18 votes

Is driving an electric car any better than driving a conventional car if electricity is generated with fossil fuel?

Yes. The hard limit on the efficiency of a heat engine is the Carnot efficiency: the amount of usable energy extracted from a heat source is limited by the temperature of the heat source and the ...
  • 579
13 votes

Is driving an electric car any better than driving a conventional car if electricity is generated with fossil fuel?

Volvo have done an interesting study on this recently, looking at whole-lifecycle emissions for a BEV (battery electric vehicle) XC40 versus a ICE (internal combusion engine) XC40. A vehicle life-...
  • 377
7 votes
Accepted

Is being a vegetarian really environmentally friendly?

Gram for gram, meat products produce from twice (comparing fish to wheat) to 150 times (comparing beef to root vegetables) more greenhouse gas emissions than plant products. In 2020, Our World in Data ...
  • 11.5k
6 votes
Accepted

How much land would be covered by the plants that turned into the fossil fuels humanity has burned?

How coal was formed Regarding coal, from trees, it's not simply a question of the area whether it was a continent-size landmass, but more of the temporal side of things -- how long a time period the ...
5 votes
Accepted

Flying vs heating and cooling

Firstly, you have to notice that heating is not optional, it's mandatory. If you leave a home unheated, the water pipes will freeze. So you could perhaps reduce half of the heating bill. Where I live, ...
  • 3,992
4 votes
Accepted

Is driving an electric car any better than driving a conventional car if electricity is generated with fossil fuel?

Oh yes it is. The fossil fuel of choice in electricity generation today is natural gas. Natural gas combined cycle turbines run at 50% efficiency. Compare that to the 25% average efficiency of a car ...
  • 3,992
4 votes
Accepted

Does greener flights mean a lot less affordable flights?

The fact is: nobody knows. Electric planes could be very useful for short distances. For long-distance flights, the battery cost investment is rather high, the weight of the plane increases rapidly (...
  • 3,992
4 votes

Why does climate change lead to more diarrhea?

I’m not aware of any definitive studies or reputable sources of information that directly link climate change to increased cases of diarrhea. I’d be interested to see any if anyone happens to have a ...
3 votes

Is burning wood for energy less bad than forest fires?

It's the timescale that's the issue. Firewood is generally harvested from a managed forest; there's a continuous cycle of planting, harvesting, and burning going on, and the carbon dioxide released ...
  • 579
3 votes
Accepted

Is environmentally-driven purchasing of coal mines a good idea?

No this won't work, because there's so much coal reserves, unless you buy all of them. With oil it might just work. Buy an oilfield and promise to not utilize it in any manner. However, the fossil ...
  • 3,992
3 votes

Is cutting down trees and building something from them good or bad for the climate?

Deforestation per se, without replanting trees to compensate for the trees felled, is bad for the environment. Replacing steel and concrete with lumber/timber from trees for construction purposes is ...
  • 3,362
3 votes

Is driving an electric car any better than driving a conventional car if electricity is generated with fossil fuel?

Renewable diesel is a Co2 neutral product that is a direct replacement for hydrocarbon diesel in the diesel fleet. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/biofuels/biodiesel-in-depth.php This fuel is ...
  • 31
3 votes

Is an incrementalist approach to decarbonisation feasible?

This Zero Carbon Britain report gives a detailed answer to your question. Their plan sees emissions being reduced to 8% of the current levels, and the rest being balanced by carbon capture. This ...
  • 1,001
3 votes
Accepted

How is lumbering bad for the climate?

Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. If you have a forest that is cleared with no intention whatsoever to re-plant a new forest, that is bad for the climate. You can't make all of the trees into ...
  • 3,992
3 votes
Accepted

What is the climate change impact of releasing one tonne of methane in the atmosphere vs. the impact of burning it?

That's easy. Methane molecule is 16.042 grams and carbon dioxide molecule is 44.01 grams. Burning methane produces one carbon dioxide molecule per one methane molecule. If you burn 16.042 grams of ...
  • 3,992
2 votes

What is the climate impact of shared electric kick scooter systems?

