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- Well I agree that more research along these lines would be good. I'm not complaining about improved technology one bit... just saying that it is not the only solution to every problem... policy can be important. Also I'm saying that basic research about the problem is also useful, not just applied research about new technologies. The article I posted suggested that GHG emissions from fertilizer are a big part of the problem, so I'm not certain where you are coming from in saying that they aren't. I think the reliance on fossil fuel to create fertilizers is an important issue, but the article I posted clearly suggests that NOx emissions from increased application of fertilizer is also an important issue. So I'm not sure what you are saying... please clarify.Apr 22, 2012
- They article claimed that it was a comparatively easy target rather than a big problem. Same for methane. That's wrong, but easy to say. Methane concentrations are flat yet we hear all manner of nonsensical talk about methane. They do some scare calcs about relative forcing value to support the wheeze. Nitrogen and methane are not the problem, they are a seemingly easy policy option instead of doing the hard work of dealing with CO2. In other words policy is the problem rather than the solution. As we should expect.
There's plenty of basic research to do regarding the nitrogen cycle. It isn't a basic vs. applied conflict. It is a fashion conflict: anything about climate is fashionable and fundable while agriculture is stodgy yet essential, and so neglected all over the world.
Said another way, the development needed for agriculture and soil would be needed even if we were facing an ice age. It's no help to avoid climate burn and then starve to death, or any of the lesser harms that come from food insecurity in a world with rising population and already exhausted soils and scarce arable land. This is something that developing countries are much more rational about, of necessity. They don't have the luxury of fashionable behavior.Apr 22, 2012
- Well I have to disagree. I think that concerns about methane and NOx emissions are well-founded and that these gasses do have important climate effects and that we do influence the production of these gasses. On the other hand, I agree that issues surrounding fertilizer use and abuse and limits to production/availability are important whether or not there is a climate connection.Apr 22, 2012
- If you eliminated all concern for everything but CO2 in some miraculous manner, bunged every ruminant and banned the use of fertilizer, you would have accomplished nothing so far as climate change is concerned. The threat would be unchanged. It's what politicians do instead of dealing with tough problems. That, unfortunately, has been the entire history of climate change policy thus far.Apr 22, 2012
- I guess we will just have to agree to disagree about that. I think the evidence is there that it would make a pretty substantial difference.Apr 22, 2012
- It would not. At best it would delay the inevitable by single digit years. You fry in 2106 instead of 2100. Cold comfort, err, well, not cold but ...Apr 22, 2012