MadInventor

Environmental Impact of our hobby.

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If you want to have a easy effect on *your* footprint  ( serieus, forget about the odd kits.. you would do this for "token" )

When you go to the supermarket, try to buy without packing ( fruit, veggie's ) .. Or, buy glass packed ( jars )

Or even better, just buy it straight from a farmer ( better price for him , and reduce the transport by huge chunks )

 

Just go on a bike, not on your straight 6 German car ;p   * like the hipsters do in our area * .. travel 200km , to the rural area,

to buy a bag of apples and claim "im good for nature".

 

Big compagnie's  ( like ahold ) are also aware of this, and actually doing quite some effort to reduce the packing waist. 

Mostly just to reduce cost, as packing takes up quite a chunk of profits.. but.. thats another story ;p 

 

And please o please.  this is like real serieus.. ( speaking reducing footprint )

Do not dump your used up battery's in the bin ..  really, do turn those in..  as soon they hit the regular waist lines there *toxic like badword*

Rather trow a can of used car oil in the bin , then a few AA's .    ( the oil gets hot enough to burn neutral, at burn, the battery's release there -heavy- metals )

 

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Yep, it's not going to be simple and easy as "no plastic bag from tomorrow."  Plastics keep germs off, and keep food fresh.  No plastic means more food thrown away.  More things to be re****erated, more coal burned for electricity, more fish poisoned with mercury, instead of plastics.  

Truly bio-degradable plastics are made from starch.  They are like paper in that they are grown.  But they are lighter thinner and cheaper than paper.  I think we should all eat a few pounds less sugar and turn it into the plastic bags. (I even stopped eating gummy bears! To prevent diabetes, not for environment, I admit)  

Anyway, knowing the consequences is a start.  If we keep doing the same thing, we'll have garbage patches the size of USA.  Humans might turn into zombies thanks to Zika virus that kills brains. (87 countries found Zika in their country so far-- changing climate changes things... like dying bees, thriving mosquitoes, and bigger but less nutritious plants)  

 

I think using rechargeable batteries for almost anything is a good idea.  But things that slowly drains (like remotes and wall clocks) are better with alkalines.  I discovered that they can be recharged.  Since alkalines are not as toxic, the battery companies want you to throw them away and buy them in bulk every few months.  I have a charger that puts out 3.7v at 450mAh (for 18560 batteries).  1 minute of that recharges AAA batteries in remotes that are half dead.  (Oddly, alkalines that are more than half-dead won't recharge at all. I only charge ones still functioning)  Our TV is 5 years old, and it still works fine with the Sony AAA batteries it came with, because I charge them once or twice a year.  AA batteries take 3-4 minutes to recharge. Longer than that, it bursts and leaks.   

TBjKx2K.jpg

These transmitter batteries are still alive. I had kept the contacts insulated with paper, so they were only half-drained after 12+ years (photos are from April 2017). 

These were recharged fine. I've saved a lot of alkaline batteries.  But I don't recommend it for everybody because charging them can sometimes make them leak.  

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As Stefan says, NiCd is the most toxic kinds of batteries.  My township has a recycling program for household toxic material.  NiCds, paint thinners, lead, mercury thermostat, etc.  Next one is on June 22nd. I should take 2kgs worth of NiCds I have been holding for over 15 years since they died.  

In many places throwing out used motor oil is illegal.  At least in U.S., any place that sells new motor oil, should accept used motor oil for recycle.  

 

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Just found this on the news this morning:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-48069663

Sounds mad to me. Surely generating salt particles in the atmosphere is not a good thing, as they are heavier than air, it's just going to be like salting paths when it snows ... :blink:. Worse still, if the salt falls as rain on farmland it will surely make it infertile. The plan for recycling carbon into fuel also seems like a major facepalm. I thought trees were excellent at that, and you don't have to put energy into that system to make it work. Trees take a long time to grow, but when I worked at a tree nursery we planted 10,000 trees saplings in one day between 3 of us, and as trees increase in size, they absorb more carbon with each year (Circumference of a circle is PI*Diameter), so each growth year more carbon is absorbed as the diameter of the trees increases. As usual, we're looking to technology to provide magic answers to the problem, rather than accepting the need to change lifestyles to reduce the problem.

1 hour ago, Juggular said:

Yep, it's not going to be simple and easy as "no plastic bag from tomorrow."  Plastics keep germs off, and keep food fresh.  No plastic means more food thrown away.  More things to be re****erated, more coal burned for electricity, more fish poisoned with mercury, instead of plastics.  

But the problem is, plastic doesn't keep food fresh, it holds in the inert atmosphere (usually nitrogen) that reduces the rate at which it decays, but doesn't halt it completely. Once you open it, it still goes off very quickly. Bagged mixed salads are the worst for this, it's been shown that bagged salads are actually pretty bad, as once they're opened the salad usually rots fairly quickly.

With regard to more food being thrown away, this is a symptom of the situation we have gotten ourselves into by becoming overly reliant on supermarkets for our food source, and divorcing ourselves from how our food is produced. In the Phillipines, they apparently have an excellent system for keeping chicken fresh, you buy a live one from the market. That doesn't need to be stuck in a Styrofoam tray, wrapped in cling film, and re****erated or frozen to keep it fresh. The trouble is we've become too squeamish for the most part to kill and prepare our own meat. If we all had to prepare our own chickens, I'm sure chicken consumption in the UK would drop by about 95%.

