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Forced responses: Jun 2020

Filed under: — group @ 11 June 2020

Open thread on climate solutions. Please try and stay within a mile or two of the overall topic.

223 Responses to “Forced responses: Jun 2020”

  1. 101
    Piotr says:

    nigelj (97): “Methane is actually a stable molecule, according to its entry in Britannica”

    Piotr: “Stable” only in the sense that, in the absence of oxygen, it won’t easily explode on its own. But this definition of stability is irrelevant to the subject at hand – ENERGY STORAGE – here only thermodynamic stability counts – Wikipedia:
    “Thermodynamic stability occurs when a system is in its lowest energy state”.
    In the presence of atm. oxygen – methane easily burns and it is the PRODUCTS of this burning that are thermodynamically stable: CO2 and 2H20 have combined enthalpy of formation over 800 kJ/mol LESS than CH4 and 2O2 before burning.

    nigelj: “I’m not sure why [ high temp. of ignition] is a huge problem.”

    Piotr: It’s only a huge problem for Engineers Poets; regular engineers solved this problem long time ago (the so-called: “gas turbines”).

    So did the Poets, with a match or cigarette lighter – see “The Poetry of Flatulence”https://science.sciencemag.org/content/294/5548/1823.3

    Houston, we have ignition?

  2. 102
    Killian says:

    Define “sustainable”: Able to be continued indefinitely without damaging the environment or depleting non-renewable resources.

    Define “regenerative”: Able to be continued indefinitely without damaging the environment or depleting non-renewable resources while enhancing and improving ecosystem functioning and productivity (ecosystem services.)

    Challenge: Prove that any of the technologies under discussion on this forum meet either of these criteria.

    If unable to do so, explain how you get to a state of sustainability or regenerativeness with unsustainable technology and/or practices.

    Specifics are expected. Generalized handwaving will be ignored.

  3. 103
    Piotr says:

    Killian (102): “Challenge: Prove that any of the technologies under discussion on this forum meet either of these criteria.”

    Do you have one in mind that would meet your standards? Or is it “all or nothing” philosophy/rhetoric, used ALSO by deniers to say:
    if you are not ready to swear off the use of ALL fossil fuels then you a hypocrite and therefore not in a position to tell us how much fossil fuels we can use.

    The perfect is an enemy of the good…

  4. 104
    Piotr says:

    Poet (93): “They use fraud including the claim that “biomass” is zero-carbon, when biomass from wood dumps more immediate CO2 into the atmosphere than the same energy from coal.”

    Let’s see:
    1. The residence time of the surplus CO2 in the atmosphere is of order of 100 yrs.
    2. Burned biomass has taken up its CO2 from the MODERN atm. (during last 1 yr (crops) or during last several decades, i.e. < 300 MLN yrs ago.

    Ergo: burning biomass – is ~ “carbon neutral”, while burning coal is NOT.

    So much for the supposed superiority of coal, on which superiority our Poet based his self-confident accusations of “fraud”.

    By the ability to match the strength of their accusations to the strength of proofs in support of them, you shall know them. Ladies and Gentlemen – the Poet!
    ===
    Piotr

  5. 105
    nigelj says:

    Killian @102

    Killian says: “Define “sustainable” : Able to be continued indefinitely without damaging the environment or depleting non-renewable resources. ”

    “Challenge: Prove that any of the technologies under discussion on this forum meet either of these criteria.”

    No modern technology is sustainable by this definition. Only stone age and timber based technologies are truly sustainable by this definition.

    We cant live like this right now even if we wanted, because there are too many people to rely just on timber for a fuel and building source.

    I think its better to define sustainable as “able to be continued for a long time and without damaging the environment and depleting non renewable resources…” Then modern technology is sustainable at reasonable rates of use, provided we recycle, avoid over consumption, and get size of population down, and have rules that protect the biosphere from waste and over depletion. None of which will be easy.

  6. 106

    Killian, #102–

    “Able to be continued indefinitely…”

    Please define “indefinitely” as used in this context. Is it “for a long but not fully determinable time”, or is it “until Solar expansion or other cosmic disaster renders the Earth uninhabitable?” Something else?

