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Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby REAL Green » Sat 09 May 2020, 09:07:14

vtsnowedin wrote:
REAL Green wrote: Up until now since I did not need the money this activity was focused on permaculture of small stocking rates accommodating nature into the equation. The wild critters love my grazing system because I leave food and cover for them. In fact, fields that have light grazing are better than fields left to over grow. Grazing was once part of the natural ecosystem. Too little is as bad as too much. I am a green prepper so food is part of the effort too.

Do you find a hard grazing with the goats every so often helps trim back the weed species that the cattle pass by?


You can do that if that is the plan so you can get closer to a monoculture of grasses over weeds and brush. Some cattle farmers do this but chemicals are cheaper considering the labor and fence requirements involved with goats. Goats will slither like a snake under a fence. The livestock guardian dogs need a serious fence too or they go under. I manage for a polyculture for both cows and goats. This type of management means I try to manage weeds, brush, and grasses together instead of trying to graze them down. I don’t want to loose weeds and brush because this is beneficial to the goats. All of the above is desirable for me. Of course, there are toxic weeds and difficult brush that neither species gets at so then you have to mow and use some chemicals. I generally only use chemicals on fence lines. I don’t like chemicals and avoid them. Since I have goats, I have an electric wire close to the ground so after a few years bad stuff grows up because the animals will not graze under a hot fence. My operation is more goat orientated as far as my focus. I am raising breeding stock. The cattle are more the secondary species and they keep the grass managed. The good thing about cattle and goats is they don't share parasites so rotations are easier. I have eleven paddocks so if I had sheep and goats the issue is clean paddocks to move animals in. Goat and sheep share parasites. With cows and goats, I never have a dirty (wormy) paddock.
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 09 May 2020, 09:56:31

My only livestock at present are wild deer which I keep out of food plots until they mature with electric fence on fiberglass push poles that are easy to move. I mow tight with a rotary shredder (bush hog) along the line before I set it up and if needed mow close to the line again and reset the fence over three feet to keep the weeds off the lowest wire.
In my youth we raised dairy cattle and had a team of work horses. By August they had the largest pasture mowed tight to golf green shortness and had stripped every edible leaf from bushes as high as they could reach. We then moved them to hay fields that had regrown a rowan crop after the initial harvest. That would hold them until fall rains rejuvenated the main pasture. In the forty years after the cattle were removed there are now trees thirty feet high on what was once a grass monoculture.
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby evilgenius » Sat 09 May 2020, 10:55:28

dohboi wrote:Global atmospheric angular momentum has gone net U positive for the first time in the record.

https://atlas.niu.edu/gwo/

https://twitter.com/gensiniwx/status/12 ... 8897850368

Not sure what effect this might have on crop production. But it's...interesting (or would be merely interesting if it were happening on Mars...)

What does that mean? The polar vortex in the Arctic is weakening. I know that. It allows cold air to descend farther south than ever before. There are these huge loops involved in the weather that weren't so prevalent before. Has that sped up the flow of the atmosphere at the equator? Is that what this means?

The loops produce wetter weather where it gets wet, and dryer weather where it gets dry. Everything is exacerbated. There is a pattern to it that has something to do with land and how it touches upon the Arctic. But we don't yet know if the situation as it is developing will continue to do those same things to those same areas, or if once some inflection point is reached they won't do something else. We could try something to mitigate it, but what if reaching that inflection point turned all of that investment into soup?
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby asg70 » Sat 09 May 2020, 11:02:11

Beyond snow in parts of the US here comes wet-bulb doom:

https://weather.com/news/climate/news/2 ... ate-change

BOLD PREDICTIONS
-Billions are on the verge of starvation as the lockdown continues. (yoshua, 5/20/20)

HALL OF SHAME:
-Short welched on a bet and should be shunned.
-Frequent-flyers should not cry crocodile-tears over climate-change.
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby dissident » Sat 09 May 2020, 11:50:47

asg70 wrote:Beyond snow in parts of the US here comes wet-bulb doom:

https://weather.com/news/climate/news/2 ... ate-change


But, but, but it's all natural variability.

