Palm Oil was supposed to save the planet. Instead, it unleashed a catastrophe.

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Not a fan of the Times, but great article. 

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Pretty horrifying what is happening to the tropical forests around the world. 

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I wish we had a sustainable solution to this

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Between the coal power plants, ethanol in gas mandates and oil palms, our government has been foolishly led by financial interests, yes it happens to environmentalist politicians too.  Remember jimmy Carters coal fired power plants?  How about damming every river out west with hydroelectric dams, destroying life in those rivers.  He meant well, but the result was catastrophic acid rain from high sulfur coal from the power plants and destroyed aquatic habitat in many rivers out west.  the damage to forests and watersheds in the northeast was catastrophic to life there and it still hasn't recovered after 40 years.

I heard this oil palm situation from an indonesian engineer I worked with 4 years ago.  He thinks american environmentalists destroyed his country.  At that time there were 108 buring(set) fires in the indonesian island chain and air quality was horrific, second to china.  The NY times is years late to this story.  Not only does the burning release C02 but the destruction of the forest reduces the C02 consumption by vegetation.  the palms cycle fast in grows and because of this they do not consume the levels of C02 that a stable mature jungle does.  Second largest rain forest in the world is literally burning.  Not only did they not address carbon in the atmosphere, they made it worse for the short and the long run.  

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Yet, the oil palm still is (by far) the highest producing oil crop with great quality oil, like Bill Baker said; palm oil is here to stay. The solution is to breed them so that they have better tolerance to droughts and lower temperatures. So that it doesn't need to grow in tropical rainforest like climates. Even though it would lose half it's yield it would still be by far the best oilcrop. However, don't expect seed companies to start breeding them, they can only sell seeds to growers every 30 years or so because of the long lifespan. 

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Good to see that great journalism isn't extinct.  Something similar on the realities around recycling next please. 

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Here's another article on the increased destruction of rain forest (and burning) for more the growing of more oil palms. The article says:  The US not taking climate seriously gives a big excuse for the Indonesian government to not take it seriously either.

Well, as a taxpayer, and realizing the US is now $22 trillion in debt, I don't feel I need to pay Indonesia my tax money as an inducement for them not to build coal fired plants and stop clear cutting, burning, and destroying rain forest.

As I see it, global population now stands at around 7.7 billion. Global population is increasing by about 83 million humans a year (birth rate exceeding the death rate). If we want to really get serious about curbing man made climate change -- the first thing that should be done is to at least cap global population, and better yet, reduce it. Otherwise, we are just pissing against the wind. Look at the needs (food, water, housing, energy, raw materials, etc.) 83 million people need a year. That need will have to be offset to our global efforts to cut back on efforts to reduce atmospheric CO2. I say, why not cut back global population to at least that of 1980, which was 4.4 billion. If we started reducing global population to 1980 levels, that would be a drop of 3.3 billion humans. Think how such a drop would reduce CO2 generation caused by man. And theoretically there would be no cost for such a reduction.

The above leads me to the point I want to make about Indonesia. The US fertility rate has been falling for years.  I read that the US population growth rate stands at 0.72%/year, and 70% of that comprised births by immigration (legal and illegal). Yet, Indonesia's population is growing at 1.25%/year. So, by virtue of Indonesia increasing its population by more than 72% a year more than the US, I think it's somewhat disingenuous to say the US isn't taking climate change seriously -- at least in terms of family planning/population control.

Whether one believes climate change is man made, natural, or a percentage of both -- there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that man is negatively affecting the earth's environments and ecology via overpopulation and extravagant living by many (one time use, then throw away). 

The bottom line for me is, I'm willing to make some sacrifices in my living (recycle more, generate less plastic waste, buy more fuel efficient vehicles, go to more battery operated equipment, etc.). But I'm not willing to give my money to 3rd world countries that are allowed to build more and more coal fired electricity generating plants, add disproportionately to the global population, etc., and not be held to the same requirements.  

I hear constantly the refrain to cut back on this, not use that, etc., for the sake of our environment and ecology and climate change, but never any calls to cap and reduce global population. I think global population control (capping at least) should be the first course of action. It's analogous to leaving window open your house, and flying bugs are infiltrating your house. The first logical course of action to take would be to close the windows to stop any further bugs from entering your house -- then you take action to capture/kill the bugs. 

