Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

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Phoenix76
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Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

Postby Phoenix76 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:49 am

Came across a very interesting article on reducing your personal carbon footprint.

The authors found there are four actions that could result in substantial decreases in an individual's carbon footprint: eating a plant-based diet, avoiding air travel, living car free, and having smaller families. For example, living car-free saves about 2.4 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year, while eating a plant-based diet saves 0.8 tonnes of CO2 equivalent a year.

The researchers also found that neither Canadian school textbooks nor government resources from the EU, USA, Canada and Australia highlight these actions, instead focussing on incremental changes with much smaller potential to reduce emissions.

Excellent research and thinking, but raises a few problems when it comes to implementation.

Eating a plant-based diet. Given that humans are basically carnivores, and mostly addicted to their daily intake of meat, how does one convince us to alter our diet. Yes there are many vegetarians and vegans, but there has always been dispute as to the possible long term health problems of this diet. And the social and economic downsides to doing away with a diet that includes meats, poses further problems.

Avoiding Air Travel. Well for my part you can do away with air travel, but without it, how do we get ourselves around the world, let alone around our respective countries. Perhaps the scientists can come up with a new fuel for planes does is not fossil based and does not pollute.

Living Car Free. Again, very similar to the air travel problem. Unless you live in a city like New York or Sydney, where you have public transport, a car is essential to get anywhere, even to do your grocery shopping. Yes we are working towards electric cars that would answer some of the problem, but greater acceptance of electric cars is still someway down the track. In countries like the USA and Australia, we have a great problem of distances, and a car covers that need very well.

Having Smaller Families. Well in first world countries the birthrate is already below two per family in many areas. That of course gives us a negative growth rate. The old thought used to be at least three children, two for the parents and one for the country. A problem already being experienced around the world is the fast growth in societies such as Muslem, where they are becoming the majority race in several places. It is their custom to breed large families and I don't think you will change that any time soon.

So friends, some great ideas but in return, some great problems. Link is below.

https://phys.org/news/2017-07-effective ... ussed.html

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Re: Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:55 am

If the solutions offer insurmountable problems, how great are they?
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Re: Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

Postby Gord » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:29 am

Humans are omnivores, not carnivores, although it can be a little difficult to define us that way. It's possible to live without meat, for instance, and our bodies are designed to eat plants moreso than to eat meat. Some people have even defined humans as granivores ("seed predators") since our diets are often based on grains like wheat or rice. On the other hand, "true" carnivores require nutrients from eating flesh because their bodies are unable to synthesise them (such as essential nutrients including retinol, arginine, taurine, and arachidonic acid).

I think most animals are able to eat things outside of their proposed diets, but that doesn't mean, for instance, that squirrels are carnivores for eating KFC at campgrounds or that lions are herbivores for eating tree bark. Even wolves and dogs can be considered omnivores, because they can live on fruit, vegetables, and berries if necessary.
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Re: Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

Postby Poodle » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:49 am


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Re: Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

Postby Gord » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:08 am

I've limited my beef for years now. I eat mostly poultry these days, although I wish I ate more fish.

Here's an article about greenhouse gases produced by the different industries: http://www.pnas.org/content/111/33/11996.full

And this: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-most-po ... k-poultry/

...Eshel calculates that the average American who switches from beef to pork would reduce the equivalent of 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, which is about nine days' worth of the nation's per capita greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA calculates that it is the same as the emissions from 61 gallons of gas or what comes out of the smokestack from burning 580 pounds of coal....

Eat pork, not coal.
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Re: Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:15 am

Image

The solution will be veggie burgers that cannot be told from meat. and/or: meat tissue grown in petrie dishes. My pure guess is that impossible meat should be the winner.

The Fake-Meat Burger So Realistic It Fooled My Entire Family
impossible-burger-cooked
Matt McGrath

http://www.bonappetit.com/entertaining- ... -fake-meat
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Re: Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

Postby Phoenix76 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:17 am

My apologies Gord, Omnivores of course. And Poodle, interesting argument about going vegan. I have a problem with the continued fertility of our soils. The amount of fertilizer that we use now would grow immensely. They suggest that a lot of land used for cattle etc consist of degraded soils. I live in a cattle producing area in Australia, and I can tell you, the cattle farmers work their land with great skill. Yes, these are soils that you would not choose to grow your veges in, but by good management of what they have, through cattle rotation and resting, these cattlemen make the best of it. And given the need to rotate your crops in agriculture, and the need to provide a much greater supply of vegan style foods, I believe you would need to put a lot more country under crop than is suggested in that article.

And Bobbo, that is really my personal point. A straight reading of these four supposed solutions does throw up a lot of problems. Insurmountable? Maybe not, but I didn't see the authors of the study even recognising the problems let alone offering solutions. This no doubt is why I made the post. I don't see these things as being workable, at least in the immediate future. Maybe given time we could find answers to the obvious problems, but by then our climatic circumstances could be much worse than they are now. I do think these ideas would take too long to implement.

And Gord, you do seem to have a concern about our diet. That is something I could get involved in discussing at quite some depth. My personal diet is one of low carbs and high fat. In fact, humans do not need to eat one gram of carb. Our systems can convert part of our protein intake to whatever carb our bodies need. See I believe that our general obesity problem is caused by over indulgence in carbs via what we euphemistically call junk food. The major problem with a Big Mac is firstly the fat it is cooked in, guaranteed to be vegetable oil, and the buns it is contained in - high in sugar, and of course that sugar is the biggest single cause of all the dietary obesity. Just by the way, my only intake of carbs is through vegetables.

