ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags !MOD BOX WARNING! , environmental activists , Greta Thunberg

Reply
Old 4th December 2019, 11:19 PM   #121
cullennz
Embarrasingly illiterate
 
cullennz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 18,482
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post

Not really

Your post doesn't say where your kids university is.

Is it somewhere he doesn't need a car as it has great public transport.

Is his student loan so massive, he can't afford to fly so it just isn't a choice he is making?
__________________
I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.102 , Jul 2, 2000
cullennz is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th December 2019, 11:26 PM   #122
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
Pronouns: he/him
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 67,359
Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Not really

Your post doesn't say where your kids university is.

Is it somewhere he doesn't need a car as it has great public transport.

Is his student loan so massive, he can't afford to fly so it just isn't a choice he is making?
Believe it or not, I do actually occasionally talk to my nephew. No, he has told me that he doesn't want to fly or drive. This came up when he returned from an exchange to Japan, and he was feeling guilty about having to fly there and back.
__________________
Self-described nerd.

My mom told me she tries never to make fun of people for not knowing something.
- Randall Munroe
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th December 2019, 11:27 PM   #123
cullennz
Embarrasingly illiterate
 
cullennz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 18,482
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Believe it or not, I do actually occasionally talk to my nephew. No, he has told me that he doesn't want to fly or drive. This came up when he returned from an exchange to Japan, and he was feeling guilty about having to fly there and back.
How long ago was the conversation?
__________________
I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.102 , Jul 2, 2000
cullennz is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th December 2019, 11:28 PM   #124
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
Pronouns: he/him
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 67,359
Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
How long ago was the conversation?
Last Christmas. I think he's been off on a boat for most of this year doing research.
__________________
Self-described nerd.

My mom told me she tries never to make fun of people for not knowing something.
- Randall Munroe
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th December 2019, 11:43 PM   #125
cullennz
Embarrasingly illiterate
 
cullennz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 18,482
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Last Christmas. I think he's been off on a boat for most of this year doing research.
Fair play to him then.

Please congratulate him on my behalf for his plan to become the first professional oceanographic scientist in Coral Reefs and climate change who will refuse to fly, or travel in a fossil fuel powered boat.

I wish the lad well.
__________________
I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.102 , Jul 2, 2000
cullennz is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th December 2019, 11:51 PM   #126
lionking
In the Peanut Gallery
 
lionking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 45,718
Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Fair play to him then.

Please congratulate him on my behalf for his plan to become the first professional oceanographic scientist in Coral Reefs and climate change who will refuse to fly, or travel in a fossil fuel powered boat.

I wish the lad well.
Insult after insult. You should be ashamed of yourself.
__________________
A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

Sir Winston Churchill
lionking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th December 2019, 11:56 PM   #127
cullennz
Embarrasingly illiterate
 
cullennz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 18,482
Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Insult after insult. You should be ashamed of yourself.
I just assumed it was a lifetime thing and not just Greta happens to be fashion atm.

Which was kind of the point of not knowing what the public transport was like or whether they could afford to fly.

I lived in London for a while and there was zero reason to own a car.
__________________
I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.102 , Jul 2, 2000
cullennz is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 12:47 AM   #128
lionking
In the Peanut Gallery
 
lionking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 45,718
Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
I just assumed it was a lifetime thing and not just Greta happens to be fashion atm.

Which was kind of the point of not knowing what the public transport was like or whether they could afford to fly.

I lived in London for a while and there was zero reason to own a car.
Insult followed by nonsense.
__________________
A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

Sir Winston Churchill
lionking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 02:41 AM   #129
cullennz
Embarrasingly illiterate
 
cullennz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 18,482
Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Insult followed by nonsense.
If you are going to have someone point to a post they have done is proof that Greta has actually done anything without letting the post be questioned on validity, don't bitch when the content gets scrutinised
__________________
I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.102 , Jul 2, 2000
cullennz is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 02:55 AM   #130
cullennz
Embarrasingly illiterate
 
cullennz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 18,482
BTW

What insult after insult?
__________________
I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.102 , Jul 2, 2000

Last edited by cullennz; 5th December 2019 at 02:57 AM.
cullennz is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 07:52 AM   #131
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 45,130
Originally Posted by lionking View Post
You’ve been oblivious to the street marches, like, everywhere?
Going to a street march isn't much of a change in behavior. It's certainly not a change in any of the behaviors that significantly affect global warming.

