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Msg  501027 of 522031  at  5/31/2023 3:20:47 AM  by


The following message was updated on 5/31/2023 1:01:45 PM.

Energy and farming

There has been a lot of discussion of farming, energy and CO2. Those who believe that CO2 will cause catastrophic anthropogenic climate change (CACC) or catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW), have decided that the energy and fertilizer use for farming will cause too much CACC/CAGW. So much in fact, that they want to stop farming as much as possible. John Kerry and Bill Gates have made such comments. They also have acknowledged that they don't know how they can drastically reduce farming and get it to 'net zero' impact given there are over 8 billion people in the world. But they say they need to do it in order to stop CACC/CAGW.
Recently Kerry has spoken about helping farmers in ways to drastically reduce energy use. The ideas proposed are to stop using certain types of fertilizers - i.e. non-organic fertilizers, reduce water use by using better drought resistant seeds, reduce meat consumption and ranching and what ranching is left is done with animals that are hardier. Also, try to feed animals food that would reduce 'methane' emissions. Maybe provide them with supplements to reduce methane (animal farting) and also reduce ammonia production (from runoff from animal excretions). 
Some of my family members have farmed and ranched. I've been around farming and ranching discussions from time to time over decades. Listening to Kerry's comments, anyone with a bit of knowledge would realize the practical ideas he has are things farmers and ranchers already do such as select the best seeds for the conditions in the area or best types of livestock for the conditions. Farmers carefully consider and follow the latest news and research on seeds, fertilizer and chemicals. Some farmers are limited by their budget or time and energy as to what they can do - but all modern farmers want to make money and will do the easy things like buy the best seeds for the conditions and use the most cost-effective livestock. The other ideas that Kerry proposed that are currently not being implemented or used are ideas that are impractical, unworkable or would increase costs hugely and decrease productivity such as using all organic fertilizer. If the amount of ranching and meat production is reduced, there will be less organic fertilizer (manure) which means the cost of it would increase. Second, the transport of bulk animal manure over long distances is not cost effective. So how could all farmers use it even if they wanted to? Kerry and friends also want to feed animals' various supplements to reduce methane production. However, this could impact the animal's health and is very expensive. Animal digestion has worked the same way for hundreds of millions of years and we can't change it. Diets and supplements that the elites think might help to reduce methane production by the animals might more than double the price of feeding them.  
Billionaires and 'elites' want to cut farming and ranching emissions in the West by over 55% and energy use by about the same amount. But with rising population, I don't see it happening. Farming will require more energy in the future just to keep up with increasing population.
In the West, farm-land fertility has been somewhat neglected. I.e., the organic content of the soil has been declining over time due to intensive farming and tilling practices. Farm production is kept high by the use of fertilizers. But as the soil quality declines, even with more fertilizer, production will decline. Therefore, just to keep production as high as it is now, future farmers will already have to invest in methods that increase the organic content of the soil. I.e., allowing some acreage, a time-out and growing for example clover or some other crop and just tilling it back in to restore natural fertility to soils.
There are also many elites that think the farming solution is to go 'green' or organic. To do that, go back to more ancient methods of farming before artificial nitrogen fertilizers were invented. Before chemical nitrogen fertilizers were available, farmers rotated fields and fertilized with animal manure to maintain the fertility of the land. Some farmers would rotate fields to grass/pasture for two or three years and this would allow it to regain its fertility. If farmers were to do that today, it would mean an increase in the number of livestock per acre in order to make use of more pastures. Using field rotation that leaves some farm field idle growing only plants that they intend to plow back into the field to increase its fertility results in a loss of money from that acreage. If we want to grow the same amount of food we do today but use older methods, it will require both more land and more energy. 
Overall, the elites' thoughts on farming and ranching to reduce energy use and emissions such as methane are unrealistic and unworkable in a world with a growing population.
The sad thing is that the entire debate is centered around the idea that massive CAGW/CACC will happen due to CO2 and then it will make the world uninhabitable. 
They ignore the fact that we are in an interglacial within an ice age and that the current average temperature of the world is very low. The current average world temperature is not even high compared to the average temperatures of the current interglacial. For example, the Roman climate optimum was much warmer than now, the Medieval warm period was warmer than now, the more ancient Holocene climatic optimum was warmer than now. If the world were not in an ice age period, there would not be permanent polar ice caps. In non-ice age periods, ice at the poles builds in the winter and melts away in the summer. That is the condition throughout most of geologic history (over 95% of it). But during normal times, when there is no permanent ice caps, the earth is not uninhabitable. In fact, life thrives and more of the earth surface typically has temperatures that are very suitable for life. 
The other strange fact is that the earth has had other ice ages. This is not the first. In other ice ages, the world CO2 levels were much higher than now. High CO2 didn't appear to impact the ice age and end it nor cause the temperature to be high. CO2 levels are not well correlated with temperature changes over tens of millions of years. It is clear that CO2 does not 'drive' or 'set' world temperatures. 

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Msg # Subject Author Recs Date Posted
501040 Re: Energy and farming Bearcatbob 12 5/31/2023 8:13:06 AM
501044 Re: Energy and farming W 31 5/31/2023 8:26:47 AM

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