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Comment our last greatest hope (Score 2) 234

I say we drop it on Australia again, just to keep the tradition up

When I first came here, this was all empty space. Everyone said I was daft to build a station in empty space, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It fell down on Canada[1]. So I built a second one. That fell down onto Austrailia[2]. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then fell into the Pacific Ocean[3]. But the fourth one stayed up. And that's what you're going to get, Lad, the strongest space station in all of space.

Comment 2500 gallons? really? (Score 1) 331

Here's some quick napkin-calculations. A gallon of water weighs a little over 8 pounds. If you consider meat is mostly water, that means a pound of meat "takes" about a pint of water out of the environment. The other 2499 7/8 gallons are returned to the environment to be evaporated, filtered by the ground, or otherwise recycled. But they're not "taken" by any sane use of that word. To use a sensational figure like 2500 gallons, it's obvious to most that it's sensationalism.

As discussed here, the water figure comes primarily from what is used to irrigate pasture, and is higher for beef because cattlemen grow pastures in drier climates than chicken or pork farmers. That is not a beef problem as much as it is a land-use problem. If we kicked the cattlemen out of California, that pastureland would become something else, like an orchard, and then we'd have an apple problem instead of a beef problem.

This is market forces at work. It just shows that our demand for beef is high enough that it pays for a cattleman to grow pastures on arid land. The only other place you hear of irrigation at that extreme is in the UAE, since that's the only type of land they have. Make irrigation more expensive, those costs will just be passed on in the price of meat, fewer people will want to pay the higher prices, and the most expensive operations will pivot to something else. Chances are that land would not be returned to its natural, arid state, though, so you've still got a water-use problem, plus higher beef prices.

Economics, Bruh!

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