Electric Bikes and Global Warming.

Tony1951

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One of the reasons I bought an e-bike conversion was that I wanted to test the practicality of electric powered transport without throwing 30 thousand of more at a barely practical car. I am enjoying it, but I am interested in the wider question of the necessity of all the UK's wider plan to 'decarbonise' our country. I don't deny that CO2 release causes warming - it is a fact, but I do question the idea that 'the world will end' if we carry on doing what we have been doing for a couple of hundred years. The long term trend of global mean temperature rise shows a rise of slightly less than one degree centigrade over more than a century. The rate of rise has picked up a bit since China became a mega emitter, but what is the long term record of the planet's temperature?

I went to NOAA the American climate body as an authoritative source and found this graph showing estimated global mean temperature over the last five hundred million years. It gives the lie to the idea that a few degrees will end the world.



Our present situation is at the right hand end of this graph. For most of the last half billion years, Earth was much hotter than it is now. The boundary between the red and blue lines is red = no polar ice caps, blue = polar ice caps present.

The page I found this graph on, is an interesting one and you can find a lot of information here:


I think our government is leading us into an economic and living standards disaster with laws forbidding installation of oil and gas boilers, and bans on the sale of new fossil fuel powered vehicles. The UK emits slightly less than 1% of global carbon dioxide. All we will do is ruin our living standards, while China,the USA and the other mega emitters carry on as usual.

Quote from NOAA page referenced above:

Modern human civilization, with its permanent agriculture and settlements, has developed over just the past 10,000 years or so. The period has generally been one of low temperatures and relative global (if not regional) climate stability. Compared to most of Earth’s history, today is unusually cold; we now live in what geologists call an interglacial—a period between glaciations of an ice age. But as greenhouse-gas emissions warm Earth’s climate, it's possible our planet has seen its last glaciation for a long time.
 
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GSV3MiaC

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Yes, the planet survived quite nicely several degrees, warmer than today, and if you like most of the world as a swamp, and your species ends in 'saurus' you'll do just fine.

Man, the species, starts somewhere around the big dip on the right hand side of your graph. 500 million years ago you'd be surviving as some very primitive organism, maybe not even oxygen breathing.

The planet will be fine. Human inhabitants of lowland England.. Nope, sorry.
 

flecc

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One of the reasons I bought an e-bike conversion was that I wanted to test the practicality of electric powered transport without throwing 30 thousand of more at a barely practical car. I am enjoying it, but I am interested in the wider question of the necessity of all the UK's wider plan to 'decarbonise' our country. I don't deny that CO2 release causes warming - it is a fact, but I do question the idea that 'the world will end' if we carry on doing what we have been doing for a couple of hundred years. The long term trend of global mean temperature rise shows a rise of slightly less than one degree centigrade over more than a century. The rate of rise has picked up a bit since China became a mega emitter, but what is the long term record of the planet's temperature?

I went to NOAA the American climate body as an authoritative source and found this graph showing estimated global mean temperature over the last five hundred million years. It gives the lie to the idea that a few degrees will end the world.



Our present situation is at the right hand end of this graph. For most of the last half billion years, Earth was much hotter than it is now. The boundary between the red and blue lines is red = no polar ice caps, blue = polar ice caps present.

The page I found this graph on, is an interesting one and you can find a lot of information here:


I think our government is leading us into an economic and living standards disaster with laws forbidding installation of oil and gas boilers, and bans on the sale of new fossil fuel powered vehicles. The UK emits slightly less than 1% of global carbon dioxide. All we will do is ruin our living standards, while China,the USA and the other mega emitters carry on as usual.

Quote from NOAA page referenced above:
The point is that quite simply, we humans were not around for those eons and could not withstand most of the conditions through that time, or were in small enough numbers to exist on the occupiable land with compatible conditions. The creatures that were, could.

Now we are heading to 9 billions or more and heavily dependant on lowland conditions, both to grow our food and live, once the melting icecaps have taken much of that lowland, life will become very difficult indeed to put it mildly.

And we have to consider the tipping point, the point beyond when we cannot stop the warming continuing to termination. That is what happened to our sister planet Venus, once ideal to follow the same path as earth but eventually naturally tipping into the hell that it is now, an ammonia atmosphere and a temperature that would cook us. And that is just its good features!

Of course the real answer isn't what we are doing about climate change. It's returning to a population which can be sustained very long term, perhaps 1 to 2 billions. But even that is only a partial answer since it still means a finite future, ending well before the solar system does.

A future lasting the whole time the solar system permits us means a very small human population indeed, small enough for the earth's resources to renew fast enough to keep pace with our usage. It's likely that such a small population would not be large enough to maintain our current science and technology, meaning regression to a more primitive life and completely solving the problem.
.
 

vfr400

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Project Veritas infiltrated CNN and got the truth direct from the horses mouth:

More important than climate change is pollution, especially plastic waste. If you feel environmentally sympathetic, that's where you should focus your attention.