When New Orleans becomes exposed to critical wet bulb temperatures it will be the first time in centuries.
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby REAL Green » Sun 10 May 2020, 06:59:18

vtsnowedin wrote:My only livestock at present are wild deer which I keep out of food plots until they mature with electric fence on fiberglass push poles that are easy to move. I mow tight with a rotary shredder (bush hog) along the line before I set it up and if needed mow close to the line again and reset the fence over three feet to keep the weeds off the lowest wire.
In my youth we raised dairy cattle and had a team of work horses. By August they had the largest pasture mowed tight to golf green shortness and had stripped every edible leaf from bushes as high as they could reach. We then moved them to hay fields that had regrown a rowan crop after the initial harvest. That would hold them until fall rains rejuvenated the main pasture. In the forty years after the cattle were removed there are now trees thirty feet high on what was once a grass monoculture.


My fence is a little more elaborate with permanent perimeter fence of 4 strand barbwire with 3 strand electric. Interior is a flexible composite post that is 5 strands with 3 hot 2 ground. This fence can easily be walked over if you shut it off with your handheld. I also use temporary fence to either make ally ways or divide up paddocks.

I am impressed with people who have messed with dairy cattle or goats. That is hard work and requires daily efforts that are hard to vacation from. My calf and kid operation is easier to leave for a week or 2 but still not easy. Whenever I leave for family obligations I am always worried about the farm. In a way I embrace localism to avoid the stress! LOL. I do hate leaving the farm and the stress of leaving makes it harder yet. There is a comfort to localism a kind of security of staying home.

I love pasture management. I like to tell people that I am harvesting solar and putting it on people’s tables. My form of REAL Green has permaculture central to the low carbon effort with animals and pasture. I am converting grass into food calories. I also harvest wood for heat and have solar for electric needs. It is amazing how well animals can manage pasture but it is hard work and requires expensive infrastructure that needs ongoing repair and maintenance. There is a line between hobby farming and agricultural activity. There is no free-range grazing like in times past. If you want to produce lots of product it is inevitable you become industrial with practices, inputs, and animal care. Generally, the more you want to produce the less care is taken for the land and the animals. I am incorporating animals into my low carbon living but I tell people I can't make a living doing this. My fossil fuel drenched investments from 30 years in the fossil fuel world allow me this luxury. If I want to make a small living, I will have to go more industrial AG. To me that is catch22.

I have seen fields regrow and I notice them when I drive somewhere. I like to tell greens if you do not take care of land it quickly turns into wasteland in the process of succession. Today with so many invasives and poor agricultural land practices letting quality land go fallow too long is a recipe for problems. Land management is drenched in fossil fuels. We had a previous manager of our family farm who allowed succession practices but they got out of control and lots of damage was done. I had to come back with a dozer and skid steer and over 2 years reclaim fields. That is a lot of diesel and some chemicals. This will be an important issue in the future if the world transitions to renewables. There better be a good strategy for agriculture becuase electrified AG is not at all available at the moment in most places.

I know the nature loving degrowthers want to think idealistically about returning agriculture to a partnership with nature. I am doing this but there is no making a living with it. There will have to be a behavioral change with subsidies. There is no silver bullet either. It seems most renewable discussion is about urban areas instead. Vertical farming and greenhouses are a niche and will never scale up IMO. The world is not considering agriculture in its green new deals. They are focusing on transport and urban areas. Food is an afterthought.

