Fossil fuels contribute a lot of energy to the needs of people and organizations. Solar and wind will take time to take over the infrastructure. CFCs on the other hand could be much more easily replaced.
Cows make up like 8%.
The US military is the world's largest polluter. Most of their most serious crime against the environment is detonation of nuclear warheads.
* Transportation: 28%
* Livestock is 14.5% of all GHG emissions, cows are 65% of that:
* Stories on how the US Military is the world' biggest polluters:
Regarding specifically my nuclear detonation comment:
In addition, the U.S., which has conducted more nuclear weapons tests than all other nations combined, is also responsible for the massive amount of radiation that continues to contaminate many islands in the Pacific Ocean. The Marshall Islands, where the U.S. dropped more than sixty nuclear weapons between 1946 and 1958, are a particularly notable example. Inhabitants of the Marshall Islands and nearby Guam continue to experience an exceedingly high rate of cancer.
The American Southwest was also the site of numerous nuclear weapons tests that contaminated large swaths of land. Navajo Indian reservations have been polluted by long-abandoned uranium mines where nuclear material was obtained by U.S. military contractors.
TLDR: there's more to greenhouse gas then pollution from power plants. And nuclear power isn't problem free.
> All of agriculture accounted for a total of 9 percent. All of animal agriculture contributes less than half of this amount, representing 3.9 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
> To its credit, the FAO immediately owned up to its error. Unfortunately, the agency’s initial claim that livestock was responsible for the lion’s share of world greenhouse gas emissions had already received wide coverage.
And the best case scenario is burning it somehow in which case it just has a CO2 byproduct
The EPA says its Global Warming Potential over 100 years is 28-36 times CO2 . 100 years sounds like a very relevant time period to me.
It seems impossible to find green political leaders willing to improve our CO2 emissions while accepting that we can't just rely on renewable energy only right now.
Germany and Belgium are phasing out their own reactors:
What I'm getting at, is: will governments be supporting nuclear, even if it's considered safe enough? As far as I know the Dutch government has cleared the way for a new nuclear power plant, but no company is willing to build it because they can't recoup the investments. If governments have to subsidise it more than they subsidise wind and solar energy, will they do it?
Chernobyl and Fukushima I will grant (especially Chernobyl!) but Three Mile Island has a no-go zone that's far smaller than most people think. And it's only sort of no-go at that.
> which could wipe out our grid, leading to nuclear leaks worldwide
Sorry, but citation needed for the causal mechanism via which the grid going down would lead to "nuclear leaks".
> Pushing water past the core means pumps that are generally run by electricity. What happens when a reactor gets disconnected from the grid?
There are emergency diesel generators. You also have a battery system to keep instruments running, but that can also provide power to safety systems [which prevent a meltdown by cooling the reactor core]. It's all meant to provide defense in depth. First you rely on the grid. If the grid is no longer available, you use diesel generators. If there is an issue with the diesels, you have a battery backup. And the batteries usually last long enough for you to get the diesels going. 
All I'm saying is that we have a very short term understanding of cosmic events and extreme space weather events  and maybe a good percentage of nuclear power plants could withstain these types of events, but I don't see it as a viable long term option.
I agree that this is something we should be keeping in mind as we build new reactors. And people have in fact kept it in mind. Modern reactor designs use passive cooling systems that don't need power to operate properly.
The single best thing we could do for nuclear safety, including from extreme space weather effects, is replace decades-old plants with modern ones. Unfortunately, people tend to react to that with "we shouldn't build any new nuclear plants, even if we're replacing old and less safe ones".
Just to put this in perspective, the first ever commercial nuclear plant was opened in 1956. Fukushima construction began in 1967, finished in 1971, 40 years before the meltdown. We've learned a good bit about safety in reactor design in the 50+ years that have passed since Fukushima was designed...
> Due to the prolonged period of stagnation in the construction of new reactors and the continued (but declining) popularity of Generation II/II+ designs in new construction, relatively few third generation reactors have been built. Generation IV designs are still in development as of 2017, and are not expected to start entering commercial operation until 2020–2030.
