Two Weeks Ago I Said Trees Would Beat Global Global Warming

This week’s articles says – Not Likely. I say the trees are a good start. The point is that some people argue for trees or solar panels in the desert for instance. But the desert is an ecosystem that trees or solar panels would disrupt. Deserts are not “throw away” ecosystems. So we can only deploy so much of each. This is why i think geothermal is the ultimate solution.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2019/07/10/reforestation-climate-change-plant-trees/#.XS870XtOnct

planting trees
Planting trees, while beneficial to the planet, is not an easy solution to climate change. (Credit: Janelle Lugge/Shutterstock)

Last week, a new study in the journal Science highlighted the role forests could play in tackling climate change. Researchers estimated that by restoring forests to their maximum potential, we could cut down atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) by 25 percent — a move that would take us back to levels not seen in over a century. Though the study brings hope in the fight against climate change, other experts warn the solution is not that simple.

The study, led by scientists at ETH-Zürich, Switzerland, determined the planet has 0.9 billion hectares of land available to hold more trees — an area the size of the continental U.S. Converting those areas into forests would be a game-changer for climate change, the authors suggested.

“[The study] is probably the best assessment we have to date of how much land could support tree cover on our planet,” says Robin Chazdon, a forest ecologist and professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut not involved in the study, But she is quick to point out that restoring forests is not as simple as it sounds.

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Go there and think. More next week.

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CWLP Is Doomed – Coal will strangle it to death

A “multi-post” that I rarely ever do any more. But this issue is important so first my recommendations, first published on Facebook, and then the facts on the ground.

CWLP IS Doomed

If the members of the City Council of Springfield had any sense at all (and guts/leadership) they would:

1/ Tell IBEW 193 to retrain the workers at Dallman 1 2 and 3 in Solar and Wind
2/ They would close Dallman 1 2 and 3
3/ They would put out a notice for proposals to gasify Dallman
4/ They would take the savings and invest it in renewables
5/ They would ask the County to drop their ridiculous zoning rules for wind farms so we could have a wind farm in Sangamon county

But instead they will live in the 1900s and like Trump demand coal for a fuel source no matter what.

First the SJ-R

https://www.sj-r.com/news/20190507/report-recommends-cwlp-retire-its-three-oldest-power-units-move-away-from-coal

Report recommends CWLP retire its three oldest power units, move away from coal

In a much-anticipated report, an energy consulting firm is recommending that City Water, Light and Power retire three of its four coal-fired power generators “as soon as feasible” while offering the utility a roadmap to a less coal-dependent future.

The Energy Authority (TEA), which was retained by the city last year to map out a plan for the utility’s power generation for the next 20 years, released the 84-page “integrated resource plan” on Monday and gave a presentation to members of the Springfield City Council.

The firm recommended that CWLP retire Dallman units 1, 2 and 3 by as early as 2020 after finding that “no scenario economically retained these units.”

The results are not much of a surprise given the age of the units and the current state of the energy market, which has been upended by the rise of natural gas and the increasing affordability of renewable energy. For coal-dependent utilities like CWLP, it has not been easy to keep up.

“One of the things that we’ve been saying for quite some time is that coal-fired units basically can’t compete very well in the market, they’re not competitive in the current market,” said CWLP chief utility engineer Doug Brown. “So this report basically confirms all of that.”

Then the Illinois Times.

https://illinoistimes.com/article-21209-consultant-retire-three-of-cwlp%E2%80%99s-coal-fired-plants.html

Thursday, May 9, 2019 12:05 am

Consultant: Retire three of CWLP’s coal-fired plants

How can Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power (CWLP) best provide electrical power to meet the community’s future energy needs? Retiring Dallman Units 1, 2 and 3 coal-fired plants, increasing the use of renewable energy and expanding energy efficiency are some of the recommendations included in a recently released report.

Last year the city hired The Energy Authority (TEA) to develop an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Kevin Glake from TEA presented the results of the comprehensive study to the city council on May 6 at a meeting of the Public Utilities Committee. Anyone who uses electricity generated by CWLP or cares about the future of the city’s public utility should be interested in this plan.

