Closing Thought–09Oct19

We all know about, if not we should, about all the pollution in the oceans of this world. Of course all think something has got to be done to curb this trend…..one cruise line will do their part…..

When it comes to the environment and sustainability, cruise ships and many cruise ship operators get failing grades when it comes to controlling carbon emissions, recycling, and treating water, waste, and sewage.

But thanks to new technology and the scrutiny of passengers, government agencies, and environmental groups, the tide is beginning to turn.

Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten just launched the world’s first hybrid electric-powered expedition ship, the 530-passenger MS Roald Amundsen. The vessel is named for the Norwegian explorer who was the first person to navigate the Northwest Passage by boat and the first person to cross Antarctica and reach the South Pole.

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/travel/first-electric-cruise-ship-hopes-turn-tide-war-against-ocean-n1062581

I think that it is noble to switch from petrol to electric but will that curb the amount of pollution dumped into our oceans?

The cruise ships seem to be a problem in themselves…

Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. has been hit with a record-setting criminal penalty for deliberate pollution. The California-based cruise line — a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation, the largest cruise company in the world — pled guilty to felony charges for illegal dumping of oil contaminated waste. It will pay a $40 million fine as part of a plea agreement, the Department of Justice reported.

The case came to light after an engineer reported that employees aboard the Caribbean Princess were using a “magic pipe” to dump oily waste off the coast of England in 2013 in order to save money. It is inarguably troubling, not least because the chief engineer’s response to the whistleblower was to attempt a cover up. (The same man was known by the crew as a broccino corto, the DOJ notes, an Italian phrase for an exceptionally frugal man whose arms are too short to reach his wallet.) The ship had a long history of environmental violations, going back at least to 2005.

https://psmag.com/news/how-cruise-ships-are-polluting-our-oceans

Like I said before…I am not so sure that the pollution problem will be solved by the switch to electric.

Thoughts?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

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How To Deal With The Climate Crisis

Closing Thought–27Sep19

We have heard all the lies and the innuendoes about climate change and how we should approach the problem.

I read a workable plan for dealing with the climate and I believe it came out of Canada.

The meat of the article was…what if we treated the climate crisis like a war?  Remember these are just suggestions…..all of which I do not agree with but at least there is someone thinking about a solution before it is too late……

“We ended WWII with the highest debt-to-GDP ratio ever,” Klein said. ”But it also marked the beginning of the strongest economic performance the country has ever seen. It wasn’t a drag on the economy; it was quite the opposite.”

There are plenty of reasons to question this kind of all-in jingoist climate stimulus plan. The government would need to consider measures to control inflation, or the possibility that rich people would just move their money somewhere else. Researchers have also suggested we might enter an unhinged new era of eco-nationalist propaganda, which would surely add to, not subtract from, a general sense of doom.

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/vb53x9/what-would-happen-if-canada-treated-climate-crisis-like-war

Canada has a plan for the environment…it is called a “Just Transition Act”……..

A re-elected Liberal government would halve the corporate tax rate for companies that develop or manufacture products with zero emissions — part of the party’s plan to move to net-zero emissions by 2050, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau announced today.

Taxes for small clean technology businesses would be reduced to 4.5 per cent from the current nine per cent under the Liberal plan, while larger companies would pay 7.5 per cent in taxes instead of the current 15 per cent.

Eligible sectors could include manufacturing related to renewable energy, production of renewable fuels, zero emission vehicles and batteries for them, carbon capture and removal technology and electric vehicle charging systems.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/liberals-climate-change-action-plan-2050-1.5295027

Has anyone else noticed that plans are about saving corporations money not so much about the planet.  I believe that this very thing is what Greta Thunberg was bitching about at the UN….

In case you have NO idea what I am talking about here is a transcript of her speech to the General Assembly….

https://www.npr.org/2019/09/23/763452863/transcript-greta-thunbergs-speech-at-the-u-n-climate-action-summit

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

What Happened To States Rights?

