Skip to main content

View Diary: UN chief scientist urges action on climate: 'We have five minutes before midnight' (185 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  You keep on saying this (4+ / 0-)

    but VL Baker provides quie a bit of evidence to support her claim. If you have a factual rebuttal with links why keep it to yourself? Prove your case!

    "Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Elie Wiesel

    by Jason Hackman on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 01:04:42 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  yes, LS is in disagreement with Dr. Pachauri too (3+ / 0-)

      in video Dr. P says that reducing meat consumption is most effective way for individuals to reduce personal greenhouse gases.

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 01:20:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  James Hansen agrees with Dr. Pachauri too (3+ / 0-)

        so Lake Superior disagrees with both lol

        Macca's Meatless Monday

        by VL Baker on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 01:25:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think LS disagrees with climate change. (3+ / 0-)

          He's been trolling your diaries for some time. Engaging in debate is one thing. Sewing the seeds of doubt is quite another. I've already contacted the admins and I encourage others to do the same so we can sort out what team he's on. As your diary points out we no longer have time to mess around with people who continue to ignore the facts.

          Time for LS to put up or shut up.

          "Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Elie Wiesel

          by Jason Hackman on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 01:37:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It doesn't make any difference what Lake Superior (0+ / 0-)

            thinks - his opinion doesn't change the fact that appeals to authority are fallacious, especially when authorities are talking out of their ... field.

            And I'd be happy to put up rather than shut up when I have some time to write a diary, because the diaries about ag and climate science are almost entirely based on either ideology or a narrow - not wholistic or system-wide - examination of the issues.

            I'm sorry you feel so threatened by another poster that you have to try and get him/her censored.

            No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

            by badger on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 02:32:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's all I'm asking for (3+ / 0-)

              If you can factually prove from objective sources (not industry lobbying groups) that this UN report which concludes that meat production causes more greenhouse gasses than cars is total BS then I'd love to hear it. This is a reality-based community after all. The user I'm referring to doesn't do that and seems ultimately concerned with sewing doubt, not engaging in a debate about the facts.

              "Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Elie Wiesel

              by Jason Hackman on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 02:54:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Here is what EPA states as the sector contribution (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pescadero Bill, DawnN, Sarenth

                to emissions of greenhouse gases here in the United States from agriculture:


                The entire agriculture sector contributes 8% of United States greenhouse gas emissions in CO2 equivalents.  

                Of all of the economic sectors of electricity production, industrial production, residential and commercial and transportation, the entire agriculture sector produces the least greenhouse gas emissions of all United States economic sectors show.   Transportation and electricity produce far more CO2 equivalents than agriculture does.....and this is a result that contradicts the conclusions of the UN report, at least for purposes of agriculture in the United States.

                •  So your rebuttal to the UN Report is a pie chart? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VL Baker, julesrules39

                  If what VL Baker is asserting is so far out of the scientific mainstream there should be a mountain of evidence refuting her rather than a mountain of evidence support her, right? You can do better than that, can't you?

                  "Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Elie Wiesel

                  by Jason Hackman on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:04:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The pie chart showing all of agriculture as only (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Pescadero Bill

                    contributing only 8% of all emissions of greenhouse gas CO2 equivalents is summary information from the final EPA emission inventory for the United States published in 2013.

                    When confronted with EPA's depiction of the present reality of what United States agriculture sector emissions are, you're proclivity is to engage in an act of science denial in rejecting the final findings of the primary U.S. Government agency responsible for tracking CO2e emission inventories in the United States.

                    You make this rejection without any ability to cite a valid reason for your rejection, which is solely motivated by your political/ideological view against meat and not as a scientific finding of emissions determination.

                    This is the best data available describing the actual physical reality of emissions of greenhouse gases in the United States from human-caused sources.  

                    At a very minimum, use of a 2013 U.S. greenhouse gas emission inventory is preferable to using a 2006 emission inventory and calculation for decisionmaking purposes.   If you have a reason that a 2006 emission inventory is preferable to using a 2013 emission inventory, I'd be interested in hearing your rationale for that, if you have one.


                    •  Apples v. Oranges comparison (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      Did you even read the UN report or are you just content to regurgitate industry press releases? You're comparing US numbers with worldwide numbers by the UN. When did the EPA do a study of global greenhouse gas emissions and the associating factors? Show me that and you have a valid comparison. Until then you're just doing what you've always done: sewing the seeds of doubt about climate change facts.

