Countdown to Earth Day - Environmental Issues

IceSlider

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So I've been thinking about this a lot...the elephant in our room...we skate on ice that's kept frozen by artificial means, using quite a bit of energy. As the climate warms... that's more energy to be used to keep our surface frozen...unless that's green energy...that's more CO2...couple of things, "Green" rinks how can we make them (without resorting to plastic ice - yuk)? If we keep on heating up, how long before lots of people figure out the best place to stay a nice temperture is in an ice rink...watch out...patch ice and the nice quiet public sessions may just be about to get mobbed!!! :plush::shizuka1::sarah1::sasha1::eek:...
 

ballettmaus

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Ice hockey is even worse, especially in the US. Think about how long into the year they're playing, how often they're playing and often, they're having basketball games in the same arena.
 

IceSlider

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That figure skating is energy and therefore CO2 intensive has long nagged at me as a fan. :slinkaway
Maybe there's hope...the reaction to my post spurred me to do some quick research...I found that some clever people are already on the case... co-locating swimming pools with ice rinks seems to be the way to go, where waste heat from the rink gets used to heat the pool.

This example from Swindon UK:

and this from Michigan USA:

And an interesting one from Sweden that seems to be using CO2 as a coolant!

I guess they still consume energy so building lots of rink/pool combos won't be the answer (but it might sort give us more space!) but it could be better than building just a rink or swimming pool on its own alone...hmm...now I'm beginning to like this idea... if every pool got a rink upgrade... :)
 

ballettmaus

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I'm so tired of politicians talking about climate change and not doing anything. The head of the CDU now wants to talk to all parties and get a nation/party-wide consensus on what should be done (because it's so simple to get several parties on the same page and we're not pressed for time or anything) before they start doing something. How about they just start to do something? There are plenty of suggestions. Pick one and do it. :mad:
 
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BlueRidge

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An increase in fires and ensuing deforestation in the Amazon make it even more difficult, if not impossible, for countries to hold global warming to “well below” 3.6 degrees (2 degrees Celsius) compared with preindustrial levels, as called for in the Paris climate Agreement.
Isn't this like a global emergency then? Like if it is just allowed to go on, nothing else that is done about climate change will matter?
 

ballettmaus

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Isn't this like a global emergency then? Like if it is just allowed to go on, nothing else that is done about climate change will matter?
You know, it's all fine. Climate has always been changing. (That was seriously a comment I've been reading a few variations of in answer to Chuck Schumer pointing out that July was the hottest month on record ever, everywhere. Never mind that climate change wasn't man-made then and it didn't go so well for whoever/whatever was living on the planet at the time).
 

BlueRidge

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You know, it's all fine. Climate has always been changing. (That was seriously a comment I've been reading a few variations of in answer to Chuck Schumer pointing out that July was the hottest month on record ever, everywhere. Never mind that climate change wasn't man-made then and it didn't go so well for whoever/whatever was living on the planet at the time).
The speed of the change is the issue. Sure earth was much hotter millions of years ago(not when humans were here) and much of the Northern hemisphere was covered with ice just a few thousands of years ago.

And we're talking now about change happening on a scale of decades.

We can only wish this would penetrate people's defenses and get them to understand what is at stake.

But as we know only too well, the people who don't want to accept that climate change is a threat to humanity simply find whatever argument suits them and cling to it. :(
 

BlueRidge

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The Democratic National Committee has voted to reject a resolution to host a primary debate singularly focused on climate change, despite mounting calls for one from activists and candidates as the risks posed by global warming become a top priority for voters.
What in the name of fck is wrong with these people? They are deniers in their own way that they don't accept that climate change is addressed or we won't have any long-term chance to address anything!
 

BlueRidge

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Glimmer of hope in this, in that maybe Bolsonaro will respond to international pressure:

Brazil Plans to Mobilize the Military to Fight Fires in the Amazon

RIO DE JANEIRO — Facing global scorn over environmental policies that have contributed to a rash of fires in the Amazon, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil said Friday that he was planning to send the military to contain the blazes.

After being largely dismissive about the fires earlier in the week, and claiming without evidence that they were probably set by environmental groups in an effort to undermine him, Mr. Bolsonaro’s administration appeared rattled on Friday.

