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#226 2021-07-10 21:06:36

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: The Science of Climate Change

In a 5 decade period the only change by man use of more fuels is the powering of nuclear power plants that produce heat that is dumped into the water....

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#227 2021-07-11 11:29:06

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,576
Website

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Spacenut:

When I was a young boy in the mid-1950's,  we got our first atomic submarines.  By the late 1950's,  they were sailing under the Arctic ice cap.  In order to surface in the Arctic,  they had to search for a lead (crack) with thin ice.  The main ice sheet was 30-ish feet thick,  and would have destroyed the sub if it tried to surface through that.  The thin ice in the lead was 5-10 feet thick.  They could surface through that without damage.

Today,  the subs are about the same strength hulls as they were then,  but they can surface anywhere they want to,  because the entire ice pack is now only 5-10 feet thick.  What that indicates is just how much the Arctic Ocean has lost in the way of ice cover.  Not only in areal extent,  but in thickness:  most of the ice volume is already gone!

As I said elsewhere,  it takes heat to melt ice.  That heat is obviously up there,  and it came from somewhere.  Doesn't matter whether man or nature (or both) put it there.  It is prudent to reduce doing those things we already know act to make it worse.  And that would be digging up carbon that has been sequestered for over a 100 million years,  and putting it back into the surface/atmospheric carbon cycle. 

THAT is why the Keeling curve went from 300 ppm in 1959 to about 415 ppm today.  The atmospheric budget of CO2 is increasing because we have been putting it there.  And CO2 is less transparent to IR re-radiation back to space than O2 and N2 are.  All are transparent to visible.  But reduced IR transmissibility is the DEFINITION of a greenhouse gas.

All of that is verifiable physics,  long known to be experimentally true.  NO ONE can argue with it,  unless they sincerely believe lies.  If they do,  then there is no helping them.

And did you notice,  that I said NOT ONE WORD about temperatures or temperature record data?  I don't need any of that to understand what has been going on.  I've seen it in action from boyhood-on.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2021-07-11 11:32:32)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#228 2021-07-11 15:15:18

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,743
Website

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Summer in Toronto in 1852 was hotter than summer in Toronto in 2018. Notice the comparison: to a date before the industrial revolution of 1855. If you compare to dates in the mid-20th century, of course today will be hotter. Because the mid-20th century was artificially frigid. We fixed the problem of global cooling caused by pollution. But some people can't see that.

Canada built a radar satellite. It's a fun story so I'll repeat it. The Canadian Space Agency went to NASA asking for collaboration. They wanted a satellite that could measure sea ice in the Canadian high arctic. They wanted to measure where it's safe to a ship to travel, and provide that data to ships at sea quickly enough that it's relevant. NASA said it's impossible, the radar resolution required is not possible. So CSA said ok, will do it on our own. When it was ready to launch, they went back to NASA to launch it. Rather than paying cash, they offered 30% of observation time. NASA said "wait what? We said it's impossible! You did it?!?" So NASA took specifications for the satellite to the US military to get approval. The military said this satellite could measure the wake ships make at sea, detecting absolutely every ship at sea anywhere in the world. An ship not moving, or moving too slowly to produce a wake, would not be detected. But all others would. The US military didn't have a satellite able to do that. So the military said no. NASA had to call the CSA to pass on the bad news. CSA said Ok, we accept your decision. We'll ask the Russians to launch it for us instead. They'll get the 30% observation time. 24 hours later NASA called back to ask "When would you like it launched?" Since then the US military have built their own radar satellite.

NASA has been using that radar satellite to measure ice on Antarctica. Floating ice has been breaking up, melting. But all the floating ice in the world could melt, it will not raise sea level by even 1 millimetre. Ice on land is different, that will raise sea level. So how quickly is ice on land of Antarctica melting? To their surprise they found it isn't shrinking, it's growing. Total volume of ice on land of Antarctica is growing.

When NASA first looked at radar data, the Sahara looked weird. There were multiple crisscrossing river systems. But that's the Sahara desert. Turns out satellite radar looked right through the sand at the bedrock underneath. The channels were carved by past river systems. Each time an ice age ends, north Africa is first subtropical, then a temperature forest, then a rain forest, then dries to savanna, then desert. The desert starts small, then grows. The reason river channels cross is they didn't exist at the same time. The maximum extent of the Sahara desert during every interglacial period is larger than it is today. So just due to nature, the Sahara will grow, and we know it's maximum extent. If you want to prevent the Sahara from growing further than it is today, you are fighting against nature.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has deployed many buoys to measure sea level. Since 1993 sea level has risen by 3.2 millimetres per year. Some years 3.1mm, some years 3.3mm, but it charts as a perfectly straight line at 3.2mm per year. That means over the next 10 years sea level will raise by 3.2cm, over the next 30 year it will rise 9.6cm = 3¾ inches. That's all. Year 2101 will be the start of the next century, and it's exactly 80 years away. Between now and then sea level will rise by 25.6cm = 10 inches. We can deal with that.

At the end of the last ice age, sea level was lower. Alaska and Siberia were connected by a land bridge called Beringia. Today that's the Bering Sea. North America, northern Europe, etc were covered in multiple kilometre deep ice. As that melted, sea level rose. Several ancient Roman ports are currently under water. Sea level continues to rise. As our planet continues to warm out of the last ice age, glaciers melt and sea level continues to rise. History is not something from a dusty book, we are still living it. Sea level continues to rise.

Yes, floating ice of the Arctic will melt. It always does, every interglacial period. We're in an interglacial period now. Peak temperature during the last 3 interglacial periods was 6°C above the pre-industrial temperature. Good news is if we follow the same pattern, that peak will not arrive for another 2,000 years. That means natural global warming that whole time. Once the peak is reached, we start the slow chill-down into the next ice age. The next ice age is due 9,000 years from now. The Paris Accord sets a goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above the pre-industrial temperature, and they think limiting carbon emissions can achieve that. That's naive to put it mildly.

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#229 2021-07-11 17:06:41

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,865

Re: The Science of Climate Change

For me the "canary in the coal mine" is whether we see any low lying islands disappear. I'm not talking about islands in the estuaries of huge rivers like in Bangladesh where the silt islands are disappearing and reappearing all the time, but low lying (mostly coral) islands in oceanic regions.

So far I am not aware of a single island being submerged by the waves, except where the land is generally sinking (due to other factors such as post glacial movements).

