Posts Tagged ‘energyandenvironment’

Lego Wants to Completely Remake Its Toy Bricks (Without Anyone Noticing) – The New York Times

September 25, 2018

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/31/business/energy-environment/lego-plastic-denmark-environment-toys.html

Why the UK’s plan to tackle air pollution is mostly hot air | New Scientist

July 27, 2018

QT:{{”
And the take-home message from their efforts to control the release of harmful particulates in the air is simple: ban wood burning. “”}}

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23831801-400-why-the-uks-plan-to-tackle-air-pollution-is-mostly-hot-air/

Livestock emissions still up in the air

April 29, 2018

terrible neighbors!

https://cen.acs.org/environment/pollution/Livestock-emissions-still-air/96/i14

The Dark Bounty of Texas Oil

January 27, 2018

The Dark Bounty of Texas Oil
https://www.NewYorker.com/magazine/2018/01/01/the-dark-bounty-of-texas-oil The development of #fracking & horizontal drilling by Mitchell et al. is perhaps not appreciated as a major tech success of late 20th century (up there w/ the web & iPod!) but it did radically change the #energy economy

QT:{{”
“In 1954, Mitchell obtained a contract to supply ten per cent of Chicago’s natural-gas needs. However, the producing wells operated by his company, Mitchell Energy & Development, were declining. He needed to discover new sources of petroleum, or else.

A safer and more precise method, developed in the seventies, was to use jets of fluid, under intense pressure, to create micro-cracks in the strata, typically in limestone or sandstone. Expensive gels or foams were generally used to thicken the fluid, and biocide was added to kill the bacteria that can clog the cracks. A granular substance called “proppant,” made of sand or ceramics, was pumped into the cracks, keeping pathways open so that the hydrocarbons could make it to the surface. The process, which came to be known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, jostled loose the captured oil or gas molecules, but the technology had a fatal flaw: it was too costly to turn a profit in shale.

In 1981, Mitchell drilled his first fracked well in the Barnett shale, the C. W. Slay No. 1. It lost money, as did many wells that followed it.

To cut costs, one of Mitchell’s engineers, Nick Steinsberger, began tinkering with the fracking-fluid formula. He reduced the quantity of gels and chemicals, making the liquid more watery, and added a cheap lubricant, polyacrylamide…

Mitchell combined his new fracking formula with horizontal-drilling techniques that had been developed offshore; once you bored deep enough to reach a deposit, you could direct the bit into the oil- or gas-bearing seam, a far more efficient means of recovery. In 1998, one of Mitchell’s wells in the Barnett, S. H. Griffin No. 4, made a profit. The shale revolution was under way. Soon the same fracking techniques that Mitchell had pioneered in gas were applied to oil.”


The world economy
was in danger of being held captive to oil states that were often intensely anti-American. Then, around the time that Barack Obama became President, U.S. production shot back up, approaching its all-time peak. On Fowler’s graph, it looked like a flagpole. “In the span of five years, we go from 5.5 million barrels a day to 9.5 million, almost doubling the U.S. output,”…The difference, Fowler said, was advanced fracking techniques and horizontal drilling. …
The town used to be called Clark, but a decade ago its mayor made a deal with a satellite network to provide ten years of free basic service to the two hundred residents, in return for renaming the town after the company. Satellite dishes still sit atop many houses there, and even though the agreement has expired the town’s name remains: dish.

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Can Carbon-Dioxide Removal Save the World?

January 8, 2018

Can Carbon-Dioxide Removal Save the World?
https://www.NewYorker.com/magazine/2017/11/20/can-carbon-dioxide-removal-save-the-world #BECCS, “which stands for bio-energy with carbon capture & storage,” actually removes #CO2 from the atmosphere, while generating energy: plant trees & burn them w/ C-capture.