    Personally, I’d gladly settle for “a couple of centuries” if other balancing considerations (such as, say, avoiding mass mortality events) were sufficient in magnitude, consequence, and/or probability.

  7. 107
  8. 108
    nigelj says:

    Killian @89 on the UV thread posts material talking about the virtues of egalitarian decision making and walkable communities as the fundamental societal unit. Imho walkable communities have obvious merit, but this would require virtually abandoning our cities and building many small communities closer to farms and presumably small craft based factories, and other places of work. And from Killians other comments using passive solar design and small buildings as opposed to multi story buildings.

    This is all clearly a massive task that will probably take many decades and resources, and a huge effort to persuade the public. So I don’t think it can replace the immediate need for electric and hybrid cars at reasonable scale, and zero carbon energy, things that do have some public buy in already. What walkable communities might do is develop slowly and reduce the scale of energy ultimately required.

    Egalitarian decision making clearly works for small groups of people making simple decisions about simple things like farming but our modern society is huge and complicated producing very complicated things in huge factories. If every decision in a modern factory level required everyone be consulted and has equal relevance, requiring some sort of vote or consensus, decision making would become very slow and cumbersome.

    You are probably going to have to accept a hybrid form of decision making for factories for example, with a hierarchy but one that is simpler, and where the management team has fewer layers, and each layer is consensus based, and where the factory is more responsive to the community, and with tighter controls on abuse of power. Maybe more things decided by political referendums. Maybe limits on the size of organisations. THESE things look like they might work and get public buy in.

  9. 109
    Mr. Know It All says:

    86 – Steve Emmerson
    “I do not know if this is true or not, but it seems relevant, especially because of the previous article about YouTube:

    Facebook creates fact-checking exemption for climate deniers”

    Anyone who gets news from FB may be a MORON! FYI, in the USA we have a thing called the 1st Amendment which protects free speech which means objectionable speech – there is no need to protect speech that everyone agrees with! You should read up on that 1st Amendment, and all the others as well. If this is new information to you, tell your teachers and profs they failed at their jobs! If scientists want to provide scientific arguments refuting what they call “misinformation” fine, do it, and let the reader decide who makes the best argument. There are frequent debates on this website on how AGW works – it’s an inexact, complicated science and not all aspects are agreed upon.

    On another note, here are 3 book “reviews” that might be of interest:

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/06/a_winning_trifecta_for_climate_science_and_rationality_.html

  10. 110
    Al Bundy says:

    BPL: And yet none of these problems have been reported for the existing 100 GWe or so of pumped hydro…

    AB: Eh, EP assumes that nuclear reactors will function flawlessly forever but a simple water barrier will instantly leak worse than sand.
    Oceanside areas get wayyyy more salt intrusion naturally than a leak in an upper reservoir would cause.

  11. 111
    Al Bundy says:

    Zebra,
    Tis true that the grid won’t explode because of the inevitable physics of incorporating renewables into the system.
    It is inevitable that that grid and/or the price of electricity will explode regularly as we transition for money-grubbing reasons.
    That is, assuming politicians who strive for a median life are defeated by those who seek Life at the Royal Court.

  12. 112
  13. 113
    Al Bundy says:

    Piotr: “Stable” only in the sense that, in the absence of oxygen, it won’t easily explode on its own

    AB: Chemical reactions are often like climbing a small hill that leads to a long ski slope. “Stability” depends more on the little hill. It matters not how much energy woulda got released if only you made it up the hill.
    Methane has a big hill. A methane-burning compression-ignition engine needs, dunno, but gonna guess 40:1 compression to ignite the fuel…
    …cuz methane is wicked stable. (If you like, look up “ignition temperature” in the Engineering Toolbox site to compare various fuels)

  14. 114
    Al Bundy says:

    Kevin M: Personally, I’d gladly settle for “a couple of centuries” if other balancing

    AB: I’d be happy with “weaned off of before scarcity or side effects become (or remain) issues”. We’re a young species, not yet out of the nest. Or housebroken, even. To burden this single generation with solving everything forever and ever amen is foolish. Hmm, look up “rat utopia” or “mouse utopia”. When everything is solved rodents go batshit crazy. They end up going extinct as they lose the desire and skills to reproduce and rear. Japan, South Korea showing signs?