I love when AOC was caught with her boyfriend eating a burger after a Green New Deal speech. LOL. That is the problem with the rich urban fake greens touting EV's and solar roofs with power walls. They have not liveed the life really instead just preaching fantasy solutions. Really the only way forward with real change is green behavior but instead most fake greens love their tech toys instead. Lower scale means less affluence but fake greens want to be more comfortable and affluent. I still prefer a fake green over a science denying brown but I will not live the fake green lie either. My realistic green accepts we are carbon trapped in path dependencies. There are trade-offs with scale and affluence. Behavior is the key with less physical comforts but more spiritual satisfaction coming from meaning and community. The trade off is being poorer. No questions about this to me but the green world is the polar opposite. I guess that is the only way to sell green in this capitalistic world then so be it but I am living this life in search of meaning not just promoting energy strategies.
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 10 May 2020, 07:19:26

I got out of livestock back when I had young family and a job that keep me miles away in any good weather. You can't make hay while the sun shines if you are miles away walking with a road paver. That not being able to leave them unattended was also a problem fixed by just letting them go. Now retired I play with my food plots and am slowly reclaiming some of the brush areas with tractor and chainsaw.
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 10 May 2020, 08:16:44

Our next door neighbor to our hunting cabin has a small dairy farm. About 35 milkers and 350ish total acres. He will never leave there; family including daughter buried up in the hill. He is 2 years younger than me and permanently bent from the daily routine. It’s taken a deep toll on him. I recall getting up a 0dark early to go hunting and hearing the spreader working.

Our “contribution” is saving a wood lot from being clear cut.

Spent my career working in “transit” because I though it was a better thing, only to later realize I was enabling the addiction.

The phrase “fossil fuel soaked past” as enabling makes a lot of sense, very descriptive.
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby JuanP » Sun 10 May 2020, 20:48:01

Ibon wrote:Weather here has changed since 40 years talking to the old timers. A bit warmer but mostly a disruption in the rain / dry season cycle. Dryer with later onset of the rainy season. We are now well into May and we still have not had the first monsoon down pour. Our coffee all flowered 15 days ago and we are anxiously awaiting the first big rain for a good fruit set. We have 2500 seedlings ready in bags as well to be planted in the grove and we wait the rains.


You just made me think of myself as an old timer for the first time in my life! LOL! I am 50 and have been living in Miami Beach for 30 years. My wife and I spent most of the 20th Century's last decade as live aboard sailors here, which makes you develop an intimate connection to weather and climate patterns. The weather in Miami during that decade was very different from the weather during the first two decades of the new millennium. Summer high temperatures haven't changed much, but winter lows and nighttime lows have definitely gone up. The big difference has been the precipitation patterns; the old wet-dry seasons have been disrupted, and rain has become a lot more unpredictable with increased droughts and floods. The typical mid afternoon Summer rains are no more. The winds still blow pretty much the same, with trade winds from the ESE and cold fronts creating circular wind flows from all directions now and then.

This last October and March were all time record highs for monthly average temperature here. Because of this, I almost didn't plant cold weather greens at the farm in April, but my wife talked me into doing it anyway because of all the free time the pandemic provided us. We'd normally stop selling cold weather greens in mid April, but the weather has been so mild and and dry that we are still selling them now, and expect to continue selling them for at least another 10 days based on the current weather forecast. Our tomatoes are still setting fruit, too, for a month longer than normal instead of dropping the flowers because the temperature is too high, as we would expect them to do in May.
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby JuanP » Sun 10 May 2020, 20:54:46

vtsnowedin wrote:My only livestock at present are wild deer which I keep out of food plots until they mature with electric fence on fiberglass push poles that are easy to move. I mow tight with a rotary shredder (bush hog) along the line before I set it up and if needed mow close to the line again and reset the fence over three feet to keep the weeds off the lowest wire.


We use an electric netting fence on fiberglass push poles at the farm for the chickens. We mow and move them like you do, too, but they are connected to a pulsating solar power supply and work well even if they touch the grass.
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby dissident » Mon 11 May 2020, 17:19:35

JuanP wrote:
Ibon wrote:Weather here has changed since 40 years talking to the old timers. A bit warmer but mostly a disruption in the rain / dry season cycle. Dryer with later onset of the rainy season. We are now well into May and we still have not had the first monsoon down pour. Our coffee all flowered 15 days ago and we are anxiously awaiting the first big rain for a good fruit set. We have 2500 seedlings ready in bags as well to be planted in the grove and we wait the rains.


