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#1 2021-08-17 21:56:50

EdwardHeisler
Member
Registered: 2017-09-20
Posts: 350

Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change[

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKCuDxpccYM&t=598s

Elon Musk breaks down climate change for students at The Sorbonne in Paris (France's Harvard) right before the historic COP21 climate change conference in which *all* nations signed the now historic Paris Agreement in 2015 to reduce carbon emissions below 2C, and preferably under 1.5C. 

This channel believes that this is one of the best basic explanations on climate change ever given in a short amount of time.  Enjoy! 

English subtitles provided for non-native English speakers.

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#2 2021-08-18 07:39:06

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,708

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

According to Elon Musk's plan, we should be taxing the hell out of the solar panel and wind turbine and Lithium-ion battery companies that emit so much CO2 to produce their wares and clear-cut so many acres of land to provide so little power, all for devices that will invariably end up in landfills in 10 to 20 years.  All that non-recyclable electronic and plastic waste is another unpriced externality.  The radioactive materials that the rare Earth miners spread all over the place while digging up the elements required for the permanent magnets and electronics should also be taxed.  Whenever you can't come up with technology that works well enough to be an economically feasible substitute for what your new technology purports to replace, then propose taxing your competitors.  That strategy may work, but it's not very creative at all, except in a negative sense.

If any of these people were actually serious about solving the problem, then they'd first figure out how to mine and refine metals without emitting CO2, figure out how to recycle all the toxic materials they produce, and also figure out how to set up a wind or solar farm without clear-cutting every piece of vegetation taller than six inches.  They've done none of that, because the technology doesn't work well enough.

Taxes can't and won't solve basic physics problems.  History has already proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Lithium-ion batteries have been around for longer than I've been alive, but long after everyone presently living on this planet is dead and buried, they still won't be anywhere near as energy dense as a gallon of gasoline.  Only the "blow harder" simpletons think otherwise, because they lack the education so necessary to understanding why what they're demanding of technology isn't achievable.  Batteries haven't replaced liquid hydrocarbon fuels because the best batteries in the labs are more than an order of magnitude less energy dense, as compared to gasoline or diesel.  The only minor technological improvements we've made to said batteries make them more and more impractical to recycle.

There are ultimately only 3 winning strategies:

1. Reduce the constant churn of technological innovation that never leads to any realized energy savings.  Humanity has not secured any great utility from a bazillion minor variations on a single theme.

For example, there are as many different minor variations on the internal combustion engine as there are visible stars, yet all that churn hasn't raised the national average fuel economy for all passenger vehicles beyond 13 miles per gallon of fuel.  The average fuel economy of a small block V8 engine from the early 1970s, prior to electronic engine control, was about 13mpg.  50 years later, across all passenger vehicles, if you divide total yearly fuel consumption by total miles driven, it's still 13mpg.  The lesson there is that the purported energy savings associated with electronic engine control never materialized.  The car companies only made their engines wildly more powerful than required to drive down the road at 75mph.  The new Tesla Model S delivers 1,000 rear wheel horsepower.  To what end?  Since you can't legally drive more than 75mph on any road in America, or much slower than that in many places, what was the point to giving a 4,000 pound passenger vehicle more than about 150hp?

I'm not arguing that we should go backwards in time, but to claim that we made any measureable "progress", in terms of more efficient use of available resources, is an absolute absurdity.

Similarly, LED lights didn't save any electricity because now people leave their lights on 24/7.

More efficient AC only means people run it colder or hotter.

We also made television sets cheaper, so now people have one in every room, and they're also constantly turned on, despite the fact that nobody is even watching them, endlessly consuming power while benefiting no one.

The overriding point is that making everything ridiculously more complex than it already is, under the false pretense of improving efficiency, hasn't achieved the result the claimants were after.

We need people to recognize the limits of utility.  Faster doesn't always equate to better.  A power saw will certainly allow you to cut wood much faster than by hand, but it also allows you to ruin otherwise good lumber faster if you're not careful with your cuts.  In other words, there's a limit to what "better technology" can feasibly provide, and that limitation is frequently the user of the technology.

Craftsmanship and longevity in operation are real concepts that really do affect the ultimate utility of any given technology purporting to be better than what came before it.  People treat cars like appliances now, instead of durable goods that should last a lifetime.  The buying habits of the average consumer, no matter where you go in the world, are a major factor here.

2. The recyclability of a specific good or machine is tantamount to sustainability.  We have industries dedicated to the manufacture of packaging that has an average lifespan measured in days, prior to being tossed in a landfill.  All that plastic crap that was supposed to be "better" because it was lighter or cheaper, ultimately isn't.  If you're going to sell water or soda or beer to people who drink it by the case, then why not put that liquid into reusable Aluminum kegs?  Better yet, why not deliver filtered water onsite in the stores or point of consumption, bring soda to the stores as liquid syrup and CO2 canisters, so it can be mixed / distributed onsite, and then deliver the local swill to the stores using tanker trucks?

After we expend incomprehensible amounts of energy to make all of those cardboard boxes and plastic or Aluminum soda and beer cans, enough of them end up in landfills each year to replace every single aircraft in our fleet, assuming they all weigh as much as a wide body intercontinental airliner, yet most of them don't weigh that much fully loaded with fuel and passengers.  The airliners are a popular target for pseudo-environmentalists to go after, but the disposal habits of the average consumer make the energy consumed by aviation seem rather tame by way of comparison.  Whereas airliners stop consuming fuel after the engines are shut off, the packaging industry's energy and resource consumption never ceases.

If we are dead set on taxing people for CO2 emissions, then perhaps a better use of that tax would go into regulating the atmospheric CO2 levels by pulling it back out and recycling it into new hydrocarbon fuels since the energy density of batteries has been the longest-running joke in human history.

