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  #41  
Old Posted May 22, 2019, 12:06 AM
acottawa acottawa is offline
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Originally Posted by CityTech View Post
We're just too far north for large scale solar power plants. Wind is much more effective--Ontario makes good use of wind backed up by hydroelectric and gas.
Ontario is mostly nuclear (currently about 10k MW). Wind is 3%.
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  #42  
Old Posted May 22, 2019, 3:00 PM
CityTech CityTech is offline
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Originally Posted by acottawa View Post
Ontario is mostly nuclear (currently about 10k MW). Wind is 3%.
Wind varies dramatically. At times it surges to as much as 15% of demand, other times it drops to nearly nothing. Dam output from reservoirs and gas plants adjust for this--when wind output is very high gas plants turn off and dams dial down to fill their reservoirs. When wind drops the reservoirs are drawn down and the gas plants spun up again. The province has a complex system of hourly demand and weather forecasting it uses to make these decisions allowing it to optimize output.

Wind allows OPG to get more out of its hydroelectric plants by providing more times for the reservoirs to recharge. It also reduces the provinces carbon footprint by allowing gas plants to be turned off at times.

In 2018, wind provided 7% of the province's total power. (10.7 TWh out of 147.6 TWh). By contrast natural gas was less, at 6% (9.6 TWh).
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  #43  
Old Posted May 23, 2019, 2:33 PM
Eau Claire Eau Claire is offline
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This is HUGE, and by huge I mean it’s a major milestone and not a finish line reached. The sooner we get facilities like this built the sooner we can refine them and bring the costs down. About 10 years ago when David Keith was still at the University of Calgary and working on this with his research group he did a detailed breakdown of this process from a cost perspective looking at all the best and worst case scenarios. With all the best case scenarios he calculated that he could remove CO2 for $20/tonne. This is in line with what the other major players in this area have said as well. Global Thermostat has said they could potentially do it for a s little as $15/tonne. Of course it’s unlikely that all the best case scenarios will line up, but it’s also possible that a technological improvement or currently unforeseen refinement of the process could bring down the cost. Right now Carbon Engineering is at about $100/tonne, with already makes it practical for large scale projects like this:


“Two companies together have set their sights on Texas oil country for building the world's largest facility for sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, a project that would use the trapped CO2 for boosting oil production.

Driving the news: Carbon Engineering and Occidental Petroleum said Tuesday they're going ahead with engineering and design for a plant in the booming Permian Basin of Texas.
Why it matters: A major UN-led scientific report last year concluded that pathways for holding global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius all require atmospheric carbon removal in addition to steep emissions cuts.
• Canada-based Carbon Engineering — whose investors include Bill Gates, the venture arms of Occidental and Chevron, and private equity backers — hopes to commercialize a direct air capture (DAC) technology.
• Occidental, which specializes in using CO2 injections to boost production from oil wells, can use that trapped CO2.
Where it stands: They're weighing plans for an initial plant that would capture around 500 kilotonnes of CO2 annually, and then scale up with additional facilities around twice that size.
• If the project moves forward, construction of the first plant would likely begin in 2021.
• One thing helping to make the project possible are expanded tax credits for carbon-trapping projects signed into law last year.
The big picture: If this project indeed moves ahead, it'll be an important move. "This project shows that this technology isn’t 10 or 20 years away," said Erin Burns of Carbon180, a nonprofit that advocates for negative emissions tech.
• "The first few projects like this are important not just because of the carbon dioxide they’ll pull out of the air, but because they’ll help pave the way for next tens and hundreds of these plants," she said.
The intrigue: Carbon Engineering CEO Steve Oldham told me the plant would cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
• He said Carbon Engineering is looking at multiple funding options, including existing investors and other parties. “We have some interested third parties who like the look of the business model,” he added.
• Carbon Engineering had closed a $68 million financing round earlier this year.
But, but, but: There's a tradeoff in using CO2 for producing oil that's later burned in engines.
• But Oldham said that the crude produced using the captured CO2 would pencil out to be carbon-neutral or even negative.
• And, he added, it's a big step toward helping DAC become a tool in fighting global warming.
• “This is proving the technology to achieve what the [UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] says is utterly necessary,” he said.”
https://www.axios.com/new-project-su...96a24ba40.html
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  #44  
Old Posted May 23, 2019, 2:55 PM
CityTech CityTech is offline
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I'm skeptical of carbon removal tech simply due to basic thermodynamics but sure, lets research it. Might go somewhere.
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  #45  
Old Posted May 23, 2019, 3:32 PM
Eau Claire Eau Claire is offline
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Originally Posted by CityTech View Post
I'm skeptical of carbon removal tech simply due to basic thermodynamics but sure, lets research it. Might go somewhere.
Exactly, and this is why this is so big, imo. They operated a tiny unit at the UofC for some years, and for the past year or two they've been operating a much bigger but still small unit at their facility in Squamish BC, and now this is the next step. This would basically be a full sized unit. If this is successful then I think they will officially be going somewhere. 20 years ago very few people would have predicted that solar would be where it is today. Keep in mind that we are only 4 years into the 85 year project laid out in the Paris agreement in 2015. I hate saying that technology is going to solve the problem, because technology is not going to do it on it's own. We can't just sit back and let "technology" solve the problem, iow. It's takes very smart people and a lot of hard work, but with very smart people and a lot of hard work much is possible using technology.
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  #46  
Old Posted May 25, 2019, 2:21 AM
Eau Claire Eau Claire is offline
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Some good news adn some bad news. I’ll start with the bad, another CBC fearmongering/fake news bit on climate change, this time trying to exploit the High Level Alberta fire.
https://podcast-a.akamaihd.net/mp3/p...G-20190523.mp3

