September 02, 2014 | Ronda Jambe

Hungering for the truth on climate change? or just hungry?

‘Triangulate your research’ was one bit of advice that served me well. That means taking in data from several sources.
And if you don’t trust the climate scientists, maybe pay attention to what the bankers are saying. And if you still aren’t convinced, the agricultural scientists and water experts have perspectives worth paying attention to.

If you don’t trust or believe any scientists, then you are left with Fox news, who of course never have a ax to grind.

So I offer two articles about food and climate change. Water is an equally hot topic, but that’s for another day.

Please note that even the social scientists acknowledge that drought and food prices were important factors in the various Middle East uprisings over the past half decade. Christian Parenti’s book Tropic of Chaos pulls a lot of that together.

For good measure, peak oil will also have negative impacts on food production, but you can google that yourselves.

Here they are:

(1) The combination of rising temperatures and air pollution could substantially damage
crop growth in the next 40 years, according to a new paper. And if emissions stay as
high as they are now, the number of people who don’t get enough food could grow by
half by the middle of the century. Research shows rising temperatures are likely to
lead to lower crop yields. Other work suggests air pollution might reduce the amount
of food produced worldwide. But nobody has considered both effects together until
now, the authors say, and the results suggest a greater threat than previously
feared to global crops. (By Roz Pidcock)

(2) Climate change may disrupt global food system within a decade, World Bank says
The world is headed “down a dangerous path” with disruption of the food system
possible within a decade as climate change undermines the ability of nations to feed
themselves, according to a senior World Bank official.

Posted by Ronda Jambe at 6:24 am | Comments (9) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Here is another view to triangulate.

    The very early evidence from atmospheric CO2 level reports indicates that emissions of CO2 are no longer growing.

    You can find my discussion of this theme at:

    If this is correct, then the doomsday predictions canvassed in both of your articles are unlikely to come to fruition.

    The action the world needs to take (and it is not hard) is to cut CO2 and nitrous oxide emissions by a rate that is equal to 2% of the current levels of emissions each year until 2050.

    Comment by Graham Lovell — September 2, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