                      "Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Elie Wiesel

                      by Jason Hackman on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 10:01:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Please see my downthread comment about (0+ / 0-)

                        the UN report using an inflated value for energy per kg of body weight at sale for beef...compared to actual data recorded at the US Department of Agriculture Agriculture Research Service facility in Nebraska explicitly tasked with determining the energy impacts of typical animal agriculture systems carried out under USDA NRCS standards and practices.   In addition, the UN data is not for the most recent emission inventory year.

                        Agricultural research carried out by the USDA and published by that agency are not industry press releases and are valid agronomy scientific work products.   Of course that won't mean anything to you if you're a denier of agricultural science.

                        •  Have to disagree with you again. You are (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          VL Baker

                          stating that the research published is not done so with any influence from the industries and is totally unbiased?  In reality, part of the government's job is to weigh the public good along with the economic impact.  BigAg is a huge factor in the US economy.

                          The US industrialized food systems were developed for mass production, not from a sustainability perspective.  They are in many ways influenced by the industries that make monies from livestock production.  For example, 80% of the antibiotics sold in the US are for animals raised for livestock.  About 40% of the corn grown in the US is for livestock feed.

                          Here's what Wikipedia says about Michael Taylor (Deputy Commissioner of the FDA:

                          "Taylor is featured in the documentaries The Future of Food and The World According to Monsanto[23] as a pertinent example of revolving door since he is a lawyer who has spent the last few decades moving between Monsanto and the FDA and USDA."

                        •  The UN report was written by scientists (0+ / 0-)

                          so how does using it to prove my point make me a “science denier”? Show me where I even "denied" the data you’ve provided? You have failed to show how the USDA’s controlled study and the EPA’s assessment of greenhouse gasses apply worldwide. I’ve questioned that and you haven’t provided any additional data in response or any further rebuttal to the findings of the UN Report. The only person denying science here is you with your denial that the UN Report is valid, and you’ve attempted to do so with invalid comparisons and assertions not backed up by evidence (links). For some reason you have a strong bias to believe that everything in the report is false even though you have no scientific reason to believe that is the case. In fact, you have no way of proving that the UN Report is invalid since there isn’t another study of its scope that disputes its findings. Admit it and move on.

                          And, yes, you did provide a meat industry website as part of your evidence against the UN Report. Probably since they're the only other entity that reached the same mistaken conclusions you did. Did you forget that inconvenient fact?

                          "Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Elie Wiesel

                          by Jason Hackman on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 08:38:45 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  If the EPA did a study, it would probably be done (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        VL Baker

                        by a consultant to a chemical/GMO company or a meat integrator.  

                    •  You're totally wrong on this, Lake Superior. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      VL Baker

                      for reasons that the EPA's website partially states.  Their number is totally understated as I've described above.

                      •  Your position that the EPA greenhouse gas (0+ / 0-)

                        emission inventory is wrong does not have any basis.   You are not stating why the EPA emission inventory is wrong.

                        All of your objections to the EPA emission inventory and the 8% share of greenhouse gases generated by agriculture in the United States are without any specifically stated objection to the methods and data published in that report.

                        In declaring the EPA emission inventory to be wrong, you are engaging in politics and ideology....not science.

                        If it were science, they you would be able to say why the EPA emission inventory is wrong as published.

                •  Come on, Lake Superior. You're not that stupid. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VL Baker, sillia, Jason Hackman

                  The EPA website you reference provides a totally understated number for agricultural GHG emissions, by their own admission.  If you look below the pie chart to the detail, next to the Agricultural data, the site clearly states:

                  Addresses anthropogenic emissions from agricultural activities (not including fuel combustion and sewage emissions, which are addressed in the Energy and Waste chapters).
                  Not including fuel combustion and sewage emissions??? Pretty huge oversight.  That's like saying we can grow corn without using a tractor or any mechanized equipment.  We can move a couple billion cattle without any trucks.  We'll just herd them across the country ... We can call Scotty and beam that meat up to market in China or the EU.  We know that we don't do that;  but, we'll just pretend that we do.  Do you know how many times GMO fields have to be irrigated to ensure that all those lovely chemicals (herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers) get into the practically dead soil and into the roots of that corn?

                  By the way, land clearing for crops (deforestation) is another huge gap in their numbers.

