Climate Change and Land: discussion thread

Reposted from Dr. Judith Curry’s Climate Etc.

Posted on August 10, 2019 by curryja

by Judith Curry

Discussion thread on the new IPCC Report on Climate Change and Land.

The complete Report can be downloaded here [link].

I’m working on digesting all this, here are some articles that I’ve flagged on my twitter feed.

Comprehensive summary of the report by Carbon Brief and also a summary of media response.

Good overview by Robinson Meyer:  This land is the only land there is

Good article by Jon Foley with recommendations: Farming our way out of the climate crisis

Jonathan Gilligan in support of vegetarian diets: “News and Views” commentary in Nature Sustainability on the integration of behavioral science, diet, and dietary impact on land use into integrated assessment models of climate and human activity. rdcu.be/bOaoY

George Monbiot: The IPCC and land report fails miserably

Farmers frustrated by biased reporting on IPCC climate study. Farm leaders have accused national media of twisting the facts contained in a major climate change report in order to promote their own anti-meat agendas.

Cattle are part of nature’s carbon cycle

Very provocative article:  Food injustice

JC reflections

Addressing the complex issues associated with land use is, to my mind, arguably more important than dealing with greenhouse gas emissions (and of course these two issues are connected).  It is good to see this issue getting the attention that it deserves.  A few of my summary thoughts on this:

Growing crops for biofuels makes no sense, especially if you cut down forests to do this.

Meat will continue to be an important part of many people’s diet.  I am personally  sensitive to this issue since I have celiac disease, with cross sensitivities to many other foods in addition to gluten containing grains (meat is one of the few foods I can easily digest).

Land sequestration of carbon is the low hanging fruit in CO2 mitigation, with many ancillary benefits to soils, ecosystems and agriculture.

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68 thoughts on “Climate Change and Land: discussion thread

  1. The provocative article on food justice has some useful information, but gosh the author comes across as an elitist of the same sort she mocks in her article.

    • She seems unhappy and embarrassed that her overriding need to climb the social ladder of the vanities has prevented her from not only enjoying a more fulfilling life but worse, caused her to behave in a way that is distasteful all the way down to the horrible food she eats in order to move in the same circles as the in crowd.

  2. From Carbon Brief: “little clarity surrounding the extent of land degradation” But they can make everything sound like the end is near.
    From This land is the only land there is: “Earth’s land has already warmed more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.6 degrees Fahrenheit)” UHI effect, it is cold as heck out here in the rural area.
    From Farming our way out of Climate Crisis “It turns out that CO2 released from burning fossil fuels — whether in electricity, transportation, buildings, or industry — contributes roughly 62% of the current warming. The remaining 38% comes from other sources — including roughly 24% from land use and agriculture.”
    CO2 going up, temperature going down now, Please explain 2014: Global Temperature Update – No global warming for 17 years 11 months – If Co2 is evil why didn’t the temperature follow the raise of CO2?
    A vegetarian rant not worth reading.
    Guardian journalism? Propaganda is the correct term.
    At this point I stopped.
    CTM, where is the opposing view points? I see nothing but propaganda from the socialist without any facts. Good? Comprehensive?

    JC: “Land sequestration of carbon is the low hanging fruit in CO2 mitigation, with many ancillary benefits to soils, ecosystems and agriculture.” CO2 is bad….
    Fact: Around 30% the available land that can grow food stock is not being used, the government is paying farmers to NOT plant crops.

    All this reminds me of a Replay I notice on another thread:
    ” Dave Fair
    October 6, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Aw, Christ, people; get a grip. In the climate realm, nothing bad has happened, nothing bad is happening nor will anything bad happen based on current trends.
    Modelturbation and other numerical speculation is warping your minds. There is no factual information that would lead one to fundamentally alter our society, economy and energy systems.
    Bite me, Trolls and profiteers.”

    • I agree entirely with your assessment. I do not understand why Prof. Curry entered this battlefield where she is, for all purposes, an unarmed civilian.

      How do people propose to not waste 30% of agricultural production? It’s starry-eyed stuff I am sure. A huge waste is the result of agriculture being a war against all of nature, and other than ridding ourselves of all the creatures who raid agricultural production, there is no way to prevent nature from taking a large chunk of production for herself. There is the boom/bust nature of agriculture caused mainly by weather variation year to year–and the necessary storage and its waste this engenders. Then there is bound to be the advice against monocrops, layout of fields, and so forth. I am not saying there isn’t room for improvement here and there in specific cases, but one can make efficiency the mortal enemy of economics.

