The full horror of the ‘nitrogen’ war on agriculture is becoming more apparent every day. Food supplies around the world face collapse if the use of nitrogen fertiliser is severely restricted under Net Zero requirements. It is claimed that the fertiliser is warming the Earth and causing the climate to break down, as the by-product nitrous oxide is released into the atmosphere. In fact the entire global food supply is in danger of being trashed for the sake of what recent scientific work notes is almost unmeasurable 0.064°C warming per century.
Policies to address this non-existent crisis have already done enormous harm in Sri Lanka, where a ban on nitrogen fertiliser caused a rapid collapse in food yields, and led to the President fleeing the country in a hurry. The Canadian Government is committed to a 30% reduction in N2O levels by 2030. In the Netherlands, the Government is following European Union instructions and trying to remove farmers from the land. Any compensation paid will be tied to a restriction not to start farming again anywhere in the EU. Political discontent is growing, and there are already fears for the supply of agricultural products since the Netherlands is the second largest food exporter in the world.
Nitrogen is a vital component of plant metabolism which is obtained from the soil. Alas, there is not enough nitrogen in the soil to grow plants at the scale needed to feed global populations. Before the arrival of commercial nitrogen fertilisers, famine was a frequent feature of the unreliable food supply across parts of the world. Without the fertiliser, famine will resume its gruesome role, something mainstream Net Zero politicians have to address in the near future. Virtue-signalling green delusions about ‘rewilding’, bug diets and organic farming will not feed the world, probably not even a quarter of it.
A recent theoretical physics paper from four distinguished scientists said there was evidence that the amount of N2O in the atmosphere, a gas with warming properties, had never been constant over time. There have been large changes in atmospheric concentrations in inter-glacial periods like the current one. Nitrous oxide is a more powerful ‘greenhouse’ gas than carbon dioxide, but it accounts for only 0.34 parts per million (ppm), growing at only 0.00085 ppm per year. Currently CO2 is at 420 ppm, and the molecules are increasing 3,000 times faster in the atmosphere than N2O.
Like all greenhouse gases, its ability to trap heat within narrow bands of the infrared spectrum diminishes after a certain level as the gas becomes ‘saturated’. This helps explain why greenhouse gas levels have been much higher in the past without the Earth turning into an Armageddon fireball. After a certain point, any increased warming becomes logarithmic, according to the physicists, meaning it rises ever more slowly in response to additional greenhouse gases, which again provides a plausible explanation as to why temperatures have stayed within a relatively small band across the paleo record.
Every day seems to bring fresh concerns about the destruction likely to be wrought by the collectivist Net Zero project. As we have seen in recent articles, absolutist Net Zero fanatics at the Government-funded U.K. FIRES project look to a world in 2050 where Britain will lose 75% of its energy. Flying, shipping and eating beef and lamb will be banned, while bricks, concrete and glass will almost cease to exist. All the major political parties supporting the current strategy run away from facing true Net Zero reality. In the view of U.K. FIRES leader Professor Julian Allwood, the current strategy is as unrealistic as “magic beans fertilised by unicorn’s blood”.
The four physicists note that few citizens realise that the effects of N2O on the atmosphere are “negligible”. The proposed burdensome regulations on farming, ranching and dairying “will have no perceptible effect on climate, but some of them will do great harm to agricultural productivity and food supplies”. It is noted that one of the major factors behind the world’s “unprecedented” abundance of food in recent years has been the use of mineral nitrogen fertiliser. “It is not possible to maintain highly productive agriculture without nitrogen fertiliser,” they add.
One of the authors of the recent report, Professor William Happer of Princeton, recently teamed up with Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT to make clear what a disaster the world faced. Billions of people around the world faced starvation if the production of nitrogen fertiliser was banned. It would create “worldwide starvation” once half the world does not have enough to eat.
To back up their claims, the authors published the above graph. This shows clearly the “remarkable” increase in crop yields after the widespread use of nitrogen fertiliser began around 1950.
In his theoretical paper, Happer also notes some of the disasters that have occurred in the past when “ideologically-driven” government agriculture mandates “have usually led to disaster”. In the Soviet Union, a war on farmers in the 1930s led to millions dying of starvation. Folk memories of the Golodomor (hunger-murder), when millions of Ukrainians also died at the same time, “played no small part” in the present war in Ukraine.
Mandates to restrict animal numbers and fertiliser use will dramatically slash agricultural yields. To continue feeding the world, agricultural areas will have to increase and encroach on native habitats, which could have remained untouched with sensible use of fertiliser. “The result will be more environmental stress, not less,” the physicists write. When even the projected benefit is so negligible, this is a policy with nothing to commend it.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.
Apropos of nothing, the header (combine harvester) is driving the wrong way up the row.
Probably a Northern Hemisphere kind of thing.
That must be it. Like going the wrong way down the plug hole.
Possibly the last row in the field or a left-handed driver but otherwise, ‘something/everything’ is really wrong with that picture..
why is the inside of the cab just a grey fuzz
why is the dust at the rear blowing forwards
what’s that ‘cloud thing’ in the sky (right side)
why is the combine (header itself) soooo clean
why is no straw/crop tangled/hanging off the reel
what sort of shutter-speed froze the reel so perfectly
Everything is wrong in that picture – it is soooo fake
If it had ctm’s moniker in the title (open it in a new tab) I might be OK with the fakery but…… can no-one find a picture of a Real Working Combine?
It appears to lack a visible person driving it. Geoff S
AI of course!
and don’t all such machinery have brand names on the sides?
They also usually have the brand name on the cover of the straw feed elevator, and the covers of the front, and the operator platform, and…
The colour scheme does look like CLAAS, but with a Deere front..
The picture may well have been generated by AI, which is why it’s working the wrong way along the row.