Public comments are being accepted now through June 3, and a public open house is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. May 20 at the Lincoln Public Library. More information and the complete plan are available online at https://cwlp.com/IRP.aspx. Comments can be emailed to IRP@cwlp.com or mailed to CWLP General Office, ATTN: CWLP IRP, 800 E. Monroe St., Springfield, 62701.

https://illinoistimes.com/article-21312-letting-go.html

Thursday, June 13, 2019 12:19 am

Letting go

Springfield ponders cutting back on coal

t’s not a welcome message in council chambers.

“They came back with exactly what everyone on the city council knows,” Ward 1 Ald. Chuck Redpath declared at a May 28 committee-of-the-whole meeting, joining colleagues in criticizing the report issued by The Energy Authority. “The point is, we can’t just…go down without a fight. We’re talking about getting rid of two, maybe three, of our plants, and it’s going to be detrimental to our ratepayers. It’s going to be detrimental because, eventually, you are going to have to go out on the net, and buy off the net – the grid – and then we’re going to be subjected to whatever prices we get stuck with if we’re down to one plant. We’ve got to start thinking outside the box and find a better way.”

And so Redpath and other aldermen cling to coal, even as they talk about new courses. Those opposed to coal have a simple response to complaints about a report that contains no surprises.

“They’re not learning anything new because nothing has changed in six years in terms of the economics of those old units,” says Andy Knott, senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club. “They don’t want to look at the facts and the reality and make the best decisions for the ratepayers.”

“They’re too old”

“Integrated resource plan,” a tag invented in the 1980s, is the official title of the study that’s drawing ire from aldermen. The planning process is supposed to help utilities figure out long-term economics. Thirty-three states, but not Illinois, require utilities to prepare IRPs that are subject to review by state regulators.

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Go there and read sadly/ More next week…

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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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Can Beating Climate Change Be This Easy – I certainly hope so

Sorry this is so late but the Christmas Season collided with my volunteering at Dana Thomas House which collided with the death of my dear friend Bob Paddack. Plus my car developed a penchant for flat tires. So I have been breathless. I could have ended on a downer note by posting about dumbass 45’s attempts to repeal regulations put in place after the Deep Water Horizon’s humongous oil spill, but that is insane so without further ado.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/switzerland-giant-new-machine-sucking-carbon-directly-air

In Switzerland, a giant new machine is sucking carbon directly from the air

Originally published by E&E News

The world’s first commercial plant for capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air opened yesterday, refueling a debate about whether the technology can truly play a significant role in removing greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere.

The Climeworks AG facility near Zurich becomes the first ever to capture CO2 at industrial scale from air and sell it directly to a buyer

Developers say the plant will capture about 900 tons of CO2 annually — or the approximate level released from 200 cars — and pipe the gas to help grow vegetables.

While the amount of CO2 is a small fraction of what firms and climate advocates hope to trap at large fossil fuel plants, Climeworks says its venture is a first step in their goal to capture 1 percent of the world’s global CO2 emissions with similar technology. To do so, there would need to be about 250,000 similar plants, the company says.

“Highly scalable negative emission technologies are crucial if we are to stay below the 2-degree target [for global temperature rise] of the international community,” said Christoph Gebald, co-founder and managing director of Climework

 

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Happy New Year everyone. Go there and read. More next week.

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Africa Saved By Trees – Well not all of it but it is a start

This is a really hopeful story.

http://news.yahoo.com/african-region-beats-back-desert-thanks-trees-220830579.html

An African Region Beats Back the Desert, Thanks to Trees

The Sahel region in Northern Africa is sandwiched between the Sahara desert in the north and the savanna in the south, stretching across nearly a dozen countries. It is a hot, dry region where it’s hard to grow most crops, so locals depend on subsistence livestock herds, mostly cattle, sheep, and goats.

Overgrazing has long been blamed for creeping desertification of the Sahel, especially in the wake of devastating droughts in the 1970s and ’80s.

Now, research from South Dakota State University blows both claims out of the water, showing that 84 percent of the watersheds in the Sahel have recovered.

“In the past people have had a negative perception of the Sahel, that the pastoralists are misusing and overgrazing the land, but these findings prove that’s not true,” said Niall Hanan, a savanna ecologist with SDSU who has focused on Africa for the past 25 years.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The Pope’s Energy Message Spreads – Climate change comes to Catholics in Chicago

I never thought I would applaud the Pope. But hurray for him as his message spreads to the Chicago diocese. By its self the church can not solve the problem but it could put a dent in Global Warming. Here is hoping it spreads.

