The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)

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  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    solar_dave wrote: »
    I just did a 4000+ mile drive thru the heartland and was amazed at how many Aeromotor type turbines were still out there turning. Big wind seems to be huge as well, from Illinois all thru Texas.

    Minnesota and Wisconsin too. There's even 1.5MW GE turbines on the North Shore of Lake Superior now that supply power for the Twin Ports. They put those in after the big cross-country high voltage transmission line dismal failure thru the Wisconsin North Woods a few years ago.

    We got a 8 foot Aeromotor here that pumps water for our beef cattle. It has been running since 1939. I've put new leathers in the pump once and have to climb the tower to grease it once a month.
    --
    Chris
  • mtdocmtdoc Solar Expert Posts: 600 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    California is over-populated so bad in the cities that they have to pipe in water and electricity and food, and haul garbage out by the shipload. If a fence was erected around San Francisco or LA so nothing could get in or out, the whole place would collapse into utter chaos in a matter of five days. When you have something that is that unstable, it doesn't take much to make it collapse with just minor glitches.

    Kind of true for every big city. Even Milwaukee and Madison.

    The problem is overpopulation in general and the change from small town, small agricultural based society to the sprawling surburban/urban population center based society the US and Canada have become. This started happening after WW2 and it's reached it's apex now IMO. Detroit is just the tip of the iceberg...

    Califronia is no better or worse than much of the country. It's just an easy target. It is a huge state - that is mostly rural but with several very large popoulation centers. It also has 5.5 MW of wind power capacity - second only to Texas

    Personally I think that big wind, big solar, big hydro, big agriculture are all going to be a thing of the past in another 50-100 years. As suggested -they are not stable systems in the long term.

    Small towns, small agriculture, and small, distributed energy production will rise again!8) (oh- and with a drastically smaller population :blush:)
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    mtdoc wrote: »
    Personally I think that big wind, big solar, big hydro, big agriculture are all going to be a thing of the past in another 50-100 years. As suggested -they are not stable systems in the long term.

    Small towns, small agriculture, and small, distributed energy production will rise again!8) (oh- and with a drastically smaller population :blush:)

    I agree with that assessment. Trying to sustain unsustainable systems will fail. What will turn it around is not energy. It is food. People need three things to live - food, water and air. Take away any one of those three and people die (although some have the theory that you can substitute beer for water :D).

    The failure of modern agriculture to feed the world's population will result in changing to a more sustainable system in the long term. So really, problems like we see in California, and trying to fix them, is nothing but trying to plug the hole in the dam with your finger.
    --
    Chris
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)

    you're an optimist chris as i am not so sure they will come up with viable answers.

    btw, when they run out of fingers to stick in the dam guess what they will have to put in there?
    their toes. what did you think i was going to say?:-):p
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)

    Well, this is what it takes to build an unsustainable system involving dams:

    http://youtu.be/ERDoeV4Hlus

    --
    Chris
  • mtdocmtdoc Solar Expert Posts: 600 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    I agree with that assessment. Trying to sustain unsustainable systems will fail. What will turn it around is not energy. It is food. People need three things to live - food, water and air. Take away any one of those three and people die (although some have the theory that you can substitute beer for water :D).

    The failure of modern agriculture to feed the world's population will result in changing to a more sustainable system in the long term. So really, problems like we see in California, and trying to fix them, is nothing but trying to plug the hole in the dam with your finger.
    --
    Chris

    Absolutely. And the thing that many do not stop to think about is that "modern agriculture" is heavily dependent on fossil fuel inputs - petroleum and nat gas based fertilizers, insecticides and diesel fuel..