So I started the thread as an interest and to hopefully engender some good discussion. Personally I don't see the proposal working but some of you may have other ideas.

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Re: Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

Postby Phoenix76 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:22 am

Bon Appetite, I'm not too sure Bobbo. Still got that horrible bread roll, and whilst the fake meat may fool some, what the hell is it made from? Vegetables you suggest, but I suggest highly processed vegetables. We are not talking a home made, home cooked vegan style burger, we are talking about a mass produced imitation that will be highly processed as would be necessary in a McDonald's, Hungry Jack's (Burger King) commercial enterprise.

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Re: Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

Postby Phoenix76 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:39 am

Just read your link Bobbo, shades of "Soylent Green" if you remember the 1973 sci-fi film.

Ingredients - Potato Protein - probably pure carb; Coconut Oil - okay on face value; Honeydew Melon - that is a surprise; Legume derived molecule called "heme" that's also found in animal blood - legumes are questioned by some, so this "heme" is also questionable.

So your fake meat burgers, ostensibly vegie burgers, seem to be a typically processed excuse for good food. Nah, just give me a nice piece of good ol' rump steak.

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Re: Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:57 am

Most of us won't change how we grew up...........until "Real Meat" becomes too expensive. THEN we will look for alternatives.

I always eat for taste. I think you are saying that this Impossible Burger is simply not very healthy?....but by definition protein is not carb, pure or otherwise. And carbs are approved in a normal healthy diet.
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Re: Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

Postby Phoenix76 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:30 am

Most of us won't change how we grew up...........until "Real Meat" becomes too expensive. THEN we will look for alternatives.


Quite correct Bobbo. If nothing else we are creatures of habit.

Potato Protein, interesting. Your right, we are talking about the protein part of potatoes rather than the complex carb side.

So 100g of potato contains:
Protein 2.1g
Carb 17.2g
Sugar 0.6g
No Fat
Saturates 0.2g
Fibre 1.3g

Interesting. No fat but 0.2g of saturates? And the other 78.6% is made up of something?

My problem is that when we talk about potato protein in a commercial sense, what else is in that protein powder. I doubt very much that the potato protein referred to in this story would be pure protein. This to me is a problem when we talk about commercial food ingredients. Just look on the nutrition panel of something you buy in the supermarket, it has your head spinning just trying to find some food value.

Bobbo, after having a heart attack about 15 years ago, I take a lot of interest in what I ingest. I have made a study of nutrition, for my own health sake, and my skepticism about what we are being told be the experts continues to grow. I tell you this only to give you an idea as to why I get carried away about the subject. I can't be too far from the truth as my health today is excellent, even if I do fight and argue with my lovely Lady Doctor.

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Re: Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

Postby Phoenix76 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:41 am

I've limited my beef for years now. I eat mostly poultry these days, although I wish I ate more fish.


That's great Gord, but vegans still don't eat poultry, fish, and definitely not pork. Sure, the production of pork, fish and poultry would have a smaller carbon footprint than beef and lamb production, but still doesn't fit the ideal expounded in the my referenced article. And a true vegan won't even eat chook eggs because they are essentially animals. Actually the egg is natures greatest little vitamin pill, a great source of iodine which many people are deficient in.

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Re: Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

Postby Gord » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:32 pm

I think I ate a vegan once. Very stringy. Tasted like moss.
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Re: Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:25 pm

Phoenix76 wrote:.....My problem is that when we talk about potato protein in a commercial sense, what else is in that protein powder. ............
With Truth in Labeling.... there should be nothing else....although it does seem like a suspiciously poor source for protein. Its usually from milk or eggs?

Phoenix76 wrote:.....I tell you this only to give you an idea as to why I get carried away about the subject.
So, How can we tell when you are joking or not?

Phoenix76 wrote:. I can't be too far from the truth
Whaaaaa? A zealot or even just a devotee or interested hobbyist is more likely to be whacko.........than someone who claims ignorance. I think I "know" a good bit from general reading and life experiences.....but I don't put it into play. I've "never been sick".......so why should I worry? I'll die from a heart attack....already past due given my family history. My cute Doc says I'm incredibly healthy..... except for whats wrong with me.
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Re: Reducing your Personal Carbon Footprint

Postby Phoenix76 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:22 am

With Truth in Labeling.... there should be nothing else....although it does seem like a suspiciously poor source for protein. Its usually from milk or eggs?


Bobbo, I don't know how good truth in labeling is in the US, but it is certainly getting better here in Oz. Reportedly, potato protein is very good, but the following comment I read inline makes you wonder:

I honestly don’t know how they make protein powder out of potatoes: 100 g of potato contains only 2 g of protein. I suspect potato protein of being a by-product of potato starch’s manufacturing (potato starch -100% carbs- is used to thicken sauces, puddings and soups).


Milk protein is 82% casein and 18% serum or whey. Many people have an intolerance to milk. The humble egg contains 13% protein and is very digestible, the bulk of it coming from the albumen.

So, How can we tell when you are joking or not?


Believe me Bobbo, nobody kids about heart attacks. Mate, I am scared of nothing, BUT, that attack scared the sh*t out of me.

Whaaaaa? A zealot or even just a devotee or interested hobbyist is more likely to be whacko.........than someone who claims ignorance. I think I "know" a good bit from general reading and life experiences.....but I don't put it into play. I've "never been sick".......so why should I worry? I'll die from a heart attack....already past due given my family history. My cute Doc says I'm incredibly healthy..... except for whats wrong with me


Bobbo, you might be a pragmatist, but given that comment you are definitely a fatalist. The only time I've felt like that was at the high of my PTSD and that is somewhere I never wish to go again, I love life too much.


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