Having expressed support for climate scepticism, I do think it's probably sensible to try and stick to atmospheric constituent levels from the pre-industrial era or at least not alter them through our human activities. It's the precautionary principle.  That's one reason to support green energy.

Last edited by louis (2021-07-11 17:07:16)


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

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#230 2021-07-11 19:49:07

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,576
Website

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Louis's "canary in the coal mine" is something we will live to see,  even me at my age.  The Maldives and some other places will be first. 

As for Robert's 3.2 mm per year,  that's the steady-state average rate over the last millennium or so.  There is no reason to believe there is anything "sacred" about 3.2 mm/yr,  either in the past or in the future.  In point of fact,  about 11,000 years ago,  the geologic record shows a glacial meltback sea level rise rate between 1 and 2 ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE greater.  And again about 8000 years ago.

So far most of the ice melt has been for floating ice shelves and ice packs,  which cannot affect sea levels,  quite as Robert says.  The exception is the meltback of the mountain glaciers,  on a time scale of only a century or so remaining,  with an on-land ice volume corresponding to a meter of sea level rise.  That would average close to 10 mm/year,  rather out of line with the 3.2 mm/yr seen up to now.

The Greenland ice cap is showing serious signs of instability,  something seen for at least 25 years now,  threatening a partial deglaciation,  which the geologic record says has happened before.  The total above-sea-level ice volume is estimated to produce about 6 m sea level rise.  If only half melts (as happened the last time in the geologic record),  that would be a 3 m sea level rise.  If that happens over a century,  you are looking at an average rate of 30 mm/year.

In the last few years,  signs of instability have become apparent in the West Antarctic ice sheet.  Part of this is above-sea-level ice,  and part is resting on rock below sea level.  The best estimate we have says that if it were all to melt,  that would create a 7 m sea level rise.  So,  if only half of it deglaciated (as good an assumption as any),  that would be a 3.5 m sea level rise. 

So over the next century or two,  there is the distinct possibility of 1 + 3 + 3.5 = 7.5 m sea level rise.  That would average around 37 to 75 mm/yr.   Quite the "sudden change" from past trends. 

The East Antarctic ice sheet is all located on rock above current sea level. It is not currently showing any credible signs of instability,  but if it were to melt,  the estimate is 60 m sea level rise.  Think about that!

Now,  think about what happens if the mountain glaciers finish melting and half of Greenland deglaciates.  That's about 4 m sea level rise,  based on the simple math of volumes.  And it could easily happen in a century or so,  for a sudden change to an average rise rate in the 20-40 mm/yr range. 

There's more than a billion humans that live within 2 m of current sea level.  They would be displaced,  on the move looking for new places to live,  and desperate enough to commit ANY act to survive!  You think you have refugee problems now ...

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2021-07-11 19:55:34)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#231 2021-07-12 15:13:03

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,154

Re: The Science of Climate Change

I struggle to understand why human induced climate change would be a contentious proposition.  Human beings have been changing the surface of the Earth for millennia and combustion of fossil fuels, agriculture, chemical engineering and mining have all increased the concentration of trace gases in the atmosphere.  We have felled forests, drained marshland, replaced prairie land with billions of acres of cereal crops and have grossly increased the population of cattle to feed our raving for meat.  Why would anyone expect that these things would not have some impact on global temperatures?  So the question over human induced climate change is only a question of how much.  It is an absolute certainty that we are having an effect.  We would still be having an effect even if we had never burned fossil fuels.  Every time a human bein facts they are adding methane to the atmosphere.

Many people look at the size of the Earth and assume that human impact on it must be negligible simply because it is big.  But when global coal consumption amounts to several billions of tonnes per year and oil consumption per year is measured in cubic miles, then human impact on the thin skin that we call the atmosphere is no longer negligible.  Anyone with basic maths skills can work out the rate at which we are changing atmospheric CO2 concentration.  Again, I struggle to understand why anyone would find the idea contentious.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-07-12 15:40:14)


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#232 2021-07-12 15:32:17

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,743
Website

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Calliban,
The issue isn't whether humans have an impact, it's how much. Climate activists claim the climate of the mid-20th century was ideal so they want it back. Furthermore, they claim carbon emissions are the sole cause. To get what they want, they pressure government to impose huge taxes and restrictions on normal products and activities. Cleaning pollution from industry sounds good, but they want to destroy all industry. Developing electric cars are good, but banning sale of gasoline or diesel vehicles when electric vehicles cost twice as much as average working person's annual income? And that's before deducting tax, other payroll deductions, rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc? That's absurd!

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#233 2021-07-12 15:49:19

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,154

Re: The Science of Climate Change

RobertDyck wrote:

Calliba,
The issue isn't whether humans have an impact, it's how much. Climate activists claim the climate of the mid-20th century was ideal so they want it back. Furthermore, they claim carbon emissions are the sole cause. To get what they want, they pressure government to impose huge taxes and restrictions on normal products and activities. Cleaning pollution from industry sounds good, but they want to destroy all industry. Developing electric cars are good, but banning sale of gasoline or diesel vehicles when electric vehicles cost twice as much as average working person's annual income? And that's before deducting tax, other payroll deductions rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc? That's absurd!

I don't dispute that.  Human beings struggle to understand and act proportionately to risk.  Add political ideology into the mix, and a lot of people behave like morons and willingly accept loss of freedom in exchange for perceived safety.  At the other end of the political spectrum, you find people that refuse to countenance any mitigating actions at all.  We seem incapable of finding a sensible middle ground.  In the mean time, the dangerous reality that high grade fossil fuel deposits are depleting is widely ignored, because it doesn't fit either political narrative.  A mixture of political idealism and ignorance lead to dangerously inappropriate actions.


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#234 2021-07-12 17:36:23

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,865

Re: The Science of Climate Change

You do know the Maldives is building 4 international airports on these islands supposedly threatened with submersion and that they have been able to borrow money to fund this huge capital investment?  Seems like the government of the Maldives don't believe their own propaganda. 

Several million Dutch people live metres below sea level - quite happily. Being below sea level is not a death sentence.

You're talking about events happening over a century - or more. No one is going to be using fossil fuels in 30 years. There will be no further addition to CO2 levels by 2050 and we may even be taking CO2 out of the atmosphere by international agreement. (What you can't allow though is idiot billionaires like Bill Gates taking unilateral action.)