Electric bikes reduce emissions in your area, so the air will be cleaner. Never mind CO2, it's the reduction of other noxious substances in vehicle emissions that we'd benefit from.
 
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Woosh

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A future lasting the whole time the solar system permits us means a very small human population indeed, small enough for the earth's resources to renew fast enough to keep pace with our usage. It's likely that such a small population would not be large enough to maintain our current science and technology, meaning regression to a more primitive life and completely solving the problem.
right now, our technology can't sustain the 8 billion size of human population but perhaps a combination of scientific progress and longer life expectancy will result in rapid decrease in birth rates leading eventually to a much smaller population in a couple of centuries.
Whether the species lasts that long without self destroying remains to be seen. I am usually optimistic but not on this.
 
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vfr400

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The human population has been running like a Ponzi scheme. The people at the top rely on an ever increasing number of new ones to support them. Both Japan and China felt the effect when there weren't enough new ones at the bottom. Ultimately, to prevent melt-down something will have to be done to stop the continuous growth. You can't blame Bill Gates, the Davos crowd, the Rockerfeller Foundation, et al for trying to do something about it. We should only be arguing about the methods.
 

Tony1951

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Of course the real answer isn't what we are doing about climate change. It's returning to a population which can be sustained very long term, perhaps 1 to 2 billions. But even that is only a partial answer since it still means a finite future, ending well before the solar system does.
right now, our technology can't sustain the 8 billion size of human population but perhaps a combination of scientific progress and longer life expectancy will result in rapid decrease in birth rates leading eventually to a much smaller population in a couple of centuries.
Whether the species lasts that long without self destroying remains to be seen. I am usually optimistic but not on this.
Bang on there, for sure. I remember in 1974 finding a population graph showing the exponential growth rates of population rise. It showed a long gentle rise from about 1000 AD of estimated population and then a spectacular acceleration after about 1935, picking up even more in the 1960s to a rocketing line, pretty much going straight up. The headline population figure then was a population of about 3.5Bn, with China and India leading the way. I felt quite shocked than, wondering how we would all be fed, let alone anything else. Of course, now we would be rather pleased to have a population that low, because we are at twice that level forty five years later, and all of us need resources, so the planet comes more under stress. What's more the big drivers of big family culture are not going away and Woosh might be right that one way or another we might reduce our population through development, but then again, maybe not. I don't see it. It WILL reduce though, one way or another. If we don't do it, nature will, and if so, it will be plague and famine through total environmental degradation.
 
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Tony1951

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Flecc mentioned Venus in his post and suggested Earth might go the same way.

There are processes which could accelerate heating like melting methane clathrates under the Arctic, and release pf CO2 from tundra bogs, but Earth differs from Venus in very important ways which would prevent the super hot situation there from ever happening here.

Number one is that Venus is 30 million miles closer to the sun and gets a lot more heat from there than we do. Flecc is right in implying that it wasn't always as hot as it is now ( about 475C on the surface).

Number two is that Venus has massive vulcanicity. The surface is covered by dome shaped volcanoes and its whole surface has been remade by outpourings of molten lava possibly as recently as 150 million years ago. This would have caused very large emissions of carbon dioxide which have filled the atmosphere and now make up 98% of it. By comparison, our atmosphere is even now only 0.04% co2. We are not in the same universe as far as green house gasses are concerned and there is no way we could ever go remotely close to Venusian levels of co2, because the processes of our geology are different.

Number three is that Venus long ago lost its oceans and oceans are a key mechanism on Earth which recycles atmospheric CO2 into lime stone. All those limestone mountains like the Alps are made out of carbonate rocks laid down under ancient oceans by microscopic organisms and shelled sea creatures - co2 taken up by sea life and turned into inert carbonate rocks.

Our species, taking Earth's co2 from 0.0275% of the atmosphere in pre-industrial times, to 0.04% now, can never bring us remotely to the state of Venus.

That doesn't mean everywhere that we use for farming could continue to be farmed in the same way in a hundred years time if we raised our temperature significantly. But nothing about the way we do things, be it farming, manufacturing, of the way we live, stays the same in the long term ever. A hundred years ago, British farming produced a fraction of what we now do by using lots of people and horses as a power source. There is no reason to imagine future farming will grow the same crops or use the same methods we do now.
 
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Tony1951

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The human population has been running like a Ponzi scheme. The people at the top rely on an ever increasing number of new ones to support them. Both Japan and China felt the effect when there weren't enough new ones at the bottom. Ultimately, to prevent melt-down something will have to be done to stop the continuous growth. You can't blame Bill Gates, the Davos crowd, the Rockerfeller Foundation, et al for trying to do something about it. We should only be arguing about the methods.
Yes - Remember Michael Burke standing in front of a desert scene in Ethiopia in the 1980s with hideous scenes of people as far as you could see, dying of starvation in front of cameras. It was a scene from Hell. Well, we poured in aid and medical support and now Ethiopia has got twice as many people as it had then. A lot of the countries in Africa are set to double their population in forty years time, and they are not the only ones. China had draconian laws to limit population growth and more or less was set to half its population in a couple of generations, but has had to relent because the costs of looking after the large number of old at the expense of much smaller numbers of young are insupportable. The only way to do that would be beyond draconian - Logan's Run.... Not too nice a solution.
 

