Could A Little Swiss Company Stop Global Warming – If it was built on a Nuclear Powerplant

First off, I lifted the chant below because I thought it was so cool. And timely. Second, this article about decarboning the air by a little Swiss company takes a looooong time to get to the point. Finally it does say that it takes a lot of power to run, A Nuke? I was just kidding, but maybe.

 

“KEEP THE OIL IN THE SOIL,

TAKE A PASS ON THE GAS!

BAN FRACKING AND ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE NOW!”

– Yes To The Path To 100 (%) Act (IL)

– Yes To The Green New Deal (Fed)

The Tiny Swiss Company That Thinks It Can Help Stop Climate Change

The Tiny Swiss Company That Thinks It Can Help Stop Climate Change

Two European entrepreneurs want to remove carbon from the air at prices cheap enough to matter.

By Jon Gertner

Just over a century ago in Ludwigshafen, Germany, a scientist named Carl Bosch assembled a team of engineers to exploit a new technique in chemistry. A year earlier, another German chemist, Fritz Haber, hit upon a process to pull nitrogen (N) from the air and combine it with hydrogen (H) to produce tiny amounts of ammonia (NH?). But Haber’s process was delicate, requiring the maintenance of high temperatures and high pressure. Bosch wanted to figure out how to adapt Haber’s discovery for commercial purposes — as we would say today, to “scale it up.” Anyone looking at the state of manufacturing in Europe around 1910, Bosch observed, could see that the task was daunting: The technology simply didn’t exist.

Over the next decade, however, Bosch and his team overcame a multitude of technological and metallurgical challenges. He chronicled them in his 1932 acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize for Chemistry — an honor he won because the Haber-Bosch process, as it came to be known, changed the world. His breakthrough made possible the production of ammonia on an industrial scale, providing the world with cheap and abundant fertilizer. The scientist and historian Vaclav Smil called Haber-Bosch “the most important technical invention of the 20th century.” Bosch had effectively removed the historical bounds on crop yields, so much so that he was widely credited with making “bread from air.” By some estimates, Bosch’s work made possible the lives of more than two billion human beings over the last 100 years.

What the Haber-Bosch method had going for it, from the very start, was a ready market. Fertilizer was already in high demand, but it came primarily from limited natural reserves in far-flung locales — bird droppings scraped from remote islands near Peru, for instance, or mineral stores of nitrogen dug out of the Chilean desert. Because synthetic ammonia competed with existing products, it was able to follow a timeworn pattern of innovation. In much the same way that LEDs have supplanted fluorescent and incandescent bulbs (which in turn had displaced kerosene lamps and wax candles), a novel product or process often replaces something already in demand. If it is better or cheaper — and especially if it is better and cheaper — it usually wins in the marketplace. Haber-Bosch did exactly that.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Year End Reviews – This one is from Forbes

I’ll put a few more up. Why not start out with the Capitalist’s point of view.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2018/12/23/the-top-10-energy-stories-of-2018/#5f91c2c4799a

The Top 10 Energy Stories Of 2018

Energy

As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to review the top energy stories of the year. This year there wasn’t an overwhelming choice for the top story as we have had in some previous years (e.g., the Deepwater Horizon spill), but many of the year’s biggest developments impacted oil prices.

Here are my picks for the stories that shaped the year in energy.

Oil price roller coaster

The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) opened the year at $60/bbl. Brent crude was just under $67/bbl. By early October, on the back of several developments that are covered in other stories below, WTI was closing in on $80/bbl and Brent was above $86/bbl. But then prices collapsed in part because the ongoing trade war with China caused them to stop importing U.S. oil, and in part because sanctions on Iranian exports were waived at the last moment — after Saudi Arabia had already increased production to compensate for Iran’s lost exports. The overall impact was a collapse in the price of oil. As we head into the last week of the year, WTI has fallen to $45/bbl and Brent crude is at $54/bbl.

U.S. shatters oil production record

Early in 2018, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that the previous monthly record for U.S. crude oil production – 10.044 million BPD set in November 1970 — had been broken. U.S. oil production would continue to rise steadily throughout 2018, reaching 11.475 million BPD by September 2018 (the last month for which monthly numbers are available).

China slows solar program

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I hate that last one. Go there and read. More next week.

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Trump Tries To Stop Alternative Energy – He fails miserably

What can I say about Trumps environmental policies in general and his energy policies specifically that hasn’t been said before. They SUCK. The economic surge in their direction is so strong that they can’t be stopped. But will it be in time?

