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Author Topic: Biofuels and climate chage  (Read 15362 times)

paul.fr

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Biofuels and climate chage
« on: 12/03/2007 10:21:52 »
There are not too many scients that disagree with the facts for climate change. Contary to popular, Non-US based, opinions one of the leaders in technology and laws to combat climate change is The US!

Even presiden Bush, is now coming "in from the cold". One thing i do have a personal problem with is the push towards bio-fuels, for many reasons.

One being that great amounts of food based crops will be used, when countries can hardly afford to grow the food for the populous to eat.

Which counter are you in, why me why now?
« Last Edit: 12/03/2007 18:00:40 by another_someone »


 

Offline why me why now

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Re: Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #1 on: 12/03/2007 10:32:24 »
There are not too many scients that disagree with the facts for climate change. Contary to popular, Non-US based, opinions one of the leaders in technology and laws to combat climate change is The US!

Even presiden Bush, is now coming "in from the cold". One thing i do have a personal problem with is the push towards bio-fuels, for many reasons.

One being that great amounts of food based crops will be used, when countries can hardly afford to grow the food for the populous to eat.

Which counter are you in, why me why now?

i'm in the uk..london actually...

Funnily enough, only this morning on radio 4 (very straight faced BBC news-type radio channel), the leader of the conservative opposition party was defending his environment minister john redwood who apparently has put up a blog saying that climate change shouldn't taken too seriously - i'll see if i can find a link..

But anyhow - you gt the idea - this is the next potential government...Crazy stuff
 

paul.fr

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Re: Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #2 on: 12/03/2007 10:34:28 »
You may find this interesting:

The Coalition's "25x'25" alliance has adopted a vision that, "by 2025, America's farms, forests, and ranches will provide 25 percent of the total energy consumed in the United States, while continuing to produce safe, abundant, and a?ordable food, feed and ?ber."
The Coalition says the 25x'25 vision is one of many recent calls for the United States to expand its reliance on renewable energy.

In his 2006 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush stated goals for increasing the use of biomass fuels in transportation and curbing oil imports. Without waiting for federal action, 20 states and the District of Columbia, meanwhile, have set targets for increasing the use of renewable electricity technologies with renewable energy portfolios that require a percentage of a state's power to be generated by renewables.

Significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion also can be achieved by meeting the 25x'25 goal, the study found – amounting to one billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2025, or 15 percent of projected U.S. emissions.

For more info, check out http://www.25x25.org/index.php
 

Offline why me why now

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Re: Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #3 on: 12/03/2007 10:48:02 »
You may find this interesting:

The Coalition's "25x'25" alliance has adopted a vision that, "by 2025, America's farms, forests, and ranches will provide 25 percent of the total energy consumed in the United States, while continuing to produce safe, abundant, and a?ordable food, feed and ?ber."
The Coalition says the 25x'25 vision is one of many recent calls for the United States to expand its reliance on renewable energy.

In his 2006 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush stated goals for increasing the use of biomass fuels in transportation and curbing oil imports. Without waiting for federal action, 20 states and the District of Columbia, meanwhile, have set targets for increasing the use of renewable electricity technologies with renewable energy portfolios that require a percentage of a state's power to be generated by renewables.

Significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion also can be achieved by meeting the 25x'25 goal, the study found – amounting to one billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2025, or 15 percent of projected U.S. emissions.

For more info, check out http://www.25x25.org/index.php [nofollow]

that is interesting - thanks..

However i'm sure if i spend 10 minutes looking, i will find lots of writing decrying all that stuff...

It's most frustrating. I;m sure that's why so many people don;t care about this stuff...we just don;t know what to believe anymore
 

paul.fr

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Re: Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #4 on: 12/03/2007 11:00:03 »

that is interesting - thanks..

However I'm sure if i spend 10 minutes looking, i will find lots of writing decrying all that stuff...

It's most frustrating. I;m sure that's why so many people don;t care about this stuff...we just don;t know what to believe anymore

I suppose it's a matter of belief and like you say people being "bothered", maybe start a new topic and see what others have to say.

You really need someone who is more eloquent with their words than i am to answer you questions.
 

Offline why me why now

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Re: Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #5 on: 12/03/2007 11:02:47 »

that is interesting - thanks..

However I'm sure if i spend 10 minutes looking, i will find lots of writing decrying all that stuff...

It's most frustrating. I;m sure that's why so many people don;t care about this stuff...we just don;t know what to believe anymore

I suppose it's a matter of belief and like you say people being "bothered", maybe start a new topic and see what others have to say.

You really need someone who is more eloquent with their words than i am to answer you questions.

your words are great paul - i hope you don;t think i was implying otherwise  :)

out of interest - what do you believe? and what is it that gives you conviction, if anything?
 

paul.fr

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Re: Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #6 on: 12/03/2007 11:29:09 »

your words are great paul - i hope you don;t think i was implying otherwise  :)

out of interest - what do you believe? and what is it that gives you conviction, if anything?

