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# Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?34

## Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

(OP)
There are no engineering solutions, only incremental mitigations.
Discuss.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts."

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Agreed, and sometimes mitigations backfire - e.g. subsidence of land around New Orleans and increased risk of flooding due to years of flood control from upstream ACE dams and levees - no flooding means the wetlands dry up and sink, no new soil is added from flood-borne silt.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Interesting comment. Not sure I holy wholly agree.

But, one thing that your comment does is draw attention to something that is a huge divide between groups in this country (the USA). We've got one side which is demanding a total overhaul of the economic system as a solution to climate change. And, one the other side, folks are demanding that changes be limited to smaller, incremental steps only. Steps that will cause minimal disruption to their lives and to the economy.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

I wonder what the side demanding "a total overhaul of the economic system" is willing to give up (in order to reduce their energy expenditure, since that's what I think it'll take)? Sourcing energy from non fossil fuels will take time (and money) to develop, if feasible.

btw Josh … I suspect a typo "holy" ? (or wholly ?)

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

While I'm not a green new deal fan, I don't mean to disparage the side that's causing for dramatic change to the economy. That's what they feel is needed. They believe it. The other extreme is also a problem.

What I truly believe is that those of us who are not on either extreme of the climate change debate have to step up. We have to accept SOME disruption in an attempt to prevent the worst case scenario. We have to accept compromise.... And, find reasonable, incremental solutions to move in the right direction.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

A side isn't really a side, it's a spectrum, as is the case of the opposite side. Not everyone who agrees that something needs to be done believes that total disruption is even a viable solution, and not everyone who is on the other side of the fence believes that nothing needs to be done.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Yes, and not only is each side a spectrum, there is no fence dividing the two "sides", it is a single spectrum.

The division of the debate along party political lines in the USA (and also Australia) is most unfortunate, but people who want practical action on reduction of GHG emissions should avoid the party politics as far as possible.

Regarding the opening question, I agree, but I'm not sure what the implications for future action are. My approach can be summarised as:

1) There are immediate costs associated with reducing GHG emissions.
2) There are long term costs associated with not reducing them.
3) We should do everything we can to minimise the nett long term cost.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

3
I was going to add that painting such a spectrum with the views of an extreme minority is counterproductive, particularly since the compression of the spectrum into the extreme eliminates the middle ground. It's unfortunate that we allow such painters to manipulate everyone into being adversaries.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

generally agree with Doug, but I'd say …

1) There are immediate costs associated with reducing GHG emissions, and these costs may not be equally shared between countries. [1]
2) There are (probably) long term costs associated with not reducing them, and possibly dire consequences for not reducing them.
3) Minimising the nett long term cost is pretty much a crap shoot. We don't Know what these future costs are, we don't Know solutions that Will reduce the future effects.

[1] This could be addressed by a thing called "leadership" … individual countries "taking one for the team" in the short term, hoping that in the long term others will "come on-side" and rally to the cause.

The problem is how to balance known immediate costs with uncertain future benefits. I liken it to insurance, how much medical insurance do you have ? how much life insurance ?

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

7
Unless it is as simple as switching to LED bulbs, instead of using incandescent, good luck. In 31 years, we have yet to eradicate Polio and that is a Global Effort; one as simple as a shot in the arm or oral drops. The idea of a global..., a true global effort to curtail GHG emissions or any other climate initiative, is one that presents real challenges to the Geo-Political balance of world powers and each countries economies, it is just pie-in-the-sky nonsense. And the result of a best effort is what, a 1 or 1-1/2 degree temporary halt, that buys "X" amount of time before "What"?

NYC Mayor de Blasio wants to build a seawall around Manhattan, that is easy enough to do. Sell water lots that require the seawall as the base of what ever is built on top. In other words, no tax money required.

Look at the last 30 years of declining coal energy. Congress didn't come up with even one good idea to put the people who worked in coal production back to gainful work. This would have been the best Demonstration Project to show government was a trusted steward of any climate initiative. They failed to the nth degree. They got richer all the same.

All the chuckle-head countries at the UN will vote YEA on any feel good measure as long as it has the golden words "Non-binding Agreement" are attached. The EU & English speaking countries need to stop peddling the idea that we can make a global impact, when the rest of the world, will only see it as an opportunity to gain an economic, military or even acquisition advantage against the West.

The entire subject of any climate taxation needs to end and a real discussion about 21st century Nuclear power needs to take place.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

The issue is that discussing how the average person can reduce their carbon footprint and their individual impact is nice...but extremely small potatoes compared to the pollution and footprints of corporations.

While we certainly could do something if there was a united global effort, business interests (ie, profits) will not allow that to happen until we are far to deep to reverse course. There are some indications we may already be at that point. So I remain skeptical that any substantial progress will be made.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

yes, but politically corporations have better defenses than individuals.

I'm waiting for the call to reduce energy consumption to require us to give up labour saving devices (and entertainments) … "Why you so lazy that you need dish washers and so many other things … you should wash your dishes by hand, and save the energy. All your conveniences are just energy expensive short-cuts, 'cause you're lazy. "

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

I like the comments from EPOXYBOT above

You know what I want ?...... I'll tell you what I want ....

I want to see AOC stand on top of a table and scream "Nuclear Power is NOT A SOLUTION !!" ... People in my political movement WILL NOT PERMIT THIS !!!

Wild applause from the crowd ....

Then Presidential Candidate Jay Inslee forms a Conga line and everyone dances around said table a few times ....

This is how America will form all industrial policy from now on

That will kill things off pretty well ...

MJCronin
Sr. Process Engineer

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

People already try to make that argument since the politicians won't rock the money boat with the corporations.

Unless people begin protesting in mass, like the students in Europe, nothing significant will happen and our species will have to live with the consequences for as long as the planet allows.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

MJCronin, that's not even a new stance? And has she even said that, or are you just putting words in her mouth?

After nuclear incidents, the high levels of regulation/oversight/construction costs, and the growing issue with where to store spent fuel, nuclear will sadly probably never pick back up in the states.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote:

"Why you so lazy that you need dish washers and so many other things … you should wash your dishes by hand, and save the energy. All your conveniences are just energy expensive short-cuts, 'cause you're lazy. "

Modern dishwashers are extremely efficient, compared to the human; likely, you'd be wasting more energy with hand washing in hot water than a machine would.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Yes, I have one of those. It takes 2 hours to wash the dishes. I normally have other stuff I don't want in the dishwasher. I rarely use it :)

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Having just read the latest issue of New Scientist I was thinking of posting something here, but having read the last few posts I don't think I'll bother. There is not much point in trying to discuss engineering when most see it as a party political issue.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

IDS,

Agreed. I honestly don't even know why this forum is still here since a decent percentage refuse to acknowledge the issue and discuss options.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

see first post "there are no engineering solutions". But you're right, we easily stray into the political side of the problem

Engineering mitigations would be …
improving the efficiency of our energy use,
improving the efficiency of energy production,
building sea walls (of ever increasing height ?)
building better storm shelters
developing food/crop generation from the warming oceans
etc

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

what's the potential/possibility of scrubbing CO2 from vehicle exhaust ? Maybe something like a catalytic converter, maybe convert the CO2 gas into solid/liquid, maybe using some of the waste heat ??

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Scrubbing into what though? Unless it is converted into something of use, that just creates a different waste stream. And if you can scrub it into something of use in a convenient enough way that consumers will participate in the process, please let me know when you are accepting investments, because I'd like to get in on the ground floor of that venture.

I don't see how turning it into a solid or liquid helps the situation. You've still got the CO2, except now you need to expend large amounts of energy to keep it a solid or liquid. Unless there is an outlet for the material once captured, you're just collecting waste.

Andrew H.
www.mototribology.com

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

IDS -

I still would have liked to have seen you post a link about that article.

My belief is any short term carbon reduction solutions will be political more than technological. Getting the general population to accept the idea of more nuclear power plants. Getting more of the general public willing to accept some restrictions to economic growth (i.e. regulations or taxes) in order to curb carbon emissions.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Scrubbing vehicle CO2 …
"I don't see how turning it into a solid or liquid helps the situation." … well, it takes the CO2 out of the atmosphere. Yes, it potentially creates a different waste to deal with … clearly a problem. That's why I posited the idea of a "catalytic converter".

Converting gas to a liquid (waste) clearly helps in volume terms. My 1/2 baked idea was a waste tank (like your gas tank) that would need to be emptied and refilled periodically. What does it take to take CO2 out of a gaseous solution ? in the presence of all the other exhaust gases ?? I assume this'd need power, so I thought maybe the waste heat from the engine could be put to good purpose ? If you need "real" power then taping off the engine (a generator) doesn't seem unacceptable.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

But the "catalytic converter" doesn't just disappear emission byproducts, it converts them into less harmful materials. Aside from hydrocarbons, which would be undesirable, what conversion of CO2 would be beneficial for this purpose?

When you are talking about capturing the CO2 in some way, let's say a tank that one would periodically empty as waste, it still needs to go somewhere. Just collecting it is not a solution. Like I said before, there needs to be some useful purpose for it in the end for the carbon capture idea to work. We can't just collect it forever and call it a day. That carbon is part of the natural cycle, even as manipulated by us as it is, locking it away somewhere does not seem like a good idea to me.

Reduction is the best and most impactful step we can take by a long shot.

Andrew H.
www.mototribology.com

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

If the exhaust CO2 could be collected, at all, into a solid, say, that would be much easier than trying to suck up the CO2 directly from the air. If you could turn it into a solid, then storing it in underground salt caves or somesuch would be feasible.

