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Can you see a way to prevent global warming?


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#16    khol

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 03:00 PM

View PostArmchair Educated, on 30 April 2013 - 12:02 AM, said:

Can you think of an idea that might be a step in the right direction? i dont think one idea can make a effect but many peoples ideas used in unison might. if you see that someone else has your idea, like it or try to think of a way that you can improve their idea.

heres a question i wrote earlier but thought id use it to get the ball rolling

are there plants that convert more CO2 than others, i think in the future we should harvest plants for their ecological benefits. recently found out that plants respire oxygen when out of a light source and produce CO2.
havent thought on commiting to testing this out but if i did, i would place the plants in glass airsealed containers to see which one turned yellow first under a uv light to see which one uses up it carbon dioxide first. (chlorophyl is green so colour discolouration would mean lack of co2 to synthesize.
thoughts on this? any obvious flaws that i might of missed that could be pointed out would be appreciated. my thoughts probably wont come to fruitition as im capricious in my pondering but thanks anyway :)
limit the amount of beans eaten? :tu:


#17    Doug1o29

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 03:51 PM

View PostArmchair Educated, on 30 April 2013 - 12:02 AM, said:

Can you think of an idea that might be a step in the right direction? i dont think one idea can make a effect but many peoples ideas used in unison might. if you see that someone else has your idea, like it or try to think of a way that you can improve their idea.
Any solution to the problem of CO2 in the air will probably be lots of solutions.  Wind energy.  Solar energy.  Nuclear energy, maybe.  Conservation efforts might help.  Population control will definitely help.

Lots of different ways to do that.  Wind power is already cheaper than coal and oil and is competitive with gas.  Pacific Power's campaign to keep wind power out of the California market looks to me like a cynical attempt to limit competition (funny how capitalists don't like capitalism).  And that tells me that they think it's economically competitive and a threat to them.  At the current rate, the US will be generating 20% of its power from wind by 2030.  By doubling our commitment, we could make that 40% by 2035.  By tripling it, we could reach 55% by that time.  At the same time, we need to phase out coal.

But the wind doesn't blow all the time and the sun doesn't shine at night.  How do we generate base load?  Natural gas is one way and it's cleaner than oil or coal, but it still produces carbon dioxide which has to go somewhere.  We might put in enough wind and solar units that we would have surplus energy to generate hydrogen by hydrolysis.  Store the hydrogen (The energy-density of hydrogen bound to iron oxide is about the same as gasoline.) and burn to it generate base load.  That produces water vapor and nitrogen oxides which are pollutants, too.  Wash them out of the exhaust with water, react them with ammonia (produced from those same nitrogen oxides) and you have:  fertilizer!  The results:  an energy plant that produces fertilizer and water as by-products.

I think it is possible to generate all, or nearly all, of our power needs from wind.  That includes most transportation systems which can burn wind-generated hydrogen.  And power-generation in one form or another is most of the global warming problem.
Doug

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#18    shrooma

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 05:54 AM

promote ice-cream to one of the five major food groups, persuade people to switch to a mint choccy chip diet, and get everyone to leave their fridge doors open would cure the whole global warming thing I reckon!


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#19    Rafterman

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:12 AM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 30 April 2013 - 07:15 AM, said:

That is only a temporary fix which eventually makes matters worse as you run out of surfaces to paint and the planet resumes warming - but faster due to the increased concentration of CO2.

Plant **** loads of trees - every available surface. Use this as your primary heating fuel source (carbon neutral).
Invest massively in alternative energies such as wind, biogas and solar.
Re-localize agriculture - only a tiny amount of our food should travel more than 100miles.
Carry on using education and cross support to reduce overall fertility rates in all corners of the globe.

It is my belief that massive reforestation could produce a complete stop in Global Warming and represent a foundation for a sustainable energy future.

Br Cornellius

So trade one pollution source for another?

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#20    Br Cornelius

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 12:58 PM

The trees only become a pollution source when combined with fossil fuels. My strategy reduces or removes the fossil fuel pollution.
The primary objective is to close the energy loop (ie syustainable fuel cropping of trees for domestic heating) and brings down the carbon load in the atmosphere over the next hundred years.

None of that is worth attempting if we keep on burning fossil fuels at the rate we are.

Br Cornelius

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#21    Doug1o29

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 01:20 PM

View PostDieChecker, on 30 April 2013 - 03:04 AM, said:

It is just another Engineering project. I can think of lots of things to do.
1) Create more cloud cover...There are several methods. Reflects more sun = cooler ground = cooler Earth
2) Build chemical plants to draw carbon dioxide out of the air = Less CO2 = cooler Earth
3) Build giant heat exchangers that take the heat and sink it away somewhere, or convert it to electricity.
4) Make all blacktop surfaces, and rooftops white. More reflective = cooler surface = cooler Earth
5) Encourage (controlled) algae blooms in the ocean. The algea takes the carbon to the bottom of the ocean when it dies.
6) Possition an asteroid between the Earth and the Sun. Less light hitting the Earth = cooler surface = cooler Earth.
7) Individual efforts... http://environment.a...balwarmtips.htm
8) Supposedly burning Fossil Fuels, such as gasoline in cars and coal in electric plants, is the #1 contributor to Global Warming. So anything that would cut that fossil fuel usage would help.
-  Electric cars
-  Clean coal plants
So, what didn't you think of?  There's always a wrench around, waiting to fall into the machinery.  Unanticipated and unintended consequences are the bane of engineering projects.

