil to put in them. (What’s there naturally is mostly mineral sand, with an underlying layer of hardpan clay.)

  4. 54
    Richard the Weaver says:

    EP: There’s lots of land that can grow grass, but isn’t suitable for cultivation

    RtW: You mean ‘cultivation using traditional techniques’. Focusing on rainfall, a query:

    Is it better to concentrate rainfall, with supplemental water as needed, like I’m doing with my garden, or to water scrub-fed cows?

    Solar PV creates runoff. Scrubland farming needs irrigation.

  5. 55
    Killian says:

    **Cross-posting from UV bc appropriate to both.**

    New research applies proper accounting to the food industry and highlights the absolutely massive effect it has on climate. Climate scientists will need to update their models and have to get serious about analyzing legit regenerative practices and incorporating those onto models, too.

    By shifting to truly regenerative practices – not the semi-regenerative crap that is getting all the attention – we could reduce emissions by 1/3 within the five years or so it typically takes to go from chem ag to fully regenerative. Even better? The effect would be multiplied by the *fact* regenerative systems sequester carbon, and fully regenerative systems can sequester carbon at 1%/year in the SOCs. Go regenerative, and I am speaking only of farming, not shifting lifestyles to regenerative, and we’re looking at a 50%-ish reduction in emissions between reductions and sequestration.

    Hate to say I told ya so, except I don’t. Had people been listening the last 13 years, the world would *already* be halfway to NetZero.

    Their paper, recently published in Environmental Research Letters, found that the global food system was responsible for 16 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, or a third of all global emissions that year. This is a sharp contrast to the more narrowly defined agriculture sector of the IPCC’s categories for greenhouse gas inventories, which accounted for 5.3 billion metric tons in 2018, or just a tenth of the total.

    https://civileats.com/2021/06/30/the-food-systems-carbon-footprint-has-been-vastly-underestimated/

  6. 56
    Richard the Weaver says:

    On concentrated dry land farming:

    Waste plastic is one of our nearly unlimited renewable resources.

    Bulldoze what little topsoil a scrubland’s high points have into its low points.
    Fill a hopper with waste plastic.
    Heat.
    When whatever type of plastic melts start spraying the denuded high points. Increase the heat as needed to maintain the flow. You don’t care what type of plastic is currently melting and being sprayed. You only care about making the high points more or less impermeable. Cracks and flaws are just fine. 90% water collection is good enough.

    Hey EP. What is the water requirement for a calorie of range-fed beef vs what’s required to irrigate the same land for direct-to-people food?

    The more I think about it (so far) the more the ‘not suitable for anything but growing red meat’ argument feels self-serving.

    Which sounds yummy. Serve me up a T-bone. After all, my one little (OK huge) T-bone won’t significantly affect things…

  7. 57
    Killian says:

    53 Kevin McKinney says:
    7 Jul 2021 at 6:34 PM

    Scott Strough, #85–

    There is no shortage of crap tasting tomatoes.

    Print it in bold, triple underline it, and make it a flashing GIF meme! Nor, while we’re at it, is there any shortage of crap tasting peaches, radishes, carrots, and more.

    …there’s a lot to be said for supporting local enterprise, and our taste buds are much happier. I wouldn’t wonder if the nutrition is much superior, too.

    This is not a question if they are using anything from organic to fully regenerative: There is a 40 to 60% gain in nutrition. This fact has been cited as one avenue to reduce obesity as people need less volume with higher nutrition in their food, so are triggered to eat less. (Which also helps address doofus’ idiocy about feeding everyone.)

    We’re not good gardeners, but do manage to grow our own fresh herbs–another win for the taste buds.

    Fresh, alone, will do that, but if you’re growing in healthy soils, see above.

    I had no idea how good tomatoes could taste till I had my garden in Detroit. The yard had long ago been a garden, and on top of that had been fallow for about ten years. I flipped the grass, heavily mulched and composted and grew the best-tasting food I have ever eaten. I had cherry tomatoes that tasted like candy they were so sweet. I had sunflowers 12 ft. high (they were Mammoth Grey Stripe, though), various brassicas and greens that were almost too strong-tasting to eat. I got red and white potatoes that were well over a pound.

    And we compost everything (including all the junk mail) so that when the time comes to make garden beds we’ll have some decent soil to put in them.

    (What’s there naturally is mostly mineral sand, with an underlying layer of hardpan clay.)

    There is no reason to wait. That clay is extremely rich in nutrients. Start mulching TODAY. Depending on available materials, you can either import or grow your own “green manures” that will BECOME your soil. If your throughput on compost is small, then start with a small area, get it well-composted, and then the next. One square foot, one square meter, it will add up over time.

    You can start broadcasting seed and letting what will grow grow. That 1. tells you what your soil *will* grow without the expense of testing, 2. will start the process of adding SOC as the green manures grow, die and add SOC at all levels and act as mulch. You can really ramp this up if you wish by doing something like Fukuoka’s rotation, but just with green manures. Seed clover, let it grow, cut it, let it grow. Cutting kills off roots and thus leaves nitrogen released to be acted on by soil biota. Then let it go to seed as you seed a mix of shallow-, mid-depth-, and deep-rooted green manures. Let them grow, then mow them down at maturity or let them die off. Better to mow or crush them down (roll them) to speed up the process. Then clover again. You seed each rotation as the previous rotation is ending/mowed so you always have something growing.

    This is a very passive, almost-no-effort way to build your soils. Doing this will give you very nice soils within five years with almost no effort.

    Look into sheet mulching as a starter step. Look into green manure mixes that fit your climate.

    By keeping that soil covered, adding SOC and getting more and more water to naturally infiltrate and STAY, that hard pan becomes a massive source of nutrients and a water reservoir as clay hold a huge amount of water. (I can’t remember the number of liters per 1% of carbon per square meter, but Strough probably will have that off the top of his head, but to repeat, it’s HUGE.)

    https://www.johnnyseeds.com/farm-seed/?prefn1=prod_feature_use&prefv1=76&fsmmftrdlst

    I would recommend a mix with mixed root depths, but to start you can’t go wrong with a clover to give you nitrogen, a regenerative lawn until ready for that garden, and no need to mow except to aid speed of soil building.

  8. 58
    Richard the Weaver says:

    Piotr: So just for the record, when you were calling others ignorant, when you lectured everybody on this group:
    “for all readers, a power reactor cannot be used to

    RtW: So, just for the record, you don’t give a shit about real practicalities. You ONLY want to pound people over the head about how their introduction to a subject was technically imprecise.

    Gonna clue you in:

    You’re being a shithead (though my mind has melded you and ms so I’m putting a pin in this), and given human nature, NOBODY will admit they erred when approached in that fashion.

    DBB and EP disagree with you. Neither has said diddly that leads me to wonder whether they are lying on purpose (just to… what??).

    That’s a real question, Piotr. Explain EP and DSS’s motivation. Why did they deliberately hide the fact that a state actor with huge resources could commit suicide by embarking on a futile quest to drop a pencil through a table?

