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Dr. Pepper

It's the End of the World: Climate Collapse

139 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, Simon Steele said:

Recycling is the biggest offender of the appearance of change, and it's a problem because everyone does it and we all think it's great, but it has its issues.

I heard something on NPR a while back about a study that found people will use more of something if they know it's recyclable or made from recycled material.  I think they were primarily looking at napkins to start, where putting "made from recycled material" caused people to use almost two times as many napkins and then expanded out in their study.

A common things I see in parent groups is people asking for advice on products, say sippy cups, and a bunch of responses will be "get this because it's cheap so if it breaks that's ok and it's recyclable".  So people are purposely choosing the more disposable flimsy plastic option with the idea they can just toss it in the recycler and it will all be ok.

2 hours ago, Simon Steele said:

I would say going vegetarian 70 percent of the time (I'd say vegan, but vegans say you "just can't be vegan sometimes"), is totally worth it for all of us. But then we bogged down in arguments of "you'll be so weak," or "we're not made to eat that way," despite, you know, primates typically eat mostly plant-based diets. I feel like Gorillas' are way stronger than beefed up MMA fighters, but hell, what do I know? Medical doctors will tell you that you've made a mistake if you quit eating meat.

I don't know about that.  The USDA might say it's a mistake to quit eating meat, but I think medical doctors are coming to understand that food is medicine and that a more plant based diet is better for the body.  Even cutting back on meat by half has positive effects on health.  For the environment it could be huge.  

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6 hours ago, polishgenius said:

Fair enough. You obviously know more about the subject than me (I've only read stuff about how lithium mining is enormously destuctive). It's one of the things I mean about the research needed though: fuel cells right now aren't efficient but given the right research they might be.

In terms of getting the material lithium and hydrogen use a pretty similar process. Once you get whatever you're using to get it you just use electrolysis. This being Water for hydrogen or concentrated brine for lithium. Here there's not much you can do to improve efficiency. It requires a certain amount of energy to break those chemical bonds. Most you can do is use renewable forms of electricity to get the energy needed. (Note that you can get Hydrogen more efficiently using Natural Gas Reforming but at the point you might as well just use the natural gas instead because you're releasing the same amount of carbon either way) Hydrogen has the advantage here because it's a lot easier to get something you can use electrolysis on. Water's everywhere, concentrated Lithium salts are less so. So a lot of the issue comes from getting it from where it is to were we can process it, and sometimes having to further concentrate it so it can be useful. Large chunks of that carbon footprint can be reduced by using renewable energy. Research is ongoing into better ways of getting the end result. In both cases there might be microbial agents that can separate the components part leaving the thing we want as a waste. Whenever we can get nature to do what we want it's usually easier.

However once you've got the material batteries come to a large advantage in efficiency. Batteries are simply more efficient in storing energy. There's too much loss in hydrogen storage, compression, and transportation.

Of course hydrogen does have an advantage, it's much faster to refuel. So I would bet there are areas where hydrogen fuel cells would do better.

And all of this could become irrelevant it we become capable of producing enough energy. Nobody's going to care about a 10% energy loss if we're capable of producing massively more than we need cheaply.

Edited by TrueMetis

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There is an Atlantic article out that describes a paper that recently came out, stating that if all Americans switched from beef to beans we would meet our Paris targets. Never gonna happen, but useful to consider.

In lieu of that, preventing food waste would be a good way to go to reduce CO2e emissions. Unfortunately this is one of those Hobson's choices (is that the right term?) where one of the key answer to preventing food waste is plastics. Which usually has a pretty low carbon footprint for packaging, but we all know the other issues with it (floating islands of trash in the oceans, microplastics in our water supply etc...)

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This is not the thread for it, but it seems to me that when you have your diabetes, obesity, heart disease ect, the main concern probably shouldnt be wether vegans get enough b12?  Especially if widespread veganism would put us on route to sustainability..

