How environmental friendly are you?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Frank, Jun 1, 2011.

?

What cup do you use most often?

  1. Ceramic cup, hand wash

    23 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Ceramic cup, dishwasher

    15 vote(s)
    32.6%
  3. Paper cup, recycle it

    2 vote(s)
    4.3%
  4. Paper cup, garbage bin

    1 vote(s)
    2.2%
  5. Plastic cup, garbage bin

    2 vote(s)
    4.3%
  6. Styrofoam cup

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Don't care

    3 vote(s)
    6.5%
  1. Silent_Buddha

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    I think you misunderstand his point. In any country where having a child is an easy choice to make (any 1st world country) it is a non-issue as the birth rate is in general lower than the death rate. Japan and many 1st world countries are experiencing negative population growth as less people have children for a variety of reasons.

    It's mostly in 3rd world countries where population growth is still strong. And arguably there is less choice amongst the populations in those countries to control whether they have children or not. As well there's more natural conditions in those countries that help mitigate the problems of unmitigated child birth. War, famine, lower health standards, etc. In other words you don't have mankind artificially increasing the life expectancy of individuals there as you do in 1st world countries. Although some charitable institutions try.

    Except that there is no credible non-politically motivated scientific evidence that carbon in the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide is a pollutant. The time of greatest bio-diversity on the planet also coincided with the time of greatest CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. Far far greater levels than we have today.

    And any significant savings in the output of CO2 by humans is easily made insignificant by even 1 naturally occuring geological occurance. 1 volcanic eruption puts out as much CO2 as all of humankind for 1 year. Which is far in excess of any CO2 reduction by humans for many many years.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  2. Fred

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    "I think you misunderstand his point. In any country where having a child is an easy choice to make (any 1st world country) it is a non-issue as the birth rate is in general lower than the death rate"

    I don't think you understand.

    No matter what the aggregate birth rate of a 1st world country, the *INDIVIDUAL* choice of having children is an enormous carbon sink. In fact, the best individual decision to limit carbon you could ever possibly do is to not have a kid.

    If you want to work over say a 500 year time span, lets say that the average birth rate is 2 for simplicity (its actually what, 2.3 or something). That means you have 2^N heirs, where N is the amount of generations. Each generation is what 25 years.. So 20 generations means you have on average 1048576 heirs.
    Looking up online, the average energy consumption in the US per capita is 327 GigaJoules/yr. Which for an average lifeexpetancy of 80 is 26000GJ.

    Multiplying the amount of heirs with the energy use per heir yields 2.7 * 10^10 GJ if I am not mistaken.

    Meanwhile, lets say the difference in the above cups is about 10 joule in EROI a day. 300 million people in the US which has a flat population growth. So 3000 million joules per day for 500 years.. Thats 5.4 * 10^14 joules, which is actually about 100,000 times less than the result from a single person 500 years earlier not having children.
     
  3. Xmas

    Xmas Porous
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    Will they?

    I wouldn't discount the possibility of future generations becoming carbon neutral, and indeed this happening faster with a larger population (both due to a larger need and because more heads allow more research).

    Besides, if we don't have children, who are we "saving the planet" for? :D
     
  4. Simon F

    Simon F Tea maker
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    Don't have a large (carnivorous?) pet? - at least that was the suggestion on QI a couple of years ago.
     
  5. KimB

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    Um, what? CO2 increases the acidity of the oceans, and has already succeeded in killing off near to half of all plankton.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/enviro...line-in-the-oceans-phytoplankton-2038074.html

    And in case you missed it, life has evolved in the hundreds of millions of years since we had much higher CO2 levels. Current life forms are struggling to adapt and will continue to do so. I'm also pretty sure that there is no credible evidence that biodiversity was ever higher than it was before the current mass extinction started.

    This is also false. See here:
    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/climate.php

    The short of it is that humans release over a hundred times more each year than volcanoes.
     
  6. KimB

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    The thing is, you can't seriously make that claim and at the same time state that other individual choices don't matter.
     