    After all, it IS possible. Ask any scientist.

  9. 59
    Killian says:

    BTW, if you currently have grass, it is worth the effort to turn that grass over – literally dig up under it with a flat shovel and turn a square at a time – and sheet mulch over it. Grass is actually high in nitrogen and you give yourself a very nice start on creating a humic layer for nothing more than the labor. OR, just cover the grass in situ. The former is faster and there is les trouble with the grass breaking through because almost all of it dies off from the barrier preventing growth and lack of sunlight.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wksGGlA_2IA

  10. 60
    Killian says:

    My complaint is some of the claims made about it look exaggerated, and not backed by proper studies, and this just really annoys me. I want to see proper citations.

    And you have been told for years the scientists have *not wanted to do the studies.* Rather than assume all regenerative farmers are lying assholes, put the blame where it belongs: Regenerative/TEK practices have been sneered at for decades by scientists.

    That’s why there are so few studies. So, rather than bleat your ignorance in a way that damages the ability of humanity to solve our carbon and ecosystem emergency, push scientists to pay fucking attention to what has been known for DECADES.

    I get really pissed at the breathless “discoveries” of scientists:

    Them: OMG, we can sequester so much carbon in soils!

    Me: Really, Sherlock? Yeah, we know. Have for a loooong time.

    Them: OMG, there’s as much life under the soil as above!

    Me: Really, Sherlock? Yeah, we know. Have for a loooong time.

    Them: OMG, microbes are sooooo important in the soil!

    Me: Really, Sherlock? Yeah, we know. Have for a loooong time.

    Them: OMG, mycorrhizae are massively central to soils!

    Me: Really, Sherlock? Yeah, we know. Have for a looong time.

    Them: OMG, adding SOC add so much water retention to the soils making plants much more resistant to drought, reduces flooding, improves the water cycle, and reduces temperatures!

    Me: Really, Sherlock? Yeah, we know. Have for a loooong time.

    Etc.

  11. 61
    David B. Benson says:

    Piotr — To help relieve your ignorance regarding design and purpose, contemplate
    https://artsandculture.google.com/story/aQVBEanLkGnCGQ
    until you understand what Breughal the Elder’s Tower of Babel teaches us in this regard.

  12. 62
    Killian says:

    50: Jesus…

    Bullshit lie: Regenerative is 30% less productive.

    Response: We can feed 30% more people than we are expected to have.

    You: But, rich people.

    OK, nigelKIA2. Dude, do better.

    Resident idiot anti-regenerative propagandist:

    You appear to be arguing regenerative agriculture increases the food supply of the planet as a whole, or at least equals total yields of industrial agriculture, because it brings abandoned land back into useful production.

    You have been given a significantly long list of items that would offset your bullshit 30% yield loss. Scott is adding one more, not stating it as the sole offset.

    Maybe.

    MAYBE? ANY regenerated land is a net positive. Every park can be a garden/food forest. Every yard, can be a garden/food forest – and there is as much lawn area in the US as corn crops. Every golf course, same. Every median strip. Those things alone offset your imaginary deficit and we haven’t gotten into recovering land – which is also very much underway already:

    I have posted about Greening the Desert.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W69kRsC_CgQ&t=87s

    I have posted about Green Gold – recovery of the entire effing Loess Plateau.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBLZmwlPa8A

    Ecosystem Restoration Camps
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W69kRsC_CgQ&tecosystem restoration camps=87s

    You would have to show that enough unused land can be bought back into useful enough production and at sensible enough costs, such that this offsets inherently lower yields of regenerative agriculture. Do the maths.

    Shut up, denier.

  13. 63
    Piotr says:

    Scott E Strough (45): “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….?

    Yes – because to even MAINTAIN the food supply at the current level with that 50% lower productivity – we would need to DOUBLE the cultivated land, when we already cultivate TOO much of the land, at the expense of the destruction of forests and other land ecosystems (to which Nigel already pointed out).

    So your “additional” food production comes at the price of forgoing the rewilding/reforestation and the associated ecological and carbon capture benefits that would have happened, if we left the land alone. And the newly growing forest
    would have been more effective in carbon capture than the already existing forests which are close to zero or a net source (so we need them not for capture, but for preventing the return of the already captured to the atmosphere).

    The argument about better taste, while valid, is not directly linked to the discussion at hand where we discuss whether there will be enough food to feed the 8bln or more. Hungry people cannot be choosers – so the only argument here would have been, if better tasting food was less prone to go to waste, which may be the case, the question is whether it is the ENOUGH to compensate the drops in productivity.

  14. 64
    Richard the Weaver says:

    Scott S: I am not sure what you are missing here other than the inability to understand soil complexity.

    RtW: God, yes. It is amazing how soil nuances override brute forced numbers. Yep, a human requires x elements in y proportion, but a comfy home is as or more important than math. In this context think of soil not as carbon sequestration or elements to harvest but as ‘home’. Everyone who has visited both a factory farm and a regenerative farm understands that industrial agriculture has a way to go before it can compete in any way except price.

  15. 65
    Richard the Weaver says:

    Piotr,
    To be clear, I am coming from a position of respect. Your biting analysis provides incredible value.

    I’m just saying what I’ve said about myself:

    When ya shoot from the hip sometimes you’ll hit your foot.

    No biggie.

  16. 66
    Piotr says:

    Scott E Strough (44) “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.

    Yes, this one simple tiny part – was the main thing I was asking. “Used-up” or “recycled” is in the context of AGW – for that only the NON-recycled part of organic matter, the stable one, that matters. So your claim of producing high yields AND increasing C storage – would be possible ONLY, if the uptake of labile C from the soil was MORE THAN COMPENSATED by the sufficiently increased deposition of the stable C.

    Maybe that’s the reason why the farm in your example in (45) had 50% lower productivity per ha – more of the C was left behind than in the traditional farming and enough of it in the stable form to accumulate over time ?

  17. 67
    Piotr says:

    Carbomontanus (42) “Piotr, you are asking for, and discussing things that were cleared up fully (exept for the Nitrogen question), by Justus von Liebig 180 years ago.

    Your stable C as a plate is a nice analogy, but what is a plate good for if there is nothing to serve on it? Justus von Liebig would have certainly told you 180 years ago about the Sprengel’s theory of the minimum… ;-)

    So where are you getting the nutrients on their plates to replace all those gone from the field last year in the form of the removed crops, in the bellies of the pests, washed out by rains, and N rendered unusable by denitrification?
    By definition, the nutrients don’t come from the “catalytic” (i.e. stable) part of dead organic matter, and those in labile org. if used – reduce C sequestration and without resupplies – will eventually run out.

    Yes, nitrogen could be fixed if you frequently grow legumes for green fertilizer, but when doing that you are not growing other crops. And legumes won’t help you with phosphorus and the rest. And if the yields increase over time – each year you would need more than simple replacement.

  18. 68
    nigelj says:

    Regarding the meat eating controversy.

