Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

IP is the place for boisterous political discussion, but please remember, the Rules still apply, especially with regards to Personal Attacks. These and other inappropriate posts will be removed without notification.

Moderators: Mick, TheGingerMan

Forum rules
IP is the place for boisterous political discussion, but please remember, the Rules still apply, especially with regards to Personal Attacks. These and other inappropriate posts will be removed without notification.

Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby Jack Burton » 27 Apr 2012, 10:34

finley wrote: Fix the economic issues - the extremely poor economic efficiency of our current way of doing things.


curious what you mean specifically? I think overall, in regions with more free enterprise, things are pretty efficient. Where there is more regulation, more government interference, less efficiencies. are you talking about the same thing?
Jack Burton: I don't get this at all. I thought Lo Pan...
Lo Pan: Shut up, Mr. Burton! You are not brought upon this world to get it!
Forumosan avatar
Jack Burton
Thinking of Staging a Coup (xiǎng yào gǎo zhèng biàn)
Thinking of Staging a Coup (xiǎng yào gǎo zhèng biàn)
 
Posts: 6395
Joined: 01 Apr 2003, 11:35
Location: living in bland suburbia
4 Recommends(s)
49 Recognized(s)



Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby finley » 27 Apr 2012, 12:58

curious what you mean specifically? I think overall, in regions with more free enterprise, things are pretty efficient. Where there is more regulation, more government interference, less efficiencies. are you talking about the same thing?

Ah, sorry, wrong terminology. Yes, our markets are reasonably efficient, but what I meant was that we use inherently expensive methods of achieving trivial things, and those methods leave no room for incremental improvement. I'm not quite sure what the correct word is. Here's a couple of examples.

Climate control. In many cold countries, electric heating is encouraged. You can understand why: it minimizes pollution in urban centres. But consider how that works. Coal is delivered to a power station, where it is burned to produce heat. The heat is used to produce vapour which turns a turbine. The turbine turns a generator. The electricity from the generator wends its way through a hugely complex network of wires, transformers, and assorted control equipment. When it arrives at someone's home, it's turned back into the form of energy we first started with: heat. WTF? All we've actually achieved is to lose 50-60% of the chemical energy inside the fuel, and we spend an incredible amount of money to maintain the machinery moving that energy from a power station over there to a home over here. There is NO possible improvement within the constraints of that system. All the alternatives involve a completely different system: for instance, we could build houses that don't really need much heating; and we could provide what's needed with solar heating, which is now cheaper than coal anyway. An enormous load would be removed from the grid, which could be downsized. Or, if you're a poor country, you don't need to build it in the first place, or at least not in the form we have in "advanced" countries.

Transport.This is one of my particular bugbears. First, have a look at Google Earth - any random city - and observe how much land area is occupied by roads. Ponder on how much it costs the local government to build and maintain it. Now observe that the average car costs ~US$6000/year to run (AAA statistics, AAA services subscription deleted) and spends 95% of its time (~8300 out of 8760 hours) just taking up space. Those 400-odd hours (~15000 miles/year) burn 2500 litres of fuel, or 80000MJth (=22000kWh) at a cost of ~US$2500. That's 1.5kWh/mile, representing an average (thermal) power expenditure of ~50kW. Fifty bloody kilowatts to move a lump of lard from A to B. Seriously? The world record for fuel economy currently stands at 5385km/litre equivalent, representing an average power (at 30kph) of about 50W, or three orders of magnitude better than an ordinary passenger car. Now, fair enough, that was achieved with a vehicle completely impractical for commercial use. But it gives you some idea of what's possible. Energy waste isn't some academic issue for politicans to debate in climate change conferences. It translates directly to monetary cost, human labour expenditure, and resource waste. How, for instance, is anyone in a low-income country supposed to buy and fuel a car? Yes, it can be done, but only at enormous personal and social cost. We need to do it better than that.
"Global warming is happening and we KNOW that man is 100 percent responsible!!!"
- Fred Smith
Forumosan avatar
finley
Retired President (tuì xiū de zǒng tǒng)
Retired President (tuì xiū de zǒng tǒng)
 
Posts: 5947
Joined: 20 Jan 2011, 23:34
858 Recommends(s)
657 Recognized(s)



Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby Steviebike » 27 Apr 2012, 13:12

We can do better, much better.