There was mention of sequestering methane with zeolites impregnated with iron in the news yesterday, but can't find the reference.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Josh,

I went to the New Scientist site, searched for "climate change".

There's an article about the impact of zero carbon emissions, "UK climate report: What your life could be like in a low-carbon future". IMO hopelessly optimistic and draconian at the same time. Claims that emissions have dropped 40% since 1990 … interesting claim, data ?? Says due to closing coal fired power stations … ok, good, but once done waht's next ?

Says you won't want (or be able to) buy a gas car in 10 years. So much for personal choice. And where are these batteries coming from, going to ?? Europe does use a lot more public transport than the US (and other places that have large spaces between things). My guess is they'll be reducing the number of cars (for the proles, the elite will still have theirs).

And you'll be changing (not you'll be choosing to) your diet, away from meat, in part "because it's good for you".

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

rb1957 -

Thanks I'll look for it.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Quick Solutions:

How about a standard (4) day workweek in the United States? Done. Can you imagine the commuting time saved and mileage saved every year on vehicles? (Emissions, Vehicle Maintenance / Tires!!) - How simple would that be? We could start next week! The world does not stop when we have a 3 day weekend. Yes, some "essential" services could exist but everything else is closed.

I am all for anything that can be considered conservation of natural resources, habitat, or protecting the environment. However, we have to acknowledge it has become political and it has become more about finding some method of changing the economic system than protecting the environment.

I very much am in line with the environmental concerns. However, the "climate change" verbiage bothers me. I just do not think we know enough. We have had warmer periods previously and seems we made it through pretty good. Colder times would be much more problematic. So, what makes it so bad? Can we explain every natural factor that led us out of the last ice age? Have we ruled all of those "warming" factors out?

Solar - Great! Here in the northeast we seem to be cutting up down every 20 acre tract of forest to put in solar panels.

Batteries - Great! Look at some of the images online from China where they mine the rare earths for all the batteries.

There is no easy solution on the production side. We would need drastic changes to our way of life in order reduce our "consumption" And that is what this should really be about - how much should we consume just to do the things we think we are suppose to do. Some of what we do is completely ludicrous - like driving hours in each direction each day just to get to work. It is the system that we have built, however, is it realistic to think we can keep doing this?

How do you get an entire civilization to take a step back?

Back to my original thought -- How about a 4 day work week?

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

LSPSCAT,
You've got my vote

I always said I'd be glad to trade up to a 10 hour standard work-day 4 times a week rather than the 5 days a week schedule so time is not lost to make it more palatable to the higher ups.

Also I'll take a raise in pay along with my shortened work week

Andrew H.
www.mototribology.com

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

My second theme was all about conservation, so we will not be providing pay raises in my Utopia!!

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote:

Can you imagine the commuting time saved and mileage saved every year on vehicles?

Is there data to back this up? I would think that there would be a possible increase in leisure travel that might actually exceed the commute time saved, at least, for some people.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Well how am I supposed to afford all my newly attained 3 day weekends without a pay raise?!

Andrew H.
www.mototribology.com

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

I will try to dig this up because I had actually pulled some data back in 2009 for construction projects with vehicle counts and it is in general substantially lower. The exceptions are tourist hot spots / 3 day weekend camping type areas that see increased traffic.

Anecdotally here in the northeast it is pretty remarkable. Try driving to Boston during a weekday anytime from 4:30 AM until 10:00 AM. Now try that on a Saturday morning....clear sailing.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

There ya go. Try to save emissions by not driving to work one day a week, people just want to run around doing all kinds of other stuff. You're supposed to stay the h3ll home :)

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

As we quickly devolve into an authoritarian rule making cycle! It is a dangerous game to try and dictate behavior.

My main point is if we were actually serious we would have debates about the actual purpose and use of the energy we consume.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

and so (again) we're talking the political aspects rather than the engineering ones. NP, it is a political problem; and you (LSPSCAT) are mentioning many concerns I have with the political issue … if we were really serious we'd be doing many different things than what we're doing.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

So back to the engineering:

You can Google and do some quick research and I have attached one study of Southern CA emissions that saw a pretty good decrease in activity on weekends. (80% decrease in business activity / 35% Reduction in NOx)

So for sake of argument let us say we have concluded that a (4) day work week is an incremental positive step for the environment and something we could quickly implement.

What next?

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

LSPSCAT: lithium ion batteries- the ones used in battery EVs, don't use rare earth (lanthanide) materials. Wind turbine and electric vehicle magnets use a little Nd/Pr, but that is a features for money deal- it makes the alternators/motors smaller and more efficient, but they can be replaced with magnetless induction motors if the Nd/Pr becomes too rare or expensive. And the magnets don't go anywhere- when you're done with them, you can easily recover the Nd/Pr to make another magnet. The comparatively tiny batteries used in mild hybrids like the Prius are nickel-rare earth metal hydride batteries, and those do use some lanthanides- but not much of them. And those batteries are useless for battery EVs, because their energy density is too low and their self-discharge rate is too high.

rb1957: the reason you want to make CO2 as a product of combustion is the same reason it's hard to make CO2 into anything useful- it has low Gibbs free energy, i.e. chemical potential energy. Scrubbing the CO2 out of the exhaust of cars defeats the purpose of making CO2 as a product of combustion in the 1st place- whatever you use to do that, will take more energy to make than you'd liberate from the burning of the carbon fraction of your fuel in the 1st place. You're better off to store the energy in a form which doesn't emit that CO2 in the 1st place, such as a battery. That way you have no emissions to clean up from the millions of vehicle tailpipes- instead, if you still need to use fossils to make the energy in the 1st place, you have the much easier job to scrub the CO2 out of the exhaust of one large power plant. That's easier, and cheaper, because it can be done at much larger scale and hence is more energy efficient- but of course it still leaves the huge problem of where do you find a hole large and deep enough to dispose of all that CO2? And of course just scrubbing out the CO2, releasing it from the scrubbing agent and compressing it for disposal consumes on the order of 20-30% of the energy you liberate from burning coal. Most of the schemes for "carbon capture and sequestration" are built with the intention to use the CO2 for enhanced oil recovery. That's better than mining natural CO2 deposits for that purpose (which is sometimes done), but it results in even MORE fossil CO2 in the atmosphere, not less.

As to the choice to buy a gasoline car: 80% of miles driven in cars and light trucks could be easily replaced by battery EVs. What's stopping us? The cost of disposing CO2 to the atmosphere is FREE, and no technology can compete with FREE. So what do we do with the 20% of miles driven that aren't amenable to EVs? The ones driven in rural and remote areas, too far apart to be served by EVs? Biofuels are the solution there, and in my opinion they're the solution for long distance aircraft and transport too. Biofuels solve, or at least CAN solve, the fossil GHG emissions problem but they leave the toxic emissions problem. That matters a lot less though, because emissions at 30,000 ft or between cities matter a lot less than emissions in dense urban environment a few feet away from people who are breathing.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

moltenmetal: I am mainly trying to get us into a different direction. Instead of more of the same, can we build a better mousetrap or do we even need a mousetrap? What passive steps that do not necessarily require new investment, new designs, new products can we take to reduce consumption or change our way of life? Hopefully for the better!

Need to work a little against our engineering instincts and try for simpler solutions maybe.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

it seems the future holds less choices, less freedom of choice, than today.

Of course the response to that could easily be "yeah, 'cause you guys effed it up so much. Thanks"

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

"What passive steps that do not necessarily require new investment, new designs, new products can we take to reduce consumption or change our way of life? Hopefully for the better?"

What you seem to be asking is what can we do that will cost us nothing, in either money or restricted choices, but will be effective at replacing the source of the majority of energy we use.

The answer is simple: it's too big a problem to be solved that way.

What we do need is to change how we live. We need to make the right choices- based not on fallacious reasoning, but on the basis of good 3rd party LCAs which demonstrate that the new thing we're doing is better than the old. We also need massive investment in new ways to make and to consume energy, based on those LCAs, so we can achieve the results we want (getting where we need to go, keeping our homes and businesses lit and heated or cooled etc.) without generating fossil GHG emissions in the process. And all of that will cost us- in both treasure AND freedom of choice.

All "passive" solutions are partial solutions. We certainly can plant more trees, but even that's not passive- it requires someone to spend their time, or others to spend their money, growing seedlings and then planting them. But it requires even more than that: if you want trees to sequester carbon, you need to pay attention not only to planting them, but to how they're harvested and what is done with the wood. Contrary to popular imagination on the subject, a tree doesn't actually put much carbon into the soil- most of what a tree sequesters is in the form of its wood. So in a sense, building homes out of wood, then being careful about what we do with wood waste when it comes time to demolish a home, are other things we can do.

We can gradually improve energy efficiency standards- in vehicles, in building codes- we're doing that already, but we need to accelerate it.

And most importantly, we need fossil GHG emission taxes, so making an investment in avoiding fossil GHG emissions is worthwhile in dollars and cents. Otherwise we'd need to rely entirely on regulatory controls, or on the notion that people will make the right choice even when it's against their economic self-interest. Most people in the world pay lip service to environmental issues of any kind, and will pay at most a 5% premium for something which is "better for the environment"- half the time, that being marketing rather than a reality. 5% won't get us there, ever.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

If you want to know just how big a problem we have to solve, the very best place is STILL www.withouthotair.com The late David Mackay's online book hasn't been updated for some time (for obvious reasons) but his Fermi level estimates of what we use and how much we could produce, economics aside, for the UK, are very sobering.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (moltenmetal)

If you want to know just how big a problem we have to solve, the very best place is STILL www.withouthotair.com

He doesn't address the sunk carbon issue. If I buy an end of life car and recondition it what sort of order of magnitude is the break even mileage point verse the carbon emissions of a new car (even an electric car).
Noting the rapid increase in energy cost for higher performing materials.
Below appears to be a reasonable guide to energy consumption for engineering materials
https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/what-is-the-embodi...

