DOE issues press release: The Halloween Pumpkin Climate Menace (no, really)

A two-pumpkin jack-o'-lantern design that won First Prize in an office party contest. Carved by Gregory Kohs.
A two-pumpkin jack-o’-lantern design that won First Prize in an office party contest. Carved by Gregory Kohs, source Wikimedia

From the “methane is scarier when it comes from Jack-o-lanterns” department.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The US Department of Energy has issued a (serious) press release which suggests that Halloween pumpkins contribute significantly to global warming.

To commemorate National Energy Action Month, we’re featuring some scarily effective ways to save energy at home. As cooler weather lurks around the corner, tune in to Energy.gov all week long for ways to save energy and money—and avoid cold weather terrors like energy vampires. We also put together some energy-themed pumpkin patterns to help “energize” your neighborhood for Halloween. Send us photos of your energy-themed jack-o-lanterns via Twitter,Instagram, Facebook or email at newmedia@hq.doe.gov and we’ll share our favorites.

With the passing of Halloween, millions of pounds of pumpkins have turned from seasonal decorations to trash destined for landfills, adding to more than 254 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) produced in the United States every year. This Halloween, think of turning this seasonal waste into energy as a very important “trick” that can have a positive environmental and energy impact.

At landfills, MSW decomposes and eventually turns into methane—a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a part in climate change, with more than 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide (CO2). However, when MSW is used to harness bioenergy—rather than simply being thrown away—the end result benefits the environment and helps our nation become less dependent on carbon-based fuel. Harnessing the potential of bioenergy allows the United States to generate its own supply of clean energy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. It also limits stress on landfills by reducing waste and could ultimately create jobs for manufacturing, installing, and maintaining energy systems.

The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office is working together with industry to develop and test integrated biorefineries—facilities capable of efficiently converting plant and waste material into affordable biofuels, biopower and other products. These projects are located around the country and use a variety of materials as feedstocks.

One of them, Fulcrum Bioenergy’s biorefinery in McCarran, Nevada, will use MSW as a feedstock and use gasification and Fischer-Tröpsch conversion technology to produce “drop-in” biofuel for the military.

Fulcrum Bioenergy was one of three companies selected to receive federal investments for commercial-scale biorefinery projects to produce military-grade biofuel that can be directly substituted for petroleum-derived jet and diesel fuel. Another one of these projects, from Emerald Biofuels, will use a different type of waste—fats, oils, and greases—as a feedstock that will be hydro-treated and upgraded at its refinery on the Gulf Coast.

Once in full operation, these two biorefineries will have a combined capacity to produce 92 million gallons of advanced biofuel per year for the military. Fulcrum has since received a $30 million investment from United Airlines and has entered into a long-term jet fuel supply agreement with Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific.

The Energy Department is working to expand waste-to-energy opportunities in the United States, and its partnership with these companies is helping to remove barriers to the commercialization of fuel and power production from waste, including yard and food wastes. It might not be long until the 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins we produce annually are nearly as important to our energy security as they are to Halloween!

Source: http://energy.gov/articles/turn-your-halloween-pumpkins-power

Isn’t it reassuring, that money you would have frittered away on healthcare, education for your kids, saving for your retirement, or just having a good time, has been taken away from you as taxes, so it can be invested wisely on your behalf into defeating the pumpkin climate menace.

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Frank
October 29, 2015 8:32 am

“methane—a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a part in climate change, with more than 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide (CO2).” Where does the number 20 come from? Any scientific (as if that matters) studies to support this number?

Alan McIntire
Reply to  Frank
October 29, 2015 8:53 am

I suspect the reason is because methane is so rare. Since the effect is logarithmic, an increase of CH4 would have more effect than the increase of CO2
If an alternate earth had 0.04% CO2 and 0.04% methane, that 20 times would shrink drastically.

ShrNfr
Reply to  Alan McIntire
October 29, 2015 8:58 am

Given that liquid water (aka clouds) dominates the absorption spectra in that part of the IR the entire thing is a farce.

Bryan A
Reply to  Alan McIntire
October 29, 2015 10:27 am

But you still have to Burn Methane to produce energy. This is still a CARBON based energy source. And, burning CH4 combines with 3 – O2 to produce 2 – H20 and 1 – CO2. So CH4 based bio fuel is the Feel Good Carbon fuel??

Bryan A
Reply to  Alan McIntire
October 29, 2015 10:29 am

OOPS make that CH4 and 2 – O2

JD
Reply to  Alan McIntire
November 1, 2015 3:14 am

If pumpkins are a threat then shouldn’t we have runaway global warming and be dead already? I ask because this press release singles out pumpkins as if they are the only organic item degrading in nature. If their theory that pumpkins are a threat is factual that would mean that every fall, the totality of organic substances, leaves trees plants etc, that die off, which I suspect far exceeds the volume of pumpkins by several magnitudes based on the land mass size of north america alone, the earths atmosphere should be near 100% methane over the millions of years of vegetation dying off.
I do understand you aren’t supposed to apply any logic or critical thinking to what the greenies say but I slipped this time. Or is it specifically that the pumpkins are in a landfill that makes them dangerous? And if the pumpkins aren’t picked wouldn’t their rotting in the fields have the same supposed effect?
Oh, I got it. Since global warming is man made and man uses the pumpkins they degrade differently after halloween and being used than they would if left in the fields. Gee I feel better now. Now I don’t have to fear violating the rules of the church of Climate change.