During the first half they interview residents, but the host refers to fires like this being the “new normal”. She provides no explanation but I think she’s trying to suggest that climate change is a major factor in this fire, which is known not to be true. In the second part she talks to an “expert”, a guy from Queens, who continues the story. He says that forest fires are getting “bigger, hotter, and more frequent,” and in the short term this is true, but there is a known cause and it’s not climate change. He then goes on to say that climate change IS a significant part of the issue here and that High Level is 1.7 degrees warmer than it was 80 years ago (referring back to Kenney’s comment), and with every degree there is a 12% increase in lightning, extended drought, and a longer fire season.

So let’s check his claims. They referred to the Slave Lake and Fort McMurray fires as part of this pattern so I’ll include them as well. I found a useful link which summarizes weather changes in Alberta since 1950:
http://albertaclimaterecords.com/#

- It’s true the High Level area has had an increase in average temperature of about 1.7 degrees in that time, but if you look closer most of that has been in the winter, while the summers have been essentially the same.
-If you check the precipitation tab in the link you will see that there has been an increase since 1950 around SL and HL, and a slight drop around FM but only in winter. So no drought. In fact these areas tend to be wetter.
- All three fires have been in May, so the there was no impact of an “extended fire season”. This is a known high risk time of the year for fires, btw. There is a high risk period after the snow melts but before the forest “greens up”, before the new grasses sprout up, and the new leaves come out, and the sap starts flowing in the trees again. This is a very dry window that every year is high risk for fire.
- But for there to be a fire there has to be a point of ignition. I don’t recall hearing a reference to increased lightning with increased temperature before, but both the SL and FM fires were started by man. The SL fire has been called arson, and the FM fire has been identified as being started by man, leaving open the possibility that it was an accident. I don’t think we know yet what started the High Level fire.

So the only thing this guy said that was true was that the area has warmed by 1.7 degrees, but he left out the fact that almost all of this has happened in the winter. If I’m being charitable to this “expert” I would say that he has no idea what he’s talking about. There are many academics in this area and throughout AB, SK and MB who understand these forests very well, so I guess it’s not surprising that the CBC had to go as far away as Queens to find someone clueless enough to say the things they wanted him to say. Some may remember that the CBC did this in its coverage of the Calgary Stampede some years back as well, going to someone from the Vancouver Humane Society for comments on rodeos.