    All the solar, wind and hydro in the world will not allow modern agriculture to continue indefinitely.
  • hfrikhfrik Registered Users Posts: 15
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)

    Well, California is as well to small for coninuous wind supply as germany, europe as a whole with > 10 milliom km² is more than 20 times bigger than California You need about 1500km distance between 2 Wind energy supply points that wind is not correlated between the two points here in the west wind drift area (which fits for both europe and USA). Multiple "signals" (power outputs) which are not correlated put together approximate to a constant output if the number of not colrrelated power outputs is high enough. Which means you need strong power lines all over the country which can transport many GW over long distances - 2000km and more. And it also tells that it is e.g. very good for germany that in norhhern sweden they now build a >4 GW Wind park, because it will perfecly compensate lack of power in danmark and germans, as well as the spanish wind power could compensate this a bit - just that 4 GW is too few, and the power lines between Danmark Norway, sweden and Germany are jet too weak. As well as the power lines between Spain and France are much, much too thin. The situation in Danmark is improving, germany and Danmark are building new lines, and there are also extra lines on the way beween Danmark, norway and sweden. Spain and france are dragging feet. Traditionally there was nearly no connection between the two countrys, just one line carrying I now just 1,4 GW. In 2014 another line will open with another 1,4 GW. As a comparison: germany can exchange with it's neighbours about 46 GW, and this capacity is still too small.
    Originally the new power connection was designed to export excess nuclear power from france to Spain. ironically Spain now exports wind and solar power to france as far as the existing lines allow it when there is strong wind in Spain (which happens often)
    A big surplus would be if we could connect the middle and southern europe to the hydropower especially in Norway 8which has even more hydropower than sweden, the dams there can store 84 TWh of electric power. (german pumped storages can store about 60 GWh in comparison, i have no summary information of the USA, but ludington e.g. can store 25 GWh - norway can store as much as 3000 times Ludingtion to give a size comparison. But this would need extra power lines for the transport of 30-50GW electric power to and from Scandinavia. Which is a lot.
    About CO2 and Dams: there is a caus why in Europe we clear the ground of the lake to be behind a dam from everything which can rot before the water comes. (this is done so for centurys, just to keep the water clean) This removes CO2-Emission from this source. The lake later on stores CO2 in it's sediments. But I know in other parts of the world nobody cares for the vegetation within the water of a dam. To remove further environmental impact today (practically all new) dams are built in a way that fishes and other fauna in the water can cross the dam by small bypasses. And we prefere small installations in case of run of river installations, avoiding big dams. Only if the storage capacity is needed, bigger dams are built here (usually in far north otr high up locations with few population and already small vegetation - this is because there all water in winter comes down as snow and ice, which reduces the flow of water a lot, so the storage is needed for seasonal storing from summer to winter. (-> Swizerland, Norway, partly France)
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    mtdoc wrote: »
    Absolutely. And the thing that many do not stop to think about is that "modern agriculture" is heavily dependent on fossil fuel inputs - petroleum and nat gas based fertilizers, insecticides and diesel fuel..

    It is not so much the fossil fuel problem as it is the environment. People and agriculture need wildlife to survive and the wildlife is running out of habitat and dying. We lost four bee hives this year because another grower that grows alfalfa sprayed his field for potato leaf hoppers without notifying us. Our honey bees were out foraging and they got killed by the insecticide. Over 50% of the food that people eat depend on bees to pollinate the plants.

    Our apple orchard is low on yield this year because of losing half our bees. It is happening all over the world and we cannot even get queens right now to start new colonies because other bee keepers are in the same boat. We get thousands of dollars for moving our hives by truck to California at certain times of the year to pollinate crops there because there is few bees left in California. It has become so risky to allow your bees to go there due to them getting killed by insecticides that we don't do it anymore. We have a hard enough time keeping them alive here, when they should be able to go out and forage for the hive without fear of being killed by chemicals.

    That cannot continue, and it is getting worse.
    --
    Chris
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    hfrik wrote: »
    About CO2 and Dams: there is a caus why in Europe we clear the ground of the lake to be behind a dam from everything which can rot before the water comes. (this is done so for centurys, just to keep the water clean) This removes CO2-Emission from this source.

    Vegetation removes CO2 from atmosphere and produces O2. Removing it increases CO2 content in the atmosphere.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)

    Rotting vegetation produces methane.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    Vegetation removes CO2 from atmosphere and produces O2. Removing it increases CO2 content in the atmosphere.