Not in the slightest, although i do tend to reply too quickly and my point gets lost in the poor construction. My beliefs! well the short answer is that we all need to do something, there are those who either don't because it's too much trouble to go to and those that can't be bothered, these are the majority. There are those that do what they can and then there are the zealots.

As for the present and future governments of the UK, i think they just see the enviromental issue as a way of raising revenue. Do you believe the proposed green tax on air flights will be used for green energy or funding science? or used to shore up the holes in the govenments spending plans?
 

Offline why me why now

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Re: Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #7 on: 12/03/2007 11:33:45 »

your words are great paul - i hope you don;t think i was implying otherwise  :)

out of interest - what do you believe? and what is it that gives you conviction, if anything?

Not in the slightest, although i do tend to reply too quickly and my point gets lost in the poor construction. My beliefs! well the short answer is that we all need to do something, there are those who either don't because it's too much trouble to go to and those that can't be bothered, these are the majority. There are those that do what they can and then there are the zealots.

As for the present and future governments of the UK, i think they just see the enviromental issue as a way of raising revenue. Do you believe the proposed green tax on air flights will be used for green energy or funding science? or used to shore up the holes in the govenments spending plans?

Indeed - i se what you;re getting at..

Although perhaps i disagree about people's motives for being inactive. I think it's in people's nature not to do anything until they are faced with an undeniable reality...The threat of terrorism / 911 is probably a good example of this.

I think the confusion of information about the environment, combined with a lack of serious physical symptoms *on people's doorsteps* makes folk pretty ambivalent about the whole thing.

I think people are waiting for the wake up call they normally expect when 'things get serious'. they trust in science and politics to provide this, and currently both are failing to deliver imo
 

another_someone

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Re: Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #8 on: 12/03/2007 12:36:32 »
You may find this interesting:

The Coalition's "25x'25" alliance has adopted a vision that, "by 2025, America's farms, forests, and ranches will provide 25 percent of the total energy consumed in the United States, while continuing to produce safe, abundant, and a?ordable food, feed and ?ber."
The Coalition says the 25x'25 vision is one of many recent calls for the United States to expand its reliance on renewable energy.

In his 2006 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush stated goals for increasing the use of biomass fuels in transportation and curbing oil imports. Without waiting for federal action, 20 states and the District of Columbia, meanwhile, have set targets for increasing the use of renewable electricity technologies with renewable energy portfolios that require a percentage of a state's power to be generated by renewables.

Significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion also can be achieved by meeting the 25x'25 goal, the study found – amounting to one billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2025, or 15 percent of projected U.S. emissions.

For more info, check out http://www.25x25.org/index.php

But is this, in a direct sense, about the Environment, or about US dependence of foreign sourced raw materials (i.e. they don't want to be dependent upon imported oil)?
 

another_someone

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Re: Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #9 on: 12/03/2007 12:54:00 »
There are not too many scients that disagree with the facts for climate change.

What facts for climate change?

That the climate is changing?  It always has changed (just compare the climate of the 17th century with the climate of the 10th century, and you can see an argument for climate change, but it is a natural process).

One thing i do have a personal problem with is the push towards bio-fuels, for many reasons.

One being that great amounts of food based crops will be used, when countries can hardly afford to grow the food for the populous to eat.

This certainly is true for some countries, but is not directly true of the US and Europe, which at present seem to be closing down its farming sector as uneconomic, or dumping cheap food onto the third world, so undermining third world farmers (although this is happening less now, and we are now beginning to import foods from the third world).

The greater arguments are more about land usage, and the energy used in farming and processing the biofuels.

Funnily enough, only this morning on radio 4 (very straight faced BBC news-type radio channel), the leader of the conservative opposition party was defending his environment minister john redwood who apparently has put up a blog saying that climate change shouldn't taken too seriously - i'll see if i can find a link..

I happen to agree with this.  Ofcourse, in a strict sense, we should always plan for the future, including planning for future environments (despite the fact that we have historically got our predictions of future environments more often wrong than right), but I don't think it is practical to suggest that we can deliberately manipulate the global environment in the way the Environmentalists claim, and I suspect we are doing ourselves a lot of harm in wasting resources in attempting an unachievable objective.

That having been said, it is clear that the political inertia for Environmentalism is now unstoppable, even if it does turn out to be a complete fiasco.
 

Offline why me why now

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Re: Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #10 on: 12/03/2007 13:02:57 »
OK - found the redwood blog.

Bear in mind this is someone who would have considerable power if his party win the next election:

http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/?p=144 [nofollow]


 The global warming “swindle”

It was good to see a group of scientists go over the top and ask some of the questions that should be asked about global warming theory in yesterday’s documentary. Things are not entirely as the “consensus” supposes. A recent news item has told us visits to Mars by space probes detect “global” warming there, but have not yet discovered the 4 x 4 s causing it, leading people to ask if the sun is currently hotting up affecting all of the solar system. We do need to know more about cloud formation, water vapour, sun flares and spots and volcanic activity to be sure what is causing the phase of warming that started in 1975 after 35 years of cooling.

