Re-starting the blog

I haven’t written in a very long time, but am re-starting this blog to try to work through some ideas. There is no real goal to this other than trying to figure things out. I’ll try to keep it from being too narcissistic and self-absorbed. But since this is about me trying to figure things out, that will be inevitable sometimes. That’s the way it goes.


Death statistics

Does a Paris-style attack (128 people dead) happen every day in the USA due to guns or cars? No.

In USA, guns kill 92 people per day. 31 of these are murder.
In USA, car crashes kill 82 people per day.

This article led me here, which led me here.

Guns killed 33,636 people in 2013, according to the CDC. Looking at this, we can see the breakdown is:
505 Accident
21,175 Suicide
11,208 Murder
281 Other
467 Other other (I didn’t get the numbers to add up).

Car crashes killed 30,057 people in 2013, according to NHTSA. This is 82 per day

How much more should oil, natural gas, and coal cost to account for social cost.

From prior post, social cost of CO2 = $39/metric ton (US Govt estimate) to $209/metric ton.

Oil and gas numbers taken from EPA calculations

CO2 from combusting one barrel of oil = 0.43 metric tons CO2/barrel
Additional amount oil should cost = 0.43($39 to $209) = $17 to $90/barrel more

Natural Gas
CO2 from combusting one therm of natural gas = 0.005302 metric tons CO2/therm
Additional amount natural gas should cost = 0.005302($39 to $209) = $0.21 to $1.11/therm
1 therm = 100,000 BTU = 99.98 cubic feet of natural gas = $21 to $111/cubic-feet more

Coal numbers taken from EIA. Coal depends on carbon content. At 78% carbon content 1 short ton (2,000 pounds) generates 5,720 pounds. 5,720 pounds = 2.59 metric tons.
Additional amount coal should cost = $2.59($39 to $209) = $101 to $541/short-ton more.

California Drought

I can’t find good references to directly support the common claim that 80% of California water is used by agriculture. But I could find numbers on 2010 consumption. As shown below, irrigation accounts for 60.7% of water usage (this includes more than agriculture). It seems 80% figure comes from subtracting out water reserved for environmental uses.

2010 Figures:
mgpd = million gallons per day
Total = 38 billion gallons per day = 13,870 billion gallons per year
Irrigation (crop, pasture, recreational lands such as parks, golf courses) 60.7% (23,056 mgpd)
Thermoelectric power generation (equipment cooling) 17.4% (6,601 mgpd)
Public supply (domestic, commercial, industrial, pools, parks, firefighting) 16.6% (6,307 mgpd)

From California Wikipedia article
California GDP (2012) = $1.959 trillion
California agriculture production = $46.7 billion (2013) (~2.4% of California economic output).
California population (2014) = 38.8 Million

Upshot of this is ~2.4% of California economic output consumes more than half of California water.

I’m having trouble finding water use by agriculture commodity, but it’s easy to find agriculture economic output by commodity.
Milk $6.9B
Grapes $4.4B
Almonds $4.3B
Nursery plants $3.5B
Cattle, Calves $3.2B
Strawberries $1.9B
Lettuce $1.4B
Walnuts $1.3B
Hay $1.2B
Tomatoes $1.17B

Interesting blog on California water