My grandparents went through WWII and were still growing all their own vegetables and salad in their garden in their 70's (I guess once you've gone through rationing, growing your own food becomes second nature). You don't get fresher carrots or lettuce than nipping out to the garden and pulling just what you need for a meal out of the ground, or off the plant.  That way there's no waste, no transportation costs, no plastic, no need to re****erate it.  Nobody's extolling this as a good idea as there's no money in it for anyone, and it means lifestyle change, as weeding the vegetable patch would cut in most peoples facebook time, and as we've congregated most of our populations into cities, there's no space to grown anything anyway. Just goes to show much things can change in the short space of 60-70 years.

Arrggghhh, I'm starting to sound like a tree hugging extremist, which I'm not. I've just got to try and stop reading the news.....

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I do not watch tv anymore ,  serieus .. really...  ( bit did not like soaps anyway ;p waist of time... annnnyyyway )

I already know how -bad- people are , if its really vital im quite certain i hear the explosion or sirens go off. 

Or it gets mentioned somewhere where i am.    ( hiding ? maybe.. but .. for me it works ! )

 

The issue with the degradable plastics , it has a flaw.. like Soya for animal food and meat replacements..

They cut down forrest to grow it, and it sucks down tons of fresh water. ..  ( still less then life stock btw ! )

- says the meat eater .. -

Farmed fish , also a issue.. the food they get are waist products .. usually , yes.. polluted.. guess who then eats the Pollution.

( if you want to stop eating fish.. and looking for a excuse.. check how they breed salmon or panga )

- personally, while my soul is rotten.. i eat everything with legs or that swims.. but i do not even eat salmon from a farm ... and that does say something -

 

Look ,there no -fixed- ways to deal with stuff..  say we go drive all electric cars... next week.

We still got to build and charge those battery's ! ( and.. re-use them later on )

Personally, i just drive a old car.. its already build, and the parts i need to keep it going, is far less of a footprint then ordering a new one off -tesla-

( not to mention, once its really done.. in the end its just a pile of alloys and metal.. and some plastics .. ) ..

If you got to scrap a tesla, your stuck with a huge *** battery , for where at current technical state.. are no real good ways to get rid of them .

 

We are just with to many ...  and we are breeding our self into extinction .   taking with us the entire planet .

( dark ? ...  well.. yeah.. but..  its true .. )

 

The good news however is.. we, our kids, and there kids , maybe even there kids going to be ok..  im slightly worried for after that..

( unless we get a sweet seksy asteroid on our heads first , or some bbq-sun flame :)

 

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12 hours ago, MadInventor said:

I thought trees were excellent at that, and you don't have to put energy into that system to make it work. Trees take a long time to grow, but when I worked at a tree nursery we planted 10,000 trees saplings in one day between 3 of us, and as trees increase in size, they absorb more carbon with each year 

I was under this impression, which I why I am confused as to why electricity produced from biomass plants, are considered , renewable!?! (Also, working in the chip board industry, we have to pay full price for recycled wood, while the biomass plants get paid to burn it 🤬🤬

 

7 hours ago, Stefan(2) said:

We are just with to many ...  and we are breeding our self into extinction .   taking with us the entire planet .

( dark ? ...  well.. yeah.. but..  its true .. )

Pretty much,

There used to be a worry that we'd run out of oil, (well, cheap ways of extracting it), I think we are in now in danger of running out of the ability to feed the worlds growing numbers.

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24 minutes ago, Wooders28 said:

Pretty much,

There used to be a worry that we'd run out of oil, (well, cheap ways of extracting it), I think we are in now in danger of running out of the ability to feed the worlds growing numbers.

I was watching Frankie Boyle on the TV last night talking about climate change. He said, and I can't remember it word for word, but pretty much 'At the moment, veganism is considered the least impactful on climate change, however I think cannibalism is the answer. If you eat another person you've halved your carbon footprint, better still, eat a pilot' :lol:

 

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When our old water heater broke down, my neighbor helped me get a new one.  We had 50 gallon heater, he said 40 gallon should do.  I really had a problem with "less."  In the end, I relented, and 40 gallon heater was plenty indeed.  "Changing" is a bit scary.  

That's the thing with electric cars.  People are afraid of buying a car with less than 300 mile range.  Most people are fine with 30 miles a day.  We bought a house very close to where we work (to reduce commuting time, not necessarily gasoline use).  But, we now drive about 3000 miles (5000km) per year.  That is low for U.S.  Obviously, this is not an ideal solution for everybody, but even incidental savings help.  

Yes, I've heard people say an electric car is a bad because it's a new car.  That sounds like most people are dumping their new cars into the ocean, just so they can get a Tesla.  I'm sure there are few who would do that.  But for most sensible people, that's just silly.  I'd say when your old car dies, you now have a choice.  I would not say, "your new car shouldn't be an electric, because that took CO2 to make," because a new gasoline car would take almost as much CO2 to make too. 

Obviously, if you have to drive 300 miles every day, an electric might be bothersome to charge up. (Although, if you spend that much money on gasoline, an electric car will be much cheaper to run)  Dr. Porsche designed an electric tank, because electric drive is more efficient --even if you use gasoline to generate electricity.  

(Photo is of Dr. Porsche with Tiger (P)--for Porsche. In the end, the electrical system was not as reliable back in 1942. The manufacturing of Tiger tank went to Henschel.  But Germany had a few hybrid tanks back in 1942.  We've known for a long time that electric motor is more energy efficient than gasoline or diesel alone.  Hybrid cars are carrying its own gas-burning power plant, and they are getting twice as much mileage.)  

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Having said that...

If a Honda Fit for $16,000 fits better for your life, why spend $36,000 to get an electric?  At 30 miles per gallon and $3 per gallon in U.S., you will need to drive 200,000 miles to come out even.  (But if you are buying a $20,000 hybrid, it would make sense)  

If it was your childhood dream to have a V12 super car, screw the electric boom, what's life if you can't go after your dream?  Go get what you always wanted!  