AI = Automated Idiocy, explains everything.
Tell me how you know?
But Nick would be chuffed at the way all you guys nickpicked the image.
Nah, I was just playing Farmer Trivial Pursuit.
I thought nobody would ever ask.
The unloading auger is always on the left side of the machine, so you always run with the right side of the front/comb entirely in the crop and the left on the previously harvested side. When the grain tank was full, we used to drive back to the truck or fixed field bin near the gate to unload, but it’s far more common now to use a chaser bin towed by a tractor, and unload the header bin on the fly.
When I were lad, machines were much smaller, and the front/comb was about 16′ (5m) long. The operator’s platform of self-propelled headers is on the left (like the auger) so closer to the left end of the front which gives much better visibility. The object of the exercise is to minimise the amount of comb out of the crop not harvesting anything without leaving a Mohawk haircut of unharvested crop.
Just for luck, we also had tractor-towed, PTO (power take off) powered, headers, which had the entire comb to the right of the tractor.
Self-propelled headers evolved from PTO headers which in turn evolved from horse-drawn ground drive headers, which evolved from horse-drawn reapers. The configuration seems to already have been set by the earliest horse-drawn headers.
“ It is claimed that the fertiliser is warming the Earth and causing the climate to break down, as the by-product nitrous oxide is released into the atmosphere. “
Who claims that? Of the quoted examples, Sri Lanka was simply trying to mandate organic farming, and tthe Dutch were concerned about ammonia and nitrogen dioxide causing trouble in local ecosystems. Canada hasn’t done anything, but nitrous oxide has been mentioned by some. The evidence associating N fertiliser with N₂O is weak.
The more general objection to N fertiliser is the FF used to make it. The process does need a lot of energy, but it doesn’t have to be FF.
Thanks for ADMITTING that nitrogen fertilisers, used correctly, are ONLY BENEFICIAL.
Next you will be saying how much the world needs MORE atmospheric CO2, not less !
You need to tell this to your totalitarian marxist pals.
Energy is only an issue because the left has done everything it can to make it into a problem.
Fossil fuels are not a problem.
N2O is a breakdown product of nitrites and nitrates. To the extent that Wikipedia can be rusted, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_cycle
Note that the article has ground water wrong, so treat it with a grain of salt.
A search for N2O soil Nitrogen cycle does bring up a number of hits about it being a powerful greenhouse gas.
Yes, they list it as a reduction product. But generally any reduction that can go as far as N₂O will go on to N₂. If you heat ammonium nitrate, it may explode, but will produce N₂O. But that is a very energetic reaction, unlikely in soil biology.
Its a polarised argument about diddly squat. N2O is 0.000034ppb not ppm like Co2 which is relevant for the environment but N2O at 0.000034ppb is insignificant.
According to NOAA annual rise in Co2 concentration is 2ppmv but the point is that the planet has spent $10 trillion on wind turbines including subsidies but the miniscule rise in Co2 concentration remains undiminished. So how much do people need to cough up to mitigate Co2 if $10 trillion makes no inroads on 2ppmv? Thought I would ask seeing as you know so much?
“N2O is 0.000034ppb”
No, it is 330 ppb.
So, absolutely NOT worth worrying about
Glad you realise that.
And just like CO2, hey…
not ever going to cause a problem in the atmosphere. !
Yes diddly squat 0.00003%! Got that settled.
“$10 trillion on wind turbines”
we’re going to have to stop using “trillion” as a measure- not big enough
I think the next biggest number is quadrillion.
so how many quadrillion dollars will be needed to “save the earth”?
God knows but they will keep spending our money to endorse the lie and uphold their reputations
The above link leads to a graph of N2O concentrations in the atmosphere from 1800 through 2017. The trend from 2000 through 2017 is almost perfectly linear (316.4 ppb in 2000, 330.3 ppb in 2017), with no sign of acceleration. This would lead to a slope of 0.82 ppb per year.
The same graph shows an N2O concentration of 273 ppb in 1800. It’s not clear how that was measured back then, but this would imply that there is a baseline concentration from natural sources that cannot be eliminated, The concentration of N2O in 2017 is about 21% above the natural baseline level.
Global-warming alarmists keep warning about the effects of doubling the CO2 concentration from the “pre-industrial” baseline of 280 ppm, which could occur before the year 2100.
For nitrous oxide to double from its “pre-fertilizer” value of 273 ppb in 1800 to 546 ppb, at the current rate of increase of 0.82 ppb/yr, it would take (546 – 330.3) / 0.82 = 263 years after 2017, or the year 2280.
The EPA estimates that 1 lb of N2O has the “global warming” impact of 265 lb of CO2. Since N2O and CO2 have nearly the same molecular weight (~ 44), this can be correlated directly with volume or mole concentrations in the atmosphere.
If the EPA’s estimate is correct, then an increase of 0.00082 ppm/yr of N2O is equivalent to an increase of 0.00082 * 265 = 0.217 ppm/yr of CO2. This only about 1/10 of the rate of increase of CO2 as measured at Mauna Loa.
So if CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere is not much of a problem, accumulation of N2O in the atmosphere is a 10 times smaller problem.
It’s definitely not worth starving millions of people to death. Do any of the so-called “elites” proposing these draconian “solutions” to minor problems know how to do math?
The Nitrates in the ground water and drinking water is the Dutch issue, exacerbated by the highly intensive farming methods ( due to high cost of land and the higher returns).
Nitrogen gas isnt an issue as it is of course 70% of the atmosphere
It would be in ionic form in the soil, but it does appear to be on one of many pathways, and only an intermediate product in any case.
