Climate Change: Where every storm is Perfect

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  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Wait what? The CO2 equivalent usage for EVs is better than gasoline on average and only loses to it if you limit it to EVs charging from the dirtiest possible grids, like Germany's lignite coal plants. Cradle to grave comparisons of EVs also have them coming out ahead. There is no universe in which switching to EVs is more catastrophic than the status quo.

    You're building them with fossil fuels in most locations and converting our entire grid would be a massive energy expenditure. Especially when you take the entire materials supply chain into account with all dirty af mining that happens in developing nations we like to not think about. Other technologies like dams and nuclear offgas a lot of greenhouse gases from the concrete they're made out of, dams also convert entire valleys of vegetation into methane and other gases. We've pushed the crisis out too far there's no way we survive without major global upheaval and adaptations to how we live. Or magic terraforming technology that doesn't exist yet.

    [citation needed]

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/uploadedFiles/org/WNA/Publications/Working_Group_Reports/comparison_of_lifecycle.pdf

    Concrete based emissions are largely one-time, and it's not like mining coal is much better even before you burn it

    Honestly it's kinda hard to summarize. Most of my reading on this has been off of stuff yungneocon posts on Twitter. He's a pretty tremendous follow for this sort of thing IMO. Here's a roundup thread he did a while ago of a bunch of his source material, it's good.



    And here's a thread he did on degrowth.



    More specifically, here's an article about the carbon cost of nuclear power.

    https://theecologist.org/2015/feb/05/false-solution-nuclear-power-not-low-carbon

    Renewables are better than nuclear IIRC, but it's still a huge outpouring of fossil fuels mining and manufacturing and deploying them, and we've pushed this all so far out we're at a crisis point where we're not even sure if it's possible to recover anymore. Things are probably going to get a lot worse before they get better, if they get better, because of the lack of ability to tackle this problem as a species.

    Summaries are not only incredibly useful they are necessary. I'm not going to read multiple hundred page articles

    But, for the article you posted, all that says is that nuclear might not be considered "low carbon" ie <50g/kWh in the future (like out from 2050) because of eventually declining ore yields. The cleanest fossil fuel generation is around 300g/kWh or so and it only goes up from there. Nobody said they were zero carbon but they are hugely, massively better

    It doesn't matter if we have to spend fossil fuels to convert things because there will be a crossover point where doing nothing would have been worse and it's hard to emit more during construction than you save in a decade or so

  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    Y'all none of this is an argument against transitioning to nuclear and renewables; it's just that doing so won't save us without actually cutting our energy consumption (via degrowth), and will actually accelerate things without effective carbon capture technology. It doesn't matter if such a transition would halve our output if we're building them with fossil fuels, we're still going to accelerate the oceans dying off. I skimmed that article and posted it because it seemed mostly correct based on recollection, it's astoundingly hard to come up with sources for this shit on google because there's very few comprehensive studies that put numbers to it.

    Sure it will because the fossil fuels spent building them are substantially less than the fossil fuels spent if we don't build them, and that's even if we don't expand. If we're building new stuff it's even worse because you have to spend fossil fuels to build your coal plant

    Plus a lot of things you think require fossil fuels probably don't, they require electricity, which doesn't have to come from fossil fuels so as we get better to get better everywhere

    Tofystedeth
  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    If a data set has a range of 3 to 449, something is wrong. If the mean of those numbers is 66 by the median is only 13, that's a clue. If by cutting the top and bottom 10% off you get a mean of 15 and a median of 14, then that probably pegs the problem, the top data was flawed if not outright bogus.

    Even including that bad data, all but one of the charts has nuclear well below the threshold, and most have it below at least some renewables.

    Nuclear has some dirty steps, but uranium mining doesn't happen on any major scale unless somebody is building bombs, because pounds of it can serve for tons of coal.

    For the nuclear study it's probably because different studies will assume the use of various reactor types and (more importantly) ore grades. If your ore is <0.01% pure you have to process a hell of a lot more than if you have 0.1% ore or you if you are Canada and have access to 14% ore (https://www.cameco.com/businesses/uranium-operations/canada/cigar-lake ). Since the only two significant sources of emissions are initial plant construction and ore mining & processing, assuming a lower grade ore will give you a higher number. Towards the end of the century those higher numbers may become more accurate as we deplete the higher grade ore deposits (and assuming we don't find more) but for the next 50ish years we can assume the lower numbers are probably pretty accurate

  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Hackerman Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    Actually, that theexologist link does a good job putting numbers to it, the numbers just don't say what they assert. They cite aggregates of hundreds of studies in several groups, all of which have this feature of having nuclear power in this incredible factor of 100+ range but nothing else, all with the same huge mean/median skew that vanishes when dropping the outliers.

