Sincere Question - Straight Answer

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by Felt, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    TimBikes, I love your attitude. I can't do it all, so I'll do f*** all!
    Isn't it good that builders don't think like that? Imagine building an iconic building single handedly. A bridge or even a school.

    What would be the time frame for global warming if everyone globally followed the example of Germany in cutting emissions then multiplied those efforts by 10?

    Every journey starts with 1 step.
     
  2. philobeddoe

    philobeddoe ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    thank you man :tea:
     
  3. kenmce

    kenmce High Voltage Member

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    oxnardprof:
    I think a change in social values is needed. Why do we strive to have the maximum financial wealth possible?

    Instinct. Wealth = power + safety + increased mating opportunity.


    Is it admirable to own multiple homes?

    Don't know if it's admirable, but it is pleasant.


    To own the most, best largest etc?

    it's like the peacocks feathers. A conspicuous display of fitness that (almost) cannot be faked.


    What material wealth is desirable?


    We don't seem to have any instinctive limits in this direction.
     
  4. Midpack

    Midpack Member

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    1) re: QUOTE above. To begin with, I agree with you, my wife and I avoid buying new stuff as much as possible and we've been decluttering for years. We live in a modest home for our means, and will downsize when we move again. And I agree Americans especially need to end their obsession with 'new stuff.' However, people (incl many Americans) are employed making, transporting, distributing and selling all this stuff - there is a real economic impact if we all start buying stuff only when necessary. Our economy will have to go through a painful 'reset,' and in part that's what is going on now. Whether or not Americans will resume their mindless pursuit of 'stuff' again when the recession ends is the $64K question.

    2) To the OP: OK, I won't debate GW since I agree for the most part even though some of it, notably Gore, is deliberately exaggerated IMO. But discussing solutions without facing the economics involved is a waste of time. Alternative energy sources as we know them today, even more technically evolved, will increase our energy costs. There is no stronger impulse for human beings collectively than to improve their standard of living, despite what they might preach. There are people who put their money where their mouths are WRT the environment and other causes, but they are in the minority and always will be. I didn't want to believe it when I was younger, but until we are forced by government OR costs/availability force us to change our behavior - collectively we won't.

    Cost example: To me it's a no-brainer that we need to substantially reduce our gasoline consumption (not a question of if it will run out, only when), but only higher gas prices will make that happen IMO, and so I'd rather see gasoline taxes before any further income taxes. That's what made in happen in Europe and many other countries.

    Legislation example: Americans had no interest whatsover in the safety features of cars in the 50's, 60's, 70's or so. Seatbelts were an option, and many people buckled them permanently and sat on them. Then came legislation forcing more and more safety features and finally, now the mainstream actually looks for safety features. IMO, never would have happened without automakers and consumers being forced to do so.

    I'd go on, but not what you're looking for so I'll leave it at that.
     
  5. TimBikes

    TimBikes New Member

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    OK - you're right Pat. There are about 140 countries in the world. If each can delay global warming by 10 hours at a cost of $150 billion, that would be a 1400 hour (58 day) delay at a cost of something like $21 trillion.
     
  6. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    What fecal matter source did you pull those numbers from, Tim?
     
  7. TimBikes

    TimBikes New Member

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    http://www.unhabitat.org/pmss/getElectronicVersion.asp?nr=2636&alt=1

    P. 10 - 11. Then do the math.

    This is very typical - grandiose schemes to "save the planet from global warming" with no consideration as to actual cost vs. ostensible temperature reductions (even assuming the GCMs are correct, which they aren't).

    However, I will say that McKinsey & Co. did a nice cost analysis a few years ago that looked at various GHG reduction strategies and found quite a few that were economically viable in addition to being effective at reducing GHGs. Those should be the sort of things we should looked at. A good place to start would be methane capture, which is not only economically beneficial but also captures a gas that is 25 x more potent than CO2 in "global warming potential".
     
  8. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Whenever the question of water ecology and conservation comes up, I find myself on the opposite side of the fence of most environmentalists, because I usually find the scientific basis of their arguments flawed (not including deep ground water).

    If water is used for *anything*, and then evaporates, rains, is captured, and used again -- how can 'waste' be an argument ? Now, if an area only has a certain amount of water and competing uses, that is a different question, but not the one I hear raised. E.g. regarding this question of sewage transport, if the transport medium is recycled, then I fail to see why it matters whether the water was used for sewage or a pool.

