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Environmental change - What can we do?

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Avenged7Fold, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 9,842

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    Was an interesting article on BC news last night
    Some scientist has found that **** from iron ore extraction actually absorbs carbon dioxide. It doesn't do it in heaps on the ground so there needs to be some sort of process created

    But they showed it in operation in a simple bottle. The put some teaspoons of the **** in, filled the bottle with Co2 and screwed on the cap. The bottle was pulled inwards as the gas was absorbed after a shake.

    Seeing as the **** is produced at a fairly consistent rate and is literally dumped into piles it a really good solution if someone can just upscale it to a cheap industrial process.
     
  2. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 64,482

    Assuming it is actually useful as a process I wonder what quantity versus what we actually produce would be needed to have a noticeable impact on the environment and what the long term process is - no good storing it all up in the short term if it just ends up with a massive concentrated release at a later date, etc.
     
  3. 4K8KW10

    Soldato

    Joined: Sep 2, 2017

    Posts: 7,092

    So, to clean the waste from our industrial processes with another industrial process? :confused:
    What is ****?
     
  4. Monkeynut

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 7, 2007

    Posts: 6,380

    Location: Cheshire

    s.l.a.g. the waste product from various metal making processes.
     
  5. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 30,206

    The problem with any solution to extract CO2 from the atmosphere is it just doesn't scale. Look at every combustion car, fossil fuel power station, cement factory, herd of cows etc.

    We are adding billions of tonnes f CO2 to the atmosphere every year. We would have to cover the planets with machines to extra the CO2, and these need power themselves. extracting CO2 at industrial levels requires more power than was used to generate the CO2 on the first place. Simple chemical process as shown with the sl.ag simply don't scale to cover even the tinniest fraction. The only thing we can do to help would be massive re-forestation, except we are currently doing the opposite. And even if we returne to 17th century levels of forestation, that only solves a small part.

    To be effective in the slightest we have t cut emissions by 80% at least to have some hope of balancing output, let alone reversing the dangerous levels already released.
     
  6. 4K8KW10

    Soldato

    Joined: Sep 2, 2017

    Posts: 7,092

    A way to extract CO2 is to grow more forests - take desert areas, build water irrigation canals and grow plants/trees. Develop cheap technology to extract salt from sea water.
    Limit the use of petrol, natural gas and coal.
    Build more solar panel installations around the same areas in the deserts.
    Work on quantum energy - ball lightning.

    It is not difficult, the problem is the conflict of interest and the interest of money. Very few think about the consequences of today's policies.
     
  7. satchef1

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 17, 2009

    Posts: 4,333

    Marginal gains.

    It may not be a silver bullet, but any positive development, however small, will help. The truly dangerous thing is the vast number of people sitting on their laurels, waiting for some sort of panacea to fix the problem for them.

    This idea probably won't be terribly useful. But it's still worth investigating to see if it might be.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  8. Poneros

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 18, 2015

    Posts: 3,267

    Messing around with the environment may prove to be more of a 'cure that's worse than the disease' situation. Let's take foresting the desert areas. For one thing, besides the massive costs involved, you have unintended consequences which could wreak havoc on other parts of the world. There's an equilibrium to the current state and if you mess with it there's a good chance you're gonna muck something else up even worse, because we're still 99.9% clueless about these things.

    Building water irrigation canals is not a solution because it's missing the obvious: the water resource. But let's say you even had that and did all that, why are you so sure it would be a positive change rather than just a catastrophe for the local biome? And also just as important, who's gonna pay for it?

    Desalination of sea water is a tremendously difficult process, and in no way economically scaleable outside of a miracle.

    Limiting the use of petrol, natural gas and coal isn't really a solution to anything, because doing so would implode the economy (since it's built and reliant on all those things), and would have devastating consequences on millions of the most impoverished people who rely on those things for their life. As far as electricity generation goes, you could switch to mostly nuclear and have it be economical enough, with a dash of renewables for good measure. But for transport & industry there's no real alternative in sight.

    Building solar panels in the desert is useless, because it's far away from where you actually need the power, and storing &/or distributing that power isn't a trivial nor affordable option. Not to mention, like I've said in a previous post here, that storing energy at such a scale is simply impossible given our current technological level (and for the next 2 decades, at least). And finally, unlike the propaganda, in reality solar panels & battery storage solutions are nowhere near "green", and produce huge waste. Also, think of the poor birds!

    You must be kidding when you say these things aren't difficult to solve.
     
  9. b0rn2sk8

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003

    Posts: 4,754

    There are a few issues with the things in your post.

    Transport: have a look at what China is doing with electric buses. There are entire cities larger than London running on almost 100% electric buses.

    1000 electric buses is the equivalent of 500 barrels of diesel a day. China has over 380,000 (99% of all electric buses) on the road and is adding 9500 every 5 weeks. They make Europe look like it’s in the Stone Age, it’s embarrassing really.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-23/electric-buses-are-hurting-the-oil-industry

    There will be a glut of oil if production isn’t reduced in the next 10 years. The US has been dumping its oil reserves since 2016.

    Shipping and aerospace is still a huge problem though. Shipping really need to clean up its act, not only in emissions but all of the rubbish they are allowed to dump a few miles off shore but unsurprisingly the industry is lobbying heavily against it.