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On 12/9/2017 at 0:03 PM, Dr. Pepper said:

I heard something on NPR a while back about a study that found people will use more of something if they know it's recyclable or made from recycled material.  I think they were primarily looking at napkins to start, where putting "made from recycled material" caused people to use almost two times as many napkins and then expanded out in their study.

A common things I see in parent groups is people asking for advice on products, say sippy cups, and a bunch of responses will be "get this because it's cheap so if it breaks that's ok and it's recyclable".  So people are purposely choosing the more disposable flimsy plastic option with the idea they can just toss it in the recycler and it will all be ok.

I don't know about that.  The USDA might say it's a mistake to quit eating meat, but I think medical doctors are coming to understand that food is medicine and that a more plant based diet is better for the body.  Even cutting back on meat by half has positive effects on health.  For the environment it could be huge.  

That's great! I remember my doctor trying to talk me out of it a few years ago, but you know what? That was more like 10 years ago. I'm getting old. I really hope docs are catching up. My old doc said my cholesterol wouldn't go down without meds, but once I switched to plant-based (primarily), my cholesterol changed fundamentally. I'm 38 and my bloodwork is better than it was in my 20s. My new doc is really supportive too, so I should quit being so pessimistic. 

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On 12/9/2017 at 10:49 AM, polishgenius said:

Fair enough. You obviously know more about the subject than me (I've only read stuff about how lithium mining is enormously destuctive). It's one of the things I mean about the research needed though: fuel cells right now aren't efficient but given the right research they might be.


 

 


I feel that 'we need to eat less meat and are perfectly capable of functioning on only a bit of meat a week' is all the argument you need or want. When you start going into the other stuff you're really shooting yourself in the foot, coz if we're talking differences with other primates, there's a very strong possibility that we are less physically strong than gorillas because we are carnivores, or to be more specific, persistence hunters. We, evolutionarily, probably trade strength for stamina: gorillas do not need to.

Well, I'm pre-empting all the omnivore stuff I always here. But it doesn't matter, true.

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On 12/5/2017 at 7:05 PM, TrueMetis said:

Where is it happening? Not only am I not aware of an instance of cross contamination in any sort of significant amount without it being deliberate I'm not aware of any GMO crop that produces infertile offspring.

Agreed, my father and his brother own 10 sections of land and one of the largest farming/seed farming operations in Western Canada.  I've not heard anything about this, and neither has he, and more grain is grown per acre here than pretty much anywhere else on the planet.

 

Regarding drought starting the civil war in Syria - that's a tough pill to swallow.  More like Obama having tasked various intel agencies with pulling the same regime change stunt a la "Arab Spring" that was pulled in oh, Libya, Egypt, etc.  The trouble is Assad was far too strong for that to work as it did in other Arab nations.  You can argue this if you like, I worked with several x-intel agency employees at 2 different private military companies who had been directly tasked for operations in Syria to this effect.  Drought = .0005 %, Obama's administration, 99.9995 % responsible for what happened in Syria.

 

I do agree that there are calamities likely coming, those wishing to impose a one world government and new order will ensure it.  Climate change could play a part, but IMO it'll be far more likely that politics and useless leaders such as Trump et al will ensure enough mistakes happen to push us all over the brink. 

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The Right Whale is facing the prospect of extinction, there are only about 450 in the wild.

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10 minutes ago, GAROVORKIN said:

The Right Whale is facing the prospect of extinction, there are only about 450 in the wild.

Those numbers don't bode well for the possibility of growing to a healthy population without human intervention. Stuff like this is why I'm of the opinion we should be creating genetic catalogues of all species on earth, starting with the most endangered and recently extinct if genetic material is still available.

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28 minutes ago, TrueMetis said:

Those numbers don't bode well for the possibility of growing to a healthy population without human intervention. Stuff like this is why I'm of the opinion we should be creating genetic catalogues of all species on earth, starting with the most endangered and recently extinct if genetic material is still available.

It looks very bleak for the Right Whale. The genetic bank is a good idea , but it may not happen in time to make a difference.  The problem is that if we let enough species go extinct, It could lead to our own extinction as well.