    Killian, if you were going to leave it in the ground forever then what have you gained by foregoing during the transitional times (assuming side effects are 100% mitigated)?

  15. 115
    Al Bundy says:

    Piotr,
    Farming and forestry have been huge CO2 emitters. Dust bowl winds and floodwaters carry lots of organic stuff into streams and onward to oceanic dead zones. Heck, washing up at the end of the day sends much dirt to its death.

    Gotten better. Many use no till and practices Killian advocates. A journey.

    Corn ethanol was a reasonable experiment, a way to get an “undergraduate degree” in biofuels. Whether it saved or spewed more than just burning petrol is vigorously debated but irrelevant. Ya can’t stay an ethanol-saturated sophomore forever. Cellulose to mostly methanol is a more grown up process.

    Speaking of methanol, though it seriously shrinks an engine’s size it increases the fuel’s weight (engine size is about encompassing oxygen from air, fuel weight is about oxygen lugged around by the fuel, meaning less air is needed). So that’s a mark against methanol for long flights.

  16. 116
    nigelj says:

    Piotr @104, on biomass. Well said.

  17. 117

    nigel, #108–

    “Imho walkable communities have obvious merit, but this would require virtually abandoning our cities and building many small communities closer to farms…”

    I don’t think so, as it’s very feasible in many cases to bring farming into urban areas. We actually saw a fair amount of that in places like Detroit following the recession last decade. And walkable communities mean reasonably high density.

    I actually think the areas most in need of abandonment or radical restructuring would be the suburbs. They are enormous in the US, and are inherently auto-centric.

  18. 118
    David B. Benson says:

    The future of the power grid:
    https://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/thread/671/energy-demand-2018-onwards?page=3#post-6965
    More flexibility, more competition.

  19. 119
    jgnfld says:

    Re. KIA and “in the USA we have a thing called the 1st Amendment which protects free speech”

    Possibly KIA doesn’t know that the 1st Amendment does NOT apply to any “censoring” FB may or may not do. Most of us in the USA learned that in junior hs. AHA!…”Proof” that KIA is a Russian troll!!!

  20. 120
    Mr. Know It All says:

    117 – Kevin McKinney
    “I actually think the areas most in need of abandonment or radical restructuring would be the suburbs.”

    Convince the Ds that you are correct and tell ’em to run on THAT.
    :)

    I heard an interesting interview of Michael Shellenberger on the radio today. He says climate change is real, but it is not the “climate emergency” that alarmists claim it to be. Podcast:

    Start at 1:28:05 of the podcast with the title: “Rising Courage|Guests: Madison Cawthorn and Michael Shellenberger| 7/1/10
    (1:28:05 is about 3/4 of the way thru the entire audio session)

    https://www.glennbeck.com/st/podcast

    Part of the above interview can be heard here as well:

    https://www.facebook.com/GlennBeck/videos/apocalyptic-environmentalism-is-a-toxic-secular-religion/2700995103560427/?__so__=permalink&__rv__=related_videos

    Here’s a video of a similar interview with Shellenberger. Start at 1:10 of this one. Best to move your “computer window” lower so you can’t see the distracting hands of the “guy in the chair”. :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvPCDgEzCuc

    Running cool here in the great PNW USA, 65 degrees was the high today. Not bad for July 1, and not that unusual. Have a happy 4th of July!
    mkia

  21. 121
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @117

    “Imho walkable communities have obvious merit, but this would require virtually abandoning our cities and building many small communities closer to farms…”

    “I don’t think so, as it’s very feasible in many cases to bring farming into urban areas. We actually saw a fair amount of that in places like Detroit …”

    Detroit doesnt have nearly enough land to feed a population of 670,000 people. A few allotments are admirable but cant do this or even clome close. You need half a hectare to feed 1 person, and thats 335,000 hectares and Detrot only has 37,000 hectares.

