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Old 6th October 2019, 03:10 PM   #41
mgidm86
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
OK...

Things I have done (in no particular order of importance):
  1. Insulated my home
  2. Installed double glazing
  3. Installed window shutters
  4. Rode a bicycle to work for 10 years
  5. Sourced food locally (including growing some)
  6. Photo voltaic panels on the roof
  7. Bought a plug-in hybrid car
  8. Didn't have children
  9. Holiday locally
  10. Harvest and use rainwater for domestic tasks
  11. Recycle everything
  12. Reuse a lot

It may not help much but it's better than nothing.
Was your primary motivation in doing all of that to save the planet, to save money, or both equally?
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Old 6th October 2019, 03:19 PM   #42
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I use more hairspray.........and I'm bald
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Old 6th October 2019, 03:35 PM   #43
novaphile
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
Was your primary motivation in doing all of that to save the planet, to save money, or both equally?
Planet.

In 1975, in High School, we had a Science class about "the greenhouse effect".

It bothered me at the time, and I started reading about it.

In 1978, I joined "Friends of the Earth", in 1979 I built my first solar hot water heater out of scraps from a garbage dump. (Based on something I'd read in Popular Mechanics IIRC)

Since then, I've tried to minimise my impact on the environment as much as practical.

I'd have to do a lot of calculation to see if my efforts have actually saved any money. Some of it looks clear cut, others not so much.

For example, the solar panels paid for themselves after three and half years.

The solar/gas water heater was more than double the cost of a solar electric system (which was less efficient from a carbon dioxide point of view). However, I use so little "boosting" it may be that I will never recover the cost.

Similarly with the car, I could have bought the same car, without the electrics, for about $10k less. Probably I won't drive that car long enough to recover the extra cost.

Most of the other changes I've made to my home are to improve its efficiency, this means that it is more comfortable (in terms of temperature) for the same cost.

Good question though.

Everyone's circumstances are different, and in some cases there probably are opportunities to reduce the cost of living by living more efficiently.
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Old 6th October 2019, 03:48 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
My 2002 Toyota Camry has 205k miles on it. Not sure how long it can go.
If it is well maintained it is just reaching middle age. You should be good for another 200k. Toyota’s are hard to kill.
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Old 6th October 2019, 03:50 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
My last Ford van had 313K on it when I drove it to the junkyard with a good inspection sticker still in the window ( had to dump it quick for other reasons). My current has 207 and going strong. I don't believe I have had an oil change in 30+ years of driving
Maybe you haven’t, but it is advisable for your vehicles.
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Old 6th October 2019, 03:53 PM   #46
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When I get the solar panels on my roof, they'll be "free" to me. The power company will install and own them, and I'll pay off the "loan" through paying the same for the solar electric as I currently pay for grid electric. (except that the house solar will be tied into the grid anyway, so all I am doing is contributing to the grid as much as I use). Takes about twenty years before I'll own them outright.

I wish there was more urban/suburban photovoltaic, accompanied by vehicle charging stations. I was in the Denver Federal Center a few days ago, they've got a number of their parking lots covered with photo-voltaic shade structures. If there were enough of that, along with many more electric and plug-in hybrid cars, people could flip the current "charge and home to drive to work and back" habit for "charge at work to drive home and back", making better use of solar's daylight-only power contribution.

I mentioned in another thread about driving around sunny Colorado and sunny and windy Wyoming, and seeing few wind towers or solar cells in either state. Then I visit my in-laws in Lower Saxony, Germany and see wind towers everywhere and many farm houses and barns with solar cells on top, despite Germany's relative lack of wind and sun. America still has tremendous room for improvement, we have not picked even a tenth of the low hanging fruit yet.
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Old 6th October 2019, 05:47 PM   #47
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Heh, when the solar panel guys ask me how much I pay in electric bills a month, they gulp and admit they can't save me money. I've got a completely automated system so that the A/C cuts off the moment the price goes up (from 3-8 PM). I have it set to 80 otherwise, but I turn it down to 78 at bedtime.

I've switched out all my old CFCs for LEDs. I put a couple thousand miles a year on my bike.
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:08 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post

They just pay someone for credits
Yes, they pay someone else not to emit CO2, meaning lower CO2 emissions.


Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
The Corporates then just charged customers more to off set the price they had to pay the other people to emit the same out.

Net result

Poor people find it harder to buy products
That’s kind of the point. Higher carbon footprint items are more expensive so people factor CO2 emissions into their buying decisions.
Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
emissions are the same.
The law of supply and demand says otherwise
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:37 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
OK...

