Thongchai Thailand

BIOCHAR AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Posted on: December 22, 2020

Biochar a 'Battery' for Soil, Livestock | Soil Health & Best Practices |  lancasterfarming.com

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF AN ARTICLE IN “ANALYTICAL SCIENTIST” ABOUT FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE WITH BIOCHAR. LINK TO SOURCE: https://theanalyticalscientist.com/fields-applications/biochar-to-combat-climate-change

Biochar | Pro-Natura International

PART-1: WHAT THE SOURCE ARTICLE SAYS

A huge issue the world faces right now is climate change; we’ve burnt fossil fuels for over a century, greenhouse gas levels have climbed and temperatures have followed suit. The global temperature has risen by 1C since pre-industrial. The climate is extremely sensitive to such changes. That explains the sharp rise in storms, droughts, hurricanes and floods that we have witnessed these past few years.

There are looming tipping points as climate change progresses. These include the melting permafrost in the Arctic, which would release large quantities of greenhouse gases. We must find a solution quickly; we risk irreversible climate change otherwise and survival of humans.

Plants absorb carbon dioxide throughout their life and release it back into the atmosphere upon dying. The production of biochar – primarily carbon extracted from dead plants – can block this cycle, preventing carbon dioxide release and limiting eventual increases in atmospheric temperature. Around 200 companies are operating globally in this area already – analyzing and improving their biochar with techniques like Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance.

Our aim is to expand the industry further. Providing sales support to these companies could provide a much-needed push into the mainstream. Growth of this industry to a size at which it could process most of the world’s dead plants could produce positive change. We’re currently working with five biochar companies across America and Canada, and our next steps will be to build networks between these businesses, farmers, and the US Department of Agriculture. These networks will be essential to open up communication with those who will benefit from using biochar for their specific soil and environmental conditions. In short, as in all areas of science, communication and collaboration will be key to our success.

Earth has 'now reached 9 climate change tipping points' as top scientists  warn of 'domino effect' catastrophe

Looming tipping points such as the melting of the permafrost in the Arctic, which would release large quantities of greenhouse gases, mean that we must find a solution quickly; we risk an irreversible global temperature increase that we may not survive.

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

There are two different issues here. 1. The first issue is that the climate action being proposed is inconsistent with the theory of anthropogenic global warming {AGW}. 2. The second issue is that AGW is presented in the context of environmentalism which holds that humans must not interfere with nature.

(1) The first issue: The theory of anthropogenic global warming and climate change is not a theory about how CO2 causes global warming. It is specifically about the industrial economy and its use of fossil fuels. This is why global warming is always measured “from pre-industrial”. AGW is a theory that fossil fuels cause warming and the solution demanded in the form of “climate action” is to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of fossil fuels. A proposal for climate action in the form of interfering with nature’s carbon cycle to compromise nature’s ability to add CO2 to the atmosphere at the same level of fossil fuel emissions cannot be presented as climate action. The climate change evil is not carbon nor carbon dioxide but fossil fuel emissions. It is true that fossil fuel emissions are carbon dioxide but carbon dioxide in general as part of nature’s carbon cycle is not an unnatural and external perturbation of the carbon cycle. Therefore, human intervention in the carbon cycle is not climate action.

Humans Vs Nature (This Is Really Cool D:) by alphagusta - Meme Center

(2) The second issue: The second issue is the environmentalism interpretation of AGW as a case of humans interfering with nature by burning fossil fuels and causing unnatural changes on a global scale. At the very foundation of environmentalism is the principle that humans must not interfere with nature. And yet, the proposed biochar solution to climate change is a grotesque human interference with nature’s carbon cycle where nature’s cyclical carbon flow between atmosphere and plants is intercepted and not allowed to complete the cyclical nature of this flow. The humans are interfering with nature ostensibly to fix a problem described as humans interfering with nature.

(3) Related post on the distinction between fossil fuel emissions and the carbon cycle in climate science: Here Dr Peter Griffith of NASA explains the unique role of fossil fuel emissions in AGW science that makes it impossible to equate carbon cycle carbon to fossil fuel carbon. https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/06/19/vegandiet/

(4) Related post on a statistical test of the assumption that the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 levels is caused by fossil fuel emissions where no evidence for this causation is found. https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/11/21/the-case-against-fossil-fuels/

(5) The proposed biochar solution to climate change assumes that making biochar removes atmospheric carbon from the climate system but no technology or explanation is offered for the sequestration of biochar from the carbon cycle.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION: The issue in AGW climate change is fossil fuels and the only solution offered and demanded by climate science is to stop using fossil fuels. The interpretation of this theory in terms of carbon cycle flows proposed here by the Analytical Scientist is inconsistent with climate science and with the statistical details provided in the related post linked above in item#(4).

3 Responses to "BIOCHAR AND CLIMATE CHANGE"

The production of biochar – primarily carbon extracted from dead plants cannot produce profit.
Farmers should have, instead of burning dead plants to prepare fields for new corps, which is a simple and very cheap procedure practiced for eons, they should collect dead plants and then transport them to the biochar producing companies as a primary row material.
After biochar is produced, farmers should buy the biochar, transport it back and spread it on the fields as a land fertilizer.
Farmers will have additional costs. The additional costs will burden the corps production budgets.

The profit for farmers is supposed to come from the rise of corps yields.

I haven’t seen yet a research claiming the cost of collection and transport dead plants can be covered with a reasonable profit from the rise of corps yields.

Good point sir. The issue raised in the burning of crops is air pollution.

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  • chaamjamal: Thanks. A specific issue in climate science is correlation between time series data where spurious correlations are the creations of shared trends, s
  • Jack Broughton: I remember a paper published in the 1970s by Peter Rowe of UCL in which he showed how even random numbers can be processed to seem to correlate by usi
  • chaamjamal: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/10/09/a-data-selection-bias/
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