Global Warming WTF??

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Global Warming WTF??

Feb 8, 2018 | 10:34 91
Quote Originally Posted by sumdumguy View Post
Forget about Chuck - he is mentally dysfunctional - Big snow storm heading for Calgary and southern Alberta.
Yes, but we all know that this snow storm is not only much more likely but also much more intense due to global warming. Reply With Quote
Feb 8, 2018 | 10:37 92
Quote Originally Posted by AlbertaFarmer5 View Post
I think you completely missed the context of your article from which I quoted. The premise being that the cost to the Canadian economy of the Carbon tax payed by Canadians would be offset by less economic damage due to climate change. I then posted a link from Stanford University predicting that Canada's economy stands to benefit massively from climate change. So by mitigating future climate change, we are actually lowering our own future economic ability to pay for said CO2 tax.

This context isn't about worldwide impacts, the article was about the effect on Canada's economy.
Interesting graphic. So you believe human caused climate change is real? Yes or No?

Di you notice that the 2 largest economies the USA and China will see a -36% and -42% GDP loss because of climate change?

Most of the worlds population live in countries that will see a decline in GDP.

So if the Stanford model is correct and a few northern countries will see increased GDP the overall world GDP will decline by 23%. Correct. Didn't you say there would be no cost to climate change?

In 2017 dollars that 23% would amount to around 30 trillion dollar cost of climate change by 2100.

Are you in agreement with this estimate?

So if we adopt new technology, conserve and use new renewable energy resources we will still gain a significant growth in our GDP. Because the projections for the cost of a carbon tax to the Canadian economy are very low.

So why are you so worried about the transition to a low carbon world when Canada will do very well by 2100?

Q and A from the study:
1. What does your study find?
We find that over the last fifty years, temperature has influenced the economic productivity of countries. For cold countries, warming up helps them perform better, up to a point. There is an optimal temperature at around 13C (55F) where economic performance peaks. Then warming above this temperature causes economic productivity to decline, with a rate that accelerates the hotter and hotter a country gets. We have known for some time that the fundamental building blocks of our economies, such as workers and crops, show their highest level of performance at moderate temperatures. We demonstrate that our results for the performance of much larger and more complex national economies is consistent with what we already know about the performance of their building blocks (e.g. workers and crops).
Based on these findings, we calculate how global warming is expected to affect economies around the
world. We find that climate change will reshape the global economy, causing a small number of cold countries to perform better and many temperate and hot countries to perform worse. On net, we project that the global economy will do much worse because of climate change, with global average incomes 23% lower in 2100 with climate change relative to without it. In addition, because some of the cooler richer countries are expected to benefit from warming and poorer tropical countries are hurt, global inequality is projected to get much worse due to climate change. Reply With Quote
fjlip's Avatar Feb 8, 2018 | 10:47 93 The volcanoes at the moment belching smoke and ash around the earth, cancel any CO2 reductions for years. Any result can be achieved with MADE UP #'s facts. None can be PROVEN 50-100 years into the future. Remember in the 70's we were going into an ICEAGE?

" In addition, because some of the cooler richer countries are expected to benefit from warming and poorer tropical countries are hurt, global inequality is projected to get much worse due to climate change."


Great they can MOVE Then. Worry about our backyard, 35 million people can not save 7 billion.
Last edited by fjlip; Feb 8, 2018 at 10:50.
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Feb 8, 2018 | 10:51 94
Quote Originally Posted by chuckChuck View Post
Interesting graphic. So you believe human caused climate change is real? Yes or No?
Yes to human caused climate change on certain irrelevant scales and timeframes, No to Catastrophic

Quote Originally Posted by chuckChuck View Post
Di you notice that the 2 largest economies the USA and China will see a -36% and -42% GDP loss because of climate change?

Most of the worlds population live in countries that will see a decline in GDP.
When reading any of these projections remember GIGO, Are you familiar with the computing acronym GIGO? Garbage In = Garbage Out? All of these projections are based on the same flawed and fraudulent climate models which are now so far removed from measured temperatures to be completely irrelevant. But if you input garbage temperature projections into an economic or military model, you will get equivalent garbage data out of it. This report is no more evidence of catastrophic global warming and its consequences, than the snow storm on the east coast was. The Stanford model is not correct since it is based on the same junk science models which cannot predict temperature with anything close to useful accuracy.
Quote Originally Posted by chuckChuck View Post
So if the Stanford model is correct and a few northern countries will see increased GDP the overall world GDP will decline by 23%. Correct. Didn't you say there would be no cost to climate change?

In 2017 dollars that 23% would amount to around 30 trillion dollar cost of climate change by 2100.