 I have always thought we should remain sceptical about all scientific theories, for that is the way that science advances by constantly submitting theories to test. Meanwhile we are living in a period when things are warming up, so we should manage any unhelpful consequences of that and welcome the good effects it will have. We do need to increase the water supply in the drier south of the UK and make sure we have enough water stored in case we have longer drier periods, and we do need to improve sea defences in case there is going to be a combination of small rises in sea level and higher storm and tidal surges. We will benefit from the better weather for tourism, agriculture and outdoor sports. Fewer people will die of the cold and from snow and ice in the winter.

 It also makes sense to work away at cutting the amount of energy we burn, and at reducing the amount of waste gas that our systems push out. Oil and gas is getting scarcer and dearer, and comes mainly from troubled parts of the world. We should reduce our dependence on it. The UK should try to lead in green technology, showing how we can maintain a good lifestyle, whilst burning less hydrocarbon, and burning what we need more efficiently.

So let’s be greener and cleaner, but let’s stop pretending mankind is in control of the natural world, or understands everything that lies behind changes in average temperatures.
 

Offline why me why now

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Re: Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #11 on: 12/03/2007 13:04:52 »
<parenthesis>

mid you, this is the guy who made a total goon of himself when he was supposed to sing the welsh national anthem at a conference..so i'm not sure how seriously to take him

lols

 

paul.fr

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Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #12 on: 12/03/2007 21:02:27 »
<parenthesis>

mid you, this is the guy who made a total goon of himself when he was supposed to sing the welsh national anthem at a conference..so i'm not sure how seriously to take him

lols


You mean Mr Spock! bored chemist, redwood was known as spock wasn't he?
 

another_someone

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Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #13 on: 12/03/2007 22:47:01 »
<parenthesis>

mid you, this is the guy who made a total goon of himself when he was supposed to sing the welsh national anthem at a conference..so i'm not sure how seriously to take him

lols


I suspect if you got me up on stage to sing anything at all you probably would not find me doing much better.

How seriously you can take any politician, of any creed, is another matter; but judging him by the fact he feels uncomfortable singing in public is scarcely a valid judgement to make (and I don't claim to be a particular fan of Redwood's, but I do feel sorry for the predicament of a non-singer faced with that scenario).
 

paul.fr

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Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #14 on: 13/03/2007 00:33:21 »
Quote from: another_someone link=topic=6823.msg70893#msg70893
How seriously you can take any politician, of any creed, is another matter; but judging him by the fact he feels uncomfortable singing in public is scarcely a valid judgement to make (and I don't claim to be a particular fan of Redwood's, but I do feel sorry for the predicament of a non-singer faced with that scenario).

Being unable to sing was not the point. at the time Redwood was the Welsh Secretary, his inability to speak Welsh or even sing the Welsh anthem did nothing to endear him to the fine welsh people.

His poor attempt at miming the anthem, was another nail in his political coffin.
 

paul.fr

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Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #15 on: 13/03/2007 01:13:07 »

What facts for climate change?

That the climate is changing?  It always has changed (just compare the climate of the 17th century with the climate of the 10th century, and you can see an argument for climate change, but it is a natural process).

Yes, i know the climate has always been changing. Although i do not understand your point.
Are you saying that the climate has always changed and that it is just the natural process? and that mankind has not contributed to it?

Prior to the industrial revolutionthe atmosphere is estimated to have contained 260 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Today it is 380 and it's estimated to rise to 550 by the middle of this centuary. is that just a natural process?


This certainly is true for some countries, but is not directly true of the US and Europe, which at present seem to be closing down its farming sector as uneconomic, or dumping cheap food onto the third world, so undermining third world farmers (although this is happening less now, and we are now beginning to import foods from the third world).

The greater arguments are more about land usage, and the energy used in farming and processing the biofuels.

Wheather the push to more "green" technologies and fuel is driven by the dependancy of governments on foreign oil or a genuine "concern for the enviroment" is a good argument, but does that matter?

Would the world be more secure if we were not dependant on oil imports from the middle east and russia?

would the planet be healthier if we reduced our dependancy on fossil fuels?

wheather you believe we can make a change or not, or even if the science is robust enough. we would all be better off without if the answer to those two questions were "yes". That's just my opinion.

Ipreviously said that:

"great amounts of food based crops will be used, when countries can hardly afford to grow the food for the populous to eat."

Ethanol for one, is mainly produced (in the US) by corn.
Ethanol is a very heavy energy user, from the fertalising, planting,
harvesting and transport costs.

