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Topic: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World) (Read 131631 times) previous topic - next topic

Fenrir, Pingu, Dave Hawkins, superhoop, Sea Star (+ 2 Hidden) and 5 Guests are viewing this topic.
Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26925
I'm just saying, when your options are "re-institute slavery" or "watch civilization crumble" (i.e., return to a 14th-Century way of life), I think maybe we can do better.
We can.  But not with renewable energy.  It's not just practical barriers. It's theoretical barriers.

But Walter Haugen has one possible approach that will work. I have another.

  • Pingu
Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26926
I'm just saying, when your options are "re-institute slavery" or "watch civilization crumble" (i.e., return to a 14th-Century way of life), I think maybe we can do better.
We can.  But not with renewable energy.  It's not just practical barriers. It's theoretical barriers.

Such as?


I have a Darwin-debased mind.

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26927
I'm just saying, when your options are "re-institute slavery" or "watch civilization crumble" (i.e., return to a 14th-Century way of life), I think maybe we can do better.
We can.  But not with renewable energy.  It's not just practical barriers. It's theoretical barriers.

But Walter Haugen has one possible approach that will work. I have another.

What theoretical barriers?

  • Pingu
Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26928
https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/DJEnPolicyPt2.pdf
Quote
We conclude that barriers to a 100% conversion to WWS power worldwide are primarily social and political, not technological or even economic.
ITT, Dave provides an example of a social barrier: stubborn know-nothings who just don't think it's possible because they personally don't get a lot of energy out of a few solar panels.
Ok Ben.  Why don't you calculate how much energy is required to farm a 500 acre soybean field  using large equipment?  An easy way to get the answer at least in calories would be to use Michael Pollan's figures and calculate the soybean calorie yield, and multiply times 10.  Then convert to kWh and you could figure out how many solar panels you would need.
Calculate how many solar panels you would need? Who the hell is suggesting switching everything to just solar panels?

ETA: I'm talking about stuff like this:

https://electrek.co/2016/12/05/john-deere-electric-tractor-prototype/

The question then is where the electricity for the batteries comes from. That's where changes to infrastructure come in. Moving from fossil-fuel-based power plants to power plants that use renewable energy. Much of which would likely be solar, but it would hardly be the only source, and these sources are continuing to get cheaper and more efficient.

ETA 2: Consider also that this is the future we're talking about. A gradual move from fossil fuels to renewables as renewables continue to improve as an option. I think, for example, space-based solar power, while we have no means of doing it currently, is practically an inevitability at some point in the not-too-distant future. Saying that it's impossible for us to switch to renewables is like saying in 1949 that it's impossible for us to get to the moon. The barriers are practical, not theoretical.
Lol

Why do you find this amusing, Dave?  Are you not aware of the progress being made in electrical energy storage?  What are the "theoretical" barriers you think there are to using renewable energy sources?
I have a Darwin-debased mind.

Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26929
I'm just saying, when your options are "re-institute slavery" or "watch civilization crumble" (i.e., return to a 14th-Century way of life), I think maybe we can do better.
We can.  But not with renewable energy.  It's not just practical barriers. It's theoretical barriers.
Such as? Do you think there's some sort of theoretical limit to amount of renewable energy we can harvest that places it below our current energy needs? I'm not aware of any. The sun is an incredibly enormous power source. There's no reason it can't supply all the power we need as long as we have the technology to harness it.

But Walter Haugen has one possible approach that will work. I have another.
Yours is essentially reverting to the 14th century whether you admit it or not. The result of your principles applied to society would be the loss of most of the progress we've made since then.
  • Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 10:17:39 AM by BenTheBiased

Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26930
Pingu ... remember this ...

THE REASON

We now have very large settlements and very large, sparsely populated farms is ...

CHEAP ENERGY

 And if you are in favor of using far less of this cheap energy to produce plant-based foods  going forward, then a single farmer is not going to be able to produce much of an excess.

Case in point: Walter Haugen
That's not quite right.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26931
Pingu ... remember this ...

THE REASON

We now have very large settlements and very large, sparsely populated farms is ...

CHEAP ENERGY

 And if you are in favor of using far less of this cheap energy to produce plant-based foods  going forward, then a single farmer is not going to be able to produce much of an excess.

Case in point: Walter Haugen
That's not quite right.

But, it's what Dave want's to believe.
A walk through the ocean of most mens souls would scarcely get your feet wet.

  • Pingu
Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26932
I'm just saying, when your options are "re-institute slavery" or "watch civilization crumble" (i.e., return to a 14th-Century way of life), I think maybe we can do better.
We can.  But not with renewable energy.  It's not just practical barriers. It's theoretical barriers.

But Walter Haugen has one possible approach that will work. I have another.

What theoretical barriers?

Dave?
I have a Darwin-debased mind.