Business

U.S. solar takes hit from Trump tariffs but is cheaper than ever: report

Reuters 13 hours ago

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – U.S. solar installations fell 15 percent in the third quarter as the Trump administration’s tariffs on overseas-made panels forced developers to put off large projects, according to a report commissioned by the industry’s primary trade group.

Current weakness in the utility-scale market, however, will be offset by larger volumes of projects than had been expected over the next five years because solar energy is now cheaper than ever, the report said.

Quarterly installations of utility-scale solar were 678 megawatts, the lowest quarter since 2015 and a more than 30 percent decline from a year ago, the report by Wood Mackenzie for the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association said. The total market, which includes residential and commercial installations, came in at 1.7 gigawatts.

The slowdown is a shift for solar, which has experienced runaway gains in the last decade. Through the first three quarters of the year, solar accounted for 30 percent of electricity generating capacity additions.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Want To Save The Planet – Block the sun

It is a short article. So I will be brief. This is a film that reduces solar absorption by 10%. Combine that with a white roof and you got some major savings. Plus you dampen green house gases at the same time. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

https://www.engadget.com/2018/11/12/heat-rejecting-film-reduce-air-conditioning/

Heat-rejecting film could reduce air conditioning costs

It blocks 70 percent of incoming solar heat.

Climate change can be a vicious cycle when folks crank up the air conditioning during heat waves and add even more CO2 to the atmosphere. Scientists from MIT and the University of Hong Kong have developed a new type of window coating that could curb that trend. It remains highly transparent up to 89 degrees F (32 degrees Celsius), but beyond that, it becomes translucent like frosted glass. As a result, it reflects back up to 70 percent of the sun’s incoming heat, reducing interior temperatures and the load on your air conditioner.

To maximize heat blocking, the researchers inserted tiny water-filled spheres into a standard poly material. At temperatures starting around 85 degree F, the spheres start to shrink, squeezing out the liquid and forcing the poly fibers closer together. That gives the glass a frosted appearance, blocking 70 percent of the incoming heat while still letting a lot of visible light through.

Such films have been tried before but didn’t block heat that well. The MIT and Hong Kong teams realized that the water filled spheres needed to match the wavelength of infrared light responsible for most solar heating. After expanding the bubble size to 500 nanometers, the film became a much more effective heat-blocker.

MIT heat-rejecting film

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Google this if you want extra. Go there and reat the uplinks. More next week.

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The Economic Civil War In America – Rich white guys face off

It turns out that it is rich white progressives verses rich white recessivesthat is politically rivening this country. This leaves all of us in the middle angry and confused. I disagree with Buffet on this one, but I see why he is fighting the fight.

https://www.afr.com/news/world/north-america/warren-buffett-and-casino-boss-sheldon-adelson-clash-in-nevada-over-electricity-20181030-h17bc5

Warren Buffett and casino boss Sheldon Adelson clash in Nevada over electricity

by Trevor Hunnicutt

New York | Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and investor Warren Buffett are set for a desert showdown over electricity next week as the two billionaires’ interests collide on election ballots in Nevada.

At issue in the November 6 election is the cost and control of power from the neon lights shining on the Las Vegas Strip to the state’s gold mines.

A measure supported by Republican donor Adelson, who is also Las Vegas Sands Corp’s chairman, would force state legislators to break up control over much of the state’s electricity in effect held by a unit of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, NV Energy. It would allow customers to choose their own power provider by 2023.

Buffett has supported liberal causes and backed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Unlike previous western duels, both sides in Nevada are showing up with cash. The energy tussle is shaping up as one of the more costly of an election season in which Democrats are trying to wrest control of at least one chamber of US Congress from Republicans.

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Go there and decide for yourself. More next week.:

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Sparkling Bottled Water Company Cleans Ocean – It is only fair to give industry credit

In all fairness the headline should read TRYS to clean ocean. Why do I even cover this story? Well plastic is a really really energy intensive industry. Second we made a big point of the Dutch Boy’s attempt to clean up the north Pacific Gyre. So it is only far to point out when industry is trying too. Though to be fair Sparkling Water tackled a much smaller  (some would say manageable) problem.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sodastream-builds-massive-marine-device-to-collect-plastic-waste-from-the-ocean-off-the-coast-of-honduras-300726688.html

SodaStream Builds Massive Marine Device to Collect Plastic Waste from the Ocean off the Coast of Honduras


News provided by

SodaStream International Ltd.