The great plain states, such as noth and south dekota, have recently suffered major drought. They are a main grower of corn, half of their annual corn growth goes to the production of ethanol. with the reduced crops, this leaves less corn for food stuffs and it is possible that the US will eventually have to heavilly import corn....other countries rely on the exoprt of corn from the US...what happens to them and the market cost of corn?

In the US, the present and planned ethanol distilleries would need the entire corn harvest of iowa to operate them.

I am no left wing, sandle wearing "green" but see a need for change. If anyone is interested listen to speaches given by or the writings of professor dan ort...visit www.earth-policy.org

well that's the end of my mini speach, no minds will be changed by it and i will not get the girl....but hey...
 

another_someone

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Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #16 on: 13/03/2007 02:06:28 »
Yes, i know the climate has always been changing. Although i do not understand your point.
Are you saying that the climate has always changed and that it is just the natural process? and that mankind has not contributed to it?

Prior to the industrial revolutionthe atmosphere is estimated to have contained 260 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Today it is 380 and it's estimated to rise to 550 by the middle of this centuary. is that just a natural process?

Don't you just love estimates.  Give me facts every time.

That aside, in past geological times (and I am not talking about the days when most of the atmosphere was CO2), CO2 levels have been up to 2000 ppm.  We simply do not know what drives the changes, and whether CO2 levels really are a cause of global warming, or a consequence of it (some geological evidence suggests the latter, although people are quick to point out that we lack precision in those records, but those people are just as willing to work with contemporary estimates as if they were known facts).

Wheather the push to more "green" technologies and fuel is driven by the dependency of governments on foreign oil or a genuine "concern for the environment" is a good argument, but does that matter?

Yes, the difference does matter, because we need to know by what means we judge success of the policies we make.  If we judge success by whether there is a future decline, or at least stabilisation, of global temperatures, or whether we judge success by a reduction in strategic economic dependencies.

There are also going to be some measures that will help one objective but not the other, but even where the same measure would help both objectives, if we use the wrong measure of success, then we may regard as success or failure that which in fact is the converse the some other measure.

One particular area where the two objectives diverge is in the use of coal as a fuel and chemical feedstock.  Despite the fact that we have effectively shut down our coal mining industry as being uncompetitive at the current exchange rates against foreign imports, and particularly against oil and gas; nonetheless we do have potentially massive coal reserves that are still unused, and lying in the ground.  Using these would reduce our dependency on imports, but would not reduce carbon consumption.


Would the world be more secure if we were not dependant on oil imports from the middle east and Russia?

This is an interesting and complex issue.

International trade is viewed as a global stabilising force because it creates interdependencies between nations that demand that each nation take seriously the concerns of its trading partners.  What is a problem is where you have hight asymmetric trading relationsips (e.g. a supplier that is in a monopoly position).

The very strong dependency that Europe presently has on Russian gas is a bad thing, but conversely, if Russia had nothing to sell us, that too would be a bad thing.

And Iran is claiming it is looking to the day when it will no longer be exporting oil to the rest of the world.  The strategies it is looking at to make itself less dependent upon oil is itself causing controversy.


would the planet be healthier if we reduced our dependency on fossil fuels?

Why so?

Again, how do you measure that dependency?  Most people just look at tonnage used, and focus on the massive use of carbon as a fuel, but ignore the major strategic (and continually increasingly so) dependency on oil as a chemical feedstock for a very wide range of industries and products.  Each year, even as there is pressure to reduce carbon tonnage through reduced carbon fuel usage, we continue to develop new uses and increasing dependencies for polymers, and other products, derived from oil.

If you are really concerned about the nation strategic independence from oil, then should we not be looking as much as reducing the range of uses of oil as reducing the tonnage usage.

And, as I pointed out - there are other fossil fuels besides oil, and some (such as coal) would not need to be imported, while others (like uranium) are not carbon based, but would require imports.

Ethanol for one, is mainly produced (in the US) by corn.
Ethanol is a very heavy energy user, from the fertalising, planting,
harvesting and transport costs.

I do not disagree with these reservations - I merely said that I don't believe the notion that the world has a shortage of food (or that it will have a shortage of food) is true (at least insofar as food shortages are not caused by lack of food growing capacity, but they are rather more caused by the politics and economics of food distribution).

One aspect of this where you might have partially been valid is not that there would in any direct sense have been a shortage of food, but rather that the market price of feedstock for fuel might have been higher than the present market price for food, and thus effectively pushing up the global price of wheat, or whatever agricultural product was used for energy production.

I am no left wing, sandle wearing "green" but see a need for change.

I don't believe that every political debate can be simply classed as left or right, and in any case, a mature debate about the issues involved should be able to reach beyond sticking labels on people.
« Last Edit: 13/03/2007 02:20:27 by another_someone »
 

paul.fr

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Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #17 on: 13/03/2007 11:05:17 »
oh my, where do i start? well it's almost bed time so i will try and answer what i can, if only i could enlarge the "quote" reply box!