Another very important part of this is that the fires have become very big and destructive, but there is a known cause for this and it’s not climate change. It relates to the forestry practices over the last century, and the same thing is happening in the US as well. In short fire is a natural and necessary part of the regeneration of these forests but about a century ago in both the US and Canada we decided that we should try to fight and put out forest fires. The result has been that instead of having much smaller but much more frequent fires that clear out the old, dead, growth in the forest floor, we have put these fires out and now have a huge accumulation of dead material on the forest floor, in many places over half a century worth, and these places are now essentially HUGE bonfires just waiting to go off. These huge fires burn much differently. The fire races to the crown much quicker, and from there is spreads much quicker. They are much hotter and can burn green forests much more easily. PBS did a piece called Inside the Megafire on these fires. The critical bit starts at about 30 min and runs to about 40 min, but the part from 20 min to 30 min adds a lot as well.
https://www.pbs.org/video/inside-the-megafire-uzvhug/

But as an example of how wide spread today’s climate change hysteria is, even this piece isn’t free from it. After about the 40 min mark, after they have explained why there are so many more fires today and why they’re so much bigger, even they start into the same baseless fearmongering. “There’s no fire season anymore. There’s a fire year, year after year.” Well, no. They’ve just finished explaining why and how these fires are caused by a century of build up of dead material on the forest floor, and they’ve just showed visually an area that had been cleared out and then subjected to a prescribed burn, and they showed it 16 years after the burn and showed that that it’s still wide open without a great deal of buildup on the forest floor, and then they say this?? No, there could not be a major fire there “year after year”, as they have just shown! If you did nothing and let the material build up for another 100 years you could have another one then, but the lessons learned here are that if you manage the forest properly and do a prescribed burn every few decades or so you will never have another megafire again. This is, however, a good example of the bizarre and counterfactual hysteria around the climate change issue these days.

The good news will be in the next post.
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  #47  
Old Posted May 25, 2019, 2:44 AM
lio45 lio45 is online now
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I'm happy to see we can be in agreement once in a while, Allan. That's the "good news" from your "bad news" post.
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  #48  
Old Posted May 25, 2019, 2:44 AM
Eau Claire Eau Claire is offline
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On the SMR front, Moltex is back in the news. This is the company that is partnering with NB Power to develop a SMR project in NB. There’s nothing very new to me here, but their claims have gotten bigger, as I recall anyway. They’re probably too big, in fact, but just for fun let’s get them on record in this thread and see how things pan out.

https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/bu...-waste-313709/
“Moltex believes its technology has the capacity to solve the climate change crisis on its own. In time, says Moltex, it could deliver affordable electricity with no carbon emissions while reducing the world’s stock on nuclear waste.
“The opportunity here is so big,” said Moltex CEO North America Rory O’Sullivan in an interview. “The GDP increase for the host nation would be $1.5 trillion and it would create hundreds of thousands of jobs. That opportunity is too big just for Canada.”
Moltex is one of a handful of companies around the world that is working on technology that would convert the waste from nuclear plants into electricity — another is Bellevue, Wash.-based TerraPower, founded by Bill Gates.
Some environmentalists believe nuclear power is key in battling climate change because it produces energy on-demand, whereas renewables like solar or wind are sporadic. This new technology would mitigate the downside of nuclear power by consuming nuclear waste.”

Here are a couple of links on the technology from their site.
https://www.moltexenergy.com/ourbreakthrough/
https://www.moltexenergy.com/stablesaltreactors/

"In a Molten Salt Reactor, the gases are not produced and the reaction takes place at atmospheric pressure, so explosive release of radioactive products is not possible. Also the reaction slows down as the temperature rises, and so the system is self-damping. The net effect is to simplify the engineering massively and thereby to significantly reduce the size and cost of the reactor. The SSR will be one eighth of the cost of a current nuclear reactor of the same output and cheaper even than coal or gas."
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  #49  
Old Posted May 25, 2019, 2:15 PM
Eau Claire Eau Claire is offline
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More big news on the carbon capture front, and from a Canadian project too:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ilestone-early
“A Royal Dutch Shell Plc-operated carbon capture and storage project in Canada has hit a milestone of sequestering 4 million tons of carbon dioxide about six months ahead of schedule and at a lower cost than estimated, helped by better-than-expected reliability.
The Quest facility, which sequesters emissions from the Scotford Upgrader near Edmonton, Alberta, started up in November 2015 and has since run ahead of its target of capturing 1 million tons of carbon a year, said Anne Halladay, a geophysicist who has been an adviser on the project since it was in construction in 2014. That performance has been driven by less unplanned maintenance than projected and more efficient performance, including less chemical usage, she said.
While Shell's carbon storage project has been a success, Halladay sees more of a future for projects that use the sequestered carbon for industrial purposes such as fertilizer, pharmaceuticals and enhanced oil recovery. Halladay said large projects like Quest tend to need large amounts of capital and more regulatory incentives to get built. The Quest facility cost about C$1.35 billion ($1 billion) to build and received C$865 million from the Canadian and Alberta governments.”