Quote:
But you will counter that marches and protests do nothing. Gandhi did nothing, nor did Martin Luther King. Anti Vietnam War protests were pointless; the South African government simply stopped apartheid with no external pressure at all; what were those East Berliners thinking?; do you want me to go on?
It wasn't the street marches that put pressure on South Africa. A protest event can be part of something larger, some real change. Or it can be an empty gesture. It remains to be seen if the schoolchildren skipping school will add up to a meaningful change in behavior.

Quote:
But remember, all the protests I have mentioned started with a whimper before becoming a roar. Give Greta and her army of young people a little time. I hope they are not too late to undo the damage older generations have wrought.
I'm open to arguments that Greta and her army haven't made a difference yet, and that we need to give it time. But that doesn't reconcile with the insistence that Greta is making a difference already.

Maybe in the end, the Greta movement doesn't add up to anything more than the Occupy movement.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 09:14 AM   #132
8enotto
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mexico
Posts: 1,599
Street marches generate tons of garbage, disrupt the little traffic efficiency any city has and in extreme cases cause property damages and martyrs to the cause.

S America has six countries making the news for mass protests.

Four of which are resulting in deaths, usually for political unrest. In Mexico it has been a lot of women's rights, radical feminist groups that seem to get off on spray painting on national monuments in Mex City. It seems they dislike shop windows downtown too. No one hurt yet but the police aren't doing more than blocking access to areas yet.
The ladies have caused costs of millions to undo damages and still haven't defined a demand beyond no more violence against women. As far as rights go they have more than men already.

Yeah, protest or revolution as a last resort but there are less costly ways to cause change.
8enotto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 09:28 AM   #133
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 45,130
Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
Street marches generate tons of garbage, disrupt the little traffic efficiency any city has and in extreme cases cause property damages and martyrs to the cause.

S America has six countries making the news for mass protests.

Four of which are resulting in deaths, usually for political unrest. In Mexico it has been a lot of women's rights, radical feminist groups that seem to get off on spray painting on national monuments in Mex City. It seems they dislike shop windows downtown too. No one hurt yet but the police aren't doing more than blocking access to areas yet.
The ladies have caused costs of millions to undo damages and still haven't defined a demand beyond no more violence against women. As far as rights go they have more than men already.

Yeah, protest or revolution as a last resort but there are less costly ways to cause change.
On the other hand, if the situation truly is dire, then perhaps it's too late for the less costly ways. Perhaps now is the time for revolution. Perhaps now is the time for the workers of the world to unite, and seize the means of production. In which case, Greta's antics are just more theater in a world desperate for real action.

Now, if Greta were actually preaching revolution, actually arguing for an urgent need to overthrow and replace the world order within the next 8-11 years, that would be a brave campaign.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 10:10 AM   #134
lomiller
Penultimate Amazing
 
lomiller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 10,690
Originally Posted by ceptimus View Post
Not massive, but the conversion of Lynemouth power station from coal burning to biomass burning has made a difference - total carbon emissions per joule of electrical energy produced are now greater than before.
Conflating carbon emission with emissions cause by burning fossil carbon is a longstanding climate denier technique. The problem is the introduction of fossil carbon into the carbon cycle that is, not the circulation of carbon that is already part of the carbon cycle.
__________________
"Anything's possible, but only a few things actually happen"
lomiller is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 10:22 AM   #135
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 45,130
Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Conflating carbon emission with emissions cause by burning fossil carbon is a longstanding climate denier technique. The problem is the introduction of fossil carbon into the carbon cycle that is, not the circulation of carbon that is already part of the carbon cycle.
This is confusing, though. Isn't the biomass burning in the Amazon basin (and in California, and in Australia) contributing to the 300-something gigatons of emissions that we need to cap civilization at, to prevent a >1.5 degree rise within the next 8-11 years?
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 10:52 AM   #136
crescent
Illuminator
 
crescent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3,567
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
This is confusing, though. Isn't the biomass burning in the Amazon basin (and in California, and in Australia) contributing to the 300-something gigatons of emissions that we need to cap civilization at, to prevent a >1.5 degree rise within the next 8-11 years?
If that biomass from the Amazon were replaced with regrowth, then it would not contribute towards that cap. IF there were regrowth.... (That's a big "if").

