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Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby Pops » Sat 16 Mar 2019, 12:37:04

Newf I was being a facetious. I get the idea of consumerism but don't view it as something new, just newly enabled. As mentioned elsewhere, the fairly new combination of unlimited choice (562,382,292 items available on Amazon) and anonymous credit (i.e.: without the requirement of sitting across from an actual person and asking for money) makes excess consumption frictionless. Rather like being overweight, consumption is not something you can treat through abstinence. I take the criticism of useless eaters as causing all our problems as falling into the "blame the victim" category at best.

Doc, as to mitigation,
$30 million was spent by the oil industry to defeat the recent small (so small as to be inconsequential) carbon tax proposal here in Washington state.
"AOC made a proposal" is enough to bring down raging disdain from 40% of the population before the next word is uttered.
Trump has reversed or tried to overturn 70 separate Obama environmental rules & lawson everything from CAFE to coal emissions.
Here at po.com, once described as a environmental apocalypticism backwater I've seen a shift with the polarization of the US political scene. The few left here are torn between their conviction of enviro armageddon and the desire to support the party line that CO2 is good, CC is a hoax and libtards want to take away your hamburger. Or maybe it's just everyone else moved on and old white guys are all that's left.

I could go on but you get the drift. There is no throwing up of hands, merely a recognition that a dysfunctional majority of our tottering republic's representatives will fight any proposal tooth and nail that touches their sponsor's bottom line, regardless of public opinion. I'll leave the reason why to your imagination. The upshot is mitigation in the US will take a near-revolution politically.

As for adaptation, I'm not qualified to discuss the "facts", mainly because facts are now voluntary and the most subsidized set wins. Ditto projections & models. I find it hard to trust much of what I read, after all I pretty well wigged out listening to a bunch of seemingly brilliant geologists predict the EOTWAWKI. Still, I'm a treehugger from way back so I'll have to go with my gut, it says we probably won't boil in our skins in my lifetime but there are global and locally catastrophic consequences already. No doubt that my kids will live in a different world altogether even if we actually do something soon.

So, throwing up my hands? No. We live low on the hog, rarely drive, never fly, don't buy much stuff, have no credit – those were my first two rules for PO after all. I've been aware for years, I actually did quite a bit of reading on CC and the effects on the midwest and Ozarks specifically 15 years ago when we were first thinking of moving from CA. (warmer/wetter summers & warmer/widely variable winters). As I said, we'll likely move back and try for a cheap net-zeroish house. And of course I'll vote for Ds who support doing something.
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 11 Apr 2019, 16:56:20

CC impacts on shipping and how they are adjusting their routes.


https://gcaptain.com/global-warming-eff ... ping-asia/

According to Jeremy Nixon, chief executive of Ocean Network Express (ONE), global warming has triggered more adverse and variable weather across key shipping lanes: a “remarkable increase” since 2016 when there were just nine major typhoons in Asia, compared with 13 in 2017 and 17 last year.
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby MonteQuest » Thu 11 Apr 2019, 19:14:18

This is my first post in a while, so I'll be brief.
THE BIG PICTURE
To have a rational and informed opinion on the environmental challenges before us, I believe you have to be cognizant of, and acknowledge at least these three key concepts as fact:
1. That the human population is in ecological overshoot of the sustainable carrying capacity of the earth.
2. That infinite growth—economic or otherwise—is not possible in a finite world.
3. And lastly, that Mother Nature always bats last.

Once you acknowledge these things, you then must also realize that there is no techno-fix, no end-run around; only mitigation, coping, and adapting to the reality. Mankind is not above Nature. I believe that the most of mankind will not acknowledge these concepts, either from denial borne out of ignorance, motivated reasoning, or pure hubris. There is also a lot of Cargoists out there who think a technofix is on the horizon that will perpetuate our overshoot condition; gasoline on the fire, so to speak. Most of mankind will boil away in the frog pot, until it's too late to jump out.
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 12 Apr 2019, 07:44:38

Good to see you back. I think if you poke around you will find some interesting threads.
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby MonteQuest » Fri 12 Apr 2019, 11:13:04

Yes, I see some discussion of de-growth. What's the hot topic, if any? For me, I still have the same advice as always: get out of debt, surround yourself with MacGyver types, and try to become as self-sufficient as possible. No one knows how the monkeys will react or how Mother Nature will intervene. I live 15 miles from the Missouri River where the floods wiped out all the small towns. These towns were occupied by poor and elderly folks with nowhere to go and no means to mitigate or rebuild. They are left with coping and adapting.
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 22 Apr 2019, 12:47:12

NYC Mayor wants to ban new glass and steel skyscrapers because they are horribly inefficient and also, apparently, move MYC to 100% renewables within 5 years.

