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One For The Americans

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Chris, many areas in Florida have prescribed controlled burns to consume the underbrush and lessen the likelihood of a naturally started or carelessly started fire to quickly become intense and well fueled.

Friends that are environmental scientists have explained the process.  Having ridden through forrest after recent controlled burns, it is apparent that the amount of fuel is reduced to almost nothing.  Add to this, the soil is enriched, and within a short time, new growth is abundant.

Locally, a controlled burn was accomplished.  The manager in charge elected to accomplish the burn, even though winds were above acceptable wind speeds.  With the wind and abundant fuel, the control quickly became uncontrolled.  

In a strange twist, citizens get very upset about controlled burns.  The cost, the smoke, the experts saying it is not needed, but when a true fire erupts and consumes not only the under brush, but homes and more, those same people complain saying why wasn’t something done to prevent it.

 

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5 hours ago, pmk said:

Chris, many areas in Florida have prescribed controlled burns to consume the underbrush and lessen the likelihood of a naturally started or carelessly started fire to quickly become intense and well fueled.

You are conflating forestry management with global warming.  The number of accidental fires increases due to climatic conditions that favour dry undergrowth and dead base vegetation are increasing globally.   For sure in some localities the reluctance to modify the periodicity and intensity of controlled burning has an effect but taken in the round the real problem is climate change.  As climate change is getting worse and will continue to get worse the periodicity of non planned fires will increase.  This has also been the case in Australia.

Other climate related economic damage, such as the huge cost to farmers in the US south west in increasing rapidly.  Water shortages are another common feature of the problem and generally will exacerbate the issues.

There are many excuses that are made up by people with a need to pretend that the problem is either less than it is or non existent.  Unfortunately reality is quickly showing that these excuses are no longer sufficient to explain the observed phenomena.  I believe the same "explanation" has been used to pretend the Australian forest fires are actually the fault of the "greens" - that really is propaganda at its highest form.

The planet is at a tipping point as the feedback mechanisms kick in.  Methane release from permafrost and the accelerative effect of reduction of white reflective iced surface area mean that the time to act is now.  There is no more time available to waste or to debate.  The USA leaving Paris is time wasting and divisive.  Some pessimistic people even suggest it is the end of the fight to stop the destruction of the environment.  i am not of that view - the individual states often will override the Federal government, but it does set an example that all the other lunatics like Bolsonaro will use to further their homicidal tendencies.

As a species we have the ability to derive our energy needs from sources other than fossil hydrocarbons.  Ironically the Chinese are in the forefront of doing this.  If we in the western world do not keep up then the future is most definitely Chinese and in 10 or 20 years you and I will live under the Chinese political system whether you like it or not.   Either that or there will be another world war.

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1 hour ago, ChrisCH said:

As a species we have the ability to derive our energy needs from sources other than fossil hydrocarbons.  Ironically the Chinese are in the forefront of doing this.  If we in the western world do not keep up then the future is most definitely Chinese and in 10 or 20 years you and I will live under the Chinese political system whether you like it or not.   Either that or there will be another world war.

Absolutely. Although I'm not sure that we'll be living under Chinese political systems as much as Chinese dictated economic policy and that China will be the super-power of the day to the extent that the rest of the world will be largely at their whim. We may still be nominally democratic, just with China calling the shots rather than America.

I find it completely incomprehensible how ostensibly intelligent people continue to deny that which is obvious and so universally scientifically demonstrated, the world is warming due to our release of fossil carbon into the atmosphere. This is the same science that has given us the modern motor car, computers, the internet, modern medicine, even the hoped for vaccine against Covid, we don't question the valuable contribution of science to those things, but as soon as it's something that might impose a change on our daily life that might be inconvenient there are cries that scientists are a bunch of liars and alarmists. You might as well argue that gravity is a hoax because you don't want to hurt yourself falling of your bike.

The pathetic excuses made to justify business-as-usual are the global equivalent of excuses to justify a mass shooting.

China is a global warming problem, yes. But as ChrisCH says they are doing something about it. The USA is the next biggest problem and it is trying to pretend that it can continue to do just whatever it likes. Many countries are trying to find ways to reduce their global impact, mostly driven by their populations demanding that. Most of those countries can see that getting in early on the carbon reduction path can have not only a global benefit but also a direct economic boost too, as investment in new industries is made.

If the USA can't get on board, then frankly the more guns you sell each other the better for the rest of us!

The Australian government is an abomination, trying to pretend that by juggling some numbers they can miraculously make our emissions reduce. Bollocks. Despite the fact that we have developed all sorts of cutting edge technology, we remain really good at digging holes in the ground and sending the result overseas for others to value add. Hence our oversized coal mining industry, along with gas and iron blow our per capita greenhouse figures sky high. We live on the sunniest continent on the planet but our idiots in power have just announced that they are going to drive a gas driven financial recovery and energy program! Australia was one of the key developers of photovoltaic technology but our contribution now is to dig another hole or two to provide raw materials. I can tell you I didn't vote for the fools! By the way, Australia has the distinction of being the 8th largest emitter per capita (behind mostly middle eastern oil producing states). The USA is 14th.

