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Old 07-01-2021, 05:31 PM   #16
sundialsvcs
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"Alas, how little we actually know about how This Planet™ actually works."

For instance – we find hard evidence of "Ice Ages." Of oceans where used to be where Kansas now is. Or, on a much simpler level, "the River Thames in London freezing solid," which it last did in the time of Charles Dickens' parents and has never done so since.

Perhaps, our "science" would be much advanced if we re-injected a double dose of wonder in place of arrogant hubris.

"Like it or not, there are many things which are actually unknowable." Guess it sux to be mortal, but here we all are.

Of course it is absolutely valid that "we would all continue to strive to get there." (And may this impetus never cease!) But, the reality will always be that "we will never entirely arrive."

We actually do not know – and will never actually know – "how this planet(!) works."

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 07-01-2021 at 05:35 PM.
 
Old 07-02-2021, 11:26 AM   #17
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Aside from the complicated nature of the planet, let me interject on the topic, if that's not rude
https://science.slashdot.org/story/2...risis-long-ago

As far back as 1958, Big Oil had scientists who predicted today's climate crisis with great accuracy. Needless to say, this wasn't common knowledge until the 1970s and the reaction from the oil companies did not reflect the knowledge they apparently had.
Now there's folks trying to sue them.
 
Old 07-02-2021, 03:04 PM   #18
enorbet
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It is both a bit surprising and hopeful to me that increasing numbers of people, including former activists against nuclear power, are now seeing the hope offered by modernized processes like Thorium Salt Reactors. They can't meltdown. They can't explode. They cannot be "mined" for weapons grade materials. They don't require monitoring and are in fact sealed. They can be so small in scale that they are even practical for tiny communities of just a few homes.

There are increasing symposiums, even Ted Talks, explaining how land-based systems failed because they were derived from submarine power, very different due to constant new water supply for cooling and how reactors like molten salt varieties are inherently cheaper and safer, by orders of magnitude. Plus the results are now in regarding environmental impact even from old school complex reactors like those earning revenue in France that the negative impacts of toxic materials is substantially less than wind, water, and solar.

We probably need wind, water, and solar devices, too, but currently only nuclear has a substantial cost/benefit ratio. It is very likely nuclear adoption will happen. The only real question is "How soon?".. the greatest obstacle being (understandably misguided) public perception.
 
Old 07-02-2021, 04:26 PM   #19
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I see nuclear energy as a stopgap solution. Radioactive material suitable for energy production is in even more limited supply as fossil fuels. Every option that helps solve the problem and preserve the ability of the planet to support life needs consideration, but solar energy, wind energy, wave energy, and geothermal power will exist long after all available fossil and nuclear fuels are exhausted or beyond our reach.

They are also safer if developed properly. And I mean for all life, not just for humans.
 
Old 07-02-2021, 04:50 PM   #20
enorbet
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Possibly true, wpeckham, that Nuclear Fission is a stopgap measure BUT Thorium alone is plentiful enough that the highest projections ever made for global power needs show ALL our needs can be handled for the next 1000 years.... pretty decent "gap". A lot can happen in 1000 years

Wind, water and solar have not proven to be safer in practice. Just FTR I haven't always been an advocate for nuclear. In fact I worked for 3 years for a Solar company in Colorado that designed, sold, and built systems as small as home Hot Water systems and as large as for Car Washes, Hospitals, and commercial laundries. We worked in thermal and photovoltaic collectors back then.

Water is the greatest alternative source of the 3 since gravity is inherently involved and it is constant. Wind and Solar are not constant and "batteries" are difficult, expensive, and environmentally unfriendly. Fresh water has far less problems than corrosive Sea (salt) water but by it's nature has far less potential. Nuclear has far more potential, the capability of lasting longer with vastly less maintenance and has the advantage of being able to be placed right where the demand is located and can be regulated for on-demand output easily.

We really can't afford to ignore it. Check this out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciStnd9Y2ak
 
Old 07-03-2021, 05:31 AM   #21
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Nuclear? 100 years? How many Chernobyls, Fukishimas, & 3 mile islands will you have in 1000 years? Aren't we in enough trouble already?

Another thing that is part of global warming is animal extinctions. But we go on overfishing, overheating coral reefs, destroying habitats, polluting with microplastics, etc. I feel our worries are much shorter term.
 
Old 07-03-2021, 06:51 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Nuclear? 100 years? How many Chernobyls, Fukishimas, & 3 mile islands will you have in 1000 years?
Did you skip reading the first paragraph of post #18?

 
Old 07-03-2021, 07:19 AM   #23
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Another thing that is part of global warming is animal extinctions. But we go on overfishing, overheating coral reefs, destroying habitats, polluting with microplastics, etc. I feel our worries are much shorter term.
Yup! Rising Ocean temperatures are killing the coral reefs. Animal extinctions includes people. Rising land temperatures are already having an effect with the increase in wildfires notably in California and Canada at present. Dust and ash from these fires (added to volcanic ash) has been found on the surface of glaciers and ice caps which only increases the volume of meltwater filling the oceans. Equatorial regions will get too hot to sustain life and rising sea water will force people to migrate to higher ground, which, as I mentioned before, will not sit well with the people already there. The US and people from Central America come to mind while Europe and people from North Africa and the Middle East have similar problems.

