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nativewolf

Member
Jul 21, 2015
687
1,334
viena va United States
Nature abhors a vacuum so you can "farm" animals or nature will put the animals there. The carrying capacity of the land supports only so many herbivores but it will always support that number. Now you could say you want to eliminate corn or other feed products that are created with unsustainable inputs and have an environmentally sound argument, you can reduce shipping, you can cut out high density animal farming that create localized sewage issues. However, at the end of the day the land will support herbivores/omnivores. Just look at the east coast where the suburbs are swarming with deer. Some 20 million.

Or, on one farm (where we manage the forest) they have 180 deer. The farm supports 60 cow/calfs in a grass fed system. If they eliminate the cows the deer will explode up to 300 or so. This is just nature working. They are taking 30-40 deer a year and not in a dent in the numbers (actually too high-they are creating issues in replanting).
 

nativewolf

Member
Jul 21, 2015
687
1,334
viena va United States
Well, considering that animals waste 90% of their corn, soy, etc. feed, it is cheaper to just eat corn, soy, etc.
But this does not in any way shape or form eliminate the animals, deer (and all ungulates) create methane. Our unfarmed suburbs are full of them. our farms are full of them as well for that matter. Coyotes have responded and now cover the entire east coast and deer populations briefly fell but are increasing again.

Corn is the problem from a greenouse perspective. Only 3% of beef goes to consumers as purely grass fed beef but 100% of our very healthy deer/elk population heck even your local friendly rabbit producing methane system is fed on grass/woody veg . Almost all of the greenhouse issues associated with beef production comes from the corn finishing, where animals are fed corn for the last 3 months before slaughter. Eliminate those 3 months and you'd have more expensive much tastier beef and fewer emissions. Methane though is going to be emitted from ungulates in ecosystems that support ungulates (temperate / arid / boreal forest/plains/deserts). In fact animals on grass / woody vegetation emit more methane than corn fed. So, by cutting out corn feedlots you will reduce total greenhouse emissions but increase methane. Ungulates browse, they create methane. THEY ALWAYS HAVE. If you remove cows nature will put some ungulate there to replace them and net methane may very well increase (almost a surety). Remember that there are many implications to even going to grass fed, you'd eliminate lots of corn plantings, replacing with grass. What to do what to do...eliminate cows and nature replaces with deer and methane goes up.

EV's are going to decimate corn farming in the US by cratering gas consumption and that will eliminate much of the ethanol additive market which consumes 40% of the total corn produced. Do our global warming models account for this reduction? At a certain point we'll see huge political battles as petro producers fight farmers for a shrinking petro slice. How do they model this outcome? (seriously asking anyone that knows) All of which will make marginal corn production very uneconomical and the shift will be to replace rural lands with grass fed beef/sheep/pork/poultry or to replace with solar farms. Solar farms in rural areas is a form of social injustice in and of itself so not something to cheer about necessarily. It shifts cost of production of energy to regions generating very few benefits - there is almost no local employment for rural businesses through solar farms other than someone mowing. Do global warming models account for mowing solar farms or spraying herbicides by the hundreds of gallons (I'd really like to know). Etc etc. Not simple is it.

My suggestion...eliminate ethanol through simple economics of great EV's that are so practical so compelling no one will want an ICE. At that point corn production will plummet. Encourage consumers to shift meat consumption to


Don't get me started about sham carbon tax credits for forestry practices that cause a net reduction in captured carbon. Looking at you The Nature Conservancy and Conservation Fund.
 
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SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,250
15,177
New Mexico
Corn is the problem from a greenouse perspective.
I don't know enough to compare the GHG bill from different uses of land, but I'll guess that the real solution is to let those lands revert back to pre-human habitats. Forest, e.g

Regarding animals that emit methane, how much do they differ by Kg animal weight ? I read some time ago that the diet markedly affects methane production in cows. I suspect (but don't have data at my fingertips) that free ranging cows emit a lot less methane than feedlot cows


---
<rant>
I cannot help but get exasperated by articles talking about 'clean' methane production when the low hanging fruit is to collect the leaks
Few people seem to realize that the GHGe of methane when its ~ 3% leak from extraction is included in the well-to-burn is every bit as bad as coal.</rant>
 
Last edited:

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,248
10,774
California
But this does not in any way shape or form eliminate the animals, deer (and all ungulates) create methane. Our unfarmed suburbs are full of them. our farms are full of them as well for that matter. Coyotes have responded and now cover the entire east coast and deer populations briefly fell but are increasing again.