But... I'm sure there are people who are fine with an electric or hybrid commuter. Save money, save the planet, etc. etc.  

The industry is eager to recycle lithium.  

Yes, lithium could be toxic.  So is copper, iron, cobalt, tin, aluminum, etc.  But, lithium salt is prescribed in small amounts to treat depression.  Our drinking water comes out of copper pipes.  Pots and pans are made out of aluminum.  Our food comes out of tin cans, and water pipes are soldered with tin.  All could be toxic in large amounts.  Even pure oxygen can kill you in a day. 

But none of these are deadly heavy metals like Cadmium.  We all bought NiCd batteries in the 80's, not knowing how to recycle then.  Compared to heavy metals like that, [Li] is lightest substance after [H], and [He].  Also, lithium, copper, cobalt, are expensive.  Recycling them makes a very good business sense.  Why give money to China for things we already have in dead batteries?  Below is what they are doing about lithium recycling.  

 

4 hours ago, Wooders28 said:

why electricity produced from biomass plants, are considered , renewable!?!

Lol, I had wondered about that too!  

Apparently, what will create CO2 naturally --rotting things on the planet surface-- is renewable.  What's brought up from deep underground --which didn't emit CO2 for millions of years until we dig out-- is non-renewable and that adds CO2 to the living cycle on the surface.  Dead matters will emit CO2 as it rots anyway. So, burning wood chips from branches that were hanging over power lines, is renewable.  Dregs leftover after making beer, cow dung, used cooking oil, all will be eaten by bacteria and turned into CO2 no matter what.  Burning them makes the same amount CO2.  But humans get the energy, not germs.  As a result, we can burn less stuff from deep underground.  

Now, if we can prevent things from rotting, that could save a lot of CO2.  In fact, massive forests almost billion years ago, grew but germs didn't evolve yet.  Forests would die, but could not rot.  There could have been forest growing on top of dead trees for 2-3 kilometers high.  Some of which got buried, and turned into oil.  Fast forward 700 million years, we now have germs that create CO2. On top of that, we are digging out things that didn't rot back then, and create CO2 from that too.  So that's a double whammy for the 21st century. 

We are like yeast that ends up dying in its own filth in a petri dish.  But I am an optimist.  We are smarter than yeast.  What good is science if we don't use it?  We'll find a way to clean up things and thrive.  Instead of giving our problems to our children, we can give them solutions for a cleaner planet.  

 

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3 hours ago, Juggular said:

People are afraid of buying a car with less than 300 mile range.  Most people are fine with 30 miles a day. 

Agreed, but I think as the electric car becomes a higher percentage on the road,  things like wireless charging (you get them built into the table at McDonald's to charge your phone), will become the norm, park at the multi storey at the shopping centre, cars charged by the time you get back ( yes ,there are charging parking bays,but if every bay had a wireless loop) , no reason why they couldn't be built into the road, and in somewhere like a city centre, you may get by with the likes of a small RC car Lipo! (Ok, real car scalextric might not be financially realistic 🙄

Funny how we go around in circles, the first electric vehicle was in 1828 ,and the first internal combustion was 1876, we think elec is this new thing, but pre dates internal combustion by 50yrs! 

Wind farms are popping up on pretty much every hill in Scotland atm, which I don't mind , alot of people think it spoils the views (Trumps golf course 🙊😁) , but I quite like them and with us producing 106% of our energy requirement not so long ago (only for one day mind), coupled with hydro, we are certainly getting there in what I would class as renewable (although hydro uses grid power at low demand, to pump water back up).

3 hours ago, Juggular said:

we now drive about 3000 miles (5000km) per year

I'd be seriously considering getting rid if the car altogether, (at least go through the maths) ,just use a taxis and hire a car if you're going on holiday, by the time you take depreciation, insurance , car tax (if you have that?) and the cost of fuel (although it's pretty much free in the US....🤔😛) , i think the 3000 mile mark is around the turning point for taxis/owning a car. (Depends on a few factors obviously, an 18yr old driving a Ferrari would cost a years taxis's in insurance alone) 

The world has become ,cleaner (?) since the height of the industrial revolution, when coal was burned in pretty much every home (we only swapped from coal to a gas fire in the late 80's!), industry's just chucked whatever waste into the air or rivers,  when smog was common place, the smell of a winters night was of coal smoke and black soot deposits left all over your car 🤬  

This thread is kind of confirming we all have an interest in our planet, which can only be a good thing, but we need to big hitters like China to be on board!

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1 hour ago, Wooders28 said:

Agreed, but I think as the electric car becomes a higher percentage on the road,  things like wireless charging (you get them built into the table at McDonald's to charge your phone), will become the norm, park at the multi storey at the shopping centre, cars charged by the time you get back ( yes ,there are charging parking bays,but if every bay had a wireless loop) , no reason why they couldn't be built into the road, and in somewhere like a city centre, you may get by with the likes of a small RC car Lipo! (Ok, real car scalextric might not be financially realistic 🙄

I don't think wireless charging for cars on the move will happen, particularly not whilst travelling along a road. just think of the amount of copper that would be required (which is very expensive), and the losses of transmitting electricity over large distances. Plus if you look at busy roads, the current requirement for charging 200 cars at once would be enormous. Wireless charging for your phone works because your phone is practically in contact with the electric source. Your car couldn't be in physical contact with the sensor whilst travelling along the road, and as air gap between the source and target increases, the efficiency goes down exponentially. Besides, would you want all those high voltage all over the country in roads, etc, when no-one wants to live under an electricity pylons or cables because of the perceived cancer risk ?

