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 ...
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  • 579
12 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-...
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  • 367
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 ...
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  • 11.2k
6 votes
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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 ...
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5 votes
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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 ...
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  • 2,717
4 votes
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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, ...
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  • 2,717
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 ...
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  • 31
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 ...
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  • 579
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 ...
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  • 3,042
3 votes
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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 ...
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  • 2,717
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 ...
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  • 901
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 ...
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  • 579
2 votes
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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 ...
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2 votes
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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 ...
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  • 11.2k
2 votes

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 ...
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  • 2,717
2 votes

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 ...
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  • 3,042
2 votes
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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 ...
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  • 2,717
2 votes
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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 ...
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  • 579
1 vote

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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 2,717
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 ...
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  • 3,745
1 vote
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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 ...
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  • 2,717
1 vote
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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 ...
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  • 2,717
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 ...
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  • 2,717
1 vote
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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 ...
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  • 2,027
1 vote
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What climate benefits does a four-day working week have?

There are two effects of a four-day working week. Reduced productivity. A four-day working week has approximately 80% the amount of working hours of a five-day working week. Reduced transportation. A ...
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  • 2,717
1 vote

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

The GHG intensity of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) charged from a fossil-fuel based electrical grid is a moot point (a fact that doesn't matter because it's not relevant to the current situation) ...
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  • 2,699
1 vote

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 ...
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  • 2,027
1 vote

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

Where I live, forests reach a density of 100-200 cubic meters of growing stock per hectare. One cubic meter equals one tonne of carbon dioxide. From 1870 to 2014, cumulative carbon emissions totaled ...
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  • 2,717
1 vote

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

As a guide, mature sitka spruce forest in the UK has 500m3 of wood per hectare report; This wood has a density of 450 kg/m3 density tables, to that makes 225 tonnes of wood per hectare. The wood is ...
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