I have yet to be convinced there has been any unprecedented increase in sea levels and we have apparently had global warming since the early 1800s. All we get is propaganda e.g. "Miami is being flooded because of climate change" when the truth is it's built on porous limestone and the huge weight of recent construction is pushing the city down into the porous limestone. 

Most of your speculation is pointless being based on very partisan reporting from the media and climate change proponents who like to spread alarm.

Rather than focus on carbon emission, we should be focussed on loss of natural habitat which is a far greater threat to the ecosystems on the planet.


GW Johnson wrote:

Louis's "canary in the coal mine" is something we will live to see,  even me at my age.  The Maldives and some other places will be first. 

As for Robert's 3.2 mm per year,  that's the steady-state average rate over the last millennium or so.  There is no reason to believe there is anything "sacred" about 3.2 mm/yr,  either in the past or in the future.  In point of fact,  about 11,000 years ago,  the geologic record shows a glacial meltback sea level rise rate between 1 and 2 ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE greater.  And again about 8000 years ago.

So far most of the ice melt has been for floating ice shelves and ice packs,  which cannot affect sea levels,  quite as Robert says.  The exception is the meltback of the mountain glaciers,  on a time scale of only a century or so remaining,  with an on-land ice volume corresponding to a meter of sea level rise.  That would average close to 10 mm/year,  rather out of line with the 3.2 mm/yr seen up to now.

The Greenland ice cap is showing serious signs of instability,  something seen for at least 25 years now,  threatening a partial deglaciation,  which the geologic record says has happened before.  The total above-sea-level ice volume is estimated to produce about 6 m sea level rise.  If only half melts (as happened the last time in the geologic record),  that would be a 3 m sea level rise.  If that happens over a century,  you are looking at an average rate of 30 mm/year.

In the last few years,  signs of instability have become apparent in the West Antarctic ice sheet.  Part of this is above-sea-level ice,  and part is resting on rock below sea level.  The best estimate we have says that if it were all to melt,  that would create a 7 m sea level rise.  So,  if only half of it deglaciated (as good an assumption as any),  that would be a 3.5 m sea level rise. 

So over the next century or two,  there is the distinct possibility of 1 + 3 + 3.5 = 7.5 m sea level rise.  That would average around 37 to 75 mm/yr.   Quite the "sudden change" from past trends. 

The East Antarctic ice sheet is all located on rock above current sea level. It is not currently showing any credible signs of instability,  but if it were to melt,  the estimate is 60 m sea level rise.  Think about that!

Now,  think about what happens if the mountain glaciers finish melting and half of Greenland deglaciates.  That's about 4 m sea level rise,  based on the simple math of volumes.  And it could easily happen in a century or so,  for a sudden change to an average rise rate in the 20-40 mm/yr range. 

There's more than a billion humans that live within 2 m of current sea level.  They would be displaced,  on the move looking for new places to live,  and desperate enough to commit ANY act to survive!  You think you have refugee problems now ...

GW


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

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#235 2021-07-12 18:30:19

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,743
Website

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Media in Canada is claiming we have a climate emergency. Forest fires in BC.

University of British Columbia: FIRE AND BIODIVERSITY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

Nearly the entire vegetation landscape of British Columbia is shaped by wildfire. The wildfire regime of a place is determined by the frequency, intensity, extent, and seasonality of wildfire, and especially the variability in those components. The fire regime affects biodiversity through two main processes. First, the specific fire history of an individual site influences the species that are able to persist at that site, the availability of light and nutrients, the quality of the substrate, and the distance to propagules. Second, variability in the fire regime across the landscape gives rise to environmental heterogeneity across the landscape – favouring different assemblages of species. For example, frequent low-severity fire favours the establishment of species like ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), that have fire-resistant bark. Infrequent stand-replacing fire favours species that are shade intolerant, such as Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) (in coastal BC) or lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) (in the interior).

We discussed fireproof houses for California. Do I have to same the same thing for BC?

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#236 2021-07-12 23:54:49

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,615

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Louis,

1. Nobody in government or banking believes in climate change, no matter what they claim, because their actions are the exact opposite of what you'd do if you did believe in it.  From that standpoint, they either ignore science or we've been using junk science as a stand-in for the genuine article.

2. Yes, it's pretty clear that anyone who drowns from melting ice that takes centuries to melt is too stupid to live.

3. If people aren't using fossil fuels in 30 years, then how do you imagine rockets like SpaceX's Starship will be launched?

What unilateral actions has Bill Gates taken that make him an "idiot", in your opinion?

4. Partisan though GW's speculation may be, or may NOT be (I'd wager that you've never considered that possibility), what he's describing absolutely can happen, because it has happened in the not-so-distant past.  In geologic terms, 10,000 years is the blink of an eye.  Murphy's Law: Anything that can happen, will happen.  7.5M of sea level rise would inundate virtually all of the cities on the coastlines of most industrialized nations.  And yes, over enough time, that will happen anyway.  Why mankind thinks anything he's built will survive into perpetuity is beyond my understanding.

5. Humanity as a whole quite clearly doesn't give a rat's rear end about the habitat loss of other species.  We imagine ourselves to be "above the natural world", because we have tools that all the other animals don't.  We must have missed that seemingly inconsequential point about the fact that all of our tools came from that natural world.  The proof for that is this "green dream" religion, which requires clear-cutting millions of square kilometers of land to make room for solar panels or wind turbines and strip mining every last nugget of metal ore we can lay a hand to, in order to attempt, yet still fail thus far, to compensate for the fact that "green energy" requires an order of magnitude more land use and natural resource extraction than fossil fuels did and at least two orders of magnitude more than nuclear power.

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#237 2021-07-13 06:14:11

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,865

Re: The Science of Climate Change

1. Agreed. Same as they don't social distance during lockdowns. Just for the plebs.

2. Agreed.

3. You can manufacture methane, just as Space X plan to manufacture methane on Mars. So no need to use fossil fuels. By 2050 it will probably be much cheaper to manufacture methane on site rather than to pay for it to be pumped out of reserves in the Middle East and transported to Boca Chica.

4. Encouraging mass vaccination (with an experimental vaccine that has not completed its trials) for a coronavirus that gives 99% of infected people the equivalent of a bad cold or a dose of flu, or even no symptoms at all, thereby compromising the health of hitherto healthy people.