It interesting @Juggular talking about WWII german hybrid tanks, and @Wooders28 saying things go in circles. Found this on youtube, a 2019 vid showing a newly developed hybrid tank drive system. 

What I found interesting is that they've packaged it up using the same basic design as the Tamiya 1/16 leopard tank gearbox, with a drive motor and a steering motor, and then for good measure added a 3-speed dog clutch gearbox. Sound familiar anyone ? :)

As the guy in the video says, the good thing about hybrid systems is the electric motors produce max torque at no rpm, so are great for acceleration, and can recover energy during deceleration. This is what improves the fuel economy of hybrids. In my normal petrol car, when you look at instantaneous fuel economy, it drops massively when you come to a hill or 'boot it'. In hybrids, that gas guzzling is mitigated by the electric motor, which is what improves the fuel economy.

1 hour ago, Wooders28 said:

Funny how we go around in circles, the first electric vehicle was in 1828 ,and the first internal combustion was 1876, we think elec is this new thing, but pre dates internal combustion by 50yrs! 

The first car to exceed 100mph was electric.....

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33 minutes ago, MadInventor said:

would you want all those high voltage all over the country in roads, etc, when no-one wants to live under an electricity pylons or cables because of the perceived cancer risk ?

The national grid will need to be overhauled if all the current (pardon the pun...🙄) cars are replaced with electric (never mind the increase in population, just present numbers)  so I'm thinking more pylons will be needed anyway (wireless on the go may be a bit far fetched, but wireless in parking bays is doable).

 

40 minutes ago, MadInventor said:

In my normal petrol car, when you look at instantaneous fuel economy, it drops massively when you come to a hill

Come off the throttle in a fuel injected car, and there should be zero pulses to the injectors if certain parameters are met (speed signal from the speed switch, throttle closed etc), and it's only when the rpm drops,the Idle Control Valve opens and the injectors start to fire, or you're back on the throttle, so if you leave it in a higher gear, and lift off the throttle on a hill you shouldn't use any fuel. The more modern engines have started to delete cylinders when cruising.

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6 hours ago, Wooders28 said:

The national grid will need to be overhauled if all the current (pardon the pun...🙄) cars are replaced with electric (never mind the increase in population, just present numbers)  so I'm thinking more pylons will be needed anyway (wireless on the go may be a bit far fetched, but wireless in parking bays is doable).

 

Come off the throttle in a fuel injected car, and there should be zero pulses to the injectors if certain parameters are met (speed signal from the speed switch, throttle closed etc), and it's only when the rpm drops,the Idle Control Valve opens and the injectors start to fire, or you're back on the throttle, so if you leave it in a higher gear, and lift off the throttle on a hill you shouldn't use any fuel. The more modern engines have started to delete cylinders when cruising.

I meant going up the hill, not going down it. Yes, rolling down, the fuel economy maxxes out at 99.9mpg.

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The thing is with those windmills ( im true Don Quichot on those ) 

Its a NIMBY .. they erected a few of those huge eye sore's very close to my house, and the sound and light annoyance is huge.

* wap ... flash ... wap .. flash. wap .flash. wap ... flash *  .. that.. in the day.. in the silent night ( rural area ) .. its just wap...wap..wap..wap...  

And they enjoy slaying birds real happy ( can show some nasty pics of some rare birds laying quite... dead under them )..

So, my point is always ..  of course, you can have your wind energy .. but you are going to put it in your own backyard if the guy next door find it a good plan also.

 

I prefer solar panels..   while i do know they have a habit of setting the house on fire there fixed on,  ( 3 in the last year in this area ) , so , please do so,

just not to close to my roof :)   ( these thing burn hard by the way )

Once i get them, im going to put them on the garage roof..  i just hope the windmill won't give to much shadow on it..

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Stefan(2) said:

And they enjoy slaying birds 

I've heard that quite a bit, something that needs to be addressed.

3 hours ago, Stefan(2) said:

but you are going to put it in your own backyard if the guy next door find it a good plan also.

I've looked into it (Not extensively), and need to get planning permission just to get the ball rolling, but the incentives are there, around £30k a year for each one. 🤔🤷‍♂️

Also looked at ground source heating, but it's expensive to install and need a boiler that can better regulate / react to varying infeed water temps, but one I'm tempted with, is a solar water heater using a mat black painted radiator, glass box, 12v solar powered water pump, with a small immersion tank, it does mean I'd need to have a dedicated tap for the free hot (ish) water, (but someone with an immersion tank already could fit a coil at the top of the tank, which should heat enough for washing hands etc).

Slightly edging away for how our hobby has an environmental impact, but I think alot of us in the hobby like to build stuff, modify stuff and use old parts we have to give life to new creations.

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10 hours ago, Wooders28 said:

I quite like them and with us producing 106% of our energy requirement not so long ago (only for one day mind), coupled with hydro, we are certainly getting there

I'm proud of Scottland!  Last year, I think I heard of Portugal being in power surplus for a month?  

Pennsylvania is mostly coal burning state.  When we switch to solar, we could possibly save 3 tons of coal per year.  If I get an electric car, and charge up with solar, I'd be satisfied. 

As for the risks, humans always switched risks.  Unlike 200 years ago, we have many new ways of dying.  A fall from a horse was a serious risk. Christopher Reeves broke his neck.  We moved on to car fires (Ford Pinto?)  Automobiles kill a lot more than horses.  Boeing 737 Max fell twice and killed some 350 people in 6 months.  Falling off tall bridges and buildings, getting electrocuted, even phones kill us.  People text while driving, and people walk around looking at their palms too.  Grease fire from kitchens kill too.  Even though 7 people die every day from fire, we continue to cook with fire. (if you don't have a fire extinguisher, spend $15 and get yourself a fire extinguisher. Every kitchen should have one.)  

