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#309133 - 10/30/18 10:44 PM Re: the economy [Re: pondering_it_all]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8906
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Just fusion alone (which we have had some success with for over 60 years) would give us the energy needed to run the carbon cycle backwards and transfer all that carbon from the atmosphere back into the ground. There are vast areas of the Earth that are not feasible for growing crops or livestock, but with cheap water and fertilizers they would flourish.

Or we could start today by simply switching back to regenerative soil management practices and get the CO2 drawdown going while saving water, energy, and making money.
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"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll

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#309135 - 10/30/18 10:49 PM Re: the economy [Re: logtroll]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8906
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
From the SBIR grant proposal I just submitted last week:

Quote:
Research conducted by Dr. David C. Johnson has shown that soil health can be restored using a Biologically Enhanced Agricultural Management system (BEAM). Based on field studies over the last eight years, we have preliminary observations to assess a biologically enhanced agricultural management approach. The results of a one-time inoculation of soils with 5 kg hectare-1 microbial inoculate without application of N or other elemental amendments are encouraging. These trials indicate: 1) near fivefold increase in net primary productivity (NPP) from 250 g dry biomass m-&#8203; 2&#8203; yr-&#8203; 1&#8203; in both a heavy clay soil as well in a desert sandy soil to 1,181 g dry biomass m-&#8203; 2&#8203;, 2) doubling in crop production on both cotton (2,282 lbs lint ac-&#8203; 1&#8203;) and green chiles (20 tons acre-&#8203; 1&#8203;), and 3) increased soil carbon uptake rates (10.7 tons C ha-&#8203; 1&#8203; yr-&#8203; 1&#8203;) or 0.26% C yr-&#8203; 1&#8203; increase. These values represent a double of the historical average production for these crops in the Mesilla Valley, NM, and represents a doubling in crop water use efficiency along with a complete reduction in fertilizer amendments to achieve this productivity.
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"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll

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#309136 - 10/30/18 11:01 PM Re: the economy [Re: logtroll]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8906
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
Oops, just noticed all of the weird number things. I'll post a link to a paper on it...
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"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll

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#309137 - 10/30/18 11:03 PM Re: the economy [Re: logtroll]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8906
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
_________________________
"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll

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#309141 - 10/31/18 04:10 AM Re: the economy [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
member

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 1076
Logtroll,
Is IP simply the practice of tilling in cover crops of a known carbon capture quantity?
Does the value to the farmer get captured by trading his carbon credits to a yet to be created carbon credit trading market?
Is that the general gist of it? If so, it has the advantage of not much capitol investment for the farmers as they may have most of the equiptment on hand for current farming practices. Nice.
Tricky part is the realization of value thru the creation of carbon trade markets. I'd guess there'd be broad popular support for this but there's that problcm of regulatory buy in from government.
Is there any use of Biochar in this scheme to boost carbon capture/acre?
It's awesome work to be involved in. Looks to be on a scale of Pastuer or Salk.


Edited by chunkstyle (10/31/18 11:42 AM)

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#309146 - 10/31/18 03:25 PM Re: the economy [Re: chunkstyle]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8906
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
It's better than all that.

Dr. Johnson has developed a system for soil regeneration that is all about soil microbes, particularly fungi. It is not a fertilizer approach. The way it works is if you recreate a natural, microbially diverse soil ecosystem, it becomes a factory for processing all the minerals and chemicals needed for vigorous plant growth. The plants and bugs are symbiotic, feeding each other while optimizing the conditions favorable to all. A result of this is that both labile and recalcitrant carbon are being stored in the roots and mycorrhizomes, which can reach many meters into the ground. The recalcitrant carbon is chemically stabile and can remain sequestered for thousands of years, while the labile carbon is like a pantry with resources to be drawn upon when needed. Soil carbon has been seriously depleted because of soil disturbing practices (plowing is akin to nuking the soil community), fertilizing (ammonia fertilizers react with the carbon creating CO2), and erosion losses.

In Johnson's experiments over the past ten years, he has measured soil carbon increases of 5 tons/acre/year, with the harvest of about the same amount of crop biomass from the above ground part of the plants. The crop biomass is not sequestering C though, that is all chemically active (labile).

But we can make biochar from the biomass, which results in 60% of the C in the material being turned into recalcitrant carbon, which has many beneficial uses, including soil amending.

Our R&D is all about combining Johnson's microbial soil inoculant with biochar, which will make the inoculant easier to spread and will provide "migrant housing" for the bugs so they can have a better survival rate when applied in more hostile environments than irrigated farms (rangeland and forest regeneration, and dryland farms).

In addition to transforming more than half of the C in biomass to biochar, our pyrolysis systems also make a lot of energy - an average pound of biomass contains 8600 Btus of heat energy, 3300 in the char and 5300 in the smoke. If that energy in the smoke is utilized it can displace an equivalent amount of fossil fuel (propane, NG, fuel oil). So, we can indirectly sequester the rest of the C in the biomass that wasn't captured in the char.