5. Preserving natural habitat is more about education and getting people out of poverty. The green lobby go on and on about plastic in the oceans, quite rightly, but imply we (in the UK, US and other advanced economies) are chucking it in the oceans. Virtually all of it comes down the Indus, Congo, Nile, Niger and Amazon put there by very poor people with sub-standard education. Green energy offers a solution to poverty and will power opportunities in education e.g. by enabling poor children to receive education online, once their village is being powered by solar or wind energy.

Undoubtedly green energy like all energy systems does use up resources. However, there are a lot more resources on Earth than we sometimes allow for. I favour putting much more effort into developing recycling. But we can also look to responsible mining. For instance lithium mines are now being opened in Cornwall where there are plenty of old tin mines. Using robotics means we can probably reduce the cost of mining dramatically over time and create less environmentally damaging types of mining. Even mining on the ocean floor could be undertaken responsibly with robots.


kbd512 wrote:

Louis,

1. Nobody in government or banking believes in climate change, no matter what they claim, because their actions are the exact opposite of what you'd do if you did believe in it.  From that standpoint, they either ignore science or we've been using junk science as a stand-in for the genuine article.

2. Yes, it's pretty clear that anyone who drowns from melting ice that takes centuries to melt is too stupid to live.

3. If people aren't using fossil fuels in 30 years, then how do you imagine rockets like SpaceX's Starship will be launched?

What unilateral actions has Bill Gates taken that make him an "idiot", in your opinion?

4. Partisan though GW's speculation may be, or may NOT be (I'd wager that you've never considered that possibility), what he's describing absolutely can happen, because it has happened in the not-so-distant past.  In geologic terms, 10,000 years is the blink of an eye.  Murphy's Law: Anything that can happen, will happen.  7.5M of sea level rise would inundate virtually all of the cities on the coastlines of most industrialized nations.  And yes, over enough time, that will happen anyway.  Why mankind thinks anything he's built will survive into perpetuity is beyond my understanding.

5. Humanity as a whole quite clearly doesn't give a rat's rear end about the habitat loss of other species.  We imagine ourselves to be "above the natural world", because we have tools that all the other animals don't.  We must have missed that seemingly inconsequential point about the fact that all of our tools came from that natural world.  The proof for that is this "green dream" religion, which requires clear-cutting millions of square kilometers of land to make room for solar panels or wind turbines and strip mining every last nugget of metal ore we can lay a hand to, in order to attempt, yet still fail thus far, to compensate for the fact that "green energy" requires an order of magnitude more land use and natural resource extraction than fossil fuels did and at least two orders of magnitude more than nuclear power.


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

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#238 2021-07-13 10:46:40

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,154

Re: The Science of Climate Change

louis wrote:

5. Preserving natural habitat is more about education and getting people out of poverty. The green lobby go on and on about plastic in the oceans, quite rightly, but imply we (in the UK, US and other advanced economies) are chucking it in the oceans. Virtually all of it comes down the Indus, Congo, Nile, Niger and Amazon put there by very poor people with sub-standard education. Green energy offers a solution to poverty and will power opportunities in education e.g. by enabling poor children to receive education online, once their village is being powered by solar or wind energy.

Undoubtedly green energy like all energy systems does use up resources. However, there are a lot more resources on Earth than we sometimes allow for. I favour putting much more effort into developing recycling. But we can also look to responsible mining. For instance lithium mines are now being opened in Cornwall where there are plenty of old tin mines. Using robotics means we can probably reduce the cost of mining dramatically over time and create less environmentally damaging types of mining. Even mining on the ocean floor could be undertaken responsibly with robots.

Louis, you are living in a fantasy world.  You are quite literally picking things out of thin air, without any real clue of their practicality or associated problems, just to support your chosen pet solution.

The link below lists the world's ten largest copper mines.
https://www.mining.com/featured-article … per-mines/

They are all (with possibly one exception) open cast mines.  This is one of the most environmentally destructive activities that human beings do.  Open cast mines are highly mechanised and energy intensive operations.  You don't find many machines smaller than a three story building.  Where exactly do you think robots are going to fit into this?  You could operate the machines via some form of remote control I guess.  How much that is worth, I have no idea.  The mining itself runs on diesel power and it is a 24/7 operation.  Ore benefication involves crushing and grinding, followed by floatation.  This stage may also involve heating, which is usually provided by natural gas or LPG.

These are the sorts of operation that will need to scale up enormously to meet the enormous materials budget of a switch from fossil fuel based energy systems to systems based on solar energy.  We will be trying to do this whilst also shrinking our consumption of liquid fuels, as oil enters its imminent decline phase.

Copper is just one mineral that would be needed in much greater abundance.  You will also need gigatonnes of steel every year to build the solar plants and wind farms that replace fossil fuels and then more to replace the ones that wear out.  You will need to somehow produce this steel using electricity from your solar and wind plants.  If you are going to use coal to make that steel, then you might as well burn the coal to produce electricity.

The higher embodied energy of wind and solar based energy systems essentially means that your net energy supply will be diminishing, at the same time as energy requirements for maintaining the energy supply are increasing.  This diminishes the energy available to every other activity that human beings carry out.  Falling net energy yield will initially express itself as rising prices and falling income, I.e poverty.  But if it falls beyond the point where there is no longer sufficient energy to maintain essential infrastructure, then the result is collapse.  This is what Joseph Tainter described as a maintenance crisis.  It is one of the ways in which complex societies collapse; they no longer have sufficient surplus energy to maintain the infrastructure that they depend upon.

This is the danger that we are now toying with.  Up to this point, human beings have witnessed an enormous explosion in wealth and capability, thanks entirely to their sudden ability (200 years ago) to access the stored energy locked up in fossil fuels.  All of the material wealth that we enjoy, that our ancestors could only dream of, is enabled by unlocking that low cost stored energy and using it to rework matter.  We have built infrastructure to assist in this endeavour, that itself required enormous energy investment and will require even more to maintain and replace.

You appear to be blind to the contradictions in your philosophy.  On the one hand you advocate space colonisation, which is a hugely energy intensive endeavour.  On the other hand you advocate a transition to low EROI energy, depriving humanity of the surplus energy that would enable space travel.  Might I suggest that your goals appear to be contradictory.  The Apollo moon landings were only achievable by the US due to the enormous surge in economic growth and technological development that were enabled by low cost oil and natural gas in the years following WW2.  It was precisely the abundance of surplus energy that allowed the US to industrialise to the level where it could carry out such a project just two decades after WW2.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-07-13 11:29:03)


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#239 2021-07-13 11:33:37

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,326

Re: The Science of Climate Change

For 'Calliban and Louis ...