 

 

Edited by GAROVORKIN

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31 minutes ago, GAROVORKIN said:

It looks very bleak for the Right Whale. The genetic bank is a good idea , but it may not happen in time to make a difference.  The problem is that if we let enough species go extinct, It could lead to our own extinction as well.

 

 

Maybe not, but we may be able to survive where many other species don't, and if that's the case a genetic bank may allow us to bring those species back.

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There was that ibex or goat or something that went extinct and then they cloned one and then it died.  That's all I got.

 

Here it is!

Edited by larrytheimp

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On 12/9/2017 at 1:51 PM, IheartIheartTesla said:

There is an Atlantic article out that describes a paper that recently came out, stating that if all Americans switched from beef to beans we would meet our Paris targets. Never gonna happen, but useful to consider.

In lieu of that, preventing food waste would be a good way to go to reduce CO2e emissions. Unfortunately this is one of those Hobson's choices (is that the right term?) where one of the key answer to preventing food waste is plastics. Which usually has a pretty low carbon footprint for packaging, but we all know the other issues with it (floating islands of trash in the oceans, microplastics in our water supply etc...)

I think you're describing a choice between two bad options?  If so, I think that's a Morton's Fork.  

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Yes, a choice between two bad options. Plastics are good for reducing food waste (and also, even if they end up in landfill have pretty low GHG because it takes forever for many of them to decompose). But there is the other issue as well.

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On 12/9/2017 at 6:55 AM, Iskaral Pust said:

And wildfire bearing down on LA in December is presumably god’s overdue divine wrath. 

Apparently that one is actually Australia's long waiting wrath. Or perhaps negligent sales pitch? Brook was reading about it last week, we sold the Eucalypts to California without explaining the extended maturation process and the...tendency to explode and spread fire very quickly once mature as part of the breeding cycle. Watching the fires there this year has been like watching our own fires, but in an area not used to dealing with fires like this.

On 12/10/2017 at 0:55 AM, IheartIheartTesla said:

One industrial efficiency project can result in enough savings equivalent to say 100k people not driving their cars for a year (potentially). So while it is important for everyone to change their behavior, human nature being what it is it is a tough ask.

Yup, the "we need to reduce our consumption as individuals" is a narrative that serves the business and political interests of those invested in getting every last cent out of the status quo. Yes, reducing our own footprints is good, and we should all do it, but its not the solution and talking about it like it is allows those who need to feel the pressure to dodge responsibility. The amount of subsidies that fossil fuels are still receiving even now is mind boggling, who knows where our renewables might be at by now if the lobbying hadn't kept such a heavy hand on the balance scale.

On 12/10/2017 at 4:32 AM, Ormond said:

This seems a bit wrong to me on both ends. Chimpanzees, who are more closely related to humans than gorillas, do occasionally eat some meat -- but more importantly, the about 13 million years since humans and chimps split from a common ancestor gives us way more than enough time to have possibly evolved to need meat in our diet.

On the other hand, I am not sure it is really the case that one can't be very healthy on a vegetarian diet. It's probably easier to get certain nutrients as a meat eater, but I think with modern nutritional knowledge it should be quite possible to quit eating meat and still be healthy if one is careful. 

Its certainly possible to be healthy as a vegetarian or vegan, but its not as easy. It takes both more money and (probably more importantly) time and knowledge to maintain a healthy balanced diet, and anything that tries to say its something everyone can do is inadvertently making both a classist and ableist argument. Those in the thread arguing for a reduced meat component - that's a very different story and I'm not criticising you for that viewpoint, just those that dismissively think everyone can go vegan with no problems.

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On 12/12/2017 at 5:52 AM, IheartIheartTesla said:

Yes, a choice between two bad options. Plastics are good for reducing food waste (and also, even if they end up in landfill have pretty low GHG because it takes forever for many of them to decompose). But there is the other issue as well.

Cool.   I think a Hobson's Choice (not cheating and googling) is more like a take-it-or-leave-it or choose something or choose nothing scenario.