As for dicking about arguing about whether putting 2 litres of petrol in a trials bike is in issue or not ... For crying out loud! Of course it is, but obviously it is a very minor contributor in the scheme of things. Should we continue to do so? Of course not. The age of the fossil fuelled ICE engine is rapidly drawing to a close and anyone who can't see that is blind. Already electric trials bikes are approaching the performance of petrol bikes, and there's really only one manufacturer who's doing it seriously, and they're still doing it with mostly off-the-shelf parts anyone can buy and assemble in their back yard. When things develop just a little more electric bikes will outperform petrol, no question in my mind (a Tesla S 4 door sedan can do 0-60 in 2.3 sec, quarter mile in 10.5 sec for instance, beaten by just 0.18 sec by a petrol car costing around 8x as much). And when we start having to pay the real cost of pouring carbon out our exhaust pipes the financials will also weigh in favour of electric. The sooner I can get off my petrol bike onto electric the better.

So will people please stop acting like the selfish prats we mostly seem to be and start thinking beyond the contents of our wallets and see if we can't actually manage to leave our kids a world that isn't being torn apart by climate, water wars, food crises etc.

 

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I voted for peace and prosperity. Fear mongers and absolutions do exist here but they exist in all places in the world. Paris accord does impact climate output as do others. If it does not happen in my back yard and personally affect me that does not mean its insignificant. I believe in my foreign ancestors and why they came here. I believe that some in this country truly want to ignore data and science that states this country needs to participate with the planet in a better way before we can exemplify world leadership. I live in a country where politics wants to call others crazy or incarcerate others that don't agree with their policies while calling others socialists. I live in a country where infrastructure isn't better and people are not fed. I work in major manufacturing where my country has made it difficult to be a world leader and reduced participation outside of this country. I am worried but optimistic and I think the globe is too. Wish us luck and prayers. 

--Biff

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1 hour ago, bikerpet said:

.. The age of the fossil fuelled ICE engine is rapidly drawing to a close and anyone who can't see that is blind. ..

Agreed but we must not overlook the role that alternative fuels can play in keeping the world's ICE fleet going.  Vehicles made today will still be running in 20 years time and will require some form of fuel to power them.  Diesel is essentially just a fossil form of vegetable oil and can easily be replaced by vegetable oil grown in current times.  The CO2 from the engine is re-used by the plants to make more diesel and so it goes round for ever.

There has been a lot of discussion about ethanol as a gasoline replacement.  I am really, genuinely, interested in that and curious what people's views are.  What modifications are needed to a trials bike (or any other machine) to run the stuff?  Will the increase from E10 to E85 or E100 make any more nuisance for the plastic and fibreglass issues that we know exist?

Everyone gets worked up about personalised transport because it matters to us.  I like motorcycles and have two of them.  My wife has two also.  Sure, we could go electric but why throw away machines with another 20 years wear in them?  That is not "green" (whatever that is).  I don't much care what goes in the tank as long as the machine works.  Are people really that bothered about whether it is mineral fuel or renewable as long as it works and give the same performance?   If this is so difficult let's start on the easy stuff no one much cares about; heating oil, agricultural and marine fuels, aviation fuel, goods vehicle fuels.  Let's create thousands of jobs building renewable energy plant and retro fitting things like solar panels to housing.  All we need to do is overcome the lies and political interference of the fossil fuel industry and it's death grip over the governments of half the world.

 

Come on USA.  Lead from the front for a change.  Make yourself great again.

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Just as a footnote here is an article about E85 from a US perspective.  The gas station near my French home has E85 at the pump at roughly half the price of ULP.  Most articles seem to suggest the fuel is best in fuel injected vehicles (so the Vertigo might be a possibility) and that a carburettor modification is needed for non injected vehicles, so most trials bikes.  Given how little fuel trials bikes use I think it is much better to look at using E85 in your car or van and not get too stressed about the tiny bit of fuel in the trials bike.

https://www.bellevuecollege.edu/sustainability/2016/06/13/switching-to-ethanol-is-easier-than-ever/

Made in the good old USA:  https://kohlerpower.com/en/engines/product/command-pro-efi-flex-fuel-fcv749

Edited by ChrisCH

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1 hour ago, ChrisCH said:

Just as a footnote here is an article about E85 from a US perspective.  The gas station near my French home has E85 at the pump at roughly half the price of ULP.  Most articles seem to suggest the fuel is best in fuel injected vehicles (so the Vertigo might be a possibility) and that a carburettor modification is needed for non injected vehicles, so most trials bikes.  Given how little fuel trials bikes use I think it is much better to look at using E85 in your car or van and not get too stressed about the tiny bit of fuel in the trials bike.

https://www.bellevuecollege.edu/sustainability/2016/06/13/switching-to-ethanol-is-easier-than-ever/

Made in the good old USA:  https://kohlerpower.com/en/engines/product/command-pro-efi-flex-fuel-fcv749

Exactly, your small amount is insignificant, just as my small amount is also.  That is why you have no remorse nor do I.