Thank you both for keeping this topic going...

It seems to me (as a bemused onlooker) that the two of you are talking past each other....

Louis, it seems to me that if you were to enlist some help from folks with credentials roughly comparable to Calliban's, you'd find that the questions he raises all have answers.

I need to keep pointing this out, apparently ... Nature provides photons to move every fresh water molecule from the oceans, rivers and lakes to all points on the surface of the Earth were winds carry them.  Not ** one ** molecule is moved by fossil fuel from the ocean to the interior.

Nature provides photons to create ** all ** the food consumed by 7 billion  people (or so) every day, day after day.

Only human stupidity accounts for starvation where it occurs.

Louis, the Earth energy budget is NOT in balance.  There are  more photons coming in than are going out (I understand).

Can you ** please ** tackle the substance of Calliban's points?  Please get help it you need it.

This is actually a problem that needs to be solved instead of debated endlessly.

(th)

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#240 2021-07-13 11:40:37

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,326

Re: The Science of Climate Change

This could be a topic ... there is no topic (at present) that includes "water" and "pipeline"

Today's news feed included an item that I saw fly by and didn't think about at the time.

Someone (somewhere in the US) suggested a pipeline from the Gulf states where there is too much water to the Western states where it is needed.

This is (to my way of thinking) actually a good idea.

In the past, humans (in the US but elsewhere as well) have invested man-decades of effort building artificial structures to move water downhill.

This would be a comparable effort (in terms of magnitude) and the work to be done would be to move water uphill.

Nature has been moving water uphill one molecule at a time thanks to one photon at a time.

It should be possible for humans to enlist otherwise wasted photons to move water uphill where it needs to go, instead of uphill for random distribution as is the case now.

(th)

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#241 2021-07-13 13:36:28

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,865

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Do you think you are possibly not keeping up with developments?

There are mines already deploying large solar power installations e.g. this gold mine:

https://www.aggreko.com/en-gb/case-stud … olar-power

The renewable energy element will produce 18 GwHs of power per annum. The capacity is 8 MW with a 2 MW battery storage facility.

Robotics are now being used extensively in mining:

https://eos.org/features/underground-ro … g-industry

So none of what I am referring to as possiblities is ludicrous nonsense as you would like it to be.

I see no reason in principle why you couldn't have far less environmental degradation from mines if we use robots in the right way. I am not saying we are there yet - these are just possibilities opening up e.g. burrowing robots that bring out ore. These robots could work in water, avoiding some of the huge costs of mining under the ground ie creating human sized tunnels and pumping out water. Open case mines are of course a different situation. But using robots you could probably cover most of the mine in solar panels to generate power for the robotic mining processes.

I have a question for you:

Do you accept that in some circumstances Power Generation (PG) Type A can be cheaper than PG Type B even though Type B has a better EROI than Type A? If your answer is no, how would you explain your answer?

It seems to me that it is perfectly possible for Type A to be cheaper but have a poorer EROI. If Type A is 50% cheaper but its EROI is 25% less it seems to me Type A wins out. You are getting 50% more power per currency unit. Why wouldn't you choose Type A over Type B?

You seem to be arguing that even if green energy plus storage goes below 2 cents per KwH in terms of cost generation we still shouldn't use it for fear of this mythical beasty called EROI.

As I explained on another thread, space transport can be powered by manufactured methane which is a green fuel. That's exactly what Space X intend to do on Mars. It could be done on Earth. The space transport industry is tiny compared to the Earth airline indsutry. The latter carried over 4 billiion passengers in 2018. Space transport won't get anywhere near than in the next 30 years even if Musk Million Person City on Mars becomes a reality. So it's impact is far, far smaller. 



Calliban wrote:
louis wrote:

5. Preserving natural habitat is more about education and getting people out of poverty. The green lobby go on and on about plastic in the oceans, quite rightly, but imply we (in the UK, US and other advanced economies) are chucking it in the oceans. Virtually all of it comes down the Indus, Congo, Nile, Niger and Amazon put there by very poor people with sub-standard education. Green energy offers a solution to poverty and will power opportunities in education e.g. by enabling poor children to receive education online, once their village is being powered by solar or wind energy.

Undoubtedly green energy like all energy systems does use up resources. However, there are a lot more resources on Earth than we sometimes allow for. I favour putting much more effort into developing recycling. But we can also look to responsible mining. For instance lithium mines are now being opened in Cornwall where there are plenty of old tin mines. Using robotics means we can probably reduce the cost of mining dramatically over time and create less environmentally damaging types of mining. Even mining on the ocean floor could be undertaken responsibly with robots.

Louis, you are living in a fantasy world.  You are quite literally picking things out of thin air, without any real clue of their practicality or associated problems, just to support your chosen pet solution.

The link below lists the world's ten largest copper mines.
https://www.mining.com/featured-article … per-mines/

They are all (with possibly one exception) open cast mines.  This is one of the most environmentally destructive activities that human beings do.  Open cast mines are highly mechanised and energy intensive operations.  You don't find many machines smaller than a three story building.  Where exactly do you think robots are going to fit into this?  You could operate the machines via some form of remote control I guess.  How much that is worth, I have no idea.  The mining itself runs on diesel power and it is a 24/7 operation.  Ore benefication involves crushing and grinding, followed by floatation.  This stage may also involve heating, which is usually provided by natural gas or LPG.

These are the sorts of operation that will need to scale up enormously to meet the enormous materials budget of a switch from fossil fuel based energy systems to systems based on solar energy.  We will be trying to do this whilst also shrinking our consumption of liquid fuels, as oil enters its imminent decline phase.

Copper is just one mineral that would be needed in much greater abundance.  You will also need gigatonnes of steel every year to build the solar plants and wind farms that replace fossil fuels and then more to replace the ones that wear out.  You will need to somehow produce this steel using electricity from your solar and wind plants.  If you are going to use coal to make that steel, then you might as well burn the coal to produce electricity.

