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Coal being phased out

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Hopper23/02/2020 11:13:37
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Posted by CHARLES lipscombe on 23/02/2020 09:29:05:...

...Unfortunately Mark's post is typical of the response of many climate change believers....

It's not a matter of belief. It's a matter of science. Based on empiricism and rationalism. No belief involved.

When you or one of your family have life-threatening cancer, do you go to the hospital for treatment by medical belief? Or is it medical science? Do you claim to know more about chemotherapy etc than the oncologists at hospitals around the world, because you read it on the internet and it seems to make sense to someone who knows next to nothing on the subject, compared with the oncologists with multiple advanced degrees in their specialised field?

 

 

 

Edited By Hopper on 23/02/2020 11:19:08

Edited By Hopper on 23/02/2020 11:19:49

Mike Poole23/02/2020 11:20:22
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The problem with much of the science is it looks at a specific problem and finds a cause but does not drill deeper to see how the whole puzzle fits together. Our politicians should have a plan for a sustainable model and not keep patching the problems as they come up. An example of patching must be our roads ( pun not intended). A combination of poor maintenance and increased traffic are destroying our roads. The patch policy is inadequate as the holes reappear within weeks. Even roads that have been resurfaced fairly recently are wearing out fast. Is the problem too much use, poor quality roads, poor maintenance, inadequate public transport? All of them? To solve a problem you need to tackle the root cause and we fail miserably at doing that.

Mike

JA23/02/2020 12:51:19
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Posted by Anthony Knights on 23/02/2020 10:36:08:

Neil's video shows a clip from "Soylent Green",which is a film based on the Harry Harrison book "Make Room, Make Room". This book is more about overpopulation, which in my opinion is the biggest threat to the planet. Climate change, may well be the planet's response to this threat.

A solution would be to halve the population of the planet. It has happened before, the Black Death killed at least a third, and society managed to handle the problems. However society change radically afterwards. We have been very good at removing the killer diseases such as Smallpox - perhaps this has been a mistake?

JA

Baz23/02/2020 12:58:34
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JA, not only Black Death etc don’t forget all the wars we used to have where a few million died in each one.

Johnboy2523/02/2020 13:39:34
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Looks like I’ll have buy mine on the ‘Black Market”! 😋

ChrisH23/02/2020 15:32:41
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** More CO2 helps agriculture, it is pumped into commercial greenhouses at 1000ppm, and the plants use less water.

Interesting but completely irrelevant.

Actually, in the context of world population and climate change this is not only an 'interesting' fact but it is also completely relevant.

Back in the 1990's I worked for what was then a major horticultural company, one of the largest growing tomatoes and peppers under glass in the UK. Back then the CO2 ppm in the atmosphere was about the same as has been quoted for now, and all the growers were going daft for more CO2. Why? A greenhouse full of tomato plants would very soon reduce the ambient CO2 levels within the glasshouse to drastically low levels. The solution was to pump CO2 into the glasshouse to restore levels. But in fact the growers did far more than that. They ran their gas-fired hot water boilers during the day when heating was not needed, stored the hot water produced in insulated storage tanks - for circulating through the glasshouses at night when heating was needed, and cooled the exhaust gasses produced which also removed the water vapour and pumped the CO2 rich gasses into the glasshouses to suppliment the natural CO2 existing. But the growers also did it for another advantage. If was found that every 1% increase in CO2 produced a corresponding increase in production yield (I think it was, memory is deserting me!) of 1kg per plant. More yield/plant = more money. And lots and lots of plants and lots and lots of 1% increases in CO2 over a long growing season = lots and lots of more money! That is why the figure of 1000ppm inside the glasshouses was quoted - that's what levels the growers were after. But the fact is that the greater CO2 levels resulted in far more food produced - and THAT is the very important fact.

Where is this leading? Towards the feeding of the world, that's where.  OK, more tomatoes isn't going to solve it on it's own, but it is indicative and food production will become increasingly what we need to focus on. Yes the climate is changing, but it always has done, nothing new there, the only augment is how much humans are aggravating it. World population is a far greater threat in my eyes, as it seems to be just shooting upwards and seems totally out of control.