    Those are good numbers. Hell, they're save the world numbers. Even with the off the bat goalpost shift of saying let's move 2030 to right stat now those are save the world numbers. Only when they take the top number on each list does that change, and like I said, you can't look at the data sets they cite the way they look at them (as indeed none of the researchers they cite do).

    I'm not arguing against transitioning to nuclear and renewables here. I'm saying that it's not a panacea because the transition itself has a cost.
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Y'all none of this is an argument against transitioning to nuclear and renewables; it's just that doing so won't save us without actually cutting our energy consumption (via degrowth), and will actually accelerate things without effective carbon capture technology. It doesn't matter if such a transition would halve our output if we're building them with fossil fuels, we're still going to accelerate the oceans dying off. I skimmed that article and posted it because it seemed mostly correct based on recollection, it's astoundingly hard to come up with sources for this shit on google because there's very few comprehensive studies that put numbers to it.

    Again, this is starting with the conclusion. Energy output does not matter for climate change. GHG output does. That thread, for example, proposes ripping up and replacing basically every city and suburb on the planet. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that's probably going to involve more CO2 release from the concrete alone that just building a bunch of nuclear plants.

    Energy output absolutely matters, or at least consumption sure does. Without decreasing our energy use we have to offset a larger amount of greenhouse gases from transitioning to cleaner sources. At the moment, we're almost certainly going to have to have some mass migrations from coastal to more inland areas and we should take the opportunity to rewild coastal areas and build denser living situations and degrow the suburbs and rural areas. We don't have to demolish those structures immediately or all at once, simply ceasing to use them will massively decrease our energy output. And when we do, by rewilding them we'll further offset the carbon cost of our transition and carbon that we've already put into the atmosphere.

    Suburbs are real bad, that's a lot easier to quantify than the carbon cost of a transition to renewables:

    https://www.greenbiz.com/article/how-suburbs-wipe-out-cities-carbon-savings
    However, a new study from researchers at the University of California has revealed how these emissions savings are being cancelled out by the high carbon footprint of the surrounding suburbs.

    The research, which could have major implications for city planners and businesses seeking to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, drew on 37 data points, including energy use, transport use and food consumption, to create an interactive carbon footprint map for more than 31,000 U.S. zip codes.

    It found that emissions from transportation meant that suburbs account for around half of U.S. domestic emissions, despite that they account for much less than half the population.

    "The average carbon footprint of households living in the center of large, population-dense urban cities is about 50 percent below average, while households in distant suburbs are up to twice the average," the study, which will be published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, concluded.

    For example, the report found that the average household in Manhattan has a carbon footprint of 32 metric tons a year, while the average household in the nearby Great Neck suburb reached 72.5 metric tons a year.

    We really fucking need to stop building suburbs. They're killing us more than anything else right now.
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Y'all none of this is an argument against transitioning to nuclear and renewables; it's just that doing so won't save us without actually cutting our energy consumption (via degrowth), and will actually accelerate things without effective carbon capture technology. It doesn't matter if such a transition would halve our output if we're building them with fossil fuels, we're still going to accelerate the oceans dying off. I skimmed that article and posted it because it seemed mostly correct based on recollection, it's astoundingly hard to come up with sources for this shit on google because there's very few comprehensive studies that put numbers to it.

    Sure it will because the fossil fuels spent building them are substantially less than the fossil fuels spent if we don't build them, and that's even if we don't expand. If we're building new stuff it's even worse because you have to spend fossil fuels to build your coal plant

    Plus a lot of things you think require fossil fuels probably don't, they require electricity, which doesn't have to come from fossil fuels so as we get better to get better everywhere

    We're arguing across each other. All I'm saying is that most the time when people pitch transitioning to different energy sources they neglect the pollution inherent to doing so. Of course they're better long term, but we're in the very last few years before Climate Apocalypse is inevitable, if we're not already too late. We have to be very careful with how we transition and what other adaptations are necessary to recover.

    MeeqeOremLK
  • CalicaCalica Registered User regular
    Wait what? The CO2 equivalent usage for EVs is better than gasoline on average and only loses to it if you limit it to EVs charging from the dirtiest possible grids, like Germany's lignite coal plants. Cradle to grave comparisons of EVs also have them coming out ahead. There is no universe in which switching to EVs is more catastrophic than the status quo.