    And most cities dont have cheap vacant land like Detroit. So urban farms are just playing around the edges of the issue and ultimately everything would have to be rebuilt. And yes the suburbs would also all need rebuilding. Im not knocking the idea just pointing out its a huge thing that will take time, and of course not everything can be within walking distance.

    Im assuming farms are within walking distance of course. But if they arent the whole idea doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  22. 122
    nigelj says:

    Mr. Know It All @109, people who get their news from facebook may be deluded but many do, and this doesnt obviate facebooks responsibility to maintain accuracy and its not good enough for facebook to provide a platform for professional liars. The first amendment only applies to government censoring of free speech, and has no bearing on what rules facebook can set.

  23. 123
    Killian says:

    Re Killian @ 102:

    103 Piotr: Nonresponsponsive.

    The perfect is an enemy of the good

    The necessary must be done.

    105 nigelj: No modern technology is sustainable by this definition.

    This is the only correct answer (given I was thinking in terms of modern tech rather than the broader meaning which could include an awl, e.g.)

    106 Kevin McKinney: Nonresponsive. Also, ignores multiple lines of evidence/issues commonly raised on these fora by me and others. Context matters.

    114 Al Bundy: Nonresponsive.

    Tou your credit, gentlemen, none of you claimed the definition was inaccurate. Progress?

    That concludes Phase I.

  24. 124
    Adam Lea says:

    Killian 102: A bicycle made from wood comes very close.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhP12IOeMGQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LogpHWEMEyY

  25. 125
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Mr. KIA: “FYI, in the USA we have a thing called the 1st Amendment which protects free speech which means objectionable speech – there is no need to protect speech that everyone agrees with! You should read up on that 1st Amendment, and all the others as well.”

    I thought I’d serve up this delicious scoop of irony–Mr. KIA saying that the first amendment protects lies of climate deniers on Farcebork. Just for fun, let’s look at the text of said amendment:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Funny, I don’t see Farcebork mentioned even once in that text, do you? That is because it applies to Congress–and via Supreme Court interpretation–to all other lawmaking bodies, e.g. state legislatures, county councils…

    But Farcebork is a private corporation. If they decide they don’t want people lying through their teeth on THEIR platform, they are free to tell those liars to fork off. And I as a consumer, or another company, as an advertiser–we are free to tell Farcebork to fork off and deprive them of our business or ad revenue.

    So, Mr. KIA, here’s a suggestion. On this 4th of July weekend, why don’t you crack a history book that wasn’t written by a Faux News imbecile. Or not. I really don’t care. Nobody takes anything you say seriously, so it doesn’t matter that you remain utterly ignorant on every subject.

  26. 126

    KIA 109: in the USA we have a thing called the 1st Amendment

    BPL: Which does not apply to a private forum like Facebook, which is allowed to make its own rules. Maybe you’d better read the actual text of the first amendment.

  27. 127
    zebra says:

    #118 David Benson,

    Sounds exactly like what you guys were telling me is impossible…

    “Retail choice??… Virtual Grid??… The Grid Will Explode!!”

    Just sayin’.

  28. 128
    Mal Adapted says:

    Mr. Ironically Anosognosic Typist:

    Anyone who gets news from FB may be a MORON! FYI, in the USA we have a thing called the 1st Amendment which protects free speech which means objectionable speech – there is no need to protect speech that everyone agrees with!

    Heh. One may painstakingly ignore Facebook and still be a moron. FYI, the 1st Amendment protects speech from legal sanction. It doesn’t require privately-owned mass media to give a platform to pernicious nonsense. The demise of the FCC fairness doctrine made that clear, for better or worse. Media owners consequently enjoy the right not to publish mercenary disinformation. IAT’s “1st Amendment” foolishness is yet another undead science-denialist meme, long since dispatched by Randall Munroe in six panels.

  29. 129
    Piotr says:

    Al Bundy (113): “Piotr: “Stable” only in the sense that, in the absence of oxygen, it won’t easily explode on its own
    AB: Chemical reactions are often like climbing a small hill that leads to a long ski slope. “Stability” depends more on the little hill. It matters not how much energy woulda got released if only you made it up the hill. Methane has a big hill.”

