Hydrogen May Save The Day – At least this guy is seriously dedicated to it

I hope you all have had a happy and SAFE Holiday season. I am not a big fan of hydrogen as an energy source. It can be difficult to handle and it requires a new infrastructure even though some of it support don’t think so. I favor the brute forces of large wind and solar projects because we have a huge electrical infrastructure already in place. With persistence though i think it could come along. California is a big fan however and sometimes, as goes California so goes the nation.

www.nytimes.com/2020/12/28/business/hydrogen-power-cars.html?utm_source=pocket-newtab

(please note you must ad http: to the above address to get to the location. I had to strip it off so the website would not intrude.)

Wheels

The Gospel of Hydrogen Power

Mike Strizki powers his house and cars with hydrogen he home-brews. He is using his retirement to evangelize for the planet-saving advantages of hydrogen batteries.

In December, the California Fuel Cell Partnership tallied 8,890 electric cars and 48 electric buses running on hydrogen batteries, which are refillable in minutes at any of 42 stations there. On the East Coast, the number of people who own and drive a hydrogen electric car is somewhat lower. In fact, there’s just one. His name is Mike Strizki. He is so devoted to hydrogen fuel-cell energy that he drives a Toyota Mirai even though it requires him to refine hydrogen fuel in his yard himself.

“Yeah, I love it,” Mr. Strizki said of his 2017 Mirai. “This car is powerful, there’s no shifting, plus I’m not carrying all of that weight of the batteries,” he said in a not-so-subtle swipe at the world’s most notable hydrogen naysayer, Elon Musk.

Mr. Strizki favors fuel-cell cars for the same reasons as most proponents. You can make fuel using water and solar power, as he does. The byproduct of making hydrogen is oxygen, and the byproduct of burning it is water. Hydrogen is among the most plentiful elements on earth, so you don’t have to go to adversarial countries or engage in environmentally destructive extraction to get it. The car is as quiet to drive as any other electric, it requires little maintenance, and because it doesn’t carry 1,200 pounds of batteries, it has a performance edge.

His infatuation with hydrogen began with cars, but it didn’t end there. In 2006 he made the first house in the United States to be powered entirely by hydrogen produced on site using solar power. Nine years later he made the second. He says he has built hydrogen-power home systems for conservationists and celebrities — one of his systems reportedly powers Johnny Depp’s private island in the Bahamas.

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Go There And Read. More Next Week.

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The United States All IN On Climate Change – I never thought I would say that

And yet, Here is an article about how Joe Biden could do it once he becomes President. As Earther says, this list is neither exhaustive nor does it include solutions that can be applied to all agencies. It is a great START.

https://earther.gizmodo.com/how-biden-can-ensure-every-federal-agency-is-fighting-c-1845701534?utm_source=digg

How Biden Can Ensure Every Federal Agency Is Fighting Climate Change

President-elect Joe Biden has an unprecedented opportunity to walk the U.S.—and perhaps the world—back from the brink on climate change. After four years of harmful deregulation, his work is cut out for him.

But to truly address climate change will require more than simply repealing President Donald Trump’s rollbacks and maybe strengthening a few rules on power plant emissions before calling it a day. Because climate change is an everything problem, the entire and considerable weight of the federal government will need to be thrown into addressing it. Like rowing competition, the race to address climate change can only be won if everyone is pulling in the same direction.

This “all of government” response to the crisis at hand is the only way to ensure a shot at keeping the globe from heating up more than the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) goal outlined in the Paris Agreement, to say nothing of the 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) target outlined in a landmark United Nations report. Over the next four years, Biden will have to center climate change at every agency, from the obvious ones like the Environmental Protection Agency to others like the Department of Education and Treasury.

Earther has pulled together ideas and actions federal agencies can take to address climate change, based on conversations with dozens of experts who know the federal government’s levers of power and how to pull them so that they’re all geared to lower emissions. The ideas below are not exhaustive nor do they include solutions that can be applied at all agencies such as installing climate advocates at all levels, using procurement to electrify the government vehicle fleet, and diversifying the workforce so that new problem solvers are welcomed into the fold. But they do represent some of the best ones out there for how to get the ship turned quickly.

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Go there and rejoice. More next week.

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Why Do Nuclear Power Plants Cost So Much – Because they are freakin BIG

People are always asking why Nuclear Power Plants cost so much. They want to blame regulation, or safety measures. Maybe even because of unnecessary cost over runs. Mainly they do this because “They want to build more NUCLEAR Power Plants”. But the fact of the matter is you can’t build them cheaper and in fact given the costs of the 2 Major Nuclear catastrophes, maybe you need to build them more expensive. The simple fact, is that a new Coal Fired Plant can cost 2 billion dollars and kill the atmosphere while a Uranium Fired Plant could cost 4 billion dollars and kill us.

