General / Off-Topic Recycle or Die! (the elite environmental thread)

So, i keep reading about how wonderful the U.K. is, for making records, for not using coal, to generate power for the national grid. last week is was something like 19 hours. This is such good news, but after some research; I find that there is a catch. That is the time, it takes to go from cold, to producing electricity. A minimum of 8 hours and the station in question, takes approximately, 27 hours. It turns out that in most of the cases, where the U.K. has been setting these records; yes that have not been using coal to generate electric; but they have been using coal, just to keep the boilers hot.
To be honest, when you look under the hood of the mindless regurgitation of press releases that the media seem to have adopted as a journalistic standard you'll find many of the claims made in this sphere don't stand up to anything approaching scrutiny or common sense.

For example, the dash for intermittent renewable energy supply has led to a vast increase in heavily subsidised diesel power generation to cover peak demand. This was not only predicted but warned against - but the drive to "do something about CO2 emissions" overrode "actually doing something about CO2 emissions", and the taxpayer picks up a ~ £500m bill in the UK every year because of it.

A few other examples; pretty much every green organisation opposes fracking and yet not using it drives up CO2 emissions and pollution. Biomass power gen is classed as renewable but actually involves chopping down vast swathes of forest and then ultimately emitting more CO2 in the generation process than coal. Again, subsidised directly by the taxpayer (~ £1bn a year).

The problem is that people don't actually look at this stuff in a systematic context, or are just happy to take someone else's word for it and then advocate for something they actually know nothing about.
 
Speaking of Fracking:

'We are hammering the last nail in the coffin of the fracking industry':


It was always a poisoned chalice, mediating between multinational fracking firms and the local communities dead set against the extreme form of energy extraction in their backyards. Nonetheless, it still shocked many when the government’s “shale commissioner”, the former Labour MP Natascha Engel, resigned at the end of last month after barely six months in the job.

The role was impossible, despaired Engel, who lost her seat in North East Derbyshire in 2017 after coming out in favour of fracking in the constituency. The government, she complained, was “choosing to listen to a powerful environmental lobby campaigning against fracking rather than allowing science and evidence to guide our policymaking”.

Hurrah, thought Dave Shaw, as the news filtered through to Doncaster. Six years after he co-formed Frack Free South Yorkshire to oppose shale gas extraction on his doorstep, he was joyous. Over the phone in the following days, he said: “I most definitely feel we are winning. I feel like we are hammering the last nail in the coffin of the fracking industry.”
I can only hope in the post-Brexit world, when the power of American corporations start to rip the fabric of british society apart, that the resolve to resist fracking carries on. It just is a bad time to see fracking as a good idea when we need to focus on CO2 neutral energy production, and in a small country like the UK it is just an even more terrible idea (the USA and Canada have huge tracks of land in comparision).

Snowball Earth (Cryogenian Period) was pre-cambrian and thus not an extinction event.
Indeed, thanks for clarifying my unclear sentence, i did not actually mean the Snowball Earth period as an extinction event (more than an extreme climate event).
 
Fracking only has two types of supporters. Those profiting from it and those who believe the P.R. put about; by those profiting from it.
I.E. The companies, wanting to do the fracking, who are surported of course, by the tax man. The few that are not directly affected and are stupid enough, not to check out what the consequences are.
 
I can only hope in the post-Brexit world, when the power of American corporations start to rip the fabric of british society apart, that the resolve to resist fracking carries on.
a) Why?
b) I'm pretty sure that American corporations are here already.
c) Whereas European or Chinese corporations would never dream of manipulating any part of society.
d) Or, for that matter, neither would governments all on thier own.

Silly, overly political, comment here Zak.

It just is a bad time to see fracking as a good idea when we need to focus on CO2 neutral energy production, and in a small country like the UK it is just an even more terrible idea (the USA and Canada have huge tracks of land in comparision).
And yet we can't do without gas. Even in the wildly optimistic future energy scenarios painted by the CCC (which you were extolling the virtue of recently) gas is still a significant part of the energy generation mix. So what you're actually saying here, perhaps inadvertently, is that you'd rather someone else extracted gas and shipping it to us (with the additional pollution and CO2 emissions associated with transport that entails).