Don't you just love estimates.  Give me facts every time.

That aside, in past geological times (and I am not talking about the days when most of the atmosphere was CO2), CO2 levels have been up to 2000 ppm.  We simply do not know what drives the changes, and whether CO2 levels really are a cause of global warming, or a consequence of it (some geological evidence suggests the latter, although people are quick to point out that we lack precision in those records, but those people are just as willing to work with contemporary estimates as if they were known facts).

But a lot of the climate change "evidence" is estimates based on current forcasts and computer models. The "...willing to work with contemporary estimates as if they were known facts" are just that, known facts on current projections, predictions and models.

we have the records to show that the climate is changing more due to the use of fossil fuels. Have you read The naked Scientists, Helen Hendry's piece? http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/helencolumn2.htm

Have you read what Dr Eric Wolff from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has to say. If memory serves me right, does Kat Arneys sister not work for or at least have something to do with the British Antarctic Survey?

when was the last time  CO2 levels wree up to 2000 ppm?

Carbon dioxide levels are substantially higher now than at any time in the last 800,000 years, the latest study of ice drilled out of Antarctica confirms. The in-depth analysis of air bubbles trapped in a 3.2km-long core of frozen snow shows current greenhouse gas concentrations are unprecedented.

The East Antarctic core is the longest, deepest ice column yet extracted. Project scientists say its contents indicate humans could be bringing about dangerous climate changes.

Dr Eric Wolff from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

"My point would be that there's nothing in the ice core that gives us any cause for comfort,"
"There's nothing that suggests that the Earth will take care of the increase in carbon dioxide. The ice core suggests that the increase in carbon dioxide will definitely give us a climate change that will be dangerous,"



Yes, the difference does matter, because we need to know by what means we judge success of the policies we make.  If we judge success by whether there is a future decline, or at least stabilisation, of global temperatures, or whether we judge success by a reduction in strategic economic dependencies.

There are also going to be some measures that will help one objective but not the other, but even where the same measure would help both objectives, if we use the wrong measure of success, then we may regard as success or failure that which in fact is the converse the some other measure.

One particular area where the two objectives diverge is in the use of coal as a fuel and chemical feedstock.  Despite the fact that we have effectively shut down our coal mining industry as being uncompetitive at the current exchange rates against foreign imports, and particularly against oil and gas; nonetheless we do have potentially massive coal reserves that are still unused, and lying in the ground.  Using these would reduce our dependency on imports, but would not reduce carbon consumption.

Again, does it matter? if we have the success and it's down to enviromental issus or global trade. If we curb, halt or even decrease the amount or crabon dioxide we release in to the atmosphere and that has a positive effect or global temperatures. We still win, and ofcourse at this present moment it will be down to trade and economic measures. Any politician that says otherwise is plainly telling lies. but we all win.

reduced greenhouse gas emissions, less dependancy on imported fuel which could/will result in more jobs to make the bio-fuels, work the refineries, build the wind turbines......the economy wins, the government take in more tax revenue, greater employment and less emissions, so again does it matter why we do it, if the results are favourable to both sides?


The very strong dependency that Europe presently has on Russian gas is a bad thing, but conversely, if Russia had nothing to sell us, that too would be a bad thing.

ok, i don't undersatand how this would be a bad thing.

And Iran is claiming it is looking to the day when it will no longer be exporting oil to the rest of the world.  The strategies it is looking at to make itself less dependent upon oil is itself causing controversy.

But that is a totaly different matter, iran is using it's oil as a barganing tool so that they will be allowed to build nuclear reactors.



Again, how do you measure that dependency?  Most people just look at tonnage used, and focus on the massive use of carbon as a fuel, but ignore the major strategic (and continually increasingly so) dependency on oil as a chemical feedstock for a very wide range of industries and products.  Each year, even as there is pressure to reduce carbon tonnage through reduced carbon fuel usage, we continue to develop new uses and increasing dependencies for polymers, and other products, derived from oil.

If you are really concerned about the nation strategic independence from oil, then should we not be looking as much as reducing the range of uses of oil as reducing the tonnage usage.

You are quite right, we are too dependant.

And, as I pointed out - there are other fossil fuels besides oil, and some (such as coal) would not need to be imported, while others (like uranium) are not carbon based, but would require imports.

But the uk coal field is almost non-existant, is there the will or the money to re-open the numers of collieries needed? That is another problem.
Yes we closed them down to make way for cheap imports, we are now seeing that we may have acted with too much haste, but i don't think a future government (especially a tory one) will go back to uk coal.


I do not disagree with these reservations.
Can i have that in writing  ;), i jest.

I merely said that I don't believe the notion that the world has a shortage of food (or that it will have a shortage of food) is true (at least insofar as food shortages are not caused by lack of food growing capacity, but they are rather more caused by the politics and economics of food distribution).