Are you in agreement with this estimate?
No, see GIGO comment above. And as I pointed out in another thread arguing with DML, the evidence of negative consequences just isn't presenting itself 30+ years into this global warming scare.

Quote Originally Posted by chuckChuck View Post

So if we adopt new technology, conserve and use new renewable energy resources we will still gain a significant growth in our GDP. Because the projections for the cost of a carbon tax to the Canadian economy are very low.

So why are you so worried about the transition to a low carbon world when Canada will do very well by 2100?
See my context comment above, paying a tax to stop warming which would otherwise have a beneficial result to our economy is penalizing ourselves doubly. Making the obvious leap of faith that there was a connection between the tax and the climate.
Quote Originally Posted by chuckChuck View Post

Q and A from the study:
1. What does your study find?
We find that over the last fifty years, temperature has influenced the economic productivity of countries. For cold countries, warming up helps them perform better, up to a point. There is an optimal temperature at around 13C (55F) where economic performance peaks. Then warming above this temperature causes economic productivity to decline, with a rate that accelerates the hotter and hotter a country gets. We have known for some time that the fundamental building blocks of our economies, such as workers and crops, show their highest level of performance at moderate temperatures. We demonstrate that our results for the performance of much larger and more complex national economies is consistent with what we already know about the performance of their building blocks (e.g. workers and crops).
Based on these findings, we calculate how global warming is expected to affect economies around the
world. We find that climate change will reshape the global economy, causing a small number of cold countries to perform better and many temperate and hot countries to perform worse. On net, we project that the global economy will do much worse because of climate change, with global average incomes 23% lower in 2100 with climate change relative to without it. In addition, because some of the cooler richer countries are expected to benefit from warming and poorer tropical countries are hurt, global inequality is projected to get much worse due to climate change.
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Feb 8, 2018 | 13:01 95 So the Stanford study that you posted that shows Canada will benefit from global warming and the majority of the world will see declines in GDP is not credible because the science that shows greenhouse gas emissions have risen along with global temperatures is not accurate?

Where is the credible scientific evidence that is the case?

Alberta 5 you presented the Stanford study as evidence but now you don't find it credible? Get your story straight. LOL

In any case we know many people on Agriville don't believe in the science of climate change. Most are content to look out the window at cold winter day and say it is not happening. So it is kind of pointless to discuss it when this is the level of debate.

What is important is that the decision makers in Canada and 194 countries do believe in the science. Otherwise they would not support the Paris climate agreement.
Last edited by chuckChuck; Feb 8, 2018 at 13:07.
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Feb 8, 2018 | 16:01 96 Once again, Context is important here. I chose that study because it is not by a "denier " so that you couldn't brush it off. If climate really does change as much as Claimed, Then this report will likely be very accurate. But if and when that assumption is wrong, the entire report becomes irrelevant. However, if their assumptions are correct, Canada has more to lose by fighting climate change then we do with the status quo. Yet you keep advocating that we punish ourselves with a tax on CO2 In spite of overwhelming evidence that It is not in our best interests Reply With Quote
Blaithin's Avatar Feb 8, 2018 | 16:02 97
Quote Originally Posted by caseih View Post
but we had 2 or 3 of the coldest harvests that we have had the 3 years prior . anyways as the scientists on here tell me , thats just weather , same as the 35 degrees we had this harvest . can't have it both ways ?
i don't think anyone on here disputes that man is giving the earth a hard time , thats a given. but saying a stupid carbon tax that will put canada at a disadvantage while india and china build more coal fired generators , is beyond stupid! and shutting down perfectly good coal fired generators here before alternatives are found is even stupider. paying money into trudeaus play fund and calling it a carbon tax is the problem . i and probably most on here are all for cleaning up pollution , air and environmental . thats not what this carbon tax bullshit is about . proof is all around you when you see millions of lights left on 24-7 in the cities , a $7M ARTIFICIAL ice arena in between the parliament buildings and the rideau canal(longest ice skating area in the world) that trudeau couldn't use because it was too COLD!!!! trudeau taking largest party ever to paris accord? make no mistake , none of these so called activists give a shit about any of it . i guess they have never heard of WEBEX , none of these bullshit holiday free for alls are necessary in this digital age , at our expense. meanwhile farmers have been doing their part , def systems, zero till , efficiencies in most aspects of farming . make no mistake , the only meatheads are the sheeple that are buying this hook, line and sinker ? nearly every farmer i know are very environmentally friendly , too bad we couldn't say the same about our city cousins . the waste in the cities blows my mind . we don't even leave our yard lights on , other than when we are working at night in the yard . when you fly over a city , that is criminal , seeing the entire city , buildings and all , lit up like daylight .
I think you've hit the nail fairly close on the head here.

These are two distinct issues.