I think there are some numbers in the
One other silly thing is that the source of the nitrite is irrelevant, so the time-honoured approach of growing legumes to fix Nitrogen will do exactly the same thing by adding nitrates and some nitrites. So will humus and the old style animal waste fertilisers.
The SI of the Ivanovich et al paper (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-023-01605-8) discussed a few weeks back claims .0019kg N2O per kg of most cereals. That does seem rather high, but it’s what they claim.
I see there are now papers that seem to consense that about 1% of N in fertiliser ends up as N₂O. That isn’t so bad. Total N in fertiliser production is about10⁸ tons/year, to that is about a Mton in N₂O, when we are emitting Gtons of CO₂
1% seems high as well. N2O seems to be an intermediate product on a minor breakdown path, sub-soil.
The crop should have grabbed most of the N during its growing period.
Do you have some links? It would be interesting to see the methodologies employed in the studies.
Here is a recent review article. There is a paywall, but key numbers are in the abstract, and there is a long list of references.
Here is a 2006 IPCC chapter directly on it.
Thanks. I’ll have a look in a little while.
The abstract is quite short. All it really says is that the IPCC overestimated to billyo for Russia.
The 2006 IPCC chapter is rather heavy going. It appears the 1% figure came fom a couple of contemporary papers, and had been reduced from 1.25%. I’ll dig a little bit to see if this has subsequently been revised
If you heat flour in the wrong way it will explode
Apparently methane too is combustible as it is expelled from humans’ nether regions.
Or so I saw in “Dumb And Dumber” 🙁
yes. As a high school student working in in a flour /starch factory that was my job, sweeping up the dust. If the fire alarm went off they said …Run
You have not got a clue Nick.
Natural gas is by far the best way to make ammonia that is then made into Urea and diammonium phosphate or DAP.
Our socialist green government in New Zealand is trying to charge farmers for the emissions from nitrogen fertilizer .
As I have written here lately Green- peace are trying to ban the use of Nitrogen fertilizer around the world .
They want to starve 4 billion people with their actions and so do ignorant politicians .
Surely they have delved into how much food is grown using nitrogen or are they just as ignorant as you Nick.
Food supplies and security should be the most important plank of every governments portfolio in the world .
But it seems that globull warming is the most important action that some world governments are concentrating on ,and to hell with feeding the worlds population .
“Our socialist green government in New Zealand is trying to charge farmers for the emissions from nitrogen fertilizer .”
But not emissions of N₂O, or indeed any greenhouse gas. Like the Dutch, their specific concern is on the ecology, particularly (for NZ) waterways. Here is the government explanation:
“Why it’s needed
Nitrogen is a major pollutant of freshwater.”
That is the only reason they give.
For Sri Lanka to go green they would need 6 Xs the land area that they have its a noxious argument. All of the nonsense about green fantasies is nonsense every one gets to live longer because of fossil fuels. Northern hemisphere tree cover in 1850 was 10% HMS Victor consumed 6,000 oak trees now because we exploited coal oil and gas tree cover is now 48% why is this a problem for greens? Simple it contradicts their boneheaded ideology and that is unforgiveable isn’t it?
“For Sri Lanka to go green they would need 6 Xs the land area”
Unlikely. But that is not what they were trying to do. They wanted organic farming. And then they didn’t.
The leftist government of Sri Lanka followed the EU/WEF/UN dictates.
And like woke idiots, stopped the use of nitrogen fertilisers…
AND EVERYONE STARVED !!
Same will happen in the Netherlands, except the starvation will be much more widespread.. (but not among the elite non-elected bureaucrats of course.)
Let them eat tulips, I say.
Rubbish eco zealots will use any scam imaginable to uphold the thoughts of chairman Ehrlich:
· “it’d be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy.” Wrote anti-nuclear leader Amory Lovins. “Because of what we would do with it” Said Paul Ehrlich, “In fact, giving society cheap, abundant energy at this point would be the moral equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.” Ehrlich.
· By 1985 enough millions have died to reduce the earth’s population to some acceptable level. Like 1.5 billion people. Ehrlich.
· Too many cars, too many factories, too much detergent, too much pesticides, multiplying contrails, inadequate sewage treatment plants, too little water, to much Co2, can all be traced easily to too many people. Ehrlich.
· In ten years (ie 1980) all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish. Ehrlich.
· Solving the population problem is not going to solve the problems of racism, of sexism, of religious intolerance, of war, of gross economic inequality. But if you don’t solve those problems. Whatever the problem you’re interested in, you’re not going to solve it unless you also solve the population problem. Whatever your cause, it’s a lost cause without population control. Ehrlich.
· I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000. Ehrlich.
· In pushing other species to extinction, humanity is busy sawing off the limb on which it perches.
· The Mother of the year should be a sterilized woman with two adopted children. Ehrlich.
· There are substitutes for oil but no substitute for fresh water. Ehrlich.
· We ought to take good care of everybody we have on the planet, but we ought to regulate the rate at which people join us. The old saying is, “it’s the top of the ninth inning, and humanity has been hitting nature hard, but you’ve always got to remember that nature bats last.”
· Overall, the Population Bomb was probably too optimistic. I was writing about climate change – Anne and I actually wrote the book. We discussed whether or not you’d have to take a gondola to the Empire State Building, and that sort of thing, but we didn’t know at the time whether the climate change would be in the direction of heating or cooling. We just didn’t know enough about it. Ehrlich.
· Anyone who opposes methods to control the birth rate, is automatically voting in favour having the death rate go up. Ehrlich.
· People have not made the connection that the more of us there are, the more greenhouse gases go into the atmosphere. The Chinese have. They, unlike us, have a population policy. The right wingers just don’t understand that the country they’re in is probably the most over population in the world, the one doing most of the destruction, and the one with horrendously bad leadership. Ehrlich.