  • Faid
Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26933
It's quite fascinating. Some time ago, dave would go on about how we could totally have the technology one day to make iPhones and such without the use of factories- I mean, look at all the "amazing sophisticated tech" Nature has! Chickens can make chickens by themselves, without  buildings and trucks and assembly lines! Praise the Lord!

But hold on a sec. Did you say something about more efficient renewable energy? Nope. Sorry. can't happen. There's theoretical barriers, see. Nevermind that Nature already has the "amazing sophisticated tech" to efficiently harness solar energy, and that's from where dave eventually gets ALL the energy he produces. Just don't think about that. Theoretical barriers! Renewable enegry don't work, fugeddaboutit! What do you think this is, magic? ONLY cows can save the planet! Praise Savory! Praise DAVE!


...Fascinating.
Who even made the rule that we cannot group ducks and fish together for the simple reason that they are both aquatic? If I want to group them that way and it serves my purpose then I can jolly well do it however I want to and it is still a nested hierarchy and you can't tell me that it's not.

Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26934
It must be a really weird existence to have a narcissistic personality with a messiah complex.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26935
It must be a really weird existence to have a narcissistic personality with a messiah complex.

I would expect they'd be harmonious qualities, tbh. Messiahs believe they have all the right answers Narcissists believe they are the right answer.

  • Pingu
Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26936
"I alone can fix it"
I have a Darwin-debased mind.

Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26937
I'm just saying, when your options are "re-institute slavery" or "watch civilization crumble" (i.e., return to a 14th-Century way of life), I think maybe we can do better.
We can.  But not with renewable energy.  It's not just practical barriers. It's theoretical barriers.

Such as?
Well 1 acre of corn production is about 150 bushels X 85,000 kcal per bushel ... do the conversion --> 13,900 kWh X 10 (Michael Pollan) = 139,000 kWh to produce the crop

1 Gwh requires at least 3 acres of solar panels so 139,000 kWh requires about 0.4 acres.

So you need about 0.4 acres of solar panels to collect enough solar energy to produce 1 acre of crop.

Wow.

Yeah that's practical.

  • JonF
Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26938
Thinking solidly inside the box, I see.
"I would never consider my evaluation of his work to be fair minded unless I had actually read his own words." - Dave Hawkins

  • VoxRat
  • wtactualf
Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26939
I'm just saying, when your options are "re-institute slavery" or "watch civilization crumble" (i.e., return to a 14th-Century way of life), I think maybe we can do better.
We can.  But not with renewable energy.  It's not just practical barriers. It's theoretical barriers.

Such as?
Well 1 acre of corn production is about 150 bushels X 85,000 kcal per bushel ... do the conversion --> 13,900 kWh X 10 (Michael Pollan) = 139,000 kWh to produce the crop

1 Gwh requires at least 3 acres of solar panels so 139,000 kWh requires about 0.4 acres.

So you need about 0.4 acres of solar panels to collect enough solar energy to produce 1 acre of crop.

Wow.

Yeah that's practical.
An EE who doesn't seem to grasp the difference between electrical power and electrical energy.
"I understand Donald Trump better than many people because I really am a lot like him." - Dave Hawkins

  • Pingu
Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26940
I'm just saying, when your options are "re-institute slavery" or "watch civilization crumble" (i.e., return to a 14th-Century way of life), I think maybe we can do better.
We can.  But not with renewable energy.  It's not just practical barriers. It's theoretical barriers.

Such as?
Well 1 acre of corn production is about 150 bushels X 85,000 kcal per bushel ... do the conversion --> 13,900 kWh X 10 (Michael Pollan) = 139,000 kWh to produce the crop

1 Gwh requires at least 3 acres of solar panels so 139,000 kWh requires about 0.4 acres.

So you need about 0.4 acres of solar panels to collect enough solar energy to produce 1 acre of crop.

Wow.

Yeah that's practical voodoo math.

fyp
I have a Darwin-debased mind.

Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26941
Where is Michael Pollan's statement regarding that math? I'm thinking it's got some important context you are missing simply because he's not an idiot.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26942
It must be a really weird existence to have a narcissistic personality with a messiah complex.

I would expect they'd be harmonious qualities, tbh. Messiahs believe they have all the right answers Narcissists believe they are the right answer.
Well, narcissism can mimic a messiah complex,  maybe they are the same root. Anyway,  it still must be a strange existence to see the whole world as strategy.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26943
It's not just practical barriers. It's theoretical barriers.

Such as?
Well 1 acre of corn production is about 150 bushels X 85,000 kcal per bushel ... do the conversion --> 13,900 kWh X 10 (Michael Pollan) = 139,000 kWh to produce the crop

1 Gwh requires at least 3 acres of solar panels so 139,000 kWh requires about 0.4 acres.

So you need about 0.4 acres of solar panels to collect enough solar energy to produce 1 acre of crop.