My motorcycles tend to enjoy consuming Leaded aviation gasoline, it is such a small amount.  Run the same premix in the two stroke lawn equipment.  Again, very small amount.

The primary difference is that you follow the do as I say, not as I do philosophy.  Me, I am not saying that.

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On 10/27/2020 at 12:32 AM, nigel dabster said:

"the hatred the news has generated", one example?

Well it's early Wednesday morning and the fake news has Biden leading, when in fact Trump is leading. The betting odds now favor Trump winning.

 

20201103_223701_resized.jpg

Edited by lineaway

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From the reporting I'm hearing in Australia both sides are equally optimistic. So perhaps fake news going both ways depending where you choose to look?

Dependiywhich analyst you look at you can select which horse is winning. I'll wait until the shouting's over.

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I have a few friends who run or have run their diesels on vegetable oil in a variety of ways. Simplest is just filter used deep fryer oil through some pretty low tech filters and put it in the tank with an auxiliary heater system so it doesn't go solid again. It works fine but is a bit messy and you smell like a mobile fish & chip shop.

One trouble with bio-diesel on a large scale is simply the amount of arable land required to grow the feedstock - land that is becoming increasingly valuable for growing food. It's not insurmountable though. I remember reading about an algae that could grow very rapidly in shallow ponds and produced considerable oil, the area required to supply the entire USA diesel volume was large, but not at all impossible within the existing USA agricultural structure. The problem with that is the amount of water required, water that is becoming increasingly valuable itself.

Methanol has it's own set of issues which overlap bio-diesel. It can be made from all sorts of feedstock, but currently the majority of fuel bio-ethanol comes from sugar cane and corn, again we run into the problem of re-purposing arable land from food to methanol production, that has already had a significant impact in some areas of the food chain. Recovering gas from waste is a good source but needs a lot of scaling up yet. It's biggest obstacle probably remains hip-pocket politics - governments propping up farmers in fundamentally flawed operations. Current industrial methanol production centres around reforming natural gas with steam, then distilling methanol, so the majority of methanol in the world today is effectively fossil fuel (note: bio ethanol for fuel does not use this process).

So these alternatives certainly have their places, but there is a way to go before they become viable replacements on a large scale.

It's interesting that Toyota appears to have been somewhat slow on the electric vehicle program compared to some makers. Toyota obviously has the resources to develop whatever it wants, but it seems that they are investing a fair bit into hydrogen powered fuel cells. Given heavy transport is a very large contributor to emissions, and it is not a good match to battery power, that is an interesting path. Hydrogen can offer good energy density and zero emissions. It has it's own issues of production, but as renewable electricity supply increases that should be largely solved. There are apparently already ways the existing gas pipeline system can be used to co-transport hydrogen and fossil gas, with the required component pulled out at the destination - my chemistry is rubbish so I've no clue how that works.

Fossil ICE is zombie technology. Yes, we do have to navigate our way through the transition to cleaner fuels, and that's possibly a bigger challenge than actually developing the final replacements. For me it's a no-brainer - go electric now rather than continuing to be part of the fossil/transition problem. Yes, my fossil bike will remain in use by someone, but hopefully it's movement through the used bike chain will reduce the demand for another new petrol bike, and increase the pressure for manufacturers to transition. It's not going to be big impact, but it's a little bit and I can do it now. The problem lies in the economics - a new EM Pure is several times what my bike is worth and there just aren't any secondhand ones available here.

That's why I started on an electric trials bike build that has been hijacked by another electric e-trials project, currently in a box on it's way toward me.

Me, I'm doing what I say, and I'm trying to be part of the solution, not part of the problem (within my own selfish limits of consumerism).

18 hours ago, biffsgasgas said:

I voted for peace and prosperity. Fear mongers and absolutions do exist here but they exist in all places in the world. Paris accord does impact climate output as do others. If it does not happen in my back yard and personally affect me that does not mean its insignificant. I believe in my foreign ancestors and why they came here. I believe that some in this country truly want to ignore data and science that states this country needs to participate with the planet in a better way before we can exemplify world leadership. I live in a country where politics wants to call others crazy or incarcerate others that don't agree with their policies while calling others socialists. I live in a country where infrastructure isn't better and people are not fed. I work in major manufacturing where my country has made it difficult to be a world leader and reduced participation outside of this country. I am worried but optimistic and I think the globe is too. Wish us luck and prayers. 