I'm very excited about the future possibilities of energy generation as we know it can be done and the closer we get to the precipice of climate degradation there will be a frantic need for them.

It's not just climate, but public health that should be driving change too.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17704116 I find this report disturbing, I can't help think 'well if that is the UK, what about Taiwan?'
Just checking but you're a South African Engrish Teachur right? No. I'm a Russian nuclear physicist.
Forumosan avatar
Steviebike
Betelnut Beauty (bīnglang Xī Shī)
Betelnut Beauty (bīnglang Xī Shī)
 
Posts: 1504
Joined: 12 Oct 2011, 16:26
Location: Taipei
70 Recommends(s)
80 Recognized(s)



Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby Jack Burton » 27 Apr 2012, 17:06

finley wrote:
curious what you mean specifically? I think overall, in regions with more free enterprise, things are pretty efficient. Where there is more regulation, more government interference, less efficiencies. are you talking about the same thing?

Ah, sorry, wrong terminology. Yes, our markets are reasonably efficient, but what I meant was that we use inherently expensive methods of achieving trivial things, and those methods leave no room for incremental improvement. I'm not quite sure what the correct word is. Here's a couple of examples.

Climate control. In many cold countries, electric heating is encouraged. You can understand why: it minimizes pollution in urban centres. But consider how that works. Coal is delivered to a power station, where it is burned to produce heat. The heat is used to produce vapour which turns a turbine. The turbine turns a generator. The electricity from the generator wends its way through a hugely complex network of wires, transformers, and assorted control equipment. When it arrives at someone's home, it's turned back into the form of energy we first started with: heat. WTF? All we've actually achieved is to lose 50-60% of the chemical energy inside the fuel, and we spend an incredible amount of money to maintain the machinery moving that energy from a power station over there to a home over here. There is NO possible improvement within the constraints of that system. All the alternatives involve a completely different system: for instance, we could build houses that don't really need much heating; and we could provide what's needed with solar heating, which is now cheaper than coal anyway. An enormous load would be removed from the grid, which could be downsized. Or, if you're a poor country, you don't need to build it in the first place, or at least not in the form we have in "advanced" countries.

Transport.This is one of my particular bugbears. First, have a look at Google Earth - any random city - and observe how much land area is occupied by roads. Ponder on how much it costs the local government to build and maintain it. Now observe that the average car costs ~US$6000/year to run (AAA statistics, AAA services subscription deleted) and spends 95% of its time (~8300 out of 8760 hours) just taking up space. Those 400-odd hours (~15000 miles/year) burn 2500 litres of fuel, or 80000MJth (=22000kWh) at a cost of ~US$2500. That's 1.5kWh/mile, representing an average (thermal) power expenditure of ~50kW. Fifty bloody kilowatts to move a lump of lard from A to B. Seriously? The world record for fuel economy currently stands at 5385km/litre equivalent, representing an average power (at 30kph) of about 50W, or three orders of magnitude better than an ordinary passenger car. Now, fair enough, that was achieved with a vehicle completely impractical for commercial use. But it gives you some idea of what's possible. Energy waste isn't some academic issue for politicans to debate in climate change conferences. It translates directly to monetary cost, human labour expenditure, and resource waste. How, for instance, is anyone in a low-income country supposed to buy and fuel a car? Yes, it can be done, but only at enormous personal and social cost. We need to do it better than that.


Urban planning has lots to do with the commute mess we are in, and it's a very outdated model. there may not be much economic incentive to change this culture either
- sure I'd love my bicycle-friendly cities (and even better where there is bike-friendly city planning), but it's not everyone's cup of tea. you can't force people to adopt more efficient modes of transport. People love their cars, and until we come up with a better car design, I'm not sure how we move the ball. maybe at some point, we will see the "true" cost of fuel.

agree that the housing model needs change. Even in germany (with its subsidies, etc.) it still take a hefty cost to install solar power in homes (and only making sense with long-term cost capture). Your average person will not invest (or could afford to).