One aspect of this where you might have partially been valid is not that there would in any direct sense have been a shortage of food, but rather that the market price of feedstock for fuel might have been higher than the present market price for food, and thus effectively pushing up the global price of wheat, or whatever agricultural product was used for energy production.

This all depends on what we use to make bio-fuels, as i have previously stated corn based ethanol i believe to be a bad idea and will lead to shortages for consumption.
already ethanol producers are offering  more for the corn than farmers are getting from companies that want it for food. simple economics the farmer sells to the person willing to pay the most.

In Brazil nearly three-quarters of new cars can burn either ethanol or gasoline, the ethanol is made from sugar beat. this has resulted in the price of global sugar going up as most of the sugar produced in brazil is used to make ethanol.

so ethanol from food stuffs is already having an effect, willow would be a better producer of ethanol. making more and not reducing the food stock.

I don't believe that every political debate can be simply classed as left or right, and in any case, a mature debate about the issues involved should be able to reach beyond sticking labels on people.

i never intended to make light of the debate. i was just pointing out that some people assume you are a left wing greenie if you follow the debate and have an opinion.

as a card carrying conservative, i could not be any further removed from that steriotype.


if i may ask one thing, can we keep replys to a minimum or spread them over two or more replys it would help me get to bed earlier.......i can not remember the last time i spent so much time on one reply.

thanks in advance   :D
 

another_someone

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Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #18 on: 13/03/2007 16:22:03 »
if i may ask one thing, can we keep replys to a minimum or spread them over two or more replys it would help me get to bed earlier.......i can not remember the last time i spent so much time on one reply.

thanks in advance   :D
I have presently typed this up as a single response, but I shall endeavour now to break it down to a number of smaller messages for you.

Breaking down the message will certainly help push up the message counters, but I actually think it will make the whole thing a lot more unmanageable, as there will be an exponential explosion in the number of messages in the thread, and it will be very difficult to trace back through all the messages, and work out which message responds to which, or which message has not been responded to at all.

Nonetheless, I'll give it a go, and wait for you to squirm at the explosion of little message :)
 

another_someone

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Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #19 on: 13/03/2007 16:23:01 »
oh my, where do i start? well it's almost bed time so i will try and answer what i can, if only i could enlarge the "quote" reply box!
If you are only looking at the small window at the bottom of the thread page, then you will find that if you click on the 'Preview' button, you will have a slightly larger window available for you to type in.

As it happens, when messages get to this length, I find it easier to copy and paste it to a word processor, and when the reply is completed, the copy and paste back to the browser in order to upload to the forum.

Incidentally, if you are only just on your way to bed at 11 in the morning, then either you are on shift work, or you are in a worse state than I am :)
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #20 on: 13/03/2007 16:23:51 »
But a lot of the climate change "evidence" is estimates based on current forcasts and computer models. The "...willing to work with contemporary estimates as if they were known facts" are just that, known facts on current projections, predictions and models.
Computer models are only as good as the assumptions used to build them.

All of science is about modelling.  This is fine, but a model is not valid until the predictions made by that model are verified against actual observations.  You can make endless models based upon past trends, and assumptions about future events, and each of them different – it is only when you actually compare each of those models against future observations that you can tell which model has some credence, and which is fairy tale land.  To date, none of the climate models have been able to be verified against observations, thus any or all of them may represent no more than a trip through fairy tale land.
 

another_someone

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Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #21 on: 13/03/2007 16:24:22 »
we have the records to show that the climate is changing more due to the use of fossil fuels. Have you read The naked Scientists, Helen Hendry's piece? http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/helencolumn2.htm
Not yet – maybe when I've finished composing my response to you.
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #22 on: 13/03/2007 16:25:15 »
when was the last time  CO2 levels wree up to 2000 ppm?
About 60 to 55 million years ago.

The point is not when this took place, but that it is something that can happen naturally, and that is is something that is not a one way process (i.e. CO2 levels can go up, but they can also come down, as the subsequently did).

This has been discussed in previous threads, and you may wish to go over:

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=4011.msg31932#msg31932

and

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=4011.msg31987#msg31987

Carbon dioxide levels are substantially higher now than at any time in the last 800,000 years, the latest study of ice drilled out of Antarctica confirms. The in-depth analysis of air bubbles trapped in a 3.2km-long core of frozen snow shows current greenhouse gas concentrations are unprecedented.

The East Antarctic core is the longest, deepest ice column yet extracted. Project scientists say its contents indicate humans could be bringing about dangerous climate changes.

Dr Eric Wolff from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

"My point would be that there's nothing in the ice core that gives us any cause for comfort,"
"There's nothing that suggests that the Earth will take care of the increase in carbon dioxide. The ice core suggests that the increase in carbon dioxide will definitely give us a climate change that will be dangerous,"

On the contrary, if we look well beyond 800,000 years, we find every evidence that natural fluctuations in the Earth's CO2 extend over a far wider range than we are seeing today, and come back down as well as going up.
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #23 on: 13/03/2007 16:26:04 »
Yes, the difference does matter, because we need to know by what means we judge success of the policies we make.  If we judge success by whether there is a future decline, or at least stabilisation, of global temperatures, or whether we judge success by a reduction in strategic economic dependencies.