1. Human's impact effecting the Earth in various ways.

2. Potential ways to mitigate said effects.

Many people seem to think vehemently denying we have any effect on the planet/climate is the appropriate method. But I really don't see how this can be denied. Especially in agriculture where we make our livings manipulating the environment to gain a profit. It's naive to think all the manipulations result in only positive and good things. Now it's hard to prove anything from prehistoric times but there's numerous mass extinctions on various continents that are closely linked with the arrival of Homo sapiens in those areas. Coincidence? If we can cause mass extinctions with spears and atlatls then why not climate issues with gasses? Is one easier to believe simply because you can more easily see it happening while the other tends to be invisible fumes?

If you deny the fact that climate change happens, I think you're a moron. If you deny humans have any impact on it, I think you're being obtuse. End of first issue.

But the second issue, that's all going to come down to perspective and individual opinion.

What should be done to lessen our impact and maybe even improve it? Right now the global consensus seems to be that a Carbon Tax is the best approach. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Like all things it has it's pros and cons and like all political legislation, there's room for improvement in it. Would it be nicer for us if the government gave out grants or rebates for people to sequester carbon and lower greenhouse gases? Absolutely! But we should all know that governments prefer to make money via taxation than give it away.

There's various ways we can help the environment: Recycling, planting trees, low energy bulbs and appliances, don't litter, etc. A carbon tax is just another potential tool. If people don't like it, that's fine, but maybe think of ulterior methods instead of straight up denying theres even an issue. Or playing the blame game. "Well China isn't doing anything so why should we." That just sounds like an elementary school student LOL

Say you don't like the idea of a carbon tax. Say you don't think it will work or be as effective as other methods. That's all fine. But backing it up with "Because climate change doesn't exist/because humans don't impact climate" is not an acceptable reason to me.
Last edited by Blaithin; Feb 8, 2018 at 16:05.
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Feb 8, 2018 | 17:05 98 Think back to the beginning of all this global warming bull. I think I remember predictions that because of global warming the world was going to face mass starvation by now. What do we have instead? The world is awash in grain! There is hardly reason to plant a crop this year. Reply With Quote
Feb 8, 2018 | 19:42 99
Quote Originally Posted by Blaithin View Post
I think you've hit the nail fairly close on the head here.

These are two distinct issues.

1. Human's impact effecting the Earth in various ways.

2. Potential ways to mitigate said effects.

Many people seem to think vehemently denying we have any effect on the planet/climate is the appropriate method. But I really don't see how this can be denied. Especially in agriculture where we make our livings manipulating the environment to gain a profit. It's naive to think all the manipulations result in only positive and good things. Now it's hard to prove anything from prehistoric times but there's numerous mass extinctions on various continents that are closely linked with the arrival of Homo sapiens in those areas. Coincidence? If we can cause mass extinctions with spears and atlatls then why not climate issues with gasses? Is one easier to believe simply because you can more easily see it happening while the other tends to be invisible fumes?

If you deny the fact that climate change happens, I think you're a moron. If you deny humans have any impact on it, I think you're being obtuse. End of first issue.

But the second issue, that's all going to come down to perspective and individual opinion.

What should be done to lessen our impact and maybe even improve it? Right now the global consensus seems to be that a Carbon Tax is the best approach. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Like all things it has it's pros and cons and like all political legislation, there's room for improvement in it. Would it be nicer for us if the government gave out grants or rebates for people to sequester carbon and lower greenhouse gases? Absolutely! But we should all know that governments prefer to make money via taxation than give it away.

There's various ways we can help the environment: Recycling, planting trees, low energy bulbs and appliances, don't litter, etc. A carbon tax is just another potential tool. If people don't like it, that's fine, but maybe think of ulterior methods instead of straight up denying theres even an issue. Or playing the blame game. "Well China isn't doing anything so why should we." That just sounds like an elementary school student LOL

Say you don't like the idea of a carbon tax. Say you don't think it will work or be as effective as other methods. That's all fine. But backing it up with "Because climate change doesn't exist/because humans don't impact climate" is not an acceptable reason to me.
if we didn't have climate change , you would be under a glacier . keep buying all your clothes that are made in China or India , almost everything we buy now . they need to clean their act up , but it's full steam ahead . one day you will wake up and nothing will be going on here , some people don't realize that things still have to get done . thanks but I will stay in the moron camp , doesn't matter to me . like seldom said , we should all have burnt up by now , according to the "global warming experts" and for what it's worth , farmers do more for the earth. than people that sit on their ass and preach, while they are jet setting around the world Reply With Quote
Feb 8, 2018 | 23:38 100
Quote Originally Posted by seldomseen View Post
Think back to the beginning of all this global warming bull. I think I remember predictions that because of global warming the world was going to face mass starvation by now. What do we have instead? The world is awash in grain! There is hardly reason to plant a crop this year.
Very good point. At some point this debate has to go from being based solely on theoretical future projections to present day evidence based science. 30, even 40 years have elapsed since the early dire global warming projections came out. Yet there are NO measurable negative consequences(please prove me wrong). Food production being the most obvious, there is no possible way we should be burdened by food surpluses 40 years into an era of catastrophic global warming, yet here we are. Not only are we warmer than 40 years ago, but also doing better by all other measures, food security, poverty, life expectancy, economically, resource security etc.
I tried to bring this up in a discussion with dmlfarmer and others in a previous thread. No one could provide any real life proof of measurable negative consequences of global warming 40 years later. All they could provide was more projections of future calamities, same as has been happening for decades already.