    Rotting vegetation releases CO2 and does not produce O2. It is good to remove vegetation from a dam site before it is flooded. --vtMaps

    edit: Caraboocoot's comment on methane is correct.... what is produced (methane or CO2) depends on whether it rots aerobically or anaerobically.
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    vtmaps wrote: »
    Rotting vegetation releases CO2 and does not produce O2. It is good to remove vegetation from a dam site before it is flooded. --vtMaps

    edit: Caraboocoot's comment on methane is correct.... what is produced (methane or CO2) depends on whether it rots aerobically or anaerobically.

    See. No matter what you do (clean or leave), the CO2 tied by the vegetation on the area to be flooded is going to be released. You can breed algae in the water to counter this effect, but you probably do not want to.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,153 admin
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)

    And methane is also a greenhouse gas with something like 21x the "green house" potential vs carbon dioxide.

    -Bill "21x a value of "near zero" is also near zero" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    Vegetation removes CO2 from atmosphere and produces O2. Removing it increases CO2 content in the atmosphere.

    Rotting vegetation is a natural, closed CO2/methane loop anyway, like burning wood in your house for home heating. You either burn the wood and release the gas, or the tree will rot anyway and release the gas.

    Actually, so is fossil fuel. The eons of time stored the sun's energy in the plants, which turned to oil and natural gas. The problem is the rate at which humans are releasing it back into the atmosphere to be recycled. Humans have the idea that they can engineer Mother Nature to their liking, then control her. They can't. When Mother Nature decides to strike (look at a regular hurricane or tornado), all humans can do is cower in fear and run and hide. There is not a single thing all the collective civilizations on earth can do to stop it. Eventually, Mother Nature will recycle the human race and clean up the mess left behind. And once again, despite man's best efforts he will not be able to stop it.

    I have a plaque hanging on my wall in my office that I read and am humbled when ever I think I got the world by the tail. It says simply:
    "Man, despite his artistic pretensions, his sophistication and many accomplishments, still owes his very existence to a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains".

    --
    Chris
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    Rotting vegetation is a natural, closed CO2/methane loop anyway, like burning wood in your house for home heating. You either burn the wood and release the gas, or the tree will rot anyway and release the gas.

    Actually, so is fossil fuel. The eons of time stored the sun's energy in the plants, which turned to oil and natural gas.

    That's exactly right. Carbon generally may be in only two forms - CO2 or organic matter (dead or alive). If you want less CO2, you need more organic matter.

    It's absolutely obvious that all the fossilised carbon will be completely burnt sooner or later. If you limit the rate of consumption, it only prolongs the burning period, but doesn't change anything for the future. The only way to decrease CO2 is to maintain as much of living vegetation as possible. And it will not be that hard because in the atmosphere with elevated CO2 plants grow really fast.

    The laws could be stacked in this direction - want to dig out 100 tons of fossil fuel - no problem, go ahead, but create a forest with 100 tons of biomass somewhere else. Solves the problem in the long run. Taking off forests and replacing them with lakes, on the other hand, is really a bad idea from CO2 viewpoint. But politicians think differently.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)

    Depending on what the hydraulic conditions are like the vegetation may release either or even a combination of both.

    What is worse is that green plants take in CO2 during the day and release O, but in the dark the process reverses.

    We are doomed!
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    We are doomed!

    Not as long as the rain forests stay intact. They are the largest carbon sink on earth, scrubbing the atmosphere 24/7 and releasing tons and tons of fresh oxygen into the atmosphere every day.

    I read somewhere once that a 1/4 acre patch of actively growing lawn recycles the breathing air for a family of four every single day.
    --
    Chris
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    Not as long as the rain forests stay intact.

    Yeah, see there's a little problem with that ...
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    Not as long as the rain forests stay intact.

    They already started cutting them down to make room for corn, so that more ethanol could be produced.
  • mtdocmtdoc Solar Expert Posts: 600 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)

    More trees, fewer "methane dispensers" ...

    [video=youtube_share;W8CibAuvZM4]
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,153 admin
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)

    Why are the Smoky Mountains "smoky"?"
    The name "Smoky" comes from the natural fog that often hangs over the range and presents as large smoke plumes from a distance. This fog is caused by the vegetation exhaling volatile organic compounds, chemicals that have a high vapor pressure and easily form vapors at normal temperature and pressure.[6]

    AKA--Unburned Hydrocarbons.

