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Everything posted by FleshJeb

  1. Such as what? I looked around my house and couldn’t find anything “green” that’s objectively a worse economic decision. The appliances are much more efficient than earlier models. Even my truck has double the fuel mileage as my last one (and double the horsepower). Maybe the compact fluorescent lightbulbs suck, but they’re a minuscule part of my total expenses. (Judging by the exhaust, Russian jet engines already run on coal :p)
  2. I had to read a few articles on him. I didn't see any that were complementary about his motivations. If he could credibly prove that, and establish that drilling companies have ANY history of responsible pollution management, I'd support it. I've talked to a geotechnical engineer that lives in Tulsa, OK, where fracking is big. Her house has massive cracks in it due to the seismicity induced by the water injection. (Oklahoma has registered more earthquakes than California since fracking began surging.) The gas companies just claim it's not their problem. And that's the least problematic thing about fracking--Once you contaminate an aquifer with fracking fluid, it's staying contaminated for generations. Now if someone from the oil and gas industry says they're going to start converting their operations over to geothermal but they need cheap leases on public lands and a boatload of subsidies, I'll whip out my checkbook AND drop my pants. I've mentioned this before, but I live near the largest geothermal field in the world. We dump 20 million gallons of treated wastewater into it a day to produce about 900MW on average. We do get lots of minor, unnoticeable earthquakes, but they carefully tune the injection locations and rates to minimize the magnitude. ...aaaand having just returned from a multi-hour deep dive into technical papers on geothermal power production.... The summation is this: https://nick-underwood.com/geothermal/ The U.S. could be generating up to 16% of our electrical needs if we start mass-deploying Enhanced Geothermal System techniques. (As it turns out, one of the early investigations into EGS was lead by a guy I used to work with, who has since passed away.) EDIT: Additional interesting link: https://openei.org/apps/geovision/executive-summary Interestingly, the Department Of Energy is currently studying extracting lithium (for batteries) brought up in geothermal brines: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy21osti/79178.pdf Which of these two positions actually has more popular support? Or is this a result of catastrophizing about the catastrophizers and holding them up as equal to the other side? What happened when we did that to the tobacco industry? The rates of smoking fell precipitously in the U.S. The chlorofluorocarbon industry also took a big hit. However in an effort to be fair, Subsidy Phase-Out and Reform Catalyst (SPARC) bonds look like an interesting free-market solution. The general idea is that governments phase out fossil fuel subsidies and eventually pay back the bonds (held by private investors) with the savings for not having to pay the subsidies. The bond money can be used for anything that government wishes, including direct payments to consumers that can help offset higher energy costs. This may seem like a net zero situation, but it decouples the money from the fossil fuel industry and allows for the free market and consumer choices to take effect. As much as I detest neoliberalism, sometimes it comes up with really good ideas. (Within the limited framework that believes money isn't 90% fictional at the macroeconomic level.) https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/reports/2014/06/25/90277/subsidy-phase-out-and-reform-catalyst-bonds-2/
  3. This is very well documented. Exxon started engaging in a deliberate disinformation campaign in 1989, with the help of the same agency that assisted the tobacco industry in casting doubt on the harmful effects of smoking. Changing methods of energy production would upset the existing balance of geopolitical power, so it's no wonder there's a lot of organized resistance to it. I think it's both hopeful and alarming that many of the same people who used to deny anthropogenic climate change out have self-interest have been coming out in support of it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_denial
  4. We should be building and handing out Small Modular Reactors like Halloween candy. In the long run, GIVING them away would be cheaper than dealing with the economic fallout of runaway climate change. The defense spending ALONE necessary to deal with that world would justify the cost.
  5. "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." --Edward Teller
  6. If a country doesn't have its own fossil fuel reserves, it's also functionally a client state. I think wind and solar are cheaper than coal now anyway--and that's before you factor in the negative externalities like air pollution causing respiratory illnesses. I'll grant that they won't be doing steel smelting on wind and solar. I think the real issue is that the extracted resources of developing countries have traditionally been sold for far too cheaply, and whatever proceeds are left go to a small controlling group, rather than benefitting that country as a whole.