This is what I mean about looking at things in a systematic context, instead of aiming directly for the virtuous end.
 
I'm not sure if you grasp the connection of what Fracking does to the countryside around it, and that being a big issue for a geographically small island like the UK? Canada has lots of other space for people to move to and live in if needed (USA also), but we don't have that option here. Far better to focus efforts in clean energy we can produce ample amounts of via wind and wave. Labour recently put out some info on pushing the uk towards a new industrial revolution, but based on home based green energy production, and that is the much better idea to what your suggesting imho. It's the kind of thinking all countries need to adopt as the next few decades are critical for human civilization down the next few hundred years. As the kids on the street are saying today, why prepare for a future they might never get to enjoy (due to AGW etc)? We are at that crossroad right about now.

And yes American corporations are obviously already here (they are the ones pushing for Fracking btw), but Brexit is going to green-light much more of that kind of thing (end of NHS/decent free education/fair working conditions etc). Environmentally (and socially) it is going to have huge negatives on the Britain we grew up loving. A few will make huge personal profits from it obviously, by selling out Britain to Americans. It's just the obvious outcome of Brexit (and actually the power behind the throne of it). This awareness is less about politics more than the simple harsh reality of the situation, if it was the Chinese or Russians i would say the same, it just happens Brexit has American concerns all over it, that is all.

Now obviously i don't want to clutter up the thread with this stuff (so please don't), but you mentioned it and i wanted to address it to put it to bed so to speak. The biggest concern of all (for me) is the Environmental cost of our actions, because we are at a unique period in our human history and that concern is going to determine if we thrive or fall as a species, and we (you and I) are the ones making that future.
 
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I find this scenario very interesting, also in relation to the wider debate around the impact that the petro-chemical companies are having on our world.

'Monsanto must pay couple $2bn in largest verdict yet over cancer claims':


A California jury has ordered Monsanto to pay more than $2bn to a couple that got cancer after using its weedkiller, marking the third and largest verdict against the company over Roundup.

A jury in Oakland ruled Monday that Monsanto, now owned by the German pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, was liable for the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) cancer of Alva and Alberta Pilliod. The jury ordered the company to pay $1bn in damages to each of them, and more than $55m total in compensatory damages.

The victory for the Pilliods follows two consecutive trial wins for families taking on Monsanto over Roundup, the world’s most widely used weedkiller, which research has linked to NHL, a cancer that affects the immune system. Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper with terminal cancer, won a $289m victory in state court last year, and Edwin Hardeman, who sprayed Roundup on his properties, was awarded $80m in the first federal trial this year.

The latest verdict is the largest by far and will increase pressure on Bayer, which has suffered share price drops in the wake of the verdicts and is now facing similar lawsuits from thousands of cancer patients, survivors and families who lost loved ones to NHL.

The juries have repeatedly ruled that Roundup was defectively designed, that the company failed to warn consumers about the cancer risks, and that Monsanto has acted negligently. The cases have uncovered internal Monsanto documents that plaintiffs’ lawyers say reveal the ways in which the company has “bullied” scientists over the years and helped “ghostwrite” research defending the safety of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup.
The history of Monsanto is worth reading up on, but it looks like since it was sold by it's american owners to the german Bayer (another 'nasty' petro-chemical company), 'open season' has been declared on it, and it seems somewhere in the documents of sale ALL responsibilities have been transferred to the german company. I wonder about all the detail (and legality?) of that, but it is more an academic interest as i have zero compassion for Bayer (or any corporate entity like it).

At a time when all the important wild life around us is under threat it is cathartic to see one of the brands causing that harm get a deserved shoeing, even if not for those just reasons!? A case of what goes around comes around maybe?
 
I find this scenario very interesting, also in relation to the wider debate around the impact that the petro-chemical companies are having on our world.