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results Reply With Quote
Feb 8, 2018 | 23:57 101 It's called critical thinking.... Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 00:02 102
Quote Originally Posted by Blaithin View Post
I think you've hit the nail fairly close on the head here.

These are two distinct issues.

1. Human's impact effecting the Earth in various ways.

2. Potential ways to mitigate said effects.

Many people seem to think vehemently denying we have any effect on the planet/climate is the appropriate method. But I really don't see how this can be denied. Especially in agriculture where we make our livings manipulating the environment to gain a profit. It's naive to think all the manipulations result in only positive and good things. Now it's hard to prove anything from prehistoric times but there's numerous mass extinctions on various continents that are closely linked with the arrival of Homo sapiens in those areas. Coincidence? If we can cause mass extinctions with spears and atlatls then why not climate issues with gasses? Is one easier to believe simply because you can more easily see it happening while the other tends to be invisible fumes?

If you deny the fact that climate change happens, I think you're a moron. If you deny humans have any impact on it, I think you're being obtuse. End of first issue.

But the second issue, that's all going to come down to perspective and individual opinion.

What should be done to lessen our impact and maybe even improve it? Right now the global consensus seems to be that a Carbon Tax is the best approach. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Like all things it has it's pros and cons and like all political legislation, there's room for improvement in it. Would it be nicer for us if the government gave out grants or rebates for people to sequester carbon and lower greenhouse gases? Absolutely! But we should all know that governments prefer to make money via taxation than give it away.

There's various ways we can help the environment: Recycling, planting trees, low energy bulbs and appliances, don't litter, etc. A carbon tax is just another potential tool. If people don't like it, that's fine, but maybe think of ulterior methods instead of straight up denying theres even an issue. Or playing the blame game. "Well China isn't doing anything so why should we." That just sounds like an elementary school student LOL

Say you don't like the idea of a carbon tax. Say you don't think it will work or be as effective as other methods. That's all fine. But backing it up with "Because climate change doesn't exist/because humans don't impact climate" is not an acceptable reason to me.
You bring up some excellent well presented points. But there are many more than two distinct issues which need to be resolved, and need to be resolved in order, we have skipped most of these.

1. Is the earth warming
Most definitely, on some time scales

2. Is the net result of warming a net negative or net positive to earth's ability to sustain all ecosystems
Thus far, it has been a net positive based on all available evidence
3. What are all of the causes of the warming

4. After solving #3, we can then project if the warming is likely to continue, and at what rate. Judging by the failure of models to predict future trends so far, it seems that we have not solved #3 completely yet.

5. After solving #4, we can then project if the resulting future warming will continue to be net positive or net negative.

6. If #5 establishes that action is required, we can then implement the mitigation plans. Regardless of cause, even if #3 establishes that the warming is entirely non-human caused, but #5 establishes that it will have net negative consequences, we would still need to act.

7. Evaluate the ongoing results/evidence, do they continue to confirm what was predicted in the first steps.
We got part way through solving #1, then skipped #2 completely, only considered one option for #3, failed miserably at #4, ignored #5, and jumped right into #6 headfirst. And avoided #7 at all costs.