I have posted these videos before, but they take a good bit of time to watch. If your interest is caught, you will want to watch every minute, though.

carbonlink video series

Regarding carbon credits, or carbon payments, we aren't there, yet - but we don't need to be. Between the energy value and the biochar value, this already pencils out to be a paying proposition. The college that we are installing a system at to use waste biomass to make char and heat will make money while heating buildings. The pilot project building was costing $30,000 a year to heat with propane. Assuming a low-end market value for the char, our pro forma shows that they will be at least $10,000 in the black using our system. The actual soil benefits are not included in that spreadsheet, nor are the local economic and social benefits, or the potential CCS (carbon capture and sequestration) values. Since the recent IPPC report that says we have 10 years left to figure out how to do major atmospheric CO2 drawdown, and since engineered CCS strategies are becoming the next big thing to that end (see PIA's post above), we believe that we will soon be paid for sequestration. The difference between us and the engineered CCS strategies is that our approach has a whole slew of associated triple-bottom-line benefits, and we can make good money while doing it!
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"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll

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#309147 - 10/31/18 10:57 PM Re: the economy [Re: logtroll]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8906
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
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#309148 - 11/01/18 02:12 AM Re: the economy [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
member

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 1076
Fascinating stuff Logtroll.
I remember a job I was doing that gave me a lot of radio time getting to the site last year. It was NPR and had a very interesting interview with some researchers out in the Midwest.
The gist of it was there seems to be a third revolution going on and soil regeneration as well as a holistic approach to cover cropping, mixed planting etc.. is being intensively studied and put into use. One university researcher mentioned how a farmer that had converted to these practices felt for the first time, in his experience, he didn't feel that he had to go to war with nature. His relationship to his vocation and land had changed 180 degrees.
The researcher also mentioned farmers who made the switch had somewhere around zero reversion to industrial commoditification farming practices.
Can't find that hour long interview of these researchers discussion but I found a similar one covering the same ground with one of the three here: Regenerative soil discussion
I hope you make great headway out there with this work. Thanks for the link to the videos. I'll look forward to watching them.
There's some interesting ideas in construction with a lot of it reducing co2 in building materials. One that's caught my imagination is wooden skyscrapers. The idea is to build skyscrapers with lami beams replacing steel girders and timber panels instead of the typical glass and concrete cladding. There's a few that have gone up in the US with more ambitious structures in the planning stage. Same for Canada, Japan and Europe.
The idea has the benefits of reduced energy inputs manufacturing the building materials, better insulating properties and carbon is store for as long as the building lasts. I hope to visit a building of this type some day. I recall an architect remarking on how people would touch the interiors and actually hug the exposed posts. That never happened in his previous structures.
All of this is mute, IMO, as it wild need a radical reorganization of resources and capitol. That would require a functioning government on the scale of FDR's New Deal. I see no possibility of that with our current political landscape. The sons and daughters of the new deal generation have turned their backs on it and hold much of the political power with almost no imagination. As a famous political philosopher has recently said about the situation of progressive politics in the US, we have to now fight for the possibility of possibility. The very concept of possibility and imagination is nearly nonexistent.


Edited by chunkstyle (11/01/18 02:17 AM)

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#309161 - 11/02/18 03:29 AM Re: the economy [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
member

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 1076
Final thought on the economy. Reading about economies and capitalism from a contemporary political philosopher. He was remarking on the stunning success of capitalism having spread out from 19th century France, Germany and England until today, where it blankets the entire earth.
It was sold as a force of change that would free people from the fuedal institutions of the past and give rise to a more democratic egalitarian society. Even Karl Marx thought so and was an admirer.
Today, however, capitalism views democracy as an obstacle to the commodification of society. The dismantlement of democratic institutions are well underway and most of the large economies are transitioning to a more authoritarian form of governance who's main purpose is to facilitate capitalism.
As the commodification accelerates democracies are being destroyed. That it was the logical progression of capitalism.
I would agree that it appears to be the road we are on. An emergent far right facism thruout Europe, the election of Bolsanaro in Brazil, our own emergent facism and China settling back into lifetime autocratic leadership.
Others might have a different opinion and view it as coincidence.



Edited by chunkstyle (11/02/18 03:30 AM)

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#309162 - 11/02/18 08:35 AM Re: the economy [Re: jgw]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline


Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 13338
Loc: Whittier, California
And as usual, organized religion is more than happy to act as a lubricant to spread authoritarianism far and wide.
There's a bonus for them, theocracy. One might be tempted to wonder if theocracy and fascism are strange bedfellows.
Make no mistake, they were made for each other and history shows that they've been in bed many times before, with the same bastard children being spawned from such an unholy union.
The elites won't bother the fundamentalists because they're comfortably insulated, and the fundies are happy to grant a free pass to the elites as long as they bankroll the military as enforcers. The churchies get what they want and the elites get what they want.

And we here on the ground, far from the golden palaces, get the shaft.
Yes, it would seem that this was the logical progression of capitalism all along, at the expense of all else.

But it didn't have to be.
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Leon Russell - Magic Mirror"
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