    Piotr: You are climbing the wrong hill: for ENERGY STORAGE it’s ONLY the “long ski slope” that matters – because only it determines how much energy you can remove by going down the slope, and conversely – how much energy you store by going up the slope. Hence, as I’ve already explained in the post you comment – it’s the thermodynamic definition of stability that matter here (“Thermodynamic stability occurs when a system is in its lowest energy state”) and THIS “ski slope” is huge >800 kJ/mol.

    What you and our Poet are talking about is …. the stability against auto-ignition – which is irrelevant to the energy storage: whatever energy you had to put to climb your activation “hill” – makes your “long ski slope” LONGER – meaning that the reaction returns your activation energy in addition to the regular >800 kJ/mol of the long hill slope.

    To sum it up, your “big [activation] hill” is irrelevant to the discussion of energy storage potential of CH4 because:

    1. does not change the NET amount of energy we can obtain by burning CH4 (>800kJ/mol)

    2. is TRIVIAL technically – done in every gas burner and every gas turbine, not mentioning the Poets routinely overcoming it by mere striking a match or a cigarette lighter (“The Poetry of Flatulence https://science.sciencemag.org/content/294/5548/1823.3)

    3.if anything – high AUTOignition temp. makes CH4 SAFER for energy storage– since as long as you keep your produced CH4 away from O2, your STORED CH4 is less likely to explode uncontrollably.

  30. 130
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @114

    “To burden this single generation with solving everything forever and ever amen is foolish. Hmm, look up “rat utopia” or “mouse utopia”. When everything is solved rodents go batshit crazy. They end up going extinct as they lose the desire and skills to reproduce and rear. Japan, South Korea showing signs?”

    Yes but who cares? According to some people the biosophere is the most important thing and humans are just a nuisance and an abberation that the world would be better without. (sarc)

  31. 131
    Piotr says:

    Al Bundy says (115) Piotr, Farming and forestry have been huge CO2 emitters.[…] Gotten better. Many use no till and practices Killian advocates. A journey.

    Piotr: I am afraid that “no till and practices Killian advocates” or your “Cellulose to mostly methanol” do not meet Killian sustainability definitions, particularly that they would have not only reduce their own net emissions to zero, but would have to provide replacement for ALL other world’s energy:

    “Challenge: Prove that any of the technologies under discussion on this forum meet either [sustainability or regenerative] criteria.” Killian (102)

    For me, that’s “all or nothing” philosophy. Ironically, the only other people who might agree with Killian “all or nothing” demands are … climate change deniers:

    “all or nothing” philosophy/rhetoric, used ALSO by deniers to say: “if you are not ready to swear off the use of ALL fossil fuels then you a hypocrite and therefore not in a position to tell us how much fossil fuels we can use.”
    Piotr (104)

    The perfect (here: the silver bullet making Earth “sustainable”) is an enemy of the good (your: “gotten better” and “a journey”).

  32. 132
    Piotr says:

    David B. Benson: The future of the power grid: https://bravenewclimate.proboards.com

    Piotr: That’s … the board where people bravely say the … opposite to what they say here? ;-) You know for instance:

    * D.B. Benson, this thread on RC: “The increase in so-called renewables has done nothing to decrease consumption of petroleum products and natural gas.” and “the weather dependence of wind and solar HAS LED to an INCREASE in the use of [fossil] fuels as ‘backup’”
    Asked to prove it, he …changed the “petroleum products and natural gas” to “coal burners have to run flat out d the time, whether the steam is used to generate electricity or is just wasted.”
    Asked why WHY on Earth would he change his OWN argument from fast ramp-up gas burners to the “flat out d coal burners” – he answers “Well, its done in the state of West Australia. A description is found buried in https://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/

    So I went to that link and found David B. Benson … DISMISSING his value of using West Australia as lesson: “The isolated, antiquated grid of West Australia is certainly not a lesson for the majority of the world.” David B. Benson, on BNC

    And such a radical conversion is not limited to DB Benson: another alumnus of BNC, Poet Engineer, swings … the other way:
    – on BNC he put”like” on the very same article about West Australia grid that DB Benson dismissed, while on RC he defended claims of DB Benson by … ignoring Benson’s RC call on West Australia coal, that he [P-E] liked while on BNC.

