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Messages - Bruce Steele

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1
Walking the walk / Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« on: October 23, 2019, 06:47:57 PM »
The foraged food I could do around here (San Diego area) is nopal (Cactus).

It is quite tasty and we eat it often, but we buy it in local Mexican Markets.


2
Policy and solutions / Re: Greta Thunberg's Atlantic crossing
« on: October 09, 2019, 03:11:39 AM »
Quote
Matthew (@TorbsTalks) 10/6/19, 8:17 AM
It has been brought to my attention that @FatboySlim has mixed @GretaThunberg’s speech into “right here, right now” and it’s incredible
https://twitter.com/torbstalks/status/1180819459382169600
95-second concert-audience video at the link.

3
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 12, 2019, 05:22:51 PM »
Ken,

What is needed is a rapidly accelerating level of annual capacity installations for renewables to be able to make a meaningful dent in fossil fuel usage, and thus GHG emissions. Instead, we have a relatively stable level of annual additions (with industry groups forecasting the same for a good few years out). This is failure, as it will not reduce GHG emissions. Increases in renewable energy are not offsetting increases in overall energy usage at the global level, the first hurdle that must be crossed.We have the odd country spurt from a low level (China being the last) and then as Bloomberg points out, growth rates rapidly flatten and stabilize.

Short of a major global recession, GHG emissions will not fall for many years without some fundamental policy changes to trigger a much faster shift. We can celebrate that solar and wind are getting cheaper every year, but the inertia in the energy system seems to be more of a match for that for the time being.Getting the same renewable bang for less bucks is failure when we need a lot more bang.


4
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: July 03, 2019, 04:00:37 PM »
A simple technique to visualize 1-week changes in the pack was used before by others, consisting on using only two images (in this case UH AMSR2 Jun 25 and Jul 02) and smoothly transition from one to the other, ignoring the real variations.

What strikes me about this is -- well, a lot of things, really -- but in particular the devolution of the eastern Beaufort into a killing field and the continued development of the CAA/CAB crack. I've been somewhat skeptical that the crack would play out as a "real" feature rather than a temporary artifact caused by wind driving the ice. But even just an open/close boundary created by wind oscillations does retain a structural weakness.

If the east flank of the Beaufort collapses as dramatically as AMSR2 suggests it's about to, then there's every reason to expect that the same factors driving melt in the Beaufort can infiltrate along the structural instability of the crack. Indeed, while there are reasons to be suspicious of HYCOM's methodologies, their thickness map also shows propagation of melt along the CAA/CAB boundary, at least as far as Borden Island. HYCOM also appears to show separation along the west coast of Ellesmere, although I'm less convinced that has a counterpart in AMSR2.

Between Borden and Ellesmere is Ellef Ringnes Island, long considered the bastion of the "cold core" of the Arctic environment. The station on that island, Isachsen, consistently reported the coldest summers of all Arctic weather monitoring stations. Accordingly, Ellef Ringnes marked the western vertex of the "triangle" (broadly speaking: Ellef Ringnes - Cape Morris Jessup - North Pole) of protected ice with greater thickness and better tendency to oversummer.

Last year, we saw the right vertex of that triangle under attack when open water propagated along the north coast of Greenland from the east. If the Beaufort's collapse, couples with a CAA/CAB crack that originated as a wind effect but evolves into a melt feature, then we may very well see damage on the opposite side of what passes for a safe harbor for ice. We're a long way -- hopefully -- from that triangle of ice  actually melting out in its entirety (because that's effectively the same thing as a BOE). But nibbling away at its edges, especially in relatively novel ways, damages the integrity of the ice and reduces its ability to resist melting in later years.

In the meantime, this directly targets volume in a way that won't necessarily be reflected in area or extent measurements and exposes the normally secure reaches of the CAA to melting factors from the north. Nothing about this is good, even if it doesn't show in the bottom line metrics.

5
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 24, 2019, 04:48:45 AM »


Now I wonder why so often the ox is preferred over the horse. What I found on the internets is a bit contradictory. The horse can exert more power in short time (in fact you can work them to death quickly - I've once seen one sweating like hell and almost collapsing after half an hour of timber pulling.). The ox is slower and can work longer (contradicted by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_collar ). I guess the major point today is the price. A horse collar nowadays is way more expensive than the simple ox yoke.