I don’t understand how nuclear leaks could be a result of grid failure.
Also, I read recently that CME could cause DC charge to occur on very long power lines, but that modern systems can handle this. There was a HN thread about this couple days ago, can anyone find it?
EDIT I must apologise to my parent, and to HN in general. Her thesis was undergraduate:
> ... four-year Chemistry Bachelor of Science degree, specialising in X-ray crystallography under the supervision of Dorothy Hodgkin. Her dissertation was on the structure of the antibiotic gramicidin.
Actually, that’s an interesting question: since “Dr” usually replaces “Mr” for a man, would a male president with a doctorate be “Dr President”?
See the header here:
Tacking climate change is asking everyone to stop using energy (as we know it) which is fundamentally existential.
They're not in the same category of proportional impact.
Unfortunately, instead of trying to find replacements for the energy produced by fossil fuel(nuclear was just sitting their, ready), it seems to me the most vocal environmentalists were basically anti-technology and anti-human and hoped the the huge fear of global warming would be enough to get a huge range of policies they had been pushing of decades passed. No such luck and the other side has now politicize global warming to their benefit.
This is a very important distinction because most people debate it as if they are debating science.
The 97% is not agreeing that the world is going under in 20 years if we don't do anything. In those 97% there are plenty of so called "climate deniers" who are agreeing that the climate is changing, heating and humans have some effect.
However how much and how catastrophic it's going to be isn't even close to being a consensus or for that matter scientific. The actual science is a small part. The larger part is speculated not demonstrated.
I think you're understating the amount of real science that is available for the effects of continued GHG emissions on our climate. Agreed that the effect it will ultimately have on our civilization is truly speculation because that depends on our response over the next 50-100 years.
Your comment made me think of people who say we need to move to Mars because of climate change... there's no shortage of dumb arguments on both sides of the debate. But to be clear, based on what I know, I would still advocate an aggressive move towards decarbonization.
So I am not so sure the current focus on reducing co2 emissions is as rational and useful as many seem to think.
Furthermore, the real question no one asks themselves is what is the goal of this and what is the price (not just economically) you are ready to pay.
I don't see any way to stop co2 right now without putting a ban on residential and industrial heating and electricity and transportation and you don't do that without putting the economy to a halt. You would literally have to eradicate CO2 emission for those categories to get close to anything substantial.
Cause if this problem is really as dire as some claim then removing the current Paris agreement isn't even close to going to cut it. Especially since more and more people get into the middle class and they want part of the spoils too.
Furthermore it's not just that we would financially become much much poorer the result would be a giant fluctuating food supply and most poor countries are not going to agree that it's ok we can have what we have and they are not allowed to do anything.
So if you are really serious are you ready to hinder them if necessary by force to grow their own economies and secure their own people?
Cause that's the kind of actions you should be ready to take if you are truly worried about CO2 emissions and want to do something about them right now.
I am not too worried about CO2 emissions in fact for some things it's going to be good (14% increase so far in vegetation). That doesn't mean that I am not aware that rising sea levels might have an effect on local areas but I would rather approach that like the Dutch than involve the whole world.
I am also completely agreeing we should decarbonize but the problem right now is that the environmental organizations and the current political climate works against that because of it's opposition to nuclear which is the only real alternative energy to fossil fuels we have which is both reliable, scalable, cheap (at scale), safe and provides 0% CO2 emissions.
They would rather continue to primarily support wind and solar even though it means increased use of coal and oil because of the unreliable nature of wind and solar.
In the current political climate whatever is currently done is doing more harm than good both to the environment, the climate and to the poorest nations. Wind and solar are both linear solutions to exponential problems.
If you truly want to reduce carbon emissions then dedicate all your time to nuclear, fusion, fission, thorium figure out how we can contain plasma in a magnetic field in big enough scale.
I am not too worried although I am aware of the dangers, but if you really are worried you should probably drop everything you have visit the nearest energy lab and offer your help cause there are no feasible political solutions just waiting to be implemented least of all the paris agreement.
P.S. I upvoted you, not because I agree with you 100% but because you aren't just jumping to conclusions. Good style more people could learn from.
