David Knopfler Blog

Somewhat political observations

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Plant a tree or three

At the Chevron website the words global warming are nowhere to be found, not even at their environmenal section which helpfully has provided a nice picture of a kangaroo - isn't that cute? Instead I found this... "But consider that in the next 20 years, the world will add almost 1.5 billion people and you begin to understand the magnitude of our challenge. By 2025, world energy consumption is expected to grow by over 40 percent. Over that timeframe, conventional hydrocarbons - oil and natural gas, as well as coal - will continue to meet roughly 80 percent of that demand... Global demand for oil will increase from 84 million barrels today to over 105 million barrels in 2025, or 1.4 percent annually. But even more dramatic will be the growth in demand for natural gas, which is projected to rise over 2 percent annually in that time." George L. Kirkland Executive Vice President, Chevron Corporation 2006

Seems on googling a number of sites, that carbon extraction is too expensive as a mechanised process... how about planting a few trees then? I failed GCSE level chemistry so maybe I'm missing the point, or perhaps I'm wondering why the Emporer is walking down Mainstreet naked? As I understand it, deciduous trees do photosynthesis really well and since any fool can plant a tree or three - or failing that, just neglect to mow the lawn for several years - which at the end of the day has the desired effect i.e. CO2 - C = O2 .... better for everyone. What am I missing?


Blogger prairietales said...

Our family farms in Western Canada, here the energy crisis means loss of hope. Used to be the price of wheat was compared to a barrel of oil. Well, this year we will sell our wheat for under $4.00 a bushel. This below our cost or production. The bitter pension many farmers re receiving is an auction sale and a ticket to drive a truck in the oil patch. This is a very real energy crisis in every sense.

And through the eyes of next year country people the vision of hope
is dull, and not easily lost, the awareness at last that the industry may well be near collapse is frightening to say the least.

After World war II Western Canadian farmers compliments of the Canadian Government shipped wheat at 1/10 of world price to feed war torn Europe. No doubt mother England benefited hugesly.
While many western Canadian families subsidized the recovery.
Promised recompense never occured. And so our forefathers
fed Europe with cheap grain.
And now Eurpean subsidies and export bans are helping to kill our industry.

No, David the world is not a just place. Nor are the lessons of history remembered by the leaders of today.

The world has no conscience.

Thank you for your art. It is amazing, and it does have a conscience.

2:49 pm  
Blogger prairietales said...

Ok, trying to figure out this comment process...must have sent it before the final edit.. argh
so I add.

The point of the above diatribe was:

Farmers are told we provide the carbon sink of the future.

But we have to survive today, to that for tomorrow. As farmers around the world struggle with the energy costs, maybe someone in leadership of the world, should
actually make an effort to understand the politics of grain.

2:58 pm  
Blogger David Knopfler said...

Appreciate your comment about my work. Your farming predicament sounds like a totally unreasonable situation. I'm not up to speed on the issue but from what little I know I believe UK PM Tony Blair failed completely to get the French to look at CAP reform during his period as El Presidente of EU if memory serves.

The politics of water are also going to become serious if the article in New Scientist I just read is correct.

Think you're the first person out of a dozen who's been able to get the comments page to work judging by my mailbox.

7:31 pm  
Blogger prairietales said...

Actually our industry in near collapse, unless we see prices pull up I do not know what will happen. No one seems to put together the rapid increase in fuel costs as a threat to food production in the future. While subsidzed nations will be protected somewhat those of us without cost of production formulas have no wear to turn. I cannot speak for other production zones, but in Canada we are on our knees.

And, hey if I figured out how to do this, then that would bode well for the rest of the world!

But, hmmm since this is just you and me, could you tell me what medium you paint in? (Sorry, I respect your serious issues which are way over the head of most of us, and a fan of your painting too!)

8:09 pm  
Blogger prairietales said...

iSorry to digress, but the real reason for entering the debate is that
1/ I have carbon for sale, so do
50,000 other starving Canadian farmers. It is estimated that every acre serves as a carbon sink for 1 to 1.5 tonnes per acre.
2/ so far Canada has not established a process to define a value for this commodity, although discussions are ongoing at this time.
3/ For a price we would even plant, weed & water trees
4/ Grain can be used for Ethanol and oilseeds for biodiesel which lowers the emissions and turns cheap food grains into fuel.

Right now we provide carbon sinks for free. But with an industry on the verge of collapse, who know what we will provide for the future.

But, based on the statistics we can take comfort in finding employment in the oil industry.

Just like my 65 year old client did. The day after his farm Auction he starts his job driving truck in the oilpatch.

8:30 pm  

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