3. Any purported energy solution needs to consider cradle-to-grave energy and emissions costs.  If a wind turbine blade only lasts for 10 years and generates "X" MWh worth of power over its lifespan, then all competing alternatives need to be properly measured in that context.  Any utility scale power plant is not some easily-replaced disposable appliance to be discarded or left to rust-in-place, in favor of a newer model, every 10 to 20 years.  That is wildly unsustainable, and can only be made to appear otherwise using copious quantities of input energy that ultimately come from fossil fuels.

If houses only lasted for 20 years before they needed to be completely replaced, then very few people could afford to buy a house.  When the fossil fuels run out, which is inevitable as Elon Musk pointed out, then no amount of climate religion will overcome the simple physics involved with intermittent, short-lifespan, high-embodied energy "renewable power".  If you can't get more energy out than you put in, along with enough of a surplus to both manufacture its replacement and make that solar panel or wind turbine provide usable power for some other purpose, then it's not a solution and you have to look elsewhere.

Fiat currency is only a proxy for energy and labor.  Mistaking the dynamics of a medium of exchange for a substitute for a viable energy system is a fatal mistake.  Right now, there's simply so much surplus energy provided by fossil fuels that it partially masks the end result.  As those energy sources are depleted, there won't be any shell games that can hide the inherent basic physics problems.

I have some alternative proposals I'll elaborate on further, even though I've already done that fairly extensively on this forum.  They're all based upon simple economy, which is ultimately tied to physical laws that no amount of faith in religious dogma will overturn.  For example, if a vehicle only requires 100hp to go 75mph, our maximum legal speed limit, then it doesn't materially benefit from more horsepower and is otherwise wasting fuel that is in increasingly short supply.  If you want to race your hot rod, electric or combustion engine powered, then take it to a race track and race it there.  Nobody will stop you from doing that, but you're not driving something like that on a public highway, because it serves no lawful purpose there.

Every day I go to work here in Houston, I watch people driving everything from a Ford truck to a Prius race ahead of me well above the posted speed limit, only to slam on their brakes moments later, because there's literally nowhere to go on a highway filled with vehicles.  Their only net accomplishment is to increase insurance rates for everyone else, while failing to "get there faster" since that's physically impossible to do thanks to the traffic congestion that their driving habits are largely responsible for, while causing pointless suffering and death to them and others from the inevitable high-speed accidents that result.  Meanwhile, while refraining from driving like Mario Andretti, I get to work even slower than I otherwise would because of their reckless driving, all enabled by vehicles that possess far more power than the average driver is empirically capable of controlling.  That kind of "foolish freedom" is not a net benefit to society.

I like both cars and combustion engines, but I also like practicality and not getting obliterated by idiots with more power under their foot than prudence.  I fail to see the point of what we've done with motor vehicles.  A truck, for example, is supposed to be a good hauling machine, not an oversized sports car for Billy Bob or Dudley to wrap around a tree or plow into a family of four in front of him.  NHTSA empirically proved that vehicular deaths an serious injuries were reduced by half under the 55mph speed limit.  I figure at least half of those people were tax paying civilians contributing to our national economy, and 15,000 to 20,000 gainfully employed tax payers are not so easy to replace, even with illegal immigration.

Anyway...  More taxes won't solve anything, but it will make poor people poorer.  If more taxes or more spending of government money were ever going to solve anything, then most of our problems should've been solved by now.  Since that hasn't happened, I can only presume that it won't, because that's not possible.  To me, that means we look for our solutions elsewhere.

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#3 2021-08-18 10:10:30

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,193

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

Excellent post Kbd512.  Much of what you are describing is a classic example of Jevon's Paradox.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox

Increase the efficiency of an engine and you reduce the fuel cost of each horsepower-hour that it generates.  Suddenly people can afford more horsepower with cash or credit available to them than they could before.  And there are always plenty of desirable extras (from the consumer viewpoint) that can be done with that extra horsepower.  People want more acceleration.  Partly for the thrill of it and partly to escape danger, like accelerating past idiots or HGVs that threaten to squash you like a bug.  Bigger cars make people feel safer too.  People like air conditioning and heating.  It makes driving more comfortable, but adds a load of weight and is a big drain on engine power.  People want more boot space as well.

Manufacturers stay in business by anticipating customers wants and needs and meeting them ahead the competition.  If you are producing a cramped mini with a half litre engine and your competitors are producing spacious, air conditioned vehicles with high acceleration and 3 litre engines, you won't stay in business for long.  If people can afford something that they perceive to be better, most of them will take it.  Before long, your hyper efficient computer controlled direct injection engines have replaced a fleet of Ford Capris with giant Darth Vader SUVs.  Probably most of them are imported, because your manufacturers were stuck with CAFE standards that your foreign competitors didn't have to abide by.  There are other factors at work here too.  Bigger engines suffer less pumping and heat transfer losses and larger displacement increases cycle time, allowing more complete combustion.  So a 3 litre engine will not consume 6 times the fuel of 0.5 litre engine operating at peak capacity.  That compounds Jevons Paradox so far as any ICE is concerned.

This is a tough problem to solve.  Couple it with large increases in population around the world (that only happened because of cheap energy) and you end up with exponential growth in resource use, all while specific consumption per horsepower-hour plummets.  It is why we end up with exponential growth that turns a 1000-year oil resource (in 1945), into a thirty year oil resource in 2020.  There are no technological solutions to resource problems without somehow avoiding this dynamic.  With Jevons Paradox, even our greatest engineering successes begin to look like failures, because they just feed larger long-term dependencies that become progressively more insurmountable.  Solutions that appear to reduce exposure in the short-term, only fuel increased consumption in the long-term.  It is why there probably isn't a happy solution to our problems so long as our domain remains confined to the surface of a finite ball of rock.  Everything that you do to solve short-term problems lands you with even bigger long-term issues.