You just made me think of myself as an old timer for the first time in my life! LOL! I am 50 and have been living in Miami Beach for 30 years. My wife and I spent most of the 20th Century's last decade as live aboard sailors here, which makes you develop an intimate connection to weather and climate patterns. The weather in Miami during that decade was very different from the weather during the first two decades of the new millennium. Summer high temperatures haven't changed much, but winter lows and nighttime lows have definitely gone up. The big difference has been the precipitation patterns; the old wet-dry seasons have been disrupted, and rain has become a lot more unpredictable with increased droughts and floods. The typical mid afternoon Summer rains are no more. The winds still blow pretty much the same, with trade winds from the ESE and cold fronts creating circular wind flows from all directions now and then.

This last October and March were all time record highs for monthly average temperature here. Because of this, I almost didn't plant cold weather greens at the farm in April, but my wife talked me into doing it anyway because of all the free time the pandemic provided us. We'd normally stop selling cold weather greens in mid April, but the weather has been so mild and and dry that we are still selling them now, and expect to continue selling them for at least another 10 days based on the current weather forecast. Our tomatoes are still setting fruit, too, for a month longer than normal instead of dropping the flowers because the temperature is too high, as we would expect them to do in May.


The circulation structure is not going to transform substantially since it is driven by structurally invariant processes, namely the rotation of the Earth and low latitude heating (at least in the troposphere). There will be changes in the thrashing around of the storm tracks and potentially in the size, number and intensity of baroclinic eddies spawned in at the subtropical flanks of the Hadley circulation.

Changes in the wet-dry seasons in the tropics are potentially more substantial due to the increase in duration and occurrence of subtropical blocking regimes (instead of generating mobile baroclinic eddies the thermal energy goes into maintaining extremely non-zonal circulation patterns). This pathology was evident in 2010 when a super-block led to floods in Pakistan and drought-related fires all over Russia.
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 11 May 2020, 18:35:06

dissident wrote:
The circulation structure is not going to transform substantially since it is driven by structurally invariant processes, namely the rotation of the Earth and low latitude heating (at least in the troposphere). There will be changes in the thrashing around of the storm tracks and potentially in the size, number and intensity of baroclinic eddies spawned in at the subtropical flanks of the Hadley circulation.

Changes in the wet-dry seasons in the tropics are potentially more substantial due to the increase in duration and occurrence of subtropical blocking regimes (instead of generating mobile baroclinic eddies the thermal energy goes into maintaining extremely non-zonal circulation patterns). This pathology was evident in 2010 when a super-block led to floods in Pakistan and drought-related fires all over Russia.

I wonder who's thesis paper you pulled that piece of verbal diarrhea from.? :roll:
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 20 Sep 2020, 20:28:34

I wonder how successful Politicians in California will be on blaming climate chaos for their crop losses compared to the lousy way they administer water rations and enforce water recycling, which is to say, not very well.

California in its southern half was a lot of desert long before man made anything happened so claiming San Diego fruit crops are being destroyed by climate change is rather disingenuous when those crops never grew in the area naturally in the first place.
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby REAL Green » Fri 25 Sep 2020, 06:57:55

More stresses to China's food supply:

“China’s corn heartland Heilongjiang grapples with shortage of farm workers”
https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-econ ... s-shortage

“The impact of three recent typhoons and widespread flooding in Heilongjiang, China’s largest corn-growing province and a leader in farm mechanisation, has highlighted rural labour shortages in tandem with concerns about grain supply. The storms flattened much of Heilongjiang’s corn crop and has made harvesting by machine impossible in some areas, raising further concern about lower yields in one of China’s agricultural heartlands. “Farm machines are unable to do some work, so you have to have people to do it by hand. But you cannot find enough workers,” said Xu, adding the shortage has led to higher labour costs that smaller farmers often cannot afford.”
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby REAL Green » Sun 04 Oct 2020, 07:00:21

