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Old 03-08-2007, 10:11 AM   #61
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There have been some media stories on this, such as Turning cow pies into cash piles, and in Vermont Two towns to purchase electricity from cow manure power program. I'm sure PITA does not factor this renewable source into their energy balance study.
I's passed my aunt info about something similar for her farm. The only problem is that she doesn't have enough animals for viable energy production.
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:22 AM   #62
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Wait, aren't the gases produced by livestock carbon neutral? It's kind of like the whole ethanol argument (which I'm not looking to debate, just using it as an example)

I mean, they eat feed which is grown and replaced by successive crops that capture the carbon produced by the cattle.

There's also a number of farms that are using animal waste to power their farming operations.

Am I missing something?
I think the issue with cow gas is not CO2, it's methane, which is the greenhouse gas of concern regarding cows. Methane is a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. Cows may be carbon neutral, they are not methane neutral. Fortunately methane is combustible (if collected). The combustion products are CO2 (carbon neutral) and water vapor (a powerful greenhouse gas, but neutral production from the cow's perspective).
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:22 AM   #63
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Emission controls do very little to affect mileage these days..
Take your cat converter off your car and see how your mileage improves. Take your air pump off your car and watch it rise as well. Believe what you want.
So with that weight thing. The auto manufacturer would like you to believe that that is the reason as well.
I honestly would rather crash with a 1980's vintage vehicle .....but give me an airbag. American auto makers have to be forced to do things. That is why they area so behind. That is why you probably drive a Sentra.
I currently drive "american made", yeah right! But that will change if they still continue to act like an ostrich.
Let's face it, in order for the average person to buy a hybrid the government has to offer them a tax incentive. That does as much good as making a dollar coin yet still make the paper dollar.
Remember, we have stupid people running parts of government as well as corporate America. Let me rephrase that. We have people doing these duties that care about one thing, THEMSELVES!!!

Let me see again...Gore's outrageous electric bill......awe, nevermind.
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:29 AM   #64
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There have been some media stories on this, such as Turning cow pies into cash piles, and in Vermont Two towns to purchase electricity from cow manure power program. I'm sure PITA does not factor this renewable source into their energy balance study.
There was an article in USA a while back about Salt Lake City and all the "Green" things the city is doing to conserve energy and cut down on the emission of greenhouse gasses.

I remember that one of the processes implement was the use of methane gas for power. I'm not positive what they said the source of the gas was, but I thought it was animal waste.

Anyone else recall the article?

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Old 03-08-2007, 10:42 AM   #65
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I just searched the archives. They are converting the wastewater plant to convert the methane into electricity to help power the city. It currently is used to power the wastewater plant.

So, if human waste can be converted and be cost effective and environmental friendly, that I see no reason why animal waste wouldn't be the same.

I also believe that some communities are now using methane from landfills as energy sources.

With all the garbage and BS that humans manufacture, we should be oil free in six months.......
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:43 AM   #66
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I'm curious, how much livestock gas is produced compared to.... lets say umm... human gas?

Now don't go jumping all over me on this. I'm trying to get a perspective on this cow gas problem to see if anywhere near the magnitude of auto or factory emmissions.
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:50 AM   #67
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They have one of those methane plants near Saratoga. It's over an old landfill where they used to dump all the stall waste from the track, which became the muni landfill.

http://www.cha-llp.com/go/project/energy-to-ice
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:56 AM   #68
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I'm curious, how much livestock gas is produced compared to.... lets say umm... human gas?

Now don't go jumping all over me on this. I'm trying to get a perspective on this cow gas problem to see if anywhere near the magnitude of auto or factory emmissions.
I believe the bulk of the gas from livestock is a result of the decay of the waste rather than actual flatulence. I can't remember/find where I read that...
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:58 AM   #69
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I'm curious, how much livestock gas is produced compared to.... lets say umm... human gas?

Now don't go jumping all over me on this. I'm trying to get a perspective on this cow gas problem to see if anywhere near the magnitude of auto or factory emmissions.
According to a lot of scientists and climatologists, it's a big factor. However that's a case where you need to figure how to utilize the waste since the meat is needed for food. This country cannot feed it's population on just the vegetables and grains that are produced here, even if everyone would comply with a meat free diet.