One of the things that catches people out with exponential growth, is that limits that seem a long way away, can be reached very rapidly.  Human energy consumption is presently only 0.01% of Earth's solar energy flux.  Green types like to point to the fact to emphasise how abundant it is.  But even if we had a cheap and sustainable way of harnessing it (we don't) it would only permit human civilisation to grow energy use even more until Liebig's Law killed us in some other way.  It puts a different spin on many ethical decisions as well.  As far back as I can remember, television has been full of begging adverts, showing impoverished African Black kids with flies crawling all over their faces.  We are generally asked to spare what we can to help them survive.  But everything we do simply allows their population to grow even faster, giving rise to an even more insurmountable problem in the future, with even more suffering.  Are we really helping them by helping them?  And what about the habitats they will destroy in a vain attempt to feed their exploding population?  Any wise person would have to conclude that the best solution is not to help these people survive, but to cull them.  That would normally be considered morally repugnant.  Yet it is exactly the standard we would apply to any other species whose numbers and environmental impact got out of control.  Exponential growth ultimately undermines not just our safety but our most basic concepts of humanity.

Edit: Commodities are now flashing recessionary warnings!
https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/i … eak-prices

The Chinese economy seems to have reached a turning point.  Realising that domestic coal production is unsustainable, the Chinese seem to be signalling the end of their export dominated economic model, with increasing interest in domestic self-sufficiency.  We are seeing supply chain constraints as limited production is increasingly reserved for their domestic market.  The result is inflationary for many manufactured products, but deflationary for many commodities.  Isn't that exactly what one would expect of an economy that is approaching energy limits?  Welcome to Peak Everything.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-08-18 10:57:30)


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#4 2021-08-18 10:35:47

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,708

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

Since I like proposing practical solutions that don't fly in the face of known physics, rather than "raising awareness of the problem", which does nothing whatsoever to actually solve technical problems, here's a much better first step:

Any motor vehicle, electric or internal combustion engine powered, primarily intended to be driven by civilians on public streets and highways, should have horsepower limits commensurate with the weight of the vehicle and the top legal speed limit of 75mph.  This is an achievable and practical first step towards energy sustainability.  It's not the act itself, but the optimizations around that use case.

Driving faster than the legal speed limit, which civil engineers have determined based upon the characteristics of the roadways they design and the vehicles using them, with traffic patterns and other factors such as the presence of pedestrians taken into consideration, is not a net benefit to society.  How many 120mph+ Police chases would be possible if any car used on a public road had a 75mph top speed, by intentional design rather than something arbitrary such as an electronic limitation or no limitation whatsoever (our current system)?  If people insist on driving cars with appreciably higher top speeds, then their cars get impounded for breaking the law.  Maybe we can make a good case for cars that can briefly accelerate to 85mph for passing, but there's little explanation that passes muster for purposefully designing vehicles capable of 120mph to 160mph+, that will primarily be used on public roadways.  In general, such designs are severe accidents waiting to happen, due to the lack of self-control exhibited by your average motorist.  I think the yearly death toll speaks for itself.

This is not intended to be a limit on acceleration.  It's purely a limit on top speed.  If you have a car that does 0-60 in 4 seconds flat, that's fine, but if its top speed must be no greater than the posted speed limit, which incentivizes car manufacturers to come up with power train combinations that provide good acceleration up to the maximum legal speed limit, but generate no amount of power wildly in excess of that, then the net result is that you'll see a lot of hybrids with simpler and more fuel efficient engines that make cars more efficient to operate under practical driving conditions.  160mph is only a practical design consideration for a stock car race- and oddly enough, a stock car is not legal to drive on a public roadway without a special permit, because it lacks the design features required for that purpose.  Somewhere along the way, someone recognized that a purpose-built race car was not a suitable substitute for a passenger vehicle, but for some strange reason, that's effectively what modern cars have become over the decades.

Acceleration in motor vehicles is purely a function of torque, and electric motors excel at producing torque at low speeds, whereas combustion engines excel at providing constant power over an extended period of time, far longer than is feasible using any type of battery.  There is no passenger vehicle, or heavy duty truck for that matter, that couldn't be accelerated to top speed using electric motors and batteries or a small combustion engine feeding pressure into a hydraulic reservoir.

The design of off-road military vehicles is a great example of how operating environment constraints have dictated a practical top speed limit of around 45mph, and often far less than that.  It doesn't matter to the Army if a vehicle can technically be pushed to faster speeds, because the only probable end result, under most conditions, is flipping the vehicle and killing or seriously injuring everyone inside.  Similarly, modern public roadways are not suitable replacements for purpose-built race tracks, specifically because they were never designed with that use case in mind.  The overriding intent of our extensive network of public roads is to provide transportation infrastructure for public and military uses, not to create a more costly way to kill motorists and pedestrians.  As such, it's apparent that few motor vehicles in common use were designed with that use case being top-of-mind for automotive engineers.  This proposal aims to rectify that oversight.  It's clearly not "common sense", but it's very prudent and practical nonetheless.

The Europeans have limited engine displacements, but that hasn't had the desired effect, either, because once again, "the solution" is not aimed at solving the actual problem- primarily that excessive power not required for achieving top speed will very predictably lead to sharply increased fuel consumption during vehicle operations at any speed.