    Are rainforests really carbon sinks?
    Tropical rainforests cover 6% of Earth’s surface, but their soils contain nearly 30% of the total global soil carbon stocks, making them one of the most important carbon sinks on Earth. Yet, ironically, tropical rainforests are also the largest natural source of carbon dioxide on Earth. Plant material grows, decays, and makes way for new growth so rapidly within these lush habitats that carbon stocks remain fairly unstable. Still, rates of carbon sequestration generally outpace carbon release in tropical rainforests, allowing them to maintain their crown in the carbon sink-dom.
    ...
    Yes, carbon-fertilized leaves serve as a carbon sink while they are still attached to their respective trees. But, upon dying, they fall to the forest the floor and contribute to a growing pile of dead plant material, or litter. Litter is quickly scavenged by decomposing microbes in the soil that release the once-sequestered carbon back into the atmosphere. This activity is normal, and explains why tropical rainforests are such a large natural carbon dioxide emitter. However, according to Sayer’s findings, increased leaf litter produced by carbon-fertilization may stimulate microbes to decompose more efficiently because leaves are more decomposable than woody material on the forest floor. This ‘priming’ of the microbes with an influx of easily decomposable material could disproportionally increase the net amount of carbon dioxide emitted from a given stand of trees.

    Not really... Vegetation is only a "carbon sink" as long as the dead vegetation stays "whole" and does not decay--Rain Forests have very thin/poor bio matter top soils. Bogs can store bio-matter without decay. Forests/plains/etc. cannot.

    This really leaves the ocean as the one "long term" carbon sink:
    Carbon dioxide readily dissolves in water and the oceans provide a huge reservoir of carbon. Across the world's oceans there is a continual cycle of equilibration of dissolved carbon dioxide in water with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
    Around 88 thousand million tonnes of carbon is released from the surface of the world's oceans each year, with an annual uptake by the oceans of 90 thousand million tonnes. Consequently, the net uptake of carbon dioxide by oceans is estimated to be approximately 2 thousand million tonnes annually.
    The carbon dioxide which dissolves in our oceans occurs in three main forms. Aside from the normal carbon dioxide form, it is also found as bicarbonate and carbonate ions. Most, about 90 percent, exists as bicarbonate with carbonate ions acting as the link between carbon dioxide and bicarbonate. As concentrations of carbon dioxide increase the supply of carbonate ions becomes limited and so the oceans become less and less able to take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

    I wonder if part of the CO2 goes into methane hydrates (more or less water ice+methane molecules in a stable from at certain temperatures and pressures on the ocean floors).
    The spatial association of gas hydrates with continental margins is related to the availability of ample organic carbon that is being shed from the continents in these settings. Microbes use this carbon to generate methane. Such microbial methane is the most widespread source for methane in most natural gas hydrates, an interpretation that may be biased by the relatively shallow subseafloor depths from which most of gas hydrate samples have been recovered. In some locations and in sediment layers deep beneath the seafloor in petroleum basins, gas hydrates form instead from thermogenic gas that is generated through the deep-seated processes that are similar to those responsible for the formation of oil.

    May some day be a usable energy source on its own.

    And, if there is "global warming" + CO2 increase, we may see dramatically increased production in plant productivity:
    The last remaining old-growth redwood trees along the California coast and in the Sierra are in the midst of a growth spurt the likes of which has never been seen before, a climate research study revealed Wednesday.
    The ancient trees produced more wood over the past century than they have during any other time in their life, a stretch that dates back, in at least one case, a thousand years before the birth of Christ, according to a study released by the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative.
    The growth trend has actually accelerated over the past few decades, said the scientists from UC Berkeley and Humboldt State University who conducted the four-year study.
    ...
    Anthony Ambrose, a postdoctoral research fellow at the UC Berkeley department of integrative biology, has said the growth spurt is most likely caused by increased sunshine along the coast and more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    Less fog/warmer weather/more CO2 as fertilizer...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mtdocmtdoc Solar Expert Posts: 600 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    BB. wrote: »
    Why are the Smoky Mountains "smoky"?"