“Whatever is within our power we will do,” Mr. Bolsonaro told reporters on Friday after a late-night emergency cabinet meeting on Thursday. “The problem is resources.”
The crisis is not just the immediate fires, though they are terrible, but the fear that Brazil under Bolsonaro will destroy the Amazon over time. Let's hope that Bolsonaro realizes that the calls to boycott Brazil economically and for Europe to scuttle a new trade deal are things he cannot ignore and that he'll alter his policies.
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
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7,177
He is truly a Trump brother from another mother. He has spent his week mocking the public outcry by suggesting people help the environment have a bowel movement every other day instead of daily rather than waste time complaining unnecessarily about rainforest fires. I hope the outside pressure will help.
 

ballettmaus

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Just came across this piece by the Bulletin for Atomic Scientists. It explains why nuclear power is not a viable alternative. https://thebulletin.org/2019/08/the-false-promise-of-nuclear-power-in-an-age-of-climate-change/#

According to the US Energy Information Agency, the average nuclear power generating cost is about $100 per megawatt-hour. Compare this with $50 per megawatt-hour for solar and $30 to $40 per megawatt-hour for onshore wind.
No technological system is ever perfect, but the vulnerability of nuclear power is particularly great. Improvements in design cannot eliminate the possibility of lethal meltdowns. These may result from extreme weather; from geophysical events such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis (such as the one that caused the Fukushima event); from technical failure; and from unavoidable human error. Climate change itself works against nuclear power; severe droughts have led to the shutting down of reactors as the surrounding waters become too warm to provide the vital cooling function.
The latter was an issue in France and the west of Germany during the July heatwave.


Nuclear reactors also raise the problem of nuclear waste, for which no adequate solution has been found despite a half-century of scientific and engineering effort.

...

Under the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act, the United States was required to develop a permanent repository for nuclear waste; nearly 40 years later, we still lack that repository.
 

BlueRidge

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The Washington Post has a new analysis showing that 10% of the earth has now surpassed 2 degrees Celsius of warming:

Dangerous new hot zones are spreading around the world

This article looks at the implications: Six takeaways from The Post’s analysis of the globe’s fastest-warming areas

A Washington Post analysis of four global temperature data sets, spanning from the 1800s to the present, has found that dangerous hot spots are spreading around the planet — on land and in the oceans alike.

The analysis, using data from U.S. federal scientists as well as several academic groups, finds that over the past five years — the hottest on record — about 10 percent of the planet has exceeded warming of over 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scientists have identified this as a clear line that the planet as a whole must not cross. But in some locations, it has already happened.

Areas that have warmed by 1.5 degrees Celsius — another crucial marker — are about twice as common. And thus, in many of the scenarios that we considered, they already exceed 20 percent of the Earth’s area over in the last five years.
 

BlueRidge

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Trump Administration to Finalize Rollback of Clean Water Protections (NY Times)

The rollback of the 2015 measure, known as the Waters of the United States rule, has been widely expected since the early days of the Trump administration, when President Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to begin the work of repealing and replacing it.

Weakening the Obama-era water rule had been a central campaign pledge for Mr. Trump, who characterized it as a federal land-grab that impinged on the rights of farmers, rural landowners and real estate developers to use their property as they see fit.
That last sentence. I mean, really. People are not using their own property when they dump poison into water that flows on many people's property and impacts ecosystems that are shared and needed by many people.

You know I'm sick of these fcking lies. Why can't they just say, we don't care if you fcking die, we don't care if the earth is inhabitable beyond our next financial report. We don't care about life, we believe might makes right and if we can poison you to make more in profits, we'll do it.

But of course, at least so far the people who want to destroy all environmental protections have done so by getting votes rather than by private armies (but why shouldn't they have that right, after all it is their property, isn't it? :rolleyes: ). They do that by getting people who have been brainwashed to only care that liberals are bad to support anything that liberals don't like. Oh but god don't suggest those voters aren't thinking and acting more rationally than everyone else, that would be so bigoted. Liberals made them do it because they said something mean about them once.

I'm pissed off. 😡
 

BlueRidge

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Inside Conservative Groups’ Effort to ‘Make Dishwashers Great Again’

I'm not going to quote the psycho crap detailed in this article, suffice it to say that there is a real sickness out there among people who think that they can simply wish away ecological realities. I say make them clean their own air, clean their own water, and pay every cent it costs. Then come back and tell us how they don't need environmental regulations.

Where do these people think clean water comes from? Where do they think clean air comes from? They are such thumb-sucking babies they really believe its all there for the taking and never can be polluted?

I'm so sick of this sick, sick, sick crap that has been sold to people through trillions of dollars of marketing.

NO you don't own the air and you can't pollute it and tell us that somehow it is yours so the government should not regulate anything because the rest of us should just what??? Why is it your air, libertarian psychos?? How did you come to own it?? Unmask the authoritarianism, freedom my ass, no freedom at all, the rich take even the air we breathe and claim to "own" it.


These people's brains are completely demented. They are sick. And yet they control one of the main political parties and have heavy influence often on the other.
 

BittyBug

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I have been avoiding this thread because it is just too depressing, but the Trump administration plans to revoke California's waiver to set its own emission standards, which are followed by 13 other states. The move is not only opposed by the participating states (obviously) but also many industry leaders, including a number of the auto companies. It also completely contradicts their presumed support for federalism (I guess that's only a thing if you're opposed to abortion and gun control).