To climate scientists below numbers are not strange because CO2 traps heat.  

Mercury: 36 million miles from the sun. 427 Celsius 

Venus: 67 million miles from the sun. 462 Celsius (Hotter, despite 30 million miles farther away, due to CO2 of Venus. As you know, if the distance doubles, the energy drops down to 1/4. Which means Venus should be 4 times cooler, not hotter)    

Earth: 92 mllion miles. 15 Celsius.  Due to the distance from the Sun, Earth should be about 47C (117F).  But earth is covered with 2 things.  Magnetic field and water.  Without the magnetic field, oceans would have been slowly blown away by solar winds, just like how Mars lost its oceans.  Clouds reflects solar rays.  Water surfaces evaporate, also keeping oceans cool.  On the other hand, CO2 doesn't create shadows like water vapor.  So, if we fill the air with CO2 like Venus, I'm sure we can easily reach at least 47C because that's how much energy we are getting from the sun.  Considering the amount of energy, big storms like Katrina was nothing.  We'll have bigger storms, hotter summers, colder winters, all kinds of changes.  

As you have heard, terra-forming ideas for Mars?  It starts with filling the Mars atmosphere with CO2 because CO2 can warm up the entire planet of Mars.  

I thought about putting up a wind turbine on our roof.  But then I saw youtube clips on wind turbines?  My goodness, the noise! 

Because wind farms' turbines got bigger, there are creating mini-earthquakes within about 1-2km range.  This has to be addressed.  The poor couple just 700m (1/2 mile) away from the gigantic turbines were disoriented.  If the ground shakes I would be too. 

I think the column has to be farther away from the blades.  The couple should install sound cancelling speakers outside, as a temporary solution.  New studies need to be done.  Wind farms to be built farther away, maybe instead of 3 big blades, 5 shorter blades could be less noisier, etc, etc.  Just like seat belts and ABS brakes for automobiles, these are technical problems that could be solved.  

 

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I’m all for every part of the UK @Juggular :) 

But Scotland won’t / can’t save the planet on it own sir - even when what you say is true !

This thread only has legs if we debate inconvenient truths that quickly eclipse our hobby 

Otherwise I’m out because we’re just drinking our own bath water

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16 hours ago, SuperChamp82 said:

But Scotland won’t / can’t save the planet on it own sir - even when what you say is true !

Nope, but it gives confidence moving forward, that the investments have been worthwhile, meaning further investments likely, so new generation of turbines can be developed (addressing known issues above). I hoping portable turbines become small and cheap enough to be able to charge lipos (or whatever supersedes lipos) in the middle of a field cheaper than a genny, ( genny is under £200)

 

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16 hours ago, SuperChamp82 said:

I’m all for every part of the UK @Juggular :) 

But Scotland won’t / can’t save the planet on it own sir - even when what you say is true !

This thread only has legs if we debate inconvenient truths that quickly eclipse our hobby 

Otherwise I’m out because we’re just drinking our own bath water

So true. It is a world problem. You can't be out, though, SuperChamp.  Because we've all got nowhere to else go. According to rumors, only a couple of Russian cosmonauts left the earth (by accident, in the heat of 60's space race). 

China and US are the biggest offenders.  I guess I should be glad that my state (Pennsylvania) has gone from majority coal state to majority nuclear state.  But 18 states are still mostly burning coal.  

Can I buy twice as many solar panels than I need?  Nope.  It's illegal.  I understand not being able to recharge Tesla wall batteries with grid power. That would defeat the purpose.  But why prevent citizens from building larger solar panels?  They say the unexpected power draw could be a problem.  But with the invention of Tesla power banks, I find the argument weak.  Power companies just want to make more money.  

 

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If you think about the population of China being 4 times of US, good ol' US of A is burning twice as much coal than Chinese, per person.  And the two countries just keep on arguing "you do first."  

ceJ6bQe.jpg

 

64% of energy in the US is coming from coal or natural gas.  

lOeVL3T.png

 

 

China might not care about the world, but China cares about China.  Even though their current energy is 63% from coal and gas (same as US), their 20 year projection is to get 60% of electricity from non-CO2 sources. 

True to their plan, China has become the first country to go beyond 100GW from solar last year.  China became biggest solar powered country.  They are already at 170GW now.  US has about 50GW.  California has a plan to go 100% renewable by 2045.  But US as a nation has no such plans.  We are not the leader in that sense.  Germany, Scotland, Portugal, even China are getting ahead of this race.  

6g9neQt.png

 

Why do Americans not want clean air, and better climate?  

According to a Yale university studies, 63% of Americans want to limit CO2.  But it's just a big business.  Big monies thrown around by coal industry.  

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Coal brothers, (Charles and David Koch) spent 400 million dollars in 2018 mid term election.  In America, it is legal for interested industries to throw money at politicians, saying "corporate citizens are citizens too."  I just don't have 400 million dollars to throw at the politicians.  So, in America, corporations are the first class citizens.  The second class citizens are ones with flesh and blood.  

I wouldn't be surprised if Kock brothers decide to spent 1 Billion dollars in 2020 election.  They have 50 billion dollars.  Throw 1 billion into the politics, they might sell 10 more billion dollars worth of coal.  I'm sure I'll see "we got cheap energy in our backyard, why shouldn't we use it (at the cost of wiping out a random city with next Katrina)?" advertisements soon.  (They won't add the "wiping out a city" part)  

If I were Kock brothers, I'd invest 30 billion dollars in renewable energy. (Many oil companies are already doing that)  They are already in their 70s.  I'm sure they'll live somewhat comfortably with 20 Billion dollars.  And in 10 years, they might see their investment in solar doubled.  Instead, they fight to burn more coal... keeping America dirty.  