Come to think of it, this sounds a lot like a concept called the scientific method...
Last edited by AlbertaFarmer5; Feb 9, 2018 at 00:10.
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Feb 9, 2018 | 00:05 103
Quote Originally Posted by bucket View Post
It's called critical thinking....
And the mantra of the left seems to be criticize anyone who doesn't think like they have been brainwashed into thinking. Perhaps they just misunderstood the concept. Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 06:42 104 Average Monthly High temperature for Battleford SK going back to 1885.
The record is complete except for 6 months that were borrowed from neighboring stations at Glaslyn(5) and PA (1). There were also a few instances in which estimates for a day or two within a month were recorded. All data was taken from Environment Canada records.
The black line is the linear trend over the time period of 132 years.
It seems to indicate that Battleford on average is not experiencing hotter temperatures.
Hottest monthly average recorded at Battleford was July 1894. 30.2C
Coldest monthly average high Jan 1950. -27.4C
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Feb 9, 2018 | 07:29 105 Same data set showing the average monthly low temperature.
Overnight lows were the warmest during the period in July 1886. 13.4C
Overnight lows were the coldest in February 1936. -36.7C
The trendline is moving a little higher showing that overnight lows are warmer over the time period at Battleford.
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Feb 9, 2018 | 07:49 106 Why do you continue to debate whether the earth's temperature is rising? The majority of governments in Canada have already decided that it is. Now as far as governments go there is some hope on the horizon, we have Jason Kenney, we have 2 out of the 3 candidates of the Ontario P.C. Party coming out against a carbon tax, the new Premier of Saskatchewan the same. If the Ontario P.C.'s win and Jason Kenney wins the debate could get interesting in Canada.

But for now I am concerned about how I will compete against my largest competitors, the U.S. And countries like Russia or the Ukraine or Argentina or Brazil. These countries have no carbon tax and as far as I know no plan to implement one. So you can keep debating a topic that to great extent has been decided, that being climate change or why not debate how we can continue to compete with government imposed cost increases like carbon taxes and lack of export infrastructure? Oh Chuck are you ever going to answer my question or are you going to continue to deflect? Would you apply the tax only to C02 or would it also apply to methane and N02? How high of a carbon tax are you willing to pay? How will you continue to be competitive against countries with no carbon tax? Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 09:12 107
Quote Originally Posted by Hamloc View Post
Why do you continue to debate whether the earth's temperature is rising? The majority of governments in Canada have already decided that it is. Now as far as governments go there is some hope on the horizon, we have Jason Kenney, we have 2 out of the 3 candidates of the Ontario P.C. Party coming out against a carbon tax, the new Premier of Saskatchewan the same. If the Ontario P.C.'s win and Jason Kenney wins the debate could get interesting in Canada.

But for now I am concerned about how I will compete against my largest competitors, the U.S. And countries like Russia or the Ukraine or Argentina or Brazil. These countries have no carbon tax and as far as I know no plan to implement one. So you can keep debating a topic that to great extent has been decided, that being climate change or why not debate how we can continue to compete with government imposed cost increases like carbon taxes and lack of export infrastructure? Oh Chuck are you ever going to answer my question or are you going to continue to deflect? Would you apply the tax only to C02 or would it also apply to methane and N02? How high of a carbon tax are you willing to pay? How will you continue to be competitive against countries with no carbon tax?
A carbon tax is one tool as CO2 is the primary driver of climate change. Other gases are also important but regulations, and technological change would be a better option to reduce these gases.

In order to decide whether canadian farmers are at a competitive disadvantage to other producers wouldn't you have to do that on a case by case basis with each crop or commodity in each country?

There are a lot of different factors affecting competitive advantage. Currency, cost of inputs, cost of land, tarrifs, subsidies etc. Carbon tax will be a small factor compared to all the other factors.

I am willing to change my fossil energy usage. I have already made major changes that reduce energy consumption.

A carbon tax will provide incentives to reduce further. If I use less energy and become more efficient then my costs go down which nullifies the additional carbon tax costs.

Take nitrogen fertilizer. It is the highest energy user in most crop farming. Many farmers are over applying N and it is often being wasted and lost. Using exactly the right amount is more efficient. Same for P.

How many farmers are looking at every practice they use from the perspective of energy usage? Very few. Can energy efficiency be increased on most farms? Yes. Reply With Quote
SASKFARMER3's Avatar Feb 9, 2018 | 09:24 108 Chuck your idea is great in Disney world we’re everything is make believe but as a farmer direct seeding since 1981 I’m tapped with all the Mickey Mouse programs to save the world. Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 09:41 109 Chuck. Could you please detail the major changes you have made reducing or making more efficient use of energy sources. Reply With Quote
fjlip's Avatar Feb 9, 2018 | 09:55 110
Quote Originally Posted by seldomseen View Post
Think back to the beginning of all this global warming bull. I think I remember predictions that because of global warming the world was going to face mass starvation by now. What do we have instead? The world is awash in grain! There is hardly reason to plant a crop this year.
You are totally correct, NO EFFECT ON FOOD around the globe, or maybe it is a POSITIVE effect on plants!
Understand you Climate Change Nazis? Reply With Quote
SASKFARMER3's Avatar Feb 9, 2018 | 09:56 111 I agree chuck explain what you have done. I’m tapped trying to cut my carbon foot print been doing it since 1981 or 37 years. You just jump on this save the planet band wagon or have you actually don something Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 10:01 112 Chucky, all your powered equipment have at least tier 4 engines ?
Are you using N stabilizers on all your N ?
Your presumption that many other farmers are not doing their part is very misleading. Reply With Quote
SASKFARMER3's Avatar Feb 9, 2018 | 10:06 113 Shit I forgot the N stabilizer that cost me extra and saves the world.