      One can constantly build up the carbon/organic content of soils with low-till farming. But soon one finds oneself battling weeds and doing so with pesticides. The occasional deep plowing has to be done. The journalists and academics just know those ignoramuses in agriculture need a lot of advice.

    • “Fact: Around 30% the available land that can grow food stock is not being used, the government is paying farmers to NOT plant crops.”
      Are you talking about only the United States?

      • The EU does the same thing technically they call it diversification they pay them to not plant crop X they are supposed to plant something else. The reality is they plant nothing. FullFact.Org as an independent UK factcheck charity did the numbers on the UK for example
        https://fullfact.org/economy/farming-subsidies-uk/

        The basic fact check finding

        The basic point is correct. Last year farmers did make more from subsidies on average than from agriculture. Whether or not the exact figures are correct depends on whether you look at subsidies or all payments that farmers receive from government schemes.

        • It was called a fact. I don’t see that it’s supported. When one claims a fact, one source would be nice.

  3. “Good article by Jon Foley with recommendations: Farming our way out of the climate crisis”

    Can’t be a good article if the author thinks there is a climate crisis.

    • Agreed! No credence should be given to that utter nonsense.

      The true irony being that a “climate crisis” would be a return to “pre-industrial” (i.e., Little Ice Age) climate, from which the amount of “warming” is supposed to be cause for alarm (it isn’t – it is something to celebrate).

  4. Activists can never be satisfied. There is no definable end point. They just keep pushing forever.

    Take the EPA, for instance, they can never stop publishing new regulations. They can never stop and say, “Our work here is done, the environment is now healthy.”

    What we need is a mechanism for deciding the net benefit or harm for a new regulation. The positive and negative outcomes must be measurable, not hypothetical or statistical in nature. The ‘linear no-threshold’ model for radiation exposure comes to mind. Lawrence Solomon Why do I cite Lawrence Solomon? He campaigns against nuclear energy so he isn’t exactly biased against ‘linear no-threshold’. If anything his stance on nuclear energy would tempt him to support the concept. There are a few honest activists out there. He’s one.

    The greenies may think they have won the war on fossil fuels so now they’re going after our hamburgers. If they win that one, they will find something else to campaign against. Guaranteed.

    • CB, The greenies are just true believers. They have to have a cause they can believe in that reenforces their foundational belief that “mankind is destroying the world we live in.” It doesn’t have to be rational, in fact rationality is not one of their strong points. They are ego involved in these Causes and don’t actually look for a solution since that would terminate their ego satisfaction. When their current Cause starts to wither they immediately jump on the next one and ride it out.

  5. I read Mr. Foley’s contribution. Animal’s burp methane and CO2, but I have trouble understanding why this is a climate change issue at all let alone the #2 problem. These emanations are just part of a large cycle of substances that in any other context would be seen as “recycling”. Would this recycling result in some larger quantities of methane and CO2 in the air as the human need for food grows? Of course, it has to, just as recycling metals, plastics and paper lead to piles of these materials in recycling facilities.

    This would have no traction if it were not for the magical thinking that has crept into Americans’ thinking about food and health, added to their underlying dislike of agriculture in the first place–including, I hate to mention this, the class distinctions between the elite and those who farm.

    One has to be as suspicious of academics and journalists making suggestions about how to improve agriculture to every bit the same degree as journalists blathering stupidities about “Exxon knew.” I should not have to recount the horrors of the past century or two, or even three, when academics or kings got into the business of managing or directing agriculture. Sheep eating seaweed. Indeed.

    • “”:Would this recycling result in some larger quantities of methane and CO2 in the air as the human need for food grows? Of course, it has to, just as recycling metals, plastics and paper lead to piles of these materials in recycling facilities.””
      Actually NO!!! The animal gets one Carbon atom from vegetation. This produces (roughly) one Carbon atom in the atmosphere which is again absorbed in the growing of the vegetation through photosynthesis.
      Methane does NOT collect in the atmosphere and has a life cycle of about three years (contrary to the IPCC holding for years that the lifecycle of this most unstable gas was 12 years.)
      So if ruminant numbers are not increasing in any serious manner, the animals are not contributing to more Carbon in the atmosphere in any significant manner.
      To suggest otherwise, bt either the IPCC or the ABC, is just plain LYING!!!