    Read something in a science mag. where our ancestors ate plants and a few dead monkeys, so quite a low meat diet, until hunting developed and fire was discovered making meat easier to digest, and then meat eating increased to higher levels, although less than typical modern western diets. Some grasslands only suit cattle raising (as pointed out by EP) and they are good at sequestering soil carbon so some moderate level of meat eating looks natural and sustainable.

    But the modern high meat American style diet (typically about 200 g or more of meat per day) is leading to destruction of rainforests and all sorts of environmental problems with polluted rivers, methane emissions etc, etc. Intensive cattle farming makes the problems even worse. Cattle farming needs a lot of land to be done sustainably, but all that land use itself becomes unsustainable if it means destroying rain forests or not allowing enough crop farming.

    As I’ve said many times the ideal general solution to these problems is surely a LOW MEAT DIET, supplemented with some fish, dairy and beans for protein. The average sedentary male needs 55 grams protein daily. You can easily get this from a low meat diet of about 150 g meat per day (150 g meat a day has roughly about 30 g actual protein) and some protein from fish beans, dairy products, and vegetables to get you up to 55g protein. This is obviously just the general case. Older people need a bit more protein so maybe more meat. I looked into the numbers a few years ago.

    ————————-

    Richard @40

    “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.”

    Yes, but this really punishes low income people who can barely afford even so called cheap industrial meat. This meat definitely isn’t very cheap where I live. There are work arounds to the problem, but they get complicated. I just wonder if its going to have to be more of an education and awareness approach.

  19. 69

    @52 Nigel says: “Do the Maths.”

    I linked to a very pertinent resource that has done the math. So it appears you are the one that can’t “Do the Maths.” But if you want it spelled out better and more clearly:

    1)”Soil compaction is a worldwide problem, especially with the adoption of mechanized agriculture. It has caused yield reductions of 25 to 50% in some regions of Europe (Ericksson et al., 1974) and North America, and between 40 and 90% in West African countries (Charreau, 1972; Kayombo and Lal, 1994). In Ohio, reductions in crop yields are 25% in maize, 20% in soybeans, and 30% in oats over a seven-year period (Lal, 1996).”

    2)”An estimated 950 million ha of salt-affected lands occur in arid and semi-arid regions, nearly 33% of the potentially arable land area of the world.”

    3)”Table 1 shows that degraded lands in dry areas of the world amount to 3.6 billion ha or 70% of the total 5.2 billion ha of the total land areas considered in these regions.” (there are estimates as low as 1.9 billion or 37%)

    So tell me why taking degraded land and regenerating it to productivity, all of which is significantly more than supposed reductions in yield due to your source claiming , reduces the food supply again? Remember you said, “This information proves my previous contention that regenerative agriculture would most likely have lower yields than industrial agriculture.”

    Regenerative methods never yield only one crop like grain, and yet still only produce 29% less grain. We don’t know what the other yields were, because they simply omitted it. But the most typical regenerative models use animals and forages like cover crops. Whatever it was, they did not count any value in improved ecosystem function or multiple streams of production.

    Here is one example:
    https://www.permaculturenews.org/2011/01/26/why-pasture-cropping-is-such-a-big-deal/

    Industrialized agriculture as you put it, does have lower yields due to land so degraded it can no longer be profitably farmed, and yields reductions due to compaction, salinization, desertification, erosion, etc…. at least equal to or greater than the 29% you hang your hat on as “proof”. Those reductions in yields are not counted in the stats, as I have stated three times now.

    So basically, we have one model where the total yields are not added (because they are not the monocrop in question), and another model where reductions in yields due to land degradation are not subtracted, and you wonder why one supposedly beats the other in flawed arguments, but in the field farmers keep telling the opposite story?

    But wait there is more.

    Roughly 40 percent of U.S. corn is used for ethanol. Less for the world, but those world numbers are growing rapidly too. That’s not even food. Nor is it beneficial to AGW mitigation. Not by a long shot. Sure the emissions from ethanol biofuels are short cycle emissions, unlike fossil fuels, but it takes significant fossil fuels to produce that ethanol, almost as much as the ethanol produces in energy! Not even close to the net sequestration rate of 10 tons CO2e/ha/yr (average is actually 5-20 tonnes CO2e/ha/yr) that restoring the land and ecosystem services provided that multiple regenerative ag methods have proven capable of repeating over and over. Right there is a 40% reduction in yields of food, just because the crop is not used for food at all and should NOT be counted as yields in the first place, because it is fuel for cars, not food… Also the industrial production is actually harmful to the environment, water supplies, soil, wildlife and AGW.

    But wait there is more:

    The efficiency of converting grain to meat and dairy calories ranges from roughly 3 percent to 40 percent, depending on the animal production system in question. Thus why some idiots keep saying beef and dairy is bad and to a lessor extent all meat in general. But any idiot knows pure herbivores like cattle are not evolved to eat grains! Their digestive system is remarkable in having the capability of turning a wide variety of hard to digest things into food. But mainly cows eat grass! Regenerative farming can produce at minimum 10x total primary productivity yields in native grasses and forages compared to grains. And those acres once again are sequestering 5-20 tonnes CO2e/ha/yr too! Far far far far more reductions on net atmospheric CO2 than biofuels could possibly even come close to achieving.

    And you worry about a paltry 29% reduction in corn? Corn we don’t even eat? Even if it were true (and many have proved it isn’t true anyway), we actually need a reduction of corn production in the range of 70%-80% or more. It’s not enough of a yield drop! We need drop it even more, and restore grasslands and abandoned degraded farms instead.

    BTW the logic fallacy the agricultural “merchants of doubt” used is called a false equivalency. Of course any monoculture of anything will out yield just one product of a polyculture! If you don’t count the other yields, your comparison is flawed before you even “Do the Maths”. For certain no one is going to starve just because we converted to regenerative ag.

    But wait there is more:

    World Hunger is caused by poverty and other socioeconomic factors, not lack of food. Your source (originally from Mike) said, “Regenerative fields had 29% lower grain production but 78% higher profits over traditional corn production systems”.
    But you claimed, “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.”

    Oops wrong again. I already showed how yields are more than enough, but next lets look again at the causes of hunger in more detail:

    https://www.bread.org/what-causes-hunger

    Low and behold, yields per acre have nothing to do with it, especially not commodity crops that are not really used for food. Mostly it is poverty! And what improves profitability? “Regenerative fields had 29% lower grain production but 78% higher profits over traditional corn production systems”

    Lets suppose you are in poverty and need to sell a cash crop. Wouldn’t it make sense to at least profit 78% more?

  20. 70
    Mike says:

    regarding sheet mulching: my partner and I sheet mulch with cardboard. it makes sense to strip off the tape so you don’t have to deal with it later in your soil. Once lawn is covered with cardboard (often two or three layers) we cover the cardboard with sawdust. As Killian mentioned, the lawn buried under sheet mulch is a good start to healthy soil. We have noticed that the cardboard seems to be particularly conducive to mycelium growth and movement in the sheet mulched area. That also seems like a good component if you are attempting to build healthy soil. We do this and harvest a lot of grapes, kiwis, strawberries, pears, raspberries etc. and we watch neighbors fire up gas lawnmowers and spray weedkiller all around us. One thing we have seen is that more and more folks are thinking about permaculture planting as a better model than managing a manicured lawn. My partner calls our approach yardening. Our whole yard is a garden. Transitioning ground from a lawn style yard to garden is yardening in our parlance.