Actually China has moved its policy from one child to two. They will change it to three I’m sure in order to replace the population.
What a deluded idiot.
You seem to be a big Ehrlich fan.
Of course they Stopped trying to go organic because their country was going bankrupt .If they didn’t stop Sri Lanka would have become a basket case Nick.
As it is they just about are .
Unfortunately for them organics was a disaster and countries just like families cannot spend more than they earn for very long.
Our green socialist government in New Zealand are hell bent on taxing farmers for emissions from nitrogen fertilizer and also for methane from our farmed livestock .
And for your information Nick our urban rivers have much higher nitrogen readings which is from waste water treatment out flows, than our rural rivers .
Nitrogen fertilizer is essential to feed the world and a ban or restrictions will cause famines and starvation .
Paint it any way you like Nick but a or severe restriction on nitrogen is a death sentence to millions of people if not billions .
The continuing war in the Ukraine will see far less food grown there with shipments stalled from last years harvest and far less grain planted .
New Zealand produces food with the lowst emissions profile in the world .New Zealand exports food to feed over 30 million people .
Here is a question for you Nick .
Why should our government tax our food producers for exporting the food with the lowest emissions in the world ?
The Paris Agreement on Climate change explicitly states that countries should not take actions to reduce emissions that will effect food supplies .
only with “boneheaded ideology” could someone like Al Gore say the oceans are boiling
Not when used responsibly.
Yes, that is what NZ is trying to achieve.
WRONG, they are trying to decrease the food production from farming, so the general public has to eat crickets.
Haven’t you listened to what your masters at the WEF, UN etc have been telling you !
Thing is Nick, you are well down the list of the general public, right near the bottom…… Bon appetit !
Reducing freshwater pollution is the Dutch Government’s pretext for impoverishing and corralling its people.
Impoverish ? Its an industrialised country, most dont have any connection to agriculture The farming intensity has taken off because they get EU subsidies and have high EU tariffs to cheaper food imports.
I was a chemist at Austral-Pacific Fertilizers for a couple of years during its start-up of the big new urea plant on Gibson Island, Brisbane, about 1969-72. It was a routine part of my work to study the nitrogenous fertilizer pathways, though gas emissions were a small part of the work except that there was economic benefit to get 100% of the fertilizer to the crops. There was no environmental concern about gases because another nearby plant produced liquid ammonia (likewise from natural gas) that was drilled into the farm ground with obvious gas loss from the smell.
There is still no concern from nitrogen oxides from any source getting into the air because the ambient concentration is so small. It is just laughable that people worry about its greenhouse effect with a straight face. Alfred E Newman, Wot, Me Worry was a cartoon that covers the mood.
If you wish to add hands-on experience to your often-theoretical blog comments before going to press, you have my email. Cheers. Geoff
“Natural gas is by far the best way to make ammonia that is then made into Urea and diammonium phosphate or DAP.” is true but is only part of the picture. World consumption of nitric acid is 60 million tons a year – most of which goes to fertilizer in the form of ammonium nitrate. Ammonia production is much higher – 184 tons – with most going to fertilizer also but this still means 35 million+ tons a year used for non-fertilizer purposes. Ammonia production also throws off heat and CO2 which is used for a bunch of secondary industries ranging from fizz in beer and soft drinks to greenhouse gas (literally CO2 in greenhouses).
Who needs food when there’s a completely imaginary, completely speculative, “climate crisis” to “fight.”/sarc
Who claims that? According to the Colombo Telegraph (March 12 2016) the IPCC says so:
“On March 6, 2016, the Government of Sri Lanka launched the ‘Vasa Visa Nethi Ratak‘ – a 3 year programme aimed at curbing the use of agrochemicals, and focusing instead on locally produced organic fertilizers … The detrimental effects of excess nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere however, has not been given the same meticulous attention as carbon dioxide’s impact … According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), for every 100 kg of nitrogen fertiliser applied to the soil, one kg ends up in the atmosphere as nitrous oxide (N2O) … ignoring the impacts of N2O on climate change is not an option, and the global warming effect of nitrous oxide could be considered as extremely harmful”.
Claiming “Sri Lanka was simply trying to mandate organic farming” is ill-informed or disingenuous.
It’s not encouraging that, like so many, they mix up their oxides of nitrogen. But the writers make it clear that that is their opinion, not that of the Government. They stated the government’s reasons explicitly (you quoted it), and it is just as I said:
“On March 6, 2016, the Government of Sri Lanka launched the ‘Vasa Visa Nethi Ratak‘ – a 3 year programme aimed at curbing the use of agrochemicals, and focusing instead on locally produced organic fertilizers. The government intends to prevent produce such as rice, vegetables and fruits from being tainted by toxic agrochemicals.”
Therein lies much of the problem. Irresponsible media spreading misinformation rather than farmers spreading fertiliser.
That would be the media spreading fertilizer. The Bovine organic kind.
if you’re starving, those slightly tainted foods might taste pretty good!
But people continue to live longer healthier lives why is that?
‘Climate change’ was clearly one of the main motivations for the adoption of so-called organic farming, but you probably knew that:
“There is a need for greater state support for mitigation efforts through policies curtailing excessive use of synthetic fertilizers, which has a high share of total agricultural emissions” (Climate-Smart Agriculture in Sri Lanka, The World Bank 2015).
Sri Lankan food uses the same amount of nitrogen per unit of crop whether it’s origin is organic urea or organic cow dung.
The efficiency of concentrated fertilizer makes it the superior choice, hands down.
Also, as you harvest crops then take them elsewhere to consume, you deplete available levels of fertilizers and have to import more to keep vigorous growth going. This means that you cannot in practice, continue to farm without external fertilizer as the alternative is slow (very slow) renewal as rock weather’s into soil. Hence the popularity of concentrated fertilizers with low transport costs. Most farmers hate waste.