    You're building them with fossil fuels in most locations and converting our entire grid would be a massive energy expenditure. Especially when you take the entire materials supply chain into account with all dirty af mining that happens in developing nations we like to not think about. Other technologies like dams and nuclear offgas a lot of greenhouse gases from the concrete they're made out of, dams also convert entire valleys of vegetation into methane and other gases. We've pushed the crisis out too far there's no way we survive without major global upheaval and adaptations to how we live. Or magic terraforming technology that doesn't exist yet.

    Just to clarify: You are saying that any measures taken now (even if positive long term) will have negative consequences on the climate in the short term and thus utterly fuck us, and thus we're all going die no matter what we do?

    Uplifting.

    Correct. There's currently enough CO2 in the atmosphere that is going to sink into the oceans over the next ten years that it'll change the pH enough to knock out the bottom of the food chain without us coming up with carbon extraction technologies for the air (which are coming along). Building a renewable grid without degrowth will bury the needle.

    But we can definitely do degrowth and we don't all have to die.

    Um. Are you saying everyone and everything is going to starve to death within 20 years if we don't start capturing carbon on a massive scale? Or is that not what that means?

    Jedoc wrote: »
    The GOP cares about babies until they're born, soldiers until they're in need of care, and families until they interfere with stockholder dividends.
  • OghulkOghulk Negative externality Low-energy fuckwitRegistered User regular
    Y'all none of this is an argument against transitioning to nuclear and renewables; it's just that doing so won't save us without actually cutting our energy consumption (via degrowth), and will actually accelerate things without effective carbon capture technology. It doesn't matter if such a transition would halve our output if we're building them with fossil fuels, we're still going to accelerate the oceans dying off. I skimmed that article and posted it because it seemed mostly correct based on recollection, it's astoundingly hard to come up with sources for this shit on google because there's very few comprehensive studies that put numbers to it.

    You're right that we need to make more dense areas in order to offset carbon, but the argument that building renewables/nuclear/infrastructure with non-renewable materials (fossil fuels, concrete, etc.) offsets the benefits of renewables that we need to completely change the supply chain away from exhaustible resources goes against what I've read from most economists in the field.

    Also you should clarify what you mean by degrowth. That's usually implied that we need to decrease GDP/economic activity, which is not required at all to deal with climate change.

    raoADVy.png
  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    Actually, that theexologist link does a good job putting numbers to it, the numbers just don't say what they assert. They cite aggregates of hundreds of studies in several groups, all of which have this feature of having nuclear power in this incredible factor of 100+ range but nothing else, all with the same huge mean/median skew that vanishes when dropping the outliers.

    Those are good numbers. Hell, they're save the world numbers. Even with the off the bat goalpost shift of saying let's move 2030 to right stat now those are save the world numbers. Only when they take the top number on each list does that change, and like I said, you can't look at the data sets they cite the way they look at them (as indeed none of the researchers they cite do).

    I'm not arguing against transitioning to nuclear and renewables here. I'm saying that it's not a panacea because the transition itself has a cost.
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Y'all none of this is an argument against transitioning to nuclear and renewables; it's just that doing so won't save us without actually cutting our energy consumption (via degrowth), and will actually accelerate things without effective carbon capture technology. It doesn't matter if such a transition would halve our output if we're building them with fossil fuels, we're still going to accelerate the oceans dying off. I skimmed that article and posted it because it seemed mostly correct based on recollection, it's astoundingly hard to come up with sources for this shit on google because there's very few comprehensive studies that put numbers to it.

    Again, this is starting with the conclusion. Energy output does not matter for climate change. GHG output does. That thread, for example, proposes ripping up and replacing basically every city and suburb on the planet. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that's probably going to involve more CO2 release from the concrete alone that just building a bunch of nuclear plants.

    Energy output absolutely matters, or at least consumption sure does. Without decreasing our energy use we have to offset a larger amount of greenhouse gases from transitioning to cleaner sources. At the moment, we're almost certainly going to have to have some mass migrations from coastal to more inland areas and we should take the opportunity to rewild coastal areas and build denser living situations and degrow the suburbs and rural areas. We don't have to demolish those structures immediately or all at once, simply ceasing to use them will massively decrease our energy output. And when we do, by rewilding them we'll further offset the carbon cost of our transition and carbon that we've already put into the atmosphere.

    Suburbs are real bad, that's a lot easier to quantify than the carbon cost of a transition to renewables:

    https://www.greenbiz.com/article/how-suburbs-wipe-out-cities-carbon-savings
    However, a new study from researchers at the University of California has revealed how these emissions savings are being cancelled out by the high carbon footprint of the surrounding suburbs.

    The research, which could have major implications for city planners and businesses seeking to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, drew on 37 data points, including energy use, transport use and food consumption, to create an interactive carbon footprint map for more than 31,000 U.S. zip codes.

