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Author Topic: Climate Change Emergency - Implications for UK Transport Strategy  (Read 8976 times)
rogerw
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« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2019, 07:14:18 pm »

 Grin Grin Grin
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2019, 07:27:17 pm »

…..it's also essential in view of the catastrophic effect of cattle on global warming and the environment that GWR take steak off the Pullman menu immediately and that all those with a genuine interest in saving the planet immediately cease eating beef, in order to set an example and avoid any accusations of double standards  Wink

Many a true word spoken, I suspect, in jest:

Quote
Veganism hits 'beleaguered' beef farmers in Bristol region says expert
[...]
The rise of plant-based eating is having an impact on beef production in the Bristol region, according to an expert in the catering and hospitality industry.

“Beleaguered” farmers in the South West are also being troubled by Brexit uncertainty, says Alex Demetriou, managing director of West-based purchasing group Regency, which supplies the UK catering industry.

He points out that demand for beef is down five per cent compared to this time last year - and it is having an impact on farmers' incomes.
 
He said: "It appears as if this has been driven by the vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian movement, which is becoming increasingly popular as a lifestyle choice rather than any kind of trend."

[...full article]
Source: Bristol Post

So maybe it's a bad time to be in the dead cow business. Meanwhile:

Quote
America’s Obsession With Oat Milk Is Hurting the Dairy Industry
Milk sales were down by more than a billion dollars in 2018, while the market for plant milk alternatives keeps growing.

Your oat milk obsession is hurting America’s dairy industry, you monsters: The Dairy Farmers of America, which represents roughly 30 percent of milk producers in the U.S., revealed this month that its total sales 2018 had dropped by roughly $1.1 billion dollars compared to the previous year. The organization attributes the drop in net sales to a $1.45 decrease in the average price of milk year-over-year, but the billion dollar dip may also point to the rise of oat, nut, soy, and other alternative “milk” products at third-wave coffee shops, and later, grocery stores across the country.

Options like almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk, and hemp milk are beginning to demand more and more space on grocery store shelves as consumers have grown to embrace new flavors and vegan diets. Sales of nut and plant milks grew by 9 percent in 2018 and raked in $1.6 billion dollars, according to the Plant Based Foods Association. (That’s a relatively small slice of the overall milk market, but still significant growth given that sales for regular, old dairy milk in the U.S. have been on a downward trajectory for nearly 10 years now.)
[...continues]
Source: MSN

...maybe it's not a good time to be in the live cow business either.

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broadgage
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« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2019, 07:37:31 pm »

NO.
There are limits. I have however cut back on meat consumption due to the climate changing consequences of cattle production.
I avoid daily consumption of meat.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TonyK
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« Reply #33 on: June 21, 2019, 11:19:09 pm »

Blimey! Where to start on a thread like this?

Where to start with addressing a climate emergency!

Some things we can do straight away:
* Take robust action to get better-insulated homes
* Electrify transport - including cars, because they can be charged overnight when there is spare grid capacity.
* Improve public transport, and penalise modes with a heavier carbon footprint once the alternative is in place

I've done the first, and taken other measures to reduce my power usage, and agree with the third, including the order in which carrot and stick are applied.

With the second, I would also love for all transport to be electric. But will there still be spare grid capacity at night with 22 million electric cars plugged in, plus every mobile phone, tablet, laptop, anything else with a rechargeable battery? Somehow, I feel we will find that off-peak moves to the middle of the day rather than the night.

Quote
The next steps are where it gets tricky: if only we'd gone all-nuclear, like the French did, then we'd have no concerns - other than finding the infinite amount of money needed to look after deadly poison forever. Solar and wind energy are of limited use without high-capacity grid storage, but does that mean we shouldn't install any until we've got that sorted out?

Working backwards, I agree that we should do whatever we can to sort things out pending a solution. Solar seems to work fairly well, with the serious drawback of not working at night, but every watt produced by the sun is one less needed from coal or gas. Despite that limitation, there are still plenty of publicly owned rooftops which could be the next step, rather than coating the rest of the countryside with them.

Offshore wind too can help, but again needs to be in the right place. Onshore wind much less so. You can't put wind turbines in cities because lots of people would complain about the noise, the effect on the TV signal and the bits dropping off occasionally, and in any case, there isn't much wind in cities. So they get stuck next to formerly quaint villages in the countryside, with the locals called NIMBYs if they object. They take up a lot of land for what they produce, which is unpredictable. Storage is something of a myth. Even if there was sufficient batteries, we would be storing renewable energy for the sake of it while burning more gas. A bit like putting £100 a month into a savings account at 1% while adding £100 to your credit card bill at 20%, but in carbon terms rather than cash.