  6. So far, we haven’t had any unequivocal signs of dangerous climate change after 40yrs of hype and yet, even thoughtful seekers of the truth, at base, can’t seem to allow themselves to wonder if there is nothing much to all this manmade climate change. When warming stopped for a period as long as the whole warming stretch, alarmists doubled down on cc being worse than we thought.

    2C warmer than 1950 as a tipping point was simply an invention. When it became clear to alarmists after the Pause that we may never even reach this figure by 2100 even doing nothing about it, they chopped it down to almost only 1/3 of that warming by making it 1.5C above 1850! That put 0.7C that had happened since 1850 in the bank so that another so that another 0.7C would take it to a dangerous threshold – 1/3 of the 2C from a 1950 starting gate. Why? Because their predictions, latterly changed to ‘projections’ were running 300% higher than observations proved to be.

    I’m a scientist and engineer whose training tells me this meme has been falsified and no one in the hyped side of it is actually doing science. After hundreds of billions of “research” money spent we still have no advance since Tyndall, Athenius and Charney. That to me is proof of malfeasance. I admire Curry for her courage in bucking the consensus, but she, too, stops digging into the existential layer supporting the theory. She shows some confusion when she gets close to it (listen to interview with Anthony Watts when he zeroes in on some of this).

    • Gary Pearse

      I’m a layman and take a simple approach to climate change.

      No one, as far as I’m aware, has ever in the history of man demonstrated by empirical means that atmospheric CO2 causes the planet to warm. Many have tried and all have failed so quite how anyone can make the claim that CO2 is the cause of climate change (AGW) is quite beyond me.

      In addition, and by comparison, the single, observable, direct manifestation of increased atmospheric CO2 has had on the planet is that it has greened by 14% over 35 years of satellite observations (70% attributable to atmos. CO2). It’s observable, measurable and irrefutable.

      The IPCC tell us that climate change is not the source of extreme weather yet, while the planet has undoubtedly warmed a little (thankfully) weather events seem, at worse, no worse than in measurable history and, at best, not as bad. Perhaps that’s why the IPCC say what they do, because they realise weather events are becoming less extreme and they can’t risk association one with the other?

      I have made a similar point to your second paragraph on a number of occasions, but I have likened it to the IPCC painting themselves into a corner because the sooner we breach the 1.5C limit, the better as far as I’m concerned. It will only serve to discredit them when nothing untoward happens.

    • I have to disagree with you. The meme is powerful and infects many many weak minds.

      A meme, like a gene, (kudos to Richard Dawkins) is selfish and is successful or not) without respect to science (and truth).

  7. If one studies prehistory, one knows that the desert surrounding the Nile River was once teeming with life. The areas was a grasslands and people lived there. Conditions changed over time and the weather patterns changed to be drier. The grasslands died, the sands took over, and we get the “natural climate” of today. None of this had ANYTHING to do with humans – it is the natural changing of climates from colder to warmer, wetter to dryer, and the reverse.

    Until one can accept that climate change is a natural ongoing process, one can not have any reasonable frame-of-reference to build upon how humans might affect the process. One must be able to somehow predict and measure natural climate change or one cannot hope to measure humans impact to that change – its just an act of faith without scientific basis and measurements.

    As for producing bio-fuels – I agree that knocking down forests to make gran (or sugar cane) for bio-fuels is a bad idea, however raising the octane levels of gas and lowering the amount of pollution (not CO2 or water) is a good idea – how do you propose to do this? Ethanol, for all it’s faults is an effective additive to reduce city pollution. Either we push for more efficient engines (likely through higher gas taxes) or we insist on additives like ethanol through regulation.

    As for diets…anyone that believes that forcing people to eat a certain way in the name of lower temperatures does not have a grasp on reality. Over time populations should begin to decline as more and more countries become wealthy and educated. This is the solution for human impact to the environment – wealth for spending on protecting the environment and fewer people impacting it. Until then, you will be pitting your beliefs about guardianship of the environment against the welfare of already living but under-wealthy humans. Because people understand so little history, they have almost no perspective.

    • Ethanol, for all it’s faults is an effective additive to reduce city pollution.