I can’t make much sense of this piece.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/bill-d ... kyscrapers
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 22 Apr 2019, 13:07:30

Newfie wrote:NYC Mayor wants to ban new glass and steel skyscrapers because they are horribly inefficient and also, apparently, move MYC to 100% renewables within 5 years.

I can’t make much sense of this piece.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/bill-d ... kyscrapers


Wow it sounds like his goal is to chase whatever construction remains in the city away for good. I am all for energy efficiency, but compared to say 500 ranch style homes a steel and glass skyscraper with 500 three bedroom apartments is the soul of efficiency. If he just wants to require good insulation and high efficiency HVAC systems that makes sense. Even requiring energy efficient lighting in all common areas and other types of efficiency improvements are great, within reason.

The problem is when you speak off the cuff and go full tilt radical solutions you make the 'perfect' the enemy of the 'good step'. It has been known for several decades now that an increase in energy efficiency from 55% to 75% is extremely cost efficient, the improved energy efficiency pays for the improvements very quickly for that step. Going from 75% to 85% still makes economic sense as that step can be self financing through the same process of improvement in your energy efficiency. But this is where the law of diminishing returns makes itself plain because that 10% efficiency improvement costs as much as the initial 20% improvement. It gets worse from there, at least for HVAC equipment, going from the 85% to 90% step costs another like payment, as does going from 90% to 93%. You can now find furnaces that claim 97% efficiency, but they cost about double what that 85% furnace costs AND require substantially more maintenance to maintain that extreme efficiency level in operation. Our home furnace installed in 2015 has a recommended 'tune up' schedule of six months, meaning we are supposed to pay a technician to service the furnace twice a year to maintain extreme efficiency. The problem is naturally enough the cost to maintain extreme efficiency greatly exceeds the greater fuel costs of just having a 90% efficient furnace that gets homeowner filter changes when needed and only gets serviced if something breaks.

Once you pass the 90% efficiency rating, or sometimes even the 85% rating level, the increased efficiency isn't worth the added Hassle and cost involved.
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 22 Apr 2019, 14:41:36

Tanada, you ignore the infrastructure of the residence at your peril. When fossil fuels cost 10X what they cost now, it makes little difference whether you own an 85% or a 90% furnace - you need to reduce the heating load via efficiency improvements.

In another thread you mentioned that homes can be heated to 50 degrees and occupied, but today's expectations are different. FYI I tried that upon my arrival on Nantucket, my resolve lasted two days and two nights and then I went to 60 degrees. Now I sit in a sweater and shawl and feel like an old person, my circulation in my extremities is very poor.

In the end, you need an all-electric home, and an independant source of electricity. Nothing else will do, either here on an island wrapped by Gulf Stream currents, on on the shores of the Great Lakes.

I KNEW this already, but it became apparent after the first week house-hunting that the wife was ready to give up anything and everything else to be near her grandkids. We ended up in one of the small villages that surround Madison, WI, and Lake Monona is down the block, as is a park with playground equipment. It has a new efficient natural gas furnace and central air in a structure built in 1988.

So much for the PassivHaus. But it's a nice ranch home, surrounded by trees and brush, that we can age in comfortably, and the daughter can deal with selling it after we have passed. Closing on the new place next month.
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 22 Apr 2019, 14:55:12

KaiserJeep wrote:... it became apparent after the first week house-hunting that the wife was ready to give up anything and everything else to be near her grandkids. We ended up in one of the small villages that surround Madison, WI, and Lake Monona is down the block, as is a park with playground equipment. It has a new efficient natural gas furnace and central air in a structure built in 1988.

So much for the PassivHaus. But it's a nice ranch home, surrounded by trees and brush, that we can age in comfortably, and the daughter can deal with selling it after we have passed. Closing on the new place next month.


Congrats on your new home, KJ. I assume you will be in Wisconsin near the grandkids in the winter and then head out to Nantucket for the summer?