“How to Make Biomass Energy Sustainable Again”
https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2020/09 ... .html#more

“Apparently, high-tech thinking has permeated the minds of (urban) environmentalists to such an extent that they view biomass as an inherently troublesome energy source – similar to fossil fuels. To be clear, critics are right to call out unsustainable practices in biomass production. However, these are the consequences of a relatively recent, “industrial” approach to forestry. When we look at historical forest management practices, it becomes clear that biomass is potentially one of the most sustainable energy sources on this planet…Nowadays, most wood is harvested by killing trees. Before the Industrial Revolution, a lot of wood was harvested from living trees, which were coppiced. The principle of coppicing is based on the natural ability of many broad-leaved species to regrow from damaged stems or roots – damage caused by fire, wind, snow, animals, pathogens, or (on slopes) falling rocks. Coppice management involves the cutting down of trees close to ground level, after which the base – called the “stool” – develops several new shoots, resulting in a multi-stemmed tree…Nowadays, most wood is harvested by killing trees. Before the Industrial Revolution, a lot of wood was harvested from living trees, which were coppiced. The principle of coppicing is based on the natural ability of many broad-leaved species to regrow from damaged stems or roots…Because the young shoots of a coppiced tree can exploit an already well-developed root system, a coppiced tree produces wood faster than a tall tree. Or, to be more precise: although its photosynthetic efficiency is the same, a tall tree provides more biomass below ground (in the roots) while a coppiced tree produces more biomass above ground (in the shoots) – which is clearly more practical for harvesting.”
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby jawagord » Sun 04 Oct 2020, 08:52:18

Possible record harvest in Western Canada this year. Farmers have always had to adapt to “climate chaos”, they call it weather. Maybe that extra CO2 is actually making crops grow better despite the usual chaos?

Southern Alberta farmers are hauling in one of the best harvests in recent memory this fall, easing the sting of previous years’ poor crops and giving the province some much-needed positive economic news. On Wednesday, Premier Jason Kenney told reporters that commodity companies, rail companies and farm groups are all indicating that this year’s harvest has the potential to be exceptional.

CN Rail — which hit a new record for western Canadian grain shipments for August, moving more than 2.3 million metric tonnes — said in its 2020-21 crop year forecast that “there are indications that overall western Canadian grain production has the potential to be the best on record,” while Canadian Pacific Railway Co. said Wednesday in a statement that it understands that the crop coming off the fields this year is “large.”



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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 04 Oct 2020, 10:25:58

REAL Green wrote:“How to Make Biomass Energy Sustainable Again”
https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2020/09 ... .html#more

“Apparently, high-tech thinking has permeated the minds of (urban) environmentalists to such an extent that they view biomass as an inherently troublesome energy source – similar to fossil fuels. To be clear, critics are right to call out unsustainable practices in biomass production. However, these are the consequences of a relatively recent, “industrial” approach to forestry. When we look at historical forest management practices, it becomes clear that biomass is potentially one of the most sustainable energy sources on this planet…Nowadays, most wood is harvested by killing trees. Before the Industrial Revolution, a lot of wood was harvested from living trees, which were coppiced. The principle of coppicing is based on the natural ability of many broad-leaved species to regrow from damaged stems or roots – damage caused by fire, wind, snow, animals, pathogens, or (on slopes) falling rocks. Coppice management involves the cutting down of trees close to ground level, after which the base – called the “stool” – develops several new shoots, resulting in a multi-stemmed tree…Nowadays, most wood is harvested by killing trees. Before the Industrial Revolution, a lot of wood was harvested from living trees, which were coppiced. The principle of coppicing is based on the natural ability of many broad-leaved species to regrow from damaged stems or roots…Because the young shoots of a coppiced tree can exploit an already well-developed root system, a coppiced tree produces wood faster than a tall tree. Or, to be more precise: although its photosynthetic efficiency is the same, a tall tree provides more biomass below ground (in the roots) while a coppiced tree produces more biomass above ground (in the shoots) – which is clearly more practical for harvesting.”