The higher embodied energy of wind and solar based energy systems essentially means that your net energy supply will be diminishing, at the same time as energy requirements for maintaining the energy supply are increasing.  This diminishes the energy available to every other activity that human beings carry out.  Falling net energy yield will initially express itself as rising prices and falling income, I.e poverty.  But if it falls beyond the point where there is no longer sufficient energy to maintain essential infrastructure, then the result is collapse.  This is what Joseph Tainter described as a maintenance crisis.  It is one of the ways in which complex societies collapse; they no longer have sufficient surplus energy to maintain the infrastructure that they depend upon.

This is the danger that we are now toying with.  Up to this point, human beings have witnessed an enormous explosion in wealth and capability, thanks entirely to their sudden ability (200 years ago) to access the stored energy locked up in fossil fuels.  All of the material wealth that we enjoy, that our ancestors could only dream of, is enabled by unlocking that low cost stored energy and using it to rework matter.  We have built infrastructure to assist in this endeavour, that itself required enormous energy investment and will require even more to maintain and replace.

You appear to be blind to the contradictions in your philosophy.  On the one hand you advocate space colonisation, which is a hugely energy intensive endeavour.  On the other hand you advocate a transition to low EROI energy, depriving humanity of the surplus energy that would enable space travel.  Might I suggest that your goals appear to be contradictory.  The Apollo moon landings were only achievable by the US due to the enormous surge in economic growth and technological development that were enabled by low cost oil and natural gas in the years following WW2.  It was precisely the abundance of surplus energy that allowed the US to industrialise to the level where it could carry out such a project just two decades after WW2.


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#242 2021-07-13 15:49:20

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,154

Re: The Science of Climate Change

louis wrote:

Do you think you are possibly not keeping up with developments?

There are mines already deploying large solar power installations e.g. this gold mine:

https://www.aggreko.com/en-gb/case-stud … olar-power

The renewable energy element will produce 18 GwHs of power per annum. The capacity is 8 MW with a 2 MW battery storage facility.

They are using a solar array to marginally reduce the amount of electricity that needs to be generated by natural gas.  Not an unsensible thing to do, given how remote the site is.  But the effects are marginal at best.  Out of a total power production of 24.2MW, the solar array provides a time average power of 2MW (18GWh per year).  And that is just electricity needed to run the ore processing plant.  Those trucks that you see in the picture run on diesel.  The purpose of the battery is to provide some buffering, allowing time to bring gas load online, if the solar panels are obscured by cloud,  in which case load can drop by 80% in seconds.  Note: they still have to have a gas turbine or piston engine to generate power.  And they still have to have a natural gas supply and a diesel supply.  The only thing the solar array is doing is marginally reducing fuel consumption.

Given how rapidly fossil fuel reserves are depleting, including some local renewable energy to reduce gas consumption, is not necessarily a bad idea.  But to expect it to power mines in their entirety, across the entire world, whilst those mining operations are scaled up to meet increased metal requirements from renewable energy systems, is not realistic in my opinion.  I have already articulated why I think this is.

louis wrote:

Robotics are now being used extensively in mining:

https://eos.org/features/underground-ro … g-industry

So none of what I am referring to as possiblities is ludicrous nonsense as you would like it to be.

I do not doubt that there are some applications for robotics in difficult environments.  But you were suggesting that the use of robotics would result in dramatic increases in accessible resources and mining productivity.  I don't think you have any evidence for that kind of assumption.

louis wrote:

I see no reason in principle why you couldn't have far less environmental degradation from mines if we use robots in the right way. I am not saying we are there yet - these are just possibilities opening up e.g. burrowing robots that bring out ore. These robots could work in water, avoiding some of the huge costs of mining under the ground ie creating human sized tunnels and pumping out water. Open case mines are of course a different situation. But using robots you could probably cover most of the mine in solar panels to generate power for the robotic mining processes.

Mines are already heavily mechanised.  In fact, UK coal mines underwent rapid mechanisation in the 1970s and 80s.  It did not save them from closure.  No matter how impressive your machines, as soon as they break down a human being is needed to fix them.  That will mean crawling to wherever the machine happened to stop.  Humans will need a presence within those mines.  Underground mining involves engineering costs around the supporting of overbearing rock, ventilation and removing ore and waste, that make it more costly than open cast mining.  Which is why open cast is preferable from a cost perspective.  Robotics are unlikely to change that.  Even using robotics, your mines will still generate tailings.  They will not change what a mine is.

louis wrote:

I have a question for you:

We keep going over the same stuff over and over again.  You don't seem to learn anything from the discussions.  I still don't think you understand why high EROI is important to human prosperity.  If you haven't got it by now, then I don't think you are going to.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-07-13 15:58:09)


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#243 2021-07-13 16:36:52

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,576
Website

Re: The Science of Climate Change

I don't see why anyone would ever consider manufacturing methane here on Earth.  That is extremely expensive because the source material (atmospheric carbon dioxide) is such a diffuse resource.  It will be expensive compared to fossil methane no matter what technology might ever be used. 

Fossil methane comes up the pipe under its own pressure right out of the well.  You merely chill it to get the condensibles to drop out,  in order to refine it.  The notion of people here on Earth ever resorting to "manufactured methane" is UTTER,  ARRANT NONSENSE. 

On Mars the situation is different.  The atmosphere,  while thin,  is nearly all carbon dioxide.  There is water there (although not liquid,  probably not fresh,  and not out on the surface),  so you have the resources to make manufactured methane.  Because the air is so thin,  the carbon dioxide resource is still quite diffuse,  all by its lonesome making the methane quite energetically expensive.  The water there is a difficult resource,  requiring quite a bit of energy to obtain,  in turn expensive.  But if you need that methane,  you will pay the price,  because that is the only known source from which to get it.

In turn that means any civilization we build on Mars is going to be even more energetically intensive than we here on Earth already are.  Every source is a difficult or diffuse resource,  and everything you really need has to be synthesized from those difficult or diffuse resources:  your water and your breathing air.  And you CANNOT grow food out in the open!  Every life support process there has to be artificially conducted,  totally unlike here on Earth.  Plus,  it is hellishly cold.

And don't kid yourself,  that idiocy about harvesting water from slightly-damp soil is precisely the very definition of a diffuse resource,  demanding much energy expenditure to process tons,  just to obtain grams or kilograms of water. Which probably still needs purification.

A high-intensity energy demand is incompatible with harvesting a otherwise diffuse source of energy,  that being solar.  It's half the intensity there that it is here,  and we can just barely make it work here,  where the other resources we need are NOT diffuse.  You cannot fight that math. 