But chuck is stupid farmers aren’t doing our part.

You have no clue.

But like a true liberal you probably want a check to cover your costs.

This is insane and soon hopefully the insanity stops Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 10:30 114
Quote Originally Posted by furrowtickler View Post
Chucky, all your powered equipment have at least tier 4 engines ?
Are you using N stabilizers on all your N ?
Your presumption that many other farmers are not doing their part is very misleading.
Tier 4 engines are entirely about reducing actual harmful pollutants, not beneficial CO2. Two distinctly different issues. Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 10:51 115 https://www.grainews.ca/2017/03/08/changing-nitrogen-use-to-avoid-taxes/#

Changing nitrogen use to avoid taxes
Nobody likes the idea of a new tax. Especially when it could impact the way we farm

By Leeann Minogue Editor
Published: March 8, 2017

[Updated: April 9, 2017] When Dr. Mario Tenuta braved icy roads to drive from his home in Winnipeg to Weyburn, Sask., to speak at the Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation (IHARF) Soil and Crop Management Seminar, he wasn’t planning to make many friends. The University of Manitoba soil scientist had come to make farmers aware that government policies designed to curb climate change are going to change the way we farm. He set the tone for his presentation by saying, “A lot of the things I’m going to say — you’re going to think I’m full of B.S.”

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It was about -20 C in Weyburn the day of the IHARF seminar. “A day like today, you actually wouldn’t mind if it was a few degrees warmer,” Tenuta said. Whether or not we would like a little more heat in Saskatchewan in February, Canada has made some international commitments to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Our federal government has committed to lowering emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Canada has set and missed targets like this before. However, with a new Liberal government that’s already announced a carbon tax, this time may be different.

Tenuta came to explain to the IHARF audience how environmental policy changes might impact Prairie agriculture.
Agriculture and GHG

“Agriculture makes up about eight per cent of the GHG emissions in Canada,” Tenuta said. This doesn’t include carbon dioxide emissions from our use of fuel (diesel, gasoline or natural gas). It also doesn’t include any carbon sequestered in the soil. This is based on definitions set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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The federal government also calculates emissions by “economic sector” based on some different definitions. When economists adjust the numbers this way, “if we include emissions from transportation, from your tractor, pesticides, and so forth, it now jumps up to 10 per cent, in terms of all agricultural activity,” Tenuta said.

For policy-makers looking for ways to reduce Canadian emissions, a sector contributing 10 per cent of the total makes a nice target.

Information about agriculture’s GHG emissions is available on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada website. AAFC lists out the three main gases emitted by agriculture:

Carbon dioxide (CO2), which is released during soil cultivation;
Methane (CH4), which is associated with cattle and livestock manure; and,
Nitrous oxide (N2O), which comes from using fertilizer and manure.

According to the AAFC website, to add up emissions of the three gasses, you need to convert everything to CO2 equivalents. A tonne of N2O is equivalent to 298 tonnes of CO2. This is because N2O is a lot more effective at trapping heat.

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Carbon dioxide released during cultivation, Tenuta explained, hasn’t changed much since 2005. The other two components make up a much larger component of our emissions. “When you hear about imposing potential changes in agriculture, they’re actually focused on methane and nitrous oxide emissions.”

Tenuta said government policy will likely focus on two areas: reducing methane in cattle and dairy production, and the use of nitrogen in food production.

Tenuta focused his talk on how nitrogen use might be impacted by future policy rather than the methane aspect — presumably because he is a soil scientist, and most of the IHARF participants were grain and oilseed farmers.
What about carbon credits?

Before he moved on to talk about nitrogen use, Tenuta paused to talk about carbon credits.

He pointed out that if you’ve been zero tilling since 2005, you haven’t changed your emissions. Your carbon was captured before the benchmark year, so you have minimal arguments for getting a credit.

Some participants asked about getting credit for increasing yields, or sequestering carbon in straw. Tenuta said, “the wheat or the canola eventually gets decomposed back to CO2. It never gets sequestered.”

Right now, he said, no international agreement includes carbon sequestration. While Canada might push to include it, Tenuta described the situation as a “hot potato.” Canadian carbon emissions from the forestry sector fluctuate widely from year to year — driven by forest fires. Including forest fire emissions in our GHG commitment would make it difficult for Canada to meet targets.

“At a political level, Canada probably will give you carbon credits, to make sure you’re happy,” Tenuta speculated, “but that doesn’t have a bearing on international obligations.”