One way forward is to realise that workable solutions are region specific, solar and electric cars offer much better return on carbon investment close to the equator than say Canada or Norway.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Embodied energy is a common hobgoblin of people who don't like change. They use the embodied energy of what is being replaced, or the extra embodied energy of an embedded replacement, to pretend that no change is necessary.

It certainly takes less energy to maintain a car than to make a new one. For cars with only marginal differences in energy efficiency, keeping the old car is more energy efficient. But if the car is already toast, replacing an ICE car with a battery EV recharged from a decent grid will generate significant NET savings in GHG emissions over the BEV's reasonably expected lifetime. Cars use far, far more energy throughout their use than they take to make and recycle at end of life. And yes, batteries have a high embodied energy- but that embodied energy is dropping as the price of batteries drops- for the same reason, i.e. manufacturers are getting better at making them- they're improving energy efficiency of their processes, reducing scrap rates and "thrifting" on energy- and cost-intensive materials by making substitutions.

I did the calcs on my own car that I converted to an EV. Over the reasonably expected lifetime of the batteries, using some very much worst-case figures for the embodied CO2 emissions and energy consumption used to make the batteries and assuming no recycling at end of life, the net savings expected were 55 tonnes of CO2 emissions versus the exact same car pre-conversion. The toxic tailpipe emissions were eliminated basically free of charge. That performance would be less dramatic on a less good grid- the local Ontario grid is amazing with only 40 g CO2/kWh.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (molten metal)

I did the calcs on my own car that I converted to an EV. Over the reasonably expected lifetime of the batteries, using some very much worst-case figures for the embodied CO2 emissions and energy consumption used to make the batteries and assuming no recycling at end of life, the net savings expected were 55 tonnes of CO2 emissions versus the exact same car pre-conversion. The toxic tailpipe emissions were eliminated basically free of charge. That performance would be less dramatic on a less good grid- the local Ontario grid is amazing with only 40 g CO2/kWh.

Great post by the way. Personally, I think I'd go with a Hybrid right now over a fully electric car. Just for flexibility and range and such. But, I hear you.

Question for you about your calcs: You likely factored in carbon emissions due to electricity production. But, did you also factor in efficiency losses due to transmission and battery storage? Probably. Also, where do you live? I imagine the calculation is a bit different where I am (California) because so much of our power is Hydro and "clean". But, in places where they still get a lot of power from coal plants, I imagine the calculation would be greatly different.

I'm not a coal fan.... I really think moving away from coal should be our first priority for reducing CO2 emissions.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Josh,

Note the difference between (standard) Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid. Hybrid are "just" more efficient gas cars, Plug-In Hybrid have a small battery onboard (charged from the grid).

I'm not a fan of the "range extender" gas engine that some EVs have … run a gas engine to make electricity, to charge the battery …

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote:

run a gas engine to make electricity, to charge the battery

While undesirable, that evolution is ostensibly more efficient than the 3rd gen Prius where both battery and engine both drive propel the car, since the engine is running at its supposedly maximum efficiency rpms, as implied by its better mileage and lower emissions (82 gm/km vs. 111 gm/km)

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

JoshPlum: yes, my calcs factored in grid losses (about 6%, which is a North American average- my own local figure is 3%, which is provided to me on my electrical bill (we pay for transmission losses on our bill), and battery charge/discharge efficiency (about 90%). My converted EV achieved about 235 Wh/mile out of the battery and about 260 Wh/mile out of the wall plug, which means that the total of charger and battery charge/discharge losses were only about 10%. Those are measured values.

My own local Ontario grid beats California's grid- our grid is 40 g CO2/kWh and zero coal. Our power is primarily nuclear, hydro and wind with all the fossil fuel burned being natural gas.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Hybrids are generally done parallel rather than serial because that avoids unnecessary battery cycling and associated losses. However, range extended EVs can be done either as parallel or serial hybrid architecture. A full battery EV is better (more efficient) if you can tolerate the range and charge time for longer trips. A range extender is great if you occasionally do a long trip but most of your daily driving is short range.

Don't forget that gasoline has a long feed pipe- gasoline production is only about 81-83% feed energy efficient as estimated by the GREET model. Since some of that ~ 20% energy use in recovery, transport and refining is used as electricity, in GHG terms the loss is even higher than 20%.

I have two colleagues with Chevy Volts. They love the cars, and do almost all of their driving in EV mode. The only time they burn gasoline is on a very rare long trip, or when the engine control system tells them that the gas in their tank is getting old. Both have said that their next car will be a full battery EV. The engine in their case became an expensive, heavy security blanket.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Hope that waste incineration here in the Philippines will be allowed.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

(OP)
Dear all: thanks for your contributions.
My reactions to selected posts follow. They only thing they are meant to provoke is further discussion.

#### Quote (btrueblood)

Agreed, and sometimes mitigations backfire - e.g. subsidence of land around New Orleans and increased risk of flooding due to years of flood control from upstream ACE dams and levees
You cannot wall off rising ocean levels – ask the Dutch, who completely revamped their barrier scheme mid-project to permit water to flow in and out instead of walling it off.
The US Army Corp of Engineers are the major cause of flooding disasters in the US (most of which are erroneously named ‘natural’ disasters).

#### Quote (JoshPlum)

folks are demanding that changes be limited to smaller, incremental steps only. Steps that will cause minimal disruption to their lives and to the economy.
Politicians need to tell us we can have our cake and eat it too. And we love hearing it.

#### Quote (IRstuff)

A side isn't really a side, it's a spectrum, as is the case of the opposite side.
The ‘sides’ to any issue are mostly media formulations.

#### Quote (rb1957)

yes, but politically corporations have better defenses than individuals.
The playing field is definitely tilted.

#### Quote (RVAmeche)

People already try to make that argument since the politicians won't rock the money boat with the corporations.
Even before corporations completed their hostile takeover of government, politicians were not the ones to ask.

#### Quote (rb1957)

Engineering mitigations would be …
improving the efficiency of our energy use,
improving the efficiency of energy production,
building sea walls (of ever increasing height ?)
building better storm shelters
developing food/crop generation from the warming oceans
These have mostly been tried.

#### Quote (rb1957)

And you'll be changing (not you'll be choosing to) your diet, away from meat, in part "because it's good for you".
Meat protein is 10x less land-efficient than plant protein.

#### Quote (LSPSCAT)

You can Google and do some quick research and I have attached one study of Southern CA emissions that saw a pretty good decrease in activity on weekends. (80% decrease in business activity / 35% Reduction in NOx)
Will that decrease the amount of potential farmland or wild habitat we are asphalting?

#### Quote (moltenmetal)

The answer is simple: it's too big a problem to be solved that way.
You’re starting to get it.

#### Quote (rb1957)

Note the difference between (standard) Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid. Hybrid are "just" more efficient gas cars, Plug-In Hybrid have a small battery onboard (charged from the grid).
No amount of EVs or hybrids can cancel out the very profitable diesel-powered monster pickup trucks that most carmakers continue making for urban guys wanting to make rugged fashion statements.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts."

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote:

The ‘sides’ to any issue are mostly media formulations.

That's a very glib and mostly erroneous pronouncement. Extremists on both sides paint people in the middle with the opposite color to force those with weak wills passively support their extreme views. The silent majority, as always, remains silent.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

2
(OP)
I respectfully disagree.
First there is the fact that national media in the US is concentrated in six corporations, making for a very narrow range of views with zero local content.
Second, we humans are very suggestible (how else would you explain the mass parroting of words like 'iconic' and 'tasked'?) and we have far less free agency of thought than we like to believe (and love to be told by advertisers). The media frames the terms of reference, predigesting everything for us in dumbed-down terms. What passes for political discourse in the US and Canada is mostly repetition of talking points and name-calling, like we would do at a sports event between the team in red and the team in blue.
I never want to say things are hopeless, I'm just saying we need to educate ourselves and form our own ideas. That takes extreme effort these days.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts."

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

I, for one, would like to see the government fund new research for capturing carbon (at whatever step in the process) with a deadline for the research to come up with an actual physical solution. Or create tax incentives so that a market for carbon reduction / capture actually exists.

It blows my mind that we figured out how to go to the moon, something that this nation forever celebrates, but trying to solve a problem that is much more meaningful to all of us is completely off the table for one side of the political spectrum. Why? Because freedoms, I guess?

I agree that politicians totally screwed up with coal miners. What an excellent time to spend money and other resources to train and support the workers to show how much we actually care.

Anyway, half the population thinks climate change isn't even caused by greenhouse gases. So, we're f'd. How those people explain the differences in night time temps in a desert vs a jungle, who knows? I hear there are still people that think the world is flat.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

50 years is literally a lifetime ago, we had a common enemy, and children practiced "Duck and Cover" in school. Now, to paraphrase Pogo, "We have met the enemy, and they're our neighbor."

There was an article, not too long ago, that suggested some of the state-level political shifts were due people moving to states more friendly to their own politics.

On top of that, while climate change is likewise an existential threat, the solutions are unglamorous and downright boring; I mean, carbon taxes, recycling, zzzzzz... TLDR. Compare that to the Saturn V burning 15 tons of fuel per second with a total energy output that could light up all of New York City for an hour.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Engineering?
(1) Reduce amount of sun impinging on the planet (selective shading?)
- yeah, exceeds our launch capability for a while, and would pose some really interesting problems with what got shaded and when.