Ben of Houston.
Reply to  Frank
October 29, 2015 8:55 am

It’s a ratio of their raw absorption of infrared per pound. Since methane is so low in concentration, it’s far back on the absorption curve, so lb per lb, it absorbs roughly 20 times more radiation than CO2. This is the raw physics side, so it’s actually very certain and scientifically sound. (Actual effect in the atmosphere, that’s another can of worms).
Willis did an article on this a few weeks ago, doing the math on Methane vs CO2. He missed the fact that the CH4 difference was based on lbs, so don’t forget to read the comments as well.

Scottish Sceptic
October 29, 2015 8:34 am

I had to read the headline several times before I was convinced your were serious.

Goldrider
Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
October 29, 2015 11:02 am

This is EXACTLY the kind of silliness I read the first time I logged onto a dot-gov website to see “what individuals can do” about climate change back when I was a believer. Then, it was “change out your old light bulbs for compact fluorescent,” worded as though that would Save the World. That’s when my BS meter started beeping, and I began to read–REALLY read–the science.
These people sound like a Daily Show parody at this point.

Reply to  Goldrider
October 29, 2015 5:47 pm

Spot on, I always had my doubts about the CO2 bits, when they started spruking CFL as a mean to save the world and all of us from being fried to a crisp, I started to look at the whole issue. It takes a hell of a lot more energy and materials to produce and recycle an “Energy Saving Globe” that it takes for a conventional light source. Without even mentioning the evil of all evil (another one) Mercury in landfill!!!The chardonnay-sippers never look at the details.

Stu
Reply to  Goldrider
October 29, 2015 7:27 pm

I think everybody is missing the real message from our Federal Government, which is… Even our dear little trick-or-treaters are carbon criminals. Why wait to program them in public schools, when we can do it much, much sooner?

Reply to  Goldrider
November 1, 2015 3:18 am

If pumpkins are a threat then shouldn’t we have runaway global warming and be dead already? I ask because this press release singles out pumpkins as if they are the only organic item degrading in nature. If their theory that pumpkins are a threat is factual that would mean that every fall, the totality of organic substances, leaves trees plants etc, that die off, which I suspect far exceeds the volume of pumpkins by several magnitudes based on the land mass size of north america alone, the earths atmosphere should be near 100% methane over the millions of years of vegetation dying off.
I do understand you aren’t supposed to apply any logic or critical thinking to what the greenies say but I slipped this time. Or is it specifically that the pumpkins are in a landfill that makes them dangerous? And if the pumpkins aren’t picked wouldn’t their rotting in the fields have the same supposed effect?
Oh, I got it. Since global warming is man made and man uses the pumpkins they degrade differently after halloween and being used than they would if left in the fields. Gee I feel better now. Now I don’t have to fear violating the rules of the church of Climate change.

October 29, 2015 8:40 am

Do we have to stop eating baked beans as well 🙁

indefatigablefrog
Reply to  Jim Olsson
October 29, 2015 10:55 am

This is going to come as a big shock to tree-dwelling vegan eco-warriors.
What are we going to be told we can’t have next?
Organic granola and mung sprouts?
Chunky knit peruvian alpaca rainbow hoodies?
Life is hard enough already when your protesting up a tree.

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
November 1, 2015 3:36 am

Actually, the real mission is to make us all live like the Amish. No electricity except via windmill or solar, no driving and everything handmade. The only part they disagree with is living moral lives and believing in something other than the greatness of the Federal Government.
And of course, non of the rules apply to the government or the media.
Trust in the lefties,from here on called the Union of Amerikan Socialist Republics (UASR, technically the YACP in Cyrillic), Peace unto them our beloved leaders, and all will be well since they are wiser and more caring than we could ever be.

Reply to  Jim Olsson
November 1, 2015 3:38 am

And does that mean the Pumpkin Chunkin contest in PA will be cancelled?

Jeff Mitchell
October 29, 2015 8:41 am

These people have way too much time on their hands. Should be the among the first people to cut in reducing the size of government.

PiperPaul
Reply to  Jeff Mitchell
October 29, 2015 9:31 am

Propagandists sitting around all day thinking up timely sound bite-friendly references to reinforce the already way overdone conditioning (and enthusiastically gobbled up and regurgitated by their enablers in the media).

LeeHarvey
Reply to  Jeff Mitchell
October 29, 2015 9:58 am

But what about the methane release from cutting them?
Won’t somebody please think of the children???