Oct 15, 2018, 09:00 ET

CEO Daniel Birnbaum Leads 300 SodaStream Executives from Around the World, Local Youth and Environmental NGOs to Clean Caribbean Sea and Roatán Shores

AIRPORT CITY, Israel, Oct. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — SodaStream International Ltd. (NASDAQ: SODA) today announced the launch of the “Holy Turtle” – a massive ocean contraption designed to clean plastic waste from open waters. The innovative device will be initially piloted today in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Roatán, Honduras, as part of a bold ocean clean-up lead by CEO Daniel Birnbaum. This is the first-known attempt of a commercial company to undertake a physical clean-up of trash from open waters. SodaStream’s clean-up delegation includes 150 SodaStream executives from 45 countries, international environmental specialists, NGO Plastic Soup Foundation and hundreds of children from 7 different local schools with local Honduran government officials.

The “Holy Turtle” is a 1,000 ft. long floating unit designed to be gently towed by two marine vessels along kilometers of open waters. The contraption is uniquely engineered to capture floating waste while its large vent holes act to protect wildlife. The device design was inspired by oil spill containment systems and was developed by ABBCO in Florida, USA, who are leading experts in oil spill containment.

SodaStream’s Roatán initiative was inspired by a video filmed by Caroline Powers in October 2017 featured on BBC highlighting underwater photography of a floating trash patch off the Caribbean coast of Roatán. Moved by the disturbing video, SodaStream CEO, Daniel Birnbaum, himself an experienced skipper and naval officer, lead a search for a solution to clean up this floating waste. Birnbaum noted, “We can’t clean up all the plastic waste on the planet, but we each need to do whatever we can. The most important thing is to commit ourselves to stop using single-use plastic.”

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Go there and read. Have some hope. More next week.

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Electricity In Illinois Can Be Progressive – But you gotta work at it

I got this email from Paul Berland about electricity and I thought i would post it in its entirety. I make no claims about it’s accuracy and I only know that it applies in Elgin, but still it is pretty cool. Way To Go Paul.

[Frack-FreeIL] Re: Illinois 100% Green Electricity Providers at Same Cost as Non-Green
Yahoo/Inbox
Paul Berland pnb3210@gmail.com [Frack-FreeIL] <Frack-FreeIL@yahoogroups.com>
To:ILClimateActivists Chat,ILClimateActivists_SOIL,frack free IL,chicagolandoilbyrail@googlegroups.com,Earl Silbar
Sep 19 at 12:49 PM
Hey all,

 
I just learned of a great new promotional offer from nrg (nrghomepower.com/service-areas) at around 6 cents per kilowatt hour for 100% wind electricity.  This promotion only lasts for another 2 weeks so you need to call Shay within the next 2 weeks if you want this offer.  The offer of 6 cents per kilowatt hour for 100% wind energy lasts for 3 months but the sales person said after 3 months you can call their main number (855-500-8703) and ask for a lower rate.  If you want to get on board with this promotion, call Shay at 630-965-4072.  
 
Paul


On Mon, Feb 5, 2018 at 10:53 AM Paul Berland <pnb3210@gmail.com> wrote:
On Google Docs in this folder:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1HxNONAmKNRz2R5zw2Y0W8n3ar9IIeowtThere is a spreadsheet that can be maintained by the environmentally progressive Illinois community (currently editable by IL Climate Activists members) which shows 100% renewable electricity providers that are below or at comparable costs to non-green electricity providers.
(Painful note: if you modify or edit this spreadsheet, it will immediately be saved to a file in the same folder with a different file name and link.  You will have to manually delete the old spreadsheet and rename the spreadsheet that was auto-created to the spreadsheet with the same name to maintain a single community spreadsheet. This little difficulty was gifted to us courtesy of mega-corporations Google and Microsoft who love to make our lives difficult so they can continue to make money off of IT jobs.  If your IT skills are low, then you can E-mail suggested changes to me and I could update the spreadsheet).
In Illinois, we all have the option of choosing our electricity provider and the freedom to choose a 100% green renewable energy provider (go to the link https://pluginillinois.org to review your options and potentially change your provider).  In fact, some of these providers are even honest enough to provide this electricity at below the regular rate that is provided for non-green energies (such as coal, nuclear, natural gas, etc.)  In particular, please make note of the following electricity providers that can offer rates below or equivalent to current rates provided by non-green suppliers:
1. Verde Energy USA (cheaper than market rate when you take into account rebate)
2. Oasis Energy (only spending about $1.50 more per month than current market rate for 100% renewable energy guaranteed for 18 months)
3. Clearview Energy (used to be the best deal but their prices are going up)
4. National Gas & Electric (flat out cheaper than ComEd for 3-6 months guaranteed)
Note that the market fluctuates month-to-month.  The hope is that we can maintain this spreadsheet as the market fluctuates.  This spreadsheet came about as the result of collaboration between Elgin Green Groups 350 members.
See also these links which prove that 100% renewable energy (wind, solar, hydro, and responsible bio-mass) is now cheaper than coal and nuclear and will also soon be cheaper than natural gas electricity production as well:

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Go to the sites and read the offers. More next week.  Oh never mind I will be on vacation for the next two weeks. Bye.