                  Why is that number produced to look smaller?  Hmmm ... how much lobbying monies are spent from the pharmaceutical, chemical companies and meat integrators?  How many subsidies and tax shelters are utilized in those industries.

                  I do agree with you that the number one thing from a policy perspective that must change is energy, not the total consumption, they type of energy.  Fossil fuels should be way more expensive reflecting the harm that they cause to property, health and the planetary systems.  Using sustainable energy should be the norm, not the exception.

          •  You said: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pescadero Bill, CanisMaximus

            First of all, I am not a troll and I don't make troll comments.    I realize that you may be part of the 'everyone who disagrees with me is a troll or shill' contingent sometimes here on DK.

            On this....

            I think LS disagrees with climate change.
  're deliberately distorting my position saying that using the terms 'climate change' to describe our problem is not a good idea when the best description is of our problems as "global warming" problems.


            Time for LS to put up or shut up.
            What I'm saying is error are statements claiming that the cessation of eating meat is the most effective thing that a typical meat-eating individual can do to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas emissions as compared to all other actions that can be taken.

            Let's start with the USDA report which can be fairly characterized as reflecting the environmental footprint of typical beef cattle CAFO-feedlot operations in the United States:


            The GHG impacts were:
            10.9 kg of CO2e/kg Body Weight

            The energy impacts were:
            26.5 MJ/kg BW

            To convert to lbs of meat from live weight as sold, we need the dressing percentage which we'll assume to be 59%

            10.9 kg CO2e     kg BW
            --------------- *   --------------  =   18.5 kg CO2e/kg meat
            kg BW                 0.59 kg meat

            26.5 MJ/kg BW     kg BW
            ----------------  *  ------------------  =  44.9 MJ / kg meat
            kg BW                   0.59 kg meat

            Let's convert these to lbs  

            18.5 kg CO2e
            --------------    = 18.5 lbs CO2e/lb meat
            kg meat

            44.9 MJ      0.454 kg
            ---------  *   ------------    = 20.4 MJ / lb meat
            kg meat         lb

            Let's assume a diet of eating 0.5 lb of U.S. grown beef per day annually or 183 lbs of beef consumption per year.

            If that consumption was produced by typical U.S. CAFO beef production methods (not grazing beef cattle):

            18.5 lbs CO2e / lb meat   *  183 lbs  =  3386 lbs CO2e/yr

            This does not include energy for processing, transport and refridgeration.

            However, let's say you drive a 23 mile per gallon vehicle  10000 miles per year for 435 gallons of gasoline consumed.

                          0.125 mmbtu     71.35 kg CO2      2.2 lb
            435 gal *  ----------       *   ------------   *    ----
                            gallon               mmbtu               kg

               =   8530 lbs of CO2e

            If you cut driving by 20% and bought a 35 mpg vehicle, you would generate:

                          0.125 mmbtu     71.35 kg CO2      2.2 lb
            229 gal *  ----------       *   ------------   *    ----
                            gallon               mmbtu               kg

            =  4493 lbs of CO2e  for a difference of 4037 lbs of CO2e reduction from driving less and using a more efficient vehicle....and an amount exceeding the GHG emission reduction achievable by not eating U.S. beef.

            Similar exercises can be carried out on personal electricity consumption and natural gas consumption.

        •  Appeals to authority (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          even to credible authorities, don't replace facts, and as far as I can determine, both sources you cite are right about climate (it's their specialty) and wrong about agriculture (in which they have no particular expertise).

          The IPCC, for example, which has assembled ag expertise to evaluate the situation, doesn't come up with any recommendations about meat consumption. They do recommend that all ag practices need remediation to reduce GHG emissions.

          No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

          by badger on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 02:18:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Badger, the man in the video claims to be the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VL Baker

            current head of the IPCC, and he is recommending reduced meat consumption as a way to be healthier and fight climate change.  

            The USDA's food pyramid has been updated to reflect that Americans should eat less meat and dairy that previously recommended.  Here's that link.

        • (4+ / 0-)
          All of this is well-intentioned stuff, none of it denies the central importance of CO2, and I’m sure there are many benefits to be had from reducing soot emissions sooner rather than later. Given the large agricultural component of methane emissions, keeping these emissions from growing in the face of a the need to feed a growing number of people is a serious challenge that must ultimately be met. But still, these proposals tend to convey the impression that dealing with the short-lived forcings now will in some way make it easier to deal with CO2 later, and that’s wrong. In this post, I will explain why.