(2) certain chemicals (aerosols ?) in upper atmosphere to increase Earth's reflectivity/reduce energy intake.
- heh - chemtrails?

(3) reduce CO2 content of atmosphere by capture, reduction of emissions, etc.

(4) other?

It seems that, geologically speaking, the ocean levels have ranged from 160 feet lower to 20 feet higher than present.
Since those levels have mostly changed without human input, it seems likely that they would continue to change without our input.
Since an ocean level increase of even a few feet would be pretty disruptive to a lot of our societies, it seems prudent to figure out one or more ways to get a handle on the climate system and overall temp levels...

Jay Maechtlen
http://www.laserpubs.com/techcomm

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

(4a) reduce energy consumption
(4b) increase efficiency of energy generation
(4c) reduce CO2 production (eg avoid coal as a fuel, build more nuclear PS, geothermal power, etc)
(4d) increase efficiency of energy consumption
(4e) more ...

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

I have been reading this thread at times since it originated without commenting. Reason was that I really knew very little about any real problem solving system to try and not only address climate change but to also estimate the actual threat of climate change. I hoped I would see less politics than TV wastes time on and that part was positive in that I do not really see a lot of politics here.

I think we need to go full speed on simple things right now like Reduce-ReCycle-ReUse, I see no real downside to these when done prudently. Not all Recycle is worth it now but separating glass, plastic etc and placing in separate land fill locations seems worth it to me until we find an economical recycle method. But what I see is literally people separating and then it actually gets dumped into the same place at the landfill.

As far as Climate Change, I would prefer a real scientific study first rather than studies with "requested outcomes". I do not think I would ever use data that comes from a study where the Client says " I want to fund some research that proves Global Warming is phony (or true)". Unfortunately, a lot of research has gone that route. I find the outcomes unreliable because of how the research got funded. In the old days, I think research was done to determine what the outcome was, not prove a certain one. I am not a fan of peer review.

Until we have reliable research, this can will get kicked down the road (and never be Re-Used or ReCycled). That is in itself a REAL problem. We need to somewhat agree on the problem.

Also, when I have made this comment in the past, I have been told how many Scientists say whatever. My question has always been, what do you have to do to be called a Scientist? I do not remember any college with a Scientist curriculum and lastly how can I trust a Profession that can't get "I before E except when preceded by C right"?

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

(6) Before we get too far into artificial photo synthesis, we might want to put some funds into re-foresting some areas that have been deforested? In particular, certain areas of the rain forest that used to pull a lot of CO2 out of the air. Heck that might end up being more cost effective that artificial photo synthesis!

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote:

I think research was done to determine what the outcome was, not prove a certain one.

As a scientist, I find that offensive, and pejorative, given that we expect everyday people to honestly and fairly weigh evidence in a court of law to determine the fate of the accused. Yet, somehow, scientists are painted with a money-grubbiness with no factual basis and are accused without proof that they would produce bogus models and data and essentially ignore evidence because they're all apparently dishonest. You might as well now claim that Apollo 11, etal, didn't land on the Moon and that all of it was a money-grab by NASA and hundreds of contractors, all willing to subsume integrity for a few shekels.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

2
IRStuff, I have not directly attacked you. A general statement is not an indictment of any individual. I have offended you so I do apologize. I talked about studies, not scientists. Later I mentioned the statement I get from people when I say I would like a study without an outcome tied to its inception. They can be both people who agree or disagree with me.

#### Quote (Ron247)

In the old days, I think research was done to determine what the outcome was, not prove a certain one.

Quote me entirely if you are going to quote me. I stated my belief that research $$should not be tied to a desired outcome. I still believe that and will probably go to my grave with that opinion. It is that appearance of impropriety that we hear so much about. Your court of law example is not a good one. The jury has no financial gain to achieve a guilty or not guilty verdict. Pay them 1,000 for a guilty verdict and 0 for an innocent verdict in a meaningless running a stop sign case and I believe you may get more guilty than not guilty. Pay them a 1,000 for any verdict and it will more likely be fair. Also, I was told I would never serve on a jury because of being an engineer and at age 62 I still have not served on 1 but been called to jury duty on many occasions. Why? And your Apollo 11 example is equally not on point. If it was a sham of any kind, it was not research sham it would be a pure hoax. I have been thinking about creating a flat earth globe to sell to some of my like-minded friends. I would like to know what makes you a scientist versus an engineer or physics related career. Really. No one has ever answered that simple question but you are the first scientist I have ever asked. I would also like to know if the research grants you get have a desired outcome component or does someone just want research to look into what happens when something occurs. ### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions? You are accusing a class, and in many respects, that's worse. #### Quote: I stated my belief that research$$\$ should not be tied to a desired outcome.
That is YOUR belief, without presenting any evidence, and by it, you imply that scientists are so beholden to their customers that they are apparently willing to fabricate data and results. By this argument, you paint the entire class of climate scientists as being without morals, or ethics, and because they want continued funding, they will ignore reality and physics.

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### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

I still stand by my statement. Guess we will have to agree to disagree.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

In my opinion Ron makes a good case about some academic dishonesty that has developed in the pseudo-sciences. See the video by John Stossel below about some outrageous academic papers that were hoaxes and were published in "prestigious" journals.

Now, does this "group speak" exist in the truly hard sciences? Probably not. But, I suspect it does exist (to some extent) in climate research. Maybe not in the better journals. But, there is a lot of questionable research being cited in the media that ties EVERYTHING to global warming.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

"As a scientist, I find that offensive, and pejorative". Now there is a statement that is helpful in any debate.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

There is an interesting Youtube channel by Tony Heller, that addresses from time to time, the corruption of Climate Science. He doesn't deny that there is sea-level rise or that Global Warming is real, he just takes a different view of the cause & effect. It is true that many who were first advocates for man made global warming, who later decided the data was either insufficient or was interpreted incorrectly; have had their research funding discontinued. There is definitely a political agenda to silence academic debate and the power of the purse is the enforcer. https://www.youtube.com/user/TonyHeller1/videos
Politicians find "Sin Taxes" like taxing carbon emissions irresistible.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

3
I'm going to insist - in fact demand - that all discussions on this topic start with acknowledgement on the part of all participants of the following three facts:

1) CO2 concentrations have increased from 280 ppm, where they were stable for over 1000 years, to over 415 ppm, where they haven't been for over 1 million years
2) We caused it, primarily by burning fossil fuels. We emitted twice that much, but roughly 1/2 went into the oceans and biosphere
3) Extra CO2 narrows the IR re-radiative window into outer space, resulting in climactic forcing

Those three points are points of fact, based on measurement. They are not in debate in the scientific community, not because they're some kind of orthodoxy, but because they are based on solid replicate measurements with a strong theoretical underpinning.

Those three facts result in a certainty that there is a risk of global warming. That risk has error bars on it, but they do not extend to "no effect", and certainly do not extend to "no effect ever, even if we keep burning fossils at an ever-increasing rate until they are all burned". That again is not part of some orthodoxy- it's an inevitable conclusion arising from the three facts noted above.

These facts leave PLENTY of room for honest debate amongst engineers. We can debate how far the error bars on the risk might extend in both directions, how much AGW has been observed already, how quickly we're likely to see it get more worrisome, and most important- what we can and should do about it.

This is supposed to be an engineering forum. If people want to deny reality, with respect I suggest that this isn't the place.

Otherwise, we end up wasting our time. And we've wasted enough time on this topic in pointless, fruitless debates about things that are actually points of fact. Those debates went on pointlessly for over a decade, and we'd collectively decided we'd had enough of them, kicking out certain people from the discussion who just couldn't let go their denial of that reality.

So if your point is "maybe AGW isn't a thing, or is just a big conspiracy", my suggestion would be to find another place to express that point of view. There are lots. Go find one.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (Molten)

1) CO2 concentrations have increased from 280 ppm, where they were stable for over 1000 years, to over 415 ppm, where they haven't been for over 1 million years
2) We caused it, primarily by burning fossil fuels. We emitted twice that much, but roughly 1/2 went into the oceans and biosphere
3) Extra CO2 narrows the IR re-radiative window into outer space, resulting in climactic forcing

What about before that, when CO2 level were 3000ppm? (or whatever it was). Hundreds of thousands of years isn’t that long.

That’s the part I don’t get. If going to 500, 600ppm is going to cause runaway positive feedbacks and boil the earth dry, how come it didn’t happen before when CO2 much higher than it is now?

And how come when when climate was thousands of ppm CO2 did earth suddenly go into ice ages - (followed of course by heavy falls in CO2.)

Why did that happen If CO2 is the primary driver in the CO2-temp feedback cycle and that beyond a certain point you hit unrecoverable tipping point catastrophe?

And please note I’m not denying AGW. I’m not denying we are releasing CO2 and we caused it to go to 400+ and rising, and that this is and will continue to have positive effect on temps.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Tomfh -

I'm not sure that the scientific community is saying that CO2 levels are the primary driver of our climate. That's certainly what the politicians pushing it are saying. But, my impression is that the scientific community is really saying is that CO2 is a significant driver.

I would argue that we have a very, very complex system. More complex than any other in our solar system. Too complex to have any precision to our predictions. When C02 levels are higher, that promotes greater growth of plants, trees, et cetera. Therefore, we can't know exactly what's going to happen because as we change that one variable, all the other variables adjust as well. Will higher temperatures mean more rainfall, which might mean more plant growth? Essentially function as a "dampening" effect on temperature rise?

