Vegetarian Awareness Month (October)

HelenF

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Regarding the greenhouse gas impact of stuff delivered from far away, there's a huge difference between air and sea travel. For some things it's not easy to know which it was, but highly perishable food like fresh berries must have come by air. Out-of-season fresh berries grown locally are grown in heated buildings, which is just as bad.
 
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levi

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Regarding the greenhouse gas impact of stuff delivered from far away,
Indeed. I would hope at least air freight isn't pumping out quite as much SO₂ as big boats do. Shipping in terms of fuels has really been a race to the bottom, where the fractions that can't be used to anything else get pumped into ships for them to burn slowly.

Of course, fundamentally getting a big metal tube full of stuff off the ground and kept in the air by aerodynamic lift and then rapidly decelerated at the other end has got to be less efficient than floating the stuff on a boat, it seems sensible. But just measuring the force required misses out the efficiency and the byproducts of the way they're doing it.
 
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ZXDunny

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You can add in, of course, that the human race as a whole is pretty stupid. As the old adage goes, imagine how dumb the average person is, and then realise that half the population of earth is even dumber than that.

I was chatting on social media a while back, and someone said that covering the Sahara with solar panels would solve the entire world's energy problems with no environmental impact (because, Solar).
I replied that the environmental impact would be huge, for the Sahara at least and probably also the surrounding countries due to the simple fact that a very large amount of sunlight was no longer hitting (and warming) the earth beneath the panels. Temperature profiles would change, wind patterns would be unrecognisable etc etc. The response?

"It would be great for the environment because all the desert animals would be able to find some welcome shade".

I mean, when you're up against that kind of thinking, what chance do we really have?
 
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HelenF

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Indeed. I would hope at least air freight isn't pumping out quite as much SO₂ as big boats do.
No, it's the other way. Well, a big boat is putting out more than a plane, but it's also carrying vastly more stuff, so per kg of cargo the boat is much more efficient. There may also be an issue with greenhouse gases emitted at high altitude having more effect.

... Sorry, I misread that. The boat is more efficient as far as greenhouse gases, but I don't know about how the SO₂ works out ... OK, far as I've found out so far, SO₂ isn't really an issue from aircraft.
 
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PowerGod

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B12 is produced by some bacteria present in grasses and also in guts of some grass easing animals, where they produce Vit. B12. Vit. B12 in drugs comes from bacterial colonies grown in labs.
Did no one tried to "insert" those bacteria into a human body ?
 

Klumpen

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Did no one tried to "insert" those bacteria into a human body ?
Actually, the human body has an organ that functions as a farm to produce exactly those bacteria just like other animals do, but it has atrophied, afaik especially since industrial times. One could theorize, that the abundance of B12 in the food supply lead to this atrophy in the first place, which would be weird since it wasn't that long ago that the sudden drastic increase of animal products happened.
I think it was the appendix vermiformis, part of the intestines, but our doctor probably knows more about that.
 
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docbroke

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Here is a nice article about Vit.B12 and gut bacteria https://www.b12-vitamin.com/gut-bacteria/

from_article said:
In this context, a somewhat old study with Indian migrants in England brought interesting results: while vegetarian Indians in India at that time suffered less frequently from vitamin B12 deficiency, it occurred extremely frequently among Indian migrants living in Britain. Investigations on test participants living in India finally revealed that they possessed certain bacterial strains, through which vitamin B12 production could take place (10).

The research team speculated that through the process of migrating to Britain, as well as the greatly changed hygiene conditions, the ability to self-supply B12 was lost. In later studies, too, the hygienic conditions were blamed for this change in the intestinal flora: the water in India contains considerably more bacteria and the then still customary renunciation of toilet paper led to a greater spread of intestinal bacteria (11).

The loss of large parts of our natural microbiome could therefore also be the result of stringent hygiene. Perhaps this would also explain the increasing prevalence of B12 deficiency in India today.
 

ible

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I was chatting on social media a while back, and someone said that covering the Sahara with solar panels would solve the entire world's energy problems with no environmental impact (because, Solar).
I replied that the environmental impact would be huge, for the Sahara at least and probably also the surrounding countries due to the simple fact that a very large amount of sunlight was no longer hitting (and warming) the earth beneath the panels. Temperature profiles would change, wind patterns would be unrecognisable etc etc.
i actually don't think the effect would be that drastic, at least at the levels that we would probably cover the Sahara (it wouldn't be 100% coverage), and solar cells are only 20-30% efficient or so, which means that a good chunk of sunlight can still be absorbed as heat. (some would be reflected, of course, but not all.) having shade would actually be good for a lot of things there; we might be able to start growing plants there. whatever meager changes we'd be willing to make as a society to get solar there in the Sahara is probably not nearly the same effect that we've had on the planet by pumping out fossil fuels under the status quo.

more importantly, you have a distribution problem; how are you going to get solar from the places where it's abundant to where you need it in shady places? even if you could cover the Sahara, it's not going to help you in Europe (and elsewhere) unless you have some super high voltage wires crossing the Mediterranean somehow... and it's probably cheaper to locally source some version of renewable energy, though i haven't run the numbers...
 

levi

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It's really not that far from one end of the Sahara (namely Egypt) to Europe, and if there was money in this electricity business then I'm sure upgrading the lines that currently power greece when their power station refuses to spin up properly or whatever will become economic.