What that means,  since there is no free atmospheric oxygen with which to combust fuels on Mars,  your only real source for base load power,  day and night,  is nuclear.  We know no other energy means that would work there (the air is too thin for wind power). 

Sorry,  them's just the facts on the ground,  there and here,  at this time in history.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#244 2021-07-13 18:32:07

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,865

Re: The Science of Climate Change

We've manufactured gas before now...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_gas

Pipelines, ships and ports are expensive installations that require ongoing maintenance. I think we'd have to see what the experience was on Mars and how low the cost of green energy can go on Earth. Other factors may include whether advances can be made in duct technology for concentration of air. The constituents of methane are freely available in water and air, so it really comes down to the relative cost of the machines and the chemistry. To assume it's always more expensive than prospecting for gas, drilling wells, pumping it out, sending it along pipelines, putting it on ships, transporting it from one port to another and then pumping it out into smaller packages, is - well - simply an assumption.

Regarding Mars one of the attractions of the identified landing zones in the Erebus Mountains area is that there are there ice deposits located in hillocks, with just a few metres of regolith cover. They sound similar to pingos in Alaska  but not sure that is the technical name. The purity of the ice can be very high - above 95%.

Last edited by louis (2021-07-13 18:44:36)


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

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#245 2021-07-13 21:18:53

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,576
Website

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Louis,  coal gas is not natural gas.  They are not interchangeable,  you cannot substitute one for the other.  You have to change your burners out in order to switch. 

And both are based on fossil fuels.  Not "green" at all in the sense that you used that word.  Further,  natural gas is not methane,  although methane usually dominates the mix that is natural gas.

Methane itself is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.  Its lifetime in the atmosphere is only years,  during which many processes oxidize it to carbon dioxide.  The lifetime of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 3 centuries,  at least.

Not all carbon is bad,  despite what the fear mongers say.  That which circulates in the surface carbon cycle is somewhat variable,  but is very necessary to keep us from being a "snowball Earth".  We need some greenhouse effect;  yet,  too much is bad.  Too much of ANYTHING is usually quite bad.  That's just life!

The "bad" carbon is that which has not participated in the surface carbon cycle for 100+ million years,  but has been dug up and dumped in the atmosphere over the last 3 or 4 centuries:  fossil fuels.  That's a human-caused addition-rate a million times faster than the natural average sequestration rate,  and far higher than any temporary transients from any volcanoes. 

It would appear that without that sequestration,  you get Venus. 

There is no such thing as "green methane"!  It is the height of absurdity to think that humans on Earth would ever resort to synthesizing it from carbon dioxide and water,  when all you have to do is drill a hole into an appropriate rock formation,  perhaps hydro-fracture it,  and then have gobs of natural gas come up the pipe without even pumping it.  Far less energy cost for far,  far,  far,  FAR more gas!

And if you need actual methane,  not natural gas,  then just chill it a bit (to around -20 F) to condense-out the water,  the ethane,  the propane,  and the butane. If you cannot stand the remaining nitrogen content,  then liquify it,  it will condense before the nitrogen does.  Most folks don't mind the smallish hydrogen content,  but liquifaction separates that,  too. 

For most applications,  the energetics favor the raw fossil fuel here on Earth,  or at most just the minimally-refined stuff with the ethane,  propane,  butane,  and water condensed-out,  and by many,  many,  MANY orders of magnitude!  You simply cannot sanely argue against math like that.

Pound for pound,  burning methane or natural gas produces substantially-less carbon dioxide in the effluent,  compared to coal.  It's a polluting fossil fuel,  yes,  but far less so than coal.  Shutting down coal power plants in favor of natural gas plants is not a final solution,  but it is a big step in the right direction.  It really is a useful and helpful "bridge fuel" until we really do make the renewables 24/7 functional with adequate grid-scale energy storage.  We haven't yet,  but we will.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2021-07-13 21:27:31)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#246 2021-07-13 23:44:20

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,615

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Calliban,

Calliban wrote:

We keep going over the same stuff over and over again.  You don't seem to learn anything from the discussions.  I still don't think you understand why high EROI is important to human prosperity.  If you haven't got it by now, then I don't think you are going to.

I'll take another crack at explaining why high EROEI is so important:

1. The purpose of expending capital, labor, and energy on transforming raw materials into energy generating equipment is to use the energy expended to produce said equipment, to produce enough surplus power that power is always available for any other purpose besides merely expending more capital, labor, and energy to produce more energy generating equipment.  Everything we enjoy in life is a direct derivative product of surplus energy availability.

2. Artificially creating a situation leading to energy scarcity / poverty is an absurdly bad idea, no matter the ideology of the people doing it, what the ultimate intent behind their action is, or whether they truly understand what they're doing.  That is quite literally what the wind and solar energy charlatans are actually doing, while also convincing others with far less knowledge of the problem to support them doing, either out of an ideologically held belief that they're doing something worthwhile for humanity, an utter lack of understanding of the nature or scale of the problem, or for plainly evil purposes.

For example, John Q Public isn't smart enough to understand that I'm screwing him over, so it's okay for me to force John Q into poverty by denying energy to him while falsely claiming that he's preventing climate change / "saving the planet" / some similar such silly nonsense, so that there's more energy and therefore more opportunities to generate economic wealth for me and less for him.

3. There mere fact that I can fraudulently make solar power appear cheaper on paper when I'm not supplying the same quantity of energy over a given time period as a competing alternative is simple fraud.  Whenever we compare the units of labor / materials / energy input to Watt-hours of electrical power output, wind and solar are absurdly inefficient compared to simply burning the coal / oil / gas, or splitting atoms.  It doesn't matter how vocal the liars are, how jazzed-up they make their lies appear, nor how many of them are out there lying to other people, they're still fraudsters.

4. Tahanson's claim that the wind and sun provide all the energy required to feed 7 billion people is a half-truth and gross oversimplification.  While it's true that the wind and sun make the food crops grow, it's equally true that the only reason we can feed 7 billion people using the labor of a mere handful of those people is that we have fossil fuel powered machines to genetically engineer / plant / spray / harvest / package / transport to market / cook or prepare, all of that food.  If we were totally reliant on wind and sun, then we would have a planet of 7 billion farmers, because all of our human labor / meager surplus of energy (from the food we eat) would be expended tending to our food source.  I've done farming before with hand tools when I was a child and tiny little bit as an adult.  It's back-breaking work and you're too exhausted at the end of the day to do much of anything else except sleep and wake up when it's still dark outside.  How my father manages at more than twice my age is beyond me.