          "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

          by Pescadero Bill on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:22:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is not personal (0+ / 0-)

        Its systemic, and plutocorporocratic. Honestly, if you believe that personal habits modification will solve climate change, that may actually be an obstacle.

        A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

        by onionjim on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 02:39:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  so you advocate waiting for plutocorporocrats to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          modify your behavior..because modifying personal behavior has to happen whether it's done individually or by waiting for governmental/corporative decree.  We have lost precious time waiting for 'something' to modify our behavior.

          Macca's Meatless Monday

          by VL Baker on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 02:53:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No, we must advocate for policy changes with (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VL Baker, sillia

          respect to emissions and any other type of pollution that harms us.  If dirty energy remains cheaper than renewables, then people will keep using them.

          Yet, we cannot divorce ourselves from the lifestyle changes that we can make to be part of the solution as well.  

          Eating less unsustainably produced meat and dairy does reduce emissions significantly.  Vegans have a much lower carbon footprint (given all other variables are the same).

          No one disputes that to my knowledge.

    •  To do that rebuttal effectively I have to have (0+ / 0-)

      that entire UN Food and Ag report and it is not available at the link provided.    That meat institute link suggested that portions of the UN report have been withdrawn.

      In the meantime, here is information from tax-payer-financed USDA research on energy and other environmental footprint of at least beef grown by USDA technical methods in the United States in a typical industrial agricultural (CAFO/feedlot-style operation):

      The amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that a person is responsible for  as a result of their personal consumption is measured in tons per year (i.e. energy for space and water heating, for producing electricity consumed, energy for transportation, etc.).

      The amount of greenhouse gases generated from production of beef by a person eating a typical beef-consuming diet will far, far less than the amount of GHG gases released as a result of energy utilization for space and water heating and to generate electricity.

      •  You Said: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        radical simplicity, VL Baker
        One of the problems with the UN Food and Agriculture report is that it is not very useful to evaluating energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with producing beef as it is predominately carried out in the United States.
        And then provided me with a report from the USDA, which doesn't mention the livestock we consume that is produced outside of the US? I'm pretty sure you haven't bothered with the UN Report, which I found easily using the google right here.

        Here's a teaser


        “The environmental costs per unit of livestock production must be cut by one half, just to avoid the level of damage worsening beyond its present level,” it warns.

        When emissions from land use and land use change are included, the livestock sector accounts for 9 per cent of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65 per cent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure.

        And it accounts for respectively 37 per cent of all human-induced methane (23 times as warming as CO2), which is largely produced by the digestive system of ruminants, and 64 per cent of ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain.

        "Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Elie Wiesel

        by Jason Hackman on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 01:55:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please see again this rendition of the situation (0+ / 0-)

          in the United States showing the agricultural sector to have the least greenhouse gas emissions of all United States sectors and, in particular, agricultural emissions that are far behind emissions from electricity generation and transportation:

          Agriculture is only responsible for 8% of all emissions of
          CO2 equivalents.

          •  sorry LS....IPCC was more accurate and (0+ / 0-)

            thorough in their global assessment of emissions from livestock sector:

            aggregating emissions throughout the livestock commodity chain - from feed production (which includes chemical fertilizer production, deforestation for pasture and feed crops, and pasture degradation), through animal production (including enteric fermentation and nitrous oxide emissions from manure) to the carbon dioxide emitted during processing and transportation of animal products.

            Macca's Meatless Monday

            by VL Baker on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:42:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What exactly and specifically about the 2013 EPA (0+ / 0-)

              emission inventory for greenhouse gases in the United States
              do you deem to be in error and what is the basis you have for making the objection?

              And, how specifically are you interpreting IPCC reports to be at variance with EPA's CO2e emission inventory?

              Emissions inventory determination is a scientific process and participants in that scientific process always have a basis for statements saying that another participant's workproduct is wrong.  

    •  Evidence. (0+ / 0-)

      Check it out, seriously.

      Carbon reduction and scrubbing should be the number one goal of individuals and governments alike.

      "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

      by Pescadero Bill on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:12:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  please click last link in dairy 'many ways' (0+ / 0-)

        no one is advocating that we can stop trying to reduce CO2 emissions.  we must walk and chew gum at the same time

        Macca's Meatless Monday

        by VL Baker on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:22:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site