On environment: stop fretting, start doing

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Re: On environment: stop fretting, start doing

Post by Sky Captain » 2019-10-22 09:11am

Flying frequently to long distance tourist destinations just means people have disposable income. If flying was somehow restricted that income would likely be spent on other stuff that may be just as or more polluting in different ways. Can't fly to Thailand? maybe with money not spent on vacation we can buy that fancy wall sized TV or high end gaming computer for kids. Stuff made from materials often mined in countries with little care for pollution and put together in factories by people working like slaves and then shipped half way across the world by cargo plane or ship burning cheapest and dirtiest fuel.
Is it better?

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Re: On environment: stop fretting, start doing

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-10-24 03:36am

Yes. Even your really extreme example, and assuming a coal grid powering that tv for a decade, i expect the numbers to be much lower then four people flying usa to Thailand and back.

Shipping is relatively tiny per item. Its not like that super tanker is carrying a sole tv. Its a problem to solve, but its not high on the priorities yet. As we buy less shit it will matter even less.

Robo sails might yet come but itd need a very long chain circular economy to support it.
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Re: On environment: stop fretting, start doing

Post by Broomstick » 2019-10-24 04:24am

madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-10-24 03:36am
Shipping is relatively tiny per item. Its not like that super tanker is carrying a sole tv. Its a problem to solve, but its not high on the priorities yet. As we buy less shit it will matter even less.
Except they should be a priority - ocean shipping is horribly dirty and polluting, and often moves stuff around that could be (and used to be) made locally. Look into carbon and sulfate emissions for cargo ships. They burn a shit-ton of fuel and that fuel is almost always dirty, contributing not just carbon dioxide but other noxious shit to the environment.

Yes, just one TV or one pair of shoes or just one anything is just a tiny fraction of the total carbon emission for a ship for one trip across an ocean... but that doesn't mean the practice is clean. What's the total impact of everything you buy that's imported?

(That's not even considering the environmental costs of manufacturing a modern TV with it's high-tech electronics that generate toxic waste during production)

It would be great if evaluating our actual costs and impacts were easy, but the devil is in the details.

Is it better for the environment if I keep my 17 and 20 year old vehicles running? (In fact, both of them got new exhaust systems this year, so they're polluting less AND getting better gas mileage so that's a win-win, right?) Or is it better to get rid of them and get new ones... which had a cost for manufacture and not just for their current fueling?
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Re: On environment: stop fretting, start doing

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-10-24 07:28am

I confess I am pleasently surprised that the sulphates problem is already well in hand:
improving, and fuels are becoming cleaner and more widely avaialbe.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... ns-by-2020

http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTo ... -2020.aspx
What is the current regulation on SOx in ships emissions and by how much is that going to be improved?
​We are going to see a substantial cut: to 0.50% m/m (mass by mass) from 3.50% m/m.
For ships operating outside designated emission control areas the current limit for sulphur content of ships’ fuel oil is 3.50% m/m.
The new limit will be 0.50% m/m which will apply on and after 1 January 2020.
There is an even stricter limit of 0.10% m/m already in effect in emission control areas (ECAS) which have been established by IMO. This 0.10% m/m limit applies in the four established ECAS: the Baltic Sea area; the North Sea area; the North American area (covering designated coastal areas off the United States and Canada); and the United States Caribbean Sea area (around Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands).
(Countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea are currently considering the possibility of applying to designate the Mediterranean Sea or parts thereof as an ECA. Read more here.)
Fuel oil providers already supply fuel oil which meets the 0.10% m/m limit (such as marine distillate and ultra low sulphur fuel oil blends) to ships which require this fuel to trade in the ECAs.

Let's do the numbers. I am neglecting the carbon cost of the hotels in thailand and the production of tv programmes.

https://calculator.carbonfootprint.com/ ... aspx?tab=3

Total Flights Footprint = 17.24 tonnes of CO2e
4 x Economy class direct return flight from JDX to HKT

I've spent about an hour digging online as my ref book is missing. Best I can find is below. I'd be using that author's ref book anyway.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... bile-phone
One estimate for the emissions caused by manufacturing the phone itself is just 16kg CO2e, equivalent to nearly 1kg of beef. If you include the power it consumes over two typical years (that's about how long the average phone remains in use, even though most could probably last for 10 years) that figure rises to 22kg.
Now a TV is much larger, bu we'd have to be looking at 790 times larger (or roughly 28 times larger in each direction, which is possible for a really gratiously lage tv) to become worse then the flight.