  7. The single biggest killer of wastewater macerator pumps is textile material wrapped around the impeller shaft. This is colloquially known as "ragging", and is generally caused by baby wipes and tampons. This is why municipal-scale sewage pumping stations are typically built with duplex and triplex pumps, run in alternating cycles. I've been deep inside a failing pumping station where all three pumps were nearly burnt up. Pre-screening and maintenance is absolutely a must. Vacuum toilets also have issues: https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/a31929628/uss-ford-toilet/
  8. I hate to tell you this, but we already do this on Earth. Many municipal wastewater treatment plants are highly automated, even incorporating machine-learning to optimize various parameters in real time. In addition, they can self-detect sensor faults, and predict when various mechanical components are going to fail, so that they can be replaced before they become a problem. It's actually more challenging than doing it on a spacecraft because the quality, quantity, and characteristics of the incoming wastewater are MUCH more variable in a municipal system. I really don't understand how you can have such a persistent interest in futurology without also understanding the engineering mindset: Any problem can be solved--The only two limiting factors are physics and money.
  9. I'm going to do your job for you: I propose we name this phenomenon, "Kerbiloid-posting"
  10. "Before 1962, argon and the other noble gases were considered to be chemically inert and unable to form compounds; however, compounds of the heavier noble gases have since been synthesized. " So, no. Nitrogen is so useful because it's able to form a wide variety of compounds. It might be second only to carbon in the variety of chemical bonds it can readily form. I highly suggest becoming familiar with why the Periodic Table is structured the way it is. It's probably the most elegant and useful data visualization ever produced by human beings. Hundreds of years of scientific inquiry summarized on one sheet of paper. I still remember how I FELT the day I figured it out, 30 years ago--It was quite an epiphany. I'll even go so far as to say that you could show it to a scientist from another intelligent alien species, and they'd figure out what it represents pretty darn quick.
  11. Here’s a band I’d never heard of absolutely CRUSHING Buffalo Springfield’s “Special Care”.
  12. People who have a moderately unhealthy obsession with providing an appropriate level of accuracy and context? I'm in good company here. I realized about halfway through the writeup that it was analogous to, and somewhat inspired by, your critique of not having a consistent "zero" to measure global temperature change...so I'm blaming (i.e. thanking) you... In fairness to the reporter, I checked out some of her other pieces, and they're much better structured. I think this is a case of a rush job, and not indicative of general incompetence, or as I first feared, intentional obfuscation.
  13. Tory Bruno giving a brief explanation of the RAAN steering that the rocket used for the mission:
  14. Thanks for the link, it’s very informative (after apple translate got done with it). By my math above, that 2.7M m^3 leak totaled 1800 tons, which isn’t that much on the yearly scale. Still, a possible $3600 fine is cheap. Way, way less than any CO2-equivalent carbon tax. They’re equating it to 40000 cars, which is 67.5 m^3/car (compared to my 223 estimate).
  15. I have a very healthy coworker in his mid 40s that got Covid twice a few months apart. The second time did something to his intestines that was bad enough that this already thin, wiry guy lost 30 pounds, and finally ended up having surgery a few months ago. I haven’t asked him the details, but he still looks pretty weak. I used to partner with him for our firm’s most challenging and physical surveys, and we’re not sure he’ll ever be able to do it again. Looking forward to a booster myself, since I got the crappy J&J more than 6 months ago. My bout with Covid was March 2020, so I may not have any natural antibodies left. My parents are almost 80, and my mom is in such poor health that she can’t be vaccinated. No way in hell am I not going to protect them as much as I can.
  16. I wrote a comment that Tyler answered once, about how the incompetence and corruption of defense contractors is the single biggest military threat the US faces, and that he should investigate it. He wasn't in disagreement, but hinted that he feared for his life if he did so. I've heard the arguments that it's REALLY the procurement officers screwing things up by writing unrealistic requirements, but you know, I work for a small-time engineering firm, and we tell our clients NO all the time when we think their ideas are infeasible. Then we work to get them a good solution. That's your JOB as a consultant. I really hope any of the younger folks on this forum who thinking of going into engineering take that to heart. Ethical behavior isn't difficult, and you'll have a much more successful and rewarding career that way--Not to mention repeat clients.