Despite all the difficulty with future predictions, there is more than enough good science behind Anthropogenic Global Warming that we should be concerned. Concerned enough to take some action. We can and should argue about what actions should be taken. What's most cost effective to take, what's too expensive. What's wise to do now and what should be postponed.

To me, we really miss the point when we argue the over minute details. Instead, we should be arguing for or against certain steps to reduce CO2 emissions.
1) Making a concerted national effort to replace coal power plants with either nuclear or combined cycle gas turbines.
2) Legislate greater fuel efficiency in cars, or tax the cars and trucks that are significantly less efficient.
3) Giving tax breaks to rich people to buy their Teslas.
4) Giving tax breaks to people to install solar panels on their homes.
5) Public funding of nuclear, hydro, or solar power plants.

Some of these things are reasonable and some may not be. You can argue that some things we should be doing anyway as a way towards becoming more energy independent. Shouldn't that be a goal when you consider the alternative of funding countries (through our purchase of fossil fuels) and regimes that want to destroy the US?

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

It is certainly fair enough to say that the earth had atmospheric CO2 concentrations higher than those of the present. Mind you, that was long before there was anything recognizably human on the planet. Life survived for sure. That's not the issue though- life is quite hardy, especially when encountering changes which are gradual on the geological timescale, i.e. infinitessimally gradual on the human timescale. What's different this time? We've basically flipped a switch, punching the CO2 concentration up from a level where it was stable for nearly 1000 years, through the ceiling with no end in sight, in what amounts to a geological nanosecond. Will life survive? Absolutely. But it could become very uncomfortable for humans, with lots of negative consequences including where billions of us can actually live.

We absolutely should not be arguing about whether or not AGW is real. We should be long past that. We can certainly argue about how fast it will happen, how bad it could get, and absolutely we MUST discuss openly and thoroughly what we can and should do about it, what those measures will cost, and how they should be ranked in terms of addressing other very real problems encountered by humanity- assuming we're actually sincere about dealing with THOSE issues too. For instance, what I see with irritating frequency is AGW denialists, in argument, feigning a sudden concern for the impacts of carbon taxes on the poor- when the same people don't give two seconds thought to the fate of poor people the rest of the time. You can no more address poverty by subsidizing energy production or consumption (which is basically what you're doing by allowing the continued use of the atmosphere as a sewer) than you can solve hunger by subsidizing food.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

I watched an interview that Apollo astronaut Michael Collins gave recently. The most striking comment to me was his answer to a question as to whether we had taken care of the Earth since he looked at it from space. He said definitely not, because the population had almost quadrupled since that time. Unless that issue is addressed, all these other arguments are just background noise (my conclusion,not his).

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (Josh)

I'm not sure that the scientific community is saying that CO2 levels are the primary driver of our climate

The issue is that the science is saying that. The science has been increasingly wedded to the politics over the past 30 years. The scientific picture 40 years ago (of the past several thousand years temperature) showed the little ice age, the medieval warm period, then the current warm period. That picture was tweaked over the past decades to become the hockey stick, so as to paint a stark scientific picture of CO2 being the primary driver.

If you read the climategate emails this is one of the key issues. Some scientists very angry at Mann and others for pushing this simplistic CO2->TEMP hockey stick story. But alas Mann and co. won, the hockey stick was adopted and found its way into the IPCC report iconography, and it became “the truth”. That’s the scientific “truth” now: Temps steady for hundreds of thousands of years, then humans start realising CO2 and BOOM, temps skyrocket. I.e. CO2 is THE key driver.

#### Quote (Molten)

Mind you, that was long before there was anything recognizably human on the planet. Life survived for sure. That's not the issue though- life is quite hardy,

It’s a misrepresentation to portray pre human era as some sort of desolate wasteland in which only the hardest life survived.

CO2 was higher than now a few million years ago, by which time there were already bipedal primates.

CO2 was much higher tens of millions of years ago and mammalian life was already well established.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

2
Sort of moot what was extant even a million years ago; no one had cities built on coasts, whereas rough;y 40% of today's population live within 100 km of a coast. No one had agriculture that was highly dependent on irrigation and weather. There were zero Homo Sapiens a million years ago, whereas there are over 7.5 billion of them today. Regardless of what the climate is, trying to compare the world of Homo Erectus to today is just classic "what aboutism," to deflect any meaningful discussions about what's real and what is now.

The best guess for the population of Homo Erectus one million years ago is about 60,000.

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### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (IRStuff)

Regardless of what the climate is, trying to compare the world of Homo Erectus to today is just classic "what aboutism," to deflect any meaningful discussions about what's real and what is now.

The argument that is made is that when CO2 exceeds a critical threshold - the so called "tipping point" - that runaway global warming will occur - as occurred on Venus. It is said that it will be a total catastrophe. We keep hearing it - we only have a few more years before it all gets out of control and escalates in a positive CO2<->temp feedback cycle and ruins the earth.

When assessing the catastrophic predictions of the effect of certain CO2 levels, it's not irrelevant to look at what actually happened when CO2 was at those levels (and indeed much higher levels).

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

So, why mention bipedal primates? They didn't even have fire, so no AGW, there. Whether the 60,000 was the remnant of a much larger population that died off because of extreme heat, we'll never really know.

As for your assertions, none of them are in the IPCC report. What it does say is:

Potential surprises: Both large-scale state shifts in the climate system (sometimes called “tipping points”) and compound extremes have the potential to generate unanticipated climate surprises. The further the Earth system departs from historical climate forcings, and the more the climate changes, the greater the potential for these surprises. (Chapter 15).

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### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (IRStuff)

So, why mention bipedal primates?

I was responding to the suggestion that when CO2 was higher there was nothing vaguely human living on earth and that only the hardiest creatures could survive such conditions.

#### Quote (IRStuff)

Whether the 60,000 was the remnant of a much larger population that died off because of extreme heat

What extreme heat?

#### Quote (IRStuff)

As for your assertions, none of them are in the IPCC report.

Sorry, which assertions?

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote:

The argument that is made is that when CO2 exceeds a critical threshold - the so called "tipping point" - that runaway global warming will occur - as occurred on Venus. It is said that it will be a total catastrophe. We keep hearing it - we only have a few more years before it all gets out of control and escalates in a positive CO2<->temp feedback cycle and ruins the earth.

You'd didn't assert that?

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### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (IRStuff)

You'd didn't assert that?

Yes I did. I was asking you to clarify which of my statements you were disputing. You simply said "your assertions", without saying which exactly.

Regarding the runaway climate change hypothesis, it is commonly accepted aspect of the climate change debate, both in the popular press, and within the scientific community. The hypothesis is simple enough.

Here's a recent paper on it:
https://www.pnas.org/content/115/33/8252

Here's NASA's James Hansen's comments on it:

#### Quote (hansen)

If we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty

Here's Stephen Hawking:

#### Quote (hawking)

We are close to the tipping point, where global warming becomes irreversible. Trump's action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of 250 degrees [Celsius], and raining sulfuric acid

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Please inform me why "eradicating poverty" is one of the stated goals of the IPCC. It seems people being poor would have to be a cause of climate change to make it something to eradicate. The report on warming 1.5 degrees C starts with the following:

An IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

The context I put on that is that eradicating poverty implies an increase in standard of living which implies an increase in energy consumption which is (probably) counter to decreasing CO2 production. In fact developing countries use this as a defense for continuing with energy methods with a high CO2 production (eg coal power stations) … they propose that the developed countries are trying to obstruct/delay development of their economies by preventing/obstructing their use of cheap energy (from coal).

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Tomfh -

Note: I think of the IPCC reports as being more politics than science. Most of what we hear in the media is politics more than science. You have to really dig to get info on the science and scientists. They tend to be less inflammatory in their language and conclusions. Though the ones that are inflammatory are the most quoted because that's what the media wants to get their clicks.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

2
hokie66: for the first time in the history of life as far as we are aware, there's the possibility- not the certainty- that a species may be achieving a limit of its population that is BELOW the limit set by either resource constraints or predation. That's us- we humans are apparently headed to number a peak of about 11 billion before population levels off, ages and starts to fall again. That's expected around the year 2100 or so.

Details on how and why can be found in Hans Rosling's TED talks which are entertaining as well as being informative, or his excellent book Factfulness.

In relation to the other discussion of the past few posts:

Disputing whether the amount of warming that has been observed so far is sufficient to merit worry or not is fair game. The answer to that of course is "just wait"...The earth has substantial heat capacity and the change has happened on a very short timescale. That fact alone has nothing to do with the reality, or not, of the risk of AGW.

Characterizing the whole climate discussion as nothing but a political discussion is, frankly, very insulting to scientists and in my opinion inappropriate for a site like this. It's an attempt to claim bias on behalf of basically an entire area of study, to discredit them not because they have done anything demonstrably unsound in their science, but rather because you don't like their conclusions.

That the issue of AGW cannot be solved without political, social and economic implications and hence inevitably IS A POLITICAL ISSUE whether you'd like it to be or not, is again absolutely no valid criticism of whether or not the RISK, proven by the three stated measurement-based facts above, exists or doesn't.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

It's pretty common that, oddly, those with lower incomes and poverty have the highest birth rates and the most children, whereas the middle and upper classes tend to have fewer children. So, short of draconial "one-child" laws like they used to have in China, the only other ways are mucking with our hormones through contrails or moving everyone into a higher economic class.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

This might be a slight veer from the recent conversation, but in the context of comparing the Earth's ancient history to the current situation, I think the study of the Permian Extinction could be very important. In the same way we must learn from history to avoid repeating the mistakes of our ancestors, we may also be able to learn from prehistory to stop ourselves from causing an environmental catastrophe.