Anyway here is some discussion of that:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/11/why-are-nuclear-plants-so-expensive-safetys-only-part-of-the-story/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

The price is not right —

Why are nuclear plants so expensive? Safety’s only part of the story

A look at the history of nuclear power in the US, and why plant costs have soared.

Should any discussion of nuclear power go on for long enough, it becomes inevitable that someone will rant that the only reason it has become unaffordable is a proliferation of safety regulations. The argument is rarely (if ever) fleshed out—no specific regulation is ever identified as problematic, and there seems to be no consideration given to the fact that we might have learned something at, say, Fukushima that might merit addressing through regulations.

But there’s now a paper out that provides some empirical evidence that safety changes have contributed to the cost of building new nuclear reactors. But the study also makes clear that they’re only one of a number of factors, accounting for only a third of the soaring costs. The study also finds that, contrary to what those in the industry seem to expect, focusing on standardized designs doesn’t really help matters, as costs continued to grow as more of a given reactor design was built.

More of the same

The analysis, done by a team of researchers at MIT, is remarkably comprehensive. For many nuclear plants, they have detailed construction records, broken out by which building different materials and labor went to, and how much each of them cost. There’s also a detailed record of safety regulations and when they were instituted relative to construction. Finally, they’ve also brought in the patent applications filed by the companies who designed the reactors. The documents describe the motivations for design changes and the problems those changes were intended to solve.

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Go there and read. Sorry I was late. More next week.

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The Cheeto Burrito Seeks To Destroy Tsongass National Forest – Destruction is his legacy

(please note that i use tsongas and tongass interchangeably)

Destroy, Destroy, Destroy. That is what this President does because he has bought the general idea of “Disruption and Replacement” coming from Silicon Valley as a good thing for society. He doesn’t not understand that Disruption with out planning is BAD for society in general and only makes a few men (and women) rich. Or maybe, he actually does understand and just doesn’t care. One makes him evil by nature and the other makes him evil by nurture. I’ll leave it up to you to decide. One thing for sure is that his whole Presidency has been a disaster for the environment and the Earth, and that will be his lasting legacy.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/10/28/tongass-national-forest-alaska-exempt-roadless-rule-usda/6065610002/

USA Today

Feds end road, logging restrictions in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, one of the world’s largest temperate rainforests

Becky Bohrer
The Associated Press
Published 11:00 pm Oct 28, 2020

JUNEAU, Alaska — The federal government announced plans Wednesday to lift restrictions on logging and building roads in the country’s largest national forest, a pristine rainforest in Alaska that provides habitat for wolves, bears and salmon.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it has decided to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the so-called roadless rule, which bans road construction and timber harvests with limited exceptions. It applies to nearly one-quarter of all U.S. Forest Service lands.

Conservation groups vowed to fight the decision, describing it as short-sighted and driven by politics.

“The decision to roll back the roadless rule on the Tongass was made in spite of, not in support of, southeast Alaskans and our communities,” said Meredith Trainor, executive director of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. “In making this decision, the Trump administration and the sham rulemaking process they undertook in our region ignored economic realities, environmental imperatives, and worst of all, the will of the people who actually live here.”

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Who Pollutes Most? Planes Or Boats – At best it’s a toss up

But it is a very real question. I think it is Airplanes myself for 2 reasons. 1. Because they pollute at a high altitude (roughly 3 – 30 thousand feet) and, 2. because of an amazingly random accidental experiment after 9/11 that showed with all planes grounded our atmospheric temperature dropped a full degree. With Boats (ok large Ships) they burn something like warm asphalt, and that over water where the output can fall directly into what ever body on which they float. So essentially which is worse? High altitude kerosene or low altitude vaporized warm asphalt? I know – it makes me want to puke.

As a side note – i wish somebody would measure the net effects on global warming between Boats and Plane as opposed to co2 emissions which is awfully easy but not particularly insightful.

Greening Our Shipping: Wind-Powered Cargo Ships Can Change Future of Freight Cutting Emissions By 90%

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The Kids May Save Us – The planet Earth that is

This such a fun and upbeat story. I know you are saying – Doug doesn’t do upbeat or fun. I do not do exclamation marks, ever. So you will just have to take my word on this. This younger generation and these kids in particular could make the difference between human extinction or not.

