(English) Why Climate Change is an Emergency for Wales 20/06/201931/12/2019 - Stephen Morris Mae’n ddrwg gennym, nid yw’r cofnod hwn ar gael yn yr iaith hon eto.
9 o sylwadau ar “(English) Why Climate Change is an Emergency for Wales”
Stephen, with all due respect I believe you fail on two points. I’ve long acknowledged that Thatcher’s policies will interminably be debated as to whether they were freeing up the entrepreneurs or abandoning communities, as to whether she was necessary tough medicine or a milk snatcher. There is simply no such thing as an unequivocal truth in these regards, only sides of coins. But nobody can objectively claim such a divisive figure to be any sort of ‘great’ PM. Contrast Churchill, universally lionised despite all his flaws and whatever his domestic record had been. And her legacy lives on today, no least in how unbalanced and London-centric England is, unsustainably so, I’d argue.
Your second mistake is in not stepping back from the whole “Is it, isn’t it?” hullabaloo of whether *Anthropogenic* Global Warming is a thing, to ask whether or not pumping shit into our atmosphere from now till forever is a good idea regardless. Acid rain wasn’t a hoax, nor was the ozone hole. Both problems eliminated, or at least ameliorated by green policies.
Fair comments David. In reply, I’d say that my comments on Mrs. Thatcher aren’t really intended as either praise or condemnation, but a factual pointing-out that she was the first prominent leader of any country to flag up climate change as matter for concern, and that her motives for doing so were probably mixed. I see it as a historical curiosity that climate action is usually seen as a ‘left wing’ cause, despite its earliest champion having been a ‘right wing’ prime minister.
On your second point, I’m not here to advocate pumping stuff into the atmosphere ad infinitum for the sake of it. There’s a fairly long correspondence on that subject in the comments below this article. My main concerns are (a) going for net-zero in Wales too quickly will disproportionately damage people’s livelihoods because of the nature of the Welsh economy, while having negligible global impact, and (b) going for net-zero globally too quickly, based on using still-immature renewable technologies, will have an adverse economic impact that will slow down the development of better renewable technologies (or better non-renewable-but-zero-carbon ones, such as nuclear fusion) and so cause net damage to the environment in the longer term.
Oh yes, I concur that there is undoubtedly a lot of spivvery and crooked politics surrounding ‘green’ energy, that much is obvious. These sorts of people probably do more harm than good in furthering adoption of the simple ethos of cleaning up our act for the sake of our one and only planet. I feel it’s a sad inevitability that good ideas for humanity and our world get seized upon and warped and perverted to the nth degree by bad faith actors. The fight for workers’ rights, to communism; racial equality to BLM; caring for our planet to ‘enviroshysters’, to quote Jac. The great shame is that fusion has the potential to be our salvation if we can crack it, but there are too many powerful vested interests in ‘green’ and fossil fuel energy which will not want it to happen.
Also, natural gas is mainly methane, not hydrogen. No doubt cleaner than coal of course, but still burns to produce CO2.
That’s true, but with natural gas (CH4) there are four hydrogens for each carbon, so naively (I know that in reality the thermal budget is more complex) burning gas produces about a fifth as much carbon dioxide as burning coal.
No other energy substitution gives as big a carbon reduction for so little effort or expense.
Don’t forget the undoubted lower amounts of sulphurous compounds and such too.
CH4 + O2 = CO2 + H2O Carbon (C) atomic weight is 12 and Hydrogen
For the same energy release, Coal emits about 200 pounds of CO2 per 1 million BTu. Methane emits about 120 pounds of CO2 per 1 million
Methane is CH4. Carbon’s atomic weight is 12 and Hydrogen’s atomic weight is1. Combustion of CH4 is CH4 + O2 = CO2 + H2O.
Coal’s carbon is about 84% and 4% hydrogen with nitrogen, oxygen and sulphur making up the rest of the composition. Methane is 75% carbon and 25% hydrogen. If you exclude everything but C and H from the equation, hydrogen is only about 5 % and carbon 95%.
CH4 + O2 = CO2 + H2O Carbon (C) atomic weight is 12 and Hydrogen 1 . Methane is 75% carbon and 25% hydrogen
Coal’s carbon is about 84% and 4% hydrogen with nitrogen, oxygen and sulphur making up the rest of the composition. If you exclude everything but C and H from the equation, hydrogen is only about 5 % and carbon 95%.For the same energy release, Coal emits about 200 pounds of CO2 per 1 million BTu. Methane emits about 120 pounds of CO2 per 1 million Methane is CH4.
OK, the fact that I gave up chemistry after O-level to concentrate on maths & physics is showing. Your figures are correct, as borne out in this very helpful reference which shows 116 pounds/million BTU for methane vs. 211 for coal. Methane is still by far the lowest-CO2 fossil fuel, and coal by far the highest, with oil roughly halfway between them.