    AKA--Unburned Hydrocarbons.

    Plants primarily release Isoprene - which NOT a greenhouse gas.
    Are rainforests really carbon sinks?

    Not really... Vegetation is only a "carbon sink" as long as the dead vegetation stays "whole" and does not decay--Rain Forests have very thin/poor bio matter top soils. Bogs can store bio-matter without decay. Forests/plains/etc. cannot.

    But they can sink carbon quickly and with decay, they release it very slowly so it's the "rate equation" that matters.

    True, but the problem is that increased atmospheric CO2 leads to increase oceanic carbonic acid formation. ( CO2 + H2O ----> H2CO3)

    Which makes the ocean more acidic (already happening). Minor problem with that - plankton (and other marine life) can only tolerate a narrow range of pH. No more plankton
    > no more aquatic or terrestrial animals :cry:
    I wonder if part of the CO2 goes into methane hydrates (more or less water ice+methane molecules in a stable from at certain temperatures and pressures on the ocean floors).

    The methane hydrate (aka clathrate) is in permafrost and deep marine sediments - formed millions of years ago.

    We just better hope that the Clathrate gun that is pointed at all our heads doesn't go off.

    As a society we seem to have decided to play a game of Russian Roulette with it.....:roll:
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    mtdoc wrote: »
    But they can sink carbon quickly and with decay, they release it very slowly so it's the "rate equation" that matters.

    Correct. The rain forests, left alone, are the earth's next natural deposits of crude oil.

    Despite what some think - crude oil is a renewable resource. Just that you can't consume it faster than the earth can make it.

    The sun, however, that powers the whole system, is not a renewable unit. It is in the process of turning its mass into energy every second. One day it will run out. Of course, humans will be long gone from the planet by the time that happens. Humans have only been on this planet for a very short time in the big picture. The only thing making humans possible is that evolution had more time to build a more advanced animal, due the earth being roughly 50,000 years overdue for the next extinction event space rock like the one that wiped out the last rulers of the place - the dinosaurs.

    I'm thinking that dinosaurs probably caused about as much damage to the place as humans do. I mean, you can't have a whole planet full of animals that weigh 20 tons or more walking around without smashing trees, polluting groundwater and eating everything in site. If humans really are "superior", then we best figure out how to not make the same mistakes the dinosaurs made, or we'll end up like the dinosaurs.
    --
    Chris
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    Despite what some think - crude oil is a renewable resource. Just that you can't consume it faster than the earth can make it.

    I think the conditions when the oil has been created were different from now. It was much higher CO2 concentration, for example. When we release all this CO2, we'll be creating conditions for oil creation for the next generations of *** who come 300 000 000 years later.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    I think the conditions when the oil has been created were different from now. It was much higher CO2 concentration, for example. When we release all this CO2, we'll be creating conditions for oil creation for the next generations of *** who come 300 000 000 years later.

    But by that time, the sun will lose most of its mass and gravity. So it will expand and burn the place up. So really, humans are probably the last chance the place has to evolve some space-faring aliens. We'd best not screw it up.
    --
    Chris
  • WayneTPVSWayneTPVS Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)

    I cannot help what I've heard and to some extent believe
    Agent Smith: I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    WayneTPVS wrote: »
    I cannot help what I've heard and to some extent believe
    [...................]There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure

    Actually, it was not always that way. The native Americans lived here in North America for thousands and thousands of years, totally in tune with Mother Nature. And to a certain extent still do on their reservations where we have pretty much imprisoned them.

    It was the white man coming from Europe that screwed it all up.
    --
    Chris
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)

    Flag on the play, guys; it's heading into the realm of the political. Let's not go there.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)
    Flag on the play, guys; it's heading into the realm of the political. Let's not go there.

    California, which is pretty much the epitome of how NOT to do it, got that way because of politics.
    --
    Chris
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: The game's a-changing in California (insanity reigns)

    some politics discussion is allowed when it concerns solar, but it is a fine line to walk as the solar is the key subject matter and not the politics or the politicians.
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