    It found that emissions from transportation meant that suburbs account for around half of U.S. domestic emissions, despite that they account for much less than half the population.

    "The average carbon footprint of households living in the center of large, population-dense urban cities is about 50 percent below average, while households in distant suburbs are up to twice the average," the study, which will be published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, concluded.

    For example, the report found that the average household in Manhattan has a carbon footprint of 32 metric tons a year, while the average household in the nearby Great Neck suburb reached 72.5 metric tons a year.

    We really fucking need to stop building suburbs. They're killing us more than anything else right now.
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Y'all none of this is an argument against transitioning to nuclear and renewables; it's just that doing so won't save us without actually cutting our energy consumption (via degrowth), and will actually accelerate things without effective carbon capture technology. It doesn't matter if such a transition would halve our output if we're building them with fossil fuels, we're still going to accelerate the oceans dying off. I skimmed that article and posted it because it seemed mostly correct based on recollection, it's astoundingly hard to come up with sources for this shit on google because there's very few comprehensive studies that put numbers to it.

    Sure it will because the fossil fuels spent building them are substantially less than the fossil fuels spent if we don't build them, and that's even if we don't expand. If we're building new stuff it's even worse because you have to spend fossil fuels to build your coal plant

    Plus a lot of things you think require fossil fuels probably don't, they require electricity, which doesn't have to come from fossil fuels so as we get better to get better everywhere

    We're arguing across each other. All I'm saying is that most the time when people pitch transitioning to different energy sources they neglect the pollution inherent to doing so. Of course they're better long term, but we're in the very last few years before Climate Apocalypse is inevitable, if we're not already too late. We have to be very careful with how we transition and what other adaptations are necessary to recover.

    Your argument doesn't make any sense though, in what way can we be simultaneously very careful but also incredibly fast with this transition?

    But fine, let's look at how much it actually costs in emissions
    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/519e/a5c55a312f3f45ccfcc4a093a941366c6658.pdf table 3 ABWR which is not even the most material efficient plant in there
    191293 m³ of concrete for a 1380 MW(e) plant
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_concrete
    CO2 emissions for concrete is 410 kg/m³ assuming no techniques to reduce emissions are used
    That gives 56833 kg CO2/MW generation.

    Let's replace 1 MW of coal capacity with nuclear. Coal costs 800g/kWh (800kg/MWh) to run. Nuclear costs 56833 kg for construction concrete + some fuel costs I will ignore for now
    Building the nuclear plant emits the same amount of CO2 from concrete as does producing 71 MWh from coal, 3 days of operation at full capacity. Fossil fuel operation is so dirty it barely matters how much concrete you use, building the plants is "free" from an emissions standpoint because you will absolutely make any construction emissions up as soon as you turn it on

    You'll get similar numbers for hydro and other renewables are probably even better

    Gnome-InterruptusMeeqeAridholHappylilElfHeffling
  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Hackerman Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    That doesn't include total carbon cost, just what comes out of the concrete. There's all the pollution from moving the materials, getting people to and from the job site, mining, etc.

    I never said that it would offset the benefit of the renewables, I said that during the transition it will add to our total carbon load, massively, because of the scale of infrastructure needed. That's a problem when we've been burying our heads in the sand over this for 30-40 years and we're damn near out of runway.

    @Oghulk in this context I meant what I've been saying. Massive degrowth of suburban and rural areas and migration to dense cities, without outlying suburban buildup.
    Calica wrote: »
    Wait what? The CO2 equivalent usage for EVs is better than gasoline on average and only loses to it if you limit it to EVs charging from the dirtiest possible grids, like Germany's lignite coal plants. Cradle to grave comparisons of EVs also have them coming out ahead. There is no universe in which switching to EVs is more catastrophic than the status quo.

    You're building them with fossil fuels in most locations and converting our entire grid would be a massive energy expenditure. Especially when you take the entire materials supply chain into account with all dirty af mining that happens in developing nations we like to not think about. Other technologies like dams and nuclear offgas a lot of greenhouse gases from the concrete they're made out of, dams also convert entire valleys of vegetation into methane and other gases. We've pushed the crisis out too far there's no way we survive without major global upheaval and adaptations to how we live. Or magic terraforming technology that doesn't exist yet.

    Just to clarify: You are saying that any measures taken now (even if positive long term) will have negative consequences on the climate in the short term and thus utterly fuck us, and thus we're all going die no matter what we do?

    Uplifting.

