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View Poll Results: What role do humans play in contributing to climate change?
Humans are the primary contributor to climate change 385 64.27%
Humans contribute to climate change, but not the main cause 154 25.71%
Not sure 32 5.34%
Climate change is a hoax 28 4.67%
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Old 08-09-2021, 12:19 PM   #2181
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The other complication is the energy intensity of agriculture. Industrialized agriculture is significantly more energy intensive than hand farming. A basket of berries grown on some remote hillside in Chile and shipped via containership is significantly less carbon intensive than anything grown around Calgary and trucked to your local farmer's market.
Is it? I would have thought industrialized agriculture would be far more efficient. Maybe there are a few edge cases, but in general, industrial agriculture has to be far less resource intensive on a per unit basis.
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Old 08-09-2021, 12:29 PM   #2182
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The other complication is the energy intensity of agriculture. Industrialized agriculture is significantly more energy intensive than hand farming. A basket of berries grown on some remote hillside in Chile and shipped via containership is significantly less carbon intensive than anything grown around Calgary and trucked to your local farmer's market.
I'm not sure how you can make this conclusion. How is importing food from Chile less carbon intensive than locally raising cattle fed on locally grown grasses and grains. Do you have any idea how many pounds of berries it takes to equal the calories, that humans can actually consume, from 1 lbs of ground beef?

In these examples, specific farming practices and inputs are likely to be far more significant than the products themselves, when looking at carbon output.

Imported fruits and vegetables should be avoided at all costs. Transport carbon inputs are massive. The shipping industry is responsible for 3.1% of carbon output, and it's a relatively dirty type of that output:

https://www.transportenvironment.org...climate-change
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Old 08-09-2021, 12:48 PM   #2183
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Is it? I would have thought industrialized agriculture would be far more efficient. Maybe there are a few edge cases, but in general, industrial agriculture has to be far less resource intensive on a per unit basis.
I have a book here... let's see if I can find it.... here it is "How Bad are Bananas?" by Mike Beners-Lee.

For the title of the book, bananas themselves are not all that bad. They are grown in natural sunlight and don't require intensive farming practices, require very little packaging and they keep well so 99% of the world's supply of bananas are shipped by boats.

But since banana's can't be grown locally, I'll find a better example from the book. Let's say strawberries. Growing them indoors, such as in greenhouses, has slightly more emissions than producing them in Mexico and flying them to Canada. Either way would be about 1.8kg of CO2 per pound of strawberries. But buying them locally from the Farmer's Market is about 180g of CO2 per pound. One of the biggest issues with transporting strawberries from abroad is wastage as almost 25% spoil between the field and the checkout. So, in season, getting strawberries locally is 1/10th the CO2 compared with buying from a more southern country. But in spring and fall, we are much better off buying internationally as the carbon cost of growing inside is higher than the transportation cost.

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Old 08-09-2021, 12:55 PM   #2184
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Which thing that is happening to the oceans?
Three things, really. The first is a tie in to the discussion above, which is ocean acidification. I'll add an easy 10 minute TEDtalk on that below. That is directly effected through CO2, and solving one could solve the other.

The second that I can think of are chemicals and plastics being disposed of in the oceans. This is directly related to consumption and education, and is a fixable problem, although there is no money in fixing it, so very little is happening here, other than the odd feelgood story.

The third is the use of the oceans as a sewer. Wrap your mind around how many people do exactly what and send it down rivers or directly into the sea, on a daily basis. There have been recent studies in Seattle and Vancouver about local effects of this practice, and that is from a very tiny population compared to the population doing this. There is a great little documentary about the combination of this plus overfishing in the southeast asian islands, and what it has done over the last twenty years. It goes from oceans teeming with life to the same oceans (at the same time of year) virtually dead. It was amazing, but I can't find it now.

Anyway, a climate scientist probably has a list of thirty instead of three.