GW used a 36hp VW Beetle to pull 7,000 pounds worth of vehicle on the highway in Texas at 42mph while moving between cities, many decades ago.  That was clearly asking a bit too much from a vehicle with an engine of that output level, but it adequately illustrates how little power is required to achieve a given speed for a given gross vehicle weight.  If he had a 300hp engine in his bug, then sure, it'd be quite capable of 75mph+ while towing / carrying that kind of weight, but again, to what end?  A semi-truck doesn't require that much horsepower to drag an 80,000 pound rig along at 65mph on level ground, so what does that tell us about the design of passenger vehicles equipped with engines generating substantially more horsepower than that, despite the fact that precisely none of them are anywhere near that heavy?  Opinions will clearly vary, but that tells me it's largely wasted power, thus wasted fuel, whether it comes from a battery or a combustion engine.  Under any other operating scenario less extreme than GW's use case for his VW Beetle, you're literally blowing fuel out the tailpipe for no net benefit to yourself.  Why do we keep doing that to ourselves and where does that kind of frivolity ultimately lead us when all resources are finite?

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#5 2021-08-18 11:34:37

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,708

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

Calliban,

The SUVs are not the problem, they're a symptom of the problem.  You can obviously design a larger SUV that still accelerates well to 75mph using a smaller engine, such as the various hybrids we've discussed, because multiple manufacturers have done it.  The problem is the excess power that mandates bigger, thirstier engines that burn more fuel at all load levels placed upon them, simply to keep that rotating mass in motion.

In general, the people I see driving the huge lifted trucks at insane speeds don't have a scratch on the paint, until they wreck them, and have clearly never carried anything in them, which was the primary reason to have pickup trucks to begin with, else they wouldn't look like brand new sports cars.  I've used a truck for work and it never looked as pretty as most of the ones I see on my way to and from work.  Those duty trucks and vans were useful to us because of what we actually did with them for work, rather than what we could potentially do, but seldom ever did, as is the case for the majority of the people driving them around.  It's obvious when you see an actual work truck.  They're dented and scratched, they run rough, and most of the time they don't look like monster truck caricatures.

I obviously differ in my attitude towards poor people from you, but none of my morals can overcome basic physics or human stupidity, either.  As I've said before, the kids in Africa are starving because they're ruled over by ignorant and violent sociopaths.  We've tried to help them, but the utter lack of education, or worse- a refusal to learn from past mistakes, means they're doomed to an endless cycle of destitution and tribal violence, no matter what we do.  It's certainly painful to watch, but to pretend that there are no solutions is to ignore the rest of the human experience.  That does everyone a disservice.  When you lack the necessities of life, which also includes education, you have systemic poverty and violence.  The abhorrent living conditions get institutionalized into the populace as well, meaning there is no "shared memory" of what a better life looked like, so no clue about how to "get back to a better way of life".

Anyway...  Exponential growth is already tapering off quite rapidly, so we will have a stable population in the coming decades.  That said, our stabilizing population also barbecues many quaint but wildly unsustainable economics theories.  On the whole, great numbers of us now live better than the kings and queens of centuries past.  I would not be so dismissive of human ingenuity, though.  We haven't survived and thrived on this planet for tens of thousands of years because we're no different than any other animals out there.  We're about to send humanity to a brand new (to us) planet.  To my knowledge, no other species on Earth has accomplished that, so we are notably "different", and do at least have the capacity to learn from past mistakes and to transport humanity beyond a single planet.  The riches within our solar system are almost limitless in comparison to what is readily available on Earth, so humanity is very far from its last hurrah, even while we see some points of regression here on Earth.  We're living through a transition period, and all past transitions have been tumultuous times.  So long as we stay our course, we will continue to grow and thrive.

So long as we never stop, never give up, we will never be conquered.  We do need to find something useful for the merchants of despair and the simpletons who follow them to do in the coming years, if only to prevent them from endlessly tormenting everyone else with their idiocy.  I realize that's far easier said than done, but it still needs to be done.

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#6 2021-08-18 12:23:44

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,193

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

Kbd512, I hope you are right.  The resources of the solar system are indeed so large that even a growing population with rising material aspirations, could be accommodated for a long time.  It is hard to imagine a time in which humanity could outgrow the galaxy, though practically achievable velocity may turn out to be a fundamental limit to growth.

The one assumption that the LTG simulations of the 1970s did make was that the Earth was the limit of human resources.  If they were correct, then ultimately their predictions will turn out to be true.  If not, then all bets are off.  If human beings ever reach the point where land can be cheaply manufactured (I.e rotating, pressurised O'Neil type habitats) then all practical limits to individual human wealth would appear to be removed.


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#7 2021-08-18 13:42:04

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,708

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

Calliban,

We do need to get a handle on runaway resource consumption, but all current proposals read like plans for even more extreme and unsustainable resource consumption, so we need to relieve these kamikazes of their ability to steer the ship, so we can steer the ship back in the right direction.  Their ideology and belief without evidence remain intractable problems, though.  I'm not sure what to do about that, nor is anybody else, apparently, since we have growing numbers of people who make valuation judgements on complex subjects that they both grossly over-simplify, to the point of caricature, and also couldn't begin to explain to anyone else.

Even in Elon Musk's presentation, he called Carbon Dioxide "Carbon", as if humanity were spewing pencil lead or diamonds into the air.

As I understand it, the problem is the temperature changes driven by CO2 and CH4 emissions increases that normally take tens of thousands to millions of years to naturally occur, plus the absurd bias that whatever the temperatures are today or 50 years ago or 100 years ago should be considered "normal", as if the people making those statements have never looked at their temperature records to see that over time, "normal" could be a giant snowball or a worldwide tropical rain forest.

