Weekly News Update October 31st

Jonathan Staufer | October 31, 2018 | Leave a Comment


Roads are a tear in the fabric of life, but if we’re going to have cars, they should be electric. Tesla reported a 3rd quarter profit having finally managed to get their production line rolling. The Tesla Model 3 has now become one of the best selling sedans in America.

General Motors – yes, the same GM that killed their groundbreaking electric car – is lobbying the Trump Administration to expand a California program to put millions of electric vehicles on the road.

A reminder as to why cars – including electric and self driving – won’t get us out of sprawl or traffic congestion appeared in the New York Times on Sunday. Interestingly, a piece regarding Fiji’s war on climate change appeared in the Travel section of the same newspaper.

The BBC offered up Bologna’s solution to traffic congestion and encouraging pedestrians, bikes and public transit in its “Wold Hacks” section. It is simple and easily replicable.

At the rate we’re going, we might need to start thinking about boats rather than cars. Venice suffered its worst flooding in over a decade. Hurricane Willa struck the Baja Peninsula, proceeded northeast, causing rivers near Austin, Texas to overflow and a boil water order to be put in place for the city. In the Carolinas, the storm added more water to areas still soaked from Hurricane Florence and then turned North to become the first Nor’Easter of the season.

The financial toll of climate-change related disasters, is growing exponentially and it is already damaging America’s democracy.

Frequently considered a fragile democracy, Pakistan has the political will to fight climate change, pledging to plant 10 billion trees.

Planting trees is a good idea. They keep our homes cool and clean our air, and frequently help feed our villages.  Now you can help to plant trees with your online searches. Ecosia is a public benefit corporation based in Berlin that uses advertising revenues to plant trees. With tree planting projects around the world, they recently offered coal giant RWE 1 million euros to buy the threatened Hambach Forest.

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The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.
  • Arnold Byron

    We will need roads and we will need cars. Whether the car uses gasoline or electricity the roads will wear out and will have to be repaired. Road repair will need a supply of repair materials such as asphalt. Moreover, it will take time to change the fleet from gasoline to electricity and who knows how long it will take to assure a supply of electricity for all of the cars on the road. I think there will be a rather lengthy time for the transition from using power derived from fossil fuel to using only electricity. This will be a critical period and no one is talking about how to do this transition. An answer might be to use non-fossil fuel carbonaceous materials to provide the needed petroleum products during the time of the transition and afterward as well.

    I suggest that we have the technology to do the transition and to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at the same time. I call for small refineries to be built near towns and cities. Nothing new will need to be invented to engineer small refineries that are replications of the large petroleum refineries. These mini refineries can be engineered to use thermal depolymerization to break the long chain polymers of carbonaceous material into the short chain polymers of petroleum products. This is essentially what a large petroleum refinery does. The feedstock for the mini refinery would be household waste augmented by crops of voluminous vegetation. We all know that when plants grow, carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere.

    Those who are leaders worldwide need to champion the building of an infrastructure of solar panels, windmills and other renewable energy units — to end the use of fossil fuels. Those same leaders will have to acknowledge that the human race will produce household garbage forever and the household garbage will need to be dealt with forever. Mini refineries will recycle our household garbage and specialized, highly voluminous agricultural crops into gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, oil, tar and asphalt and at the same time remove excess carbon from the atmosphere. In addition to removing excess carbon science will have a means to regulate the atmospheric temperature forever.

    Building an infrastructure of solar panels, windmills and other renewable energy units, worldwide, and at the same time building an infrastructure of mini refineries, worldwide, makes complete sense.