But what can I do?  I recycle.  With the energy it takes to make 1 aluminum can new, you can recycle 20 old ones.  It takes 4000 watts to make 1 can. Or 200 watts to recycle one.  Each recycle saves 3800 watts.  That's 422 hours of light from a 9w LED bulb. Or 513 amp.  You can recharge your 2S, 5000mAh battery 102 times by recycling just one aluminum can.  

I dry clothes on drying racks.  In soggy days, I dry them in the dryer at the lowest setting.  I was surprised to learn that there is no concept of clothes-tumbling-drying-machine in other countries.  They all air-dry!  I figure if the world is fine with it, why not?  As a result, we use the least in our neighborhood.  About half the states use over 1000kwh per month, per house.  Pennsylvania average is 850kwh (Hawaii uses the least, at 551kwh).  Ours is 448kwh.  But we are not doing any better than UK citizens (320kwh).  (Incidentally, this was not a good thing when trying to install solar... because we use less, the savings was non-existent.)  Hopefully next car will be an electric one, with solar on our roof. (even if I have to learn to install the darn things myself!! ) 

 

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I've been reading this thread with great interest and wrote out a 3-page reply last week, but declined to post owing to it going way off-topic.

The west was built on capitalism, but I think it'll be capitalism that destroys us.  The wealth behind capitalism could be used to save the planet, and I think in many places it is, but in others it's also destroying it.

I read that in the UK, many families are in food poverty.  Kids are turning up to school underfed because parents can't afford to buy food.  In the UK!  That's mental.  But how can we expect people to spend more money buying food in recyclable packaging when they already can't buy enough to feed their kids?

I live in the Westcountry.  We're surrounded by agriculture here, everywhere we look.  And we have farm shops popping up in every little village, but I don't shop in them.  I can't be considered poor by any standard of wealth, but I can't afford to shop in farm shops.  No, they're for the affluent middle class who want to feel good about buying local organic produce; they're not for the likes of me who have to juggle bills every month to keep the mortgage company satisfied, the house heated and food on the table and still have a little left over to do the things I enjoy doing.

Where's the cheap food?  It's on the shelf over there, wrapped in plastic, couriered in from another county or even another country.

It seems the only real solution right now is to control the population, but you mention restricting the number of children people have and watch the rage descend.  I have one child, I don't want another (I mean I really don't want another), but my wife does, and apparently that was what I signed up for when I said "I do", so that's what we're doing.  Her childhood dreams of having two children are more important than anything else, to her.  And population control is a dangerous thing - you don't want a geriatric population hooked up to life support machines with no younger people working to support them.

But maybe it's not all doom and gloom after all.  The political and societal world has changed so much in so short a time, and it could still change so much more.  Richard Buckminster Fuller is quoted as saying "We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living".  Full quote here:

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/133403-we-should-do-away-with-the-absolutely-specious-notion-that

Technology is almost at the point where all of our basic needs could be taken care of without people having to work.  Let's be honest, so much of work is makework anyway.  Working to justify why you are working.  If we didn't spend time doing that, could we be solving the bigger problems?  Even if only one in ten thousand of us can make a breakthrough, that's still a lot of people making breakthroughs.  If we didn't need to work to support our basic existence then the entire capitalist empire will either fall or be forced to evolve into something new.  The concept of wealth will change drastically.  Then it won't be the power of money but the power of society that puts the solar collectors into orbit, builds the space elevator and constructs the Dyson sphere.  All the energy we can ever get is right up there in that big nuclear reactor called the sun.

There's a lot of obstacles to this concept but the two mains ones, in my uneducated opinion, are that a) as a society and as individuals we are still desperately clinging on to ancient and outmoded concepts of what the world should be like and 2) the people with the power to change the world have the most to lose by changing it.  Maybe I should add that iii) as a species we are prone to be selfish and greedy when given power.

We can do what we can as individuals, but it seems now it's down to the big players to take some very bold and ambitious steps, otherwise I fear we're just spitting into the ocean.  Although that BBC article is kinda scary and has got Doomsday written all over it, I find it refreshing that people are actually thinking about really big solutions to a really big problem.  Let's face it, telling people to park up their SUVs and buy wonky veg just isn't going to cut it.

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On 5/12/2019 at 9:01 PM, Juggular said:

Can I buy twice as many solar panels than I need?  Nope.  It's illegal.

Urm, what?? seems a bit daft, to cite , unexpected power drains, as they put power into the grid, there's got to be more to it.

On 5/12/2019 at 9:01 PM, Juggular said:

I was surprised to learn that there is no concept of clothes-tumbling-drying-machine in other countries

The concept is very much real over here, getting around 200 days of rain a year (4.5 mtrs in the highlands), it's drying outside that's a strange concept! 🙄😂, maybe why the wind and hydro energy generation does quite well!! 

 

On 5/12/2019 at 9:01 PM, Juggular said:

Ours is 448kwh.  But we are not doing any better than UK citizens (320kwh)

If you take the whole energy usage, gas and elec, I bet there wouldn't be much difference, I don't know anyone with air con in their house, gas fired boilers and radiators running most of the time- yes , if I swapped my oven for a gas one, I'd only have the washer/drier and dish washer as the main user (both those are A rated) ,

I used 641kwh of elec a month over the last 6 month's (winter) and I used 3177kwh of gas.