A lot of BS there. Coppiced wood production made sense when they were cutting stove and fireplace wood with hand tools. You cut the stems when they were the right size and did not need splitting. No point in it today as a full sized tree uses all the sunlight available from the canopy and can use all the ground water with it's root mass. When cut (Yes that kills that tree) the bottom saw logs go to their highest use and the tops are cut into firewood or chipped and some of those chips get processed into wood pellets for pellet stoves. There is very little waste. Once cut smaller trees surrounding it take advantage of the hole in the canopy and increase their growth and quickly close the hole. If in a clear cut situation natural seeding will soon cover the area with dense brush which are nothing but young trees that will compete for the water and sunlight while providing food and cover for numerous forest dwelling species.
The author of that piece never cut a cord of wood or a saw log in his life and knows nothing about the subject first hand.
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 04 Oct 2020, 10:48:28

vtsnowedin wrote:
The author of that piece never cut a cord of wood or a saw log in his life and knows nothing about the subject first hand.


Such lack of any knowledge or experience with oil or geology or economics was a-okay back in the peak oil days, when the ignorant were endlessly pontificating as though they weren't. Nothing wrong with them existing elsewhere I suppose, it just demonstrates that the ignorant will always find something to be ignorant about. Nowadays, in America's political environment, it darn near seems like some weird badge of honor.
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby REAL Green » Sun 04 Oct 2020, 11:11:54

vtsnowedin wrote: A lot of BS there. Coppiced wood production made sense when they were cutting stove and fireplace wood with hand tools. You cut the stems when they were the right size and did not need splitting. No point in it today as a full sized tree uses all the sunlight available from the canopy and can use all the ground water with it's root mass. When cut (Yes that kills that tree) the bottom saw logs go to their highest use and the tops are cut into firewood or chipped and some of those chips get processed into wood pellets for pellet stoves. There is very little waste. .


LOL, missing the point as those blinded by the modern do. The point is not to try to replace what we are doing today but to reflect on what happens when civilization descends to such a point that biomass is increasingly needed at a time of population overshoot. We will quickly see the best forest slashed to the ground in a mad dash for energy and material. Once this happens then coppiced wood low technology will be once again widespread.

vtsnowedin wrote: The author of that piece never cut a cord of wood or a saw log in his life and knows nothing about the subject first hand.


I doubt that your view is important to a mag that is promoting low tech strategies to a world in decline. I think a better point is anyone who would critique the article in terms of modern forestry management is missing the point. I will also mention I heat with wood. I use a wood gasifier. It heats my potable water, my house, and my shop. I burn through 8 cords a year. This use would be more except that the gasifier is very efficient. I cut my own wood with chainsaw and a log splitter attachment to my skid steer. I have a 2 Stihl saws one short 16” bar and one longer with a 24” bar. I have been cutting and heating my home since 92. I think I have ample experience with the subject. I posted the article as a interesting lok at past biomass technology nothing more.
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Re: Climate Chaos and Crop Production

Unread postby REAL Green » Sun 04 Oct 2020, 11:17:02

AdamB wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:
The author of that piece never cut a cord of wood or a saw log in his life and knows nothing about the subject first hand.


Such lack of any knowledge or experience with oil or geology or economics was a-okay back in the peak oil days, when the ignorant were endlessly pontificating as though they weren't. Nothing wrong with them existing elsewhere I suppose, it just demonstrates that the ignorant will always find something to be ignorant about. Nowadays, in America's political environment, it darn near seems like some weird badge of honor.


So, what is your point? Are you saying you are the board smart guy and it is not "a-okay" to discuss other energy issues? LOL. I have yet to see much out of you that is very impressive. Mostly you are an assassin of others comments especially army the doomer without much contribution on your own part. I think the ignorance is reflected in your comment above where you said absolutely nothing of substance except that "Look at me I am smart and you are not" Trash!
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