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/09/9952945/gen-z-climate-change-anxiety?utm_source=digg

Gen Z’s Radical, Virtual Quest To Save The Planet

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It’s time to wake up. On Global Day of Climate Action, VICE Media Group is solely telling stories about our current climate crisis. Click here to meet young climate leaders from around the globe and learn how you can take action. 
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Many people first started paying attention to the youth climate movement in 2018, when now-17-year-old Greta Thunberg began protesting outside Swedish Parliament in her home country. Her small act of civil disobedience had a ripple effect. Students across the globe began striking by refusing to attend classes, which eventually turned into the “Fridays For Future” movement.
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It may sound like a ploy to get out of chemistry, but it’s not. Gen Z ranks climate change as the most important issue of our time, according to last year’s Amnesty International survey of more than 10,000 members of 18- to 25-year-olds. “Older generations were not out there protesting in the streets on this issue the way Gen Z is,” asserts Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo, PhD, who teaches political science and environmental policy at Christopher Newport University. These under-25 activists have formed organizations like Fridays For Future and Zero Hour, a movement that focuses on helping young people take action. Others have sued their state or even the United Nations. They’ve staged hunger strikes. They’ve performed spoken word poetry.
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These kids care. A lot.
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“Younger people see the total mess that Boomers and, to a lesser extent, millennials have left, and they have to figure out how to fix it,” says Jessica Green, PhD, an associate professor focused on climate governance at the University of Toronto.

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Go there and rejoice. Hallelujah Hallelujah  Hallelujah More hopefully next week.

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Recycling Plastic Was Always A Lie – There is only so much plastic furniture and astroturf the world needs

So the shell game for the oil companies was always – who can we get to take this stuff? Meaning solid supposedly recyclable plastics. For awhile anybody would take the “stuff” to burn it and Americans are like – out of sight out of mind. When they got caught at that, then they started exporting for “conversion” to other substances and China bought that one big time. Don’t get me wrong, plastic can be recycled but it is MORE expensive to do so than to throw it away. PLUS you can only recycle it once or twice and then it has to be thrown away anyway. YUP recycling was always a lie. But ain’t capitalism grand.

https://www.npr.org/2020/09/11/897692090/how-big-oil-misled-the-public-into-believing-plastic-would-be-recycled?utm_source=digg

How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled

 

Laura Leebrick, a manager at Rogue Disposal & Recycling in southern Oregon, is standing on the end of its landfill watching an avalanche of plastic trash pour out of a semitrailer: containers, bags, packaging, strawberry containers, yogurt cups.

None of this plastic will be turned into new plastic things. All of it is buried.

“To me that felt like it was a betrayal of the public trust,” she said. “I had been lying to people … unwittingly.”

Rogue, like most recycling companies, had been sending plastic trash to China, but when China shut its doors two years ago, Leebrick scoured the U.S. for buyers. She could find only someone who wanted white milk jugs. She sends the soda bottles to the state.

But when Leebrick tried to tell people the truth about burying all the other plastic, she says people didn’t want to hear it.

“I remember the first meeting where I actually told a city council that it was costing more to recycle than it was to dispose of the same material as garbage,” she says, “and it was like heresy had been spoken in the room: You’re lying. This is gold. We take the time to clean it, take the labels off, separate it and put it here. It’s gold. This is valuable.”

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Go there and read. Next time you see an empty gallon milk jug. Light it on fire in protest. More next week.

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P.S. Today is recycling day in Riverton and they just took my plastic away. hahahahaa

 

Attached To An Ice Floe In The Arctic – What a brave way to study Global Warming

So who are you going to believe? A research vessel attached to Arctic ice or a weasel attached to the Presidency with Leech like suckers.  ie. Trump – it’s a hoax or Science – it’s COMING! Me I trust science. Not Russian science either.

https://earther.gizmodo.com/scientists-made-an-alarmingly-easy-trip-to-the-north-po-1844858358?utm_source=digg

Scientists Made an Alarmingly Easy Trip to the North Pole

 

dharnanoor

Filed to:ice ice maybe

 

At Earther, we’ve been following the historic extent of ice melt in the Arctic this summer pretty closely. But not as closely as Gunnar Spreen and his research team, who are literally following the ice.

“We’re attached to an ice floe now,” he said on the phone from a research vessel called the Polarstern, which is currently at the latitude 88 degrees north, just under 150 miles (230 kilometers) from the North Pole. “We’re drifting with the ice. Wherever it goes, we go.”