Things I have done (in no particular order of importance):
  1. Insulated my home
  2. Installed double glazing
  3. Installed window shutters
  4. Rode a bicycle to work for 10 years
  5. Sourced food locally (including growing some)
  6. Photo voltaic panels on the roof
  7. Bought a plug-in hybrid car
  8. Didn't have children
  9. Holiday locally
  10. Harvest and use rainwater for domestic tasks
  11. Recycle everything
  12. Reuse a lot

It may not help much but it's better than nothing.
Insulation/double glazing may reduce your own consumption may reduce your energy consumption, but won't necessarily reduce your carbon footprint owing to Jevon's Paradox. The more efficient we become, the more we can spend elsewhere (and the more money the companies who sell the insulation/double glazing make), which also benefits the economy. So it ultimately benefits the economy, which is bad for climate change.

Basically, such measures are good for the economy, so without some control (eg. carbon taxes), they can make the issue worse.

Eating locally sourced foods also has its issues. Food miles are an inaccurate way of gauging one's impact. Sometimes it does make sense, but other times, it can have the opposite effect, such as tomatoes grown in the UK, compared to Spain:


PV panels? Nice one! Can't see me been able to afford them.


I too ride my bike to work, and feel lucky to be able to do so, but I planned my move that way. Not many can though of course.

Holiday locally - excellent. We do as well. Barely left Yorkshire this year.
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Last edited by wobs; 7th October 2019 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:39 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
It is not clear cut to me. I was mostly thinking about carbon credit trading, but I find this Nature article to be a sobering take on the validity of Carbon Offsetting.
This isn’t talking about carbon pricing he’s taking about offsetting which is an individual action to offset for your CO2 emissions by paying someone in a developing country not to use CO2 intensive practices (usually land use relate). Such individual actions will invariably fall short as it becomes a tragedy of the commons scenario.

His claim itself is a little strange. He’s suggesting that if you pay developing contrives not to do things that cause CO2 emissions it will cause them to produce more CO2. He doesn’t show how this could happen other than some handwaving about development. He’s also being a bit of a dick, because in a backhanded way he’s saying we shouldn’t allow poor contrives to develop.
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:50 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
But in the interim we need coal
Not really. LNG can produce electricity with about half the Carbon emissions of coal. It is a better fit with renewables because generating capacity can be brought online or taken offline quickly in response to changes in demand or supply available from renewables.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:17 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Not really. LNG can produce electricity with about half the Carbon emissions of coal. It is a better fit with renewables because generating capacity can be brought online or taken offline quickly in response to changes in demand or supply available from renewables.

Agreed.

Here in the U.S., one of the major drivers of the reduction in Carbon emissions is switching power plants from coal to natural gas.

That said, coal plants converted to natural gas still don't throttle up and down very well. Purpose built natural gas plants do though (as do coal plants built for that purpose, but most are not). As the supply of renewables goes up, the older baseload plants are not well equipped to deal with the variation, regardless of fuel source. As a fuel, natural gas is much better suited for variable output in plants designed to do that.

Is coal power “dispatchable”?

Quote:
Furthermore, the coal proponents often confuse the concepts of ‘dispatchable’ and ‘baseload’, when in reality these are well-established technical terms with different meanings.
Quote:
A baseload power station is one that can operate continuously at its rated power (aka generating capacity), except when it breaks down or undergoes planned maintenance.

....

Baseload power stations are inflexible in operation. They can take from several hours to a whole day to go from cold to full power. Even when hot, they cannot easily and economically vary their outputs rapidly to meet the peaks in demand.
Quote:
A dispatchable power station is one that can supply power on demand. To do this, it must be controllable to the extent that it can respond promptly and flexibly to sudden changes in supply and demand, both unexpected and predictable.

Dispatchable power stations play a major role in balancing supply and demand. This balance is essential for maintaining the fixed frequency of alternating current and for avoiding blackouts. All dispatchable power stations incorporate some form of storage, whether it be electrical, thermal, mechanical or chemical (i.e. a stored fuel).

Last edited by crescent; 7th October 2019 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:24 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Not really. LNG can produce electricity with about half the Carbon emissions of coal. It is a better fit with renewables because generating capacity can be brought online or taken offline quickly in response to changes in demand or supply available from renewables.
But isn't the argument against LNG that the infrastructure retrofitting would be so massive, that by the time it became operational, other alternatives would have already filled the need? After all, if NG was powering our electric grid, we would be depleting reserves exponentially. A solution on the grand scale needs to be more sustainable, long term.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:24 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
Was your primary motivation in doing all of that to save the planet, to save money, or both equally?
The point of carbon pricing is to make these one and the same.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:28 AM   #55
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Joe Average in developed place makes an energy efficient home with all the affordable details he can to make it green happy. Lots of chemicals and energy used to make it long term better.

