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Thread: Today's book. Bill Gates climate

  1. #1

    Today's book. Bill Gates climate

    Reading the book from Bill Gates on climate change right now.

    Most of the CO2 we produce (and I think this applies to energy too) is actually indirect, in the manufacturing processes for making stuff. Any stuff from industry and agriculture, specifically concrete, steel, and meat. I used to think this is because manufacturing takes energy (chemical reactions, for example to cook cement, or melting mineral to make steel and aluminium, occur at high temperatures), so if we finally have clean energy we solve the issue for good. But unfortunately not so. Even if we had 100% clean energy, beyond the high temperatures required, it's really the chemical reactions themselves, used by industry and agriculture, that release greenhouse gases. So even switching to 100% clean energy we would still be emitting CO2.


    The book is very good, I recommend it.

  2. #2
    Moderator noel's Avatar
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    Interesting. I knew some of this: cows farting, termites... but I hadn't considered cement, and probably lots of other processes.

    For those of us too lazy to read the full thing, what does he recommend? If energy is not the cure-all, what else is needed?

  3. #3
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    The consumer culture is basically to blame. Throw it away and buy a new one mentality. This culture has had its day and stagflation will soon herald its demise, people won't have the readies to buy new.
    Luke Appleyard (Wharfedale)- quick on the dissent

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    Yes, we basically need to: use less stuff. That doesn't need to mean a spartan existence. We can have nice things, but just make them last. Buy quality that lasts a lifetime. This does as Mr B. points out need a big change in consumer culture and to a large extent coporate culture with its planned obsolescence.

    The other worrying trend is that every technological advance results in more resources being used. Even when on the face of it, they are resource saving advances. E.g. As computer chips become more efficient and less power hungry, clever people figure out how to make really useful mobile pocket computers. Now were all* carrying round a pc every day and charging it every night, instead of carrying a phone that we charge every week. The majority are even getting a new mobile pocket pc every 2 years or so as well. We're voracious...

    *ok the majority are.

  5. #5
    Master bigfella's Avatar
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    Not to mention crypto currencies, doesn't bitcoin mining consume about the same amount of energy as Greece?
    Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

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    I saw a quote recently from a book on I think economics - the concept stuck, the book didn't. There is now so much wealth in the world that it would be possible to completely eliminate poverty without it making a material difference in the day to day living of the ultra rich. The only people stopping this are - the ultra rich.

    It is only recently that this has become possible. There used to be far too many poor people, and the rich were not rich enough, but this no longer applies.

    As to the constant economic growth that governments throughout the world aim for, it is of course planet destroying, as well as being unnecessary - it is the distribution of wealth that is the problem, not the overall amount.

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    That is interesting MikeT. The disparity is shocking in the UK, it must be magnified by 'x' when considering the world as a whole.

    There was an interesting discussion/interview on Radio 5 last night. The chap being interviewed said that the technology was there to 'save to world', the only thing lacking is the political will at governmental level to change the status quo. I tend to believe that the basic technology is there, it just needs a tremendous engineering effort. A cause for hope? It would be interesting to know what BillG's thought's on the current technology is.

    Mayhaps the lack of governmental will is linked to the wealth disparity and lobby of the wealthy??

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by PiesAreGood View Post
    Yes, we basically need to: use less stuff. That doesn't need to mean a spartan existence.
    I could not agree more.
    Sadly most people just refuse to accept this.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by noel View Post
    For those of us too lazy to read the full thing, what does he recommend? If energy is not the cure-all, what else is needed?
    Bill Gates, himself being a nerd technophile, honestly states that as of today the solution does not yet exists. Of course whatever solution, to be feasible, has to be sufficiently affordable from a cost point of view.
    He says he thinks that despite us lacking the solutions, next inventions will probably find it/them.

    There are many stuff we didn't know how to use/make in the past, fire electricity computer steel cement agriculture, travelling over water, whatever, and are now very common.

    Yes we are running out of time but we still have hope (a little).

  10. #10
    Master Wheeze's Avatar
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    So instead of measurings countries value by growth, other metrics like commitment to green technologies or husbandry of natural resources would be used. I believe something like this is being trialled in Costa Rica.

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