Closing Thought–19Sep19

The GOP has used the term to justify so many pull backs from the national stage issues like voting, abortion, marijuana and other social issues….now Trump decides a policy or something for a state…..

As expected, President Trump announced Wednesday that his administration is revoking California’s authority to set auto mileage standards stricter than those issued by federal regulators, a move critics said would result in less fuel efficient cars that create more planet-warming pollution. In a series of tweets, Trump said his action would result in less expensive, safer cars. He also predicted Americans would purchase more new cars, which would result in cleaner air as older models are taken off the roads. “Many more cars will be produced under the new and uniform standard, meaning significantly more JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Automakers should seize this opportunity because without this alternative to California, you will be out of business,” Trump tweeted. Trump’s tweet does not address the money consumers would save at the gas pump if cars got better mileage.

Top California officials and environmental groups pledged legal action on Wednesday to stop the rollback, the AP reports. “You can’t get serious about climate change unless you are serious about vehicle emissions,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat. “This is such a pivotal moment in the history of the climate change debate.” The state attorney general, who said the action will hurt US automakers and American families, pledged to fight it in federal court. It’s not clear yet what the Trump administration will propose as its final fuel-efficiency rules, but in the past it has favored freezing Obama-era mileage standards at 2021 levels. Under the Obama administration requirements, the fleet of new vehicles would have to average 30 mpg in real-world driving by 2021, rising to 36 mpg in 2025. Currently the standard is 26 mpg. (More on Trump’s claims of cheaper, safer cars and a cleaner environment here.)

Just another governing technique of the Trump regime……spread chaos and take everything to court…..

Will the GOP step up and challenge this attack on states rights…of course they will not for it would prove disastrous at the ballot box.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Environmental News For A Sunday

This weekend begins and I wait for MoMo to make her rounds this early morn…..you see she patrols the property from the 40 foot wood to the hidy hole to the orchard before she decides all is well and starts her day of being cute.

Time for some FYI……

Today I want to share some environmental news with you…..

Remember when McDonald’s made the big deal out of them switching from plastic to paper straws?

Well the rest of the story can be told……

McDonald’s has come out in defence of its “eco-friendly” paper straws after it revealed the company is unable to recycle them, claiming that “everyone is in the same position”.

In September 2018, the fast food chain replaced its recyclable plastic straws with paper ones across all of its UK and Ireland restaurants in a bid to become more environmentally conscious. 

However, McDonald’s has confirmed that, while the materials which make up its paper straws are recyclable, their current thickness means they must be disposed of in general waste. 

“While the materials are recyclable, their current thickness makes it difficult for them to be processed by our waste solution providers, who also help us recycle our paper cups,” a McDonald’s spokesperson said on Monday.

“We are working with them to find a solution, and so the advice to put paper straws in general waste is therefore temporary.

(independent.co.uk)

What problem did the switch alleviate?

As long as we are talking about McDonald’s……more insights…..

https://soyummy.com/mcdonalds-secrets-straight-from-reddit/

A new trend is that of electric scooters for the urban dweller…..green tech at is best, right?

Well not really……

Electric scooter companies like to tout their green credentials, frequently reminding riders that every two-wheeled trip they take can help reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change — but the truth is much more complicated.

A new study from North Carolina State University found that shared e-scooters may be more environmentally friendly than most cars, but they can be less green than several other options, including bicycles, walking, and certain modes of public transportation. Riders tend to think they’re making the right move by hopping on a scooter that’s electric and thus carbon-free. But what they don’t see are all of the emissions that are produced by the manufacturing, transportation, maintenance, and upkeep of dockless scooters.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/2/20751610/scooters-electric-dockless-carbon-emissions-study-life-cycle-analysis

Just a bit of the con job around “green tech”…..

Finally a rode out the destruction of Hurricane Katrina in 2005….the homes destroyed were staggering…..can there be a better design that could survive a hurricane?

In a world where wildfires and hurricanes are becoming more frequent, design for new housing would be smart to anticipate the climate disasters that are coming. So these new buildings aren’t made from wood or any other conventional building materials. Instead, they’re made from bioceramic—which can withstand disasters, and perhaps dramatically lower construction costs.