      Common knowledge, conventional wisdom.
      I am not so sure.
      One of the great overlooked fields of chemistry is fuel science. Indeed, many of the advances in engine technology went hand-in-hand with with advances in fuels. Fuel combustion and combustion by-products are a quiet but intensive field of study and have been for over a century. Major movers were WWI, WWII, (surprise!) and the US EPA getting into the act in the 1970s.
      Never was it observed that “oxygenated” fuels would burn cleaner. Nowhere, ever. “Oxygenated” simply means partially combusted, a state which happens anyway. No good reason for said fuels to burn cleaner.
      Oxygenated fuels burst onto the scene when the US EPA went into overdrive on fuel regulation. They divided the country into “climate regions” and then specified different seasonal blends for each region. They ended up with over 20 different fuel blends, all mandated. “Oxygenated” was the pretext for the regulation. But the data was incredibly weak. The support came in the form of “Studies Suggest” and “Research Indicates”. In other words, they could not prove the assertion, so they decided that the assertion was not disproven. Any of this sound familiar? Before long, the EPA got into the business of funding only that research which would go out and prove this stuff. I do not consider anything after this point to be even remotely credible. Especially when it directly contradicts decades of prior observation. Anybody who is familiar with the “Climate Wars” already knows how this game is played.

      • Not only is ethanol “oxygenated” gasoline probably something being mandated based on yet more junk science, but it also REDUCES FUEL ECONOMY, which thereby increases the amount of fuel burned to travel the same distance, and it deteriorates fuel system and engine components, especially in older vehicles not designed for it, thereby requiring more resources to replace what would be otherwise serviceable vehicles. So it’s “lose-lose” all around.

      • If you want to save trouble and money, try putting hi test gas in your small engines (lawn mowers and chain saws, for example). Here in Canada it has less ethanol which ruins those little engines. No one seems to include the costs of repeated repairs and replacements of things that took a lot of energy to make into the ethanol equation,

    • Robert of T: History is avoided as a matter of consensus policy by those pushing disaster climate. History is rich with climate data that doesnt support the consensus – wine industry in Scotland, grain and farm animals in Greenland for the MWP. LIA: New York Harbor, the Thames and even the Bosphorus froze over, 1/3 of Finns starved with failing crops, George Washington had a small force spirit cannons away from the British in Manhattan by rolling them over the ice to New Jersey!! Dishonest scientists even employ proxies to erase the very real little ice age and the medieval warm period (and other warmer periods).

      I would love to read a good broadly drawn post on history falsifying climate science’s case for today’s climate being the hottest in 800,000yrs and away beyond natural variability. I fear, though, all the Arts, including academic history is in lockstep with the consensus. Anybody out there?

    • Robert of Texas

      I think offering motor manufacturers incentives rather than taxing them to develop ‘lean burn’ engines is a more positive way forward.

      Indeed, we already have extraordinarily efficient and powerful, essentially ‘lean burn’ engines out there now. Europe is awash with 1.0 litre, three cylinder, turbocharged petrol engines propelling family sized saloons around. Increase displacement by 200cc and they are happily producing 130 bhp for seven seater people carriers to ferry people across continents at 70 mph+. A case in point, the Citroen Grand C4 Spacetourer – 1.2 PureTech 130 has a top speed of 124 mph with an EC Combined consumption of 54.3 mpg.

      These are performance figures that only 30 years ago would have been matched by a normally aspirated V6 petrol engined vehicle achieving 15 or 20 mpg.

      I simply do not believe ethanol is necessary in any vehicle considering it’s destructive nature on vehicles designed to run on petrol, and the potential of robbing the poverty stricken of cheap food.

      Your point on ‘overpopulation’ is, in my opinion 100% correct. Eradicating poverty will take care of population increase nicely. No need for Malthusian culls, inhumane punishments from over procreating, or birth control compulsion. Europe, and particularly the UK is facing a demographic time bomb with the elderly living longer and demanding more from the welfare state they have contributed to over their lifetime. The problem is birth rates are around 1.7 children per female and the number to maintain a balance between the working young required to fund the welfare state is around 1.2 children per female.

      The whole subject was splashed across the media around 10 years ago as an impending crisis. It was, but one ignored by successive governments over the years until the only solution remaining was the usual British government knee jerk response, in this case to allow unrestricted immigration from across the EU.

      But all western governments want more people in their country, irrespective of the consequences, because it means, of course, more people employed to pay more taxes for our increasingly left wing governments to spend our tax money on increasing the size and reach of governments.

