Not As Environmentally Friendly As Promised

Mythopoeika

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Coastaljames

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Plastic bags from the supermarket used to be free.

You now get charged for them.

Kind of symbolic isn't it.



And supermarkets need not lecture me about saving the planet when they have open fridges and freezers.

And people need not lecture me about saving the planet when they accept the above.
 

GNC

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So who would you like to hear from about saving the planet?
 

Nosmo King

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Experts say that more mining is needed to reach 'net zero'

"The public will need to accept greater mining activity if the world is to meet the challenge of going green.

Resource experts say the current supply of various metals and minerals cannot support a global economy producing net-zero carbon emissions.

Extraction rates have to be raised, the scientists argue, if only in the short term.

Eventually, large-scale recycling should be able to satisfy the demand for key commodities such as lithium."

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-57234610
 

Xanatic*

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There was talk of using the mineral olivine to capture CO2. I also find it unlikely that the mining we would need to do to get this mineral, would ever be worth the carbon offset.
 

Coastaljames

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Yeah well, so sorry guys, it's all got so bad we're actually going to need to exploit natural resoruces to, er...you know, save them?

Sorry.


But no, no - we're not going to make a dollar out of it! Perish the thought! This is all for the environement.
 

Analogue Boy

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Hey, battery production is creating jobs!

Most of the world’s cobalt production happens in the Katanga Copperbelt of the Congo. In addition to the large industrial operations, the skyrocketing demand for cobalt has led to the proliferation of so-called artisanal mines, where toxic minerals like cobalt and nickel are extracted by child-miners using their bare hands!

onio-lithium-child-miners.jpg


In a nutshell, the problem is this - Cobalt, dubbed the hottest commodity of 2017, is essential to meet our ever increasing demand for electronics like phones and computers. Significant amounts of cobalt are mostly concentrated in a single country, the DRC, which also happens to be one of the poorest countries in the world. Given the destitution and poverty of the Congo and the incredible prices that cobalt fetches, it is not hard to understand why the locals find themselves having to resort to unethical and unsafe practices.
 

Mythopoeika

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There was talk of using the mineral olivine to capture CO2. I also find it unlikely that the mining we would need to do to get this mineral, would ever be worth the carbon offset.
There is simply not enough olivine on the planet to do this.
 

Trevp666

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Olive Trees...not Olivine trees.
 

RaM

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We always payed for plastic bags, the cost was added to the price,
just that now we pay twice and about 5 times the cost.
 

Nosmo King

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We always payed for plastic bags, the cost was added to the price,
just that now we pay twice and about 5 times the cost.
I think the government get the 'bag tax' money, not 100% sure but i think i read it somewhere
 

Trevp666

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The Greek chap that runs our local "Express Supermarket" needs to be told about the bag charge.
He puts everything in a bag whether you want one or not.
I bought a cornetto in there on one particularly hot day last year and he was trying to bag it as I was trying to get the wrapper off.
 

MorningAngel

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Another thing about plastic bags is they should be washed and preferably sterilised as they can become carriers and breeding grounds for e coli and salmonella. Transfer of what I, as a non-scientist, call ‘Germs’ can collect in the bag. Whether this can be transmitted to a trolley or the packing area of the checkout for someone else to pick up is for someone more qualified than me to explain.

Of course, we’re all sterilising our Bags For Life after each use aren’t we?
There are some, I think more sturdier bags that claim to have anti germ technology. They are more the hessian bags like we use. Interestingly enough since our branch of Argos moved into Sainsbury’s (a supermarket) we sell hardly any bags. Strangely though we sold more when I was temporarily stationed at another Argos in a much larger Sainsbury’s.

Back to electric cars. I had a thought the other day. Is more wildlife going to get run over? There’s not even the engine sound to put the poor creatures off.

Also all the new builds being built around my way (and they are a lot -and not affordable either) have next to no or no parking spots. They need designated parking with charging but who knows where they are going to park let alone charge.
 

