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Global warming wipeout
Old 04-23-2007, 01:20 PM   #1
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Global warming wipeout

In order to save the planet, at least one environmental advocate thinks we should all revert to "square one".

Sheryl Crow: People should be limited to one square of toilet paper


(There's a joke in here somewhere about whether or not this is tongue in cheek, but...I suppose I should pass. )



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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-23-2007, 03:07 PM   #2
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Re: Global warming wipeout

I thought Lance Armstrong was stupid at the time.

Maybe now I begin to see where he was coming from. :
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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-23-2007, 04:33 PM   #3
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Re: Global warming wipeout

hmmm...maybe we should think about that.......after all, we humans have been around for a lot of years and TP was only invented about a hundred and fifty years ago.....how do you suppose all those folks managed?

It's like young parents today who have absolutely no concept of using cloth diapers......

mullein leaves.....now mullein leaves are REALLY nice.....soft, fuzzy.......

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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-23-2007, 06:03 PM   #4
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Re: Global warming wipeout

IMO this was a sad week for the environment. We were bombarded with 'information' from entertainers and journalists. Very little from scientists.

Much of the info I saw would do more harm than good. But, it makes the presenters 'feel good' to be 'doing something'.

My 'favorite' was presented on a couple TV shows. A solar powered charger for your cell phone or iPod. Argggghhhhhh!!! What's wrong with that? Two things:

A) The power used by iPods and cell phones is a tiny, tiny percentage of the total power consumed. Drop in the bucket - don't waste time talking about it. Hit a big issue if you want to have an impact.

But even more important....

B) A solar charger for a cell phone or iPod will consume much, much, much more energy than it ever delivers. So, it is a *waste* of energy - not an environmental friendly thing at all. They got it 180 degrees backwards!

A solar panel mounted on a roof, at the proper orientation to the sun, and in use 365 days a year can take over a year to generate as much electricity as it took to make it in the first place. The numbers vary, but I have not seen anything < 1 year. So, an iPod solar charger, only used occasionally, will never recoup the energy it takes to make it.

But hey, these people say we must 'do something'. I guess it is OK if that something is actually bad for the environment, as long as you say it with pride.

-ERD50

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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-23-2007, 06:26 PM   #5
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Re: Global warming wipeout

Quote:
People should be limited to one square of toilet paper
it only makes sense ... after telling us how we should think and vote ... besides, it will give the "thought police" something constructive to do when they finally realize the vast number of people who don't think at all.
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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-23-2007, 06:32 PM   #6
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Re: Global warming wipeout

since i haven't added to population growth what say i use the entire roll.

how many trees will die so that a baby might be born?
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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-23-2007, 07:20 PM   #7
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Re: Global warming wipeout

Quote:
"Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating." Sheryl Crow.
no additional comment required
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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-23-2007, 08:21 PM   #8
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Re: Global warming wipeout

Global warming is an activist's dream. Take a natural process and politicize it, blaming those who have contributed to society for its demise.
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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-23-2007, 08:48 PM   #9
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Re: Global warming wipeout

Ahem......as a person who lives with solar photovoltaic power, I have opinions.

The cost of our solar panels, inverter, batteries, etc., was in the neighborhood of $3,000. That was ten years ago for most of it, and fourteen years ago for the first panel or two.

Since then, we have not paid an electric bill. I am sitting at this moment in a beautiful national forest campground surfing the net on a mobile satellite internet connection powered by said solar system. I'm getting ready to heat leftovers in the microwave courtesy of those same hardworking panels.

The solar panels are warrantied for twenty-five years, and the only reason they only warranty them for that long is because that is about how long they've been made, so they know they last that long. They may well perform well for fifty years or more. Our fourteen year old panels are still producing above their top rating.

While there is pollution and use of natural resources to manufacture the solar panels, that is true........the fact that their ongoing use causes NO pollution and NO emissions and does not require the building of any new power plants makes them A-#1 in our book.

And the fact that they allow us to have all the comforts of a modern home while out in beautiful wilderness areas many miles from a power line? PRICELESS.