    And after I quoted both Benson’s and Poet’s RC and BNC posts to prove their contradictions, our Mr. Poet with a straight face, lectures me:
    “It’s really funny when someone sputters about thoughtcrime and tries to use guilt-by-association, and succeeds only at making himself ridiculous. You realize that you CAN quote in detail here, and spell out logical errors and contradictions precisely?” Engineer Poet (20)

    By their arguments you shall know who is “making himself ridiculous”, eh? And the value of the websites they recommend? ;-)
    Piotr

  33. 133
    Piotr says:

    Killian (123): “Tou your credit, gentlemen, none of you claimed the definition was inaccurate.”

    Not surprising, since we … didn’t attempt to falsify your definition, but merely a) questioned its cognitive value (Nigel showing it be a useless tautology:”No modern technology is sustainable by this definition.”)
    b) questioned your application of it (your dismissing “good” (existing renewables) because they are not “perfect” (100% sustainable), a.k.a. the “all or nothing” fallacy).
    c) tried to defend you (Al Bundy in 115) and for his efforts – he got … dismissed by you as “nonresponsive”.

    Plus I noted the irony of you finding yourself in bed with the deniers: “[this] all or nothing” philosophy/rhetoric, is used ALSO by deniers to say: “if you are not ready to swear off the use of ALL fossil fuels then you a hypocrite and therefore not in a position to tell us how much fossil fuels we can use.” Piotr (104) Les extrêmes se touchent, eh?

    > That concludes Phase I.

    If your inability to understand what your respondents wrote and your finding yourself in bed with climate change deniers was your … “Phase I”, I can’t wait for what you have planned for “Phase II” … ;-)

    Piotr

  34. 134

    KIA 120: I heard an interesting interview of Michael Shellenberger on the radio today.

    BPL: Yes, yes, all the deniers are repeating Shellenberger these days. Of course, Shellenberger is incompetent when it comes to climate change. He’s a lobbyist for nuclear power and nuclear weapons proliferation. He knows no climatology.

  35. 135
    Killian says:

    117 – Kevin McKinney
    “I actually think the areas most in need of abandonment or radical restructuring would be the suburbs.”

    Convince the Ds that you are correct and tell ’em to run on THAT.
    :)

    RetroSuburbia – David Holmgren

  36. 136
    Killian says:

    121 nigelj said Kevin McKinney @117

    “Imho walkable communities have obvious merit, but this would require virtually abandoning our cities and building many small communities closer to farms…”

    “I don’t think so, as it’s very feasible in many cases to bring farming into urban areas. We actually saw a fair amount of that in places like Detroit …”

    Detroit doesnt have nearly enough land to feed a population of 670,000 people.

    How would you know? Me? I lived there for three years and was deeply involved in all the various “justice” movements. Detroit is the one city in the world that very easily can feed itself.

    You will never learn to not speak in ignorance, I suppose.

  37. 137
    Killian says:

    124 Adam Lea said

    Killian 102: A bicycle made from wood comes very close.

    Embedded energy + renewable energy… oh, my…. Maybe there’s hope for humanity, yet.

  38. 138
    Killian says:

    131 Piotr said Piotr: I am afraid that “no till and practices Killian advocates” …do not meet Killian sustainability definitions

    Please do not misinform/lie.

    particularly that they would have not only reduce their own net emissions to zero

    And way beyond. Soils are a major key to survival.

    but would have to provide replacement for ALL other world’s energy

    LOL… That’s complete (non-pejorative) ignorance.

    For me, that’s “all or nothing” philosophy.

    This is an extremely stupid and ASSumptive comment that is nothing but a Straw Man.

    The perfect (here: the silver bullet making Earth “sustainable”) is an enemy of the good (your: “gotten better” and “a journey”).

    You clearly have no idea where the solution set lies, thus, moot.

  39. 139
    Killian says:

    133 Piotr said we … didn’t attempt to falsify your definition, but merely a) questioned its cognitive value

    No, you didn’t. That’s bullshit hyperbole.

