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The Climate, Environment and Energy Thread

It seems a rather glaring omission that the greatest crisis we have ever faced has no thread of its own. So, being the woke bleeding heart that I am, here goes :

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/nov/18/australias-climate-record-labelled-simply-embarrassing-and-among-worst-of-g20-nations

Hopefully Scomo held on to that lump of coal rather than burning it.

Re: The Climate Thread

Reply #1
Interesting thread PaulP.

What are the low carbon options, and do they have to be renewable?

Wind
Solar PV
Solar Thermal
Solar Hydrogen
Nuclear
Tidal
Geothermal
The are significant boosters for various technologies, I'm not sure the answer is as clear as many claim.

It'll be 30 years before the 100% renewables can meet the needed demand, so it seems somewhat controversial to cut out other various low carbon options that are tagged as dirty. Accelerating the rate of renewable production makes carbon emissions worse in the short term, there is a cost to rapidly scaling up, that means reductions targets become problematic to startups.

Solar PV and WInd basically come from foreign dirty manufacturing centres, it's hypocritical to claim Solar PV is clean just because the mess that made it isn't in your own backyard. Conveniently for those industries the climate and economic accounting sits strongly locked away behind the red terror.

I'll try and find the study, I'm not well enough informed to verify it's content, but the emissions targets basically set out a group of conditions that meant growing and burning timber continuously was carbon neutral and renewable.
The Force Awakens!

Re: The Climate Thread

Reply #2
Without turning it into a Covid thread I'd be interested to know what effect the activity during the virus has had on  emissions.
A lot less traffic on the roads.
Industry not operating at normal capacity.
Electricity in office spaces would have been a lot less.
Many reports of clearer air above normally smog bound cities.

Some of these activities may never return to normal levels and some areas of our lives and behaviour will change forever.
Combined with an American lead that seems keen to address climate issues will it be turning point.

Re: The Climate Thread

Reply #3
All pointless until China does something.  They never will


Re: The Climate Thread

Reply #5
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/09/revealed-20-firms-third-carbon-emissions
I appreciate you can't make fuel into carbon if they don't dig it up first, but you aren't forced into buying it either!

Which is perhaps the trick with China, you don't have to buy what they sell!
The Force Awakens!

Re: The Climate Thread

Reply #6
Without turning it into a Covid thread I'd be interested to know what effect the activity during the virus has had on  emissions.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-0797-x#:~:text=Before%20the%20COVID-19%20pandemic,%2C4%20(see%20Methods).&text=The%20emergence%20of%20COVID-19,Organization%20on%2011%20March%202020.
The Force Awakens!

Re: The Climate Thread

Reply #7
I'll believe we are serious when we start looking at nuclear.

The only issue with nuclear is if it goes Chernobyl.

They have even discovered ways to recycle the waste into batteries.

Come on you Blue FLAGGERS!!

"everything you know is wrong"

Paul Hewson

Re: The Climate Thread

Reply #8
I'll believe we are serious when we start looking at nuclear.

The only issue with nuclear is if it goes Chernobyl.

They have even discovered ways to recycle the waste into batteries.
Yes, I realise there are issues around nuclear, but I'm fairly certain the lack of support for it is under-pinned by vested interests in other technologies. The anti-nuclear brigade always reference 50 year old technology systems. Of course some are just professionals protesting against all and any change, they aren't going to convince anyone who holds even just a modicum of knowledge on the subject.

In recent years I worked in the area of additive manufacturing, that has covered a surprisingly wide scope, everything from replacement hips to printable solar cells. The long term promise is to produce very cheap printable solar cell films, that can be laminated to surfaces like existing roofing or tiles, we are talking figures of $1 to $3 per square meter. But the scientists have done the sums, and even if this stuff had twice the efficiency of current technologies(Up from about 23% to 45%) and covered every available square meter of roof space in the country it would still fall short of demand at various times of the year.  What the solar boosters do not tell you is that they project the need will be for supplementary solar farms consuming space equivalent to the area of Tasmania, and nobody is prepared to predict what effect that will have on environment, it would certain change the planets albedo(reflectivity), and that has an impact on temperature and humidity.