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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-23-2007, 08:57 PM   #10
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Re: Global warming wipeout

Loosechickens, congratulations for being able to live off the grid. I think it's a wise thing to do, for reasons that have little to do with global warming. If you need heat in the winter, how do you handle that? And how about refrigeration?
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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-23-2007, 08:59 PM   #11
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Re: Global warming wipeout

Loosechicks, are you in an RV? If so, can you really squeeze enough juice out of the solar panels to run a microwave?
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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-24-2007, 01:10 PM   #12
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Re: Global warming wipeout

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Originally Posted by SoonToRetire
Loosechickens, congratulations for being able to live off the grid. I think it's a wise thing to do, for reasons that have little to do with global warming. If you need heat in the winter, how do you handle that? And how about refrigeration?
What is so great about 'living off the grid'?

If I have solar panels, it is better (more environmental) to be *on* the grid.

Off the grid means batteries. Batteries take energy and raw materials and pollution is generated to produce them. They will need to be recycled after a few years - more energy, raw materials and pollution every few years. And, energy is lost in the charge/discharge cycle.

On the grid means you use the existing infrastructure as your storage and back-up system. Any excess energy just gets absorbed by other nearby users, your neighbors on the grid - no charge/discharge losses (only minor transmission losses).

Now, IIRC, loosechickens is in an RV, so the solar is providing mobile power. So this is an added benefit beyond just being solar. And it would be an almost silent source of power, that is a good thing. And I bet it really drives conservation, since there is probably a pretty limited amount of power available, again a good thing.

I just wouldn't automatically associate 'off the grid' with 'environmentally responsible'.

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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-24-2007, 02:47 PM   #13
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Re: Global warming wipeout

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
I just wouldn't automatically associate 'off the grid' with 'environmentally responsible'.
-ERD50
Ah... can you point to where I associated off the grid with environmental issues? In fact, I said it's wise to live off the grid for reasons that have nothing to do with global warming. My reasons are, first, it's cheaper once you get the panels and batteries paid for, as loose apparently did. Second, you are not hostage to electrical disruptions caused by storms, by terrorism, etc. Third, it's cool to be self sufficient.
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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-24-2007, 04:30 PM   #14
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Re: Global warming wipeout

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
My 'favorite' was presented on a couple TV shows. A solar powered charger for your cell phone or iPod. Argggghhhhhh!!! What's wrong with that? Two things:
I have one of these. It works great in the backcountry, and it also re-charges the batteries that my GPS and headlamp use.

Even if they don't make up for the energy they cost to produce, and I tend to agree with you that they don't, it makes people excited to conserve energy. There's nothing exciting about remembering to turn off the lights.

Now, an electric scooter. That's exciting.
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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-24-2007, 05:51 PM   #15
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Re: Global warming wipeout

Quote:
Originally Posted by eridanus
I have one of these. It works great in the backcountry, and it also re-charges the batteries that my GPS and headlamp use.

Even if they don't make up for the energy they cost to produce, and I tend to agree with you that they don't, it makes people excited to conserve energy. There's nothing exciting about remembering to turn off the lights.
Oh, I agree they can serve a useful purpose, and it makes sense to purchase one to fill that need. But these shows were presenting them as part of the solution to global warming, and they are just the opposite.

I don't agree that it is still good because it gets people excited about conservation. People need to learn what really helps, else we will keep shooting ourselves in the foot, like we have with ethanol, hydrogen, etc, etc, etc. If people get excited about the 'feel good' solutions that really create more problems or help less than people think, then it diverts attention and resources from what we really need. People will just buy a few CFLs and pat themselves on the back and say - good job, now let's go solve world hunger.

-ERD50

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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-24-2007, 07:38 PM   #16
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Re: Global warming wipeout

For RV'ers who are starting the engine and moving their rig occassionally, I'd think there must be a better answer than solar energy. While the panels produce maybe scores/low hundreds of watts when the sun is shining, the vehicle engine throws away thousands of watts as waste heat during operation. Even capturing a small portion of that would produce gobs of power at zero increase in fuel burn. Yes, you'd need the ability to store this energy, so weight would increase some due to batteries (but those solar panels aren't zero weight, either, so maybe there'd be some offset there. Plus, you still need some batteries with solar panels)
How to generate the electricity from waste heat:
Thermoelectric (reverse-peltier) chips
Boiling a working fluid (ammonia? R-134a? H2O at 14 psi?) using exhaust manifold heat or heat from the engine coolant, turn a small turbine and generator.