In the river bed outside major city in poor country a few tens of thousands of poor folks claim a patch of land and build small homes of pallets and cardboard, corrugated tin or whatever. The use makeshift stoves burning wood bits or whatever to cook their meals and heat the home in cold periods. Power is brought in by makeshift means and somehow most seem to find a way to have a tv and refrigerator. Usually older castoff models.

A monument to inefficiency and poor overloaded infrastructure. Yet many places like this exist and even where I live. Eco friendly tossed aside for base survival. Nary a 2nd thought about it.

These are the places that need urgent attention to gte them into the 20th century. A whole heap less pollution of all types in addition to infrastructure that has a much lower loss rate with paying clients.
Tell those people " you stay down so I don't have to change my lifestyle ".

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Old 7th October 2019, 07:38 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
But isn't the argument against LNG that the infrastructure retrofitting would be so massive, that by the time it became operational, other alternatives would have already filled the need? After all, if NG was powering our electric grid, we would be depleting reserves exponentially. A solution on the grand scale needs to be more sustainable, long term.
The arguments I have seen against LNG is that:

1) obtaining it requires fracking.

or

2) We should not be looking for ANY carbon based alternatives to coal, so focusing LNG is just a delaying tactic.

I waffle over argument 1, I don't know enough geology to inform an opinion on the safety of fracking.

I don't like argument 2 though, as nearly anything that starts reducing the carbon output right now is better than anything that does not. I mean, converting coal plants to LNG can be the intermediary step while renewable NRG gets installed and power storage solutions get developed (power storage is really the Achilles heel of renewables, there is another thread on that.) Converting coal plants to gas does not mean that we can't also do a full court push on renewables. ETA: so to use your terminology, LNG is not the grand solution, but can be a very useful step in the implementation of the grand solution, and may be a part of the grand solution for a long time, although perhaps not forever (to handle the variation inherent in renewables until the storage issue is fully addressed.)

The closest power plant to me was built to use coal, but has apparently been retrofitted for gas. I would rather have that now than continue with coal pollution for the next twenty years while trying to figure out full implementation of renewables. I know the metro area I live in still has at least one coal-burning plant right in the city itself, trainloads of coal still come down from Wyoming every day. The county (fixed, county not country) north of the one I live is big into hydrocarbons and supplies quite a bit of LNG.

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Old 7th October 2019, 07:50 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
But isn't the argument against LNG that the infrastructure retrofitting would be so massive, that by the time it became operational, other alternatives would have already filled the need? After all, if NG was powering our electric grid, we would be depleting reserves exponentially. A solution on the grand scale needs to be more sustainable, long term.
Even converting coal plants helps buy time. New LNG is relatively fast and cheap to build and can serve an important role smoothing over the day to day variation for quite a while to come. At some point it will need to be phased out in favor of storage capacity, but anything that can be done NOW is of benefit even if it isn't the permanent solution.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:57 AM   #58
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Mexico has refinery next to the power plant. Refinery gasses that had been burned off openly for decades is now piped to a power plant. Waste not, want not.

The gov is pushing for new refineries too. Sort of a push in both directions to renewable energies and self sufficiency in the oil biz. I guess we the people will be picking up the slack to reduce emissions a bit more. At least until the oil wells go dry.
They pledged to the most recent international world saving efforts but must see this as a way to stay afloat for now. They don't make this point clear.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:06 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
1) obtaining it requires fracking.
Even the most pessimistic of the plausible scenarios for fracking only result in localized damage that is vastly outweighed by the benefits of reducing CO2 emissions.
Originally Posted by crescent View Post
2) We should not be looking for ANY carbon based alternatives to coal, so focusing LNG is just a delaying tactic.
You eat an elephant one bite at a time. We don’t have time to wait for a perfect solution and even imperfect ones buy us more time.

Also, worth noting is that we don’t need to make conscious decisions about this. If we apply the right price to the associated damage free markets are really good at finding the optimal mix of technologies. These discussions are educated guesses of where the market will go once you start raising the price of CO2 emissions not “We need to do x, y, and z” answers.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:11 AM   #60
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I haven't had kids. I could drive around in a Hummer that runs on spotted owl tears and have less ecological impact then average.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:16 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I haven't had kids. I could drive around in a Hummer that runs on spotted owl tears and have less ecological impact then average.
But did you kill yourself yet to really reduce that carbon footprint? Gotta think globally, here.

And what if a kid you had went on to solve the energy crisis? Pretty environmentally selfish of you to withhold that. Not quite the tree-hugger, after all, are we?
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:58 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I haven't had kids. I could drive around in a Hummer that runs on spotted owl tears and have less ecological impact then average.
Neither my wife nor I have biological children. We ended up raising one anyway, from newborn to the verge of adulthood. Is that a benefit or a detriment to humanity?
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:01 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Neither my wife nor I have biological children. We ended up raising one anyway, from newborn to the verge of adulthood. Is that a benefit or a detriment to humanity?
Speaking on a purely ecological level it's neutral.
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:09 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Speaking on a purely ecological level it's neutral.
Thanks. In the context of this thread it's the ecological impact of our actions that I was asking about. I just didn't word it very well. Neutral seems reasonable.
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:11 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
How do we responsd as a society and individuals to global warming.
Not much at all, it turns out.