There are many things that could be done to make a better world, but perhaps at the cost of a tyrant (think eugenics, less people, less energy, less consumption, but who decides. Less cars, less consumption, but who decides?) not ez
Jack Burton: I don't get this at all. I thought Lo Pan...
Lo Pan: Shut up, Mr. Burton! You are not brought upon this world to get it!
Forumosan avatar
Jack Burton
Thinking of Staging a Coup (xiǎng yào gǎo zhèng biàn)
Thinking of Staging a Coup (xiǎng yào gǎo zhèng biàn)
 
Posts: 6395
Joined: 01 Apr 2003, 11:35
Location: living in bland suburbia
4 Recommends(s)
49 Recognized(s)



Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby finley » 27 Apr 2012, 23:00

Urban planning has lots to do with the commute mess we are in, and it's a very outdated model. there may not be much economic incentive to change this culture either

Yes, it hasn't changed much since they were building Babylon and Carthage, and really not much economic incentive to do anything about it. Yet.

- sure I'd love my bicycle-friendly cities (and even better where there is bike-friendly city planning), but it's not everyone's cup of tea. you can't force people to adopt more efficient modes of transport. People love their cars, and until we come up with a better car design, I'm not sure how we move the ball. maybe at some point, we will see the "true" cost of fuel.

There is no better car design. It's as good as it's going to get. What's needed is a completely different method of transport. Yes, bikes are nice, but as you say, not everyone's cup of tea and you can't force people to use something they don't like. The built-in efficiency problem with cars is the insistence on human control. Too tedious to go into exactly why in this thread, but a completely automated system (google "Personal Rapid Transport") can be 60-90% more efficient for any given capacity. Unfortunately, that requires a completely different infrastructure, but again, that's where poor countries have a massive advantage, because they have no real infrastructure to begin with ... which is why I get intensely irritated by posts that advocate "allowing" those countries to adopt hopelessly obsolete, polluting technologies.

agree that the housing model needs change. Even in germany (with its subsidies, etc.) it still take a hefty cost to install solar power in homes (and only making sense with long-term cost capture). Your average person will not invest (or could afford to).

A combination of simple profiteering, the inherent complexity of retrofitting into a house not designed for solar, and perverse government incentives (which favour much-less-efficient PV rather than heat collectors). Fitted as standard in new houses, it would be very cheap. Ten square meters (=10MWh/year) of the latest generation thermal-diode type heat collectors costs about 1000 euros wholesale, and about 2000 euros for the associated support equipment (pumps, controllers, tank, pipes, etc). At E0.15/kWh for gas heating, a new-build system (NOT a retrofit) would pay for itself in ~2 years, even in famously un-sunny Germany.

There are many things that could be done to make a better world, but perhaps at the cost of a tyrant (think eugenics, less people, less energy, less consumption, but who decides. Less cars, less consumption, but who decides?) not ez

It's even less easy when governments are simultanously pulling the strings on their favourite (usually inappropriate) renewables method, and subsidizing fossil fuels and general pollution in the name of "economic growth", whatever that is.
"Global warming is happening and we KNOW that man is 100 percent responsible!!!"
- Fred Smith
Forumosan avatar
finley
Retired President (tuì xiū de zǒng tǒng)
Retired President (tuì xiū de zǒng tǒng)
 
Posts: 5947
Joined: 20 Jan 2011, 23:34
858 Recommends(s)
657 Recognized(s)



Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby finley » 27 Apr 2012, 23:04

Steviebike wrote:We can do better, much better.
I'm very excited about the future possibilities of energy generation as we know it can be done and the closer we get to the precipice of climate degradation there will be a frantic need for them.
It's not just climate, but public health that should be driving change too.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17704116 I find this report disturbing, I can't help think 'well if that is the UK, what about Taiwan?'


