Open Thread Nov. 16, 2021 Dan Crawford | November 16, 2021 6:00 am Comments (28) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
as expected, the Manchin Infrastructure Act is a big boost to coal…
oh, btw, it’s also pretty good for oil…
all that means we can’t cut our emissions yet because we’re going to need more emissions to keep our air conditioners running…
All I can say is there’s a lot more good than bad in this new law. That’s what compromise is all about; you don’t get everything you want. The parties and presidents have been trying to pass an infrastructure bill for decades and none have been successful. In less than a year in power, Biden and the Democrats got it done despite a hostile opposing party, a lunatic ex-president spreading lies and a COVID pandemic running interference. 94% of House Republicans and 60% of Senate Republicans voted against the critically needed improvements the package will bring to the country. The Republicans that voted for it are being harassed, threatened and punished by Trump, fellow members and their constituencies.
oh yeah, a bill that Mitch McConnell would vote for certainly can’t be all bad..
One can always find the bad if one is willing to place their judgement of reality into a far more narrow context than that in which reality exists. IOW, then I am with JP on this despite your Mitch bitch. AB is not exactly the home of Republican sympathizers, but we take what we can get instead of what we cannot get.
Ron, i was opposed to the infrastructure package on climate grounds long before Mitch was for it, & i’ve posted my underlying reasons here several times…to paraphrase what i’ve said before, the Infrastructure Act will have the largest carbon footprint of any domestic policy initiative since Eisenhower built the interstates…just start with the concrete and asphalt we’d use for road building & repair..
concrete is made of various combinations of sand, gravel and cement…all the various types of cement have lime (CaO) as their basic material…that lime is produced by heating limestone (CaCO3) (sometimes by burning coal) to produce lime and carbon dioxide, ie: (CaCO3 > CaO + CO2); hence, cement production itself emits 0.654 tons of CO2 per ton of cement produced, not including the CO2 emitted in generating the needed 1300 C degree temperatures for that reaction…
meanwhile, the basic material for making asphalt is bitumen, popularly known as tar…bitumen is the thick goo that’s left over from oil refining…trouble is, oil from shale is so light (sometimes it’s almost like gasoline) there’s little bitumen left over from refining it, so most bitumen now has to be mined from somewhere…we’ve got a few deposits, like in Utah, Kentucky, & California, but for any quantity we’ll have to import it from the tar sands of Canada or Venezuela..
then there’s bridges, which will need steel…like cement production, steel making has CO2 emissions from both the process (using coking coal) and the electricity needed to make it….CO2 emissions from steel manufacturing are almost double the amount of steel that is produced: 1.85 tons of CO2 per ton of steel.
i could go on, but you get my drift…i’ve been on the CO2 case since 1976, so if i thought there was still hope, this infrastructure act would be something that would gravely concern me…right now, i’m just being a cynical old bastard about it…
OK, got it. However, I am with you on the hopeless part and also how long ago that I was actually wanting fossil fuel alternatives. Gave that all up long ago though. When Carter killed breeder reactors effectively taking nuclear off the table, then I knew our goose was cooked.
“Republican lawmakers who voted against President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure package are already taking credit for the piece of legislation they voted against. In fact, one Alabama lawmaker has even released a statement touting provisions in the bill even though he also voted against the package, according to Huff Post.”
what JP is arguing is that a temporary perhaps illusory political gain for Democrats is more important than serious measures to fight global warming.
he could be right ..if the Dems can capitalize on “the boost to the economy” and use that capital to win elections with something of a mandate to fight both climate change and the imporverishment of working people.
but i see it as more evidence that politicians don’t take warming seriously (much less the impoverishment of working people) and it’s all a political game to them for power and profit.
Tip O’Neill said ‘All politics is local.’
That includes taking credit for funding for *local*
projects whether or not you voted for it. No doubt
‘your voters’ will appreciate the guv’mint benefits
they receive while decrying what everyone else gets,
because while they deserve ’em, the other folks don’t.
That being the epitome of ‘local politics’.