Logoswrench
Reply to  Jeff Mitchell
October 29, 2015 11:15 am

The very name is Orwellian. The Department of Engery doesn’t make any it just uses it.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  Jeff Mitchell
October 29, 2015 11:22 am

Agree Jeff, way too much time and way, way too much money to be wasting of the global warming scam. Imagine if we could put all that money into something worthwhile such as medical research to actually help mankind.

Reply to  Leonard Lane
October 29, 2015 5:52 pm

Are you Mad??? More health research?? To do what, increase the size and the longevity of the evil mankind? Producers of Methane and CO2? Destroyers of the perfect balance on Gaia? Users of the world resources? …and on and on she goes…..

empiresentry
Reply to  Jeff Mitchell
November 1, 2015 8:11 am

If they cut the Propaganda Department, there would be no government left.
Bureaucracy was meant to serve the largest number of people with the fewest resources.
It used to be a bad word.
This admin serves no one except themselves.
The organizational structure needs a new term.

michael hart
October 29, 2015 8:44 am

Amazing. I can’t wait to see the movie. Pump-nado?

oeman50
Reply to  michael hart
October 29, 2015 9:23 am

And Pump-nado II and III.

DD More
Reply to  michael hart
October 29, 2015 10:00 am

“Ask and people will come”, or something like that.
Who knew a giant pumpkin could do some serious damage? Well, when the pumpkin is this massive – weighing in at 1,465 pounds – and it’s dropped from above onto a minivan…expect a major crush.
http://www.cambio.com/2015/10/28/what-happens-when-drop-giant-pumpkin-on-minivan-video/
Not even from ‘Minnesotans For Global Warming’, but they do know how to have fun.
Also to the DOE – Of the approximately 2,400 active or closed municipal solid waste landfills identified in LMOP’s national database, about 595 of them have one or more LFG energy projects in operation, resulting in 645 operational projects.
http://www3.epa.gov/lmop/faq/l
For the math challenged, that is close to 25% capture much of the gas already.

Reply to  DD More
October 30, 2015 6:23 am

Our city’s landfill has methane capture also. Uses it to power various buildings on the site.

Gonzo
October 29, 2015 8:46 am

Jet Biofuels yeah! What could possibly go wrong at $59 a gallon? I’ll go out on a limb and say those two companies will be out of business by Jan 2017. Right after the next president is sworn in.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Gonzo
October 29, 2015 9:19 am

They profess to manufacturing “low carbon” jet fuel. Can anyone tell me what that means.

Paul
Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 29, 2015 9:39 am

“Can anyone tell me what that means”
Expensive.

LeeHarvey
Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 29, 2015 10:02 am

Sure.
I’m pretty confident that I could design an axial-flow turbine engine that would run on pure hydrogen.
I’m not saying that I could reliably supply this engine with fuel in a package that could get airborne, but I’m nonetheless confident that I could, indeed, design a zero carbon jet engine.

RWturner
Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 29, 2015 10:58 am

Low carbon fuel? My guess is that they are either burning liquid hydrogen or have nuclear reactors /s.
Or maybe these jets are like that solar plane flying trying to be the first solar jet to fly around the world. It’s only 8 months into the journey and they’ve almost made it half way around the world. It will ultimately only take them something like 18 months so it sounds like it’s time to divest from oil /s.
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-solar-plane-grounded-20150715-story.html

CarbobFarmerDave
Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 29, 2015 5:49 pm

An analogy would be like comparing propane with butane; one carbon atom difference and a corresponding difference in efficiency. I guess aircraft using lower carbon fuels will need more of it, therefore less passengers & more carbon miles if there is such a thing.

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 29, 2015 11:07 pm

Tom, can’t say the real question is what is the octane level. The ratio of weight to thrust.
It makes little sense to use twice the fuel to go half the distance. Also crappy fuel damages engines.
Again an example of not knowing how things work and why things work, (As Capt Kirk Would say)
michael

Patrick Sullivan
Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 30, 2015 10:59 am

The synthetic jet fuel created through the Fischer-Tropsch process is all aliphatic, i.e. straight-chain hydrocarbons. It would therefore have slightly lower carbon ratio than jet fuel distilled from petroleum, which contains some aromatic hydrocarbons.

Taphonomic
October 29, 2015 8:54 am

Stunning bunch of dimbulbs.
They supposedly want “…to save energy and money—and avoid cold weather terrors like energy vampires.” but then they advocate that people waste electrons by using computers or smartphones to: “Send us photos of your energy-themed jack-o-lanterns via Twitter,Instagram, Facebook or email at newmedia@hq.doe.gov and we’ll share our favorites.”
Those computers and smartphones must be powered by rainbows and unicorn farts.