There is absolutely no sound reason to revoke the waiver, but what the heck, let's just continue to scorch the earth and screw future generations so that Trump can enact revenge on a liberal state that despises him.
 

BlueRidge

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There is absolutely no sound reason to revoke the waiver, but what the heck, let's just continue to scorch the earth and screw future generations so that Trump can enact revenge on a liberal state that despises him.
It was actually this that most set me off in the post above yours. I just can't even articulate my feelings about how Trump and Republicans have come to the point where what happens in the real world doesn't even matter to them as if they live in a media bubble where what happens on Twitter and Cable TV is all there is and no real world problem can touch them.

They just want to dismantle environmental regulations because then they score points on Democrats, of course egged on by billionaires and their political lackeys who think that profits also nullify real world realities like pollution and climate change.

I think these people really do believe they are immune from being impacted from anything in nature. They seem absolutely gleeful a the idea of destroying the planet as if the planet itself were a political opponent.
 

BittyBug

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Yup. It's all about owning the libs.

I saw a clip of Greta Thunberg on Trevor Noah's show and he asked her what differences she saw between attitudes towards climate change in the U.S. vs. Sweden. Her response was priceless. With a Spock-like, clinical tone, she said the in the U.S. people talk about whether climate change is real or not, whereas in Sweden people acknowledge the facts and science, and talk about what to do about it.

When did this country become so deliberately stupid?

ETA: Jinx that we were both referencing Thunberg. How said is it when a 17-year old is the rational voice in the conversation?
 

BlueRidge

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The Guardian mentions that among the young people testifying is Benji Backer who considers himself a conservative and says, "to President Trump - climate change is real. It’s not a hoax.” He is part of a group of young conservatives who are concerned about the environment. Their website is here: https://www.acc.eco/

Part of me says this is very good, we need to have a way out of the echo-chamber for conservatives. Part of me doesn't feel all that good about it because we need radical changes to our way of conducting our economy and I can't really see how conservatives are going to embrace that.

OTOH, there's also a problem with what a lot of the leftwing young activists are advocating as far as I'm concerned as well. They too don't go far enough. And until I see them all fore saking their smart phones, I'm not going to entirely take them seriously. I don't agree that "all" we need to do to save the planet is convert to renewable energy. We have to reduce our use of energy and materials and minerals and that's going to mean a radical change in how we live and how we use technology. See this article:

To decarbonize we must decomputerize: why we need a Luddite revolution (The Guardian)
 

BittyBug

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Sadly, the first required step is acknowledgment that the climate crisis is an existential threat, so I am all for anyone who will at least concede that, obvious though it may be. If we establish the existence of a crisis as a baseline, we can then realistically debate solutions.
 

Japanfan

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Part of me says this is very good, we need to have a way out of the echo-chamber for conservatives. Part of me doesn't feel all that good about it because we need radical changes to our way of conducting our economy and I can't really see how conservatives are going to embrace that.
I don't see those radical change happening soon enough to make a difference before we reach a crisis point. Radical changes to our economy could mean job losses (though some jobs would be created by the green economy) and losses of job opportunities. And big corporations would have to stop controlling our economies and polluting our environments (e.g. cruise ships need to stop dumping their garbage in the ocean).

Some 15 years ago or so I remember an environmental economist saying that we needs to stop the wheels of production and consumption. In which case, we would need to return to a more subsistence oriented lifestyle. For example, I'd buy the fabrics for my clothing and linens, and sew them myself or get someone to sew them for me - when such actions are taken collectively, they would eliminate or reduce the need for mass production in factories.

But I don't know that a lot of people would willingly adopt a subsistence lifestyle, especially given that societies/economies don't support it. A person needs a certain amount of assets to buy a home, for example, and a person living a subsistence lifestyle would probably not have them.

I do think there must be alternatives to subsistence should a green economy be pursued. But I have not seen any plans or proposals for that. Although TBH there probably are some, I don't do a lot of reading about the issue.
 

BlueRidge

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Well no, my expectations are that the very minimum that could be done will be done over the next few decades.

Then the rich will commandeer all resources and maintain their lifestyles with vast technological fixes. And billions will suffer and perish.

But when the future historians look back, they'll be like gee, that was too bad that all happened. I pretty much see a future of essentially a "spaceship" earth--extreme technological engineering maintained by the humans who survive and perhaps even thrive, although given where technology is going they may not much resemble the humans of today.
 

Jot the Dot Dot

Headstrong Buzzard
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For anyone who thinks we need to save the environment by phasing out all fossil fuels and nuclear energy and replace them with Solar Panels and Windmills/turbines, given that solar panels need to be replaced every 20 or so years (they degrade by 1% per year, making their continuation at some point untenable), and windmills the same (I've read reports varying their lifespan at between 12-25 years), how can one refer to them as "Renewable" resources? Especially when it's not just someone's barn, single family dwelling or greenhouse one plans to power, BUT THE WHOLE NATION?
 

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