How relevant is ecological footprint per capital?

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,535
#11
Meat industry in general but cows and pigs are the largest emitters due to their digestion systems. Edible meat has been grown in vats already so I think full animal slaughtered for meat will become a niche industry but I do not see major shift away from meat as main source of protein for the developed world.

Of all the things people eat I think dairy is less dangerous than many other things including meat but you are correct that most of the 'healthy' parts of dairy can be gotten in other ways without having to take the harmful parts of dairy. The issue is most people enjoy the taste of meat and cream. Not so much actual milk where consumption if going down but other dairy product like cheese, yogurt, etc is increasing.

In some densely populated cities mass transit makes sense but huge part of the population does not live in such area. Also airline travel is huge, if you make 1-2 flights a year it completely offsets if you gave up your car that entire year and air travel is increasing far faster than vehicle ownership.
 
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VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,351
Florania
#12
Meat industry in general but cows and pigs are the largest emitters due to their digestion systems. Edible meat has been grown in vats already so I think full animal slaughtered for meat will become a niche industry but I do not see major shift away from meat as main source of protein for the developed world.

Of all the things people eat I think dairy is less dangerous than many other things including meat but you are correct that most of the 'healthy' parts of dairy can be gotten in other ways without having to take the harmful parts of dairy. The issue is most people enjoy the taste of meat and cream. Not so much actual milk where consumption if going down but other dairy product like cheese, yogurt, etc is increasing.

In some densely populated cities mass transit makes sense but huge part of the population does not live in such area. Also airline travel is huge, if you make 1-2 flights a year it completely offsets if you gave up your car that entire year and air travel is increasing far faster than vehicle ownership.
Fresh milk spoils easily; kefir lasts much longer; I recall that fresh goat milk only lasts a week while goat milk kefir lasts one and a half month.
How is the case for cattle milk?
Cheese of course increases the storage time of dairy.
Do you mean traveling isn’t that green, either?
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,535
#13
Not sure why how long dairy lasts when fresh matters? Refrigeration is one of the least costs of animal production though it is one of the highest energy costs in most homes but even without meat/dairy people would have refrigerators.

BTW- I was wrong about the airplane travel, I referred to chart of military planes instead of commercial flights. Because commercial is usually a form of mass transit the amount of CO2 per mile of passenger travel is much lower. The equivalent is more like 5 flights of 1000 miles per year equals CO2 of average car 8000 car miles driven, if you drive large SUV then cut that almost in half.

Carbon Footprint Factsheet | Center for Sustainable Systems
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,847
US
#14
This thread sounds hauntingly familiar. I believe we discussed this or something very similar a year or so ago. Anyway, of course nations (and individuals) should not waste resources. My grandmother always taught me not to waste. With that said, the issue isn't a simple one. Changing the ecological footprint by changing the means or production could result in a different quality or other unintended consequences. Also, don't forget, humans have searched, tested and invented since the beginning f time to make things better. Is a slight decrease in the ecological footprint worth a reversal in innovation and a lesser quality of life? Firstly, I think about technology, followed closely make medicine and medical procedures, then things like foodstuffs and nutrition.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,847
US
#15
A few reasons for the high ecological footprints in Canada, Australia, and United States:

1) The extreme long commute to work.
2) Urban sprawl
3) Distances for foods and products to reach the markets.

Many of these are geographical reasons; then, individuals can do something to reduce the footprint.

1) Reduce reliance on automobiles; one reason that public transit is better is because of its large carrying capacity.
2) Consider living closer to the workplaces if possible.
3) Use more local products and produce.
4) Reduce consumption; many of our homes are filled with clutters; I consider my association with materials temporary.
My paternal grandparent and father lived in an urban tenement building, complete with crowded, dirty, diseased streets, poverty and crime. They moved out for a reason. So, no thank you, I will just stay out in my rural area with fresh air and clean water (as fresh and clean as it can get), along with trees, flowers, open land and critters that aren't exterminated by Terminix or some company like that.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,535
#16
It really is a race of technology vs carrying capacity of the earth. There has been climate change in the past but also often accompanied by mass extinctions. With humans as the apex predators and technology allowing humans to exploit resources in almost every environment on the surface of the earth, extinctions of many other species has accelerated in the past 2,000 years.

At the same time the whole idea of ecological footprint needs more work. It is trying to capture a measure of a person's resource impact but is by no means complete.

Not to mention so much of what we now consider the earth's 'natural' environment was shaped by humans. Most research I've seen indicate there are very few 100% natural environments anywhere humans have lived more than a century. That includes the Amazon, N America, Africa, and vast areas of Siberia. Only Antartica, the Arctic, and a few places in remote mountain ranges and tundra does anything tlose to 100% natural environments exist.
 