    Cheers

    Mike

  21. 71
    Mike says:

    “I encounter claims that humans were designed to eat meat — that it’s in our genes, that we have teeth made for eating meat, that we need meat to get all the right nutrients — all the time in casual conversation and in media in stronger and weaker versions.

    In Meathooked: The History and Science of Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession with Meat, science writer Marta Zaraska does a great job of exposing these claims as myths.”

    https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/05/19/478645426/humans-are-meathooked-but-not-designed-for-meat-eating

    I don’t expect it will change many minds, but this article seems like a pretty good explanation of meat in human diet.

    Cheers

    Mike

  22. 72
    nigelj says:

    Killian @60,

    I have NEVER “assumed” regenerative farmers are “lying assholes”. But when people get close to something and passionate about it they often exaggerate. And we know how unreliable anecdotal evidence is. And there’s human error which is minimised with proper peer reviewed studies. Maybe try lobbying scientists harder to get them to do some studies on regenerative agriculture.

    Scientists arent saying “wow look at how much carbon soils can sequester”. I’ve read these studies and never seen anything remotely like that. They are trying to quantify how much can be sequestered and work out how the biochemistry works. And you are just making nasty demeaning comments about scientists, for example “Them: OMG, we can sequester so much carbon in soils! Me: Really, Sherlock? Yeah, we know. Have for a loooong time.”

    —————————————–

    Killian @62,

    ok bringing waste land into useful production with regenerative agriculture doesn’t have to be a stand alone solution to low yields, but people like you and Scott have to actually QUANTIFY what it would do. Thats the real point here that I’m making. For example regarding your suggested use of peoples lawns etc for regenerative farming / gardens. Urban land is 3% of total land in America. Much of that will be buildings and roads and so perhaps 0.5% might be lawns probably less. 40% of Americas land is farmland already. So straight away its obvious that utilising such space falls massively short of negating a 30% drop in yields. It would be a drop in the proverbial bucket. And this all ASSUMES people would be ok with turning their lawns into gardens, which is very debatable!

    Sure other things might improve yields as well and it adds together but this gives you a reality check on things that look like they have a lot of potential, but actually dont when you do a bit of simple maths.

    And all this use of waste land like parks and abandoned land for farming IGNORES other demands on waste land like recreation, and forestry (as Piotr mentioned). And even if you cancel out that 30% drop in yields (assuming its 30% for the sake of argument) you have to also deal with a growing population! More demands on finite quantities of land. So yields and productivity are important, unless you want to be building vertically stacked high tech. farms – which I suspect you won’t.

  23. 73
    nigelj says:

    Richard @58

    “Neither has said diddly that leads me to wonder whether they are lying on purpose (just to… what??).”

    If EP and DB were being totally open and upfront, would they not have said right from the start, “yes you can make a bomb with a power reactor, but its totally impractical etc,etc.”

  24. 74
    Reality Check says:

    @68 “an education and awareness approach”

    Seriously? Mmmmm, I think not. Here’s another dose of the reality.

    How the BBC let climate deniers walk all over it
    The fossil-fuel multinationals fund ‘thinktanks’ and ‘research institutes’ . But it’s gullible public service broadcasters (and social media posters) that give them credibility […]

    The frontier of denial has now shifted to the biggest of all environmental issues: farming. Here, the BBC still gives lobby groups and trade associations sowing doubt about environmental damage (especially by livestock farming) more airtime than the scientists and campaigners seeking to explain the problems.

    Not just airtime, but kudos. The head of the National Farmers’ Union, Minette Batters, has sought to undermine the ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, pressed for continuation of the cruel and useless badger cull, and lobbied against reductions in meat consumption, among other harmful positions. […]

    The lesson, to my mind, is obvious: if we fail to hold organisations to account for their mistakes and obfuscations, they’ll keep repeating them. Climate crimes have perpetrators. They also have facilitators.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/08/bbc-climate-change-deniers-fossil-fuel-broadcasters

  25. 75
    Reality Check says:

    Peter Gleick is co-founder of the Pacific Institute, a hydrologist and climatologist, and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences.

    The unprecedented heatwaves sweeping over the planet recently are harbingers of the heatwaves of the future. Temperatures above 49C (120F) swept over the Middle East a few weeks ago, earlier than ever before. Death Valley hit 53.3C (128F), just shy of the hottest temperature recorded on Earth. Last week, the small town of Lytton, British Columbia, saw the highest temperatures ever recorded in Canada – and then was wiped out by a brutal and fast-moving wildfire. And the World Meteorological Organization this week confirmed a new record high temperature for the Antarctic.

    The US National Climate Assessment noted that the period since 1950 in the south-western US has been hotter than any comparable period in the past 600 years, and temperatures continue to rise. Heat stress is already the leading weather-related cause of death in the United States, worse than hurricanes, tornadoes or floods. In Europe, more than 20,000 people, mostly elderly, are already estimated to die annually from exposure to extreme heat. This problem is most severe in poorer communities that lack shade trees, air conditioning and cooling shelters.

    Every one of these changes shows the fingerprints of human-caused climate change. […]

    How bad will it get? I don’t know because I don’t know how long our politicians will dither before finally dealing with the climate crisis. I don’t know because there are natural factors that could slightly slow or, more likely, massively speed up, the rate of change, causing cascading and accelerating disasters faster than we can adapt.

    [The Reality?]

    But we know enough now to invest in reducing the emissions of climate-changing gases and to begin to adapt to those impacts we can no longer avoid.

    These changes are coming and the costs, especially to those left behind, will be beyond anything our disaster management systems have had to deal with in the past.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/07/global-heating-climate-crisis-heat-two-classes

  26. 76
    Killian says:

    Yet another no-brainer from “science”: Disrupting watersheds disrupts… watersheds!

    Ask a permaculture practitioner.

    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/06072021/forests-of-the-living-dead/?amp&__twitter_impression=true

  27. 77
    Killian says:

    63:

    Join Nigel under the dunce cap. Regeneration is a process. It is *obvious* Strough is talking about short term improvement, not after a decade or more of regenerative practice.

  28. 78

    OP: Renewable energy is the cheapest ever built on Earth.

    E-P: Only if you don’t count externalized costs, such as the cost of intermittency and the unavoidable carbon emissions associated with “balancing”.

    BPL: Or if you go by the cost of electricity associated with it, in which renewables always come out way ahead of the pack and nuclear lags with the worst.

  29. 79

    E-P: the unavoidable carbon emissions associated with “balancing”.

    BPL: Except that renewables are more and more using batteries for backup, not natural gas. And that more and more alternative power schemes are coming on line, including many gigawatts of pumped hydro just this year. Get with the times, Pops!

