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Maybe we are not doomed after all

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  • JezyboyJezyboy Posts: 929
    edited 29 July
    Very interesting post pinno, thank you.
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 14,405
    pinno said:

    https://capx.co/what-we-get-wrong-about-going-green/

    This is quite good on "going green".

    Basically that our instincts on what is green and what isn't are rarely right - and it's rational to be ignorant of that.


    The author does not mention that there was an estimated 2m sea birds being killed around the coastline of the UK until the reduction in their use due to the tax on carrier bags.

    that is incredible - do you have more details?
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 56,790 Lives Here
    edited 29 July
    pinno said:

    https://capx.co/what-we-get-wrong-about-going-green/

    This is quite good on "going green".

    Basically that our instincts on what is green and what isn't are rarely right - and it's rational to be ignorant of that.

    The article is not very helpful because all it does it cause confusion. If the recipients of that article find themselves not knowing what to do or become cynical, it does not bide well for the future.
    It can also be contradicted.

    Take the carrier bag example. The author does not mention that there was an estimated 2m sea birds being killed around the coastline of the UK until the reduction in their use due to the tax on carrier bags. Contemporary stats have yet to be completed.
    On a wider theme - Albatross fatalities in chicks are mainly caused by plastic consumption.
    Other fatalities were (is) Seals who were (are) mistaking the bags for jelly fish for example. So it's not all about carbon reduction.
    Those imported lettuces grown in Spain are grown under poly tunnels, despite the climate there.
    If we were to shift our emphasis towards more home grown vegetables, then the physical structures would evolve so that the net effect on carbon emission would be different.
    Lettuce is a bad example. Flying South African grapes by jet plane which also have to be refrigerated at every step from picking to supermarket is hardly environmentally friendly and we do have vines in the UK*.
    At each step, the article emphasises carbon emissions.
    This is my personal gripe - the focus should not be solely on carbon reduction but also pollution. The micro plastics being created by the sheer volumes of waste is wrecking eco systems. The degree to which, we have yet to fully realise - it may be the ticking time bomb we cannot halt.

    There is every indication that the rising infant mortality rates in Dolphins is caused by micro plastics. We still have huge swathes of the deep sea we do not understand and there is no doubt that micro plastics are filtering down to that level and we have no idea as to the long term impact.

    The author, although underlining (sometimes badly), the contradictions in the message, fails to address the wider plastics issue. In my line of work, the main bone of contention is the variety of plastics. In food packaging for example, there needs to be an industry standard where there are only limited types of plastic and all recyclable. Some are and some aren't and often they are combined and inseparable so that the recyclable plastic gets ditched alongside the non-recyclable plastic (or paper based material) and as a consumer, it's impossible to distinguish or separate.
    By creating only recyclable plastics for food and packaging, a better market for that plastic is created. There is a market for recyclable plastic but it fails to deal with the overall volumes of waste.
    [Re-useable plastic bags are recyclable and are often made from recyclable plastic - so what's the author's point? We saw a 59% reduction in carrier bag consumption in 1 the first year of taxing the carrier bag alone.]
    The media have been all over the massaged emission figures of the VW-Audi group (VAG) but no one has mentioned that VAG have been working very hard on producing cars using only 6 different plastics, all recyclable.
    It would be ironic if the fines resulting from the emissions scandal compromises that effort. The R&D costs to the VAG is a massive commitment.
    [Every single car producer globally create emission figures that are in no way based on realistic use.]

    As far as carbon production is concerned, The global impact of the increasing use of fossil fuels by China and India dwarfs all our efforts to reduce our carbon production anyway. Until they are on side, we are simply piddling on an inferno.

    *Best to eat them as the vino is cr4p anyway.

    I could go on but I won't - you're probably bored now anyway.
    I think you've missed the point of the article.

    The article is really about how any one person or even industry can't be across the full environmental impact of their behaviour right? And that what seems logically "green" isn't necessarily if you take in the full context, which is actually very hard to do.

    All you're doing is just illustrating that exact point.
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 14,405

    https://capx.co/what-we-get-wrong-about-going-green/

    This is quite good on "going green".

    Basically that our instincts on what is green and what isn't are rarely right - and it's rational to be ignorant of that.

    it does intrigue me how long you would need to own a Tesla for if you traded in an old diesel for a shiny new one
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,523

    pinno said:

    https://capx.co/what-we-get-wrong-about-going-green/

    This is quite good on "going green".

    Basically that our instincts on what is green and what isn't are rarely right - and it's rational to be ignorant of that.


    The author does not mention that there was an estimated 2m sea birds being killed around the coastline of the UK until the reduction in their use due to the tax on carrier bags.

    that is incredible - do you have more details?
    There is lots on this.
    I have a laminated poster which we used for educational purposes (in my previous capacity) stating this fact from an organisation called SWAG (Scottish waste action group) who are no longer in existence.

    https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/167386/health-seabirds-threatened-90-cent-swallow/
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,523

    pinno said:

    https://capx.co/what-we-get-wrong-about-going-green/

    This is quite good on "going green".