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Old 08-09-2021, 01:04 PM   #2185
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Imported fruits and vegetables should be avoided at all costs. Transport carbon inputs are massive. The shipping industry is responsible for 3.1% of carbon output, and it's a relatively dirty type of that output.
According to the US EPA, if we break down the US transportation CO2 emissions by sector, most shipping CO2 is coming from vehicles (trucks). Some is coming from air shipping. Very little is coming from trains or boats. Saying "Transport inputs are massive" ignores that some transportation is more energy intensive that others.

100 grams of beef contains 250 calories. 100 grams of berries contain about 57 calories. So you would need 500 grams for berries to equal the same calorie count.

According to the book I cited above, beef in general is 18kg of CO2 per kg of beef. Of which 9/10ths is production and only 1/10th is processing and transportation. That is far more than 5x the CO2 required to produce local, or even foreign sourced berries!!!
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Old 08-09-2021, 01:04 PM   #2186
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I'm not sure how you can make this conclusion. How is importing food from Chile less carbon intensive than locally raising cattle fed on locally grown grasses and grains. Do you have any idea how many pounds of berries it takes to equal the calories, that humans can actually consume, from 1 lbs of ground beef?
I never intended to compare local beef to foreign berries. I meant to compare local berries to foreign berries. Sorry if that wasn't clear.


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In these examples, specific farming practices and inputs are likely to be far more significant than the products themselves, when looking at carbon output.
Exactly, and rudimentary hand farming in a geography optimized for a certain food has very few inputs. Irrigation, pesticide use, fertilizers, and fuel are consumed at near zero levels.

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Imported fruits and vegetables should be avoided at all costs. Transport carbon inputs are massive. The shipping industry is responsible for 3.1% of carbon output, and it's a relatively dirty type of that output:

https://www.transportenvironment.org...climate-change
3% of carbon from shipping is nothing compared to 25% of all carbon that goes into food production. We should optimize for the most efficient locations to produce food. Container shipping is extremely efficient by weight. Getting food from the warehouse to your local store and then back to your house in your car can be more carbon intensive than an intercontinental container trip for a food item.

Here's an analysis on how New Zealand lamb may be less carbon intensive for people in the UK to eat than UK produced lamb:

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/w...onment-2240702

I've seen a really good one on how apples from South Africa are less carbon intensive than UK apples when off-season because of the lower crop efficiency as well as the energy used for cold storage.

Here's one for foreign tomatoes being more efficient:

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/...tbl1_329187640
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Old 08-09-2021, 01:19 PM   #2187
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According to the US EPA, if we break down the US transportation CO2 emissions by sector, most shipping CO2 is coming from vehicles (trucks). Some is coming from air shipping. Very little is coming from trains or boats. Saying "Transport inputs are massive" ignores that some transportation is more energy intensive that others.

100 grams of beef contains 250 calories. 100 grams of berries contain about 57 calories. So you would need 500 grams for berries to equal the same calorie count.

According to the book I cited above, beef in general is 18kg of CO2 per kg of beef. Of which 9/10ths is production and only 1/10th is processing and transportation. That is far more than 5x the CO2 required to produce local, or even foreign sourced berries!!!
Is that US only transportation or does it include the mega container ships from Asia that come in every day?
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Old 08-09-2021, 01:20 PM   #2188
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BTW - here is a pretty good summary of today's report.

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Old 08-09-2021, 01:24 PM   #2189
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Is that US only transportation or does it include the mega container ships from Asia that come in every day?
I am not sure what the EPA numbers include. I would be interested in seeing some global statistics.

I thought the numbers applicable to the conversation as we were discussing food shipping, and I think food coming from Mexico or south or Central America would be similar. Shipping by boat would be considerably less than shipping by air. Lumping all transportation into one category misses that the type of transportation plays a big role.
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Old 08-09-2021, 01:37 PM   #2190
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I never intended to compare local beef to foreign berries. I meant to compare local berries to foreign berries. Sorry if that wasn't clear.