Back in the 1980s I found myself unemployed and at a loose end in the Yukon one fall. So I went to Edmonton where I heard there was plenty of work. I wound up getting an interview at a show jumping and dressage stable because I had a fair bit of experience working with horses (and dogs). The interview however took place in a dark stall where I was informed I had to be acceptable to the biggest animal I've ever seen that was not an elephant.
"Mosquito" was a Holstein ox that was taller than my 6 feet at the withers, and beef to the knees as they say and must have topped a ton easy.
In the dark, Mosquito rose and rose and rose to his feet in the way that anyone who has watched a cow stand up will recognize.
He snuffled me with his wet nose and I scratched him in the 18 inches of space between his eyes and thereby got the job.
I worked with him for six months, mostly mucking out horse stalls.
The advantages of an ox over a horse (which is really the point of this post) are that they have a really low gear- so they can shift a stupendous load at a really slow speed, and their patience- they are really happy to stand and chew the cud for ten or fifteen minutes while one shovels shit into the pick-up sized sledge he pulled.
The main reason Mosquito had a job was his emissions were non-toxic to the very expensive horseflesh whose shit we were hauling.
One day we got to haul a Mac truck out of the ditch in our lane way- very satisfying!

6
Policy and solutions / Re: US Green New Deal
« on: February 12, 2019, 07:48:23 PM »
If the GND removed all agricultural subsidies in the US, and charged a realistic carbon tax (US$100+) and/or brought in personal carbon quotas, the level of change could be quite interesting. Would also give a break to farmers in many other countries, as they would stop being destroyed by subsidized US agriculture (the EU does very much the same of course). And of course, ban GMOs and do a RICO investigation of Monsanto/Bayer and other big ag. players.

That would be the basis of a real new deal.

7
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 31, 2019, 12:19:12 PM »
I was talking to a utility administrator once and he said it costs about three times as much for new underground local utility lines compared to overhead lines. Further overhead lines don't have to be dug up for upgrades and repairs. California electric costs are already high but you want to dramatically increase them. Maybe you are swimming in money but for the rest of us costs matter. ultimately I expect california tax payers will end up footing the bill for those wildfires.

Mostly I know about the utilities in Washington state especially my local utility. I don't really know that much about utilities in areas other than Washington and california. Unfortunately national organizations tend to assume we are similar to california when we are nothing like them. We have much greater hydro resources and good wind but far less solar. Further we built new generation as needed rather than blocking new generation for decades then racing to build it all at once (at greater expense) when people finally realized they needed power. So I guess I am a bit touchy when people assume that californias utility problems represent the larger region. A few years back, after california passed a renewables bill, there was an similar initiative to get to I think it was 20% (I am not sure of exact numbers this is from memory) renewables on then some future date. It passed but since we were already around 60%(it varies for the different local PUD's) many decided to add that percentage of new renewables. Another article in the national news complained about when california passed some solar law and condemmed Washington for not doing the same. Solar is not ideal for the area so it didn't make that much sense. We did add a number of very large wind farms though.   

Five to ten years ago the local coal plant was running 24/7. Recently they shut down the coal plant nearby because it couldn't compete with renewables. While the loss of local jobs was a blow to the area other businesses are moving in. The local natural gas co-generation is less then fifteen years old and was built to supply base load power. While they haven't shut it down yet it is almost never running any more. This was accomplished by "repowering" one dam and adding turbines to an existing dam. Hydropower is now around 83.58%(2016) up from about 60% ten years ago.
 

8
Policy and solutions / Re: Ships and boats
« on: January 03, 2019, 07:40:33 AM »

Rolls Royce & Finferries Put To Sea In An Autonomous Ferry
Quote
The Falco used a combination of Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence technologies to successfully navigate autonomously during its voyage between Parainen and Nauvo in the southwestern part of the country. It is equipped with a range of advanced sensors which allows it to build a detailed picture of its surroundings in real time and with a level of accuracy beyond that of the human eye according to a Rolls Royce press release. The vessel was able to avoid potential collisions along the route using sensor fusion and artificial intelligence.