So if we have a forest that is managed pretty well, then we could grow trees, harvest them, burn them to generate electricity, replant and regrow to capture more carbon, and continue the cycle. That would not contribute towards increase in atmospheric carbon*. It would be like just another form of solar cell, in terms of carbon. That's not what is happening in the Amazon, but could be what is happening with the fuel source for Lynemouth (I'm not informed enough to judge that specific example).



*I think it might be hard to fully make it carbon neutral in practice, but in some instances it could get pretty close. The need to maintain the forest for optimum growth would consume some carbon (especially if fertilizers and pesticides are needed), as would harvest and transportation.

Last edited by crescent; 5th December 2019 at 10:56 AM.
crescent is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 11:39 AM   #137
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 45,130
Originally Posted by crescent View Post
If that biomass from the Amazon were replaced with regrowth, then it would not contribute towards that cap. IF there were regrowth.... (That's a big "if").

So if we have a forest that is managed pretty well, then we could grow trees, harvest them, burn them to generate electricity, replant and regrow to capture more carbon, and continue the cycle. That would not contribute towards increase in atmospheric carbon*. It would be like just another form of solar cell, in terms of carbon. That's not what is happening in the Amazon, but could be what is happening with the fuel source for Lynemouth (I'm not informed enough to judge that specific example).



*I think it might be hard to fully make it carbon neutral in practice, but in some instances it could get pretty close. The need to maintain the forest for optimum growth would consume some carbon (especially if fertilizers and pesticides are needed), as would harvest and transportation.
Thank you. That much I had more or less figured out, but it's good to see another take on it.

But part of what confuses me about this is the timelines involved. It takes decades for a tree to sequester the carbon released in an instant by its predecessor. But we're being told that we need to put a hard cap on emissions within the next 8-11 years, or else lock in a catastrophic temperature and sea level rise within the next century.

So while this kind of carbon-neutral biomass powerplant makes sense in the long term, and looks good on paper right now, this might not be the best time to start a biomass power plant project by releasing tons of sequestered CO2. The ten years immediately in front of us would probably be better spent sequestering more carbon first, and then burning it later, once the overall emissions are brought down to below the cap, and the crisis has been averted.

lomiller, are you arguing that biomass plants like Lynemouth, with their increased emissions, are safe to operate in terms of the looming global catastrophe, because we're going to sequester that carbon before it exceeds the hard cap within the next ten years or so?
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 11:57 AM   #138
lomiller
Penultimate Amazing
 
lomiller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 10,690
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That definitely addresses my complaint that hitching rides from princes of Monaco and YouTube sailboat celebrities wasn't a scalable strategy for sustainable living on a global scale.

But who's her audience for this?

Also, WTF is a "sort of message"?
Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

If she tries to set an example in an economic structure that at present is not built to accommodate low CO2 emissions you complain she’s putting on a show. If she doesn’t you complain she’s a hypocrite and asking others to do things she doesn’t follow here self. There is literally no course of action she could take other than “shut up and let climate change happen” that would satisfy the deniers.
__________________
"Anything's possible, but only a few things actually happen"
lomiller is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 12:09 PM   #139
ceptimus
puzzler
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6,264
Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Conflating carbon emission with emissions cause by burning fossil carbon is a longstanding climate denier technique. The problem is the introduction of fossil carbon into the carbon cycle that is, not the circulation of carbon that is already part of the carbon cycle.
You missed my post where I explained that the trees are cut down on the west coast of North America? The fuel (fossil) for the chain saws, vehicles that tow the trees to the processing plant, the processing plant itself, the trucks that take the pellets from the plant to the rail depot, the locomotives that haul the pellets across North America, the handling equipment at the ports that transfer the pellets to ships, the ships that transport the pellets across the Atlantic, the similar transport by rail and road once the pellets reach the UK - none of that is counted by the UK as fossil fuel burned to generate electricity.

Sure the trees that are cut down are replaced by saplings. After about two hundred years or so, if those saplings grow into mature trees, then they are carbon neutral. There's still the unfortunate two hundred year gap where they're not - plus all the real fossil fuel used in the processing and transport of the pellets.

In terms of combating the 'climate crisis' the conversion of the power station is wholly negative. Over the projected lifetime of the power station, more carbon dioxide will be added to the atmosphere than if the plant had continued to run on coal.

Add to that the fact that there was nothing preventing the power station from planting saplings WITHOUT cutting down the mature trees in the first place.