  17. Just a meta-comment about the execrable state of science reporting, and nothing to do with the original subject: The article makes it extremely challenging to compare numbers directly, and to put them in a meaningful context. I had to keep tacking units on to get the dimensional analysis to work out. Bad numbers make me RATIONALLY angry because you can't make a meaningful assessment of policy decisions with bad numbers. So heeeere we gooo.... "...one leak was spewing out 93 tonnes of methane every hour, meaning the daily emissions from the leakage were equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide pumped out in a year by 15,000 cars in the United States." Holy mixed-units, Batman! 93 ton/hr * 24 hr/day = 2232 ton/day = 15000 cars/yr/day 2232 ton/day * 365 day/yr = 814680 ton/yr = 15000 cars/yr/day * 365 days = 5,475,000 cars/yr = 6.72 cars/ton "...another leak nearby was gushing at a rate of 17 tonnes an hour" 17 ton / 93 ton * 5475000 cars/yr = 1,000,806 cars/year So the major leaks on the Yamal line are the equivalent of 6.5M cars. "found another major leak [Turkmenistan]...142,000 tonnes of methane in the 12 months..." 142000 ton/yr * 6.72 cars/ton = 954,300 cars/year “That one emission that we found together represents about one million cars taken off the road per year,” OK, looks like I got the magnitude correct. Gazprom estimated that about 0.29% of the 679 billion cubic metres of gas it moved through its pipeline network escaped as methane emissions in 2019. Yamal [The 93 ton/hr and 17 ton/hr leaks] has an annual capacity of about 33 billion cubic metres. Waitaminute! How many cubic meters per ton? We can't make a comparison without knowing the basis. So, I did a deep dive and found out a few things: Natural gas transmission uses normalized values for volume, but it's very different per company. Gazprom's website glossary lists: Gas cubic meter = Cubic meter of natural gas as measured at a pressure of one atmosphere and 20 °C Natural gas composition is about 95% methane, so we'll just use that for the molar mass = 16.04 g/mol A little PV=nRT and some unit conversion later, and 6.79*10^11 m^3 = 4.53*10^8 tons. This is 1500 m^3/ton = 223 m^3/car. 0.29% leakage * 4.53*10^8 tons = 1.3M tons leakage = 8.8M cars for Gazprom as a whole. The Yamal line is only about 5% (33/679) of Gazprom's total volume, but it's 74% (6.5/8.8) of the leakage?!? No disrespect to our Russian friends, but Gazprom is full of crap. From the graphs in the article, it looks like Gazprom is underreporting by a factor of 4-5x. The last graph in the article says that Russia actually leaks a total of 12.36 M tons of methane (although this is oil and gas industry as a whole, not just pipelines) = 83 M cars. This is 15.2% of estimated global methane emissions, so 546 M cars worth of methane leakage worldwide. What the heck is cars per year anyway? Since they specified US cars, we'll use US data and make a rough estimate based on the best info I could find: The US Federal Highway Administration said people drove an average of 13476 miles in 2021. The US Department of Energy said we drove a total of 3.23 Trillion miles in 2019. This means the US has the equivalent of 240 M cars on the road. (Yes, it's kind of a spurious comparison, but the order of magnitude should be correct.) It looks like methane leakage is pretty darn significant. And it ONLY took me 2.5 hours of research to put it in some semblance of context. The article author's Twitter states that she is, "Reuters energy/corporate oil/climate correspondent" Well, she needs to do a better flarping job. @sevenperforce You like to educate people, and you have a social media presence. Do you feel like yelling at a reporter? https://twitter.com/NasrallaShadia
  18. @Nuke, @Deddly I'll offer some perspectives from the civil engineering end. I also spent over a decade working for a firm specializing in designing septic systems for highly-constrained sites. 1) I wouldn't make structural brick out of dried poop. I don't know what the materials strength might be, but I suspect it's much weaker than clay. Organic material is also a big no-no in construction, unless it's been effectively "fossilized" by mixing it with quicklime. In most cases, it's limited to a small percentage of straw (for tensile strength), mixed with clay. Organics decay and lose volume, causing structural failures. For road-building, we specify that no more than 3% by volume of organics is allowed. 2) Wastewater treatment is a fun subject. I'll generally agree that we are excessively hygenic, but too many people in history have died of cholera, et al to not take treating wastewater very seriously. The issue with outhouses is that they over-concentrate waste, and don't offer full treatment of pathogens. Primary treatment is a septic tank, which through a selection of baffles and retention time separates out fats, soap, and the solid waste (poop). The volume of poop is greatly reduced by anaerobic microbes (present in the environment and your body) and turned into microbe bodies and gases. Viruses and dangerous bacteria can easily survive this process. Which is why we do Secondary treatment and disperse that water into the soil over a large area. This is an aerobic process, made possible by microbes naturally present in the soil. The soil microbes and oxygen present in the pores of the soil eat or disassemble the remaining pathogens coming out of the septic