  7. Sxotty

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    And I am still waiting too. As I said originally.
     
  8. Fred

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    That actually makes far more sense than people stressing about whether to recycle or which bulb to use.

    In fact, simply writing about whether to be more green on popular forums is more important than actually doing it individualy, as ideas can spread.
     
  9. WhiningKhan

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    You are failing to follow your own logic a bit, IMO. How is not taking a pet more significant in large scale than other individual choices? Most likely the pet would live its life and expend resources whether or not you are its master.

    Then again, if you apply the "spread the idea" aspect to the pet case, you can as well apply it to any other individual choices.

    Indeed - also dismissing importance of individual choices on forums can do much more harm than anything you actually do individually.
     
  10. Sxotty

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    Bulbs can make a fairly large difference actually. When you see how much energy is used on lighting it is no surprise. But at the moment LED isn't much different than fluorescent. And remember in the winter incandescent are much more efficient since the waste heat is no longer waste :)
     
  11. KimB

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    Except that an efficient heating system is far more efficient than a system that generates heat. With reasonable assumptions, a system which instead transfers heat from the outside of the house to the inside (basically an air conditioning system put in reverse) can potentially be of the order of ten times more efficient than a simple heater.
     
  12. Sxotty

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    Your talking about a heat pump. But seriously it really does make a difference if you are heating or cooling your house in terms of lighting efficiency.
     
  13. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Not sure what exactly you mean by that (or what you think that means.) Are you disputing CO2's chemical or physical properties? If the former, try breathing an atmosphere consisting of an appreciable fraction of the gas in question, and then get back to us on how far that got you mmkay? :twisted:

    ...If it's the latter, then...get real. Please. :D

    Last I checked nobody's actually invented a flying delorean yet (27ish years too late and all), so how do you know that?

    You know, I see that repeated as fact over and over on the interwebs, and never is there any source or evidence cited. I think it's bullshit to be honest (just think of all the fossile fuels we burn in a single year, to top or even equal that amount insignificant it would require the mother of all smoking volcanoes, which, of course, we've never actually seen in reality), and even if it isn't bullshit (which I doubt), it's a non-sequitur, because volcanoes+humans > volcanoes. Endof story.
     
  14. KimB

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    Well, it does. But not that much of a difference. And in the summer time it makes cooling the house even less energy efficient.
     
  15. WhiningKhan

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    Leaving assumptions and potentially aside, in real life COP varies from 1 to 4, and the best efficiency is when the least heating power is needed. That's still better than 1, sure, but ten times more efficient is a wild exaggeration.
     
  16. KimB

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    Well, you can generally improve things at the low outside temperature range by not using air as the source for your heat pump. My parents had a system installed in their house in northern California that transferred heat with the ground, which sidesteps the problem of lowered efficiency in very cold weather (because even just a few feet down the ground approaches the average yearly temperature instead of the current outdoor temperature), with efficiencies approaching closer to a factor of 4-7. See here:
    http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12640

    So yes, the factor of 10 is an idealized number that is based only on thermodynamic arguments, and nothing about the actual machinery. It doesn't surprise me that in practice it ends up being closer to half that.
     
  17. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Ground heat pumps are really quite common in Sweden, I'm surprised that the US does not use more of them considering how effective they are, and instead relying on air conditioning units to heat homes...
     
  18. WhiningKhan

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    Even for ground heat pumps, COP 4-7 is still more advertizing talk than reality - in absolutely ideal circumstances COP may get close to 5. Actual figures are around 3 for real equipment shown e.g. here: http://www.energimyndigheten.se/Tem...=12&productCompareList=98,9,99,97&PageID=5304

    It makes no sense economically to use ground heat pumps unless heating power requirements are quite high. As a retrofit to replace oil burner (using existing heat delivery system) in a large house with insulation not up to current standards, they are at their best. In Sweden, subsidies have distorted the market.
     
  19. KimB

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    I don't see why. They last quite a while, meaning they save money in the long run. So it makes good sense to heavily subsidize them.
     
  20. elbatsdap

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    Very agreeable.
     
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