Yeah, I've seen similar figures quoted (pro-rata) for China. Depressing, isn't it. However, it's all a bit theoretical, and it pales in comparison to the one million verified deaths (worldwide) that occur due to traffic accidents, and the 60-odd million serious injuries. That's worth repeating: the entire population of the UK is killed or injured every year, courtesy of our cars.
"Global warming is happening and we KNOW that man is 100 percent responsible!!!"
- Fred Smith
Forumosan avatar
finley
Retired President (tuì xiū de zǒng tǒng)
Retired President (tuì xiū de zǒng tǒng)
 
Posts: 5947
Joined: 20 Jan 2011, 23:34
858 Recommends(s)
657 Recognized(s)



Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby divea » 28 Apr 2012, 00:53

urodacus wrote:well, I'm just glad I've not got any kids then if that is the attitude that wins out in the end.

develop at all costs, bugger the future.

Wrong again, that is the west's philosophy. Canada opted out not BRICS! :roll:
"It is the weak who are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong. "
- Leo Roston
divea
Retired President (tuì xiū de zǒng tǒng)
Retired President (tuì xiū de zǒng tǒng)
 
Posts: 5676
Joined: 19 Mar 2008, 00:45
Location: In the land of Ambrosia
367 Recommends(s)
116 Recognized(s)



Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby Steviebike » 28 Apr 2012, 09:38

finley wrote:
Steviebike wrote:We can do better, much better.
I'm very excited about the future possibilities of energy generation as we know it can be done and the closer we get to the precipice of climate degradation there will be a frantic need for them.
It's not just climate, but public health that should be driving change too.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17704116 I find this report disturbing, I can't help think 'well if that is the UK, what about Taiwan?'


Yeah, I've seen similar figures quoted (pro-rata) for China. Depressing, isn't it. However, it's all a bit theoretical, and it pales in comparison to the one million verified deaths (worldwide) that occur due to traffic accidents, and the 60-odd million serious injuries. That's worth repeating: the entire population of the UK is killed or injured every year, courtesy of our cars.


Theoretical the study might be, but it still disturbs me. I will try not to go off on a tangent... Road deaths in general are shocking as so many are out of stupidity (we talk about this enough on here).

Moving away from cars, do you think solar power (individual fitting to homes) is a good idea? I get the feeling were reaching a point where it's going to be affordable to most people (who can afford a home).

There are also hydrogen systems coming onto the market http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2011/09/ ... 5tI1O1TIUU which do more to harness the solar energy.

And back to the real climate change issue this just in: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17843648
Just checking but you're a South African Engrish Teachur right? No. I'm a Russian nuclear physicist.
Forumosan avatar
Steviebike
Betelnut Beauty (bīnglang Xī Shī)
Betelnut Beauty (bīnglang Xī Shī)
 
Posts: 1504
Joined: 12 Oct 2011, 16:26
Location: Taipei
70 Recommends(s)
80 Recognized(s)



Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby headhonchoII » 28 Apr 2012, 11:16

divea wrote:
urodacus wrote:well, I'm just glad I've not got any kids then if that is the attitude that wins out in the end.

develop at all costs, bugger the future.

Wrong again, that is the west's philosophy. Canada opted out not BRICS! :roll:


I don't get the us versus them argument. For instance the West is not one single entity and the BRICs have no real affinity to each other. Do you think we have much affinity in Ireland with giant resource rich nations like Canada across the Atlantic? Do you think Germany and the US are aligned in their thinking? These are all soundbites and are just artificial constructs.

India is a country that could suffer immensely if it dries out. It also contains a huge chunk of the worlds population that are living on the borderline. It's not like Canada where they could do with some warming up and which has sufficient resources for its small population to deal with major climate change.

There SHOULD be some type of long term plan at this stage where growth is taking place but as is obvious when I visit the place there is none.
The best thing India could do for itself is control it's population , this is more important than signing up to any international global warming agreements.