It’s the design of a startup called Geoship, which is using the material to build new dwellings in the form of a geodesic dome and has plans to produce both backyard cottages and full communities. It’s caught the attention of Zappos and is working with the company to build a small “village” of the domes in Las Vegas near the online shoe retailer headquarters. The plan is to offer them as free housing for some of the many people who are experiencing homelessness in the city.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90385924/are-these-fireproof-hurricane-proof-geodesic-domes-the-post-climate-change-house-of-the-future

So ends this week’s FYI portion of IST…..enjoy and be well

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

That Plastic Island

My weekend begins with thoughts from my younger days…..a bunch of us use to get together on Sunday morning at 10 am and watch bad monster movies airing on a local TV station……we called it “Atheist Theater”…..

One of the movies that made me think of things happening today was Godzilla vs Hedorah (Smog Monster)….it seems that this beast was born of the pollution in our oceans…..

 
Think about it…..there is this huge island of plastic and pollution in the Pacific…..sounds like the same thing in the movie from the 1970s……
 
Image result for plastic island in the Pacific images
 
Image result for plastic island in the Pacific images
 
Is there a solution on the horizon?  I mean Godzilla has gone Hollywood.
 
The plastic eating enzyme…….(another problem in waiting?)
 

The research was led by teams at the University of Portsmouth and the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Professor John McGeehan at the University of Portsmouth and Dr Gregg Beckham at NREL solved the crystal structure of PETase — a recently discovered enzyme that digests PET — and used this 3D information to understand how it works. During this study, they inadvertently engineered an enzyme that is even better at degrading the plastic than the one that evolved in nature.

The researchers are now working on improving the enzyme further to allow it to be used industrially to break down plastics in a fraction of the time.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180416155619.htm

There you have the answer to that great plastic island, right?

Maybe so but just how does this work?

The plastic bottles we throw away today will be around for hundreds of years. It’s one of the key reasons why the mounting plastic pollution problem, which is having a deadly effect on marine life, is so serious.

But scientists recently discovered a strain of bacteria that can literally eat the plastic used to make bottles, and have now improved it to make it work faster. The effects are modest – it’s not a complete solution to plastic pollution – but it does show how bacteria could help create more environmentally friendly recycling.

Plastics are complex polymers, meaning they are long, repeating chains of molecules that don’t dissolve in water. The strength of these chains makes plastic very durable and means it takes a very long time to decompose naturally. If they could be broken down into their smaller, soluble chemical units, then these building blocks could be harvested and recycled to form new plastics in a closed-loop system.

https://theconversation.com/how-plastic-eating-bacteria-actually-work-a-chemist-explains-95233

Now on first read that could be a good thing…..this could be the answer right?

Could be as simple as a newly discovered enzyme?

Probably not.

Recent reporting on the discovery and enhancement of plastic-dissolving enzymes in bacteria made me stop and think about what this might mean for the plastic pollution problem that is plaguing oceans and choking the world’s coral reefs.

While this development is interesting and draws necessary focus to an immense environmental challenge, it is premature to guess whether these kinds of enzymes might provide an effective silver bullet for treating plastics floating in the five great gyres of the sea.

There is so much more we need to understand about the complex relationships between plastics and marine ecosystems before we can take drastic action such as spraying the ocean with so-called plastic-eating bacteria.

https://www.edf.org/blog/2018/07/13/are-plastic-eating-bacteria-solution-ocean-pollution-its-not-simple-science-shows

A little FYI on this Saturday….after writing this I found myself looking for the movie to either buy/rent…..damn impossible for it is not available at this time….even on Amazon….go figure.

Have a day my friends.

A New Source Of CO2

This Sunday I have been waiting for MoMo to give up on that damn pesky squirrel so I thought I would write a post or maybe two….

Most of us know that CO2 is a atmosphere destructor and we have many sources that will need to be controlled it we are to survive (that is my opinion and I doubt if those deniers will agree)

The week after T/S Barry and all has returned to normal…..over 100 temp humidity around 90%…..makes A/C a welcome necessity.