    Basically that our instincts on what is green and what isn't are rarely right - and it's rational to be ignorant of that.

    The article is not very helpful because all it does it cause confusion. If the recipients of that article find themselves not knowing what to do or become cynical, it does not bide well for the future.
    It can also be contradicted.

    Take the carrier bag example. The author does not mention that there was an estimated 2m sea birds being killed around the coastline of the UK until the reduction in their use due to the tax on carrier bags. Contemporary stats have yet to be completed.
    On a wider theme - Albatross fatalities in chicks are mainly caused by plastic consumption.
    Other fatalities were (is) Seals who were (are) mistaking the bags for jelly fish for example. So it's not all about carbon reduction.
    Those imported lettuces grown in Spain are grown under poly tunnels, despite the climate there.
    If we were to shift our emphasis towards more home grown vegetables, then the physical structures would evolve so that the net effect on carbon emission would be different.
    Lettuce is a bad example. Flying South African grapes by jet plane which also have to be refrigerated at every step from picking to supermarket is hardly environmentally friendly and we do have vines in the UK*.
    At each step, the article emphasises carbon emissions.
    This is my personal gripe - the focus should not be solely on carbon reduction but also pollution. The micro plastics being created by the sheer volumes of waste is wrecking eco systems. The degree to which, we have yet to fully realise - it may be the ticking time bomb we cannot halt.

    There is every indication that the rising infant mortality rates in Dolphins is caused by micro plastics. We still have huge swathes of the deep sea we do not understand and there is no doubt that micro plastics are filtering down to that level and we have no idea as to the long term impact.

    The author, although underlining (sometimes badly), the contradictions in the message, fails to address the wider plastics issue. In my line of work, the main bone of contention is the variety of plastics. In food packaging for example, there needs to be an industry standard where there are only limited types of plastic and all recyclable. Some are and some aren't and often they are combined and inseparable so that the recyclable plastic gets ditched alongside the non-recyclable plastic (or paper based material) and as a consumer, it's impossible to distinguish or separate.
    By creating only recyclable plastics for food and packaging, a better market for that plastic is created. There is a market for recyclable plastic but it fails to deal with the overall volumes of waste.
    [Re-useable plastic bags are recyclable and are often made from recyclable plastic - so what's the author's point? We saw a 59% reduction in carrier bag consumption in 1 the first year of taxing the carrier bag alone.]
    The media have been all over the massaged emission figures of the VW-Audi group (VAG) but no one has mentioned that VAG have been working very hard on producing cars using only 6 different plastics, all recyclable.
    It would be ironic if the fines resulting from the emissions scandal compromises that effort. The R&D costs to the VAG is a massive commitment.
    [Every single car producer globally create emission figures that are in no way based on realistic use.]

    As far as carbon production is concerned, The global impact of the increasing use of fossil fuels by China and India dwarfs all our efforts to reduce our carbon production anyway. Until they are on side, we are simply piddling on an inferno.

    *Best to eat them as the vino is cr4p anyway.

    I could go on but I won't - you're probably bored now anyway.
    I think you've missed the point of the article.

    The article is confusing and as I have underlined, misses the point. It doesn't really go into sufficient depth or provide a wider picture to back it's claims up.


    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 56,790 Lives Here
    The argument in the article is that it's actually really hard to work out the full environmental impact (as you've deftly demonstrated ) as an individual or an industry.

    It is not that individual choices are ineffective – plastic straws disappeared long before laws changed due to consumer pressure.

    The real problem is that we are terrible judges of what is and isn’t green.

    This isn’t to knock the ill-informed mob – far from it. In fact. It is perfectly rational to be clueless about the environmental impact of what you buy. There is no financial penalty for being wrong. In some cases, there is a penalty for being right when everyone else is wrong.


    and the final line

    We certainly won’t get to Net Zero relying on individuals and businesses to make the green choice. They couldn’t even if they wanted to.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,523
    Point taken but let's look at just this statement:

    It is not that individual choices are ineffective – plastic straws disappeared long before laws changed due to consumer pressure.

    This is simply not true.
    The makers of Capri Sun didn't change over to paper until the legislation was put in place.
    The statement cannot possibly cover the actions of all those who manufactured plastic straws.
    Also, on the back of the above legislation, the Scottish govt. banned plastic Q tips.
    You could flip it on it's head - without legislation, businesses and individuals will not provide solutions.
    Consumer pressure is sporadic and transient.

    Again:

    We certainly won’t get to Net Zero relying on individuals and businesses to make the green choice. They couldn’t even if they wanted to.