Stormkhan

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Oh, Ha. Ha.
In theory it goes to charity but all the local councils expect is a record of how much you spent on carrier bags and how much you earn from their sales. Then, in big firms, they report to HMRC these figures plus how much charity donation they can use to offset tax ... er ... do local charities good.
The big supermarkets are okay with this.
They pay for the plastic bags. Which they would do, anyway - it's a standard expense. They then charge the fee per bag to the customer. This sum goes into a specific nominal code*. If customers don't use a bag, they don't pay, fair enough. But the cost of bags to the supermarket remains the same, though slowly reducing.
Each supermarket can offset tax by charity donation. They'd usually do this as a great publicity thing - but the charities still get the money, fair enough.
Now the charity donation remains the same (hoorah!) but instead of it coming from the firms coffers (as a tax reduction), it comes from carrier bag sales, see?
Supermarkets are happy to charge whatever the gubmint asks for carriers. The costs are still deducted and the income from them replaces the charity donations which help reduce their tax liability. So if the net result is a charity benefits - regardless of the source of income - then great, and the bag useage drops then great. My one cynical eye is cast over exactly which charities benefit. After all, there are charities which are little more than scams, there are those who are 'middlemen' who get money together, deduct their ... er ... so-called running expenses then pass on what's left to other charities, and then there are the blatant WTF merchants, such as Eton public school.

* Nominal Code: An accounting term, meaning the 'label' of a 'book' recording a business transaction. I'm not being patronising, just for clarity.
 

Victory

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Trevp666

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Also all the new builds being built around my way (and they are a lot -and not affordable either) have next to no or no parking spots. They need designated parking with charging but who knows where they are going to park let alone charge.

Here in WGC a large development on a former factory site is right next to the town centre and main train line (it was handy for the factory to have instant rail links - in fact a line branches off to a storage area).
All the properties are blocks of flats, mostly only 4 floors high, but some are allowed to be 10 floors high.
When they first made their construction proposals public it was pointed out to them that they did not include anywhere near enough parking, and indeed some blocks had no allocated parking whatsoever.
Their response was that they were hoping to attract residents who lived here, but worked 'In London' and as such would not need a car as they would use the train.
Incredibly short-sighted (especially now that so many people are 'working from home') and also, what about visitors, where are they going to park their cars?
What about families with children that need taking to school etc?
Are the residents of these blocks expected to only ever use the trains? (god help them if they want to use any of the other local transport here)
Even if everyone goes 'green' by using electric cars, they will still need to be parked up somewhere and charged.

And locally of course there is concern that the companies doing the building are obviously and clearly just trying to maximise their profit from the available space as their plans pretty much exclude 'local people' from wanting to buy there.
 

MorningAngel

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Here in WGC a large development on a former factory site is right next to the town centre and main train line (it was handy for the factory to have instant rail links - in fact a line branches off to a storage area).
All the properties are blocks of flats, mostly only 4 floors high, but some are allowed to be 10 floors high.
When they first made their construction proposals public it was pointed out to them that they did not include anywhere near enough parking, and indeed some blocks had no allocated parking whatsoever.
Their response was that they were hoping to attract residents who lived here, but worked 'In London' and as such would not need a car as they would use the train.
Incredibly short-sighted (especially now that so many people are 'working from home') and also, what about visitors, where are they going to park their cars?
What about families with children that need taking to school etc?
Are the residents of these blocks expected to only ever use the trains? (god help them if they want to use any of the other local transport here)
Even if everyone goes 'green' by using electric cars, they will still need to be parked up somewhere and charged.

And locally of course there is concern that the companies doing the building are obviously and clearly just trying to maximise their profit from the available space as their plans pretty much exclude 'local people' from wanting to buy there.
Just like ours. We are in the South East and they are aiming at commuters who obviously aren’t supposed to go anywhere else. The irony being that they have moved the bus stops away from next to these new builds are going up. Fair enough in central London where there’s the underground etc. Also I think things are going to change a lot after what’s happened and people can work from home more and don’t need ridiculously priced houses in the South East.
 