    Correct. There's currently enough CO2 in the atmosphere that is going to sink into the oceans over the next ten years that it'll change the pH enough to knock out the bottom of the food chain without us coming up with carbon extraction technologies for the air (which are coming along). Building a renewable grid without degrowth will bury the needle.

    But we can definitely do degrowth and we don't all have to die.

    Um. Are you saying everyone and everything is going to starve to death within 20 years if we don't start capturing carbon on a massive scale? Or is that not what that means?

    I'm not sure about the timeline precisely, or exactly what the consequences of totally wrecking marine life are and how much that spills over to land. I'm not sure anybody is. But yeah, it's about to get real bad. Combine that with the catastrophic floods we're starting to see in pretty much the entire subtropical region, which is where the entire world grows most of its food, not just the US... Even without the ecological effects our food supply is about to get real unstable and we need to move to more decentralized production as much as possible to prevent a couple unlucky floods from causing worldwide famine. We also desperately need to bring back the National Grain Reserve, which still exists, technically, but it got turned into a cash program which is pretty useless for eating.

  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    edited May 20
    That doesn't include total carbon cost, just what comes out of the concrete. There's all the pollution from moving the materials, getting people to and from the job site, mining, etc.

    I never said that it would offset the benefit of the renewables, I said that during the transition it will add to our total carbon load, massively, because of the scale of infrastructure needed. That's a problem when we've been burying our heads in the sand over this for 30-40 years and we're damn near out of runway.

    Again [citation needed]. Because if you go back one page this is what you said
    Other technologies like dams and nuclear offgas a lot of greenhouse gases from the concrete they're made out of

    So I looked at concrete. But sure I'll do your math for you. Moving 140 tons of concrete + hell another 500 tons of stuff to the site for other materials + people per MW
    https://business.edf.org/insights/green-freight-math-how-to-calculate-emissions-for-a-truck-move/ trucks cost you 161g per ton-mile. Say we drive it 100 miles, total 10304 kg CO2, that's another half a day of the equivalent coal plant

    We know that uranium mining is for the next few decades at least nowhere near as dirty as fossil fuels are and the aggregates for the concrete are probably locally sourced. Steel isn't that dirty and you need less steel than concrete anyway. I'm not seeing any major construction emissions that are missed and keep in mind to make your argument relevant you need around 4-500x more emissions than this to make the argument that emissions from switching are even worth considering

    Steel's major CO2 emissions are probably from electricity usage anyway, and that also get better the more you switch too

    Phyphor on
    Tofystedeth
  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Hackerman Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    I don't know how many times I need to say I'm not arguing against switching our energy sources before it penetrates dude. I'm just saying that it will exacerbate carbon output during the transition and most people don't consider that. Dang. I am extremely pro renewables, they just don't go far enough at this point.

  • MeeqeMeeqe Lord of the pants most fancy Someplace amazingRegistered User regular
    I get what you're saying, but we're going to incur those CO2 costs for regular course of transit of goods and energy production, I'm not sure it makes sense to count them as extra. We should build them, because there really isn't any other option. We have to think long term.

    Don't get me wrong, active carbon sinking would be the best option, but until there is political will for reducing consumption (he said bitterly) transitioning our system to renewables asap is about the best we're going to get.

    I wish I was wrong, but while I completely agree with the sentiment, what we need to do and what we can do are so far from each other right now.

  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Hackerman Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    What's possible in January 2021 is going to be wildly different than what's possible now, whether because Trump loses, or he cheats his way to victory and balkanization continues. We're currently in a time of crisis, where years happen in weeks, and we need to start thinking about how we're going to take advantage of that.

    We need to be thinking about the future and swinging for the fences, continuing to pour resources into supporting low density lifestyles is going to put us deeper in the hole, both in the long and short term.

    Mayabird
  • OghulkOghulk Negative externality Low-energy fuckwitRegistered User regular
    I appreciate the focus on de-suburbanization as much as anyone seeing as how I want to demolish the suburbs, but I'm not sure how you accomplish that in a short period of time. What policies would actually do that?

    raoADVy.png
    Calica
  • MeeqeMeeqe Lord of the pants most fancy Someplace amazingRegistered User regular
    Don't get me wrong, I absolutely am on team massive geo engineering projects to just not do this whole thing. If/when we get the chance to go big, I'm all on board doing it.

  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Hackerman Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    Oghulk wrote: »
    I appreciate the focus on de-suburbanization as much as anyone seeing as how I want to demolish the suburbs, but I'm not sure how you accomplish that in a short period of time. What policies would actually do that?

    I mean they're already kinda falling apart. Keep letting that happen, offer relocation assistance to people that would like to move to a city, subsidize housing in dense urban areas. I ain't really a policy person but that seems like a start.

