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THP_music t1_iuw53xi wrote

these annoy me. yes, it's innovative but the focus should not be on replacing a combustive fuel source, it's their use that's the problem.


Words_Are_Hrad t1_iuwi040 wrote

Combustive fuels aren't a problem actually. The problem is increasing greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere. We are doing that mainly through combustion of sequestered fossil fuels but that doesn't mean all combustion would do the same thing. For example in this scenario these biofuels are using carbon that is in the Earths active carbon cycle. So they are growing plants that are absorbing CO2, using those plants to make a fuel, and burning that fuel that releases that CO2 back into the atmosphere. This process is carbon neutral, the amount of carbon being released by combustion is equal to the amount absorbed during plant growth. No new carbon added no increase in global temperature. Other forms of combustion like hydrogen don't even release CO2 as an output instead only releasing hot steam. Obviously hydrogen also doesn't add to global temps. The chemical process that drives the curing of cement that we use in all our concrete releases CO2. No combustion needed there and we still get greenhouse gases. So boiling the problem down to combustion bad is not only untrue it is very unhelpful in targeting other massive sources of GHG emissions.


jamanimals t1_iux8smw wrote

This is a fair point and one that I never really considered in thinking of this issue before. However, as with any process, there are certain to be losses. How sustainable is this process for converting coffee into fuel? Is the limiting factor simply time?

I know you probably don't have the answer, but I'd be surprised if this was actually able to cover fuel needs.

One item that I want to contest with your point, which I know is not actually part of the point you made, is that even if we find a truly sustainable fuel source, we should still consider cutting down our use of combustive technologies to power our cities.

This is more of a localized issue, but pollution and waste is still an issue with biodiesel, and using combustion vehicles inside of cities can lead to poor outcomes for this cities.

I know this is a bit off-topic to the point you were making, but I still feel it needs to be said that even though this specific tech is carbon neutral, it enables other technologies that are harmful to society overall.


mule_roany_mare t1_iuxcb7t wrote

> I know you probably don't have the answer, but I'd be surprised if this was actually able to cover fuel needs.

It definitely won't, but it doesn't need to. There is no magic bullet coming, it's going to require a lot of relatively minor contributions.

You'll likely never be able to move away from something like kerosene for air travel, nothing else will have the energy density, safety record & maturity or the most important quality: the plane getting lighter as it flies.

But a process like this could prevent air travel from contributing greenhouse gasses by integrating it into the planets normal carbon cycle.


jamanimals t1_iuxhkdc wrote

Absolutely. Fossil fuels, or in this case biofuels, will always have a place in modern society. But we should still work to reduce our reliance on them as much as we possibly can.

Less driving, less flying, more rail and public transit, or just walking and biking will bring much greater climate protection over time, but that doesn't mean that cars, trucks and planes won't have a place, even if we go as green as possible in the future.


mule_roany_mare t1_iuyb4lv wrote

Reducing people's standard of living is a hard sell & likely a considerable reason people refuse to believe in climate change.

There is plenty of low hanging fruit to capture before we start asking for the really painful sacrifices which amount to a drop in the bucket.

Electric cars, nuclear power & renewable power in tandem as fast as possible will increase people's standard of living while doing more good.

A revenue neutral carbon tax will do more good for less money and more importantly less effort/discomfort.

To put it all another way: Asking people with shitty lives to pay more in exchange for having shittier lives isn't gonna work.

Especially when the acts themselves are more symbolic than pragmatic.


jamanimals t1_iuyj1e6 wrote

I disagree that rail and bicycles reduce people's standards of living, but I do agree that it's a hard sell. It's a hard sell because there are a lot of vested interests in the status quo car dependent fossil-fuel consumption driven economy.

That being said, nuclear power and renewables are a good thing, and I hope to see more investment in that realm.


Acylion t1_iuys8rj wrote

Apologies for this comment, in advance, because it may come across a bit nitpicky. I agree wholeheartedly with your points in this post and others, in general, but the thing about bike use not reducing standard of living bothers me a lot.

I live in a tropical area on the equator, in a country where it's hot and humid year round. There are a lot of efforts here to encourage cycling for mobility. The issue is that it's impossible to cycle anywhere in the day without building up a considerable sweat. Which causes problems when you want both working folks and students to cycle, and yet it still isn't socially acceptable to, well, let's say, be wet and pungent.

And while there are efforts to create free public showering points, those would only be in newer or recently renovated buildings, so in practice that's rare. If you're lucky, maybe there's a gym or something in the area, but that still requires cost and access.

So the people who are cycling places are definitely taking a significant hit in comfort, convenience, time expenditure, and so on. Are these acceptable tradeoffs for sustainability? Yeah, probably, but it is a tradeoff.

And I'm not even getting into the question of where you can even safely park your bicycle at your destination. Granted, that's a more common worldwide universal infrastructure issue which can be solved. Technically the shower thing can be solved too. But I'm just trying to point out that there's a host of inconveniences here, and I would say going car-light does represent a reduction in standard of living and quality of life. It's just that, from my perspective, this may be a necessary sacrifice.

