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10 Takeaways On What We Want To Do & Not Do To Save The Planet – CleanTechnica Get hold of US

We’ve had all-time file temperatures each for the final 12 months and this previous July. We’ve had file warmth waves within the Center East and the Southwest US. The fires this yr in Hawaii and in 2018 in California have been essentially the most damaging in over 100 years. In the previous couple of years, hurricanes like Ian in Florida final yr and typhoons like Nanmadol in Japan final yr, pushed by hotter ocean temperatures, have grow to be extra damaging. With these observations, it’s getting ever harder to argue that our planet will not be getting hotter. It’s additionally turning into increasingly apparent that the one rationalization for a trigger is people burning huge quantities of fossil fuels. This heating is killing individuals and is melting the polar ice caps, which can elevate the peak of the ocean. Extra individuals will die as coastal areas are flooded.

See 10 takeaways beneath on what we have to do and never do to save lots of the planet. Know-how is a humorous factor — it might transfer ahead at solely a snail’s tempo or transfer ahead as fast as lightning. It took over 100 years for battery electrical energy storage to enhance sufficient past lead-acid batteries to offer sensible energy for laptop computer computer systems, smartphones, and electrical autos. It took over 7,000 lithium-ion batteries about AA measurement developed for laptops and cell telephones to energy the primary Tesla EV. The chemistry within the AA measurement and barely bigger cells in new Teslas has improved, however the development of the batteries is nearly the identical at the moment.

Within the science-fiction film Star Wars, we see the Millennium Falcon spaceship fly off into area from useless cease. NASA has been working for over 70 years on area planes just like the X-43A in the direction of a rocket ship that may takeoff from a runway, land again at that runway, and be able to fly once more quickly like a industrial airliner. The area shuttle confirmed that you may fly in from orbit and land on a runway, however NASA remains to be nowhere near a rocket that can take off from a runway and fly into orbit. However, as a freshman in mechanical engineering at UW Madison in 1958, we had been utilizing slide guidelines for calculations. At the moment nobody had the slightest clue in regards to the unimaginable advances that had been to come back over the following 50 years in digital computer systems, digital images, and video.

With regards to saving our planet, we are able to’t depend on speedy technological advances like we’ve got seen with computer systems. As for the expertise we have to save planet, we are able to solely rely on expertise which is already confirmed and is economical.

1. Cease subsidizing fossil fuels.

It makes little sense to institute a carbon tax to disincentivize burning fossil gasoline (see merchandise 2) when you find yourself incentivizing their use by subsidizing them. This gained’t be straightforward. Because the world switches away from fossil fuels, the fossil gasoline firms can have trillions of {dollars} of stranded belongings. You might be certain they’ll do every little thing they’ll to repay politicians to proceed the subsidies

2. Institute a carbon tax on all burning of fossil fuels. There is identical pushback right here from fossil gasoline firms.

3. Generate clear electrical energy utilizing solely wind, water, & photo voltaic (See Mark Z. Jacobson’s work.) Hydropower, wind energy, and solar energy are 100% emission free, require no gasoline whereas working, and are essentially the most economical methodology of electrical energy era. As a part of this, we should always overbuild wind and photo voltaic for gentle wind, cloudy skies, and low solar angle conditions.

4. Construct out electrical transmission traces to maneuver energy from sources to customers. HVDC traces can be utilized to maneuver energy from windy areas to becalmed areas (additionally, to some extent, from sunup to sunset areas).

5) Construct pumped hydro and battery storage to bridge photo voltaic and wind low-power durations. That is solely in areas the place present confirmed expertise is missing to make the leap from fossil to wash fuels. Pumped hydro works nice, however it takes a very long time to construct and works solely the place there’s ample elevation distinction. Chemical batteries are implausible for fast response to variation in energy demand however can’t provide energy for days or perhaps weeks. Novel battery applied sciences like utilizing compressed air might be able to fill the hole.

6) Don’t construct new nuclear energy crops to generate electrical energy. (See Mark Z. Jacobson’s work.) They’re too harmful (leaks and proliferation), too costly (each price and required authorities insurance coverage/subsidies), and the timelines are too lengthy (it takes greater than 10 years to construct a nuclear plant). Additionally, within the US, we’ve got but to plan a option to retailer nuclear waste and it’s problematic even in international locations like France the place they’re utilizing one of the best technological strategies doable.

7) Electrify every little thing (See Mark Z. Jacobson’s work.)

7a) Use 90% environment friendly electrical motors to transform electrical vitality into mechanical vitality as a substitute of manufacturing mechanical vitality with gasoline and diesel engines.

7b) Use 90% environment friendly batteries to energy these motors for all floor transportation (besides railroads), all short-haul plane, all short-distance ocean transport, all industrial use, energy instruments, leisure use, and many others., and many others.

7c) Electrify all railroads with overhead wires and pantographs on engines utilizing battery vehicles to bridge hard-to-electrify tunnels and bridges. This course of is effectively underway in Europe and China. Aside from the Acela high-speed passenger trains from Washington, DC, to Boston and main metropolis commuter rail and subways, electrification of railroads in North America has not even begun. It should take authorities intervention and funding to make this occur right here.

7d) Use electrical warmth pumps as a substitute of burning fossil fuels to warmth and funky air and warmth water in all buildings.

7e) Electrify metal and concrete making. Scrap metal might be recycled utilizing electrical arc furnaces, however making metal from iron ore utilizing electrical energy is problematic. Concrete making utilizing electrical energy can be problematic.

8) Don’t use hydrogen to energy something! Hydrogen is an vitality dense gasoline, however hydrogen era and use are inefficient — plus, transportation, storage, and use of hydrogen are all extraordinarily tough. It should by no means be sensible to make use of it for something, together with transoceanic plane and long-distance transport.

9) Carbon seize and sequestration (CCS) is extraordinarily tough! It’s one other expertise like area planes that takeoff and land on runways — it might by no means be price efficient, and at the very least not within the foreseeable future! Even when you can seize carbon from the air or from an influence plant utilizing a copious quantity of energy, everlasting sequestration could also be not possible. It could simply leak out of the earth once more. Carbon is already sequestered — it’s known as coal and oil. Simply depart it there. It’s rather more economical to not produce CO2 within the first place. We have to make enormous investments in clear wind and solar energy. Solely when we’ve got reached diminishing returns from wind and solar energy investments does it make sense to spend cash on CCS. Since CO2 will linger within the environment for a whole lot of years, sooner or later, we’ll in all probability want to seek out critical CCS and geoengineering options.

10) Use biofuels made out of agricultural waste to energy transoceanic plane and long-distance transport. Present batteries usually are not sufficiently vitality dense for long-distance transport and long-range plane. Propeller-driven plane usually are not quick sufficient for transoceanic flight.

11) Bonus takeaway! The one place we’ll get protected, clear, cheap energy from nuclear fusion for the following 100+ years is from the solar.

Featured picture: Basic Blue Marble. Made by Reto Stockli who I introduced from Switzerland to work in my Lab. NASA Goddard House Flight Heart.

 
 
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