Wind turbines are a sign of our problems rather than a solution. The big issue with renewables is the way government incentivises companies. Any money offered is immediately snapped up, with lobbying for more before any work on the current round has even started. Government thinks something is a good idea because a select committee has heard evidence and thinks it's a good idea, this applying even when members of said select committee or family members have interests in the particular technology under discussion. The bigest example of incentive driving perverse behaviour was probably biomass replacing coal in power stations - all very well when using waste wood or plant material, but much less green when it involves shipping kiln-dried pellets of wood from trees specially felled, from Canada and the US. Even the government eventually saw that as bad.

Which leaves nuclear. It doesn't have to be uranium in the reactor. Britain was once at the forefront of research into using thorium as the fuel instead. But we needed plutonium for bombs, and you can't get that from thorium, so our first generation of reactors ran on refined uranium. It decays, and all the bits that fall off hit other bits that fall off until you get a chain reaction, at which time it becomes self-sustaining and generates a lot of heat. Trouble is that left to its own devices, it would run away with itself and melt down, so it has to be moderated. Graphite rods are often used, but if something goes wrong, we are back to the melting scenario.

Thorium is one before uranium in the periodic table, and is a lot more abundant. As a fuel, it doesn't need refinement like uranium. It is less radioactive, and if you put a lot of it in one place, not much will happen. In a reactor, it needs a seed - a small portion of uranium or plutonium, which could come from nuclear waste piles. Then it starts to react like uranium, with some of it actually becoming uranium temporarily. But take the seed element out, and it stops reacting. It can be used as a molten salt - a compound of thorium with something to start it reacting becomes so hot that it melts, and can then be pumped through heat exchangers to proving steam for turbines. But if it overheats, it melts a plug, drains into a pan, and cools down again. In the process, the thorium is consumed, leaving far less radioactive waste, and of a far lower half-life. The current leaders in research are China, India, and Norway. Some reading here.

A curious fact. Nuclear is seen as dangerous, wind as cuddly. Yet nobody has died in a nuclear accident in Britain in the past decade - probably much longer - but 3 people died in wind power accidents in the same period. It's still a lot safer than coal globally though.
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broadgage
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« Reply #34 on: June 21, 2019, 11:57:32 pm »

I have just returned from a splendid feast of Beef Wellington at a neighbors.

The beef was produced within a few miles, so that is good from the POV of food miles.
Cattle however are bad from the global warming POV.
I was conveyed to the feast in via a heritage train.
And returned home in a horse drawn cart.

Drink included home made sparkling orange wine, home made beer, and a morsel of port.

So have I sinned, or was this a fairly virtuous night out ?
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2019, 06:56:45 am »

I have just returned from a splendid feast of Beef Wellington at a neighbors.

The beef was produced within a few miles, so that is good from the POV of food miles.
Cattle however are bad from the global warming POV.
I was conveyed to the feast in via a heritage train.
And returned home in a horse drawn cart.

Drink included home made sparkling orange wine, home made beer, and a morsel of port.

So have I sinned, or was this a fairly virtuous night out ?

You sound like a slightly inebriated Jacob Rees-Mogg, or possibly Rowley Birkin QC from The Fast Show. I will allow others to judge whether this constitutes sin or virtue  Smiley
« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 07:44:26 am by TaplowGreen » Logged
chuffed
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« Reply #36 on: June 22, 2019, 07:28:19 am »

All that was missing from that night out was the final touch of a smigden of snuff and a tot of tincture. I believe JR-M has admitted it could just be a little bit of addiction..but not enough to worry Nanny otherwise Master Jacob might get a smack(ed) bottom..... Grin
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TonyK
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« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2019, 07:53:14 pm »

A good text book is Mark Watson's "Crap at the Environment", serialised on Radio 4 many years ago. In it, he tells how, burning with environmental fervour, he resolves to be better at life from an environmental point of view. Sadly, it doesn't always go well. From buying a bicycle ("Do you know how much energy goes into making one? You would walk everywhere if you did") to going to an Al Gore convention in Australia. He pondered the fact that he was eating lunch of New Zealand lamb at Heathrow before boarding the plane to take some of it most of the way back again, and a number of other weighty environmental problems.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2019, 10:17:28 pm »

A good text book is Mark Watson's "Crap at the Environment", serialised on Radio 4 many years ago. In it, he tells how, burning with environmental fervour, he resolves to be better at life from an environmental point of view. Sadly, it doesn't always go well. From buying a bicycle ("Do you know how much energy goes into making one? You would walk everywhere if you did") to going to an Al Gore convention in Australia. He pondered the fact that he was eating lunch of New Zealand lamb at Heathrow before boarding the plane to take some of it most of the way back again, and a number of other weighty environmental problems.

A government minister recently manhandled a woman out of a Mansion House dinner because, he said, he thought she might be armed. She replied that “The only thing I was armed with was peer-reviewed science.”