Jay Michaelson had a depressing column today that is not too heavy on data or science but basically makes the point that there ain't no way we're preventing serious warming, so it's all about managing things.  I have had similar fears.  Bill McKibbon was on Bill Maher recently and said something to the effect of "we still have time to act" and Bill was like "seriously, do we?"  And it was clear what Bill M's point was, and it was hard to disagree.  It's like the McKibbon's of the world have admirably decided that slowing warming is still a laudable goal, so we need to keep people hopeful even though they know we'll fail in majorly curbing emissions in time.

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My understanding was that there's still time to stop a 4C+ rise, but 1-2C is locked in now. A 2C rise is bad and very painful, 4C is not a linear increase in the problems we face though, its cataclysmic. Even with 2C locked in, its worth the pain of acting now. But there are still too many economic powers with their heads in the sand, because the next quarterly report is what matters, not long term.

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8 hours ago, karaddin said:

My understanding was that there's still time to stop a 4C+ rise, but 1-2C is locked in now. A 2C rise is bad and very painful, 4C is not a linear increase in the problems we face though, its cataclysmic. Even with 2C locked in, its worth the pain of acting now. But there are still too many economic powers with their heads in the sand, because the next quarterly report is what matters, not long term.

I think it's more the problem with the United States having its head buried in the sand. A lot of other countries are now being much more progressive on this.

The main stumbling block, aside from Trump's stupidity, is China, which can't seem to make up its mind on what it wants to do with coal. It was supposed to be building 160 coal plants, which would have been moronic, then it mothballed them and now it seems to be saying it might have to go back to them. China needs to plant its flag on being a green leader, a field it can trivially dominate whilst the US is still tilting at windmills, and cash in.

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You guys are more optimistic than me.  I think the thawing of the permafrost is now inevitable and will release vast amounts of greenhouse gases and act as a huge accelerant that dwarfs any reduction in fossil fuels burned.  2C is the minimum rise we'll see over the next century.  We need to move rapidly toward mitigation strategies that are basically geoengineering*:

- a massive global planting program for carbon traps, which in turn requires GMO (hardier, faster growing species), soil regeneration and desalination, and a huge program of hydrology (we'll have rising sea levels but insufficient fresh water -- we need to move toward a warmer wet environment rather than a warmer dry** environment)

- possibly atmospheric distribution of reflective particles (simulating a volcanic eruption)

- definitely coastline infrastructure via levies, dams, etc

- possibly intervention in oceanic surface temperatures and convection cycle that helps fuel mega storms 

 

*of the deliberate kind, rather than the centuries of unintended geoengineering through deforestation, salination via irrigation and greenhouse gases.

**one of our biggest challenges is that the current continental configuration (location, size and shape) ensures vast areas of land receive very little precipitation.  I can't yet imagine how, but we need to stimulate or else artificially replace the evaporation-precipitation distribution of fresh water in small persistent amounts that can be absorbed into aquifers.

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11 hours ago, karaddin said:

My understanding was that there's still time to stop a 4C+ rise, but 1-2C is locked in now. A 2C rise is bad and very painful, 4C is not a linear increase in the problems we face though, its cataclysmic. Even with 2C locked in, its worth the pain of acting now. But there are still too many economic powers with their heads in the sand, because the next quarterly report is what matters, not long term.

AFAIK, there are still quite some scientists arguing that 2C is attainable. Around 1,5C is more or less locked in. 

Keeping the warming to 2C is hinging on us reducing our carbon outlet to 1990-levels within 5-40 years (opinions differ, and there are bigger outliers than this, but what I gather is that this is more or less the central ground atm). This also hinges on getting climate sensitivity right - how much we will warm relative to the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted.

One of the great difficulties if we continue warming is the chance of reaching a «tipping point», which I understand to be (someone correct me if I’ve misunderstood) a point where the warming will continue of its own accord when we reach, and our efforts are of less value. Where that tipping point is, is rather difficult to acertain. 

Again, if I have understood the scientists correctly, we are at a point where we cannot lean on adaptation or mitigation alone. Both are needed in order to keep warming to a non-dangerous level for humans.

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