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Senior Advisor

Or maybe grain farmers can find a "Real Purpose".

Work life balance aside, maybe farmers just need to embrace the future and find a new purpose for their farms.

Maybe grain farmers should stop being so cynical and embrace the opportunities offered by the Green New Deal.

The fact is a well grown corn crop can, in the space of just three months, captures almost twice as much carbon dioxide as an equivalent area of tropical rain forest over a whole year (see chart below, high resolution CO2 in red, peaks in May with a minimum in Sept.).  While all the other Northern Hemisphere vegetation certainly contributes to that decline, calculations show the US corn crop makes a significant contribution to the seasonal decline in the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.

That fact, as well as the fact that in the process of making ethanol fuel, half the carbon ends up as easily captured carbon dioxide with only a modest loss of the total energy.  We already make and capture 50 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide every year from the ethanol we produce.  We're already at industrial scale.

Think about it, one of the biggest problems we face today is how to scrub significant quantities of fossil carbon dioxide from the atmosphere put there by millions of mobile carbon dioxide sources, aka motor vehicles.  The answer is staring us right in the face, use our agriculture as a massive atmospheric scrubber at the same time we make food & renewable fuel.

  The only thing that's lack at this point is the last step, sequestering that fixed carbon into a non-degradable form like a building material or some other non-degradable product  and that just a research and development project.

   All that's really needed is the political and societal will to embrace the future.  


high resolution CO2 seasonal.png
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5 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: Or maybe grain farmers can find a "Real Purpose".

Think that through Rick.....

I doubt we know many facts........ but we got some fun theories ---and  faster than you can explain it or print out the sources of that trendy wording--dont send it I already have it from my friends who think all science is known science.  And if it looks like it is going to be something good for the farmer it will become pond scum as the political winds blow.

Its mostly cow gas.......

The only opportunities in the green new deal are political power and confiscation of personal rights and assets.

List of your terms whose definition will change as the political wind blows:

"Green new Deal" "fossil carbon dioxide" "millions of mobile carbon dioxide sources, aka motor vehicles(like it is the only source and C02 didn't exist before 1880)"

"the future"  "captures almost twice as much carbon dioxide"  "calculations show" "Northern Hemisphere atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration."  "industrial scale."

Thats quite a list of popular terms with potential meaning most of which is in theory stage.  Catch phrases that sound good until you try to test them.------ like using the vegitation of the earth to clean the atmosphere.  sounds good...... what has it been doing for thousands of years..... waiting for us to think of it?  Or maybe your just saying it is a sales pitch farmers can sell to the dumb public?  I thought the weather system cleaned the atmosphere, along with the electricity present in massive amounts of static wind motion.  Feeding the earth in the water and atmospheric mineral content.  Or maybe that is just part of a large multifacited regenerative system.  can I call that fact also....

I don't doubt the data that is recorded in the graph, I just don't think we know what that data means or why it is changing or whether it is relevant or part of an earth activity cycle we don't understand yet.  

don't think it is wise to start believing that every theory is proven science just because it is the latest one or we have a computer and a grant.  And the worst mistake of all, believing because all my friends agree.  

History does not bode well for theories that are "accepted fact"...... they don't last and are nearly always proven wrong a or limited.  Way too many "assumptions" especially when we are projecting by computer model.


It was a difficult year ........ I think it is tough enough figuring out which technology is worth the investment(and which ones that were are no more).   I don't think it is wise to become local scientist or politician selling what might or might not sell.  I don't think we can all make a living selling "the sky is falling".  It will be the height of a career for a young girl but not for the average farmer and if it is as wonderful as "switchgrass" it could be the end of a career quickly as the "science" proves that the theory was wrong.  Even presidents promote nonsense when a university has a theory.

I'll pass on the "man is powerful enough to ruin everything" theory

Honored Advisor

Mauna Loa

How and why would Nauna Loa (one of the largest active volcanos on earth) be used to take those readings and produce that chart?  Could it be that location guarantees the result desired.....?? 

Could it be an indicator of the increases or decreases of volcanic activity in a location rather than any indicator of global information..... fartherest from actual vehicle activity and it tells us about the effect of man made activity?

Is it possible that the location--on the most active volcano and its beginner to the southeast that bubbles carbon dioxide up through the ocean water in consistant volumes might taint the results ....... or in the current verbiage...... guarantee results????

Don't get lost in the sales pitch.  

Follow some real scientists you know........ I accidently chose Mike Smith, meteriologist from Kansas, to follow on twitter.  It is amazing how much these UN promotions are being questioned among those who have science backgrounds and are not funded by taxpayers or grants from politicians.  It is finally a lively discussion that cannot be shouted down by children.

Honored Advisor

Re: Mauna Loa

Your neat zig zag pattern might be more of a predominant wind direction of blowing the vog record the detector time of year thing.

Figures lie and liers figure.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Mauna Loa

at or in one of the most stable climates on earth...... the very similar variation pattern year to year would make us in the midwest think seasonal but probably wind as hobby says, and I agree that might be the driver, he is a better student than I..... if it is .... it might also indicate that the driver to the variance is not that far "down wind".......they are just too consistant in time to be a global indicator.

Or there are probably several other possibilities if we waste time on it long enough....... possibly the digestive patterns of whales might need a university study...I suggest a close up study by UC Berkley.

This reminds me of a farming issue for me.  I have observed the human tendency in young farmers to grab onto the first theory they devise(or borrow) as to why that field yielded less than those...... or what we need to do to become more profitable (which most young farmers, who find their first friends in sales, interpret as higher yields).   That profitability graphs rises to a crossed axis when the costs become higher than the yields no matter how high yields go.

I trained--- with the few that have asked---- to devise at least 3 theories to test and to test each theory at least 3 times in comparison (all the time searching for theory #4).  Then never change your farming practices until one of those ideas has proven itself to work in at least 2 different weather patterns and one major wind event..... record each result for future memory loss.  (Good years teach us almost nothing, tough years make up for it)

Scientific Observations of this process......... which can result in dismissal from the class. or lack of funding.... I'm not wasting my time on the young that are too foolish to be successful.

Most young farmers will take about three phone calls to decide on one theory.......

Some young farmers will believe in #1 without a test ......................

Some young farmers will apply the theory to every field, and think they did the ultimate test, with no targeted results at all.

Most young farmers will continue #1 without results for years and claim success to it in good years.

theory salesman have a better chance of passing off #1 when they are the first to ride the combine.

Finally Most young farmers will never try to devise a #2 and stay with the borrowed #1 leaning on advertising as proof. For most young farmers do not have the ability to set up a field trial or recognize loaded company tests.  Nor do they possess the patience to wait for results without prejudice.  Changing farming practices takes 5-10 years to be successful and not part of a failure.

The same problems apply to accepting "hearsay" theory that is yet unproven.  Patience and testing are essential, it may seem that it is just too expensive to wait ("too much is at stake" is the climate cry)  but truth is as a farmer believing accepting every theory as fact can terminate your success in far less time.

Proven facts.  What others believe is irrelevant in your field.  You don't have an education for agriculture (or life) without Statistical Analysis. (I don't know how grocery shopping happens without it).  People don't want to be friends with farmers or work with farmers, unless there is money to be made.

The laws of economics apply in every form of government and every faith, at least in this life.




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Senior Advisor

Re: Mauna Loa

Good luck on stopping men riding mad horses.

But yes.

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