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/12/5/18126145/indonesia-climate-change-deforestation

 

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40 minutes ago, Walt said:

Here's another article on the increased destruction of rain forest (and burning) for more the growing of more oil palms. The article says:  The US not taking climate seriously gives a big excuse for the Indonesian government to not take it seriously either.

Well, as a taxpayer, and realizing the US is now $22 trillion in debt, I don't feel I need to pay Indonesia my tax money as an inducement for them not to build coal fired plants and stop clear cutting, burning, and destroying rain forest.

As I see it, global population now stands at around 7.7 billion. Global population is increasing by about 83 million humans a year (birth rate exceeding the death rate). If we want to really get serious about curbing man made climate change -- the first thing that should be done is to at least cap global population, and better yet, reduce it. Otherwise, we are just pissing against the wind. Look at the needs (food, water, housing, energy, raw materials, etc.) 83 million people need a year. That need will have to be offset to our global efforts to cut back on efforts to reduce atmospheric CO2. I say, why not cut back global population to at least that of 1980, which was 4.4 billion. If we started reducing global population to 1980 levels, that would be a drop of 3.3 billion humans. Think how such a drop would reduce CO2 generation caused by man. And theoretically there would be no cost for such a reduction.

The above leads me to the point I want to make about Indonesia. The US fertility rate has been falling for years.  I read that the US population growth rate stands at 0.72%/year, and 70% of that comprised births by immigration (legal and illegal). Yet, Indonesia's population is growing at 1.25%/year. So, by virtue of Indonesia increasing its population by more than 72% a year more than the US, I think it's somewhat disingenuous to say the US isn't taking climate change seriously -- at least in terms of family planning/population control.

Whether one believes climate change is man made, natural, or a percentage of both -- there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that man is negatively affecting the earth's environments and ecology via overpopulation and extravagant living by many (one time use, then throw away). 

The bottom line for me is, I'm willing to make some sacrifices in my living (recycle more, generate less plastic waste, buy more fuel efficient vehicles, go to more battery operated equipment, etc.). But I'm not willing to give my money to 3rd world countries that are allowed to build more and more coal fired electricity generating plants, add disproportionately to the global population, etc., and not be held to the same requirements.  

I hear constantly the refrain to cut back on this, not use that, etc., for the sake of our environment and ecology and climate change, but never any calls to cap and reduce global population. I think global population control (capping at least) should be the first course of action. It's analogous to leaving window open your house, and flying bugs are infiltrating your house. The first logical course of action to take would be to close the windows to stop any further bugs from entering your house -- then you take action to capture/kill the bugs. 

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/12/5/18126145/indonesia-climate-change-deforestation

 

I've done my part.  I have no offspring (by some miracle).

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Walt, very valid point.  I remember back in the 80s when global population was a little over 3 billlion and we were discussing in class about managing it better.  Guess the global governments failed...

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https://www.ran.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/agrofuels_white_paper.pdf

" Danielsen et al, in a forthcoming article in Conservation Biology, calculate that palm oil based agrofuels produced on cleared rainforest land – which has accounted for the vast bulk of the recent expansion in palm oil-based agrofuels production – would result in a negative carbon balance for the first 75-93 years of production compared with petroleum, and that palm oil-based agrofuels produced on cleared peatlands would take around 600 years to result in a positive carbon balance."

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If palm oil takes 70-90 years to run carbon neutral with petroleum we should just give it up.  Focus on nearer solutions to our energy problems.

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2 hours ago, Walt said:

Here's another article on the increased destruction of rain forest (and burning) for more the growing of more oil palms. The article says:  The US not taking climate seriously gives a big excuse for the Indonesian government to not take it seriously either.

Well, as a taxpayer, and realizing the US is now $22 trillion in debt, I don't feel I need to pay Indonesia my tax money as an inducement for them not to build coal fired plants and stop clear cutting, burning, and destroying rain forest.