It's all just greenwashing. The Czech company could make a profit because there were subsidies available for "sustainable power generation", no one has to count the emissions caused by the ships, locomotives, etc. because they (mostly) aren't in the UK. The government can claim it's meeting its targets on emissions and reduced coal burning. Everything is great except for the unfortunate fact that the planet is warming faster because of the conversion.

Anyway, I got paid for my work on the power station conversion. It wasn't my choice - I had to do it as part of my job. I and my colleagues also made lots of journeys up and down the M1/A1 to do the work. I'm confident that the fuel we burned doing that was a drop in a bucket compared to the ongoing emissions from the, now, fully functional "green" power station.

Last edited by ceptimus; 5th December 2019 at 12:15 PM.
ceptimus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 12:22 PM   #140
crescent
Illuminator
 
crescent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3,567
Originally Posted by ceptimus View Post
You missed my post where I explained that the trees are cut down on the west coast of North America? The fuel (fossil) for the chain saws, vehicles that tow the trees to the processing plant, the processing plant itself, the trucks that take the pellets from the plant to the rail depot, the locomotives that haul the pellets across North America, the handling equipment at the ports that transfer the pellets to ships, the ships that transport the pellets across the Atlantic, the similar transport by rail and road once the pellets reach the UK - none of that is counted by the UK as fossil fuel burned to generate electricity.
If true, that's unfortunate.


Quote:
....Sure the trees that are cut down are replaced by saplings. After about two hundred years or so, if those saplings grow into mature trees, then they are carbon neutral. There's still the unfortunate two hundred year gap where they're not - ....
It is very, very unlikely that they are cutting down 200 year old trees. Timber harvest rotations run on about a 40-year cycle, pulp plantations run an even shorter cycle. Harvesting for biomass could be on a much shorter cycle. Trees grow fast when they are young, old trees just don't put on biomass very quickly.

Last edited by crescent; 5th December 2019 at 12:37 PM.
crescent is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 12:25 PM   #141
ceptimus
puzzler
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6,264
Originally Posted by crescent View Post
It is very, very unlikely that they are cutting down 200 year old trees. Timber harvest rotations run on about a 40-year cycle, pulp plantations run and even shorter cycle. Harvesting for biomass could be on a much shorter cycle. Trees grow fast when they are young, old trees just don't put on biomass very quickly.
Fair point. The power station probably won't last even 40 years though.

Another thing is that when it was burning coal, it used to be ramped up and down with demand, but now that it's classed as green and sustainable, it runs flat out 24/7 providing base load.
ceptimus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 12:33 PM   #142
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 45,130
Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Have you stopped beating your wife yet?
I don't know what this means in this context.

Quote:
If she tries to set an example in an economic structure that at present is not built to accommodate low CO2 emissions you complain she’s putting on a show. If she doesn’t you complain she’s a hypocrite and asking others to do things she doesn’t follow here self. There is literally no course of action she could take other than “shut up and let climate change happen” that would satisfy the deniers.
I say she's putting on a show because I think she's not actually trying to set an example. She's making a half-assed gesture towards the idea of setting an example - i.e., putting on a show.

"Sort of send a message"? We're on the verge of a global catastrophe. Don't you think this merits more than a "sort of" from people like Greta, who claim to be incensed by the urgent need and lack of action?

And look at her latest voyage. She needed a crew member on short notice. Not because she was actually under any real time constraint. She had weeks to book a plane ticket. That would have been the practical solution. It would probably have been the most responsible solution, if her presence at COP25 were really so important as to justify some air travel.

But she needed a crew member "on short notice" because she wanted to spend those weeks sailing to COP25. To "sort of" send a message. So the crew member gets on a plane and flies to the US. That is neither the practical solution nor the principled solution. It doesn't even support the idea that it's important for Greta to attend COP25 at all.

And look at what the crew member says about why she flew over: She did it to meet Greta in person. That's fan-club behavior. That's Gretamessiah-tier stuff.

And why is "sustainable carbon-neutral globetrotting isn't practical right now" such an important message to send at this juncture? Such an important message to "sort of" send? Why is it more important than, say, "nobody should be flying at all, unless the need is great"? She could repudiate this sailing clown who flew around the world to sit at the feet of St. Thunberg for a couple weeks. She could explain that she, like all the other scientists and diplomats, is flying to COP25 because the need justifies the expense. That would have satisfied me. But that's not what she did.