A lot of sustainability messaging is soft-sell, we're trying to convince people that we can achieve climate aims with little or minimal sacrifice and disruption to their existing lifestyles. That's meant to make it more palatable, but there's limits to that narrative.


jamanimals t1_iuyvmcd wrote

I hear this narrative about being sweaty often, but I really don't understand it. I work in a place that gets hot as hell during the summer, and while I'm in air conditioning, many of the people who work in the shop floor are not. So they're getting sweaty anyways.

Why does it matter if they build up a sweat before work, or during?

I suppose if you work in an office all day and never leave, then sure, take your car and just sit in climate control as much as you want, but do you then never go outside? Take a walk? It just doesn't make sense as a point against biking infrastructure.

Also, I'm not really sure why the bike parking is brought up. I'm assuming you're not from the US, but we dedicate insane amounts of space to car parking, so bike parking should be a non-issue. If your city has any sort of car parking, then bike parking is easily solved as well.


Acylion t1_iuyym1f wrote

First, I want to clarify that I'm personally in favour of not trying to use cars (or for that matter, air conditioning), I'm just trying to explain why it's an unpalatable proposition for people, speaking from my local and regional context.

First, yes, where I live there absolutely is an expectation that many people are commuting in from wherever, to a workplace, entering a climate controlled environment, and then often not leaving until they go home. Is that a healthy or sensible expectation? Hell no. Are we talking first world or rich city folk problems here? Yeah. But I've been snarked at by people in a professional setting for having the sheer audacity to wear short sleeves and breathable shoes rather than long sleeves, a blazer, and faux-leather footwear, so you see what's going on here. Realistically, we should be assuming everyone can dress down for temperature, we should accept some sweating as a daily routine problem. But it's frowned upon in practice. So the problem arises when you're trying to walk for part of your commute, or cycle, and still need to maintain these (admittedly artificial) standards of appearance on the other end. I'm not trying to defend this as right, I'm saying this is fucking stupid, but the point is convincing people you can go car-light, yeah? And at this point your average person is still "shit, gotta take an (uber-equivalent) to the meeting, can't let the clients see us dripping wet", or "can't turn up for work stinking, the customers will complain".

Ideally it should be acceptable to just, you know, accept the realities, but folks don't. Which means that people who do persist in walking part of their commute or biking are taking some kind of sacrifice in practice - not just in discomfort but in what's needed to maintain socially acceptable standards.

Second, yeah, I'm in Asia, not the US - which might help in contextualising some of the above, I realise. Anyway.

Realistically there should be more bike parking in my city (or other nearby ones). There's space. In practice? Bike racks are only common in residential neighbourhoods, and even then it isn't enough if we assume everyone should have a bike, it's only serving current less-than-full utilisation. For the most part you're not going to find a lot of bike parking in commercial areas, for example. Now, that's a solvable problem, absolutely, but it isn't a solved problem yet. Which means that for the short to medium term, it presents an obstacle for someone trying to bike to work. Some of my coworkers have ended up lugging their bikes up the stairs or elevator and into our premises, which, y'know, fine, we're chill and nobody is gonna bat an eye when someone's doing that. But if your boss doesn't approve? We don't have bike racks nearby, and it's technically illegal to chain a bike to something that isn't a rack or designated space. Enforcement is spotty, but you're running a risk if someone decides to be an asshole.


jamanimals t1_iuz58fd wrote

I get that there's an air of appearance that needs to be maintained, and I understand where that's coming from, but that's only for certain industries, right?

If you need to present a certain way to succeed then go for it, but don't hold back those who don't need to do that.

And I'm not suggesting you are holding anyone back, but your arguments here seem to be complaining that we can't change the status quo, and only looking at it through the lens of your personal experience.

I'm not saying that you need to convert your coworkers, what I'm saying is that you should support bike infrastructure for those who need it. Surely not everyone who lives in your city needs to be completely sweat free for work, right?

Also, work commutes are only a part of people's daily movements. Why can't more people bike to get groceries? Or bike to go shopping? It's all a part of reducing our footprint.


Acylion t1_iuz6v7t wrote

I'm not arguing in favour trying to preserve status quo versus change, and apologies if that's the intent. My comment is intended to explain WHY there are barriers to change, and why I have issues with your point on biking not reducing "standard of living".

I'm saying that, rightly or wrongly... hell, let's agree on "wrongly"... biking would indeed be perceived as reducing standard of living in many contexts. By saying that it doesn't, it sort of... sidelines the challenges. Instead of addressing them.

Even if objectively it shouldn't be seen as a lifestyle hit, it is seen that way by a significant number of people. And that's a barrier for change, and I don't think ignoring or trying to explain away that challenge is helpful.

Edit: I mean, basically what you get is policymakers telling the public "use fewer cars", and a sizeable portion of the public staring back and going "fuck you". Unless policy and industry direction addresses the concerns of people, OR if there's broader social changes to our expectations, we're not going to see the takeup that you or I might prefer.


jamanimals t1_iv0j56p wrote

I think we're talking past each other here, because I do agree that there's a public perception that bikes are inferior, but from my perspective, it's generally the policymakers who refuse to build bike infrastructure, even when there's strong support for it.