Ergo, there is no future for this organic farming concept. Yet, Your ABC national broadcaster has been push marketing this failed concept for a decade with parallel monthly mags, one named “Organic Gardening”. It is plain stupid to see examples like this of time, effort, money waste because some people have found a new cult.
Nitrogen is usually the least of the problems as far as nutrient depletion is concerned, provided a legume rotation or understory legume is feasible. This was probably not the case in Sri Lanka, because the tea plant requires quite acidic soils and most legumes require alkaline.
Phosphorus and Potassium depletion are more of a problem, especially in most Australian soils. The black Basalt soils have greater proportions, but still have a finite service life.
But, back to Nitrogen. Nitrates are Nitrates are Nitrates no matter their origin, and still have the same breakdown pathways. One has to suspect that the IPCC people working on N2O went to visit their colleagues working on CH4 and CFC11 and found their stash.
“Claiming “Sri Lanka was simply trying to mandate organic farming” is ill-informed or disingenuous.”
or consciously misleading by wokesters!
Then banning fertiliser is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It’s also an admission that renewables don’t work, otherwise fertiliser manufacturers would be erecting their own wind turbines to take advantage of all that ‘cheap’ electricity.
You may not have noticed that I’m not in favor of banning fertilizer.
Great to hear that you now support increased emissions of that gas of all life.. CO2.
You know the planet needs more atmospheric CO2 than there currently is, don’t you !
The very latest World News .
Mr Nick Stokes from Australia has now changed his mind after reading facts on WUWT a popular climate reality site.
Nick Stokes stated that he would not ban nitrogen fertilizer after realizing that a ban would lead to world wide starvation .
“Sri Lanka was
simplyignorantly trying to mandatedictate organicinefficient farming”
The creation of ammonia and ammonium nitrate doesn’t have to be fueled by fossil fuels aka natural gas, but 99.999% of the existing production is.
I have proven that the nitrate part (i.e. nitric acid) of ammonium nitrate can be created, commercially, via carbon free processes but there’s no getting around the ammonia via Haber Bosch part.
I think a lot of this nonsense has more to do with natural gas problems in Europe, plus competition for natural gas by retail use (cooking, heating) and the grid (electricity generation) plus the bright, wide vistas of US natural gas export to Europe via LNG (thus increasing base prices for NG in Europe permanently) than anything else.
Sri Lanka was mandating organic farming to save the planet from Global Warming …
I also want to point out that Sri Lanka’s “no fertilizer” policy was likely more a product of its massive foreign currency debts; the imported fertilizers were a huge part of Sri Lanka’s currency account deficit.
I am certain that Sri Lanka’s former leadership saw the opportunity to both stem the import bleeding and gain some WEF brownie points via that policy, but equally certain that it was the currency account deficit + debt that drove the issue and not “Being Green”.
“gain some WEF brownie points”
More practically, there is a big market in Europe and elsewhere for organically grown foods.
Nick, those markets are shrinking before our eyes in supermarkets everywhere as rampant cost of living increases render more expensive organic produce an indulgence that ordinary folk can’t currently afford.
Where I live, it’s the organic produce that now fills the daily “past prime” clearance bins at the local supermarkets.
Actually, I disagree with your statement that organic markets are shrinking.
In California – regular eggs and Whole Food eggs are not longer that far apart in price.
The same holds true for a lot of other food items.
So the “shrinkage” is mostly due to the growth in revenue/consumer cost for the majority of the market as opposed to organic producers selling less.
This is the same kind of dynamic as in grid electricity: don’t replace with a better method, just drive up the cost of what is already there so that the “new” stuff is more competitive.
I don’t know the US market in general or eggs in particular. Do you have any details on how the organic certification for eggs works?
Naively, I would assume that battery cages aren’t allowed, and feed would have to be certified organic. In addition, there may be a “free range” aspect involved.
All of these either reduce output or increase input costs, so there would need to be a compensating price premium.
Being cynical, cheap “undocumented” farm labour might allow some cost reduction.
“Organically grown” products do command a premium, which is offset in most cases by being more expensive to grow.
Organic certification is also a barrier. It is much easier to gain certification on fresh farming country than to certify a previously farmed paddock. There used to be a requirement to not use herbicides, pesticides or industrial fertilisers for 5 years before certification was granted.
In the right locations (mostly the black soils), legume rotations can keep Nitrogen levels reasonable for decades, but weeds eventually beat you.
Organically grown sheep are almost impossible in Australia, because of worms and especially blowflies.
Most Australian cattle will be organically grown, but not certified. There just isn’t any price premium locally.
Europeans pay more for food with a label “organic”.
This is entirely a cult thing.
Organic food as broadly certified is not more nutritious than intensively farmed food.
Organic food is not cleansed as much from pests and harmful bacteria etc because efficient chemical pesticides etc are not used.
Organic food is more “dirty”. I prefer lettuce fertilized with a tiny dose of urea, not a large weight of cow manure.
Organic food is more costly because it requires more energy to produce. There is an extra cost for the certificate, but you cannot eat the certificate.
The whole concept is a big sick joke. It shows how uneducated and gullible many people are. There is no identifiable, tangible advantage from following the organic farming rituals. It is a fashion accessory promoted by expensive, redundant advertising, similar to the unthinking widespread acceptance of women that they must wear lipstick. Why?
Organic farming is a classic example of how one group of people can gain some control over another group through threats and/or false promises of nirvana. In almost every case I have seen examined, the basic motivation is to transfer money from the suckers to the slick.
When governments get involved as at Sri Lanka the situation is ludicrous and should be arrested by criminal charges. But the world is not perfect, so scams like organic farming get to live another day. Geoff S
“The evidence associating N fertiliser with N₂O is weak.”