All that population are going to need food, water and energy. And all three will be in ever shorter supply. Eventually, satisfying that vast population will become unsustainable and war will result, a natural reaction as people try to look after and provide for their own. Unless a virus or disease doesn't do for the population in reducing world numbers first.

Not a pleasant prospect to look forward to, either option, but I fear it could be closer than we might like to think. I hope I have not digressed from the OP too far!

Chris

 

Edited By ChrisH on 23/02/2020 15:33:13

Edited By ChrisH on 23/02/2020 15:37:59

Samsaranda23/02/2020 16:59:43
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JA we might just be on the verge of another pandemic which will adjust world population figures, we need to be careful what we wish for.
Dave W

JA23/02/2020 17:47:53
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Posted by Baz on 23/02/2020 12:58:34:

JA, not only Black Death etc don’t forget all the wars we used to have where a few million died in each one.

Yes, but wars are very messy.

Dave W - I agree with you.

JA

pgk pgk23/02/2020 18:35:04
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Posted by Samsaranda on 23/02/2020 16:59:43:

JA we might just be on the verge of another pandemic which will adjust world population figures, we need to be careful what we wish for.
Dave W

Current death rate from this virus is only around 1:35 so not enough to make a heap of difference assuming one avoids cremation and follows my "mince'em up and spray 'em on the fields" philosophy or the steampunk idea of a hydraulic ram to compress all the dead down abandoned coal mines to sequester their carbon.

Last time I looked global carbon output was roughly 2.5% due to each of airtravel and shipping,

35% Due to industry and construction

15% Due to farming

15% Due to road transport

15% From domestic energy usage.

Greta approach to avoiding air travel makes little difference and I doubt whether the young generation would abandon their 'must have a holiday abroad" approach or avoid imported perishables any more than governments would see sense and tax unnecessary consumerism (all that haloween and christmas single use tat, cheap almost throwaway clothing and the like) when we have western nations dependant on taxation from retail sales to boost their GDP. The globalisation approach needs to stop (but won't) and well as the culture of the 'latest iphone or gadget for bragging rights' while forgetting that having stuff made by cheap labour abroad is tantamount to slavery by proxy.

That's my rant over except to say we are doomed.

Paul Kemp23/02/2020 19:03:59
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OK........

So can anyone direct me to a credible source of data that links CO2 directly with temperature change?

There have been various comments on this thread suggesting we should trust the scientists that know far more about this subject than you or I.

Until very recently I have held little opinion on this subject and recieved no information outside the various media stories. Now having been put in a position professionally that is directly affected by current and potential pending legislation I decided some research was in order. Sadly that has left me more convinced that no-one actually knows and a lot of the 'evidence' is based on model predictions (both historical and future).

The latest IPCC report seems to be littered with words such as likely, highly likely and error without quantifying an accuracy level to likely or highly likely or giving a percentage range to error? While science should be opinion based on verifiable evidence there is so much conflicting evidence and journalistic hype on selective reading and report of evidence I have great doubt there is any definitive and verifiable opinion on the question?

I read an article from the Smithsonian (a supposedly upstanding and independent institution) today that stated we are currently at the highest concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere since 'records' begin 800 million years ago, currently over 400ppm (agreeing with figures quoted here) and back then a broad average of 200ppm (fluctuated a bit) but in the past the average global temperature was 14 degree Celsius higher than now. Is that statement verifiable? If it is why are we now 14 degrees cooler with potentialy more than double the CO2?

Plenty of other sources of conflicting information and speculation but seemingly few hard and fast facts or data based on verifiable and repeatable models. It seems even the referenced list of names on the IPCC report are not all scientist but some are journalists, activists and politicians? So is the claimed 90 odd percent consensus just between scientists or does it include the other hangers on? Should I believe the masses without seeing the underpinning knowledge? I believe there was a similar balance of opinion that the world was flat?

For questioning the theory am I a climate change denier? Surely the principle of science is to question results and verify in different ways to achieve certainty? I have no doubt climate will change, seemingly throughout the history of the earth it has changed many times. I can see the wisdom of clean air and the health benefits. I can't see the wisdom of the current knee jerk panic. I can see though that there is a lot of money to be redistributed!