    I don’t think you are correct on your thoughts about fossil fuels, limiting fossil fuel use is exactly the way forward. Giving people, particularly in developing countries energy independence will be a huge boost to their living standards and drive massive economic growth. The Middle East actually understand this and are rapidly diversifying their economies.

    Google’s project solar as demonstrated a fraction of suitable roof space if enough to generate all the power the states needs. The issues are obviously time and place of generation but for residential it’s a huge opportunity to cut fossil fuel use in daytime hours and very viable with current tech. Industrial processes are more challenging. But because solar is a passive there is nothing stopping us building out far more capacity than is needed, it needs a fraction of the man hours to maintain.

    The link you have posted is not a typical solar setup and is very experimental, it’s actually less efficient and more costly than solar PV but it can generate power for up to 10 hours after the sun does down which is an obvious advantage. It’s not something you are going to see popping up all over the place.
     
  10. satchef1

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 17, 2009

    Posts: 4,333

    10 years ago, Portugal was planning an "ambitious" solar farm that would be the biggest in the world. It would generate a staggering 45MW of electricity.

    Today, India is mere months from completing a 2GW solar park.

    Large solar parks are starting to become a reality. It is plausible that much of Europe's electricity could come from North African nations within the next couple of decades. One such project, TuNur, is already underway. A 4.5GW solar park in Tunisia, connected to Europe via Malta.
     
  11. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 30,206

    The gripes against Solar mostly come from far right conspiracy theorist and those associated with O&G industry. Also auto OEMs are lazy and don't wont to put in the R&D (although this is now changing, in part thanks to Tesla and EU emissions changes).

    Solar Power today is far under grid parity already, and is far cheaper than nuclear and even clean goal.
     
  12. ubersonic

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 26, 2009

    Posts: 20,584

    It's super annoying when you go into a restaurant and have to request a straw because they aren't on display anymore (Nandos, Pizza Hut, etc). Like what the ****? Do they genuinely think anti-eco-terrorists are going to walk into the restaurant and steal a bunch of straws to throw in the sea? Of course they don't it's just dumb virtue signaling for PR purposes.

    Mind you at least that's not as bad as the places that have replaced them with paper straws, as much use as a chocolate teapot >.>
     
  13. Avenged7Fold

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 12, 2012

    Posts: 11,628

    Location: Surrey

    I always assumed it was to stop people grabbing a handful and shoving them into your mate's drink on return to the table. Same reason why McDonald's have those cylindrical dispensers.
     
  14. ubersonic

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 26, 2009

    Posts: 20,584

    McDonalds have got rid of them now, they just hand you a straw with your drink.
     
  15. Avenged7Fold

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 12, 2012

    Posts: 11,628

    Location: Surrey

    TBH they never stopped me having an arsenal of paper straw sleeves to blow at people :p
     
  16. b0rn2sk8

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003

    Posts: 4,754

    The problem with recycling is it required people do actually do something and people on the whole are generally pretty lazy.

    For instance the plastic actually needs to be clean to be effectively recycled. How many people actually wash their yogurt pots, rinse plastic bottles (lids and the little plastic ring also removed) and clean meat containers before putting them in the recycling? Yup that’s what I thought, most of it just ends up in landfil.

    Same with paper, if it’s soiled in anyway it’s not recyclable.

    Most councils collect mixed recycling, no wonder loads of it is contaminated.
     
  17. StriderX

    Capodecina

    Joined: Mar 18, 2008

    Posts: 21,763

    I just assume the recycling plant has a washing cycle, because **** am i wasting my time otherwise trying to pry off heavily glued non-recyclables.

    I also assume that it never gets recycled either because we sent like half of it to China or some such, so i just don't care, what's the point of doing it if it ends up in landfill anyway? I'm sure it's council dependent mind you.
     
  18. Avenged7Fold

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 12, 2012

    Posts: 11,628

    Location: Surrey

    It no longer goes to China. They have decided that they don't want to dirty their country with the world's rubbish and so has made importing it illegal. They also are implementing stricter local laws for plastic disposal.

    Recycling is dependent on local facilities but we now mostly ship our crap to countries with even worse disposal records than China. That way we can still say that we are one of the best in the world and argue 'what is the point of changing if India/US/China don't?'
     
  19. b0rn2sk8

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003

    Posts: 4,754

    There is also a huge difference between something that is technically recyclable and something that is widely recycled.

    Coffee cups are a prefect example of this, they are technically recyclable but only 1 or 2 places in the UK can actually do it. It’s really difficult to separate the paper outer and plastic inner part of the cup, it’s something that isn’t a problem on a cold desposable cup. Almost all of them end up in land fill. Millions upon millions of them.

    Pringles tubes are a recycling nightmare. Both parts are widely recycled but separating the paper from me metal is incredibly difficult for a machine, again many just get buried. If we did it before putting it in the bin then both parts just go straight through.
     
  20. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 64,482

    I think this is one aspect that is quite troubling - stuff like how the Amazon rainforest works for instance is still far from a complete understanding and some contest that the Earth actually should be entering quite a severe cooling period right now if it wasn't for man made climate change, etc.