  30. 80
    Carbomontanus says:

    Hr. Pjotr # 67

    Thank youn for an intelligent answer.

    What you suggest, is also some of the basic ideas and contributions of J. von Liebig.

    Who worked by the idea of permanence of matter, and permanence of chemical elements. Which was Robert Boyles and Gay Lussacs faculty, and further my faculty.

    I once were to sell apples to “Helios”, the antroposophers, and I remembered a story of Liebig from highschool, German lectures.

    So I went to the library of chemistery and borrowed 2 huge “bricks” 2″ x 6″ x 8″, Justus von Liebigs biography, to be prepared for eventual objections from the “biodynamics” and chemo- phobes.

    Liebig scored more patents than Edison, and you find them everywhere you can look around in modern life.

    One of his quite propagandistic statements was that “Italias soil has ran out through the sewages of Roma, there is only a dry and poor thistle- desert remaining. And our Vaterland Germany is allready well on its way of becoming the same!”

    Namely “becaus every year waggons of valuable agricultural products of farm products go out the gate of the farm and way on to Roma. And manure is only taken from that same farm area. There will be really little remaining of that farms property and “capital” from which it produces and sells, whats on that “plate” after many enough years. Todays agriculture is mining and selling off its own soil!”

    This is the fameous “liebigsche minus” and Liebigs basic argument for necessary “chemical” fertillizers.

    Thus hardly anything new under the sun, even in this debate, after Justus. von Liebig.

    Rudolof Steiner, the founder of “Biodynamics” claimed to solve Liebigs minus by chemical element transformation and syntesis in his “biodynamic” compost- heaps. They even dare to repeat that for serious up to our days.

    Sulfur into phosphor, carbon into nitrogen, Calsium into Potassium etc. etc. etc. by Astral.. (=spiritual.. Chosmic) effects, required and stimulated by “potensiated”, homøopatic remedies , taken over from Samuel Hahnemann.

    Liebigs instructions to agriculture were better to take to biology, chemistery, and soil science, and look over possible resouces in addition to common manure, that should not be discarded and wasted or ignored in any case.

    And hereby saw the necessity of “mining” a bit of necessary plant nutritions from the sea and from the bedrock. But not like its mostly done after it has become so cheap and easy that it displaces proper gardening and agriculture, but rather no more than some salt also every time, on your daily dinner.

    Liebigs minus was / is hardly relevant here in Norway, because traditional farming and gardening was harvesting a lot from the sea to make ends meet, and further from large areas of wild pasture land. That got enriched and concentrated as hey and manure to the farms. But, when it is quite more densely populated, that is no more possible.

    What, Liebig & al overlooked, was also the weathering of eventually rich mineral sand and clays, like for instance volcanic ashes or risen sea- beds or glacio fluvial sediments. “especially young soils” you can say. And further the conditions for Cyanobacter, Azotobacter, and Leguminosæ. This is better understood in our days,

    Along with the looking for possible life in the universe, NASA has examined possible life where it really ought not to be, here onn earth first nof all, in order to qualify. And discovered an incredible lot of exotic microbial stone- eaters allmost everywhere. The weathering of bedrock and formation of rocks has come in new light after NASAs contribution there.

    My belief, (and I am not professional,) is better do well with the stone- eaters, who I think live in symbiosis with soil microfauna and fungi and common plant- roots.

    Plants seem to eat stones, especially freshly grinded and washed bedrock particles better than they eat eventually stable humus of the same age.

    But the worlds pissoirs should be renovated, = also Liebigs idea and very traditional in China.

    That soil that is exhausted cannot be restored, is not my experience. Carry seaweed on it and piss on it and let the thistles work for you some years. = also along with Liebig.

  31. 81
    David B. Benson says:

    nigelj @73 — Nobody has demonstrated weapons plutonium recovery from a reactor designed for single use power production, i.e., an actual power reactor not just one declared to be so.

  32. 82

    @78:

    Or if you go by the cost of electricity associated with it, in which renewables always come out way ahead of the pack and nuclear lags with the worst.

    Then why is German electricity some of the most expensive in Europe, while French is some of the cheapest?  I’ll tell you:  it’s because the books have been cooked for the sake of the “renewables”.  The cost of new transmission lines is not allocated to the “renewables” which require them, they’re rolled into the rate base.  Production tax credits and RECs aren’t charged to them either.

    Tell me something, Bart:  exactly how would an all-“renewable” Texas have weathered this past winter’s cold snap?  The wind farms were producting at single-digit percentages of their ratings, and the PV wasn’t much better.  Meanwhile, the nuclear plants cranked out at something like 90% capacity factor despite the sensor-related plant outage at the South Texas project.  Some repaired heat traces later, it was back on-line at 100% again.

    @79:

    Except that renewables are more and more using batteries for backup, not natural gas.

    Just how much in the way of batteries would it have required to get through the 9-day cold snap in Texas last February?  That was over 200 hours; the typical PV-associated battery is rated for 4 hours, just enough to time-shift power to cover the evening demand peak.

    more and more alternative power schemes are coming on line, including many gigawatts of pumped hydro just this year.

    Just in the USA, it would take a goodly fraction of a terawatt and over 100 terawatt-hours of storage to cover for something like the Texas freeze.  Ludington is good for maybe 40 GWh.  Know where we can locate another 2500 Ludingtons?  I don’t.

    Get with the times, Pops!

    Fashion doesn’t change physics, child.

  33. 83
    zebra says:

    Will It Work For Garbanzos?,

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/06/dining/hydroponic-farming.html#commentsContainer

    I immediately thought of RC when I saw this. I didn’t specifically recognize any of the usual suspects in the comments, but there was a lot of that “Nothing Can Compare With The Mysteries Of The Soil” stuff.

    In other words, subsidies and other benefits should be reserved for the landed gentry playing at the good old days… that never really were.

    Anyway, apparently you could grow a staple like garbanzos, although I don’t know that the economics work out. But putting a source of fresh vegetables and greens in what are called food deserts, providing reasonable jobs, and maybe even coupling it with some aquaculture, seems worth exploring. In the NE USA, you could power it with offshore wind, and we would have more than enough water.

    You could produce a mix of high-end stuff for fancy restaurants and markets, while still supplying fresh produce locally at reasonable prices. Compared to lots of little ‘regenerative’ and ‘organic’ farms each with it’s own carbon footprint and water requirements, with transportation as a major factor, it sounds pretty responsible.

  34. 84
    Killian says:

    83 zebra says:
    8 Jul 2021 at 3:15 PM

    Compared to lots of little ‘regenerative’ and ‘organic’ farms each with it’s own carbon footprint and water requirements, with transportation as a major factor, it sounds pretty responsible.

    You don’t understand what regenerative is, so commenting on what is the best approach seems irresponsible. E.g., regenerative reduces water needs, period. And sequesters carbon. Transportation? What transportation is needed to feed oneself or to sell/exchange with your neighbors?