Reply to  Taphonomic
October 29, 2015 5:54 pm

Forget the Unicorn Bit, that’s MORE methane…

CD153
October 29, 2015 8:56 am

Do these dim light bulbs at the DOE know that there already is a technology for turning municipal solid waste into energy? It’s called the plasma waste converter (PWC):
http://www.westinghouse-plasma.com/waste_to_energy/
“A plasma gasifier is an oxygen starved vessel where various feedstocks can be gasified using the very high temperatures achievable with plasma. Rather than being combusted, the heat breaks the feedstock down into elements like hydrogen and simple compounds like carbon monoxide and water. The gas that is created is called synthesis gas or “syngas”.
The syngas created in the gasifier, which contains dust (particulates) and other undesirable elements like mercury, undergoes a clean-up process to make it suitable for conversion into other forms of energy including power, heat and liquid fuels. The syngas clean-up process is tailored to meet the requirements of each project. In most cases, especially where municipal solid waste (MSW) is the feedstock, the syngas clean-up will include particulate removal, sulphur removal and mercury/heavy metals removal.”
I don’t know if PWCs actually produce more energy than is needed to break down the waste, but I’m all for building these things if they do. Obama is shutting down many coal plants and I think that they need to be replaced to keep our electricity generation capacity stable. PWCs address two issues with one technology–getting rid of MSW and landfills on one hand and producing energy to keep the country going on the other.
It doesn’t hurt do diversify our energy sources, and this technology helps to stretch out our fossil fuel reserves. Please note that my support for PWCs has absolutely nothing to do with CAGW — which I believe is mostly junk science. When the DOE uses jack-o-lanterns in the climate scare campaign, you know that they’re going off the edge of the cliff with CAGW.
–C

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  CD153
October 29, 2015 9:29 am

Overly expensive. Just a simple modern incinerator is the best way to treat most garbage. Municipalities are all taken by the “recycling” fraud. In Ottawa, we even drive trucks around collecting kitchen waste. Which is a terrible economic waste.

indefatigablefrog
Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
October 29, 2015 11:09 am

Same in the UK.
And the trucks typically block up local roads during the morning rush hour.
I’ve often found myself in a queue of 4-8 vehicles, waiting. Whilst a gloved council employee sorts some individual pieces of card, paper and plastic into separate bins on the truck.
Doubtlessly, nobody has done any evaluation of the quantity of fuel wasted during this pantomine.

Auto
Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
October 29, 2015 2:09 pm

Froggy good soul,
Here in the People’s Banana Republic of Croydonistan, in fairness, they are pretty nippy.
Each type goes into a b i g wheelie-bin; when that’s full, back to the dumpster, hoist it in and resume.
No idea how much is exported to China to degrade slowly – at my cost – in some trailer park near a dangerous goods plant.
But the traffic queues here are generally just – well – traffic.
I read somewhere that, in London, in 1880, the average speed of traffic [then, of course, horse-drawn] was 9 mph; in 1920 it was 10 mph, and in 2011 it was 8 mph.
Details may vary – but London traffic – like almost any other city worthy of village-plus status – can be glacial.
Auto

benofhouston
Reply to  CD153
October 29, 2015 10:14 am

It’s a great idea, but ludicrously expensive. The best thing to do is to separate out the metals for recycling (maybe glass too), and then burn the rest. A standard wet scrubber will handle the pollution and reduce your waste to small fraction of the original concentration. Landfill the resulting ash.
Alternatively, putting simple methane tubing in a landfill is a tried and true method of getting energy from garbage.
Now what they describe is actually sound science. It’s a digester (effectively anaerobic sewage treatment) followed by Fisher-Trops synthesis. F-T is a wonderful process that enables you to make hydrocarbons from anything that can burn. The problem is that it uses a lot of energy, so it’s never been economical and it’s certainly not low-carbon. If I remember from way back in college, it breaks even at roughly 200$/barrel, but don’t quote me on that.

Reply to  benofhouston
October 29, 2015 11:43 am

Lots of things nowadays are composites of different materials so separating out the metals is not feasible.
Some years ago I went round a local incineration facility. It is started with diesel but after that kept going (24/7) just by adjusting the amount of rubbish fed in to it. It burns hot enough to not produce nasties like dioxins. The waste passes by rotary magnets that pick out the ferrous parts (now not covered in plastic, paint, etc), some other mechanism (I don’t remember what) pulls out the non-ferrous metals. The end clinker is graded by size and mostly used as ballast for road building.
And all the energy tied up in the rubbish is released to generate electricity.

rogerknights
Reply to  benofhouston
October 29, 2015 12:44 pm

Here’s a book, Prescription for the Planet, that advocates for the use of plasma torches, among other things. Used copies are cheap.
http://www.amazon.com/Prescription-Planet-Painless-Remedy-Environmental/dp/1419655825/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1446147529&sr=8-1&keywords=prescription+for+the+planet