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-pope-francis-climate-change-encyclical-met-20150618-story.html#page=1

Pope Francis makes Chicago Catholics see green

June 18, 2015, 7:56 p.m.

Answering a plea from Pope Francis to protect the planet, Chicagoans — Catholics and non-Catholics alike — pledged Thursday to collect rainfall, conserve tap water, recycle their cans and bottles, and switch off the lights when they leave a room.

It’s an unusually tangible, immediate and ecumenical response to a papal encyclical, a letter expounding on Catholic teachings.

But the encyclical itself is an extraordinary letter. Francis’ first solo encyclical (he co-wrote one with his predecessor) is the first time the leader of the world’s billion Roman Catholics has addressed the environment. And the letter is more than a manifesto for clergy and bishops to use as a teaching tool. It’s a call to action with scientific rationale, written in plain language and addressed to “every person living on this planet.”

“I’m so excited about the courage of this pope. He’s done his homework,” said Gina Orlando, an instructor of science and spirituality courses at DePaul University and a Catholic who recently returned to Ascension Catholic Church in Oak Park after spending the last several years church shopping. “I’m back now because of this encyclical and the possibility that it holds for spirituality and environmental change.”

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Go there and read. It is up lifting. More next week.

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Carbon Capture On The Roadside – Maybe even in your backyard

This is such a cool idea. I do not know which plants take in the most carbon. Probably young tree saplings. So they would not be good to use because their uptake slows down as they age. Maybe switch grass? Anyway this is about the concept and the New Mexico experiment to attempt it.

http://www.boulderweekly.com/article-13275-your-next-roadside-attraction-carbon-storage.html

Thursday, August 28,2014

Your next roadside attraction: Carbon storage

By Marianne Lavell

As you watch the miles roll by on family road trips this summer, look just behind the guard rails to see what some scientists believe is a significant untapped resource in the battle against climate change.

Roadside soils and vegetation on federal lands and along U.S. highways are already capturing nearly 2 percent of total U.S. transportation carbon emissions

The land alongside the 4 million miles of U.S. public roadways, already being maintained by federal, stat, and local governments, could be planted with vegetation that helps transfer carbon from the atmosphere into the soil, say scientists. Road banks and berms, in other words, could be managed as valuable “banks” for carbon sequestration.

“We’re talking millions of acres,” says biologist Rob Ament, of the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University, who led a recent study to gauge carbon storage potential on just a fraction of that real estate — roadsides on federal lands.

Shrubs, grasses and other plants already along roads in U.S. National Parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands currently are capturing about 7 million metric tons of carbon each year, Ament said in a report on his findings at this month’s North American Congress for Conservation Biology. That’s equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of 5 million cars — without any effort made to optimize the mix of plantings and soil management practices for carbon storage.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Sequestration’s Partial Failure Causes Some Doubts – Of course it was never going to be the answer

I find this article troubling because what you are talking about here is the creation of a substance that only exists on the two gas giants in our solar system. That would be CO3 and that would be on Jupiter and Saturn. Now I have to admit that if the liquid were released from that pressure (in a total failure where it burst to the surface) it would probably convert to CO and CO2 those gases are lethal. And the resultant cloud would kill everything in its path.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2014/0527/Can-we-hide-carbon-dioxide-underground-Algeria-site-offers-note-of-caution

 

Can we hide carbon dioxide underground? Algeria site offers note of caution.

Scientists want to capture carbon dioxide underground to slow global warming. But a test in Algeria is showing that the sunk CO2 can do some surprising things.

By Staff writer / May 27, 2014

A facility in Algeria that captured carbon dioxide on an industrial scale – and locked it up deep underground – is yielding this lesson for researchers exploring ways to deal with global warming: Select a site with care, because the unexpected can happen.

A new study that aims to explain why sequestered CO2 was moving surprisingly quickly through rock formations beneath In Salah, a natural-gas extraction site in central Algeria. In Salah hosted the second-largest industrial-scale sequestration demonstration project after Norway’s Statoil, which has been conducting a sequestration demonstration at the Sleipner field in the North Sea since 1996.