EnolaGaia

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I suspect the smoke from this Amazon warehouse fire more than negated the carbon reduction obtained by installing the solar panels that started the fire.
Amazon warehouse fire in Maryland ignited by solar panels: investigators

Investigators have determined that a two-alarm fire at an Amazon warehouse in Maryland was ignited by solar panels on the roof.

The fire broke out Wednesday in the Perryville warehouse and quickly spread across the roof. Firefighters worked to extinguish fires on "multiple solar panels, HVAC units & roofing materials."

The estimated losses totaled around $500,000 and took around an hour and a half to fight due to the fire breaking out in an "unprecedented" area of the building. ...

A subsequent investigation by Maryland's Office of the State Fire Marshal - an agency of the state police -- determined that the preliminary cause was "accidental" and involved "an unspecified event involving the solar panel system."

The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) advises that solar panels can cause fires when improperly installed, usually due to "electrical arcing … faulting wiring or insufficient insulation."

Big businesses and solar panel fires are no strangers to each other: Walmart started suing Tesla over solar panel installations after seven fires broke out on rooftops of their stores across the country in 2019. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.foxnews.com/us/amazon-warehouse-fire-maryland-solar-panels
 

Mikefule

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Back to electric cars. I had a thought the other day. Is more wildlife going to get run over? There’s not even the engine sound to put the poor creatures off.
Never mind the bloomin' wildlife: there's the pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. Those electric cars, they creep up on you like ill fitting underpants. I've had a couple of close calls where that final "life saver" check over the shoulder has revealed a previously unsuspected early adopter in a glorified milk float.

I have long thought that the obvious thing is a small speaker under the "grille" with MP3 samples of "the engine of your choice" matched to your use of the accelerator pedal. (Maybe with a decibel limit after a certain time at night.) Visions of little old ladies in 2 seater electric runabouts in town, with their cars growling like a big V8.

The real answer is of course the full mantra: rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle.

Until we change our way of life so that we do not expect to be able to travel long distances daily at times of our own choosing, and cars are designed for efficiency and economy rather than the appearance of efficiency, things will never get better.

Most cars spend most of their time not being used. The NYC model of large numbers of taxis/cabs in constant use is far better than the model of everyone owning a car, using it for a small part of the time, and having to find somewhere to park it for most of the time.

When the speed limit in the UK is 70 mph, why is that (almost?) every car on the market can do 100 mph and some can do nearly twice that?

Then we have people changing their cars every 2 or 3 years. It doesn't matter how "green" or economical your car is if you replace it unnecessarily. Most of the environmental cost is in the manufacture and transport before the vehicle is even on the road, and the disposal/recycling at the end of the car's life. (Recycling uses lots of resources, but this is often forgotten.)
 
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Trevp666

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every car on the market can do 100 mph
It's not for the reasons you think.
It's because most Internal Combustion Engines are at their most efficient, and therefore less polluting, when they are running at a certain speed.
Therefore the most common modern vehicles are likely to have an oversize engine (Diesel or Petrol) linked to a gearbox with at least 6 ratios.
This allows the gearing to be chosen to be most efficient for the speed you are doing.
This results in an efficient cruising speed of somewhere around 70 mph in one of the higher gears so that the revs are still quite low.
(Similarly at 30 mph around town, one of the lower gears so that there less strain on the engine)