The politics of going through land are... interesting mind you. You're either looking at Jordan->Syria->Turkey->Greece or Jordan->Iraq->(Kurdistan)->Turkey->Greece, but facts are the kind of people who do this kind of work are rather used to working in interesting places. And as I say danger money is cheap if there's profit in this.
 

HelenF

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Even if you solve the distribution, you'll need vast storage too, because all the solar in one place means no electricity at night. Though, if you've solved the distribution, you could share between a few deserts around the world to even it out (and spread the risk too)?
 

ZXDunny

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I guess that's what you get from a bunch of tech nerds :)

"we might be able to start growing plants there" indeed - and what happens to the flora and fauna that have evolved to live in a desert if the desert simply... isn't? But no, let's discuss instead how to get that power to Europe instead. THIS IS WHY THE PLANET IS GOING TO SHIT.
 

Klumpen

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Wasting less energy would be preferable to producing more.
Move via bicycle and public transport (or do something about the lack thereof) instead of driving a heavy car for just one person, don't get PC component combinations that only run with 700 Watt power supply, don't fly when you can avoid it, don't travel around the whole globe just to see a new place (there are plenty of nearer places you haven't seen and could appreciate), get local produce, consume fewer animal products, repair stuff, etc...

And most importantly: Instead of avoiding to look at yourself and looking down on people who try to do as much of that as possible but fail in some specific regard, just do you own part.
The first reactions of this thread made me consider leaving this forum for good and I'm still thinking about it.
 

ible

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I guess that's what you get from a bunch of tech nerds :)

"we might be able to start growing plants there" indeed - and what happens to the flora and fauna that have evolved to live in a desert if the desert simply... isn't? But no, let's discuss instead how to get that power to Europe instead. THIS IS WHY THE PLANET IS GOING TO SHIT.
it's not a course of action i was recommending. (i recommended local.) but i would say there are a few other things wrong with the world that rank above hypothetical speculating on doing things in the Sahara...

one of which: oil companies gaslighting the public when their scientists have known for decades the problems with burning fossil fuels. an actually true conspiracy theory that is wrecking the planet...
 
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Djoga'Ro

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Move via bicycle
(Not in the vein of arguing, but out of curiosity.) How energy-efficient is a human-driven bycicle. I never thought about it and wonder, if someone did. Obviously the weight-to-be-moved to person ratio would be better than with cars or motorbikes. But how efficient are human muscles generally and in this mechanical constellation.

The first reactions of this thread made me consider leaving this forum for good and I'm still thinking about it.
Please, don't go. I like having you around.

actual conspiracy theory
Is a non-actual theory even thinkable? I mean, when a theory is had by someone, it's an actual theory, is it not? ;)
 

ible

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bicycling is very efficient. probably even more than walking.

i'm not sure what you're getting at, @Djoga'Ro, but then again, maybe my words weren't very clear either. generally we should be skeptical of "conspiracy theories" where one group of people is allegedly trying to fool another. (e.g. the moon landings were faked, the earth is flat, etc.) it hits one of our primal fears, that we don't want to be fooled by the establishment (though we are fooled by another group of people, so you are a fool either way), so conspiracy theories are easier to accept, even without proof.

but there is pretty substantial evidence that oil companies have lied about the impacts of burning their product, and now they are trying to get us to say it's everyone's fault, even when they have actively been getting the public to think it's all a hoax...
 

Djoga'Ro

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bicycling is very efficient. probably even more than walking.
Yes, we all seem to agree on it, and I've got no problem with that. Still I'm curious about the numbers.

i'm not sure what you're getting at, @Djoga'Ro, but then again, maybe my words weren't very clear either. generally we should be skeptical of "conspiracy theories" where one group of people is allegedly trying to fool another. (e.g. the moon landings were faked, the earth is flat, etc.) it hits one of our primal fears, that we don't want to be fooled by the establishment (though we are fooled by another group of people, so you are a fool either way), so conspiracy theories are easier to accept, even without proof.
My comment was just about the wording - no comment on the content, which I know little about. I perceive putting actual in front of theory as informational as putting dead in front of cadaver. I still caught your drift. By putting my comment out there I wanted to find out, if the representation of English grammar in my head is lacking. Or if your implementation in this instance was. ;)
 

ible

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maybe "true conspiracy theory" might have been a better phrase. "actual X" sounds like we were expecting something other than X, but you want to definitely assert what it is you found was in fact X. "We got to Jurassic Park and we got to see an actual dinosaur!"

my brain is a bit fuzzy this morning. kids haven't been sleeping the greatest due to some sickness. i can go back and edit in the real conspiracy happenings :)

in vegetarian news, we made a nice butternut squash soup for lunch; it was tasty.
 
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