The idea that Earth's climate is a delicate flower that will wither and die from the slightest human activity is also patently false.  By our scientists own admission, when Earth reached its zenith in terms of biodiversity, Earth was also much warmer than it is today.  What these people are really saying, without admitting to it, is that they want the temperature to remain where it is or where it was, under whatever their notion is of some idyllic temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels that existed in the past, as if conditions on Earth will remain frozen in time and maintained that way until the Sun goes supernova, despite the fact that all past evidence indicates that starkly different climatic periods and changes occurred in a series of cycles.  A good number of these people also have documented mental health problems, which means they're prone to breaks with reality.

So...

What should Earth's average temperature be?
What should atmospheric CO2 levels be?
Who should be making those decisions?
Is it even feasible to lower the temperature of the planet in any measurable way?
What are the associated cost with taking one course of action versus another?

Those are concrete questions that require concrete answers, because they deal with objective reality, rather than dogmatic religious virtuosity professing to "care about the Earth", as if a space rock required our affections.  They need to be answered by people who don't personify inanimate objects, aren't prone to any other flights of fancy, have realistic expectations, and enough compassion for other people that they're not utterly ignored for harboring extremist viewpoints.  In other words, someone with the exact opposite personality traits of nearly everyone claiming to be an environmentalist, who are demonstrably misanthropes who spare little effort to hide their bitter hatred of both themselves and humanity in general, because other people haven't behaved exactly as they would like them to.

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#8 2021-08-18 19:47:05

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,333

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

Great posts for what is wrong with the automotive industry....and for the road designs for multi vehicle type use.
If you can get killed on a motor cycle from someone that drives another type of vehicle then what chance do you have of making use of an E-Bike for that same commute if you could be allowed on the same roads. Since most roads are faster than the 30mph which most could only achieve full throttle then you are force to ride on the edge of the roads width or shoulder or possibly the breakdown lane that is not legal to do...

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#9 2021-08-18 21:07:44

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,708

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

SpaceNut,

Any kind of motorcycle is an inherently unstable vehicle and its "open cockpit" / "no seat belt" design ensures that its rider is in far more danger from the sudden stop of a wreck than someone riding in a passenger vehicle where the occupants are wrapped in steel crumple zones, thus benefiting from far more mass to absorb the impact forces, as well as other features like airbags and sophisticated mechanisms that shut off the engine and fuel flow, with newer models equipped with automatic emergency braking in order to reduce the forces associated with an impending impact.  I ride bicycles, but you'll never see me on a motorcycle so long as I have access to a decent car.  Almost any 4-wheeled vehicle is more desirable.  I've ridden 4-wheel ATVs off-road in the desert as well, but no motorcycles.  There's a reason that nurses call motorcycle riders "organ donors".  Any practical vehicle for a combination of city and highway driving needs to be capable, through a combination of torque and gearing, of hitting at least 55mph and preferably 75mph.  Any amount of power significantly in excess of what's minimally required to do that is NOT desirable because it's ultimately wasted fuel, so long as the engine is running.

From driving trucks and SUVs with V8 engines, at highway cruising speed they're operating at no more than 2,000rpm, and often less than that, which means the engine is not under load.  No idling or nearly-idling engine is remarkably thermodynamically efficient.  The gas turbine engines used in aircraft simply guzzle fuel at idle, for example, merely to keep the rotating mass spinning.  The problem with starting aircraft engines on the runway is that they benefit significantly from that warm-up period during taxi, cold start procedures for most commercial aircraft can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to accomplish, and so the only practical fuel savings would come from starting APUs and shutting down the engines immediately after landing.  The additional mass associated with APUs and electric motors in the main gear is typically not worth the additional inflight fuel consumption associated with the increased weight, which is why there have been few changes.

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#10 2021-08-19 07:39:19

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,914

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

I think we can safely ignore the Musk video on that basis that he is not exactly a disinterested party and he is not himself a climatologist.

I agree with the precautionary principle when it comes to the major climate parameters. At the same time we need to accept the principle of ignorance - we really don't understand in any meaningful (ie predictive) detail how climate works.

I do think therefore that we should seek to stop the rise in CO2 levels.

Of course, climate change does not mean "climate disaster" or "vast species extinction". Agricultural productivity has been increasing.  It seems to me we are seeing far fewer famines now, partly due to increased humidity, thanks to global warming, so fewer droughts. California seems a bit of an exception. The predictions about vast waves of climate change refugees are now proven to be wholly false.

I remain somewhat sceptical about global warming because ultimately it relies on human measurement of physical phenomena and we know there are a lot of issues there. Let's also remember that climate change is perfectly natural. It never stands still. One thirty year period is always colder or warmer than the previous 30 years.

One of my big questions if why the Maldives and Seychelles government are ploughing billions of dollars into tourism and airport development if they really believe their islands are going to be inundated by rising sea levels. I've yet to see one verified example of an island disappearing under the waves because of rising sea levels (as opposed to sinking land or natural estuarine waxing and waning of islands).

Climate alarmism (crying wolf all the time) is extremely unhelpful as is linking clmiate change issues to Green political totalitarianism and millenarianism (end of days nonsense).

Elon doesn't explain why it's OK for his rockets to contribute so much CO2...

A reasonable approach going forward is to support a shift to green energy, with strong governmental support for development of the necssary technologies and infrastructure. In the UK we've just wasted £400 billion on an absurd pandemic response. If only £100 billion had been put into green energy we could have slashed energy bills and created 100s of thousands of good quality green energy jobs.