Sustainable carbon-neutral global travel for the masses is a goal that can probably wait until mid-century at least. Until after the looming catastrophe is averted by a drastic reduction of non-critical emissions across the board. But for some reason she's chosen to make this issue front and center this week. Sort of.

---

Personally, I don't buy that this was her intended message. It sounds like a post hoc, ad hoc rationalization. I think she started out naively hoping to set an example of sustainable, low-emissions travel by boat instead of plane. But neither she nor anyone in her entourage actually stopped to think through the implications and trade-offs in this. They just assumed it would work out, with a bit of social-media begging perhaps.

Then, when they got surprised by necessity, and had to start explaining all these plane trips anyway, and the non-scalability of her solution, and all the other impracticalities they'd discovered, they came up with this half assed "sort of send a message" thing.

Last edited by theprestige; 5th December 2019 at 12:43 PM.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 12:37 PM   #143
lomiller
Penultimate Amazing
 
lomiller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 10,690
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
This is confusing, though. Isn't the biomass burning in the Amazon basin (and in California, and in Australia) contributing to the 300-something gigatons of emissions that we need to cap civilization at, to prevent a >1.5 degree rise within the next 8-11 years?
Did I mention the Amazon of say I thought it was an issue?

FWIW:
People are just easily mislead by uptake numbers as they are by emission numbers. What matters is how much carbon is stored semi-permanently. Plants in the amazon absorb a lot of carbon, but plant material breaks down very quickly when the plants die so doesn’t keep the carbon in sequestration.

Overall, temperate forests keep more carbon in storage than tropical so cutting them down releases more carbon than cutting down tropical forests.
__________________
"Anything's possible, but only a few things actually happen"
lomiller is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 12:42 PM   #144
lomiller
Penultimate Amazing
 
lomiller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 10,690
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post

lomiller, are you arguing that biomass plants like Lynemouth,
Do you understand the distention between trees and plants? Deforestation can be a contributor to climate change, but using biomass to generate electricity does not necessitate deforestation.
__________________
"Anything's possible, but only a few things actually happen"
lomiller is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 12:47 PM   #145
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 45,130
Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Did I mention the Amazon of say I thought it was an issue?

FWIW:
People are just easily mislead by uptake numbers as they are by emission numbers. What matters is how much carbon is stored semi-permanently. Plants in the amazon absorb a lot of carbon, but plant material breaks down very quickly when the plants die so doesn’t keep the carbon in sequestration.

Overall, temperate forests keep more carbon in storage than tropical so cutting them down releases more carbon than cutting down tropical forests.
You pushed back on the idea that the biomass plant being carbon-negative was a problem, because carbon released from burning biomass can be re-sequestered.

This is confusing to me because of the timelines involved. It it really safe to be operating carbon-negative biomass plants at this juncture? What I understand, from listening to the science, is that if we don't bring overall emissions down, drastically, immediately, it doesn't matter how much carbon we plan to re-sequester later on. We need to be sequestering more carbon in biomass right now, not burning more biomass. Right?
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 12:48 PM   #146
ceptimus
puzzler
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6,264
A mature forest neither absorbs nor emits carbon - the carbon absorbed and incorporated into the growing trees is given back to the atmosphere when those trees eventually burn or rot.

If you want to remove carbon from the atmosphere by growing trees, then you either need to continually increase the proportion of land covered by trees (clearly not sustainable) or somehow cut down and bury mature trees without burning significant amounts of fossil fuel in the process. I suppose that might be possible in theory, given timber management and mining equipment that could be powered by solar or wind-power electricity. It's certainly not happening at the moment, and I don't see any government or industry planning to move to such clean wood-burying technology.
ceptimus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 12:49 PM   #147
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 45,130
Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Do you understand the distention between trees and plants? Deforestation can be a contributor to climate change, but using biomass to generate electricity does not necessitate deforestation.
My understanding is that Lynemouth is not powered by fresh carbon-sequestration plantings in an emissions-neutral cycle. Do I have that wrong?
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 12:51 PM   #148
lomiller
Penultimate Amazing
 
lomiller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 10,690
Originally Posted by crescent View Post
It is very, very unlikely that they are cutting down 200 year old trees. Timber harvest rotations run on about a 40-year cycle, pulp plantations run an even shorter cycle. Harvesting for biomass could be on a much shorter cycle. Trees grow fast when they are young, old trees just don't put on biomass very quickly.
Old trees are also much more valuable for the timber. The big issue wrt land use is cutting down forests and replacing them with grasslands. Replacing old forests with young forest for timber production has a smaller impact, but that isn’t happening much anymore because there isn’t a lot of old growth forest left in temperate climates.
__________________
"Anything's possible, but only a few things actually happen"
lomiller is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 12:59 PM   #149
ceptimus
puzzler
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6,264
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My understanding is that Lynemouth is not powered by fresh carbon-sequestration plantings in an emissions-neutral cycle. Do I have that wrong?
You have it right. And any such emissions-neutral cycle shouldn't involve transporting biomass a quarter of the way around the world.