  2. And as disturbing as some of those reports may be Ronda, they are not as disturbing as what is now happening in the northern USA, or Alaska.
    Where the tundra is already in melt down mode!
    We simply are not able to place the tipping point at some place in the foreseeable future or leave for our children to deal with, but must embrace the alternative s now.
    Even if that requires redoubtable resistant recalcitrant representatives to do a 180, and just crack on using public money to roll out the alternatives!
    Which include solar thermal, which if rolled out using scales of economy, and robotic mass production compare more than favorably with coal fired start ups. The real and only difference. With solar them the fuel remains forever free, all while fossil fuel energy prices rise to economy killing levels. And given that is so, these projects will esarn more money in their serviceable life times, to more than cover any and all start up finances! And easier for governments who can’t borrow for half that of private enterprise. And there’s virtual trillions sitting in boardrooms just looking for worth while risk averse investment! The usual excuses for government inaction simply don’t stack up, and if they won’t, then they need to be replaced ASAP, with others who will!
    And fossil fuel powered plants should be simply junked, solely on reasoned economic grounds.
    And much lower costing publicly owned/financed employee co-op projects will do just that; nothing else is needed.
    As well as that, we have cheaper than coal thorium, which is old fifties technology, rejected because it has no weapons spin off.
    Just one of the extremely palatable reasons for now preferring it.
    Moreover, in complete inverse proportion to oxide reactors, which consume only around 5% of their fuel, with the rest becoming plutonium or so called N-waste; cheaper than coal thorium reactors consume around 95% of their fuel, and such waste is is produced; is far and away, far less toxic, and eminently suitable as very long life space batteries.
    During the entire course of the productive lifetime, may only consume a couple of tons of thorium,.
    Which can be purchased and stored on site now, and then produce power, where the cost is contained to a known known, for the life of the plant, all while coal fired power burns billions of annual tons, and for higher and higher exponentially expanding prices!
    And based solely on irrefutable statistical evidence, killing many more people than the total numbers killed or harmed by nuclear meltdowns!
    So just on safety/health issues, we should prefer the nuclear option, which now includes much safer mass produced pebble reactors.
    Which can be mass produced and trucked on site, and producing power in just a few weeks.
    And as trucked in modules, able to be added to by more bolt on modules as and when need demands.
    And given the much lower cost of producing solar thermal plants, we also need to include endlessly sustainable hydrogen, made by the older water molecule cracking method and for just a few cents per cubic metre; thanks to sea water and solar thermal applications.
    And then piped hydrogen just doesn’t include current transmission line losses, or maintenance requirements.
    After all, pure hydrogen reduces oxides; meaning, the pipes will never need to rust out, but particularly if adequately externally sealed from the get go!
    Lastly but not least, is the biogas option made and used at home to power our domiciles.
    If one first scrubs this endlessly sustainable gas, and then uses it to power super silent ceramic fuel cells?
    We can completely power our homes, produce endless free hot water; plus around about 50% as a salable surplus; or, power/recharge an electric car.
    GM is reportedly working on a new battery prototype, which is said to allow ranges twice that of current lithium phosphate batteries, meaning a range or around 600+ Kilometres, and a refueling to around 80% in around twenty minutes, or the time required for a leisurely comfort stop/coffee break!
    Biogas production has several very profitable spin offs, which include thoroughly sanitized carbon rich, virtually free fertilizer, loaded with both nitrates and phosphates.
    Plus nutrient loaded water eminently suitable for broad scale algae farming.
    Some algae are up to 60 oil, absorb 2,5 times their bodyweight in carbon, and under optimized production parameters, can double both those capacities ever 24 hours.
    Moreover, while using just 1-2% of the water taken for traditional irrigation.
    Were we to encourage that broad scale production in the Murray/Darling, with both tax breaks and low cost start up loans; we would rescue not just the basin; but, quite massively improve the economic prospects of all who rely on it as well.
    In a win win outcome for the people and the environment.
    The only thing that nobody in their right mind can understand, is why aren’t we already doing it?
    Albeit some visionary chief execs, have already invested in biogas production and fuel cells that consume it.
    Incidentally, a fuel cell uses a chemical process that uses up the fuel more efficiently, and given it is a chemical rather than a combustion process, produces mostly water vapor.
    I don’t, nor do the banks know, if we have already crossed the so called tipping point; and are outward bound to an inevitable doomsday, and far sooner than we were ready for?
    I hope not!
    But I’m not hopeful that rigidly recalcitrant politicians, will somehow reverse a lifetime do nothing stance, all while muttering mindless mantas; like the government has no business in business, but just cracks on and gets into the alternative energy business.
    The first foreseeable result of much cheaper more sustainable energy?
    A quite massive resurgence in the local manufacturing sector, and or, the very salvation of an economy already carrying an impossible foreign debt burden. (four trillion and still rising?)
    Fortunately it is a burden introduced by foreign firms, who must be encouraged to take themselves, or let go of, their gold-plated projects/iconic industries, all financed by debt, with them when they’re forced by local competition, new Malaysia like partnership rules; to pack up and leave these shores, bankrupt or just destitute.
    I just don’t give a rats, given we the people were never ever consulted, with regard to this impossible record foreign debt outcome; created by in the main, by debt laden foreign speculation!
    Which must be addressed with urgent alacrity.
    Least we follow Spain and Ireland, who it seems were equally foolish or led by similar moronic mantras mutters, who having helped create the problem, then proceeded to commit the people’s resources, to guarantee the debt!
    Which not only just didn’t save their bacon, but quite massively exacerbated their financial problems.
    There’s an old saying, when you’re in a really deep hole, you really must stop digging.
    So whether it’s climate change or just the economy stupid, we really must stop digging!
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — September 2, 2014 @ 12:28 pm

  3. A change to biogas, as our principle preferred domestic power option, will bring a number of spin offs, that will allow the doubling and tripling of local food production.
    Moreover, we can grow some crops utilizing plentiful sea water.
    These innovations, will not only allow greater food production, but even greater carbon take up as well.
    This innovation buries membrane wrapped ag pipes underground; and pumps endless seawater in and around them.
    And given some plants have greater pulling power than most pumps, pulling reverse osmosis fresh water out of the pipes.
    If this takes place under glass i.e., then the pristine evaporate can be used to support human habitation, where now there is none is currently possible, thereby relieving current population pressure.
    If those communities are then able/allowed to power all their domiciles with biogas, they will no longer need to rely on trees etc, for cooking, hot water and what have you.
    Some of those ag pipe supported plants, could include frost, drought and salt tolerant native wisteria.
    Which is a deep rooted perennial legume, that after fixing nitrogen in the soil; produces a natural bio diesel, with the ex-crush seed material, a high protein fodder eminently suitable for feed lots/fish farms/ chicken/egg production.
    Which could be supplemented with fodder factories, where a shed covering barely half an acre, produces as much green fodder as thirty acres of conventional paddock feed.
    And then for just 1-2% of the water!
    And if watered from underneath, the plant material doesn’t mind if their water/pristine evaporate, has passed through several sets of animal/human kidneys first!
    Some of the salt water/ag pipe assisted plant growth, could be trees, food orchards and cabinet timbers?
    And given trees expire 2.5 times more water than open water, add their moisture production is added to the clouds, causing enough water moisture volume, to precipitate rain; in just the way rain-forests create their own micro-climates!
    And given we make a start near or on the coast, enabling this man made additional rain, to then kick start a natural, spreading of the forests further and further and further inland, along with their recharge facility; that then further spreads the forest.
    Eventually, and perhaps before the turn of the century, with cabinet timbers/very rapid growing trees like a deciduous paulwana, stabilizing cottonwoods/clumping bamboo, being preferred initially?
    The leaf litter acting as a mulch that further reduces evaporation/water uptake and aids natural fertilization.
    Even places like the Sahara could eventually, progressively become heavily wooded tropical paradises, that support a few million more people, than is now possible, just by utilizing this very simple natural progressively growing model model.
    As could other coastal desert regions; which simply has to include, a drying Australia!
    All that’s missing here, is politicians who replace the endless can’t do hyperbole, blame-shifting and gas-bagging, with action!
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — September 2, 2014 @ 6:01 pm