--Biff

I certainly do wish you, and the rest of us, luck.

I'm under no misapprehension that either Trump or Biden are "good" results, but it's clear to me who's less-bad.

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1 hour ago, lineaway said:

Well it's early Wednesday morning and the fake news has Biden leading, when in fact Trump is leading. The betting odds now favor Trump winning.

How do you decide what's "fake news"?

I looked at Politico.com, Fox News, CNN & DW and all show the same results (220 to 213) (+/- minor differences) despite them having rather different liberal/conservative views.

So where do you get the idea that Trump's leading?

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15 hours ago, pmk said:

Exactly, your small amount is insignificant, just as my small amount is also.  That is why you have no remorse nor do I.

My motorcycles tend to enjoy consuming Leaded aviation gasoline, it is such a small amount.  Run the same premix in the two stroke lawn equipment.  Again, very small amount.

The primary difference is that you follow the do as I say, not as I do philosophy.  Me, I am not saying that.

I follow no philosophy other than survival.  Everyone in the world can - if they wish - follow our example and burn fossil fuels for their entertainment without remorse.  If they do then it is game over.  I take it you have no children?  No nieces or nephews?  No friends with kids you care about?

We need to stop burning fossil fuels and for sure you and I individually cannot bring this about, nor can we make a difference by not burning a quart at the weekend on a ride.  My car is Euro 5 diesel and my panel van Euro 6, about as clean and fuel efficient as I could buy.  But someone bought the old vehicles they replaced.  That's the issue - too few people understand that unless you actually scrap the old vehicle it is still there and still burning fossil fuels and chugging out pollution.

All I can do is vote for someone that will change things.  That is all I ask of people in the US.  No biggie.

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1 hour ago, ChrisCH said:

But someone bought the old vehicles they replaced.  That's the issue - too few people understand that unless you actually scrap the old vehicle it is still there and still burning fossil fuels and chugging out pollution.

All I can do is vote for someone that will change things.  That is all I ask of people in the US.  No biggie.

I applaud your voice of reason and try to keep believing there are enough who have a similar perspective that we might avoid the worst of the coming climate catastrophe.

As for the old vehicles, you're right, but while it may not be ideal at least buying only efficient new vehicles is moving things the right direction. Unlike the willfully blind who continue to purchase such obscenities as a new Chevy Suburban for instance! And it's a perverse benefit of our rampant consumerism that at least those old cars will be deemed "waste" in relatively short order, we can be thankful in a weird way for planned obsolescence.

Of course skipping the fossil burners completely would be better, but it's certainly still a step too far for many. Our recharging infrastructure in rural Australia is still a bit sparse for me to easily move to electric, but it is changing fairly quickly.

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24 minutes ago, bikerpet said:

I applaud your voice of reason and try to keep believing there are enough who have a similar perspective that we might avoid the worst of the coming climate catastrophe.

As for the old vehicles, you're right, but while it may not be ideal at least buying only efficient new vehicles is moving things the right direction. Unlike the willfully blind who continue to purchase such obscenities as a new Chevy Suburban for instance! And it's a perverse benefit of our rampant consumerism that at least those old cars will be deemed "waste" in relatively short order, we can be thankful in a weird way for planned obsolescence.

Of course skipping the fossil burners completely would be better, but it's certainly still a step too far for many. Our recharging infrastructure in rural Australia is still a bit sparse for me to easily move to electric, but it is changing fairly quickly.

Australia, like the US has some incredible potential for solar energy generation.  The Nullabor has space for a few power stations without bothering anyone much.  You just need to get shut of Morrison.

The Moroccan Solar station (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouarzazate_Solar_Power_Station) shows what can be done with modern technology.  Remember this is Morocco, not some high technology world leading nation.  Such developments are 'expensive' but cheap compared to nuclear.

Huge amounts of CO2 are released by food production and by domestic homes heating/air con.  This kind of virtually zero carbon electricity could quickly change things and we can work on the vehicular problems meantime.  With cheap plentiful electricity the consumer demand for EV will increase and a suitable tax on fossil hydrocarbons make the move so much easier.  The enemy are the oil companies and other fossil fuel companies.  they lie and lie and lie and pay millions to PR companies and so-called "think tanks" or lobbyists to lie and to create distrust in the science.  People are (rightly) scared so they retreat into the comforting lies and then internalise the lie and become part of the problem.  These fossil fuel companies then bribe the politicians and we end up with a crook like Trump in power.  Hopefully in the next couple of days that will change.  If Mr Biden has the guts to stand up and tell the truth and to face off the fossil fuel companies this could be a turning point.  If Trump wins then it most certainly will not be.

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