IPCC Report

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hojo-e
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Re: IPCC Report

Post by hojo-e » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:30 am

Yesterday the Union of Concerned Scientists reversed their position on nuclear power. Decommissioned plants are being replaced by fossil fuels so they now want to keep nuke plants open.

https://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-power/co ... etirements

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7Wannabe5
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Re: IPCC Report

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:34 am

BRUTE wrote:beef production can be extremely efficient: basically no inputs besides a bunch of solar energy on land that couldn't even be used for growing crops, and a bit of water.
Sorry, I was messy in my use of terms above. I believe that best practice is to always include units when discussing efficiency, else apples and oranges. You are correct. Grazing cattle can be an efficient means of generating some portion of human-food-nutrients/acre-time in some regions under current conditions. Sustainability is a term that is somewhat more difficult to express in clear units, and resiliency even more so. Maximizing efficiency is obviously to some extent at odds with maximizing resilience within a boundary since resilience calls for reduction of dependencies. For example, even in a region where grazing cattle was most efficient practice in terms of human-food-nutrients/acre-time, the possibility of a shared dependence on viral pestilence within single species, would suggest that mixed use for cattle and wheat production would almost certainly improve resilience of region, given that arguments suggesting that wheat is incapable of providing any degree of human nutrition are for the purposes of this analysis put aside.

Unfortunately, with all due respect offered, I feel compelled to suggest that the article you linked above may be somewhat misleading in it representations. When CO2 emissions are expressed in terms of total kilogram reduction/nation-year, and the U.S. comes out on top, it is kind of like if I proclaimed that my total cookie intake reduction/human-week was the greatest 9 weeks out of the last 52 compared to everybody else on this forum, even while surrounded by empty Nabisco boxes and crumbs.

OTOH, I believe that the most political way to discuss CO2 emissions is by using terms such as kilograms/nation, and the second most political way to discuss CO2 emissions is by using terms such as kilogram/capita and then linking this term to nation. Less political terms would be (kilogram/acre )/(biomass/acre.)

Generally, I believe that resource depletion is a problem past the point of remediation through public policy, although at any stage and in any way the problem reaches regional emergency status, government intervention will almost certainly occur. For instance, some models indicate that if oil production does decline by an average of 5%/year through 2040, as suggested by HSBC, likely leading to extreme stagflation, the average discretionary income (above current poverty level) of American citizens will likely decline to the level of 1 thrifty-level market basket of food/week = approximately $45/capita-week. Of course, not so much of a problem for members of this forum who abide by some sort of alpha strategy since this is still around 2 Jacobs of total spending.

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Re: IPCC Report

Post by Jean » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:03 pm

I completely agree that beef production isthe most efficient way to obtain food on some land (like in the mountains in switzerland), most of the beef eaten is produced on land which could produce much more vegetal proteins.

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Re: IPCC Report

Post by jacob » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:03 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:34 am
OTOH, I believe that the most political way to discuss CO2 emissions is by using terms such as kilograms/nation, and the second most political way to discuss CO2 emissions is by using terms such as kilogram/capita and then linking this term to nation. Less political terms would be (kilogram/acre )/(biomass/acre.)
I think that's a good way of phrasing it. More technically, we can use the I=PAT equation and phrase it that way.

Everybody (except for a few ostriches) agree that I is the problem. Here I come in the form of (typically) CO2, but also other GHGs like methane, soot, NOs, and exotic gasses (CFCs).

Those with high ATs and low Ps see the issue as a population problem and prefer to frame it by emission/nation.
Those with high Ps and low ATs see the issue as an affluence issue and prefer to look at emission/capita.

While the IPAT equation has A and T as separate values,these dimensions line up historically (if you're high affluence, you're also high tech and vice versa. Few examples of high tech and low affluence or vice versa.)

There are two things that complicate this.

The high AT countries are responsible for a lot of I in the past and thus prefer to discount the fact that they're a responsible for most of the situation as it is.

The high P countries will be responsible for a lot of I in the future and thus prefer to discount the fact that they will be responsible for most of making the situation worse than it is.

This is the essence of the problem and it's so hard to agree that it's effectively gone unresolved until the Paris agreement. Alternatively given the political developments over the past few years in the US, Brazil, Canada, UK, Australia, and others over the past few years OR the fact that the Paris Agreement was entirely inadequate in scope and strength, it could still be considered unresolved.

To appreciate how hard this problem is to solve politically ... imagine that water rationing became necessary in your neighborhood. (Which it will in most places, so this thought experiment is not wasted time.) There are two popular proposals.

1) Every household gets 15 gallons per day.
2) Every person gets 5 gallons per day.