How often do people go on holiday? Are we treating this as an annual trip or a once a in a decade ?
If you keep the Tv a decade, then manufacturing and shipping footprint becomes a negligable part of total footprint. (unless you get a fully green grid in that time. which IS starting to factor into our long life infrastructre calcs).
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Re: On environment: stop fretting, start doing

Post by His Divine Shadow » 2019-10-24 07:32am

I read some article or something wherein the tl;dr was that the sulphate issue meant the majority of ships will just keep running on the same low quality fuel oil but they will "filter" using seawater, IIRC it means they would release the pollution straight into the ocean water instead of the atmosphere. I wonder if I can find the article again.
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Re: On environment: stop fretting, start doing

Post by His Divine Shadow » 2019-10-24 10:02am

Ah yes, this was what I was remembering.

https://www.independent.co.uk/environme ... 23181.html
Global shipping companies have spent billions rigging vessels with “cheat devices” that circumvent new environmental legislation by dumping pollution into the sea instead of the air, The Independent can reveal.

More than $12bn (£9.7bn) has been spent on the devices, known as open-loop scrubbers, which extract sulphur from the exhaust fumes of ships that run on heavy fuel oil.

This means the vessels meet standards demanded by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) that kick in on 1 January.
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Re: On environment: stop fretting, start doing

Post by Sky Captain » 2019-10-24 04:06pm

I looked through some numbers of fuel consumed per airplane passenger. For example Boeing 787 have about 126 000 liter fuel capacity and 359 - 440 passenger seats and range around 12 000 - 14 000 km depending on model so a flight at max range would use roughly around 300 liters of fuel per passenger, including return trip it would be 600 liters if plane is full of passengers. If we assume family of four going to distant vacation destination then it is around 2400 liters per family. In practice most flights are shorter range so the number would be somewhat less. It's not really that much fuel a big car like SUV or pickup truck would drive around 24 000 km with that fuel.

If non essential flying is restricted and our hypothetical family buys a SUV and camper trailer for road trips and general use they could easily have around the same yearly carbon output. Other types of leisure activities like jet-ski riding or wake boarding also consume tons of fuel. Small fast recreational boats with big engines in general are incredible gas guzzlers burning 20 - 50 liters per hour so essentially just a one weekend with rented speedboat can account for several hundred liters of burned fuel.

Restricting flying to distant vacation destinations and assuming there will be less unnecessary fuel use is not that clear cut, people easily can find different leisure activities that consume tons of fuel if they have lots of disposable income to burn.

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Re: On environment: stop fretting, start doing

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-10-25 01:37pm

Dont your own numbers show that even an american suv gets twice the mileage, and that given someone is unlikey to drive 12 000 km for a holiday the total fuel burnt will be much less?

Thats ignoring that other countries manage massively better mpg and it is much much easier to transition small vehicles like that to hydrogen or battery (compared to intercontinental flight).

A carbon tax would hit all those equally polluting constructed scenarios.
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Re: On environment: stop fretting, start doing

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-10-25 04:26pm

No kidding; 24000 km would be across the continental US at least six times. That's three round-trips. One round trip from coast to coast might happen for an extended family vacation... but three in one year? Unlikely. Hell, that's approximately 3 journeys from Maine to Hawaii, the hard way.

The great majority of vacations aren't going to be VERY far away. We're talking like to the next state. The exceptions might be in flyover states where you -have- to go a long way to go anywhere, but even then there's still vacation destinations that are reasonably accessible within a few hours' drive (think 300-400 miles, or up to 600+ km). Now, if you do go to those destinations multiple times, it can add up.
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Re: On environment: stop fretting, start doing

Post by Sky Captain » 2019-10-25 05:03pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-10-25 04:26pm


The great majority of vacations aren't going to be VERY far away. We're talking like to the next state. The exceptions might be in flyover states where you -have- to go a long way to go anywhere, but even then there's still vacation destinations that are reasonably accessible within a few hours' drive (think 300-400 miles, or up to 600+ km). Now, if you do go to those destinations multiple times, it can add up.
That's what I had in mind, few longer and several smaller road trips and some other polluting leisure activities adding up to increased yearly fuel consumption. Just a weekend road trip can add extra 500 - 1000 km. Sure, not every family will drive around that much, but those who love traveling likely will.
madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-10-25 01:37pm
A carbon tax would hit all those equally polluting constructed scenarios.
That could work although there would have to be some way to punish nonesential fuel use and not legitimate use cases like poor people driving to work, to visit doctor and similar. Just adding big tax on fuel will mostly hit poor people driving old cheap cars. Rich people driving expensive luxury cars probably don't care if fuel costs one or two euro per liter.

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Re: On environment: stop fretting, start doing

Post by His Divine Shadow » 2019-10-26 01:22am

Canada had a pretty good idea but it got killed before implementation. Carbon tax but the income from it gets redistributed to the poorest so most families would see a net gain.

Countries also have systems were you can deduct work travel fuel expenses, which helps minimize the punishment for "useful" driving, but of course I think it would be better to have less work days.
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