    DoodmannMayabird
  • kijunshikijunshi Registered User regular
    I don't think bulldozing the suburbs is realistic, or even possible. I also hate them, for the record - the darkest part of my heart would set every single one (post WWII build) of them on fire and plant trees in their ashes. But there's just no way. People live there right now, and see them as home. Ripping apart the system that keeps building more of them (whyyyy?!) is about the max we can hope for.

    Where I see the majority of existing suburbs going eventually is re-ruralization. They all do have their own little postage stamp of land. And as their inhabitants collapse into poverty over the next decades, they'll need to start growing and raising their own food. The least-well-maintained houses will collapse into (semi-toxic) dust, and provide more land for the neighbors to use. Lots of the population will flee to somewhere relatively better, so that should accelerate the process. Over a really long length of time (well past our lifetimes) we may even see the re-formation of towns in some places, if a particularly resilient group of neighbors keep their homes in good order while the rest rots around them (and becomes more useful land). But that's the limit of speculation for me.

    Obviously there are places (the southwest, cough) where agriculture will be extremely difficult, and these places may just end up like Anasazi cliff towns before too long. I'd give it roughly... three years... after the water stops flowing through the pipes. Gonna be some fascinating ruins down there.

    The really interesting question to me is how much longer the financial system that sees housing as an investment vehicle is going to keep going - at least in the areas I've lived in, that's the main driver of housing creation (or lack of such), and the main force keeping it unattainable even for adults earning a decent salary. It underlies the horrible new creations the machine keeps churning out on the edge zones of our cities, arguably the most wasteful lifestyles ever designed on Earth. I feel, for good and for the very very bad, that we may be seeing the beginning of the end of it right now. But it could still take another 20-30 years to shake out. Which, well... from a climate change perspective... yikes.

    It's pretty clear to me that the way we are going to deal with climate change as a society will be to grab what we can and hold desperately to it in the (not-entirely-figurative) coming storm. The question for me now isn't "how can we preserve our civilization?" it's "what, if anything, CAN we preserve from our civilization?" Maybe there will be government policies to help, but my gut tells me it's not likely. It would face a lot of opposition out of the gate from people who just want things to stay normal. And once things really get going, there just won't be time.

    I've read the statistics about how our entire biosphere might collapse in like 10 years or whatever and extinct life on Earth, and, well... I don't have enough scientific knowledge to tell whether that's true or not. And if it is true? I'm gonna be dead along with my whole family, so from that perspective, it doesn't really matter? I choose instead to think along the lines of "there's going to be unbelievable upheaval no one currently sees coming, lifestyles will change significantly, and anyone who wants to thrive/survive will need to return to the basics." I've aligned my life plans with that presumption. I moved my tiny little nuclear family across states and in with my extended family, near 2 river valleys one of which is already extremely fertile with established farms, with a large population that (overall) believes in environmental preservation and community action. I joined a church (though am personally an atheist) to hook into the local community, and was hoping to start participating in transit advocacy and holding block parties for the neighbors soon... well... that's all been put on hold for now. But I believe there will be time for that again before much longer, coronavirus or no. I'm in it for the long haul.

    Hope this was on topic, please let me know if it is not ^^;

    Commander ZoomGiggles_FunsworthDavid Walgas
  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    Oghulk wrote: »
    I appreciate the focus on de-suburbanization as much as anyone seeing as how I want to demolish the suburbs, but I'm not sure how you accomplish that in a short period of time. What policies would actually do that?

    In California charging appropriately for water in the suburbs outside of palm springs would be a start.

    Or more generally, subsidizing/incentivizing denser planning via utilities.

    Whippy wrote: »
    nope nope nope nope abort abort talk about anime
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    kijunshiGiggles_FunsworthVishNubGnome-InterruptusIncenjucarOrcaFencingsaxHefflingDavid Walgas
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Meeqe wrote: »
    Don't get me wrong, I absolutely am on team massive geo engineering projects to just not do this whole thing. If/when we get the chance to go big, I'm all on board doing it.

    There's already this big stupid whaling fleet in Japan that could be put to uses other than killing the whales, such as spreading iron across the entire Southern Ocean and northern Pacific Ocean...

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Doodmann wrote: »
    Oghulk wrote: »
    I appreciate the focus on de-suburbanization as much as anyone seeing as how I want to demolish the suburbs, but I'm not sure how you accomplish that in a short period of time. What policies would actually do that?

    In California charging appropriately for water in the suburbs outside of palm springs would be a start.

    Or more generally, subsidizing/incentivizing denser planning via utilities.