Tenuta is not a fan of carbon credits for sequestration. If you come out of zero till, “you quickly will lose your carbon as you disrupt the soil.” If you make a management decision to till to control weeds or deal with moisture, “does that mean somebody has to give back that carbon credit?”

Tenuta believes grain farmers can make the most progress toward lowering GHG emissions by lowering emissions from nitrous oxide.
Nitrous oxide emissions

We’re emitting nitrous oxide when we use nitrogen as fertilizer.

At a long-term farm site south of Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba monitors GHG emissions. (Tenuta says very few places in the world do this.) Every time they apply fertilizer to grow crops on the site, they can measure N2O emissions from the land. When they grow crops that biologically fix nitrogen (like soybeans), they can’t measure any N2O emissions.

“This is our conundrum: we need nitrogen fertilizer to produce most of our crops,” Tenuta said.
What could this cost?

The Trudeau government has announced a tax on carbon of $30 per tonne by 2018 and $50 per tonne by 2022.

Tenuta has estimated the potential costs of various levels of a carbon tax on fertilizer use. He’s considered two components: first, a charge to farmers for the emissions caused by using nitrogen fertilizer; also, a charge to fertilizer manufacturers for emissions from making the product.

Because fertilizer prices fluctuate so much, Tenuta expects a potential tax on fertilizer manufacturer (which would likely be passed on to farmers), to be the less distressing component.

“Don’t so much worry about the carbon tax on the manufacturer’s end, what you need to worry about is, eventually, a potential carbon tax on using the fertilizer on your soil.”

It’s not impossible to imagine a tax on GHGs emitted through nitrogen use. Tenuta has estimated the potential costs.

To do this math, Tenuta assumed:

Two per cent of applied nitrogen is emitted as N2O;
Application rates of 100 kg of N/hectare, (about 89 pounds per acre).

After calculating estimated emissions and converting the carbon tax to N2O equivalents, he’s calculated that a tax could reach $57.39 per hectare ($19.08 per acre) with a $50 carbon tax. (If you’re trying to do the math at home, Tenuta assumes we’re emitting 0.002 tonnes of N per hectare. He converts that to the N2O equivalent, then to the CO2 equivalent. Then he multiplies that by the per tonne price of the tax. I’ve converted his results to dollars per acre.)

Tenuta estimates that a $30 per tonne level of carbon tax is equivalent to a tax of $11.45 per acre on fertilizer use, and $2.49* per acre on fertilizer manufacture.

“My objective as a researcher/professor is to help you adjust so we never have to get to this point of being charged for emissions. That’s my goal, is to help you avoid that.”

If the government sees the agriculture sector reducing emissions, Tenuta speculated, a tax like this may never be implemented — the government wouldn’t see a need to use a tax to influence our behavior. “Voluntarily, let’s use the 4Rs: right rate, source, placement and timing.”

As well as general stewardship, Tenuta recommended using stabilized nitrogen and controlled release nitrogen products to reduce emissions. “In general we find the nitrification inhibitors and ESN reduce emissions by about a third,” he said.

“We have new technology. And 20 years from now you’re going to have even fancier fertilizer.”

*This table was updated on April 9, 2017 to correct errors to previous versions. Along with corrected numbers, Dr. Tenuta sent this note: “This chart is based on fertilizer use of 100 kg of N per hectare, or 89.2 pounds per acre for the Red River of Manitoba and 2% loss of N added as N2O to the atmosphere. The Red River Valley has high emission of N2O compared to most other areas of the Prairies. Other areas, potential user tax would be lower. Potential manufacturer’s tax remains the same regardless of area. Potential manufacturer’s tax based on CO2 emitted from production of anhydrous ammonia, CO2 captured from urea production not included because CO2 is quickly returned to the atmosphere upon addition of urea to soil.”
Didn’t go over well

Of course there were a lot of comments, most of them not too happy.

One farmer asked how we can possibly pass these taxes on to consumers. Tenuta said farmers will find a way to stay profitable, and once there’s an opportunity in the form a carbon tax, companies will invest to develop new products along the lines of stabilized nitrogen to help farmers reduce emissions. Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 10:51 116 “I don’t think there’s doom and gloom,” he said.

“You’re not farming the way you did 25 years ago. It’s going to change.”

Continued:
It already has. Tenuta has done the math. “Every year we use more fertilizer.” Over the last two decades, fertilizer use has increased by about one to 1.5 pounds per year acre for major field crops.

We can’t keep increasing our nitrogen use and also lower emissions. “Our immediate challenge as farmers and an industry is to produce more food with the same amount of nitrogen or less. Nitrogen use efficiency in our system has to improve.”

Nobody likes a tax, especially not a tax that could damage our ability to compete internationally, and can’t be passed on to our buyers.