Study is still ongoing about the greatest extinction event ever known to have occurred, but the well-accepted primary cause is the volcanic event of the Siberian Traps. We know this went on for millions of years, but we don't know exactly how long. We know a major part of the extinction was due to extraordinary greenhouse effect, but we don't know the full extent of it or how fast it occurred. These are important questions. For all I know we could be releasing fossil carbon a million times faster or a million times slower than the Siberian Traps. That would be a good thing to know. With that information, we could perhaps more accurately predict what will happen in the future. Alas, we may never be able to answer these questions. It may be too far in the past to create a precise timeline.

My suspicion is that we're probably closer to a million times slower when compared to the one of the largest volcanic events ever, but I have no basis for that. It just seems unlikely that we could compare to such a massive geologic cataclysm. But we are burning fossil fuels all across the globe, so who knows? As I've stated before on this issue, I think the extreme hyperbole often used on the alarmist side does a great disservice to the actual science and scientists. Crazy politicians constantly spouting doomsday predictions turn the issue into a joke in spite of themselves, and their discredit is extended to the mostly undeserving scientific community. Extreme hyperbole is to be expected from a total denier of the sort that won’t even acknowledge fundamental physics like the interaction of CO2 and IR radiation, but who are they discrediting besides themselves?

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Josh, yes I agree the IPCC reports are very political documents. It’s interesting the way they change with each iteration as the background politics changes.

And you’re right that the noisier and scarier scientific predictions tend to be the voices that cut thru.

Do you have examples of what you consider “the science”. Everyone seems to take a different views on it. Eg IRStuff, holding up the IPCC reports as the purest distillation of the science. That’s a common approach - to take the IPCC reports as scientific gospel. If it’s in the IPCC report it’s the truth. If not, then it’s not. Hence it being a big deal when the hockey took pride of place in earlier IPCC reports.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

First, I do not see how mankind can continue to trash the air, water and land forever. Regardless of the climate condition today, it seems to me, we will eventually run it off the cliff. This may take 12 years or 1200 years but it just seems reasonable to think it cannot go unchecked. We can definitely over-populate the world.

The only one of the four Greek elements we are not trashing is fire. Oddly enough, that one is supposed to be our biblical end and according the CC believers a major component of our scientific end. Didn’t Newton predict 2060 as the Rapture?

From what I have gathered so far, it is my opinion that the following seem to be large stumbling blocks to overcome. The fact the Climate Change issue has gone on this far without addressing these is not helpful in moving forward, but we need to find a way to.
• Many of the CC documents appear to be political in their origin. Not good.
• The wrong crowd gets mad when someone messes with data or writes an obviously inaccurate article. The people that believe in A, should be raising more hell when someone does anything underhanded to advance the A cause than the people that believe in the B cause. We sadly have it backwards. Someone gets caught lying to help A and the A group makes excuses for them. The A group should ostracize them more than the B group. Right now, the A group and the B group have credibility issues.
• Failure to accurately present whether something is a Fact, Conclusion or Opinion. There is a big difference in the 3. We should never have to argue a fact. I would not expect 100% agreement, that rarely happens but I would expect better than I see for what is being presented as fact.
• We try so hard to win a skirmish, we are losing the war. The war is not to prove A or B, it is to determine what is actually going on. It may be C. Once that war is settled, then we can start determining what if anything needs to be done about it.
• The “central figure” in CC (The IPCC) does not do its own research. I really think that is not good practice. There needs to be a new central figure that does its own TRANSPARENT research.
• The fact we did not get our Ice Age when it was predicted followed by the Poles not melting when they were supposed as stated by Al Gore. After all, these were state of the art technology at the time and we had scientists working on it. The Earth appears to have 9 lives since it has already gotten past 2 catastrophic events and is working on its third.
My last point has to do with what could happen if we convinced ALL government leaders that CC would end the world in 12 years and ALL CC was manmade. At the halfway mark of 6 years, what do you think the world leaders might decide to do to ensure it does not happen? Remember, we have twice as much carbon than we should have now and we have gotten to the halfway mark.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Sorry, I think that's a bad idea. The IPCC stands for Intergovernmental Panel, so anything it funds or does is already subject to political overtones, and it's already been a point of accusation that climate scientists are money grubbing, and kowtowing to unknown powers that be. Having the IPCC do research, regardless of how transparent they could be would bring nothing but grief. Moreover, there are already organizations that are transparent and open, sharing both their data and their algorithms, like Berkeley Earth.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Agree the IPCC can't be a research organisation. They're a bureaucratic body.

I agree with Ron though that both sides are pushing their own agenda, and turning a blind eye to data which doesn't help their respective cause.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

"My last point has to do with what could happen if we convinced ALL government leaders that CC would end the world in 12 years and ALL CC was manmade."

well that won't work ! Any reasonable country would say "BS, now leave me alone". And the "only'" way you could present a case saying the world will end in 12 years is the fake the data or the argument.

In fact it is this type of hysterical message that turned me off the AGHGCC argument. That and the seemingly insane/inane policies being taken to address what we're told is the greatest environment crisis to face humanity. And Mann's behaviour when asked for his data, and the conclusions that could be drawn from his data.

On the environment crisis front, I like George Carlin's approach (youtube it … "save the earth? don't worry about the earth, it'll still be here long after we're gone").

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

I like PJ O'Rourkes take: "Everybody wants to save the world. Nobody wants to help Mom with the dishes."

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

The purpose of my previous post was to illustrate items that are stopping progress. The IPCC can come up with conclusions, have governments enact laws, jail people or execute people who violate these laws and still not come up with a working solution to CC. What if mankind is not the only cause? I am not saying their documents are political in nature because they were written by a government related entity, I say it because of the content of what I have read. Until someone can reasonably explain "eradicate poverty" as a CC issue, I will see the IPCC as political in its workings. That is not the only quote, but one that should be real easy to explain if there is a valid CC explanation.

Even the Green New Deal, has less to do with Green as in Ecology and more to do with Green as in money. I see one part that says "Union jobs" for example as compared to just "jobs". The Green New Deal starts as the 12 year disaster and rapidly turns into nothing to do with CC.

While there is a lot of really good data and science already established, it is not a 100% of it. Also, all of the data is not accessible to others to analyze from what I have read.

My scenario of ALL governments think CC is real and 100% manmade was not intended to be a debate on whether that could happen. It was supposing it did happen, how do you think they would respond. Think that out to possible decisions they make and you should see you had better be correct that CC is all manmade. Anyone pushing hard CC is actually happening, it will hit in 12 years and it is all manmade need to view the rate of the world's current response to this. Even CC personalities fly private jets all over the world and have several large estates, the US still drives cars as much as ever, China and some other countries are still dumping all their trash in the ocean. I mean if this is our current response, good luck hitting that 12 year mark with the improvements we will need by then. The leaders of all the countries are not going to give their lives, their families lives and their friends lives but that is probably the limit. After that, the rest of us will be fair game. Our life and finances will not concern them. It is kind of like the Affordable Care Act. It was a supposedly a really great system for all Americans EXCEPT the government leaders. They made themselves immune from this really great health care system. How Noble.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Tomfh -

I can't give any citations for you..... At least not right now. Maybe I'll re-visit this when I have some more time and share them. That's probably a good idea.

I remember going through some websites that were more interested in the science and less in the politics. Sites that genuinely addressed questions by skeptics without attacking the motives of people who asked. In fact, they often pointed out errors in the "public perception" caused by extremist reporting of the subject and many of the flaws with the numbers cited by the media. Sites that referenced papers and credentials of the people who were answering questions.

One of my biggest reasons for remaining a skeptic so long was Al Gore and the way he attacked or dismissed anyone who dared ask questions on the subject.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (rb)

hat and the seemingly insane/inane policies being taken to address what we're told is the greatest environment crisis to face humanity.

The policy I find bizarre is converting coal burning plants to wood burning plants.

Chopping down trees to burn, because it’s deemed renewable and carbon neutral.

A lot of power now comes from burning wood. I think UK is up to 10% wood.

#### Quote (Rb)

And Mann's behaviour when asked for his data, and the conclusions that could be drawn from his data
.

Which data and behaviour are you referring to?

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (Josh)

One of my biggest reasons for remaining a skeptic so long was Al Gore and the way he attacked or dismissed anyone who dared ask questions on the subject.

Yes I’m not sure how helpful he was to the cause.

He didn’t make me doubt climate change, but he sure made me doubt climate change activism. Here he is flying around in private jets, getting paid handsomely to tell us all to tread lightly on the earth.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Wasn't he connected to a potential carbon credit company? Plant trees or something? I think he was getting involved in several companies tied to CC money.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

3
The reason people talk down to you when you question man made climate change is because they don't like to be talked down to!

Some of you are too much. You're, in effect, going back to college again and taking a class you know nothing about. On the first day of class you are raising your hand and telling the professor you don't believe any of this junk because it's all political and fake. What do you expect the professor to do? Smile and have a debate?

If you can't add 2+2 while arguing that 2+2 = 5, then I will talk down to you.

This site is supposed to be a site of engineers. The number of you that "can't believe" science is sickening. It's like your God's gift to man or something. You go up to a PhD that literally studies this stuff on a regular basis (like a woman I used to date) and you have the gall to tell them they are wrong? I have no sympathy for your hurt feelings. If you can't read a simply Wikipedia article about basic chemistry with your BS/MS/PhD in Engineering then you are a lost cause.

Man made climate change isn't Santa Clause. You don't get to believe in it or not believe in it. Enough.