There are also going to be some measures that will help one objective but not the other, but even where the same measure would help both objectives, if we use the wrong measure of success, then we may regard as success or failure that which in fact is the converse the some other measure.

One particular area where the two objectives diverge is in the use of coal as a fuel and chemical feedstock.  Despite the fact that we have effectively shut down our coal mining industry as being uncompetitive at the current exchange rates against foreign imports, and particularly against oil and gas; nonetheless we do have potentially massive coal reserves that are still unused, and lying in the ground.  Using these would reduce our dependency on imports, but would not reduce carbon consumption.

Again, does it matter? if we have the success and it's down to enviromental issus or global trade. If we curb, halt or even decrease the amount or crabon dioxide we release in to the atmosphere and that has a positive effect or global temperatures. We still win, and ofcourse at this present moment it will be down to trade and economic measures. Any politician that says otherwise is plainly telling lies. but we all win.

reduced greenhouse gas emissions, less dependancy on imported fuel which could/will result in more jobs to make the bio-fuels, work the refineries, build the wind turbines......the economy wins, the government take in more tax revenue, greater employment and less emissions, so again does it matter why we do it, if the results are favourable to both sides?
But you are missing both the points I was making.

Firstly, not all actions will satisfy both criteria (the use of domestic coal being one example, but with a bot of thought, I could imagine many others).

If only one of the criteria are met, then do we regard the the policy as a failure or a success – that rather depends upon whether the criteria we judge is the same as the criteria by which success has been achieved.
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Biofuels and climate chage
« Reply #24 on: 14/03/2007 19:14:32 »
OK, since it seems we have lost posts for the last 24 hours, I shall repost my reply (which, as it happens, I still have in my word processor).  I shall not split the reply down this time.

Paul, I am afraid we have lost your reply to my response, so I will have to await your reposting of that response before I can comment upon it (I know, that was an hour and a half of your work this morning – blame Dave – although I know he feels awkward enough about having lost the data).

oh my, where do i start? well it's almost bed time so i will try and answer what i can, if only i could enlarge the "quote" reply box!
If you are only looking at the small window at the bottom of the thread page, then you will find that if you click on the 'Preview' button, you will have a slightly larger window available for you to type in.

As it happens, when messages get to this length, I find it easier to copy and paste it to a word processor, and when the reply is completed, the copy and paste back to the browser in order to upload to the forum.

Incidentally, if you are only just on your way to bed at 11 in the morning, then either you are on shift work, or you are in a worse state than I am :)

But a lot of the climate change "evidence" is estimates based on current forcasts and computer models. The "...willing to work with contemporary estimates as if they were known facts" are just that, known facts on current projections, predictions and models.
Computer models are only as good as the assumptions used to build them.

All of science is about modelling.  This is fine, but a model is not valid until the predictions made by that model are verified against actual observations.  You can make endless models based upon past trends, and assumptions about future events, and each of them different – it is only when you actually compare each of those models against future observations that you can tell which model has some credence, and which is fairy tale land.  To date, none of the climate models have been able to be verified against observations, thus any or all of them may represent no more than a trip through fairy tale land.

we have the records to show that the climate is changing more due to the use of fossil fuels. Have you read The naked Scientists, Helen Hendry's piece? http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/helencolumn2.htm
Not yet – maybe when I've finished composing my response to you.

when was the last time  CO2 levels wree up to 2000 ppm?
About 60 to 55 million years ago.

The point is not when this took place, but that it is something that can happen naturally, and that is is something that is not a one way process (i.e. CO2 levels can go up, but they can also come down, as the subsequently did).

This has been discussed in previous threads, and you may wish to go over:

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=4011.msg31932#msg31932

and

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=4011.msg31987#msg31987

Carbon dioxide levels are substantially higher now than at any time in the last 800,000 years, the latest study of ice drilled out of Antarctica confirms. The in-depth analysis of air bubbles trapped in a 3.2km-long core of frozen snow shows current greenhouse gas concentrations are unprecedented.

The East Antarctic core is the longest, deepest ice column yet extracted. Project scientists say its contents indicate humans could be bringing about dangerous climate changes.

Dr Eric Wolff from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

"My point would be that there's nothing in the ice core that gives us any cause for comfort,"
"There's nothing that suggests that the Earth will take care of the increase in carbon dioxide. The ice core suggests that the increase in carbon dioxide will definitely give us a climate change that will be dangerous,"

On the contrary, if we look well beyond 800,000 years, we find every evidence that natural fluctuations in the Earth's CO2 extend over a far wider range than we are seeing today, and come back down as well as going up.