Enough bitching about Summer in the South…..

I read an article that points to a large source of CO2….and it is on-line…..

Our porn-viewing habits are leaving a filthy footprint on the planet.

Video streaming accounts for around 60 percent of all data flow online, which means it also accounts for over 300 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Since almost a third of streamed video content is pornography, online porn pumps out around 100 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, more than the annual output of Israel. 

These figures come from a new report by The Shift Project, a French think tank that aims to limit climate change and our dependence on fossil fuels. In light of their findings, they argue that our digital consumption should be considered when looking at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, just as driving gas-guzzling cars and eating loads of red meat are. They also call on policymakers and architects of the digital space to consider the impacts of online services when designing digital technologies. 

https://www.iflscience.com/environment/online-porn-pumps-out-as-much-carbon-dioxide-as-a-small-industrial-country/amp.html

Here is another way for zealots to attack porn…..but that would mean they would have to think for themselves….something I feel they are not capable of doing.

As long as I am on the topic of CO2……we are always looking for a way to generate electricity that does not screw up the air quality…..and CO2 is a major contributor to air pollution…..but what if we could use it to generate electricity?

The world is quickly realizing it may need to actively pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to stave off the ill effects of climate change. Scientists and engineers have proposed various techniques, but most would be extremely expensive—without generating any revenue. No one wants to foot the bill.

One method explored in the past decade might now be a step closer to becoming practical, as a result of a new computer simulation study. The process would involve pumping airborne CO2 down into methane hydrates—large deposits of icy water and methane right under the seafloor, beneath water 500 to 1,000 feet deep—where the gas would be permanently stored, or sequestered. The incoming CO2 would push out the methane, which would be piped to the surface and burned to generate electricity, to power the sequestration operation or to bring in revenue to pay for it.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-solution-use-carbon-dioxide-to-generate-electricity/

Just a few thoughts for a Sunday…..

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Environmental Thoughts For A Saturday

The weekend begins and we Southerners are praying for some rain…..we had a wet Spring but so far this Summer nothing….which is odd considering where I live has water on three sides…even the heat of the day does not generate a shower or two.

I have always been an activist for the environment….I recycle, do not litter, plant trees, etc etc……so recently with the new coal industry ad that compares a coal burning plant to a tree got my attention…..it shows a tree which captures CO2 as does the new plant…..making it seem that it is totally clean….the problem trees give off O2 as a by-product something a coal burning plant cannot do…..so the comparison is silly.

But there is something simple that can be used to help eliminate the CO2 emissions…..

Carbon capture and storage is a hot topic among researchers striving to save the planet from climate change. Scientists are constantly trying to develop and improve materials which can capture carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the atmosphere. At the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) at Swansea University, we’ve developed a promising new material from a liquid amine – a chemical which is known for its ability to react with CO₂, but in liquid form can’t do so effectively.

By adding just enough glue to make the liquid amine fluff up into a solid, the resulting new material is capable of capturing one-fifth of its own weight in CO₂. The glue is a type of epoxy resin – used everywhere in paints, varnishes and flooring. Our work shows that epoxy resins can be a key ingredient in making effective carbon capture materials – and they have been staring us in the face for more than 70 years.

Since huge advances are being made in renewable energy – and the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels has reduced – is carbon capture technology becoming redundant? Unfortunately not. There remains about 1.5 times the concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere that there was in pre-industrial times. If we are to limit global warming to 1.5°C to avert the worst consequences of climate change, atmospheric CO₂ will have to be captured on an industrial scale, and either made into useful new chemicals or buried deep underground in depleted oil reservoirs.

https://theconversation.com/glue-could-be-the-magic-ingredient-for-cheap-and-efficient-co-capture-119441

Time to use any method available to capture CO2 emissions…..it can only help the climate and planet heal.

The day is done for me…..trying to stay cool in a 100 degree day…..not an easy task…LOL