Corn is the problem from a greenouse perspective. Only 3% of beef goes to consumers as purely grass fed beef but 100% of our very healthy deer/elk population heck even your local friendly rabbit producing methane system is fed on grass/woody veg . Almost all of the greenhouse issues associated with beef production comes from the corn finishing, where animals are fed corn for the last 3 months before slaughter. Eliminate those 3 months and you'd have more expensive much tastier beef and fewer emissions. Methane though is going to be emitted from ungulates in ecosystems that support ungulates (temperate / arid / boreal forest/plains/deserts). In fact animals on grass / woody vegetation emit more methane than corn fed. So, by cutting out corn feedlots you will reduce total greenhouse emissions but increase methane. Ungulates browse, they create methane. THEY ALWAYS HAVE. If you remove cows nature will put some ungulate there to replace them and net methane may very well increase (almost a surety). Remember that there are many implications to even going to grass fed, you'd eliminate lots of corn plantings, replacing with grass. What to do what to do...eliminate cows and nature replaces with deer and methane goes up.

EV's are going to decimate corn farming in the US by cratering gas consumption and that will eliminate much of the ethanol additive market which consumes 40% of the total corn produced. Do our global warming models account for this reduction? At a certain point we'll see huge political battles as petro producers fight farmers for a shrinking petro slice. How do they model this outcome? (seriously asking anyone that knows) All of which will make marginal corn production very uneconomical and the shift will be to replace rural lands with grass fed beef/sheep/pork/poultry or to replace with solar farms. Solar farms in rural areas is a form of social injustice in and of itself so not something to cheer about necessarily. It shifts cost of production of energy to regions generating very few benefits - there is almost no local employment for rural businesses through solar farms other than someone mowing. Do global warming models account for mowing solar farms or spraying herbicides by the hundreds of gallons (I'd really like to know). Etc etc. Not simple is it.

My suggestion...eliminate ethanol through simple economics of great EV's that are so practical so compelling no one will want an ICE. At that point corn production will plummet. Encourage consumers to shift meat consumption to


Don't get me started about sham carbon tax credits for forestry practices that cause a net reduction in captured carbon. Looking at you The Nature Conservancy and Conservation Fund.
I believe you mean ruminants, not ungulates. The natural population of deer would be much lower than cows and have much lower environmental impact. (I understand that you are overwhelmed with deer now but a few wolves could restore balance.)
No need to mow or apply herbicides to solar farms. Deer, sheep, goats can keep it under control if it ever becomes a problem.
(Only 25% of corn is used for ethanol... Still a problem.)
 
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ohmman

Plaid-ish Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
9,996
18,065
North Bay, CA
If you remove cows nature will put some ungulate there to replace them and net methane may very well increase (almost a surety). Remember that there are many implications to even going to grass fed, you'd eliminate lots of corn plantings, replacing with grass. What to do what to do...eliminate cows and nature replaces with deer and methane goes up.
I find this interesting. Is there evidence that animal density of naturally browsing ungulates will match the density of raised animals? There are vacant ranches near me that graze cattle for part of the year, and not much seems to move in when the cows aren't there. Certainly not to the extent of the grazing stock.
 

iPlug

Member
Sep 14, 2019
507
726
Rocklin, CA
According to US FWS, there were 30-60 million bison in North America as recently as the 1500s. Today in the US there are ~95 million head of cattle and another ~11 million in Canada. Environmental and other impacts of corn feeding aside, it looks like the bigger issue may be deforestation and destruction of natural habitat elsewhere where bovines were never a substantial part of the natural habitat.
 

iPlug

Member
Sep 14, 2019
507
726
Rocklin, CA
Can anyone link data showing if there are contract, generation, infrastructure or other issues preventing natural gas from being maximally curtailed instead of solar PV?

This is a CAISO example from yesterday and to different degrees happens on most sunny days in California. Solar PV will drive imports to off or nearly so and often negative, markedly slows down large hydroelectric production, but while depressing natural gas there always seems to be a substantial minimum supply regardless of how much solar PV production is available then solar PV instead gets curtailed.

EB79E0EB-23F7-4950-8324-183F38389DB8.jpeg
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,176
5,771
Los Altos, CA
Can anyone link data showing if there are contract, generation, infrastructure or other issues preventing natural gas from being maximally curtailed instead of solar PV?