Spreen, a sea ice and remote sensing scientist at the University of Bremen, is taking part in a research expedition known as the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate, or MOSAiC. It’s the largest Arctic research campaign in history, with some 500 scientists and staffers rotating on and off of the research vessel for months at a time.

The current cohort boarded the Polarstern on August 12, and in just a week’s time, they made it to the North Pole. To get there, they took an unexpected route, north of Greenland.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Solar Waste, What Shall We Do – I never dodge a bullet

I say the same thing I have said about recycling all along. Store what you can’t recycle right now and recycle what you can now. The best examples is the large Wind Generator Blades (it used to be common batteries). Throwing stuff in the land fill that has no business there messes everything else up. So storing the Blades from the Wind Generators (turbines whatever) in one place…even if you bury them is critical, so that when you find a way to recycle them (and you will) you can go get them. Throwing common batteries in a land fill ( AAs, AAAs, etc) is essentially admitting you will never get them back. Better to store them in abandoned warehouses or something. Even burying them in a battery land fill so you can get them back is better than just throwing them away.

https://www.wired.com/story/solar-panels-are-starting-to-die-leaving-behind-toxic-trash/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Solar Panels Are Starting to Die, Leaving Behind Toxic Trash

Photovoltaic panels are a boon for clean energy but are tricky to recycle. As the oldest ones expire, get ready for a solar e-waste glut.

This story originally appeared on Grist and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Solar panels are an increasingly important source of renewable power that will play an essential role in fighting climate change. They are also complex pieces of technology that become big, bulky sheets of electronic waste at the end of their lives—and right now, most of the world doesn’t have a plan for dealing with that.

But we’ll need to develop one soon, because the solar e-waste glut is coming. By 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency projects that up to 78 million metric tons of solar panels will have reached the end of their life, and that the world will be generating about 6 million metric tons of new solar e-waste annually. While the latter number is a small fraction of the total e-waste humanity produces each year, standard electronics recycling methods don’t cut it for solar panels. Recovering the most valuable materials from one, including silver and silicon, requires bespoke recycling solutions. And if we fail to develop those solutions along with policies that support their widespread adoption, we already know what will happen.

“If we don’t mandate recycling, many of the modules will go to landfill,” said Arizona State University solar researcher Meng Tao, who recently authored a review paper on recycling silicon solar panels, which comprise 95 percent of the solar market.

Solar panels are composed of photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert sunlight to electricity. When these panels enter landfills, valuable resources go to waste. And because solar panels contain toxic materials like lead that can leach out as they break down, landfilling also creates new environmental hazards.

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Go there and read. Demand that your municipality pass a law that solar panels do not go in the land fill. More next week.

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Tiny Houses Do Not Equal Happiness – It takes a change of MIND to be HAPPY

A little house for me is 800 square feet. That’s what my wife and I have if you discount the storage space and the plant room in the basement. During the spring, summer, and fall months, we spend a lot of time outdoors in are yard or up until March doing other things in other spaces. Whether its an apartment or a rental house, that’s pretty much the way I have always been. Whether there were one of me or two of us.

The idea that small is better has always seemed to be suspect to me. Anyway, here is one take on the down side of a Tiny House. And yes, I still believe Small is Beautiful.

 

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/tiny-houses-look-marvellous-but-have-a-dark-side-three-things-they-don-t-tell-you-on-marketing-blurb?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Pocket Worthy   –  Stories to fuel your mind.

Tiny Houses Look Marvellous but Have a Dark Side

Three things they don’t tell you in marketing blurb.

The Conversation

  • Megan Carras

Tiny houses are everywhere. They’ve received heavy coverage in the media and there are millions of followers on dozens of pages on social media. While there is no census for these homes, they have seen a surge in popularity in the decade since the Great Recession – witness the prolific growth of tiny house manufacturers, for instance. Originating in the US, tiny homes have also been popping up across Canada, Australia and the UK.

Tiny houses are promoted as an answer to the affordable housing crisis; a desirable alternative to traditional homes and mortgages. Yet there are many complexities and contradictions that surround these tiny spaces, as I discovered when I began investigating them.

I have toured homes, attended tiny house festivals, stayed in a tiny house community and interviewed several dozen people who live inside them. My research took me throughout the US, from a converted accessory unit squeezed between two average size homes on Staten Island to a community in Florida full of cute and brightly coloured tiny structures – appropriately located just down the road from Disney World. Here are three things I unexpectedly discovered along the way.

 

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I am sure there are thousands of people that are happy with their Tiny Houses. Go there and read. More next week.

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