Ed Rad Jr - P.E.
Reply to  CD153
October 29, 2015 1:28 pm

Based on my 8 plus years of running an actual plasma heated furnace to investigate the methods to utilize plasma energy to destroy hazardous wastes, plasma is an effective method for treating wastes.
However, however, it is stated that plasma can be utilized to convert trash into energy. The information presented in the Westinghouse document is somewhat misleading.
Our actual research and development efforts pretty well established that a 500 kW plasma torch could process about 350 pounds an hour. That established a power to mass ratio of about 1.4 kW per pound. So, for a typical municipal solid waste processing example of 3,000 ton/day, the energy needed from the plasma is about 8,400,000 kW, or 8,400 MW per day or 350 MW per hour.
On the other side of the energy balance, municipal solid waste has a gross energy content of around 5,000 Btu per pound. The 3,000 ton/day of input trash thus equates to about 1,250 million Btu per hour of gross energy. Based on average conversion efficiencies for generating electricity from a heat source, the 1,250 million Btu/hr could generate about 143,000 kW or 143 MW. Therefore, 350 MW of plasma input energy produces at the most 143 MW of electrical energy, or 207 MW less energy than input electrical energy.
No net energy generation is why plasma will never be used for converting trash to energy…
Further proof of the operating inefficiency is that fact that Westinghouse has not built, started up and run an actual plasma plant that treats trash and produces net electrical energy. Never…

Knute
Reply to  Ed Rad Jr - P.E.
October 29, 2015 4:55 pm

Accurate and professional.
I saved this one.
Thanks

CD153
Reply to  Ed Rad Jr - P.E.
October 29, 2015 7:52 pm

@ed rad: Thanks Ed. I wasn’t sure if PWCs were capable of producing more energy than they required to operate. Couldn’t find anything about their operational costs and energy input requirements on the Internet (which is typical), just websites about how great they supposedly were. You’ve changed my opinion about them. Thanks.

benofhouston
Reply to  Ed Rad Jr - P.E.
October 29, 2015 8:07 pm

And this is why I keep reading this site.

CRS, DrPH
Reply to  Ed Rad Jr - P.E.
October 29, 2015 9:29 pm

Great post, Ed! I’m a former John Zink research guy myself, good post! As I recall, plasma furnaces were great for the complex organics like PCBs, dioxins etc. but not very energy-efficient. Burning MSW is a great idea, but some source separation (especially batteries with Ni, Cd, Hg etc.) makes a lot of sense to reduce pollution control systems. Best, Chuck

Reply to  CD153
October 29, 2015 5:56 pm

… Paris is ever so close…

Mark from the Midwest
October 29, 2015 9:01 am

I have many pumpkins, my six year old demanded at at least 8 of them. We will compost and the stuff will emit methane, it also makes nice rich soil, that grows plants that absorb CO2. So here’s my question: How much CO2 did the growing pumpkins absorb in the first place? And how much did that offset any methane that would be emitted? And who really cares, since these are just natural cycles that have been happening for thousands of years. And if all those people on the Upper West side, and their mayor deBlabermouth, are so concerned why don’t they have a city that has a functioning recycling program instead of a system that only enriches the Teamsters? And who really did select those idiot moderators for the debate last night, … geez don’t get me started …

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
October 29, 2015 11:49 am

AFAIUI composting is aerobic and produces little if any methane. Food waste in landfill tends to get well buried where conditions are anaerobic which is why methane is produce there – and that is a good
Landfill operators (at least in the UK) add collection & extraction piping before they cap an area. The methane they collect is burnt to generate electricity, enough to power the site and to export to the grid. This has been happening for decades and required no government subsidy. The private operators saw that they could save & eventually make money doping this so they just got on and did it.

Patrick
Reply to  James Bolivar DiGriz
October 29, 2015 8:37 pm

When I worked for IBM at Havant Plant, Havant, Hants in the 80’s IBM purchased methane from the local sewage treatment plant across the road for heating and power. It worked and saved IBM millions in costs.

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
October 31, 2015 4:10 am

Patrick,
THat is just the point about how real progress is made. The sewage treatment plant gained (money from IBM) and IBM Havant gained (paying less for their electricty).

Bruce Cobb
October 29, 2015 9:02 am

What’s really frightful is the cost of producing such foolish fuel.

Eliza
October 29, 2015 9:11 am
Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Eliza
October 29, 2015 9:26 am

Excellent.

Reply to  Eliza
October 29, 2015 9:35 am

Eliza: Deserves a post on its own. It shows how political the CAGW meme is. Sleeping in a hotel in Hanoi, North Vietnam with 2.5 cm gaps under the door and the windows the same in December back in the 90’s, I recall thinking how nice it would be if it was a tad warmer. Some how, I would be surprised if Vietnam is very fearful of CAGW. They have many more things to worry about as does most of the world. Concern about CAGW is an issue of guilt for the well off. How awful is it when we have to look to Russia for a realistic assessment?