Paul.

vintage engineer23/02/2020 19:04:01
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Posted by Anthony Knights on 22/02/2020 07:55:55:

What happens to the smoke that is not in "smokeless"coal?

It goes into the atmosphere at the factory and no one worries about it!

SillyOldDuffer23/02/2020 19:23:09
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Arguments against Climate Change echo what was said to justify smoking many years ago:

  • If it was really dangerous to health doctors wouldn't smoke. (Many did!)
  • My granny smoked 80 a day all her life and was run over by a tram aged 95.
  • It's not proved smoking is dangerous - the illnesses are caused by something else, long list provided.
  • We can't afford to change for tax and commercial reasons
  • I'm OK, therefore it can't be bad for me
  • I don't care if smoking is dangerous to me or passers by - it's my right
  • What do experts know? Long list of expert mistakes provided
  • What do scientist know? Long list of bias blunders provided, usually historic.

Thing is smokers were drug addicts and they were wrong. As time went by the evidence smoking was dangerous accumulated until the hazard became irrefutable. My father remarked one day in his mid-sixties that the last of his smoking friends had died, and - although my acquaintances are doing better - it's clear smoking friends are dropping off the twig before the non-smokers. I consider myself lucky to have worked for an employer who banned smoking in the workplace.

Evidence that climate change is real continues to grow just as the evidence against smoking did. I'd be delighted if global warming were just the fevered imaginings of a few bonkers extremists, motives unknown, but every passing year tends to confirm rather than refute the theory. In the 1970's the science wasn't very clear. Plenty of confusing and contradictory data, and a number of competing hypotheses. That's how science works - it's all about evidence, and it can take decades to get to the right answer. Not always for good reasons - as Charles mentioned, scientists are all too human and progress has been delayed on several tines because young blood had to wait for the establishment to die out. But science gets there in the end - truth will out.

To me the clincher is that theory as expressed 10 years ago predicted what we are experiencing today. A general warming of the whole planet, increased frequency of unusual weather effects, loss of glaciers and a reducing ice-cap, and environmental conditions sufficient to shift lifeforms on a large scale. Depletion of temperature sensitive fish stocks in the North Atlantic is one example, desertification is another, and something bad is happening to plankton.

Thought the effects are complex the root cause is simple - man-made greenhouse gases cause the atmosphere to trap heat at the surface, especially in the sea. The extra energy is unwelcome because it fuels the weather - all of of it. Carbon Dioxide is the main problem gas because 250 years of industrial activity has put so much into the air, where it stays longer than previously believed possible. Methane is also a serious problem.

I'm also aware from the study of history that all previous civilisations have collapsed, usually when they run out of resources, particularly water. Ours is highly dependent on energy, most of obtained by burning irreplaceable fossil fuels, and there is no reason why it should be more resilient than earlier civilisations.

Personally I believe it is already too late; people are in for an increasingly rough ride. I believe it's possible to reduce the impact, but it's going to be tough. It's not just Academia who understand there's a problem, governments and big business are also reacting. The investment report this month from JP Morgan (hardly radical environmentalists!) is blunt. Forum members who manage to survive the next 3 decades will know the answer for sure: I shall probably miss out due to advancing old age, another unavoidable hazard!

Dave

Anthony Knights23/02/2020 19:25:23
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That's what I thought. Thanks for confirming it Mr Vintage Engineer.

Hopper. I'm not blaming anyone, merely stating an opinion.

Neil Wyatt23/02/2020 19:47:03
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Some interesting thoughts.

Long haul air travel has about double the impact (very roughly, check if you wnat the exact figure) of the CO2 alone due to contrails and other exhaust gases emitted at high altitude (e.g. nitrogen oxides).

The CO2 rises are not high enough to be comparable to even 1% of CO2 enrichment in a glasshouse.

Most major changes in past temperatures have been linked to long, slow cycles in the earth's orbit and inclination. these happen over very long timescales (generally speaking, although the tipping point into ice ages can happen relatively fast) compared to what we are seeing at present.

And finally:

" What happens to the smoke that is not in "smokeless"coal? "

They use it to make electronic components, that's why they don't work if you let it out.