Anyway I don't want to focus on India in particular but just look at China to see where it does not want to go.

Yes China can be admired somewhat as it has improved living standards greatly but has absolutely destroyed its air and it's water and it's indigenous plants and animals. Literally every city I visited recently in China was covered in a coat of smog. This is why rich people in China don't want their own families to live there. In the end they used up their beautiful and historic land for short term gain and trashed their heritage and home. Every year over the last 5 years Beijing was adding a half million cars a year. The streets are clogged with large polluting sedans.
Now they have made the MRT system there almost free to encourage use of public transport, talk about getting things arseways!
I can remember the fourth of July runnin' through the backwood bare.
And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin' chasin' down a hoodoo there
Chasin' down a hoodoo there.

This post was recommended by finley (28 Apr 2012, 11:36)
Rating: 4%
headhonchoII
Maitreya Buddha (Mílèfó)
 
Posts: 12655
Joined: 26 Aug 2002, 10:40
Location: Taipei
1739 Recommends(s)
623 Recognized(s)



Re: Hypocrisy Regarding Climate Change

Postby finley » 28 Apr 2012, 11:39

Divea, as HH just said, addressing climate change as a local issue can only benefit India immensely. There is no conspiracy, no "us" against "them". "The west" (however you define it) has a vast amount of technology and know-how they're willing to export to low-income countries which could be used to enhance "green" productivity, thereby producing a healthier trade balance while simultaneously creating development and improvements in living standards. It's your own politicians (and in the third world generally, including China) who are sitting on their hands watching a huge opportunity just pass them by, while having a snout-fight over some imaginary trough. Their current approach is indeed completely "arseways".

Steviebike wrote:Moving away from cars, do you think solar power (individual fitting to homes) is a good idea? I get the feeling were reaching a point where it's going to be affordable to most people (who can afford a home).

It depends what you mean by solar. The heater systems are usually a good idea, the PV systems not so. New solar installations, distributed or otherwise, are cheaper than fossil fuels in sunny climates. You can prove that with a few back-of-envelope calculations. That's even ignoring the fact that coal/oil/nuclear is massively subsidised; solar is still cheaper. However the cost and complexity of retrofit makes it unwise for existing homes, and in areas with <2.5suns (average) insolation, it's marginal even for new-build systems. As pingdong said back there, far better to start again and do it properly. It's not a case of just replacing this power source with that power source; it all has to work together as a system. The whole is then greater than the sum of individual parts. For example, if you have streets full of electric vehicles, you need fewer static storage systems because the vehicles themselves can contribute to storage capacity. If you use any sort of intermittent source (solar or wind), you MUST have a demand-billing system to make sure demand is matched as closely as possible to output. Storage, such as the hydrogen system you mentioned, costs as much or more than the panels themselves (per kWh) and must be minimised in any future infrastructure.

And back to the real climate change issue this just in: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17843648

I'm sure Fred Smith will have something to say about that ;)
"Global warming is happening and we KNOW that man is 100 percent responsible!!!"
- Fred Smith
Forumosan avatar
finley
Retired President (tuì xiū de zǒng tǒng)
Retired President (tuì xiū de zǒng tǒng)
 
Posts: 5947
Joined: 20 Jan 2011, 23:34
858 Recommends(s)
657 Recognized(s)



FRIENDLY REMINDER
   Please remember that Forumosa is not responsible for the content that appears on the other side of links that Forumosans post on our forums. As a discussion website, we encourage open and frank debate. We have learned that the most effective way to address questionable claims or accusations on Forumosa is by engaging in a sincere and constructive conversation. To make this website work, we must all feel safe in expressing our opinions, this also means backing up any claims with hard facts, including links to other websites.
   Please also remember that one should not believe everything one reads on the Internet, particularly from websites whose content cannot be easily verified or substantiated. Use your common sense and do not hesitate to ask for proof.
PreviousNext




Proceed to International Politics



Who is online

Forumosans browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 2 visitors

Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference -- MIGNON MCLAUGHLIN, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960