https://www.jwnenergy.com/article/20...trending-down/
“”I think what we’ve been able to demonstrate over the past four years is that our costs are coming down. Initially in the project phase 5-10 years ago we thought it was going to cost us about $120/tonne to build and operate this facility. Now we’re finding that costs are more around $80/tonne, so that’s super significant,” she said.
“If we did this again, we think we could even get that lower to $60/tonne.”
That’s also an estimate of the cost to replicate the Quest CCS facility and not for a carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) project that involves a commercial use for the carbon dioxide - something like the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line.
The $900-million ACTL project is currently under construction and expected to start operating in 2020.
When completed, it will be the world’s largest CO2 pipeline. The 240-kilometre pipeline will collect captured CO2 from a fertilizer plant and the new Sturgeon Refinery near Edmonton, and pipe it to mature conventional oilfields near Clive, Alberta.
It is estimated that the CO2 from the pipeline will allow producers to wring an additional one billion barrels of light oil out of mature, largely depleted reservoirs.
ACTL is also expected to sequester up to 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 per year.”


$60/tonne is a very impressive number. It’s easy to see that even with a small carbon tax rebated to teh operator, say $30/tonne, it’s very realistic to think that there could be commercial uses for CO2 for the remaining $30/tonne plus a profit margin. And remember that we’re only 4 years into the 85 year project laid out in the 2015 Paris agreement, and already this is where the technology is at. There is still a lot of work to be done, however. There is a huge amount of carbon to be captured and it will be necessary to develop industries that use it and roll them out on a large scale over the next few decades. With CO2 this cheap lots of possibilities exist, but lots of work is still needed to turn them into realities.
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  #50  
Old Posted May 25, 2019, 2:30 PM
Mikemike Mikemike is online now
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So what you’re saying is that an $80 carbon tax would be just the thing to get carbon capture going.
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  #51  
Old Posted May 25, 2019, 2:37 PM
milomilo milomilo is online now
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I'm starting to think carbon capture is the only way to reduce global CO2 concentrations, after all it's obvious we are not going to reduce emissions enough, and if we put all our eggs in that basket we are doomed to failure.

But the question always has to be asked - how do we pay for it? The 'no carbon tax, technology will save us!' people are always silent on this, but without a financial disincentive to produce CO2 or an incentive to capture it, carbon capture will never be financially sustainable. Unless someone manages to make it so cheap that they can sell liquid captured hydrocarbon cheaper than fossil fuels.
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  #52  
Old Posted May 25, 2019, 2:38 PM
milomilo milomilo is online now
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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Just listened to an interview with the City of Medicine Hat official in charge of the project. It was always considered an experiment to evaluate viability of concentrated solar at high latitudes. The conclusion is that the technology only works for a few months in the summer, even in one of Canada's sunniest locations. The analysis states that gas would need to be $22 per GJ for concentrated solar to be considered an alternative. That would require a 1,000% carbon tax
If that's right, then I agree the technology isn't good enough. Was that interview on the radio?
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  #53  
Old Posted May 26, 2019, 4:32 PM
Eau Claire Eau Claire is offline
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So what you’re saying is that an $80 carbon tax would be just the thing to get carbon capture going.
You don’t want too much of a carbon tax because it would be disruptive in other ways. And you probably wouldn’t want to apply it to exported products, because that would put them at a competitive disadvantage. But a modest and properly applied carbon tax could help to grow a new industry here. Taxes are neither good nor bad, btw. In fact you can’t have a democracy without taxes. The question is, is the right tax? Is it the right tool for the job? Will it so what it’s intended to do?
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  #54  
Old Posted May 26, 2019, 4:58 PM
Eau Claire Eau Claire is offline
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Originally Posted by milomilo View Post
I'm starting to think carbon capture is the only way to reduce global CO2 concentrations, after all it's obvious we are not going to reduce emissions enough, and if we put all our eggs in that basket we are doomed to failure.