Not according to this paper in Nature:
They claim, wrt N2O, “Global human-induced emissions, which are dominated by nitrogen additions to croplands, increased by 30% over the past four decades to 7.3 (4.2–11.4) teragrams of nitrogen per year. This increase was mainly responsible for the growth in the atmospheric burden.”
Mind you, using the rule of thumb that the quality of a paper is inversely proportional to number of authors might raise doubts about their findings.
Nothing specific there about fertiliser.
Members of the WEF, Club of Rome etc have already made it quite clear that a large reduction in world population is their aim. !
Vaxxines that kill and reduce immunity,
Destruction and restriction of energy supplies.
Transgender and attacks on the family basis
Several other degenerate agendas.
Attacks on travel and transport.
Anti-CO2 (gas of life) agendas
It is all part of the same thing… totalitarian control and population reduction.
Whilst I largely agree with you, I don’t think much of this is deliberately planned or organised. It’s more a case of opportunism.
I’ll make the likes of Soros and Gates a slight exception as Soros has worked for decades to undermine the fabric of democracies and conservatism. Gates has been working for decades to envagle his way into pharmaceuticals because the profit in them, in particular vaccines, is just mind blowing.
The climate nonsense was never planned, it been hijacked by politicians and crony capitalism as a means to fleece the public on the basis of their virtue about caring for the planet.
Covid, in my opinion, was another opportunity. I believe it did escape from a lab unintentionally, but every major government has their own bio labs and they knew the potential dangers of engineered viruses so they all panicked and did all the wrong things for a mild flu. They didn’t know it was a mild flu of course, they had been told by their own bio weapon scientists to expect something much worse because they have been working on them for generations themselves.
These disparate and unassociated organisations and NGO’s are working on their own projects, often to the detriment of each other, and the cracks are not just beginning to appear, they are now gaping chasm’s.
For example, Andrew Bridgen MP presented the case for an investigation into vaccine injuries in the House of Commons. He was ejected from the Conservative party and people are now asking why no one can any longer question ‘the science’. Andre is himself a well qualified scientist.
Florida’s Surgeon-General is now asking some very awkward questions about the US government ignoring vaccine injuries, evidently with the full support of DeSantis.
Whilst climate hysteria is getting more shrill, ordinary, usually sympathetic people who have taken some notice of it in the past, are beginning to notice that nothing untoward is happening in their location, despite their beliefs over decades.
News of potential food shortages because of the intended restrictions of nitrogen fertilisers is beginning to seep out. Electric vehicles are seeing sales fall dramatically, people are recognising the damage onshore wind turbines and solar panels blanketing perfectly good farm land are doing.
Energy costs are now hitting people in their pocket and the Ukraine conflict can only be used as an excuse for so long.
People around the world are already taking to the streets to demonstrate including, famously, Canadian truckers who woke a lot of people up as to the totalitarian response from Trudeau.
Were this all organised none of this would be happening.
The Marxist’s have bitten off more than they can chew.
“The climate nonsense was never planned, it been hijacked by politicians and crony capitalism as a means to fleece the public on the basis of their virtue about caring for the planet.”
but they succeed in harnessing naive people with PhDs and children like Greta Thunberg to do the missionary work
Cults of all ilks have always been populated by “educated” participants.
Some of the thickest people I’ve ever worked with had academic qualifications and papers out their wazoo.
But solving basic practical business problems – nah.
I think if you keep digging, HotScot, you will find that indeed, all of these assaults on our freedom and prosperity were indeed organized the whole time (the evil goes back centuries if not millennia), and the reason that the organized evil-doers are now being exposed and their plans are failing worldwide is that the good guys have finally attained the upper hand. (See “Fall of the Cabal”) There are no coincidences. The Great Awakening is in full swing. Sit back and enjoy the show! Nothing can stop what is coming! Where we go one we go all. MAGA! 🙂
And the list of human haters who endorse the Co2 hypothesis is extensive:
· Dr John Holdren, Ecoscience, President Obama’s science Czar’s horrifying recommendations:
· Women could be forced to abort pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;
· The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation’s drinking water or in food
· Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise
· People who “contribute to social deterioration” (ie undesirables) “can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility” – in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized
· A transnational “Planetary Regime” should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans’ lives – using an armed international police force.
· The rise of Eco-Extremism, Dr Patrick Moore, Hard Choices for the Environmental movement, 1994. Why are greens so anti environmental?
· For radical greens environmental concerns are a smokescreen for their extreme left totalitarian objectives http://www.green-agenda.com/
· The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself”
· Club of Rome, premier environmental think tank, consultants to the UN. “We need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination…So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effect and being honest.” Prof Stephen Schneider, lead author IPPC reports.
· “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialised civilisations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” Maurice Strong founder of the UN Environment Programme.
· “The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing.” Christopher Manes, Earth First.
· “A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of the ecology and the world resource situation.” Prof Paul Ehrlich, Population Studies.
· “One American burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshis. This is a terrible thing to say. In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.” Jacques Cousteau, UNESCO Courier.
· “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony….. climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment.
· “I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played a part in balancing ecosystems.” John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal.
· “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.” Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation.
· “The extinction of Homo Sapiens would mean survival of millions, if not billions, of Earth dwelling species. Phasing out of the human race will solve every problem on Earth – social and environmental.” Ingrid Newkirk, former President of PETA.
· The goal now is a socialist, redistributionist society, which is natures proper steward and society’s only hope.” David Brower, first Executive Director of the Sierra Club, Founder of Friends of the Earth.
Sickening, but revealing.