On that note, there would be no advanced education, no computers, no internet, no modern medicine, no space travel, no Mars colonization...  None of that would be possible by only using the wind and sun to provide all of the energy input available to humanity.  My unassailable "proof" of that statement, is the fact that humanity spent several hundred thousand years relying upon the wind and sun and manual labor, yet we never achieved any of those things, nor anything remotely resembling them, until we figured out how to enslave the incredibly concentrated energy locked up in fossil fuels to do our bidding, rather than our fellow humans.  He and I could argue that point to death, but all available evidence only runs in one direction- namely, that ever-more concentrated forms of energy enable ever-more sophisticated human societies, whilst dilute forms of energy condemn humanity to mere subsistence.  I'm not arguing as to whether or not some of us would be happier living a simpler lifestyle, because that's a matter of personal preference.

Moving on...

5. Louis recently brought up the La Rance tidal generating station in France as a "cheaper" alternative to nuclear power, but he failed to multiply the cost of La Rance by the number of copies of La Rance that would need to be built (without the benefit of fossil fuels) to produce the same amount of electrical power as a prototypical nuclear reactor used for generating commercial electric power.  The problem with his argumentation was that La Rance produces 500GWh/yr and would've cost more than 500M Euros if it was built in 2009 (simple inflation taken into account), whereas an actual nuclear reactor that was built 10 years later, named Watts-Bar #2, despite inflation, produced approximately twice as much power output (empirically, as in "real life" measured output, not notionally, as in, "on paper" or theoretical output) over a given unit of time (1 year), per unit of money spent.  Even if we only care about energy in and energy out, there's still no comparison, despite the fact that La Rance has been in operation for more than half a century (the one aspect of tidal energy technology that I'm quite fond of) and the continuing energy investment that nuclear power requires (both require periodic maintenance and replacement of massive steel components over decades of operations).

If we simply "multiply out" the power output of a given power plant, by the number of power plants we need to sustain our way of life, then when you use less efficient forms of energy conversion, the quantity of energy squandered becomes absurdly unsustainable.

6. The entire reason I'm far less enamored with wind and solar and battery power is the fact that the average lifespan of that equipment is very short compared to solar thermal or nuclear thermal or geothermal or tidal power plants, so it requires frequent complete replacement, and it does, in point of fact, consume at least an order of magnitude more materials inputs and thus energy inputs, relative to its power output, in comparison to nuclear power.  In certain rare circumstances, it may actually be initially cheaper for equivalent power output (solar in deserts or offshore wind power with very large turbines), but over time (40 to 60 years), it's most certainly not, and can never be, because it's harvesting an energy resource that's orders of magnitude more dilute than fission of heavy metal in a tiny steel cauldron.

7. You can hold a lifetime's supply of nuclear energy in the palm of your hand.  Moreover, you can command that golf ball of heavy metal to deliver that energy whenever you actually need it to.  You can't do the same thing with photons from the Sun or moving air molecules.  Neither solution is a panacea.  There are good reasons to maintain a mix of energy sources, but those sources must be boringly reliable, available whenever energy is demanded, and their employment must not create an "energy trap" for their users.

8. That's a clear case of ignoring very simple math (multiplication).  All industrialized nations consume dozens to thousands of TeraWatt-hours of energy (heat and electricity) per year, in order to sustain our modern way of life.  Since none of these "we're gonna save the planet" yahoos are willing to live the way we did before industrialization, whatever energy sources we use must generate thousands of TeraWatt-hours of surplus power output to provide the energy input into our industrialized and technologically advanced human civilization, and work no matter where it's deployed, or we revert back to subsistence farming by energy poverty default, with no clean water, no modern medicine, no internet-connected gadgets that all our kiddos are so enamored with (since they don't know how to gain pleasure from real human-to-human interactions), none of that is possible to sustain, let alone build upon...

9. It does not take a genius to figure this stuff out, but actual effort must be applied to doing simple math.  Since power companies and governments and international agencies gather so much data on power output and resource inputs, determining the relative cost of competing solutions is a matter of simple multiplication.  All of the basic economic and engineering concepts involved are readily available to anyone who is willing to devote time to studying this issue in detail.

10. The math of this energy equation doesn't care about our ideology or feelings.  Artificial or fraudulent manipulation of data in support of ideology doesn't change whether or not you can get power from the Sun after that fireball has disappeared over the horizon.  We're not going to "do more with less", so we need to ease up on ideology and refocus on pragmatism.  Pragmatism says we need high-EROEI sources to power humanity if we want to continue living the way we do.  The vast majority of people, anywhere in the world, will tell you to take a flying leap if you tell them they're going to be forced back into the Stone Age.  Really, who could blame them?

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#247 2021-07-14 06:25:32

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,154

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Good post Kbd.  I will reply in detail later.

In the mean time: Estimates of global recoverable oil resources just shrank by 9%.
https://www.rystadenergy.com/newsevents … elow-1p8c/

The resource estimate is now 1,725 billion barrels.  This compares to total oil consumed to date of 1,457 billion barrels.  Since the beginning of the industrial age, we have consumed some 46% of estimated recoverable resources.
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/H … sumed.html

This is very bad news.  The all time high in global oil production was October 2018, with a production of 84.6 million barrels per day, crude and condensate.  By April 2020, immediately prior to COVID lockdowns, it had declined by 2million bpd.  We are now 9 million bpd down from peak.  Oil prices are surging due to concerns over supply and demand that is eating into petroleum reserves.  These latest resource figures would appear to indicate that it will be very difficult for global supply to again rise to its previous peak in production, which is very likely to be the all time peak.  The problem that this raises is that the world could very soon find itself facing a reduced supply of liquid fuels, including diesel, which is the energy source powering global transportation of goods.

Amongst the biggest losers of this study is China.  China produces more than half of the world's steel and coal, using coal resources only half the size of the US.  Chinese oil resources are about 25% of US resources, having been downgraded to 50billion barrels - a drop of one third.  Yet they have about 5 times US population.  None of this bodes well for the future of the Chinese economy.  It suggests to me also, that they are likely to become belligerent towards resource rich countries like Australia, something that we are in fact seeing already.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-07-14 06:36:46)


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