Neil

duncan webster23/02/2020 20:28:01
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Posted by vintage engineer on 23/02/2020 19:04:01:
Posted by Anthony Knights on 22/02/2020 07:55:55:

What happens to the smoke that is not in "smokeless"coal?

 

It goes into the atmosphere at the factory and no one worries about it!

 

 

Nope, have a read at this **LINK**, smokeless coal is basically anthracite briquettes. I wonder how well it burns in 5"g locos? Our antipodean friends used to burn char which I think is what we in UK would call coke. If I'm wrong (more than likely) someone will put me right

And as for burning green wood in urban areas, anyone who thought that was OK wants their bumps feeling

Edited By duncan webster on 23/02/2020 20:35:32

Bazyle23/02/2020 21:21:56
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I think there has been some confusion from the dumbing down of the message mixing wet and green wood terms. I don't think urban people burn green wood mostly because it doesn't burn, except reputedly ash, and it isn't very available. More of a problem is burning wet wood such as pallets and wood from skips or nets of wood from a garage that has been left in the rain. The inner core of this is dry enough to burn but the outer wet layer burns badly. People don't have anywhere suitable to dry it properly.

Mike Poole23/02/2020 22:09:10
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An electric world will solve many of our problems as long as we can generate enough clean energy. I have an app on my tv of a beautiful log fire, looks good but doesn’t really warm the room. Air pollution and CO2 emissions are a couple of our top problems which electric transport and heating will help to address. If they pull their fingers out and get fusion power working matters could improve, solar, wind and other clean energy all have a downside, they may have a part to play but we need something that runs 24/7. This thread has drifted a bit from my initial concern that running live steam may become difficult if supplies of coal disappear. I visited Hook Norton Brewery today and the whole installation could still be run from the steam engine that they finally retired in 2005, it is still fired up for steam fans on the first Saturday of the month but will it run on smokeless fuel? It seems that coal and log burning fires and stoves are mostly for their decorative effect, my local pub has a lovely log fire in a centrally heated pub, unfortunately it is rarely lit now as logs cost a lot of money and the fire has a voracious appetite for them.

Mike

Paul Kemp23/02/2020 23:15:06
391 forum posts
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Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 23/02/2020 19:23:09:

To me the clincher is that theory as expressed 10 years ago predicted what we are experiencing today. A general warming of the whole planet, increased frequency of unusual weather effects, loss of glaciers and a reducing ice-cap, and environmental conditions sufficient to shift lifeforms on a large scale. Depletion of temperature sensitive fish stocks in the North Atlantic is one example, desertification is another, and something bad is happening to plankton.

Thought the effects are complex the root cause is simple - man-made greenhouse gases cause the atmosphere to trap heat at the surface, especially in the sea. The extra energy is unwelcome because it fuels the weather - all of of it. Carbon Dioxide is the main problem gas because 250 years of industrial activity has put so much into the air, where it stays longer than previously believed possible. Methane is also a serious problem.

Personally I believe it is already too late; people are in for an increasingly rough ride. I believe it's possible to reduce the impact, but it's going to be tough. It's not just Academia who understand there's a problem, governments and big business are also reacting. The investment report this month from JP Morgan (hardly radical environmentalists!) is blunt. Forum members who manage to survive the next 3 decades will know the answer for sure: I shall probably miss out due to advancing old age, another unavoidable hazard!

Dave

Sorry had to edit as too long to post!

Dave,

I have long held your logic and evidenced based responses in high regard but on this subject I think you are a little wide of the mark.

I like your analogy with smoking as like climate change the initial suppositions were based on suppositions, personal experiences and opinion, later supported by definitive research and evidence. My feeling is with climate change we are still well in the supposition stage. During that stage with smoking there was no real government intervention into the activity until much later when research supported, even then there was no appetite to ban the activity altogether just tax it to the hilt (maybe justifiably on the basis of covering the cost to the NHS while still allowing a degree of choice) but that is an argument for another day!