Had all this been planned, it would take far more than a local, territorial dispute in a small country in Europe to upturn the apple cart. In fact, Russia and China (and in fact more than half the worlds population that does not condemn Russia for it’s intervention in Ukraine) would have been in on it from day one. Neither are.
This is a case of passing laws without knowing all the details. Fertilizer even before the restrictions was expensive so the farmers looked for ways to reduce their consumption. They found it with a survey of their land to determine where it was needed and how much. This information was loaded into their tractor and with precision GPS they are able to treat only the areas that require it. It save them money and reduces runoff problems in the water ways. Farmers will do the right thing if you can show them a better way. Forcing them to do something that they know is wrong will not work out well.
The capabilities of modern computerised farm equipment are extremely impressive.
It’s so much better if you can optimise fertiliser application and seed application rates, seed depth, and ground speed during sowing, and ground speed, reel speed, wind speed, drum speed and concave openings during harvest to minimise wastage. We used to spend ages setting up the headers for each paddock.
Here is an interesting paper from 2017: “Is Nitrogen the next Carbon?”
At least it does admit that N-fertilizer is critical to feeding the world.
[Why do I get the feeling that Nitrogen is being put “on-deck” just in case ocean acidification, which is in the “batters’ circle”, doesn’t pan-out as a bad enough hobgoblin?]
“but it accounts for only 0.34 parts per million (ppm), growing at only 0.00085 ppm per year.”
Should be 0.000034ppb parts/billion not ppm for N2O. Global Monitoring Laboratory – Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases (noaa.gov)
Your link features, right at the top
“January 2023: 336.45 ppb
January 2022: 335.27 ppb”
which is 0.34 ppm.
so absolutely NOTHING.
Just like your comments !
You don’t have to search very far to find a scary headline:
Inside Climate News
Eleven Chemical Plants in China and One in the U.S.
Emit a Climate Super-Pollutant Called Nitrous Oxide
That’s 273 Times More Potent Than Carbon Dioxide
Continuing with a search for “How much global warming will nitrous oxide cause?” out of the first 20 results 16 cite the Global Warming Potential (GWP) numbers as follows:
One pound of the gas warms the atmosphere some 300 times more than a pound of carbon
Nitrous oxide has nearly 300 times the warming power of carbon dioxide.
Yet molecule for molecule, N2O is about 300 times as potent as carbon dioxide
N2O has 300 times the global warming potential of CO2
nitrous oxide is almost 300 times as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2
As a greenhouse gas, N₂O has 300 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide
A single nitrous oxide molecule has 298 times the global warming potential of a carbon dioxide molecule.
“On a sort of per molecule basis, oxide is more than 300 times as strong as a molecule of CO2 in terms of its global warming potential.
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as “laughing gas,” is a potent greenhouse gas, 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.
Nitrous oxide, with the chemical composition of N2O, has an atmosphere-warming potential 265 to 298 times greater than that of carbon dioxide
nitrous oxide is 300 times stronger than CO2.
N 2O is about 300 times as potent as carbon dioxide at heating the atmosphere.
Nitrous oxide, however, is an ozone-depleting gas with a global warming potential more than 300 times greater than carbon dioxide
nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide
Nitrous oxide has a global warming potential 273 times higher than carbon dioxide
In the atmosphere, nitrous oxide acts as a greenhouse gas (GHG) 300 times more potent than CO2 and about twelve times more powerful than methane.
None of the results above say how much warming, in degrees Fahrenheit, Kelvin or Celsius, nitrous oxide will cause by the end of the century, in 100 years, or if it doubles in concentration. How much warming N20 or methane will actually cause is never mentioned. Climate scientists and the IPCC never say and Main Stream Media reporters never ask, and the policy makers and bureaucrats never find out. All we are told is the scary GWP numbers.
Sir John Houghton who created the GWP numbers certainly knew his brain child was a convoluted formula designed to produce a large scary but meaningless number. He must have laughed up his sleeve every time he saw them cited in in the news.
But Nitrous Oxide and Climate C A de Lange etal 2022
Does say 0.064°C in 100 years.
Here’s a link to the previous paper on Methane and Climate. But it doesn’t say how much warming methane will cause. Everything is in W/m² which may be correct but, ordinary people need a conversion chart of w/m² to Degrees F or C to understand what’s being said. That includes me. One of my files says:
3.3 W/m² = 1K of warming
I have no idea if that’s correct or not.
Should be 0.000034ppb not ppm!
I’m trying to figure out what the issue is here. NOAA’s page says for January 2023 Nitrous Oxide is 336.45 ppb not 0.000034ppb.
Well anyway, I have no idea why NOAA claims 5 place precision. Who are they trying to fool?
Wells doesn’t seem to know that .000034 ppb is much less than 1 ppb
No, you’re wrong. What you’re saying is something like 34/100000 of a ppb. Maybe you mean 0.000034%?
Of course in reality it is 0.0 global warming potential because the absorption bands are already saturated by water vapor.
I wished some strong French politician proposed quite FREXIT.
Unlike BREXIT, there would be no article 50, no nothing. Just a clear message:
I suspect the French don’t want to quit the EU, they want to dominate it.
What they need to learn is that no sovereign nation can “dominate” an overlord (pardon the pun!) consisting of unelected bureaucrats who are answerable to nobody.
Surely, civilised countries with mature legal systems must have a tort for actions that contain threat.
Threats to reduce my future food supply should be classes in a similar category to threats to reduce my family size by kidnap.
Would an experienced lawyer from any country please describe what remedy is available to imprison those evil people threatening food disadvantage, no matter how formal their origins (as in a Government of a country) or less formal, like a mind working for an NGO with air between members’ ears.