Now do no take my post as an anti-solar position, I'm just postulating the stupidity of a single solution approach. Which is why I also see nuclear as a part of the solution, and many other technologies as well.

btw., Where do you put a nuclear plant?
It turns out the perfect place to put one is right next door to a desalination plant fixing two problems with one facility. It makes it very hard to believe Australia isn't a leader in this rather than an objector! Further on of the future carbon neutral technologies is clean hydrogen, produced from sea-water, where do you do that, right next door to the desalination and nuclear plant!

What are some one of the by-products of hydrogen production from sea-water?
Deuterium, Heavy Water and even Helium-3 in small quantities. Materials needed for use in the operation of the ultimate clean energy source, fusion reactors which the EU and UN is pouring trillions of dollars into developing, several new fusion pilot sites will be running before the end of this decade, none of them in Australia, despite Australia providing some of the leader researchers!

Yet we pour billions into buying very dirtily produced (well not in my backyard) cheap as crap solar PV cells, made using bucket chemistry in the virtual slave labour conditions of China, like the fumes and by-products never cross the border! An industry that in the 2000s is the equivalent of a 1970s asbestos sheet production facility! If produced in the correct clean safe and controlled environment they'd be costing us 5x the price to install and would need to last 50 years to get a payback, they barely last 15 years now, in fact the company that installed them will be long gone before you get to exercise your 20 year warranty! The real solar PV panel cost, not the buy price but the cost, should roughly be the equivalent of a similarly sized TV per panel.
The Force Awakens!

Re: The Climate Thread

Reply #9
All pointless until China does something.  They never will
I'll see that and raise that with a "All pointless until Brazil stops burning up the Amazon. They never will"

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest rose more than 88% in June 2019 compared with the same month in 2018, and more than doubled in January 2020 compared with the same month in 2019. In August 2019, 30,901 individual forest fires were reported, three times the number a year earlier.
Once they Amazon goes we're all cactus. Thankfully, I'll be long gone by the time that happens.

Re: The Climate Thread

Reply #10
I think all of us need to address this issue in the deepest, most profound way possible. Individuals, governments, corporations. There's a circularity in the use and abuse of resources on the planet that implicates all of us. The Chinese don't spew out crap from their factories and the South Americans don't burn the forest just because they're bored. Until they and us stop chasing endless consumerism, cheapest prices, highest profits, unsustainable agricultural practices etc. we will go nowhere.

On an individual scale, places like China will continue to produce junk we don't need because there is a demand for it. Despite being difficult to deal with, companies will continue to invest in China mainly because labor is cheap and well educated, and unions, environmental controls etc. are minimal or non existent. Profits first, then daylight, then everything else.

On a corporate scale, Steven Donziger says hi.


Re: The Climate Thread

Reply #12
As an aside to the wider climate issues, I've been to Sidoarjo and witnessed the the effects of the Gempol disaster first hand, I was one of the few times in my life I was left speechless!
The Force Awakens!

Re: The Climate Thread

Reply #13
I think all of us need to address this issue in the deepest, most profound way possible. Individuals, governments, corporations. There's a circularity in the use and abuse of resources on the planet that implicates all of us. The Chinese don't spew out crap from their factories and the South Americans don't burn the forest just because they're bored. Until they and us stop chasing endless consumerism, cheapest prices, highest profits, unsustainable agricultural practices etc. we will go nowhere.  Correction, Pauly, without meaningful change we will be going somewhere... it's called, oblivion.

On an individual scale, places like China will continue to produce junk we don't need because there is a demand for it. Despite being difficult to deal with, companies will continue to invest in China mainly because labor is cheap and well educated, and unions, environmental controls etc. are minimal or non existent. Profits first, then daylight, then everything else.

On a corporate scale, Steven Donziger says hi.
Only our ruthless best, from Board to bootstudders will get us no. 17

Re: The Climate Thread

Reply #14
I'll believe we are serious when we start looking at nuclear.

The only issue with nuclear is if it goes Chernobyl.

They have even discovered ways to recycle the waste into batteries.


Nuclear is the elephant in the room....Solar generated power fed back into the grid causes regulation problems for power distributors and often leads to power distributors switching off feeds. Its not reliable and wind turbines are not really clean or green either and their output is trivial. You take a lot of land , kill a lot of animals, sink concrete into the ground for foundations and mine land looking for rare earth magnets for the turbines. The housings are steel with fibreglass blades in the main, its as about as green as the exhaust from my old HG Holden. You need way more material to make a wind turbine than a gas turbine.....
The way forward is Gas and Nuclear and thats where the money needs to be put to work.....