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Carbon footprint of meat based diet

“Simply put, raising beef, pigs, sheep, chicken, and eggs is very, very energy intensive. More than half of all the grains grown in America actually go to feed animals, not people, says the World Resources Institute. That means a huge fraction of the petroleum-based herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers applied to grains, plus staggering percentages of all agricultural land and water use, are put in the service of livestock. Stop eating animals and you use dramatically less fossil fuels, as much as 250 gallons less oil per year for vegans, says Cornell University’s David Pimentel, and 160 gallons less for egg-and-cheese-eating vegetarians.”

via Audubon Magazine.

EU’s new figurehead believes climate change is a myth

“The European Union’s new figurehead believes that climate change is a dangerous myth and has compared the union to a Communist state.

The views of President Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic, 67, have left the government of Mirek Topolanek, his bitter opponent, determined to keep him as far away as possible from the EU presidency, which it took over from France yesterday. ”

From Times Online

Scientific naysayers deny human agency in climate change: Friends of denies human agency in climate change, presenting themselves using a scientific argument and tone. For example:

‘MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate.
FACT: Accurate satellite, balloon and mountain top observations made over the last three decades have not shown any significant change in the long term rate of increase in global temperatures…’

Watching the video, it seems they are attributing climate change in part to the same extra terrestrial energy which gave the fantastic four their extraordinary powers: cosmic rays. They argue that when the solar wind is low, more cosmic rays reach the earth which can be shown to be correlated with cloud formation.

See the alledged scientific video:

via Friends of Science.

Total Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide – 3,000 Gigtonnes

Carbon dioxide in earth’s atmosphere is considered a trace gas currently occurring at an average concentration of about 385 parts per million by volume or 582 parts per million by mass. The mass of the Earth atmosphere is 5.14×1018 kg, so the total mass of atmospheric carbon dioxide is 3.0×1015 kg (3,000 gigatonnes). Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide fluctuate slightly with the change of the seasons, driven primarily by seasonal plant growth in the Northern Hemisphere. Concentrations of carbon dioxide fall during the northern spring and summer as plants consume the gas, and rise during the northern autumn and winter as plants go dormant, die and decay. Concentrations also vary considerably on a regional basis: in urban areas it is generally higher and indoors it can reach 10 times the background atmospheric concentration.

via Carbon dioxide – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Obama’s Energy Chief Pick: Steven Chu

From Energy@Berkeley: Solutions for Global Warming

18:05 Energy efficiency and conservation is and will remain the lowest hanging fruit for the next several decades, there’s no question about this.

Free markets fail when there is what’s called a commons problem. So what’s a commons problem ? It’s a common shared resource. The fish in the ocean is a common shared resource, and so when one country or one sector doesn’t have total control over this resource, they might think “well, I gotta fish what I can fish, because someone else might over fish and cheat me out of my fair share”, let me put it bluntly, that’s typically what happens , that also happens in air and water pollution issues, sharing of water resources across borders, and the climate change issue and greenhouse gasses is the ultimate commons problem.

The choice of Steven Chu provides strong clues as to the direction of Obama’s upcoming Green New Deal:

21:15 Buildings are 40% of the energy consumption in the United States … Many many progressive architects tell me you can save a factor of two in energy which would have a payback in five years or less.

Obama’s Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere: Marine Biologist Jane Lubchenco

From Select Committee Oceans Hearing:

“Americans told us they wanted:
safe seafood, healthy seafood, number one,
number two clean beaches,
number three, abundant wildlife,
number four stable fisheries -no more of this boom and bust and closures,
and fifth, vibrant coastal communities.
Now I think that’s a really nice summary and synthesis of the way Americans think about oceans. And I think that they truly understand that they appreciate them, they want these things. What they don’t understand is that all of those things depend on healthy, productive, and resilient ecosystems and that’s not what we’re seeing now, we’re seeing serious degradation and disruption and depletion, and climate change is going to exacerbate that very, very seriously.” ~ Jane Lubchenco

Jump ahead to 4:45 for Jane Lubchenco’s part.