'Monsanto must pay couple $2bn in largest verdict yet over cancer claims':
To have 2 billion and have the cancer or not have two billion and not have the cancer ?

That is the question.

:rolleyes:🤔
 
With regards to the UK energy supply, they always promote wind and solar, but it isn't particularly windy or sunny here.
Somehow hydro power has slipped off the radar despite the fact that this is Blighty. It's ****ing wet and getting wetter (in the west at least) the rivers seem to be flooding each year now but we're not using this as a resource?
 
With regards to the UK energy supply, they always promote wind and solar, but it isn't particularly windy or sunny here.
Somehow hydro power has slipped off the radar despite the fact that this is Blighty. It's ****ing wet and getting wetter (in the west at least) the rivers seem to be flooding each year now but we're not using this as a resource?
Flooding rivers are one thing; building dams, is something else. I would say that like Fracking, the limited spaces, to build dams and then flooding whole valleys, is the issue here. That said; Scotland should be sorted green energy wise.
 
I'm not so sure that messing around with our rivers is a particularly good idea, especially concerning the possible long term consequences:



"Family histories don’t come much more bizarre. Three-quarters of the fish in the sea can trace their origins back to a freshwater ancestor. The finding highlights how important rivers and lakes are as a source of new species, just as that supply is under threat from disappearing freshwater habitats.

Fish first evolved in the sea. The oceans have been teeming with them for almost half a billion years, so there is no reason to doubt that the fish living there today did all their evolving in salt water – until you take a closer look at their family tree..."
 
Flooding rivers are one thing; building dams, is something else. I would say that like Fracking, the limited spaces, to build dams and then flooding whole valleys, is the issue here. That said; Scotland should be sorted green energy wise.
I wasn't thinking about any sort of hoover dam type nonsense, more the like taking a few of the wind turbine generators and attaching them to water wheels.
 
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Yesterday on the TV, I saw a report on the Norilsk Nickel factory in Siberia.

It is one of the most polluting factories on the planet.

Millions of tonnes of sulphur dioxide are released into the air each year from Norilsk Nickel.

I hallucinated when I heard the journalist say that the factory pollutes as much as the whole of France.

:eek:
 
Hmmm.
Sulphur Dioxide 109,100 tons
Nornickel
So acid rain would be the main problem, though Sulphur dioxide is one of the main chemicals associated with global dimming. If we need to cool the planet it would imply rather a lot of this.
 
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Hmmm.
Sulphur Dioxide 109,100 tons
Nornickel
So acid rain would be the main problem, though Sulphur dioxide is one of the main chemicals associated with global dimming. If we need to cool the planet it would imply rather a lot of this.
109,100 tons ?

The French Wikipedia writes "Every year, millions of tons of sulfur dioxide are released into the air by Norilsk Nickel's factories, making Norilsk one of the most polluted cities in the world."

And on the TV I also heard millions of tons.

I suspect a lie from the factory.

:unsure:
 
109,100 tons ?

The French Wikipedia writes "Every year, millions of tons of sulfur dioxide are released into the air by Norilsk Nickel's factories, making Norilsk one of the most polluted cities in the world."

And on the TV I also heard millions of tons.

I suspect a lie from the factory.

:unsure:
It might be that they're only quoting for the Kola Peninsula site, there appears to be second site (Talnakh) though it's harder to get anything definite on it.
 
From the presentation of UN's new report on biodiversity:

“The health of the ecosystems on which we and other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide,” said Robert Watson, the chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Ibpes).
A link to the unedited report that doesn't go through dropbox: https://www.ipbes.net/sites/default/files/downloads/spm_unedited_advance_for_posting_htn.pdf

It becomes more and more clear to me, that the way out is Mother Natures iron fist. As I wrote in another thread: Whenever I ask people around me in the scientific community, if we're telling the truth about our ability to solve what we're facing, the answer is "Think positive". You can't eat positive thoughts.
Less a case of ability and more one of awareness and will.
 
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