The new study of In Salah’s effort identifies the injected CO2 itself as a key culprit. The facility was injecting the unwanted greenhouse gas at a rate that boosted the pressure of the CO2 stored in a sandstone formation more than 6,000 feet below the surface

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Nanocrystaline Cellulose – Its nature’s way of telling you

This isa  pretty interesting piece. It implies that most of the complicated and expensive atom level experiments to create nanotubes and other “nanostructures” were something of a waste of time. They also imply that the next advance in nanotechnology maybe finding ways to form, market and install new nanostructures at the real world level. In the literature it is stated that this form of cellulose can be both an insulator and a conductor so it would be nice if someone came up with a shielded electrical cable that could be used in the housing market, for instance. I have included 2 references for clarity’s sake.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanocellulose

http://www.conservationmagazine.org/2012/06/nanocellulose-is-no-small-thing/

Nanocellulose Is No Small Thing

Trees could become part of electronics, medical devices, and military gear

 

For centuries, the forestry industry has produced paper and lumber. But what if trees could be transformed into an entirely new set of products, ranging from electronic sensors to biomedical implants to military protective gear?

The idea isn’t as improbable as it sounds. Researchers are studying a nanoscale material that can be extracted from trees and, in some forms, is about as strong as Kevlar. Called “nanocellulose,” this lightweight material is composed of bundled sugar chains from the cell walls of wood. Researchers can extract nanocellulose by grinding pulp or using chemicals to break it down into tiny particles. At such small scales, the material has fewer defects, making it stronger. One type of nanocellulose particle, called cellulose nanocrystals, is especially tough because the sugar chains are arranged in a highly ordered structure.

Researchers envision a huge array of applications for nanocellulose. It could partially replace fossil fuel–based products such as petroleum-derived plastics and might be cheaper than other high-performance nanoscale materials. Clear sheets of nanocellulose might be useful for windows or electronic displays. Studies have shown that some forms of cellulose are piezoelectric, meaning they generate an electrical signal when deformed, so nanocellulose-based sensors could potentially monitor structures such as bridges for signs of stress. Nanocellulose food packaging could block oxygen permeation and keep the contents from spoiling, while nanocellulose scaffolds implanted in the body might aid bone regeneration. And at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Maryland, researchers are investigating whether nanocellulose-reinforced materials could better protect soldiers on the battlefield.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Recycling By Anyother Name – Moves us to a steady state economy

Methane is the single biggest greenhouse gas that never gets talked about because environmentalists see it as a “bridge” to a clean energy future. Making power from food refuse makes complete sense. I hate to say it but backyard composters, as well meaning as they are, just throw the stuff up in the air.  Ashley Halligan sent me this article:

http://blog.softwareadvice.com/articles/cafm/resource-recovery-facilities-economic-efficient-energy-supply-1071212/

Resource Recovery Facilities: An Economic And Efficient Energy Supply

by Ashley HalliganProperty Management Analyst, Software Advice
July 12, 2012

Although the number of U.S. landfills has steadily declined since 1990, the size of landfills has increased. In fact, Americans generated 250 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) in 2010 alone. It’s thus no surprise that MSW landfills are our third-largest, human-generated source of methane emissions. But this is more an opportunity than it is a problem.

Many landfills are becoming resource recovery facilities–places where waste or byproducts are reclaimed and converted into energy. Captured by wells installed throughout a landfill, naturally-occurring methane emissions (or landfill gas–LFG) can be converted into multiple energy sources, including electricity, a replacement for fossil fuels in industrial operations, or upgraded to pipeline-quality gas. Methane’s heat can also be used directly. Of the approximately 2,400 operating or recently closed MSW landfills in the U.S., 535 (around 22 percent) currently have resource recovery projects.

To learn more about these projects and the benefits they deliver, I spoke to several industry experts–including David Specca, Assistant Director for Bioenergy and Controlled Environment Agriculture at the Rutgers University EcoComplex, and Barry Edwards, Director of Engineering and Utilities at Catawba County–and looked at three examples of successful projects.

____________________________

Ashley M. Halligan
Facility Management Analyst
Software Advice

(512) 539-0016
ashley@softwareadvice.com

By the way, we’re hiring

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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