Sorry, i don't have the figures. I read stuff and remember the results, not a big stats or figures guy. Suppose I should save the stuff for instances like these.


Of course gas is produced by humans in other ways, like the landfills, and the sheer amount of trash is beginning to overwhelm many communities with no end in sight without changing the way we do things. Much of that trash generated methane is now being utilized, because it was the only way to deal with the problem. Now that becomes a plus, financially as well as environmentally.


Hawk
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:27 AM   #70
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Of course gas is produced by humans in other ways, like the landfills, and the sheer amount of trash is beginning to overwhelm many communities with no end in sight without changing the way we do things. Much of that trash generated methane is now being utilized, because it was the only way to deal with the problem. Now that becomes a plus, financially as well as environmentally.


Hawk
I'm trying to visualize how to capture this methane being emitted by millions of head of cattle?? Some type to "capture bag" attached to the cow's rear, or what? Sounds like a very interesting problem!!!
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:31 AM   #71
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I'm trying to visualize how to capture this methane being emitted by millions of head of cattle?? Some type to "capture bag" attached to the cow's rear, or what? Sounds like a very interesting problem!!!
Think Master Blaster from Thunderdome. Energy cometh from methane, Methane cometh from pig ...
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:33 AM   #72
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I suspect the capturing and using of methane is the result more from economic motivation then by concern for the enviroment. It's a good thing for sure but I'm guessing the emmissions from cars and industry dwarfs the gas emmissions from biologicals weither it be flatulence or the breakdown of solid waste.

I suspect they didn't say, "Hay lets save the world and use this bio gas!" It was probably more along the lines, "Hay man we got all this s&!t, what can we do about it? That gas it makes really stinks. It burns desn't it?"

Now if there was a use (economic) for the stuff comming out of cars and factories then they would find a way to capture it and put it to good use.
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:48 AM   #73
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PETA's PR department can be hyperactive and tabloid-esque sometimes... to put it kindly.

There are very tangible reasons why meat-eating contributes to environmental degradation (including global warming) and why concerned environmentalists should avoid supporting it (directly or indirectly). For starters, the modern factory farming industry is one of this countries most notorious polluters. But specifically to the topic of global warming it is because meat farming is a huge contributor to deforestation.

Forests are typically cleared en mass for one of two reasons... lumber, and farm land, and since they act as natural greenhouse gas "sinks", when we clear them via burning (the method used in rain forests) it is a double hit to the problem. We are removing the carbon "sink" and at the same time we are pumping that carbon (via burning) into the air which then bonds with oxygen, blah blah chemistry.

The last UN data I saw on this issue said that 20 to 25% of man-made emissions could be contributed directly or indirectly to deforestation linked to cattle farming. If true, then that would mean that cattle farming alone is contributing about as much to this problem as all of America.

So that is one fairly tangible meat-eating link, of course this isn't as headline grabbing as talking about cow farts, so that is what PETA seems to work with.

To tie this into the topic (loosely):

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Potentially, through a carbon trading scheme, there could be a lot of value in slowing tropical deforestation. Carbon dioxide credits, which trade at about $20 per ton, may be used as a mechanism for valuing forest lands and protecting them from destruction. A proposal currently under consideration, calls for the use of carbon credits as a means for industrialized countries to compensate forested countries for the services their forests provide.

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Old 03-08-2007, 12:32 PM   #74
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So in a sense it's "globalization" thats a big contributer. In essence, that's what the corporate farms are, globalization which used to be on a national scale.

And of course the family farmer is squeezed out, unable to compete, and the government doesn't want to give them relief, but will give big subsidies and tax breaks to the corporate farms because of their lobbying and campaign contributions.

Yeh, Yeh, I know. Here I am haranguing about corporations again, but, can anyone argue those facts?
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Old 03-08-2007, 01:41 PM   #75
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The last UN data I saw on this issue said that 20 to 25% of man-made emissions could be contributed directly or indirectly to deforestation linked to cattle farming. If true, then that would mean that cattle farming alone is contributing about as much to this problem as all of America.
You're right- this ends up being double the problem, deforestation and then cow emissions.......looks like vegetarianism is the way to go..??..