Each is fair in its own way, but I bet most people political opinion will be strongly dependent on how many people live in their household!

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Re: IPCC Report

Post by prognastat » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:13 pm

Or we can have an additional option:
3. For every additional person in a household you get a diminishing amount of additional water.

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Re: IPCC Report

Post by jacob » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:18 pm

That's not an additional option. That's just somewhere between option 1 and option 2.

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Re: IPCC Report

Post by George the original one » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:26 pm

Gaming the system: well-heeled families will disperse so they have multiple family units under option 1 and under option 2, families will choose to have more children to increase their allotment by withholding a portion from the child (and kick said child to the curb when child demands their fair share).

Edit: And, heck, there's the whole realm of creating false identies to get more shares.
Last edited by George the original one on Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: IPCC Report

Post by prognastat » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:28 pm

I would say by being somewhere between 1 and 2 it is neither 1 or 2 and thus a different option.

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Re: IPCC Report

Post by jacob » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:31 pm

@GTOO - This is exactly what is happening under the non-metaphor in real life. Well-heeled countries are either buying up farmland in poorer countries or invading them directly. Meanwhile, poorer countries do nothing to stop emigrant flows from leaving the country and perhaps gain some leverage that way.

@prognastat - Semantics. I can write up the exact linear combination of 1 and 2 to give whatever 3 you want. IOW, I can mix black and white to create any shade of grey. Usually a third option would suggest disentangling the AT back into separate dimensions. This requires inventing a magical/materially different technology that disrupts how things are done, e.g. energy too cheap to meter or truly emissions free energy that powers everything and is dense enough to transport. So far no cigar on that. Current technologies have not been disruptive.

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Re: IPCC Report

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:54 am

@jacob:

I prefer to see it as a not-enough-trees problem. Also, clearly it’s not the case that P is independent of AT. That’s why the regional isolationist model predicts overall population growth.

The A in the I=PAT equation really refers to energy use or number of energy servants per human, and since I increased as T increases, T really means something like average of forested/farmed/paved acreage or level of infrastructure. So, an example of a rare exception to the rule might be the rural county in Michigan where I am considering buying property, because the grid is powered by hydro off the river, it is primarily forested, secondary agriculture, and the population density is only around 50 humans per square mile. So, this county is actually about average American affluent, yet CO2 impact negative. Of course, this is an artificial boundary, but so is almost every other boundary frequently suggested in political/ economic analysis, such as nation or household, with the possible exceptions of boundaries of Earth’s atmosphere and each individual human’s skin sac or warm air aura.

Research reveals that even Buddhist monks and homeless vagrants in the U.S. make use of almost twice as many energy slaves as the average human on the planet due to shared infrastructure use. IOW, what you can scrape up for free on the “commons” in th US is equal to gdp average world citizen

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Re: IPCC Report

Post by Jean » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:40 am

If we planted trees everywhere posibble, their growth would only take one third of our CO2 output in.

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Re: IPCC Report

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:04 am

Direct energy costs currently only amount to about 9% US GDP. So, it might seem like if the price of oil doubled, it would just be a 9% hit that would only take up some slack. However, energy use is actually concentrated up the chain of production/consumption, just like it is up the chain of production/consumption in an ecosystem, so end-use products will become much more expensive in direct ratio to increased cost of inputs necessary for production at every level, inclusive of the basic energy needs of human workers. In earliest industrial times, minimum wage of factory workers was set as multiple of current grain price. The poverty level in the US is currently determined on similar basis. So, the political movement to abolish the Corn Law in England in those times is quite analogous to any current political movement to expand or coerce free global trade in petroleum. This analogy is compounded by the fact that grain is actually in good part produced with fossil fuel energy inputs nowadays. Thus, what will likely come to be historically (if human history continues) known as the Peak Oil Wars commencing in the 1970s, and likely to greatly expand and accelerate within the next 20 years as oil production decline ratchets down in rough (high variance due to human management) alignment with stock depletion.

At least this is my current understanding of the situation, PLEASE correct me if in error.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: IPCC Report

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:17 am

Jean wrote:If we planted trees everywhere posibble, their growth would only take one third of our CO2 output in.
True, except you can't run trucks down an interstate highway after it is broken up and planted with trees.

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BRUTE
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Re: IPCC Report

Post by BRUTE » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:46 pm

hojo-e wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:30 am
Yesterday the Union of Concerned Scientists reversed their position on nuclear power. Decommissioned plants are being replaced by fossil fuels so they now want to keep nuke plants open.

https://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-power/co ... etirements
the real MVP - nuclear power.

this is, in brute's opinion, a non-negotiable path for the next 50 years, if all the climate hysteria is true. renewables are not ready. nukes are ready. why don't humans build another generation of nukes to bridge the next 50 years? after that, surely renewables are way cheaper and more advanced. nukes provide an extremely solid baseline for cheap, climate independent, safe, non-polluting energy that can be built on by renewables.

brute is especially for this because, often times, nukes would make financial sense even without climate change - the only reason more aren't being built is irrational fear. so it's a win if the earth will warm, cool, or stay the same. most of the other options seem to require heavy betting on one scenario, with crazy downsides if that scenario doesn't arrive.