Likes: VHS
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#17
Warnings were given by climatologists in the 1980's. The warning was that at that time, a 20% reduction of greenhouse gases was urgent. Today, nearly 40 years later, it's probably too late in some serious ways:

Average world temperatures have risen significantly. The polar ice has already started melting. That means that before the end of this century, some low lying countries, such as Bangladesh, will be underwater. So too will many of the world's great coastal cities, such as say New York, and of course my own beloved' city of Adelaide, on the south coast of Australia.

Is the individual carbon footprint important? Yes and no. In making things worse, certainly. In avoiding serious consequences, probably far too late.

Do we then just sit on our hands? I try not to; Eg have installed 5Kw net feed-in solar panels. That means the energy produced is first fed to my house, excess goes to the grid. Also recycle as much a I can and avoid plastic as much as possible. Sadly, and unable to afford an electric or hybrid car So I drive a smaller car, with plans to buy what I call 'a jelly bean' next year.

Here, as in the US, the lunar right continues to bury its head in the sand, denying man-caused climate change

Below is an entertaining example, in which professor Brian Cox takes on one of our local loonies. Not sure if this amounts to current politics, as the guy is an elected loonie.


Below that is a longer, panel programme, of excellent quality, called QandA, produced by our SBS, which is a public broadcasting channel, much like the US PBS..

 
Likes: VHS

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,351
Florania
#18
Warnings were given by climatologists in the 1980's. The warning was that at that time, a 20% reduction of greenhouse gases was urgent. Today, nearly 40 years later, it's probably too late in some serious ways:

Average world temperatures have risen significantly. The polar ice has already started melting. That means that before the end of this century, some low lying countries, such as Bangladesh, will be underwater. So too will many of the world's great coastal cities, such as say New York, and of course my own beloved' city of Adelaide, on the south coast of Australia.

Is the individual carbon footprint important? Yes and no. In making things worse, certainly. In avoiding serious consequences, probably far too late.

Do we then just sit on our hands? I try not to; Eg have installed 5Kw net feed-in solar panels. That means the energy produced is first fed to my house, excess goes to the grid. Also recycle as much a I can and avoid plastic as much as possible. Sadly, and unable to afford an electric or hybrid car So I drive a smaller car, with plans to buy what I call 'a jelly bean' next year.

Here, as in the US, the lunar right continues to bury its head in the sand, denying man-caused climate change

Below is an entertaining example, in which professor Brian Cox takes on one of our local loonies. Not sure if this amounts to current politics, as the guy is an elected loonie.


Below that is a longer, panel programme, of excellent quality, called QandA, produced by our SBS, which is a public broadcasting channel, much like the US PBS..

We may have reached the "too late" point; it doesn't mean we should just sit around and wait for our demise.
Should we make the best of the situation? Even if we don't succeed completely, it will be way better than nothing.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#19
@VHS

Extreme commutes in Australia? Not sure what you mean. I have a friend in the Uk who lives in Cambridge, but works in London . A 70 mile trip each way. Takes 45 minutes each way via express train. Tha't's an extreme commute to me.


80% of our population lives in , 6 major cities. Commutes tend to in the order of 30-45 minutes. The last 25 years of my working life, my commute was 25 minutes. Today I travel about 3000 miles a year in my Camry.

Here in South Australia, much of the problem is due to our infatuation with the internal combustion engine inserted into vehicles. Plus a poor public transport system. Eg my 25 minute commute became an hour and a half if I relied on public transport; no direct route.

Urban Sprawl? Absolutely! There isa long tradition of owning one's own home, which was built on 1/4 acre block. That custom has changed in recent years; in the metropolitan area, today the average block is around 300 square metres. A bit late. My city stretches over 60 miles north-south; we have the sea to the west, a small mountain range to the east.

Food production. Yes. although we have a large food producing area within 20 miles of the city, fresh produce is trucked in from as far away as Queensland. A vast variety of foodstuffs is imported from China.

Major pollution here is due to burning fossil fuels for electricity; Australia has vast reserves of coal and natural gas.

The use of renewable fuel sources in the form of solar and wind power is not yet being market led'.Both forms attract large government subsidies. Take up of solar energy in my suburb is 25%

Yes, I agree , I have no intention sitting around gazing at my navel. I do what I can, but admit I use a lot of electricity daily in my all electric house, especially in summer with a 3hp air conditioner working often overnight.
 

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