Getting back to my original remarks opening this thread, I have some real questions on this whole "carbon credit offsets" concept. And I'll be the first to admit that I don't completely understand it. For example:

1. Let's assume that the "rich guys", whoever they may be, continue to pollute to their heart's content, but purchase "carbon offsets" to allegedly reduce their carbon footprint and to assuage their guilt. Now my understanding is that this often takes the form of planting trees or going towards investments in long-term projects such as wind turbines, clean energy and the like. I know enough to have something "jump out" at me right off the bat- trees take a LONG time, probably upwards of 40 years or so before they can significantly take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Long-tern projects like building these plants can also take many years. In the meantime, aren't these "rich guys" just further contributing to the problem by spewing out pollutants without caring about the volume because they are supposedly helping us out downstream? Now, if you believe the alarmists, we have VERY LITTLE time before this whole thing goes to HELL in a handbasket- why, I've heard as little as 10 years for us to straighten out our act, so to speak! If that's the case, and they themselves are in the forefront of the alarmist movement then it seems to me that "those guys" should be taking the lead BIG-TIME into making the lifestyle changes they call on everyone else to make.

2. As a former auditor in my previous life (before I semi-retired), I see a HUGE problem in monitoring/tracking/auditing what the hell is going on with these carbon offsets and whether we would be getting our "bang for the buck" so to speak. Who is going to track all of this stuff to see whether AL Gore's or anyone elses carbon credit offsets are really generating what they are supposed to do. I mean, some of this stuff kicks in years down the line- seems like the potential for an enormous scam to me. Are we going to need the equivalent of another IRS to track all of this stuff?

Sorry for being long-winded, but that's just the tip of the iceberg in my doubts about this whole process.....
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:24 PM   #76
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You're right- this ends up being double the problem, deforestation and then cow emissions.......looks like vegetarianism is the way to go..??..

Getting back to my original remarks opening this thread, I have some real questions on this whole "carbon credit offsets" concept. And I'll be the first to admit that I don't completely understand it. For example:

1. Let's assume that the "rich guys", whoever they may be, continue to pollute to their heart's content, but purchase "carbon offsets" to allegedly reduce their carbon footprint and to assuage their guilt. Now my understanding is that this often takes the form of planting trees or going towards investments in long-term projects such as wind turbines, clean energy and the like. I know enough to have something "jump out" at me right off the bat- trees take a LONG time, probably upwards of 40 years or so before they can significantly take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Long-tern projects like building these plants can also take many years. In the meantime, aren't these "rich guys" just further contributing to the problem by spewing out pollutants without caring about the volume because they are supposedly helping us out downstream? Now, if you believe the alarmists, we have VERY LITTLE time before this whole thing goes to HELL in a handbasket- why, I've heard as little as 10 years for us to straighten out our act, so to speak! If that's the case, and they themselves are in the forefront of the alarmist movement then it seems to me that "those guys" should be taking the lead BIG-TIME into making the lifestyle changes they call on everyone else to make.

2. As a former auditor in my previous life (before I semi-retired), I see a HUGE problem in monitoring/tracking/auditing what the hell is going on with these carbon offsets and whether we would be getting our "bang for the buck" so to speak. Who is going to track all of this stuff to see whether AL Gore's or anyone elses carbon credit offsets are really generating what they are supposed to do. I mean, some of this stuff kicks in years down the line- seems like the potential for an enormous scam to me. Are we going to need the equivalent of another IRS to track all of this stuff?

Sorry for being long-winded, but that's just the tip of the iceberg in my doubts about this whole process.....
Legitimate doubts, and good questions. Some of which are briefly touched on in the NPR audio piece I posted before, but I honestly don't know enough about it to feel comfortable defending (or doubting) it more than I already have.

I will say two things though, first, offsetting is not always about diverting responsibility and guilt. Could certainly be used and abused in that way, but the real power of a system like this is it allows people, industries, and nations who realistically and practically can not reduce their footprints more than they already have to continue to do something good. The name of the game is implementable and practical solutions... as opposed to unimplementable and impractical solutions based on ideology.