The people who built Three Mile Island thought they were building a safe power plant.  Same at Fukushima.  Same at Chernobyl.  Same at Chalk River.  Same at Detroit Fermi.  Same at Idaho #3.  At Detroit Fermi it was a malfunctioning safety device that caused the meltdown.

The largest railroad locomotive ever built was made in Altoona, Pennsylvania, specifically for the job of hauling freight trains up the Horseshoe Grade.  They got it all done and fired it up for its first trip.  They opened the roundhouse doors and steamed out - only to find they couldn't get around the first curve.  The turning radius of the engine was wider than the curve.  Then it occurred to somebody that this was not the sharpest curve on the railroad.  There were some on the main line that were sharper.  They steamed back into the roundhouse, broke up the engine and made two engines out of it.  There's always something you didn't think of.

That's not to say that engineering doesn't have a lot to contribute.  Replacing the current power systems with clean ones is an engineering problem.  Engineering will have a lot to do with a cleaner world.  But engineering as a tool for mitigating bad management decisions could be just another bad management decision.
Doug

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
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#22    Doug1o29

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 01:42 PM

View PostRafterman, on 02 May 2013 - 11:12 AM, said:

So trade one pollution source for another?
In the US we are running out of land to replant.  There are still quite a few areas that could use some trees, but planting efforts, as reflected in seedling sales, have been on the decline for several decades.  The large reforestation projects are a thing of the past.

Planting is expensive.  You are better off doing your cutting in ways that encourage natural reseeding.  Like seed tree cuts and shelterwood cuts.  And clearcuts when appropriate for the species and site.  Clearcutting can be risky, though.  If your regeneration plan fails, you have to replant by hand - $$$$$.

One problem with trees.  Eventually the stand grows up, stops producing new wood and just reaches a steady state.  At that point it becomes carbon-neutral.  It is no longer a sink, so it no longer offsets pollution.  Trees have a finite ability to mitigate CO2 pollution; they are not a permanent solution.

But wood is just recycled carbon.  You have to take CO2 out of the air to make wood.  And there are tons and tons of low-grade wood out there, leftovers from poor cutting practices of the past.  Wood-burning plants could provide a market for it.  And once the slow-growing damages and diseased trees are gone, new healthy ones will be better at sequestering carbon.

Most US paper mills are energy self-sufficient.  They generate their power from wood waste.  There is waste bark, needle and branch material that gets brought in with the pulpwood.  There is sawdust available from the same sawmills that supply paper chips.  There are inferior grade chips.  There's decayed wood that gets screened out of the chips.  Lots of trash material that can be burned for power.  The Valiant mill even sells power to the grid.  It's a win-win situation for both the mills and the power companies.  There's a lot of unrealized potential in wood power.  Split wood - not atoms!

There are even wood-powered cars.  But they make smoke and you have to go out before breakfast and fire up the converter or you can't get to work.  Not real practical.

And then there's wood-based cellulose alcohol.  It's actually grain alcohol made from wood.  It works in practice, but the economics aren't real good yet.  Needs more research.

Anyway, wood has a place.  But I think it is a more-complicated system than wind power and if we're going to hold down costs, we need to keep things simple.
Doug

Edited by Doug1o29, 02 May 2013 - 01:46 PM.

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#23    Br Cornelius

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 02:20 PM

My position on trees is pragmatic. There is evidence that the ebb and flow of forests has had profound effects on the climate in mans history. It is possible to draw down a substantial part of the problem carbon relatively quickly if mass plantings were applied. At the moment we are doing the opposite and are losing forest at an alarming rate, which is contributing to more global warming.

However a wood based energy economy is only really sensible for space heating since it is relatively not that energy rich, but it makes excellent space heating material. This requires placing trees in local communitees where they offer benefits of improving local climates, reducing the need for air conditioning, socaking up dust, etc. Transporting large bulky wood materials to large power stations only worsens their energy return. High efficiency domestic woodchip or cord burning stoves are now achieving 60% efficiencies which is better than any power station could ever produce using the same materials.

For me the main other benefits would be - mitigation of flooding, improvements in local biodiversity, moderation of climate extremes, improvements in recycling of water through the hydrological cycle, knock on benefits to local agriculture.

They have their role to play in a rebalanced energy economy which relies on other hard engineering solutions to provide the electricity demands.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius, 02 May 2013 - 02:20 PM.

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#24    Doug1o29

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 04:15 PM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 02 May 2013 - 02:20 PM, said:

They have their role to play in a rebalanced energy economy which relies on other hard engineering solutions to provide the electricity demands.
You might want to consider that climate change is already having devastating effects on the world's forests.  Even without cutting and land clearing, we are rapidly losing tree cover.  Much land that is suitable for trees now will not be so in 50 years.  Planting the wrong lands will be a waste of resources.  Trees can help, but they aren't the cure.
Doug

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott




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