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Author Topic: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers  (Read 17020 times)
TonyK
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« Reply #135 on: January 18, 2021, 10:42:01 pm »

Whilst it may be true that aviation accounts for only about 2% of global emissions, that could probably be said of many other sources of carbon dioxide, if considered in isolation.

Do not worry about aviation it is only 2%
Do not worry about private cars, they are only a few percent of the total.
Do not worry about HGVs they are a small proportion of the total.
Do not worry about domestic heating, it is only a small percentage of the total.
Do not worry about UK emissions, they are a very small percentage of the world total.


Let's look at the detail:
Road transport accounts for 11.9% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide - electrify that using clean methods, and you've made a big big difference. Put it on rails, 0.4%, and you make a small additional difference.
Heating and lighting for residential buildings causes 10.9% of CO2 emissions. Change that to clean electric and/or increase efficiency, and you're onto a winner. Commercial buildings add another 6.6%.
Industry produces 24.2%. You are probably stuck with iron and steel's 7.2% until someone perfects less toxic ways of producing them, but things like concrete and cement, around 7.5%, could be done using clean energy.
I didn't say do not worry about any of this. We should be very worried, and building a mixture of nuclear and renewable plants to produce real clean energy rather than hitting individual sectors. Otherwise, we end up with boats glued to roads and arguments about the energy used to build bicycles and wind turbines rather than persuading the powers that be to do things that really would help.

My source for the figures is Our World in Data.
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Trowres
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« Reply #136 on: January 19, 2021, 12:23:41 am »

This forum normally has very high standards of conduct; I'm going to commend Broadgage for the courage in posting his thoughts in spite of a rather hostile reception.

As TonyK says of the problem: we should be very worried. Some of the perceived techno-solutions don't scale up without giving problems of their own (e.g. biofuels). Another issue is that the rest-of-the-world still has a long way to catch up with western lifestyles (and energy consumption).

For all the benefits of air travel, it might be a good idea if it was treated as a precious commodity and used thoughtfully and sparingly.

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Thatcham Crossing
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« Reply #137 on: January 19, 2021, 09:00:25 am »

Quote
This forum normally has very high standards of conduct; I'm going to commend Broadgage for the courage in posting his thoughts in spite of a rather hostile reception.

Yes, myself and a few others have been a bit "direct" with broadgage.

I think we all know there is a climate emergency and that greenhouse gas emissions are a big concern.

A bit like with the current health emergency, science, technological evolution and, in this case, ecological countermeasures will overcome this in time.

I think it's the utopian (or as TG said, quixotic) mantra that broadgage exudes, without variation, that is driving the response.

Happy to step away if others feel a mark has been over-stepped?
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grahame
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« Reply #138 on: January 19, 2021, 09:58:03 am »

The "how much difference can we make in this area / how important is this factor" question reminds me - so much - of much work I have done during my career in areas like speeding up software, and of reducing server and system load so that systems can cope.

I recall commenting, many many years ago, "goodness - this is slow" as I ran a piece of our own software that tidied up databases. Comment too loud ... I was out of the office the following day, and our YTS (Youth Training Scheme) student took it upon himself to invest his time that whole day to speed it up. And, goodness, he was proud the next morning to tell me that a 20 second job was down to 10 seconds. "But, [name], we only run that once a week ... how long is it going to take us in 10 second gains to get back all the time you invested yesterday?". "Is this something which is a key issue with customers that will make a difference to our ongoing business?"

It is so easy - seen it done many times (and made the mistake myself) - to invest massive resources into improving one element of a system which in practice is only 10% of the whole, while overlooking the other 90% "elephant in the room". Even by halving the time / resource taken by the bit that has been sped up, the overall speed up of just one twentieth is usually unnoticeable, and the cost can be high in terms of investment, and perhaps also in terms of the new, quicker system having a downside of being harder to maintain.

All very theoretic ... and a handful of follow up thoughts / conclusions

1. If that 90% isn't a single elephant in the room, but rather a whole lot of much smaller elements, the "let's concentrate on this bit instead" idea falls apart as there is no better bit to look at - they ALL need to be looked at!

2. Once that 90% gets slashed, the 10% DOES become more significant ... dramatic changes can be made (in software and other systems) - orders of magnitude - and if that 90% is reduced by a factor of 10, 10% we have overlooked becomes 55% we should not overlook.

3. Resource use overall can be slashed, but rarely becomes zero - there is almost always going to be some sort of residual.

4. Reduction of resource use opens opportunities to do new things that are better that could even have been imagined before.  And things that once were issues fade away and become none-issues.

Where am I headed?  I will leave it for the reader to draw on what I've written.
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TonyK
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« Reply #139 on: January 19, 2021, 01:52:44 pm »

This forum normally has very high standards of conduct; I'm going to commend Broadgage for the courage in posting his thoughts in spite of a rather hostile reception.

I also commend Broadgage, and hope I haven't overstepped the mark. Some things will always polarise opinion with no scientific reason for doing so, as any football supporter or fan of a particular genre of music will grudgingly admit. For other things, there is there is a need for an open debate. I am sure that Broadgage and I are talking about the same problem from the same point of view, and just arguing about the priorities in resolving it.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #140 on: January 19, 2021, 05:47:08 pm »

This forum normally has very high standards of conduct; I'm going to commend Broadgage for the courage in posting his thoughts in spite of a rather hostile reception.

I also commend Broadgage, and hope I haven't overstepped the mark. Some things will always polarise opinion with no scientific reason for doing so, as any football supporter or fan of a particular genre of music will grudgingly admit. For other things, there is there is a need for an open debate. I am sure that Broadgage and I are talking about the same problem from the same point of view, and just arguing about the priorities in resolving it.

Hear hear - ourselves, and the Forum would be poorer without Broadgage's ruminations and his crystal ball!

May his bottle of Port never run dry  Smiley
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