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Climate change

Mathias wrote:

We simply have to accept reality and move on to the much more important question of how to best deal with it.
What we can do to offset, curb and potentially reverse the processes we as mankind have set into motion.

Maybe take a look at what is really going on for a change? the facts? The reality?

This is a map of the (real time) electricity production in terms of CO2 intensity.

The idea is to produce power (for anything that needs power) without also producing CO2, right? Look at the map. Norway does it, Sweden does it and France does it. How and why this is done in those countries is irrelevant. What is relevant is why the other countries are producing 10-20 time as much CO2 per KWh as those three. CO2 is the big problem isn’t? The technology exists, it’s cheap and reliable. Why?

I know why. The reason is there is no free lunch. Politicians and society in general has since long decided what kind of lunch they will put their money in. This has turned out very different from country to country. A few has invested in energy production which just happened to be zero CO2 emission because those decisions were made long before anyone bothered with CO2. There were lots of environmental activist back then also, and there were big fights between the activist and the governments. Those green countries are the countries where the governments won. In those countries the governments didn’t give in for the activists. In the other countries the activists won, and the result today is tons and tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, doing whatever it is CO2 is doing (very bad things according to most activists and the rest of the believers).

Today solar and wind are the new pets. Wind has already turned sour. The environmental impact of wind power is too large. Too ugly, kill too many birds, too expensive, take too much space, too much noise. Huge plans were made 5-10 years ago in Norway. Today no one wants them, the plans are dismissed, one by one. Even the activists has turned against them. Solar seems to have a better future, at least for the time being, but solar is certainly very far from being a free lunch. The bad impact simply hasn’t shown it’s head high enough yet, but it eventually will. It may turn out to be a good solution for distributed production though, and works well in combination with electric cars. Time will show.

@LeSving I was somehow involved with this project in a small way, and thought it relevant to your point.
Even solar has an impact like wind in some cases.

I agree with LeSving. We have probably done the pro and con arguments to death. Just for to move the topic on, why don’t we imagine that climate change will follow the middle projections by the IPCC – ie not the doom and gloom from Greta et al that the world is ending in 10 years.

Then we have to accept that there are limited economic resources in the world. There is not infinite human resources and capital in the world and we have to do other things like spend money on health. food, shelter, vaccines etc

If you look at the map of Europe (which of course ignores China and India etc) then it raises the question in my mind that why are not Southern Italy and Sicily 100% green where is it is bloody sunny and Solar Energy actually works and makes sense.

As an aside (but still environmental), I was down in Sicily recently and they have changed the way they collect rubbish as part of being “green” so they have introduced recycling. They have made it virtually impossible for locals to get dustbins (you have to spend a day queuing up to prove you have paid your property taxes – which of course a huge proportion of the population have not paid as there are massive arrears). Then if you get a dustbin the collection lorry often does not come due to corruption etc. Hence probably 20% of the population are fly tipping rubbish in field entrances, at the side of roads etc.

So the whole area is strewn with rubbish. It is now lining the motorways, all over the countryside and is blowing into the sea. If you walk on the beaches it is littered with plastic. Before this used to mainly come from Africa but now the volume of plastic on the beaches has doubled.

Remember, this is Europe so what is the most urgent thing to tackle down here? Dealing with thousands of tons of micro plastics breaking up and getting into the food chain or more solar panels? With some effort you could no doubt tackle both issues but the local population have other priorities such as 40% youth unemployment and getting rid of their rubbish!

Some radon suggestions ………….
1. Funding solar panel research which is now on the cusp of improving efficiency from 22% to 30(ish)% . As soon as we get 30% efficiency then solar will be even more economically viable
2. Building arrays in non corrupt sunny areas – ie not the UK where there are reports of PV breaking down after 7-10 years
3. A low carbon tax on everything rising slowly over the next 30 years so people can plan with the least economic damage.
4. A disposal tax which deals with the embedded carbon costs used to manufacture consumer durables. This might favour the return to building things like washing machines that last for 20 years like they used to. (I hate seeing £ 199 washing machines for sale when you know full well that the minute something goes wrong it will be disposed of).

Any other ideas out there which are low cost and won’t wreck the world economy? The poorest people need resources to help the adapt over the next 50 years. If you kill the economy you will literally also kill the poorest in the least developed countries.

United Kingdom

7 years for solar PV is dreadful.

I know about difficulties in solar water heating with materials degrading pretty reliably (in UV, mainly) within 10 years. This was improved with the evacuated glass tubes, if they are mounted unprotected. But solar water heating is a waste of money except for swimming pools where you use cheap panel materials.

Making any outdoor installation last several decades, in rain, UV, heat, cold, is a real challenge.

Are PV panels glass fronted?

@alan_south may know more about PV and how long the panels last.

In Europe, corruption and general administrative disfunction are inversely proportional to latitude, but only those who live in each respective country are allowed to say that

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

PV panels are glass fronted, I have one. I’ve had it for over 10 years and it still works perfectly well despite being exposed to the sometimes atrocious Manx weather (including salty air).

Andreas IOM

alioth wrote:

PV panels are glass fronted, I have one. I’ve had it for over 10 years and it still works perfectly well despite being exposed to the sometimes atrocious Manx weather (including salty air).


Private field, Mallorca, Spain

Buckerfan I think makes a good point.

The increased co2 levels are viewed as a death to the planet, but it also increases crop yield and plant growth.

The earth is getting greener helped no doubt by Timothy’s extra trees.

According to NASA the greening of the planet over the last two decades represents an increase in leaf area on plants and trees equivalent to the area covered by all the Amazon rainforests. There are now more than two million square miles of extra green leaf area per year, compared to the early 2000s – a 5% increase.

It seems to me, the so called “deniers” are willing to have discussions about what’s going on. The climate evangellicals just want to shut everyone else down.

A lot of the popular debate presents meteorological trends with an implied simple two factor correlation. However the mathematics of meteorology and fluid dynamics is much more complex. Local copy

I always enjoy the fact that the physics and mathematics of the theory of lift do not agree (the Kutta-Zhukovsky condition use of circulation theory for example), and that there is still a handsome prize to complete the Navier-Stokes partial differential equations. Whether Newton, Bernoulli or someone else know the real theory of lift is still out there.

For purposes of this debate am not a sceptic, and the continuing damage being caused in tropical rainforests, both cultural and ecological around 80 years after the publication of Tristes Tropiques is a scandal.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

It is the difference between simple regression on aggregate data and modelling the underlying complex physics with granular data, people tend to debate the latter as it is easy to play with it’s “explanatory power”, especially on time windows and what to regress against to acheive ones conclusion, the latter is more objective and has more predictive power but it is hard to workout especially the need for geanular data and compute power, this require load of money, ressources and huge political neutrality :)

Sort of debating use of flaps for short takeoff roll between PPL pilots and CFD engineers, still some in former group do also know better about the topic even with a simplistic theory of lift…

Tough everybody would agree that human body radiates some of the sun energy and a fraction of this is kept inside the planet probably faster than how people could adapt (on longer time scales one would expect some equilibrium)

Last Edited by Ibra at 07 Oct 21:03
ESSEX, United Kingdom

Off_Field wrote:

The increased co2 levels are viewed as a death to the planet, but it also increases crop yield and plant growth.

It’s not death to the planet, the planet will shrug us off in the long run like we shrug off a bad cold. It’s potentially a very bad time for us.

Increasing CO2 also makes us more stupid. It is expected that by 2100 if we continue on as we are there will be a measurable decrease in human IQ due to higher CO2 levels.

Andreas IOM
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