      This is the unuttered government policy across the wealthy west.

      • Believe you meant 2.1 children per woman, not 1.2?

        But more importantly, driving around in family sized saloons sounds like a great argument for self-driving cars! Make mine a black and tan.

        • Rich Davis

          Obliged, sorry, typo.

          “But more importantly, driving around in family sized saloons sounds like a great argument for self-driving cars!”

          Fine by me. As long as they go at the speed I want.

          Make mine a black and tan.

          That’s a drink where I come from.

          • “Black and Tan”. That was the point. Around here a “saloon” is another name for a bar.

          • “Make mine a black and tan.
            That’s a drink where I come from.

            That was the point. In the States, “saloon” is another term for a pub.

      • As I recall, lobbying by German car makers anxious to retain their share of the Californian car market resulted in the EU legislating for catalytic converters for emissions control in EU countries, thereby stalling development of lean burn engines. So we could by now have been more advanced than we are.

  8. Any discussion about land use involving “carbon sequestration” or “reducing emissions” or any such carbon nonsense becomes nonsense. I’ve noticed some hysteria and emotionalism with those enamored of their meat-based diet with the movement towards reducing the intake of meat, particularly red meat, reminiscent of the emotionalism about “gun rights”.

  9. Shouldn’t this also apply to India? They have 200+ million cattle that are NOT raised for meat. Should international sanctions be applied for these vast uncontrolled methane discharges? (sarc)

  10. Is it just me, or does this whole paragraph from the Summary for Policy Makers seem like a stupid statement of the obvious, presented as though the observed difference is a result of something wrong instead of something that is a basic fact of physics?:

    <Since the pre-industrial period (1850-1900) the observed mean land surface air temperature has risen considerably more than the global mean surface (land and ocean) temperature (GMST) (high confidence). From 1850-1900 to 2006-2015 mean land surface air temperature has increased by 1.53°C (very likely range from 1.38°C to 1.68°C) while GMST increased by 0.87°C (likely range from 0.75°C to 0.99°C).

    … given the following:

    Water has a higher heat capacity than land. So it takes more heat to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree than it does to raise the temperature of land. 1 calorie of solar energy (any type of energy really) will warm one gram of water by 1 degree Celsius, while the same calorie would raise the temperature of a gram of granite by more than 5 degrees C.

    and

    Water reflects most solar radiation that reaches its surface back to the atmosphere. Since land absorbs more solar radiation the land surface retains more heat as do the vegetation for energy. Thus, land surfaces warm more quickly than water.

  11. Other useful references include
    [i]Restoration Agriculture: Real World Permaculture for Farmers[i] by Mark Shepard
    Judith Schwartz two books “Cows Save The Planet” about the place of animals in nature and how farm animals can enhance the biosphere; and “Water in Plain Sight,” about forests and trees and where rains come from, and how land mismanagement causes compacted soil that cannot hold water, which causes both floods and droughts.
    Sepp Holzer’s books and all others on Permaculture
    TED talks: Allan Savory
    http://www.originalsonicbloom.com
    and many more.
    Old geology texts and definition of “climate optimum.”

    These are all WORKABLE and PROFITABLE ==successful in the real world, the very opposite of climate alarmism.

  12. I’m planning a meat pride parade. Anybody interested in participating? (^_^) You’d have to wear a little ribbon made out of a bacon slice.

    I’m proposing a meat appreciation day. Let us all join around the table, on this day of thanks, to honor the animals that provide for us.

    A meat tolerance seminar is coming to your area soon.

    Meat racism must be stopped.

    Toxic vegetarianism cannot be tolerated any longer.

    • Invite the vegetarians, as a show of good faith.
      I, personally will pick nice fresh greens and prepare a wonderful garden salad for them.
      (I an one of the lucky ones, I can handle poison ivy bare handed with only minor irritation. I am not 100% immune, but close. Ask me what happened next after this became known in my family.)

      • TonyL

        No….No….Let me guess;

        You were ostracised;
        You were sent to your local priest for counselling;
        You were exorcised;
        You were forced to eat it in a salad;
        You made flower arrangements with it;
        You smeared it on toilet seats;
        You were worshipped…….