Last edited by louis (2021-08-19 14:10:26)


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#11 2021-08-19 10:44:49

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,708

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

Louis,

I learned a new word today- "millenarianism".  I used to call them Apocalypse Nuts.  Despite all the hysteria, the world is not ending.  The things people choose to freak out about, vs shrug their shoulders over, never ceases to amaze me.  If there was anything "green" about burning coal to make solar panels that we'll need to replace in another 20 years, then I've yet to see what that is.  Unfortunately for all of us, most government spending these days is squandered on "much ado about nothing" type hysteria.  I continually read your claims about "slashing energy bills", but as of yet I've never seen that happen anywhere that these new "green energy" projects are implemented in western countries.  It's more like we keep dumping money into solar panels and batteries on the false premise that one day it'll pay off, rather than acknowledging that gasoline is useful because it's gasoline, and if you want more of it, then eventually you need to pay to recycle the CO2 in the atmosphere to make more gasoline.  If you can do that with solar power, then that's great, but someone needs to quit talking about it and start doing it at a massive scale.

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#12 2021-08-19 14:13:27

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,914

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

Sorry I spelt it wrong originally (now corrected).

Of all the things we have to worry about: nuclear war, release of novel pathogens, genetic engineering, AI robotisation, asteroid impact, mass hacking of the internet,  mass poisoning by terrorists, overpopulation, removal of rainforest, and so on, I would say that  carbon emissions is way down the list and likely to be totally resolved within 50 years.

kbd512 wrote:

Louis,

I learned a new word today- "millenarianism".  I used to call them Apocalypse Nuts.  Despite all the hysteria, the world is not ending.  The things people choose to freak out about, vs shrug their shoulders over, never ceases to amaze me.  If there was anything "green" about burning coal to make solar panels that we'll need to replace in another 20 years, then I've yet to see what that is.  Unfortunately for all of us, most government spending these days is squandered on "much ado about nothing" type hysteria.  I continually read your claims about "slashing energy bills", but as of yet I've never seen that happen anywhere that these new "green energy" projects are implemented in western countries.  It's more like we keep dumping money into solar panels and batteries on the false premise that one day it'll pay off, rather than acknowledging that gasoline is useful because it's gasoline, and if you want more of it, then eventually you need to pay to recycle the CO2 in the atmosphere to make more gasoline.  If you can do that with solar power, then that's great, but someone needs to quit talking about it and start doing it at a massive scale.

Last edited by louis (2021-08-19 14:16:12)


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#13 2021-08-19 15:17:14

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,921

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

This is of some interest:

https://australianonlinenews.com.au/202 … -phys-org/

Quote:

Increased snowfall will offset sea level rise from melting Antarctic ice sheet – Phys.org

My take on it is that there are people who want to be in charge of something.
We have them in the west.  In opinion they are abnormal personalities for the west.
There game is to say that the only way to solve the problems which they keep crying wolf about is for change in personal behaviors.  In other words they want to
be our masters.

Some of them at least.  They are related to the totalitarians of other places and times.

But it is OK to have some of them around.  The alarms may have some merit.


Done.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#14 2021-08-19 17:10:33

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,914

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

Makes sense.

Global warming = increased evaporation = increased precipitation = increased snowfall in many parts of the world = increased reflectivity and thus reduced insolation.

This is the problem with simplistic climate analysis as presented by Musk (no doubt for good commercial reasons from his point of view).  Climate is a system of hundreds, probably thousands, of feedback mechanisms that are looping themselves but also interacting each with all the other feedback mechanisms. It is sensitive to all sorts of starting conditions such as energy from the sun, volcanic releases, and atmospheric composition. But the billions of  interactions of the feedback mechanisms mean this is an incredibly complex system. Add to that the problem of measurement. This is far more complex than most people assume. There are many crucial questions to answer: where do you measure? does increasing urbanisation and airport expansion compromise results? how are statistical parameters applied to raw satellite data?



Void wrote:

This is of some interest:

https://australianonlinenews.com.au/202 … -phys-org/

Quote:

Increased snowfall will offset sea level rise from melting Antarctic ice sheet – Phys.org

My take on it is that there are people who want to be in charge of something.
We have them in the west.  In opinion they are abnormal personalities for the west.
There game is to say that the only way to solve the problems which they keep crying wolf about is for change in personal behaviors.  In other words they want to
be our masters.

Some of them at least.  They are related to the totalitarians of other places and times.

But it is OK to have some of them around.  The alarms may have some merit.


Done.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#15 2021-08-19 18:09:35

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,333

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

Forgotten is increased draught = even higher temperatures = less vegetation = more fires = equals an even higher temperature and soot that causes more ice to melt.
Higher temperatures = water temperatures rise in gulfs where water levels are not as deep = greater storm strength and heavier rain fall amounts that erode and does not stay on the draught stricken land.

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#16 2021-08-19 21:16:20

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,708

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

SpaceNut,

Fires only come from 3 source in nature:
1. Humans - generally doing stupid things in places they shouldn't
2. Lightning - generally occurs when it's raining outside
3. Magma - generally sets fire to everything in its path, because it's hot enough to liquefy many metals

Whether the temperature is 1 degree higher or lower outside has no effect under Scenario #1, a positive effect under Scenario #2 since it creates more rain, and no effect under Scenario #3.  I'm a little surprised that more people have yet to figure this out.

Sometimes you can't blame everything on "the boogeyman".

For example, the Boogie Woogie is entirely the fault of the Bugle Boy from Company B.

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#17 2021-08-19 21:30:46

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,333

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

The human for stupid includes using to much power which overloads a poorly maintained power lines that run through thick forest lands which were not growth cut back to reduce those chances for fire. Another is the local fire bug which start fires for fun....or through a careless cigarette butt.

Lightning can occur from a discharge with little to no rain or with torrential flood that runs off to quick to do any good for controlling the dryness of the forest overall.

All of these would accelerate the warming not slow it down...

What volcanic activity have we had that started any of these fires?

If you want to slow the effects cut the forests to reduce the amount of chance and plant grass land which has a lower absorption reflection number than a thick forest dark green.

Create water runoff ponds to keep the heavy rains longer in an area.