Mark Watson is, as I understand it, a comedian; I expect his book is funny (that's his specialism) but is it good science?

Offshore wind too can help, but again needs to be in the right place. Onshore wind much less so. You can't put wind turbines in cities because lots of people would complain about the noise, the effect on the TV signal and the bits dropping off occasionally, and in any case, there isn't much wind in cities. So they get stuck next to formerly quaint villages in the countryside, with the locals called NIMBYs if they object. They take up a lot of land for what they produce, which is unpredictable. Storage is something of a myth. Even if there was sufficient batteries, we would be storing renewable energy for the sake of it while burning more gas. A bit like putting £100 a month into a savings account at 1% while adding £100 to your credit card bill at 20%, but in carbon terms rather than cash.

Wind turbines are a sign of our problems rather than a solution...


Wind turbines, particularly onshore ones, polarise opinion - to the extent that it is very hard to find clear, unbiased information about their merits and disadvantages. That people don't like them near where they live doesn't mean they don't work, or that onshore 'makes less sense' than offshore - though it may be the case that landowners, keen to pocket the incentives, have been happy to ride roughshod over their neighbours.

No-one is suggesting storing wind turbine energy whilst it could be used directly; the problem is that they often produce, or potentially produce, an excess which can't be used at all. One way that could be stored is in electric car batteries, but a lot of people are working on other ways to store and retrieve it. Under some circumstances it may even make sense to use it to make hydrogen.

A curious fact. Nuclear is seen as dangerous, wind as cuddly. Yet nobody has died in a nuclear accident in Britain in the past decade - probably much longer - but 3 people died in wind power accidents in the same period. It's still a lot safer than coal globally though.


It's not that curious though, is it? When a wind turbine goes badly wrong, it may kill people within 500m. When a nuclear power station goes wrong, 2,600km2 of countryside becomes uninhabitable for the foreseeable future.

Edit: Fixed horrible non-sequitur
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 10:26:16 am by Red Squirrel » Logged
broadgage
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« Reply #39 on: June 25, 2019, 12:34:48 am »

Wind turbines can and do kill people, but not very often and not in large numbers. Nuclear power has the potential for large scale disaster.

Under PRESENT CONDITIONS we do not really need storage of wind power. Gas is being burnt 24/7 for electricity production, and we simply decrease gas use when the wind blows, and increase gas use in calmer weather.

However with the move away from fossil fuel use, the day will come when some electricity in calm weather will HAVE to come from batteries or other storage.
Therefore pilot schemes and trials are underway, well in advance of any urgent need.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2019, 09:54:11 am »

Mark Watson is, as I understand it, a comedian; I expect his book is funny (that's his specialism) but is it good science?
I'm not sure if he's funny because I've never heard of him, and this post isn't good science because I can only think of one other example right now (Jonathan Pi), but there does seem to be a trend currently for comedians to write books, make films and otherwise express their opinions on serious subjects and for their comedic opinions to be given as much weight as those of the actual scientists, politicians, etc.
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« Reply #41 on: June 25, 2019, 06:39:23 pm »

Is John McDonnell a comedian? Last year there were stories about him going round the city trying to persuade them he was just a cuddly Teddy bear wearing a joke-shop Marxist bow tie. They weren't convinced then, and now ... from City A.M.:
Quote
City voices anger at John McDonnell’s ‘financial totalitarianism’ climate change plans
Share

Owen Bennett

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell sent shockwaves through the Square Mile last night amid warnings that his plans to tackle climate change could undermine the entire financial system.

In a speech to trade body UK Finance, McDonnell promised a future Labour government would delist companies with poor green credentials from the London Stock Exchange.

He also unveiled a plan to stop money being invested in companies whose business model or actions run contrary to Labour’s environmental policy.

Many in the City reacted with disbelief to the plans.
...
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #42 on: June 25, 2019, 07:24:54 pm »

Quote
Many in the City reacted with disbelief to the plans.

I don't doubt it. Many people appear to be having difficulty embracing the width and depth of change that is needed, and the speed with which it needs to be made. No doubt a lot mistakes will be made, red herrings chased and corrupt and wrong-headed things done - that's the nature of human society. Let's just hope that at the end of the process, there is still such a thing as human society.
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broadgage
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« Reply #43 on: June 30, 2019, 03:58:36 pm »

Meanwhile, elsewhere on these forums, ANOTHER new road scheme has been announced, in order to encourage more people to drive further and faster than before, thereby consuming more fuel and adding to climate change.
Nice to know that the climate change emergency is being taken seriously !

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=19250.0
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2019, 11:26:33 pm »

Cruising at 50-60mph uses less fuel than stop/starting or crawling due to congestion.

Snipe at the road building by all means but at least offer a practical alternative.
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