Thank you Geoff S (Australia)
Half of US corn goes to ethanol for fuel. Corn in the US has an outsized effect on nitrogen pollution because it is a direct anhydrous ammonia application process.
Cut ammonia application and it will reduce corn output. Cut ethanol production and increase price targets per bushel to keep farmers whole and prevent food supply impacts.
Nitrogen pollution is a real air and water quality problem, even if it isn’t really a ghg.
“Half of US corn goes to ethanol for fuel.”
I didn’t know that- what a tremendous waste of that land! I’ve been a forester for 50 years- I’d rather see some of that land growing trees in a sustainable way- to produce wood products- like lumber needed for homes, furniture, paper products- as wildlife habitat, for recreation, etc. (lots of jobs too in the wood industries)
That’s because ethanol is significantly subsidized by the government…
More correctly, ethanol is significantly subsidized by taxpayers ( who were not really asked if this was a preferred way for our money to be spent). Geoff S
Absolutely! and this is because the IPCC choose to compare, on a ‘per molecule’ basis, the relative forcing of N2O and CO2 and ignore the actual concentrations. This is not a case of comparing apples with oranges but more a case of comparing redcurrants with coconuts.
What they should be doing is comparing the ‘per doubling’ increase in forcing. When this is done, N2O may be shown to have a CO2 equivalent of 0.17, or a little over one sixth, and not 273 as is claimed in the AR6.
They should then consider the rate of increase of each forcing agent; NOAA Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI) data suggests that the rate of increase of N2O is half that of CO2, which as a very rough estimate gives a ‘real world’ CO2 equivalence of 0.085.
Negligible indeed. So how to educate the citizens?
Data and references for the above: https://cw50b.wordpress.com/the-nitrous-nonsense/
I think this article, may have put a piece in the jigsaw for me. Why, Gates, is buying up masses of agricultural land. He is now able to dictate whether the land is used for growing crops, or animals, or none at all. So, he grows just enough meat & veg, to supply the Uber rich, whilst we eat bugs and starve.
Winner! Winner! Insect Dinner!
Human caused CO2 emissions (only about 5% of what enters the atmosphere each year – the rest being natural) are inextricably linked to our energy systems which are the source of our wellbeing, our health and longevity, our quality of life and our ability to thrive while preserving more and more of the natural world as it is.
Nitrogen fertilizer is a good part of what allowed us to solve most of the worlds hunger and starvation while producing more food on less land and aquatic space – once again preserving more of the natural world.
It appears that the enviro-mental-nuts will attack any benign gas that has any role in helping people thrive while improving natural ecology. This must be a new version of the old propaganda play book where you claim to help while you hold the pillow down over your victims face.
I also wrote a whole story about this.
Bullying of the farmers | Bread on the water
(Read the comments there before you switch to the Dutch site)
Are you sure about “Golodomor”? I have always seen it spelt Holodomor.
(It’s hard enough to not spell Mordor into it.)
Another secret about fossil fuels–The Haber-Bosch Process
“Referred to by some as the most important technological advance of the 20th century….Between 3 and 5 percent of the world’s annual natural gas production – roughly 1 to 2 percent of the world’s annual energy supply – is converted using the process to produce more than 500 million tons of nitrogen fertilizer, which is believed to sustain about 40 percent of the world’s 7 billion people. Approximately half of the protein in today’s humans originated with nitrogen fixed through the Haber-Bosch process”
A brief history of U.S.corn yield growth since the 1860s Notable growth in yields was seen after the adoption of modern fertilizers in the 1940s, which made drought years esp. in the 1980s stand out more than before (compare with 1930s Dust Bowl for example).
This issue may be the best evidence yet that what is at play in the climate movement is a kind hysteria with mass suicide. Jonestown writ large. Such things have happened before—-recurrently in parts of the middle ages, for example
Modern communications allow larger mass movements, but they are just as peculiar.
Barefoot, hungry and dependent is how they want the world’s population to be.
As a glass half full kinda guy, I see this controversy as a blessing. There’s no nitrogen shortage because above every acre of land there’s a couple thousand tons of it as a gas. The challenge is getting it from the atmosphere and into the soil in the splendid quantities and in the composition that today’s hybrid seed stocks were “designed” to utilize. There are two ways to approach the challenge of supplying nitrogen to growing plants; biologically or chemically. The biological approach involves the proliferation of nitrogen fixing and nitrate reducing bacteria in the soil and also on and within the plant. This approach is impossible if the plants and soil are bombarded with synthetic fertilizers and the “cides”, as in fungicides, herbicides and pesticides which is standard procedure in modern agriculture. There is no way that Organic Agriculture can begin to produce even a reasonable fraction of today’s practices so synthetic nitrogen is going to be needed for a while. Eventually, we’re going to learn how to use Regenerative Agricultural practices to produce more of our fresh food crops and proteins. It doesn’t happen overnight on any piece of land let alone some of the land found on today’s megafarms. It needs to be the consumer that seeks out Regeneratively grown food and the farmers will respond. In the course of responding, they will be amazed by how much they can PROFITABLY grow without the massive input costs.
I trust the farmers, not the government.
Yeah oil is a big source of the N in the NPK of fertilizer for the industrial farm. There are other sources of N that are not so neat and easy as oil in the current supply chain of NPK. Urban Septic systems, Animal wastes composting etc. Most of the farmers in my area us animal wastes for nitrogen. I am sure the Nigerians were happy to source N for all of Africa…Russia for all of Asia. So I guess we will be buying more and more of our food from Africa and central Asia.
Well Trudeau is all for banning CO2, N2, and single-use plastic bags. I’m old enough to remember when paper bags were banned for murdering too many trees. This is what happens when you get the young and “woke” voting for ignorant, unqualified politicians. I can’t blame Justin, he’s just an idiot. What do we do with his voters?