Wow.
Um, here's something I think is a practical barrier.

Yeah that's practical.

  • Martin.au
  • Thingyologist
Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26944
I'm just saying, when your options are "re-institute slavery" or "watch civilization crumble" (i.e., return to a 14th-Century way of life), I think maybe we can do better.
We can.  But not with renewable energy.  It's not just practical barriers. It's theoretical barriers.

Such as?
Well 1 acre of corn production is about 150 bushels X 85,000 kcal per bushel ... do the conversion --> 13,900 kWh X 10 (Michael Pollan) = 139,000 kWh to produce the crop

1 Gwh requires at least 3 acres of solar panels so 139,000 kWh requires about 0.4 acres.

So you need about 0.4 acres of solar panels to collect enough solar energy to produce 1 acre of crop.

Wow.

Yeah that's practical.

I'd say the very existence of corn ethanol as a viable product should be sufficient to show that your maths is complete bunkem.
"That which can be asserted with evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." (Dave Hawkins)

  • Pingu
Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26945
Where is Michael Pollan's statement regarding that math? I'm thinking it's got some important context you are missing simply because he's not an idiot.

A lot of farmers estimate around 40 litres of diesel per acre per annum for row crops.  40 litres is about 350,000 kCal.  So divide your calorie yield per acre by 350,000 for a ballpark.

Corn is about 12-15 million calories per acre, so the multiplier for corn would be about 35-40[1].
Potatoes would be higher, wheat would be lower.

Right now, solar isn't particularly efficient for generating energy for storage (it's better fed into the grid), and I don't honestly think electric farm machines are the future. Batteries are pretty clunky ways of storing fuel.  I think the breakthrough with be catalysts that allow solar (or wind) to efficiently convert water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then, possibly, via biocatalysts, into something like isopropanol  i.e. liquid fuel.

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/8/2337


ETA: but lower if you consider other energy inputs, but same applies to animal food calcs, and the really important thing is GHG emissions, so animal emissions need to go into the calcs as well
  • Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 02:14:28 PM by Pingu
I have a Darwin-debased mind.

Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26946
Good Lord.

Electrical POWER = Watts. Or kilowatts. Or megawatts. Or gigawatts.

Electrical ENERGY = kilowatt-hours. kWh gwh etc.

Pollan 10 in 1 out ... https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/10-calories-in-1-calorie-out-the-energy-we-spend-on-food/

Pingu gave liters of diesel ... for what? Everything? Tilling, planting, cultivating, spraying, harvesting? What about transport? To the COOP? To the mill? To the "food" manufacturer? To the wholesaler? To the grocer? Soccermom's car going to the grocer?  And what about the energy to produce the damn fertilizer? Or the seed?

Come on people.

You guys are supposed to be the REAL scientists.

12 million corn calories per acre X 10 (Pollan) = 120 million calories to produce the food. Convert to kWh and you probably get something like what I said ...

0.4 acres of solar panels to produce the energy for 1 acre of corn crop.

Then yeah ... as Pingu points out ... batteries ... electric farm equipment ...

Jesus Christ.

And we have idiots like Ben that think this is no big deal.


Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26947
Can you imagine half an acre of solar panels for every acre of crop?

That's a pretty hilarious mental image.

But I guess if you believe that birds became dinosaurs, then anything's possible.

Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26948
Where is Michael Pollan's statement regarding that math? I'm thinking it's got some important context you are missing simply because he's not an idiot.

A lot of farmers estimate around 40 litres of diesel per acre per annum for row crops.  40 litres is about 350,000 kCal.  So divide your calorie yield per acre by 350,000 for a ballpark.

Corn is about 12-15 million calories per acre, so the multiplier for corn would be about 35-40[1].
Potatoes would be higher, wheat would be lower.

Right now, solar isn't particularly efficient for generating energy for storage (it's better fed into the grid), and I don't honestly think electric farm machines are the future. Batteries are pretty clunky ways of storing fuel.  I think the breakthrough with be catalysts that allow solar (or wind) to efficiently convert water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then, possibly, via biocatalysts, into something like isopropanol  i.e. liquid fuel.

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/8/2337



Oh. Right. So Dave is comparing everything to industrial ag running machines on diesel. Well, if that's the case, the fertilizer should count too since it's largely made via the Haber process.
ETA: but lower if you consider other energy inputs, but same applies to animal food calcs, and the really important thing is GHG emissions, so animal emissions need to go into the calcs as well
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • Pingu
Re: Economics of "Saving Agriculture" (Thereby Saving the World)
Reply #26949
Dave, you said there was a "theoretical" limit to renewables. WHAT IS IT?
I have a Darwin-debased mind.