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#18 2021-08-20 09:10:13

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,193

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

An interesting piece written by Vaclav Smil for JP Morgan on the difficulties that the US will face decarbonising its economy.
https://am.jpmorgan.com/content/dam/jpm … ck-amv.pdf

I certainly don't agree with Smil on all points.  I think his position on Peak Oil is dangerously naive, and ignores the fact that new discoveries have declined continuously since the mid 1960s.  Given that you can only produce what you first discover and given that the average size of discoveries have been on a downward trend for at least as long, it is highly unlikely that the world will avoid a supply crunch in the near future.

A few interesting points that I picked up on.

1. The cost of capital associated with new renewable energy projects is 3-5% per year.  This compares to 10-15% for natural gas and 20% for oil.  Given the capital intensity of RE, a great deal of the observed LCOE reductions owe their existence to the much lower cost of capital, I.e poorer investor returns.  This is on top of the Chinese producer subsidies for renewable energy infrastructure manufacturing, which are based on interest free loans and very cheapncoal based electricity.

2. Electric vehicle purchases in large markets are typically only around 10% of new vehicle sales.  A large share of purchases are for second family cars, with the first ICE car being retained for longer trips.  The majority of sales also go to people that would have purchased efficient ICE vehicles anyway.

3. RE LCOE estimates include huge hidden subsidies, which raise questions over their sustainability.  In addition, they generally do not include costs associated with extra required long-distance transmission, storage (beyond 12 hours) or capital and operating cost of backup powerplants.  Hence, LCOE estimates are not comparing equivalent systems, as RE would require a lot of additional infrastructure to provide electricity with the same reliability.

4. Electricity meets just 18% of total delivered energy demand in the US and similar proportions in other countries.  Converting other energy demands to electricity, will be expensive and many cases technically difficult.  Wind and solar power presently meet just a few percent of the world's primary energy supply, almost all of it electrical.  Scaling up to much higher proportions will be technically difficult and would require sustained build rates of electricity and transmission  infrastructure, that dwarf those carried out in any US region to date.  This suggests that decarbonisation will take much longer than is presently envisaged, if it occurs at all.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-08-20 09:51:54)


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#19 2021-08-20 09:53:24

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,193

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

Two charts that illustrate that global oil production is on borrowed time.
http://energyfuse.org/wp-content/upload … rclays.gif
https://www.ogj.com/general-interest/ec … 13year-low

Annual capital expenditure in the 2015-2019 period averaged 4x what it had been in 2000.

World crude and condensates production has increased by 20%, with virtually all production increases since 2007, coming from US and Canadian unconventional.  The rest of the world is peddling flat out just to stand still.
http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/upl … ction-.jpg
https://peakoilbarrel.com/world-oil-pro … arch-2019/

Annual new discoveries have dropped to almost zero, having peaked in the 1960s.
https://gcaptain.com/exploratory-drilli … ater-mark/

The number of giant fields discovered appears to have declined even more rapidly than total discoveries.
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Dis … 3_46496655

This suggests that EROI is also declining rapidly, as smaller and lower quality deposits are now being used to substitute declining output from producing giants.

As of 2016, 81% of world liquids production was in decline.  With each passing year, supply increases from a shrinking number of large producers (US, Canada, Russia, UAE) must make up for supply reductions from a growing number of post-peak producing nations.
https://www.scribd.com/document/3402035 … eport-2017

Of the 13 OPEC producers, only UAE, Saudi and Iraq are still capable of significant supply increases, with increasing scepticism around Saudi Arabia.  OPEC and Russian oil production has been on a continuous collective slide since Nov 2016.
https://peakoilbarrel.com/opec-update-august-2021/

World C&C production reached an all time peak of 84.6 million bpd in Oct 2018.  We are now about 8 million bpd down from that peak and it begins to look improbable that it will ever be surpassed.
https://peakoilbarrel.com/us-may-oil-pr … surprises/

In summary: Peak Oil means a peak in global transportation of goods and raw materials of every kind.  It also imposes energy limits on mining and agriculture, which are both heavily oil dependent.  This means a peak in Real GDP (which is tied to finished goods).  It is also likely to make downstream investment in alternatives difficult, because real economic growth will become impossible (the money printing since 2009 has created a lot of fake growth that is really just asset price accumulation).

Peak coal is already a fact of life.  China appears to be hitting limits sooner than most people expected.
http://peakoilbarrel.com/world-coal-201 … rt-part-4/

I have always advocated here a transition to nuclear energy, due to its enormous inherent power density and high associated EROI.  However, expansion of nuclear energy is limited in most countries by political barriers, overly complex regulation, lack of skilled workforce and absence of supply chains for key components.  This makes starting avnew nuclear programme time consuming and expensive.  Global net energy (energy yield from production - energy needed to sustain production) appears to me to be past peak.  Which means anything that we build now to mitigate energy supply problems will need to be carried out using a shrinking supply of net energy.  Can nuclear power rescue us from this industrial decline?  I am beginning to have my doubts.  There is simply too much inertia to overcome and even with a fleet of breeder reactors in operation (they are presently concept designs) the long doubling time of fissile materials in achievable fuel cycles are quite long (8 years at best) making a very rapid nuclear transition unlikely.

A transition to a renewable energy based economy, with 1-2 orders of magnitude greater embodied energy and materials requirements, using a shrinking base of net energy, is impossible for more than a small fraction of our present energy consumption.  Our collective pot of surplus energy is shrinking.  Trying to shore it up with energy sources that require orders of magnitude greater energy investment to work, is clearly not a workable proposition.