Knute
Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
October 30, 2015 4:16 am

WD
“Concern about CAGW is an issue of guilt for the well off.”
Seems to be the hook, the root of the matter. What age group is most susceptible ? Women ? Men ? Edication level ?Interested to hear your opinion on why. Also interested to hear your opinion on the most effective method to combat this “burden”.
Apologies for digging in, but you raised the crux of the matter … in my opinion.
I recently walked down Madison Avenue in NYC. An entire block dedicated to handbags going for thousands and up. Limos parked on the street. Studly doormen to the stores. Been a looong time since I’ve seen such conspicuous consumption.
Recently read a fine book “Primates of Park Avenue” about a woman living in posh area of NYC and her immersion into the competition. Children treated like demigods … an extension of their parents egos.
Granted, historically, this phase of decades long economic growth creates often bizarre upper tier behavoirs. Is CAGW an expression of opulence gone awry ? Is it backlash to the opulence nurtured and created as a salve for an unhappiness that money can’t fill ?
Is my bias steering me towards what I want to see or is there something amiss and CAGW is an expression of a greater fundamental vaccuum?

indefatigablefrog
Reply to  Eliza
October 29, 2015 11:34 am

They are manipulative and clever. Don’t believe a word they say on the topic.
Putin knows that his he is seen as an ogre in the west.
So he can now play the “I’m a climate change skeptic”, card. He can also make it clear that his skepticism is rooted in his defense of “Big Oil”.
It’s all a big game. Now, the mastermind seems to be creating a strawman caricuture of the big oil defended climate change skeptic, using himself.
At least, that’s as good an explanation as any.
They are thinking three moves ahead.
Here’s the other “official line”:
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/271792-climate-change-greenhouse-russia/

Knute
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
October 29, 2015 12:35 pm

Frog
Just wanted to drop a line that I enjoy your comments because you are a strategic thinker. You seem to resist being knee jerk baited, look beyond the obvious and simultaneously manage to stay pretty grounded in your observations. I recommend your posts to others.
Thanks

Gary Pearse
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
October 29, 2015 8:32 pm

Manipulative and clever pretty much describes proponent governments of CAGW as well. At least Russian scientists have done novel research that shows the ice caps on Mars also shrunk in lock step with our Arctic during the late 20th Century. What could be causing that? Hmmm.
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=edae9952-3c3e-47ba-913f-7359a5c7f723

Knute
Reply to  Gary Pearse
October 30, 2015 2:57 am

GP
Enjoyed the matter of fact nature of the article.
Could it be that simple ? Compare what is happenning to Mars to Earth ?

Reply to  Eliza
October 29, 2015 11:43 am

Looks like the US republican party are in good company.

rogerknights
Reply to  Eliza
October 29, 2015 12:47 pm

Poland’s Euro skeptic party won over the weekend and has stated that it’s not going along with the EU’s CO2 reduction plans.

Robert of Ottawa
October 29, 2015 9:21 am

the pumpkin climate menace
Hahaha!

Tom in Florida
October 29, 2015 9:22 am

So here we go again, The preface is for the government to state there is a “problem”, in this case pumpkins taking up space in landfills ( I guess they never break down). Then they pick a company to give our money to in order to solve this “problem”. Just more money laundering by our gracious hosts in Washington.

Dawtgtomis
October 29, 2015 9:25 am

Oh dear! We’ll have to outlaw candles in them too. That would be like “double glazing” our little Halloween greenhouse! {closing SARCophagus}

Mike Smith
October 29, 2015 9:30 am

Our children won’t know what a pumpkin is!

Paul Westhaver
October 29, 2015 9:35 am

According the reasoning at DOE, BREATHING causes climate change and we all know where that will go.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
October 29, 2015 10:53 am

Because Ehrlich had a pony tail wore Levi’s and Birkenstocks all the tyrannical, autocratic, genocidal crap he circulated in the environmentalist left was excused as “telling it like it is”

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
October 29, 2015 11:51 am

David Suzuki pulled the same stunt. He used the whole hippie brand to get laid….and apparently he still does… he like them young girls in his entourage. Now it is creepy.

Bernie
October 29, 2015 9:36 am

Please provide an address so that I may mail my used Jack-O-Lantern to the MSW in McCarran, Nevada. Thx.

Jim G1
October 29, 2015 9:38 am

Last time I checked these bozos still thought methanol was a good idea in gasoline. You get water when you burn it. I believe water vapor is a more effective greenhouse gas than methane. No? Not to mention btu’s in when production is considered exceed btu’s out when used.

Bruce Cobb
October 29, 2015 9:39 am

This year we are “going green” for Halloween, and saving the carbon frankenstein-print of all that candy, decorations, etc., and shutting the lights off between 5 and 8 pm. We are just thinking of the children.
/sarc

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
October 29, 2015 6:11 pm

Maybe we should all buy an inflatable Pumpkin it could be reused over and over again, no more landfill problems.

The Original Mike M
October 29, 2015 9:43 am

In other news, citing an annual 40 BILLION pounds of methane generated by termites, Obama announced his plan to eradicate this GHG menace by offering a bounty of 1 cent per dead termite. Mao Tse Tung was unavailable for comment… http://io9.com/5927112/chinas-worst-self-inflicted-disaster-the-campaign-to-wipe-out-the-common-sparrow

Expat
October 29, 2015 10:01 am

So, plants (pumpkins) absorb CO2 and H2O in their growth cycle and when eaten or decomposing produce methane (+ H2O and CO2) which converts to CO2 and H2O. So where is GW contribution? Hauling it from the market perhaps?