Exactly, and rudimentary hand farming in a geography optimized for a certain food has very few inputs. Irrigation, pesticide use, fertilizers, and fuel are consumed at near zero levels.



3% of carbon from shipping is nothing compared to 25% of all carbon that goes into food production. We should optimize for the most efficient locations to produce food. Container shipping is extremely efficient by weight. Getting food from the warehouse to your local store and then back to your house in your car can be more carbon intensive than an intercontinental container trip for a food item.

Here's an analysis on how New Zealand lamb may be less carbon intensive for people in the UK to eat than UK produced lamb:

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/w...onment-2240702

I've seen a really good one on how apples from South Africa are less carbon intensive than UK apples when off-season because of the lower crop efficiency as well as the energy used for cold storage.

Here's one for foreign tomatoes being more efficient:

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/...tbl1_329187640
Are most imported fruits and vegetables really just from rudimentary farms though? If were to move towards that kind of model, which is very labour intensive, how much are we then paying the foreign workers?

It seems like the solution would be to overhaul local farming practices, instead of importing from places with better farming practices.

I was responding to a post about imported berries vs. locally grown meat from a small farmer's market.
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Old 08-09-2021, 01:47 PM   #2191
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3% of carbon from shipping is nothing compared to 25% of all carbon that goes into food production. We should optimize for the most efficient locations to produce food. Container shipping is extremely efficient by weight. Getting food from the warehouse to your local store and then back to your house in your car can be more carbon intensive than an intercontinental container trip for a food item.
That's bit of a bum argument. Most sources of emissions pale in comparison to transportation, which is the single biggest source of emissions. The whole food production industry is only about 10% of emissions.

Quote:

Here's an analysis on how New Zealand lamb may be less carbon intensive for people in the UK to eat than UK produced lamb:

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/w...onment-2240702
An interesting tidbit form this article that seems to counter the base argument many on here are making:

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Researchers said the style of farming in New Zealand is considered to be less intensive than in Britain because of the large areas of land.

This points to the efficiency of large farms.

At the end of the day, it seems that we should be eating things that can be produced efficiently locally and not importing. If X product can be produced more efficiently somewhere else, then the solution would be to look for a more efficient local product and stop eating so much of X product.
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Old 08-09-2021, 03:09 PM   #2192
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Are most imported fruits and vegetables really just from rudimentary farms though? If were to move towards that kind of model, which is very labour intensive, how much are we then paying the foreign workers?
We are discussing the CO2 intensity of food. I brought up the fact that your implied truth that local = better is wrong, and used the extreme case to demonstrate this.

It is still true even comparing industrialized farming, the most efficient climate/geography is going to lower the production related emissions.

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It seems like the solution would be to overhaul local farming practices, instead of importing from places with better farming practices.
This is not true, unless people shift their diet to only things that are grown locally. Greenhouse grown lemons in Calgary will never be as efficient as outdoor grown lemon somewhere with the ideal soil and climate.

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I was responding to a post about imported berries vs. locally grown meat from a small farmer's market.
I never made such a post, go back and re-read it if you like.
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Old 08-09-2021, 03:12 PM   #2193
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That's bit of a bum argument. Most sources of emissions pale in comparison to transportation, which is the single biggest source of emissions. The whole food production industry is only about 10% of emissions.
Food production is 25% of C02 emissions. Transportation of that food via container ship to the end customer is a drop in the bucket. We should optimize food production by growing/raising it in the most efficient places do to natural geographic advantages.

https://ourworldindata.org/food-ghg-emissions

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An interesting tidbit form this article that seems to counter the base argument many on here are making:




This points to the efficiency of large farms.
No, it points to the geography of New Zealand being more suitable to raise sheep. They have huge swaths of land to graze them off of the natural vegetation as opposed to bringing in feed.

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At the end of the day, it seems that we should be eating things that can be produced efficiently locally and not importing. If X product can be produced more efficiently somewhere else, then the solution would be to look for a more efficient local product and stop eating so much of X product.