I think also your perspective coming from a different country is a bit different from mine. In the US and Canada, and to an extent, Mexico, we've destroyed our cities in favor of the car. You literally cannot walk in places in the US because if how dangerous our road design is.

When I say reducing car usage and increasing bike usage won't decrease quality of life, I'm saying that car-dependency has decreased our quality of life and reducing that car dependency will help bring quality of life up.

But I will concede that it's a very North American point of view and might not apply globally, because most of the globe didn't recklessly destroy their cities to build highways.


mule_roany_mare t1_iuz17a0 wrote

>but I really don't understand it.

That's fine, but you have to take people's word for it who do.

Clothes feel gross when you've sweat through them. Starting your day & ending every trip drenched in sweat is a drop in a persons quality of life.

I live in a city where public transportation is pretty good & often better than a car. Lots of people don't & introducing a giant PITA will make their days tougher.


jamanimals t1_iuz49or wrote

My point is that there are lots of jobs where you're going to get sweaty during the day. Hell, many tropical climates have lots of people on mopeds. Surely you're getting sweaty on a moped in a similar fashion to a bike?


mule_roany_mare t1_iuzmefj wrote

> Surely you're getting sweaty on a moped in a similar fashion to a bike?


You don't sweat more when you exercise than when you sit on a chair?


jamanimals t1_iv0fbgb wrote

Riding a moped in a hot, humid environment is surely going to make you sweaty.

As the other poster noted, most of their coworkers would rather take an uber to meetings than walk because they have clients to meet and want to stay fresh. That is definitely a niche group of individuals with specific needs, and if they feel they want to drive everywhere, so be it.

But they shouldn't dictate to the rest of society that biking and walking places can't be done.


mule_roany_mare t1_iv0zhwi wrote

A hot humid environment can make a person sweaty.

Riding a bike can make a person sweaty in a cool dry environment. Exertion can even make people sweat in winter.

Not being inside a climate controlled car for trips will de facto reduce people’s quality of life.


jamanimals t1_iv18q0x wrote

See, that's where I think this is an exaggeration. Plenty of people spend time outside on cold days, or on incredibly hot days. Some do it for work, some do it for fun, some do it just because, and some do it because they have no choice.

Forcing everyone in society to be in a car to get anywhere, on the off chance that they might not want to be hot or cold, is far more harmful for those who either don't care, or can't afford or use a car for whatever reason.

That is why I say reducing car use isn't necessarily going to reduce people's quality of life, because a lot of people's quality of life is already miserable because there are no alternatives to car use.

Mind you, this is a very North American (plus some Australia/NZ/UK) perspective, so it doesn't fully apply globally, but many countries around the world are attempting to model the US' car dependent infrastructure, which will have disastrous effects, not only climate-wise, but also quality-of-life wise.


mule_roany_mare t1_iv2v5sk wrote

Who is forcing everyone to do anything?

you said that relying on public transport & bikes won’t reduce any one’s quality of life.

Even if you don’t care about physical exertion & sweat a car runs on your schedule & can leave anytime you want.


jamanimals t1_iv2xu60 wrote

>Who is forcing everyone to do anything?

If you look at North American planning, the only thing that ever gets funded is single family sprawl and car infrastructure. Public transit gets barely any budget and bike infrastructure isn't even considered. So car dependency is forcing me to drive everywhere, and it's mandated by the government.

> a car runs on your schedule & can leave anytime you want.

So do bikes, and good public transit can be just as convenient, if not moreso, than cars, because bikes and trains are much more efficient at moving people and don't get stuck in traffic.


jubilant-barter t1_ivcvnln wrote

When you're sweaty, people notice. They notice your smell. If they're kind, they'll only mention it directly to you and in confidence.

If they're not nice... well, humans are social animals. Your relationships, status, and even your career are affected by your community's perception of your hygiene.


jamanimals t1_ivcwahl wrote

Sure, but my point is that I think it's an exaggerated issue. The number of people who need to be completely sweat free through the day is very low, and don't really need to be considered in transit/city planning.

The goal should be getting the greatest number of people out of their cars as possible, whether that's through better pedestrian infrastructure, better cycling infrastructure, or better public transit, we have to reduce the amount of pollution we create via transportation.


S0M3D1CK t1_iuwxptl wrote

It’s the first law of thermodynamics. Biodiesel and hydrogen are produced with what is on the surface of the planet. Fossil fuels are pulled from beneath the surface, subsequently used, and the energy/matter stays behind on the surface until it settles back down.


SEND_INVENTION_IDEAS t1_iux0fds wrote

My question is how much coffee waste actually is there? Surely nowhere near enough to make a dent in biofuel production.


LabyrinthConvention t1_iux6mur wrote

it's an algae based science project, which personally I think are fascinating for using unicellular organisms as factories. But like most of this sub, it's being presented as though it's a revolution. It's just silly.


THP_music t1_iv0x1bh wrote


SEND_INVENTION_IDEAS t1_iv12iha wrote

So each person on Earth produces 3 tonnes of coffee waste each year? 8 kg a day? At ~20 g a cup that's 400 cups of coffee a day per person.