    Wouldn't help much. 80+% of CA water use is agriculture, a lot of it very stupid choices (stop growing water intensive trees in a desert guys..)

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  • MeeqeMeeqe Lord of the pants most fancy Someplace amazingRegistered User regular
    Mayabird wrote: »
    Meeqe wrote: »
    Don't get me wrong, I absolutely am on team massive geo engineering projects to just not do this whole thing. If/when we get the chance to go big, I'm all on board doing it.

    There's already this big stupid whaling fleet in Japan that could be put to uses other than killing the whales, such as spreading iron across the entire Southern Ocean and northern Pacific Ocean...

    I hadn't heard about that one!?! What's the mechanism of action, I'm super curious.

    Captain Inertia
  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Doodmann wrote: »
    Oghulk wrote: »
    I appreciate the focus on de-suburbanization as much as anyone seeing as how I want to demolish the suburbs, but I'm not sure how you accomplish that in a short period of time. What policies would actually do that?

    In California charging appropriately for water in the suburbs outside of palm springs would be a start.

    Or more generally, subsidizing/incentivizing denser planning via utilities.

    Wouldn't help much. 80+% of CA water use is agriculture, a lot of it very stupid choices (stop growing water intensive trees in a desert guys..)

    The 20% leftover is still a LOT OF FUCKING WATER though

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  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    I want to bring my water with me when I move from the Great Lakes to SoCal

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited May 22
    Meeqe wrote: »
    Mayabird wrote: »
    Meeqe wrote: »
    Don't get me wrong, I absolutely am on team massive geo engineering projects to just not do this whole thing. If/when we get the chance to go big, I'm all on board doing it.

    There's already this big stupid whaling fleet in Japan that could be put to uses other than killing the whales, such as spreading iron across the entire Southern Ocean and northern Pacific Ocean...

    I hadn't heard about that one!?! What's the mechanism of action, I'm super curious.

    Alege blooms, sucks up carbon, dies, sinks to the ocean floor. Carbon sequestered.

    Of course you're also sequestering a shitpot of ocean nutrients so it's...not entirely safe.

    Basically this
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azolla_event

    Phoenix-D on
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited May 22
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Meeqe wrote: »
    Mayabird wrote: »
    Meeqe wrote: »
    Don't get me wrong, I absolutely am on team massive geo engineering projects to just not do this whole thing. If/when we get the chance to go big, I'm all on board doing it.

    There's already this big stupid whaling fleet in Japan that could be put to uses other than killing the whales, such as spreading iron across the entire Southern Ocean and northern Pacific Ocean...

    I hadn't heard about that one!?! What's the mechanism of action, I'm super curious.

    Alege blooms, sucks up carbon, dies, sinks to the ocean floor. Carbon sequestered.

    Of course you're also sequestering a shitpot of ocean nutrients so it's...not entirely safe.

    Basically this
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azolla_event

    And once the ocean nutrients are sequestered, the iron seeding stops working.
    Saw it tested at one point in these threads, and it didn't work well enough.

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  • VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    Why would seeding iron be sufficient to cause an algae bloom?

  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    Deliberately causing massive algae blooms strikes me as one of those things that could easily go terribly, terribly wrong.
    Like "let's cool off the Earth by lassoing an asteroid and crashing it into the surface!"

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Deliberately causing massive algae blooms strikes me as one of those things that could easily go terribly, terribly wrong.
    Like "let's cool off the Earth by lassoing an asteroid and crashing it into the surface!"

    I was watching a video just the other day about how iron seeping into the ocean may have caused an extinction event.

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  • SiliconStewSiliconStew Registered User regular
    edited May 22
    VishNub wrote: »
    Why would seeding iron be sufficient to cause an algae bloom?

    Part of the photosynthesis process uses iron-containing ferredoxin molecules. Iron has poor solubility in ocean water, so if it's not being reintroduced by runoff, dust, or other sources, the amount available in the water in various surface areas can be low. This lack of iron limits algae growth. Supplementing that iron with another source removes that particular growth limit and causes a bloom.

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  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    I don't think you demolish the suburbs themselves, you just end all incentives to build new ones, and incentivize denser housing arrangements instead. Also, stop funding freeway expansion (because that encourages sprawl), and when existing freeways get old and start falling apart, remove them and replace them with cheaper at-grade boulevards rather than rebuilding them. Also, raise the gas tax already, for god's sake, and if that becomes an inequality problem then hand out "gas stamps" to the lowest income levels or something along those lines.