But the question always has to be asked - how do we pay for it? The 'no carbon tax, technology will save us!' people are always silent on this, but without a financial disincentive to produce CO2 or an incentive to capture it, carbon capture will never be financially sustainable. Unless someone manages to make it so cheap that they can sell liquid captured hydrocarbon cheaper than fossil fuels.
You certainly DON’T want to put all your eggs in one basket. And any group that is saying we should only deal with this issue in one way is showing that it has another agenda.

I think it’s too soon to tell just how big a role carbon capture can play, but it’s going to be significant and with each of these advances its potential is getting bigger and bigger. And remember that there is a market for CO2, and there are other potential markets as well. So the question becomes how do we develop those markets, and how can we bring down the cost of captured CO2 to further increase demand for it. And I think a modest and appropriate carbon tax can be an important tool in this process.

BTW, this is exactly the kind of problem the Carbon XPrize was created to solve.
https://www.xprize.org/prizes/carbon
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  #55  
Old Posted May 27, 2019, 4:14 PM
Eau Claire Eau Claire is offline
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Here’s another potentially very big and completely different carbon capture idea, although still in early stages.

https://www.wired.com/story/the-plan...harged-plants/
“Unlike engineered solutions, biology harnesses evolutionary time, because plants have already evolved for 500 million years to be great at sucking up CO2. In fact, according to the Salk Institute, every year plants and other photosynthetic life capture 746 gigatons of CO2 and then release 727 gigatons of CO2 back. If it weren’t for the 37 gigatons of CO2 humans also release into the atmosphere annually, the global carbon cycle would be healthy... Chory believes the key to fixing that imbalance is to train plants to suck up just a little more CO2 and keep it longer. She is working on engineering the world’s crop plants to have bigger, deeper roots made of a natural waxy substance called suberin—found in cork and cantaloupe rinds—which is an incredible carbon-capturer and is resistant to decomposition. By encouraging plants to have bigger, deeper, more suberin-rich roots, Chory can trick them into fighting climate change as they grow. The roots will store CO2, and when farmers harvest their crops in the fall, those deep-buried roots will stay in the soil and keep their carbon sequestered in the dirt, potentially for hundreds of years... She received an Audacious Project prize of more than $35 million to scale this project... If she and her team can breed these plants and get them into the global agricultural food chain, Chory believes they can contribute a 20 to 46 percent reduction in excess CO2 emissions annually... The benefits don’t stop there, according to Chory. Those roots will very slowly break down and deposit their carbon little by little in the soil. This could reverse some of the human-caused depletion that has removed carbon and other nutrients from the soil due to agricultural practices that “treat soil like dirt,” to quote UC Merced soil scientist Asmeret Asefaw Berhe...

See also:
https://thebulletin.org/2018/06/a-pl...-if-we-let-it/

This is another area where a modest carbon tax could help. Farmers are likely going to be reluctant to switch to a new plant, and rebating to them $X per tonne of CO2 sequestered would certainly help this go forward. The plants she seems to be talking about first are pulses, like chick peas, beans and lentils, and these are grown mostly in India and Canada.
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  #56  
Old Posted May 29, 2019, 11:26 AM
LakeLocker LakeLocker is offline
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Originally Posted by CityTech View Post
I'm skeptical of carbon removal tech simply due to basic thermodynamics but sure, lets research it. Might go somewhere.
I'm skeptical of all of this nonsense, because it requires deflecting responsibility to the government.


Why is it so hard to figure out, if you have a problem with carbon reduce your own personal consumption or get out of the way.


I hardly care about global warming, I really think it's pointless fear mongering and irrational hysteria coming from people that haven't addressed their own personal anxiety issues.

If you actually care you know dam well no technology or tax is gonna solve the problem better than simply consuming less.