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3 hours ago, Wooders28 said:

Urm, what?? seems a bit daft, to cite , unexpected power drains, as they put power into the grid, there's got to be more to it.

The concept is very much real over here, getting around 200 days of rain a year (4.5 mtrs in the highlands), it's drying outside that's a strange concept! 🙄😂, maybe why the wind and hydro energy generation does quite well!! 

 

If you take the whole energy usage, gas and elec, I bet there wouldn't be much difference, I don't know anyone with air con in their house, gas fired boilers and radiators running most of the time- yes , if I swapped my oven for a gas one, I'd only have the washer/drier and dish washer as the main user (both those are A rated) ,

I used 641kwh of elec a month over the last 6 month's (winter) and I used 3177kwh of gas.

I've just had a look back at our electric bills just for comparison against the figures quoted previously in this thread. Last year we averaged 284Kwh / month of electricity and that includes running air-con in the lounge over winter to help with the heating as the radiator doesn't work that well in that room. The air con (air source heat pump) is actually more than 100% efficient as you're just nicking the heat from outside the house and bringing it inside, so 1Kw of electricity gives more than 1Kw of heat. But I live in the south of England, so we get a bit more sunshine for air drying the washing outside as well.

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Mad Ax actually has a good point ( thats, how i read it anyway )

 

I would love to have solar panels on my roof ( to reduce electricity cost ) , bonus.. better for the flowers and animals.

.. but i can't afford them..

 

I would love to drive a tesla , or a cheaper electric car.   no more gas to pay, and the government pays my road tax.. and cheap insurance ( also government pays a bit for that )

Not to mention ,they pay a large chunk of the actual buy price of it !      Hey, i could even charge them with my wished for solar panels !

.. but i can't afford it...

 

I would love to buy free-range meat , it taste's better anyway

.. but i can't afford it..

 

Same as the bio foods.. yep, it actually taste better..  however ..

.. i can't afford it ..

 

ect..

 

What they did do around here, is increase the house-hold-gas price, ( for that co2 story ) , as a tax ..

Also they increased the tax on electricity .. to .. motivate people to put solar panels up...

 

What prevents me from saving any money for.. say.. solar panels.. as i got to pay up the extra tax .. ( can only spend it 1x .. right ? )

 

And sad joke is, im considered having a medium income.. nearly 2x as the minimal wage.  

Imagine the real low income people trying to do it.. 

 

 

 

 

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I put solar panels up about 6 years ago while there was still a decent grant and the buy back was reasonable. I reckon its all paid of now. BUT only because of the grant that gets me about £850 a year. 

We use the excess to heat the house water so for about 5-6 moths a year use no oil at all (out in the sticks so we are oil fired rather than gas) 

This has actually reduced our oil consumption by at least half as even in winter we have some energy into the hot water system their by reducing the oil we use all year.

Would I pay for it now with no grant.....only if I had about 5K to spare as thats the modern cost. Cost has went down BUT so has the KW of panels you can put up. The reason is so many have them the grid cant really cope with the reverse supply. Some areas (typically rural) as farmers and their family's were quick to realise a decent investment turnaround and also due to rural people largely being owner occupiers. When we installed ours we did it as a family, mine, my brother and my father to help us get a better install price from the same installer.

I would love a windmill but moved a decent distance from the house and a not so substantial one as to cause to much noise, the ones that rotate horizontally may be better for noise??? but are seen less frequently. They take up more room but are also not as tall. Again as I live in the sticks this may some day be possible.

I recycle all that I reasonably can. We reuse and buy mostly 2nd hand (partly due to budget I admit) So I am instilling the same ethos in the kids. 

Bring on all forms of renewable as quickly as possible so we can keep the oil coming for longer as some things as yet cant be done practically any other way.

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Yes, I've been seeing "Maximum profit" over "quantity profit."  A furnace costs about $800.  But they charge poor pensioners $3,000 for connecting 2 ducts, 1 gas line, and several control wires.  Medicine in U.S. is worse.  Hip replacement is about $16,000 in UK.  The average in US is $30-57,000.  Once you get sick, you could lose everything.   
 
Hospitals do need to make a living, of course.  But they go for "Maximum profit."  Every year, they ask for increase from insurances, which ends up with $100 for Band-Aid.  Do the profits all go to the doctors and nurses?  Nope, millions go to the business-end (who could afford fancy farmer shops, and yachts, while nurses can't afford them).  
 
"The rich-based economy" could work fine for few decades.  But eventually, the hospitals could run out of patients who could pay for the care.  Furnace companies could lower the price, but can they? When everything becomes so expensive?  Middle income families have to charge more for their small businesses to survive.  Some will fail and become homeless.  When the gap between the rich and the middle income families become large, the society breaks down. 
 
The average house price in Hawaii is $800,000.  Hawaii has 45 homeless per 10,000 residents.  Even if they work 16 hours a day, they can't afford $800,000 home.  The richer the rich becomes the poorer the poor becomes.  Yes, Hawaii is an expensive state.  But Oregon isn't.  Oregon and California have 34 homeless per 10,000.  Washington state has 29.  DC has 110 homeless out of 10,000.  In this day and age, there isn't any reason why 1% should be homeless in any jurisdiction.  Except for greed.  
 
Greed drives capitalism.  When under control, it could be a healthy drive.  But when you charge $1,000 for a coffee mug, and the Air force just pays because it's not their own personal money, everything starts to go down.  USA spends ridiculous amount of money on tanks and warplanes.  Nobody complains about that.  UK spends about 50 billion dollars on defense.  Russia, much bigger country, spends 70 billion dollars.  Why is US spending 700 billion?  Are we fighting a World War 3, unbeknownst to me?  Why do we need 1 million soldiers (including reserves)?  That's as many as Normandy invasion including the US, British and Canadian forces.  We have 2300 active tanks.  3500 in storage (in case of WW3?).  6 million dollars a piece.  
 