Efficiency would not need to be high: since over 50% of the fuel burned in the engine is being turned into waste heat, there's plenty available. Of course, just bolting on a second alternator would also generate a lot of energy, but that would come at the price of increased fuel burn--and no "green" bragging rights.
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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-24-2007, 08:16 PM   #17
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Re: Global warming wipeout

Quote:
Originally Posted by eridanus
There's nothing exciting about remembering to turn off the lights.
Sure there is, when you're the one paying the electric bills.

Hmm, there must be a teenager-training idea in there somewhere...
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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-24-2007, 09:09 PM   #18
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Re: Global warming wipeout

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Originally Posted by samclem
For RV'ers who are starting the engine and moving their rig occassionally, I'd think there must be a better answer than solar energy.

,,,

Of course, just bolting on a second alternator would also generate a lot of energy, but that would come at the price of increased fuel burn--and no "green" bragging rights.
That is what I was thinking. That solar panel adds weight, and I would assume some air drag, so it might not be 'free energy' at all. Different story if stationary for a week at a time or whatever.

I'd be curious just how much power they need. Maybe the main alternator would do it w/o modification. Already carrying the batteries for solar anyway.

And - there may be green 'bragging rights' to boot. An RV with a catalytic converter is much, much cleaner than a power plant. And, if the solar panel is only used partially and the original energy is not recovered, just burning a bit more fuel in the RV may be the green thing to do.

As far as recovering heat from a car engine, I've always wondered about that. I always assumed that the weight and complexity is just not worth it. I would think something like the Volt concept car could make use of it. A serial hybrid is easier to set up for things like that. The engine is just on/off at a constant speed, so implementing systems like this should be a bit more strightforward.

-ERD50
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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-24-2007, 09:17 PM   #19
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Re: Global warming wipeout

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonToRetire
Ah... can you point to where I associated off the grid with environmental issues? In fact, I said it's wise to live off the grid for reasons that have nothing to do with global warming. My reasons are, first, it's cheaper once you get the panels and batteries paid for, as loose apparently did. Second, you are not hostage to electrical disruptions caused by storms, by terrorism, etc. Third, it's cool to be self sufficient.
Sorry, my meaning got twisted a bit.

I did ask - 'what is so great about living off the grid?'. From there, I was kind of spring-boarding back to the earlier subject that some of these 'solutions' are not always as good as people think. And some people that don't completely accept man's involvement with global warming still support lowering pollution and conserving. I thought you might be coming from that angle.

-ERD50
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Re: Global warming wipeout
Old 04-24-2007, 09:31 PM   #20
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Re: Global warming wipeout

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
IMO this was a sad week for the environment. We were bombarded with 'information' from entertainers and journalists. Very little from scientists.

Much of the info I saw would do more harm than good. But, it makes the presenters 'feel good' to be 'doing something'.

My 'favorite' was presented on a couple TV shows. A solar powered charger for your cell phone or iPod. Argggghhhhhh!!! What's wrong with that? Two things:

A) The power used by iPods and cell phones is a tiny, tiny percentage of the total power consumed. Drop in the bucket - don't waste time talking about it. Hit a big issue if you want to have an impact.

But even more important....

B) A solar charger for a cell phone or iPod will consume much, much, much more energy than it ever delivers. So, it is a *waste* of energy - not an environmental friendly thing at all. They got it 180 degrees backwards!

A solar panel mounted on a roof, at the proper orientation to the sun, and in use 365 days a year can take over a year to generate as much electricity as it took to make it in the first place. The numbers vary, but I have not seen anything < 1 year. So, an iPod solar charger, only used occasionally, will never recoup the energy it takes to make it.

But hey, these people say we must 'do something'. I guess it is OK if that something is actually bad for the environment, as long as you say it with pride.

-ERD50

That is also the problem with the "hybrid" craze. The real payback in terms of the environment is DECADES. When you buy a Prius, you are simply moving the tailpipe.
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