If you have nothing to add except "I'm skeptical, but will do no research on my own to prove or disprove my position", then why are you talking?

And for the love of God, if you find ONE person on the internet who claims to know everything and it just so happens he/she is the one with all the answers while everyone else is out to lunch... guess what? That is a conspiracy theorist and you are listening to a conspiracy.

Like I said above, there are still people that believe the world is flat. I'm sure it's an open membership. Join away.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (Ron)

Wasn't he connected to a potential carbon credit company? Plant trees or something? I think he was getting involved in several companies tied to CC money.

Yep. He's worth half a billion or so, a lot of it derived from green credit trading.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (Tomfh)

Chopping down trees to burn, because it’s deemed renewable and carbon neutral.

I have heard this before but thought someone was joking. The reason I assumed it was a joke is some preconceived notions I had:
• A 20" diameter tree should take in more CO2 than a 5" diameter one. Therefor it also produces more oxygen.
• Burning a tree has similar CO2 when compared to an amount of coal that produces the same amount of energy.
• Cutting down a 20" diameter tree and planting back a sapling will not give equal CO2 removal until the sapling gets to be 20" but you have the negative CO2 effect now, not years later.
• Cutting that many trees leaves a lot of animals in trouble. Removing underground coal has less impact on them.
Which of these notions is incorrect?

If the math works that the sapling is as good as the 20" tree, cut all the big trees down and replace them with the puny saplings.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (Ron)

I have heard this before but thought someone was joking.

Me too. I thought it was a hoax to discredit renewable energy.

#### Quote (Ron)

Which of these notions is incorrect?

#### Quote:

Burning a tree has similar CO2 when compared to an amount of coal that produces the same amount of energy.

This one is incorrect. Burning wood produces about 20% more CO2 to produce the same amount of energy.

But the CO2 released from burning of trees is clean renewable CO2, unlike the "dirty" CO2 released from coal. :)

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Damn, and I just bought a 2,000 acre sapling farm from Al Gore. I think he slickered me. Guess it is not going to pay off any better than the franchise for Arctic Bottled Water I bought from him. Pure water from melted polar ice caps.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Tree burning as being carbon neutral is just BS:
https://www.wri.org/blog/2017/12/insider-why-burni...
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/g...

More like 30% more than coal, and 250% more than natural gas for the same energy output. Then, there's the overall neutrality; it takes a few hours to burn a tree, but years to grow a tree. Unless someone has some of Jack's magic beans, burning trees will be a losing proposition from day one.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

IR: Why isn't natural gas being promoted as much. My understanding is it is a good source of energy usage but I am not sure about what all it takes to capture it and transport it.

Also, I like the "Expert" youtube in your signature. At times, when in actual meetings and hearing what we are also saying and doing, it seems real rather than a spoof.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (IRStuff)

More like 30% more than coal, and 250% more than natural gas for the same energy output. Then, there's the overall neutrality; it takes a few hours to burn a tree, but years to grow a tree. Unless someone has some of Jack's magic beans, burning trees will be a losing proposition from day one.

The timespan issue is a big problem. There's no guarantee the carbon will be captured any time soon. That's why you can't just plant trees to offset the coal you're burning. Yet they apply the exemption to wood! Here in Australia our progressive media is fawning over UK for reducing coal use, and going carbon neutral. Yet you don't hear any details about how they're doing it, other than euphemisms of "conversion from dirty coal to renewable biomass".

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

"HOST BioEnergy Systems" has a neat video of how well biomass works. But I think their animation is better than the actual process. But to watch and listen, impressive sounding at least. And the narrator has that "voice" we all trust. At the end they kind of say the "Residents can burn all the electricity they want because it has a minimal impact."

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (Ron)

"HOST BioEnergy Systems" has a neat video of how well biomass works. But I think their animation is better than the actual process.

Nice of them to release only “clean” gases into the atmosphere. Unlike that “dirty” carbon dioxide you get when you burn coal.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

I have a few basic tree questions that hopefully someone can answer.

Are trees the only naturally occurring source of CO2 removal?
Do all species of trees remove CO2 equally or are some species significantly superior to others in that respect?
Is any research being done on increasing a tree's ability to process CO2? We have created faster growing trees but can we create CO2 hogs.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

1. All vegetation uses CO2 for respiration; so no, trees are not the only source of CO2 removal.

2. The larger the tree, the more CO2 is has "absorbed". Most if not all of the carbon making up a tree's mass is derived from CO2 as far as I know. However, size alone would not "rank" their abilities as stated in earlier posts in this thread. I would think speed of growth would be the better indicator. So, in my very limited knowledge base, I would think bamboo would be the best natural "CO2 scrubber" in the realm of trees. However, I think algae does a lot more than trees though and I would think grasses do a lot of heavy lifting as well.

3.I have no idea.

Andrew H.
www.mototribology.com

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/201... About one-quarter goes into the oceans, but that's problematic for a couple of other reasons, namely, deleterious effects on a major food source, and the possibility we're coasting into the solubility limit for CO2 in water. The other bad thing is that as the oceans warm, they absorb less CO2.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

2. The larger the tree, the more CO2 is has "absorbed".

Do trees "absorb only" or "absorb and process" CO2?
I think I was told a trees growth curve flattens as the tree get larger. Does its ability to absorb CO2 decrease as it gets older/larger?

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (IRstuff)

we're coasting into the solubility limit for CO2 in water.
What if any mechanism removes or processes CO2 in water? I assume ocean plant life does to some degree but I am not sure about that.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

awhicker84,
I don't call doubt into human activity being a problem to the environment, nor whether or not steps should be taken.

I would consider myself skeptical regarding climate science, though, mainly because of a single issue. By all means, correct me if I am wrong.

- Methodical, instrumental recording of temperatures started around 1850 (169 years of data)
- Written record from which assumption may be made goes back a few, lets say 2000-ish years (2000 years of data)
- Ice core data goes back 650,000 years (650,000 years of extrapolated and modeled data)

So assuming the planet's climate was stable enough to support life as far back as 3.5 billion years ago, that gives us data subsets of:

- A fairly accurate subset of 0.00000483% of the data set (starting 169 years ago)
- An unreliable subset of 0.0000571% of the entire data set (starting 2000 years ago)
- An likely reasonably correct extrapolated subset using many assumptions of variables of 0.0186% of the data set (starting 650,000 years ago)

Would you be comfortable about modeling/predicting a system comprised of well over a billion variables with, at best, a total of 99.9814% of the data assumed/extrapolated?

I would not.

Just because a field of science strives to answer questions and uses sound science to seek answers, does not mean the answers have been found. There is still plenty to learn and understand and to think the "science is settled" in this field as some like to say, is foolish.

Andrew H.
www.mototribology.com

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (Ron247)

Do trees "absorb only" or "absorb and process" CO2?
I think I was told a trees growth curve flattens as the tree get larger. Does its ability to absorb CO2 decrease as it gets older/larger?
Well they use the CO2 for respiration. The carbon is stripped from the oxygen and becomes energy and then matter, and the oxygen is released. The exact opposite of our respiration where we take in oxygen to create sugars, bind carbon to it and exhale it as CO2.

The thing about trees that is unlike most other vegetation is the time-frame. They live longer than most other organisms, most of their matter is not eaten or consumed, and therefore they "lock" the carbon matter away for longer. Whereas algae, grass, and whatnot tend to die off or are consumed and re-emit the carbon they took in during their lives in a shorter time-cycle.

Andrew H.
www.mototribology.com

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote:

So assuming the planet's climate was stable enough to support life as far back as 3.5 billion years ago

That's not exactly the plausible threshold requirement for sustaining life at this point in time. People keep trotting out this supposed "thing," ignoring the fact that there have been at least 5 extinction-level events that each killed off at least 75% of ALL life on Earth, with the post-Permian killing off 96% of all species. By that measure, you're basically allowing for a minimum of 5.6 billion people dying as "stable enough"

Moreover, for 99.99971429% of that period, ALL life on Earth was at a subsistence living level, and the Earth supported, at most, 1/1000th of the current population, with substantially higher food stocks per capita.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (IRstuff)

That's not exactly the plausible threshold requirement for sustaining life at this point in time. People keep trotting out this supposed "thing," ignoring the fact that there have been at least 5 extinction-level events that each killed off at least 75% of ALL life on Earth, with the post-Permian killing off 96% of all species. By that measure, you're basically allowing for a minimum of 5.6 billion people dying as "stable enough"

It isn't meant to be. It is simply the time period from when the Earth can reasonably be assumed to be neither a molten ball of rock nor a frozen ball of ice, ie. "stable enough to support life" and ignoring the early, extreme outliers.

Yes, extinction and massive die-offs will happen. To believe we are above that is silly. Overpopulation has a knack for sorting itself out one way or another. How we handle that inevitability and how devastating it is to us as a species is up to us. We will either learn to live with nature......or not, but we certainly won't outlive it.

Andrew H.
www.mototribology.com

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

"but we certainly won't outlive it." … in my optimistic moments I think of a future when we've expanded beyond the solar system, then we can outlive nature; "nature" being the earth.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

rb1957,

As do I. I just hope we've gained the wisdom by that time to not repeat the mistakes we've made here up to this point.

Andrew H.
www.mototribology.com

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

We're certainly the only species that would even "care" about extinction and existential threats, and the only one that can do anything about them, albeit, this one is at least partly our doing. The big question is whether we're like the dinosaurs, fat, dumb, and happy, until the asteroid changed the climate and allowed the next species (us) to flourish, and what the next species will be (I'm betting on cockroaches; they're due for their turn at the wheel, patiently waiting for 300 million years).