And second is that I just made up the whole "plant trees" thing off the top of my head to try to explain the concept of offsetting something... ie: cut 1 tree down, plant another, you offset what you did (sort of, it is an imperfect example). I don't really know what most of these offset programs actually do... but all of the stories I have read and heard about involve things that more directly address the problem. ie: buying land to prevent deforestation, funding the improvement of industry practices, etc etc.
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:17 PM   #77
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Apparently a number of pro-environment, man-made global warming advocate groups are having some of the same doubts about "carbon offsets" as we are- they are probably not "in the pockets" of the oil companies by any stretch of the imagination. Some interesting reading here:

http://www.newint.org/features/2006/07/01/keynote/

http://risingtide.org.uk/node/189

Some of the key points from these articles:

Offsets do nothing about the very immediate impact of such emissions. Tree plantations at most provide temporary storage for carbon dioxide but even that is not immediate and the science is hotly disputed. Trees take time to grow and are susceptible to disease, fire, timber harvesting and natural decay (see ‘10 things you should know about tree “offsets”’, page 7). Oliver Rackham, a Cambridge University botanist and landscape historian, describes the problem succinctly: ‘Telling people to plant trees [to solve climate change] is like telling them to drink more water to keep down rising sea levels.’

It is precisely because of all the criticism by environmental groups and the bad press that has resulted, that offset companies have ramped-up investments in other types of projects besides trees.

Projects that suggest some sort of ‘development’ benefit for people in the South, such as Coldplay’s mango trees in India, have more appeal to potential ‘consumers’ of those carbon ‘offsets’ simply because they appeal to their charitable impulse. This ‘win-win’ ethic is a major selling point for an industry that is practically built on conscience. Not only does the consumer get to salve their eco-guilt but now they can feel even better with the knowledge that they’ve funded cooking stoves for Bangladeshi villagers.

The offset industry’s message is simple and seductive. The more you fly and the more you offset as a result, the more stoves impoverished families get. You don’t need to change your lifestyle, the climate will be saved, and poor communities will benefit – win-win-win. With a sell like that, it’s no wonder the carbon market is booming.

Few of us have the time, energy, expertise and diligence to follow up these claims and monitor the projects; therefore we only have the Government’s word for it. This is true of much of the carbon market as a whole. Distance serves them well.

Some argue that offsets at least educate the public about their carbon emissions, but what exactly does it teach? That it is OK to fly and drive so long as you pay some third party a small fee to ease your conscience? That we can consume our way out of a problem caused by our consumption in the first place?

Carbon offsets are at best a distraction and at worst a grandiose carbon laundering scheme. We need to grab hold of our responsibility for climate change and take action now. There is absolutely nothing wrong with funding renewables and even some well-designed and appropriate tree-planting projects. Just don’t equate them with a ‘license to pollute’. A ‘carbon positive’ agenda sees through the offset industry’s gambit and relies on a more fundamental commitment to solving climate change.

For now, I'm going to continue to have serious questions about Gore and this entire scheme.........
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:28 PM   #78
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Hmmm, good points poconoron. I must say I'm a bit dissapointed in Mr Gore. He's done a lot of good spreading the word, but I agree, its time he stepped up. Anytime someone takes a leadership role, they should be subjected to higher, not lower expectations and public scrutiny. C'mon Gore, what gives man?

It would be better to not pollute in the first place, and invest in "offset" technology on top of that.

I guess I thought the offsets were more immediate than planting trees. planting trees is great, but they take an awfully long time to start working.

Should we invite Gore to become a forum member? that would be interesting.
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:31 PM   #79
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oh, and I got some stats from my ecology prof. The average car requires about 2 acres of mature temperate forest (conifer or deciduous are both fine) to offset its carbon output.
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:56 PM   #80
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oh, and I got some stats from my ecology prof. The average car requires about 2 acres of mature temperate forest (conifer or deciduous are both fine) to offset its carbon output.
Is that carbon output in 1 year, or ????.
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