    I don’t comment on things like how climate models work because I have no idea how to code one. The people here should take the same ethical approach to the misleading, often flatly incorrect, if not outright dishonest, bullshit most of you post about regenerative systems. You have no idea, so why do you open your mouth about it?

    So, let me fix your post for you to make it ethically acceptable:

    Will It Work For Garbanzos?,

    I immediately thought of RC when I saw this. I didn’t specifically recognize any of the usual suspects in the comments, but there were a lot of comments cautioning against non-soil approaches because of the extremely complex nature of soils and potential deficiencies in non-soil-grown foods.

    [Removed pejorative bias.]

    In other words, subsidies and other benefits should be reserved for regenerative farming systems that increase soil health, infiltrate water, improve food nutrient density, sequester carbon, eliminate waste and greatly reduce the need for transport as they are localized solutions.

    [Removed complete misrepresentation. They claim they are only competing with large, conventional farms, but that is not something they can control. Most people are not wealthy and their economies of scale clearly compete with any and all farms. And, the article seems to intentionally avoid the question of just what is in that water.]

    Anyway, apparently you could grow a staple like garbanzos, although I don’t know that the economics work out. But putting a source of fresh vegetables and greens in what are called food deserts, providing reasonable jobs, and maybe even coupling it with some aquaculture, seems worth exploring.

    Sustainability is ultimately local, so there may be locations where such an approach is justified, but the REALITY is that we grow more than enough food to feed all humans. The issue is access, not volume. Putting those “farms” in “food deserts” does not fix this. The food still must be paid for and the money goes outside the community to investors, decreasing the wealth of the community. This is a solution looking for a problem.

    In the NE USA, you could power it with offshore wind, and we would have more than enough water.

    No matter how you power it, it’s unsustainable. Sun, rain and soil are 100% renewable and sustainable.

    You could produce a mix of high-end stuff for fancy restaurants and markets, while still supplying fresh produce locally at reasonable prices.

    Says who? The article said nothing of prices.

    Nest time, please do share articles on sustainable food production, but refrain from analysis you are not qualified to do.

  35. 85
    michael Sweet says:

    Dbbenson at 81:

    The CANDU power reactors are designed to be refueled while running. It would be a simple matter to put in some rods of fuel and then remove them after 2 or 3 months. The only thing preventing this compliance with nuclear non-proliferation codes. It is easy to make weapons grade plutonium in a CANDU reactor.

    There are 19 CANDU reactors in Canada and 12 more in the rest of the world including units in both India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan are not compliant with non-proliferation treaties.

    You continue to support your deliberately false claim that power reactors cannot be used to make plutonium. CANDU reactors can be used to make weapons grade plutonium if desired with no modification or special reactor cycles. All power reactors can make weapons plutonium with special fuel cycles.

    Nuclear is not economic.

  36. 86
    Killian says:

    71
    Mike says:
    8 Jul 2021 at 3:23 AM

    “I encounter claims that humans were designed to eat meat — that it’s in our genes, that we have teeth made for eating meat, that we need meat to get all the right nutrients — all the time in casual conversation and in media in stronger and weaker versions.

    In Meathooked: The History and Science of Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession with Meat, science writer Marta Zaraska does a great job of exposing these claims as myths.”

    I don’t expect it will change many minds, but this article seems like a pretty good explanation of meat in human diet.

    Sorry, Mike, but you are correct, one is not going to change objective minds with lies.

    She says, True, vitamin B-12 is an exception: It’s found only in meat, eggs and dairy. Vegetarians, then, still do fine (because of the eggs and dairy); vegans need to eat foods fortified with B-12 or take a supplement.

    Then she says, Meat isn’t necessary to keep us healthy.

    Weirdly blatant lie. Without a chem industry, very, very few vegans. Veganism is ideological crap built on lies. You would have to ramp up faux B12 massively for global veganism.

    Worse, activist vegans are also almost always animal rights activists who ignore the differences between CAFO-esque production and regnerative or natural production (hunting). Even when you point this out to them, they will repeat the lie in the very next breath. Well, guess what? No animals in the food system, as virtually every vegan I have ever communicated with has advocated, the food system cannot support the current and future population.

    Veganism as a *policy* is even more obviously bullshit than nuclear.

  37. 87
    Killian says:

    72

    I have NEVER “assumed” regenerative farmers are “lying assholes”.

    You question all claims of regenerative systems and blindly accept all critiques, valid or not. Lying is bad. Don’t lie.

  38. 88
    Killian says:

    Scientists arent saying “wow look at how much carbon soils can sequester”.

    It’s called paraphrasing, genius. You literally never get any of your shit right. Never.

    Here are a couple “breathless” announcements:

    SOIL ORGANIC CARBON
    the hidden potential

    Hidden? Really? That is from 2017. The Biochar Solution: Carbon Farming and Climate Change was written in 2010 by Albert Bates.

    ——

    Scientists in recent years have developed a deeper understanding of the complex relationship plants have with mycorrhizal fungi. When they are united, the fungi form a sheath around plant roots with remarkable benefits.

    2019. Mycellium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, 2005, Paul Stamets.

    Close your face.

    ok bringing waste land into useful production with regenerative agriculture doesn’t have to be a stand alone solution to low yields, but people like you and Scott have to actually QUANTIFY what it would do.

    No. We. Don’t. You are the one promulgating the lie that regenerative food production is 30% less than Earth-killing chem ag. You prove THAT bullshit. You pretend to yourself that number is an absolute when it is not only not an absolute, but is demonstrably false. There is exactly one definitive study on this, Rodale’s 30-yr study, and its results are not in any way in question. You are conflating the carbon sequestration claims with the production claims. Nobody I know of has challenged those results – and those were, at best, semi-regenerative.

    And logic MORE THAN SUFFICES. Food waste is 30%, so EVEN IF YOU WERE CORRECT, regenerative food production and its MASSIVE LIST OF BENEFITS vs chem ag is ALREADY THE BEST CHOICE.

    Then we add home gardens which provided 40% of fruits and veggies during WWII. Then we change misuse to good use: Convert hugely unsustainable spaces like wasted park laws and golf courses. Then we add things like AN ENTIRE ECOSYSTEM RECOVERED such as the Loess. Then we add production in entirely virgin places like DESERTS. Then add in how human interaction INCREASES biodiversity in systems such as the Amazon and PNW where indigenous people have, and some still do, modified the land to provide for them. Then there’s the far greater nutrient density which BY ITSELF more than makes up for the 30% you keep shitting all over this forum.

    Etc., etc., etc.!

    There is no scenario in which your concerns are valid. None. And that is even if your ignorant 30% claim were included. Given it’s BULLSHIT, you really need to shut up with your solutions denial propaganda.

  39. 89
    Piotr says:

    Killian says:(62) 50: Jesus…
    Bullshit lie: Regenerative is 30% less productive.

    Author of that “ bullshit lie“, no, not Jesus.