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Young Man Pledged To Clean the Oceans Of Plastic – Now he is going for his first try

When Joost Dubois was just 20 he pledged to find away to get the plastic out of the ocean. He formed a nonprofit organization in Holland to do just that. All of the scientists and the environmentalists said he was crazy and too young anyway. He raised money (couple of million) and got sponsors. Hired engineers and experts and tried dozens of systems. Now he is 24. His first system is ready for testing. Still the science and environment communities say he is crazy…did i mention too young.

You know what I say? GOOD LUCK! Young man and God Speed.

Please note the video is pretty cool too.

https://www.engadget.com/2018/09/11/great-pacific-garbage-patch-cleanup-started/?yptr=yahoo

 

A project to remove 88,000 tons of plastic from the Pacific has begun

A giant “pool noodle” is heading 260 miles offshore for a two week trial.

An ambitious project to clean up the 88,000 tons of plastic floating in the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” has begun. On Sunday, the Ocean Cleanup Project started towing its “Ocean Cleanup System 001” from San Francisco to a trial site some 240 nautical miles (260 miles) away. Once it arrives, the wind and waves will push System 001 into a U-shape and it will slowly drift along on its own. A 10-foot long skirt hanging below will collect pieces of plastic as small as a millimeter in size, and smaller boats will later scoop them up and take them to shore for recycling.

During the two week trial, the system will be “extensively monitored” to make sure it does the job while not harming plankton and other critical marine life. “We want to catch plastic, not fish,” Joost Dubois from The Ocean Cleanup told CNN. “We’re trying to solve an environmental problem so we need to make sure we don’t create a bigger problem in its place.”

After the trial ends, the boom will be towed another 900 nautical miles to begin its main mission, cleaning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Crews will stay at the patch for six months to continue monitoring, but hope that an autonomous vehicle can do the job after they leave.

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Go there and watch the video. More next week.

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Carbon Tax – The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board thinks it is a really good idea

The Carbon Tax is long overdue nationally, though California’s seems to be chugging right along. But think how far we have come – worse yet, think how far down the tubes we must be that the Chicago Tribune, as an entity, is advocating for it. Read it and weep, either for joy or sadness.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-carbon-tax-epa-climate-20180702-story.html

Editorial:

A carbon tax that could put money in your pocket

Editorial Board  Editorials reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board, as determined by the members of the board, the editorial page editor and the publisher.

The indications of a warming world are numerous and hard to miss. Last year was the third-warmest year on record for both the planet and the United States — exceeded only by 2015 and 2016. In June, scientists reported that Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tons of ice since 1992 — yielding “enough water to cover Texas to a depth of nearly 13 feet,” the Associated Press reported.

The indications of inaction on the subject are also abundant and visible. Last year, Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris agreement on greenhouse gas emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency has moved to ease regulations on power plants and motor vehicles that were integral to the Obama administration’s efforts to slow climate change.

Bipartisan action – once a normal response to environmental harms – is not on the agenda for Congress or the White House. But a growing group of farsighted pragmatists are nonetheless trying to find a middle ground between the entrenched adversaries.

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Go there and read. Google much more. More next week

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Small Houses For Vets – Why not small houses for all the homeless

Don’t get me wrong. I think this is really good and really good work as well. But housing as seems obvious is the solution to homelessness. So why not house all the homeless in small houses. Hell for that matter house all the poor people that want them in small houses.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article197241499.html

Thirteen homeless veterans got a look Monday at the furnished tiny houses they will call home for the next six to 12 months. The Veterans Community Project also got a chance to show the public the first phase of the “Veterans Village” taking shape. – Shelly Yang, The Kansas City Star
/

‘Housing with dignity’: First 13 homeless veterans to move into tiny houses in KC

January 29, 2018 02:12 PM

Updated January 29, 2018 03:12 PM

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Go there and read. More next week.

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