        Aw go on…..the suspense is killing me 🙂

        • Actually, you got it. One time we had a baby sitter who was abusive to me and my brothers. We kids were held to be equally culpable in the ruckus. It was deemed that we would go visit, offer our apologies and present a bouquet of flowers as a peace offering. On the way over, plants were picked, and added to the flowers as a green accent.
          Upon presentation, the babysitter stuck her face into the bouquet to smell the flowers. Unfortunately, she turned out to be especially sensitive. A face full of calamine lotion for two weeks was the result. I was only six or seven years old at the time.

          Years later, in about the sixth grade, the teacher talked about WWI. Special emphasis was placed on the horrors of chemical warfare which was introduced at that time. I thought it wise to remain silent and not mention that I had practical experience in the subject.

  13. Vegan with artificial supplements for a sustainable brain?

    As for food injustice, people need to curb their appetites, and improve their diets. Liberal diets and behaviors are first-order forcings of catastrophic anthropogenic girth, including overweight, obese, and even morbidly obese men, women, and children. Ironically, this would reduce, perhaps not the frequency, but volume of elimination.

  14. Bjorn Lomborg takes down the report:

    “Vegetarianism as Climate Virtue Signaling: First World solipsism misses the point of a new U.N. report.” By Bjorn Lomborg on Aug. 8, 2019
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/vegetarianism-as-climate-virtue-signaling-11565301932

    Excerpts:

    pundits are fixating on the supposed need for people in rich countries to change their dining habits radically. This is an ineffective and unachievable policy response. It relies on a 2016 paper that finds if the entire world switched to a vegan diet, giving up dairy and eggs as well as meat—what the U.N. calls the “most extreme scenario”—food-related greenhouse-gas emissions could be cut by up to 70%. This sounds more impressive than it is: Only a seventh of all emissions are food-related. Besides, the estimate also assumes that “people consume just enough calories to maintain a healthy body weight.”

    Rather than false hopes about dietary change, the focus should be on improving agricultural practices. First, organic food is bad for sustainability. A 2017 paper found organic farming takes 70% more land on average to produce the same amount of produce as conventional methods.

    Second, agricultural yields must increase. The Green Revolution of the 1970s spread fertilizers and modern practices, making a lasting difference in Asia and South America. A second Green Revolution is needed to make agriculture even more efficient.

    This means more spending on agricultural research and development … Copenhagen Consensus research estimates that increasing research spending by $8 billion a year would increase crop yields annually by an additional 0.4%. … it would improve food security, reduce prices, and achieve social good worth more than $30 for every dollar invested.

    Focusing only on vegetarianism is more about virtue signaling than improving the food system. Instead of shaming people for eating hamburgers, let’s ramp up agricultural R&D.

  15. Nature, left to do her own thing, will grow plants everywhere. More CO2 plant food, will aid this process, resulting in the greening of the planet. Many people seem to miss the point that the carbon dioxide is then trapped within carbohydrates. This is the most effective way of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and nature does it for free.

    During millions of years, vegetation has fuelled the development of the animal kingdom, including the many species that constitute the food chain and diversity of life on our planet. This process effectively converts the carbohydrates into proteins, providing additional and diverse nutrition.

    It irritates me to see the UN use unvalidated models with their inflated predictions to justify alarmist policies that dictate to people how they should eat and in doing so, begin to unpick the success of nature over millions of years.

  16. The major problems with land use seem to me to be:
    Felling massive areas of rain forest
    Poor grazing management
    Poor arable husbandry
    – all of which lead to degradation of soils.

    As far as cattle and methane production are concerned I forsee problems in reducing the number of dairy cows.
    I was surprised at the number of dairy cows in several of the 3rd world countries, and how would India take to the suggestion that they get rid of 50.9 million ‘holy’cows in order to reduce methane production?

    Dairy Cows 2017
    1 India 50,905,190
    2 Brazil 17,060,117
    3 Pakistan 13,102,000
    4 China 12,014,621
    5 Ethiopia 11,900,000
    6 USA 9,346,000
    7 Sudan 7,919,765
    8 Spain 7,385,000
    9 Russia 7,043,569
    10 Tanzania 6,753,096
    30 UK 1,897,000

    World 278,014,136

    Source FAO

    The UK could eliminate their entire herd of dairy cows and it would be a drop in the bucket as far as global methane production is concerned.