This is a CAISO example from yesterday and to different degrees happens on most sunny days in California. Solar PV will drive imports to off or nearly so and often negative, markedly slows down large hydroelectric production, but while depressing natural gas there always seems to be a substantial minimum supply regardless of how much solar PV production is available then solar PV instead gets curtailed.
I don't have any references, but I believe the lack of natural gas curtailment is a product of the long term contracts instituted after the deregulation mess. If the State is serious about GHG targets, they have to figure out a way to force fossil sources to curtail before renewables. If they have to pay those generators to stand down and stand by, so be it. However, they need to reduce their fuel consumption when the supply is not needed.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,250
15,177
New Mexico
I don't have any references, but I believe the lack of natural gas curtailment is a product of the long term contracts instituted after the deregulation mess. If the State is serious about GHG targets, they have to figure out a way to force fossil sources to curtail before renewables. If they have to pay those generators to stand down and stand by, so be it. However, they need to reduce their fuel consumption when the supply is not needed.
Yep, and I'm not even sure it will cost much more since I think the curtailed PV is still paid.
 

nativewolf

Member
Jul 21, 2015
687
1,334
viena va United States
I don't know enough to compare the GHG bill from different uses of land, but I'll guess that the real solution is to let those lands revert back to pre-human habitats. Forest, e.g

Regarding animals that emit methane, how much do they differ by Kg animal weight ? I read some time ago that the diet markedly affects methane production in cows. I suspect (but don't have data at my fingertips) that free ranging cows emit a lot less methane than feedlot cows


---
<rant>
I cannot help but get exasperated by articles talking about 'clean' methane production when the low hanging fruit is to collect the leaks
Few people seem to realize that the GHGe of methane when its ~ 3% leak from extraction is included in the well-to-burn is every bit as bad as coal.</rant>
Completely agree with your rant! There is no clean methane. What a complete joke. I suspect that we'll let many subprime ag lands revert to forest (though forest commodity prices are high the price of timber is low) or natural prairies. These would be great places to aim carbon tax credit schemes.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,248
10,774
California

As PG&E emerges from their second bankruptcy in 20 years while pushing 11% rate hikes on their customers, it seems they’re looking for a scapegoat, and they have found one: people who put solar on their roof.
Consider: Utilities charged energy consumers more than $20 billion in transmission line projects between 2010 and 2019, and collected nearly $20 billion in profits over the same time period. Energy consumers paid more than $4 billion to cover transmission costs in 2021 alone, up 66% since 2016 for PG&E customers.
Meanwhile, a new utility modeling tool confirmed that increasing our investments in local solar and batteries is the most cost effective way to transition our electricity system off of fossil fuels, and would save all energy consumers nearly $500 billion by 2050. The benefits of local solar and battery storage are already visible here at home. In 2018, California’s energy system operator canceled $2.6 billion in utility spending thanks in part to local solar and efficiency improvements.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,250
15,177
New Mexico
In 2018, California’s energy system operator canceled $2.6 billion in utility spending thanks in part to local solar and efficiency improvements.
Anybody curious how much utility revenue was lost ?
If 6 GW is ballpark then about 10 TWh lost consumption at say ... 20 cents a kWh

Works out to $2B annualy. If gross profit is 10%, then $200 million

IOUs get 10% ROI. On $2.6B that would be $260 Million

Curious, eh ?
 
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mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,248
10,774
California

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has required that Xcel Energy, the largest electricity provider in Minnesota, conduct annual hosting capacity analysis reports since 2016. These reports identify where the grid can accommodate additional distributed generation capacity (including rooftop and community solar) and the results are displayed on the company’s Hosting Capacity Map. Minnesota is one of seven states that require utilities to conduct hosting capacity analysis and present their results in a map resource. The six other states requiring hosting capacity analysis are California, Connecticut, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Maryland.
 

SmartElectric

Active Member
Jul 9, 2014
2,441
2,076
Toronto,Canada
Can anyone link data showing if there are contract, generation, infrastructure or other issues preventing natural gas from being maximally curtailed instead of solar PV?

Here in Ontario Canada, our gas (I refuse to use the marketing term "natural") plants are 7GW peak but overnight we still produce 300MW minimum due to "combined cycle gas and heat", ie, my local hospital and community center complex has a gas plant that produces heat for the hot water and the community pool (4 pools, water slide, etc, awesome facility). Therefore, this gas plant is always running at some level of capacity, and it is designed as the backup system for power outages on the local grid, so you get a lot of benefit from a small gas plant. While I am no advocate of gas, it made sense economically for the use it was put in for 10 years ago. Solar + storage was not a practical option back then, and we're likely 10 years away from hospitals moving to solar + storage here in cold climate Canada.
 
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iPlug

Member
Sep 14, 2019
507
726
Rocklin, CA
As we are currently in transition, NG for peaker and emergency use is plenty fine right now and probably for a long time to come. Here in CA, if we only used it that way and further maximized renewables, battery deployment, and expanded HVDC into the Midwest and maybe even tapped into the ERCOT grid, we would be using a rather small fraction of that fossil fuel compared to what we use now.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,248
10,774
California

A 90% clean grid with a transition to EVs would achieve lower electricity costs than one without, the study shows. Transmission investments would mainly be spur lines to new renewable generation.
The electric vehicle scenario would reach 88% clean power by 2035, including existing hydropower and nuclear power. Existing gas units would provide the remaining power and help ensure power reliability at all times.
 
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