    I'll also point out that water used in agriculture has a dual purpose: on one hand the water is a building block used by plants; but the other action is water decomposing soil for the plant's use.
     
  9. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    SageBrush,

    I agree with you about the recycle aspects of water. To me it really doesn't matter if it is going through the sewer to the waste treatment facility IF (as you noted) it is not deep ground water that cannot be replenished. In my case local water is coming from wells in the river's alluvial aquifer. So while I've cut my draw down tremendously in the past year (and much more than that compared to the prior owner) there is little effective water loss from my in-home use. Rather there is cost associated with pumping energy/infrastructure and waste treatment--essentially incremental service charges. If enough in my area reduce water use as much as I have, then capital outlays for our municipal water transport and sewage treatment will be considerably reduced in the future.

    I differ about evaporation. Water lost to evaporation does not return to the same area and therefore must be subtracted from the regional balance. This makes yard irrigation and crop irrigation much more wasteful of water...particularly when the water used is from deep wells.
     
  10. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Especially the methane clathrate in the Canadian Arctic region. I'm in favor of extracting this resource, due to the fact it represents a potent source for global warming, if the climate does markedly warm up

    Compared to regular methane, eg "natural gas," methane clathrate has far greater energy density. A solid litre of methane clathrate at standard temperature and pressure represents 168 litres of methane gas

    Hence the enormous potential for many countries to adapt a clean, long-term energy source
     
  11. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Is Methane not oxidized to CO2 and H2O when burnt as a fuel ?
     
  12. TimBikes

    TimBikes New Member

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    True - but methane (on farms, for instance) typically arises from farm animals that have consumed plant material. That plant material would have originally taken co2 out of the air during photosynthesis. So I don't think it really counts as a net increase in co2.

    In addition, co2 has much less "warming potential" than methane, so in theory it would be better to capture the methane and burn it than to release it directly.

     
  13. warrior

    warrior New Member

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    I know what you mean. I biked from Seattle going up to Vancover Island. Port Angeles back to Paso Robles on my Medici Grand touring.
     
  14. warrior

    warrior New Member

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    Don't forget the Condumns!!:(
     
  15. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Assuming perfectly efficient combustion, here is how:

    CH4 + O2 - CO + H2 + H20

    2H2 + O2 - 2H2O

    2CO + O2 - 2CO2

    I agree, especially when discussing methane clathrate. We absolutely do NOT want clathrates to melt on their own!

    This will get complicated, so bear with me

    The GWP or "Global Warming Potential" is calculated for a variety of gases, and typically are estimated over 100 years. The gases that also cause "radiative forcing" are important too. GWP isn't an exact science by any means, but it's useful to compare numbers

    CO2 has a calculated GWP = 1

    CH4 has a calculated GWP(100) = 25

    HFC-23 has a calculated GWP(100) = 14,800

    HFC-134a has a calculated GWP(100) = 1,430

    SF6 has a calculated GWP(100) = 22,800

    Chlorinated gases, such as Freon, also can cause ozone damage in the upper atmosphere

    Until very recently, little attention has been paid to CH4. We've focused almost all of our collective attention on CO2. I much prefer efficient combustion of CH4, over letting it freely mingle in the atmosphere
     
  16. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    No glove, no love!
     
  17. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Right, burning is better than melting. That is not clean, it is just less dirty. So, with the help of our friends like Tim here, we will reach the point where artic melt is inevitable.
     
  18. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    There is evidence that a clathrate "explosion" during the Cambrian. This article is fascinating

    http://www.gps.caltech.edu/users/jkirschvink/pdfs/KirschvinkRaubComptesRendus.pdf

    Leaving aside the issue of whether human activity itself will cause such an explosive methane release, there does appear to be geologic evidence of such events, at least from the Cambrian period

    Although we should pay attention to CO2 I feel that we have failed to recognize the importance of potent and proven GHG's that can dramatically increase radiative forcing.

    I think we have to consider not only unique Earth-based processes going on, such as geomagnetic reversals, but also solar and extrasolar events
     
  19. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    It would be far better to stop using coal and replace it with... well, anything. But even methane produces only half as much CO2 per useful energy released as does coal. Given Hobson's Choice it would be better to burn methane than to simply dump it into the air, as would happen if those clathrates start to melt.
     
  20. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    It is MUCH better to combust CH4 than to allow it to escape it into the atmosphere. CH4 has 25X the GWP of CO2
     
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