    Realistically reducing waste and reducing carbon emissions to a minimum may be sustainable so working towards Net Zero sets targets and getting to Net zero, probably unworkable and impractical.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 16,433
    Aim for the stars and get to the moon.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • JezyboyJezyboy Posts: 929
    If you aren't relying on businesses and individuals, what is left? Governments?

    The conclusion seems to conflate "green" with net zero. Both are important and there's overlap between them. But they are not the same. Just blithely saying these are difficult questions is kind of missing the point.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,770
    Jezyboy said:

    If you aren't relying on businesses and individuals, what is left? Governments?

    The Climate Change Committee. If only a fraction of commentators read their reports, everyone would be much more informed.

    The Climate Change Committee (CCC), originally named the Committee on Climate Change, is an independent non-departmental public body, formed under the Climate Change Act (2008) to advise the United Kingdom and devolved Governments and Parliaments on tackling and preparing for climate change. The Committee provides advice on setting carbon budgets (for the UK Government carbon budgets are designed to place a limit or ceiling on the level of economy-wide emissions that can be emitted in a five-year period), and reports regularly to the Parliaments and Assemblies on the progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.[1] The CCC has recommended net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the United Kingdom by 2050[2] and the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has said it would be affordable.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,523

    https://capx.co/what-we-get-wrong-about-going-green/

    This is quite good on "going green".

    Basically that our instincts on what is green and what isn't are rarely right - and it's rational to be ignorant of that.

    it does intrigue me how long you would need to own a Tesla for if you traded in an old diesel for a shiny new one
    Let's fast forward 15 years when there is a mountain of batteries and battery acid (if a viable, recyclable, 'solid state' battery isn't developed).
    Has the increased demand for charging potentially 27m electric cars been calculated? At what environmental cost of producing the energy to charge all the electric cars?
    What will be the sum total and environmental impact of producing all these batteries?
    We haven't really worked out energy consumption and end of life questions.

    I think the rise of the electric car is another (impractical) example of trying to get to Net Zero.
    Hybrids are surely a better option. They achieve fantastic fuel consumption, often (if used properly), do not need external charging.
    Okay, they still produce pollution but in a much reduced quantity.

    'True' mpg of a 1.5 Yaris hybrid is almost 60, for example.

    However, being big and heavy, the SUV equivalent hybrids are poor but then, electric SUV's are going to be even more energy demanding. They will be even heavier.

    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 56,790 Lives Here
    Jezyboy said:

    If you aren't relying on businesses and individuals, what is left? Governments?

    The conclusion seems to conflate "green" with net zero. Both are important and there's overlap between them. But they are not the same. Just blithely saying these are difficult questions is kind of missing the point.

    If you don't get net zero, everything else is p!ssing in the wind. One is existential, the other really isn't.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,770

    I posted this before, but it shows possible additional electrical demands between now and 2050.



    image.png

    I'll just post this again in response to has it all been calculated.
  • JezyboyJezyboy Posts: 929

    Jezyboy said:

    If you aren't relying on businesses and individuals, what is left? Governments?

    The conclusion seems to conflate "green" with net zero. Both are important and there's overlap between them. But they are not the same. Just blithely saying these are difficult questions is kind of missing the point.

    If you don't get net zero, everything else is p!ssing in the wind. One is existential, the other really isn't.
    Other things that are also existential, shortage of soil, shortage of drinking water and shortage of pollinators.

    Got to keep all of them, and net zero.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,523
    edited 29 July

    I posted this before, but it shows possible additional electrical demands between now and 2050.



    image.png

    I'll just post this again in response to has it all been calculated.
    So it has been calculated but can we actually meet the demand by environmentally friendly means?
    My questions were partly rhetorical.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,523
    Jezyboy said:

    Jezyboy said:

    If you aren't relying on businesses and individuals, what is left? Governments?

    The conclusion seems to conflate "green" with net zero. Both are important and there's overlap between them. But they are not the same. Just blithely saying these are difficult questions is kind of missing the point.

    If you don't get net zero, everything else is p!ssing in the wind. One is existential, the other really isn't.
    Other things that are also existential, shortage of soil, shortage of drinking water and shortage of pollinators.
    Add: the rising acidity of the seas and it's implications.

    https://ocean.si.edu/ocean-life/invertebrates/ocean-acidification



    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,770
    pinno said:

    I posted this before, but it shows possible additional electrical demands between now and 2050.



    image.png

    I'll just post this again in response to has it all been calculated.
    So it has been calculated but can we actually meet the demand by environmentally friendly means?
    My questions were partly rhetorical.
    Yes. There are a variety of possible scenarios from high nuclear to high renewables mixes. Again, I have posted this before.

    It needs significant annual deployment and massive grid upgrades to meet the 2050 target.

    It has all been looked at, researched and published by an independent body which is why I never understand a lot of the comments on the subject.