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Re: IPCC Report

Post by daylen » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:08 pm

+1 BRUTE Nuclear reactors seem to have far more upside than downside.

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Re: IPCC Report

Post by Campitor » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:26 pm

I agree that we should build a few more nuclear plants. I think the reasons for not building them seem to be political/security. No one seems to want a nuclear reactor in their vicinity (thanks Fukushima) and the concern regarding weaponizing the uranium and/or transporting it to a storage facility. These are all problems that have solutions but peeps are scared of nuclear energy to an irrational degree. If only we could scare people about GHG emissions the same way they are scared of nuclear emissions.

https://whatisnuclear.com/

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7Wannabe5
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Re: IPCC Report

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:00 am

BRUTE wrote: why don't humans build another generation of nukes to bridge the next 50 years?
Go for it. BWXT is at 47.29. Problems are it takes 5 years and fossil fuels to build a plant and it going to take a heck of a lot of plants to replace even a 2% decline in petroleum production compounded over 5 years, and a serious shit-load of plants to replace 5% annual decline in petroleum production compounded over 20 years. Nuclear also does not provide the liquid portability of petroleum products unless you include complete overhaul of fleets and battery production/maintenance in the model which will greatly reduce EROI. Overall, it seems like nuclear might be roughly competitive with coal plant with carbon capture, but both of these will be far more costly than petroleum has been. Coal without carbon capture will almost certainly be cheapest, but as I noted previously, liquified coal only becomes competitive at around $80/barrel, and obvious trade-off between the devil and the deep blue sea. Wind may already have higher EROI than nuclear, but intermittent supply requiring back-up and/or storage is a serious concern.

There's no simple most-efficient solution for this problem, just like there is no simple most-efficient solution to the question of "What food should we produce?" The radio was invented before rural America was completely electrified, so some farmers used windmills to charge batteries to power their radios. Currently, many people in rural Africa own cell phones in areas lacking access to clean running water. I think humans are going to have to start thinking more about the science of energy stock and flow instead of mindlessly relying on the current grid of electric and gas stations for all and any uses at any time. For instance, I have noticed that it is really not all that inconvenient to only charge my battery pack during the day when I am in a situation where I am reliant on my solar panels for this purpose. I would consider myself to be roughly energy resilient if I had 3 sources I could rely on for heat/cooling/ventilation, cooking/sterilization, motive power production, and electricity.

Because this issue is so complex and so dependent upon regional factors, I think that it is actually easier for each individual to come up with their own solution in alignment with their own sense of responsibility and calculation of urgency. To paraphrase Greer, if it's too late for consensus solution, time to leave the table with agreement to work on dissensus solutions.

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Re: IPCC Report

Post by Campitor » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:24 pm

@7wb

I agree that individual efforts could probably come up with better solutions. But knowing human nature, and its bell curve distribution, I think the majority would fail to make any efforts that have a significant impact on reducing GHG. The only means of incentivizing better behavior over a majority of humans is by having a direct and observable cost to bad behavior and a direct and observable benefit to good behavior.

There is no political will to make the majority of humans pay for bad behavior. And companies certainly aren't going to be promoting behavior that reduces corporate profits. We could eliminate 28% of US GHG emissions if we could build some nuclear plants to handle 100% electricity generation in the US. 28% is not an insignificant number.

https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/source ... -emissions

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Re: IPCC Report

Post by Papers of Indenture » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:58 am

Michael Schellenberger ran for Gov of CA this year on a pro-nuclear platform. Was not very popular.

Going to be an uphill battle to change perceptions but I agree that it makes way too much sense.

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Re: IPCC Report

Post by jacob » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:39 pm

Campitor wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:24 pm
The only means of incentivizing better behavior over a majority of humans is by having a direct and observable cost to bad behavior and a direct and observable benefit to good behavior.
Because of the time-lag between emission and consequence, there's essentially no such link. The rise to 1.5C is baked into the cake NOW (since 2018---after the report was written) and the process of baking has happened over the past 20-30 years. Yet the systems-temperature of actually rising to 1.5C will not be felt until 2030ish. IOW, there's a ~40+ year lag between cause and effect.

Our present behavior is currently ensuring/baking in a 2.5C temperature rise by 2050ish.

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