As I see it, global population now stands at around 7.7 billion. Global population is increasing by about 83 million humans a year (birth rate exceeding the death rate). If we want to really get serious about curbing man made climate change -- the first thing that should be done is to at least cap global population, and better yet, reduce it. Otherwise, we are just pissing against the wind. Look at the needs (food, water, housing, energy, raw materials, etc.) 83 million people need a year. That need will have to be offset to our global efforts to cut back on efforts to reduce atmospheric CO2. I say, why not cut back global population to at least that of 1980, which was 4.4 billion. If we started reducing global population to 1980 levels, that would be a drop of 3.3 billion humans. Think how such a drop would reduce CO2 generation caused by man. And theoretically there would be no cost for such a reduction.

The above leads me to the point I want to make about Indonesia. The US fertility rate has been falling for years.  I read that the US population growth rate stands at 0.72%/year, and 70% of that comprised births by immigration (legal and illegal). Yet, Indonesia's population is growing at 1.25%/year. So, by virtue of Indonesia increasing its population by more than 72% a year more than the US, I think it's somewhat disingenuous to say the US isn't taking climate change seriously -- at least in terms of family planning/population control.

Whether one believes climate change is man made, natural, or a percentage of both -- there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that man is negatively affecting the earth's environments and ecology via overpopulation and extravagant living by many (one time use, then throw away). 

The bottom line for me is, I'm willing to make some sacrifices in my living (recycle more, generate less plastic waste, buy more fuel efficient vehicles, go to more battery operated equipment, etc.). But I'm not willing to give my money to 3rd world countries that are allowed to build more and more coal fired electricity generating plants, add disproportionately to the global population, etc., and not be held to the same requirements.  

I hear constantly the refrain to cut back on this, not use that, etc., for the sake of our environment and ecology and climate change, but never any calls to cap and reduce global population. I think global population control (capping at least) should be the first course of action. It's analogous to leaving window open your house, and flying bugs are infiltrating your house. The first logical course of action to take would be to close the windows to stop any further bugs from entering your house -- then you take action to capture/kill the bugs. 

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/12/5/18126145/indonesia-climate-change-deforestation

 

https://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/science-and-impacts/science/each-countrys-share-of-co2.html#.XA1hdWgzbcs

 

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3 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

I've done my part.  I have no offspring (by some miracle).

This isn't a knock on those with offspring, but I have no offspring (by choice). As each day goes by I'm glad I made that choice, as the future of this planet, IMO, looks very dim (for myriad reasons, not just climate change). I'm glad I don't have children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren that will have to face the dim future of this planet.

Right now I'm just enjoying my palm hobby while it still lasts.

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The ideal should be Net Zero.  

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2 hours ago, richnorm said:

CO2 consumption is just one part of the equation.  If you are only concerned about CO2 consumption, just wait until China and India have a substantial middle class. Once countries become “developed”, their carbon footprint per capita will only increase (as it stands with the technology today).

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46 minutes ago, joe_OC said:

CO2 consumption is just one part of the equation.  If you are only concerned about CO2 consumption, just wait until China and India have a substantial middle class. Once countries become “developed”, their carbon footprint per capita will only increase (as it stands with the technology today).

Never said otherwise. But Walt's point about relative population growth is kinda numerically immaterial given the massive imbalance in per capita Co2.  That said I suspect we have a lot of views in common so let's keep it friendly!

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On 12/9/2018, 12:00:45, joe_OC said:

Walt, very valid point.  I remember back in the 80s when global population was a little over 3 billlion and we were discussing in class about managing it better.  Guess the global governments failed...

I don't foresee global population being capped, let alone reduced; I've seen no sentiment for it thus far.

Poor undeveloped countries want the economic success the rich countries have-- and that takes more and more energy to increase their economic production. Each country's carbon footprint will grow as their economy grows.  And the rich countries will continue to battle for economic hegemony over the others -- and this will require more and more energy to keep their GDP growing. At present the US is at the top of the heap, with a GDP of almost 25% of the global GDP -- a big reason for the US's carbon foot print, coupled with lots of self-indulgence. If the US started reducing its population (as would also be the case with many other rich countries) their GDP would almost surely fall -- and they can't have that!  It's a conundrum.

But a wrench may be thrown into all of this. Technological advances (robots, machines, drones, A.I., etc.) are displacing human workers more and more each passing day. Where will all the jobs come from, jobs that can pay a livable wage, in the future. As I see it, all the more reason to start reducing global population to a more sustainable level. But from what I've observed, it appears it's not PC to include global population control/reduction as part of the solution to curbing greenhouse gases.