    The biggest technological challenge will be combining carbon capture and storage with gas turbines. It is considered theorectically possible, but no one has done it. Someone needs to do this soon, and it is the government's job to encourage that.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,543

    pinno said:

    I posted this before, but it shows possible additional electrical demands between now and 2050.



    image.png

    I'll just post this again in response to has it all been calculated.
    So it has been calculated but can we actually meet the demand by environmentally friendly means?
    My questions were partly rhetorical.
    Yes. There are a variety of possible scenarios from high nuclear to high renewables mixes. Again, I have posted this before.

    It needs significant annual deployment and massive grid upgrades to meet the 2050 target.

    It has all been looked at, researched and published by an independent body which is why I never understand a lot of the comments on the subject.

    The biggest technological challenge will be combining carbon capture and storage with gas turbines. It is considered theorectically possible, but no one has done it. Someone needs to do this soon, and it is the government's job to encourage that.
    Like the need to upgrade the building stock, it's less the 'how' and more the 'how much' that is the stumbling block.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • mully79mully79 Posts: 442
    edited 29 July
    I dont know how true the documentary seaspiracy is but its worth a watch.
    Worrying about dolphin infant mortality and microplastic is nothing compared to the 300000 adult dolphins accidentally killed per year catching other fish.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,770
    rjsterry said:

    pinno said:

    I posted this before, but it shows possible additional electrical demands between now and 2050.



    image.png

    I'll just post this again in response to has it all been calculated.
    So it has been calculated but can we actually meet the demand by environmentally friendly means?
    My questions were partly rhetorical.
    Yes. There are a variety of possible scenarios from high nuclear to high renewables mixes. Again, I have posted this before.

    It needs significant annual deployment and massive grid upgrades to meet the 2050 target.

    It has all been looked at, researched and published by an independent body which is why I never understand a lot of the comments on the subject.

    The biggest technological challenge will be combining carbon capture and storage with gas turbines. It is considered theorectically possible, but no one has done it. Someone needs to do this soon, and it is the government's job to encourage that.
    Like the need to upgrade the building stock, it's less the 'how' and more the 'how much' that is the stumbling block.
    The how much element has also been estimated and published. What hasn't been decided is who pays and through what mechanism. The CCC is independent and this is considered a political matter.

    The government is behind on most targets. A charitable excuse would be that covid has got in the way.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 56,790 Lives Here
    Jezyboy said:
    The lack of international cohesion regarding corona does not bode well for what is a much harder nut to crack re climate change.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,770

    Jezyboy said:
    The lack of international cohesion regarding corona does not bode well for what is a much harder nut to crack re climate change.
    Only if you are overwhelming negative about things. For example, the creation and deployment of the AZ vaccine at cost is a pretty amazing achievement that is helping to solve the problem worldwide.

    The current price of solar panels and wind turbines now means that they can be the cheapest form of generation. Things like this push the rest of the world into adopting renewable energy for economic reasons. As other technologies develop, this will happen in other areas. There will also, no doubt, be the stick approach with a carbon border tax.

    Ed Miliband's piece is much like many observers' in that it demands action without really stating what that action is.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,523

    ...much like many observers' in that it demands action without really stating what that action is.

    This, ad nauseum.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,770
    pinno said:

    ...much like many observers' in that it demands action without really stating what that action is.

    This, ad nauseum.
    The important thing to realise is that the required action has been published in detail. That campaigners and journalists seem to ignore this shouldn't be used as evidence to the contrary.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,088

    Jezyboy said:
    The lack of international cohesion regarding corona does not bode well for what is a much harder nut to crack re climate change.
    Only if you are overwhelming negative about things...
    No comment!
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,523
    edited 1 August
    This is worth a watch.
    It is also worth a watch because it underlines the fragility of the earth - the balance between warming and cooling created by solar heat, life and atmosphere.

    Whilst changes to Venus, Mercury and Mars have been (theoretically) catastrophic, Earth has remained in balance for some 3bn years. Yes, those changes that affected the other planets occurred over a long period of time but the suggestion is that the greenhouse affect may be irreversible and the tipping point is an unknown.

    Quite spooky really.

    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • JezyboyJezyboy Posts: 929

    pinno said:

    ...much like many observers' in that it demands action without really stating what that action is.

    This, ad nauseum.
    The important thing to realise is that the required action has been published in detail. That campaigners and journalists seem to ignore this shouldn't be used as evidence to the contrary.
    Do the CCC bear any responsibility (in your mind) for that?

    It seems that they aren't great at getting the word out to campaigners and journos, and given they only rank the current government efforts as a 4/10, it seems like they aren't able to successfully shape govt policy.

    I did a brief bit of homework, and scanned through the CCC report on aviation. It's reassuringly realistic in places, but I can see why it doesn't impress some.
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