Where does this leave us?  As net energy declines, so will average real incomes.  Industrial capability is going to decline as well.  With less net energy, society and the economy either become less complex or they collapse.  I suspect that people expecting a future of plenty, along with complex and energy intensive undertakings, like colonisation of Mars, will be disappointed with what they actually get.  Left wing nut jobs, green fanatics, Liberal media groups and their political representatives, collectively bear the heavy responsibility for the poverty and suffering that is now coming.  None of this was inevitable.  The energy solutions that could have prevented it have been fully developed for 30 years.  They have been deliberately suppressed by people more interested in ideologically appealing ideas than in practically helping people.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-08-20 11:03:34)


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#20 2021-08-20 12:28:52

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,597

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

For Calliban re Posts #18 and #19

These posts represent a lot of research and thought given to support of your position.

I'm open to suggestions from members with posting privileges for Search Terms appropriate to the work ...

For now I'll just set: SearchTerm:PeakOil

Just FYI ... I'm attempting to develop a comprehensive understanding of what is involved in setting up a new industry, and specifically, one to supply thousands of small modular 1 MW reactors to small businesses.  It came to me in recent days that the pathway to the small customer may be through the large ones, and I have in mind the existing large power suppliers in the US.

This is both a technical problem and a social one.

This is organizational change on a larger scale than average, but well within the scope of human history.

The idea I have in mind is to place SMR units inside the protected, secure locations of existing power substations.

For SpaceNut ... with your (to me astonishing) search skills, would you be willing to find the total of power substations that exist in the United States?

   If you take on this request, please be sure to set a Search Term for your work.

I try to catch value like that, but can't read everything on the forum.

For anyone interested ... I would be appreciative if someone could attempt to collect the corresponding numbers for other nations.

The concept I have in mind is pretty simple ... the SMR would be installed as a backup service at each substation.

The security is already good, and it can be improved with AI tended video monitoring.  Human beings get bored out of their minds by the duty of watching video monitors.  AI systems revel in that duty, and they can be counted upon to alert the human attendant when human attention is required, and not otherwise.

The rollout would (in this scenario) be managed by the existing major power distributor, who would deal would deal with the local, state, regional and national regulators as necessary in each situation.

The cost equation should balance over time, as costs for fossil fuels decline, as the "backup" packages are brought into service in a manner that is psychologically satisfactory to all parties.

Attention needs to be paid to securing employment and improved earning prospects for individuals whose fossil fuel employment is displaced.

The traditional capitalist concept of cutting staff and letting them sink or swim is NOT the kind of organization change I would manage, if I were given the opportunity.

The amounts of power someone like Calliban can unleash are sufficient to permit some slop in the system while individuals are  carried from declining occupations to new ones that are better suited for a time of abundant power and the outpouring of products and services that will result.

I am heartened by Calliban's gloom and doom, because (if valid (which I cannot determine)) it offers hope that the psychological incentives to accept massive change will be increased.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2021-08-20 12:32:24)

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#21 2021-08-20 12:54:50

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,597

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

This is primarily for Calliban .... all are welcome to comment as appropriate ....

In thinking about the challenge of distributing thousands of SMR units to thousands of power substations, it came to me that the (in US) familiar 18-wheeler  cargo trailer is about the right size for this unit, and if two are needed for some reason, they can be delivered and installed as pairs.

Road distribution seems (at this point) like the most efficient for the US, although railroads might enlisted to ship trailers between factory and site as they have been doing for many years in the US.

I have mentioned previously the idea of equipping one of the UK "Flying Bums" vehicles with an SMR and enlisting it to transport SMR packages in situations where roads are not available.  There are many locations in the US, Canada and (surely) many other nations where air delivery would be worth considering, although good old reliable sea transport would surely be part of the transport plan as well.

Equipping a "Flying Bum" with an SMR would increase it's durability for extended service to remote locations.

The size of the metal frame would (no doubt) need to increase to accommodate the mass involved, but the resulting 1 MW continuous power would be available to operate such equipment as may be required.

(th)

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#22 2021-08-20 18:13:17

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,914

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

Less vegetation does not equal more fires. More (dry) vegetation equals more fires. A lot of green environmental groups have opposed clearing away of brush from forests because these provide biodiverse habitats. But basically in a dry time that brushwood is tinder.

There's no evidence of increased storm intensity in recent decades.

SpaceNut wrote:

Forgotten is increased draught = even higher temperatures = less vegetation = more fires = equals an even higher temperature and soot that causes more ice to melt.
Higher temperatures = water temperatures rise in gulfs where water levels are not as deep = greater storm strength and heavier rain fall amounts that erode and does not stay on the draught stricken land.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#23 2021-08-20 19:13:22

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,333

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

By the way what do you get in a place of ice and snow when temperatures are to warm..ya Rain Fell On The Peak Of Greenland's Ice Sheet For The First Time In Recorded History

Greenland saw rain at the highest point of its ice sheet for the first time since scientists have been making observations there, the latest signal of how climate change is affecting every part of the planet.

According to the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center, rain fell for several hours on an area 10,551 feet in elevation on Aug. 14, an unprecedented occurrence for a location that rarely sees temperatures above freezing.

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#24 2021-08-20 19:22:15

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,914

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

So that's probably "the first time in 60 years". I expect they had rainfall there in the Medieval warming period when the Vikings settled Greenland and farmed its pastures.

SpaceNut wrote:

By the way what do you get in a place of ice and snow when temperatures are to warm..ya Rain Fell On The Peak Of Greenland's Ice Sheet For The First Time In Recorded History

Greenland saw rain at the highest point of its ice sheet for the first time since scientists have been making observations there, the latest signal of how climate change is affecting every part of the planet.

According to the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center, rain fell for several hours on an area 10,551 feet in elevation on Aug. 14, an unprecedented occurrence for a location that rarely sees temperatures above freezing.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#25 2021-08-23 21:27:49

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,333

Re: Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Break Down on Climate Change

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