I'll address a few of your points, though maybe not the overall question: They are often parked randomly, making it hard to walk if the sidewalk has lots of randomly scattered scooters that are often ...
  • 2,047
2 votes
Accepted

Is an incrementalist approach to decarbonisation feasible?

tldr: yes, with sufficient political will, an incremental approach is sufficient - we could decarbonise our energy consumption in 20 years. There are still a lot of unknowns (like just what we do ...
  • 14.7k
2 votes

My residential colony burns dry grass every year; how can I stop them?

Burning grass is effectively carbon-neutral: the carbon dioxide released will get pulled right back out of the air next year as the grass re-grows. Cutting it and letting it decompose would also be ...
  • 579
2 votes
Accepted

Is crop production a net source or a net sink of carbon emissions?

Food is responsible for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, and crops are no exception. For crop production, there are two major categories of emissions sources: Land use, and agricultural ...
  • 11.5k
2 votes
Accepted

What do we do with all the coal mines?

Abandoned underground coal mines present a potential hazard to anyone who might enter them. The first hazard is fugitive methane gas and the second is coal dust. Under the right conditions, both can ...
  • 3,362
2 votes
Accepted

Should we recycle paper products?

That paper is totally wrong. Nobody except China is planning to install large amounts of fossil baseload power. In developed nations, all increased power production is wind (on- and offshore) and ...
  • 3,992
2 votes
Accepted

When the topic of transport decarbonization comes up, all I hear is batteries and hydrogen. But what about renewable natural gas (RNG)?

Leakage. Hydrogen isn't a greenhouse gas. If it escapes into the atmosphere, no big deal: it'll either combine with oxygen to produce water, or it'll reach the outer atmosphere and escape. Either ...
  • 579
2 votes
Accepted

Is vermicomposting our food rubbish sustainable in term of climate change?

If I understand, the overall CO2 (and weighted N2O, CH3 equivalents) net balance of of in home vermicomposting (or other composting) is at the crux of the question here. Some rigorous and easily ...
2 votes
Accepted

Does grass-fed beef have lower carbon footprint than feedlot-finished beef?

It is complicated, on the one hand you have longer growing times and lower food conversion efficiency of pasture raised cattle, on the other pastures are a way of carbon sequestration. There is a ...
  • 336
1 vote

Can oil be used as a fuel source without contributing to global climate change?

There are two ways oil can be used as a fuel source for energy without contributing to global climate change. The first is carbon capture and storage. However, part of the allure of oil is that it's ...
  • 3,992
1 vote

Can oil be used as a fuel source without contributing to global climate change?

Not of itself. Using oil as fuel means burning it and that means producing carbon dioxide. There are a lot of things we can do after burning oil to avoid releasing the CO2 to the atmosphere, but none ...
  • 3,785
1 vote
Accepted

Is burning wood for energy less bad than forest fires?

Another thing to consider: If burning wood for energy, it is generally displacing other alternative dirty fuels that would emit net carbon dioxide. However, forest fires do not displace anything. It's ...
  • 3,992
1 vote
Accepted

Which CDR options, on balance, are the most feasible?

you can sequester a considerable amount of carbon by afforestation Planting new forest is only capable of capturing about the same amount of carbon dioxide that has been released by burning down ...
  • 3,992
1 vote

How is biochar production as a CDR method different from crop residue burning?

Let's compare biochar production from wood with burning wood: 1000 tonnes of biochar sequester 3000 tonnes of CO2 and the production of said biochar creates 5000 MWh of energy as heat, requiring ...
  • 3,992
1 vote
Accepted

How is biochar production as a CDR method different from crop residue burning?

Deliberate biochar production differs from open burning in two important ways. The first is oxygen availability as you said. Limiting the amount of oxygen means far more of the biomass ends up as ...
  • 2,047

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