  4. Mr Lovell, looking at your blog post, and the data centre, clearly indicates emissions are still growing, if perhaps more slowly.

    Moreover, the data from Mauna Loa indicate a clearly rising trend:

    as for thorium, Alan, it is a mystery to me why we aren’t pursuing this option.

    Comment by Ronda Jambe — September 2, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

  5. Thanks Ronda for your comments.

    It is true that atmospheric CO2 level is growing. The best we can realistically hope for is to keep it under 450 ppm. Unless there is a radical (cheap) option, it likely that the atmospheric level will keep growing until it reaches that level around 2050.

    The question that I addressed was whether the emission levels (that feed the atmospheric levels) are growing. On this the jury is out. We will have to wait and see.

    In the meantime, there is plenty of scope for emissions to drop, and for this to happen China will have to get on board, which I believe they are doing. On this also, the jury is out. Most other nations (including Australia) are already on a reducing-emissions path.

    Comment by Ronda Jambe — September 2, 2014 @ 9:30 pm

  6. Sorry about the misnaming. The last post was by me.7863

    Comment by Graham Lovell — September 2, 2014 @ 9:31 pm

  7. What a mix-up. My mis-named reply has now been deleted. Will it return?

    Comment by Graham Lovell — September 2, 2014 @ 9:33 pm

  8. Batteries are only a problem if they’re not recycled Ronda.
    Even so, we have the option of a gas powered electric vehicles, utilizing gas consuming ceramic fuel cells.
    This basically battery free electric combination, produces mostly water vapor as an exhaust product, even when powered with CNG.
    And could conceivably replace the ubiquitous diesel electric, in trains, harvest machines, mine trucks and mine vehicles etc.
    And given an energy coefficient of 80%, for this particular combination, able to cut transport costs at least in half, wherever this option is preferred.
    Imagine go virtually go anywhere road trains, where every wheel is electrically powered!?
    Some of these house powering ceramic fuel cells, only need as much space as an armchair; meaning a return of large very comfortable, much safer cars is not only possible, but preferable, for caravan holidays/towing options, what have you.
    Where all the energy requirements, for the duration, could be supplied as carried in low cost CNG!
    And given this combination has the highest energy coefficient in the world, CNG> electric powered planes, could be also very conceivable! Wings have lots of fuel storage space, and wold be assisted in take off, with lighter than air methane!
    But especially if you included carbon nano fibre, and the strongest material in the world, one atom wide, grapheal, which could be applied as alternate layers.
    Layers of woven nano fibre, further reinforced with alternate layers of grapheal. Some of which could be bubble wrap?
    And strong enough to replace heavy personal Armour, and head to feet, with a new light weight version that does actually stop Armour piecing rounds, and with material lighter than a conventional three peace suit.
    Reflective material, and bubble wrap. would allow personal survival outcomes in any desert or the arctic; or maybe even when taking a space walk?
    And tyres reinforced with this combination of material, would be both bullet/IED proof, and probably wear far slower than any other option.
    One can imagine law enforcement, kitted out like star wars warriors, and therefore, able to chose less lethal options, when dealing with the knife wielding mentally ill, or riots; or burning buildings or vehicles!
    However, as useful as that possible option could well be, it would be far more useful in planes, trains and automobiles, or really deep diving subs or space vehicles!
    Imagine, a conventional looking motor home, but at least ten times more indestructible than the best tanks?
    And light enough to float and or, very safely put rapid response, drive in troops on beaches, minus the usual blood bath or sacrifice!
    Similarly equipped news hounds could safely head for the war or epidemic zones, and bring back the actual truth, as opposed to rumor and or propaganda. And off road road trains, could deliver help to many more dangerous places, by virtue of not needing roads, and able to chose a new or different route every time
    And given what’s happening on/to the planet, none too soon!
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — September 3, 2014 @ 5:50 pm

  9. These are exciting ideas. We rode in a Tesla recently, and they are bringing out a much cheaper version, should appear in Australia in the next year or so.

    Comment by Ronda Jambe — September 6, 2014 @ 12:22 am

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