The question I pose is beyond the suggestion and supposition that CO2 is definitively the culprit in this is there any actual verifiable evidence to back that up that definitively justifies taxing carbon to the hilt? Looking at your link it is to BBC news who have seen the JP Morgan report, quoting sound bites that support the story, I didn't see the whole report reproduced in full to allow the reader to form an opinion either way? Unfortunately I don't think even BBC news is free from bias. Also it needs to be considered that JP Morgan is a business and likely to bend to public opinion to protect its interests.

I am afraid I am not so adept at links as yourself but see if you can get this to work;

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/climate-qa/why-did-earth’s-surface-temperature-stop-rising-past-decade

This is a supposedly (we have to trust it is anyway) independent source of information. It concentrates on explaining the 'recent' often quoted by sceptics, slow down in temperature rise. This was an anomaly from the IPCC model and I am particularly interested in the line the model was re-calibrated. I have seen the temperature graph in other papers over a longer time span with CO2 overlaid and shows CO2 levels lagging temperature. Has this been falsified by the researchers presenting or is it true? I don't know! However if it is true and valid information if CO2 is the cause how can temperature be affected by a CO2 level not yet achieved? Are these versions of CO2 versus temperature also 'recalibrated'?

As I stated before I don't deny climate is changing but do we really know the reason? What has caused it to change before when CO2 levels were relatively stable? The above example of a pause over a decade or a slowing of the rate of rise is but a nano second when examining the history of the earth so hardly representative overall of a trend. When Greenland was green CO2 was lower, so why was it green?

The use of renewable energy is also to be encouraged, sustainability is of course essential but the pace at which change is being driven may still be felt by you in your lifetime. From November 2019 to date there has been a significant target suggested in my industry that cannot be met currently in the 10 years allowed by existing proven technology without adopting bio fuel (already noted as being land wasteful) and as demand increases that will get more expensive. The costs will inevitably be passed down the line. I am just looking for reassurance the world is still flat and it's not going to turn out its round! Whether people like it or not the notion of cheap renewable energy is a myth. Recouping the capital invested in a wind farm for example is a long term return and maintaining / overhauling the equipment to keep it going is still not cheap! Those putting their money in to any energy project, sustainable or not will want their returns in spades! I suspect JPM will be keeping a foot in all camps although not so prepared to advertise some of them!

Paul.

Hopper23/02/2020 23:41:17
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Posted by Paul Kemp on 23/02/2020 19:03:59:

...

Until very recently I have held little opinion on this subject and recieved no information outside the various media stories. Now having been put in a position professionally that is directly affected by current and potential pending legislation I decided some research was in order. Sadly that has left me more convinced that no-one actually knows and a lot of the 'evidence' is based on model predictions (both historical and future).

So now after a few minutes/hours of googling around you know more about it than the 96 per cent of scientists whose lifelong research leads them to say that manmade climate change is a very real problem? Really?

Next time, try googling "Dunning-Kruger Effect".

Edited By Hopper on 23/02/2020 23:43:53

Paul Kemp24/02/2020 00:36:49
391 forum posts
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Posted by Hopper on 23/02/2020 23:41:17:
Posted by Paul Kemp on 23/02/2020 19:03:59:

...

Until very recently I have held little opinion on this subject and recieved no information outside the various media stories. Now having been put in a position professionally that is directly affected by current and potential pending legislation I decided some research was in order. Sadly that has left me more convinced that no-one actually knows and a lot of the 'evidence' is based on model predictions (both historical and future).

So now after a few minutes/hours of googling around you know more about it than the 96 per cent of scientists whose lifelong research leads them to say that manmade climate change is a very real problem? Really?

Next time, try googling "Dunning-Kruger Effect".

Edited By Hopper on 23/02/2020 23:43:53

Well if you read what I said.......... In fact relatively recently spans back to the beginning of this year (ie not decades!) and doesn't amount to a few minutes or hours on google but includes abstracts and some full papers. If you do the same looking at both sides you will see why I am asking the question, I haven't professed to know the answer I am asking if there is anyone who does and has specific undisputed evidence. As you seem to, maybe you would care to share? Can you list the 96 percent who are sure or even the alleged 4% that are not? With your obviously superior knowledge can you point me to a piece of authoritive research that includes explanations of the questions I asked?

What hard evidence convinced you?

Paul.

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