tank. In a properly designed septic system in ideal soil (a high proportion of small pores), the wastewater effluent is considered non-pathogenic after travelling as little as 2 feet though native soil. Unfortunately soil is rarely perfect, and there are many opportunities for shortcuts as the water disperses, so the accepted setback from septic tanks and leachfields to a water source (wells, streams) is 100 feet. There is also the the issue of high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus in the wastewater, and those take a bit more distance to get used up than the pathogens. (High concentrations of nutrients are really bad for waterways, causing microbial and algal blooms and sucking all the oxygen out of the water). All this considered, picking a good site for for an outhouse, and constructing it properly can be harder than it looks. An outhouse provides a highly concentrated point-source of pathogens and nutrients. Fun fact that most people don't know: Water flows through soil 10x faster horizontally than it does vertically. Not to mention, in most locations the functionally impermeable layer of subsoil is more shallow than you think. The groundwater during the wet season might be VERY shallow. This will easily lead to polluted groundwater popping out of the soil downhill of the outhouse, and is a disease-bomb waiting to happen. EDIT: I forgot to mention that septic systems form slimy "biomats" in the leachfield trenches. In an overloaded (overconcentrated) system, the mat gets thicker over time, and prevents the wastewater from flowing through the soil, causing it to pop out of the surface before it's properly treated. Where this applies to spaceflight is that you might find an aquaponics or hydroponics facility onboard a large spaceship or in an offworld colony. Use those nutrients to grow food, right? First and foremost, it's a wastewater treatment system, and it has to be very good to not put pathogens in your vegetables or your fish. Which is why you also want to include Tertiary treatment. On earth, this involves using disinfectants such as chlorine, ozone, UV light, or heat to make sure absolutely everything dangerous is dead. Any terrestrial wastewater treatment plant should be doing tertiary treatment before discharging into a waterway. 3) In most of the jurisdictions I've designed in, "gray" water is treated the same as "black" water (poop). A lot of pathogens come off the body when bathing. 4) Crap is also a valuable resource on Earth. Unfortunately we tend to mix it with soaps and bleaches, as well as "sewerable" industrial waste. Apologies for the novel--I love the subject, and the vast majority of people don't think about how much rigorous study and empirical testing has been done.
  19. Well, let's look at what they've got. The new ISS toilet certainly lacks charm: The Russian one isn't much better: Old (pre-2020) ISS toilet: Much more reasonable. Although I suspect the gear-shifter and e-brake were removed to stop astronauts from making vroom vroom noises on the crapper. Joking aside, I think you could use the same general mechanism as the above for a toilet in gravity, and have it be slightly more ergonomic. Bigger hole and more comfortable seat and you should be...good to go...
  20. Over 300km, actually...In 1878. And that's just the one I know about. At the time it was the longest surveying observation ever conducted. https://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/theodolites/heliotrope.html Never underestimate nerds who think sweating and bleeding is fun.
  21. I'm just here because I want BE-4s so that ULA can continue quietly being the best rocket company in the world.
  22. I appreciate your calling attention to that--I missed it. Just from eyeballing the graphs, they appear to be offset by about 0.25 degC. However, I'll make the point again that it's the rate of change that's the significant factor. Of course species can adapt to broad average temperature swings. How fast they can do that is critical to survival. In human terms, we might be looking at 2 Billion deaths and a WHOLE lot of violence. There's a subset of people that welcome that future, and I personally am not charitably disposed to them.
  23. I wonder what the equilibrium temperature for steel in sunlight in vacuum is? IIRC I've heard ~ +200deg C quoted for as being representative of the sunlit "space environment". Space background temp in the shade is 4K = ~ -270C. I expect the high surface area to volume ratio of a cable would cause it to radiate pretty quickly. For 316 Stainless (a good cryo-steel): Using a linear thermal expansion coefficient of 16x10^-6 m/(m*degC) * 1000m * ~470C = ~7.5m So, if I've pulled the numbers out of my butt appropriately, orbiting around a planet from day to night might do some fun things to a steel wire rope.
  24. From the Atlantic page: What's that over on the right side? The ability of species to adapt to a changing climate is not dependent on the magnitude of the graph, but the SLOPE. This is what the second graph would look like if you normalized the X and Y scales to the first one (I used the forum image editing tools and measured with my fingers.)
  25. Have a good time. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_tether#Construction https://www.dupont.com/content/dam/dupont/amer/us/en/safety/public/documents/en/Kevlar_Technical_Guide_0319.pdf
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