The significant biomass-burning power stations in the UK and parts of Europe do involve such long-distance transport. because land is too valuable here to use it to grow stuff you're intending to burn.
ceptimus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 01:04 PM   #150
lomiller
Penultimate Amazing
 
lomiller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 10,690
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
She had weeks to book a plane ticket. That would have been the practical solution.
I have little doubt that if she flew you would taken issue with that instead. Even if you did not others here certainly would. Hence me comparing it to questions where there is no right answer (like “have you stopped beating your wife yet?”)
__________________
"Anything's possible, but only a few things actually happen"
lomiller is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 01:10 PM   #151
ceptimus
puzzler
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6,264
Here's an article that claims that all biomass power stations emit more C02 from their smokestacks per unit of electricity produced than coal plants do. https://www.nrdc.org/experts/sasha-s...nability-smoke I don't know if it's accurate or not. Read it and decide for yourself.
ceptimus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 01:15 PM   #152
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 45,130
Originally Posted by ceptimus View Post
Here's an article that claims that all biomass power stations emit more C02 from their smokestacks per unit of electricity produced than coal plants do. https://www.nrdc.org/experts/sasha-s...nability-smoke I don't know if it's accurate or not. Read it and decide for yourself.
As I understand it, there's currently no biofuel with anything like the energy density found in fossil fuels.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 01:23 PM   #153
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 45,130
Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
I have little doubt that if she flew you would taken issue with that instead. Even if you did not others here certainly would. Hence me comparing it to questions where there is no right answer (like “have you stopped beating your wife yet?”)
If she had pushed the message that nobody should be flying, and then she flew to COP25 with no explanation, I would have taken issue with that.

If she had flown to COP25, with the explanation that nobody should be flying except out of great need, and there was a great need for her to attend COP25, I would not have taken issue with that explanation. That's essentially the explanation being offered by all the other diplomats and scientists who will be in attendance. You don't see me condemning them. There is a right answer. Greta just isn't giving it.

Do you think flying a crew member across the Atlantic to help Greta sail to COP25 is justified by Greta's great need to attend COP25? Can you even articulate what that great need is, exactly? That is what I'm taking issue with.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 01:24 PM   #154
lomiller
Penultimate Amazing
 
lomiller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 10,690
Originally Posted by crescent View Post
If true, that's unfortunate.
FYI here is what the wiki has to say:


Quote:
Since 2004 three different types of biomass fuel been in use at Lynemouth; Sawdust and Wood pellets from FSC certified forests and Olive residues.
__________________
"Anything's possible, but only a few things actually happen"
lomiller is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 01:29 PM   #155
ceptimus
puzzler
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6,264
Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
FYI here is what the wiki has to say:
Don't see how it can be right as the plant conversion wasn't completed until 2018.

Maybe they were running some biomass before that during testing.

Anyway, see the article I linked two a few posts previously which says that all biomass plants are just greenwash. Lynemouth is a very small power station anyway. I've also done some work at Drax, which is much larger and burns much more biomass. However, my personal involvement at Drax has been tiny compared with the time I've spent at Lynemouth.

Last edited by ceptimus; 5th December 2019 at 01:32 PM.
ceptimus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 01:57 PM   #156
lomiller
Penultimate Amazing
 
lomiller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 10,690
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Can you even articulate what that great need is, exactly?
I've explained her contribution before, but here it is again. Greta is very good at communicating the need for action on climate change. Given that communication is one of the key goals of these conferences, she seems like a very good person to have there. I guess you could argue that “no one truly needs to be there” but then we are back to there being no answer climate deniers are willing to accept.
__________________
"Anything's possible, but only a few things actually happen"
lomiller is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 02:26 PM   #157
ceptimus
puzzler
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6,264
I think many of the posters in this thread aren't climate change deniers. Rather we're denying that all the conferences and activism are achieving very much in the way of actual action to combat climate change.

