Regular Features Sandpit September 10, 2019 John Quiggin52 Comments A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on. Like this:Like Loading... Related
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Renewables don’t need to be on the grid in order for us to have energy substitution. Processes to do with fixing nitrogen, and creating ammonia fertilisers, can be carried forward with intermittent energy. So if we start detaching some of these wind farms, by way of setting up ammonia production facilities, its still adding to our overall energy production.
Third hand information but I heard someone talking about a survey to do with energy-in-energy-out in agriculture. There was a comparison made between big corporate farms and smaller family farms. The averaged out figures had the big corporates investing one calorie of energy to get only 1.5 calories out. The family farms were getting 14 calories for every calorie of (mostly hydro-carbon) energy invested. Now thats pretty important isn’t it?
So we don’t want to necessarily think that the renewables have to always be about the grid in this generation. If we stop this ludicrous CO2 panic, follow scientific evidence, stop denying what the evidence says, then we know that we have an energy and employment crisis, and if there is any trouble with CO2 its a very long way off.
But supposing its not merely the family farm but rather permaculture we can phase our agriculture too. Then we may be getting 100 calories out for one calorie invested, and we are supporting the natural world, developing the soil, and therefore interring more carbon in the soil. We would want to follow that up greening the desert. Hopefully with the heliostat as the “pioneer tree” but even with real pioneer trees would be just fine. Greening the desert is the right thing to do. And thats interring more carbon.
A bit more flexibility and a bit less panic is in order.
I love a great speech. Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama could deliver speeches with lots of fine sounding sentences in them. But their words bore no connection to the behavior that the US government has exemplified.