So now I've gone from Global Warming to a situation which causes wars to break out, Good Grief! Never mind the political ramifications and causes. It's a complicated old World we live in but we're taking too long to join up the dots and take some sort of action. Everything we do has a consequence. Politicians seem to care more about being re-elected than saving the planet!

Note I haven't mentioned renewable energy in this post yet, I'd been hoping that there may have been some off-the-wall ideas for removing the heat stored in the oceans primarily to mitigate Climate Change with a source of energy as a bi-product.

Play Bonny!

 
Old 07-03-2021, 07:23 AM   #24
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Ten thousands years ago when Europe was covered by ice - well Mammoth's engines were steam powered which caused enormous CO2 emission to atmosphere - so all ice on Europe melted down. It is true story shared in my family from generation to generation.
 
Old 07-03-2021, 07:25 AM   #25
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The problem is that we have now entered the world of feedback loops. For example:

1) Melting of white sea ice exposes darker water which absorbs more heat, which leads to more melting.
2) Exposure of permafrost by melting snow on land leads to methane emissions, which cause more warming.
3) Higher temperatures dry out forests and encourage lightning storms, leading to more forest fires and fewer trees left to absorb carbon dioxide.

Going to net zero emissions won't help us now because the whole thing is out of our control. We've effectively given Mother Nature the order to empty her carbon stores and we can't take it back.

Last edited by hazel; 07-03-2021 at 07:45 AM.
 
Old 07-03-2021, 07:52 AM   #26
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My personal view is that climate change is occurring. But the primary driver is population and consumption. When my grandfather was born, the world population was about 1.3 billion. When I was born it was 2.2 billion, and today it is 7.5 billion. The UN predicts a population of about 10 billion by 2055. In my opinion this is the primary driver of everything relating to our worsening environment.
-- Ken Croasdale, 82, researcher and engineer at Imperial Oil from 1968 to 1992, as quoted in the article "The scientists hired by big oil who predicted the climate crisis long ago"
 
Old 07-03-2021, 12:05 PM   #27
Soadyheid
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The problem is that we have now entered the world of feedback loops. For example:

1) Melting of white sea ice exposes darker water which absorbs more heat, which leads to more melting.
2) Exposure of permafrost by melting snow on land leads to methane emissions, which cause more warming.
3) Higher temperatures dry out forests and encourage lightning storms, leading to more forest fires and fewer trees left to absorb carbon dioxide.

Going to net zero emissions won't help us now because the whole thing is out of our control. We've effectively given Mother Nature the order to empty her carbon stores and we can't take it back.
I agree entirely, but standing staring at our boots and shaking our collective heads and tutting isn't going to help. We should be doing something shouldn't we? Doing nothing isn't really an option. The dinosaurs lasted about 165 million years, we've only been around for a couple of hundred thousand years and are screwing everything up. Maybe there's something to be said for having a brain the size of a peanut with another in your a*se? <sigh!>

Play Bonny!

 
Old 07-03-2021, 12:17 PM   #28
hazel
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Originally Posted by Soadyheid View Post
Maybe there's something to be said for having a brain the size of a peanut with another in your a*se? <sigh!>
Actually dinosaurs were pretty smart. That's why they lasted so long. Their brains were small by mammalian standards because their nervous systems were arranged like those of modern birds: a large nervous ganglion at the base of the spine managed the whole body and the brain in the head was almost completely available for thinking and central control. That's why, for instance, Australian crows can pass the same intelligence tests as monkeys with a brain no bigger than a rat's. We're the dumb ones!

Last edited by hazel; 07-03-2021 at 12:18 PM.
 
Old 07-03-2021, 12:30 PM   #29
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I just caught thought that maybe it is Earth is loosing air. You know that flying dinosaurs. There are just too large to fly - I mean in air today. But if in dinosaur era air density was much higher - then they could fly. Of course if it is slow process comparing to our life-time. There is no way for us to notice this.
 
Old 07-03-2021, 04:00 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by igadoter View Post
I just caught thought that maybe it is Earth is loosing air. You know that flying dinosaurs. There are just too large to fly - I mean in air today. But if in dinosaur era air density was much higher - then they could fly. Of course if it is slow process comparing to our life-time. There is no way for us to notice this.
Actually, we can measure this in the fossil records. We are losing air (hydrogen first), we are also losing water over time. BTW we are also losing the moon. None of these are fast by human standards, but the changes CAN be detected. How much the difference in air density or composition would have made to flying is not something I have been privilaged to research. I bet someone has, and we only need look it up.
 
  


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