Global CO2 emissions went up again this year, regardless of all the speechifying and targets set by the politicians. If they're serious about getting a year-on-year reduction of 7%, starting immediately (actually already overdue) then they're not doing anywhere near enough about it.

I tell people that if they're serious about the targets, then Boeing and Airbus need to go out of business immediately: flying needs to reduce dramatically over the next twenty years and we already have enough airliners to last that long if the number of flights is to be gradually reduced to meet the targets.

The UK government want to eliminate gas-powered central heating - but if they really want to do that they'd need a wartime-style effort to begin building electric powered boilers (furnaces) training up an army of fitters, upgrading the national grid and under-road power cables, building new power stations to supply the power for those and all the new electric cars, &c.

Actually the politicians are doing none of that which proves to me that they're not at all serious about meeting their own targets. And the UK only emits about 1% of global carbon anyway, so even if we did achieve all our targets it wouldn't make much difference globally other than by setting an example for other countries to follow.

Last edited by ceptimus; 5th December 2019 at 02:28 PM.
ceptimus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 02:53 PM   #158
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 45,130
Earlier in this thread, I suggested that if Greta really were a brave campaigner, she'd be taking her message of civil disobedience to the schoolchildren of China.

Perhaps a more practical, but still very brave campaign for Greta, would be if she campaigned for immediate easing of regulations regarding nuclear power plant construction and waste disposal, and launched herself directly against the NIMBYism that prevents us from establishing a long-term nuclear waste repository.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 03:14 PM   #159
lionking
In the Peanut Gallery
 
lionking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 45,718
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Earlier in this thread, I suggested that if Greta really were a brave campaigner, she'd be taking her message of civil disobedience to the schoolchildren of China.

Perhaps a more practical, but still very brave campaign for Greta, would be if she campaigned for immediate easing of regulations regarding nuclear power plant construction and waste disposal, and launched herself directly against the NIMBYism that prevents us from establishing a long-term nuclear waste repository.
And after that she can cure cancer.....
__________________
A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

Sir Winston Churchill
lionking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th December 2019, 03:31 PM   #160
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 45,130
Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
I've explained her contribution before, but here it is again. Greta is very good at communicating the need for action on climate change. Given that communication is one of the key goals of these conferences, she seems like a very good person to have there. I guess you could argue that “no one truly needs to be there” but then we are back to there being no answer climate deniers are willing to accept.
That seems kind of defeatist. You can't come up with a compelling argument for anyone's attendance, let alone Greta's, and somehow you want to blame this on the "deniers"? Have you considered the possibility that there just isn't an important reason for Greta to be there?

I don't think Greta is very good at communicating the need for action on climate change. Or at least, she does a lot of communication, but doesn't seem to be inspiring a lot of action. The main attendees at COP25 are national representatives who are ostensibly going to be crafting the next phase of international policy on climate change. Do you seriously think they need to hear from Greta in person? Didn't she just finish addressing them at the United Nations in New York?

When President Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Accords, it prompted several US state agencies to step forward with their own independent proposals to fight climate change. Which is weird, the way that worked out, and I don't intend to make a big deal of it. But as far as I know, Thunberg hasn't even had that level of effect on policymakers.

Sure, she's gotten a lot of kids to skip school on Fridays. And apparently Swedes are cutting back on their air travel. So that's good. But I think you're seriously overestimating her power to convince policymakers to adopt her policies. I think you're seriously overvaluing her contribution to COP25.

It might help if you had some concrete examples of Greta's skill at communication leading to real policy change. When Jimmy Carter sat down with Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, the result was a new policy: The Camp David Accords. When Molotov met with Ribbentrop, the result was one of the most significant policies of the 20th century.

I'm not saying Thunberg needs to change policy on that level. She's only 16 years old, after all. But what level of policy change has she accomplished? What policy makers has she sat down with, and inspired to set new climate change policy?

What is she going to do at COP25? Tell the French representative what climate change policy his country needs to adopt, as if he hasn't heard it all before? As if he isn't already being informed by scientists, and economists, and politicians, in exhaustive detail, about this very topic?

You've explained her contribution before, but it's not much of an explanation. It doesn't explain why it's necessary to fly sailboat crew from the UK to the US "on short notice" to help Greta sail to COP25.

Last edited by theprestige; 5th December 2019 at 03:34 PM.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:14 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.