I like living a low consumption lifestyle because it saves me money and I don't like being dependent on external forces.

But I also like trolling the f*** out of people who consume more than me and whine about carbon.

Me and my wife have quit consuming cow products as a result of a recent ssp post. It was the easiest switch as a lot of our bad eating habits revolve around cow products like hamburgers, pizza, and using cheese on everything(potatoes, slices of toast, soups, sandwiches, etc).

If we stopped eating cow products, we could free up land and get rid of those stupid green belts within a week.

I'm all for a cow tax if it means removing government regulation.

As no one needs cows as there are plenty of alternatives, however everyone needs energy and taxing energy will only hurt the consumption of the more vulnerable.
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  #57  
Old Posted May 29, 2019, 1:24 PM
milomilo milomilo is online now
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Originally Posted by LakeLocker View Post
I'm skeptical of all of this nonsense, because it requires deflecting responsibility to the government.


Why is it so hard to figure out, if you have a problem with carbon reduce your own personal consumption or get out of the way.


I hardly care about global warming, I really think it's pointless fear mongering and irrational hysteria coming from people that haven't addressed their own personal anxiety issues.

If you actually care you know dam well no technology or tax is gonna solve the problem better than simply consuming less.

I like living a low consumption lifestyle because it saves me money and I don't like being dependent on external forces.

But I also like trolling the f*** out of people who consume more than me and whine about carbon.

Me and my wife have quit consuming cow products as a result of a recent ssp post. It was the easiest switch as a lot of our bad eating habits revolve around cow products like hamburgers, pizza, and using cheese on everything(potatoes, slices of toast, soups, sandwiches, etc).

If we stopped eating cow products, we could free up land and get rid of those stupid green belts within a week.

I'm all for a cow tax if it means removing government regulation.

As no one needs cows as there are plenty of alternatives, however everyone needs energy and taxing energy will only hurt the consumption of the more vulnerable.
It must be trolling as your opposition to a carbon tax is completely illogical. You correctly point out that the way to reduce emissions is to reduce personal consumption, but are then opposed to the one best tool the government has to effect that. And you claim to support a 'cow tax', but again oppose a tool that effectively does that (in a much more elegant way).

I'm very confused by people who are already using little carbon being so opposed to carbon pricing. What is your goal here? If it's easy to reduce one's carbon footprint, why do you not agree that manipulating the pricing will change people's behaviour?
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  #58  
Old Posted May 29, 2019, 2:51 PM
Eau Claire Eau Claire is offline
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Here's another one that's particularly relevant to this forum. There are a number of different solutions for this problem, including carbon neutral or even carbon negative concrete, LED lighting, the use of low carbon electricity (i.e. nuclear power), passive heading and cooling, and a range of others.

https://www.citylab.com/environment/...eutral/569644/
"If cities are going to curb the rise of global temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius, they’ll have to address the single largest contributor, by sector, to their carbon footprint: buildings. Buildings account for roughly 50 percent of a city’s total carbon emissions, and 70 percent in major cities like London, Los Angeles, and Paris.
The ultimate goal, as laid out by the World Green Building Council at COP 21 in Paris in 2015, is that by 2050—when 68 percent of the world’s population is projected to live in urban areas—all buildings will only use as much energy as they generate..."


See also:
https://www.dezeen.com/2019/05/28/fo...mmitment-2030/
https://www.dezeen.com/2017/10/04/no...inable-office/
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  #59  
Old Posted May 29, 2019, 3:02 PM
Eau Claire Eau Claire is offline
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Cows are a strange issue. I understand the burping thing, but they are often talked about as using a lot of water and land, and that I don't understand, at least in the Canadian context. Cows may use, but they don't use up, water. What goes in one end comes out the other. They also don't generally use otherwise useful land. If you can farm a given piece of land you generally do. Farming makes more per acre than ranching, but if you have land that's too dry or not fertile enough to farm you put cows on it and you let them graze. So in fact ranching makes use of land that would otherwise be nonproductive.
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  #60  
Old Posted May 29, 2019, 3:18 PM
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Bumped to next page.

Last edited by TorontoDrew; May 29, 2019 at 6:16 PM.
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