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 Post subject: Green New Deal
PostPosted: December 4 18, 4:50 pm 
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Since there was quite a bit of momentum in the AOC thread about the Green New Deal, I thought I would start a new thread to focus the discussion in 1 area.

Also, to help inform the discussion, here are a few links:


Green Party - Summary of the Green New Deal - http://www.gp.org/green_new_deal
Full language of the Green New Deal - http://www.gp.org/gnd_full

Ocasio's info on a Green New Deal - https://ocasio2018.com/green-new-deal

Forbes - "The Common Sense 'Extreme' Of The Green New Deal" - https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesellsm ... -new-deal/

Data for Progress - "A Green New Deal: Policy Report" (12MB PDF) - https://www.dataforprogress.org/green-new-deal/

The Nation - "Want the Youth Vote in 2020? Champion the Green New Deal Now" - https://www.thenation.com/article/want- ... -deal-now/


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 Post subject: Re: Green New Deal
PostPosted: December 4 18, 5:12 pm 
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Current state of the energy market: https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/?pa ... nergy_home

This is a good graphic to work off of:
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Green New Deal
PostPosted: December 4 18, 6:48 pm 
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Popeye_Card wrote:
Arthur Dent wrote:
Popeye_Card wrote:
It's also ignoring the fact that the petrochemical industry permeates every single part of society. Plastic doesn't magically appear.

You always bring up plastics as if it were some kind of problem, but fixing carbon into plastics is fine. The climate issue is with releasing the carbon into the atmospehere. There's still some issue with production of the precursor, but a rump petrochemical industry overwhelmingly focused on producing carbon that stays on the surface of the earth is not exactly a major objection to the project of ending it as a burned fuel source.


What are you going to do with the remainder of the oil and gas pulled from the ground and refined enough to produce the multitude of petrochemicals? Re-inject?

Seems more efficient to still use the majority of the resource as fuel, and offsetting the carbon emission with scrubbers.

This should be moved to the other thread, but I think a workable plan looks like phasing out coal, drawing down petroleum, continuing to use natural gas, increase renewables, investing in carbon scrubbing, and focusing on energy efficiency. I realize many of these things are close to what AOC outlines, but when expressed in absolutes (e.g. 100% energy production from renewable sources) I feel like that plays to the base while losing credibility as being feasible.

If scrubbers are feasible, then they are fine. Otherwise, the refining industry is driven by the markets for their products. If there are refining outputs that have literally no value outside burning, then some sort of disposal is needed. Disposing them by dumping them in the atmosphere is no longer acceptable.

...

If you agree that a feasible plan is in line with AOC-style proposals absent some aggressive rhetoric about absolute targets even as those targets are well grounded in the scientifically well established scale of the problem, I don't see the reason to be concerned about what she is doing. Her intervention at this point is to work to establish a committee to draft actual legislation, and those are the right principles for that task. The prospects for success on a rational scale really are extremely challenging, but that comes in terms of the politics, not the scientific impossibility of ending coal burning, dramatic renewable expansion, the building of new electrical infrastructure, building retrofitting, etc


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 Post subject: Re: Green New Deal
PostPosted: December 5 18, 8:17 am 
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Arthur Dent wrote:
If scrubbers are feasible, then they are fine. Otherwise, the refining industry is driven by the markets for their products. If there are refining outputs that have literally no value outside burning, then some sort of disposal is needed. Disposing them by dumping them in the atmosphere is no longer acceptable.


That's not the reality of refining crude oil though. A barrel of oil (depending on the type) generally breaks down as such:

Image

You don't really get to decide what molecules come out of the barrel. That leaves a lot of products that are used in large quantities today for energy production - gasoline, diesel, LPG's, jet fuel - that you suggest should not be "burned" into the atmosphere, but rather disposed. It's disingenuous to say those products have no value but burning - that burning creates significant amounts of energy, that the modern world absolutely depends on. I'm not sure how excited any of us are to hop on a battery or nuclear powered jumbo jet to fly to Europe. We're going to need some pretty big batteries to power cargo ships across the Pacific.

There's a market aspect of this too. If you were only to use, say, 10% of that barrel for usable products, the cost of those products is going to escalate dramatically. Crude oil is still expensive to produce. Even the easiest access (Saudi Arabia) has a ~$25 per barrel cost to lift. The market pays what it does for that oil because refiners and petrochemical companies can sell all the pieces of that barrel.