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Regarding Trees/CO2 scrubbing, what is the energy cost of converting CO2 back into carbohydrates? are there other process aside from photosynthesis that can do it efficiently?

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Define efficiently. CO2 is a product of oxidation (combustion) of carbon (coal), hydrocarbons (oil),or carbohydrates (wood, sugar). This releases energy needed to support animal life and human civilization. To convert CO2 back to anything will always take more energy than was released by combustion. Coal and oil are just stored solar energy. Photosynthesis energy efficiency is only about 11%. Less than photovoltaics.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthetic_effic...

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

@SS … man! you're an optimist !

I hope we can realise that there's more to be gained from working together than from working our own agendas.

Yeah, horseshoes and rainbows !

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (composite)

Define efficiently

I should have said "effective" or "feasible". I meant any large scale feasible method to convert C02 back again, via solar energy (or other low cost energy).

Interesting that solar cells are more efficient than leaves. If you used photovoltaic energy to capture CO2 and convert to carbon solids, would the photovoltaic still win?

#### Quote:

To convert CO2 back to anything will always take more energy than was released by combustion.

Yes I assumed as much. Co2 is pretty much spent, yes?

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (rb1957)

@SS … man! you're an optimist !
They don't call me Sunshine for nothing!

I like to think of myself as an optimistic realist. I don't want to know what other people think of me as...

Andrew H.
www.mototribology.com

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

I doubt you can effectively, efficiently, or feasibly, harvest CO2 from the atmosphere at 400 ppm. You'd have to process huge quantities of atmosphere.

I don't understand the linkage between PV cells and leaves ? Possibly we could reverse engineer photosynthesis, but again the surface we'd need would be "enormous".

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (Rb)

I don't understand the linkage between PV cells and leaves ?

Two forms of solar power, that’s all.

And at present plant life is responsible for almost all the solar power and carbon capture on earth.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

is the idea to use solar power to run a CO2 collector ?

or is the idea to create an artificial leaf ?

and it's my understanding that bio-mass is responsible for only a small amount of CO2 captured.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

https://sos.noaa.gov/datasets/ocean-atmosphere-co2... states that only 25% of the additional CO2 is processed by biomasses, with another 25% going into the ocean and the remainder into the air, hence the net increase in CO2.

That means a reversal of CO2 levels would require a minimum of 4x improvement (3x just to get to neutral, but the oceans would possibly start releasing its CO2, soanother 1x to counter that) in the efficiency*biomass volume product, which would be a non-trivial exercise.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Some Fud-4-Thot... on the long-term implications of this topic... themes and variations...

Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. -Native American Proverb

In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.
—Iroquois maxim

Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national [climate change] debt.” [wink to Herbert Hoover]

When brothers fight-to-the-death, a stranger inherits their property.” --African Proverb

Regards, Wil Taylor

o Trust - But Verify!
o We believe to be true what we prefer to be true. [Unknown]
o For those who believe, no proof is required; for those who cannot believe, no proof is possible. [variation,Stuart Chase]
o Unfortunately, in science what You 'believe' is irrelevant. ["Orion", Homebuiltairplanes.com forum]

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

(OP)

#### Quote (WKTaylor)

When brothers fight-to-the-death, a stranger inherits their property.” --African Proverb

The Dutch equivalent of that is:
als twee honden vechten om een been, loopt de derde ermee heen
When two dogs fight over a bone, a third one runs away with it.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts."

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

It is incredibly complex to see a result from any incremental mitigation.
An awesome 3D global map of wind and wave currents, pollution saturation and more: https://earth.nullschool.net/

After drilling down on this 3D, close to real-time map I soon find out that the wind eventually carries all of the pollution to all parts of the world.

Nick
Ducon Environmental Systems https://www.DuconEnv.com

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Since the current increase in free CO2 is caused by combustion of fossil fuels, what we're seeing is the un-sequestration of photosynthetically bound carbon.
In concept, growing additional masses of vegetation and sequestering it - bury (or ?) the bound carbon, would be one way to get it out of the system.
Trouble is, the stuff we've been burning was accumulated over millions of years, and we couldn't grow that much additional vegetation to just bury.
On the other hand, much of the stuff we grow gets burned off or plowed back into the ground - cornstalks, the plant bodies of grains, etc.
So if all those extras were sequestered, that might be a start?

Jay Maechtlen
http://www.laserpubs.com/techcomm

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

Sure, so long as Australia doesn't continue burning; the fires there have completely blown away any hint of mitigation last year: https://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/austra...

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (jay maechtlen)

Since the current increase in free CO2 is caused by combustion of fossil fuels, what we're seeing is the un-sequestration of photosynthetically bound carbon.
In concept, growing additional masses of vegetation and sequestering it - bury (or ?) the bound carbon, would be one way to get it out of the system.
Trouble is, the stuff we've been burning was accumulated over millions of years, and we couldn't grow that much additional vegetation to just bury.
On the other hand, much of the stuff we grow gets burned off or plowed back into the ground - cornstalks, the plant bodies of grains, etc.
So if all those extras were sequestered, that might be a start?

Yeah, I was talking with a geologist around a campfire at scout camp. He said more or less fossil fuels were from forests that accumulated before there were significant decay mechanisms, and then were subsided by geological scale events. He was like 'We've had a good run of it, haven't we....?'

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

One thing I was thinking of is the use of engineered wood products in construction. Rather than using old growth trees, a lot of these products (oriented strand board, for example) uses smaller, fast growing plants. OSB uses multiple layers of these "oriented strands" along with adhesives to form a product roughly equivalent to plywood.

Also, I believe there are composite "decking" that is similar except it uses a matrix of durable plastic so that it the deck is supposed to last longer and be more durable. If we start moving a lot of our construction over to these products, then might we make a dent? Maybe a small one.... Provided that we can get these wood products to last longer and we truly continually replace / replenish the plant populations from which we get the wood.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

The LCAs on recycled plastic/wood composite decking versus solid ACQ treated wood aren't very much in favour of the recycled plastic version. Member demon3 has a link to a good LCA on the subject which I can get for you if a Google search doesn't yield one quickly enough.

Using wood in durable construction is a good way to sequester carbon, as lnog as you don't let it anaerobically degrade at its end of life. Methane is 86x worse than CO2 on the 20 yr time horizon, and taking CO2 out of the atmosphere and returning 1/2 of it back to the atmosphere as methane (biogas is to a 1st approximation 50% methane, 50% CO2) is not a good deal for preventing global warming.

Plastic should be recycled, which for plastic generally means down-cycling not true recycling (i.e. you rarely see post consumer plastic used to make the same consumer goods again- PET bottles are made into carpet fibre as one example). At the very bottom of the down cycle, you get some plastic which isn't clean and is too mixed to be of much use. Though you can convert that plastic to some other goods that are useful, i.e. waxes used as asphalt plasticizers or extenders, you end up with a lot of this material. If you burn it, or covert it to a smaller quantity of a fuel and then burn IT, you just returned FOSSIL CO2 to the atmosphere. If instead you landfill it, you've just permanently sequestered fossil carbon in a form where it will not re-enter the environment, will remain for thousands of years without environmental consequences etc. It doesn't degrade when kept free of oxygen and sunlight (just like biomass that you landfill, but biomass also has to be kept DRY to prevent degradation- plastics don't care).

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

#### Quote (JoshPlumSE)

One thing I was thinking of is the use of engineered wood products in construction. Rather than using old growth trees, a lot of these products (oriented strand board, for example) uses smaller, fast growing plants. OSB uses multiple layers of these "oriented strands" along with adhesives to form a product roughly equivalent to plywood.

Also, I believe there are composite "decking" that is similar except it uses a matrix of durable plastic so that it the deck is supposed to last longer and be more durable. If we start moving a lot of our construction over to these products, then might we make a dent? Maybe a small one.... Provided that we can get these wood products to last longer and we truly continually replace / replenish the plant populations from which we get the wood.

Josh - I attended a Mass Timber conference a couple years ago where an architect expressed a similar vision. He had done his own research into the viability of carbon neutral construction via mass timber: https://grayorganschi.com/research/initiatives

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

I drink a lot of coffee and have been buying "Eco-Pod" K-Cups, which are made from biodegradable plant-based plastics. Say a large percentage of plastics used for disposable goods worldwide gets converted to plant-based, how would that affect things from a climate change perspective? Personally, I'd be willing to trade off more CO2 emission from biodegradable plastic in exchange for less plastic/microplastics polluting the environment.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

IRStuff -

Purpose of the plastics can be multiple:
1) Increase the life span of the wood product by making it less prone to decomposition and termites.
2) Allow you to use smaller plants (not old growth trees) to build your wood products. These smaller plants are more easily renewable and cheaper to harvest.

I'm not against plant based plastics, but I'm skeptical that they'll ever be economically competitive. Plastics, after all, are really just a by-product of petroleum production. So, they will be cheap and plentiful for as long as we require gasoline for our economy.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

One benefit of the new plant-based plastics that I read about, is that recent developments may enable the plastic to be completely broken down into it's base components, allowing it to be recycled again as a virgin plastic product (i.e., no down-cycling). I'm no expert on plastics, but from what I read it sounds promising.

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

(OP)

#### Quote (bones206)

recent developments may enable the plastic to be completely broken down into it's base components

I have several examples of that in my basement storage space - shopping bags disintegrated into mounds of thousands of tiny shards.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts."

### RE: Climate Change: Engineering Solutions?

That's actually worse, I think, since that's the microplastics problem that's been in the news of late. I think bones is referring to breaking down to the molecular constituents.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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