You and rjs are both probably correct, but then Trump for 2024 is not really a pleasant alternative. Climate change is not something that our political system can realistically take action against because of the contrast in time scales between campaign financing and elections on the one hand and long term environmental consequences on the other hand. Add to that “It’s the economy, stupid,” then snowballs will have a better chance in Hell than on Earth.
and that little tragedy is going to be much much bigger than our politicians and people can even imagine, actually they can’t imagine much of anything. global warming is just another political slogan they can manipulate one way or the other for votes and money.
if this all sounds familiar, it is because the problem was recognized before Christ was in his cradle. And if we did not create hell on earth as the prophets warned us, it is only because the earth was then very big and hard to kill all at once. but, given time enough…
Democrats Shouldn’t Panic.
(Okay, the Dems current difficulties are not all of their
own making, certainly. Many of them stem from ineptness
and mendacity from the previous President. But with a
three-way split in Congress, between the ever-wily GOP
and left- and right Dems, the chaos seems palpable.)
ah, you are just giving us reasons to think about. where are your links so we don’t have to think?
yep. i’m just being a cynical old bastard too. You left out the part where all these roads and bridges are “needed” so we can keep on driving as fast and far as the biggest most powerful cars we can buy will take us.
and what about that SALT tax cut?
that said, i also agree (having no character to speak of) with Ron.. this may be a victory, best we could get, but it will kill us in the end if we can’t parlay it into some real legislation to fix what’s the matter with us. But please note, the R’s are already claiming credit for it. And the insane Right will play it both ways. They at least, have no shame.
coberly, no one is talking about how much damage we’re going to end up doing to our infrastructure if we keep putting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere willy-nilly the way we have been: here’s NOAA’s list of billion dollar weather disasters: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/
they’ve adjusted for inflation with the CPI; other adjustments, like for increased population density an increasing stupidity about where we build our infrastructure, probably should have also been made….still, that the number of billion dollar weather disasters increased from an average of 2.9 a year in the 80’s to an average of 16.2 per year over the last 5 years to 22 last year should give us pause; those big impact weather events cost us $640 billion over the past 5 years alone, compared to $187 billion for all ten years of the 80s….weather related deaths have risen from 287 per year to 794 per year over the same period….if the billion dollar weather disasters continue to increase at the rate they have been, they’ll do more damage to our infrastructure by the end of the decade than the Infrastructure Act will rebuild…and it will be much worse when we start losing coastal cities to flooding in the years after that..
Coastal cities are nice places to visit, but I would never want to live there :<)
oh, i don’t know…Daytona Beach wasn’t so bad seventy years ago.
thing is all this destruction of coastal cities is only about the money. even f the money ultimately comes from us and not the rich people who build mansions on the beach.
those mansions pretty much destroyed the beach fifty years ago…as well as the beer cans on Miami beach. From my point of view maybe a little coastal destruction will wake people up before it’s too late. most likely, though, they will just fight it with bigger seawalls.
Few coastal areas in the US develop seawalls to protect the coast line because of the damage they do to the beach. Seawalls redirect erosion, but usually make it worse overall. Link below for NC OBX beach replenishment plans.
What is beach nourishment?
Beach nourishment is the process of pumping sand onto an eroding shoreline to widen the existing beach. Sources of sand may include a nearby sandbar, a dredged source (such as an inlet or waterway), or an offshore borrow site along the ocean floor. The widened shoreline provides an increased defense from coastal storms and beach erosion, protecting property, communities and infrastructure that are located along the coast.
While the Outer Banks coastline is beautiful, it is also very fragile. Storms, high winds and tidal changes all contribute to beach erosion. To restore and preserve our fragile coastline, Dare County and the towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head have implemented important beach nourishment projects important that are critical to the future of our communities.
I know about the damage seawalls do. My comment was deliberately ironic.
I suspect “beach nourishment” also has unintended consequences.
Funny bio-fact: A well regarded movie in its time “woman of the dunes” had a woman flling baskets with sand that were drawn up by ropes to the top of the pit she was imprisoned in. Nothing was said about the purpose of this.