The Falco is also equipped with an autonomous docking system that can reduce speed and guide the vessel to a safe and secure berth once it arrives at its destination. One additional advantage of the autonomous hardware and systems is that the vessel can be controlled remotely by a “virtual captain” at the Finferries operation center in the city of Turku, 50 kilometers away. The Falco made its way back to its point of origin by remote control. ...
https://cleantechnica.com/2019/01/02/rolls-royce-finferries-put-to-sea-in-an-autonomous-ferry/



WHY?
Terry

Fewer crew are required.The crew can be sitting in an office anywhere with an internet connection (such as a call centre in India) and each crew can remotely operate multiple vessels. Mines are doing the same thing now. It saves them a bundle.

Saving bundles may be the present cause celebre, but when has a bundle ever done anything for you? Are bundles endangered? Are bundles to be hoarded like squirrels save walnuts, stashed in the crotch of a rotting Elm?

To the One in the Cloud


Our Father who began with cards
Hallorith was the name
Then Windows came
And Intel's shame
Was backdoors open to hackers


With hackers now well embedded
Security is a farce
Your secrets open
Your codes broken
In Finland
As it is in Delhi


Give us this day
Our daily fix
But forgive us our incredulity
As we forgive those who disbelieve us
And deliver us not with Rolls Royce Robots
But with  properly captained ships.


Ramen
Terry :)

9
Science / Re: ECS is 2.5
« on: October 19, 2018, 06:28:35 AM »
Re: "Say that 5% is the result of the CO2 feedback."

Mmm. Glacial-interglacial swing is a lot more than that. But, there are a lot of other things going on, so back to a vanNes type approach, for me, nyhoo.

I think  a lot of the difficulty in is imprecision of definition. We don't have an Earth where CO2 ppm increases by 1%/yr for seventy year. We don't have an Earth where we instantaneously double CO2, hold it there and see what happens in a thousand. So everything is in terms of hypothetical, modelled Earths. TCR, ECS and even ESS are what happens on these modelled Earths.

Meta: not on topic

In a larger view indicators like global mean surface temperature or climate sensitivities are of peripheral interest to me.

Since, here in the sidd Unalmighty world, we subject Gaia to multiple stressors, CO2 being just one. We use around a third of NPP, we hugely increase runoff impermeable surface, we establish monoculture and GMO crop to exclusion of else, we suck underground aquifers dry and mighty rivers, and poison both and kill oceans to boot. And many more stressors will occur to you.
 
Doom looms nigh. The threat that will overtake us first is not direct temperature increase but habitat collapse. Our habitat.

There's probably a thread for that discussion, but it is not here, so i'll shutup.

sidd

10
The rest / Re: Poetry
« on: August 15, 2018, 05:22:48 AM »
Of all the courses I took in college/grad school creative writing/poetry was among my favorite. I'll post up what I got and see if it is at all decent:

 - In Retrospect -
   
Find a mirror,
a glass puddle amidst shattered pavement
filled with clear rain once pure,
now a flat gray of rejected oil and settled dust.

Let it bark back all of your impurities.
Everything seen is through a warped lens subjective,
a lens attempting to see only what it deems beautiful,
but your depressed reflection remains.

Image is a conglomeration of the positives and negatives
that have decided to remain and advance on the surface.
Unwilling to tell age,
but willing to expose the meaningless train wreck
of the life
of the mesmerized onlooker

Angry with that stark visual the broken road allowed you to see?
Bring the red inside your veins to a boil?
Good.
Those years of neglect cannot be hidden by the latest trend,
or past diet,
or last run,
or fake laugh.

Begin to let that fury build inside the toes
then lift through the lower extremities like a balloon
and burn the stomach
then explode with ferocity out of the wrists.

Now then a dribble of salt water
rises from two glowing white spheres
and warmly slips off the chin
and befriends the gray puddle with a slight pop.

Find temporary breath in the last drop of an exhausted bottle,
anger thrown in the direction of degrading
and not restoration.
Process has been accelerated.

Then build a smile at the quick realization
that what is seen is what has been willed
subconsciously,

a two dimensional reflection of what was desired all along.

So cherish that similar object eyeing you like a starving wolf
because,
that clone of you does not know
you,
or your experiences,
or your continual progression,
it,
is jealous, no longer questions,
it,
had the answer prior
and weeps with joy
as a result.

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