Resourceguy
October 29, 2015 10:08 am

Just more evidence of agencies adrift, when not actively creating and driving bad public policy along.

Francisco
October 29, 2015 10:21 am

Hilarious!!! “helps our nation become less dependent on carbon-based fuel”… so Methane’s formula is rainbowdust-H4 ?!?!?!?!
Can’t even get that right

Russell Klier
October 29, 2015 10:22 am

This needs an acronym to be official…..How about PIG-W…Pumpkin Induced Global Warming……

Jim Berkise
October 29, 2015 10:27 am

Anybody remember W. F. Ruddiman’s 2005 book Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate? It posits that agricultural methane (from a source that will surprise many) but Ruddiman in NOT an alarmist. It provides some good perspective on the above silliness.

View from the Solent
October 29, 2015 10:27 am
JimS
October 29, 2015 10:29 am

There are NO words to describe such a press release.

John law
October 29, 2015 10:39 am

So watermelons go to war with pumpkins. Hollywood need to get a blockbuster from this!

RWturner
October 29, 2015 11:14 am

The two refineries will have a 92 million gallon capacity. That’s actually impressive, almost 5 days worth of gasoline for the entire U.S. But then of course you need to factor in that the fuel will not be as efficient as gasoline and that there will inevitably be more maintenance costs associated with this fuel because it does damage engines.
Top that off with the fact that this fuel is destined to be used by the military, by our Commander in Chief’s mandate. It should make military contractors sleep sound at night knowing that all of these million dollar machines will be rolling around burning engine-damaging ethanol. Nothing like throwing some E85 into a B-2.

u.k.(us)
October 29, 2015 11:23 am

I knew it all the time.
Pumpkins are evil, don’t even give me the story that they have been adjusted.

Hot under the collar
October 29, 2015 11:26 am

What next? Is the Department Of Ebenezer going to cancel Christmas due to the increase in energy use from Christmas decorations?
Bah Humbug!

Roland LeBel
October 29, 2015 11:52 am

What about the CO2 that was abstracted from the atmosphere to grow the pumpkins? that should be part of the overall equation, ain’t it?

Mick
Reply to  Roland LeBel
October 29, 2015 12:32 pm

But in Climate “science”, matter is only created not destroyed

October 29, 2015 12:06 pm

The great pumpkin cometh.
More terror to come, increased CO2 leads to larger, more mobile, intelligent pumpkins .
The great orange blob coming to your neighbourhood real soon.
I guess the annual pumpkin toss is our last great hope.
Based on this kind of dreck, we have one sustainable product, Human stupidity, an infinite renewable resource.

joelobryan
October 29, 2015 12:31 pm

Long-term (multi-millenial) sequestration of the carbon in the pumpkins is achieveable if they are somehow delivered to the frozen interior of Antarctica where summer temps stay at -20C or less. Other than that, their carbon will be back in global carbon cycle within a few decades.

katherine009
October 29, 2015 12:52 pm

I was lucky if I could get my pumpkins to last until Halloween before the squirrels ate them all up. Literally.

October 29, 2015 1:37 pm

Weren’t they attacking Christmas lights not so long ago? Looks to me like this is another let’s-shut-down-everything-we-celebrate-because-we-have-to-save-the-planet ploy. I see them as prepping the population to accept a world with no joy in it whatsoever.

SpeedOfDark
Reply to  A.D. Everard
October 29, 2015 2:49 pm

What a beige new world that has such people in it

Reply to  SpeedOfDark
October 29, 2015 4:53 pm

Good point. Their world right now must be so drab. How awful their lives must be so see only misery and horror and wish nothing but the same on everyone else.
Great expression by the way (“What a beige new world that has such people in it”).
🙂

Alx
October 29, 2015 1:42 pm

Well that’s good to know that we produce 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins annually. Just out of curiosity what are we producing the other 364 days of the year. And actually what are the other millions of species producing annually? And isn’t the millions of pumpkins we plant vast fields of acting as a carbon sink? Or has the CO2 crisis now past and we can focus on a methane crisis. Maybe we could pass a law that charges a methane tax for anyone who passes gas. Balance the budget on that one law alone.
Well it doesn’t matter we’ll throw it all into the bio refineries and create yet another even more expensive form of energy. Ever notice how recycled products cost more than those made new. The economics behind recycling is another good intent gone off the rails into La-La land. But I digress…

jesusdidntgiveuponme
October 29, 2015 2:07 pm

There was a movie made in the 1970’s (?) about people who had outlasted their usefulness (according to those in charge) being used for fuel. When I read the word “biofuel” that was the first thing that came to my mind!

Dawtgtomis
Reply to  jesusdidntgiveuponme
October 30, 2015 1:19 pm

I’ll remain ‘soilent’ on that movie title.

troe
October 29, 2015 3:12 pm

Justifying your share of the cheese. How many bloated bureaucrats did it take to crank out this mush.
Polling appears to show a steady decline of the publics faith in government. They have very good reason for that.