    “Regenerative fields had 29% lower grain production” Lying Mike(541)

    from the Bullshittin’ Claire E. LaCanne and the Lyin’ Jonathan G. Lundgren and their: “Regenerative agriculture: merging farming and natural resource conservation profitably”.

    Killian: “Resident idiot anti-regenerative propagandist:

    You have been given a significantly long list of items that would offset your bullshit 30% yield loss. Scott is adding one more, not stating it as the sole offset.”

    You mean Scott’s example of a farm:

    Scott (45): “Yet because the yields were still 50%, there was the false claim that regenerative ag somehow would decrease the food supply?”

    You mena the 3 points
    Are you saying that AFTER “the significantly long list of items that would offset the losses”, there was still a “50%” loss of the productivity??? Would would be the loss WITHOUT that long list of offsets?

  40. 90
    Piotr says:

    Killian says:(62) 50: Jesus…
    Bullshit lie: Regenerative is 30% less productive.

    Author of that “ bullshit lie“, no, not Jesus.

    “Regenerative fields had 29% lower grain production” Lying(?) Mike(541)

    from the Bullshittin’ Claire E. LaCanne and the Lyin’ Jonathan G. Lundgren and their: “Regenerative agriculture: merging farming and natural resource conservation profitably”.

    Killian: “Resident idiot anti-regenerative propagandist [has] been given a significantly long list of items that would offset [his] bullshit 30% yield loss.”

    this no way to talk about Mike (whose “bullshit 30%” it was)

    Killian: “Scott is adding one more, not stating it as the sole offset.”

    You mean Scott (45): “Yet because the yields were still 50%, there was the false claim that regenerative ag somehow would decrease the food supply?”

    So why “the significantly long list of items that would offset the losses
    …did not apply to the Scott’s 50% lower productivity? Or was this 50% AFTER the long list?

  41. 91
    Piotr says:

    Richard the Weaver (65) Piotr, To be clear, I am coming from a position of respect.

    your family gatherings must be fun – you come in, hug your Nana and go to your Grandpa: “How’s it hanging, shithead!”. Your auntie’s jaw drops in shock, but your Mom rushes to explain: “Oh, in the hood that’s a sign of respect”.

    RtW (58): “Gonna clue you in: You’re being a shithead […] – given human nature, NOBODY will admit they erred when approached in that fashion. [Neither DBB nor EP] has said diddly

    They don’t have to – the lack of an answer speaks louder.

    RtW (58) “When ya shoot from the hip sometimes you’ll hit your foot.

    but sometimes this foot is in the mouth of the beholder…;-)

  42. 92
    nigelj says:

    Scott E Strough @69

    “I linked to a very pertinent resource that has done the math. So it appears you are the one that can’t “Do the Maths.”

    No. I responded to your comment @45 which has no links associated. It has a reference to a study which is irrelevant to the yields 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,”. You did post a response to Piotr on soil horizons with 6 links, but what makes you think I read 6 links on soil horizons in a reply to someone else?

    And my question @52 was ” You would have to show that enough unused land can be bought back into useful enough production and at sensible enough costs, such that this offsets inherently lower yields of regenerative agriculture. Do the maths.” You have not even remotely answered this. You provided evidence of some parcels of land that are not actually unused land anyway, but have sub optimal yields, where it may be possible to bring them *some way* back to health and at some unknown cost. Whether improving this would cancel out a global level 30% reduction in yields (assuming of course all farming is regenerative) remains uncertain! It was probably unfair of me to imply this has to be a stand alone answer to yield issues because other things will help, but its still uncertain what it would all achieve quantitatively as a whole. Big claims need proper analysis. BUT there’s obviously potential there to make at least a significant difference.

    “Roughly 40 percent of U.S. corn is used for ethanol.”

    Yes corn ethanol production looks like a form of insanity. You have covered it ok. Enough said. We have discussed this before.

    “And you worry about a paltry 29% reduction in corn?”

    The study on corn found lower yields. One suspects other crops would be the same. The trouble is there’s not much hard peer reviewed research on regeneratively grown crops, but if you guys want to be taken seriously you need to somehow change that.

    Yes maybe food forests and multi cropping would increase total food yields per hectare, and its intuitively appealing but I would like to see an objective study. It looks to me like harvesting these crops would be time consuming manual work with them all mixed in together, and output per hectare is limited by soil nutrients. You cant get blood out of a stone. I never take anything for granted or assume anything. Sometimes the most intuitively correct sounding ideas, that appear obvious commonsense turn out to be wrong. That’s why science exists.

    “Oops wrong again. I already showed how yields are more than enough, but next lets look again at the causes of hunger in more detail”

    https://www.bread.org/what-causes-hunger

    “Low and behold, yields per acre have nothing to do with it”

    And yet one of the first causes of hunger listed on the page is ” food shortages”. I think its safe to say low yields would cause food shortages all other things being equal!

    “Lets suppose you are in poverty and need to sell a cash crop. Wouldn’t it make sense to at least profit 78% more?”

    I have already said making a profit is a good thing @33 “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.”

  43. 93
    nigelj says:

    Barton Paul Levenson @78

    Much as it pains me to say this, EP has a point about the potentially high costs of renewables. This is based on wind plus solar plus storage and overbuild so you have a stand alone system not reliant on things like gas backup. We are gambling that storage and overbuild costs will fall enough to make it all affordable. I think the evidence says it will but lets not kid ourselves its a done deal.

    However its worth the gamble. The alternatives of doing nothing about climate change are too risky and nuclear power faces numerous obstacles.

  44. 94

    @66 Piotr says: “Maybe that’s the reason why the farm in your example in (45) had 50% lower productivity per ha – more of the C was left behind than in the traditional farming and enough of it in the stable form to accumulate over time ?”

    Please remember the claim, “50% lower productivity per ha” is a bad conclusion due to the logic error of false equivalence. One reason on that other thread I just let it go. As I said before, the merchants of doubt in agriculture are by far worse than in climate science. If you really haven’t figured that out yet, lets set an example. Prager U ie Patrick Moore. Know him? A prominent merchant of doubt available for hire by pretty much any industry wanting to obfuscate the harm they are doing. Maybe you will remember the face: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkdbSxyXftc keep in mind every point he makes about climate has been refuted easily. But he still apparently has political influence. Maybe you did not see his work to obfuscate agricultural harm? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWM_PgnoAtA

    The actual industrial yield from the land before being bought and restored with regenerative agriculture was zero. This is a massive increase in yield, increase in soil carbon, increase in biodiversity, increase in wildlife, restoration of hydrological and nutrient cycles etc etc etc. with regenerative ag. It is not a decrease in yields per ha. The industrial model farmed it until it was useless and bankrupted the owner, so he was forced to abandon farming it, and sell. The true equivalence is a major increase in yields. A better estimate of the increase would need to be based on what that land could produce just prior to being abandoned. Unfortunately the study did not have those numbers, but noted the land was so degraded that the first year’s soils’ tests were thrown out, because proper soil samples couldn’t even be taken. That’s how bad it was.