    And if the demand is that high for suburbs--which I don't believe it is, I believe people just have a skewed set of choices due to artificial scarcity driving the prices up, but let's say for the sake of argument that people just want suburbs and damn the torpedoes--then build them as medium density walkable/bikeable bubbles like The Netherlands does. Townhomes on a couple thousand square feet with small backyards instead of sprawling single family detached houses on a quarter of an acre each. Well-connected street grids and commercial centers in walking/biking distance. That alone could cut car usage as much as 70% even if people still have to drive to work.

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  • MeeqeMeeqe Lord of the pants most fancy Someplace amazingRegistered User regular
    That process sounds reasonable, and like it might work for slowly getting rid of the suburbs. We're well past the point of minor incremental changes affecting the larger picture here unfortunately. Its not nothing mind you, and seems well thought out other than the issue of timeframe.

  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    edited May 22
    I don't think there's any one solution by itself that will achieve the goal, I just definitely think immediately beginning the transition away from low-density sprawl should be a key part of the process. You combine that with electric cars, renewables, less meat consumption, and so on, and hope that all of your measures combined are enough. That said, I think we could make some pretty major changes to our housing within 10-15 years if we really made it a priority and they would have a significant effect on reaching mid-century emissions targets.

    OremLK on
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  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Hackerman Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    Deliberately causing massive algae blooms strikes me as one of those things that could easily go terribly, terribly wrong.
    Like "let's cool off the Earth by lassoing an asteroid and crashing it into the surface!"

    Geoengineering projects in general tend to be horrendously risky and we should probably just adopt renewables, apply degrowth policies to the suburbs and rural areas, and deploy carbon extraction to save the oceans.

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  • MeeqeMeeqe Lord of the pants most fancy Someplace amazingRegistered User regular
    Carbon extraction projects are geo-engineering projects though. There is considerable risk to any tinkering, even to trying to undo what we've already done. Just because we reverse one aspect of a system does not mean it's going to always going to revert in predictable ways.

    I agree that mass algae blooms seems an especially bad risk if that gets even a little out of hand.

    Phoenix-D
  • HobnailHobnail Registered User regular
    We could darken the earth with high altitude aerosols that seems reasonable right

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  • OghulkOghulk Negative externality Low-energy fuckwitRegistered User regular
    OremLK wrote: »
    I don't think there's any one solution by itself that will achieve the goal, I just definitely think immediately beginning the transition away from low-density sprawl should be a key part of the process. You combine that with electric cars, renewables, less meat consumption, and so on, and hope that all of your measures combined are enough. That said, I think we could make some pretty major changes to our housing within 10-15 years if we really made it a priority and they would have a significant effect on reaching mid-century emissions targets.

    I guess I was misunderstanding the kind of action giggles was calling for. I interpreted it as a "within the next 5 years" rather than a generational time horizon. Cause yeah, there are plenty of policies that can realistically reduce suburban sprawl and environmentally expensive growth over the next 20 years, but within 5 years is basically impossible.

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  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Hackerman Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    Oghulk wrote: »
    OremLK wrote: »
    I don't think there's any one solution by itself that will achieve the goal, I just definitely think immediately beginning the transition away from low-density sprawl should be a key part of the process. You combine that with electric cars, renewables, less meat consumption, and so on, and hope that all of your measures combined are enough. That said, I think we could make some pretty major changes to our housing within 10-15 years if we really made it a priority and they would have a significant effect on reaching mid-century emissions targets.

    I guess I was misunderstanding the kind of action giggles was calling for. I interpreted it as a "within the next 5 years" rather than a generational time horizon. Cause yeah, there are plenty of policies that can realistically reduce suburban sprawl and environmentally expensive growth over the next 20 years, but within 5 years is basically impossible.

    I mean, it should be as fast as we can do it but that's not going to happen.

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  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Hackerman Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    Meeqe wrote: »
    Carbon extraction projects are geo-engineering projects though. There is considerable risk to any tinkering, even to trying to undo what we've already done. Just because we reverse one aspect of a system does not mean it's going to always going to revert in predictable ways.

    I agree that mass algae blooms seems an especially bad risk if that gets even a little out of hand.

    There's a pretty significant difference between machines that we can turn off pulling something that we put in the air out of it and introducing things to the biosphere that could have their own runaway processes.

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  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    Hobnail wrote: »
    We could darken the earth with high altitude aerosols that seems reasonable right

    I see you too have seen The Matrix.

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  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    Hobnail wrote: »
    We could darken the earth with high altitude aerosols that seems reasonable right

    I see you too have seen Highlander 2.

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  • HobnailHobnail Registered User regular
    If only that was a matrix original idea and not something thought up by a frightening nerd who was either looking for a doomsday weapon or incredibly afraid of Earth going Venus style

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