Morning Ed: Planet Earth {2018.07.26.Th}

[PE1] Ford is ahead of schedule on cutting carbon emissions.

[PE2] Policies against climate change proposals are often more popular in theory than in practice. One of the advantages of a revenue neutral tax is that people like the money. The words British Columbia get no mention in an article about climate change pushback.

[PE3] Ordinarily I’d say this is collateral damage I can live with, but the concerns seem reasonable.

[PE4] For the most part, we’re still not acting like we believe climate change is going to be that bad.

[PE5] Climate change is confusing the geese.

[PE6] Well, it may be destroying the planet for us, but climate change is making for some cool photography.

[PE7] How not to clean up nuclear waste.

[PE8] What do we do with decommissions wind turbines? It’s a problem.

[PE9] New research further supporting the existing conclusion: CO2 levels are likely to cause a heck of a lot of ocean acidification in the years to come.


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Will Truman is the pseudonym of a former para-IT professional who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He is also on Twitter. ...more →

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8 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Planet Earth {2018.07.26.Th}

  1. PE7: The article’s map of weapons sites doesn’t include the Rocky Flats site outside Denver, which is back in the local news. The core portion of the site has been deemed “stabilized”, meaning the remaining contaminants will probably not migrate across the boundaries. The surrounding area is now the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge and was supposed to open to the public this summer. That’s on hold because new court cases have been filed. My understanding of the new lawsuits is that DOE has missed the most recent of the mandatory every-five-years detailed studies to confirm that there’s been no migration.

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  2. PE8: The linked piece is simply hippie-punching. In case this isn’t immediately obvious, it surely is clear when it gets to “OMG! Windmills have concrete foundations! What are we going to do!”

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    • In my state, wind turbines are generally going to be required to post a bond to secure removal of the turbines at the end of their life cycle. (I say generally, because I believe the state agricultural department was active in helping farmers negotiate the contracts, which resulted in a standard form agreement widely adopted, and many local governments passed ordinances requiring the basic terms)

      But the point is the risk can be monetized; farmers just need to know that the lease terms may be shorter than anticipated and the soil removed to replace the concrete won’t be returned to prior productivity. But I don’t know why the lot of it wouldn’t be recyclable.

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      • Honestly, the fiberglass and carbon fiber composites that make up the blades is the real issue. We are just starting to have ways to recycle fiberglass (and it’s still expensive), and IIRC carbon fiber is basically landfill at this point.

        Now, normally, the carbon fiber itself isn’t a problem, since it’s just carbon. But the binding epoxies… Those take a loooong time to break down, and they resist solvents pretty well.

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        • I guess I didn’t mean to imply that the whole thing would be recyclable; I just believe the amount of metal would provide enough salvage value that a demo wouldn’t be that expensive even if a performance bond isn’t posted. And the concrete would probably be accepted by a lot of places on delivery.

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    • The current set of turbines are going into the prime locations: a combination of good wind resources, proximity to transmission lines, etc. (Granted, in Texas the proximity to transmission came after the fact rather than before.) Unless wind is abandoned, there are going to be turbines in those locations. People will figure out how to refurbish/recycle things. I can envision a rural industry based on cutting the fiber-epoxy blades that aren’t suitable for refurbishing down into small pieces to be resurfaced and used in things that aren’t under the same stress as a turbine blade.

      And the $64,000 question: If we leave some thousands of blades laying out in the weather for a few years while that all gets sorted out, is it as bad as unlined coal ash ponds?

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  3. [Pe2] I’m quite happy with a revenue-neutral carbon tax scheme. I would endorse this strongly in my state or the US federal government. I think it does change things.

    I also note that the piece about BC’s attempt to regulate oil flow in a pipeline through it marks something I find amusing. The Pacific NW has a sense of politics and community that makes the international border running through it not highly relevant.

    In Whatcom County (the most NW county in WA, in which my home city of Blaine resides), there was an effort to create a coal terminal, to load more coal onto ships bound for China. There is already one across the border in Tsawwassen. This was brought to a halt, via the action of the Lummi Tribe, whose treaty standing gives them a fairly wide veto on actions that have an impact on tidelands, as this project would.

    They talk funny on the other side of the border, but that’s about all the difference amounts to. People on the other side of the mountains are more different in their politics than people on the other side of the border.

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