Currently, land given over to growing animal feed accounts for 40 million square kg (15.4 million square miles). Given the worlds land mass accounts for almost 60 million square miles (160 million square km( this is a significant increase). This amount of land, freed up, could potentially allow a huge improvement in the amount of space given over to wilderness on the earth.
So where would we get protein for livestock feed?
Chinese scientists have created a method which allows the conversion of coal into protein – far more effectively than with plants. 0.1% of this land is required in this new system. It is true that this still accounts for 60,000 square miles,
So the process has a number of steps.
The coal is transfored into methanol via gasification (this can now be done with a near zero carbon emissions)
The methane is then fed to a special strain of Pichia pastoris yeast, which ferments the methanol, in order to produce a single-cell protein complete with a range of amino acids, vitamins, inorganic salts, fats and carbohydrates. There is far more protein in this than in plants and it can be used to partially replace the protein currently used
The conversion efficiency is at a remarkable 92%. This means that it is a cost effective replacement. Now, how much of the protein can be replaced, however a trial facility has already produced thousands of tonnes of this protein.
So if we assume that it cannot replace all of the protein, it seems reasonable to be able to replace 50% or 80% of the protein.
Even countries like the USA could free up thousands of square miles.
The idea that we could free up 30 -48 millions square kilometres (7.5 to 12 million square miles) to be returned to wilderness and carbon sinks among other purposes. If just half of this land was rewilded, it would allow large amounts of the land around the world to return to a wild state, which would help us cut emissions.
Now, it is true that this coal will be emitted as carbon at the end of the line, but if enough of the freed land is used for forest and similar, the net carbon gain can be huge.
The clean energy transition is accelerating in some parts of the world. It is often cheaper to install solar or wind turbines, than to continue to buy coal to keep using the coal power plant, never-the-less this has not stopped developing countries from failing to make the change.
Coal power plants have to be a thing of the past as soon as possible. This is because no matter how efficient they are, they are powered by digging up carbon and releasing it into the air.
However for the time being, there are many coal power stations across the world. Vishwanath Haily Dalvi of the institute of Chemical technology in Mumbai India has been looking at how we could assist this process with the suns energy.
By collecting the suns heat energy, and using this to heat the water, the amount of coal needed is reduced by 50%.
This could therefore be a more economic way of reducing emissions from power generation. Given that coal power emits 0.85 pounds of carbon per kwh (about 380g), cutting this in half would make carbon far cleaner. While this may well be expensive to set up, it might allow coal power plants to operate for a few years longer and therefore be worthwhile, as well as offsetting some of the damage from the large number of coal powered stations being built across countries such as India and China.
This website was designed to simplify wildlife travel – and we are making progress on this (slowly- terrible timing, given the epidemic), however without significant and rapid cuts to the worlds fossil fuel emissions, impacts from global warming will destroy many wildlife habitats so it is of importance.
Climate change is increasingly causing changes in rainfall. This is turning rainforests to savannahs and savannahs to deserts.
Without dealing with climate change, there will be far fewer ecosystems in which to save the wildlife.
This is why the USA is important. At this point the USA emits roughly 16% of the worlds warming gases.
Coal is one of the dirtiest power sources, and increasingly around the world it is recognized that its burning must stop if we are to retain a planet easy to live on.
Later this year, there will be a climate conference held in Glasgow and the British government have been keen to make sure that it moves things forwards – if sea levels rise as much as predicted, life in the UK will change dramatically, not least as the UK could become an archipelago.
China has stated that they will peak their emissions by 2030 and hit carbon neutrality by 2060. These targets are just about acceptable in terms of meeting the human races target of holding temperature raise to 1.5 degrees C.
With incredibly cold weather hitting Texas (for instance the beach is covered in snow), Fox News has been making a big thing of the fact that some of the wind turbines are not turning supposedly because they froze – and that this is the cause of the blackouts.
This is factually incorrect. According to data from the Texas government wind turbine shutdowns accounted for less than 13% of the total outage. A bigger problem is freezing of oil and gas equipment throughout the state.
At a time when many people are discussing whether we can even afford to continue to extract the fossil fuels we have already started to extract, and when the government is talking about leading the world in cutting fossil fuel use, the local Cumbrian government has given permission for the first deep coal mine in 30 years.
This decision by the Cumbrian local government has been remade on three occasions. The government of the UK in Westminster has claimed this is a local matter and that they have no right to get involved. Obviously this is patently absurd – what’s more if we are to have any chance of meeting our emission reduction promises the government must immediately abandon its foolish position, and make it clear that it is not going to happen.
Clearly despite the promises made about reducing carbon emissions, and the progress made in places such as virtually the end of coal burning for power, are not baked in successes and we must make sure to keep the pressure on the government to keep going and indeed ratchet up the speed of which we deal with a problems.