Even if you fully accept that regulating CO2 is a good idea, the beneficial effects of that action will barely be noticeable for decades.
CFC was a small part of the economy.
As a first approximation, burning fossil fuel is the economy.
Note that refrigerants can be substituted without changing the refrigeration hardware at all. No infrastructure changes are required. There is no "tech stack disruption" at all.
I know this because I tried several of newest quietest models before discovering ammonia absorption cooling.
People argued that these problems couldn't be fixed, that they would be too expensive to fix, etc. But now there is good progress. That gives me hope about other problems on this planet.
My view of addressing climate change because of global warming is that it is going to require a bit more effort but that it is fundamentally just as doable. Better still, we are actually doing it. The question is are we doing it fast enough and are going about it as efficient as we could. People sure seem to waste a lot of time defending the status quo, arguing for inaction, or questioning whether there even is a problem to solve.
The core problem as I see it is addressing our energy needs and kicking off a second industrial revolution in the process. That's exactly what is happening right now. For me that prospect is the main goal. Saving our planet is a nice side effect though.
If we solve the technical problem of producing as much clean energy as we could possibly need, we could all have air-conditioning in our houses, terrace heaters in our gardens in the winter, irrigate our deserts with desalinated water from the sea, supply our industries with clean carbo hydrates produced straight from the air, etc. These things are all very energy intensive.
Demand for energy is outstripping our ability to conserve it. Therefore solving clean plentiful energy is key. It's the only thing that will get us results.
PS: The fact China is not a democracy which has some unpleasant results: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rStL7niR7gs
Quick, do a good job and renovate everything, hide or move anything annoying or embarrassing while the boss is here is part of Chinese management everywhere from Xi Jinping on down. Supervision and management are hard, especially when your subordinates are constantly shading the truth and covering things up.
My true definition of democracy is direct democracy. Once you start giving power to a representative then you stop being democratic. And that includes power to survive, eat, have shelter, have vacation, have time to study and pursue creative things.
But unless we can instantly communicate like the Protoss can then no, we can't achieve 'rule by the people'. However, it's not simply a choice of Direct Democracy, 3-branch system, 1-party system. We can have system where there is way less concentrated power (again, emphasis on power including many things like education in critical thinking).
Having said that. Yes China is not a democracy. Nor any other country. It is a question of how power (again, my emphasis) is concentrated and the potential of corruption.
The only thing which can reliably be said about modern debate on how to structure a good representative government, is that the participants are rarely informed about the 500 years of debate on the subject that occurred before they were born
They were just some guys drafting a law, get over it. People draft laws all the time.
In theory it has the advantages of direct democracy, without requiring telepathy. Of course, that's not necessarily to say that it would work well, but it's an interesting concept at least.
Funny thing is, people say one party system is not a democracy. What about USA's two party system? Both of them have representatives elected by people (baring the violence).
But in both, people can't realistically get a new party in government, let alone run the country. Yet new parties get elected in other parts of the world, even if they don't run the government as a majority.
We're arguably currently on the sixth one.
That said, my above point is about non ruling party representatives. In Europe, there tends to be more than 5 different parties, showing plenty of voter choice is possible.
What is democracy in a modern sense?
Much like CO2 production, some level of emissions are well within the ability of the biosphere to deal with without harm. But if everyone emits willy nilly then we'll end up well past those limits.
I thought ozone layer density (is that the right term?) was directly measurable?
CFC-11 boils at 24C. CFC-12 boils at -30C.
This is one of the few sources of hope that we can step back from the ecological-collapse abyss. In many cases we just have to get out of the way. Unfortunately, we probably won't. Replacing complex evolved enduring systems with primitive technological short-lived ones makes heaps of cash.
Right now if you don't reclaim the R-134A from your car AC or fridge it is a $27k fine while you can buy cans of it to blow out your keyboard. Same goes for propane. This makes the new fridges that use propane almost impossible to work on since nobody has the reclamation equipment for R290.
Edit: and CO2 has a GWP of 1 (as the reference point for GWP), so R-134A is way more effective than that.