    A similar situation occurs with total cattle numbers (figures have been rounded)
    Total Cattle millions 2018
    India 305
    Brazil 232
    China 97
    USA 94
    EU 88
    Argentina 54
    Australia 25
    Russia 18
    Mexico 17
    Turkey 14
    Uruguay 12
    Canada 12
    New Zealand 10
    Egypt 7
    Belarus 4
    Japan 4
    Ukraine 4
    South Korea 3

    Source FAO/USDA

    So we end up with a similar situation a we have with coal burning. The countries are increasing their use of coal or felling large areas of forest are the same as those that have the greatest number of cattle.

  17. Robinson Meyer’s article:

    all life on Earth derives its energy from the sun. You and I don’t get our energy directly from photosynthesis, but we eat plants—or things that ate plants—that do. Every major food chain on Earth begins with a plant,

    The final link he fails to make is that plants don’t just need “sunshine” they need carbon dioxide. That makes CO2 to foundation stone of all life on earth not “pollution”.

  18. China would like to thank the IPCC for its manufacturing bonanza.
    The Sanitarium Health Food Co. (down under) also sincerely thanks the IPCC.

  19. About two million years ago the climate of Planet Earth slipped into an Ice Age, the coldest epoch since the Permian 240 million years previously. The decline in global temperatures had been happening since the early Eocene, due to various causes but mainly the loss of oceanic circulation at the poles caused by continental drift. All told, global temps dropped 14-18 deg C over 50 million years, and by the Pleistocene ice sheets covered 30% of the Earth’s surface.

    Concurrently with the ice, a new species arose (evolved?) capable of making fire. No other plant or animal in bio-history could do that. The fire-making creature transformed terrestrial Earth with deliberate burning. The Pleistocene cold did not cease — the fire creatures could not change that. But they could (and did) alter the vegetation and animal populations across the globe.

    “Land use” is not new, not modern, not a recent thing. The so-called experts in “land use” have blinders on, cannot see past their noses, apparently think the Earth was created last week, have no sense of history, cannot truthfully be called “scientists”, and are dumber than mud.

    Does any of that add to the discussion?

  20. In addition, if I may, the “felling of forests” mentioned above implies that this is a new thing, which it is not. Hominids have been burning forests on a (mostly) global scale for 2 million years. The savannas of Earth are entirely anthropogenic. Not to mention that all the hand wringers live in wood frame houses.

    There is a tenor in all the above of deep seated puritanical GUILT based, IMHO, on Dark Age superstition and absolute zero knowledge of the history of human/nature interactions. Hugely overpaid fools guzzling at the public trough need that GUILT to justify their cancerous leaching off the public weal. That and Doomsterism which so many are mesmerized by. Perhaps it is time to shut down tax sponsored junk science. Those who squeal could be yoked to plows, IMHO …

  21. Some do-gooders encourage a build-up of carbon in soils, first to reduce the CO2 content of the air, second to improve soil agricultural productivity.
    There is a hidden impediment with both.
    There is no guarantee that the atmosphere, with CO2 taken from it, will retain that lower level for any useful spa of time. Man has little control over ocean/air exchanges.
    Likewise, soils subjected to management to higher than natural carbon levels are not guaranteed to retain those higher levels for a useful time span. The increased yields so often mentioned as a beneficial target can strip away some of that excess carbon, to see it served up on your dinner plate on its way to disposal.
    These acts, to reduce atmospheric CO2 by increasing soil C, are being presented as naturally good acts, but our understanding of them is at an early stage. There is no force that drives simple verbal truisms into becoming beneficial science. Caveat emptor. Geoff S

  22. Everything burns!

    Why don’t most people know that everything burns, whether we burn it now or wait a little while?

    Hydrocarbons are inexorably oxidized. Does anyone really believe that oil can be prevented from emerging on the surface? Do more than a few know that oil is slowly oxidized that makes it to the surface? Or that oil contained in “seeps” below the surface in anaerobic conditions is slowly metabolized by many species of bacteria (e.g. Colwellia—this bacterium was found naturally in the Marianas Trench). This, BTW, generates methane.

    Oil is always being burned!

    Cellulosics? These are also continually burned. Vegetation left on the ground is converted by molds, fungi, and insects under aerobic conditions, eventually to CO2; under anaerobic conditions to methane.

    Cows? Ruminants? But ONE genus of termites alone produces at least 2 orders of magnitude more methane than all the ruminants in the world combined. (That is 100 times more, for residents of the West Coast to know). Call Terminix!

    Everything burns, Georgie!

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