You've got this completely backwards unless all we eat in Alberta is wheat and canola.
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Old 08-09-2021, 04:36 PM   #2194
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Food production is 25% of C02 emissions. Transportation of that food via container ship to the end customer is a drop in the bucket. We should optimize food production by growing/raising it in the most efficient places do to natural geographic advantages.

https://ourworldindata.org/food-ghg-emissions



No, it points to the geography of New Zealand being more suitable to raise sheep. They have huge swaths of land to graze them off of the natural vegetation as opposed to bringing in feed.




You've got this completely backwards unless all we eat in Alberta is wheat and canola.
I wouldn't call 6% a drop in the bucket. The idea of transportation of food being sustainable also relies on being able to monitor foreign production and ensure these nations comply with pro-environmentally and generally ethical policies. It's great to bring up an example of a single farm in New Zealand. The reality is that most foreign food production is coming from less than ethical places. For example, if we're moving food production from the plains of Alberta to Central America, that creates all sorts of issues both environmental and ethical.

There's also a lot more you can produce locally than wheat and canola.
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Old 08-09-2021, 05:31 PM   #2195
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I wouldn't call 6% a drop in the bucket.
Are you implying that transport of food is 6% of global GHGs?

Because that's wrong. It's maybe 2%, using the most generous estimates.

And if you analyze the carbon intensity of the transportation chain to get food to your table, you'll find most of it is incurred by the trucked legs, not by the shipping. Driving your car to the grocery store ends up being significant because you are moving such a small mass of food relative to mass transportation.

So within that 2%, a significant portion of it will still be there to truck it in from your local farm and then for you to drive it home from the farmer's market.

Your argument is that we should optimize for a portion of 2% of global GHGs instead of optimizing for 20% of global GHGs, by producing as efficiently as possible.

I'm not considering any of your ethics arguments, because just as you said we should focus on producing local food more efficiently, I'll just throw out that we should focus on producing foreign food more ethically. Use it as a platform to raise the global standard of living and workers rights. That's a lot more noble than some efficiency projects that are not affordable for most of the world.
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Old 08-09-2021, 06:18 PM   #2196
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I'll just throw out that we should focus on producing foreign food more ethically. Use it as a platform to raise the global standard of living and workers rights. That's a lot more noble than some efficiency projects that are not affordable for most of the world.
I'd like to see ALL produce marked fair trade. I can get fair trade bananas and fair trade coffee, but if you are a worker in the fields for any other product, sucks to be you.

What is even harder is getting fair trade bananas that are easily recognized as CERTIFIED fair trade. There really is nothing stopping Dole from stamping "fair trade" on their bananas other than that people would laugh at them (google "dole bananas workers" if you never want to buy Dole bananas ever again).
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Old 08-09-2021, 06:20 PM   #2197
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You are right but the end result is to lower consumption which will devastate those companies when their isn't demand for their production.

Thatís one of the fundamental problems - our economy is based on consumption. We NEED a whole lot less stuff than we buy but it supports a vast array of businesses. If we are forced to reduce our consumption to match the Earthís capacity to sustain it will have major economic impacts. Some will be positive based on sustainable business models and technology, others will be very detrimental.
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Old 08-09-2021, 07:17 PM   #2198
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I will just leave this here. We can only do so much. Doesnt mean don't do anything, but the point still stands.
(Sources of GHG Emissions)

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Old 08-09-2021, 07:32 PM   #2199
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Canada represents 0.48% of the world population, but 2% of GHG emissions.

USA is 4.25% of the world population.
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Old 08-09-2021, 07:34 PM   #2200
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Canada represents 0.48% of the world population, but 2% of GHG emissions.

USA is 4.25% of the world population.
So roughly the same as the USA while being colder and more spread out. I assume the rates are pretty similar for first world countries?

Who is getting hit with the GHG associated with exports?
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