October 29, 2015 3:33 pm

A quick check with the Dep’t of Ag. website reveals that the story is based on a lie. A substantial majority of pumpkin, by weight, is used in human food processing. And this does not include the fresh pumpkin food uses, such as soup and stews. It also does not include animal feed from surplus pumpkin.

October 29, 2015 4:23 pm

Pumpkin waste to power rockets is the go…
https://youtu.be/CjoY_cSmQ70

u.k.(us)
Reply to  Ben D
October 31, 2015 10:33 pm

Good thing I never had toys like that.

Lewis P Buckingham
October 29, 2015 5:01 pm

Pumpkin plants sequester carbon from the atmosphere in the first place.
So they get rid of a dangerous pollutant according to the US EPA namely CO2.
In the meanwhile, while dangerous CO2 is rising, really dangerous Methane is not.
So no harm done.
The kiddies can enjoy pumpkin soup and lanterns, knowing that pumpkins will lead to a recovery of the planet.

Ter of Kona
October 29, 2015 5:12 pm

A sure indicator of blatant propaganda is when you see impressive looking numbers like “1.3 billion lbs.” , “92 million gallons”, “252 million tons”; all using different units of measurement, and no point of reference to place the numbers in the proper perspective. Thank you RWTurner for pointing out that 92 million gallons is less than 5 days gasoline usage in the US, and thank you Pat Ch for pointing out that only a small percentage of the 1.3 million lbs. of pumpkins are used for jack-o-lanterns. The activists behind this drivel know that most people will not take the time or make the mental effort to put these numbers into perspective.

Knute
Reply to  Ter of Kona
October 29, 2015 7:09 pm

TK
Perhaps one of the most popular tools in this appeal to ignorance crusade are subsets of cherries.
http://www.logicallyfallacious.com/index.php/logical-fallacies/66-cherry-picking
People are generally too busy to note that they are for instance being half truthed. They need help. Perhaps it’s helpful to have a set of icons to tag articles with in comment sections.
Start a viral competition to find the most fallecious articles.
Maybe a webpage that posts top 3 weekly most tagged “science” articles.

Matt Collins
October 29, 2015 5:38 pm

“Isn’t it reassuring, that money you would have frittered away on healthcare, education for your kids, saving for your retirement, or just having a good time, has been taken away from you as taxes, so it can be invested wisely on your behalf into defeating the pumpkin climate menace.”
Money quote! (Nailed it!)

sophocles
October 29, 2015 6:39 pm

ROTFL.
If this had any traction at all, the “Feetprints of Halloweens Past”
would be readily visible.
As it isn’t, this should be consigned to the trash along with the
Jack O’ Lanterns.

Louis
October 29, 2015 7:25 pm

“At landfills, MSW decomposes and eventually turns into methane”
So municipal solid waste (MSW) decomposes into methane. I thought it had to go through a cows stomach to produce methane. If not, then cows aren’t really part of the equation, are they. All the grasses, hay, and other vegetation that cows don’t eat will eventually decompose anyway. A cow’s stomach simply speeds up the process. If we got rid of cows to prevent global warming, we would also have to get rid of the vegetation they are no longer eating to prevent it from burning or decomposing. How would we do that, spray roundup on the fields the cows used to graze on? I’m sure environmentalists would love that.

October 29, 2015 7:45 pm

Put them in a landfill. High carbon source for methane production. I’ve made my living converting landfill gas methane to electricity for 14 years. If you could concentrate the punkins you could get a boost in methane and electrical output.
The trouble is that the punkins will be widely distributed, but every little bit helps the LFG to electricity cause.

Gary Pearse
October 29, 2015 8:39 pm

I learned many years ago in New Zealand that roasted pumpkin is a wonderful vegetable. It is like squash. Cut the pumpkin into triangles, score the flesh side with criss-cross cuts, put on a baking sheet or roasting pan, put a few blobs of butter on it and, if you like, some brown sugar. Bake until the flesh is soft to a fork. It is the nicest of the ‘squashes’. Really!! Pumpkin pie ain’t bad either, of course.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  Gary Pearse
October 30, 2015 2:06 am

It is the french’s favourite soup. Add a little haricots vert to ‘jazz’ it up et voilà. La bonne soupe

Stephen Richards
October 30, 2015 2:05 am

Millions of pounds turns into millions of tonnes ?

thekohser2
October 30, 2015 6:21 am

Thank you for visually featuring my jack-o-lantern.

Hangtown Bob
October 30, 2015 9:31 am

Whoa……. Just think about the millions of tons of carbon dioxide that were CAPTURED AND REMOVED FROM THE ATMOSPHERE by the pumpkins as they were growing. Growing pumpkins could be the solution to the world-ending threat posed by CLIMATE CHANGE!!!!!

October 30, 2015 6:20 pm

The drones at the DOE have declared war on vegetation. And we pay these clowns…I want my money back.

bh2
October 31, 2015 6:36 am

The Great Pumpkin is a polluter, Charley Brown.

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