A well regarded friend assured me there was no purpose. It was a parable. There is no use for sand. Not being well regarded myself, I did not say anything. Thought about this twenty years later when i walked my dogs in the artificial dunes created by dredging the Columbia River near Portland. Of course, by that time I was working on a bridge construction that consumed monstrous quantities of sand in the form of concrete. Shortly before I got that job I lived in a beach town (on the beach, no tourist attraction) that had built a jetty to protect the harbor or provide building sites (i don’t know). Said jetty redircted sand flow to create a bar making access to the (small boat) harbor dangerous. That’s all I learned about it at the time. Except that I had before that lived in Daytona Beach where we lamented what the high rises and beach homes had done to what was once a nice place to go to the beach.
As far as I know, the movie “on the beach” was just a parable.
Seawalls ruin the beach that they are protecting. Jetties and breakwaters are better at preserving a section of beach, but beside the protected stretch of beach there will be an unprotected stretch of beach which will have even more erosion because of its protected neighbor. To a large extent this is an east coast consideration. On the west coast most of the oceanfront mansions are built on cliffs or mountains while there is no beach below at high tide, just rocks. The value of west coast oceanfront mansions stems from their spectacular views, particularly of sunsets. In most places, except perhaps Washington state, there are more sailors’ delight sunsets than sailors’ warning sunrises. On the east coast oceanfront means behind the dunes such that a house must be three stories high on stilts for the sunrise to be viewed from the upper front deck. The value of east coast oceanfront mansions stems from the beach. On the west coast the water is too cold for a beach to be of much value north of San Diego. But the sunset views are spectacular from that cliff side mansion. On the east coast if one can afford an oceanfront mansion, then they will not be waking up in time for a summer sunrise, but later in the day they can feel the sand between their toes without getting cold feet.
I guess I knew all that but never thought about it much. I lived in all the places I mentioned, but when I drove to Maine I couldn’t get near the beach because it was all private property. Same thing is true, I think, all down the coast to Florida, but I never tried. Daytona was public, but they let people drive on it which took the fun out of being at the beach. I don’t remember the dunes being so high as you describe. and don’t really remember the separation between beach and houses as being all that marked (true beach up to mean high tide, sandy with rough vegetation above that, but no hills to speak of. maybe a little “cliff” just before you get back to the highway). In California and Oregon there are beaches below the (real) cliffs, only they can be a bit cold (take your life away cold in Oregon). as a fairly sloppy thinker I tend to say beach when I mean within reasonable walking distance of the water. There are dunes a little south of me that are fairly extensive and too high to see over..why all the dune buggies have those little flags that no one sees until it is too late. And lovely (if you like that sort of thing) places quite far from the beach, you think, until you see the signs warning “floods at high tide”
gives a landlubber something to think about.
i hope you are addressing me as a sympathetic ear. around here it’s sometimes hard to tell. a lot of people think i am disagreeing with them when i am agreeing with them. please keep up the good work of being informed and letting us know.
Man announces he will quit drinking by 2050 —
A Sydney man has set an ambitious target to phase out his alcohol consumption within the next 29 years, as part of an impressive plan to improve his health.
The program will see Greg Taylor, 73, continue to drink as normal for the foreseeable future, before reducing consumption in 2049 when he turns 101. He has assured friends it will not affect his drinking plans in the short or medium term.
Taylor said it was important not to rush the switch to non-alcoholic beverages. “It’s not realistic to transition to zero alcohol overnight. This requires a steady, phased approach where nothing changes for at least two decades,” he said, adding that he may need to make additional investments in beer consumption in the short term, to make sure no night out is worse off.
Taylor will also be able to bring forward drinking credits earned from the days he hasn’t drunk over the past forty years, meaning the actual end date for consumption may actually be 2060.
To assist with the transition, Taylor has bought a second beer fridge which he describes as the ‘capture and storage’ method.
And now for something completely different:
A jury in Wisconsin has decided that you can run around with a gun pointing it at people and kill anyone who tries to take it away from you. Self defense, you see.
Whether this changes America, or if the change was already made, remains to be seen.