Tenuta didn’t expect the crowd to like his talk. When he put up his final slide, the audience started to laugh, and Tenuta laughed too. The slide title? “What pisses you off the most?”

These were our options, laid out on Tenuta’s slide:

“no-till doesn’t count much for credits;
increased yields don’t count for credits;
possibly paying more for fuel;
possibly paying for N2O emissions from soil;
possible restrictions on N fertilizer use;
not gonna be easy to reduce N2O emissions; and,
university researchers doing GHG research.”

If we’re going to remain profitable and adapt to the changes coming in the future, we’re all going to need to keep that sense of humour intact.

*This number was changed on April 9, 2017, to reflect errors that were included in previous versions.
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Feb 9, 2018 | 11:05 117 Chuck, at $19 per acre on a $50 a tonne carbon tax which Trudeau has mandated by 2022 if they taxed N02 emission would cost me $38000 per year and I am a small farmer this isn't significant in your opinion? That doesn't include other cost increases related to the carbon tax!!! Reply With Quote
Blaithin's Avatar Feb 9, 2018 | 11:26 118
Quote Originally Posted by AlbertaFarmer5 View Post
You bring up some excellent well presented points. But there are many more than two distinct issues which need to be resolved, and need to be resolved in order, we have skipped most of these.

1. Is the earth warming
Most definitely, on some time scales

2. Is the net result of warming a net negative or net positive to earth's ability to sustain all ecosystems
Thus far, it has been a net positive based on all available evidence
3. What are all of the causes of the warming

4. After solving #3, we can then project if the warming is likely to continue, and at what rate. Judging by the failure of models to predict future trends so far, it seems that we have not solved #3 completely yet.

5. After solving #4, we can then project if the resulting future warming will continue to be net positive or net negative.

6. If #5 establishes that action is required, we can then implement the mitigation plans. Regardless of cause, even if #3 establishes that the warming is entirely non-human caused, but #5 establishes that it will have net negative consequences, we would still need to act.

7. Evaluate the ongoing results/evidence, do they continue to confirm what was predicted in the first steps.
We got part way through solving #1, then skipped #2 completely, only considered one option for #3, failed miserably at #4, ignored #5, and jumped right into #6 headfirst. And avoided #7 at all costs.

Come to think of it, this sounds a lot like a concept called the scientific method...
Whoa now, don't add too many other steps! Some people here are just stuck on the "It doesn't exist." or "We hate carbon tax!" trains while others are just "Tax away!". Breaking it down too much will make it too confusing and then it will be called Fake LOL

I think the honest to goodness biggest issue with predicting anything climate or global is that the planet is not a static being. It's constantly adapting and evolving and, because those two qualities are generally based on randomness within nature, it's impossible to predict. Even the greatest of scientists cannot predict which random mutation may show up and whether it will actually be beneficial and passed on. So people want guaranteed answers of what's going to happen in 50 years and if they don't get the right answer then obviously everyone is dumb and not worth listening too. But there are just too many factors... Too many different organisms and ecosystems to react in too many different ways. That's why everything is all theory.

If people want reliable reactions every time, stick with algebra. Living organisms are unpredictable. Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 11:27 119 Chuck's article almost makes one think that the deck was purposely stacked against farmers. However I expect it is more gross incompetence that accidentally conspired against farmers. Thinking that the bureaucrats who draft such regulations had our interests, good or bad, in mind would be giving them far too much credit.

So, according to the UN, fuel burned by farmers doesn't count, reducing that won't reduce ag's footprint. Carbon sequestered in the soil doesn't count, and they will use 2005 as a baseline, that is conveniently the date by which most no-till was already adopted. I don't think they had any intention of helping us out when they planned this.

But at least we can take solace in the fact that our largest competitors in ag markets won't have to pay these penalties. Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2018 | 11:29 120
Quote Originally Posted by Blaithin View Post
Whoa now, don't add too many other steps! Some people here are just stuck on the "It doesn't exist." or "We hate carbon tax!" trains while others are just "Tax away!". Breaking it down too much will make it too confusing and then it will be called Fake LOL

I think the honest to goodness biggest issue with predicting anything climate or global is that the planet is not a static being. It's constantly adapting and evolving and, because those two qualities are generally based on randomness within nature, it's impossible to predict. Even the greatest of scientists cannot predict which random mutation may show up and whether it will actually be beneficial and passed on. So people want guaranteed answers of what's going to happen in 50 years and if they don't get the right answer then obviously everyone is dumb and not worth listening too. But there are just too many factors... Too many different organisms and ecosystems to react in too many different ways. That's why everything is all theory.

If people want reliable reactions every time, stick with algebra. Living organisms are unpredictable.
That is why I added #7, evaluate the results. We are not doing that. Reply With Quote