Cheers!
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 22 Apr 2019, 15:43:13

Probably just the opposite. We both hate extreme cold and Nantucket averages 15 degrees warmer in Winter - maybe 25 if the Polar Vortex thing happens again. We also both hate Summer tourists on an overcrowded island.
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 22 Apr 2019, 16:31:13

Sounds like an excellent plan.

I only visited Nantucket once...in the summer....It was very nice but it was tourist central in the summer. It must be a lot quieter and a great place to winter over.

Good luck to you. :)
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 23 Apr 2019, 09:42:56

Sounds like a lot of travel! Are you biking all those miles? :)
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 23 Apr 2019, 12:02:51

So which has a smaller footprint, travel or the extra heat and cooling?

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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 23 Apr 2019, 21:10:36

Travel.

You still have to heat the house in winter, or all the pipes will freeze.

And you don't really need much cooling here in the summer, unless you're a total wimp.
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 23 Apr 2019, 21:58:20

Flying the 2,000 miles round trip at 90mpg for two in under 100 gallons. So if he drains the house wins easily.

Maybe I should start a thread “People living in temperate climates are killing the world.”
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 24 Apr 2019, 19:16:16

In actual fact we had some plumbers fill the pipes with a non-toxic anti-freeze that the septic system can tolerate, THEN turned off the heat. Last week before we arrived, they recovered as much antifreeze as possible, and flushed the rest, and turned on the pump and set the thermostat to 50 degrees.

It is my intent to improve energy efficiency in both residences, then convert to ground-source heat pumps. Nantucket comes first, as the oil boiler is 20+ years old. I am collecting data for a full heating year as a baseline. We could not actually change anything until the waiting period for the executor was over, which was early this year after we filed 2018 taxes for the estate.
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 24 Apr 2019, 23:10:38

Well insulated houses don't need much heating. And winters will continue to get shorter and shorter, and warmer and warmer over time. So a mass migration south to avoid house heating would be rather silly and foolish. But you knew that.

But yeah, of course, pretty much everyone one living in industrialized society is locked into contributing rather heavily to the problem, one way or the other. But the very clear choices that could greatly lower the greater part of most peoples contribution (eating less or no meat and dairy, not flying, not having kids, or one at most, ideally late in life) are here and elsewhere generally opposed and denied vociferously.

Which basically means most people don't really give a flying f* about anything but supporting and defending the short term 'benefit' of their own accustomed lifestyle and habits/addictions...

One of many reasons we are all pretty well f'd. Have a nice night! :)
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 25 Apr 2019, 08:36:16

Dohboi,

We each have our hobby horse to ride. To reflect your moderation of view you have a point that there are wasteful things we do, or things we could do less.

I could start a post titled “People living in temperate zones are killing the planet” and that would be as valid as your arguments about meat eating. You can say a well insulated house does not use much for heat, which is true but incomplete. Compare your insistence on vegetarianism to your excusing heating as ‘not much.’ You can adjust your diet at will. However to move the population to zero net energy housing is nearly impossible. Sure a few well heeled folks can pull it off and capture the moral high ground. But to move everyone to zero energy housing would be tremendously expensive as most of our housing stock is not well insulated and poorly built for energy conservation. Net zero housing for all would mean replacing the vast majority of houses not to mention schools, office builds, hospitals, etc, etc.

Peak Oil will eventually cure the problem, at the cost of much human misery and environmental loss.

So if I were to be a prick I could accuse you of cherry picking your morality.

I would suggest that rather than run folks down for this or that arbitrary infraction we should try to band together to find areas of mutual support and encouragement. Lord knows that most folks here are far more aware and conservation minded that than JQ Public.
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 25 Apr 2019, 11:25:41

For anybody with a serious case of arthritis, 50 degrees is painful. Yet I know Tanada is correct about this.

In Illinois, I even knew people who farmed and heated with wood. In the Winter, the parents and kids all slept in the smallest bedroom, the one with wall to wall beds and no outside walls, and above the kitchen stove which ran all day for cooking, warming the red brick chimney that passed through the shared Winter bedroom above. Dad and son would get up before dawn and build a fire downstairs before milking. Mom would have a farm breakfast ready. It was a harsh and rugged lifestyle which none the less, required no FF's or electricity. They had a tractor and chainsaws, but also the memory of draft animals and axes.

Me, I find the cold unbearable. Now the thermostat is 68 daytime and 60 at night.
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Re: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaption

Unread postby kiwichick » Fri 26 Apr 2019, 07:26:56

having fewer kids makes , by far , the greatest difference



https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... r-children
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