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23 hours ago, richnorm said:

Never said otherwise. But Walt's point about relative population growth is kinda numerically immaterial given the massive imbalance in per capita Co2.  That said I suspect we have a lot of views in common so let's keep it friendly!

Reminder - like the Global Warming topics, this topic is very close to becoming too political and/or controversial - both "no-nos." I am again trying to be lenient, but am watching closely.

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On 12/9/2018, 3:35:51, Walt said:

This isn't a knock on those with offspring, but I have no offspring (by choice). As each day goes by I'm glad I made that choice, as the future of this planet, IMO, looks very dim (for myriad reasons, not just climate change). I'm glad I don't have children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren that will have to face the dim future of this planet.

Right now I'm just enjoying my palm hobby while it still lasts.

As a father of two children, I understand what you mean and occasionally have those thoughts. More so lately as the time horizon seems to have become smaller. 

My perspective is that I can raise my children to become educated, responsible and honest adults that will address these very issues you and I are concerned about. That being said, it will take millions of people doing the same to create real change. 

 

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9 hours ago, PALM MOD said:

Reminder - like the Global Warming topics, this topic is very close to becoming too political and/or controversial - both "no-nos." I am again trying to be lenient, but am watching closely.

Weeeee seeeeeee yoooooooou  LOL! ;)

I have loads to say on this whole general topic, but I wont, largely because it goes far beyond the scope of this forum, and  they are "no-nos".   What I will say is that industry is despicable to me, but then again there are many that are.   As for population control, I have thought about this numerous times over the last couple of decades.  There are two ways of doing it:  Controlling birthrates, and basically killing off some large numbers of people.  If it were to be the latter then we get int o who has to go.  Messy proposition all around.  So we're down to one method (provided of course mother nature / mother earth doesn't take matters into her own hands and kills most of us anyway) and that method is controlling birthrates.   Doesn't china do this already?   I find it very hard to imagine where  some countries would be even willing to think about doing something similar.  At the end of the day I think there are certain, reasonably large, portions of the population that just don't care at all.  They hold the view that the earth belongs to us (it doesn't) and we should use up all we can while were here.  I highly doubt that birthrate control would be anymore palpable to them, than curbing/ curtailing / heavily regulating some industries.  For me, I too have done my part as I have no kids.  I left that to my brother who had 4.  I do are, immensely, but for me I can only care so much as there is only so much that I can do personally.  This problem will long outlive me, and probably most of us.  If im lucky I still have a good 30-40  years left on this planet, and I just don't see any of this getting much better as time goes on.   At this point I just try to enjoy my life as much as possible, while trying to live my live in a way that is least impactful as possible to the planet.    

Ive heard some say that we are now living in the great golden age of the human species, and that we are near the end of that age.  It sounds funny and bleak to me, but when you think deeply about things for  a long time, I can see where statements like that probably are at least somewhat accurate.  Maybe not for the next few generations or maybe not even 10, but its hard for me to imagine life on this planet 4,5,600 years from now or more. Its hard to imagine there will be much left of it by then that is functional / workable, given the rate at which we are destroying it.   

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14 hours ago, Walt said:

I don't foresee global population being capped, let alone reduced; I've seen no sentiment for it thus far.

Poor undeveloped countries want the economic success the rich countries have-- and that takes more and more energy to increase their economic production. Each country's carbon footprint will grow as their economy grows.  And the rich countries will continue to battle for economic hegemony over the others -- and this will require more and more energy to keep their GDP growing. At present the US is at the top of the heap, with a GDP of almost 25% of the global GDP -- a big reason for the US's carbon foot print, coupled with lots of self-indulgence. If the US started reducing its population (as would also be the case with many other rich countries) their GDP would almost surely fall -- and they can't have that!  It's a conundrum.

But a wrench may be thrown into all of this. Technological advances (robots, machines, drones, A.I., etc.) are displacing human workers more and more each passing day. Where will all the jobs come from, jobs that can pay a livable wage, in the future. As I see it, all the more reason to start reducing global population to a more sustainable level. But from what I've observed, it appears it's not PC to include global population control/reduction as part of the solution to curbing greenhouse gases.

The trouble with reducing population is that first you have to deal with an aging population. Once you start up the growth machine it's pretty hard to turn off.

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