    (Nigel showing it be a useless tautology:”No modern technology is sustainable by this definition.”)

    No, he correctly stated a simple truth that is apparently beyond you.

    b) questioned your application of it (your dismissing “good” (existing renewables)

    Are you just stupid or are you a liar? I have never, literally, dismissed “renewables.” A permaculturist could not and expect to be called a permaculture designer.

    You speak from ignorance and bias.

    because they are not “perfect” (100% sustainable), a.k.a. the “all or nothing” fallacy).

    Straw Man. This is something I have never said, quite literally.

    c) tried to defend you (Al Bundy in 115) and for his efforts – he got … dismissed by you as “nonresponsive”.

    What was he asked to do, as were you all? (Defend me? That is not, to his credit, what Al does.)

    Plus I noted the irony of you finding yourself in bed with the deniers: “[this] all or nothing” philosophy

    Straw Man. There is no such thing. it’s antithetical to permaculture design. But what do you know? Nothing, it seems.

    Piotr, you are yet a deeply ignorant man. Please learn.

  40. 140
    Raymond Ladbury says:

    Adam Lea, Have you ever ridden a wooden bicycle? I have and don’t recommend it.

  41. 141

    #123, Killian–

    106 Kevin McKinney: Nonresponsive.

    Word to the author: That you perceive requests for clarification as “nonresponsive” goes long way toward explaining why you don’t get more traction as a spokesman. Would it really hurt just to answer the question?

  42. 142

    121, Nigel–

    Good points on urban farming, but what you’re showing is that Detroit almost certainly can’t be entirely *self-sufficient* in food. I didn’t think that was necessarily a criterion; we were talking about walkable neighborhoods, and the possibility thereof.

    But yeah, if self-sufficiency in food is a criterion, then all cities would need to be abandoned as you say. But I don’t see that happening; cities exist for good and compelling reasons, and have done for many millennia, happily non-self-sufficient in food. They enable other layers of cultural and economic activity, of course, and country and city complement each other–best case, in non-exploitative ways.

    Which I think is really another facet of what you were saying.

  43. 143
    nigelj says:

    One thing I suspect we all agree on (apart from the denialists) is fossil fuels have poor sustainability, because of the climate problem, particulate air pollution, impacts on the biosphere, and they are very much scarce finite resource, and once they are burned they are gone, and their petrochemical products are hard to recycle. Energy dense yes, but clearly there are big downsides.

    Renewables aren’t perfectly sustainable either in the sense they wont last indefinitely, but clearly thats not a reason for us not to use them. If future generations run out of renewables like solar panels or other technology, it obviously wont be the end of the world and its not going to happen overnight. Simple indigenous low tech cultures exist to this day.

    We can mitigate problems for ourselves and future generations by reducing waste, recycling and nobody needs to own multiple cars and televisions, and get the size of population down. And passive solar buildings, and low till farming. Going beyond this into very minimilist lifestyle doesn’t make sense to me, and is unlikely to be popular or worth my energy promoting.

  44. 144
    Killian says:

    A point I should have made earlier:
    Only stone age and timber based technologies are truly sustainable by this definition.

    False. Faulty assumptions.

    ——————————

    Phase II

    We previously established:

    Define “regenerative”: Able to be continued indefinitely without damaging the environment or depleting non-renewable resources while enhancing and improving ecosystem functioning and productivity (ecosystem services.)

    nigelj: No modern technology is sustainable by this definition.

    Adam Lea: A bicycle made from wood comes very close.

    The above having gone unchallenged, and being accurate, what are the implications for solving climate, resource and ecological problems? As well as sociopolitical and economic…

    That is, if almost everything “developed” and/or industrialized nations do is planet-killing, what direction to do we go in to solve these problems?

    Looked at from the opposite side, what *does* a regenerative society look like?

    (I.e., how do you create a regenerative society if you have no idea what one *is?*)

  45. 145
    Al Bundy says:

    K&N,
    Farming can be split in three:
    1 Grain for bulk calories. Takes about three people to farm a bazillion calories. Rural, staying that way, and irrelevant.
    2 animals. Depends on whether industrial or humane, but again, so few humans will be needed that this part of farming is irrelevant to the discussion.
    3 Veggies. Here’s where urban agriculture belongs. Lots depends on electrical production. Vertical sucks down the e-juice and horizontal farms are limited to a few (usually one) layers.