Tony1951

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Whether the species lasts that long without self destroying remains to be seen. I am usually optimistic but not on this.
It's funny how people worry about how our species will survive when the Sun in its old age in about a billion years time starts to swell up into a red giant and destroys our little planet..... Some of them bother on working out schemes about how we could go inter-stellar and fly off to planets light years away. I wonder if they ever stop to think about how new our species is and how many species die out perfectly naturally over time. There were no people like us before about sixty thousand to maybe eighty thousand years ago. This is like yesterday in evolution. There were walking ape like folk, but they were not modern type humans. I'd be surprised if our species was here in another twenty thousand years let alone a billion.
 
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vfr400

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It makes no difference, nobody can stop the universe becoming extinct. Most likely everything you have ever seen and known will be swallowed up by a black hole long before then, and the sun will have implded long before that. We will all be part of the same soup of vibrating energy, so John Lenon's wishes will come true: however, eventually the vibration will stop and there will be nothing. See you in a trillion years.
 
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Gringo

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It makes no difference, nobody can stop the universe becoming extinct. Most likely everything you have ever seen and known will be swallowed up by a black hole long before then, and the sun will have implded long before that. We will all be part of the same soup of vibrating energy, so John Lenon's wishes will come true: however, eventually the vibration will stop and there will be nothing. See you in a trillion years.
And here’s me, just brewed up and worried about where to put my used tea bag :p
 
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Tony1951

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VFR4 said:
It makes no difference, nobody can stop the universe becoming extinct. Most likely everything you have ever seen and known will be swallowed up by a black hole long before then, and the sun will have implded long before that. We will all be part of the same soup of vibrating energy, so John Lenon's wishes will come true: however, eventually the vibration will stop and there will be nothing. See you in a trillion years.

In about four or five billion years, the sun will have burned up all of its hydrogen, having turned it into helium and it will then start on that. When it does so, it will embark on a new phase and leave its main sequence yellow star period and it will swell up to become a red giant star. In doing this, it will expand out to the orbit of Mars, taking in and entirely destroying the earth. This phase will last about a billion more billion years. It will then collapse in on itself and puff out vast amounts of dust, metals, and gas into the surrounding space. Some of this might be taken up by a new, forming star, but the main mass of the sun will collapse into a white dwarf . It could continue like this for tens or even a hundred billion years, until it cools completely and becomes a black dwarf.

One more thing - every atom in our bodies except the hydrogen in the water inside us, has gone through a star preceding the lifetime of the sun. All the heavier elements were formed in stars that grew up and died, often spectacularly in supernova explosions. In a very real way - we are stardust. That dust and those elements that are in our bodies will last forever in some form or other.




Good article here linked below. Apparently, some of the lithium in our bike batteries was formed along with hydrogen during the micro seconds of the big bang. Other lithium was formed during the explosions of stars. Unfortunately for the cost of our batteries - there was not that much of it and it is a bit rare here on earth.

How heavy elements are formed.
 
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Woosh

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Apparently, some of the lithium in our bike batteries was formed along with hydrogen during the micro seconds of the big bang.
there was very little atoms other than hydrogen and helium formed by primordial nucleosynthesis in the immediate 20 minutes after the Big Bang.
Lithium is made from Hydrogen > Tritium > Beryllium-7 > Lithium-7.
In view that the age of our universe is about 13.77 billion years and our sun 4.6 billion years, the Lithium in our battery is mostly formed by one of previous suns in the star cluster that we were in.
Our sun may also eject some Lithium through solar wind.
 
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guerney

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there was very little atoms other than hydrogen and helium formed by primordial nucleosynthesis in the immediate 20 minutes after the Big Bang.
Lithium is made from Hydrogen > Tritium > Beryllium-7 > Lithium-7.
In view that the age of our universe is about 13.77 billion years and our sun 4.6 billion years, the Lithium in our battery is mostly formed by one of previous suns in the star cluster that we were in.
Our sun may also eject some Lithium through solar wind.

 
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Woosh

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that invention is remarkable. The only downside is we still don't know how robust the system is in the long term.

quote:

The researchers estimate that the cell would need only US$5 of electricity to extract 1 kilogram of lithium from seawater. The value of hydrogen and chlorine produced by the cell would more than offset this cost, and residual seawater could also be used in desalination plants to provide freshwater.
 
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guerney

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that invention is remarkable. The only downside is we still don't know how robust the system is in the long term.

quote:

The researchers estimate that the cell would need only US$5 of electricity to extract 1 kilogram of lithium from seawater. The value of hydrogen and chlorine produced by the cell would more than offset this cost, and residual seawater could also be used in desalination plants to provide freshwater.

This sort of invention gives us grumpy old men (more me than you probably) hope. If it can be made robust and scalable, it's a lot better than poisoning the oceans and hastening humanity's demise, obvs.
 
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