Get ready for a world of pain.
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:18 AM   #66
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We have a group here today who are planning on disrupting commuters by closing a bridge all day. I don't really follow what they expect the positive aspects of their actions to be. Maybe a little temporary publicity, but it will all be forgotten in a day or two.
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:22 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Not much at all, it turns out.

Get ready for a world of pain.
I have an odd view of this that is either the most cynical thing or the most optimistic thing or both depending on how you want to look at it.

Mankind will survive. When the problem gets so bad that powerful can no longer hide from it, they will throw their resources behind it and the smart people they've been ignoring will pull an 11th hour miracle off and the powerful people will pretend like they never doubted the problem.
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:23 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
NZ has the most carbon efficient methods of farming in the world, but our cows still burp methane.
Have you considered getting the newest models?
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:27 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
But did you kill yourself yet to really reduce that carbon footprint? Gotta think globally, here.
Let's take it to its logical conclusion: cutting human population to sub-billion numbers requires breaking some eggs.
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:33 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Let's take it to its logical conclusion: cutting human population to sub-billion numbers requires breaking some eggs.
We only need to go there because at some point "get off this rock" got taken off the table.

When the cage gets too cramped you don't pour resources into fixing the problems the cage is causing or start culling the flock, you break out of the cage.

It would be like complaining that there is one million people because that many can fit into Olduvai Gorge.

Humanity's entire history has been expansion. Not sure why we decided it should stop.
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Old 7th October 2019, 10:25 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post

Humanity's entire history has been expansion. Not sure why we decided it should stop.
Expansion until we trigger ecological collapse is relatively common in human history.
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Old 7th October 2019, 10:33 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Let's take it to its logical conclusion: cutting human population to sub-billion numbers requires breaking some eggs.
Just sayin. A combination of Sir Tomas Moore, Soylent Green, and industrial fertilizers shouldn't entirely be off the table. So to speak.
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Old 7th October 2019, 10:35 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Humanity's entire history has been expansion. Not sure why we decided it should stop.
Lack of oxygen is probably one of the prime reasons.
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Old 7th October 2019, 10:41 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Lack of oxygen is probably one of the prime reasons.
If we could convince you pansies to breathe carbon dioxide like the rest of us, we wouldn't have a problem. Freaking air huggers
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Old 7th October 2019, 10:42 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
If we could convince you pansies to breathe carbon dioxide like the rest of us, we wouldn't have a problem. Freaking air huggers
If you made more kids and engaged in aggressive photosynthesis we wouldn't be in this mess.
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Old 7th October 2019, 10:46 AM   #76
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I carry cyanide pills with me everywhere in case I overdraw my permitted carbon balance.

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Old 7th October 2019, 01:03 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Not really. LNG can produce electricity with about half the Carbon emissions of coal. It is a better fit with renewables because generating capacity can be brought online or taken offline quickly in response to changes in demand or supply available from renewables.
Australia is moving to that model. Renewables backed by energy storage such as batteries backed by gas backed by coal. It is a more complex system but modern computerised control systems make it workable.
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Old 7th October 2019, 01:09 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
We have a group here today who are planning on disrupting commuters by closing a bridge all day. I don't really follow what they expect the positive aspects of their actions to be. Maybe a little temporary publicity, but it will all be forgotten in a day or two.
I still remember the Vietnam war marches. They worked even if they caused a relatively minor inconvenience. They make the issue more visible and help to convince politicians their constituents really do feel strongly about the issue.
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Old 7th October 2019, 01:10 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Expansion until we trigger ecological collapse is relatively common in human history.
True.
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Old 7th October 2019, 01:48 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
I still remember the Vietnam war marches. They worked even if they caused a relatively minor inconvenience. They make the issue more visible and help to convince politicians their constituents really do feel strongly about the issue.
You may be right. The cumulative effect of a lot of protests could cause some action. I am ok with that.

However, I am not sure the comparison is valid. The war protests had a very well defined short term goal - stop the war. This goal was accomplished by the mid seventies.

The environmental protests do not really have a measurable goal to be accomplished in the short term. Changing human activity to a point where global warming is nullified is a much longer term goal. The politicians may do *something* immediately but there is no clarity as to whether all the protesters agree on what the short term *something* should be.

Maybe it will be necessary for the types of protests to happen regularly for years to come in the hopes that each will provide a nudge toward the desired cumulative effect.
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