Yes, the difference does matter, because we need to know by what means we judge success of the policies we make.  If we judge success by whether there is a future decline, or at least stabilisation, of global temperatures, or whether we judge success by a reduction in strategic economic dependencies.

There are also going to be some measures that will help one objective but not the other, but even where the same measure would help both objectives, if we use the wrong measure of success, then we may regard as success or failure that which in fact is the converse the some other measure.

One particular area where the two objectives diverge is in the use of coal as a fuel and chemical feedstock.  Despite the fact that we have effectively shut down our coal mining industry as being uncompetitive at the current exchange rates against foreign imports, and particularly against oil and gas; nonetheless we do have potentially massive coal reserves that are still unused, and lying in the ground.  Using these would reduce our dependency on imports, but would not reduce carbon consumption.

Again, does it matter? if we have the success and it's down to enviromental issus or global trade. If we curb, halt or even decrease the amount or crabon dioxide we release in to the atmosphere and that has a positive effect or global temperatures. We still win, and ofcourse at this present moment it will be down to trade and economic measures. Any politician that says otherwise is plainly telling lies. but we all win.

reduced greenhouse gas emissions, less dependancy on imported fuel which could/will result in more jobs to make the bio-fuels, work the refineries, build the wind turbines......the economy wins, the government take in more tax revenue, greater employment and less emissions, so again does it matter why we do it, if the results are favourable to both sides?
But you are missing both the points I was making.

Firstly, not all actions will satisfy both criteria (the use of domestic coal being one example, but with a bot of thought, I could imagine many others).

If only one of the criteria are met, then do we regard the the policy as a failure or a success – that rather depends upon whether the criteria we judge is the same as the criteria by which success has been achieved.

The very strong dependency that Europe presently has on Russian gas is a bad thing, but conversely, if Russia had nothing to sell us, that too would be a bad thing.

ok, i don't undersatand how this would be a bad thing.
So you think that a policy where Russia is bankrupted, or where each nation (Russia, the UK, France, etc.) is so self sufficient in all things that international trade becomes a thing of the past, is a good thing?

One of the premisses of the creation of the EU was that it should bind the nations of Europe so tightly together in trade that it would be impossible for any nation to go to war against another without also crippling its own self interest.  I do realise that there are many who object (not without reason) is some of the social interference from Brussels, but few, even amongst the die-hard eurosceptics would argue against the premise of open trade across Europe.
And Iran is claiming it is looking to the day when it will no longer be exporting oil to the rest of the world.  The strategies it is looking at to make itself less dependent upon oil is itself causing controversy.

But that is a totaly different matter, iran is using it's oil as a barganing tool so that they will be allowed to build nuclear reactors.
That is not the official Iranian line.  You may choose to disbelieve the official line from Tehran, but I was talking about what the official line was.

The Iranians themselves are arguing that they are looking forward to the day when their oil runs out (or at least no longer can be relied upon as a primary source of energy and wealth), and so are anticipating that day by investing in nuclear power, and the research that goes with that.  This seems totally consistent with the argument you are using with regard to what the whole world should be doing.

This, by the way, is not only an issue in Iran.  The Ukraine, despite the Chernobyl accident, cannot rid itself of nuclear power, and the present hikes in Russian gas prices shows exactly why this is so.

But the uk coal field is almost non-existant,
No, this is untrue (or probably more likely just sloppy in the way you have expressed it).

The UK coal fields are anything but non-existent – what is now almost non-existent is the capaicity to make use of those coal fields.
is there the will or the money to re-open the numers of collieries needed? That is another problem.
Yes we closed them down to make way for cheap imports, we are now seeing that we may have acted with too much haste, but i don't think a future government (especially a tory one) will go back to uk coal.
It is always easier to destroy a mature industry than to rebuild it once it is destroyed – with this I agree.

The problem is that new industries grow in a regulatory vacuum, and expand to fill that vacuum.  As they grow, regulation and national management take over, so that small upstarts cannot any longer enter the field, and only mature industries can then survive in that regulatory and economic environment.  If you then destroy the mature industries, you cannot restart the process without recreating the vacuum that allowed it to grow in the first place, which clearly is not politically viable.

In the 18th or 19th centuries, if a landowner thought he could mine coal on his land, he just started digging.  Now, if someone thought of opening up a coal mine outside my local town, the regulatory hoops he would have to jump through to get it going would be so forbidding as to make it impractical (and this is before he has dug one square metre of soil).

i never intended to make light of the debate. i was just pointing out that some people assume you are a left wing greenie if you follow the debate and have an opinion.

as a card carrying conservative, i could not be any further removed from that steriotype.
And the point I was making is that I don't like stereotypes; and in any case, I do not argue with people, I debate the issues – who the person is who espouses one point of view or another does not concern me.
« Last Edit: 14/03/2007 20:11:13 by another_someone »
 

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