QT:{{”
“BECCS, which stands for “bio-energy with carbon capture and storage,” takes advantage of the original form of carbon engineering:
photosynthesis. Trees and grasses and shrubs, as they grow, soak up CO2 from the air. (Replanting forests is a low-tech form of carbon removal.) Later, when the plants rot or are combusted, the carbon they have absorbed is released back into the atmosphere. If a power station were to burn wood, say, or cornstalks, and use C.C.S. to sequester the resulting CO2, this cycle would be broken.”
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New Haven, CT Electricity Rates | Electricity Local

December 11, 2017

Useful
https://www.electricitylocal.com/states/connecticut/new-haven/

Mapping air pollution with new mobile sensors

December 3, 2017

Mapping #AirPollution with new mobile sensors
https://www.EDF.org/airqualitymaps Quote: “Any business that relies on heavy-duty diesel trucks can pose a health risk to its neighbors.”

QT:{{”
“This is one of several spots that caught our interest: High levels of pollutants in an area that includes homes, and this playground, close to industrial warehouses. Any business that relies on heavy-duty diesel trucks can pose a health risk to its neighbors.”
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Tokyo Is Preparing for Floods ‘Beyond Anything We’ve Seen’

November 22, 2017

Tokyo Is Preparing for Floods ‘Beyond Anything We’ve Seen’
https://www.NYTimes.com/2017/10/06/climate/tokyo-floods.html Quote: “Extreme rainfall, along with the potential for destructive
earthquakes & tsunamis, make Tokyo…the riskiest metropolitan area in the world.”

QT:{{”
“Extreme rainfall, along with the potential for destructive
earthquakes and tsunamis, make Tokyo and the neighboring port city of Yokohama the riskiest metropolitan area in the world, according to a 2014 study of natural disaster risks by the Swiss Re reinsurance firm.

In late 2015, heavy typhoon rains wreaked havoc across greater Tokyo, forcing a record 670 million cubic feet of water into the underground facility, known as the Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel. It took four days for the site’s four large pumps — powered by engines similar to those used in a Boeing 737 jet — to clear the deluge.

“Tokyo faces dangers on all sides,” said Nobuyuki Tsuchiya, an anti-flooding expert and the former head of civil engineering for Tokyo’s flood-prone Edogawa ward. “It’s difficult to say that it’s doing enough.””
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What Happens When a Superstorm Hits D.C.?

September 28, 2017

What Happens When a #Superstorm Hits DC?
http://www.RollingStone.com/politics/news/what-happens-when-a-superstorm-hits-dc-w504341Storms estimated at 1/100yr in ’50 now could be 1/3yr. Are coastal areas prepared?

QT:{{”
“A report compiled in part by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and published in 2013 in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, included a study that found that increases in sea-level rise related to climate change have
significantly increased the probability of a Sandy-level flood as compared to 1950. … Another paper, published in 2012 in the journal Nature Climate Change, determined that by the end of the century what is presently considered a 100-year storm-surge flood in New York could actually be occurring as frequently as once every three years. … “Other nations are well aware of this changed risk regime,…In Britain, the Thames Barrier, completed in 1982, presently protects London against a one-in-1,000-year flood, … The Dutch design levees and regulations to protect their cities against a one-in-10,000-year flood, and are considering fixes that would ensure protection against a one-in-100,000-year flood.
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Climate change linked to more pollen, allergies, asthma

August 8, 2017

#Climatechange linked to…allergies, #asthma
http://www.USAToday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/30/climate-change-allergies-asthma/2163893/ Pollen up from a longer season; monitoring done w/o pay by volunteers

QT:{{”
“All of these things are likely affecting us,” says the CDC’s Akinbami, but it’s unclear which factors — chemicals, hygiene, pollen — have the most impact or what their relationship is to each other. She says the first two sensitize people and the third triggers their sensitivity.

On the pollen front alone, there are large gaps in the data, says the CDC’s Luber, noting pollen counts are not done on weekends and don’t cover every state. There’s not a single pollen-counting station in Alaska, Hawaii or 16 other U.S. states.

In fact, the 76 U.S. stations (plus one in Puerto Rico) are run by volunteers trained and certified by the National Allergy Bureau, part of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), a private organization that promotes research and treatment.

“There’s no federal funding,” says Linda Ford, an allergist who volunteers to do the count for the Omaha area as a way to help her patients. “There is no automated service for this,” she says, adding it can take as long as two or three hours.”
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