Yes, a lot of petrochemicals can also be refined in higher percentages from condensate / wet gas and natural gas sources, but not all. There's an argument for "well, we didn't always use oil", but we also didn't have a society full of plastics and other synthetic materials.

Here's an additional graphic from the Economist with some good breakdowns (spoilered for size):

Spoiler: show
Image


As for scrubbers, there have been pretty significant breakthroughs in recent years. I would not be surprised at all if we are able to have a market ready solution for zero emission gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2030. Industrial scale applications are getting closer too.

Anyway, this is a long way of saying "100% of national power generation from renewable sources" (along with decarbonizing all industries and transportation) is an unnecessarily impracticable goal. We can aim for a higher percentage from renewable sources (even 50% in 10 years would be an incredible accomplishment), and attempt to eliminate the environmental/climate impact from non-renewable sources. That's achievable, practical, and while still politically difficult could still potentially make it through legislation. Maybe that's the intent of "decarbonizing" = zero net emissions and I'm overreacting, but I currently read it as "keep it in the ground".


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 Post subject: Re: Green New Deal
PostPosted: December 5 18, 10:14 am 
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You don’t get to choose what molecules are in a barrel of oil or cubic foot of natural gas, but that chart of current refining outputs is not given by nature either, and refining isn’t just separating and sorting the molecules already present. The molecular structures are modified in refinery processes like cracking and so on. Different demand would result in a different output mix not just throwing away the fraction previously burned. Certainly interested in seeing more detailed analysis on this front.

As to your point about the need for petrochemical energy in transportation, that is certainly a major problem where it’s not clear currently how to achieve deep decarbonization, but this is not the majority use, and there’s still much that can be done shifting to more efficient modes of transportation like freight rail, in reduction of low value long distance movement of goods, and other iniatives in that vein.


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 Post subject: Re: Green New Deal
PostPosted: December 5 18, 10:53 am 
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Arthur Dent wrote:
You don’t get to choose what molecules are in a barrel of oil or cubic foot of natural gas, but that chart of current refining outputs is not given by nature either, and refining isn’t just separating and sorting the molecules already present. The molecular structures are modified in refinery processes like cracking and so on. Different demand would result in a different output mix not just throwing away the fraction previously burned. Certainly interested in seeing more detailed analysis on this front.


It's pretty established by nature. Refining crude oil is a distillation process, and while the mixture of crude inputs can affect the outputs, you can't really change what molecules are distilled out of a barrel. Just like you can't boil a beer and only get alcohol - you are still left with water. You cannot start with a barrel of crude oil and not get a large percentage of gasoline, diesel, and kerosene as products. Or if you just capture the light ends (LPG's), not be left with 90%+ of the barrel.

Since I'm posting a lot of diagrams already to help understand these concepts, here's petroleum refining 101 for everyone's benefit:
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Green New Deal
PostPosted: December 5 18, 11:13 am 
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Distillation is the first step, and those outputs are given by nature, but look at your diagram there. Cracking is used to break up heavier molecules into more useful lighter ones and produce different mixes.


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 Post subject: Re: Green New Deal
PostPosted: December 5 18, 11:21 am 
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Sorry but "we need gas for planes and trains" doesnt really fly when the whole point of the GND is to figure out how we get around issues such as precisely those.

also "we'll have this gas just sitting around so we might as well burn it, cant just bury it" doesn't fly with me either. Bury that [expletive]. If we're carbon neutral/carbon negative that's another thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Green New Deal
PostPosted: December 5 18, 11:26 am 
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Schlich wrote:
Sorry but "we need gas for planes and trains" doesnt really fly when the whole point of the GND is to figure out how we get around issues such as precisely those.

I wouldn’t say that’s the whole point. Certainly shouldn’t be. The main output should be current infrastructure investments and market reforms to reduce current emissions. Research too, but plenty can and should be done today with no breakthroughs.


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 Post subject: Re: Green New Deal
PostPosted: December 5 18, 11:45 am 
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Arthur Dent wrote:
Schlich wrote:
Sorry but "we need gas for planes and trains" doesnt really fly when the whole point of the GND is to figure out how we get around issues such as precisely those.

I wouldn’t say that’s the whole point. Certainly shouldn’t be. The main output should be current infrastructure investments and market reforms to reduce current emissions. Research too, but plenty can and should be done today with no breakthroughs.


What do you mean by 'current' infrastructure investments? Our transportation grid needs to be redone anyways by many measures, and it would have a huge environmental impact. I was under the impression that rehauling transportation would be one of the industries highly affected by transferring to a green society, i thought that was a given?


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