    So the fun and fresh gets more local and the rest gets done far away by a few folks. Small towns are dying, with many residents on financial life support via government checks.

    This could change quickly now that working from home is gaining traction. Big city paycheck with small town rent is an attractive proposition.

    I like clumpy-style cities, groupings of purposeful “towns” or “neighborhoods” (such as art or higher education) separated with green belts. Mass transit gets you to the walkable neighborhood of choice.

  46. 146

    Piotr trolls @104:

    Let’s see:
    1. The residence time of the surplus CO2 in the atmosphere is of order of 100 yrs.

    A lot more than that, per Coursera.  A substantial fraction of CO2 remains in the atmosphere for 1000 years and more.  The only way to remove it completely is by geoengineering processes such as enhanced weathering.

    2. Burned biomass has taken up its CO2 from the MODERN atm. (during last 1 yr (crops) or during last several decades, i.e. < 300 MLN yrs ago.

    That literally only matters for the uptake by annual plants.  When forests are cut for fuelwood, not only is a great deal more CO2 released per MWh than with natural gas (almost 4x as much), the carbon uptake capacity of the ecosystem is slashed.  And as the article notes, the carbon uptake system’s capacity is ALREADY MAXED OUT.  Cutting down forests for “bioenergy” just makes things worse.

    Ergo: burning biomass – is ~ “carbon neutral”, while burning coal is NOT.

    Burning non-crop biomass is heavily carbon POSITIVE on a time-scale of decades.  And we have to act on a time-scale of decades.

    So much for the supposed superiority of coal

    When biomass adds 2423 lbCO2/MWh to the atmosphere while bituminous coal adds only 1712, it isn’t that coal is “superior”.  It is that neither is acceptable.  Neither has any role in solving the problem.

    There ARE possible solutions.  Ways2H has a scheme to convert waste such as garbage and sewage sludge to hydrogen.  If you can find carbon-free (such as nuclear) energy to power the process, you can turn a waste stream destined for landfill (and methane leakage) into a possibly carbon-negative fuel supply.  That is the kind of solution we cannot ignore if we are going to have a livable planet in 2050 and beyond.

  47. 147

    BPL plays Polyanna:

    Some good news:

    https://cleantechnica.com/2020/06/25/usa-could-hit-90-clean-electricity-by-2035/

    That’s not going to happen.  Cleantechnica is run by people who should be straitjackets.  Michigan is due to shut down the Palisades NPP, which generates about 1/3 more carbon-free electric power than ALL the wind farms in the state… and those clowns think that is PROGRESS!

  48. 148

    Al Bundy totally misses the point @110:

    EP assumes that nuclear reactors will function flawlessly forever

    Never assumed that.  But the single recorded fatality from the meltdown of 3 reactors at Fukushima Dai’ichi in a beyond-design-basis accident is far less harm than combustion-based power (whether biomass or fossil) causes when operating as designed.

  49. 149

    Al Bundy writes @115:

    Speaking of methanol, though it seriously shrinks an engine’s size it increases the fuel’s weight

    This really only matters for aviation.  Wärtsilä is looking at ammonia as fuel for marine engines, despite it having a mere fraction of the volumetric and mass energy density of bunker fuel.  Those penalties are acceptable for shipping.  Methanol is acceptable for ground transport.  Maybe aviation can use liquid methane.

  50. 150

    Ray Ladbury doesn’t get it @125:

    I thought I’d serve up this delicious scoop of irony–Mr. KIA saying that the first amendment protects lies of climate deniers on Farcebork.

    That’s unless Faceborg has abandoned its status as a quasi-common carrier to become a publisher instead.  Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects cybernetic fora acting as content-neutral conduits and makes them immune from liability for the content they merely carry, not produce.  But Faceborg has long exercised editorial control over what posted content gets seen even by followers (shadowbanning) and who is allowed access.  It’s time for them all to be held liable for all libels, which would shut them all down.

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