    Now if we were to do similar studies on better farmland still usable in the standard industrial model, we would find that yields would increase there too! Productivity, maybe not, as it has a per manhour labor factor, but yields? Certainly. Rodale proved that with a long term 30+ years study that is still ongoing.

    When you improve the soil, (and carbon content is a very useful indicator of improving soil) base yields go up. It’s not really that difficult a concept to understand.

  45. 95
    Reality Check says:

    New Zealand, Big Ag Dairy Farming, and Troubled Waters
    Posted Tue 16 Mar 2021

    It’s a toxic brew of dirty water and big business. And it’s jeopardising New Zealand’s ‘100% pure’ clean, green image.

    New Zealand has some of the most polluted rivers in the developed world.

    Scientists blame the ‘white gold rush’ – the rapid expansion of the country’s hugely successful dairy industry, worth around $15 billion a year.

    The government has introduced limits on the level of nitrates allowed in freshwater but these reforms have left no-one happy. Ecologists warn they’ve set the level too high and that this could be damaging to life in the rivers.

    Many farmers claim the levels are set too low and will destroy the dairy industry.

    New Zealand’s wealthiest Maori tribe has stepped into the stalemate. The Ngai Tahu, whose territory spans a huge swathe of the South Island, has filed a landmark high court claim over the freshwater systems in its tribal lands.

    “There’s been a failure of government, there’s been a failure of the market and the only one standing with any credibility on this is the Maori,” says the lead claimant in the case, Dr Tau.

    It’s a huge battle over this most precious natural resource – freshwater – and there’s no end in sight.
    https://www.abc.net.au/foreign/troubled-waters/13253728

    Comment – No where in the short doco does regenerative agriculture get a mention as being an alternative option. For the farmers it seems to be either all or nothing. Issues such as this which integrate with climate change impacts can be found all over the world.

    more info
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-16/new-zealand-rivers-pollution-100-per-cent-pure/13236174

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_pollution_in_Canterbury,_New_Zealand

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/04/their-birthright-is-being-lost-new-zealanders-fret-over-polluted-rivers

    Apr 07 2021 – More than 200 people attended a public meeting in Christchurch on Wednesday, organised by Aotearoa Water Action (AWA), Forest & Bird, Extinction Rebellion and NZ Fish & Game, to discuss ways to challenge the process.

    If approved, it is estimated to be the largest pollution consent issued for a 10-year period in New Zealand history, with MHV’s past, present and proposed activities considered.

    Freshwater advocate Angus Robson predicted it could raise nitrates by up to 25 times what international studies consider safe, and 10 times the environmental bottom line in new national freshwater regulations.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/124768845/water-scheme-opponents-canterbury-plains-environment-ruined-by-farming

  46. 96
    nigelj says:

    Killian @87

    “You question all claims of regenerative systems and blindly accept all critiques, valid or not.

    You are wrong. So wrong its almost comical. Or maybe just bewildering. Refer my comment @ 52 “Just for the sake of clarity I think the world SHOULD change over to regenerative farming. Yes as you (Scott Strough) point out it has MULTIPLE benefits. My complaint is SOME of the claims made about it look exaggerated, and not backed by proper studies, and this just really annoys me….” Which you yourself commented on @60!

    Lying is bad. Don’t lie.”

    Have a good hard look in a mirror.

    The stuff you post is mostly just wild claims not backed by propery citations, maths, or something objective. And its easy to see faults in it. Scott Strough talks a bit more sense (but only in comparison to you) and doesn’t spend all his time calling people idiots and liars.

  47. 97
    nigelj says:

    Killian @88

    Nigelj: “Scientists arent saying “wow look at how much carbon soils can sequester”.

    K: “It’s called paraphrasing, genius. You literally never get any of your shit right. Never. Here are a couple “breathless” announcements: SOIL ORGANIC CARBONthe hidden potentialHidden? Really? That is from 2017. The Biochar Solution: Carbon Farming and Climate Change was written in 2010 by Albert Bates.”

    Nigelj: ROFL. Hes not a scientist. Hes a lawyer, author and teacher:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Bates

    K: “2019. Mycellium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, 2005, Paul Stamets.”

    Its really stretching things to call this guy a scientist. Refer:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Stamets

    So before you accuse people of “not getting anything right” clean up your own mess :) However I’m not dimissing the use of biochar and there is peer reviewed science on soil carbon.

    K: “No. We. Don’t. You are the one promulgating the lie that regenerative food production is 30% less than Earth-killing chem ag. You prove THAT bullshit”

    Nigelj: No. The peer reviewed paper posted by Mike claimed regenerative corn is 30% lower production than industrial agriculture. I didn’t write that paper. Its likely other crops would be much the same. No reason they wouldnt be. You and Scott are making big claims about what regenerative agriculture can do. The onus is on you to prove it. The science we have, like the paper quoted by Mike, suggests at least some problems.

    K: “There is exactly one definitive study on this, Rodale’s 30-yr study, and its results are not in any way in question. ”

    Nigelj: I had a look at this. This appears to be a study on a couple of crops by a group of regenerative farmers assessing their own work. It does not appear to be written up in a scientific journal. Having just one study is also not particularly compelling. You need duplication.

    K: “And logic MORE THAN SUFFICES. Food waste is 30%, so EVEN IF YOU WERE CORRECT” regenerative food production and its MASSIVE LIST OF BENEFITS vs chem ag is ALREADY THE BEST CHOICE.”

    Nigelj: We have to actually decrease food waste. This is easier said than done, or it would have already been done. I’ve already acknowledged that regenerative farming has MANY benefits @52 and before on this website. Please stop suggesting I haven’t.

    K: “Then we add home gardens …..Convert hugely unsustainable spaces like wasted park laws and golf courses…..Then we add production in entirely virgin places like DESERTS… etc,etc”

    This is all speculative. There are millions of obvious problems with all this. I have already shown you how small the area is of home gardens in America. All I’m saying is yes we should adopt regenerative farming, and some of what you post has potential, but be realistic about it all.

  48. 98
    Adam Lea says:

    Regenerative agriculture starting to enter the UK media:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-57686365

    I am trying to apply at least some of the principles on my allotment.

  49. 99

    E-P 82: it’s because the books have been cooked for the sake of the “renewables”.

    BPL: When faced with facts you don’t like, you can always claim it’s a conspiracy! The facts are made up! Engineers and scientists are lying!

  50. 100

    n 93: EP has a point about the potentially high costs of renewables. This is based on wind plus solar plus storage and overbuild so you have a stand alone system not reliant on things like gas backup. We are gambling that storage and overbuild costs will fall enough to make it all affordable. I think the evidence says it will but lets not kid ourselves its a done deal.

    BPL: It will certainly not happen if we don’t try. I maintain that wide-area smart grids, plus storage methods like pumped hydro and compressed air, can provide a 100%-renewables power system. But if we had to get 95% from renewables and 5% from natural gas, I’d be okay with that. E-P is convinced the rare events where you’d need the 5% prove the whole thing is impossible. As usual, he’s nuts.

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