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Thread: Solutions for climate change

  1. #51
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    "Biophysically, there are two general types of technology. Type 1 technology finds ways to use energy more efficiently (power plant improvements, better vehicle fuel efficiency) or invents new energy sources (solar or geothermal). Type 2 technology consists of devices that replace manual human labor (chainsaws, cars) or new ways for humans to use energy (Facebook, Candycrush).
    cough bitcoin

    Currently Type 2 dominates technology inventions and increases total global demand for energy. Technology like the "cloud" is not really "virtual". Computers and cellphones (including servers and networks), consume over 15% of the world’s electricity, and this will increase with the advent of 5 G"
    from some paper I started to read (in the ecological economics field)
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  2. #52
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Technogibberish is always fun to explore, yes.

  3. #53
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    well "type 1" and "type 2" is of course just arbitrary terms for drawing distinctions. And the exact energy use of 5g versus 4g, just the fact of transition of communication infrastructure and cell phones would probably use more energy than not doing so, unless it was just natural rate of wear and tear, but I don't claim to know 4g versus 5g energy use in operation. We don't actually have much in the way of real 5g in the u.s. yet was my understanding, maybe that's changing, mostly for many years we just have a lot of things falsely marketed by telecoms as 5g that weren't because the 5g infrastructure didn't exist yet. The rest is just obvious, of course cloud computers use energy, of course non-cloud computers do as well. Of course none of it is resource or energy free. I think that was focusing on oil energy getting more costly to exploit and technology is not saving us by reducing energy use argument rather than climate per se. And yes the experts I have heard on the topic do believe cryptocurrencies increase energy use.

    But on the climate topic fossil fuels % of the energy mix has not changed:
    https://www.reuters.com/business/env...ys-2021-06-14/
    And regardless of whether one finds type 1 and 2 distinctions useful in classifying technologies (I mostly think Thomas Friedman, who is kind of infamous at this point for being wrong about everything, must be assuming most technology is more type 1 but uh ... ), or explaining why energy use has not declined, global energy use has not declined, despite technology.

    Might some technology save us? Well it's not impossible. But how does this figure in to 5 years left to emit CO2 at present rates for the 1.5 degrees warming scenario. What is the timeline of technology in comparison? I guess a bit different if it removes carbon or similar.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  4. #54
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    I believe that the climate change focus diverts us from some of these other themes. I think the climate change story is too abstract for most people. I don't care about numbers.
    it can be abstract, I mean sure if you are talking gigatons of carbon in the atmosphere and degrees or warming, feet sea level rise, whatever, one is just trying to learn from climate scientists then, and sure one tries to get it right, but that's plenty abstract. And one tries to understand how it all fits into things, and yea abstract. But I don't believe much of it is abstract. At all.

    I care that step-by-step over hundreds, if not thousands of years we have wound up with another Golden Calf due to our hubris
    see that's pretty abstract, an abstract story. But climate change is for some of us the most direct experience we have of ecological changes. It doesn't mean it's the only ecological change or even the worst whatever that might mean, just the most immediately obvious. The most direct. Not abstract. Mediated through our understanding of what is happening to the climate yes but everything is mediated by what we understand of the world so ...

    But everything being dead, drought, it never being cold in winter anymore, but it often being hot all year. Places that used to have things alive being mostly dead. Yea one has to understand hey climate change exists to draw the connection (and 20th century CA may have been unusually wet). But the experience is not abstract. And I wonder what kind of alienation from lived reality it would be to think it is. Is there anywhere in the u.s./world it isn't direct yet? I mean I suppose if one lives in a different place every few years one might not notice. But it becomes so much obvious in daily life that it threatens to swallow all other ecological concerns yes, not perhaps fairly in a just world, but because it's really so you couldn't escape thinking about it if you wanted to almost, because it's everywhere, not just online but outside.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  5. #55
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    Bill Gates and company are building are building an "advanced" nulear reactor in Wyoming. There are claims that the new design eliminates many of the risk factors of the age old plants that have failed or have higher risk. I'm not qualified to pass judgement and there are still issues of waste disposal. If global temperatures continue to rise and efforts to control greenhouse emissions lag (which I consider highy possible) I have to wonder which has the higher risk, advanced nuclear plants or climate related disasters and extinctions. They might have a place in an overall plan or at least a bridge until fossil fuel emissions are under better control through other means?

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