But the point is that they're the same exact substances, given different designators depending on the use. HFC-134a is perfectly legal to vent into the atmosphere, yet if it's in a refrigeration system (and thus called R-134a) it is not.
R-290 is just the refrigeration name for plain propane. I don't know the GWP etc of propane, or the relative amount that would be contributed by deliberate venting of refrigeration systems. But I do know that a $27k fine for doing so is nonsensical - given gas grills, blow torches, and industrial/distribution gas leaks.
 I didn't buy them. I personally have never had a problem using an air compressor (the traditional worry is condensation droplets), but if you're paranoid go get something like the Metro DataVac.
The argument, I guess, is “it shouldn’t be”, but it’s better than R-12 (for the ozone layer anyway; R-12 has a GWP of 2400) so turning a blind eye to relatively small-scale use is better for the ozone layer.
Propane’s GWP is 3.3, so it’s a bit worse than CO_2 but much better than -134a or methane. A fine does seem odd for venting it although as long as it’s cheap there’s probably not much other incentive to try to conserve it.
Taxes which made the gas valuable enough to be worth capturing (charge for the externality and all that) seem more sensible but are politically unlikely and I’d be wary of unintended consequences like accidentally incentivising ozone-depleting gases instead.
The modern analog with respect to GWP is propane ("R-290"). With a GWP of 3.3, it looks like venting raw propane is basically equivalent to the CO2 created by burning that same propane.
In isolation, putting more propane into the atmosphere is worse than not. But on the whole, we'd much rather see propane used for refrigeration than R-152a or whatever other new proprietary (hydrofluoric acid combustion product !) refrigerant system Dow (et al) come up with. And not requiring the purchase of expensive "reclamation equipment" for propane-used-as-refrigerant would go a long way to encouraging that.
So the fine mostly just stops the fridge from being worked on by qualified professionals. Perfectly fixable items are going in the trash because nobody wants to buy dedicated equipment for every refrigerant used. R134A is common enough to make the equipment worthwhile to own but not so much for propane and other less common refrigerants.
> Hooking up a reclamation machine and paying for the refrigerant disposal would take all the profit out of this service.
Fixing this (Make it cheaper to reclaim? Make the refrigerant more valuable? Some combination of the two?) seems like the way to go rather than just removing all the regulations and hoping for the best.
Which results in the refrigerant being released anyway once the item deteriorates enough.
My father-in-law doesn't believe that the moon landings took place. All the data in the world cannot convince him otherwise. The only good strategy in the face of these types of claims is to go up the crazy scale. For example when he tells me that the moon landings didn't happen, I tell him he's naive it he thinks the moon exists. The moon was blown up in the 50's due to a nuclear test gone wrong and what we're seeing now is an artificial projection.
I firmly believe that gravity is caused by a bunch of invisible garden gnomes that hold you down. Does anyone have the data to refute these claims?
Also, see the definition of homosphere:
"The homosphere and heterosphere are defined by whether the atmospheric gases are well mixed. The surface-based homosphere includes the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and the lowest part of the thermosphere, where the chemical composition of the atmosphere does not depend on molecular weight because the gases are mixed by turbulence. This relatively homogeneous layer ends at the turbopause found at about 100 km (62 mi; 330,000 ft), the very edge of space itself as accepted by the FAI, which places it about 20 km (12 mi; 66,000 ft) above the mesopause."
Note that the ozone layer is well within the homosphere so CFCs readily mix into it from surface emissions.
Going up the crazy scale: Has he burst into flames? If no, then air mixes heavier and lighter components. If yes, then the 21% O2 is actually at the bottom and should be 100% as it is heavier than N2.
Also if you lie down on the ground do you suffocate to death because of all of that heavy ozone hanging around there? No, because it's dispersed throughout the atmosphere.
Ultimately it sounds like the kind of situation where no amount of logic is going to change his mind and that you're probably better off avoiding the subject entirely for the sake of your own sanity.
This is not to say that established theories would always hold scrutiny. Thinking of e.g. what we thought about tectonic plate movements/continental drift only ~100 years a go.
The makeup down here is largely controller by convection and turbulences, only farther up the relative weight starts to matter.