If car manufacturers made their cars so that they could only achieve a maximum speed of 70mph they would incredibly polluting and inefficient.
What we do get though is some manufacturers removing the choice from the driver (and some companies for their own vehicles) by fitting a speed limiter, which seems sensible enough until you are on the motorway behind a vehicle limited to 68mph, and your own vehicle is also limited to 68mph, but is ever so slightly faster, and then you get into the position where you are gaining on them so pull out to overtake but end up taking 11 miles to get past.
That is where it becomes unsafe. Much better to be able to get past safely in the least amount of time possible, and then pull back in to the correct, clear lane.
That's why police sitting on the motorway at exactly 66 mph will not chase you for going past them at 77mph.
But they will think it suspicious if you are sitting behind them at 65mph for mile after mile.
(Also, speedometers are not precisely accurate anyway - mostly whatever speed your speedo says you are doing, you're actually doing about 2 or 3 mph less)
 

Mikefule

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It's not for the reasons you think.
It's because most Internal Combustion Engines are at their most efficient, and therefore less polluting, when they are running at a certain speed.
Therefore the most common modern vehicles are likely to have an oversize engine (Diesel or Petrol) linked to a gearbox with at least 6 ratios.
This allows the gearing to be chosen to be most efficient for the speed you are doing.
This results in an efficient cruising speed of somewhere around 70 mph in one of the higher gears so that the revs are still quite low.
(Similarly at 30 mph around town, one of the lower gears so that there less strain on the engine)

If car manufacturers made their cars so that they could only achieve a maximum speed of 70mph they would incredibly polluting and inefficient.
I absolutely understand your argument and the principles behind it. I'm a driver, motorcyclist and bicyclist, I use outboard motors of various sizes on my boat, and so on. So I know that there is a most efficient region of the power and torque curves, and in most cases it is not at the top of the range.

However, 70 mph is the maximum (legal) speed, but it is not the mean or mode average speed. I used to drive 35,000 miles a year with my job. Most of the distance I covered was no on motorways and my average speed over any distance on mixed roads outside of built up areas always ended up at about 40 mph, regardless of whether I was taking it stead or "pressing on". I would time my journeys to appointments on this basis: (e.g.) 20 miles to go, I'll be there in 30 minutes, and it was nearly always spot on. Around town, I was typically doing half that speed.

So designing a car to be at its most efficient at 70 mph when most cars spend very little of their time at 70 mph is not efficient.

I am a keen cyclist and one of my bikes is "fixed wheel" (or as we now must learn to say, "fixed gear") which means single speed, and no freewheel. You have to pedal all the time and cannot change gear. The two cogs can be changed and the choice gives the bike a set of performance characteristics. The choice of ratio is very important, and a wise fixed wheel rider chooses for the riding he will actually do rather than the riding he pretends he wll be doing. My bike is set up to be most efficient with my feeble 58 year old "engine" at around 15 mph on the flat even though on a varied ride, I may max out 28 mph. At that top speed, it is very inefficient!
 

Trevp666

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Most of the distance I covered was not on motorways
Successive road transport policies since the 1960s was, though, to prevent pollution in towns caused by heavy traffic, moving slowly, by providing (what was thought to be) efficient, fast solutions of motorways and dual carriageways around towns. This led to a network of these fast roads, so car manufacturers designed their vehicles to be suitable for same. Which is also how we ended up with really very efficient indeed 'city cars' with small engines that were also not as polluting, and also electric and hybrid vehicles.
I guess ones choice of vehicle should be influenced by the type of driving you are doing.
A good motorway cruiser for doing long distances is never going to be as good in an urban setting as a 'city car', and vice versa.
Unfortunately most peoples choice of transport is mostly influenced by what they can afford and what is available.
Your
feeble 58 year old "engine"
is probably much better than my feeble 55 year old 'engine' though, but then I guess that depends what vehicle we are powering.
When you are on your 'fixey' I would probably be able to cruise past you on well geared 'racer' on a nice flat cycle path!
Also, of course, assuming I wasn't on my back from the boozer, lol.
 

Analogue Boy

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Stopped for a fuel refill at the garage tonight. Half a tank, paid in kiosk… 5 minutes. Nine other cars being fuelled as I was in.
That is flow control. How do you deal with flow control when cars will need at least an hour for a charge?
 
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