1. Zachary Smith says:

Let’s Fill Our Cities With Taller, Wooden Buildings
Probably every single numerical claim in this “opinion” piece is true. So I made a search for presenting a passel of such “small truths” – is it a known issue to use them to create a Big Lie?

It’s also possible to build a big lie out of many small truths, using anecdotal and circumstantial evidence that is true in itself, but does not necessarily denote the lie you are using it to build.

What I see is the NYT arranging for some sacks of fresh manure to be thrown at the big fan so as to confuse its readers and obscure the larger picture. Take that wonderful “new 18-story Brock Commons dormitory at the University of British Columbia” – it will nail down 1,753 metric tons of carbon dioxide for possibly as long as 100 years! We’re saved!! Then it occurs to me to see how much carbon dioxide a middling sized coal plant cranks out.

Based on these parameters, the annual CO2 for the plant is as follows:
Annual CO2 (million tonnes) = 1,000 * .8 * 8863 * 96,100 * 9.2427 * 10^-12 = 6.30 million tonnes

Divide 6,300,000 tons by 365 and you get 17,260 tons of CO2 per day released into the atmosphere. So the big wood dorm will be Trumped by a mere 3 hours of operation of the coal plant. BTW, I believe there are many thousands of such coal plants in the world.

The energy embodied in the materials for new buildings around the world — mostly steel and concrete — accounts for 11 percent of global carbon emissions. Typically, coal is used to heat these materials to temperatures over 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit in the manufacturing process.

Another small truth. But electric furnaces exist. A retired old neighbor once told me of his former job of positioning carbon electrodes the size of power line poles in such a furnace before the start of an operation. It’s possible to make steel without using any fossil fuel at all.
Conclusion: the NYT is working very hard to help Rich People and Big Fossil Fuels with this entertaining presentation of another fantasy cure for our problem.

The many accomplishments of the ‘do-nothing’ U.S. House
Indiana has had quite a number of dingleberry Senators, but none of them could match McConnell in that category. Kentucky must be very proud.

What Does This Street In Zürich Mean?

… and so it has trams passing on average every three to four minutes in each direction.

I can barely imagine how nice this would be.

My University Is Dying
Couldn’t find the text of this piece, but I was able to locate a long comment.
This isn’t austerity. This is reality.

Can a Burger Help Solve Climate Change?

In 2008, he had lunch with Michael Eisen, a geneticist and a computational scientist. Over rice bowls, Brown asked, “What’s the biggest problem we could work on?”

“Climate change,” Eisen said. Duh.

“And what’s the biggest thing we could do to affect it?” Brown said, a glint in his eye. Eisen threw out a few trendy notions: biofuels, a carbon tax. “Unh-unh,” Brown said. “It’s cows!”

Another “boosterism” article for a genuine Cure All. Turning vegetable protein into something indistinguishable from meat is a great idea – if such a thing can ever be done. It will NOT be a solution for climate change. But if enough people can be drawn in, Impossible Foods will produce some wealthier investors, and another successful diversion from the core issue of burning fossil fuels will have been accomplished.

The Persistent Myth of Persistence Hunting
The article does the monster mash on the “myth”, but I didn’t notice the author offering any alternate explanation. We humans have a lot of odd features which evolved for a reason. If these bozos can’t do any better than mocking some honest efforts, IMO they ought to be a lot more restrained with their gabble.
Endurance running hypothesis
Early men were on the small small side, not very bright, and not a bit well-armed. I can imagine their upright posture helping alert a group they needed to high-tail it to the nearest bunch of trees (however distant) to get to safety before a predator they’d spotted saw them. That’s not likely the answer either, but the fact remains we have these abilities for some genuine real-world reason.

(by the way, a black friend once told me his theory about why Africans tend to be champions in long foot races. With a big grin he said “the slow ones were caught and brought to America”)

2. Gingerbaker says:

US beef cattle generate 1.8% of total US GHG emissions. The idea that the best thing you can do to solve AGW is to stop eating cows is so absurd that one has to ask why is such nonsense so persistent?