Including various support trucks, ships and air planes, US military might have 1 vehicle to every other soldier.  And these are not tiny Hondas we are talking about.  As opposed to 6,000 American tanks, Canada (who is closer to Russian menace), is doing fine with 80 tanks.  Israel operates about 300 active tanks (and 1000 older models in storage).  I love tanks, but jeesh!  Why is this happening?  Because of the defense industry lobbies hard to Maximize the profit.  
 
Boeing advertised that 737 Max 8 does not need re-training for the pilots.  Apparently, stronger engines make the airplane pitch up.  Unknown to pilots, Boeing installed an automatic function to nose-dive.  Two airplanes crashed in 6 months, killing 350 people.  Human lives or profit?  If the profit is large enough, why not let humans die and pay for their cheap lives?  Each plane costs 120 million dollars.  Boeing sold 400 of the Maxes.  That's 48 Billion dollars for Boeing.  350 poor Ethiopians and Malaysians died?  No problem.  Pay $100,000 each, that's only 35 million dollars.  Less than 1/1000th of the profit. 
 
Most TC members are moral people.  But even among us, if the profit is a 10 Mllion dollars, and one death your profit would result, costs only $100,000 in court?  Some of us would have no problem taking 9 million 900,000 dollars at the expense of a human life.  Ford decided exactly that with Pinto, back in the days.  In the end, government regulators forced the recall.  
 
Our culture of "I'll do anything for profit" needs to change.  Our understanding of the greed needs to change.  We need to understand that even "good people" can make bad decisions when faced with large profit.  It should be culturally natural to go with humanity, rather than profit.  What are you going to do with a 50-bedroom mansion?  Multiply yourself into 50 clones so you can sleep in all 50 beds at one time?  Our (especially American) bling-bling culture needs to ease off a bit.   
 
The "Max Profit" is in Solar also.  Panels and equipment cost $2,000 to $3,000 dollars.  Labor costs $17,000.  Let's see, I pay about $55/mo of electricity... $20,000 to install solar panels... it will take 30 years to see any benefit, even if we don't use any energy from the grid.  How long does it take to install?  5 hours of work costing $20,000 is a price of a major surgery.  Of course there are subsidies, but with current coal-friendly mood, US decided to cut the subsidy from 30% down to 10%.  I guess America needs tanks more than clean air.  But less subsidy could mean cheaper solar, because "Max Profit" means solar companies charge more when there is a subsidy.  
 
No matter what the solar scene is, I've laid down a lot of insulation.  Heating and cooling takes a lot less energy.  Our place was built in the 60's.  Ceiling insulation was rather wimpy.  I crawled up there to add insulation.  And windows were single-pane wooden windows that were really drafty (also lead painted).  Window companies asked for $20,000 for installing new windows.  We did it ourselves.  My brother in law was told up to $60,000. That's like $3,000 per window.  The same windows you see in hardware stores for $150.  Another example of "Max Profit."  We wanted to re-finish the floor.  The cheapest quote was $6,000.  I just rented a sanding machine and sanded the floor in just about 1 hour.  Another hour to dust, another hour to apply floor finish.  $2,000 an hour is a bit over the minimum wage, I think?  They all push for the maximum profit, and in the end, only a few will remain, and only few will be able to afford.  
 
Controlled economy fails.  But almost completely free economy will also fail.  Free market assumes informed buyer.  You can choose not to buy a bruised apple.  But what about 120 million dollar jet with a nose-dive program even pilots didn't know about?  How could free market make informed decisions?  Regulation can do only so much.  Our own culture has to value something more than money.  It has to be in all of us.  
 
Which is why (I assume) MadInventor started this tread.  Government didn't ask us to discuss the environment.  It's an everyday person starting a talk about the Earth, and many joined in.  Nobody got paid to talk about environment.  Yet, we all want better future for not just our own family, but all humanity.  Workless society Mad Ax was talking about, wouldn't be possible, if we all thought about our own immediate family.  I think humans are capable of thinking beyond just his own family.  If we are not, we are no different from rodents.  "Mice Utopia experiment" reminds me a lot of our current society. 
 
Hopefully, humans are smarter, but don't assume.  If we assume we are smarter, we stay dumb.  At least, that's what I take away from Dunning-Kruger effect.  
 
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It's insane in the Bay Area every body's a PHD apparenty with Ophra's wealth HA!

I'm a GC, a company wanted $4000.00 dollars to run a 25' dryer vent i did it for 800, $70 for materials and about 10 hrs under a house, now with the money he saved i get the kitchen remodel, i do a lot of work for fixed income clients also and they just can't afford these high ticket prima donna buisnesses with doctor attached wages. This is how i stay busy i stay fair and 90% of my clients are repeat customers that i've known for many years. Materials have climbed quite a bit, dump fees go up about 2-3 times a year and anything related to copper is almost well i'm melting penny's and extrude my own pipe:lol:

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On 5/7/2019 at 1:11 PM, Tizer said:

Since I'm working at a 3D printing firm (Shapeways) it's been much easier for me to fix broken parts or incomplete kits (or even household items) by printing parts. I think this local production or parts is great. Minimal transport, minimal stock production.

If Shapeways can get prices down to a sensible level - totally agree, atm it is not really affordable for anything other than custom parts. Also, your substrates need to come from somewhere - right? At some point shipping is going to happen, minimising it is the key.

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